Monday, July 31, 2006
Monday, July 31, 2006
Copyright © 2006 Republican-American
The July/August AARP Bulletin had a piece on federal aid for medical research in which it criticized the President Bush's request to freeze the National Institutes of Health's budget for fiscal 2007. The AARP correctly interpreted the move as a reduction in federal funding for disease research. Naturally, it advocated devoting larger sums to investigating better treatments for Alzheimer's disease, which primarily affects its core constituency.
But we were struck most by the accompanying morbid graphic, which broke down research grants per fatality. It is beyond dispute that a good chunk of federal research dollars is wasted on frivolous projects. But if it can be described this way, taxpayers get the best bang for their buck on stroke research, with gets just $2,143 per fatality. Heart disease was next at $3,649 per corpse. Surprisingly, cancer was well down the list at $14,006 per death.
The most stunning number, however, was $212,330, which is what taxpayers cough up for each HIV/AIDS fatality. In 2007, they will contribute a staggering $2.9 billion for HIV/AIDS research, which is only slightly less than the total for diabetes and Alzheimer's, respiratory and kidney diseases. They afflict tens of millions more Americans than AIDS, yet comparatively, they get the short end of the funding stick.
It's no secret the generous appropriations for HIV/AIDS research are dictated by political correctness rather than in response to a true public-health crisis. Moreover, HIV/AIDS is the most easily prevented cause of death on the NIH list; all that is required is a modicum of personal responsibility. In a perfect world, the NIH would dole out research dough proportional to the quantifiable health threat rather than the empty-barrel politics of HIV/AIDS.
Looks like ObraGore has decided to take it up a notch.
It's been a while since I asked someone, anyone, to share the stash of crazy pills with me, but here we go. (Yes, I know it's the French, but still...):
French leaders praised Iran and disparaged Israel on Monday in two separate news conferences held in Beirut and in the Paris area.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin told reporters at the news conference in France that Israel’s willingness to suspend its air strikes on Hizbullah terror targets was “only a first step, but still not enough.” De Villepin maintained that the “cessation of the aerial attacks is insufficient in light of the situation in Lebanon.”
At the news conference held in Beirut, French Foreign Minister Phillippe Douste-Blazy praised Iran as a “stabilizing force in the Middle East.” Douste-Blazy told reporters that Iran "is an outstanding country with great people and an honorable civilization. It has a crucial role in the region.”
Iran is the primary patron of the Hizbullah terror organization, which has fired close to 1,800 Katyusha missiles at northern Israeli communities in the past 20 days, killing 19 civilians and injuring hundreds more.
Iran has armed Hizbullah with long-range rockets equipped with warheads containing more than 100 kg. of explosive material and little metal balls designed to wound large numbers of people and create maximum damage.
Hizbullah started the current war with Israel with a major attack on July 12th in which terrorists kidnapped two IDF soldiers, killed four others and fired Katyusha rockets at Israeli towns along the northern border. Four other soldiers were killed in their tank by a mine when they set off in pursuit of their kidnapped colleagues.Iran also continues to refuse to end its uranium enrichment program, in direct violation of international law. Ongoing efforts by the international community to convince Iran to end the program, which is a precursor to the development of a nuclear weapon, have been fruitless thus far.
From an (hours) older, more informative, article:
Driver accused of blast threat says he was taunted
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Plain Dealer Reporter
A Detroit truck driver broadcast a threat to blow up another trucker and detonate a cargo of explosives in Cleveland on Thursday because other drivers were taunting him, the State Highway Patrol said Friday.
Sekou Fofana, 36, was arraigned Friday and held in Lake County Jail on inducing panic charges, said Trooper C.J. Coyne-Hall.
The Ivory Coast native and former New York City cab driver faces penalties for the fourth-degree felony charges ranging from probation to 18 months in prison, and fines of up to $5,000.
Fofana announced over a citizens-band radio that his semitrailer was loaded with explosives and he would "blow up Cleveland," another truck driver told the patrol.
Troopers and officers from five Lake County municipalities pulled over Fofana in Willoughby at 4:43 p.m. Authorities shut down Interstate 90 during rush hour, closing westbound lanes for more than an hour and eastbound lanes for 15 minutes. Trooper Jim Smith, the arresting officer, said traffic backed up for miles in each direction.
A bomb squad searched the truck and found only pallets of magazines.
The panic began when another truck driver called the patrol in Ashtabula County and described a westbound truck and its driver and said the driver was threatening to set off the bombs. Troopers relayed the threat to the Chardon post two minutes before Smith and other police stopped Fofana's truck.
During an interrogation at the Chardon post, Fofana initially denied making the threat and insisted his CB radio didn't work and was turned off, Smith said. When Smith assured Fofana the CB was on and working, Fofana changed his story, Smith said.
Fofana told Smith and an FBI agent that other drivers who heard his voice over the air were making fun of him, saying he sounded like a terrorist, Smith said.
Fofana then told the FBI agent that he wished he were a terrorist so he could harm the mother of another driver, Smith said.
"I think he was just very upset by the things that were said to him," Smith said. "It seemed like he didn't understand that just making threats could be against the law."
Another story, but no more information.
Mainly I'd like to know if it was just "road rage" against a lane-hogging cyclist, or, if not, what the victim was wearing.
Weird story, that needs way more info.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
From Scrappleface (LOL):
In an effort to halt his slide in global popularity polls, an emotional President George Bush today finally spoke out on Israeli aggression in the current battle against Hezbollah along its border with Lebanon.
“I’m greatly concerned about Israel’s aggression,” said Mr. Bush, “Every time I see the video on Fox News of Israeli tanks and jets pounding the Hezbollah strongholds I find myself crying out ‘Don’t … stop … don’t … stop’.”
The president said Israel’s bold action could lead to the “decimation of a once-proud organization that, along with its brothers in Hamas and al Qaeda, had seemed destined for global greatness.”Mr. Bush called on Israel to “work rapidly toward a unilateral cease fire in which the weapons of one side cease firing so that the other side can cease firing as well.”
Grotesque creepy creeps. Reason #428 why I live in Texas.
OTTAWA - The words of a Canadian United Nations observer written just days before he was killed in an Israeli bombing of a UN post in Lebanon are evidence Hezbollah was using the post as a ''shield'' to fire rockets into Israel, says a former UN commander in Bosnia.
''What that means is, in plain English, 'We've got Hezbollah fighters running around in our positions, taking our positions here and then using us for shields and then engaging the (Israeli Defence Forces),'' he said.
It's a tactic MacKenzie, who was the first UN commander in Sarajevo during the Bosnia civil war, said he's seen in past international missions: aside from UN posts, fighters would set up near hospitals, mosques and orphanages.
It's also one he would likely use if he was a ''belligerent'' and not a Canadian soldier, he said.''The most important thing in combat these days, funnily enough, is not to win the firefight but to win the information battle and the PR battle,'' he said.
Link to video, and profile.
Kevin Cosgrove, rest in peace.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Some clear and cogent thinking from an unlikely source (a Rat!).
There are several articles on the thread, each worth the read. May we be worthy of such sacrifice.
LUBBOCK -- Less than two years ago, Roy Velez got the worst news a father could get: His oldest son was dead, killed during combat in Iraq.
This week, his pain only deepened with news that his youngest son had died in Afghanistan.
Military officials notified the Velez family Tuesday of the death of Army Pfc. Andrew Velez, 22. His brother, Army Spc. Jose A. Velez, 23, died in November 2004 in Fallujah when his unit came under fire while clearing an enemy stronghold.
"I can't be angry. I feel like my heart's been pulled out," Roy Velez said Tuesday. "We've done what the Lord allowed us to do for our country."
It's unimportant, but, regardless, a darned good question.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
In a remarkable e-mail written just prior to his death in Iraq late last week, a career soldier raised in Montgomery County told his family he would have no regrets if he lost his life in battle.
Capt. Jeffrey P. Toczylowski, 30, a Special Forces detachment commander assigned to First Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), asked that friends and family not "be sad for me."
"It was an honor to serve my country, and I wouldn't change a thing. It was just my time," he wrote.
Toczylowski fell from a helicopter during combat operations Nov. 3, the Army said yesterday.
The e-mail, read by his father, Philip M. Toczylowski of Ambler, during a telephone interview, exhorted relatives and friends to "be happy for the time we had - not the future we won't."
He left instructions for a party in Las Vegas and said "$100 K" would be available to pay for travel and accommodations.
It may be hard for the dead soldier's companions to treat his death lightly any time soon; his father cried repeatedly as he read aloud his son's last wishes.
In the message, Toczylowski adamantly defended the military aims of this country in Iraq.
"Don't ever think that you are defending me by slamming the global war on terrorism or the U.S. goals in that war," he wrote. "As far as I am concerned, we can send guys like me to go after them, or we can wait for them to come back to us again.
"I died doing something I believed in and have no regrets, except that I couldn't do more."
This is the best line:
In the guise of being too good to oppose evil, the Pacifist invokes the ultimate immorality by aiding and abetting and encouraging evil, on the pretext of being too pure, too wise, too sophisticated to fight evil, thereby turning the pretense of goodness and purity into an invocation and license for evil to act without opposition.
A defabulicious snippet:
It's doubtful anyone could write "the" novel about Islam today -- it is a faith, after all, that can seduce everyone from Ontario welfare deadbeats like Steven Chand to the Prince of Wales. Yet it seems to me Updike has gone awry from the very first word. If Muslims were simply über-devout loners, this whole clash-of-civilizations rigmarole would be a lot easier. But the London Tube bombers were perfectly assimilated: they ate fish 'n' chips, loved cricket, sported hideous Brit leisure wear. Updike's absurdly alienated misfit is a lot less shocking than the video that aired recently on British television of July 7 jihadist Shehzad Tanweer: he's spouting all the usual suicide-bomber claptrap, but in a Yorkshire accent. Imagine threatening "Death to the Great Satan!" in Cockney or Brooklynese. Or Canadian: "Death to the Great Satan, eh?" That's far creepier and novelistic than Updike's opening: it's someone who appears perfectly normal until he gets in the subway car and self-detonates. As for the revulsion at navel studs, compare Ahmad with Assem Hammoud, recently arrested in a real-life plot to blow up another New York tunnel -- the Holland. Mr. Hammoud said he had been ordered by Osama bin Laden to "live the life of a playboy . . . live a life of fun and indulgence." That way he would avoid detection. Pretty cunning, huh? Just to show how seriously he took his assignment, there was a picture of Assem with three hot babes (all burka-less) on a "mission" in Canada. "I was proud," declared Mr. Hammoud, "to carry out my orders" -- even though they required him to booze it up and bed beautiful infidels all week long. But it's okay, because he was nailing chicks for Allah. So he gamely put on a brave show of partying like it's 1999 even though, as a devout Muslim, he'd obviously much rather party like it's 799.
Monday, July 24, 2006
A superior piece. Worth the read:
In war innocents pay a heavy price. There is no way to fight a war without “collateral damage” to civilians unless the opposing armies agree to meet in a desert and let the superior force prevail. It certainly cannot be done when the aggressor is a terrorist army that deliberately places its headquarters, its weapons depots, its missile launchers and its staging bases in the middle of large urban centers like Beirut, or in the small villages abutting the border of its victims.
Sometimes the death of innocents comes not from collateral damage but from the deliberate targeting of civilians – as is almost invariably the case with terrorist armies like Hezbollah and Hamas. In World War II wherever the Wehrmacht went, Jews were rounded up for the slaughter. Guernica and Lidice are the names of innocent towns with no military value that were deliberately destroyed by the fascists. Sometimes innocents are targeted even by civilized armies with military ends in view. The allied bombings of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki incinerated hundreds of thousands of civilians for military reasons. The allied bombings were designed to break the morale of the enemy and to end the war, and save millions of lives. They did, and we can all be grateful for that (or at least the honest among us can).
Critics of Israel’s defensive war against Islamic terrorists are busily wringing their hands over the destruction that has been wreaked on Lebanon and its inhabitants, who are portrayed as innocent bystanders. They invoke these tragedies while calling on Israel to cease its fire and leave the Hezbollah aggressors intact. Since Israel had no role in starting this war, this is like blaming the Allies for the damage inflicted on Germany in World War II – and doing so in the midst of the war. Critics who make such charges and demands in the midst of a war are aiding and abetting the aggressors.
But the very idea that Lebanon is an innocent bystander in the war against Israel won’t wash. Lebanon is host to the terrorist aggressor which has sworn to eliminate Israel and its Jews from the face of the earth. This is the explicit creed of both Hezbollah and its sponsor Iran. And not just in their charter or in statements made months or years ago. Iran’s little dictator reiterated the threat even yesterday in the midst of Islam’s aggressive war against the Jews: “Israel has pushed the button of its own destruction. The Zionists made their worst decision and triggered their extinction by attacking Lebanon." Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government, occupying two cabinet positions and seats in its parliament. The Lebanese government agreed to enforce UN Resolution 1559 which calls on it to disarm all militias on its territory, namely Hezbollah. If the Lebanese Government had performed this obligation, there would be no war, and there would be no Lebanese civilian casualties.
Instead the Lebanese government allowed Hezbollah to build its headquarters and underground bunkers in the populated neighborhoods of Beirut. It allowed Hezbollah to import 13,000 missiles to be fired into Israel’s cities and towns. The 75,000-man Lebanese army has not sealed off the Syrian border and, according to reports, has allowed Syria to re-supply Hezbollah in the midst of its aggression. The Lebanese government has allowed Hezbollah to build underground fortresses on its southern border in position to attack. It has allowed Hezbollah to launch rockets into the towns of northern Israel to terrorize and kill innocent civilians.
Israel has done nothing to provoke this attack from Lebananese territory. But in the midst of Hezbollah’s aggression against Israel, Lebanon’s prime minister has joined the attackers, blaming Israel for Lebanon’s misery instead of its source.
It will be objected that Lebanon is helpless, that its democracy was destroyed and its territory conquered by the PLO, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran. It will be said that the Lebanese cannot resist the superior force of Hezbollah’s “state within a state.” But this is an argument in bad faith. No one is helpless. When France was occupied by Germany during World War II, DeGaulle organized the “free French” into a fighting force. The so-called “Cedar Revolution” showed that there are ways of manifesting opposition and resistance to the occupiers. Even though it failed, it showed that resistance is possible. If there is resistance to Islamic terror in Lebanon today, it is as invisible than moderate Islam. Put bluntly, while the Lebanese have demonstrated their resistance to the Syrian occupier in the very recent past, there has been no evidence of it when the aggressor is an Islamic force bent on obliterating the Jews.
The Lebanese army has not lifted a finger to obstruct Hezbollah’s aggression, but the Lebanese prime minister has been out front in attacking Israel. Who, watching the Lebanese interviewed by reporters during the war – including the Lebanese Americans evacuated to safety – can doubt that their hatred is for Jews and not for the Islamic killers of both the Jews and the Lebanese.
These attitudes do not make the Lebanese deserving of the war that Hezbollah and Iran have inflicted on them; but it does not make them innocent either. Hezbollah's Shi'ite fanatics are Lebanese. Over the last twenty years Hezbollah has become an integral part of Lebanese society and Lebanon's government. All the while Hezbollah has sworn to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth. If war has come to Lebanon, no one can pretend that they didn't see it coming.
The last stand of Western imperialism is the patronizing attitude displayed by Western radicals and liberals toward Third World Muslims and Arabs. If Americans taught their children to murder Muslims as a quick pass to heaven, the left would regard this as a crime against humanity. But if Palestinians are the perpetrators of such crimes and Jews are the targets, it’s a different story. In this case terror is the only means (and therefore the understandable means) of a “desperate” people. Jews who have been told by Iran and Hezbollah that their extinction is imminent of course aren’t desperate.
Hassan Nasrallah is not a victim, let alone a helpless one; nor is he stupid, or unaware of what he is doing. He knows just what his agenda is. “There is no solution to the conflict in this region except with the disappearance of Israel” he told a crowd of supporters. “I promise Israel that it will see more suicide attacks, for we will write our history with blood.” His supporters responded with chants of “Death to Israel, death to America.” Counseling the Israelis to lay down their arms in the face of these threats and negotiate with a movement that seeks their destruction is a not so surreptitious support for the malignant agendas themselves.
Making excuses for Lebanese appeasement of these agendas while directing moral outrage against the intended victims repeats a familiar pattern among leftist critics of America and Israel. In weighing in on the frontline battles against the terrorists in Lebanon, Gaza and Iraq, critics attribute civilian casualties not to the terrorists but to their opponents; liberation and self-defense are denounced as “occupation.” This is not even moral equivalence; it is sympathy for the devil.Until the arrival of Arafat and the Palestinian terrorists, Lebanon was a Christian democracy. But Islamic radicalism could not tolerate either Christianity or democracy. This – not the presence of tiny Israel (one hundred times smaller than its current antagonists) is the root cause of the violence in the Middle East. The cause is Arab intolerance and Islamic hate. One Jewish state among 22 Arab states was one too many. Six million Jews among 300 million Arabs was too much to bear. A sliver of land, less than one percent of the Arab land mass, which belonged to first to the Turks and then to the British was an imperialist outrage. Lebanon, a country raped by the Syrian-Iranian axis and the Palestinians has become an integral component of the terrorists’ war plan to push the Middle Eastern Jews, who have lived continuously for 3,000 years in the region, into the sea. Lebanon is a tragedy of the 58-year Arab war against Israel, against democracy, and against Christianity in the Middle East. But it is not innocent.
Originally in the Calgary Sun:
Dr. Mahfooz Kanwar recently attended Calgary's largest mosque for a funeral. At one point in the proceedings, a man Kanwar has known for more than three decades led the prayers.
"He was saying in Urdu (the official language of Pakistan): 'Oh, God, protect us from the infidels, who pollute us with their vile ways,'" recalls Kanwar, a professor of sociology at Mount Royal College in Calgary.
"I stood up and grabbed him by the lapels, which was shocking even to me because I have never done anything like that in my life and I said: 'How dare you attack my country.' And then I addressed the crowd and said: 'I have known this man for more than 30 years and he has been on welfare for almost all of those years.' "
Kanwar chuckles at the memory.
"Then I said to this semi-literate man, 'you should thank me and those you call infidels.'
"He asked me why and I said: 'Because the taxes I pay are putting food on your table as are the taxes of the so-called "infidels.' "
Most Canadians and many Muslims would applaud Dr. Kanwar's righteous outburst. But guess which of the two men is no longer welcome at the Sarcee Tr. S.W. mosque?
Not the intolerant, hate-spewing semi-literate. No, it's Dr. Kanwar who's persona non grata.
That, says Kanwar, is just one of numerous instances he has experienced as a result of the culture of ignorance and intolerance that permeates so many mosques in Canada and throughout the world.
In light of the arrests two weeks ago of 17 young Muslim Canadian men who are alleged to have planned terrorist attacks against their fellow Canadians that included attacking Parliament, seizing the CBC and beheading the prime minister, Kanwar says it's vitally important for Canadians to start making more demands of those who immigrate to this country.
Kanwar says we now know one of the 17 accused was allowed to spew hatred and calls to violent jihad at a Toronto-area mosque and he was never once told by the leadership there to stop.
Six of the young men who listened to him are also charged in the plot.
Kanwar is pretty certain, if he spoke up at that mosque, however, with his message that Canada's culture is better than the culture found in any Islamic-based country, he'd be kicked out.
"The policy of official multiculturalism is a disaster," says Kanwar, who ironically once headed a government-funded multicultural organization in Calgary in the early '70s.
Every year, Kanwar's organization would host a large food and crafts festival in the basement of the Jubilee Auditorium.
"There were 52 tables, each with two flags on them -- Polish and Canadian, Ukrainian and Canadian etc. When the Alberta minister in charge of funding the festival showed up, I asked him, 'why is there not even one table here with a single flag -- why is there no Canadian table?'"
Kanwar has been questioning the government-funded official multicultural model ever since -- most recently through his 2002 book: Journey to Success, which is used as a sociology textbook at Mount Royal College and other post-secondary institutions.
"Multiculturalism creates nations within a nation and divides the loyalty of people," says the 65-year-old Pakastani-born Kanwar, who immigrated to Canada in 1966.
"It allows people to marginalize themselves. It endangers us all as these recent arrests show."
Because of Kanwar's open and published opposition to Ontario's proposal last year to consider allowing sharia law for arbitration purposes in that province, Kanwar says he has been issued with fatwahs -- not the death-threat versions made famous by the one issued against Salman Rushdie for writing the novel The Satanic Verses -- but more like a shunning.
Kanwar, a devout Muslim, says he has essentially been excommunicated by Calgary's mosques because he is too tolerant of others.
Homa Arjomand, who lives in Toronto and headed Canada's successful campaign of the International Campaign Against Sharia Court in Canada (www.nosharia.com), says like Kanwar, she too once embraced the idea of multiculturalism.
Arjomand, who calls herself a "victim" of sharia law -- a strict set of rules based on Islam's holy book, the Qur'an, that subjugates women, as well as allows for the chopping off of hands for theft etc. -- says part of the reason she decided to immigrate to Canada was because she had heard about official multiculturalism.
"I thought how wonderful, but not anymore," she declares.
"I came here for Canadian values, not sharia values. I fled Iran on horseback because the values there threatened my very life. If people want to live under sharia or the way they lived back home, let them go back," she said.
Kanwar agrees. He says the time has come for the Canadian government to tell new immigrants "once you're in Canada we expect you to be totally devoted to Canada -- no divided loyalties."
"This country," added Kanwar, "is a democracy and democracy is founded on Christian principles.
"Canada is -- like it or not, take it or leave it -- a country founded on Christian principles where the vast majority of citizens are Christians," said Kanwar.
"Yes, there's separation of church and state but even that was a principle founded by Christians and Christianity."If Muslims, or anyone else, doesn't like living in a land filled with Christians or in a democracy they should get the hell out."
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Absolute sheer brilliance, as usual, from the master.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Proving once again that islamists are cowards (take that! Bill Maher):
EXILED Islamic fanatic Omar Bakri Mohammed made an outrageous bid to flee bombed-out Beirut on a Royal Navy warship yesterday.
But the people of Britain told him to go to hell. The Muslim cleric who once preached hate-filled rants against the UK and praised the 9/11 atrocities as "magnificent" begged to be allowed aboard one of the vessels ferrying Britons to safety.
His plea, made only a few months after he quit Britain under pressure, fell on deaf ears. But Bakri still had the cheek to complain and wrote to embassy officials in Lebanon pleading to get back to the UK where he still has family.
Bakri, 48, was dubbed the Tottenham Ayatollah for his poisonous anti-British rants during a 20-year stay in north London. As leader of the radical group Al-Muhajiroun, he declared his organisation "the mouth, eyes and ears of Bin Laden" and called for former Prime Minister John Major to be killed.
Anjem Choudary, who ran Al-Muhajiroun with Bakri, said the cleric feared for his life in the wave of Israeli air strikes. He is also said to be terrified that Syria might move forces into Beirut as part of an escalation of the cross-border conflict.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Send a pizza and drinks to the IDF!
A wonderful story, a super-sharp dad!
Thursday, July 20, 2006
From the July 19 Late Show with David Letterman, prompted by the announcement the New York Times will reduce the size of its pages in order to save money, the "Top Ten Signs There's Trouble at the New York Times." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com
10. Extensive coverage of recent fighting between the Israelis and the lesbians
9. Pages 2 through 20 are corrections of previous edition
8. Every sentence begins, "So, like"
7. TV listings only for Zorro
6. Weather forecast reads "Look outside, dumbass"
5. Multiple references to "President Gore"
4. Obituary includes list of people they wish were dead
3. Headlines fold over to create surprise Mad magazine-type hidden message
2. Restaurant critic recently gave IHOP four stars1. Reporting that Oprah isn't gay, but Letterman is.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
This is definitely one to watch. I give it a 24-month viewing window.
Monday, July 17, 2006
A double whammy -- heart-tugger and tear-jerker, all in one:
Soldier fulfilling promise to deliver Afghani rug to president
BY BECKY MALKOVICH, THE SOUTHERN
MARION - Grayson Gile may have completed his broader mission in Afghanistan as a member of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, but he returned stateside with a mission of a more personal nature.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Grayson Gile of Marion holds up a rug that he received while serving in Afghanistan as a member of the Combined Joint Special Operation Task Force. The men that gave it to him asked if he could get the rug to President Bush, who is depicted in the center of the rug.(STEVE JAHNKE/THE SOUTHERN)
Gile's mission - one he chose to embrace - involves a very special rug handcrafted by an Afghan man anxious to show his gratitude to President George W. Bush for this country's efforts to bring democracy to Afghanistan.
The colorful and beautifully crafted rug was hand-knotted by an elderly Hazara man from Kabul. The Hazaras, believed to be descendants of Ghengis Khan, were one of the most persecuted ethnic minorities in the Middle Eastern country prior to the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance's war with the Taliban.
The Taliban, Gile said, reserved their most ruthless wrath for the Hazaras.
"The Pashtuns (another ethnic group) would be kicked in the head, put in the dirt and the Taliban would be done with them," said Gile, 51, a member of the U.S. Army's 7th Special Forces Group. "But with the Hazaras, that was not enough. They would herd them into (steel containers) and leave them languishing in the desert sun until they died. Most of the Hazaras are alive today because of the Northern Alliance."
Gile spent nine months in the country assisting the Northern Alliance.
"Basically, we broke the back of the Taliban's war-making capability in a viable mass. We worked with the Northern Alliance and supplied firepower and close air support," he said.
While in the country, Gile got to know many of the natives. "We got to have quite a bit of interaction with the people of the host nation, probably more contact than most soldiers. It took time to establish a rapport with them, but once we established trust, we had friendships," he said.
One of those friendships involved a Kabul rug merchant who pulled Gile aside before he left the country. The merchant told Gile the story of an elderly man, so overwhelmed with gratitude to the United States for its intervention in the conflict that he made a gift for President Bush - a gift that was a year in the making and made, given the conditions of the country, under penalty of death.
The background story. From (cr)AP:
It wasn't meant to be overheard. Private luncheon conversations among world leaders, picked up by a microphone, provided a rare window into both banter and substance - including President Bush cursing Hezbollah's attacks against Israel.
Bush expressed his frustration with the United Nations and his disgust with the militant Islamic group and its backers in Syria as he talked to British Prime Minister Tony Blair during the closing lunch at the Group of Eight summit."See the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this (expletive) and it's over," Bush told Blair as he chewed on a buttered roll.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
This is an absolutely magnificent read. If you have the time, take it.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Absolutely ridiculous. As the writer states:
Tampa police arrested Paul Aitken, 46, of 11123 N Nebraska Ave., after a sequence of events that might otherwise inspire a bad sitcom writer.
A really bad sitcom writer. Truth, once again, wackier than fiction.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Slippery slope, 'n all that. Get the gove out of healthcare. Quick-like!
Thursday, July 13, 2006
The music group offered to settle the case for US$5,000, but Foster decided to take her chances in court. She requested that the RIAA provide specifics such as the dates of the alleged downloading and the files involved. The RIAA failed to provide the requested information and Foster filed a motion for summary judgment. In turn, the RIAA decided to cut its losses and asked the court to withdraw its case. The court approved the RIAA's request, but named Foster the winner and awarded her attorneys fees over the RIAA's objections.
Ugh... may this charade finally end. Soon.
Yes, WWIV may have begun, but this is sad, too.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Yay! It's Wednesday!
When I told a New York Observer reporter that my only regret was that Timothy McVeigh didn't hit The New York Times building, I knew many would agree with me — but I didn't expect that to include The New York Times. And yet, the Times is doing everything in its power to help the terrorists launch another attack on New York City.
As with forced school busing, liberals seem to believe that the consequences of their insane ideas can be confined to the outer boroughs.
Last year, the Times revealed a top secret program tracking phone calls connected to numbers found in Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's cell phone. How much more probable cause do you need, folks? Shall we do this as a diagram? How about in the form of an SAT question — or is that a touchy subject for the publisher of the Times? "9/11 architect Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is to terrorist attacks as ..."?
Their reaction to al-Zarqawi's death was to lower the U.S. flag at the Times building to half-staff. (Ha ha — just kidding! Everybody knows there aren't any American flags at The New York Times.)
And most recently, ignoring the pleas of the administration, 9/11 commissioners and even certifiable liberal Rep. Jack Murtha, the Times revealed another top secret program that had allowed the Treasury Department to track terrorists' financial transactions.
We're in a battle for our survival and we don't even know who the enemy is. As liberals are constantly reminding us, Islam is a "Religion of Peace." One very promising method of distinguishing the "Religion of Peace" Muslims from the "Slit Their Throats" Muslims is by following the al-Qaida money trail.
But now we've lost that ability — thanks to The New York Times.
People have gotten so inured to ridiculous behavior on the left that they are no longer capable of appropriate outrage when something truly treasonous happens. It is rather like the rape accusation against Bill Clinton losing its impact because of the steady stream of perjury, obstruction of justice, treason, adultery and general sociopathic behavior coming from that administration.
This is a phenomenon known in the self-help community as "Clinton fatigue" (not to be confused with the lower back pain associated with excessive sexual activity known as "Clinton back").
In December 1972, Ronald Reagan called President Richard Nixon after watching Walter Cronkite's coverage of the Vietnam War on "CBS News," telling Nixon that "under World War II circumstances, the network would have been charged with treason."
No treason charges were brought, but we still have to hear liberals carrying on about Nixon's monstrous persecution of the press — which was so ungrateful of him, considering how nicely the press treated him.
Today, Times editors and columnists are doing what liberals always do when they're caught red-handed committing treason: They scream that they're being "intimidated" before hurling more invective. This is getting to be like listening to the Soviet Union complaining about the intimidation coming from Finland.
Liberals are always play-acting that they are under some monstrous attack from the right wing as they insouciantly place all Americans in danger. Their default position is umbrage, bordering on high dudgeon.
We've had to listen to them whine for 50 years about the brute Joe McCarthy, whose name liberals blackened while sheltering Soviet spies.
In 1985, Times columnist Anthony Lewis accused the Reagan administration of trying to "intimidate the press." Channeling Anthony Lewis this week, Frank Rich claims the Bush administration has "manufactured and milked this controversy to reboot its intimidation of the press, hoping journalists will pull punches in an election year."
Rich's evidence of the brutal crackdown on the press was the statement of San Francisco radio host Melanie Morgan — who, by the way, is part of the press — proposing the gas chamber for the editor of the Times if he were found guilty of treason, which happens to be the punishment prescribed by law. (Once again Frank Rich finds himself in over his head when not writing about gay cowboy movies.)
I prefer a firing squad, but I'm open to a debate on the method of execution. A conviction for treason would be assured under any sensible legal system.
But however many Americans agree with Reagan on prosecuting treason, we can't even get President Bush to stop building up the liberal media by appearing on their low-rated TV shows — in the process, dissing TV hosts who support him and command much larger TV audiences. American consumers keep driving CNN's ratings down, and then Bush drives them back up again. So I wouldn't count on any treason charges emanating from this administration.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Yes, all citizens regardless of origin are real Americans, Karl. So what's your point? And why the hell are you recognizing a racist group? Oh, I forgot, because fedgov already has legitimized them with millions of tax-payer dollars. Double-AARRGGHH!!
This is the email from the gas-explosion doctor in Manhattan. Poor sap, really depressing stuff.
I cannot believe that this is still a topic of conversation! Paul Murdoch should have had his terrorist-kissing mug fired ages ago. AARRGGHH!
Monday, July 10, 2006
It's OpEds like this that remind me how much I reallyreally miss the Post's home delivery:
July 10, 2006 -- THE British military defines experience as the ability to recognize a mistake the second time you make it. By that standard, we should be very experienced in dealing with captured terrorists, since we've made the same mistake again and again.
Violent Islamist extremists must be killed on the battlefield. Only in the rarest cases should they be taken prisoner. Few have serious intelligence value. And, once captured, there's no way to dispose of them.
Killing terrorists during a conflict isn't barbaric or immoral - or even illegal. We've imposed rules upon ourselves that have no historical or judicial precedent. We haven't been stymied by others, but by ourselves.
The oft-cited, seldom-read Geneva and Hague Conventions define legal combatants as those who visibly identify themselves by wearing uniforms or distinguishing insignia (the latter provision covers honorable partisans - but no badges or armbands, no protection). Those who wear civilian clothes to ambush soldiers or collect intelligence are assassins and spies - beyond the pale of law.
Traditionally, those who masquerade as civilians in order to kill legal combatants have been executed promptly, without trial. Severity, not sloppy leftist pandering, kept warfare within some decent bounds at least part of the time. But we have reached a point at which the rules apply only to us, while our enemies are permitted unrestricted freedom.
The present situation encourages our enemies to behave wantonly, while crippling our attempts to deal with terror.
Consider today's norm: A terrorist in civilian clothes can explode an IED, killing and maiming American troops or innocent civilians, then demand humane treatment if captured - and the media will step in as his champion. A disguised insurgent can shoot his rockets, throw his grenades, empty his magazines, kill and wound our troops, then, out of ammo, raise his hands and demand three hots and a cot while he invents tales of abuse.
Conferring unprecedented legal status upon these murderous transnational outlaws is unnecessary, unwise and ultimately suicidal. It exalts monsters. And it provides the anti-American pack with living vermin to anoint as victims, if not heroes.
Isn't it time we gave our critics what they're asking for? Let's solve the "unjust" imprisonment problem, once and for all. No more Guantanamos! Every terrorist mission should be a suicide mission. With our help.
We need to clarify the rules of conflict. But integrity and courage have fled Washington. Nobody will state bluntly that we're in a fight for our lives, that war is hell, and that we must do what it takes to win.
Our enemies will remind us of what's necessary, though. When we've been punished horribly enough, we'll come to our senses and do what must be done.
This isn't an argument for a murderous rampage, but its opposite. We must kill our enemies with discrimination. But we do need to kill them. A corpse is a corpse: The media's rage dissipates with the stench. But an imprisoned terrorist is a strategic liability.
Nor should we ever mistreat captured soldiers or insurgents who adhere to standing conventions. On the contrary, we should enforce policies that encourage our enemies to identify themselves according to the laws of war. Ambiguity works to their advantage, never to ours.
Our policy toward terrorists and insurgents in civilian clothing should be straightforward and public: Surrender before firing a shot or taking hostile action toward our troops, and we'll regard you as a legal prisoner. But once you've pulled a trigger, thrown a grenade or detonated a bomb, you will be killed. On the battlefield and on the spot.
Isn't that common sense? It also happens to conform to the traditional conduct of war between civilized nations. Ignorant of history, we've talked ourselves into folly.
And by the way: How have the terrorists treated the uniformed American soldiers they've captured? According to the Geneva Convention?
Sadly, even our military has been infected by political correctness. Some of my former peers will wring their hands and babble about "winning hearts and minds." But we'll never win the hearts and minds of terrorists. And if we hope to win the minds, if not the hearts, of foreign populations, we must be willing to kill the violent, lawless fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population determined to terrorize the rest.
Ravaged societies crave and need strict order. Soft policies may appear to work in the short term, but they fail overwhelmingly in the longer term. Wherever we've tried sweetness and light in Iraq, it has only worked as long as our troops were present - after which the terrorists returned and slaughtered the beneficiaries of our good intentions. If you wish to defend the many, you must be willing to kill the few.
For now, we're stuck with a situation in which the hardcore terrorists in Guantanamo are "innocent victims" even to our fair-weather allies. In Iraq, our troops capture bomb-makers only to learn they've been dumped back on the block.
It is not humane to spare fanatical murderers. It is not humane to play into our enemy's hands. And it is not humane to endanger our troops out of political correctness.
Instead of worrying over trumped-up atrocities in Iraq (the media give credence to any claim made by terrorists), we should stop apologizing and take a stand. That means firm rules for the battlefield, not Gumby-speak intended to please critics who'll never be satisfied by anything America does.
The ultimate act of humanity in the War on Terror is to win. To do so, we must kill our enemies wherever we encounter them. He who commits an act of terror forfeits every right he once possessed.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Saturday, July 08, 2006
This thread is now full of 'em. Tissue alert.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Scrappleface could not have done a better job.
Saudi Arabia seems an unlikely destination for fun in the sun.
Yet here was a Saudi prince at a tourism conference in neighbouring Dubai, busily trying to sell his country as a vacation spot - provided visitors don’t expect alcohol, women come robed and everyone refrains from eating in public from dawn to dusk during the holy month of Ramadan.
And swinging singles need not apply. Women younger than 40 must be accompanied by their brothers or fathers.
Undaunted, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, until recently accessible to only a handful of non-Muslim tourists, is opening its doors, beckoning curious world travellers to its mysterious and hidden treasures.
The change springs from the new policies of King Abdullah, who ascended the throne last August after the death of his half brother, King Fahd.
Abdullah, a reformer, wants to show that his country is more than just the former home of Osama bin Laden and a breeding ground for Islamic extremism.
“He wants to show the world a different face to the kingdom. It’s all part of a greater plan to open up the country, to show that though it is Arab and Islamic, it is also modern and moderate,” said Mishari al Thaybi, a Saudi writer and analyst for the London-based newspaper Al Sharq al Awsat.
Feel free to read the ridiculous rest.
I love Lileks!
Outrage of the summer: The new 'Superman' movie edited out 'The American Way' from the Krypton immigrant's rally cry. The Daily Planet editor says Supe's now all about 'Truth, Justice and all that stuff.'Click the link to read the rest.
Makes perfect sense. Consider the foreign markets, where 'the American Way' means Abu Ghraib and McDonald's. Don't remind them! They might burn the theater. (If that's their way.) Besides, it makes sense to have a newspaper editor treat the line with gruff dismissal, since hard-bitten editors don't get starry-eyed over patriotic hogwash. Except when discussing the people's right to know the GPS coordinates of Superman's secret fort.
As it turns out, however, the omission was intentional. 'The American Way' sounds Krypto-fascist. The movie's authors are the usual moderns, serenely above rude jingo pride:
'We were always hesitant to include the term `American way' because the meaning of that today is somewhat uncertain,' said co-writer Michael Dougherty. 'I think when people say `American way,' they're actually talking about what the `American way' meant back in the '40s and '50s, which was something more noble and idealistic.'
Ah. Of course. Well, in the '40s, the American Way included incinerating German cities, nuking Japan, installing occupying armies with remnants to this day, and imposing our form of government -- all the while referring to the enemy with hurtful ethnic slurs. All this plus forced relocation. If these actions are deemed noble and idealistic now, it'll be a handy sentiment the next time the U.S. gears up for total war.
But the inconstant left doesn't believe any of this is permissible in the service of a noble goal. The right, after all, can't lead the war on terror because they don't 'walk the walk' on human rights: witness those POWs slaving away in the cane fields of Gitmo. Unless we lead by example, no one will choose the American Way. Never mind that the internment of the Japanese didn't keep the Germans -- or the Japanese, for that matter -- from following our example after World War II. (Note to the dense: The above is not an endorsement of internment. Just a reminder of which party has more practice.)
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Some funny news out of NK today -- besides bum missiles...
Japanese Media, "(N. Koreans) say that trains are part of the aid package."
Outdated N. Korean trainsN. Korea refuses to return (Chinese) trains which brought aid supplies from China, even after the supplies were unloaded, leaving Chinese authorities increasingly frustrated, it has been revealed.
Quoting sources inside China, Jiji Press of Japan reported in its July 4th dispatch, "China is sending materials and goods to N. Korea, but, in recent days, N. Korea frequently refuses to return these trains, raising frustration of Chinese authorities."
According to Jiji, the sources speculated, "N. Korea appears to think that the trains are part of the aid package." It went on to explain that these recent incidents are indications of how imcomprehensible N. Korea is to outsiders.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
FrontPageMag.com ^ | July 2, 2006 | David Horowitz
If anyone doubts that the most serious threat to American security is the lack of fundamental loyalty on the part of significant segments of our population beginning with members of our intelligence and military agencies (egged on by irresponsibile leaders of the Democratic Party and the media), one has only to read this item from Reuters in today's news. Apparently some officials in the Pentagon, concerned that the White House might take action against Iran have leaked classified information to the press (which the press, of course, is all to eager to publish for our enemies to view). This particular tidbit of damaging information is that America actually doesn't have the military ability to destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities. If this information is true, it is invaluable intelligence to the fanatics in Teheran. If it is not true, why would anyone leak it, since leaking it only encourages Iran's nuclear ambitions?
The leaking of this information is espionage -- as clearly defined by America's espionage laws. It provides extraordinarily valuable informaiton for the enemy and at one time would have been considered treasonous and prosecuted. Of course the government is unable to prosecute traitors anymore, it can't even monitor terrorist communications from abroad without having half the country's political actors in an uproar.
The information published by Reuters endangers the security of every American. Obviously the betrayers of America's military secrets ensconced in the Pentagon no longer believe in our democratic process which elects a commander-in-chief. Instead, whoever leaked this information feels authorized -- probably by the New York Times and John Murtha -- to take authority over matters of war and peace into its own hands by leaking national secrets to the enemy (with the aid of a willing media) in order to tie the hands of the elected commander-in-chiefs. But why not, since the entire liberal community, beginning with the Democratic Party leadership and the New York Times is demanding just such behavior so that Americans can defend themselves against an un-elected president who has destroyed our Constitution and launched a useless war under false pretenses.
One of the least appetizing aspects of this liberal war on America's national security is how liberals rationalize their behavior as self-defense.Frank Rich in today's Times accuses the Bush Administration of attacking the media because it is losing the war in Iraq. In other words Bush is the divider and the aggressor. Only to a solipsist like Frank Rich. Half the difficulties of the war in Iraq stem from the interal war that liberals like Rich and the leaders of the Democratic Party have conducted against the Iraq war from its inception. A divided nation is a weak nation and everyone -- friend as well as foe -- knows it. The left's no-holds-barred assault on Bush is rationalized by the left as their noble reaction to the alleged illegality and false pretenses of the war in Iraq. But the war in Iraq has ten times the legitimacy of Clinton's war in Bosnia which received no congressional authorization and had no Security Council ultimatum and no violated truce to justify it. That didn't bother liberals at all because it was their war and solipsistic as they are, no principles other than their self-interest applied to it. As for the charge of false pretenses, the removal of Saddam Hussein by force was called for by Clinton as well as Bush, and was authorized by a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress with full access to the intelligence information on which the decision to go to war was based and which was assembled by a CIA whose director who was a Clinton appointee.
The opposition to this administration and this war is the most disgraceful in the history of this nation. Let's hope these betrayals don't result in another 9/11. Or worse.
There are several ways to fight a war. On the one hand, you can put on a uniform, climb into a tank, rumble across a field and fire on the other fellows' tank. On the other, you can find a 12-year-old girl, persuade her to try on your new suicide-bomber belt and send her waddling off into the nearest pizza parlor.
The Geneva Conventions were designed to encourage the former and discourage the latter. The thinking behind them was that, if one had to have wars, it's best if they're fought by soldiers and armies. In return for having a rank and serial number and dressing the part, you'll be treated as a lawful combatant should you fall into the hands of the other side. There'll always be a bit of skulking around in street garb among civilian populations, but the idea was to ensure that it would not be rewarded --that there would, in fact, be a downside for going that route.
The U.S. Supreme Court has now blown a hole in the animating principle behind the Geneva Conventions by choosing to elevate an enemy that disdains the laws of war in order to facilitate the bombing of civilian targets and the beheading of individuals. The argument made by Justice John Paul Stevens is an Alice-In-Jihadland ruling that stands the Conventions on their head in order to give words the precise opposite of their plain meaning and intent. The same kind of inspired jurisprudence conjuring trick that detected in the emanations of the penumbra how the Framers of the U..S Constitution cannily anticipated a need for partial-birth abortion and gay marriage has now effectively found a right to jihad -- or, if you're a female suicide bomber about to board an Israeli bus, a woman's right to Jews.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- If he's telling the truth, a Jordanian salesman could be the only man on the planet who doesn't know who Brad Pitt is.*shakes head*
The 29-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly trying to use an ID card with an Arabic name and Pitt's photo -- which he allegedly downloaded from the Internet.
He allegedly forged the card with the Hollywood actor's picture and an Arabic name in an attempt to steal more than $22,000 left unclaimed at an exchange house where his brother worked as a teller, according to a report in the daily Gulf News.
He told police he had never heard of Pitt.
Dubai's public prosecutors charged the man with forgery and embezzlement.