Check out this animated map. It's a great illustration of who has controlled what over the last few thousand years. The next time you hear some know-it-all blowhard spouting off about what Middle Eastern lands legitimately belong to whom, think of this map. It's not quite as black and white as some would have us believe.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Our old pal, former President "Dhimmi" Carter is at it again. That man's just not smart enough to shut his piehole.
FALLON, Nev. - Former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday major policy changes are needed because the Iraq war has divided the nation "almost as much as Vietnam."
"So there's no doubt that our country is in much more danger now from terrorism than it would have been if we would have done what we should have done and stayed in Afghanistan," he said on the campaign trail with his son, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jack Carter.
The former president said the Bush administration made a "terrible mistake" by invading Iraq and diverting troops from Afghanistan.
OK, we "would have done what we should have done and stayed in Afghanistan?" Last time I checked, we still have troops in Afghanistan. If his argument is that we need more troops there, make that argument. But saying that we left is an outright lie. It is worth noting that during the 80s, the Russians maintained a troop level of about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. And we all know how well they did there.
As far as the country being divided, that wasn't caused by the Iraq war. The division started in the aftermath of the 2000 Presidential election, when a gaggle of sore losers decided to do everything they could to make the Bush Presidency fail.
I should probably cut Dhimmi Carter a break. After all, he is old, he was a miserable failure as a President, and his backside probably still smarts from the buggering the Iranians gave him back in 1979-1980. But I'm not the forgiving type. Besides, we're at war. So shut the hell up, Dhimmi.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
So, the National Intelligence Estimate concludes that the Iraq war is creating terrorists, or so we are told by the NY Times (a/k/a Leak Central). The people on the left are dancing with glee over the "obvious" conclusion: "Bush causes terrorism." For the time being, I'll skip the obvious question here: What does the rest of the NIE say? (For an interesting analysis of this aspect, check out this excellent post by a former military intel specialist on the blog In From the Cold)
The question I want to ponder today is this: Why is the Iraq war the principle force driving the creation of terrorists? The anti-war crowd would tell us that the answer to this question is obvious. But is it? To find out, let's boldly go where no moonbat has gone before: a strange new world known as The Planet of Critical Thinking.
So here's the situation, the US has invaded and toppled the governments of not one, but two Muslim countries. One, Afghanistan, was an Islamist theocracy, governed under sharia (Islamic law), its leaders were deeply connected to the international Islamic extremist/terrorist movement. It's leadership was complicit in the attacks on 9/11. It's honored guest (UBL) was the most visible face of the Sunni extremist movement, and the head of the world's largest terrorist group.
The other country, Iraq, was a secular dictatorship. It's leadership, while Muslim, was more Stalinist than Islamic in the way it did business. There has been no definitive evidence that it was connected in any way to the 9/11 attacks, or to those who planned, financed, and carried them out. In fact, some have argued that bin Laden and al Qaeda hated Saddam Hussein and his Baathist regime.
So, again I ask why. Why is it that regime change in a secular dictatorship, one that supposedly had no relationship with Islamic extremism, would fuel terrorist fervor, and not a regime change in an Islamist, al Qaeda-linked theocracy? If anything, the Afghanistan war should be most prominently featured on the AQ recruiting poster. The way I see it, there are two reasons that the Iraq war plays more prominently in the recruiting of new terrorists.
1. The presence of US troops in any Muslim country will inflame the passions of Muslims. Regardless of the justification for the war, western troops are seen as a "crusader army." The US was attacked first? The UN approves? France is on board? The libtards at the Daily Kos are cool with it? Too bad. No crusader armies will be tolerated in the land of the faithful. And Muslims will travel from all over to repel the invasion of the infidels.
2. Arabs and Muslims, like the rest of us, get their view of the wider world from the news media. And let's face it, the war in Iraq gets more airplay (and 90% negative airplay, at that) than the war in Afghanistan. To listen to some media pundits, we gave up in Afghanistan. All our troops and resources are in Iraq. Of course, that isn't true. But perception is reality. Even in the middle east.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
The Democrats are opposed to a measure requiring proof of citizenship to vote. Big surprise, eh? I wonder how they'd react to a bill that makes it illegal to require I.D. for the purchase of alcohol? Or tobacco products? They'd cry foul. Accuse the GOP of selling out to the alcoholic beverage industry, or "big tobacco" (is there a "small tobacco?"). And they'd be right. But they're the ones selling out now. Whose interests are they representing here? Surely not mine.
UPDATE: For those who think that requiring voters to have a valid I.D. constitutes an undue burden, I looked into the New York State Non-Driver I.D. Card:
A person of any age who does not have a driver license can apply to the DMV for a non-driver photo ID card. You must provide acceptable proofs of identity and date of birth. You can apply for a non-driver photo ID card if your NYS driver license is suspended or revoked. When you apply for a non-driver photo ID card you must surrender your NYS driver license. There are no exceptions. You do not have to surrender a non-driver photo ID card when you get a driver license or your driver license is reinstated.
A non-driver photo ID card contains the same personal information, photo, signature and special protection against alteration and fraud as a photo driver license.
So, what's the fee for the Non-Driver I.D. Card?
If you do not drive, you may choose a short-term non-driver ID card valid for 4 to 5 years, or a long-term ID card valid for 8 to 9 years. The exact period of your ID card and your fee depend on whether you select a short-term or long-term ID and the relationship between the date you apply and the expiration date (your month and day of birth). A short-term ID card will cost between $9.00 and $10.00. A long-term ID will cost between $13.00 and $14.00. These fees include a $5.00 photo document fee.
Wow, 14 whole dollars. For eight years. That comes out to $1.75 per year. Hell, I spend more than that in gas just driving to the polling place. I'll bet the Dems spend more than $1.75 per "poor" voter bussing them to the polls. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to learn that most (if not all) of the states have a similar I.D., at a comparable cost.
If our illustrious politicians still think that this modest fee is too much, they can always change the law so that there's no fee for a Non Driver I.D. Even if the state had to spend $10 million a year on I.D.s for economically disadvantaged voters (which would buy over 5.7 million I.D.s), it'd be well worth it to prevent illegals, felons, and dead people from voting. Not to mention the double (and triple, and quadruple) voting that can happen when no I.D. is required.
With a voter I.D. requirement and a nation-wide low-cost I.D. program in place, no one gets disenfranchised, and voter fraud would be drastically reduced. So, why are so many Dems opposed to requiring I.D.? Is it because, as I just said, "voter fraud would be drastically reduced?"
I saw this story on Military.com this morning.
Most U.S. military reservists see their earnings increase when they are called to active duty, contrary to the common belief that the earnings of reservists fall when they are activated, according to a RAND Corporation study issued.
The study by the nonprofit research organization, titled "Activation and the Earnings of Reservists," examined reservists who served less than 30 days on active duty in 2000 and more than 30 days in 2002 and 2003. It found that:
83 percent of reservists did not lose earnings when activated. Only 17 percent experienced a drop in earnings.
The average earnings of the activated reservists increased by 32 percent - amounting to $13,539.
6 percent of activated reservists had an earnings loss of more than $10,000. A total of 11 percent had an earnings loss of more than 10 percent of their previous year's earnings.
"Typically, these reservists are people in their mid 20s to mid 30s, with some college but not necessarily a bachelor's degree," said David Loughran, a RAND economist and lead author of the study. "Generally, military pay is quite good for this group. Moreover, reservists receive additional special pay when activated and their earnings are not subject to federal taxes."
The study also finds that 40 percent of reservists who were not activated in the period studied experienced an earnings loss as civilians. Since only 17 percent of activated reservists experienced an earnings loss during the study period, this finding suggests that being activated actually reduces the likelihood a reservist will experience an earnings loss.
I wonder whether the mainstream media will pick up on this story. I don't know about you, but I'm not holding my breath.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
If Iran remains intransigent, the United States will probably have to accept that Iran will likely some day become a nuclear weapons state. Although undesirable, this outcome would not be catastrophic because the United States has the most formidable nuclear forces in the world and could likely deter any strike from the small Iranian atomic arsenal. The United States successfully deterred a nuclear attack by radical Maoist China after that regime got nuclear weapons in the 1960s. Nuclear deterrence should also work in the case of a theocratic Iran.
So, religious fanatics who believe that dying in a jihad is the noblest of acts will be deterred by threat of death? People awaiting the return of the mahdi can be counted on to react like secular westerners? What Mr. Eland has done is to superimpose his own value system on the Iranins. He knows how they would react to US deterrence because that's how he would react. My guess is that the French -- and others who are dragging their feet in dealing with Iran -- have the same viewpoint.
If this situation is going to be dealt with before it spirals out of control, it's going to fall on the US. Again. This shit is getting old.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Happy 59th birthday to the best Air Force in the world.
9/18/2006 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The following is a message from Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley on the Air Force's 59th birthday Sept. 18.
"Over the course of the past 59 years, the United States Air Force has established itself as the dominant force in air, space and cyberspace. Our knowledge-enabled Airmen have revolutionized the way our nation defends itself and its allies across the full spectrum of threats.
"Before our inception as an independent service, the Air Force responded wherever and whenever needed, whether for disaster relief, humanitarian operations or combat operations. We have only gotten better in time.
"Our heritage is one of technological innovation, courage and dedication. As we build on that proud heritage and look toward new and unlimited horizons, we will continue to deliver unmatched air, space and cyberspace dominance for the interdependent joint team and our nation.
"Your tireless commitment, agility and professionalism are the foundation for our successes. Without you, and the support of your families, we could not be the world-class team we are. America's Airmen exemplify our core values of Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do.
"As we lead into our diamond anniversary celebration, we count on our most valuable asset -- our Airmen -- to continue the magnificent work our forebears began. We are confident you'll conquer tomorrow's challenges with the same courage, commitment and confidence that defined our first 59 years.
"Thanks to our entire Air Force family across the globe: active duty, civilian, Guard, Reserve, retirees, veterans and all their families. Happy birthday, Air Force!"
In response to a recent speech by the Pope, wherein he quoted a medieval text that portrayed Islam as a violent religion, angry Muslims have burned and shot Christian churches and murdered an Italian nun. The message is clear, "apologize for calling us violent, or suffer the consequences."
So, what can we learn from this episode? Apparently, Israel's existence is not the only thing that isn't being taught at madrassah's in the middle east. The concept of irony isn't on the curriculum either.
Friday, September 15, 2006
I challenge you to read this column by Richard Miniter without experiencing a sharp spike in your blood pressure. Go ahead, give it a try. Unless you're clueless or deluded, I'll bet you can't do it. I couldn't. Damn. Now I need some Advil or something. Or maybe a beer.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
It looks like Ned Lamont can count on some help from a former president in his bid to buy a Senate seat.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Democrat Ned Lamont's senatorial campaign got a boost Wednesday from former President Carter, who offered a blistering critique of Lieberman's support for the Iraq war. "He was one of the originators of public statements that misled the American people into believing that the Iraqi war was justified," the former Democratic president said on CNN's "Larry King Live."
"He's joined in with the Republican spokespersons by saying that Democrats who disagree are really supporting terrorism," Carter said. "So for all these reasons, I've lost my confidence in Joe Lieberman and don't wish to see him re-elected."
So, an endorsement from Jimmy "Punked by Islamic Extremists" Carter is considered a "boost?" Quick history lesson: Jimmy lost Connecticut to Ronald Reagan by 11% in the 1980 election. Hell, he even lost the state to Gerald Ford in the 1976 election. So, how is this a boost?
Conservatives often accuse liberals of refusing to acknowledge the existence of, and to stand up to, evil. Not true. Liberals are showing an increasing willingness to fight what they see as the most evil force in the modern world: Wal-Mart. George Will looks at this epic battle of good (liberals) vs. evil (low, low prices) in his latest column:
People who buy their groceries from Wal-Mart -- it has one-fifth of the nation's grocery business -- save at least 17 percent. But because unions are strong in many grocery stores trying to compete with Wal-Mart, unions are yanking on the Democratic Party's leash, demanding laws to force Wal-Mart to pay wages and benefits higher than those that already are high enough to attract 77 times more applicants than there were jobs at this store.
The big-hearted progressives on Chicago's City Council, evidently unconcerned that the city gets zero sales tax revenues from a half a billion dollars that Chicago residents spend in the 42 suburban Wal-Marts, have passed a bill that, by dictating wages and benefits, would keep Wal-Marts from locating in the city. Richard Daley, a bread-and-butter Democrat, used his first veto in 17 years as mayor to swat it away.
Liberals think their campaign against Wal-Mart is a way of introducing the subject of class into America's political argument, and they are more correct than they understand. Their campaign is liberalism as condescension. It is a philosophic repugnance toward markets because consumer sovereignty results in the masses making messes. Liberals, aghast, see the choices Americans make with their dollars and their ballots, and announce -- yes, announce -- that Americans are sorely in need of more supervision by ... liberals.
That's what we need, less shopping choices and higher prices. Am I missing anything. Oh yeah, I forgot the most important thing, more union dollar$ going to Democratic candidates. To hell with fighting terrorists. We need to stop Wal-Mart before it's too late!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Check the weather nationwide with MSN Search: Try it now!
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
"Thinking red." That's the military term for analyzing a situation from your enemy's viewpoint. Or, to quote Sun Tzu:
If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
Brian Bresnahan, who served in OIF as a Major in the Marine Corps, takes a look at the GWoT through our enemy's eyes.
We read their newspapers and watch their news channels to see the hand of Allah at work. When they count the death of 500 of our Taliban brothers at the cost of two Americans as a loss for America, we know that god's will is being done. When their leaders like Howard Dean come on television shows and publicly state the same thing, we are sure that victory is Allah's will for us.
We are grateful to their politicians like Murtha and Hagel who argue for running away from us. That is the life blood of our cause -- to break their will. And while breaking their will, it gives us the propaganda to recruit others, to show potential recruits America 's leaders won't fight, we are winning. We use the words of their politicians to debate and attempt to demoralize their soldiers. We may lack the means to defeat them militarily, but we don't need to defeat their military. When America 's leaders give their people reasons not to fight we are accomplishing our objectives and inching closer to the victory we wait patiently for Allah to deliver.
So much of the analysis of the war we get from the media is focused purely on the US. How many losses did we suffer? How much money will it cost us? What does the world think of us? Besides betraying a Paris Hilton-like narcissism, analysis that is centered on the US gives us a picture that is not only incomplete, it's misleading. Major Bresnahan's column is a good start, but I'd like to see more like it from our illustrious media. But I'm not holding my breath. Expecting the news media to abandon narcissism may be a bit unrealistic.
All-in-one security and maintenance for your PC.� Get a free 90-day trial!
Monday, September 11, 2006
Got something to buy, sell or swap? Try Windows Live Expo
Friday, September 08, 2006
I got word from some folks down at Tyndall AFB in Florida that there will be a ceremony commemorating the 5th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. The ceremony begins at 9:00 AM on Septmeber 11th in Flag Park on Tyndall AFB. It will be followed by a memorial brunch in the Enlisted Club at 10:00AM. If you are interested in attending, check out the event website here.
Tyndall AFB is the home of 1st Air Force and the Continental US NORAD Region (CONR). CONR/1st AF is responsible for providing the air component of Operation Noble Eagle, the military's homeland defense operation. If you want to learn more about their mission, check out the 1st Air Force website.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Now here's a shocker. A recent study supports the belief that celebrities are more narcissistic than the average person. From Forbes:
In case anyone needed proof, a new study supports the widely held perception: Celebrities are more in love with themselves than the average person.
That's the conclusion drawn by Drew Pinsky and S. Mark Young of the University of Southern California, whose study of 200 celebrities will appear in the Journal of Research in Personality.
It's not the entertainment industry that turns stars into narcissists, the study found. Rather, it suggests, the self-adoring seek jobs in show business.
The study, whose subjects were all guests on Pinsky's sex-advice radio show - not a place for shrinking violets - found that reality TV stars were the most narcissistic of all celebrities. Female stars were also more likely than their male counterparts to exhibit narcissistic traits.
Can you believe it? That little bit of information caught me totally off guard. I always thought that big stars are just like the rest of us. Except smarter. And better looking. And more compassionate.
In related news, Vanity Fair has the exclusive on Tom and Katie's baby.
Check the weather nationwide with MSN Search: Try it now!
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
High-flying Spitzer hits ethical turbulence
Eliot Spitzer is running for governor as the best guy to clean up Albany, including its corrupt "pay-to-play" system of shaking down interest groups for campaign donations and other goodies.
So what the heck is he doing jetting around on the Gulfstream of a Wyoming businessman who wants to run race tracks and build casinos in New York?
It's one thing for Spitzer to pile up money and endorsements from insiders. Fish gotta swim, pols gotta grub for cash.
But accepting deeply discounted air travel from a gambling mogul doing lots of business with state government - as Spitzer and an aide did in May - is too cozy for comfort. The would-be Sheriff of Albany should be keeping a safe distance from favor seekers, not putting himself in a position where he owes them anything.
Spitzer was on a two-day fund-raising swing out West and needed to get from Phoenix to Tucson to Cincinnati and back to New York in a hurry. Casino developer Richard Fields got wind of his predicament and offered the use of his corporate jet. Thanks to him, Spitzer and his aide could meet their tight schedule, skip the long check-in lines and fly in style.
The offer practically screamed "conflict of interest." Fields is part of a group bidding to take over the Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga horse tracks. He also represents developers working with the Oneida Indians of Wisconsin to build a casino in the Catskills. Both issues will fall squarely on Spitzer's plate if he wins in November.
So this happened in May? And we're just hearing about it now? Had Spitzer been a Republican, I suspect that the story would've hit the papers before the private jet landed in Cincinnati. And speaking of Cincinnati (and Phoenix, and Tucson), what was Spitzer doing fundraising in Ohio and Arizona? Is our next Governor going to be bought and paid for by out-of-state interests? If he's going to run as the reform candidate, maybe Mr. Spitzer should read his own website:
We need to end the pay-to-play culture in Albany by making it against the law for those who do business with the state to give gifts to state employees or to donate to candidates for state office. And to level the playing field in our election process, we must adopt robust campaign finance reforms, including public financing for campaigns and independent, non-partisan redistricting reform.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Nevertheless, it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out --that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials. He ought to have expected that both those officials and journalists such as Mr. Novak would ask why a retired ambassador would have been sent on such a mission and that the answer would point to his wife. He diverted responsibility from himself and his false charges by claiming that President Bush's closest aides had engaged in an illegal conspiracy. It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.
So, the WaPO finally "get's" the whole Wilson-Plame affair. Better late than never, I guess.