Thursday, January 30, 2003

Warning! This Is Not a Joke. Not from The Onion:

From the Boston Globe...really:
    "Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but for a cause like peace Felix Arroyo was prepared to forgo it - once every other week.

    At least that was until after yesterday's Boston City Council meeting, when the councilor pledged his ''hunger'' strike would also include lunch.

    As part of his fast-for-peace program, Arroyo said he'll consume only coffee and other liquids from sunrise to sunset - when he gets to have dinner - on the second and fourth Fridays of each month.

    ''We are doing something to bring attention to an issue that is escalating today,'' he said. ''With war, we will continue planting hate for generations of children. Why don't we go to the roots and kill it now.''

    The every-other-week timing of the move drew snickers from some of Arroyo's council colleagues. One joked privately that his proposed hunger strike was ''a little like saying you're going to jump off a building and then only putting a leg over the ledge.''

    Still, Arroyo, who was elevated to the council upon the departure of Francis ''Mickey'' Roache, said shortly after his second council meeting that he's going to contact officials in cities across the country, hoping his movement will catch on. ''Eventually, it's important to do this in an organized way,'' he said. ''I think it will grow.''
Let's hope not.

Anti-American German Computer Game for Kids:

The German government commissioned and distributed an anti-American computer game for kids. The game seeks to help some pathetic inhabitants of the Earth to create a more sustainable future. Of course, these people inhabit a fictional island...but you tell me what this island looks like!

Worst Op-Ed Ever?

Dinah PoKempner, general counsel of Human Rights Watch, seriously argues that America's style of war that seeks to limit civilian casualties is dangerous to....civilians. I this man insane? Is the Boston Globe insane? Answer to both questions is a resounding, "Yes!"

    "Some American cultural values that shape the new war paradigm are not universally appreciated, such as efficiency and a fascination with gadgetry."
Oh, yes. A fascination with carpet bombing would be much more universally appreciated.
    "This explains the US view that it is acceptable to attack civilian morale in the form of nonmilitary targets whose destruction can undermine public support for war: turning the lights off in Belgrade or Baghdad, targeting the enemy's industrialist supporters, destroying civilian propaganda outlets or symbols of the regime such as monuments or civilian administration. All are off-limits under international law, which limits attacks to targets that make a direct contribution to military action."
Why do they hate us? For turning off the lights!
    "It is ironic that at the moment the United States, by virtue of its military prowess, can most afford to set the highest standard in armed conflict, it is backing away from time-honored laws that impose the constraints of humanity upon slaughter."
The United States is the first world power to EVER place a high value on the lives of its enemy's civilian population. This Op-Ed is pure anti-American vitriol, filled with lies, and unbecoming of even the Boston Globe's low standards.\

Nelson Mandela, A Vicious Anti-American:
    Former South African President Nelson Mandela slammed President Bush and his stance on Iraq, saying, "If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America."

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

My Very First Cartoon:

Hope you like it.
February 5, 2003 - A Day of Reckoning for the United Nations:

    "Let there be no misunderstanding," Bush said. "If Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety of our people, and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm him."
Read It All:

    "To say this war is all about oil is factually identical to saying that this war is all about maintaining our society and lifestyle. If that is not worth fighting for, what is? One may find that offensive ideologically, but my experience with the people who have SPLIT WOOD NOT ATOMS on their bumper stickers have actually split very little wood in their lives. If one feels deeply about NO BLOOD FOR OIL, you must either drive a solar-powered electric car, ride a horse or a bicycle, or walk. You must remove your home from the city power grid. You must discard all plastic items. You must also abandon television, radios and movies, all of which rely on electricity generated by oil. You must forgo modern medicine, surgery and dentistry, likewise driven by oil-fired electricity at many stages. You must grow your own food.

    Do all of these things, and you will have my frank admiration for your dedication to a moral cause. Do anything less and you are a hypocrite mouthing an easy lie in an attempt to strike a pose of moral superiority."

Monday, January 27, 2003

Iraqi Dissidents Attack UN on "Save Me" Man:

In a press release yesteday:

    This morning, in Baghdad, a young Iraqi citizen tried to seek refuge with the UN inspectors. He managed to get into one of the inspectors' cars shouting, "Save me,
    save me," only to be handed to the Iraqi authorities.

    “This incident sends the wrong message to Iraqi scientists,” explained Ahmed Shames. “Scientists are being asked to give information to UN inspectors and promised protection, yet they can’t seem to even protect one man. No doubt this man and his family will be interrogated, tortured and executed as is the practice of the regime. This is not going to fill scientists with confidence in the UN.”

Tony Snow and Fox News, First to Mention "Save Me" Story:

Bloggers across the world have wondered for 48 hours how the inhuman treatment by the UN of an Iraqi citizen would be reported by the press. The response has been, as expected, pathetic. But at least Tony Snow of Fox mentioned it in an interview with White House Chief of Staff Andy Card.

    SNOW: OK. Yesterday, there was an incident where a guy jumps into a U.N. van at the facility in Baghdad and he says, you know, "Save me."

    He's got a notebook.

    CARD: Clutching his notebook.

    SNOW: Clutching his notebook, and the U.N. didn't save him. They turned him over to Iraqi authorities. Now, if you're an Iraqi scientist and you see that, is there any way, under any circumstances, that you'd talk to the U.N.?

    CARD: Well, again, the burden is on Saddam Hussein to have compliance.

    SNOW: I understand that, but this is one of these cases where the United States has talked about trying to get scientists out of the country, yet you have a guy asking for help, and as far as I can tell, the U.N. didn't help.

    CARD: Well, we would like to see the Iraqi people be freed from the burdens that they're carrying because of Saddam Hussein.

    SNOW: Were you disappointed when you saw that?

    CARD: I was disappointed in that I want Saddam Hussein to create a climate where his people feel comfortable in cooperating with the civilized world.

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Two Faced France - Backstabbing Germany and the US:

International Herald Tribune article argues that the French are just using the Germans now, but will be standing beside the US when the war starts. Why? Because they are sneaky lying bastards, of course.

    "Contacted in the last few days, a British cabinet minister, an allied ambassador in Paris, and an official of the Bush administration in Washington all said in the manner of the German businessman that they felt that the supreme instinct governing political decisions for the French remained one of having a voice in the world's decision-making councils. With nuances, they leaned toward accepting that this reality would eventually mean French participation, to whatever degree, if there is an American-led invasion of Iraq.

    Refusing to take a military role, they agreed, would result in France's being excluded from helping shape a new order in a post-Saddam Middle East, no chance to bid into the administration of Iraq's oil resources, and a kind of perverse responsibility in diminishing the importance of the United Nations Security Council, a locus of French international leverage."

Another piece of the article draws our attention to some upcoming elections in Germany. Let's keep our eyes on these, too.

    "A former leader of the German Christian Democrats, who privately opposes an American strike on Iraq, suggested that regardless of surveys showing German public opinion strongly against a war, a defeat for Schroeder's Social Democrats in Hesse and Lower Saxony, his home state, could mark a turning point in German politics.

    Polls now show the Social Democrats headed for disaster in both states, and newspapers have reported that the Social Democrats are discussing Schroeder's possible replacement by Wolfgang Clement, the economy minister.

    Such a disavowal of Schroeder, who is trying to rally support with his anti-war position - the key to his success in national elections last September - would mean that a still confrontational Chirac would find himself isolated among credible Western leaders in dealing head-on with the Americans and British."

Friday, January 24, 2003

Time's Europe Edition:
According to Blogdex, an anti-American column is getting lots of play. Well, if you click over just one page, there is a competing column with a pro-American outlook. Let's get this link around guys and gals! Here is a bit...
    "We increasingly take the anti-American stereotypes of postwar Europeans and reverse them. We see ourselves as inhabiting history — doing the ugly, necessary work of the world — while it is the Euros who inhabit a superficial society. Europeans are materialistic; the E.U. has a low profile on strategic issues because it was designed by bureaucrats obsessed with trade and money. Europeans care more than we do about physical pleasure; they traffic in titillation (to judge from the nightly offerings on television or such bestsellers as The Sexual Life of Catherine M.) and are obsessed with their food (which is, by the way, no longer superior to ours). And if "heritage," Europe's age-old bragging point, is measured by family traditions and religious values, then Europeans no longer have a lock on it. To American eyes, it's tough to have family traditions in a region where so many choose to be childless (the fertility rate in E.U. countries is 1.47 births per woman), tough to have religious values when less than 20% of Europeans regularly attend church."

Great Job to Christopher Caldwell, the author of this fine piece.
New Europe - Hungary Steps Up:

I had not heard this before, but it appears that over 3,000 Iraqi opposition members will soon be trained in Hungary. The natives are a little restless about it (they've not done this kind of thing before) but the government appears confident. Imagine the French doing this? Ha!
    "Matyuc said Hungary had been asked to provide an area for the training of Iraqis to be involved in the possible management of civil and military liaison. "This includes professional translations and interpretation in the field of military affairs and administration. Thus the trainees will have to learn the jargon of these two areas in Taszár," Matyuc said.

    He said they could participate in civil-military support, working in the civilian infrastructure and working on the reconstruction of that infrastructure, and could assist in getting around the Iraq area.

    Although they will not participate in military action, they will learn and practice the use of self-defense weapons, according to Matyuc.

    "A month-long training in how to use a self-defense gun from 30 meters does not correspond to a military training," he said.

    Major General David Barno, the US general in charge of the training of the 3,000 or so Iraqi opposition activists, refused to discuss details of when the trainees would arrive. István Gyenesei, chairman of the Somogy county Defense Commission, said the first group to be trained were scheduled to arrive late this month.

    The Hungarian Cabinet passed a resolution permitting the training to go ahead at Taszár after a request from US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield at the end of last year."

UPDATE: More from the Hungarians (with a bonus swipe at the French and Germans).
    "More seriously, allowing the United States to use Taszár air base was a major decision by the Hungarian Government, said the official. "Hungary is making a huge contribution to the Iraqi operation by saying yes to this training. This is a quality contribution and not without risks. You cannot be more visible than by training the opposition so let’s not underestimate the magnitude of this." Or as Leon Trotsky once noted, "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you". Not too interested, let’s hope.

    Hosting the Iraqis is also a statement of independence. Small nations like Hungary have no desire to be swallowed up in a German or French dominated European Union. Leaning towards Washington is also a means of showing their own mind, and policy. Even if it might prove risky.

    As the official added (and please note, these are his words, not mine): "Many Hungarians don’t realize that Hungary is a grown up country now. We are not teenagers and we cannot cry and whine any more. We are sending a signal that Hungary is a fully-fledged democracy." "
Chirac Betrays the People of Africa:

    "Rarely has a European leader talked such self-serving nonsense. President Chirac knows perfectly well that Mr Mugabe is subject to a travel ban imposed by all the European Union. He knows that his invitation will infuriate his partners, especially Britain. And unless French diplomacy is exceptionally poorly informed, he knows that such a meeting would have no discernible effect on Mr Mugabe’s disgraceful repression of all those who question his vile policies."
Holy Crap!

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Lies My Media Told Me:

    "Readers of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press and viewers of CNN, are fed a dramatically different story. Most Americans are unaware of Chavez’s radicalism and affection for some of the world’s harshest dictators. There is an enormous divide between what the world is hearing about Venezuela and what is really happening there. Reporters have so controlled the flow of information and disfigured the truth that their coverage of Venezuela is a caricature of the "liberal media bias" conservative critics complain about. What we are seeing in media coverage of Venezuela is not liberal bias, but totalitarian bias. The press has shown little concern either for the fate of Venezuela or journalistic objectivity."

UPDATE: Check out this story by the NY Times. No mention at all that the reason the vote can't be held is because of trumped up beaucratic bungling. To read the Times, you would think that there were real constitutional issues involved.
Apparently, 2 Million Venezuelans CAN be wrong - Chavez Poodles Cancel Voting:

The whores on Chavez' Supreme Court have cancelled the vote on a referendum. What are the signatures of 2 million Venzuelans worth anyway. Why was it cancelled? Listen to this excuse...
    Justices ruled that no national vote on a referendum or election can be held until it decides whether elections council member Leonardo Pizani, who helped organize the referendum, is eligible to serve on the panel.

Democracy comes to a halt because of panel appointments? Where is the UN? Where is Human Rights Watch? Where is A.N.S.W.E.R?

Horror in Venezuela - The Torture of Jesus Soriano:

The Weekly Standard has posted this excellent piece about the torture of law student Jesus Soriano. Read this story and send it to everyone you know. Tell them that this is the true face of the Chavez Revolution.
    A thorough medical examination by a civil surgeon reveals that, beyond lacerations, severe bruising, and cracked ribs, Soriano had been repeatedly raped while in custody. His right arm shows that he has been injected. Nails are missing from his left hand. Soriano's internal organs have been crushed to the point that he urinates blood, and he cannot walk without assistance.
Happy Blog Day for Venezuela:

Please check out this site and visit as many Venezuelan Blogs as you can today. Drop them an email or post a comment at their site. We in the United States are very lucky to have a stable, secure democracy. Right now, today, the people of Venezuela are fighting for their democracy against an Authoritarian President who is on the verge of destroying Venezuelan democracy for decades to come. Please visit these websites of democracy and show your support.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Reminder - January 23rd is Blog Day for Venezuela's Freedom.
Chavez Pressures Independent TV Stations:
"President" Chavez of Venezuela seeks large fines against TV stations who remain independent from government control.
Supporter of Democracy Slain:

Pro-Chavez gunmen murder democracy demonstrator.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Bloggers to Show Support for Venezuela on January 23rd:

Okay Bloggers, here is a chance to help change the world. Let's all link to this site on Thursday, January 23rd and support a free and democratic Venezuela.
Pictures from this Weekend's Anti-American Protests:
Another must-read Venezuelan blog.
    "Things keep slowly degrading and one is still amazed that somehow we have not yet reached the bottom. The bottom of course is civil war so we are in no hurry to get there."
General Belch:

The Chavez government's newest disgrace:
    If you turned on the TV in Venezuela yesterday around noonish, what you saw was General Acosta Carles, the man in charge of liberating coke, greedily gulping down a soda in a gesture of revolutionary defiance. Just to punctuate his zeal, he then turned to the camera and belched loudly, before going on to more or less taunt the reporters there for about 20 minutes, in a bizarre show of thuggery mixed with just plain bad taste. General Acosta Carles first became notorious as the dude who randomly beats up on women demonstrators for very little reason. From yesterday on, he'll be remembered as General Belch.
Johnny Cash is a National Treasure:

Johnny is all class is this new video. Imagine what Michael Jackson will be like when he is in his 70s? Ick.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Life is a Mo-Fo Slap in the Face:

Blogger Iain Murray writes:

    My employment was terminated this morning, with this blog stated as the reason.

Iain has a wife and a daughter to support. Given that dirtbag teachers, cops, and assorted other unionized scoundrels keep their jobs in the face of outrageous behavior, I think it's fair for Iain to get another shot at a job after his sin of "being engaged with the world". I'll post more as we learn more...
Atlas Shrugged:

    "On January 1 Venezuela entered into its second month of a national work stoppage. Close to 90 percent of the working population refuses to participate as producers in an economy that supports the regime of Lieutenant Col. Hugo Chavez....There is no fear in Venezuela. There is resolve, indignation, and determination. The oil workers have daily meetings, massive gatherings taking place at amphitheaters, universities, and even ballrooms. Their will is unshakeable in the face of the tyrant. The wheels of production have stopped turning. For now Atlas has shrugged."

The Perfect Analogy - Europe Chooses Not to 'Cuff Saddam:

The insanity of Europe's view of international terrorism was played out yesterday at the expense of a hero cop, Stephen Oake, killed by a terrorist. A police officer raiding a home of a suspected terrorist was killed after the un-handcuffed suspect stabbed him to death. Why wasn't the suspect handcuffed? Why wasn't the policeman wearing protective gear? How is this for an answer?:
    Mr Oake and other special branch officers on the scene were not wearing protective body armour because "there was no perceived risk", the chief constable of Greater Manchester police, Michael Todd, said..."They [the suspects] were detained and actually being held by officers at the time. So it was then decided that you can't handcuff someone while you are actually conducting that sort of examination.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Leftist President Raids City Police Stations for Weapons:

A step toward civil war?

    Henry Vivas said troops carried out the raids early on Tuesday and took away all kinds of weapons, including anti-riot equipment, belonging to the police. The Caracas police force has been under the control of the central government since an order in November from President Hugo Chavez, who accused police officers of repressing his supporters during protests.

    Despite a Supreme Court ruling, Mr Chavez has so far declined to relinquish control of the police to Caracas Mayor Alfredo Pena, who is part of the opposition trying to oust the president.

Need "context" for Venezuela?:

What's the big deal about President Chavez in Venezuela? Read this "what if Nixon did it" scenario and you'll be ready to take to the streets of Caracas as well.

Monday, January 13, 2003

Blogs about Venezuela:

Important Blog about Venezuela. Be sure to check out the picture page, too.

Also this one, CaracasChronicles
Peter Raven, an American Disgrace:

Peter Raven, the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science said this about the Danish goverment's decision against Lomborg:

    "The environment is a field where, when people do some light calculations like Lomborg did, it's easy to argue for a happy-times kind of conclusion," said Dr. Peter H. Raven, the director of the Missouri Botanical Garden and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

    But such findings should not be portrayed as science, he said, adding, "This is a just outcome that ought to bring his credibility to a halt except for those who desperately want to believe what he says."

Lomborg Response to Scientific America is here:

Scientific America has tried to prevent you from seeing this detailed response to its attack on Professor Lomborg, but here it is. Check it out, and try to save it to your hard drive, before SA comes after you!

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Sensor Fuzed Weapons, Ouch:

How'd you like these coming toward your foxhole, eh, Saddam?:
    "And there is the Sensor Fuzed Weapon, designed to pulverize tanks, light armor and troops over a vast 30-acre landscape. The weapon is dropped from an airplane, opens in midair and releases 10 projectiles, which float down to the battlefield on tiny parachutes. When the projectiles are close to the ground, rocket motors spin them back up, where each of the 10 releases four warheads the size of soda cans, 40 in all. Each warhead is equipped with infrared and laser sensors. The infrared sensor scans the battlefield looking for preprogrammed heat signatures, like those emitted by tanks and other vehicles. Once a target is located, the laser sensor then guides the warhead into it. If the infrared sensor locates a tank or other vehicle, it fires an armor-piercing slug. But if no vehicles are spotted, the sensor detonates the warhead just above the ground to spray the battlefield with thousands of lethal fragments, or steel rain."

Globe Columnists Vennochi Keeps on Whining:

Man-hater and Romney-hater Joan Vennochi is whining again about how politics in Massachusetts is unfair to woman. She claims Massachusetts citizens are harder on women politicians than they are on men. I guess she's forgotten the wringer former Governor Dukakis got put through when he was deemed a failure. Joan, some supporting evidence would be nice..

    "... Massachusetts is still very much an Irish-American, Italian-American, patriarchal, Catholic state. Culturally and politically, man is king here - to himself and to many women.

    That is not unbecoming whining. That is a cold expression of reality in Massachusetts in 2003." ...

    Swift was an ineffective acting governor. O'Brien was a flawed gubernatorial candidate.

    Those statements are true, but so are these: Female politicians are judged more harshly than men, and their missteps are treated with greater contempt. They bear full and sole responsibility for defeat. Individual foibles and failures of female candidates make it more difficult for female politicians to follow them.