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Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending

Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander. I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives ____________________________________________________________________________________________ "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Muslim Shoot Defenseless Jews In Seattle....

A Muslim shoots a bunch of woman in a synagogue and kills one in Seattle....
Police stepped up security at Seattle synagogues and mosques on Saturday, a day after a Muslim man who said he was angry at Israel shot dead one woman and wounded five others at a Jewish center.
Muslim shoots women. Muslims are such weak people that they have to go and shoot women. They hide behind women and children when they have armed conflict and shoot defenseless women in their place of worship. This is how sick Muslims are. A terrorist? You betcha. But as I was reading today, these sickos that are murdering people really aren't terrorists since terrorism is a tactic. They are Muslims. They are nto terrorists but Muslims that use terrorism as a tactic. Our problem is with Muslims.
The problem of this misnaming of the war manifests itself in many ways. It allows opponents of the liberation of Iraq to claim that it had nothing to do with the war, because somehow "terrorist" has been rendered synonymous with Al Qaeda and bin Laden, and as we all know (at least those of us fundamentally and perhaps willfully ignorant of the actual history), Al Qaeda would have nothing to do with Saddam, and vice versa. By focusing exclusively on the "terrorists" that are Al Qaeda, it obscures the much larger enemy. And it allows the "authorities" to absurdly claim that the Pakistani who just went on the shooting spree in Seattle isn't a "terrorist," because he didn't bring along his Al Qaeda membership card and decoder ring.
They hate us, not because of Israel or other things that we may say or do, they hate us because of what we are. Successful. Muslims hate us because Muslims are a bunch of losers. Then they turn around in their failure and they try to blame us for their failure. They hate Israel because the Jews took a little chunk of desert and were able to make something nice and wonderful for themselves there that the Muslims were not able to achieve anywhere else. The Jews were able to transform their little piece of desert into an oasis of success. What Muslims society has been able to achieve anything of note other than extracting oil out of the ground?

Do Muslims and their societies add anything to the world of learning or science? Not in along time, I think. They cannot build normal societies because they have allowed their religion to become twisted. They treat woman like garbage, treat servants like garbage and treat the world like garbage. And then they get angry about us and try to blame us for their shortcomings and problems. Our war is with Muslims not terrorists and we will continue to have conflict with these twisted religious fanatics until they come to realize that they are the ones that have to adapt.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Disproportionate Response?

I have heard alot of blathering being bandied about on Israel's supposed disproportionate response to the Hezbollah threat in Southern Lebanon. The EU came out and had this to say...
"The European Union is greatly concerned about the disproportionate use of force by Israel in Lebanon in response to attacks by Hezbollah on Israel," said a statement issued by Finland, which holds the EU's rotating presidency. "The presidency deplores the loss of civilian lives and the destruction of civilian infrastructure. The imposition of an air and sea blockade on Lebanon cannot be justified."
I just don't know what would constitute a proportionate response. I suppose it depends upon the situation. I know that in American law, if a person attacks you, with a knife, considered deadly force, you have the right to depend yourself with deadly force such as a gun. However, if one attacks you with, say a feather, a non-lethal force, then you do not have the right to defend using deadly force.

However, in the recent Israel-Hezbollah conflict, the cross border incursion by Hezbollah forces to kidnap two soldiers and kill several others should be considered a deliberate act of war, an invasion of sorts, despite being limited in scope. So what should have been the Israeli response? A cross border response by Israel to do what? Take and kill several hiding amongst civilian Hezbollah terrorists? And what will this accomplish? The Hezbollah threat under this scenario would remain largely intact in order to further their military aims against Israel. Hezbollah through these action communicated clearly their intentions to Israel that they desire to attack the nation and will continue to do so without provacation.

So the question still remains, what should the Israeli military response have been? The options for Israel range from doing absolutely nothing and lodging a complaint that will fall of the deaf ears of the farce called the UN to launching a devastating strike against Lebanon, Syria and Iran using all of their firepower including nuclear weapons. However, Israel has to keep in mind two critical objectives; first, what do they want to achieve with any military or non-military response and what are the costs of those responses.

An all out attack against Lebanon, Syria and Iran would probably lead to a conflict that even Israel may not be able to survive and would remain a final self-destructive option. However, with all the hateful words coming from Iran and Hezbollah being an Iranian military proxy on Israel's northern border, it would make sense for the safety and security of Israeli citizens [the government's duty] to degrade or eliminate the threat as completely as possible.

The problem is that the Hezbollah terrorists have deliberately dug themselves into positions next to and within civilian populations centers using them as human shields against any reprisals. This complicates the ability of Israel to conduct a theorectical European "proportionate response." Any response at all risks civilian casualties as Hezbollah has designed.

So, I am not too sure what Europe deems as a proportionate response. Additionally, Hezbollah isn't even supposed to exist as a military force on the border of Israel as demanded by the UN Security Council with Resolution 1559. But the worthless UN can make all kinds of silly resolutions without the will nor ability to ensure compliance, Israel has realized and the rest-of-the-world should realize that in order to clean the terrorists out, it will have to be done by those that want it done.

Charles Krauthamer makes some interesting points in his opinion piece questioning what the heck a proportionate response is. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, should the US response been to bomb one of their harbors?
When the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor, it did not respond with a parallel "proportionate" attack on a Japanese naval base. It launched a four-year campaign that killed millions of Japanese, reduced Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki to cinders, and turned the Japanese home islands into rubble and ruin.

Disproportionate? No. When one is wantonly attacked by an aggressor, one has every right -- legal and moral -- to carry the fight until the aggressor is disarmed and so disabled that it cannot threaten one's security again. That's what it took with Japan.
In reality, a brazen attack cannot be considered a one-off event and reasonable people will expect that more attacks, even more destructive ones may follow. The US had the right and responsibility to respond and defend itself from Japanese attack costing 99,000 servicemen lives in the process. Israel, also, has the right and the responsibility to its citizens to defend the borders and people inside of those borders. If that means prosecuting a war against the threat, then why shouldn't they have the right to do it?

The failure from the proportionate complainers is that they lost their right to criticize when the UN failed to keep its end of the bargain and disarm or even somewhat impede Hezbollah hegemony in the region.

Also, we should all applaud Israel's bold actions since terrorists like Hezbollah and other groups should have to be concerned that they can and will be wiped out of they do attack civilians where the government has the right and is willing to defend their own citizens. The appeasers in Europe, I am afraid are unable or are unwilling to learn the tough lessons that many countries have to grapple with and that international terrorism is a serious threat to innocent people on both sides of the fence. Allowing these organizations to operate unfettered will only come back to haunt us with greater civilian deaths and calamities unless we have to the fortitude to deal with these threats now with strong and decisive action.

And who is taking the moral high ground in this fight? Hezbollah or Israel? Hezbollah has been putting military assets in built up populations centers in order to protect these assets from attack from a moral people. If they do get attacked, then there inevitably will be civilian casualties as the terrorists desire for propaganda purposes. However, keep this in mind...
Israel's response to Hezbollah has been to use the most precise weaponry and targeting it can. It has no interest, no desire to kill Lebanese civilians. Does anyone imagine that it could not have leveled south Lebanon, to say nothing of Beirut? Instead, in the bitter fight against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, it has repeatedly dropped leaflets, issued warnings, sent messages by radio and even phone text to Lebanese villagers to evacuate so that they would not be harmed.

Israel knows that these leaflets and warnings give the Hezbollah fighters time to escape and regroup. The advance notification as to where the next attack is coming has allowed Hezbollah to set up elaborate ambushes. The result? Unexpectedly high Israeli infantry casualties. Moral scrupulousness paid in blood. Israeli soldiers die so that Lebanese civilians will not, and who does the international community condemn for disregarding civilian life?
In my mind, Israel is not only doing what it feels compelled to do within the rules of engaging an enemy but also are taking the moral high ground by sparing civilian life to the best of their ability even at the cost to its military. Go Israel!

King Salomon, the baby and Israel vs. Lebanon...

Wednesday night, my friend was giving me a hard time on my comments about Alan Dershowitzs' piece on 'blame the terrorists not Israel.' I subsequently wrote this on what Dershowitz had to say. He asked me how I could take a liberal Jewish opinion seriously about Israel or this conflict. I said to him, that one has to take their opinions seriously when they make sense.

But I thought more-and-more about this concept. By not taking into account Jewish, Israeli or Zionist opinions on something that is in their backyard or impacts them sometimes directly, is like not taking into account American opinions on our foray into Iraq or on immigration issues. Only Europeans or Africans or Asians can have an opinion on something in the US or in the Middle-east that doesn't really involve them? Is it disinterested parties that have a greater understanding of situations than do the people that are involved on the spot? I do not think that they are worthy arbitrators of these kinds of conflicts. They do not have enough at stake to and not willing to fight for what is right but only accept what may be expedient.

I remember in Sunday School as a kid hearing about the story of King Salomon. In the story there are two new mothers, one of which who had smothered her baby during sleep and claimed the other woman's baby as her own. The problem is presented to King Solomon, who proposes the baby be split in half, each woman receiving one half of the child. The woman who was lying agrees to the "compromise," while the real mother immediately feels sympathy for her offspring. Rather than see her child killed, she says the baby belongs to the other woman. Solomon instantly gives the baby to the real mother, realizing that a true mother would compromise to see her offspring survive.

As the Salomon biblical story relates, only those that are closely connected to the situation are actually in a position to care enough about solving the problem and making it better. The mother didn't want to see her child split in half and preferred giving it up to allowing it to die. Salomon realized this and knew who the true caring mother was. Hezbollah, Syria and Iran don't care if the baby dies. They have their own narrow objectives in mind. The people to listen to here are not the outsiders but the people that actually have a stake in the outcome of these conflicts.

Is Iran Testing Israel Before Committing To Attack Themselves?

I am not to sure how this would take place since getting a powerful enough army by US occupied Iraq and through he Middle-East undetected would be a difficult task. But this fellow thought otherwise...
Tehran is using Hezbollah's confrontation with the Jewish state to test the abilities of Iranian weapons and to observe Israeli military capabilities, Lebanon's Druze leader Walid Jumblatt charged in a WorldNetDaily interview yesterday.

Jumblatt also said he fears Syria will take advantage of the growing crisis in Lebanon to reassert its influence in the country and convince the international community Syrian domination of Lebanon is crucial to the stability of the Middle East.
But he also explains that this conflict presents the perfect opportunity for Syria to reinsert itself in Lebanon, but I am not exactly sure what benefit Syria gains by doing so.

The fellow making these comments is a Druze rhymes with Jews and his surname is Jumblatt. Blatt is a common suffix on Jewish names such as Greenblatt and Goldblatt. But what the heck is a Druze?
In Lebanon, Syria and Israel, the Druze have official recognition as a separate religious community with its own religious court system. Their symbol is an array of five colors: green, red, yellow, blue and white. Each color pertains to a symbol defining its principles: green for "the Universal Mind", red for "the Universal Soul", yellow for "the Truth/Word", blue for "the Antagonist/Cause" and white for "the Protagonist/Effect". These principles are why the number five has special considerations among the religious community; it is usually represented symbolically as a five-pointed star.

Although often officially recognized as Muslims, most Muslims do not consider them Druzes and most Druzes do not consider themselves Muslims.

Hey, I Have A Great Idea....

Let's make all Israelis move back to the nations that they emigrated from or move them to Alaska like the weirdo President of Iran wants, make all the Arabs move back from where they came from, Saudi Arabia so that they can live in tents and ride camels, drink tea and lounge on luxurious carpets and give back the rest of the Middle-East to the Greeks, Persians, Assyrians, Kurds, etc.

Bolton At The UN....

Alan Dershowitz, liberal Democrat writes here why he is a supporter of Bolton's renomination. The Democrats have been able to see his performance over the past year in the job and should judge him on that. Not on some willy nilly bi-partisan GWB witch hunt. However, one the Democrats leading arguments against him is that he is skeptical of the UN's effectiveness given how it currently operates. And I would agree with calling the UN a toothless sloth. Dershowitz writes...
But Mr. Bolton is right to be skeptical, and all the great U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations, from Adlai Stevenson to Arthur Goldberg to Pat Moynihan to Jeane Kirkpatrick, have shared that skepticism. Mr. Bolton is absolutely justified in pushing for reform of the notoriously corrupt and inefficient bureaucratic structure in Turtle Bay. As he once said, "If member countries want the United Nations to be respected ... they should begin by making sure it is worthy of respect."
And also, it is important to remember that the role of the United States UN ambassador is to represent the interests of the US at the body not to represent the UN.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Iraqi PM Making The Rounds In Washington....

Howard Dean, the Chairman of the Democratic party, labeled the elected leader of the Iraqi people as an anti-Semite for his comments on Israel's attacks on Lebanon without also denouncing Hezbollah. Kofi Annan has also accused Israel...
ISRAEL'S UN ambassador said he was "shocked" by accusations from UN chief Kofi Annan that the Jewish state may have deliberately targeted an observation post in Lebanon in an air raid that killed as many as four UN observers.
Kofi thinks that Israel deliberately attacked a UN post? Really? And Israel would have what benefit from attacking a UN post? What constituency is he playing to? And also, are Annan's comments also anti-Semitic Howard? But apparently, as it is now coming out, Hezbollah fighters may have been using UN positions as cover.

Maliki did have this to say in a speech before Congress...
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told a joint session of Congress yesterday that the raging conflict in Iraq was at the forefront of the global war on terror and called on the United States to stay and fight or risk losing the larger battle.

"I know that some of you here question whether Iraq is part of the war on terror. Let me be very clear -- this is a battle between true Islam, for which a person's liberty and rights constitute essential cornerstones, and terrorism, which wraps itself in a fake Islamic cloak," he said to applause.
I suppose that Howard Dean expects Maliki's commentary to perfectly scripted to meet every need during his US tour. Even elected leaders in Dean's world aren't allowed to have their own opinions but to play the PC role perfectly. Did anyone really expect all Arab leaders beyond Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt to denounce Hezbollah's adventurism in Lebanon? Generally, elected leaders and politicians feel compelled to say what plays well back home and not necessary what pleases the host or other third parties.

But more importantly, Maliki has also acknowledged that Iraq is a battle in the global war on terror and this is one that he is hoping that the US sees through to the end.


American Tour de France winner Floyd Landis flunks a drug test for testosterone during one of the Alpine legs of the race. Despite the chattering that he was riding with a degenerative hip condition that will require surgery, in today's modern world why should one take the chance with any mediations? Its quite embarrassing for Landis and the sport. Even favorites Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich were scratched from the race for testing positive for illegal drugs.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Thai Citizens Warned On The Dangers Of Traveling To France....

Thai embassy officials have been robbed several times in France and now Thai citizens are being warned about the dangers of traveling to France, here.
Foreign Ministry has cautioned Thai citizens to consider postponing or canceling traveling to France particularly this period because of the threat of crime.

The ministry issued the warning in a statement on Tuesday which said that several robberies or thefts had occurred involving cars belonging to the Thai Embassy in Paris.
I have been to France several times and never have had many problems other than dangerous road situations due to rude and dangerous French drivers. However, I did notice that there were many people jumping turnstiles in the Paris underground railways, the Metro and the RER, and incidents involving travelers getting pushed by robbers. In fact, since this is such a common occurrence in Paris, that there are loads of plainclothes police at major junctions and I have seen more than once the apprehension of criminals.

I remember back home in New York City a number of years ago, that turnstile jumping was a common occurrence and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani instituted a zero tolerance policy for quality of life issues and lawlessness in these venues. In Paris, the turnstile jumpers that I saw were largely blacks, probably African immigrants or their children that did not feel compelled to follow the rules or be courteous to others.


Spike posted on Anthony Bourdain, a food TV personality that can be seen on Wednesday nights, I think, on one of the many Discovery channels. Spike links the Washington Post interview and it can be found here, on his recent trip to Beirut.

Bourdain is always entertaining and I laughed out loud at what I thought was his funniest quote:
New York, N.Y.: Which county that you have visited has the best and worst bathrooms? Why?

Anthony Bourdain: The best bathrooms, Japan, far and away. Worst bathrooms, if you can call them that? Uzbekistan. Toilets in Uzbekistan make the one in Trainspotting look like an operating room.
Recently, I had a conversation with someone where we used the Trainspotting toilet as the benchmark for bad bathrooms in China.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Headline and story:
Drought-stricken Australia considers drinking recycled sewage
Remind me to bring my own water.

This Is How The Media Moderates The Fight...

And this representation is very true, where Islamic terrorists hide behind civilians and the military stands between to protect their own civilians.

Is Karl Rove Now Working For Hillary?

Recent labeled as "Israel's bitch" by wacky leftists, Hillary must be very pleased that she is being slotted right into the center by these crazy Democrats. Karl Rove couldn't have done a better job!

Blame The Terrorists, Not Israel....

By Alan M. Dershowitz | July 24, 2006 [The whole thing here]

THE HEZBOLLAH and Hamas provocations against Israel once again demonstrate how terrorists can exploit human rights and the media in their attacks on democracies. By hiding behind their own civilians, the Islamic radicals issue a challenge to democracies: Either violate your own morality by coming after us and inevitably killing some innocent civilians, or maintain your morality and leave us with a free hand to target your innocent civilians. This challenge presents democracies such as Israel with a lose-lose option and terrorists with a win-win option.

There is one variable that could change this dynamic and present democracies with a viable option that could make terrorism less attractive as a tactic: The international community, the anti-Israel segment of the media, and human rights organizations should stop falling for this gambit and acknowledge that they are being used to promote the terrorist agenda.
The useful idiots of the media [and human rights organizations and the clowns at the UN too], with their formulaic view of the world, are unable to adapt to today's reality of what these bloodthirsty terrorists are trying to achieve. Governments do not have the option of allowing pot shots at their own citizenry resulting in wounding and killings to go on without some type of response. So what is Israel supposed to do? Just allow things to happen? Will the terrorists then become bored of killing Israeli citizens without a response by the Israeli government? Will they then go home and leave Israel alone? Or will they continue to ratchet up the attacks? Pretend that Israel had a pacifist government that allowed these attacks to happen without response. The terrorists, seeing victory, would continue to hit them and increase the number of attacks, killings and maimings of Israelis until one day, Israelis suffer enough and elect, through their democratic system, someone that will look after their interests? This is what they have actually done. And therefore, the Israeli Government is doing what the people want them to do and that is protect their interests and lives.

But when the press gets all soggy over the underdog terrorists, they do not effectively communicate what the terrorists are actually doing. The terrorists are using woman and children as human shields to protect their rockets, bombs, command centers and personnel. The terrorists either get to protect their assets since compassionate peoples, like the Israelis, do not want to kill innocent civilians unprovoked or when provoked, the innocents will die and they become part of the propaganda war. As Alan Dershowitz argues, this is a win-win for terrorists and a lose-lose for democracies.

Maybe the press wants to feel as if they are not taking sides but by not equally communicating the terrorists agenda is to have Lebanese civilians killed in large numbers due to a provoked attack, they are actually taking sides... the side of the terrorist. I view it as the lazy liberals easy way out. Its easier to blame the Israelis since they will discuss the issues in a civilized manner with journalists, providing interviews and press conferences with coffee and tea and snacks whereas, the terrorists, are difficult to identify, don't want to be identified, live in little villages, sometimes in purposeful squalid conditions and do not provide coffee, tea or cookies in nice hotel conference room facilities. Additionally, if they are not pleased with your reporting, they may kill you or take you hostage. I don't blame the actual on-the-ground journalist for this kind of behavior since it is almost a Stockholm Syndrome kind of response...
The Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in a hostage, in which the hostage exhibits seeming loyalty to the hostage-taker, in spite of the danger (or at least risk) in which the hostage has been placed.
since it is the journalist too that is being held hostage. The journalist relies upon the very freedoms that the terrorists attack and hold hostage for his livelihood and protection. However, editorial policies at the media have to adjust to the reality on the ground. It is their responsibility to both use their First Amendment rights and to protect them from bloodthirsty Islamists. By being a useful idiot to the terrorists like Hezbollah, the media is rewarding this kind of behavior and we will assuredly get more if it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Iran Is Run By A Bunch Of Unbelievably Wacky People...

The Iranian leader, unpronounceable Ahmandinjad,is advising Israel to pack up and move somewhere else. Maybe there is someone named Moses that can lead them through the desert for 40 years or so. And what a logistical nightmare it would be to move Israel, as Moses [80 years old at the time and probably became very cranky about these headaches] found out...

Moses and the people were in the desert, but how was he going to feed 2 or 3 million people? [Phoenix is about that size today] According to the Quartermaster General of the Army, Moses would have to have had to come up with some 1500 tons of food each day... and that would take about two freight trains, each a mile long, They would also have to have firewood to use in cooking the food- maybe 4000 tons or so per day; and do it every day for forty years {Did they have freight trains then?}.

And oh yes, they would have to have water. If they only had enough to drink and wash a few dishes, it would take 11,000,000 gallons each day. That would take a freight train with a lot of tank cars -- just to bring water!

Before they got to the desert they had to get across the Red Sea --at night. Had they gone on a narrow path, double file, the line would be about 800 miles long and require 35 days and nights to complete. That means that there had to be a space in the Red Sea (provided by God), 3 miles wide enabling them to walk 5000 abreast to get across in a single night.

But the wacky Iranian leader continues to call for wiping Israel off the face of the map or moving them somewhere else like Alaska.
I advise them to pack up and move out of the region before being caught in the fire they have started in Lebanon," said Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called for the Jewish state to be relocated elsewhere on the planet.

Iran refuses to recognize Israel and opposes any two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ahmadinejad has in the past called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" or relocated as far away as Alaska.
All this angst about the tiny state of Israel...
The Return of Israel
On the campus of the Tel Aviv University in Israel there stands a remarkable museum called Beth Hatuphutsoth, 'House of the Dispersion'. It is a graceful new building packed with the very latest in audio-visual aids. It aims to show young Jews of today how their fathers preserved their beliefs and culture during centuries of wandering, how they kept themselves pure from inter-marriage, and how they returned to the land of their dreams. In a darkened bowl-shaped auditorium, rays of light project on to the curved ceiling above the audience a world map where tiny stars represent the known communities of Jews from the times of Assyria, Babylon and Rome onwards. Practically every country of the world has received Jews at some time. As the centuries pass by, the stars in the display move eerily, as persecution drives the Jews from one country to another. France, Germany, Spain, Poland, Great Britain - each act of terror is catalogued in lights. Sometimes the lights go out, as whole communities pass into oblivion. Then, amazingly, the pinpoints of light begin to move back to the Land of Israel, as the Return gets under way in the twentieth century.

Whole galleries of the Beth Hatuphutsoth museum are devoted to the fortunes of Jewish communities in particular lands - a pagoda-style synagogue modelled on the one in Peking, a reconstruction of a wedding in the Ukraine, a Jewish rabbi pleading for his life before a Jesuit priest in the Inquisition, and most moving of all, in letters of fire, the last words penned by Jews who faced death in the German Holocaust.

The pace and emotion quicken as the exhibition reaches the last joyful stages of the Return. Everything is painstakingly chronicled. First come the thoughts of a national home penned by Weizmann in Russia under the Czars, the publishing of Herzl's The Jewish State in 1896, and the Zionist Congress of 1897. There follows the slow, grinding labour of the early settlements in Palestine under the Turks. The British mandate after the First World War allows more and more Jews to return. Finally, the agony of Hitler's repression creates an irresistible pressure in Europe and precipitates a chain of events leading finally to the formation of the State of Israel in 1948.
Historically, the Persians have always been screwing around in the region. They occupied Egypt for a while and had many conflicts with the Greeks for centuries, before Alexander the great kicked their Aryan asses. So this may just be a continuation of their belligerent pre-Muslim days.

Arab Autocrats, Worried That The Recent Israeli-Hezbollah Conflict Risks Expanding Into A Greater Conflict...

So, the Egyptian sponsored peace initiative is gaining ground. Arab leaders have also been calling for Syria to stop supporting Hezbollah, I suppose in an attempt to isolate Iran. Syria is the regional player in Lebanon and a co-sponsor of Hezbollah so less support by Syria will hurt Hezbollah's chances for survival.
A loss of Syria's support would deeply weaken Hezbollah, though its other ally, Iran, gives it a large part of its money and weapons. The two moderate Arab governments were prepared to spend heavily from Egypt's political capital in the region and Saudi Arabia's vast financial reserves to break Damascus from the guerrillas and Iran, the diplomats said.
Also, the Autocrats in Middle-East are very worried that a larger regional conflict will force them to flee and if the rest of the world gets involved in a regional war, then they will not get their seats back and will be forced into exile.

Additionally, Israel is saying that they would accept a international peace keeping force from NATO. Given that the toothless UN may have been complicite in allowing Hezbollah to operate with impunity, and the equally toothless Europeans, who have been involved through NATO in an unreported quagmire of their own in the former Yugoslavia will now have to 'fish or cut bait' with Israel. They will want to negotiate, negotiate, negotiate... but will find that negotiation with an organization like the nearly stateless Hezbollah, that has nothing to negotiate with except promises that will be unkept, will be nearly impossible.
Israel's defense minister said his country would accept an international force, preferably NATO, on its border after it drives back or weakens Hezbollah. But his troops described the militants they encountered as a smart, well-organized and ruthless guerrilla force whose fighters do not seem afraid to die.
This also gives Israel lots more time to do the cleanup that they need to do since it will take Europe ages to decide amongst themselves what to do and then have lots of State dinners and toasts and telling each other how smart they are and how wonderful the concept of the EU is before they even set diplomatic foot number one on the ground there. Also, GWB has been purposefully dragging his feet to resolve the problem and is being shown as the regional power broker as the Saudis are now asking him to get involved in solving the problem.

Despite the American left yapping and yapping like little nervous poodle dogs that they are about this, trying to use this as a political wedge against Bush and the Republicans, it shows that the calculus of the Middle-East is shifting and more than imperceptibly. As I wrote about before, Hezbollah was condemned by several Arab countries and the Arab League has been unable to do their usual condemnation of Israel. A NATO force in the Middle-East will go a long way to reducing Syrian influence and the destruction of Hezbollah would reduce Iranian influence in the volatile region further isolating that country that is surrounded by US military forces.

A Cautionary Tale...

This story caught my eye, an Israeli soldier that was involved in the original occupation of Lebanon. But this is the part that really got me thinking...
After settling in Israel in 1978, my first home was in Kiryat Shmonah, a town near the Lebanese border. A few years earlier, Palestinian terrorists had crossed over and killed 18 residents in an apartment building there, including nine children. Every two or three weeks, Palestine Liberation Organization guerrillas fired Katyusha rockets on our town and other northern settlements. Time and again, Israeli forces swept into southern Lebanon to clean out the terrorist bases. Eventually, however, the bases would regroup and the attacks would resume.
Due to the crazy Muslims that these people have to live next to every day, they have to endure the occasional incursion where civilians are slaughtered randomly by these sickos. We can't get rid of these Islamic assholes fast enough. Finish Hezbollah off now and once-and-for-all I hope.

If Anything Goes Wrong.....

Don't burden oneself and blame yourself, or the person responsible or anyone except.... just blame him. Blaming him is a solution to all your problems and why feel bad about anything ever again!!!

Now, 8 Years...

For 7 years, Lance Armstrong was the king and now, another American, Floyd Landis, has won the Tour-de-France.
He picked up where another American left off just last year, when Lance Armstrong completed his seventh and final Tour triumph. Including three wins by Greg Lemond (1986, 1989, 1990), Americans have won the race 11 of the last 21 times.
American have come to dominate this sport lie they dominate everything else in the world.

I wonder if the anti-American French assholes spit on him while riding by like they did with Lance Armstrong in recent years. The French are useless and despicable people. They are just white trash with good food and drink.

Jumbo Johnston Seafood Restaurant....

As some of you may know, Johnson and Johnston is just different spellings of the same name and we all know what Johnson [Johnston] means.... and jumbo at that. Someone at dinner Friday night suggested that a better name would be Enormous Johnston Seafood Restaurant. I don;t know, but I think that Jumbo gets the idea across just fine. So, I wonder, is it only fellows with big ones go there or the proprietors are so endowed? Have you eaten there Spike?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The New York Times Owns The Boston Globe....

And this is where the NYT tries out its most leftist, bush bashing, military hating and isolationist political ideas. If you may recall a few years ago, they reprinted some pictures from a pornographic website that shows military men raping Muslim looking woman. They ended up appologizing for the stupid mistake that anyone with half of a brain would have been able to spot immediately. Some wild-ass leftist radicals, being the useful idiots for hate filled Islamists got the useful idiots at the Boston Globe to promote their acid flashback drivel. I think that what they wanted to do was to spew some malignant garbage at the US military, as a politcal bash piece but did not expect [or forget] that bloggers would have fact checked them.

More recently, the unbalanced there had this to say about the recent actions in Lebanon...
But when UN General Secretary Kofi Annan told the Security Council Thursday that we need an immediate cease-fire and expanded multilateral peacekeeping, America's UN ambassador, John Bolton, rejected the idea. Bolton and the other radicals in the administration want Israel to keep pummeling Lebanon a while longer. The Bush policy has produced a codependency of the most extreme elements on all sides -- the party of mutual Armageddon. This is the war party of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Israeli right, the Iranian ultras, Rumsfeld, and Cheney. Right-wing strategists like William Kristol, who often reflect the thinking of Cheney, are now openly calling for war with Iran.

Iran is the source of those Hezbollah missiles, the spawning ground of Islamist militancy, the greatest threat to Israel. So let's just have it out. Not a ground war or an Iraq-style regime change -- we blew that option-- but a war on the cheap, of missile strikes (with a risk of mass civilian casualties). That would sure make Iran think twice about supporting Hezbollah, promote democracy, and respect America.
I am not too sure what alternatives they have in mind, but I do not see much chance, as Bolton explained [find the text of the comments since it is an interesting argument] recently in a text, that negotiating with terrorists will solve anything, since they can unilaterally break any settlement when it suits their purposes, without consequence. Particularly, the press never holds these terrorists to task.

I seem to remember that the cold war took more than 40 years to conclude and this fight with Islamic terror seems similar in scope. So I suppose that the Boston Globe and the likes of the New York Times would just prefer that we surrender to Hezbollah. That will show them! And then what? Then they will take that opportunity to prepare to kill more of us.

Why It Is Impossible For The UN To Be Effective As A Peacemaking Force....

The UN has had a force on the border of Israel and Lebanon since 1978. So why is Hezbollah able to operate there with impunity? Because Hezbollah bribes the UN peacekeepers as explained here. The UN gives false hope to the world, or maybe this is a false hope that people want to hear, so that they can wash their hands of the problems.

Additionally, the UN Blue Helmets have themselves committed awful crimes while on their peacekeeping missions....
As some commenters have pointed out, there is a very long record of the UN being extremely lax towards crimes committed by its peacekeepers in many other places--for example, the rapes of women and girls in former Yugoslavia, Cambodia, West Africa, and the Congo. The global record suggests, again, a corporate culture of indifference (despite official statements to the contrary) towards employee on-the-job involvement in violent crime; the evidence of a global culture of indifference is more evidence which a fact-finder could use in concluding that crimes of the Indian brigade were attributable to the UN.
So why even talk about sending more Blue Helmets to the troubled region? They won't eliminate Hezbollah terrorists, will be subject to bribery their by Hezbollah and have a historical record of committing crimes against the local population themselves.

And of course, everyone knows that the UN had a ground force in Rwanda while 500,000 people were being slaughtered, but did nothing to stop it. So why even bother sending them?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Chinese Central Bank Raises Bank Reserve Requirements Again In An Attempt At Curbing Runaway Economic Growth....

In the mundane world of central banking, one of the policy tools available to tighten credit is through the use of reserve requirements. Reserve requirements at Chinese banks were again raised yesterday, this time to 8.5% from 8.0% after a 0.5% rise last month.

As I explained in an earlier post, raising reserve requirements compels banks to deposit money into the central bank, interest free. So, every 100 Yuan deposited into the banking system generates the following potential Yuan available for lending through the banking system:

7.5%= 1,333.33
8.0%= 1,250.00
8.5%= 1,176.47

So you can see from the above illustration, that the Chinese central bank has tightened the availability of credit by nearly 12% since June. However, it is important to note that reserve requirements in China are still below those of some other Western Western nations like the US.

The biggest problem with raising reserve requirements and/or raising interest rates, is that it reduces the profitability of the banking system since they have to deposit more funds in the central bank interest free and tightening money also raises its costs. Higher cost money may force some borrowers to go bankrupt and increase loan losses in their portfolio.

Vietnam Or Not....

Tonight at a wine dinner as the Cantonese conversation got louder and louder, and faced with a comment from one of my English language discussion partners who argues that Iraq is like Vietnam, how the conflict in the Middle-East is unwinnable and how we would be better off if we just nuked the whole region and let the chips fall where they may, I came across this interesting piece tonight.....
The leading Arab League states, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt, call Hezbollah's actions "inappropriate and irresponsible." This lessens the urgency of calls from the international community, whether the G8, UN, or EU, for a ceasefire. That lessened urgency creates something very precious indeed: a moment in time and space wherein Israel has the most fleeting of opportunities for decisive action against Hezbollah, an avowed foe, a terrorist organization, and a constant threat to the security of its populace.

Decisive action is what has traditionally been missing from the wars of the Middle East. Land changes hands, blows are exchanged, and peace eventually is negotiated. But the underlying dynamic never changes because the sides are rarely faced with a decisive defeat, the only condition that can force the most avowed of men to abandon the ideas they hold dear.
This is key to my argument, that in conducting war, one must be able and willing to vanquish an enemy. This is something that modern warfare eschews and most countries don't play to win but to create a standstill. This allows the defeated to regroup, re-arm and mobilize again after regrouping.

Most importantly that the writer argues, is that the war in Iraq has created risk to all parties in the region where those that were satisfied to battling to a standstill now realize that this calculus no longer appropriate. Most notably is that Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt stated in the recent Arab League emergency meeting that...
"The Saudi foreign minister, al-Faisal, led a triumvirate including Egypt and Jordan that, according to the AP report, was '...criticizing the guerilla group's actions, calling them 'unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible acts.'' Faisal said, 'These acts will pull the whole region back to years ago, and we simply cannot accept them.' . . . The Arab leaders are frightened that the acts of the terrorists they have coddled for decades might have consequences for them. And they are very frightened of what Iran may do next.'
So, a group of countries do not see that maintaining a offensive force on the border of Israel and using that force to attack is "unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible acts." I have to admit, that this is something very new where the whole region used to participate in attacking Israel and getting their asses whooped every 10-15 years in the past. So, the pan Arabian axis of Arab weazeling has now been split and Israel is not longer the singular black force for them but also includes the bloodthirsty Islamist thugs and terrorists that threaten stability in the whole region. Elimination of Hezbollah, or similar organizations appears as if it is acceptable to least a portion of the political landscape in the Middle-East creating an opportunity for real change and a shift in the dynamics of the region. Additionally, due to this historic split, call for ceasefire and withdrawal will not be as strong or command attention of Israel as before giving Israel a window-of-opportunity to cleanup the Hezbollah mess to the best of their ability.
Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical. If it is to your advantage, make a forward move; if not, stay where you are. Anger may in time change to gladness; vexation may be succeeded by content.
- Sun Tzu
Iraq is not like Vietnam, the costs in monetary terms are less than 1% of GDP, a sustainable conflict for an economy of our size. The number of lives lost, despite being costly to the men and woman in arms and their families that sustained deaths and injuries, is nowhere near the tallies runup in Vietnam. Additionally, I argue that by changing the political landscape in the Middle-East is a task that had to be done at one point in time and the opportunity presented itself for radical intervention that may not have been available at a latter date.
"Be willing to lose a battle in order to win the war."--Life's Little Instruction Book; H Jackson Brown
Furthermore, Vietnam was just a battle in the multi-decade Cold War and despite what some coin as a defeat for America, I view as a necessary engagement to contain Russia and China from their expansionary policies of the 1960's. The 'Vietnam' conflict was due to take place at one point in time or another and who knows how that would have played out, either better or worse, in some other theater. One cannot win all battles in a war, and even in defeat, objectives and desirable outcomes can be achieved for the long-term. The US retained military might and influence in the Pacific for decades after the fall of Saigon in 1975 and this is something that we may see in Iraq and the Middle-East for decades going forward. AS Sun Tzu said and this is true of the conflicts that we faced in the past and Islamic conflict presently engaged in...
The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Thank You Isreal....

For doing the world's dirty work by eliminating Hezbollah. What you are doing is right and just. I salute you.

Bush's Cowboy Diplomacy Gives Way....

To pirate diplomacy...
(2006-07-10) — With Time magazine’s announcement that the era of President George Bush’s ‘cowboy diplomacy‘ has officially ended, the weekly opinion journal will announce next week the start of the era of ‘pirate diplomacy.’

The cowboy label came as a result of the president’s declaration that he wanted Usama Bin Laden “dead or alive.” But in the new era of pirate diplomacy, Time’s editors write that the Commander in Chief will respond to North Korean missile launches and Iranian nuclear snubs with new picturesque expressions like “Aaargh!” and “Shiver me timbers!”

“Bush is really tuned into pop culture,” according to an editorial in next week’s magazine. “What with the popularity of ‘Dead Man’s Chest‘, the president realizes that ‘pirate’ is the new ‘cowboy’.”
Ha ha ha.


Just Shocking.

International Commerce Center....

At 484m (1,574 feet), the ICC along with its cross harbor neighbor, 2 IFC at 415m (1,364 feet), with 88 storys (an extremely lucky number in Cantonese culture) and 22 high-ceiling trading floors, will form a sort-of gateway to Hong Kong harbor and represent the gateway to China.

Buildings in Hong Kong are limited in height so as to not compete with the mountains close by. And in China, they are limited by soil stability?
The 492 m (1,614 ft; roof height) Shanghai World Financial Center in Shanghai, China has proposed completion in 2007, but has been delayed by evaluation of soil stability.
would be kind-of embarrassing if the Shanghai project becomes a bigger version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, rightfully a structure that is very Italian in nature!

Also, building height statistics are very confusing to me. Many have both a roof height and a spire height for TV, radio and telecommunication that may add hundreds of feet to the height. The spires are not as technically difficult to build as the actual building structures and are not as relevant in accounting for feats of engineering.

What Is The "Fatal Conceit?"

As coined by Friedrich Hayek, 20th century economic philosopher, the "Fatal Conceit" is the thought that a small group of people can do a better job at directing or planning an economy than an unstructured larger group, know as a market and driven by what looks like chaos. Discussion hereand here.
In The Fatal Conceit, the Nobel laureate economist F.A. Hayek writes of the key ideological conflict in economics. On the one hand are "the advocates of the spontaneous extended human order created by a competitive market," and on the other hand, "those who demand a deliberate arrangement of human interaction by central authority based on collective command over available resources."

What has failed is the latter, collectivism--the "fatal conceit" that says that a single mind, a single committee, can somehow do things better than the spontaneous, unstructured, complex, and creative forces of the market.
Just have a look at the Koreas. South Korea per capita GDP is around 15 times that of North Korea. South Korea has its flaws but is obviously more free economically than North Korea. The people in both come from the same economic and social background just have differences in freedoms, both economic and social.

Another Tsunami....

This one hits South Java, Pangandaran, to be exact, a place that I have been thinking of visiting.
The hardest-hit area appeared to be Pangandaran, an idyllic beach resort long popular with local and foreign tourists, where witnesses said people shouted "Tsunami! Tsunami!" and climbed trees or crowded inland mosques as the wave approached.
This one has killed less that 100, so far.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Christopher Walken Impressionist....

How To Create Billions From Nothing....

Take a company that has no assets, Pacific Century Cyber Works, that runs up in value during the dot-com mania, buy a company, in this case telephone assets in Hong Kong from Cable and Wireless and use the worthless company as script to take the assets. Since you are the son of uber-tycoon Li Ka-shing that made his original fortune as a smuggler, you do not ever feel compelled to do what is right except was is good for yourself.

Don't manage the company very well and cause the share price to drop. Don't show up at shareholder meetings since you are a sleazy little rich kid that doesn't know anything about managing assets and cannot face irate shareholders.

Negotiate a non-competitive deal with the Hong Kong government and build an office complex and residential apartments and then lease the office to your own company, in this case PCCW.

Then sell your stake to another crony and walk away with billions of Hong Kong dollars. Earn lots of money while adding no value what-so-ever to anyone or anybody, except yourself.
Last Monday night, Li confirmed that Pacific Century Regional Developments, which he controls, will sell its 23 percent stake in PCCW to Leung, for HK$6 per share. Li stands to gain HK$9.16 billion.

500 Injured, 9 Killed after 100 Rockets Fall On Israel...

The terrorist organization, Hezbollah, that has been largely operating with impunity in Southern Lebanon with the support of Syria, has rained death on Israeli citizens over the past few days. The recent conflict was triggered by a border attack by Hezbollah guerrillas that killed 8 IDF soldiers and took 2 hostage on July 12th.
In the last 24 hours, more than 100 Katyusha rockets were fired at northern communities. The residents spent the entire day in bomb shelters. On Saturday afternoon, Tiberias joined the list of rocket-battered communities, but rockets did not only land there.

Nahariy and Safed were attacked once and again and suffered great damages. About 34 rockets hit Safed by Saturday afternoon, while 24 rockets landed in Nahariya. Dozens were hurt and some buildings suffered a direct hit.
One may argue that Hezbollah is defending their territory, but they are not the Lebanese army but a militia that operated in Lebanon supported by Syria and Iran with the express intent of fighting and eliminating Israel. They are not a defensive force but an offensive organization. Additionally, in the 2005 elections in Lebanon, Hezbollah gained 28 of the 128 seats in Parliament, all from the southern part of Lebanon.

Its time that Israel eliminate Hezbollah since the United Nations, despite issuing a resolution for the disarmament of the organization, has been unable to do anything about these killers. As Putin has expressed, he thinks that Israel has a wider agenda than just seeking the return of the two kidnapped soldiers. Duh. Hopefully, Israel is seeking to destroy the organization since it would be doing us a huge favor. Fewer terrorists means less death rained on innocent civilians on both sides.


Trust anyone with dark skin... they may be an islamic terrorist.


That trusts an Arab deserves what he gets.


Want us to get killled by terrorists.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

One day we liberal idiots will understand [all western trusting idiots] that Muslims are blood thirsty animals and that we will one day have to fight them all. I am ready now and all Islamic militants can meet me, of course as you always do, behind the skirts and dresses of woman and children because you none of you Islamic garbage could ever stand on your own. Arabs and Muslims are weak people and I am sorry but you created your own problems, if you really fucking care.

Instructions For Cleaning The Toilet:

1. Lift the lid on the toilet and fill it with 1/8 cup of animal shampoo.

2. Take the cat in your arms and stroke it gently while slowly moving in the direction of the toilet.

3. At a suitable moment, throw the cat into the toilet bowl and close the lid quickly and either stand or sit on the lid.

4. The cat will now start the cleaning process and will produce generate plenty of foam. Do not be concerned about the loud noises coming from the toilet; your cat is enjoying himself.

5. After several minutes flush the toilet to start the “Power-wash” pre-wash and then flush again for the main wash cycle.

6. Ask someone to open the front door and ensure that no-one is between the toilet and the front door.

7. Get off the toilet seat and from a safe distance open the toilet lid quickly. The cat will dry off naturally due to the high speed he will be moving from the toilet to the front door.

8. The toilet and the cat are now both clean.

With best wishes,
The Dog

And here are the photographs:

The cat:.................................The dog:

Just A Nice Pristine Drive ThroughThe Countryside...

This Month's Zodiac....

Holidays In Asia...

I really enjoy taking holidays in Asia and particularly enjoy the quiet times on the pristine waters that one can find here.

The Biggest Losers In The Latest Middle-East Conflict.... Palestinians....

With the conflict inching closer to a global conflagration, as Syria will probably be rightfully targeted and Iran itching for a fight, no one will even notice if Palestinians get caught in the crossfire. These people always wanted to be martyrs but it looks as if they will not get their chance as glorious martyrs but as forgotten pieces of meat as they get destroyed when the stronger nations roll over them.

Palestinians may get what they wished for, and that is a regional conflict with Israel but this will only lead them further along the path to being a vanquished and destroyed people. Palestinians are going to go the way of the American Indian, just in the wrong place and unable to deal with the modern world. Too bad, but there aren't going to be many people that miss them.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

My Pacifist Friends May Not Like What I Think....

But problems manifesting themselves again in the Middle-east between Israel and the rest of the frothing at the mouth bloodthirsty Muslim Arab killers that surround them will only be solved when one of the two is vanquished and destroyed. Either Israel gets crushed and wiped off the face of the map or the Arab Muslims are humbled and beaten meaningfully and then begin to rebuild their non-productive societies into something that is not meaningless mystical mumbo jumbo that is bent on beheadings, honor-killings and whining about their problems being caused or the fault of someone else. But if Israel gets beaten, then the bloodthirsty Muslims will only attack others, probably Europe, and the Europeans won;t be able to run away from that.

I do not like this new style of war, surgical strikes and limited engagements that allow the most despicable enemies to survive and continue to terrorize and kill. One never wins these engagements with terrorists. In order to win, one must completely annihilate an enemy and then when they collapse, one comes in and offers to assist in rebuilding. Modern warfare has become like picking at scabs, they never heal and always bleed.

I hope Israel causes severe pain so that people there realize that they cannot win by being terrorists. And I hope that Europe one day stops being the pansies that they are and show a little backbone. If they don't, then the terrorists will target them next.

I Cancelled BBC On My NOW Broadband Subscription....

I did not like their coverage of the Gulf War and disliked much of their coverage of Iraq. They really lost me when I felt like their news coverage had an anti-American slant. So I exercised my little bit of economic power and did not renew them. I am sure that they will feel the loss of the HK$ 8 or so that the subscription costs and will probably have to fire 30-40 people as a result. [They also publish garbage like this "Becoming Israel's greatest enemy." Who do they mean is the greatest enemy? The BBC maybe? This piece is absolute trash, not news but drivel. Any journalist should be ashamed of putting his byline on this.] Instead of the BBC, I subscribed to something much more important and valuable to life in today's modern world, E!

Also, I have never liked CNN's coverage that I think had declined in value since the 1st Gulf War. When Zain Verjee constantly made faces [the kind of scrinchy nose faces as if she was smelling something not so nice] when reporting some news stories, it seemed like commentary to me, that I disdain from talking heads, despite my enjoyment at watching her since she is so very nice to look at. CNN now comes across as just another bunch of sleazy and snotty leftist reporters. I do like Richard Quest, though. There is just something.... fun about him. And Jim Clancy makes we want to jump out of a window everytime he opens his mouth. He is so depressing.


Karl Rove is actually running the New York Times....
"During an internal investigation, we reached the regrettable conclusion that Karl Rove has been running this newspaper since at least August, 2002," Sulzberger reportedly stated. "His intention is clear - to ruin the reputation of the newspaper and the party that our editorial policy supports."

Sulzberger reportedly continued: "I ordered an investigation to determine how the Times had come to publish detailed information about a top-secret government monitoring operation of the international financial transactions of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The publication of this information clearly helps an enemy that killed thousands of people just a few blocks from here. Endangering Americans is something the Times would never intentionally do. Unfortunately this story fits a pattern of publication that has almost ruined the Times' reputation for probity and journalistic honesty as well as causing incalculable damage to the Democratic party that our editorial policy supports."
And why, one may ask, is that a problem?
Since the Times is closely associated with the Democratic party," said Steingehirn, "these decisions serve to make Democratic leaders seem unserious about terrorism, ungracious toward America's soldiers and sailors, petty about any Iraqi successes in bringing modernity to a backward region, mean-spirited about the President, careless about America's reputation in the world, unwilling to work with Republican colleagues on important legislation and profoundly ignorant about America's history, culture and meaning." said Steingehirn.

Sulzberger was apparently even harsher in his assessment: "Howells, bells!" he is reported to have said to assembled Times staffers. "The things we've done during the past four years make the New York Times appear to be either a treasonous supporter of al-Qaeda or a continuing, theatrical farce of the newspaper business
They failed to mention, though, that Sultzberger made these comments during an acid flashback.

And what does the White House have to say about this incredible revelation?
At the White House, Presidential Spokesman Tony Snow stated that he had spoken to Rove about the charges and that Rove is mystified.

"Karl Rove has a whole planet to run," said Snow with characteristic understatement, "he doesn't have the time or inclination to run a parochial newspaper with a declining stock price and diminishing readership."

Friday, July 14, 2006

More Debate On The Release Of National Security Secrets To the World...

Jacob Weisberg's article in Slate, Why the Times shouldn't have published its story makes some interesting points on the rights and responsibility of the press...
The first thing to say about this fight is that conservative claims about the media's supposed motivations in publishing both the NSA and SWIFT stories reflect only ideology and ignorance. Editors at the New York Times and other major American newspapers do not pursue stories of this kind because of animus against the Bush administration or a wish to help terrorists. They struggle mightily with such decisions and often do, in the name of national security, withhold, delay, or modify what they would otherwise publish. The legal basis for prosecuting journalists who reveal classified information is tenuous, and demands to do so betray a fundamental lack of appreciation for the bedrock principle of the First Amendment.

All that said, let me depart from the liberal consensus and argue that the New York Times, while acting in good faith, made the wrong call by printing the SWIFT story.
I am not one that like conspiracy theories and some claims that the press motivations reflect difference in 'ideology and ignorance' are only partially true. I think that the press has always been hostile to the Bush administration, particularly the liberal press, led by the New York Times. So when one sees SWIFT revelations, one has to wonder what their motivations are. But, as Shenzhen Zen told me, he doesn't think that the press has time for petty shenanigans and are more concerned with putting out a readable product than spending time creating complex trouble for any political figure. However, one has to wonder, given the release of the SWIFT story and, as even Weisberg's point out, that the value and merits of releasing this story are weak at the very best, one has to wonder if the NYT's is losing their capacity to make sensible decisions. Even if they weren't just being malicious and made a stupid decision, people like us have to make sure and have the responsibility as citizens and responsibility to our children and communities that they understand that there is a line in the sand and that if they cross it, we have to push back.

Also, I find the continuous use of the 1st Amendment defense as inadequate and does not overtake common sense... Weisberg talks about the troop movement considerations in releasing timely information and the potential cost to people's lives. However, that consideration was founded during the days of WWII where 10,000 of thousands of American troops were at risk in troop transport ships destined for Europe and pursued by German Wolf Pack U-boats determined to sink them. This falls in the area of common sense, why publish information that the enemy can use to your detriment and cost the lives of our soldiers and people. And the press has to now consider in this area of asymmetrical warfare, where the common sense and duty to the people over-take their 1st Amendment right to pursue all avenues of information. Otherwise, the 1st Amendment trumps everything, even the anachronistic troop movement model and the press, in additional to everyone else, has the right to publish or disseminate anything to anybody under the 1st Amendment umbrella. Nuclear secrets, names of CIA operatives,...anything. It just doesn't sound like something to me that is desirable or workable.

A Reader Comment... But I Don't Know From What Post....

I mentioned David Duke in one of my posts a while back comparing the hate spewed by Islamic fanatics to that by the likes of the KKK and David Duke. And I received this informative email from a reader commenting on David Duke and I think that types that he represents [but strangely not attached to that post]...
David Duke is a malignant narcissist.

He invents and then projects a false, fictitious, self for the world to fear, or to admire. He maintains a tenuous grasp on reality to start with and the trappings of power further exacerbate this. Real life authority and David Duke's predilection to surround him with obsequious sycophants support David Duke'™s grandiose self-delusions and fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience.

David Duke's personality is so precariously balanced that he cannot tolerate even a hint of criticism and disagreement. Most narcissists are paranoid and suffer from ideas of reference (the delusion that they are being mocked or discussed when they are not). Thus, narcissists often regard themselves as "victims of persecution".

Duke fosters and encourages a personality cult with all the hallmarks of an institutional religion: priesthood, rites, rituals, temples, worship, catechism, and mythology. The leader is this religion's ascetic saint. He monastically denies himself earthly pleasures (or so he claims) in order to be able to dedicate himself fully to his calling.
Duke is a monstrously inverted Jesus, sacrificing his life and denying himself so that his people - or humanity at large - should benefit. By surpassing and suppressing his humanity, Duke became a distorted version of Nietzsche's "superman". But being a-human or super-human also means being a-sexual and a-moral.

In this restricted sense, narcissistic leaders are post-modernist and moral relativists. They project to the masses an androgynous figure and enhance it by engendering the adoration of nudity and all things "natural" - or by strongly repressing these feelings. But what they refer to, as "nature" is not natural at all.

Duke invariably proffers an aesthetic of decadence and evil carefully orchestrated and artificial - though it is not perceived this way by him or by his followers. Narcissistic leadership is about reproduced copies, not about originals. It is about the manipulation of symbols - not about veritable atavism or true conservatism.

In short: narcissistic leadership is about theatre, not about life. To enjoy the spectacle (and be subsumed by it), the leader demands the suspension of judgment, depersonalization, and de-realization. Catharsis is tantamount, in this narcissistic dramaturgy, to self-annulment.

Narcissism is nihilistic not only operationally, or ideologically. Its very language and narratives are nihilistic. Narcissism is conspicuous nihilism - and the cult's leader serves as a role model, annihilating the Man, only to re-appear as a pre-ordained and irresistible force of nature.

Narcissistic leadership often poses as a rebellion against the "old ways" - against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the corrupt order. Narcissistic movements are puerile, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon David Duke like (and rather psychopathic) toddler nation-state, or group, or upon the leader.

Minorities or "others" - often arbitrarily selected - constitute a perfect, easily identifiable, embodiment of all that is "wrong". They are accused of being old, they are eerily disembodied, they are cosmopolitan, they are part of the establishment, they are "decadent", they are hated on religious and socio-economic grounds, or because of their race, sexual orientation, origin ... They are different, they are narcissistic (feel and act as morally superior), they are everywhere, they are defenseless, they are credulous, they are adaptable (and thus can be co-opted to collaborate in their own destruction). They are the perfect hate figure. Narcissists thrive on hatred and pathological envy.

This is precisely the source of the fascination with Hitler, diagnosed by Erich Fromm - together with Stalin - as a malignant narcissist. He was an inverted human. His unconscious was his conscious. He acted out our most repressed drives, fantasies, and wishes. He provides us with a glimpse of the horrors that lie beneath the veneer, the barbarians at our personal gates, and what it was like before we invented civilization. Hitler forced us all through a time warp and many did not emerge. He was not the devil. He was one of us. He was what Arendt aptly called the banality of evil. Just an ordinary, mentally disturbed, failure, a member of a mentally disturbed and failing nation, who lived through disturbed and failing times. He was the perfect mirror, a channel, a voice, and the very depth of our souls.

Duke prefers the sparkle and glamour of well-orchestrated illusions to the tedium and method of real accomplishments. His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substances, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions. In the aftermath of his regime - Duke having died, been deposed, or voted out of office - it all unravels. The tireless and constant prestidigitation ceases and the entire edifice crumbles. What looked like an economic miracle turns out to have been a fraud-laced bubble. Loosely held empires disintegrate. Laboriously assembled business conglomerates go to pieces. "Earth shattering" and "revolutionary" scientific discoveries and theories are discredited. Social experiments end in mayhem.

It is important to understand that the use of violence must be ego-syntonic. It must accord with the self-image of David Duke. It must abet and sustain his grandiose fantasies and feed his sense of entitlement. It must conform David Duke like narrative. Thus, David Duke who regards himself as the benefactor of the poor, a member of the common folk, the representative of the disenfranchised, the champion of the dispossessed against the corrupt elite - is highly unlikely to use violence at first. The pacific mask crumbles when David Duke has become convinced that the very people he purported to speak for, his constituency, his grassroots fans, and the prime sources of his narcissistic supply - have turned against him. At first, in a desperate effort to maintain the fiction underlying his chaotic personality, David Duke strives to explain away the sudden reversal of sentiment. "The people are being duped by (the media, big industry, the military, the elite, etc.)", "they don't really know what they are doing", "following a rude awakening, they will revert to form", etc. When these flimsy attempts to patch a tattered personal mythology fail, David Duke becomes injured. Narcissistic injury inevitably leads to narcissistic rage and to a terrifying display of unbridled aggression. The pent-up frustration and hurt translate into devaluation. That which was previously idealized - is now discarded with contempt and hatred. This primitive defense mechanism is called "splitting". To David Duke, things and people are either entirely bad (evil) or entirely good. He projects onto others his own shortcomings and negative emotions, thus becoming a totally good object. Duke is likely to justify the butchering of his own people by claiming that they intended to kill him, undo the revolution, devastate the economy, or the country, etc. The "small people", the "rank and file", and the "loyal soldiers" of David Duke - his flock, his nation, and his employees - they pay the price. The disillusionment and disenchantment are agonizing. The process of reconstruction, of rising from the ashes, of overcoming the trauma of having been deceived, exploited and manipulated - is drawn-out. It is difficult to trust again, to have faith, to love, to be led, to collaborate. Feelings of shame and guilt engulf the erstwhile followers of David Duke. This is his sole legacy: a massive post-traumatic stress disorder.

Posted by Anonymous to Milton J. Madison at 7/14/2006 06:52:44 AM

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I Have Very Mixed Feelings About The Proposed Tax Changes....

The Hong Kong government, arguing that they want to create a more stable revenue base, is considering adopting a Goods and Services Tax [GST] not unlike the VAT that is found in many countries and is especially popular in Europe. A GST is like a sales tax that we find back at home in the US, levied by the state and local governments. A story on this is in today's Standard.

The benefits to a tax on goods and services is that it broadens the tax base and does create a more stable income stream than the revenues generated from the manipulative off-and-on land sales to the evil tycoons of Hong Kong.

On the flip side, generally, class-warfare warriors argue that a GST is not progressive and hits the poor harder than people that are better off. This is true, but it also reinforces that all the people have a stake in the performance of their government and not just the small sliver of people that are paying taxes. I think that everyone, no matter how poor, should pay some taxes. By participating in funding their government, it will make them more 'aware' of how their tax dollars are being spent. However, a GST is really an invisible tax and the risk is also that governments tend to raise these taxes more easily. A fine example is the recent sales tax fight in New Jersey. The Democrat Governor [who actually I know personally] wanted to raise taxes by an incredible 2%. In the end, it was raised, with 1% supposedly to be returned to the citizens. I am sure that 1% won't be returned for very long and that additional 1% will end in the State's treasury coffers to be wasted on another misguided silly program!

One of the biggest problems I have with the argument that the 'GST is more stable revenue source' is that the government, when they manipulated land sales by stopping them for an extended period, intentionally reduced revenues, and they really didn't have to. The uber-wealthy property tycoons are in the business of developing property and the price that they buy the land or the land premiums collected is:
Bid price today=FDP-CD-profit
FDP= expected market price when the development is finished
CD=the cost of development
Profit= the massive profits that they earn on doing the developing [where there is little risk and generally almost a guaranteed profit]
If the government planned out their land sales strategy properly, then they can make available for sale land to meet the market demand for new flats in Hong Kong. Think of it this way, in the US or in other countries, when demand for homes rises, then developers [or others] go into the market place and buy land from others and build new homes or hold the land in anticipation that someone would like to build on it at a later date. Here in Hong Kong it doesn't work this way. The land is 'released' using some secret unknown formula raising risks for some and reducing risks for others.

I think that the government should embark on a wholesale selling of land for development so that the land becomes private property and then is developed according to demand. Of course, there can be restrictions imposed from the beginning, like there is now, so that the land isn't misused and this will impact the price today. Even if the price of land falls, its price will truly reflect market demand and there will be more information disseminated on the true value of property in Hong Kong. The government should not be in the business of forecasting demand or in manipulating market prices. And the government should not be in a position where they should be relying on revenues from dribbling out supply. Who does this benefit and why is it done this way? Obviously, by reducing land sales to zero for years does not bolster government revenues and I think that they would not be able to prove that their strategy produces a greater future value. All available land to be developed should be sold and that money can be put into the coffers of the government raising lots of cash!

Besides, the land is not the property of the government but the property of the people where the government administers the process. The actual value of the land is meaningless, since no matter what price it is sold at, the people either get it to live on it or they get the revenues when it sold. If the land costs a lot then the people are actually paying money to themselves but paying the premium to the government. The problem that I have with the process now, it that it allows uber-wealthy tycoons unequal access to this asset and restricts competition. Additionally, tycoons are able to manipulate the government to protect their interests over that of the people in general as was shown by the government stopping land lands in the past.

Soldier Corpses...

You can see what these Arab Islamic animals are like and take a gawk at their handy work, here. The last frame is a video of the two bodies, Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker, one decapitated, where the Islamic sickos, with Islamic music and poems recited in the background, are playing with the head of one of them. Its disgusting, so if this kind of thing upsets you don't look.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Monday, July 10, 2006

Reader Feedback....

And I will address each section separately...
I find it completely bizarre that you find a problem with the NY Times reporting on this and that you don't express any difficulty over what they're reporting on - the idea of the US government arming and giving military training to members of right wing racist hate organizations. The Times did not invent this story, it is a report publicly issued by a watchdog group, yet you shoot the messenger and not the author of the message.
Firstly, The New York Times is reportedly a newspaper and I suspect that people that read stories expect them to be investigated. However, the story is essentially excerpts from the 'report' written by the SPL Center with almost no original reporting or even evidence of investigation. You can read the two pieces and come to your own conclusion. New York Times piece.... and the SPL Center piece. The New York Times piece is nearly word-for-word.

So the Times did ask the military for comment and they were not able to opine since the military says that they haven't seen the report. Of course, the military is very guilty if they don't come right out and confess that, yes, we are evil and we recruit, dopes, druggies, underachievers and skinheads.

But in good reporting [I do not claim to be a reporter], they should be also communicating who and what the SPL Center is? Are they non-partisan. What other recent material have they produced? How accurate is their material? This was written about Morris Dees the founder and leader of the organization back in 2000....
Ah, tolerance. Who could be against something so virtuous? And who could object to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Montgomery, Alabama-based group that recently sent out this heartwarming yet mildly terrifying appeal to raise money for its "Teaching Tolerance" program, which prepares educational kits for schoolteachers? Cofounded in 1971 by civil rights lawyer cum direct-marketing millionaire Morris Dees, a leading critic of "hate groups" and a man so beatific that he was the subject of a made-for-TV movie, the SPLC spent much of its early years defending prisoners who faced the death penalty and suing to desegregate all-white institutions like Alabama's highway patrol. That was then. Today, the SPLC spends most of its time--and money--on a relentless fund-raising campaign, peddling memberships in the church of tolerance with all the zeal of a circuit rider passing the collection plate. "He's the Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker of the civil rights movement," renowned anti- death-penalty lawyer Millard Farmer says of Dees, his former associate, "though I don!t mean to malign Jim and Tammy Faye." The Center earned $44 million last year alone--$27 million from fund-raising and $17 million from stocks and other investments--but spent only $13 million on civil rights program , making it one of the most profitable charities in the country.
From the sound of the New York Times article, one would think that these guys are a legitimate organization and maybe they are, but other than spending money on fund raising and writing articles like this to advertise through the useful idiots at the New York Times, what are they doing? Have a look at their website yourself, here. The founders did some good civil rights work 40 years ago and have destroyed some hate group organizations through legal as well as intimidation, it appears as if they continue to do some good works but really are a machine for raising money.

The New York times article does not discuss the SPL Center at all.

I also have a problem when you write "Of course, the New York Times would rather see the military full of sensitive gay men and fight our wars with sensitivity and well coordinating uniforms." Please cite an example of this.
I think that the proper word here is allegory.

Also while you are fond of pointing out articles that you believe to be anti-US military, you don't present a balanced view because you don't mention the positive articles the Times runs - such as the very next day, an article on how soldiers are using government supplied laptops and internet connections, complete with webcams, skype, chat, etc. in the field to stay in touch with their families better than any point in the past.
First off, why do I have to present a balanced view? I am blogging and am not a news organization. How balanced was the NYT piece? But, they are reporting on military issues, goodie for them, but how is that to be construed as a positive story? Building schools is a positive story. Giving military creature comforts to the best of their ability is something that militaries have done through history. OF course the typical Times reader thinks that military people are trolls that live under bridges and bite the heads off of little children to feed, so a story like that actually does something positive to educate the typical times reader.

But what really irks me about the Times writing [I once considered a career in the field and studied it, unfortunately, I neither enjoyed the politics nor had a particular talent for it] are first paragraphs like this...
A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed "large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists" to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization.
Remember, there was a lot of chatter in the Times and the left-leaning blogosphere on recruiting problems in the military, last summer. They argued that the recruiting shortfalls for the sole work of people fearing going to Iraq and dying but failed to mention that economics and job opportunities also influence peoples decisions on enlisting. Economics actually plays a large roll and when there are other economic opportunities, it sometimes get more difficult to recruit. It was biased and poorly constructed reporting and writing back then and that same theme appears to continue since the argument is now that the military is turning to skinheads and neo-nazis to fill the depleted ranks. It just seems to me, that from reading the SPL Center and Times plagiarized piece, that the argument that the military is guilty of either desiring to recruit these kinds of people overtly because of devastating shortfalls or they are tacitly overlooking these people [they must be easy to identify]is what is being argued by the pieces. It is interesting to note, however, that the army is on target to meet its recruiting goals of around 80,000 new individuals and has met their goals every month for the past 12 months.

But what I wondered about, if the ranks of the military are being filled with hordes of skinheads and neo-nazis, then what is the population of these groups that the military is drawing on? It would seem from the reporting that we read, that the populations in the military, and we know that there are around a million active duty personnel, more-or-less, that these hate groups must have sizable populations of members and sympathizers. As we know, skinheads are anarchists whose roots are found in Europe and Britain in particular. I think that the military is precluded from recruiting there, so the population of skinheads has to limited to the United States. It appears as if there are 3,500 skin-heads in the US as per this article in The Prejudice Institute. Additionally, on a hate crimes website, here, I found these estimates of neo-nazi populations in the US....
Neo-Nazism has had very little success in the United States. At their peak in 1978 the assortment of neo-Nazi organizations had an aggregate of 1,000-1,200 members. In 1987 it is estimated that they have had no more than 400-500 members. Of these groups the first to emerge in the United States was the National Resistance Party (NRP) in 1949.
I don't know if these numbers make any sense, but it seems as if when there is a neo-nazi or skinhead rally, there are something like 30 of these people, 3,000 counter protesters and 500 policeman. But the numbers of hate groups in the US and websites can be found on the SPL Center website that keeps track of these groups but makes no attempt, that I could find, at pinning down figures of actual members or adherents to these philosophies.

It is interesting that the SPL Center article mentions that the military have been discharging and disciplining troops that have advocated intolerance with violence but this is not conveyed in the NYT article. And the NYT article gives the impression that the military is actively recruiting and retaining these neo-nazi and skinhead individuals. Its not really clear to me that the allegations leveled at the military have any real factual basis or if they are founded on the meme that the evil military is having a tough time recruiting and therefore is forced to retain these handful of individuals. But if the military is discharging neo-nazis and skinheads, then what is the problem?

There are a lot of other topics you write well on and on which you make more sense.
At least some of the other websites that mentioned this story in a negative light actually did some investigation around it, such as this piece from outsidethebeltway.com:

In conclusion, I just want to say, that I do not trust the New York Times to be an unbiased reporter of news and information. From my perspective, they have gone a long way to earn this mistrust [Read my piece on Dr. Wen Ho Lee] and I do not think that they are balanced or fair when dealing with the military or military issues. If my instincts tell me that the article on the SPL Center report is sloppy and not balanced, then I stick by my instincts. I have every right to shoot the messenger in this case, since the messenger is not an unbiased messenger at all and is promoting a biased message.

Additionally, I think that we all have to concerned with hate groups and hate crimes, but the poor reporting by the New York Times is a misdirection of efforts and is not a serious attempt at achieving a better society. I think that it is complete bullshit, in-fact, and you should be as concerned with their behavior as I am. I do not trust what they write and I am sure that others, maybe a few or maybe many, feel similar to me. And this breach of trust is what should concern you and everyone with issues important to you. If people cannot trust these the NYT or other news outlets, then even worthwhile newsworthy material that they dig up, report and write about risks not be trusted. It reduces the value of the 'news.' Overall, the NYT SPL Center article is a PC puff piece that plays well to the New York limousine liberal crowd that already thinks poorly of the military. I think that garbage like this weakens our nation and does not strengthen it. Also, I wonder how many Islamic radicals are in the military like the the one that fragged and then shot and killed several wounded men in cold blood.