Saturday, March 18, 2006

"some stories are just too good to check"

The poor New York Times and that nasty Abu Graib photo.

Those pesky Iraqi documents on the web

Hiawatha Bray has an article in the Boston Globe about the recent release of captured Iraqi documents:
Joseph Shahda of Randolph earns his living as an engineer. But...(w)hen the US government on Thursday began publishing captured Iraqi government documents on the Internet, Shahda eagerly began to translate the files into English and publish them on a conservative website.
As Glen Reynolds of InstaPundit said: ''Workers control the means of production, but without all that tedious communism." Still, the interest in seeing captured documents finally translated and available in English to the public may be politically skewed:
While conservative US bloggers, and some Iraqis, are eager to translate and read the Iraq documents, some prominent liberal bloggers scoffed at the release. ''To me, this is just more evidence that the Bush administration doesn't take national security seriously," wrote Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, founder of the popular Daily Kos website. ''Why doesn't our government have enough translators to handle this job?"
So, anything worth doing quickly, privately, at no cost to the taxpayers, is worth doing slowly, at great expense to the taxpayers, by the governemnt. I wonder: Do such as the folks at Daily Kos have some kind of learning disability?

Despite "an Iraqi intelligence report of an interview with an Afghan informant that suggests -- but does not prove -- agents of Al Qaeda and the Taliban were active in Iraq before the Sept. 11 attacks,"
Jonathan Singer, weekend editor of the liberal site, was equally dismissive. ''The Hussein documents are not of great interest to me," said Singer, ''for the simple reason that they simply reinforce the notion that the Bush administration cherry picks intelligence to suit their needs."
Right. Anything which suggests that there was a pre-9/11 connection is a yawner. Nothing of interest here: We know that without reading any of the documents. Move along.

Thanks to InstaPundit for the lead.

UPDATE: Here's more, on Saddam's connection with Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the Philippines. But keep moving. Still nothing of interest here, Kos.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Investor's Business Daily on Myths of Saddam

Documents? Who knew?
The government is finally getting around to unloading some of Saddam Hussein's secret documents. A look at just a few pages already leads to some blockbuster revelations...

Among the enduring myths of those who oppose the war is that Saddam, though murderous when it came to his own people, had no weapons of mass destruction and no terrorist designs outside his own country. Both claims now lie in tatters.
So, where are Dan Rather and Mary Mapes on this story? Will this be front page news across the world?

Here's the story.

UPDATE: PowerLine notes that the Investor's Business Daily column goofed in presenting a print out from the Federation of American Scientists as a translation of the documents. For more: clik here.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Harold Hatley, 73, died a hero

As Glen Reynolds at InstaPundit likes to say: A pack, not a herd:
PISMO BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- As a homeless man opened fire in a Denny's restaurant, a patron's decision to try to stop the gunman cost him his life, but allowed others to flee to safety, authorities said Thursday.

According to police, a surveillance video showed Harold Hatley, 73, leaving his seat at the counter and getting in the line of fire, which enabled others to flee.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has the story.

Mark Steyn on Iran

I think we have to take these guys at their word. You know, the fact of the matter is that Saddam behaved as if he had weapons of mass destruction. And the basis of American policy in this world should be that if you go around claiming to have weapons of mass destruction, and threatening to use them as the Iranians are currently doing, then it shouldn't be a matter whether you're just bluffing or not. We have a responsibility to take you at your word and do something about it. And that's really the issue in Iran. Iran, actually, does generally walk the walk as well as talk the talk. They are people who have blown up Jewish community centers in Buenos Aires. And it's hard to, even by the biggest stretch, it's hard to say that's a legitimate grievance because of Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Seems reasonable to me, but I suspect there are those who might take issue with taking ppl at their words.

Of course, if the guy down the street publicly and repeatedly says he is going to kill his neighbors, and he is buying reloading supplies, ought the police assume that he is bluffing?

RadioBlogger has the interview.

Oriana Fallaci may be over the top...

...but she is no fool. I like her. There are two reviews of her new book Force of Reason, one by Ira Stoll in the New York Sun which concentrates almost entirely on its' failings, and a lengthier one by Brendan Bernhard in LA Weekly which looks at the strengths.

Bernhard: 1972, she interviewed the Palestinian terrorist George Habash, who told her (while a bodyguard aimed a submachine gun at her head) that the...Arab goal...was to wage war “against Europe and America” and to ensure that henceforth “there would be no peace for the West.” The Arabs, he informed her, would “advance step by step. Millimeter by millimeter. Year after year. Decade after decade. Determined, stubborn, patient. This is our strategy. A strategy that we shall expand throughout the whole planet.”

Fallaci thought he was referring simply to terrorism. Only later did she realize that he “also meant the cultural war, the demographic war, the religious war waged by stealing a country from its citizens … In short, the war waged through immigration, fertility, presumed pluriculturalism.”
Bernhard, again quoting Fallaci:
“In 1974 [Algerian President] Boumedienne...spoke before the General Assembly of the United Nations. And without circumlocutions he said: ‘One day millions of men will leave the southern hemisphere of this planet to burst into the northern one. But not as friends. Because they will burst in to conquer, and they will conquer by populating it with their children. Victory will come to us from the wombs of our women.’ ”
No surprise then, at least to Fallaci, the Islamic immigration into Europe of the last three decades, nor the lack of assimilation. Still, is this simply the routine failure of first generation immigrants to fully assimilate, or is it far more threatening? It would be interesting to know how well the children and grandchildren of immigrants of non-Western religions generally assimilate. Does the difference between the Chinese-American and Japanese-American experience vs the Arab-French experience tell us much? The former were blatantly discriminated against, but only one group has chosen riots and terror.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Katrina guns: I hate to think what kind of condition they are in now.

BELLEVUE, WA – In a stunning reversal, the City of New Orleans revealed today to attorneys representing the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association that they do have a stockpile of firearms seized from private citizens in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The disclosure came as attorneys for both sides were preparing for a hearing in federal court on a motion filed earlier by SAF and NRA to hold the city in contempt. Plaintiffs’ attorneys traveled to a location within the New Orleans city limits where they viewed more than 1,000 firearms that were being stored.

“This is a very significant event,” said attorney Dan Holliday, who represents NRA and SAF in an on-going lawsuit seeking to enjoin the city from seizing privately-owned firearms.

“We’re almost in disbelief,” admitted SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb. “For months, the city has maintained it did not have any guns in its possession that had been taken from people following the hurricane. Now our attorneys have seen the proof that New Orleans was less than honest with the court.”

Under an agreement with the court, the hearing on the contempt motion has been continued for two weeks, the attorneys said. During that time, according to Holliday and fellow attorney Stephen Halbrook, the city will establish a process by which the lawful owners of those firearms can recover their guns.

“While we are stunned at this complete reversal on the city’s part,” Gottlieb said, “the important immediate issue is making sure gun owners get their property back. We’re glad that the city is going to move swiftly to make that possible, and naturally we will do whatever is necessary to make this happen.

“What happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was an outrage,” Gottlieb observed. “Equally disturbing is the fact that it apparently took a motion for contempt to force the city to admit what it had been denying for the past five months.


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If there are any American Idol worshipers out there... might enjoy this NYT column on Simon Cowell.
"America Idol" reaching more than 30 million viewers each night it is on, and in the process is doing to the rest of television what Sherman did to Georgia....

Russ Feingold Made the Democrats quail... asking them to go on the record.

Dana Milbank has the story.
Clinton, with most of her colleagues, fled the lunch out a back door as if escaping a fire.

In a sense, they were. The cause of so much evasion was S. Res. 398, the resolution proposed Monday by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) calling for the censure of President Bush for his warrantless wiretapping program. At a time when Democrats had Bush on the ropes over Iraq, the budget and port security, Feingold single-handedly turned the debate back to an issue where Bush has the advantage -- and drove another wedge through his party....

"Most of us feel at best it's premature," announced Sen. Christopher Dodd (Conn.). "I don't think anyone can say with any certainty at this juncture that what happened is illegal."
That last is an interesting admission as it seems rather at odds with what the Democrats have been saying loud and long ever since news of the highly classified program was leaked and published.

The whole story is a stitch and not very long.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Pretty neat if yer a Power Freak

During the unexpected powerful contained explosion, the Z machine released about 80 times the world's entire electrical power usage for a brief fraction of a second.
Seems like a lot. Anyway, it heated things up almost as much as a teenage couple on Junior Prom night.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Of Yards and Men

There are limits to my interest in herbaceous perfection, which is a good thing as the current yard is and ever shall remain far distant from the micro-manicured hell-holes of Palm Beach and Port Royal.

I have decided for the moment to let the clover with its delicate yellow flowers have its way with the grass, which will have to fight for its own rights. No help from this insensitive quarter. Call it Evolution in Action. Or Multi-Herbalism.

We have had a ton of rain lately, tho nothing like the Windward side of the island, which has had flooding and land slides galore. A couple days ago I took advantage of it all: I had bought some fertilizer for the lawn and used it a couple months ago, and was ready to do it again. I have a cute little green plastic doohicky which fits over my left hand with a little fertilizer resevoir on top, and a little red crank on the right to spread the fertilizer pellets. At a quarter acre Valerie and I have a big yard by the standards of Paradise, but dinky enuf by Mainland standards so it only takes about 4 fills to cover most of it. However, the instructions call for sprinkling the lawn after application so the pellets are washed off lest the leaves of grass get burned. However, why bother sprinkling if it is raining like the Deluge? I leapt into my sandals, threw on a blaze orange poncho, and flipflopped around the yard cranking my little plastic fertilizer spreader in the rain. Joe Suburb in action! GI Joe could hardly do better.

We planted a Native Hawaiian Yellow Hibiscus by the lanai a couple months ago and it is growing so fast I may have to transplant it to the lawn. It's allegedly an endangered species and came with a spiffy little orange plastic stake about the size of a tongue depressor which I had to plant next to it: Although it hasn't grown a jot it gives me Official Permission to have yon Hibiscus. Cool. So when the stake disintegrates do I get arrested? Does Hawaii have Hibiscus Monitors checking out the yard? Do the Feds? Should I be worried? Should I have some cash around for payoffs? Or just keep my business affairs in order? Such are the stresses of Suburban Utopia inParadise.