Thursday, August 31, 2006

Why Beauty Queens Should be Seen and not Heard

From the Daily Mail:
Stereotyping is leading to terror, says first Muslim Miss England

Hammasa Kohistani made history last year when she was chosen to represent England in the Miss World pageant.

"Even moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway. It will take a long time for communities to start mixing in more.
I must say, Hammasa, you and I have very different ideas of "moderate" behavior.

Regarding British PM Tony Blair's appeal to Muslims to root out extremists within their community:

But at the same time, she said, "there is this hostility" which comes "mainly from the Government".
Let's see if I take Hammasa's point correctly, asking Muslims to voluntarily turn in murderous terrorists is "hostility"? What is blowing up your fellow citizens considered in Miss England's lexicon? Ah, yes, that would be the "moderates" response to thinking they're being dissed.

American Anti-War Leftists Assault National Guardsman at Gunpoint

From KIRO (Washington State):
The soldier was walking to a convenience store when a sport utility vehicle pulled up alongside him and the driver asked if he was in the military and if he had been in any action.

The driver then got out of the vehicle, displayed a gun and shouted insults at the victim. Four other suspects exited the vehicle and knocked the soldier down, punching and kicking him.

“And during the assault the suspects called him a baby killer. At that point they got into the car and drove off and left him on the side of the road,” Detective Ed Troyer with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.
When caught, these people should be charged with treason, as well as assault. And so should people like Jack Murtha, who have encouraged this behavior through their irresponsible political statements.

Via The Jawa Report.

A Global Warming Shaggy Dog Story From ABC

"Last Days on Planet Earth" was the alarming title of ABC's 20/20 special tonight, a show that presented seven frightening scenarios that could lead to our extinction. But the bottom six in the countdown, things like supervolcanoes and asteroid strikes, nuclear annihilation and superbugs (natural and man-made) were only window dressing for the real point of the show; the number one threat to human warming.

Hostess Elizabeth Vargas trotted out carefully selected environmental scientists to explain the concept to anyone who has been comatose for the past decade or so, leading up to the star of this 20/20 special - Al Gore. Gore sonorously (and soporifically) intoned his orthodoxy, and declared a fatwah against any heretics who might disagree with his conclusions.

There is no debate, Gore declared, about the causes and effects of global warming, and if anyone disagrees, well then, they're obviously in the pay of the polluters. Vargas and the 20/20 team helpfully provided file footage of tobacco executives testifying before Congress, in case anyone didn't get the message.

How then to explain Richard Lindzen, the man that Alex Beam, writing in the Boston Globe, calls "MIT's inconvenient scientist"? Lindzen definitely does not believe that the debate is over:
Here's the kind of information the "scientific consensus" types don't want you to read. MIT's Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology Richard Lindzen recently complained about the "shrill alarmism" of Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth." Lindzen acknowledges that global warming is real, and he acknowledges that increased carbon emissions might be causing the warming -- but they also might not.

"We do not understand the natural internal variability of climate change" is one of Lindzen's many heresies, along with such zingers as "the Arctic was as warm or warmer in 1940," "the evidence so far suggests that the Greenland ice sheet is actually growing on average," and "Alpine glaciers have been retreating since the early 19th century, and were advancing for several centuries before that. Since about 1970, many of the glaciers have stopped retreating and some are now advancing again. And, frankly, we don't know why."
Lindzen has come under political and legal attack for daring to state his views. Beam details it in his column.

The bottom line is this: the public is ill-served by journalists who present one side of an issue simply because they've swallowed that side's argument that those who disagree are greedy liars. Elizabeth Vargas and her bosses at 20/20 should be ashamed of themselves. This piece shows just how easily agenda journalism can slide over into propaganda.

More of the "non-existent" global warming debate here, here, and here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Travelnotcity Travel Myth #32

Travel myth: You can't get from Bangkok, Thailand, to Boulder, Colorado for free.

The Roaming Freak:

"Nonsense! Just confess to a murder you didn't commit!"

Travelnotcity Travel Myth #33: You will be anally raped in the California Penal System.

The Roaming Freak:

"Mmpph glrk oogh guggle."

Marine That Murtha Slandered Recommended for Decoration

Sergeant Frank Wuterich, one of the Marines that US Representative John Murtha judged and convicted of killing civilians " cold blood..." was recommended for a decoration based on what Lt. William T. Kallop, the only officer present during the battle in Haditha, described as his heroism in leading the counterattack.

From the Washington Post:
Lt. William T. Kallop wrote in a praise-filled memo that the incident on Nov. 19, 2005, was part of a complex insurgent ambush that included a powerful roadside bomb followed by a high volume of automatic-weapons fire from several houses in the neighborhood. He lauded Sgt. Frank Wuterich for his leadership in the "counterattack" on three houses while the unit received sporadic enemy fire.

The proposed citation indicates that Kallop -- the only Marine officer at the scene as the incident unfolded -- believed the unit was under a coordinated insurgent attack when Marines stormed civilian homes and opened fire, killing women and children. Whether Marines felt threatened and believed the homes to be hostile is a central element of their defense against potential criminal charges.
Kallop's memo would seem to be an odd way of trying to sweep the incident under the rug.

A Question for the ACLU...

...what the hell is wrong with you people?

Jay at Stop the ACLU has the story: ACLU Wants Suspected Terrorists Allowed Back Into U.S..

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rumsfeld: Media Manipulated by Islamic Terrorists

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld finally articulated at least a portion of what conservative bloggers have been pointing out for some time - Islamist terror groups have had considerable success in planting and slanting stories within the Western mainstream media:
FALLON NAVAL AIR STATION, Nev. (AP) -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners.

"What bothers me the most is how clever the enemy is," he continued, launching an extensive broadside at Islamic extremist groups which he said are trying to undermine Western support for the war on terror.

"They are actively manipulating the media in this country" by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

"They can lie with impunity."
Rumsfeld stopped short of pointing out what became obvious during the Israeli-Hizballah conflict in Lebanon; that the mainstream media's use of local reporters and photographers has virtually ensured its infiltration by terrorist sympathizers. Likewise, Rumsfeld did not mention that the tainted reporting serves the purposes of Democrats running on anti-war platforms.

The mainstream media's response to questions about just how badly they've been had has been to stonewall. It's been over a year since I requested information from the Associated Press regarding their reporter Mohammed Barakat who was reporting from Iraq in precisely the manner that Rumsfeld has complained about. AP has never responded.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Chinese Authorities Ban "Entertainers" from Funerals

Political correctness--Chinese style:

"Striptease used to be a common practice at funerals in Donghai's rural areas to allure viewers," it said. "Local villagers believe that the more people who attend the funeral, the more the dead person is honored."

Wealthy families often employed two troupes of performers to attract a crowd. Two hundred showed up at last week's funeral.

Five strippers were detained and local officials "issued notices concerning funeral management", Xinhua said.

Now village officials must submit plans for funerals within 12 hours after a villager dies. And residents can report "funeral misdeeds" on a hotline, the report said.


If you depend on network TV news for information, here's part of what you've been missing:

BAGHDAD – Iraqi security forces captured an improvised explosive device maker and IED cell leader on August 27 near Mussayib. The suspect is believed to have participated in multiple IED attacks on coalition and Iraqi security forces, including one which took the lives of 4 U.S. servicemen on May 5th. This individual is also believed to be a supplier of IEDs to illegal armed groups inciting sectarian violence and government instability through kidnapping, murder and armed attacks.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition forces engaged Taliban leadership with joint fires, killing a known Taliban commander and 15 other militants on Aug. 25 in the central Khod Valley of Uruzgan Province.

The Taliban commander and his associates were involved in conducting attacks against the Afghan people and against Afghan, ISAF and Coalition forces.
BAGHDAD – Operations by Iraqi security forces and Coalition troops this week resulted in the capture of multiple suspected terrorists and terrorist associates. [This release details raids conducted over several days in multiple locations - follow the hyperlink for details]
These press releases are freely available from CENTCOM. The only reason they go largely unreported is that NBC, CBS, and ABC are in DNC campaign mode right now.

Purrfect Angelz Photo is NOT a Photoshop

Allah at HotAir has a story on what some consider a possible photoshop:

Some have wondered whether the top part of the mic cord was photoshopped out. Allah expresses doubts, and with good reason. Setting aside conjecture as to what possible motivation a photographer might have to photoshop the pic, the mic cord isn't missing from the shot. It's only blurred. To make the point, I've placed tic marks on either side of the blurred, darkened area above the soldier's heads. I've also drawn a red line showing that the blurred area lies right where we'd expect the mic cord to be if it were stationary.

Is it possible that it's a photoshop, but just a bad one? Not likely. If a photographer wanted to photoshop this pic to remove the mic cord, it'd look more like this:

Note the "blur" is gone and the lower part of the mic cord is "disappearing". This type of image manipulation can be done in MS Paint in five minutes, not to mention what can be done in Photoshop or GIMP. Another five minutes of work, and the mic cord could be gone for good. Given the above, I think it's inescapable that the above pic isn't a photoshop--or at least not with respect to the mic cord.

In light of our very recent experiences with news photos, I'm all for skepticism when it comes to news photography about controversial subjects. But let's be reasonable, lest we drown the recent admirable successes in a sea of false noise.

UPDATE: Taking the above a couple steps further.

Palestinians in south Lebanon Refuse to Disarm

The Lebanese Christian website Libanoscopie reports that Palestinians in Lebanon have refused requests to disarm from the Lebanese government:
The Lebanese government would have asked, via an intermediary of Palestinian Fatah representative Abbas Zaki, that the refugee camp located on the edge of the Litani region in south Lebanon be disarmed.

In response, Mounir Mekdad, leader of the Palestinians in the region has categoricaly refused to disarm the Palestinians. In an interview with a Jordanian newspaper, their refusal comes based on their opinion that UN Security Council Resolution 1701 is illegal because it does not specify the return of Palestinians to their territory.
The potential for continued provocations threatening the ceasefire should be obvious.

In the same story, Libanoscopie reports that Hizballah has dismantled 14 fortified positions around the disputed Chebaa Farms area.

Coming Soon to a Town Near You...

This is a U.S. Post Office. If images like this don't upset people anymore, this nation is truly lost...

Props to Michelle.

Iranians Execute Teenage Girl

Props to LGF.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Texas Tip Leads to UK Thieves Arrest

(Dallas, Texas) Nobody seems to know who they guy is. It's only known that he loved the Beatles and enjoyed watching live webcam images of Mathew Street, a locale in Liverpool associated with the Fab Four and home to the Cavern Club where they frequently played. While watching, he noticed some men breaking into a store so he called the police in Liverpool.

From Dallas Morning News:
A man from the Dallas area -- 4,590 miles away -- contacted police in the northern English town early Tuesday morning (Liverpool time) to report a burglary in progress. The international cyber sleuth was watching a webcam broadcast of Mathew Street in the famed Beatles quarter when he spotted three men breaking into a sporting goods store.

City officials trained on-street cameras on the site as the blaggers bolted with thousands of dollars in clothing toward a getaway car. Bobbies dashed to the scene and arrested them "fairly sharpish," city officials said.

The incident made the front page Friday in the Liverpool Echo newspaper. In the article, headlined "Nicked on the Net," a police inspector told reporter Luke Traynor: "We were amazed when we were informed the person who reported the offence lived in the USA."

Police caught the crooks, but they didn't catch the tipster's name.
It's not surprising that police officers in Liverpool weren't monitoring the surveillance cameras. In most cases, I believe that surveillance camera footage provides evidence to convict criminals rather than to catch them in the act. Simple manpower constraints make it so.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Polling Data from Iraq

Some interesting polling data from Iraq:

Amid the drumbeat of so-called sectarian violence from the Legacy Media, one would think that Iraqis would be to throw in the towel or at least throwdown with each other at a moments notice.

But that is not the case.

Eighty-nine percent of Iraqis think a unity government is important.

Fifty-four percent approve of the unity government with only 25% disapproving. (That is higher than Americans who approve of the current make up of Congress and the Administration.)

Seventy-eight percent of Iraqis oppose partitioning the country along ethnic or religious lines.

The only group supporting partitioning are the Kurds.

And 70% of Iraqis do not know someone who moved because of religious conflict.

Note to Ted Kennedy: This is not the quagmire you're looking for.

Lebanese Peacekeeper Roulette

I give up. First I heard that France would be sending 'thousands' of peacekeepers to Lebanon. Then I heard that President Chirac decided to send only 200 troops because a large number of troops would be too big a target.

Then I heard that ten French troops actually showed up on the Lebanese shore from a French warship. Later, that number was revised to fifty and called an advance engineering force and Chirac upped his contribution to 400 troops total.

There was so much criticism that it was then reported that France committed to sending 2,000 troops to Lebanon, which was revised downward to 1,600 troops, then bumped up to 1,700.

Now I hear that Chirac is back to the 400-troop level and he considers a peacekeeping force of 15,000 to be excessive.

Frankly, I beginning to believe that French President Jacques Chirac has one of those magic 8-balls. Prior to making a public statement he shakes it and it tells him what to say.

Meanwhile, with presumably more reliable information, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said today that he would initially send 302 peacekeeping troops with the number rising later to 394.

As a result, it's impossible to chart progress toward the deployment of an actual peacekeeping force in Lebanon.

Orig. at Interested-Participant.

All Your Village People?

Several questions have been raised as to whether the Village People make a cameo appearance in Sout al-Kuffar's popular video "All Your Fakes Are Belong to Us". Our investigation has revealed that the Village People do, in fact, appear in the video at 1:15:

Thursday, August 24, 2006

UK Freezes Accounts of Muslim Charity

From London, a Muslim charity is alleged to be channeling money to terrorists.

Britain's charity watchdog froze the bank accounts of aid group Crescent Relief on Thursday as part of a probe to see whether aid money had been channelled to groups suspected of plotting to blow up airliners.

The Charity Commission, a British government department, said it had launched a formal inquiry into the UK-based group, which raised money for the victims of last year's earthquake in Pakistan, after allegations in British newspapers.
People arrested on suspicion of plotting to blow up planes flying to the U.S. earlier this month are allegedly linked to Crescent Relief.

From my perspective, the involvement of Muslim charities with terrorists long ago blasted past the 'allegation stage.' It should be considered as a stone-cold fact, reversible only through complete, open, and 'down to the penny' accountability.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

All Your Fakes Are Beling To Us

Meet Bill Donahue, No Friend of the ACLU

William H. Donahue is the President of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights based in New York. He received his Doctorate in Sociology from NYU in 1980. He is the author of three books, two of which are very critical on and revealing of the ACLU. We have quoted from his books on numerous occasions so it was quite an honor when he returned my call requesting an interview.

His first book, The Politics of the American Civil Liberties Union, was published in 1985. His second book, The New Freedom: Individualism and Collectivism in the Social Lives of Americans, was written while Bill was a Bradley Resident Scholar at The Heritage Foundation; it appeared in 1990. Bill's third book, Twilight of Liberty: The Legacy of the ACLU, was published in 1994 by Transaction Press; a new afterward to this book was published in 2001. Source

It was an honor that Mr. Donahue took time from his schedule to allow us an interview. It was even more encouraging that he had heard of Stop The ACLU and expressed his appreciation for what we do. I recommend reading his books to anyone that is interested in learning more about the ACLU and how their actions are actually harming civil rights.

Our conversation was very laid back and informal. After some small talk and introductions I started the interview asking Mr. Donahue his general opinion of the ACLU. Mr. Donahue's answers will be quoted in the American Flag quotes.

I believe that the American Civil Liberties Union is based upon a noble purpose. However, they often work against that very purpose due to a radical interpretation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I wrote about this extensively in my third book, Twilight of Liberty: The Legacy of the ACLU where I focused on how their view of liberty actually works against itself. They are an arm of the radical left. In my first book, The Politics of the American Civil Liberties Union, I also exposed just how phony their claim of being non-partisan is. The ACLU is not non-partisan. Social reform, in a liberal direction, is the sine qua non of the ACLU. Its record is far from showing impartiality. It is full of attempts to reform American society according to the ideals of liberalism. The truth of the matter is that the ACLU has always been a highly politicized organization.

In your opinion is the ACLU simply misguided or do they actually have a more malicious motive and agenda?

I have asked myself that question a million times or more. I guess that I think that some of them are just wrong headed and sincere while others are actually more malicious and seeking to actually destroy America from its foundation. Some that are just misguided yet sincere truly believe that they have to defend the extremist speech in order to protect all free speech. Others are actually malicious.

Norman Siegal is one of the few who I believe to be honest and sincere in their passion for civil liberties. He has at least come out and debated his point of view and that is something that is due some respect. So many others are cowards with another agenda that works against the best interest of the country.

At this point I asked Mr. Donahue about other ACLU members that had come into conflict with the organization over their own views and his opinion on their sincerity. I specifically asked about Natt Hentoff.

Read the entire interview at Stop The ACLU

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Kidnapped Fox News Reporters

Rusty has full details here at The Jawa Report. I have a few frame grabs here. I also have the original video(or at least I think it is) available on request at

We hope and pray for their safe return and for the freedom of all hostages held by terrorist slime.

Jawa Report Hostage Archive here.

Jeffrey Ake Archive here.

Hat Tip: Scott.

Amnesty International Slams Israel for "War Crimes"

From Voice of America:
The international human rights group Amnesty International has sharply criticized Israel for what it says were deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in Lebanon. Israel denied the charge.

In a lengthy report released Wednesday, Amnesty International accuses Israeli forces of deliberately striking striking civilian targets in Lebanon.

Donatella Rovra, who headed the group's mission to Lebanon, told VOA that Israel zeroed in on Lebanon's infrastructure, knowing full well that the attacks would harm civilians.

"When Israeli forces decide to bomb and destroy power plants, electricity, water networks, roads, bridges, when they decide to bombard and reduce to rubble entire neighborhoods, then obviously those decisions are made to go ahead with those attacks with the full knowledge of what the consequences will be for the civilian population," she said.
So, attacking your enemy's infrastructure is now a "war crime" according to Amnesty International. Under this standard, you can't bomb your enemy's bridges, seaports or airports, because civilians might need to use them. You can't bomb your enemy's power plants, because civilians might need electricity. You can't bomb your emeny's fuel depots, because civilians might need fuel.

If this is the standard for "war crimes," can anyone name any war in which the commission of "war crimes" was not authorized at the highest levels on both sides?

Setting aside the underlying morality for a bit, is there any value in inventing new "war crimes" which are invariably committed by both sides in every conflict?


Ragnar's Wednesday Round-up

Here are a few interesting news/opinion tidbits to chew on:

The ACLU is formally representing military deserter Ehren Watada:

1st Lt. Ehren Watada’s Stryker brigade is scheduled to make its first deployment to Iraq this month. His refusal to accompany these troops puts him at risk of court-martial and years of prison time.“I feel that we have been lied to and betrayed by this administration,” Watada said Tuesday in a telephone interview from Fort Lewis. “It is the duty, the obligation of every soldier, and specifically the officers, to evaluate the legality, the truth behind every order — including the order to go to war.”

In making his decision, Watada has reached out to peace groups, including clergy, students, some veterans opposed to Iraq and others. Some war critics are raising money for his legal defense as they seek to galvanize broader opposition to Bush administration policy in Iraq.

(Inconvenient fact: Watada joined the Army after the U.S. started the "illegal" war in Iraq.)

Down under, The Australian investigates the Psyche of a Terrorist :

Horrifying images of torn and broken bodies and infrastructure caused by a terrorist attack serve as a recruiting tool for would-be terrorists. Public reaction and fear generated by events such as the plot to blow up a series of trans-Atlantic passenger jets flying from London to the US act as an enticement for the next wave of potential suicide bombers.

"It is the prospect of success that really makes a terrorist tick," says terrorism consultant and psychologist Robert Heath. "Success, from the terrorist perspective, is almost always guaranteed due to disruption and inconveniencing the target population."

Heath, a psychologist and international risk consultant turned academic who spoke this week at a briefing on the science of terrorism, warns that the bigger the public reaction, the more worthwhile to terrorists by making their own death seem more valuable.

The associate professor from the University of South Australia says it is this thirst for power and desire to make an impact that drives terrorists.

Heath also argues that the psychological profile of terrorists is similar to that of serial killers. "They both have a drive for power over other people who cannot see them," he says."But it is a covert use of power."

The Toronto Sun is sick of all the political correctness surrounding terrorism:

For her part, [Canadian MP Peggy] Nash said "it's just not helpful to label [Hezbollah] a terrorist organization," noting many Lebanese consider Hezbollah resistance fighters and providers of charity.

It's naive nonsense like this that leads to tolerance of terrorists in our midst -- witness the Hezbollah flags at recent rallies.

Don't these MPs get it? There can be no negotiation with groups that support and fund violence through their so-called charitable and political work (including the recently banned Tamil Tigers, the focus of yesterday's arrest of three Canadians on terror charges) -- much less those that seek to wipe a democratic state and an entire people off the map.

Canada's long-overdue decisions to criminalize groups like Hezbollah, Hamas and the Tamil Tigers sent a powerful statement that allies us with other democracies and necessarily crosses all party lines and bears no equivocation.

There can be no appeasing or negotiating with terrorists. Suggesting anything less is not "helpful."

Amen to that.

AQ Khan Has Prostate Cancer

(Islamabad, Pakistan) The founder of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, was diagnosed with prostate cancer during a routine medical examination earlier this month. He is at his home awaiting followup evaluation of his condition.

Born in 1935, Khan is quite infamous for being the person who provided Libya, Iran, and North Korea with nuclear weapons technology through a clandestine international network. President Pervez Musharraf pardoned Khan in 2004.

To a large degree, we can hold Khan responsible for the current belligerence we see from Iran and North Korea. I think Khan should be in prison for proliferating nuclear weapons.

Companion at Interested-Participant.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My Dear Watson, Hand Me The Granola

First came colorization of old black and white movies, now content is being modified for the sake of political correctness. Sad trend, I'd say.

Turner Broadcasting is scouring more than 1,500 classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons, including old favorites Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones and Scooby-Doo, to edit out scenes that glamorize smoking.

The review was triggered by a complaint to British media regulator Ofcom by one viewer who took offense to two episodes of Tom and Jerry shown on the Boomerang channel, a corporate sibling of Time Warner Inc.-owned Turner Broadcasting.

"We are going through the entire catalog," Yinka Akindele, spokeswoman for Turner in Europe, said on Monday.

"This is a voluntary step we've taken in light of the changing times," she said, adding the painstaking review had been prompted by the Ofcom complaint.
Next for the history revisionists is presumed to be removal of all references and scenes involving hunting and, of course, the replacement of Sherlock Holmes' pipe with a granola bar.

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

NSA Judge May Have Conflict of Interest

Crossposted from Stop The ACLU:

Wow! This case just took an interesting twist! Conservative Watchdog group, Judicial Watch, is accusing US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, who sided with the ACLU in their case against the government over NSA wiretaps, of failing to recuse herself in spite of a conflict of interest.

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and judicial abuse, announced today that Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, who last week ruled the government’s warrantless wiretapping program unconstitutional, serves as a Secretary and Trustee for a foundation that donated funds to the ACLU of Michigan, a plaintiff in the case (ACLU et. al v. National Security Agency). Judicial Watch discovered the potential conflict of interest after reviewing Judge Diggs Taylor’s financial disclosure statements.

According to her 2003 and 2004 financial disclosure statements, Judge Diggs Taylor served as Secretary and Trustee for the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan (CFSEM). She was reelected to this position in June 2005. The official CFSEM website states that the foundation made a “recent grant” of $45,000 over two years to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, a plaintiff in the wiretapping case. Judge Diggs Taylor sided with the ACLU of Michigan in her recent decision.

According to the CFSEM website, “The Foundation’s trustees make all funding decisions at meetings held on a quarterly basis.”

“This potential conflict of interest merits serious investigation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “If Judge Diggs Taylor failed to disclose this link to a plaintiff in a case before her court, it would certainly call into question her judgment.”

This looks like a clear cut case of "conflict of interest" to me. This judge being a part of donating to a one of the plaintiffs in the very case she presided over casts significant doubt on her impartial judgement. This is definitely something that needs to be investigated.

Judicial Watch has made Judge Taylor's financial disclosure documents available here.

Problem Solved

Armageddon Day


Punxsaymanalzawahiri Phil peeks his head out from his burrow, doesn't see his shadow from the nuclear holocaust, and predicts the end of the jihad is just around the corner. Move along, nothing to see here..

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Jill Caroll Story Part VII

Updated: Now Part VIII

Jill Carroll via The Christian Science Monitor: One morning at the location I knew as the mujahideen clubhouse I awoke to find fresh dirt in the bathroom, dirt in the shower, and dirt in the washing machine. I didn’t think much of it. Maybe they were washing their shoes.

But I quickly learned that the appearance of dirt meant that someone in the house had been out planting bombs – IEDs, or Improvised Explosive Devices, the mujahideen weapon of choice. I knew from my reporting, and the time I spent embedded with US Marines, that IEDs were now responsible for about half of all US combat deaths in Iraq.
Not all their explosives were offensive weapons. At least one of my guards – Abu Hassan, a serious man – wore a suicide vest inside the clubhouse.

One night, he was leaning over a little gas-powered stove, cooking eggs and potatoes in oil, and then he sat back and pushed the open flame away, saying something like, “Oh, have to be careful!”

The suicide vest was under his shirt, sort of swinging back and forth. He was afraid the fire would ignite the explosives. And if it did, we’d all be dead.

He used to complain about how heavy it was. He’d wear it at night. He would mime for me what would happen if soldiers came, showing how he’d put it on, with shoulder straps, and then how two wires would connect. Then he would move his hands outward in a big motion indicating an explosion, look upward, and go, “BOOM!”
Part VII.

Part VI.

Part V.

Part IV.

Part III.

Part II.

Part I plus relevant links including Jawa and Christian Science Monitor archives here.

Original post here at The Jawa Report. Cross posted to Howie's Moisture Farm.

Stein : Looking for the Will Beyond the Battlefield

The ever-brilliant Ben Stein on whether we have the will to win this war:

We’re in a war with people who want to kill us all and wreck our civilization. They’re taking it very seriously. We, on the other hand, are worrying about leveraged buyouts and special dividends and how much junk debt the newly formed private entity can support before we sell it to the ultimate sucker, the public shareholder.

We’re worrying whether Hollywood will forgive Mel Gibson and what the next move is for big homes in East Hampton. We’re rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The terrorists are the iceberg.

WHAT stands between us and the iceberg are the miraculously brave men and women of the armed forces. They’re heroes and saints as far as I’m concerned. But can they do it without the rest of us? Can they do it while we’re all working on our tans and trying to have our taxes lowered again? How can we leave them out there all alone to die for us when we treat the war to save civilization as something we can just wish away?

If we don’t win this war against the terrorists, there’s not going to be business as usual ever again. If the terrorists get to their goal, there’s not going to be a stock exchange or hedge funds or Bain Capital or the Carlyle Group or even Goldman Sachs. If the terrorists get their way — and so far, they’re getting their way — there’s not going to be business, period.

Read the rest here.

Props to LGF.

Minimum Wage Law Suspected in Weak Job Growth

It seems the utopians in Santa Fe, New Mexico, may have some 'splainin' to do. In the middle of a robust U.S. economy, the city is in the doldrums, particularly in the area of job growth. For the 12-month period ending June 2006, Santa Fe added only 300 jobs, an increase of less than one-half of one percent.

Some people believe that the mandated minimum wage increases are to blame. As a reminder, Santa Fe jacked up the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $8.50 per hour in June 2004 and followed with another increase to $9.50 per hour in January of this year. It's thought that the increased labor costs have produced a chilling effect on business growth and, as a consequence, few jobs have been created.

To be fair, though, opinions differ with two recent studies producing contrasting conclusions. In one, the University of New Mexico studied the period between June 2003 and June 2005 and concluded that "the city of Santa Fe's minimum-wage law hasn't hurt job growth."

On the other hand, the New Mexico Department of Labor studied job data from June 2005 to June 2006 and announced that Santa Fe County had the lowest job growth in four years. Also, the industries most affected by minimum wage legislation, tourism/hospitality, manufacturing, and retail, actually lost jobs according to the Department of Labor.

So, the jury is still undecided about whether the weak job numbers can be attributed to mandated minimum wage increases, but a reconciliation of the data is promised in the near future. Of course, elementary school arithmetic tells me that any company forced by government to use its resources for social welfare will not devote those resources to growing the business and creating jobs.

From Interested-Participant.

Give That Man A Fatwa


Nasrallah, Assad, and Ahmadinejad blabbered ad nauseam about their newfound sense of “honor” and “pride,” as if they were talking heads in some stale Viagra infomercial. Once more, the pathetic obsession of the Middle East with lost manhood is explicable by a society immersed in gender apartheid, patriarchy, and tribalism. It is as if the Middle East fundamentalist and dysfunctional family has been elevated to the national government, and then its resulting adolescent insecurities are aired for the long-suffering world.

Iran promised relief aid to Hezbollah — and, of course, immediately sent thousands of chadors.

If you haven't yet, read the rest.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Shut Up And Serve, Chickendoves

Well, well, now the time is come for all good smelly hippies to come to the aid of their international community.

There were no signs of further clashes, but the flare-up underlined worries about the fragility of the cease-fire as the U.N. pleaded for nations to send troops to an international force in southern Lebanon that is to separate Israeli and Hezbollah fighters.

Why, we have a vital peacekeeping force able to serve in this dire time right here in America. Some of them are at "Camp Casey," some of them are marching in San Francisco, some of them are marching, well, wherever in the hell they march.

Thousands upon thousands, on a regular basis, get out and burn American and Israeli flags, and threaten counter-protestors, and destroy property, in the name of Peace.

I call on Kos, and Atrios, and Jane Hamster, and Arianna Huffington, and Deb Frisch, and Noam Chomsky, etc. etc. ad nauseum, to exhort their bloodthirstyless hordes to do what's right in the name of Peace.

Get your chicken asses over to southern Lebanon and do your duty for peace, justice, and the Leftist way. The United Nations needs you. NOW!


Sunday Funny

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Lebanese Army Ordered to 'Stand With' Hizballah

Even the UK's rabidly leftwing Guardian Unlimited seems to find this alarming:
An internal Lebanese army statement, circulated among forces in the past week, has called for troops to stand "alongside your resistance and your people who astonished the world with its steadfastness and destroyed the prestige of the so-called invincible army after it was defeated".
While the UN peacekeeping force is touted in the West as a deterrent to Hizballah terrorism with a mission to disarm Hizballah, Hizballah's leaders and supporters within the Lebanese army see the peacekeepers as reinforcements in their war with Israel:
The UN's expected deployment of 15,000 troops is seen as an additional force to assist in Lebanon's defence against Israel. "We are happy with such a large force to provide sufficient deterrent to Israeli aggression," said Gen Kader.
This article is a strong indication that those who opposed a quick-fix ceasefire were absolutely correct.

One more thing, Hizballah has decided to add "ordinary Americans" to its hitlist of infidel enemies:
Ordinary Americans are now enemies of Hizbullah, a Shia cleric said yesterday at the funerals of the 29 victims of the July 29 Qana bombing, above.

"American people, you are partners in these massacres, you are partners in this war," said Nabil Kaouk, the leading Hizbullah official in southern Lebanon. "After this no Lebanese can trust an American. You are all murderers and criminals."
Thanks ever so much to the useful idiots in the West who rushed in to rescue Hizballah, and especially to the Western media giants who, through sloth or stupidity, allowed Hizballah to infiltrate their organizations.

They All Think President Bush is Stupid

Who's they? Jacob Weisberg of Slate. And of course, Michael Moore, free range land whale and maker of propaganda documentary movies. Also, Barbra Streisand (though her declaration of Bush's stupidity did contain enough errors in English to nullify itself).

Congratulations to all three. They now officially share the opinion of a vicious third world totalitarian designated despot, Fidel's little bro, Raul, who is busily preparing Cuba's defenses against an imminent American invasion.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Editor & Publisher: "Death of Photojournalism"

Writing in Editor & Publisher David Perlmutter wonders if, in the wake of the Reutersgate/fauxtography scandals photojournalism is "...being murdered, committing suicide, or both."

Perlmutter makes no bones about crediting bloggers with exposing the rampant fraud that has characterized mainstream news coverage of the Israeli-Hizballah War [emphasis added]:
Perhaps it would be more reassuring if the enemy at the gates was a familiar one - politicians, or maybe radio talk show hosts. But the photojournalist standing on the crumbling ramparts of her once proud citadel now sees the vandal army charging for the sack led by "zombietime," "The Jawa Report," [I am a co-blogger at Jawa] "Powerline," "Little Green Footballs," "confederateyankee," and many others.

In each case, these bloggers have engaged in the kind of probing, contextual, fact-based (if occasionally speculative) media criticism I have always asked of my students. And the results have been devastating: news photos and video shown to be miscaptioned, radically altered, or staged (and worse, re-staged) for the camera. Surely "green helmet guy," "double smoke," "the missiles that were actually flares," "the wedding mannequin from nowhere," the "magical burning Koran," the "little girl who actually fell off a swing" and "keep filming!" will now enter the pantheon of shame of photojournalism.
Mr. Perlmutter is to be commended for his courage in speaking truth to power; the big media outlets have circled the wagons on this scandal. Let's hope his voice is the first of many from within the industry.

Via Greg Sheffield at NewsBusters ( I also blog here as Al Brown).

AP Photographer and Reuters Reporter Who Witnessed Convoy Attack Are Twin Brothers

I first raised the question of a possible relationship between the two journalists who corroborated each others accounts of an Israeli drone attack on a civilian convoy fleeing Marjayoun in south Lebanon here. In separate stories for their respective new organizations, Lotfallah (AP) and Karamallah Daher (Reuters), corroborated each others' accounts of the attack, but neither Reuters nor AP mentioned that they are related, much less twin brothers.

Requests for information to Reuters and the Associated Press regarding the coincidence of the two journalists' shared last name and presence with the convoy went unanswered, but I have discovered that the two are, in fact, twin brothers. This was not mentioned in either the Reuters or AP stories about the attack:
Karamallah Daher - Hi I'm Karamallah Daher and Loftallah is my brother, we are twins.
Klayaa, Lebanon
Klayaa - 1959 - (disclaimer)
Record Created on October 25th, 2003

Lotfallah Daher - Hi I'm Lotfallah Daher and Karamallah is my brother, we are twins.
Klayaa, Lebanon
Klayaa - 1959 - (disclaimer)
Record Created on October 25th, 2003
My contact in Lebanon is checking to see if the twins are related to Salam Daher, a.k.a., "Green Helmet", who is also from Marjayoun.

Airline Lunatic Mayo is a Hardcore Peacenik

Catherine Mayo, the Pakistan-based "journalist" who caused an international flight to be diverted by her bizarre antics, in her own words:
I am an American child of the 1960s. We defied the standards of our parents and declared that a war was unjust. And we were heard. We changed the way humans think. We dared to say that the human race does not have to fight wars. Ever. All conflicts can be settled by peaceful means.
I'm really not quite sure what any of this has to do with peeing in the aisle of an airliner, but we can hope the authorities are sufficiently curious to find out.

Props to Allahpundit.

P.S. - I'm Ragnar. My home base is The Sammenhold Blog, and I've been a guest blogger at The Jawa Report. Bluto offered me the opportunity to help keep an eye on the place for a few while he's off raiding the coasts of France (or whatever it is he does on vacation). Being a long-time fan of the Dread Pundit's work, I was happy to oblige.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What Would Patton Say?

This, you poor, dumb bastard: Better Men Than Me

Thanks to Jack Bauer at Hollycrud, if the link doesn't open for you, go to Hollycrud and click on the link in the sidebar, "Better Men Than Me", on the right.

In fact, go there anyway and thank Jack for creating this tribute.

Guardian's Hariri Coverage Harsher on Israel Than al-Jazeera's

Covering a speech by Lebanese political leader Saad Hariri, son of Rafik Hariri, whose assassination launched the Cedar Revolution resulting in the withdrawal of Syria from Lebanon, the Guardian Unlimited goes so far as to list Israel first as a target of Hariri's condemnation. Their story highlights Hariri's words about Israel, placing them on a par with his attack on Syria:
Hariri's son condemns Israel and Syria
The son of Lebanon's assassinated former prime minister and leader of the largest faction in the Lebanese parliament today condemned the involvement of both Israel and Syria in the country's month-long war.
The Guardian finally mentions, in the eleventh paragraph, that Hariri's criticism of Israel was in response to a speech by Syrian leader Bashar Assad, in which he accused anti-Syrian factions of aligning themselves with Israel.

In other words, in a speech excoriating Syria for their part in provoking the Israeli actions in south Lebanon, Hariri made a pro forma criticism of Israel to counter Assad's claim, and the Guardian played it up as a major part of the story.

Even al-Jazeera didn't take that route, reporting instead that Hariri placed the blame squarely Syria:
Al-Hariri: Syria worse than Israel
The leader of Lebanon's largest parliamentary bloc has said the Syrian president's attack on Lebanese politicians is worse than the destruction wreaked by Israel.
Disclosure: I had my own strange encounter with the Guardian Unlimited last year, when they somehow managed to misinterpret a clearly labeled satiric post.

85 Hollywood Notables Take Out Full-Page LA Times Ad Against Terrorism

Anti-terrorist Nicole Kidman

From the Herald Sun:
"We the undersigned are pained and devastated by the civilian casualties in Israel and Lebanon caused by terrorist actions initiated by terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and Hamas," the ad reads.
Some of the signatories:
Nicole Kidman, Michael Douglas, Dennis Hopper, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Danny De Vito, Don Johnson, James Woods, Kelly Preston, Patricia Heaton and William Hurt.
The list also included famous directors and producers.

This takes a lot of courage, not so much because of danger from terrorists...but from their colleagues.

Via Instapundit.

A Question For the Smithereen Commandoes

The creator of this message, blowmoulder1, kindly modified the video to remove a particularly offensive word at the end. If you just have to know what blowmoulder1 said instead of @&$!, check it out here, along with his other work.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Lebanese Website Derides 'Fictional' Hezbollah Victory

Libanoscopie, a Lebanese Christian website, quotes a military expert to dismiss Hezbollah's claims of victory over Israel (this is the site that accused Hizballah of putting handicapped children in the building at Qana, then drawing Israeli fire by firing rockets from the roof).

The site is published in French. I've translated below:
Hezbollah's Fictional Victory in Lebanon

After 34 days of fighting, Hezbollah's secretary general [Hasan Nasrallah] is claiming victory, his supporters strolling to their hearts' content on the still smoking ruins of what were, a month ago, a hamlet, a village, a city; now a district where multi-story buildings have been reduced to powder, devastated by a wind that destroyed the major part of its existence.

Syria applauds and Iran rejoices in the victory over the Zionist plans.

But, how is victory measured? Libanoscopie posed that question to an expert in political strategy.

"There are three conditions [to be met] to announce the winning of a war.
- inflicting decisive defeat on the enemy force, preventing them from continuing the fight,
- inflicting military setbacks by invading enemy territory,
- gaining the declared objectives of the war."

But, as far as Hezbollah is concerned, none of these conditions need be fulfilled.

The Israeli army, although it has undergone some setbacks, is very far from having suffered catastrophic losses, and its capacity for air, sea, and ground strikes is nearly intact.

There was no invasion of enemy territory [by Hezbollah], to the contrary, it was the Israeli army that invaded Lebanese territory and occupied part of south Lebanon.

When the objectives of Hezbollah [are considered], the recovery of the Chebaa farms and the return of three Lebanese detainees in the Israeli jails, [one finds] the first is not near, and the Israelis now hold fifteen more Hezbollah militiamen.

The figures show the bitter defeat of Hezbollah.

Despite attempts to prevent the local and Arab media from revealing the true figures, it [defeat] arises from it. According to semi-official sources, seeking anonymity for fear of reprisals, Hezbollah has undergone total destruction of its logistic and economic infrastructures, and suffered about 1500 deaths of militiamen and leaders.

This announcment of victory is actually trying to turn defeat into victory, a ploy to be expected from the culture from which the party of God [Hezbollah] arises.

How Many Virgins Would the Baby Get?

The New York Post fronts this story of unbelievable depravity in the service of Islamic Jihad:
Baby Bomb
August 16, 2006 -- Twisted young British parents planned to sacrifice their precious baby in the evil cause of jihad by mass murder.

Fanatical terror suspect Abdula Ahmed Ali, 25, and his wife, Cossor, 23, are among those being interrogated by police as suspects in the massive plot to attack trans-Atlantic flights in midair.
The couple were going to hide the explosive components in the baby's bottles.

Doubtless, CAIR will soon have an explanation as to why Islam is not to blame.

Quick, Somebody Give Mr. Ignatius a Bumbershoot

David needs the umbrella to complete his Neville Chamberlain impersonation.

In an Op Ed in today's Washington Post David Ignatius applauds the disastrous UN-brokered ceasefire:
The Lebanon war was damaging for Israel, the United States and, most of all, Lebanon itself. But it may have taught everyone a lesson that will be immensely important to the future of the Middle East: The solutions to the big problems that afflict the region are not military but political.
Meanwhile, the same edition of the Post reports Hezbollah's continued refusal to disarm. It's painfully obvious that Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon without destroying Hezbollah will mean even greater suffering and bloodshed when the West finally decides to deal with the problem.

The "lesson" Ignatius talks about should have been learned in 1938, when Neville Chamberlain surrendered Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler. Chamberlain was trying to use the familiar paradigm of diplomacy to deal with something he didn't understand - a true monster. And Hitler was a piker in the monster business compared to Hezbollah and the other Islamic fascist groups. Even the Waffen SS didn't strap explosives to themselves and jump into English schoolbuses. And let's not forget that Hitler came to power through legal democratic means, as have Hezbollah and Hamas.

Ignatius refers to Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora as a "surprise hero" in the ceasefire deal. Siniora's "heroism" apparently consists of helping Hezbollah get the ceasefire agreement watered down to the point where it places virtually no restriction on Hezbollah. For example, Siniora got UN Chapter 7 thrown out. That would have allowed UN peacekeepers to use force to engage and disarm Hezbollah terrorists. Now they'll observe as Hezbollah restocks with fresh missiles from Syria and Iran. Perhaps they'll file reports, and maybe their commander will even fire off a strongly worded protest or two.

Ignatius refers to Hezbollah and its leader Hasan Nasrallah as the "wild card", which is an apt, if mild, description, but he's judging Nasrallah by Western standards. Ignatius writes that Nasrallah will "lose his new halo" if he attacks Israel again. This is a man who orders suicide attacks against Israeli children; he cares not one whit for any "halo" bestowed upon him by the infidels he despises.

David Ignatius gazes upon the impotence and folly of Western diplomacy and calls it good; peace in our time.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Video of Hizballah Terrorists Being Tracked and Put Down

Get your motor runnin'...head out on the highway...lookin' for adventure...oops, you're goin' bye-bye.

The Week (So Far) in Fauxtography: Fauxtos of Mystery

EU Referendum, the blog that has spent as much time as anyone exposing the almost certainly staged reporting out of Qana and the adventures of Green Helmet, posts on the mystery of the extra baby.

Ray Robison posted yesterday about the mystery of the wandering prayer rug.

Confederate Yankee brought us the mysterious wandering water bottle yesterday and calls shenanigans on the same photographer today.

Yesterday, The Jawa Report brought us the mystery of the deadly drink of water.

BuzzWhack defines fauxtography.

More fauxtography.

The Dread Pundit Bluto Unmasked

Last week, Matthew Sheffield of NewsBusters invited me to write for him. The only sticking point was that NewsBusters bloggers don't post anonymously. Having been threatened in the past (one reader would like to "...cut ur neck...", another wished for all Jawa Report co-bloggers that "...Satan do meetballs frum yur belly...") I was reluctant to post under my own name.

But the opportunity to reach the large NewsBusters audience was too good to pass up. You can read my posts for NewsBusters at Al Brown's blog.

AP X-Ray Story Inaccurate, Misleading

"Report: X-Rays Don't Detect Explosives" is the red letter entry at the Drudge Report, linking the latest Associated Press scoop from a leaked document:
X-ray machines that screen airline passengers' shoes cannot detect explosives, according to a Homeland Security Department report on aviation screening.
The headline and lead are inaccurate. The Rapiscan x-ray machines deployed at most US airports can, in fact, allow screeners to find explosives. Screeners are trained to use x-ray machines to detect the components of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs): timing devices, detonators, switches, and the main charge - the explosive.

I haven't seen the report, which is most likely classified and should earn the leaker a trip to Leavenworth, but from what AP has written, it most likely was pointing out that the small amount of explosive in a shoe bomb would be difficult to detect. True. That's what Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) equipment is for. But what's a good indicator to determine which shoes might deserve to be tested by the ETD? Anomalies in the x-ray image of the shoe.

Monday, August 14, 2006

More Staged News From Lebanon

Dr. Rusty Shackleford of The Jawa Report emailed to point out what appears to be more shenanigans in the ongoing fauxtography/staged news scandal. The photos and captions below appeared in a slideshow in the UK's Daily Mail.

Picture 5 of 9:
More survivors are dragged from collapsed buildings.

Picture 7 of 9:
A volunteer offers a desperate elderly woman a drink of water.

Picture 9 of 9:
A constant flow of bodies are recovered from beneath the town's toppled buildings.

As you can see, they all appear to be the same woman. Evidently, the water was too much for her.

Why Time Magazine Can't Explain British Muslim Radicalism

The subhead in this Time magazine article promises enlightenment, but fails to deliver: "Why do so many young British Muslims turn to violence against the land where they were raised?"

Unfortunately, Time's leftward slanted editorial policies don't allow an honest answer. Rather than exploring the root causes of Islamic radicalism, which is, after all, the root cause of British Muslim radicalism, Time offers a sterile hodgepodge of random observations and politically correct standbys; they actually cite "disaffection" with Britain's foreign policy, as if that were a cause rather than a symptom of the disease.

Buried within the article is the symptom that identifies the illness:
And among those British Muslims surveyed, a remarkable 81%--a percentage higher than that for Muslims not just in France and Germany but also in Egypt and Jordan--said they thought of themselves as Muslims first and citizens of their native country second.
The Pew Research poll Time cites also found that 15% of British Muslims sympathize with Muslim fundamentalists. The problem here is that Time, and other western media, steeped in the dogma of cultural relativism, fail to realize that a Muslim fundamentalist is not just a Christian fundamentalist who happens to worship Allah and Mohammed instead of Jehovah and Christ.

Christian fundamentalists and conservative Jews, as a rule, do not consider terrorism a legitimate means of furthering their religions' goals. Evangelicals might come to your door to proselytize, which is obnoxious, but they don't threaten to behead you if you refuse to convert. Nor do they practice their own form of taqqiyeh (lying to serve Islam).

This reflexive and fashionable lumping together of all the major religions prevents Time, and most of the mainstream media, from seeing the fundamental differences that separate them. It's why Time couldn't answer its own question.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hizballah Accused of Monstrous Qana Plot by Lebanese Site

ynet news links to a Lebanese Christian site that accused Hizballah on the day of the Qana tragedy of placing handicapped children in the building at Qana, then firing rockets from the roof in order to create "Qana 2".

The Lebanese site is published in French. I've translated their posting below:
Qana Massacre, Lebanon-Israel Negotiations Reported

July 30, 2006

Lebanon is waking up to a new massacre of innocents, the victms are handicapped children who were sheltering in a building that was attacked by the Israeli air force.

Qana, again a symbol; "Grapes of Wrath" [codename of the Israeli operation] failed in 1996 because of this mistake. 40, maybe 50 deaths today at Qana in south Lebanon. The horror.

But why a similar mistake, error? A usually well-informed source told us this version:
Hezbollah, trapped by the 7 points proposed by prime minister Fouad Siniora, which put forth a deployment plan for the Lebanese army over all its [Hezbollah's] territory, mainly in south Lebanon, and therefore the disarmament of the Party of God [Hezbollah], wanted to sabotage the negotiations. It put in place a Machiavellian plan to stifle the project. Knowing very well that Israel would not hesitate to bomb civilian targets, the Hezbollah fighters installed a missile launcher on top of a building in Qana and packed it with disabled children with the firm intention of provoking a response from the Israeli air force and creating a new situation, using the massacre of the innocents to retake the initiative in negotiations.
To reiterate: They have used Qana, which was already a symbol of the massacre of innocent ones; they have fomented Qana 2.

Indeed, Nabih Berri, speaker of the Lebanese assembly, has announced that negotiations with American Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice will not be pursued for the moment without an unconditional ceasefire, the first requirement of Hezbollah; it's necessary to begin again.
Via Riehl World View, who has some speculation about photos of the Qana aftermath.

All I Needed to Know About the 'Peace' Movement...

...I learned at zombietime

This is one of zombietime's photos of the August 12 "peace rally" in San Francisco.

Sunday Funny

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Reutersgate2: Ghouls

little green footballs takes note of a conversation on a photographer's web forum: case where a group of wire photogs were choreographing the unearthing of bodies, directing emergency workers here and there, asking them to position bodies just so, even remove bodies that have already been put in graves so that they can photograph them in peoples arms.
Just when you thought the mainstream press had reached rock bottom...

Via The Jawa Report.

LA Times Article Bashes Media on Reutersgate

In an article that frankly, surprised me, the Los Angeles Times's Tim Rutten comes down hard on fellow journalists for failing to take the Reutersgate scandal seriously enough.
(left: smoke clouds were augmented by Hajj, and damaged buildings cloned to make damage more dramatic)

Here, Rutten dismisses Reuters' explanations for why the altered photos were used:
There are, however, two problems here, and they're the reason this controversy shouldn't be allowed to sputter to its inglorious conclusion just yet: One of these has to do with the scope of what strongly appears to be wider fabrication in the photojournalism Reuters and other news agencies are obtaining from their freelancers in Lebanon. The other is the U.S. news media's grudging response to the revelation of Hajj's misconduct and its utter lack of interest in exploring whether his is a unique or representative case.
Then Rutten encourages readers to explore what the bloggers have discovered.

There's more, and it's worth your time to take a look. That's one of the undeniable strengths of the Internet and of the blogosphere, and the fact that it is being employed to help keep journalism honest ultimately is to everybody's benefit.
And Rutten doesn't shy away from raising the question that many bloggers have asked:
That brings us to the most troubling of the possible explanations for these fraudulent photos, which is that some of the photojournalists involved are either intimidated by or sympathetic to the Hezbollah terrorists. It's a possibility fraught with harsh implications, but it needs to be examined thoroughly and openly.
The article is so frank and unflinching that one could almost forgive Rutten for snubbing Dr. Rusty Shackleford of The Jawa Report, who first published news of the second altered Hajj photo.

You may be required to register (free) with the LA Times in order to read this piece. It's worth the aggravation.

Via The Moderate Voice.

UN Resolution Means Trouble for Israeli PM

Leaving Hizballah terrorists to be watched by Lebanese and UN forces isn't just a bad decision for Israel, but also for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

From Haaretz:
If Olmert runs away now from the war he initiated, he will not be able to remain prime minister for even one more day. Chutzpah has its limits. You cannot lead an entire nation to war promising victory, produce humiliating defeat and remain in power. You cannot bury 120 Israelis in cemeteries, keep a million Israelis in shelters for a month, wear down deterrent power, bring the next war very close, and then say - oops, I made a mistake. That was not the intention. Pass me a cigar, please.
Haaretz has the reputation of being left of center.

Via The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

Italian Peaceworker Murdered

He came to Israel to help with a camp for Palestinian children and got a knife in the back instead. From United Press International:
JERUSALEM, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- An Italian law student, visiting Israel to help with a camp for Palestinian children, was stabbed to death in Jerusalem in what police call a terror attack.

Angelo Frammartino, 24, was out with friends Thursday night when he was attacked near the Damascus Gate, Corriere della Sera reported.

Police investigators said they do not believe the attack was a robbery gone wrong but a deliberate attack by a Palestinian. A yeshiva student was wounded in a similar attack near by three weeks ago.
Israelly Cool discovered some more details about Frammartino's pacifist philosophy on ynet News [emphasis added]:
In a letter sent a few months ago to a local newspaper, Angelo expressed his world view: "We must recognize that in a situation with no violence is a luxury in many parts of the world, but we are not seeking to prevent legitimate self defense operations. I never dreamt of condemning the resistance, the blood of the Vietnamese, the blood of nations under colonial occupation, or the blood of Palestinian youths from the first intifada," he said.
Aussie Dave at Israelly Cool asks the question: "I wonder if Frammartino would consider his knifing a terror attack or legitimate self-defense operation, had he survived."

A little cold perhaps, but not nearly so cold as a knife in the back.

When Squirrels Attack

No, this isn't a Cindy Sheehan story.

A squirrel in Winter Park Florida has been attacking residents:
The squirrel attacks happened at Winter Park's Central Park over the last several days.

A 3-year-old boy was bitten by the animal several times and has a two-inch wound on his leg, according to the report.

Another child was reportedly bitten on his calf and a man sitting on a park bench was attacked by the squirrel. He suffered a bite and scratches on his arm.

The attacks took place between August 1 and August 4.

Some people now say the attacking animal should have been captured sooner.
I suspect global warming.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Dahers of Marjayoun

Update (9/23/06): The two journalists mentioned in the story below have been confirmed to be TWIN BROTHERS. They have not responded to queries about their possible relationship with Salam Daher ("Green Helmet"), who is also a native of Marjayoun.

With the fauxtography/Reutersgate scandal widening, accounts of Israeli atrocities by wire service employees who are also local residents directly affected by the fighting need to be examined carefully. Especially when coincidences begin to stack up.

Two wire service employees, one an Associated Press photographer and the other a Reuters reporter, were in the same convoy fleeing Israeli-occupied Marjayoun when the convoy was attacked, killing several people.

At least one of them is a Marjayoun resident, as is Salam Daher, better known as "Green Helmet". Green Helmet has been accused of staging media events at Qana.

It's unclear whether the three, who share the same last name, are related. AP photographer Lutfallah Daher was said to be fleeing his hometown, Marjayoun, with his wife and several other relatives, including his brother. Marjayoun's population is a little over 16,000.

Lutfallah Daher says that an Israeli drone attacked the convoy. How he identified the drone as Israeli is not mentioned. Hizballah also operates drones, and might be expected to fire on a large convoy moving north of the Litani river.

This story, "Israeli Drone Strike on Convoy Kills 7", is from Lutfallah Daher's account:
Lutfallah Daher, the photographer, was with the convoy when it was hit near the Bekaa Valley town of Chtaura, about 30 miles north of the Litani River. Israel has said it would attack any vehicle on roads south of the Litani, assuming it was carrying Hezbollah weapons or fighters.

The photographer said that when the convoy left the Israeli-occupied town of Marjayoun in southern Lebanon, it was made up of more than 600 civilian vehicles in addition to vehicles carrying 350 Lebanese soldiers and police. A few vehicles had left the convoy before it was hit, the photographer said.

Daher lives in Marjayoun and was fleeing with his wife in one car. His mother, brother, sister-in-law and their child were in another car. None was harmed.
This story from the Reuters reporter, Karamallah Daher, is headlined: "Israel attacks convoy fleeing south Lebanon":
"The night sky suddenly lit and we heard an explosion toward the leading cars of the convoy. I first thought it was a blown tire," said Reuters reporter Karamallah Daher, who was in the convoy.

"Cars sped in every direction and some crashed into ditches near the road," said Daher, who counted five rockets.
The Israeli military disputes parts of the story, including whether or not the convoy was authorized by them.

Italians Arrest 40 in Terror Probe

From Fox News:
Police arrested 40 people in cities throughout Italy in raids on Muslim gathering places in a security crackdown after Britain thwarted an alleged terror plot, the Interior Ministry said Friday, as Pakistani intelligence agents claimed there was an Al Qaeda connection with ties to Afghanistan to the group of suspected terrorists arrested Thursday.
Certainly, this can't be the work of "Islamic fascists", because CAIR's Nihad Awad has assured us that they are mythical beasties. Once again, I suspect Missouri Synod Lutherans, craftily secreting themselves in popular Muslim gathering places. Sneaky bastards.

Via Michelle Malkin, by way of The Jawa Report.

Large Israeli Force Moving Into Lebanon

From the Associated Press:
Israel began an expanded ground offensive in southern Lebanon on Friday after expressing dissatisfaction over an emerging cease-fire deal in the United Nations, government officials said.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz decided to expand the offensive after meeting for four hours. Peretz instructed the military to launch the offensive, officials said.
The Israeli "dissatisfaction" stems from the lack of a "Chapter 7" clause in the resolution. Without Chapter 7, UN peacekeepers are not authorized to attack violators of the truce. That means that when the Hizballah terrorists begin firing Kayushas into Israel after an Israeli withdrawal, UN troops will watch, but not interfere.

Wesley Clark, military analyst for Fox News expects the Israeli force to advance quickly to the Litani River, bypassing Hizballah strongholds then backtracking to exterminate Hizballah terrorists. It is hoped that this tactic will prevent Hizballah terrorists from retreating to hide among Lebanon's civilian population.

What Israel really needs is an Inchon-style amphibious landing north of the Litani.

US Networks Recover From Bomb Plot Shock

8:35 AM ET, the day after British authorities broke up the most audacious terrorist plot since 9/11, and US network "news" fare includes:

NBC: Cross-dresser karaoke

CBS: Tasty corn-on-the-cob grilling tips

ABC: Emeril's spicy root beer & bourbon glaze

Nothing to see here, folks, move along.

Names of Terror Suspects Released by Bank of England

The Bank of England has released the names and addresses of nineteen people whose assets have been frozen in the investigation of the UK Airline Bomb Plot:
The Bank of England, as agent for Her Majesty’s Treasury, has today directed that any funds held for or on behalf of the individuals named in the Annex to this News Release must be frozen, and that no funds should be made available, directly or indirectly to any person, except under the authority of a licence.
In deference to our friends at the Muslim Council of Britain and the Council on American Islamic Relations, I concede the possibility that several, if not all, of the accused conspirators are Missouri Synod Lutherans.

1. ALI, Abdula, Ahmed
DOB: 10/10/1980
Address: Walthamstow, London, United Kingdom
2. ALI, Cossor
DOB: 04/12/1982
Address: London, United Kingdom, E17
3. ALI, Shazad, Khuram
DOB: 11/06/1979
Address: High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
4. HUSSAIN, Nabeel
DOB: 10/03/1984
Address: London, United Kingdom, E4
5. HUSSAIN, Tanvir
DOB: 21/02/1981
Address: Leyton, London, United Kingdom, E10
6. HUSSAIN, Umair
DOB: 09/10/1981
Address: London, United Kingdom, E14
7. ISLAM, Umar
DOB: 23/04/1978
Address: High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
8. KAYANI, Waseem
DOB: 28/04/1977
Address: High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
9. KHAN, Assan, Abdullah
DOB: 24/10/1984
Address: London, United Kingdom, E17
10. KHAN, Waheed, Arafat
DOB: 18/05/1981
Address: London, United Kingdom, E17
11. KHATIB, Osman, Adam
DOB: 07/12/1986
Address: London, United Kingdom, E17
12. PATEL, Abdul, Muneem
DOB: 17/04/1989
Address: London, United Kingdom, E5
13. RAUF, Tayib
DOB: 26/04/1984
Address: Birmingham, United Kingdom
14. SADDIQUE, Muhammed, Usman
DOB: 23/04/1982
Address: Walthamstow, London, United Kingdom, E17
15. SARWAR, Assad
DOB: 24/05/1980
Address: High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
16. SAVANT, Ibrahim
DOB: 19/12/1980
Address: London, United Kingdom, E17
17. TARIQ, Amin, Asmin
DOB: 07/06/1983
Address: Walthamstow, London, United Kingdom, E17
18. UDDIN, Shamin, Mohammed
DOB: 22/11/1970
Address: Stoke Newington, London, United Kingdom
19. ZAMAN, Waheed
DOB: 27/05/1984
Address: London, United Kingdom, E17

Our Insensitive President

From Reuters:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Muslim groups criticized President Bush on Thursday for calling a foiled plot to blow up airplanes part of a "war with Islamic fascists," saying the term could inflame anti-Muslim tensions.

"We believe this is an ill-advised term and we believe that it is counterproductive to associate Islam or Muslims with fascism," said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations advocacy group.
Maybe Mr. Awad has a point. Perhaps it's insensitive of us to actually name the enemies that every single sane human being on the planet knows we are facing.

What's even more pathetic than Mr. Awad's Goebbels-like denial of simple truths is the fact that the mainstream media continue to bend over backwards to give this man a public platform on which to spew.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Green Helmet, Director

No comment from me is really necessary.

Via The Jawa Report.

Brits Foil Major Plot to Bomb US-Bound Planes

From the BBC:
A terrorist plot to blow up planes in mid-flight from the UK to the US has been disrupted, Scotland Yard has said.
It is thought the plan was to detonate explosive devices smuggled on aircraft in hand luggage.

Police have arrested about 18 people in the London area after an anti-terrorist operation lasting several months.
MI5, the British internal intelligence agency, classified the threat as "critical", their highest threat level. All carry-on luggage has been temporarily banned at UK airports.

Sky News reports that those arrested are thought to be "...mainly young, British-born Asian men," which usually means "middle eastern" in the British press.

Few American media are covering the story yet. The Washington Post seems to be getting their information from the Beeb, but, for some reason, inserted this rather weird non sequitur into their version of the bomb plot story:
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has come under strong criticism at home and abroad for following the U.S. lead and refusing to call for an immediate ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Lebanese Hizbollah guerrillas.
Evidently, since the President isn't directly involved in the story, WaPo decided to bash Blair as a substitute. Must be a reflex.

Via protein wisdom.