Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Yep, you guessed it: Palestinians mourn execution of their ally, Saddam
Though much of the world regarded him as a tyrant, Saddam Hussein was mourned by Palestinians Saturday as a generous patron who remained one of their staunchest allies -- right up until the moment of his death.
Saddam had rejected peace with Israel, sent money to the families of suicide bombers....
There was at least one parade in his honor in Gaza, where some Palestinians displayed a poster with his image next to that of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
During the first Gulf War in 1991, Saddam attacked Israel in a failed ploy to force his Arab brethren to abandon the U.S.-led coalition arrayed against him and join Iraq in fighting the Jewish state. As Saddam's Scud missiles flew overhead en route to Israel, Palestinians chanted: "Beloved Saddam, strike Tel Aviv."
He further endeared himself to the Palestinians during the recent uprising against Israel by giving $25,000 to the family of each suicide bomber and $10,000 for each Palestinian killed in fighting. The stipends totaled an estimated $35 million.
Saddam's support for the Palestinians -- whose cause is deeply popular with Arabs throughout the Middle East -- was at least partially aimed at cultivating grass-roots support for his regime.
Saddam's downfall -- his defeat by America, his capture in a filthy hole, his conviction and his execution -- dismayed Palestinians.
They just never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, and they never miss an opportunity to back a loser.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Conveniently after the election, no?
From the Detroit News
Gov. Jennifer Granholm warned today that Michigan could face a huge, combined budget deficit of $1 billion or more in the current and upcoming fiscal years, worse than earlier predictions.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
More from the Brits have lost their Minds File: Cop killer escapes by dressing in Islamic women's robes and fleeing Britain by plane
A man who was being hunted for the murder of a policewoman is understood to have escaped from Britain by disguising himself as a veiled Muslim woman.If you fail to identitfy those boarding an aircraft, you have no aviation security, and if you do not probe the identity of those wearing full coverings, you have absolutely no border control as to who enters or leaves your country, and leaving it open to attacterroristsrists who can move freely while dressed as women.
Mustaf Jama, a prime suspect in the fatal shooting of PC Sharon Beshenivsky, assumed his sister's identity -- wearing the niqab and using her passport -- to evade supposedly stringent checks at Heathrow, according to police sources.
The use of the niqab, which leaves only a narrow slit for the eyes, highlights flaws in British airport security. At the time, Jama was Britain's most wanted man, while Heathrow was on a heightened state of alert after the 7/7 terrorist atrocities in London five months previously.
The Times has learnt that British immigration officers rarely carry out a visual check to match a passport photograph with a departing female passenger's veiled face.
Slain Police Constable Sharon Beshenivsky deserves far better than for the authorities to let her murderer slip their grasp due to their failure to check the identity of the person beneath the veil due to politically correct concerns.
Thanks to The Energy Policy Act of 2005, I will receive a tax credit for upgrading the windows of my house this year.
The existing windows were original to the house or very close to it - aluminum frame single pane that leached heat like a sieve, complete with winter condensation and frost buildup. Clearly a waste of energy.
Thanks to the Energy Policy Act, I'm going to get a nice $200 tax credit for replacement of the windows, as the credit is for $200 or 10%, whichever is less, and in this case the $200 was definetly less. Regardless, its certainly a nice benefit that certainly encouraged me to spend the money now to get the upgrade, and as a result not only do I get a $200 credit, but I also get the savings from lower energy costs and consumption (which is the point of the Act after all), and the house looks a lot better.
An unanticipated benefit of this Act is because my A/C decided to die off this year, during the hottest part of the summer, I'm going to get a credit on its replacement. The A/C unit was apparently 17 years old and decided it had worked long enough. I replaced it and voila, not only do I garner the efficiency of newer cooling technoogy and lower power consumption, but also a tax credit.
The Act certainly helps incentivize people (at least in my case) to make their homes more energy efficient, which is a good thing, and if people can save on their taxes while doing so - even better!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
This sharing of civilian nuclear technology - The U.S.- India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act cooperation is certainly a positive step for relations between the two countries.
Given that India is a democracy, has a growing economy, is one of the worlds largest countries by population, and shares many of the anglosphere values, it can and should be a most useful ally of the US.
"The United States and India are natural partners," Bush said at a signing ceremony in the East Room attended by lawmakers, diplomats and Indian Americans. "The rivalries that once kept our nations apart are no more -- and today, America and India are united by deeply held values."The President is right about that.
The US should continue to work with India to develop and further an alliance between the two countries as India will be a useful bulwark against expansionist Chinese and muslim extremism in the region - and that is good for both India and the United States.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
After more than 160 years, the twin masts of the Milan still stand erect -- all the more remarkable because the commercial sailing ship sits in the dark depths of Lake Ontario.
"It almost looks like it could be floated" to the surface, said shipwreck explorer Dan Scoville on Monday.
Scoville and fellow explorer Jim Kennard located the schooner in the summer of 2005 off the southern shore of the lake. They videotaped the 93-foot-long, square-stern vessel this year using an unmanned submersible built with the help of college students.
The ship sits upright on the lake bed at a depth of more than 200 feet. Its masts extend 70 feet upward in the dark waters.
An image of the ship taken by remote operated vehicle can be seen here (From The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle). And a further article with more pictures and sketches of the vessel can be found at Shipwreck World.
A very impressive find on the part of Messrs. Scoville and Kennard.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
A 33-year-old man convicted of sodomizing a dog in Eastpointe will appeal an order requiring him to register as a sex offender when he completes his prison term.(Source: The Macomb Daily)
Delbert John Holliday was sentenced to 3 1/2 to 15 years in prison Tuesday by Judge James Biernat of Macomb County Circuit after pleading guilty to sodomy and animal torture for an incident in August at his brother's house, where he was staying. Biernat ordered him to register on the state sex offender list when he is released even though sodomy by law does not address instances in which the victim is an animal.
. . .
(one of the home's resident's) said the 7-year-old pit bull that was sodomized suffered serious injuries but has recovered.
Certainly this fellow is one sick puppy.
As one would expect, drugs were involved. This fellow probably should be on the sex offenders list, if he'd do this do an animal, who knows what he'd do to kid. If by chance the Judge is overruled, the legislature should quickly amend the law to make it clear that sex with an animal in such a fashion makes one a sex offender (after all, the dog is underage, was violently assaulted and clearly didn't give consent).
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
The *Jacksonian* viewpoint, which is the contrary side to the other strains of thought and reviews the struggle the Nation is in within the context of the actual, real modern world, and thus offers the way out and points out the incorrectness of the other strains lacks, is that: if the game is going against you, then it is time to change the operational parameters of the game itself, and then *play harder*. Jacksonians see that the US has been at war with Islamic Fundamentalism since 1979 and with Islam, periodically, all the way back to Thomas Jefferson. Strange that Jefferson could send the US Marines to 'kick butts and take names' TWICE and modern day Jeffersonians will not stand up for the SAME.Read the rest of it, for it is very, very, good. Would that it were the course we were pursuing now.
Jacksonians have a simple but not *simplistic* view of Foreign Policy based on HONOR not on things too complex to talk about to the common man. From that I put together a very basic set of Goals on the Global War on Terrorism that depends upon the strengths of the 18th Century Republic of the United States to still EXIST as it was enshrined in writing and we still hold to that to this very day. From that conception comes the plan of enaction which uses the enemies paradigm of 'asymmetrical warfare' against them in a way that *they* cannot combat effectively.
Only about an inch fell to welcome Detroiters to winter, but it wasn't a nice friendly dusting of snow. Instead it was a sticky slippery snow that quickly turned the roads into parking lots during rush hour. A commute of 25 minutes quickly turned into one lasting over an hour.
Of course the first snowfall means everyone forgets how to drive, which is simple - drive slower and keep your distance from the car in front of you. Still many dirivers forgot this which accounts for quite a few accidents including a car that slid right through a wooden barrier at the entrance to my workplace parking lot(just long 2x4 board painted yellow, but that had to hurt).
Nice of winter to start us off with a slap in the ol' commute. It couldn't snow after rush hour, when most drivers were off the road, oh no, it had to snow before and right through it. Thanks a lot.
On the upside, I got some excercise quickly speed shoveling snow off my driveway and spreading some salt so the wife and kidlets could make it up once they arrived home.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Washington has no shortage of bullies, but even we can't quite believe an October 27 letter that Senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe sent to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. Its message: Start toeing the Senators' line on climate change, or else.This is simply an amazing intimidation attempt against dissenters from the Global Warming party line, a party line based not on hard science and which is not in fact a foregone conclusion, nor indeed is it "an inconvenient truth".
We reprint the full text of the letter here, so readers can see for themselves.But its essential point is that the two Senators believe global warming is a fact, and therefore all debate about the issue must stop and ExxonMobil should "end its dangerous support of the [global warming] 'deniers.' " Not only that, the company "should repudiate its climate change denial campaign and make public its funding history." And in extra penance for being "one of the world's largest carbon emitters," Exxon should spend that money on "global remediation efforts."
The Senators aren't dumb enough to risk an ethics inquiry by threatening specific consequences if Mr. Tillerson declines this offer he can't refuse. But in case the CEO doesn't understand his company's jeopardy, they add that "ExxonMobil and its partners in denial have manufactured controversy, sown doubt, and impeded progress with strategies all-too reminiscent of those used by the tobacco industry for so many years." (Our emphasis.) The Senators also graciously copied the Exxon board on their missive.
This is amazing stuff. On the one hand, the Senators say that everyone agrees on the facts and consequences of climate change. But at the same time they are so afraid of debate that they want Exxon to stop financing a doughty band of dissenters who can barely get their name in the paper.
Put me on the side of free scientific inquiry, not of kow-towing to intimidation or to a consensus that is formed more of politics than science.
Or, as one Baker Commission grandee told the New York Times, ''We had to move the national debate from whether to stay the course to how do we start down the path out.''Steyn offers an excellent idea as to what should have been done, and indeed, should be done:
An ''exit strategy'' on those terms is the path out not just from Iraq but from a lot of other places, too -- including Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Venezuela, Russia, China, the South Sandwich Islands. For America would be revealed to the world as a fraud: a hyperpower that's all hype and no power -- or, at any rate, no will. According to the New York Sun, ''An expert adviser to the Baker-Hamilton commission expects the 10-person panel to recommend that the Bush administration pressure Israel to make concessions in a gambit to entice Syria and Iran to a regional conference . . .''
On the face of it, this sounds an admirably hard-headed confirmation of James Baker's most celebrated soundbite on the Middle East ''peace process'': ''F - - k the Jews. They didn't vote for us anyway.'' His recommendations seem intended to f - - k the Jews well and truly by making them the designated fall guys for Iraq. But hang on: If Israel could be forced into giving up the Golan Heights and other land (as some fantasists suggest) in order to persuade the Syrians and Iranians to ease up on killing coalition forces in Iraq, our enemies would have learned an important lesson: The best way to weaken Israel is to kill Americans. I'm all for Bakerite cynicism, but this would seem to f - - k not just the Jews but the Americans, too.
It would, furthermore, be a particularly contemptible confirmation of a line I heard Bernard Lewis, our greatest Middle Eastern scholar, use the other day -- that ''America is harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.'' To punish your friends as a means of rewarding your enemies for killing your forces would seem to be an almost ludicrously parodic illustration of that dictum. In the end, America would be punishing itself. The world would understand that Vietnam is not the exception but the rule.
Three years ago, when it was obvious Syria and Iran were violating Iraq's borders with impunity, we should have done what the British did in the so-called ''Confrontation'' with Indonesia 40 years ago when they were faced with Jakarta doing to the newly independent state of Malaysia exactly what Damascus and Tehran are doing to Iraq. British, Aussie and Malaysian forces sent troops on low-key, lethally effective raids into Indonesia, keeping the enemy on the defensive and winning the war with barely a word making the papers. If the strategic purpose in invading Iraq was to create a regional domino effect, then playing defense in the Sunni Triangle for three years makes no sense. We should never have wound up hunkered down in the Green Zone. If there has to be a Green Zone, it should be on the Syrian side of the border.Why we haven't already adopted such a course in dealing with the foreign (read Iranian and Syrian) supplied, trained and led insurgency is a great puzzle. Perhaps its a matter of simple incompetence in carrying out policy, perhaps it is due to a hostile domestic and media environment, or perhaps it is as Steyn suggests, a lack of will.
Unfortunately the Iraq Study Group and its report seems not to be focussed not on how to win, but instead how to lose, and apprently its losing formula includes sacrificing both Lebanon and Israel to Iran and Syria to do it.