"...everyone is bored,and devotes himself to cultivating habits..these habits are not peculiar to our town.." Albert Camus "The Plague"

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

In testimony before the senate Foreign Relations Committee last week Newt Gingrich offered an 18 point plan to insure victory in Iraq.

The Cost of Defeat in Iraq and the Cost of Victory in Iraq - 18 Points

Point 6 is particularly interesting:

"Establish three plans: one for achieving victory with the help of the Iraqi government, one for achieving victory with the passive acquiescence of the Iraqi government, one for achieving victory even if the current Iraqi government is unhappy. The third plan may involve very significant shifts in troops and resources away from Baghdad and a process of allowing the Iraqi central government to fend for itself if it refuses to cooperate."

To bolster the above ideas he says:

There are three fundamental weaknesses in the current strategy.

First, the strategy relies on the Iraqis somehow magically improving their performance in a very short time period. Yet the argument for staying in Iraq is that it is a vital AMERICAN interest. If we are seeking victory in Iraq because it is vital to America then we need a strategy which will win even if our Iraqi allies are inadequate. We did not rely on the Free French to defeat Nazi Germany. We did not rely on the South Koreans to stop North Korea and China during the Korean War. When it mattered to American vital interests we accepted all the help we could get but we made sure we had enough strength to win on our own if need be......The inherent contradiction in the administration strategy is simple. If Iraq matters as much as the President says it does (and here I agree with the President on the supreme importance of victory) then the United States must not design and rely on a strategy which relies on the Iraqis to win.

The second weakness is that the current strategy debate once again focuses too much on the military and too little on everything that has not been working.....The great failures in the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns have been in non-combat power. Intelligence, diplomacy, economic aid, information operations, support from the civilian elements of national power. These have been the great centers of failure in America’s recent conflicts.....No military leader I have talked with believes military force is adequate to win in Iraq. Every one of them insists that the civilian instruments of power are more important than the combat elements. They all assert that they can hold the line for a while with force but that holding the line will ultimately fail if we are not using that time to achieve progress in non-military areas.

The third weakness in the current strategy is its inability to impose war time decision making and accountability in Washington.

On a lighter note Ali G interviews Newt:

Tags: Newt, newt gingrich, iraq war, troop surge, ali g

Monday, January 29, 2007

Winter Afternoon: Coginchaug River (Middletown, CT) 1/28/07

Controversy Over Dinesh D'Souza Book -
"The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and its Responsibility for 911"
(read the author's introduction to the book here)

He speaks here to the barrage of criticism leveled at him because of the book in an article in the Washington Post titled "Bin Lade, the Left, and Me". Excerpt:

"Why the onslaught? Just this: In my book, published this month, I argue that the American left bears a measure of responsibility for the volcano of anger from the Muslim world that produced the 9/11 attacks. President Jimmy Carter's withdrawal of support for the shah of Iran, for example, helped Ayatollah Khomeini's regime come to power in Iran, thus giving radical Islamists control of a major state; and President Bill Clinton's failure to respond to Islamic attacks confirmed bin Laden's perceptions of U.S. weakness and emboldened him to strike on 9/11. I also argue that the policies that U.S. "progressives" promote around the world -- including abortion rights, contraception for teenagers and gay rights -- are viewed as an assault on traditional values by many cultures, and have contributed to the blowback of Islamic rage."

Dinesh has caused quite a stir on the Left and on the Right. See
Serge Trifkovic, author of "Sword of the Prophet"
ChroniclesMagazine.org where he argues:

"It is now, perhaps inevitably, the turn of a phony conservative to join CAIR's ranks. In his latest book, The Enemy At Home, Dinesh D'Souza writes that,

"In order to build alliances with traditional Muslims, the right must take three critical steps. First, stop attacking Islam. Conservatives have to cease blaming Islam for the behavior of the radical Muslims. Recently the right has produced a spate of Islamophobic tracts with titles like Islam Unveiled, Sword of the Prophet, and The Myth of Islamic Tolerance. There is probably no better way to repel traditional Muslims, and push them into the radical camp, than to attack their religion and their prophet.....D'Souza assumes that peaceful Muslims will have a greater sense of solidarity with jihadists than with non-Muslims, which is indeed the case, but it makes hash of his entire thesis—that social conservatives should ally themselves with these "traditional" Muslims:

"For if these peaceful Muslims really abhor jihadism, they should have no reason to object to critical presentations of the elements of Islam that foster jihadism. But if such presentations will just drive them into the arms of the jihadists, then how committed could they really have been to peace and moderation in the first place?.....It is noteworthy that D'Souza is condemning our writings
(his and Robert Spencer's) as "Islamophobic" without further elaboration. Like the term "Islamophobia" itself—a classic product of the Hate Crime Industry—his technique is characteristic of the totalitarian Left. I remember reading, as a teenager in Tito's Yugoslavia, similarly worded condemnations of dissident writers and their "tracts" in the communist-controlled press. Once they were defined as "anti- socialist," "reactionary," or "nationalist," no further elaboration was needed and no debate allowed. "

Article: "Dinesh the Dhimmi"
Also see Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch

Last evening d'Souza and Robert Spencer debated the issues on Lores Riskalla's Los Angeles radio program (KRLA). Below are audio excerpts from the very interesting discussion:

Audio Part 1: (5:56)
Audio Part 2: (11:57)
Audio Part 3 (12:16)

Tags: Dinesh d'Souza, Robert Spencer, Lores Riskalla, culture wars, Islam, 911

Friday, January 26, 2007

Earth to Rosie O'Donnell: We are not a Democracy
The U.S. is a Constitutional Republic, Idiot!

In the video below you can experience the totally mindless blather emanating from this dope.(viewer discretion advised, this is the epitome of stupid)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Women's Collegiate Basketball:
Male Practice or Malpractice?

The Committee on Women's Athletics* (CWA) of the NCAA has proposed the elimination of male practice players within women's collegiate basketball. Although we were not aware of it, this is a long established technique for strengthening women's teams dating back to the 1970's. Male practice players have helped make women's basketball teams quicker, faster, and stronger. A practice used frequently at prominent programs such as UConn, Stanford and Notre Dame. Nancy Lieberman of ESPN says the proposal would be "a step in the wrong direction". That this controversy is yet another example of out of control PC is made clear in her further comments:

As for the CWA's thinking that the use of male practice players "violates the spirit of gender equity and Title IX," I just don't see how having men in practice hurts women. The men are not stealing our scholarships. They're not in the scorebook. Instead, these are guys who give up their time and get nothing for it. There is no compensation, unless you count their bruises. Male practice players simply help women play harder, help us achieve a higher standard and help prepare us for a higher level of enjoyable competition. I mean, come on, what's next? Will the CWA tell me male coaches are violating Title IX?

The video here provides an interesting glimpse at the views of coaches and players regarding the use of male practice players.

*Excerpts from the CWA report:
A recommendation by the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics to ban all male players from practice participation has left local women's college basketball coaches fuming.

The Committee on Women's Athletics (CWA) issued a position paper Monday that said the use of male practice players in women's athletics "violates the spirit of gender equity and Title IX."

The 15-member committee said it believes female players are harmed by male practice participation, according to its report:

"The message to female student-athletes seems to be, 'You are not good enough to make our starters better, so we need to use men instead.' This approach implies an archaic notion of male preeminence that continues to impede progress toward gender equity and inclusion. ...

"To have talented, capable female student-athletes stand on the sidelines during official practice while the team's starters practice against 'more talented men' is a lost opportunity. Many of these female student-athletes are on full scholarship and were recruited to participate in intercollegiate athletics at many other institutions.

"To have them sitting out of practice while a full 'scout team' of men come to practices is costing them the opportunity for growth and betterment that they were promised during recruitment."

Tags: women's basketball, UConn, Geno Auriema, NCAA, political correctness, basketball

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Obama Factor: This is Going to be Fun!

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Tags, Obama, Barak Hussein Obama, Hillary, Hillary Clinton

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Submission: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam -
The Theo van Gogh Film (10:59)

The film's title is a direct translation of the word "Islam". The film depicts the mistreatment of women born to Muslim families. The film was shown on the Dutch public broadcasting network (VPRO) on August 29, 2004. It portrays a Muslim woman as having been beaten and raped by a relative. The bodies are used in the film as a canvas for verses from the Qur'an.

This is the film that Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh was killed for. An Islamist fanatic murdered him most brutally and desecrated his body. His collaborator on the film, and the screen writer is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Dutch member of parliament and activist for Muslim women's rights. Originally from Somalia, and herself genitally mutilated at a young age, Ali has emerged as an articulate voice in her autobiography "The Caged Virgin".

Christopher Hitchens has written an excellent piece about Ayaan Hirsi Ali in Slate (5/8/06)

Hitchens' concluding paragraph:

"After being forced into hiding by fascist killers, Ayaan Hirsi Ali found that the Dutch government and people were slightly embarrassed to have such a prominent "Third World" spokeswoman in their midst. She was first kept as a virtual prisoner, which made it almost impossible for her to do her job as an elected representative. When she complained in the press, she was eventually found an apartment in a protected building. Then the other residents of the block filed suit and complained that her presence exposed them to risk. In spite of testimony from the Dutch police, who assured the court that the building was now one of the safest in all Holland, a court has upheld the demand from her neighbors and fellow citizens that she be evicted from her home. In these circumstances, she is considering resigning from parliament and perhaps leaving her adopted country altogether. This is not the only example that I know of a supposedly liberal society collaborating in its own destruction, but I hope at least that it will shame us all into making The Caged Virgin a best seller."

A new book by Ayaan Hirsi Ali titled "Infidel" is due out in February 2007. Illustration below is from the new book.

Tags: Islam, Theo van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, female circumcision, Christopher Hitchens,

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bush Caves to Dems and the Left: Cedes Lawful Presidential Power to FISA

Mark Levin spoke on his radio program yesterday about "The Gonzalez Letter" and the Bush administration's attempt to spin the move that weakens legal, constitutional presidential power in time of war. He is joined on the broadcast by his friend and former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy.

Listen to Mark Levin's remarks on the administration's capitulation to the Left .(9.43MB 00:10 MP3)

"The Gonzalez Letter" is the title of Mark Levin's article in NRO (National Review Online Jan. 18)
Here is the lead to the article:

"Well, the administration spin is on, and it’s dizzying.

First things first. The Fourth Amendment has no application where the government, during war, is intercepting enemy communications and the purpose is to prevent attacks on the United States by foreign enemies. That’s what the Constitution provides, that’s what the relevant circuit court decisions have held, and that’s what our history demonstrates. The president’s constitutional authority cannot be trumped by statute — or by the other branches. If FISA limits that authority, as some suggest, then it is unconstitutional. If Congress insists that the president comply with FISA in contravention of his constitutional authority, then Congress demands that the president violate the Constitution."

And these further comments by James Taranto; WSJ Best of the Web Today:

What the administration does not say, but many who have supported it on this issue (including us) suspect, is that this was a capitulation--that, faced with a Democratic Congress and a Supreme Court majority eager to meddle in wartime matters, the administration backed down to avoid a confrontation it was likely to lose. The administration still argues that the executive branch has the inherent authority to conduct such surveillance, but now that proposition will not need to be tested under unfavorable conditions.

Monday, January 15, 2007

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"Mine Your Own Business": New documentary sheds light on dark side of environmental movement

A documentary film released 11/06 titled "Mine Your Own Business" (trailer here) shows the "dark" side of the environmental movement. While not addressing directly Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" it does show how many of these activists "do gooders" actually do a lot more harm than good in their dealings with impoverished folks who merely want jobs. Their quest for jobs is thwarted by environmental radicals who try to prevent development of local industry, particularly, as in this film, mining.

See more here: http://www.mineyourownbusiness.org/
Read more here: Transcript from Australia radio with producers of film.
Tags: environmentalists, mining, documentary,


According to"The Independent" (U.K.) online news:

"The British are among the world's most observed people. Some 4.2 million closed-circuit television cameras record our every move - one for every 14 people and more per head than any other country in Europe or North America. The average Londoner can be caught on camera 300 times a day."

Despite the angry howls of civil liberties folks the government is pressing ahead with several new projects in the name of efficiency and security.

Item - The Prime Minister has suggested that the DNA of every British adult should be stored by the state.

Item - Millions of medical records are to be transferred to a central NHS database, allowing staff anywhere to access patients' information. People who object will not be able to opt out.

Item - Ministers believe restrictions on data-sharing between civil servants are too strict. A 'super-database' or 'super-computer' holding everyone's records would be similar to a planned children's database.

Item - Motorists are already monitored through the soaring number of road cameras. In an effort to cut congestion, the Department of Transport is examining plans to use satellite technology to keep tabs on every vehicle's exact movements. Motorists, forced to have a black box fitted in their cars, would be billed for every journey they make.

Item - The first identity cards will be issued next year to foreign nationals and from 2009 to UK citizens. Anyone who renews a passport will be forced to register and the Government aims to make ID cards compulsory within six years. Fifty-two pieces of information, including fingerprints and iris scans, will be held.

(emphasis mine)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The New Course: Joe Lieberman Singled Out for Special Mention

"Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of Congress, we will form a new, bipartisan working group that will help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror. This group will meet regularly with me and my Administration, and it will help strengthen our relationship with Congress. We can begin by working together to increase the size of the active Army and Marine Corps, so that America has the Armed Forces we need for the 21st century.
President George W. Bush; address to the nation, 1/10/07

In fact, except for Secretary Rice and Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, Senator Lieberman was the only other person mentioned by name in the President's speech.

Recent TV appearance with Hagel (WMV)
Thanks to Rich Galen for the following succinct reminder of exactly who is in charge here. Rich's column "Mullings" can found via this link ............

Article II; Section 2. The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States.

• I don't know what the President is going to say tonight, but I do know this: Iraq is a major battleground in the worldwide war on terror. So is Iran and North Korea and Somalia.

• I also know that Article II, Section 2 says the President is the commander-in-chief. Article II, Section 2 is also that part of the Constitution which contains the "advise and consent" language:
He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States …

• Note, however, the language clearly stipulates which Presidential powers require the advice and consent of the US Senate. Sending more troops to Iraq is not among them.

• Neither Nancy Pelosi, nor Harry Reid, nor Joe Biden nor any other member of the House or Senate nor anyone running for US President from either party has the right to deny the President the power granted to him as commander-in-chief.

• The Congress can, of course, withhold funding for military adventures. In the 1960s, when the country was opposed to the Vietnam war and was also opposed to the soldiers who fought there, that might have worked.

• In 2007, in spite of the country being opposed to the war in Iraq, it is most assuredly not opposed to the men and women who have volunteered to serve in uniform and, by extension, fight for our safety in Iraq and Afghanistan and anywhere else they are ordered to go.

• Denying services members the funds necessary for them to do their jobs will not be a path to re-election in most Congressional Districts in America in 2008. House Members - especially freshmen Members - understand this.
As for the Dem leadership's attempts to usurp Presidential power:

MR. RUSSERT: So you would put more American troops on the ground?

REP. PELOSI: What I'm saying to you, that we need more troops on the ground.

MR. RUSSERT: Would you send more American troops in order to stabilize the situation?


Above exchange from Meet the Press, May 30, 2004. Of course these are brief excerpts but read the whole interview here. Harry Reid needs mentioning as well because he said on 12/17/06 that he supported an increase in troop strength.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday (12/17/06) he would support a temporary troop increase in Iraq only if it were part of a broader strategy to bring combat forces home by early 2008.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Ethernet Inventor Says Transformation to Internet Video is Here

The implications are profound says Internet Pioneer Robert Metcalfe.

We are on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the annual Emerging Technology Conference organized by Technology Review. At the kick-off dinner at the MIT Museum, I had the good fortune to interview Robert Metcalfe, the pioneering computer scientist who invented Ethernet back in 1973 -- before that he was a principal researcher at MIT on ARAPNET - the early Internet.

Bob tells Beet.TV he's long had a vision of the Internet as a delivery platform for video. Sure video takes more bandwidth, but it's still all about the Ethernet packets which carry the data, he notes.

Among the most important implications is the prospect of energy savings by facilitating communications through video interaction.

Thanks Bob for all you've done.

Vlogging The World's Top New Innovators

Gathered at the MIT conference are the the world's top 35 young innovators who are being recognized for their achievements. Technology Review has launched a cool vlog comprised of interviews with many of the winners, as well as speakers gathered here at the conference.

Please stay tuned to Beet.TV this week for ongoing coverage of the Technology Review conference up here at MIT.

-- Andy Plesser

View this post on Beet.TV, http://www.beet.tv/2006/09/internet_pionee.html

- Contact us at beettv@plesser.com

Coming Clean: MIT's Technology Review, the organizer of the conference, is a client of Plesser Holland, publisher of Beet.TV

Sunday, January 07, 2007

When Judges Make Law the People Lose

TORONTO (Reuters) - A five-year-old Canadian boy can have two mothers and a father, an Ontario court ruled this week in a landmark case that redefines the meaning of family and examines the rights of parents in same-sex relationships.In a ruling released on Tuesday, the Ontario Court of Appeal said the female partner of the child's biological mother could be legally recognized as the boy's third parent.

Here we see judicial activism at its worst. The lawyer for the appellant says: "It's an important precedent because the legislature has not kept the legislation up to date," said Peter Jervis, one of the lawyers for the applicant, referred to only as "A.A."

"The court has basically said that it would step in to recognize this woman as the mother of her child ... and would treat her equally," said Jervis.

Oppoing this action was ....The Alliance for Marriage and Family, a coalition of several groups that promote a traditional family structure, had filed as an intervenor in the case.

"We think there are many good reasons for continuing to uphold the definition of family as two parents," said Joanne McGarry, executive director of the Catholic Civil Rights League, one of the groups represented by the alliance.

"Once you remove it from the realm of nature and the realm of traditional moral and religious teachings, who's going to decide how many parents a child can have? What's so magical about three, maybe there could be more."

(emphasis mine)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Buzzing Bees Enliven Washington Scene
Hartford Gnat Swatted at Rell Parade

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The head nanny is sworn in; no doubt about it, the nanny state will be intensified under her gavel! The dem leadership's undermining of the war effort knows no bounds:

Top Democrats Oppose More Troops in Iraq

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 -- As President Bush prepares to present his new strategy on Iraq to the American people, Democratic Congressional leaders said today they will fight any approach that calls for deploying more United States troops there.

“We want to do everything we can to help Iraq succeed in the future but, like many of our senior military leaders, we do not believe that adding more U.S. combat troops contributes to success,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate majority leader, wrote to Mr. Bush.

“Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain,” the Democrats’ letter said.

Also reiterating his deep opposition to any troop increases was Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin. “The administration refuses to acknowledge the devastating impact that keeping our brave troops in Iraq is having on our national security, and now the president is considering sending even more troops,” Mr. Feingold said in a statement.

“We should be bringing our troops out of Iraq, not the other way around,” he said. “The American people’s message at the ballot box was loud and clear, and it is past time that the administration listened.”

The Pelosi-Reid letter, and Mr. Feingold’s allusion to the November elections, underscored the new political reality for the White House. As President Bush prepares to take his case to the American people, and assembles a new military and diplomatic team to go with his redefined Iraq strategy, he is encountering fierce opposition from the newly empowered Democratic leadership.

In fact, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid are digging in more firmly than some of their Democratic colleagues who have not ruled out at least a modest, temporary troop increase. President Bush must be heartened, for example, by the stance of Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is the new head of the Armed Services Committee, who has said he would not “prejudge” the president’s proposal, provided that any troop increase is linked to a broader approach to disentangle the United States from Iraq.

NY Times 1/05/06
Hat tip: Rush Limbaugh for the graphic and photo

Meanwhile in Hartford......

It seems not a good idea to ride a bike alongside an official parade, speed up, quickly dismount and dash to front of the procession ostensibly to photograph the dignitary (in this case Gov. M. Jodi Rell). The freelance journalist/photographer who tried this in yesterday's inaugural parade for Gov. Rell was immediately intercepted by the police and charged with breach of peace and interfering with a police officer. The individual, Ken Krayeske, 34 years of age (pictured below) was reportedly identified by police as a person of interest whose photo had been circulated amongst law enforcement agencies in the state. The arresting officer said he immediately recognized Krayeske from the circulated photos and intercepted him as he jumped in front of the procession.

Hartford police spokesman Nancy Mulroy said:... "if you rush off a bike and start charging toward the governor during a processional parade, you are going to be arrested," Mulroy said. "In this day and age, when security is a very serious matter, you cannot expect to act like that and not have to face the consequences. Our job was to protect the governor, and we took it seriously."

(Krayeske)..."said he has a record of three previous arrests involving acts of civil disobedience protesting the war in Iraq and the launching of a nuclear submarine, the U.S.S. Jimmy Carter."
Melissa Bailey photo
Reporting by Hartford Courant
and CT News Junkie