Sunday, December 19, 2004

Baghdad Burning

Baghdad Burning

Her english is too good. I think this is a fraud. There are too many things she shouldn't know about christians, about churches, about American literature. This is written by a native english speaker or someone who has been in the Anglosphere a very long time. "Christmas miracles are exclusive to Dickens" sounds quite good. Also, the punctuation is fantastic. Most Americans can't do this kind of thing.

V-Day: afghanistan is everywhere

You too can join the oppressed!

"Until all women and girls are free from violence, women will continue to confront violence. We declare Afghanistan is Everywhere "

Let's reverse the sexes. "Until men are free from violence, men will continue to confront violence." Unless the guys feeding people into the plastic shredder are members of the Ba'athist party.

Maybe I missed the chadors and muttawas with steel rods beating women in the streets.

Iraq's 'Chemical Ali' undergoes interrogation

The gas chamber would be highly appropriate, don't you think?

Iraq's 'Chemical Ali' undergoes interrogation

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

ATRA :: Judicial Hellholes 2004

A list you don't want to make, unless you are a trial lawyer. Tort reform, anyone?

ATRA :: Judicial Hellholes 2004


Quality Islamic Justice

Well, she wouldn't be executed if she were a boy. After all, in the Iranian system, boys can't be executed before the age of 15 whereas girls could be executed at nine.

UPDATE: OK, she only has a mental age of 8.5. It's all good. /sarcasm

Friday, December 03, 2004

Miss World 2004: the official website - Contestants - Details

I took a look at the Miss World contestants. It served to increase my desire to travel to South America. I found the Chinese and Japanese contestants, well, ordinary. Couldn't they have found someone a little more glamorous? I mean, I have seen more attractive Asian women wandering around downtown Chicago.

Miss World 2004: the official website - Contestants - Details

The Editors on Intelligence Reform on National Review Online

Bipartisan legislation scares me. It tends to be made for tv crud devoid of redeeming value. Sort of like Sarbanes-Oxley.

The Editors on Intelligence Reform on National Review Online: "ed a thorough reevaluation of our intelligence system's capabilities and organization? Those days weren't so long ago, but they have been forgotten in the absurd rush in Washington to pass a massive centralization of U.S. intelligence months before the presidential commission charged with examining the Iraq intelligence failure and questions related to it has a chance to report.

President Bush named senior federal judge Laurence Silberman and former senator Charles Robb in February to head the bipartisan panel, the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. It is scheduled to report by March. Its work directly touches on the changes contemplated in the intelligence-reform bill that conventional wisdom in Washington deems it imperative to pass in days (if not hours). As the commission's website explains, it 'will provide recommendations for ensuring that the Intelligence Community is best equipped and organized to warn the United States Government' of futu"

Monday, November 29, 2004

A fascinating view of city rank and importance by census year. We can see that there is a long term decline in certain cities. It takes 70-100 years for a city to decline into irrelavence. For example, look at Fall River MA. It was once a great city but it took 100 years to decline so far that it fell of the chart. Nantucket took 79 yeears. In hindsight, we can see that many of the cities which supposedly were wracked by racial problems in the 1960's actually were in a downward spiral far before that.

Aurora *................. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 97"

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Havel for UN Chief!

Hit and Run

If Vaclav Havel were put in a position of great international authority, I think I would cry tears of joy. Incidentally, this will be the first test of the blogosphere to not only to reacty to the MSM but to implant and influence ideas in actual policies. I hope this works!

Passengers complain about pat-down searches at airports

Next news story: "Tens of thousands apply for TSA screening jobs"

Passengers complain about pat-down searches at airports

Article: Africa's deserts are in "spectacular" retreat�| New Scientist

Funny how good news doesn't get reported. Now, when things go bad, it is A1 above the fold news, even if the news isn't 'new.'
Article: Africa's deserts are in "spectacular" retreat�| New Scientist

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Roger L. Simon: A North Korean Freedom Movement?

Another result of Bush's Re-Election: Samizdat against the North Korean tyrant. Can Freedom Fighters be far behind?

Roger L. Simon: A North Korean Freedom Movement?

I pray for the day when the butcher of Pyongyang is hung from a meathook.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Car Wax Test Results, NSeXcitement Magazine

Here is an interesting test of . Car Waxes Unfortunately, the one I use came in dead last. I'll continue to look around for something better,

Sunday, November 07, 2004

israelinsider: diplomacy: Suspicions grow that Arafat is dying of AIDS

israelinsider: diplomacy: Suspicions grow that Arafat is dying of AIDS: "that Arafat is dying of AIDS
By israelinsider staff November 6, 2004

Former White House speechwriter David Frum has joined the growing chorus of pundits, medical experts, and intelligence operatives who claim Yasser Arafat is likely suffering from AIDS.

Frum, a key figure in Republican politics and the man who coined the terms 'axis of evil,' writes in National Review Online that Arafat's undisclosed illness is well-known, but has been kept under wraps by the mainstream media.

'Speaking of media bias, here's a question you won't hear in our big papers or on network TV: Does Yasser Arafat have AIDS?' asks Frum, who also writes for the National Post.

'We know he has a blood disease that is depressing his immune system. We know that he has suddenly dropped considerable weight -- possibly as much as one-third of all his body weight. We know that he is suffering intermittent mental dysfunction. What does this sound like?'

Earlier, John Loftus told John Batchelor on ABC radio on October 26 that Arafat is dying from AIDS. Loftus said the CIA has known this about Arafat for quite awhile and that as a result the US has encouraged Sharon not to take Arafat out because the US has known Arafat was about done. It was deemed better to have Arafat discredited as a homosexual.

Although homosexuality is rife in the Arab world, it is at least officially considered a sin and a crime, and regarded--especially in fundamentalist circles--as a mark of great shame and depravity.

Intelligence on 'the tiger' romping with bodyguards
Frum pointed to KGB evidence linking Arafat to homosexual activities, citing a 1987 book by Lt.-Gen. Ion Pacepa, the deputy chief of Romania's intelligence service under Commu"

Thursday, November 04, 2004


Peaktalk - HEDONIST EUROPE: "So if the average European has become a pleasure-seeking individual devoid of a clear spiritual home you can probably sense how the slow abolition of the nation state and the embrace of the European Union impacts the citizenry. At a time when guidance, purpose and cultural identity would help mitigate the excesses of clueless atheist hedonism, Europeans are offered the uncertainly of a cultureless statist behemoth over which they have very little, if any, influence. "

Of course, they won't have the luxury of dissolving their culture into a warm goo of dissolution. Nobody has the spine to stop the coming of the Islamofascists. I wonder why nobody can see it coming. Europe, as in the Weimar era, cavorts in a warm sea of self indulgence while the storm gathers to wash away their comfortable existance.

Yahoo! News - U.S. Pounds Rebel Iraqi City, Aid Group Quits

It begins. Death to Terrorists!

Yahoo! News - U.S. Pounds Rebel Iraqi City, Aid Group Quits

Baseball Crank: POLITICS: Marginal Votes For Bush

Baseball Crank: POLITICS: Marginal Votes For Bush

Proof, and convincingly, that Bush's ground game and voter registration worked, and the Dems did not.

"When you put the numbers in that context, you see that Bush was actually hugely more successful at the margins in his combination of bringing new voters to the polls and convincing more people to switch to him than away from him. Remember that next time you hear that high turnout always and everywhere favors the Democrats."

THE BELGRAVIA DISPATCH: W. 43rd St. Revisionism Watch

Spin at the Times? In favor of Dem's? Who would have thunk it?

Losing it

An article in the nation, Losing it just a few days ago predicted that the Democrats would take back the house.

On average, Republicans were dead on in their assessment of the state of the races- and Democrats were dead wrong.

I guess the conservative echo chamber is more accurate than the liberal one.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

A bold prediction: When Arafat goes, it will be chaos

Haaretz newspaper of Israel looks to the future

Look for Hamas to make a play for government. Arafat has held iron control for a long time and there are many factions which will all want a piece of the pie. This can't be a huge surprise ( have you seen a picture of Arafat recently? He looks mostly dead already!)
and there has been a lot of maneuvering in the past two or three years. Still, if he dies tomorrow there probably won't be enough time to rally around a successor. Expect it to be messy- even messier than usual.

I expect there to be at least one major bombing in the next few days as Hamas makes a play for influence.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Quick update

Quick update on the last post. Sami Al-Arian is awaiting trial; he has not been convicted. His trial date is set for Jan. 20th.

I would like to add that the Duke Administration, quoted in a recent article denied that PSM activists had ever chanted "Kill the Jews." At least to their knowledge, if they closed their eyes and never looked. Since I was chased by several hundred PSM activists screaming just that, please forgive me for my skepticism.

Palestine Solidarity Movement Conference

To the editor:
Duke University president Brodhead has made a bad decision in allowing the "Palestine Solidarity Movement" to hold a convention on campus. Some have defended this organization, which has strong ties to Islamic Jihad, in the name of free speech.

The article titled “Jewish group plans conference protests” by Michael Petrocelli on October 11 notes “Some PSM critics have charged that those earlier events were hotbeds of anti-Semitism, with some attendees shouting, "Kill the Jews," but Duke administrators say they found no evidence of anything like that.” I can supply the evidence. I was there.
On May 7, 2002, I was among two dozen people who were physically assaulted at a pro-Israel rally at San Francisco State University by a group of several hundred PSM activists screaming "Kill the Jews!" Is this the free speech the Duke community supports?

One speaker at the 2002 conference was Sami Al-Arian, a terrorist convicted of funding suicide bombers responsible for the death of over one hundred civilians. His Feb. 19th, 2003 indictment stated he was responsible for fifty counts of "conspiracy within the United States to kill and maim persons abroad.”

In a 1988 speech, Al-Arian talked of a Koranic "curse" against "those who are the sons of Israel through David and Jesus, the Son of Mary... The Koran is our constitution. Jihad is our path...We assemble today to pay respects to the march of the martyrs and to the river of blood that gushes forth and does not extinguish, from butchery to butchery, and from martyrdom to martyrdom, from Jihad to Jihad." Subsequent to this speech, Mr. Al-Arian was invited to be keynote speaker at a Duke sponsored conference. Several Chronicle columns in 2002 and 2003 lauded him as a symbol of academic freedom.

Personally, I feel it is questionable whether inciting the murder of Jews and Christians in a holy war qualifies as the sort of free speech the university should support. Duke would never allow the Klu Klux Klan to hold a national convention on campus. The University should not allow PSM, an equally reprehensible hate group, on campus.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Gallup internals show MSM misunderanalyzed Bush

Kerry Wins Debate

The internals of the poll:

2004 Sep 30
(sorted by advantage for Kerry)




pct. pts.

Expressed himself more clearly

Had a good understanding of the issues

Agreed with you more on the issues you care about

Was more believable

Was more likable

Demonstrated he is tough enough for the job

Kerry failed to demonstrate that he is tough enough for the job, and was less believable and likable than the president. I think the polls may not show the Pro-Kery bump some are looking for. He didn't give Bush voters a reason to switch. I don't think there are many undecided voters left and Kerry may have come across as too suave for the red states.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Dan Rather is a child molester. I mean, that is what the rumor is, according to a mass email I got. And, the actual truth of it is irrelevant, right? Because the issue is not the facts of Dan Rather's child molestation, it's the rumors surrounding Dan Rather molesting little kiddies.

What do you think would happen to someone who did a story like the above? Yet that is exactly what happened to President Bush. Cross out child molestor and insert the ephitet of your choice and you get nothing but a smear devoid of content.

BeldarBlog: I'm coo-coo for Cocco puffs! (And so's CBS News!)

If I were Bush, I would attack Kerry at the debate with something like this:

"While Democrats like Conyers and Schumer have introduced legislation to reinstate the draft, I pledge to fight it with everything I have. Not a single republican has signed this legislation and not a single republican will." It would devastate Kerry by forcing him to defend and goading him into making a mistake.
BeldarBlog: I'm coo-coo for Cocco puffs! (And so's CBS News!)

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The Mystery of John Edwards Draft Status is Solved!

John Edwards Draft Status

Visit your friendly Plutonium Mart

From Aftenposten Norway, Norwegian news in English:

"Nuclear bomb-grade plutonium seized:

Security forces in the ex-Soviet state of Kyrgyzstan have detained a man who tried to sell nuclear bomb-grade plutonium on the black market, a senior security official said on Wednesday.
Tokon Mamytov, deputy head of the Central Asian republic's National Security Service, said the detained man was a Kyrgyz national. Nuclear experts in Moscow said the material was likely to be of Russian origin.
Investigators were trying to establish the identity of the potential buyer and where the substance, identified as plutonium 239, had come from, Mamytov said.
Former Soviet states, including Russia with its huge nuclear arsenal, are under heavy pressure to prevent dangerous atomic material from falling into the hands of extremists after the Soviet collapse left many nuclear facilities under-protected"

Don't you think we should pass the full employment act for Nuclear Scientists in the Mideast? We could offer every one of them a well paying job and asylum in the United States. It would be the cheapest way to reduce the threat. Assume 1000 scientistsx 100,000 per year <= 1/2 the flyaway cost of one F-22. And it will prevent a lot more bloodshed.

As for the buyer, I think we can all think of dozens of the usual suspects. It's not enough to make a bomb, so Uncle Kim would probably pass but there are a lot of smaller Muslim countries and countless nut-jobs that would LOVE to set off a dirty bomb somewhere- New Delhi, New York, Tel Aviv, London, Warsaw.

Their airline security needs work.

From AftenPosten via Fark: Guy in Norway attacks pilots with an az.

You don't need a PhD to prove this equation:

Onboard Axe+ No Cockpit Doors= Awful Security.

Incidentally, did you notice that they did not mention the nationality of the attacker? I bet I can name the religion, if not the country.

Aftenposten Norway, Norwegian news in English

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Power Line: The Democrats Hit Bottom

Power Line: The Democrats Hit Bottom

I am deeply saddened by the cheapening of political discourse by the Democrats- of course, dirty tricks are old news in American politics, but it is illustrative of many tactics now in use by the party that believes anything goes in the race to unseat a man they consider Satan.

Daschle outspending Thune 4-1, just to hold even

Congressional Races

Daschle has spent four times as much, but both have about the same amount left on hand. I think this one might go to Thune except for the massive corruption in the voting rolls on the native american reservations.

May he rot in prison, until he rots in Hell

Johnny "American Taliban" Walker Lindh wants early release. Hah.
CBS News | Lindh Seeks Early Release | September 28, 2004�15:36:43

Where does the cash come from?

2004 Election Overview: Business-Labor-Ideology Split in PAC & Individual Donations to Candidates and Parties

A fascinating chart on who gets the money. However, it is clear that the unions are spending far more than one can see here- and not really hiding it. One union admits to having a thousand full time people on the Kerry campaign. That's a whole lot of people to run an organized ground game. At 40k annually a pop (including benefits), for six months, that is 20,000x1000=$20,000,000 from that one union just in workers alone.

Upcoming book worth reading! - Das Cowboy Kapital

Right-thinking Germans even have a derogatory term, Amerikanische Verhaltnisse
-- literally, American conditions -- as a shorthand for the social catastrophe
they believe would result if they were ever to tackle the real cause of their
slow growth: a notoriously rigid labor market. This view is so monolithic that
the conservative leader Edmund Stoiber is on record saying, "We do not want
Amerikanische Verhaltnisse in Germany."

So imagine the Sturm und Drang when a German author, Olaf Gersemann, came along earlier this year and exploded all these myths. The title of his book hardly
needs translation: "Amerikanische Verhaltnisse: Die falsche Angst der
Deutschen vor dem Cowboy-Kapitalismus." On each score where Europeans think
their system is superior, the Washington correspondent for Germany's largest
business weekly shows that the Americans have actually pulled ahead.

I think this is worth putting in an early order for.

More thoughts on Orbitz

Travel agencies are a hard way to make money because the airlines now have incentives to play hardball and drive traffic to themselves or cut commissions to the bone. It's hard to see how Orbitz can make money long when they have a non-differentiated product, where the suppliers, IE the airlines are consolidating. Using the standard five force Porter analysis, we see an industry characterized by powerful suppliers, commodity products, intense competition, and low barriers to entry. Hard to see how this is an industry worth investing in.

Cendant Swallowing Orbitz

Cendant is gobbling Orbitz for $1.2 billion.
Cendant is a stock that I have owned for some time. They are a heavyweight in the travel and real estate business (Avis, Budget Rent a car, Days Inn, Ramada, etc.). They also happen to be perceived as one of the WORST managed companies. I personally think that the management is average (albeit hugely overpaid) rather than bad, but it has been my contention that they have been underleveraged for some time. However, they are paying a huge premium- 37%- for Orbitz, which I am convinced is too much. If you believe in the efficient market theory, $400 million+ too much. I don't necessarily believe in that theory (esp. for small caps like Orbitz), but I do believe that whatever synergies they get might be insufficient. It's going to be a hard slog to get a reasonable return, although one could make the case that Orbitz would be a great storefront for the hotel and rent a car business... although, if they are perceived as being too biased, there is the potential that competitors could fail to list- they need Hertz and Enterprise and Alamo, otherwise people will go to other sites to book travel and they will have to take a writedown on their investment. Silverman may retire next year but his stock options remain an incentive to do what is in the long term health of the company.

Scylla & Charybdis: UPDATED:Tampering and Fake ID's For Old Ladies

Utterly Devastating Legal Critique of CBS. Astounding that nobody else has picked up on this.
Scylla & Charybdis: UPDATED:Tampering and Fake ID's For Old Ladies

Belmont Club... digs the good stuff like nobody else

Wretchard over at the Belmont Club digs up the good stuff like nobody else. I have no idea how he finds this stuff in the Jerusalem post:

Yet, were an air strike on Iran to take out say, only 10 of 15 sites, it would still severely retard the Iranian nuclear effort, buying the West time to formulate and enact either a policy of engagement from a position of strength, or a policy of regime change with the requisite credibility among regime opponents that such a strike would inspire.

As you might expect, there are three options. Israel could bomb Iran, we could bomb Iran, or we could do nothing. Diplomacy counts as doing nothing becuase it will fail to acheive the appropriate goals. I suppose a fourth option would be to accept dhimmitude, but that is not something that I would prefer to think about.

The Mullahs are in a bind. On the one hand, they have a sharp sword in the form of oil cuts. On the other and, they need the money. They may be willing in principle to accept more damage to their economy, but in reality they need the money to pay for the things that keep their young and restless population partially sated...bread and circuses are expensive.

Were I in the Mullahs situation, I would try for a 20% cut in production. Right now, there are about 800,000 spare bpd of global production capacity. The Mullahs are producing a little over 4 million bpd of oil per day... about 5% of world capacity. They might even make money on the cut as oil prices would rise substantially.

Whatever the Mullahs do, expect Europe to roll over. Europe doesn't have the mability to affect world events anymore. Even if they did, Europe still sees the Jews as the real problem rather than their own unwillingness to contribute to the security of Western Civilization.

It's the presidents to lose... or not

Another day towards the general election. I am coming to believe that the election isn't Bush's to lose, it is still a tossup. The whole thing will come down to the debates. My gut says Kerry self destructs but anything could happen. It is, as they say, live television. I am convinced that Bush will win... Kerry could slice and dice the president on substance and Bush will win on Charisma. Kerry may be "JFK" but he didn't get the charisma along with the initials. Kerry will actually try to debate on the issues. As Kennedy-Nixon showed, it aint about the substance. It's the put downs and the one liners and the presence. Kerry needs to seal the deal by looking presidential, and I am convinced this is the key failing in his plan- when people with little charisma try to look presidential (think Gore) they come off as wooden.