Archive for August, 2005

Junk Science meets lame opportunistic political fear mongering

August 31, 2005

Mr Reynolds has the scoop.

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How the EU contibutes to world hunger

August 31, 2005

Ronald Baily writes in Reason about the EU’s stance on new biotech crops.

I don’t think he actually said that…

August 31, 2005

but Ace certainly captures the spirit of Neville Chamberlain with:

If at first you don’t succeed, just give them Tel Aviv and see what happens then.

Possible new Star Trek Film

August 30, 2005

/Film tells us that Erik Jendresen, screenwriter for Band of Brothers, has turned in a draft for a proposed Star Trek film.

“This would take place just a couple of years after the end of the events in Enterprise, but well before the original series…”

The leader of a former Communist country has a warning for the West.

August 30, 2005

Via Mr. Reynolds comes a warning from Czech President Vaclav Klaus:

President Klaus spoke last Monday, warning for the new “substitute ideologies of socialism” such as “Europeanism” and “NGOism.” These “isms” are currently threatening Europe. “In the first decade of the 21st century we should not concentrate exclusively on socialism,” he said. . . .

As substitutes of socialism, Václav Klaus cited “environmentalism (with its Earth First, not Freedom First principle), radical humanrightism (based – as de Jasay precisely argues – on not distinguishing rights and rightism), the ideology of ‘civic society’ (or communitarism), which is nothing less than one version of post-Marxist collectivism which wants privileges for organized groups, and in consequence, a refeudalization of society […], multiculturalism, feminism, apolitical technocratism (based on the resentment against politics and politicians), internationalism (and especially its European variant called Europeanism) and a rapidly growing phenomenon I call NGOism.”. . .

He also opposed “excessive government regulation” and “huge subsidies to privileged or protected industries and firms.” He warned that Europe’s social system “must not be wrecked by all imaginable kinds of disincentives, by more than generous welfare payments, by large scale redistribution, by many forms of government paternalism.” Instead, Europe has to “be based on freedom, personal responsibility, individualism, natural caring for others and genuine moral conduct of life.”

Making Sense instead of Sensation

August 30, 2005

Austin Bay gives an example:

Establishing a democracy in a predominantly Arab Muslim Middle Eastern country is the most astonishing news since the Berlin Wall cracked. If only historians with Thucydides’ grander understanding of time are astonished by this then we’re damned, if for no other reason than “seeing the big picture” is absolutely vital to waging a victorious war.

Here’s a thought not in the essay. Does a billionaire historian exist, a bucks-up wiseman prepared to underwrite the Astonishing News Network, a television channel willing to take The Oath of Thucydides? (The Oath– no, there’s no oath per se, but Thucydides said he wasn’t writing for an immediate audience.) ANN merges The History Channel and C-SPAN, then goes a step further and puts vision into television. Challenging the tyranny of The Sensational Now, ANN editors and producers would examine current events from the perspective of a historian at least fifty years in the future. ANN programming for the 2003 to 2013 decade would ask this question: How do we make modernity work? Answering it would necessitate detailed coverage of sputtering, flailing, suffering, struggling, but evolving Arab, African, and Asian democracies interspersed with stories on nano-tech and genetic engineering.

Dispelling the Myth

August 30, 2005

By way of Say Anything comes the results of Rusty Shackleford’s survey of bloggers and their military service (or lack thereof):

…among the top bloggers on both the Left and Right, only a minority have ever served in the military. Are bloggers on the Left draft-dodging haters of the military? There’s no evidence to suggest that. Are bloggers on the Right warmongering chickenhawks eager to send others to war but not face that risk themselves? There is certainly no evidence to suggest that either.

Moreover, among top bloggers at least, it would seem that bloggers on the Right have a slight advantage in terms of numbers who have seen active military duty. There is no basis in reality, then, to the widespread accusation that the Right bloggers are members of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists.

Rob has a damn fine summary:

Clearly this dispels the myth that one must have served in the military in order to support the war, which is a prerequisite that makes about as much sense as saying that you must have served as a human shield in Iraq in order to oppose the war.

Update: Mr. Goldstein posts a Veteran’s response.

Ace asks a damn good question.

August 30, 2005

First, he point out that that the 9/11 Commission Suppressed Evidence of Links Between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

AHMED HIKMAT SHAKIR IS A shadowy figure who provided logistical assistance to one, maybe two, of the 9/11 hijackers. Years before, he had received a phone call from the Jersey City, New Jersey, safehouse of the plotters who would soon, in February 1993, park a truck bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center. The safehouse was the apartment of Musab Yasin, brother of Abdul Rahman Yasin, who scorched his own leg while mixing the chemicals for the 1993 bomb.

When Shakir was arrested shortly after the 9/11 attacks, his “pocket litter,” in the parlance of the investigators, included contact information for Musab Yasin and another 1993 plotter, a Kuwaiti native named Ibrahim Suleiman.

These facts alone, linking the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, would seem to cry out for additional scrutiny, no?

The Yasin brothers and Shakir have more in common. They are all Iraqis. And two of them–Abdul Rahman Yasin and Shakir–went free, despite their participation in attacks on the World Trade Center, at least partly because of efforts made on their behalf by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Both men returned to Iraq–Yasin fled there in 1993 with the active assistance of the Iraqi government. For ten years in Iraq, Abdul Rahman Yasin was provided safe haven and financing by the regime, support that ended only with the coalition intervention in March 2003.

Readers of The Weekly Standard may be familiar with the stories of Abdul Rahman Yasin, Musab Yasin, and Ahmed Hikmat Shakir. Readers of the

9/11 Commission’s final report are not. Those three individuals are nowhere mentioned in the 428 pages that comprise the body of the 9/11 Commission report. Their names do not appear among the 172 listed in Appendix B of the report, a table of individuals who are mentioned in the text. Two brief footnotes mention Shakir.

Why? Why would the 9/11 Commission fail to mention Abdul Rahman Yasin, who admitted his role in the first World Trade Center attack, which killed 6 people, injured more than 1,000, and blew a hole seven stories deep in the North Tower? It’s an odd omission, especially since the commission named no fewer than five of his accomplices.

Why would the 9/11 Commission neglect Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, a man who was photographed assisting a 9/11 hijacker and attended perhaps the most important 9/11 planning meeting?

And why would the 9/11 Commission fail to mention the overlap between the two successful plots to attack the World Trade Center?

The answer is simple: The Iraqi link didn’t fit the commission’s narrative.

Then Ace nails it:

Whenever you bring facts like this up, the “no operational link” crowd changes the subject.

Excuse me– who’s the “faith-based” community, and who’s the reality-based community?

You can have your own opinions, as my Pappy used to say, but you can’t have your own facts.

You can say the links between Al Qaeda and Iraq were no strong enough to justify war, but you cannot say there were “no” links between them.

That statement, in terms the left can understand, is a lie.

You can find a perfect example of this in the first comment to my previous post.

A walk down the Historial Record…

August 29, 2005

New Sisysphus takes a long, detailed look at the Congressional Record concerning Iraq and it’s threat to the United States as perceived by the Congress and the last three Presidents.
He points out such tidbits as:

Whereas in Public Law 105-235 (August 14, 1998), Congress concluded that Iraq’s continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in `material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations’ and urged the President `to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations’;

(Wait a minute!!! What!?! 1998!?! 1998!?! Why, who was President then? But, hey, it doesn’t matter. It probably got rushed through Congress by a secret Jewish Neo-Con Cabal and the White House while Bill wasn’t paying attention.)

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

(This little gem is real handy next time a Democrat tells you that Iraq was never a threat to the United States. Lots of Democrats thought so at the time. Man, I just *love* the Congressional Record!)

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people

Whereas members of al Qaeda, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq’s demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;

and

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

(There’s that damn 1998 stuff again. But, I suppose, if you want to maintain that regime change was Bush’s invention and only his policy, go right ahead and look like a moron. God knows, I won’t stop you.)

There is a lot more. Stop by and read it.

Interesting data point often left out by the left…

August 29, 2005

Many of the left constantly finger point to the Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist Church in, Topeka, Kansas as an example of “Right Wing Republican hate”.

Of course, they never mention the fact that Fred Phelps a is a democrat!
Mother Jones News points out that he was a major organizer for the state’s democrat party for years and housed campaign workers for Al Gore’s 1988 presidential run. Rev. Phelps and his wife were invited, and attended the Clinton inaugrations in 1993 and 1997.

HT to Mr. Goldstein.