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Thursday August 14, 2003

Check out this TechCentralStation column on What Threatens Us. Better yet, read it twice. Excerpt,

Chesterton and Belloc saw in Islam precisely the sort of spiritual energy which was proving evanescent in the West even in their time. Belloc, for example (and probably Chesterton too, although I myself do not recall reading it) emphatically declared Islam a heresy -- a heresy which derived its strength from the affirmation of some true doctrines of Christianity while denigrating fatally other true doctrines. A heresy is not necessarily evil; it is simply wrong; staggeringly, definitively, but plausibly wrong. This sort of judgment is very nearly impossible today: it provokes the charge of crankishness, or even bigotry. But therein lies our suffocating narrowness. We have resolutely undertaken to amputate some of our mental faculties; like the faculty of distinguishing a creed from its adherents. The rigid secularist cannot see the creed, only its followers. But it is, I think, a solid fact, no matter what modern insularity avows, that a man may be an implacable enemy of Islam and still a friend of Muslims.

Ann Coulter asserts (with her typical ascerbic wit) that the California experiment as failed and that the the host organism has died. Excerpt:

In June 2002, the liberal American Prospect magazine was hailing California as a "laboratory" for Democratic policies. With "its Democratic governor, U.S. senators, state legislature and congressional delegation," author Harold Meyerson gushed, "California is the only one of the nation's 10 largest states that is uniformly under Democratic control." In the Golden State, Meyerson said, "the next New Deal is in tryouts." (Can't you just feel the tension building?)...

... California is, in fact, a perfect petri dish of Democratic policies. This is what happens when you let Democrats govern: You get a state or as it's now known, a "job-free zone" with a $38 billion deficit, which is larger than the budgets of 48 states. There are reports that Argentina and the Congo are sending their fiscal policy experts to Sacramento to help stabilize the situation. California's credit rating has been slashed to junk-bond status, and citizens are advised to stock up for the not-too-far-off day when cigarettes and Botox become the hard currency of choice. At this stage, we couldn't give California back to Mexico.

Quasipundit has an interesting comparison between the economy in California and that other liberal mecca: France. Excerpt,

There are similarities. Going back to that economic forecast[pdf] I looked at ealier, it's got a table on page 18 listing the world's 21 largest economies as of 2001. France & California are tied for fifth

France 1,310 billions
California 1,309 billions

France's state budget deficit is looking like 3.5% of GDP California's $38 billion would be about 3% of GSP[Gross State Product].

The French economy certainly suffers from slow growth, but there's also been criticism of overspending on social benefits and a surrender to unions. Ditto California.

More Palestinian lies:

Islamic officials in Jerusalem now contend the Temple Mount has no connection to the First and Second Temples referenced in the Bible.

For instance, Palestinian Authority Mufti Ikrima Sabri told a German publication just last week, "There is not [even] the smallest indication of the existence of a Jewish temple on this place in the past. In the whole city, there is not even a single stone indicating Jewish history."

The Scotsman has the skinny on some whiz-bang new superweapons and fears that they could spark a new arms race:

US SCIENTISTS are working on a space-age weapon that experts fear could trigger a new arms race, it was claimed last night.

The gamma ray bomb blurs the line between conventional and nuclear explosives. It produces an enormous burst of energy from atoms without involving nuclear fission or fusion.

Just one gram of the explosive could store more energy than 50 kilograms of TNT.

A gamma bomb would produce little fall-out compared with a normal nuclear weapon, although undetonated particles could cause long-term health problems for anyone breathing them in.

I certainly hope that Doug Casey is wrong. Excerpt,

Will the situation quiet down once the U.S. government starts shipping scores of billions of its citizens' money into Iraq? I think not. The argument is made that the Iraqis would be foolish to bite the hand that feeds them. And that, anyway, as prosperity is built, the locals will be much more interested in cashing in on it than killing the infidel invaders. Well, that's possible.

But my guess is that much of that money will be stolen and /or wasted it's not going to build prosperity. Why should it be spent any more efficiently or honestly in Iraq than it is in the U.S.? Get real we're talking about a U.S. government economic program. At least in the U.S. the recipients rarely try to kill the donors. And the donors are wise to at least some of the recipients scams. And the recipients (mostly) at least speak English.

Wednesday August 13, 2003

August 8 marked the end of 100 days since the end of major combat operations in Iraq. Since you may not have heard about this from the mainstream media, here is a report put out by the White House outlining the progress we have made towards restoring creating stability in Iraq and improving the lives of Iraqis. Of course this is all just White House spin (that's why nobody bothered to report it... yeah, that's it.). The the areas of success are broken down into 10 sections:

Kudos to the TSA:

Two Pakistani men are being held in Seattle after an airline employee at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport found one of their names on a terrorism-related no-fly list Saturday night.

One of the men, 36, carrying a British Columbia driver's license, paid cash for a one-way ticket to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. After the airline employee called 911, the man left the counter, abandoning his ticket.

The other man, 29, who had a New York driver's license, also paid cash for a one-way ticket to Kennedy Airport on a different airline, police reports show.

Kudos also to the FBI:

A British arms dealer was arrested in Newark yesterday after he smuggled into the United States a shoulder-fired missile - which he wanted to sell to Muslim terrorists to shoot down a large passenger jet, sources said.

Two others accused in the plot were seized in Manhattan following a sting operation by FBI, Secret Service and British and Russian agents.

My biggest fear is that these two events are related. Were the Pakistanis arrested in Seattle en route to pick up some shoulder-fired missiles in New York? Don't know, but it's scary stuff.

The appropriately named Dick Morris explains why the major media outlets are consistently losing market share:

The reason people aren't watching network news and are canceling their subscriptions to establishment press organs is that they are fed up with the manipulation and deliberate juggling of the news they see and read each day. An increasingly educated electorate can spot bias with greater acumen and astuteness than ever before...

... Americans are refusing to be spoon fed anyone's idea of the news. They no longer care to dine on the meal served by Rather or Peter Jennings (Tom Brokaw seems to fare better) or by CNN or MSNBC. They want to make their own choices in the marketplace. The Internet lets them do just that and they are voting with their remote controls to turn off the party line they get on the networks.

"Manipulation and deliberate juggling of the news"? Check out this article in The Sun. Excerpt,

BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan LIED to MPs about the sexed-up dossier affair, it was revealed yesterday.

He also MISLED them about his contacts with tragic Ministry of Defence weapons expert Dr David Kelly.

And in a dramatic twist to the war between the BBC and No10 he was BLASTED by his own boss for "flawed" reporting.

As Gilligan, 34, gave evidence on the second day of the Hutton Inquiry into Dr Kelly's suicide, the full text of the secret evidence the reporter gave to the foreign affairs select committee was released.

The London Telegraph also reports on Andrew Gilligan's "flawed reporting" on the BBC Today programme:

In it the governors concluded: "The culture of Today had been one of creating rather than reporting news. It had moved in line with tabloid and Sunday newspaper journalism where contacting people who might deny a story was avoided."

Although the author produces absolutely no evidence for this headline, Christian Mullahs Message of Hate, the article gives you some understanding of the thinking in certain parts of the world:

No matter how much the Arabs/Muslims are demonised, one cannot find the equivalence of the Crusades, Inquisition, systematic genocides in Latin and Central America, Africa, Vietnam, Japan, and Australia, are only few examples, all driven by greed. Arabs and Muslims can be labelled as Fascists but they forget it was made in Europe and was practiced in Europe. Islam can be labelled as violent, but they forget the greatest violence in the last centuries was exhibited by the greed of the European nations, which peaked in the two great wars. In the same irony they use weapons of Mass destruction (WMD) or its equivalence against Iraq whilst accusing her of holding such weapons. Please note the charge is only possession not even usage! It is the US that has the best track record for the usage, production, development and possession of such weapons.

General Hackworth (yes, I just gave him a field promotion (only one star)) is down on Army Leadership.

Thomas Sowell doesn't explicitly say why so many people and businesses are leaving California, so I will: Liberalism. Go Forth and Read!