Thursday, March 31, 2005

Much Too Little, Much Too Late: Hanoi Jane "Apologizes"

Jane Fonda mans a North Vietnamese
antiaircraft gun used to kill American pilots

MSNBC reports that Jane Fonda is sorry, sort of, for one of the vile, treasonous things she did during the Vietnam war.
NEW YORK - Jane Fonda says her 1972 visit to a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun site, an incident that brought her the nickname "Hanoi Jane," was a "betrayal" of American forces and of the "country that gave me privilege."

"The image of Jane Fonda, 'Barbarella,' Henry Fonda's daughter ... sitting on an enemy aircraft gun was a betrayal ... the largest lapse of judgment that I can even imagine," Fonda told Lesley Stahl in a "60 Minutes" interview that will air Sunday night
Yes, a betrayal, a lapse of judgment. In fact, the whole trip was an act of treason, far beyond any legitimate form of protest.

Since you're so sorry Jane, why not do the right thing? Turn yourself in and confess your treason.

Onondaga Nation Propagates a Culture of Hatred

In a sympathetic story about the Onondaga Nation's recent land claim against the State of New York, Syracuse Post-Standard columnist Sean Kirst unwittingly reveals the face of naked racial hatred that permeates Onondaga culture and tradition.

Kirst describes the uncertainty felt by Onondaga "tadodaho" Sid Hill when he decided to file the land claim. He wasn't positive that it was the right thing to do. But Hill's uncertainty didn't arise out of concern for how the claim would affect hundreds of thousands of state residents. Hill's uncertainty came from whether or not the resolution of the courts would justify the race hatred taught to Onondaga children.
The danger, he said, lies in what could be lost. Generations of children at Onondaga have grown up with stories of the stolen land, until that tradition intertwines with cultural identity. No one can guess how a court action might turn out, and rejection of the claim would kill whatever hope comes from the old stories, which is the burden Hill will carry to the courthouse today.
If that's too ambiguous for you there's also this:
"You grow up hating white people because of the history," he said.
The Onondagas make the disingenuous claim that they've filed the land claim in order to force the state to clean up polluted areas, especially Onondaga Lake.
What the Onondagas want, he said, is fair negotiations - as well as a "seat at the table" when it comes to regional planning decisions that might detract from air and water quality, or might allow unchecked sprawl to swallow up more woods and farms.
But the Onondaga reservation itself is a polluted environment, and it's gotten that way without any help from non-Indians, as I've pointed out here. Centuries of bile and brooding have given the Onondagas a legacy of hatred and discontent. Onondaga tadodaho Sid Hill is right to have second thoughts about the lawsuit his tribe has filed. But not for the reasons he thinks.

Europe Fears Zarqawi Planning Chemical Attack There

German intelligence is warning that Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may be setting up cells in Europe to carry out a large chemical weapons attack. They believe Zarqawi has been seeking chemical weapons in the Russian Caucasus and Georgia. From Expatica
BERLIN - Top Iraqi terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi is planning to carry out chemical weapons attacks on targets in Europe, a report said on Wednesday.

Zarqawi is believed to have at least 150 potential terrorists based in the German city of Berlin and in Bavaria and Baden- Wuerttemberg states, said the BND agents.
It would seem that Old Europe's policy of appeasement hasn't worked any better for them than it did for Neville Chamberlain.

Terri Schiavo Dies

Fox News reports that Terri Schiavo died this morning at about 10 AM ET. Fox also reports that estranged husband Michael Schiavo refused to allow Terri's parents to visit in her final hours.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Sgrena's Story Mutates Again

Flopping Aces posts about an interview with Naomi Klein, who claims among other stupidities, that Italian idiot Giuliana Sgrena now claims her car was on a secret road when challenged, and that they were fired on from behind. Evidently the bullet that killed Keystone Kop Nicola Calipari did a 180 around Giuliana, then a quick 360 to come back for Calipari. Doesn't Italy have a psychiatrist who can treat this loon? Maybe Giuliana, the Klein imbecile, and the witless, giggling turds at Il Manifesto can get a group discount.

Is a Ransom for Florence Aubenas Imminent?

Remember Florence Aubenas? She's the French journalist who was reported to have been abducted on January 5. A videotape surfaced a month later, showing Aubenas with tousled hair begging the French government in English to put her case in the hands of French Deputy Didier Julia, who is already under investigation for his actions in another hostage crisis.

From The New Zealand Herald:
PARIS - The French government has "reassuring" news about a French reporter kidnapped in Iraq in January, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told parliament on Tuesday. He gave no details.

"We now have contacts which seem to have stabilised, allowing us to have some hope," Raffarin said.
Red Chinese news organ Xinhua adds:
PARIS, March 29 (Xinhuanet) -- French Prime Minister Jean Pierre Raffarin announced Tuesday that the French government has steady contacts with the Iraqi kidnappers of missing French journalist Florence Aubenas.

"Since the appeal we launched for the kidnappers to communicate only with official French services, those services now have reassuring information" about the missing journalist
All that seems to remain is to announce how juicy the ransom will be, and thus how much it will encourage further abductions. Thank you Giuliana Sgrena, for making the world a much more dangerous place.

And Felos Calls The Schindlers Fanatics?

Eric Pfeiffer had this piece published today in National Review. To say that the behavior of Michael Schiavo's attorney George Felos has been bizarre at times is an understatement. The fact that someone with Felos' beliefs has been deeply involved in the Terri Schiavo is deeply disturbing:
Felos believes he used this "conscious evolution" in his first "right-to-die" case concerning Estelle Browning. Felos says when he was alone with Browning they shared a "soul touch" in which their spirits left their respective bodies and spoke to each other. It was in this encounter that Browning "told" Felos she wanted to die:

"As I continued to stay beside Mrs. Browning at her nursing home bed, I felt my mind relax and my weight sink into the ground. I began to feel lightheaded as I became more reposed. Although feeling like I could drift into sleep, I also experienced a sense of heightened awareness."
The article also quotes Felos as saying that he almost caused a plane to crash with his mind. And Felos communicated telepathically with his unborn son.

Maybe Felos does have the ability to endanger planes with his mind and to communicate with unconscious people telepathically. And maybe the rest of us should take Felos' pronouncements on the Terri Schiavo case with a large grain of salt.

Via Captain's Quarters.

Hamas' American Connection

Two months after 9/11 this question was posed on Harvard's cyberlaw discussion forum:
joanna lane (
(Panle: Registries and Registrars, 11/13/2001 1:47:48 PM, #1380)

U.S.-based ICANN-accredited registrars are doing business with registrants who are members of terrorist organizations such as Hamas, and with registrants from countries where US trade embargoes are in force, such as Afghanistan. The ICANN Registrar Accreditation agreement specifies, Para. 3.7.2 Registrar shall abide by applicable laws and governmental regulations. Is this requirement in Para. 3. 7.2 necessary only to achieve ICANN accreditation, or to maintain ICANN accreditation as well?
More than three years later, they're still doing business with this scum. Enom,Inc., a Bellevue, Washington-based company, provides registrar and whois protection services for Hamasonline.

In 2003, the CEO of Enom, Inc., Paul Stahura, even addressed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. Mr. Stahura didn't mention Hamas during his address.

Enom, Inc. also provides services to, an umbrella company for a number of terrorist sympathizer websites (more about 357Hosting here). Apparently, if you're someone who wants to get terrorist propaganda out on the web, you should contact Paul Stahura.

Note: This post originally appeared on 2/20/05. With a new focus on terrorist internet activities generated by a recent Newsweek article, I thought it worth repeating, particularly since Enom is providing services to 357Hosting.

US Circuit Court Grants Schindlers' Review Request

From Yahoo News:
ATLANTA - A federal appeals court early Wednesday agreed to consider a petition by Terri Schiavo's parents for a new hearing on whether to reconnect their severely brain-damaged daughter's feeding tube.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled without comment on Schiavo's 12th day without nourishment. Last week, the same court twice ruled against Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, who are trying to keep her alive.
The Schindlers' attorneys will now request an injunction to replace Terri's feeding tube pending the outcome of the review.

Via Bittersweet.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Would You Trust Your Environment to These Indians?

The latest Indian land claim lawsuit has liberal environmentalists all atwitter with the noble motivations of the Onondaga Indian Nation. From The New Standard:
Syracuse, New York , Mar 18 - The Onondaga Indian Nation has filed a unique, historic land rights lawsuit seeking title to approximately 4,000 square miles of their aboriginal territory in Central New York. Stretching from the Canadian border to Pennsylvania, the area includes the cities of Syracuse, Cortland, Oswego, and Binghamton, constituting the largest amount of land cited in a tribal land rights case in New York's history. But unlike typical land claims, the primary focus of the Onondagas' suit is environmental protection and recovery.
The Dread Pundit Bluto just took a little motor tour of the Onondaga reservation, located just south of Syracuse, New York, to find out if my memories of a filthy, litter-strewn area of open garbage dumps and discarded junk cars was still valid.

My recollections were not completely correct. The reservation is a much worse pigsty than I remembered. The first view a visitor has upon entering reservation land just off I-81 is trash dumped into the stream next to the Firecreek Diner, an Indian business. Traveling the road past the diner, the roadside is liberally festooned with trash which has been tossed out of car windows.

Further along, a burned-out trailer squats within feet of the road, rust indicating that it's been there for some time. More trash has been thrown around the trailer. Around the curve past a pristine-looking stream, swollen with spring snowmelt, the reservation's open garbage dump beckons. Signs warn that only residents are allowed to dump there.

There are a few pristine areas - ones that the Indians don't seem to have gotten to yet.

The Onondagas are considered a sovereign nation, but have a troubled history when it comes to self-rule. In the nineties, disputes about cigarette profits resulted in a schism between tribal elders and supporters of the smoke shop owners. The chiefs demanded a twenty-five cent per carton tax on all sales. The owners were agreeable but wanted the chiefs to account for how the money was spent. The chiefs refused, so the shop owners continued to collect the extra charge, but put the monies into escrow, pending resolution of the dispute. Supporters of the chiefs first blocked the shop owners businesses with large boulders, then burned them down.

These are the people who say that they are only concerned with the environment in their land claim, a claim which directly threatens the property of several hundred thousand people. Why then are the Onondagas so unconcerned about the environment on their own land? The Onondagas should clean up their own reservation before worrying about other areas of the state. People who live in glass longhouses shouldn't throw stones.

Full Disclosure: The Dread Pundit Bluto's own home lies within the Onondaga land claim area.

Jack Shafer Defends Bloggers

Responding to this article written by David Shaw of the LA Times, which sneers at blogs and bloggers as unprofessional rabble, Slate's Jack Shafer sums up why Shaw is wrong, thus:
Shaw seems to believe that the First Amendment and its subsidiary protections belong to the credentialed employees of the established corporate press and not to the great unwashed. I suggest that he—or one of the four experienced editors who touched his copy—research the history of the First Amendment. They'll learn that the Founders wrote it precisely to protect Tom, Dick, and Matt and the wide-eyed pamphleteers and the partisan press of the time. The professional press, which Shaw believes so essential in protecting society, didn't even exist until the late 19th century.
The Dread Pundit Bluto is all verklempt. If this keeps up, Shafer's customary paragraph summing up blogger reactions to his articles will have to change its name from "Bloggers Rip my Flesh" to "Bloggers Anoint My Flesh". Shafer has proven me wrong. I thought Shafer merely tolerated bloggers as an unfortunate phenomenon of the computer age. It seems that...he likes us.

Michael Schiavo Wants Autopsy Performed

Michael Schiavo has stated through his attorney George Felos that he wants an autopsy conducted on Terri Schiavo once she dies, ostensibly to prove the seriousness of her brain damage, but also to answer critics who believe that the planned cremation of her remains would conceal evidence of abuse. Terri's parents also support doing an autopsy. From MSNBC:
“We didn’t think it was appropriate to talk about an autopsy prior to Mrs. Schiavo’s death,” Felos told reporters Monday, "but because claims have been made by, I guess, opponents of carrying out her wishes that there was some motive behind the cremation of Mrs. Schiavo we felt it was necessary to make that announcement today.”
It's unclear why it was necessary to make the announcement prior to her death.

It's also unclear whether an autopsy will definitively answer questions about her cognitive state. This paper by Dr. Eugene F. Diamond shows that Michael Schiavo may consider an autopsy a low risk way to silence critics [emphasis added]:
Evidence for lack of awareness may be established by: 1. Motor responses to stimuli, 2. Cortical glucose consumption, 3. Anatomical evidence of lesions so profound that awareness would not be retained. We should remember that when Karen Quinlan died, her autopsy showed that most of her cerebral mantle was intact.
If the autopsy shows major lesions, Schiavo can use it as evidence of PVS, if no major abnormalities exist, PVS is still not ruled out.

And Newsweek Didn't Even Give Me A Trackback

A Newsweek article posted on MSNBC talks about the shadowy Dutch-based webhosting company 357Hosting:
One site hosted by 357,, today features what purport to be daily news bulletins from Iraqi terrorists; other sites 357 has hosted include and, a site promoting the wisdom of Abu Hamza, a notorious London imam who now awaits trial in Britain on terror-related charges.
But the Dread Pundit Bluto reported on 357Hosting over a month ago. I even listed all the American websites that advertised on
These US-based websites have banner links on
Informationclearinghouse - Imperial Beach, CA - Redwood City CA - Concord NH
FAIR.ORG - New York NY
And two months ago I disclosed that a California-based website was providing storage and download facilities for But does Newsweek toss The Dread Pundit Bluto a bone for his exhaustive investigative work? Noooo, not one lousy mention. Stupid mainstream media.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Three Romanian Journalists Abducted in Iraq

According to the Romanian president Traian Basescu announced that three Romanian journalists were kidnapped Monday in Iraq.
"We have alerted all the secret services and the foreign intelligence services of our allies to solve the case," he told Romanian TVR1 television.

Two of the kidnapped journalists worked for Romania's Prima TV
[the third worked for Romania Libera newspaper], where an editor received a phone call from them saying they had been abducted, TVR1 said.

The three had been making a short reporting trip to Baghdad from Romania.

The statement of the Romanian president would seem to indicate that the Romanians will defer to Multinational Force efforts to secure the journalists' release. Kidnappings of journalists were made much more likely by the actions of the Italian government in the wake of the kidnapping of Italian communist propagandist Giuliana Sgrena. The Italians by many accounts paid a huge ransom to secure Sgrena's release. Sgrena was shot and wounded and one of her rescuers, Nicola Calipari, an Italian secret service agent, was killed when the Italians failed to coordinate with Coalition forces and the driver tried to speed through a US roadblock.

The irresponsible conduct of the Italians, not only in the Sgrena incident, but also in paying a large ransom for the so-called "Two Simonas" virtually guaranteed that more journalists would be abducted.

Zarqawi Reportedly "Surrounded"

The Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reports that the Iraqi Interior Minister says that Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is "surrounded".
"We have not arrested al Zarqawi," Interior Minister Falah al-Nakib said. "He is surrounded in a certain area, and we hope for the best. This operation is ongoing. We hope that the situation will be completely different in Iraq at the end of this year." Al-Nakib said al-Zarqawi was moving in "more than one area," but he refused to give details.
A Zarqawi capture was reported as imminent in early January of this year, however, Zarqawi managed to elude Iraqi and Coalition forces.

Via: The Jawa Report

Update: Bulgaria's Sofia News Agency has also reported that Zarqawi is surrounded, but their report seems to be based on the same source as the KUNA story, using much of the same phrasing.

Would You Buy a Used Memo From This Network?

John Hinderaker of Powerline, writing in The Daily Standard does an excellent job of pointing out the inconsistencies in the saga of ABC's supposed "Terri Schiavo Republican talking points" memo, including pointing out that the only political entities known to have been in possession of the memo are Democratic staffers who passed it on to ABC.
A REASONABLE CONCLUSION would be that the "talking points memo" might be a fake, created by Democrats to cast aspersions on the motives of the Republican leadership. Every Republican who has been asked about the memo has denied knowing anything about it. Unless someone talks--at a minimum, identifying the Democratic aides who distributed the memo on March 17--we likely will never know who, exactly, created it.
We do, however, know to a reasonable certainty who authored this memo (from Powerline):
Halperin Memo Dated Friday October 8, 2004
It goes without saying that the stakes are getting very high for the country and the campaigns - and our responsibilities become quite grave

I do not want to set off and [sic] endless colloquy that none of us have time for today - nor do I want to stifle one. Please respond if you feel you can advance the discussion.

The New York Times (Nagourney/Stevenson) and Howard Fineman on the web both make the same point today: the current Bush attacks on Kerry involve distortions and taking things out of context in a way that goes beyond what Kerry has done.

Kerry distorts, takes out of context, and mistakes all the time, but these are not central to his efforts to win.

We have a responsibility to hold both sides accountable to the public interest, but that doesn't mean we reflexively and artificially hold both sides "equally" accountable when the facts don't warrant that.

I'm sure many of you have this week felt the stepped up Bush efforts to complain about our coverage. This is all part of their efforts to get away with as much as possible with the stepped up, renewed efforts to win the election by destroying Senator Kerry at least partly through distortions.

It's up to Kerry to defend himself, of course. But as one of the few news organizations with the skill and strength to help voters evaluate what the candidates are saying to serve the public interest. Now is the time for all of us to step up and do that right.
The author was Mark Halperin, Political Director of ABC News.

Now the network of Eason Jordan and Mark Halperin presents us with an unsigned memo and asks us to take their word that Republicans were behind it.

Most people expect the Terri Schiavo tragedy to result in Congressional action clarifying the murky laws surrounding so-called "right-to-die" issues. Maybe a close examination of ABC News' operations should come out as well. For example, given their horrid track record of bias, should ABC News reporters be credentialed to sit in on White House press conferences?

Via The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Won't Somebody Please Think of the Children?

The GM Onstar guilt trip
Look, I like GM products - I've got a Pontiac and two Buicks sitting in the driveway. And I don't have anything against advertising, being an adman myself. But being an adman, I'm deeply offended by manipulative, over-the-top ads for useless, overpriced products - especially if the copywriting is bad. You've probably heard the Onstar radio ads that feature shrieking hysterical grannies who have just hit a deer and don't know what to do (get a gun, finish the deer off, then get it butchered, you whiny, simple-minded old bag). The TV spots feature adorable, precocious moppets from central casting who whine endlessly about hypothetical horrors that you might encounter.

Adorable, precocious moppets have repulsed me ever since being traumatized as a child by old Shirley Temple movies. This is why the GM Onstar campaign makes me grit my teeth. Adorable, precocious moppets hawking an overpriced product that's only useful to stupid, hysterical imbeciles. Well, I have some answers for their stupid, rhetorical questions.

Adorable Moppet One: Who will call 911 when the airbags go off?

The Dread Pundit Bluto: Are you kidding me? With the number of cell phones out there, the 911 switchboard will be jammed within 30 seconds of any accident that pops the airbags. Why don't you just flush Mommy's money down the toilet?

Adorable Moppet Two: Who will tell us if the "check engine" light is something serious?

The Dread Pundit Bluto: Not your useless, effeminate Daddy. That's why they call them "idiot lights". Tell Daddy to talk to a mechanic. It'll probably cost him less than an Onstar call. Here's a quarter; go kick Daddy in the balls. Tell him I said he's a stupid pussy.

Adorable Moppet Three: Who will help us when we get lost?

The Dread Pundit Bluto: No one. You're all going to die screaming, after drug addicts rape you. Or, you could have Mommy and Daddy pull into that gas station over there. Unless they really want to pay seventy dollars for information they could get off a three-ninety-five gas station map.

Adorable Moppet Four: Who will unlock the car after we lock the keys inside?

The Dread Pundit Bluto: Here's a clue. Tell Mommy to make a spare key and put it in her purse. Can you remember that? Of course you can't, I forgot what a pair of inbred hicks your parents are. I'll write it down for you. On your forehead.

Adorable Moppet Five: Who will locate our car after it gets car-jacked...with my little brother in the back seat?

The Dread Pundit Bluto: If there's any justice in the universe the car-jacker will come back and eliminate your entire ignorant family from the gene pool. Failing that, tell Mommy that when she sees somebody waving a gun, the pedal on the right is the one she wants. Push it to the floor. And always steer into the slimeball. If she cries and says it was an accident, insurance will pay to fix the dent and the broken windshield.

Onstar plans can cost as much as $69.95 per month. That's a lot of maps and spare keys.

Stupid Liberal News: Hear No Evil

As I discussed here, regarding a recent broadcast of Boston Legal, inventor Sam Kimery has come up with a device to block Fox News broadcasts:
It's not that Sam Kimery objects to the views expressed on Fox News Channel. The creator of the "Fox Blocker" contends the network is not news at all.

Kimery says he has sold about 100 of the little silver bits of metal that screw into the back of most televisions, allowing people to filter Fox News from their sets.
The Dread Pundit Bluto has discovered a device for about the same price that Kimery charges ($8.95) that filters out grossly biased leftist "news" broadcasts (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN). Walmart calls it a "universal remote control". I wonder if they're violating Kimery's patent?

Via The Drudge Report.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Near "Great Escape" at Camp Bucca Wasn't So Near After All

Contrary to reports in the mainstream media, my contact at Camp Bucca in Iraq informs me that a prisoner escape was not imminent. The greatest reported tunnel length was 600 feet, which might have allowed prisoners to get out of the prison compound itself, but would still have left them in the middle of the main camp with no way to get past security. Here's what my source had to say:

There is no way that prisoners could dig far enough underground to get outside of the camp. For one thing, they cannot see outside the immediate berm surrounding them to tell the distance required to dig. Undisclosed distance to former berm plus 500 meters out to new. Good luck digging. It would take years and by then the Iraqi government should have taken over and good luck to those that are still living inside this prison. Guard towers are located on the outer berm, armed with machine guns, and roving patrols are out, also armed with machine guns. About the fog question: does infra-red see through fog? Answer "yes". Do seismic sensors pick up foot steps? Answer: "yes". Again good luck. No way out. That is all for now.
Reports of an imminent escape appear to have come from a quote attributed to one officer who speculated that prisoners were waiting for fog to make their escape. As my source noted, fog doesn't provide concealment from infrared or seismic sensors. Camp Bucca is near Umm Qasr in southern Iraq and straddles the border with Kuwait.

Shameless Personal Puff Piece

Why do dogs lick themselves - down there? Because they can, of course. And bloggers are dogs - just ask any card-carrying member of the Mainstream Media. Below are some of the most gratifying citations that The Dread Pundit Bluto has received so far on this voyage (listed chronologically). Thanks to all.

(3-23-05) Bittersweetme Utilitarian Bioethics and Terri Schiavo

(3-14-05) Washington Post Saddam Capture

(3-10-05) Slate Saddam Capture

(2-28-05) Flopping Aces Eason Jordan

(2-18-05) spatula city bbs Citizens Against the Troops

(2-18-05) Riding Sun Iraqi Civilians Kill Insurgents

(2-10-05) Captain's Quarters Eason Jordan

(2-3-05) Slate Propaganda President

(1-26-05) Slate Blog Overkill

Friday, March 25, 2005

ABC's Fake Republican Memo Given New Life by Mark Shields

Appearing on Newshour With Jim Lehrer tonight (transcript won't be available for 24 hours), columnist Mark shields spoke of the infamous Terri Schiavo Talking Points Memo as an accepted artifact, and used it too punctuate a point during discussion with Lehrer and David Brooks of the New York Times. Even Lehrer and Brooks seemed taken aback and Shields explained that the memo was real because the Republican leadership "hasn't denied it".

Nonsense. Powerline has done at least a good enough job of debunking the memo to stop a responsible commentator from citing it. Powerline has documented denials by Republicans, and tellingly, back-pedaling by ABC. ABC now says that they never meant to report that the memo was an official document produced by the Republicans, but only a memo that was distributed to them. Of course the only people who can be confirmed to have had possession of the memo are the Democratic staffers who gave it to ABC.

The Process Is Not God

Captain's Quarters:
In our haste to save an innocent life, we cannot demand that our executives turn into dictators for just a few moments. Dictatorships don't work that way, and neither do democracies.
spatula city bbs:
One is the highest-ranking elected official in Florida. A man who, with one word, could save Terri Schiavo's life.

The other is the most powerful man in the world. The leader of the most powerful country on the face of the planet.

And both of them have bowed in supplication to a flamingo-humping fucknozzle in a swamp.
I enjoy both of these blogs, and they tend to agree with each other on issues, in their own distinctive styles, of course. What better example of how divisive the case of Terri Schiavo has become?

There are those in this country who worship process. The phrase "the rule of law" resonates with them as deeply as a church organ. Respecting "the rule of law" is a nice, safe position that rather neatly exempts the individual from the more profound and troubling questions arising in the conscience (I don't believe Captain Ed is one of these people; his position was obviously reached after deep and troubled thought). Many people have a deep need to be told what to think, what to believe.

Unfortunately, "the rule of law" is morally neutral. It will serve great evil as readily as it serves great good. Following it blindly does not guarantee a worthy outcome in a particular case, nor a virtuous life in general. "I respected the rule of law" is too hauntingly similar to "I was only following orders."

And slavishly following the law has never been an American virtue. We are not Canada, after all, and when King George's legal rule became too burdensome, our founding fathers illegally rebelled against him through force of arms. Many lovers of law for its own sake fled to Canada. Digby, Nova Scotia was founded by Tory refugees.

Less dramatically, squatters in the nineteenth century defied the courts until practical, equitable realty law became the law of the land (and by the way, assured the wild success of American capitalism - read Hernando de Soto's The Mystery of Capital).

Recognizing no law other than his conscience as informed by his God, John Brown rocked the nation, and sacrificed himself and his sons to help precipitate the massive struggle that ultimately repudiated the judges who had produced the Dred Scott decision. John Brown was hanged as a traitor to the state of Virginia, though he had never been a citizen of that state. It was done under the auspices of "the rule of law".

Both Lord Spatula and Captain Ed have followed their consciences to come to their conclusions. I respect Captain Ed's opinion, but find myself more drawn by conscience to Lord Spatula's point of view.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Who Created ABC's Terri Schiavo Push Poll?

That would be TNS Intersearch, a global marketing research firm with headquarters in the UK. Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters has examined the slanted questions in the poll here, Mickey Kaus of Slate unloads on ABC here, and a Michelle Malkin article dissects the methodology here. Yahoo's business guide describes TNS Intersearch as:
TNS Intersearch provides a variety of custom market research services, including brand awareness, employee satisfaction surveys, mystery shoppers, and Web site evaluations. It is a unit of UK-based market research conglomerate Taylor Nelson Sofres.
ABC has been using TNS for years, even though political polling seems more of a sideline for them. The TNS North America website (to which ABC links) speaks strictly from a market research point of view. And the homepage contains this telling paragraph:
From our offices across North America, we provide more than data collection and analysis. We provide thinking, intuition, insight and imagination. We look behind the numbers, beyond the trends and between the lines to add value to the solutions we deliver to you.
Apparently, the "value added" was pushing the poll results in a way more palatable to the liberal culture at ABC News. Marketing research firms are usually more oriented toward giving the customer what he thinks he wants than are straight political pollsters. It sure looks as if TNS Intersearch delivered for ABC.

Greer Rules For Death

Surprising no one, Judge George Greer has refused Florida governor Jeb Bush's request to have Terri Schiavo's custody transferred from her estranged husband to the state of Florida. For Greer to rule otherwise would have been to admit that he might have been mistaken in his other rulings in the Schiavo case. A judge whose ego becomes too involved in a case should recuse himself.

Earlier today, video on Fox News showed Terri Schiavo tracking the movement of a balloon held by a friend by moving her eyes and head. Pretty impressive brainstem Terri has there, as her husband insists that her cerebral cortex is "liquefied".

There is little hope now that Terri's life will be spared through legal means.

"Talking Points Memo" Begins to Unravel

In some Rather disturbing news for the Mainstream Media and other leftists, Rush Limbaugh is reporting that a memo obtained and released over the weekend by ABC appears to be a fake created by staffers at Senator Harry Reid's office.

Here's how ABC News described the document:
ABC News obtained talking points circulated among Senate Republicans explaining why they should vote to intervene in the Schiavo case. Among them, that it is an important moral issue and the "pro-life base will be excited," and that it is a "great political issue — this is a tough issue for Democrats."
The most provocative passages from the memo:
This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue.

This is a great political issue, because Senator Nelson of Florida has already refused to become a cosponsor and this is a tough issue for Democrats.
But those who have seen the actual memo say that there are no identifying marks and the memo is unsigned, and Republicans in Congress deny having seen the memo. If this is true, and ABC has not denied it, ABC is guilty of incompetence rivaling Dan Rather and his staff in their "reporting" of the comically bad TANG memo.

Uh-oh, time to blame Karl Rove.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Utilitarian Bioethics and the Ideology of the Terri Schiavo Tragedy

Comparing differing conclusions today from Steven Taylor (who supports withholding food and water from Schiavo) and LaShawn Barber (who does not), James Joyner of Outside the Beltway concludes:
Clearly, this case is not one that divides us neatly along Left-Right, Republican-Conservative, religious-nonreligious, or similar lines. And, however passionate this case makes us, it's possible for honorable, decent people to differ.
I disagree. It does, but not in the usual clearcut way. Jeb Bush and Republicans in Congress have reacted to pleas from their constituency rather than ideological concerns (despite ABC's shameful push poll), and this much, at least, supports Joyner's position. Honest people on the Right can indeed disagree.

But the motivations from the other side are nothing if not ideological. The Right to Privacy (one of the stealth rights discovered in the Constitution by activist jurists) is being defended here by the Left. This "right" has been the justification for the continuing Baby Holocaust occurring in America since the Roe v. Wade decision. The Left is cynically participating in the murder of Terri Schiavo solely to protect its past ideological gains. That's why no one on the Left wants Terri to get an MRI, or to be evaluated by disinterested experts. That's why anyone who tries to bring water to Terri is being arrested (even children). The Left believes that life for Terri Schiavo would represent a blow to the Right of Privacy.

Terri Schiavo's starvation also represents a triumph for Utilitarian Bioethics, the special project of Princeton professor Peter Singer. Shorn of the argot of Academia, Utilitarian Bioethics is a philosophy that sees human happiness as a zero-sum game. Therefore, all resources, including medical should be doled out on the basis of what will best increase the total of human happiness, which sounds benign enough until the real ramifications become apparent. Adolf Hitler executed many who were not Jews, but who were blind, lame, or mentally retarded. Adolf Hitler was practicing Utilitarian Bioethics. The ethos clearly calls for withholding medical care from, and even murdering, those who are less than perfect. This can mean anyone with a physical or mental defect, or even anyone without the capacity to experience "happiness" fully enough to satisfy the Bioethics Committee.

Utilitarian Bioethics is the ultimate secular philosophy. There is no room for a deity when the Bioethics Committee is God. And the death of Terri Schiavo will serve the goals of the Utilitarians. Advancing a philosophical position in society is ideology at work. Those working for the death of Terri Schiavo are advancing a cold, soulless ideology.

Iraqi Commandos Kill 85 Insurgents

From the Associated Press via Yahoo! News
BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. and Iraqi forces raided a suspected guerrilla training camp and killed 85 fighters, the single biggest one-day death toll for militants in months and the latest in a series of blows to the insurgency, Iraqi officials said Wednesday.
Seven Iraqi commandos were reported killed in the attack on the training camp. This is what the "resistance" was up to elsewhere (from the same story):
Also Wednesday, a mortar shell or rocket struck an elementary school in western Baghdad, killing at least one child and injuring three others, according to a police official who asked not to be identified out of fear of retribution by attackers.
CBS News reports the number of insurgents killed as 80 and adds that evidence was found at the camp indicating the involvement of foreign Islamic radicals.

MSNBC also reports 85 killed, and adds this interesting quote:
"Among the dead are Arab and foreign fighters, including Sudanese, Algerians and Moroccans, as well as other nationalities," Interior Ministry spokesman Sabah Kadhim told Reuters.
So much for the terrorist-apologist canard of a popular Iraqi insurgency. Al-Jazeera western meat puppet Scott Ritter even went so far as to declare Jordanian-born terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi a "myth". How embarrassing for Scott.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Army Raises Enlistment Age For Reservists

Finally, someone has made the stunningly obvious move to update enlistment requirements out of 1940s mode - Reuters:
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Army, stung by recruiting shortfalls caused by the Iraq war, has raised the maximum age for new recruits for the part-time Army Reserve and National Guard by five years to 39, officials said today.
This is a good start, but there's really no reason to have an age limit. All that's required is a physical ability limit. And by the way, things would be sooo much easier if you people would simply listen to The Dread Pundit Bluto in the first place.

Via the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

Merchants of Death

Here's one that slipped past the MSM censors (Associated Press):
Baghdad Shopkeepers Kill Three Militants
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Shopkeepers and residents on one of Baghdad's main streets pulled out their own guns Tuesday and killed three insurgents when hooded men began shooting at passers-by, giving a rare victory to civilians increasingly frustrated by the violence bleeding Iraq (news - web sites).
Point of order: animals firing indiscriminately at civilians are not "militants" or "insurgents". They are terrorists. And this kind of incident is not as rare as the MSM want us to believe. This story is from early February:
We understand that last night the insurgents came back to punish the people of al-Mudhariya, but instead of metering out that punishment the villagers fought back and they killed five of the insurgents and wounded eight. They then burnt the insurgents' car. So the people of that village have certainly had enough of the insurgents.
Having seen the pictures of Iraqis defying the terrorist insurgency to vote in their first free election in half a century, how could anyone be surprised that Iraqi civilians are willing to fight and kill these vermin?

A Note From Iraq

My friend in Iraq reports:

Just a quick note on a subject that is unfolding here at Camp Bucca. We just had a tent erected next to ours today. We asked the KBR personnel what the tent was for and we were told that a local woman was going to be staying in it for awhile and, that there was a fire at her house and that her baby was burned in it. The baby is in the level three hospital here inside the prison and they gave her the tent so that she could stay close by. I bet you will not hear about that anywhere.
I won't take that bet. The mainstream media has shown absolutely no interest in reporting humanitarian aid efforts by Coalition forces. It becomes too hard to dehumanize and demonize people when they're caring for injured babies. There haven't been any press releases issued about humanitarian efforts at this camp, but it's the kind of thing a good reporter discovers on his or her own.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Push Polling and the Rush to Murder Terri Schiavo

As Captain's Quarters reports, ABC News has gone to the extraordinary length of conducting a blatant push poll to drum up support for killing Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman who was brain damaged 15 years ago, and whose current condition some doctors describe as a "persistent vegetative state". Captain Ed reprints one of the questions asked by ABC which incorrectly states that Schiavo has been "on life support". Here's one of the other questions:
Do you think the political leaders who are trying to keep Schiavo alive are more concerned about (her and the principles involved), or more concerned about (using her case for political advantage)?
Strangely, this question is not followed up with what would seem to be an equally appropriate and obvious question, 'are those politicians seeking her death doing so for political advantage or ideology?'.

Certainly, few reasonable people would argue that ABC News is above push-polling, but this one is so raw and unmistakable that one wonders why they would go to such lengths to have this helpless woman killed. It's been fifteen years, why the sudden urgency to waste her? At best, this poll was written by incompetents. At worst, it's a deliberate attempt to influence public opinion using clumsily slanted polling questions.

Video of Schiavo shows a woman who does not display the characteristics of what most people consider a "persistent vegetative state". She appears to look at people, to react to touching, to smile. Teddy Kennedy sometimes seems less aware of his surroundings than does Schiavo. Of course, Teddy could probably survive for six or eight months without feeding.

Oddly, ABC's writers for Boston Legal aren't on the same page. Ironically, the main subplot of last night's episode was about efforts to halt an execution in Texas.

Iraqi "Resistance" Seeks Soft Targets

Having once again been soundly bitch-slapped...
Dozens of militants firing automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades ambushed a US supply convoy, drawing return fire that left 26 insurgents dead - the highest, single-incident rebel death toll reported in four months.[6 US troops were wounded] US forces, the brave Iraqi "Resistance" has sought out easier targets, specifically, women and children:
In the deadliest attack Monday on civilians, a roadside bomb killed four women and three children in Aziziyah, 35 miles southeast of Baghdad...
All those brave souls who marched in support of the terrorists this weekend have a part in these murders. Perhaps the ransoms of Giuliana Sgrena and the Two Simonas helped finance the attacks. Thank you again, Italy.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Send The Italians Home

The Italian presence in Iraq as part of the Coalition has become a liability, far outweighing any symbolic benefits their troops represent. It's time they returned to the land of Mussolini.

Unless the insurgents mount a regiment of Ethiopians wielding spears, the Italians' military usefulness is negligible, at best. Unfortunately, their mere presence in Iraq encourages vermin like the communist propagandist Giuliana Sgrena and the twin imbeciles the two Simonas to travel to Iraq and endanger loyal Coalition troops. It's time for all Italians, military and civilian, to be shown the door.

President Bush was wrong to kiss Silvio Berlusconi's ass when Italian Keystone Kop Nicola Calipari managed to get himself killed "rescuing" arch-idiot and possible conspirator Sgrena from her supposed captors. The multi-million dollar ransom likely paid for Sgrena's "release" (not to mention the millions for Tweedledee and Tweedledum - the Simonas) will guarantee continued financing for the terrorist insurgency and result in more American and Iraqi deaths. With "friends" like these, who needs terrorists?

This shouldn't surprise anyone. The only time in modern history that Italians have mounted anything resembling a national will was under Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Even then, their military was effective only against the aforementioned Ethiopians and their spears. When opposed by Allied troops the Italians ran shrieking from the battlefield. They have demonstrated no more competence or courage in Iraq.

Expelling the Italians will cut off an important source of revenue to our enemies and remove an unnecessary danger and hindrance to our troops. It will also choke off a major source of propaganda and disinformation for the worldwide terrorist movement, represented in Italy by the communists.

The Cost of Social Experimentation

Studies are now showing that women are more susceptible to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following active service in the military. Common sense should have told us that, but militant feminists insisted that the military experience must be made as gender-neutral as possible. Now these chickens are coming home to roost. From the Chicago Tribune via
But today, two years after the start of an Iraq war in which traditional front lines were virtually obliterated and women were tasked to fill lethal combat roles more routinely than in any conflict in U.S. history, the nation may be just beginning to see and feel the effects of such service.

In the wake of such concerns, the Veterans Affairs Department has launched a pioneering $6 million study of PTSD among female veterans. It is the first VA study to focus exclusively on female veterans; 8 percent to 10 percent of active-duty and retired military women suffer from PTSD, a rate nearly twice as high as that among men.
Twice as high, despite the fact that women's exposure to combat is incidental, rather than by design. This clearly implies a vastly greater rate of PTSD if women are, as feminists demand, routinely assigned to active combat roles.

Certainly there are enough men willing and able to perform these duties. All the DoD has to do is instruct the different branches of the service to remove the age restrictions on enlistment, and accept anyone who can fulfill the physical requirements.

Via The Brutality of Reason.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Giuliana's Web

Sgrena's Lies in Her Own Words
Giuliana Sgrena has been remarkably inconsistent in interviews since her release from alleged captivity and the friendly fire incident on the way to the airport. Here, in Sgrena's own words from two interviews and an article she wrote, are the contradictions.

On the death of Nicola Calipari:
March 6th, for Il Manifesto (translation published by CNN):
"Nicola Calipari threw himself on me to protect me and immediately, I repeat, immediately I heard his last breath as he was dying on me."
March 7th, to the BBC
"I was pushing down to avoid bullets and after I don't know how long, I found that he was dead."
Calipari's death isn't the only detail on which Sgrena is fuzzy.
On getting out of the car:
To the BBC:
" was impossible to get out of the car because the car was under this rain of fire."
Again, to the BBC, in the same interview:
"And then the driver got out and was shouting, 'we're Italian, we're Italian'."
To the Timesonline:
"“The driver shouted, ‘We are Italians!’ but the shooting went on. We couldn’t even get out of the car."
Giuliana's Memory Comes and Goes to Suit the Situation
For Il Manifesto:
"They told me we were less than a kilometer away...when...I only remember fire."
To the BBC:
"The tanks started to strike against us..."
And again to the BBC:
"They started to shoot at us without any light or signal."
On the ransom for her release:
To the BBC:
"...I was not aware of what was the object of the negotiations."
For Il Manifesto:
"They were speaking about problems 'related to transfers'."

Friday, March 18, 2005

What Are the Italians Hiding?

Italian security continues to stonewall the Iraqi investigators trying to get to the bottom of the Giuliana Sgrena "kidnapping". The International Herald Tribune reports:
Despite the successful release of the hostage, the Italians have angered the Iraqi major crimes unit that has been investigating the kidnapping by refusing to share intelligence on the case, even after Sgrena was freed, said Colonel Jabbar Anwar, chief of the major crimes unit in the sector of Baghdad that contains Gazalea...

...The Italians could have freed the hostage and also helped to break that ring, he said, but they chose not to.
What possible reason could there be for not sharing this information? Could there be more to the story of abduction than the Italians want the world to know? The report describes the standard bureaucrat's tactic of footdragging by passing the buck:
"I don't know what type of relationships our people have with the Iraqis in Baghdad," Amelio said. "Our people have a strong relationship with the Americans, and the Americans deal more with the Iraqis.

"We haven't received any request for information. Maybe they have approached some Italians there in Iraq, I don't know, but we haven't been asked officially."
Yeah, right. This is beginning to look more and more as if the abduction was simply to raise money for Giuliana's beloved "Resistance". In fact, the IHT report suggests that some suspect an inside job:
Jabbar and a second officer in the crimes unit said the investigation suggested that the kidnappers had been tipped off to Sgrena's itinerary that day - she conducted lengthy interviews at a nearby mosque - and that the kidnappers probably had a plan in place before she ever arrived on the scene.
An Italian photographer, Franco Pagetti, who had helped arrange Sgrena's visit to the mosque and left before she was abducted, said security guards at the mosque gate were acting suspiciously.
Just how far inside did the job go - all the way to Sgrena herself, perhaps? The Italian authorities obviously have information they're trying to conceal.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Hostage Rescued By Coalition Forces Near Tikrit

This terse press release has few details; it just notes that Task Force Liberty soldiers performed the rescue. It has also gone unreported by anyone in the mainstream media. Probably too much celebrity trial news to cover.
TIKRIT, Iraq – Task Force Liberty Soldiers rescued a hostage and detained two Iraqi men during a raid near Bayji about 11 p.m., March 16.

Soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team conducted the raid to rescue the kidnap victim.
Apparently, you have to be a mentally retarded Italian communist propagandist for the press to take note of your rescue. Oh, and it's only worth mention if something goes horribly awry.

Not So Fast: Italian Pullout May Not Be Imminent

Despite the celebrations of terrorist sympathizers and enablers all over the world, the much ballyhooed Italian withdrawal from Iraq may not occur as quickly as anticipated. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is apparently backing away from announced plans for a firm date to begin pulling 3,000 Italian troops out of Iraq.

SkyNews reports:
The Italian Prime Minister has made an apparent backtrack on his proposal to withdraw troops from Iraq in September.

Silvio Berlusconi, a firm supporter of George W Bush and Tony Blair, told reporters that no date has been set for Italian troops to leave Iraq.

He said: "There's never been a fixed date.

"It was only my hope... If it's not possible, it is not possible. The solution should be agreed with the allies."
This has set off a spate of Reuters-related stories accusing Berlusconi of "bowing" to US pressure.

Oddly, The Dread Pundit Bluto doesn't recall a similar spate of Reuters-inspired stories accusing Berlusconi of "bowing" to terrorist-sympathizer pressure when he originally announced a September pullout.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Fulfilling the Dream

For the first time in half a century, freely elected representatives of the Iraqi people met to begin forming their government. Undeterred by mortar and rocket attacks from the insurgents, the new Iraqi parliament spent so much time celebrating their historic moment that not everything they had hoped to accomplish on the first day was done.

The purple finger revolution continues. How did the usual suspects in the US press report it? Lead sentences from three of the biggest follow.

No Bias Here, Boss
The New York Times:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 16 - As mortar rounds pounded the heart of the capital today, the country's first freely elected parliament in a half-century met for the first time but fell short of expectations by not starting the process of installing a government.
The LA Times:
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq's first freely elected parliament in half a century began its opening session today after a series of explosions targeted the gathering.
Washington Post:
BAGHDAD, March 16 -- Amid tight security and the sound of explosions, Iraq's new parliament met for the first time Wednesday as Iraqi politicians and citizens alike urged lawmakers to stop bickering, form a new government and tackle the country's numerous problems, particularly the violent insurgency.
Talk about your half empty glasses...if these folks had been around, what do you think they would have used for a lead to report the first meeting of the Continental Congress? Maybe something like, The camaraderie of war now over, colonist leaders clashed acrimoniously over the proper form of the new government, with many saying that they were better off under King George and proposing a monarchy.

Italians Stonewalling Iraqi Sgrena "Abduction" Investigation

The New York Times reports that Italian intelligence agents have been obstructing Iraqi investigations of communist Giuliana Sgrena's alleged kidnapping ever since they opened negotiations with the "kidnappers".
BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 15 - Iraqi investigators who are trying to find the kidnappers of the Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena say their work has been stymied by a lack of cooperation from the Italian intelligence services that won her release exactly a month after she was abducted on Feb. 4.

Even after her release, Italian officials have refused to share information with the Iraqis, said Col. Jabbar Anwar, chief of the major crimes unit in the sector of Baghdad that includes Gazalea, the neighborhood where she was thought to be held.
There are few reasons why the Italians would choose to obstruct the Iraqi investigation. The explanation could be that the Italians have discovered evidence that Sgrena was in collusion with her "abductors" from the beginning, and that the Italian government has been duped into contributing some $6-14 million to the terrorist cause. If Iraqi security succeeds in capturing any of the terrorists involved alive, it's possible something that the Italians want to remain buried will come out.

Via The Jawa Report.

Also check Flopping Aces for extensive Sgrena coverage.

North Korea As Rodney Dangerfield

North Korea is upset over recent, completely accurate characterizations of the regime by US officials, feeling they're not being granted the proper level of respect. Reuters reports:
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea (news - web sites) ruled out on Wednesday a return to stalled six-way talks on its nuclear weapons programs unless the United States retracted its labeling of Pyongyang as an "outpost of tyranny."
The Dread Pundit Bluto can see where Kim Jong Il might find that a tad harsh, so, in the spirit of international amity, I'd like to offer a few alternative phrases to replace "outpost of tyranny" when discussing the insane, violently repressive regime in North Korea.

"cesspit of despotism"
"asylum of autocracy"
"Pee Wee Kim's Totalitarian Treehouse"

Feel free to join in with your own.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

How Many Americans Has Sgrena Killed?

We already know that Giuliana Sgrena is responsible for the death of Nicola Calipari, the Italian agent killed by American fire after negotiating Sgrena's ransom and release from the people Sgrena claimed were holding her against her will (the question remains open whether Calipari's death was due merely to stupidity on Sgrena's part, or active collusion with her alleged captors). Now we can begin to quantify the comfort and material aid that Sgrena's ransom will provide to the terrorists.

Leaving aside the suspicious details of this woman's "abduction" and taking the lowest estimate of the ransom reportedly paid for her "release" gives the terrorists $6 million (some estimates are as high as $13.4 million) with which to work mischief. With that figure we can estimate some of the possible benefits to the Islamist terrorist movement. What can the $6 million buy for Sgrena's purported captors?

In terms of materiél, the terrorists can now purchase 6,000 to 9,000 rocket propelled grenades, a popular weapon for attacking US convoys. Even at a conservative estimate of 1 US death per 1,000 RPG attacks, Sgrena has managed to kill 6-9 American soldiers - or a much greater number of Iraqi civilians if the insurgents decide to operate in terrorist mode.

But maybe Sgrena's "Resistance" chums would prefer to put their newfound capital into shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, like the one that downed a British Hercules transport, killing 10. That 6 mil ought to get them 4 or 5 hundred of these missiles. And these are guided - heat-seeking - so even used by untrained, ululating psychopaths that number should bring down at least 40-50 Coalition aircraft. Figure a low average occupancy of 5 people per plane or helicopter, and Sgrena has purchased the deaths of 200-250 soldiers. Not bad for what may have been just a few weeks sabbatical communing with close friends.

Maybe Sgrena will hit the jackpot. What if her hosts are connected to al Qaeda? $6 million should be enough to get at least 1,000 dedicated terrorists into the US with top quality forged identification. On September 11, 2001 19 terrorists murdered 3,000 Americans.

Whether Sgrena actively participated in a plot to finance terrorist operations or is merely a stupid, irresponsible dupe, Americans will likely be left to pay the butcher's bill.

Monday, March 14, 2005

ABC Writers: Young Republicans Are Brainwashed Robots and Fox is the Devil

This is really a shame. The ABC lawyer show, Boston Legal, which seemed so promising when it spun off from The Practice, has been on a downward spiral for several episodes. The problem is clearly an immature writing staff suffering from PEST. Last night's show was simply awful. The dark, quirky humor of the first few episodes is gone, replaced by the same heavy-handed liberal preaching that marred Norman Lear's All in the Family.

First, one of the characters declared that Republicans are determined to abolish the Bill of Rights. Conservative character Denny Crane (who suffers from Alzheimer's), played by William Shatner, agreed - without a hint of sardonicism. This breathtakingly arrogant and naive (and unsupported) assertion was only the prelude to worse dialogue to come.

It seems that a Boston public school principal had installed devices in the school's televisions to block any Fox News broadcasts. A conservative student sued to have the devices removed. The principal argued that Fox's conservative bias fomented violence and discrimination against ethnic Arab students. Eventually, after much pointless dialogue involving unsubstantiated studies and documentaries, the judge reluctantly ordered the removal of the devices, whereupon the student thanked his lawyers, then added, "Your country thanks you." How chilling. Obviously, he has been programmed by Fox.

This liberal circle jerk was laughable in its hypocrisy. Viewers are expected to be outraged at the ridiculous assertion that Republicans oppose the Bill of Rights, while being equally outraged that a young conservative student successfully sues to defend...freedom of expression.

Now I realize that ABC is all pissy with Fox over the Wife Swap/Trading Spouses - SuperNanny/Nanny 911 who-came-up-with-the-show-first business, but it's time to clean house. Ditch the clueless twentysomethings and ex-hippie burnouts on your writing staffs. Your audience isn't as stupid as they think. Events like last night's episode of Boston Legal are an embarrassment.

ABC can be reached here:
ABC, Inc.
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-4551
Phone number: (818) 460-7477

For ABC's Primetime and Daytime shows, as well as our Movies and Specials and ABC Sports: Audience Relations Department at

Sunday, March 13, 2005

White Man Be The Devil

Adam Mansbach is so very retro. Writing in the Boston Globe today, Mansbach (who is white) trots out a wealth of hoary limousine-liberal clichés to put down The Man. And The Man is not just the Old South slaveholders and sixties-era race-baiting ideologues. The Man is every white person who ever lived. One can easily imagine Mansbach calling for the ritual beating of white babies to punish them for their evil whiteness.

Yes, February-Black History Month-is, as Adam mourns, the shortest month of the year. Thank God. Black History month has become an abomination most commonly used to foment racial hatred and exempt from responsibility African Americans who have failed in modern society. In high schools across the country, black students compete not against the overall student norm, but against each other. Colleges concerned with diversity do not encourage scholarship, but merely an empty racial balancing of books to maintain their "progressive" credentials. African Americans have been converted into second-class citizens by the condescending racism of Liberal America - the notion that blacks can't compete in mainstream society. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"Who would be the icons of White History Month?" Mansbach asks, rhetorically, for of course Mansbach has already selected the slave master, the KKK man, the bigoted banker...and beyond that, every white person should experience guilt for being white.

But the question is bogus anyway. Why should people be defined, as Mansbach wants, solely on the basis of their race? Why is Mansbach so eager to return to the race riots of the sixties? What passion could drive a man to become a racial hate monger?

The answer comes at the end of the column, not from Mansbach, but from the editor. Adam Mansbach has just published a race novel. Hatred for profit. Nice.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Like it or Not, Hezbollah is Part of Lebanon

Personally, I don't like it, but this editorial in the The Daily Star (Lebanon) points out an uncomfortable truth. Hezbollah, "Party of God" (Party of Terrorists to most Westerners) is so entwined in Lebanese politics that room will have to be made for them in the post-Syrian Occupation government.
Nasrallah [Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah] is the custodian of other commonsense concepts that found public expression on Sunday. For example, he called for a national dialogue to cement the things on which all parties concur. He was making clear that Hizbullah is Lebanese and that despite some differences in approach from some groups firmly entrenched in the opposition camp, there are, in fact, many points of agreement, including national unity and the parliamentary system.
"Differences in approach" - what a delicate way to put it. Babyhunts and suicide bombings are "differences in approach".

Even though the natural reaction of any sane, right-thinking individual is to call for the extermination of beasts like the decision-makers of Hezbollah, the likely result would be a protracted civil war. Think Arafat, but hope that the Hezbollah leadership is more adept; the transformation of Arafat from terrorist to statesman was never completed.

All bets are off if the investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri indicates Hezbollah involvement. And it could very well be that Hezbollah operatives killed Hariri at the behest of Syria. If that turns out to be the case, and solid evidence comes out, expect a bloodbath in Lebanon.

Friday, March 11, 2005

This is the Saddam Islamists are Desperate to Deny

Looking like a goat being lead to slaughter, Saddam is dragged from his hole.

The photo above illustrates the real reason for the recent allegations of a Saddam capture hoax. With the insurgency increasingly desperate, as indicated by the increasing number of suicide attacks, terrorists need a symbol. A fighting Saddam would fill the bill. Unfortunately for them, the impotent old man above, with his tongue lolling out, is the true face of the Baathist party. This is intolerable to Islamic militants, and to many people on the Left in the US. That's why the ridiculous story of Saddam's pistol fight with 600 American troops was broken in Lebanon this week. It wasn't the first attempted hoax, and probably won't be the last.

From a CNN story soon after Saddam's capture
About 600 soldiers of the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, and special operations forces of Task Force 121 conducted the raid in Ad Dawr, near a group of ramshackle buildings. They found Saddam hiding in a 6-to-8 foot deep hole, equipped with a basic ventilation system and covered with bricks and dirt.
But where is ex-sergeant Nadim Abou Rabeh of the Marines? There were no Marine units operating in the area.

A previous "Saddam Capture Hoax" questioned whether it was actually Saddam Hussein who had been captured,
An increasing number of persons worldwide are questioning the version of the capture as reported by the media. This skepticism is especially evident in the Islamic world. Saddam Hussein's 35 year old daughter, Raghad Hussein,was blunt about her doubts concerning the capture when she said to Al-Arabiya, an Arabic-language television network, "This is not our father! This is not how he would act." Other Muslims as far away as Sri Lanka expressed their doubts that the real Saddam Hussein had been captured. Abu Haniffa, the president of the Sri Lanka Traders' Association said, "Some of our people think the pictures could be part of a US ploy or Saddam's own strategy to create a double and flee attempts to capture him."
The questions about his identity seem to have been dropped.

And the Sunday Herald was absolutely adamant that Saddam was actually captured by Kurds earlier:
It was two weeks ago that the Sunday Herald revealed how a Kurdish special forces unit belonging to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) had spearheaded and tracked down Saddam, sealing off the al-Dwar farmhouse long "before the arrival of the US forces".
UPI has published the Pentagon's reaction, which characterized the allegations as "ridiculous". Regardless of whether WHAM in Rochester ever gets around to updating their story with the Pentagon's response, its purpose has been served: to sew doubt of any kind regarding US operations in the Middle East. It doesn't matter to the terrorists or their enablers on the Left how gossamer-thin the allegations may be; all they need is for them to survive one news cycle. That provides a rich trove of places to link. In years to come, this ridiculous story will be cited over and over by anti-Americans to justify whatever mischief they might be up to at the moment.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

A Colleague's Perspective on Giuliana Sgrena

The following quotes are translated from an article by Harald Doornbos a leftist who has also written for Dutch communist publications. The original article is in Dutch, the translations were posted by the Dutch blog Zacht Ei:
'Be careful not to get kidnapped,' I told the female Italian journalist sitting next to me in the small plane that was headed for Baghdad. 'Oh no,' she said. 'That won't happen. We are siding with the oppressed Iraqi people. No Iraqi would kidnap us.'

It doesn't sound very nice to be critical of a fellow reporter. But Sgrena's attitude is a disgrace for journalism. Or didn't she tell me back in the plane that 'common journalists such as yourself' simply do not support the Iraqi people? 'The Americans are the biggest enemies of mankind,' the three women behind me had told me, for Sgrena travelled to Iraq with two Italian colleagues who hated the Americans as well.

'You don't understand the situation. We are anti-imperialists, anti-capitalists, communists,' they said. The Iraqis only kidnap American sympathizers, the enemies of the Americans have nothing to fear.

But they knew better. When we arrived at Baghdad Airport, I was waiting for a jeep from the American army to come pick me up. I saw one of the Italian women walking around crying. An Iraqi had stolen her computer and television equipment. They were standing outside shivering, waiting for a cab to take them to Baghdad.

With her bias Sgrena did not only jeopardize herself, but due to her behavior a security officer is now dead, and the Italian government (prime minister Berlusconi included) has had to spend millions of euros to save her life. It is to be hoped that Sgrena will decide to have a career change. Propagandist or MP perhaps. But she should give up journalism immediately.
Not much of a surprise to anyone who has followed this story. The really shameful part is that the American MSM continue to refer to Sgrena as a "journalist" without explaining anything about her radical and virulent anti-American background. There have also been no public questions asked about the circumstances of Sgrena's alleged abduction. Was it merely a hoax to generate publicity for Sgrena and Il Manifesto and incidentally enrich her friends in the terrorist underground by some millions of euros? Sgrena's hysterical and illogical assertions about the roadblock incident make that seem more likely every day. Just visit to see how close the ties are between the Iraqi terrorist organizations and communist movements worldwide. Remember who Sgrena works for.

Doornbos' piece begs the question: is Sgrena merely a very stupid person, or was she in collusion with the Iraqi insurgency?

Via The QandO Blog.

Weisberg is Right

I never thought this day would come. I am in complete agreement with a Jacob Weisberg article in Slate. Discussing the roles of bloggers and journalists, Weisberg, in effect, welcomes bloggers into the journalistic fold.
Journalism does not require any specific training, or institutional certification, or organizational membership, or even regular employment. It's just an activity some people engage in that is protected under the Constitution.
I first began posting on the internet in the Slate Fray - the reader feedback forums, in Weisberg's Ballot Box column (if you search for "Bluto" in the Fray search function, you can find my posts). I was one of the conservative insurgents who regularly battled with the liberal slate reader/Fray poster majority. It was great training for becoming a blogger, and, in fact, many former Fray posters have started their own blogs.

But I never, ever, had occasion to agree with a Weisberg column, until now. This is, after all, the man who has created a cottage industry for himself by documenting Bush malapropisms, both real and imagined. Jacob Weisberg, now Slate's editor, is one of the last people I would have expected to pen this article.

Weisberg says that blogs have been beneficial to journalism as a whole:
For journalism, the Internet is having an even more immediate but no less beneficial effect. Blogs and Internet publications have essentially solved one of the biggest worries of the past few decades, that media consolidation is diminishing independence and plurality of voices. At another level, the ability for readers to respond to the mainstream press is raising standards of accuracy, care, and professionalism. Simply put, you can't get away with being lazy or careless anymore, because too many self-appointed patrolmen are trying to catch you jaywalking. The "MSM" is unlikely to embrace competition from bloggers, because what business ever really embraces new competition? But competition is healthy nonetheless both for those who face it and for society as a whole.
Giving credit where it's due, Weisberg has hit this one out of the park. Never thought I'd say that.

Via Captain's Quarters

Saddam Capture Hoax: the Newest Loony Left Conspiracy Theory

Now an ex-Marine sergeant is claiming that Saddam Hussein's capture was staged; that in fact, he was captured at a house near the spiderhole where he was photographed being taken into custody.

Nadim Abou Rabeh claims that Saddam actually put up a fight and that another Marine was killed during the capture. Then, he says, "a military production team" staged the spiderhole capture.

Rabeh's story would be more credible if he weren't currently residing in Lebanon, and if the Dread Pundit Bluto hadn't personally talked to a member of the capture team (who had photos) about a month after the capture. Also, Rabeh claims that the capture team had twenty members, none of whom have come forward to back up his tale.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Indulging Dan Rather

Rather's bid tonight for journalistic canonization was a monument to his myopia about himself, and a Nixonesque coverup for a corrupt, failed reporter.

"We didn't go there [Vietnam] with anti-war sentiment."

Maybe not. But Dan admitted taking his worm's-eye view of the conflict and generalizing it; deciding that the war was unwinnable, a self-fulfilling media prophecy. Dan Rather was part of the Fifth Column who handed the North Vietnamese a victory, not on the battlefield, but in the halls of Congress. Of course there was no mention tonight of the shameful Tet media debacle.

Vietnam was a defining point in Rather's career. Ever after he would pursue his quarry relentlessly - so long as the hunted was Republican. Rather was highly visible during the Watergate scandal, but where was he during Whitewater, the "bimbo eruptions" of the '92 campaign, Juanita Broadrick, and the Monica Lewinski scandal? Suppressing the stories until shamed into doing his job when tabloids broke them. As for Watergate and Lewinski, Nixon lied to protect his people. Clinton lied to protect himself and threw his people to the wolves. And Rather didn't mention that ultimately, it was Republicans who told Nixon he was through.

"Too much passion melded to loving the job too much lead to making mistakes. But I'd rather have too much than too little."

Too much passion would be excusable if it weren't coupled with willful bias. Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II...Rather's passion and zeal was on display in dealing with these Republican Presidents. It was oddly missing when Dan pursued stories on Carter, Clinton, Gore, and Kerry. Where was Dan's Vietnam-era passion in Bosnia? Didn't that deserve the "quagmire" epithet at least as much as Afghanistan and Iraq?

"It [Tiananmen Square] came breathtakingly close to succeeding."
No, it didn't. What an astonishingly naive statement. The outcome was never in doubt. Ruthless, oppressive governments never hand over power to demonstrators. Help must come from outside, as it did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The constitutional crisis precipitated by the 2000 election near-deadlock was not mentioned. Perhaps because Rather's premature calling of Florida for Gore, before the heavily Republican panhandle polls were closed wasn't enough to throw the election the way Rather wanted it to go.

Dan's mea culpa about Rathergate: "We should have been more rigorous."

Partially correct. If Dan hadn't been so deeply biased and committed to getting John Kerry elected President, the rigor would have been there.

"I wanted people to say, when I walked down the street, 'there goes a real reporter'."

If you wanted them to say that, Dan, then you should have been "a real reporter".

Well, if it Isn't the Pot Calling the Driven Snow Black

Lord Spatula of spatula city bbs notes this story, aired by ABC News last night on Nightline about blogger ethics. One would think that an institution like the mainstream media would seek to get its own house in order before worrying about others, but anyway:
The growing influence of blogs such as his is raising questions about whether they are becoming a new form of journalism and in need of more formal ethical guidelines or codes of conduct.
I've wondered that for decades about "journalism". Whatever you boys have doesn't seem to be working very well, right Eason and Dan?

So far, many bloggers resist any notion of ethical standards, saying individuals ought to decide what's right for them. After all, they say, blog topics range from trying to sway your presidential vote to simply talking about the day's lunch.
What bloggers? Got a link? No? ABC and AP consider it ethical to attack groups of people in unsigned stories, without any documentation? Is that ethical?

Longtime blogger Rebecca Blood circulated guidelines that call for disclosing any conflicts of interest, publicly correcting any misinformation and linking to any source materials referenced in postings.

"It seems pretty clear to me that having some kind of standard contributes to an individual blogger's own credibility," she said.

Yet Blood knows of fewer than 10 bloggers who have adopted her guidelines by linking to the document.
Who is Rebecca Blood, and who appointed her to be Lord Goddess Almighty of the Blogosphere?

How bloggers handle matters of ethics and disclosure vary greatly.
Wow, just like journalists.

Bloggers, though, tend to shudder at being called journalists, even as lines between the two blur.
Now there's a question just begging to be asked, "why would bloggers feel insulted to be called 'journalists'?" Could it be because the name has had disgraceful connotations since the Vietnam War, when "journalists" colluded with the North Vietnamese, and through incompetence or design, completely screwed the pooch on reporting what was happening?

Dan Gillmor, a former newspaper columnist now studying citizen-driven journalism through blogging, said bloggers who want an audience will voluntarily adopt principles of fairness, thoroughness, accuracy and transparency.
Duh. If they don't, they don't develop a wide following. The blogosphere tends to be self-correcting. I really wish it worked that way with, say, TV network news anchors...

The reason bloggers don't consider themselves journalists is that bloggers are watching the journalists. You should have a clue about that by now.

Cue the Violins and Pull Out the Snot Rags

Propagandist Dan Rather to Step Down Tonight

Marvin Kalb thinks it's "mean-spirited" to focus only on the Bush National Guard story scandal in evaluating Dan Rather's career. Kalb was quoted this morning on NBC's Today show during a Rather retrospective/ass-kissing.

I agree with Kalb, at least in part. We should also focus on Rather's 1988 documentary The Wall Within. That was the investigative report in which six Vietnam vets admitted committing unthinkable atrocities against Vietnamese civilians. Rather's report was hard hitting and unflinching in exposing the sins of these vets, and implied that their stories were not uncommmon.

It was also complete fiction, as a simple Freedom of Information Act inquiry by one B. G. Burkett proved. Five of the six vets featured never served in combat. The sixth lied about his experiences. Rather never apologized or retracted the report - there weren't any blogs around then.

Of course this shameful incident was within the American journalistic norms established during the Vietnam War, when Rather and the other mainstreamers disgracefully misreported the war, assuring a victory for the tyrannical North Vietnamese in the halls of Congress.

Never again.

The Iraqi "Resistance" Has Been Hard At Work

Giuliana Sgrena's friends have been busy murdering men; beheading women and children. From
Iraqi forces found at least 35 bodies, 15 of them beheaded, in two separate incidents in Iraq late Tuesday.

Twenty bullet riddled corpses, including that of a woman, were found near al-Rumana village, some 20 km east of Qaim, Xinhua quoted local police as saying. The victims, all in civilian clothes, had apparently been killed several days ago.

In the second incident, Iraqi troops found 15 headless bodies in a building inside an abandoned army base in Latifiya, south of Baghdad. A Defense Ministry spokesman said they included 10 men, three women and two children.
The millions of dollars paid for Sgrena's release is already being put to use. She must be very proud.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Saving CBS News

Yesterday Jack Shafer at Slate offered a number of excellent ideas for how CBS News can recapture some of its long lost market share post-Dan Rather. Shafer even suggested "...going retro and including a video columnist."

At the end of his piece, Shafer solicits "incendiary network news ideas". Okay Jack, on the "retro" theme, how's this:

CBS News announces that they are returning to "straight" journalism. Their focus will be to report the news objectively. CBS will stop insulting viewers' intelligence by "interpreting" the news, and eschew the propagandistic abomination called "advocacy journalism" altogether. Imagine a big three nightly network broadcast that isn't approved by the DNC.

Oh yeah, and make Dan Rather finally admit that President Bush was re-elected.

A Consequence of the Sgrena Lunacy?

One of my contacts in Iraq has reported that his unit has been taking intermittent mortar fire from insurgents for the past three days. Counterbattery has traced the attacks and they're coming from about four miles away. Time to go out on patrol and hose these bastards? No, reportedly they have to wait for authorization from the embassy before they can take action. Lots of concern about Rules of Engagement in the wake of the Sgrena incident. Pray the authorization comes before these mutts get lucky and kill some of our guys.

On a personal note, I had arthroscopic surgery on my knee to repair a torn meniscus about two hours ago. Probably won't be posting much unless something really earth-shaking takes place.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Political Correctness Doesn't Kill - Impatience and Arrogance Do

Captain's Quarters cites an MSNBC story about Michael Tuohey, the airport screener seen, on a recently released security tape, passing 9/11 hijackers Mohammed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari through security at Portland International Jetport. Second-guessing himself, Tuohey recalls passing Atta and Alomari even though he had qualms because Atta looked like "an Arab terrorist".

Captain Ed blames political correctness, at least in part, for the ensuing horror, and notes that PC is still de rigeur among Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners. Having trained TSA screeners across the country in 2002, I have to disagree with the Captain on this one. Sure, Tuohey cites PC, but the fact is that even had he subjected Atta and Alomari to full searches, the box cutters they used on the plane were not on the prohibited items list. Tuohey wouldn't have been justified in confiscating them.

The reason the box cutters were legal is that, pre-9/11, the airlines had a great deal of clout in deciding what was and wasn't excessively inconvenient for their passengers. Also, private security companies whose screeners were too officious and held up passengers too long could find themselves without a contract. After all, as the major "stakeholders" at airports, airlines had a lot of input into which companies got hired to maintain security.

Airlines still have a lot of clout at airports. To airport managers, airlines represent income, while TSA screeners are part of the overhead. In fact, disputes pitting airlines and airport managers against TSA employees and procedures still go on all the time.

This is not to say that the airlines and airport managers are evil. They're trying to succeed in a highly competitive business with razor-thin profit margins. If a plane fails to "push" (pull away from the gate) on time it can mean unhappy passengers and lost revenue. It's natural for the airlines to want security lines to move quickly and efficiently. The TSA screeners are under great pressure to make sure that nothing gets by them, while at the same time making sure that passengers don't spend unreasonable amounts of time in line at the checkpoint.

Most passengers understand this. The ones who don't are usually "frequent fliers", the people so used to having their butts kissed by the airlines that they think the TSA screeners should genuflect to them when they enter the checkpoint. And we should definitely be profiling anyone who looks middle eastern. Business travelers and airlines have been lobbying for years now to institute what they call the "Trusted Traveler" program. Trusted Travelers would be investigated and issued special IDs to let them skip through security. My own opinion is that thousands of "Trusted Travelers" IDs are a huge loophole begging to be exploited by terrorists who could steal or forge the documents, not to mention target the "Trusted Travelers" themselves for kidnapping or coercion.

So long as certain passengers feel they shouldn't be screened at all, and others don't want to take off their shoes, Richard Reid notwithstanding, and many women don't want their bras searched, despite the twin crashes in Russia, airport screening is going to be problematic.

The Captain's post is, at least in part, a call for profiling in airport security. The trouble with profiling (outside of violating the equal protection clause) is that it establishes a pattern, which can be exploited by terrorists. If it's well known that young, middle eastern males are going to be scrutinized more closely than anyone else, then the terrorists are going to find an old female, or a radical young woman willing to put TNT in her baby's diaper, or an old man in a wheelchair...

The point is, to the TSA screeners, everyone is under suspicion until they pass security screening. That's the way it should be.