Saturday, December 31, 2005

A letter to Iraq war detractors

Victor Davis Hanson publishes a letter on his site received from a soldier serving in Iraq:

As you persist with your thoughts that this war cannot be won, consider the notion of past military victories: The First War with Iraq, the defense of South Vietnam, the landing at Inchon, Iowa Jima, the Second Battle of the Marne, Gettysburg, New Orleans, and Yorktown. What made these battles significant for American forces was not only the skillful tactics of the troops, it also consisted of the support of a political entity whose primary goal was to win, not to participate in petty, partisan politics. Nobody questioned President Franklin Roosevelt’s strategy by saying we needed to pull out of World War II because he did not foresee the intensity of the Japanese on the South-Pacific islands. There was no doubt about fighting the Germans, even though they did not attack the U.S. Absent were the calls that President Woodrow Wilson engage in self-defeating reflection by apologizing for the brutality of trench-warfare. General George Washington held firm over a period of seven years in his overall strategy, despite early defeats. Yet, they all believed in what was right and their persistence proved successful.

You constantly refer to the “failure” and “defeat” of Vietnam to justify your criticism of the current war. It is an unusual thought that you revel in the so-called defeat in Vietnam and optimistically predict the same self-induced conclusion in Iraq. To paraphrase John S. Mill: War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The degraded state of patriotic feeling, which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. A man who cares about nothing more than himself is a selfish figure who has no chance at being free, unless provided by others better than himself.

When you criticize the President and the war effort, you are criticizing every service-member in this war. Please do not patronize the public with the often heard, “I support the troops, but I don’t support the war.” You cannot support the troops without supporting the war because their mission in life right now is to win the war, provide security for our country, and return home safely with honor.

Expect no coverage of this whatsoever in the main stream media.

Previous articles about: Iraq
How US soldiers are “terrorizing” Iraqis
A soldier’s view on Iraq
Iraqis optimistic about future
Long-term strategy in IraqThe future in Iraq

18th annual awards for the year's worst reporting

At the Media Research Center.

A few of my favourites:

Andrea Mitchell: "It is an iconic picture: American hostages, hands bound and blindfolded, being paraded outside the U.S. embassy in Tehran by their captors. But has one of those student radicals now become Iran’s newly elected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?...Tonight, U.S. intelligence officials say that they will continue to study this, but may never have definitive proof of what the role was of Iran’s new president, Brian."

Brian Williams: "Andrea, what would it all matter if proven true? Someone brought up today the first several U.S. Presidents were certainly revolutionaries and might have been called terrorists at the time by the British Crown, after all."
Mitchell: "Indeed, Brian."
— NBC Nightly News, June 30.

Brian Williams: "You just told me the story about one photograph from the war that always kind of catches you, the Japanese soldier returning to his city that’s been destroyed. Do you have remorse for what happened? How do you deal with that in your mind?"
Enola Gay navigator "Dutch" Van Kirk: "No, I do not have remorse! I pity the people who were there. I always think of it, Brian, as being, the dropping of the atom bomb was an act of war to end a war."
— Exchange as the two stood next to the plane at the Smithsonian’s new National Air and Space annex near Dulles airport, in a segment on the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, NBC Nightly News, August 5.

"It’s like he [President Bush] stuck a broomstick in his [FDR’s] wheelchair wheels."

— Newsweek’s Jon Meacham on MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning May 9, discussing Bush’s criticism of Roosevelt’s Yalta deal with Stalin on post-war Europe.

"In the words of one of his [Ayatollah Sistani’s] aides, ‘the representation of our Sunni brethren in the coming government must be effective, regardless of the results of the elections.’ As an Iraqi politician said to me, ‘There are currently two Grand Ayatollahs running Iraq: Sistani and Bush. Most of us feel that Sistani is the more rational.’"
— Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria in a column published in the magazine’s January 24 edition.

"I’ve known John Roberts for years. I think it’s a very sensible pick in all serious ways. But I must say that when I spent five hours reviewing all of his documents from when he worked in the Justice Department, I was actually quite surprised at how, how very, very conservative he was."
— NPR’s Nina Totenberg on the July 30 Inside Washington. Totenberg had previously referred to Judge Roberts as "very, very conservative," "very, very, very conservative," "a really conservative guy," "a conservative Catholic," and "a hardline conservative."

Co-host Mike Jerrick: "What do you think’s going to happen Sunday?"
FNC reporter Steve Harrigan, just back from Iraq: "I think there’s going to be a bloodbath on Sunday....All over the place, especially in Baghdad and a few other cities."
— FNC’s Fox & Friends, January 28, two days before Iraq’s largely peaceful elections.

"I’m Bob Schieffer. It just keeps getting worse in Iraq. The death toll is rising. Tension is growing between Shiites and Sunnis. Is the country sliding toward civil war?"
— Schieffer beginning the May 19 CBS Evening News.

Host Chris Matthews: "Are you considering running for Congress, Cindy?"
Sheehan: "No, not this time...."
Matthews: "Okay. Well, I have to tell you, you sound more informed than most U.S. Congresspeople, so maybe you should run."
— Exchange on MSNBC’s Hardball, August 15.

Co-host Matt Lauer: "Pain at the pump. Gas prices are going sky high. I paid $2.94 a gallon over the weekend to fill up the car."
Co-host Katie Couric: "It’s ridiculous. I had to take out a loan to fill up my minivan. It’s crazy."
— Exchange at the top of NBC’s Today, August 15. Couric makes about $15,000,000 a year.

Ted Turner: "I am absolutely convinced that the North Koreans are absolutely sincere. There’s really no reason for them to cheat [on nukes]....I looked them right in the eyes. And they looked like they meant the truth. You know, just because somebody’s done something wrong in the past doesn’t mean they can’t do right in the future or the present. That happens all the, all the time."
Wolf Blitzer: "But this is one of the most despotic regimes and Kim Jong-Il is one of the worst men on Earth. Isn’t that a fair assessment?"
Turner: "Well, I didn’t get to meet him, but he didn’t look — in the pictures that I’ve seen of him on CNN, he didn’t look too much different than most other people."
Blitzer: "But, look at the way, look at the way he’s, look at the way he’s treating his own people."
Turner: "Well, hey, listen. I saw a lot of people over there. They were thin and they were riding bicycles instead of driving in cars, but–"
Blitzer: "A lot of those people are starving."
Turner: "I didn’t see any, I didn’t see any brutality...."
— Exchange on CNN’s The Situation Room, Sept. 19.

Hillarious! And there are still people who say the main stream media isn't biased!

Previous article about: main stream media
The disgraceful year of the New York Times
Washington Post hit-piece on blogger Bill Roggio
Doctor Who turns into a liberal
Media fights to make wars unwinnable
The Associated Press: responsible for higher US casualties
The Mediacrats
The double standards of Western media concerning prisoners
The damage to the media of the Plame case
Media coverage of Iraq has been biased to the negative

Military strike against Iran nuclear facilities imminent?

The International site of Der Speigel has a report that the US may be preparing for a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

It's hardly news that US President George Bush refuses to rule out possible military action against Iran if Tehran continues to pursue its controversial nuclear ambitions. But in Germany, speculation is mounting that Washington is preparing to carry out air strikes against suspected Iranian nuclear sites perhaps even as soon as early 2006.

German diplomats began speaking of the prospect two years ago -- long before the Bush administration decided to give the European Union more time to convince Iran to abandon its ambitions, or at the very least put its civilian nuclear program under international controls. But the growing likelihood of the military option is back in the headlines in Germany thanks to a slew of stories that have run in the national media here over the holidays.

According to journalist and "intelligence expert" Udo Ulfkotte
"western security sources" claim that during CIA Director Porter Goss' Dec. 12 visit to Ankara, he asked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to provide support for a possibile 2006 air strike against Iranian nuclear and military facilities. More specifically, Goss is said to have asked Turkey to provide unfettered exchange of intelligence that could help with a mission.

DDP also reported that the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Pakistan have been informed in recent weeks of Washington's military plans. The countries, apparently, were told that air strikes were a "possible option," but they were given no specific timeframe for the operations.

Speculation that the US will take action in the future has been fuelled by the anti-Israel outbursts of the hardline Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. According to Seymour Hersh, US special forces are already in Iran marking targets. (I know, he's a raving anti-American, but the Administration didn't deny the report).

Go for it, I say. Like all totalitarianists, the Iranian regime cannot be negotiated with in good faith. To them, negotiation is merely a way of buying time to achieve their unacceptable ambitions i.e. nuclear armament and control of the Middle East, with disastrous consequences for the rest of the world. Such regimes will only respect force, and rightly view diplomatic dithering and appeasement as signs of weakness in those they regard as their enemies, that is, everyone except themselves.

Via Captain's Quarters.

Previous articles about: Iran
The insanity of mollycoddling Iran
The latest insanity from Iran’s President

Voter attitudes in southwestern Ontario

A piece in the Toronto Star entitled "A waste of time", which pretty much sums up the mood of the electorate in southwestern Ontario.

Some quotes from the voters interviewed:

"A waste of time," snaps Candace Hall, at the door of her downtown Hamilton home. Cradling her 9-day old daughter, Andrea, the city inspector says she doesn't like the Liberals but will probably vote for them again just to stop Harper's Conservatives.

To her mind, the so-called sponsorship scandal — in which the Quebec wing of the Liberal party was linked to a fraud scheme — has been overblown.

"It's the pot calling the kettle black for one party to accuse another of corruption. It's ridiculous, hypocritical," she fumes.

One wonders exactly what this conclusion is based on. What is in the Conservative Party's record to match Adscam? And how can hundreds of millions of dollars disappearing into a slush fund be "overblown?"

"I think we've all been Gomeried to death," says Don, referring to Justice John Gomery whose public inquiry report slammed some Quebec Liberals for their part in the sponsorship scandal.

"It's an egregious happening but it's not as big a deal as the opposition parties make it out to be. It doesn't mean you have to throw out the entire government. The Arar case (in which Canadian citizen Maher Arar was deported from the U.S. to Syria to be tortured) was more important than Gomery."

Maureen agrees. "Compared to the (federal) budget total, the amount involved isn't much.

"It's like losing a Tim Hortons double-double. It's loose change."

Doesn't that just want to make you smack your head on the desk?

"I'm not crazy about the right wing. It's better to have the crooks that I know."

Getting a bruised forehead here.

In Niagara Falls, printing systems consultant Mike Semark says he voted for Martin in 2004. But the sponsorship scandal has destroyed his trust in the Prime Minister.

He can't bring himself to vote for Harper. ("I don't trust him.") So, he plans not to vote at all.

"No one should vote," he says. "I would advise all Canadians not to vote."

Yes that would be extremely healthy for Canadian democracy, wouldn't it?

"I'm terrified of Stephen Harper," long-time Conservative Marilyn Gibbins tells me at the front door of her home in Grimsby, west of St. Catharines. "I'm terrified because I'm a female."

I think she's just terrified because she enjoys it.

"The most important thing is that the Liberals get their comeuppance," she says. "I don't like the timing, but the biggest problem is to take care of this. Get them out. I worked 32 years for my pension, and to have someone picking away at it doesn't sit well.

"While they're getting fatter, we're getting thinner."

Despond confesses that she's still nervous about Harper. But she figures she may still vote Conservative.

"It's time someone tried out their ideas. All we can do is hope they'll be better."

Whew! At last!

"I like the NDP because I'm poor and I need help from the government," says 19-year-old Brock University student Trevor Forbes, as he takes a break from shopping in St. Catharines. "I don't like the Liberal corruption stuff and I really don't like the Conservatives. They stand for everything I don't."

Like taking responsibility for yourself, perhaps?

RCMP to concentrate on Goodale next week

From the Globe & Mail:

Finance Minister Ralph Goodale says that he and other government officials are scheduled to meet with the RCMP next week as part of the criminal investigation into whether the federal government's plans for income trusts were leaked.

Mr. Goodale confirmed yesterday that he discussed the plans with "one or two senior" government officials outside his staff and the Department of Finance before announcing them Nov. 23, including Prime Minister Paul Martin.

So now it's "one or two" senior officials? One wonders exactly what the Liberal's definition of a "senior official" is.

Angry In The Great White North links to this previous statement by Pat Breton:

Pat Breton, a spokesman for Mr. Goodale, said yesterday that Finance officials met on the night of Nov. 22 for two or three hours and came up with the plan that became the next day's announcement on income trusts. He also said that the Prime Minister's Office was told after that Nov. 22 meeting — either later that night, or the next day — about the decision. The policy development was “entirely an internal Finance” effort, he added.

Now compare that with:

Mr. Martin confirmed yesterday that he and others in his office were told about the income-trust decision before it was announced, but late in the process.

He would not say exactly when his office was informed, or identify the other individuals.

The PM will not say exactly when he received notification, and you would think reporters would be following up on this.

Most interestingly:
Mr. Martin did not answer directly yesterday when asked whether he is confident there was no leak from his office.

Martin answered with:

"The fact is first of all, we're dealing with Opposition allegations and that's all we're dealing with, and we're dealing with Opposition allegations during an election campaign.

"The RCMP obviously have a responsibility to follow up on matters such as this - that's their job - and they're doing it. But the fact is the RCMP have also said that there is simply no evidence to demonstrate that those allegations in fact hold water."

That's just avoidance. Martin obviously has absolutely no confidence that the leak did not come his own office.

The National Post also mentions a Decima Research survey.

The survey found that 14 per cent of undecided voters said the criminal investigation made it certain they would not vote Liberal, while 25 per cent said it made them less likely to vote for the Grits.

Those are bad numbers for the Liberals. Quite probably losing almost 40% of the undecided voters at a stroke could (hopefully!) doom their campaign.

Previous articles about: Liberal insider trading scandal
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CTV Whistleblower: evidence of Liberal insider trading scandal
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Further evidence of Liberal insider trading scandal?
The corrupt Liberal’s insider trading scandal

Friday, December 30, 2005

Justice Dept to investigate domestic spying leak

An overdue investigation is about to begin in the United States over the leaks of classified information relating to domestic NSA surveillance.

The AP reports:

The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the leak of classified information about President Bush's secret domestic spying program.

The inquiry focuses on disclosures to The New York Times about warrantless surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, officials said.

The Times revealed the existence of the program two weeks ago in a front-page story that acknowledged the news had been withheld from publication for a year, partly at the request of the administration and partly because the newspaper wanted more time to confirm various aspects of the program.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy said Justice undertook the action on its own, and the president was informed of it on Friday.

"The leaking of classified information is a serious issue. The fact is that al-Qaida's playbook is not printed on Page One and when America's is, it has serious ramifications," Duffy told reporters in Crawford, Texas, where Bush was spending the holidays.

The New York Times is said to not be commenting on the investigation.

Expect all the leftists who were so loud in their demands for investigations and prosecutions over the bogus Plame affair to suddenly change their tune and start supporting leaks as whistleblowing. This will show that they don't actually care about national security. The left's rationale is that if the existence of a leak can be used to attack the Bush administration, the leak is bad, whereas if the content of a leak can be used to attack the Bush administration, the leak must be good ("whistleblowing").

Michelle Malkin has more.

Fox news reports that the FBI is also involved. Typically, the ACLU is screaming blue murder. Anything that harms American capabilities will attract their support.

Poll impact of insider trading scandal

Via Borque:

Call it Paul Martin's "Unlucky 13". Bourque has learned that the consistent bombshell reports about negative Liberal Party doings (the dog doo-doo's, the popcorn, the RCMP criminal investigations, etc), most of which are consistenly first reported to the nation on this website, is having a devastating impact on the Liberal Party, both in terms of insider morale and in current polling standings. Senior Paul Martin Liberals, the usual suspects, are now second-guessing their overall election campaign tactics and are also second-guessing each other, a tragic and stunning turn of events for a majestic party that has held government for most of the past 13 years. According to insiders well-placed to understand the nuances within Martin's braintrust, Bourque has also learned that key campaign personnel are at risk of being replaced in an increasingly desperate attempt to maintain control of the public agenda, and more importantly, the key messaging that is driving this election, something that has eluded Team Martin since Day One of this election. Now, according to SES, "The announcement of a RCMP criminal investigation of a possible tax leak from Finance Minister Ralph Goodale's office has initially had an impact on the political environment. CPAC-SES tracking has the Liberals and the Conservatives statistically tied for the first time in the campaign. Nationally, the Liberals have 35%, the Conservatives 34%, the NDP 14%, the BQ 13% and the Green Party 5%. Overnight, the CPAC-SES one day measure on trust and vision for Canada has realised a noticeable drop for Paul Martin."

Hopefully, this will be borne out by other polls.

From the Toronto Star:
"This is like a live grenade has just been thrown down Paul Martin's pants," remarked Frank Graves, president of EKOS Research Associates. "I think the potential fallout from this is quite significant — as in, you know, might lose election rather than win."

Previous articles about: Liberal insider trading scandal
CTV Whistleblower: evidence of Liberal insider trading scandal
Ralph Goodale may quit
Some reaction to RCMP probe
RCMP launches probe into Liberal insider trading scandal
Further evidence of Liberal insider trading scandal?
The corrupt Liberal’s insider trading scandal

Thursday, December 29, 2005

CTV Whistleblower: Evidence of insider trading scandal

Note: Updates below

CTV Whistleblower has a report on evidence they have found on the insider trading scandal.

First, several credible sources in financial circles confirmed to CTV they heard definitively -- before the markets closed -- that an announcement would be coming after the close of trading that day.

Many people were exchanging emails, about an anticipated 5 p.m. news conference. That seemingly advance notice contradicts the Finance Department's position that they told no one -- not even privately -- about the timing of the hotly anticipated announcement, not the day or the hour it would come.

"There was no specific advance notice whatsoever," Goodale told CTV.

It gets worse (for the Liberals)

More important, perhaps, CTV discovered evidence, in writing, that seems to suggest some people had advance knowledge of exactly what the finance minister was going to say.

That evidence is in public bulletin board postings on a popular investor's internet site called "Stockhouse". The first posting -- at 11:14 that morning -- came from someone who wrote: "Skuttlebutt is that he (Goodale) will soon announce a reduction on dividend taxation to 'even the playing field'." This information was posted a full seven hours before the minister's press conference, and possibly viewed by many potential investors before the markets closed.

The second posting on the same site came from another person, who also seemed to know what was coming. At 3:59, they posted this message: "The hot rumour is that the government's decision on the income trust issue is that they are going to make a more level playing field by reducing the degree of double taxation which currently exists on dividends by increasing the dividend tax credit."

The Finance Minister used very similar wording when he made his announcement two hours later.
So here you have a straightforward contradiction to the Finance Department's assertion that the timing of the announcement was kept private, and people discussing exactly the announcement that Mr. Goodale made. This is too much to be coincidence.

UPDATE: MK Braaten has more on the CTV reporting, including quotes from the Newscast by people confirming they received emails telling them about the announcement.

UPDATE 2: Angry In The Great White North zeros in on the Prime Minister's Office as a likely source of the leak, based on communications he has received from well-placed Liberals. Bourque Newswatch links to a Globe & Mail report in which Pat Breton, a spokesman for Mr. Goodale, confirms that PMO aides were told about a taxation change "sometime immediately before" the announcement. Is this going to explode into an internal war between the PMO and Finance Dept.?

UPDATE 3: The Toronto Star gives more evidence of the existence of the leak:
Sandy McIntyre was about to head for a noon meeting at the King Edward Hotel on Nov. 23 when a phone call alerted the Bay Street stock picker that Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, whose government was days away from calling an election, was poised to make a major announcement.

When the senior portfolio manager at Sentry Select Capital returned to his office about an hour later at 12:30 p.m., McIntyre says, he fielded another call. This time, a trading floor contact "who was clearly excited" boasted his bank's investment adviser had been told by a government source that Goodale would reveal how the Liberals planned to handle dividend taxes.

Previous articles about: Liberal insider trading scandal
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Some reaction to RCMP probe
RCMP launches probe into Liberal insider trading scandal
Further evidence of Liberal insider trading scandal?
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$400k "contract" to Liberal supporter in BC

Looks like another blatant piece of Liberal patronage using taxpayer's money.

On January 14, 2005, almost four hundred thousand dollars went to "the Honorable Bryan W. Williams" from Public Works. The contract, #FP858-040018/001/SS was "non competitive". The government is not allowed to hand out contracts of this size without competition. The government is required to give a reason. The reason given..."Extreme urgency".
The extremely urgent contract was to look into the disappearance of BC salmon. In fact, it was so urgent that it took two months to award the money. Mr Williams is a big Liberal supporter (read the link). The result was some blather about figures being off and the water temperature being wrong.

Adscam. Insider trading. Patronage contracts. Tip. Of. The. Iceberg.

Via Angry In The Great White North

Previous articles about: Liberal Party scandals
Ralph Goodale may quit
Some reaction to RCMP probe
RCMP launches probe into Liberal insider trading scandal
Reaction to the Klander incident
The Klander Klanger
Further evidence of Liberal insider trading scandal?
The corrupt Liberal’s insider trading scandal

Teenager runs off to Iraq by himself

I don't know whether I want to buy this kid a drink, or smack some common sense into him. Probably both.

Maybe it was the time the taxi dumped him at the Iraq-Kuwait border, leaving him alone in the middle of the desert. Or when he drew a crowd at a Baghdad food stand after using an Arabic phrase book to order. Or the moment a Kuwaiti cab driver almost punched him in the face when he balked at the $100 fare.

But at some point, Farris Hassan, a 16-year-old from Florida, realized that traveling to Iraq by himself was not the safest thing he could have done with his Christmas vacation.

And he didn't even tell his parents.

Disraeli: architect of modern Conservatism

A long, but extremely worthwhile and interesting, essay by David Gelernter about Benjamin Disraeli, the inventor of modern Conservatism and the greatest politician of the nineteenth century. Well worth consideration over a cup of tea.

BENJAMIN DISRAELI--TWICE PRIME minister of Great Britain, romantic novelist, inventor of modern conservatism--was a neocon in the plain sense of the word, a "new conservative" who began his career on the left. Conservative thinking dates to the dawn of organized society, but modern conservatism--a mass movement, a philosophy not for aristocrats and the rich but for everybody--was Disraeli's creation. That modern conservatism should have been invented by a 19th-century neocon is thought provoking. More surprising:His redefinition of conservatism is still fresh, and his political philosophy has never been more apt.

Conservatism is the most powerful and electric force in the American intellectual landscape. Young people no longer discover the left and get excited; they are far more likely to get their intellectual kicks discovering and experimenting with conservatism. But what exactly do conservatives believe? How do they resolve the seeming paradox that so many conservatives revere the past yet are also progressives, determined to move this nation forward and let it grow, stretch, and inhabit more and more of its own best self? Disraeli produced a definition of conservatism that resolves the problem. It is so terse and compelling, it ranks as a milestone of political thought.

How US soldiers are "terrorizing" Iraqis

James Taranto at the WSJ Opinion Journal highlights a CNN story about the conduct of US soldiers in Iraq:

When troops from the Georgia National Guard raided a Baghdad home in early December, they had no idea that their mission in Iraq would take a different turn.

As the young parents of an infant girl nervously watched the soldiers search their modest home, the baby's unflinching grandmother thrust the little girl at the Americans, showing them the purple pouch protruding from her back.

Little Noor, barely three months old, was born with spina bifida, a birth defect in which the spinal column fails to completely close. Iraqi doctors had told her parents she would live only 45 days.
But she was tenaciously clinging to life, and the soldiers in the home -- many of them fathers themselves -- were moved.

"Well, I saw this child as the firstborn child of the young mother and father and really, all I could think of was my five children back at home and my young daughter," Lt. Jeff Morgan told CNN from Baghdad. "And I knew if I had the opportunity whatsoever to save my daughter's life I would do everything possible.

"So my heart just kind of went out to this baby and these parents who ... were living in poverty and had no means to help their baby. I thought we could do that for them," he added.

So Morgan and his fellow soldiers began working to get Noor the help she needs.
Military doctors examined baby Noor. Meanwhile friends back home enlisted help for her cause, and Georgia Senator Chambliss is helping with visa requirements. Dr. Roger Hudgins has said he will carry out the life-saving operation for free.

James Taranto contrasts this with the words of John Kerry:

And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the--of--the historical customs, religious customs.
John Kerry, to put it mildly, makes me puke. His blatant slander of US soldiers for political gain is unforgivable. His undermining of the armed forces and defeatism toward the cause they fight for is traitorous.

But there is one thing in what he said that was correct. The US soldiers do have to visit in the dead of night.

"We visited them when we could, which was usually in the middle of the night, as covertly as possible," he added. "Because the insurgents in Iraq like to find people that we're trying to help sometimes and either terrorize them or sometimes worse."

Yet Michael Moore and his ilk consider the "insurgents" to be Iraq's Minutemen. One wonders how Moore and Kerry and all the other leftists can sleep at night knowing that they are slandering the well-meaning soldiers of their own country, encouraging and helping terrorists, and promoting the abandonment of millions of innocent Iraqi men, women and children to barbarism, misery and death; all in the cause of advancing their own freedom-killing Socialist agendas.

Mentally, they're no better than Stalin and Mao and all the other leftwing murderers and dictators of the past century. They share the same mentality, but they lack the opportunity, for which the rest of us can be supremely thankful.

Previous articles about: John Kerry
John Kerry’s contempt for US soldiers

Ralph Goodale may quit

It seems that there is considerable internal pressure for Ralph Goodale to step aside from his position as Finance minister, according to Borque Newswatch:

Bourque has learned that embattled Finance Minister Ralph Goodale is being pressured to give up his Cabinet seat for an indeterminate period of time, this in light of devastating news first revealed to the nation here yesterday that the RCMP has launched a criminal investigation into leaks from his department regarding rulings relating to the growing income trust scandal. According to senior sources inside the Paul Martin Liberal Party who spoke on condition of anonymity, "the official party posture is that Ralph didn't know anything and therefore shouldn't have to resign, but the public perception is devastating, it's killing us, and we need to move firmly to squelch the stink." Incredibly, Prime Minister Paul Martin has refused to comment publicly on news of the RCMP criminal probe, though it is understood that he has had a few choice words with key staff about this file. Meanwhile, fully 82% of those polled in a Bourque Barometer overnight say Goodale has no choice but to step aside. Developing.

UPDATE: Paul Martin has thrown his weight behind Goodale, for now.
Calling Ralph Goodale a good and honest man, Martin said Thursday that Goodale will remain in charge of the country's finances. "He is a person of the greatest integrity, and he will not be stepping down," Martin said.

Of course, this ups the stakes. Should charges be laid after the investigation, Martin will look like a fool. Meantime, Goodale reamins a very visible target for the opposition parties and a reminder to the Canadian public of Liberal scandals.

Previous articles about: Liberal insider trading scandal
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RCMP launches probe into Liberal insider trading scandal
Further evidence of Liberal insider trading scandal?
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Amazons to wusses

Aside from referencing this column in The Times because it's interesting, I'm backing away from this one ("I am man, see me run away.")

We reclaimed the night, we grew shaggy armpits, we had a blast. In 1975, Parliament finally caught up with the prevailing mood and so, 30 years ago today, the Sex Discrimination Act was passed and the Equal Pay Act came into force: a decent crack was ours for the taking and woe betide he who would deny us.

As things turned out, however, it wasn’t to be a he who dimmed the lights; it was a she. Moan all you will about glass ceilings and the still tenacious grip, in some quarters, of Neanderthal man; the terrible truth is that while it was women who fought for — and won — a historical advance for their sex, it was also women, thereafter, who blew it.

The overwhelming achievement of these three decades of feminism and its worker bees in the “women’s movement” has been to turn our triumph on its head. What was once about women’s strengths is now about their weaknesses; where once we celebrated what women can do, we are asked, now, only to make allowances for what they cannot.

Some reaction to RCMP probe

Since the announcement was made yesterday evening, there is not much comment on the probe in todays papers.

John Ibbitson at the Globe & Mail thinks that this may cost the Liberals the election.

The Toronto Star reporters focus in on how the investigation is likely to refocus the election campaign on Liberal scandals. As an interesting side point in their report, they state that Paul Martin has refused to take questions for two consecutive days now.

In other spheres, Angry In The Great White North has varying reactions from Liberal supporters.

Semi-related, the Toronto Sun contains a story on Stephen Harper pulling ahead in the polls on the issues of trust, vision, and the overall leadership index. Somehow Martin still narrowly leads in the area of competence.

Wishful thinking maybe, but this is starting to feel like a political meltdown in progress.

UPDATE: Edward Morrissey points out that other countries could launch their own investigations, including the SEC in the US.

Previous articles on: Liberal insider trading scandal
RCMP launches probe into Liberal insider trading scandal
Further evidence of Liberal insider trading scandal?
The corrupt Liberal’s insider trading scandal

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

RCMP launches probe into Liberal insider trading scandal


Police have launched a criminal probe in the midst of Canada's federal election campaign into whether tax policy information was improperly leaked to the financial community, according to a letter made public on Wednesday.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed the investigation in a letter to the opposition New Democratic Party, which had asked the Mounties to review the actions of Finance Minister Ralph Goodale's office for a potential criminal probe.

"Based on the information obtained during the review, the RCMP will be commencing a criminal investigation," RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli wrote in the two paragraph letter that gave no additional details or name the specific target of the investigation.

The Mounties are looking into allegations that information on the government's tax policy for income trusts had been leaked, leading to a sharp rise in the price of trust units ahead of the official announcement.
I thought this was just going to fade away, but kudos to the NDP for pursuing it. They have demanded that Ralph Goodale step down as finance minister while the investigation is made, and if he has any integrity, he will. Can you feel the doubt in those words?

Sure enough, here's Goodale's response:

Speaking with reporters at his Regina constituency office, Goodale said he would not step down because that would "lend credence" to the allegations that he thinks are baseless.

"It's very clear from the comments of the RCMP that they have no information, no evidence, no indication of any wrongdoing on my part and no direct allegation against me personally," Goodale said.

"I'm very anxious to make sure that my reputation for integrity is absolutely vindicated, because that is a very crucial part of who I am and what I stand for - that's been my modus operandi for over 30 years."
Angry In The Great White North thinks that Goodale must resign, as there is no other option, but it seems the Liberals will try to brazen this out. Hopefully pressure will be brought to bear from the press. Angry also has information about a possible Ontario Securities Commission investigation.

M.K. Braaten thinks that this is a real blow to the Liberals, as the RCMP only begins investigations

if there is a high probability of guilt as investigating insider trading is like finding a needle in a hay stack. The Liberal party may have just met their match.
I cautiously (and hopefully) agree.

Previous articles on: Liberal insider trading scandal
Further evidence of Liberal insider trading scandal?
The corrupt Liberal’s insider trading scandal

A look at the positive benefits of religion

At the outset, I should say that I'm an atheist. However, I try to maintain a balanced and objective viewpoint on religion, recognising that there is both a positive and a negative side, historically and contemporaneously. I find militant atheists such as Michael Newdow to be highly irritating, exhibiting exactly the same faults that they accuse religionists of. At the same time, I demand the freedom to express my opinions, and reject utterly the accusations often made by the religiously fervent, that atheists lack a moral compass etc.

In this spirit (pun only slightly intended), I read the economics focus in The Economist entitled "Wealth From Worship" with quite some interest.

It discusses a study by Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which claims that regular religious participation leads to better education, higher income and a lower chance of divorce.

So how might churchgoing make you richer? Mr Gruber offers several possibilities. One plausible idea is that going to church yields “social capital”, a web of relationships that fosters trust. Economists think such ties can be valuable, because they make business dealings smoother and transactions cheaper. Churchgoing may simply be an efficient way of creating them.

Another possibility is that a church's members enjoy mutual emotional and (maybe) financial insurance. That allows them to recover more quickly from setbacks, such as the loss of a job, than they would without the support of fellow parishioners. Or perhaps religion and wealth are linked through education. Mr Gruber's results suggest that higher church attendance leads to more years at school and less chance of dropping out of college. A vibrant church might also boost the number of religious schools, which in turn could raise academic achievement.

Finally, religious faith itself might be the channel through which churchgoers become richer. Perhaps, Mr Gruber muses, the faithful may be “less stressed out” about life's daily travails and thus better equipped for success.

The non-technical summary of the study is available here. According to the tagline

"Doubling the rate of religious attendance raises household income by 9.1 percent, decreases welfare participation by 16 percent from baseline rates, decreases the odds of being divorced by 4 percent , and increases the odds of being married by 4.4 percent."
The Economist article has further discussion on the methodology of the study, if you're interested.

Now, I'm not about to refind religion. Nor do I think that every individual will be worse off without religion, or better off with it. Further, the effect religion has on an individual's life will vary widely depending upon which specific religion is creating the effect.

But studies like this provide evidence that modern-day religiosity is not a completely bad thing, as many secularists would have it. For many people, religion still makes a net positive contribution to their lives, and those of us who are secular in our outlooks should remember this if we wish to hold an informed, balanced and objective perspective on religious subjects.

Lessons from the past 25 years

Michael Barone, writing in US News and World Report, on the lessons to be learned since 1980:

What are the lessons of the past 25 years?

First, that American military power can advance freedom and democracy to all corners of the world. Under Reagan and his three successors, America has played a lead role in extending freedom and democracy to most of Latin America, to the Philippines and Indonesia and almost all of East Asia, and, most recently, to Afghanistan and Iraq, with reverberations spreading through the Middle East. Area experts said, often plausibly, those countries' cultures were incompatible with democracy. Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and brave men and women in those nations proved them wrong.

Second, that markets work and that lower taxes and less onerous government produce more economic growth than the alternative. About 43 million jobs have been created in the United States since December 1980, while the number in the more statist nations of western Europe is on the order of 4 million. Markets are creating millions of jobs in nominally Communist China and once socialist India.

Third, that politics and effective government can, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, change the culture. The crime-control methods pioneered by New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the welfare reforms pioneered by Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, imitated around the country and followed up by federal legislation, resulted in huge decreases in crime and welfare dependency.

There are those, of course, who refuse to learn the lessons and prefer to remain in their left-wing echo chambers.

These lessons have been widely learned and widely applied by George W. Bush and also to a large extent by Bill Clinton. But not, curiously enough, by those who see themselves as the best and the brightest, our university and media elites. They would still like to see America's power reined in, as it was in the 1970s. They are insouciant about the costs that larger and more intrusive government and higher taxes impose on the economy. They think that leniency and subsidy are the appropriate responses to deviant and self-destructive behavior. They think our most important right is a right to kill our unborn children. You have to be awfully smart, someone once said, to believe something so stupid. And to be so blind to the clear lessons of the past quarter century of history.

Hayek explained why Socialism is so attractive to intellectuals: their own intelligence (or perception thereof) leads them into arrogantly thinking they can plan and control other people's lives more beneficially than the individuals themselves. Nothing thrills an academic more than the idea of his pet social theories being implemented upon the general population.

Reality has proven this arrogance to be disastrous. Even though university intellectuals may be smarter than average in the theoretical realms of thought, the difference is insignificant when compared to the scale of knowledge that would be required to effectively plan complex modern societies. If one person has a millionth of the knowledge necessary for a task, and another person has two millionths, are either of them competent to carry out that task? Of course not.

Such arrogance tends to be generated by above-average intelligence. This is human nature. It is compounded by the echo-chamber qualities of universities and media organizations. This is why universities and media outlets are likely to continue as largely left-wing incubators and promoters of Socialist ideology.

The disgraceful year of the New York Times

Michelle Malkin gives the old and tired Grey Lady a well-deserved slamming for its appalling record in 2005.

So, which side is The New York Times on? Let 2005 go down as the year the Gray Lady wrapped herself permanently in a White Flag.
Previous articles about: main stream media
Washington Post hit-piece on blogger Bill Roggio
Doctor Who turns into a liberal
Media fights to make wars unwinnable
The Associated Press: responsible for higher US casualties
The Mediacrats
The double standards of Western media concerning prisoners
The damage to the media of the Plame case
Media coverage of Iraq has been biased to the negative

Reaction to the Klander incident

In the Winnipeg Sun from Charles Adler:

Last week at this time, if you were being told that a political operative would be spending his personal time creating a web blog and using it to make fun of Asian Canadian politicians and quadriplegics, you would have assumed that the activist was a Conservative.

You were under orders to make that assumption if you were inhaling the exhaust of mainstream media. For the last few years, the MSM (clever little acronym used on most blogs to describe the mainstream media) have portrayed Conservatives from Western Canada as hillbillies at best, Nazis at worst.

Only the most complacent meathead of a political operative would publish a public document placing a picture of a cute little Chow Chow dog next to a pic of NDP candidate Chow and then write that the two were "separated at birth."

Only an idiot would poke fun at Steven Fletcher, the health critic for the Conservatives, because he happens to be a quadriplegic.

If you want the entire laundry list of Klanderisms, just log on to a blog that has been cataloguing them -- Angry in the Great White North ( and download the effluent.

If you plan to vote Jan. 23, consider it a homework assignment. Your home is about to be invaded by Liberal messages crafted by those who want you to believe that only Liberals stand for equality, diversity and tolerance.

Paul Martin will sling the same bull in the coming TV debates. If there are children in the room, please equip them with suitably sized barf bags.

Is it too much to hope that these continuing glimpses into the minds of the Liberals will start to be reflected in the polls soon?

Previous articles about: Klander
The Klander Klanger

UK agencies fight over anti-terror funding

Today's Times reports on how stretched the police are in their fight to prevent more terrorist attacks in Britain. Worse, they face severe funding difficulties.

A senior figure at the centre of the fight against terrorism has told The Times that the Prime Minister and the Government are felt to have reneged on assurances to give police forces everything they need to fight the “war on terrorism”. Scotland Yard chiefs fear that the majority of extra resources for national security, to be allocated next month, will be awarded to the intelligence services, whose failings were exposed by the July London bombings.

Sir Ian Blair says that at least three credible threats have been thwarted since the July attacks, but the police badly need more resources because of the new type of threat.
No arrests have been made in connection with the July 7 bombings and the suspected mastermind behind the plot has never been identified. The inquiry has, however, forced Scotland Yard to throw away the existing intelligence profile of a terrorist because none of the bombers fitted the model.

Senior officers are engaged in trying to draw up “a new topology” of the radicalisation of a young Muslim to attempt to stem the influence of extremists and prevent further attacks.

Columnist Alice Miles writes further on this in her column "Where have we got to in the fight against terrorism? We're lost in a fog"
Before July 7, officers had a “threat profile” which suggested that potential terrorists would have some of the following characteristics: they attended mosques, were foreign or had spent significant time abroad, met associates in prison or at university, used internet cafés and Islamic bookshops, and may have been disadvantaged. The suicide bombers of July 7 showed that profile to be out of date. Most importantly, all four were British citizens. Now officers look for meetings in private houses, not mosques, and links to gymnasiums or macho “bonding” activities, such as the whitewater rafting trip taken by the July 7 bombers a month before their suicide mission.

Yet it is hard to match the profile of the July 7 bombers with even the alleged bombers of July 21, let alone with the characters of the suspects arrested and charged in anti-terror raids since then.

Profiles and patterns are crucially important to police and intelligence services, but there is the disturbing possibility that there may not be a pattern to find in the new terrorism.
If young British terrorists are operating on their own initiative, without being “run” by outsiders then, as one senior officer put it, “We really are in the shit.” For if there is nothing linking them, there is no pattern, and the police work on patterns.

Everyone likes a pattern. Attacks on the intelligence services in the US have focused on their failure to identify a pattern — or “connect the dots”, as the congressional intelligence committees put it — before 9/11. Yet intelligence patterns, as cogently argued by Malcolm Gladwell ( in the New Yorker, are often clear in retrospect only. A number of dots that might appear linked will lead nowhere in the end. Thousands of other dots will go uninvestigated — or be missing the other dots that would make them tell a story. The post-9/11 congressional intelligence report mentioned that the FBI’s counter-terrorism division had 68,000 outstanding leads dating back to 1995.

The British police force is rightly regarded as one of the best in the world. If anyone can join together the dots, or even learn to do their work without patterns of dots, it is Scotland Yard. But they must have the necessary funding, and if the Government doesn't provide it, politicians should be held responsible when a future preventable attack occurs.

Top Ten Foolish Myths

John Stossel at Real Clear Politics gives his list of the year's Top Ten Foolish Myths. Here they are:

No. 10: Americans have less free time than we used to.
No. 9. Money buys happiness.
No. 8: Republicans shrink government.
No. 7: The world is getting too crowded.
No. 6. Chemicals are killing us.
No. 5: Guns are bad.
No. 4: We're drowning in garbage.
No. 3: We're destroying our forests.
No. 2: Getting cold will give you a cold.
No. 1: Life is getting worse.
I agree with all of them although, as he points out in the explanatory article accompanying them, some of these myths may have a grain of truth in certain circumstances e.g. money can give more happiness to impoverished people.

Certainly the number 1 myth, that life is getting worse, is ridiculous and irritating. It's popular because people are getting more self-indulgent, and that's no myth.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Mother Theresa "nun bun" stolen

Some blackguard made off with a cinnamon bun in the likeness of Mother Theresa on Christmas Day. The BBC reports that the "nun bun" was discovered in 1996 and was preserved in shellac in a glass case at a Nashville coffeehouse.

The Bongo Java coffee shop sold T-shirts, prayer cards and mugs with the bun's image until Mother Teresa wrote a letter asking the sales be stopped, before her death in 1997.

Mr Bernstein said the thief "went right for the bun", ignoring cash lying nearby.

"Unfortunately I think it's somebody who wanted to take it to destroy it," he said.
OK, I suppose it does look a little bit like her. But only a little bit, and she looks like she's gone through a few rounds with Lennox Lewis.

Anyway, what is it with these supernatural holy types putting their faces into buns and toast and fish-sticks and stuff? Wouldn't they rather appear in the crinkled pages of Vanity Fair, or something?

Washington Post hit-piece on Blogger Bill Roggio

Yesterday's Washington Post contained an ill-disguised attack on the credibility of Bill Roggio, a blogger who was invited by Marines to report from the front lines in Iraq, and who raised over $30,000 to be able to go.

The column fairly blatantly tries to paint Roggio as nothing more than a tool of military propaganda, as is quite obvious from the title and sub-title of the piece. As Roggio states in his response:

The details of my embed are then followed with a discussion on military information operations, the Lincoln Group’s activities in paying for positive articles to be published in Iraqi publications, and the military funding Iraqi radio stations. The implication is clear: a blogger embedding in Iraq must be part of a nefarious scheme by the military to influence the perceptions on Iraq.
Roggio's response also points out a number of important factual inaccuracies in the Post column, as well as discussing how the MSM dishonestly equates the US military's operations to place stories in the Iraqi media to the disinformation campaigns of al-Qaeda.

The reason for this little temper tantrum by the Post should be obvious: it's a manifestation of the MSM's frustration at no longer being the gatekeepers of information, able to skew and spin "news" to fit their own political and social agendas. They have lost their elitist oligopoly, and are responding (completely ineffectually) by trying to smear and discredit the new competition. Maybe this would be more effective if they hadn't so thoroughly discredited themselves first through forgery scandals and blatant partisan bias.

Via Powerline.

Previous articles about: main stream media
Doctor Who turns into a liberal
Media fights to make wars unwinnable
The Associated Press: responsible for higher US casualties
The Mediacrats
The double standards of Western media concerning prisoners
The damage to the media of the Plame case
Media coverage of Iraq has been biased to the negative

Muslim men and rape

A disturbing article by Sharon Lapkin on the epidemic of rape carried out by Muslim men against non-Muslim women, and the cowardly reactions of the Western media and intellectuals.

In Australia, Norway, Sweden and other Western nations, there is a distinct race-based crime in motion being ignored by the diversity police: Islamic men are raping Western women for ethnic reasons. We know this because the rapists have openly declared their sectarian motivations.
The number of rapes committed by Muslim men against women in the last decade is so incredibly high that it cannot be viewed as anything other than culturally implicit behaviour. It is overtly reinforced and sanctioned by Islamic religious leaders who blame the victims and excuse the rapists.
Previous articles about: Islam
“Preventing Extremism Together”. Dhimmitude from the UK Home Office
All Muslims are fundamentalists

More King Kong analysis

We've had King Kong as racial stereotype, now it's a "metaphor for what society does to the sexes", according to Don Feder.

In a way, all men are King Kong: powerful, brooding, potentially destructive creatures waiting for a woman to touch our hearts and tame us.

And all women are Ann Darrow, simultaneously fragile and compelling, possessor of the magic to transform primitive males (monsters-in-waiting) into protectors and the builders of families and civilizations.

But, the movie seems to say, modernity can be the undoing of both. It seeks not to civilize but to shackle male instincts. It turns love into a sideshow attraction. It pulls men and women apart.

The marvels of man’s creation can attack and ultimately destroy us, spiritually, if not physically. The destroyers are an atomizing culture, the dogma of gender-sameness, entertainment that seduces, fragments and often perverts, and the deification of choice. These are the gods we sacrifice ourselves to.

Jackson’s "King Kong" is something quite different from the original and the 70's remake. Superficially, it thrills and delights. On another level, it’s a metaphor for what society does to the sexes.

When, at the end of the 3-hour movie, Black utters the closing line from the original – "It was beauty killed the beast" – we want to say: "No, beauty tamed him. It was society that killed him."
Look fellows, we just don't know whether King Kong would vote Republican or Democrat, alright? Sometimes a fifty foot ape is just a fifty foot ape.

Previous posts on King Kong:
King Kong = big black horny racial stereotype

Canadian polls - December 19 to Dec 25

Having missed a week due to vacation, let's review the last week's polls. Previous results from two weeks ago are in brackets.

National poll averages (10 polls)

Liberals 35.9% (37.3%)
Conservatives 30.1% (28.4%)
NDP 16.1% (15%)

A slight improvement for the Conservatives, but still no major inroads nationally, despite the superior campaign they are conducting.

Ontario poll averages (10 polls)

Liberals 43.3% (45.8%)
Conservatives 34.5% (31.7%)
NDP 16% (17.3%)

Considerably better for the Conservatives. If Ontario starts to slide away from the Liberals, they are toast!

British Columbia poll averages (5 polls)

Liberals 37.2% (31.6%)
Conservatives 29.2% (29.8%)
NDP 27.6% (29.2%)

Again, BC is all over the map with wild swings, but this is encouraging for the Liberals.

Quebec poll averages (10 polls)

Liberals 24.5% (30.9%)
Conservatives 8.9% (7.6%) note: 9 polls only
NDP 7.6% (7%) note: 9 polls only
Bloc 53% (51.4%)

Brutal for the Liberals. They will lose seats in Quebec. No word in French for "Conservative" as usual.

All above poll averages compiled from Nodice.

Democratic Space current seat prediction (last election in brackets):

Liberals 120 (130)
Conservatives 102 (92)
NDP 23 (24)
Bloc 63 (62)

Previous articles about: Canadian polls
Canadian polls - Dec 6 to Dec 11
Canadian polls - Nov 28 to Dec 5

Intelligent Design versus Evolution

A good article by James Q. Wilson: Faith In Theory, which looks at why ID is not a theory in the scientific sense, but evolution is.

Some people will disagree with his view, arguing that evolution is a "theory" and intelligent design is a "theory," so students should look at both theories.

But this view confuses the meaning of the word "theory." In science, a theory states a relationship between two or more things (scientists like to call them "variables") that can be tested by factual observations.

The other meaning of theory is the popular and not the scientific one. People use "theory" when they mean a guess, a faith or an idea. A theory in this sense does not state a testable relationship between two or more things. It is a belief that may be true, but its truth cannot be tested by scientific inquiry.
ID is only a theory in the latter, non-scientific meaning of the word. Evolution, on the other hand, is a scientific theory because it can be tested by examining remains or by watching certain types of evolution at work e.g. the varying beak sizes of birds in the Galapagos Islands.

Thus, ID should not be taught in science class. If it is taught in schools (and there is no solid reason why it should not be), it should be taught in religious studies, or some non-scientific discipline. As far as the teaching of evolution is concerned:

What schools should do is teach evolution emphasizing both its successes and its still unexplained limitations. Evolution, like almost every scientific theory, has some problems. But they are not the kinds of problems that can be solved by assuming that an intelligent designer (whom ID advocates will tell you privately is God) created life. There is not a shred of evidence to support this theory, one that has been around since the critics of Darwin began writing in the 19th century.
There should certainly be room for students to learn about competing viewpoints on questions such as the origin and development of life, but their presentation should be honest. Proponents of ID should not clothe it with the mantle of science.


Isn't that something Cato used to scream in the Pink Panther movies?

Apparently not, it's a replacement for Christmas for black people, invented in the sixties by a black militant called Maulana Karenga (proper name Ron Everett, much less atmospheric), who considered the Black Panthers not radical enough. He also had a penchant for torturing women by beating them with electrical cords, sticking hot irons in their mouths, crushing their toes in a vice and pouring detergent in their mouths. Somehow I prefer carol singing and kissing under the mistletoe.

LaShawn Barber doesn't like Kwanzaa, mostly from a religious viewpoint. But it also seems to be just another method of promoting failed socialist doctrine. Karenga was a Marxist, and the celebration is based on seven "principles":

one for each day of the feast--guide the celebration: Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba, and Imani. In English, the principles are, respectively, unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
The above is taken from a good article in the Dartmouth Review, which reveals Kwanzaa to be nothing more than an artificially invented tool of a racist and a Marxist lunatic.

The Klander Klanger

Yes, in this election the Liberals want to talk about the issues. Stuff which affects everyday Canadians.

Except it seems that, according to Mike Klander, the executive vice-president of the federal Liberal Party's Ontario wing, the important issues are that Olivia Chow is a right dog, Jack Layton is "an asshole", Stephen "Harper being flanked by the sexy Rona Ambrose at every opportunity", and "Harper being flanked by the ethnic Rahim Jaffer at every opportunity". These were all posted on his blog, which has now been historically revised. A cache is available here.

Yes, well Mike seems to have his finger on the pulse of the nation, doesn't he? No? Perhaps that's why he resigned.

The Liberals are distancing themselves from yet another stupendous gaffe which let's the general public see their arrogant and contemptuous attitudes.

Klander's blog was personal and did not reflect the view of the federal Liberals, said Stephen Heckbert, a spokesman for the Liberal campaign in Ontario.
So Mr Klander reaches an extremely high position in the Party, but somehow his views are not reflective of the Liberal Party. Guess this is a big surprise for them, too. But how exactly did he manage to reach this position without any other Liberals knowing his opinions, I wonder? Does this belong in the same category as Paul Martin being ignorant of hundreds of millions of dollars disappearing into a slush fund, even though he was Finance Minister? Or is it more likely that what Mr Klander put onto his blog was reflective of Liberal viewpoints when out of public view?

Given the previous blunders, including the infamous "beer and popcorn", I can make a good guess as to the answer.

Angry In The Great White North has more on this, including Klander's sleazy homosexual inferences about Stephen Harper and Giles Duceppe, and his ridiculing of a quadriplegic Conservative MP.

Previous articles about: Liberal Party (Canada)
More beer and popcorn
US Ambassador rips Paul Martin over anti-Americanism
Liberals scramble after childcare slipup
Further evidence of Liberal insider trading scandal?
The empty Liberal election spiel
The corrupt Liberal’s insider trading scandal
US reacts to Paul Martin’s electioneering anti-Americanism

Rosie O'Donnell tries to influence Canadian politics

First it was Michael Moore pushing the bounds of legality by campaigning against the Conservatives while in Canada, now it's Rosie O'Donnell trying to send cash to her favoured left-wing candidate, NDP'er Peg Norman, who had to refuse it, as O'Donnell isn't a Canadian citizen.

I suppose it's to be expected that wealthy liberals in the US will try to preserve the status quo in left-leaning Canada, given their miserable failure to turn the States in that direction. They have to get a sense of validation and success somewhere, I suppose. In fact, should the Conservatives actually win this election, it's going to be great fun watching the reaction from the Left in America.

But, just for the record: American liberals, butt out of Canadian politics!

Back to blogging!

After a pleasant week spent clambering on Mayan ruins in the Yucatan, it's back to everyday life. And planning the next trip, of course!

I suppose it's too much to hope that the political Left has disappeared in my absence?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

More on the Barrett report coverup

Emmett Tyrrell: The public needs to see the Barrett report

When Barrett completed his report the Clintons' lawyers, led by that legendary Clinton pettifogger, David Kendall, tried to kill off the report either by gutting it with redactions or by getting it buried altogether. Kendall entered some 140 motions pursuant to this goal. The report has been ready for publication since August, 2004 but Kendall's nuisance tactics have worked, and now what do we hear from the Clintonistas? They complain that Barrett has cost too much and taken too long. As they are themselves are the reason for much of the cost and delay, advocates of good government should be up in arms. This stratagem has been used too frequently by the Clintonistas to smear an officer of the court.

Robert Novak: Protecting the IRS

A recently passed appropriations bill, intended to permit release of this report, was altered behind closed doors to ensure that its politically combustible elements never saw the light of day. But if that happens, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley will still try to force its release. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee with oversight of the IRS, he wants the first real investigation of the tax agency.

That investigation would be a long walk into the unknown, with possibly far-reaching consequences. Prominent Democrats in Congress have spent much of the last decade in a campaign, successful so far, to suppress Barrett's report. Its disclosures could dig deeply into concealed scandals of the Clinton administration. These vital considerations, not the mere continuation of a $58-an-hour independent counsel position, is why Republican lawyer Barrett for a decade would not close down his prosecutor's office.

If this were just about one politician's illicit love life ruining his political career, Barrett would have ended his operation long ago. But an IRS whistle-blower told Barrett of an unprecedented cover-up. The informant said a regional IRS official had formulated a new rule enabling him to transfer an investigation of Cisneros to Washington to be buried by the Justice Department. Barrett's investigators found Lee Radek, head of Justice's public integrity office, determined to protect President Bill Clinton.
Previous articles on: Barrett Report
The lurking Barrett report bombshell

Photos of Tookie "vigil"

A must see set of photographs taken at the "vigil": in reality a Leftist loony-fest.

Iraqi voters upbeat

Richard Beeston: On the spot: Iraqi voters upbeat

"I've just been for a walk - you can't drive anywhere because of the risk of suicide bombs - to a couple of polling stations near my hotel in Baghdad, and voting is brisk. There are lots of people turning up: old ladies being driven in by police, young couples and so on.

"Somebody described it to me as being like a wedding party, which is over the top, but there is a very relaxed mood. People were extremely optimistic that they were taking part in something that would really change the country.

"We've got staff in three areas of Baghdad and in other parts of the country, where the story seems to be the same. In Fallujah the voting is so intense and the lines so long that they've actually run out of ballot papers.

"And Iraqi television is reporting that one of the main insurgent groups here has their gunmen out providing security for a polling station in Anbar province, which is amazing - a big, big change compared to the interim election in January.

Don't expect an investigation into Liberal insider trading scandal

Edward Morrissey explains why, quoting from an exchange in the Ontario House which went as follows:

Mr. Michael Prue (Beaches-East York): My question is to the Minister of Government Services. As you know, there is growing evidence that insiders may have profited from advance knowledge of Ralph Goodale's November 23 income trust announcement. When I questioned you yesterday, you declined to take any action, even though you have the authority under section 5.

My question today is different. Do you believe it is important that any investigation into this matter be conducted in a way that is not only impartial but is seen to be impartial?

Hon. Gerry Phillips (Minister of Government Services): Again, the Legislature has set up the Ontario Securities Commission to handle these matters. I have complete confidence that their processes will identify if anything untoward has happened. They will conduct their investigation fairly, equitably and responsibly, like they always do.

I would again say that the hint of using political interference to determine when an investigation should or shouldn't take place is inappropriate.

Mr. Prue: Minister, W. David Wilson, your new chair of the Ontario Securities Commission, has been silent to date on this matter. One only has to take a quick scan of the Elections Canada Web site to show that Mr. Wilson is an avid financial supporter of the Liberal Party of Canada, the only party to which he donates money. Mr. Wilson has already been forced to recuse himself from investigations into the Royal Group due to a potential conflict. You agreed with that. Today, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, the federal NDP critic, has asked Mr. Wilson to recuse himself again. I am asking you this question: Will you support the effort and will you order Mr. Wilson to recuse himself in this situation?

Hon. Mr. Phillips: Let me just say that Mr. Wilson is a man of impeccable integrity. He is someone with a strong reputation for fairness and integrity. I find it very concerning that you would impugn him when he is an individual who, to anybody who knows him, is above reproach. If he determined he should recuse himself, he would.

My advice is, be very careful when you smear someone's integrity and reputation. You would do enormous damage to good people who want to serve the public and then are subjected to this kind of smear campaign. I would just say that he is an individual of impeccable integrity. If he should recuse himself, he will. I have complete confidence in him. I would just suggest to you that you do harm to the province when you go after --

The Speaker (Hon. Michael A. Brown): Thank you.

In this exchange you have the arrogance and sense of entitlement we have come to expect from the Liberals. Liberals and their supporters are to be "above reproach" and their decisions subject to no-one's scrutiny but their own. And anyone who dares suggest otherwise has to "be very careful" (is that a threat, or what?)

I'm sure that, where corruption is concerned, Adscam and this insider trading episode is merely the tip of a very large iceberg. The Liberals have been kept in power (mainly by the sheeple of Ontario) for so long that they have managed to insert their supporters and operatives into every major Canadian institution, in order to consolidate their hold on power and provide "benefits" to their supporters.

If any investigation into the insider trading scandal is to happen, it will require significant and consistent pressure from the opposition parties.

Previous posts on: Liberal insider trading scandal
Further evidence of Liberal insider trading scandal?
The corrupt Liberal’s insider trading scandal

Iraqi's comments on the election

The BBC has a good page of comments by Iraqi's voting in the election.

But the most important issue for the future is a government that is right for all Iraqis.

I am optimistic that the future will be bright in Iraq.

It is the first time in modern Iraq that a democratic government will serve a full term and a turning point for the whole country.

We in Iraq have suffered greatly and many people here want democracy. They want people who can truly represent them in the new government.

I do not want the US or UK troops to leave now, but once we have a strong and trusted security forces I can say: "Thanks, you can go home now."

My sister says the family sleep well in Basra when they hear a British tank nearby.

Eventually, I hope the economy will improve and people will have better life. Then politics will become a secondary issue.

I think people here are excited and want to participate, they are less scared than before.

Iraq election coverage

From Iraq the Model, and Pajamas Media, in varying provinces.

History-making in Iraq

Previous articles on: Iraq
A soldier’s view on Iraq
Iraqis optimistic about future
Long-term strategy in Iraq
The future in Iraq

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Self-loathing and the Australian riots

Janet Albrechtsen: Racism is repulsive, but so is self-loathing

YESTERDAY a colleague emailed me from New York. The young lawyer - her family lives in Brighton-Le-Sands, a bayside suburb north of Cronulla in Sydney - wrote: "While I agree there is no justifying excuse for the violence and breakdown in order that occurred at Cronulla, it needs to be put in context. Unless you live in an area like Cronulla, Brighton-Le-Sands or Bondi, you have no idea what it is like to have one's suburb regularly inundated with large groups of young Muslim men from the western suburbs who proceed to shoot people [as has happened in Brighton], intimidate people, regularly threaten people within their vicinity with violence, drive around in large groups screaming abuse at people from cars with their music blaring, regularly brawling, etc."

This young woman recounted that all of the girls in her family (except the youngest) have been "subject to harassment inflicted by groups of these men - comments on our appearances, racist comments on our Australian background, unwanted touching, being followed while walking home by groups of men in cars (I was once followed all the way home - have never been so scared in my life), sexually explicit remarks while alone, with friends or with boyfriends, unwanted called-out invitations to have sex with groups of them, etc".

Of course, none of this will figure in the reasonings of the self-hating left, which operates in Australia like anywhere else. According to them, these riots are nothing more than brute racism and "targetting of people with an Islamic background". In the Left's self-loathing viewpoint, it's always the Westerners who are at fault.

Suggesting that the nation is swamped by racists, that ordinary Australians need some fine moral instruction from the likes of Brown, is just the latest adaptation of the David Williamson school of thought that treats ordinary Australians with disdain. It's a form of elitist self-loathing that gets us nowhere in explaining why thousands of people descended on to the streets of Cronulla in apparent retaliation against the attack on two surf lifesavers by men of Middle Eastern descent.

Meanwhile, when people of other ethnicities commit atrocious acts, their culture is used as an excuse, because in the warped multicultural view of the Leftists, only Western culture can (and should) be criticised.

Recognising human nature means that multiculturalism, though a fine sentiment, can only work if we unite behind a core set of values. Unfortunately though, that policy has become a licence for rampant cultural relativism. We are loath to criticise any aspects of cultures (except our own) for fear of sounding terribly judgmental and unfashionably un-multicultural.

Instead, culture is talked about only as an excuse for abhorrent behaviour so that the offender becomes the victim. Last week, a convicted gang rapist claimed he assaulted a 14-year-old girl because she was not wearing traditional Muslim dress and he thought she was promiscuous. Pointing to cultural differences, the 27-year-old Pakistani-born man said: "I believed at the time I committed this offence that she had no right to say no. I believed I'm not doing anything wrong." A month ago his lawyer told the court his client was a "cultural time bomb".

If this view, that culture can be used as an excuse, represents the views of even a subset of Muslim youth, then we have a problem. If we are not talking openly about egregious aspects of some cultures (except as an excuse), we have only ended up with a bigger problem. And, to date, we have not been talking. Multiculturalism has been synonymous with a rights agenda - addressing minority grievances - rather than a framework for talking about responsibilities. The violence that has been brewing in Cronulla, culminating in the disgraceful rampages in recent days, is a pointer that if we're serious about social cohesion, it's time we all demonstrated social responsibility.

It's also time we recognised the Left's sacred cow of multi-culturalism for what it really is: self-hating revulsion for Western culture.

Previous articles on: political correctness
Thoughtcrime in the UK

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