Archive for June, 2008

I Am Bloodthirsty Hussein Liberal

Sign me up: his middle name is nothing to be ashamed of. Barack Muammar Obama or Barack Yasser Obama—now, those would be problems.

But who’s afraid of the big fat Hussein? Hussein, Hussein, Hussein…

“Hu-Hu-Hussein, goodbye,
Hu-Hu-Hussein don’t cry…”

Emily Nordling has never met a Muslim, at least not to her knowledge. But this spring, Ms. Nordling, a 19-year-old student from Fort Thomas, Ky., gave herself a new middle name on Facebook.com, mimicking her boyfriend and shocking her father.

“Emily Hussein Nordling,” her entry now reads.

With her decision, she joined a growing band of supporters of Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who are expressing solidarity with him by informally adopting his middle name.

The result is a group of unlikely-sounding Husseins: Jewish and Catholic, Hispanic and Asian and Italian-American, from Jaime Hussein Alvarez of Washington, D.C., to Kelly Hussein Crowley of Norman, Okla., to [my favorite -ed.] Sarah Beth Hussein Frumkin of Chicago.

“My name is such a vanilla, white-girl American name,” said Ashley Holmes of Indianapolis, who changed her name online “to show how little meaning ‘Hussein’ really has.”

Exactly.

Nous sommes tous Husseins. Except for Aggie, who has asked to be christened (oh dear, that’s a bad choice of word) Aunt Fatima Agatha.

And as little meaning as the name Hussein has is how little meaning the hijab has, or arranged marriages with nine-year-olds have, or honor killings have, or female genital mutilation has, or denying basic civil liberties to women has—or really any idea from the soft, vapid world of left-wing ideology. Which is to say, none whatsoever.

Yours in slushy, mushy solidarity,

BTHL

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Three… Two… One…

Now:

A U.S.-led push to punish Zimbabwe ran into resistance Sunday from China, which can veto U.N. penalties sought against its African ally over President Robert Mugabe’s claim to re-election.

“The most pressing path is to stabilize the situation in Zimbabwe,” Yang Jiechi told reporters at a news conference with Rice. “We hope the parties concerned can engage in serious dialogue to find a proper solution.”

“China hopes the international community, African countries in particular, can a play a more constructive role in this regard,” he said. “China as a responsible country will also play a constructive role in this process.”

Yang stuck to a position that China, one of Zimbabwe’s chief friends and trading partners, long has held. But his comments came just after Rice had spent a significant amount of time making the case for the Bush administration’s new push to pressure Mugabe, officials said.

The China Veto Express, right on time.

That’s pretty good diplos**t talk for a foreigner. Sounds like they’re ready to assume the mantle of world leadership. Take it, China, the world’s yours (suckers!). God knows, you two deserve each other.

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The Halt and the Lame

Please, Democrats, tell me you’re embarrassed—at least a little bit?

House Democrats will use a President Bush impersonator in a new radio advertising campaign that seeks to link 13 incumbent Republicans to rising gas prices as the country heads into the Fourth of July holiday.

The ad will run Monday through Friday in radio markets throughout the country, according to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with a total buy of more than $100,000.

“‘W’ here, wanted to thank you for your support of the big oil energy agenda. ‘Preciate you voting to keep giving billions in tax breaks to the big oil companies. Sure, gasoline is over four bucks a gallon and the oil companies are making record profits, but what’s good for big oil is good for America, right? I guess that’s why they call us the Grand Oil Party. Heh, heh, heh.”

A hundred grand for a bad SNL skit? Who wrote that garbage, Al Franken? Democrats should be ashamed. Not for partisanship—but for sheer lameness.

If John McCain ever allows anything so patently asinine and juvenile to be used on his behalf, he should be thrown back into the Hanoi Hilton.

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Hoard of Babylon

Ah, the brotherhood of man: “we hold these truths to be self-evident”; “liberté, egalité, fraternité“; “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”; “are you going to finish that?”

At least 29 countries have sharply curbed food exports in recent months, to ensure that their own people have enough to eat, at affordable prices.

When it comes to rice, India, Vietnam, China and 11 other countries have limited or banned exports. Fifteen countries, including Pakistan and Bolivia, have capped or halted wheat exports. More than a dozen have limited corn exports. Kazakhstan has restricted exports of sunflower seeds.

The restrictions are making it harder for impoverished importing countries to afford the food they need. The export limits are forcing some of the most vulnerable people, those who rely on relief agencies, to go hungry.

“It’s obvious that these export restrictions fuel the fire of price increases,” said Pascal Lamy, the director general of the World Trade Organization.

And by increasing perceptions of shortages, the restrictions have led to hoarding around the world, by farmers, traders and consumers.

Somewhere, buried deep in the article, we find ourselves, the West, to blame. We discouraged developing countries from growing their own food, I think the argument goes, by selling to them cheap. Then we jack up the prices, and close the spigot.

That’s cold, man. Sorry.

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Anthrax

Do you remember the anthrax attacks?

The on-line Wall St. Journal has an interesting article today about the obsessive, single focus on a scientist, Dr. Steven Hatfill, and how the government is finally admitting that Dr. Hatfill was innocent. And they have paid up – 5.8 mil.

Steven Hatfill finally has his life back. Thanks to FBI incompetence, he also has $5.8 million.

In a late Friday news dump, the Justice Department announced it had settled a lawsuit with Mr. Hatfill, a former military scientist whom then-Attorney General John Ashcroft publicly identified in 2002 as a “person of interest” in the investigation into the anthrax attacks in the aftermath of 9/11. Mr. Hatfill sued, claiming the FBI had libeled him in leaks to the media. Justice’s mea culpa is a major embarrassment, exceeding even the Richard Jewell debacle.

It’s worse because it is a virtual confession that the anthrax case is cold. Throughout one of the largest investigations in law-enforcement history, agents were fixated on a “lone wolf” theory that Director Robert Mueller’s FBI, for all intents and purposes, now admits was wrong. Helped along by a sympathetic press corps, the obsession with a domestic perpetrator has ended up in a dead end.

The anthrax letters, which killed five and infected 17 others in the fall of 2001, targeted the offices of several publications and two Senators. A Capitol Hill office building was so contaminated that it took months to clean up. Anthrax spores, dispersed by mail sorting machines, turned up at the Supreme Court, as well as Florida, New Jersey and Missouri.

FBI psychologists and handwriting analysts drew up a behavioral profile concluding that the assailant was a domestic loner without links to terrorist groups. But a Unabomber in a shack wouldn’t have the sophistication to produce what were believed to be near weapons-grade biological weapons. So the FBI decided the attacks must have been carried out by a military scientist or someone with access to a U.S. defense lab.

Suspicion settled on Mr. Hatfill, a bioweapons expert and former Army microbiologist. The FBI began a relentless pursuit, including constant surveillance and a high-profile raid of his apartment in hazmat suits. It drained an entire pond near Washington in search of incriminating evidence, at a cost of a quarter-million dollars. Mr. Hatfill maintains his innocence.

The FBI’s mad scientist theory also fit the agenda of the political left, which didn’t want the trail of evidence to prove state-sponsorship of terror – particularly by Iraq. (Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times pushed the Hatfill theory of the case especially hard.) But the possibility of a foreign source should never have been downplayed. Saddam Hussein had deployed chemical attacks in the Iran-Iraq war and against the Kurds. In 1995, Iraq admitted to U.N. weapons inspectors that it had added thousands of liters of anthrax and other toxins to its biological arsenal.

I remember those days. The usual suspects were extremely eager to convict Dr. Hatfill because they didn’t want the anthrax attacks to be coming from outside sources, particularly Arab sponsored sources. If you even suggested that it seemed more likely, given the September 11th attacks, that the anthrax came from an Islamic extremist organization, (or God Forbid… Iraq!!) you pretty much got your head bitten off. But today, when it looks as if we at least should have explored the possibility more fully, those folks have gone quiet.

It’s summer. They’re probably fishing.

- Aggie

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Polar Borehole

Global warming may be the only hope for the threatened polar bear (threatened by over-population, that is). If it gets too hot, people may stay indoors:

A polar bear sent dozens of elementary school students racing for safety before the animal was shot and killed Wednesday morning in a park just outside of Iqaluit.

The bear died only a few hundred metres from the pavilion at Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, which is about one kilometre from Iqaluit. It is rare for polar bears to be sighted near the city.

Wildlife officers soon arrived on the scene and shot the bear.

From another account:

Conservation officer Johnny Nowdlak skinned the polar bear and doled out the skin and meat to nearby residents.

If life gives you lemon, make lemonade; if life gives you polar bear, make sushi.

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Saving Private Rabinowtz

This is IRINN

Following are excerpts from an episode of an Iranian documentary series on Hollywood cinema, featuring “Saving Private Ryan,” which aired on IRINN – the Iranian News Channel on May 27, 2008

[In "The Matrix"], Zion symbolizes the utopian Jewish Zionist land. These are the roots of Zionism. How come in such a popular and seemingly fictional American film, the utopia of liberty and humanity, which heralds the era of modernity – in the technical, rather than theoretical sense – is symbolized by a Zionist name – “Zion”? Moreover, names may be selected for their rhyming value. “Zion” sometimes becomes “Ryan,” as in “Saving Private Ryan.” They exploit even the similarity of names.

In “Saving Private Ryan,” one sees that they are the ultimate plunderers. The scene in which the officer puts some earth from various countries into cans was just a preview of what they are doing now – taking the land of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the European countries.
[...]
Narrator: While the blacks and other minorities protest the fact that Hollywood ignores their role in American history, but to no avail, prominent films like “Saving Private Ryan” highlight the role of Jewish soldiers. By exaggerating this role, the Zionists seem to be trying to achieve legitimacy for their post-war actions. In the military cemetery shown in the opening scene of the film, the picture has been edited to draw attention to the Jewish graves among others.
[...]
Among the more unpleasant scenes of the film are the scenes in which a Jewish soldier directs his rage towards German POWs. When he sees some German soldiers wearing jewelry with symbols of his religion, this soldier has a fit of rage and attacks them. In these scenes, the film director presents a completely sympathetic view of this soldier’s rage towards the helpless POWs. It seems as if this cry of rage is the cry of Zionism validating the crimes perpetrated by Zionism after the world war.

Shh! Don’t mention the Holocaust.

This is all good for a chuckle, but it’s also worth remembering that these beliefs are the foundation for the statements about Israel being wiped off the map, for it being a dirty microbe, etc. Jews anywhere and everywhere are part of the Zionist project, this kind of thinking goes; as long as we’re eradicating….

What would you not expect from a regime that feels sympathy toward Nazi prisoners?

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Qualified Diss [UPDATED]

With friends like this, Barack Obama doesn’t need enemies:

Retired U.S. Gen. Wesley Clark, a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, on Sunday questioned whether Sen. John McCain’s military experience qualified him to be commander-in-chief.

The McCain campaign called for Obama to condemn the remarks.

The dust-up began with Clark’s appearance Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” where moderator Bob Schieffer asked him about his interview with the Huffington Post earlier this month.

In the interview, Clark said McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, was “untested and untried.”

When Schieffer asked to explain the comment, Clark said he was referring to McCain’s experience, or lack thereof, in setting national security policies and understanding the risk involved in such matters.

“I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in the armed forces, as a prisoner of war. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility,” said Clark, a former NATO commander who campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.

“He hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn’t seen what it’s like when diplomats come in and say, I don’t know whether we’re going to be able to get this point through or not,” Clark said.

Schieffer noted that Obama did not have any of those experiences, nor had he “ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down.”

“Well, I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president,” Clark said.

If this is how Obama’s four-star general feels, imagine his HUD Secretary!

Besides, I thought all you Democrats now decided you liked George H. W. Bush (41), for a Republican anyway. His plane got shot down, and he didn’t even get five years immersion training in Vietnamese culture as McCain did.

I’ve been saying that once we get past his charisma and appealing personal story (unpleasant associates aside), there’s no way this country elects someone as far to the left as Barack Obama. But I should amend that: if we do, we deserve everything we get.

UPDATE:
Do you detect a pattern?

After statements by a half-dozen high-profile Democrats and Obama surrogates, you cannot persuade me that there is not a concerted effort on the part of Obama Democrats to criticize McCain on his war record. George McGovern, Jay Rockefeller, Tom Harkin, Democratic congressional candidate Bill Gillespie, Ed Schultz, Tony McPeak, and now Clark. Way too many to be coincidence. We’re seeing a lot more derisive comments about McCain’s wartime service than we are about Obama’s race.

Links provided in the original.

And you can add John Murtha’s name to the list. Just because he hasn’t questioned McCain’s patriotism (yet), his name belongs on any list of politicians who slander soldiers.

I don’t think this is a winner for you, Dems—so Bring It On.

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NY Times Notices European Birth Rate Plunge

A very long, sad article about our times.

They NY Times catches up with Mark Steyn.

When Falivena took office in 2002 for his second stint as mayor, two numbers caught his attention. Four: that was how many babies were born in the town the year before. And five: the number of children enrolled in first grade at the school, never mind that the school served two additional communities as well. “I knew what was my first job, to try to save the school,” Falivena told me. “Because a village that does not have a school is a dead village.” He racked his brain and came up with a desperate idea: pay women to have babies. And not just a token amount, either; in 2003 Falivena let it be known he would pay 10,000 euros (about $15,000) for every woman — local or immigrant, married or single — who would give birth to and rear a child in the village. The “baby bonus,” as he calls it, is structured to root new citizens in the town: a mother gets 1,500 euros when her baby is born, then a 1,500-euro payment on each of the child’s first four birthdays and a final 2,500 euros the day the child enrolls in first grade. Falivena has a publicist’s instincts, and he said he hoped the plan would attract media attention. It did, generating news across Italy and as far away as Australia.

If you read into the article, you learn that parts of Europe are in a lowest-low fertility spiral and are expected to lose half of their population within 45 years of onset.

To many, “lowest low” is hard evidence of imminent disaster of unprecedented proportions. “The ability to plan the decision to have a child is of course a big success for society, and for women in particular,” Letizia Mencarini, a professor of demography at the University of Turin, told me. “But if you would read the documents of demographers 20 years ago, you would see that nobody foresaw that the fertility rate would go so low. In the 1960s, the overall fertility rate in Italy was around two children per couple. Now it is about 1.3, and for some towns in Italy it is less than 1. This is considered pathological.”

Of course, the empty places will be filled by peoples from other parts of the globe, I expect, but what we know as “Europe” will change.

- Aggie

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Truly Despicable

This story doesn’t just blame the victim. It digs the victim up from its grave, stomps upon the remains, and then voids its bowels on the scene of the crime.

I’m sorry, but that’s exactly what it does.

A prominent German professor claimed recently that the 11 Israeli sportsmen killed during the 1972 Munich Olympics knew of the coming terror attack in advance and decided to sacrifice themselves for the sake of their country.

In a recent lecture, Prof. Arnd Krüger of the University of Göttingen, who covered the Munich Olympics as a journalist and claimed to have known some of the murdered Israeli athletes, compared the decision made by the sportsmen to stay in the Olympic village despite the known threat to their safety to the decision made by the Jews to stay in Hebron during the 1929 Palestine riots.

Krüger, reported some of the attendants in the lecture, even went as far as to suggest that the athletes knew of the impending attack and decided to stay on the premises and sacrifice themselves for the sake of Israel’s interests.

The Israeli Embassy in Germany demanded some action be taken against him, saying his statement “is one of the worst possible ways to dehumanize Israel.”

Ilan Mor, Israel’s deputy ambassador to Germany, called the statement “a new kind of anti-Semitism, which has become more and more common in Germany, and is disguised by so-called criticism of Israel.”

Esther Roth-Shachamarov, one of the sportswomen who took part in the Munich Olympics, was stunned by Krüger’s statement.

“This is absurd. I’ve always heard about blood libels against the Jews, but now I’ve witnessed it too. It’s a little like denying the Holocaust,” she said

I can’t beat those comments, so I’ll just link to this informative article on the history of Arab pogroms against the Jews in the 1920s—a good 20-plus years before the founding of the state of Israel, may I point out superfluously.

Learn something new every day.

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Heiress Out of the Tires

This story is a little off our beat, but it did take place in Boston, and it tastes so deliciously of schadenfreude:

A 20-year-old heiress was arrested Saturday morning after police said she left the South Street Diner without paying and got behind the wheel of her car while drunk.

Jacqueline Kent Cooke, daughter of late Washington Redskins owner and billionaire Jack Kent Cooke, pleaded not guilty to charges of operating under the influence.

Police said an officer followed Jacqueline Kent Cooke and her friend after they left the restaurant without paying around 5:15 a.m.

The officer advised her to take a cab home, police said.

Police said Jacqueline Kent Cooke pulled up her skirt to moon the officer, and then gave him the middle finger, before eventually getting into the BMW and starting the engine.

The officer stood in front of the car and called for backup, police said.

Police said Jacqueline Kent Cooke then asked the officer, “Do you know who I am?” and told the officer that “$1 billion goes a long way” and that he would lose his badge, according to the police report.

“If you have to ask that question rhetorically, you’re probably not going to win yourself many friends in the law enforcement community,”… Conley told the Herald.

Jacqueline Kent Cooke was released on personal recognizance.

Jack Kent Cooke died in 1997.

He left his daughter with a $5 million trust, but she reportedly sued his estate for $275 million last year, the Herald reported.

Five million dollars out of an estate of one billion? That’s chump change. Either daddy didn’t love his little girl—or he did, and hoped that leaving her only enough to live comfortably but not lavishly was the best thing for her. Stiffing the check at a diner sounds like things haven’t worked out.

And to top off this admittedly mean-spirited post, a picture of the collagen-enhanced heiress:

snapshot-2008-06-29-09-03-21.jpg

Those lips can’t adequately be described as bee-stung; more like as set upon by an entire colony of really angry Africanized killer bees.

Best for last: Jack Kent Cooke once owned the Lakers. Yet again, Boston beats LA.

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Caroline Glick

Though she holds a place of honor in my blogroll, I don’t link to her columns often enough because, frankly, they’re depressing. But given the mess Israel is in—a vicious Islamist enemy to its south in Gaza; another one to its north in Lebanon; and a vicious sorta-secularist terrorist entity to its east in the West Bank (thank God for the demilitarized Mediterranean!)—depression is the only sane and healthy choice.

If that sounds like a recommendation for this book, it is.

It is often said that either you are an idealist or a realist. Indeed, these two worldviews almost always clash. But Jerusalem Post deputy managing editor Caroline Glick, an American-Israeli with strong Zionist convictions, somehow embraces both with vigor. This has helped her produce consistently compelling commentary that wastes little time cutting to the very essence of the issues she explores.

Yet, in nearly every dispatch, Glick conveys either a subtle or even strong sense of frustration with her Israeli and Jewish-American audiences that refuse to wake up to the dangers that loom in the Middle East. Her first book, a well-structured compendium of her columns, may sadly serve as a map for the road not taken in the fight against radical Islam.

The seemingly endless Palestinian war against Israel is perhaps the greatest source of frustration for Glick. Several of her most compelling pieces hammer home the fact that the “Palestinian goal today is genocide,” and their “central organizing principle is the physical elimination of the Jewish people.” This should be obvious to most readers of Middle Eastern affairs. Yet a majority of American Jews and even Israelis continue to hold out hope for peace.

See what I mean?

Considering the amount of ink (bandwidth?) we devote to the topic here, if I say she’s the voice I trust most on Israel, praise can’t come any higher.

She is, and it doesn’t.

You can buy the book here, and you can read her columns here. Or you can just keep reading this blog, where on sunny days when we’re feeling okay about ourselves, we’ll link to her “consistently compelling commentary”.

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