Friday, March 31, 2006


HT: Wretchard.

Jill Caroll was threatened prior to her release. In my previous blog on the topic I warned people not to read too much into her video-taped statements, that they were coerced. However, the attitude by quite a few people is they match quite well with her previous reporting and writing and therefore she should be considered as an anti-American yada-yada-yada. Well, the quotes from her I saw indicate a typical MSM writer who doesn't know a flank from the rear.

"When you're making a video and having to recite certain things with three men with machine guns standing over you, you're probably going to say exactly what you're told to say," Bergenheim added.
Source: Yahoo News - Report: Carroll Threatened Before Release.


The Power of Statistics.

Yesterday I wrote a big blog on polling and a bit on the statistics and techniques.

A comment left on Philippine Commentary with respect to polling was how unscientific it was. Of course, I take the contrary position; the science underlying statistics is well understood and sound, the abuse of statistics and polls is rampant. A well constructed and conducted poll can give amazing insight into a population or a whole host of problems. A shoddily or misconstructed poll or set of statistics is an attempt to prove something that isn't true.

For example during WWII statisticians analyzed the serial numbers on German tanks and using statistical methods took a stab at the actual number of tanks produced in a given month. Of course, the spooks had their own guesses. Who had the better figures? Hehehehe. The statisticians.

For example in June of 1940 statisticians estimated 169 tanks were produced by the Germans, the spooks 1,000. German records after the war put the number at 122. The other data reported on is the same, the spooks are wildly off, the statisticians close. From the University of Melbourne Statistical Consulting Centre.

HowDea Doodey Time.

Democratic Party chief Howard Dean accused President Bush and the Republican Party on Friday of exploiting the immigration issue for political gain by scapegoating Hispanics.

Dean and Bush agree on the legislation at the heart of the debate. Both support a Senate bill that would expand guest-worker programs for an estimated 400,000 immigrants each year.

However, at a speech in an Oakland union hall, the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate sought to tie Bush to a much tougher House bill that would tighten borders and make it a crime to be in the United States illegally or to offer aid to illegal immigrants. Bush does not back the House bill.
Source: - Dean Says Bush 'Scapegoating' Hispanics
Get it? HowDea and President Bush both support the same program, but it is President Bush who is exploiting the issue, who is scapegoating. What a demagogue HowDea is. How's that fundraising going, HowDea?

HT: Drudge.

Jill Carroll

Lay off of her, for now. She was just released from spending a solid three months wondering if this hour was her last. Wondering if her captors were coming to slaughter her like a chicken or to feed her. A tad traumatizing.

The video on the internet? That was made while under duress, it is most likely not sincere, but just saying what her captors want to hear so as not to provoke them into cutting her head off.

Her not talking to US Authorities? Give her a little time to be free, then she can talk. In fact, I heard reports she is now sharing information with US Authorities. Refusing military transport? Well, every report I have read about military transport is there is nothing remotely comfortable about it.

Yes, perhaps she holds anti-American views and the like, so? The fact is, she never deserved kidnapping and we should be glad she is released. Don't be a Kos-head who cares not a fig for Americans who don't hold his views, who said "screw them" after the Blackwell Contractors were killed in Fallujah.

If she goes on tour with OCindy Bin Sheehan, then I will be down on her, but right now she gets a pass.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

New Feature.

I have placed the Never Forget flash animation over in my right sidebar. Go get it and install it on your own blog. Pick it up here, at Cap'n Bob's and the Damsel.

Never forget.

30 Days.

The UN Security Council gave Iran 30 days to halt its uranium enrichment program.

Essentially this is the conversation.

UNSC: Iran! You have 30 days to halt uranium enrichment!
Iran: Or?
UNSC: We will talk more!

Limited but Liberal Immigration.

I believe many supporters of uncontrolled and wide open immigration assume that America is Midasland that whatever is done here in America automatically blossoms into prosperity. That is false.

America was established on a unique set of values that have led to the prosperity we have here. The former USSR blessed with bountiful farmland should have bloomed into a major agricultural production center. It never did because the USSR was founded on a faulty set of values that stifled the energy of its population. Now to be sure, the history of the USSR probably had something to do with it, but that history formed a set of values and led to the monstrosity that was the USSR.

Here in the USA we as a people still generally support those who bust their tails to provide goods and services. We don't view the producers with jealousy and try to extort their wealth we try to emulate them and create wealth. We must be careful immigration does not lead to a culture that rewards the grasshopper and punishes the ant.

Immigrants bring a work ethic driven by poverty and desperation, not by culture. While those immigrants come they need to be inculcated in our culture so when they make it (and undoubtedly a certain number of them will make it) they will help show their fellow immigrants the way. A way built on hard work and producing goods and services, not by lobbying the government for freebies.

A Little Lesson in Polling.

  1. The Game

  2. The Approach

  3. The Results

  4. Assumptions and Samples

  5. An Experiment on Randomness

  6. Margin of Error

  7. Another President

The Game

DJB Rizalist at Philippine Commentary poses the following game at his blog:
IMAGINE that you are a contestant in a Game Show whose prize is a cool $1 million.

An Olympic-sized swimming pool is filled with a pre-arranged mixture of regulation billiard balls (colored and numbered 1 to 15) and white cue balls. The object of the Game is to guess how many white cue balls there are. It has been announced that the TOTAL NUMBER of balls whether white or colored is exactly 100 million.

Contestants are given exactly one hour during which they can perform any physical, mental or statistical inspections on the collection of billiard balls. They are allowed pencil, paper and a computer with an Internet connection. Rulers, clocks, weighing scales, cameras, cell phones are also available. The winner is the contestant who comes closest to the correct answer in one hour.
Source: Philippine Commentary - Guess the Fraction of White Cue Balls
In the commentary he did some number crunching and at the rate of counting 1 ball/sec it would take a person around 3.5 years to manually count the lot, he only gives you an hour. This ladies and gentlemen is what polling is all about.
Back to the Contents

The Approach

I suggested the following approach (the rules allow you access to commonly available items, so I choose, a bucket, a tape measure, paper, pencil, and a calculator). Calculate (or somehow obtain) the volume of the pool (I assume the pool dimensions are available), calculate the volume of the bucket, then walk around the pool choosing spots at random dig out a bucketfull of balls, count the number of balls and the number of cue balls in each bucket and record. Now, dig out samples at random spots throughout the pool (obviously we only have access to the surface) and repeat the process of digging out balls and counting.

Now, perhaps 20 minutes or so before the deadline stop sampling the balls (or whatever would be sufficient time) and start figuring out what the average number of cue balls found in a bucket (that's bouquet!) would be. Take that average number and then multiply by (volume of pool/volume of bucket) and you should come close to finding the number of cue balls in the pool.
Back to the Contents

The Results

DJB then sets up a scenario where I count 1200 cue balls out of 3600 total sampled. This then indicates about 1/3 of the balls are cue balls so for 100 million total balls one could reasonably believe there would be 33,333,333 cue balls in the total population of balls. He goes further and assumes a normal approximation to a binomial distribution (terms which had specific meanings to me at one time, but now are only generally understood by myself) and calculates a margin of error of about 1.67%. That is my guess is within 556,667 cue balls of being right (ie the real answer is at least 32,776,700 and at most 33,890,000).
Back to the Contents

Assumptions and Samples

One assumption we have to make is cue balls are somewhat uniformly scattered throughout the depth of the pool. Our sample only comes from the top layer of balls, so if the balls are more highly concentrated at the top or bottom of the pool our results will be off. This is like going to Berkeley CA in early 2004 and surveying who they wanted for President and then claiming the whole country's preference based on that survey. Of course it would be wrong. Now, if that same survey hit up the folks in Armarillo Texas as well as Berkeley then it would become more accurate. This is one way to fix a poll, restrict your sample to a population that you know will give you the answer you want.

A poll or survey is only valid for the population from which the sample was taken. If the sample is taken only from Berkeley California then the poll is only valid for Berkeley California. If the sample is taken from random spots of America then it can be said to be valid to the American populations.
Back to the Contents

An Experiment on Randomness

Try this experiment, to see how randomness can even things out. Go to the grocery store, as you place items into the cart, round off the prices of the items to the nearest quarter ($.25, 25¢) and keep a running total in your head. Then go and pay, you can be assured your total (assuming your addition is all correct) will be very close to the actual total. Why? Because chances are you will be rounding down as often as you round up and they cancel each other. Random sampling provided your sample is large enough also performs the same function, that is high non-representative concentrations of an outcome will be negated by low non-representative concentrations of an outcome.
Back to the Contents

Margin of Error

Margin of error is a widely misunderstood number. Margin of error is a mathematical measure of the uncertainty in a given number. One way to decrease the margin of error is to increase the sample size. In the case above other sources of error may creep into the final result such as uncertainties in the volume of the pool and the bucket, but in most polls such uncertainties are not present.

Margin of error refers to one single poll. Let us return to the pool example of above. The margin of error is 1.6% that is the final answer is likely to lay within +/-1.6% of the answer. The emphasis on likely is important, because in truth, the final answer could lay outside of that range as well. However, chances are the answer is in the range indicated.

An interesting conclusion I came to in 2004 prior to the USA Presidential election was the polls showing George W. Bush in the lead. Those polls consistently had George W. Bush in the lead, but the margin of error brought Kerry's numbers and W's numbers into overlap, that is a straight margin of error analysis may have led a person to believe one could not tell who really was in the lead. Well, one thing I noticed as more and more polls came out – W's numbers were consistently better than Kerry's and furthermore the numbers varied from poll to poll by very little (watching each poll on its own, i.e. from Gallup to Gallup, and Zogby to Zogby etc, not Gallup to Zogby). I came to conclude W would win by the margins the polls indicated and this is what happened.
Back to the Contents

Another President

Mr. Rizalist presents the puzzle in an environment where people are being polled as to their views of the Philippino President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. I don't know what her numbers are exactly but most surveys on the matter I have seen indicate most Philippinos want her to resign. DJB does a good thing educating his readers on the mechanics of statistical sampling.
Back to the Contents

Welcome Chickenhawk Express!

Give a sudsy welcome to Robin's Chickenhawk Express to the Blogger Beer blogroll!

Governor Doyle Thanks You!

Carrick Bend Why does Governor Doyle thank him? For this sentiment:
Unless something changes I will not vote for governer [sic] in 2006. I am a conservative and since their are no conservatives in the race I do not see the need to vote for either the Liberal or the RINO.
Source: Carrick Bend Thoughts - I will not vote for governer [sic] in 2006
Of course, there are all sorts of people in this world but Carrick Bend is one onto his own if he believes Mark Green is a RINO. By that definition so too is Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, James Sensenbrenner et al.

According to the American Conservative Union Mark Green's lifetime rating is 88 tied with Jim Sensenbrenner. Paul Ryan's lifetime rating is 92 a touch better than both, and Tom Petri coming in at 77. I wonder how Scott Walker would fare under such a bill.

I recall in 2002 the nutty Libertarians said they could not support anyone for Governor. They said this since Governor McCallum is not sufficiently pure enough when it comes to gun rights. Well, we would have concealed carry now if Governor McCallum were in office but he is not. Carrick had better think about what he wants, because what he wants is Doyle in office yet.

This charge of RINO seems to come down to one issue and that is Mark Green's position on ethanol. I don't like it either, but one issue does not a RINO make.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Fox Trot Takes a Shot at The Boondocks.

Fox Trot takes a shot at the Boondocks. Check out the cartoon over at Yahoo. I am reluctant to put up even a small picture due to copyright concerns.

Anyway Jason is taking a shot at writing cartoons and his plan is to knock off The Boondocks. Jason's big brother reminds Jason he doesn't know much about politics and Jason is not bothered by that. Essentially Jason gets the Boondocks
Source: Fox Trot's Jason.

Jason's brother then notes that leaves half the nation calling you a jerk. Jason's solution is to make sure both sides get gored. Hehehehe.

Anyway, Fox Trot's emphasis is criticizing The Boondocks as nothing more than playground namecalling.

More Immigration Thoughts.

Mark Belling is substituting for Rush today and is espousing a very well balanced position on illegal immigration.

Of course, most of us in position B want the border controlled, that is no enters our nation improperly. Mark, however, does not see it as justice to round up the 12 million or so illegal immigrants and kick them out. Also, it is a very impractical matter, ugh that sounds like something Shrillary Clinton said.

A lot of people say that if we get rid of the illegal immigrants then we will have jobs for the unemployed. That idea assumes all jobs are the same and they are not the same. Now, to an American a job that pays $12.50/hour may be a poor job (not considering the work being done), but to someone from a poor area of Mexico that is big money and they can support their family back in Mexico on that pay.

Immigration has never been easy, and immigrants always take the jobs on the low end of the skill/pay scale.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Where in the World?

Have I been? In the java laboratory! I have been working on a java applet to simplify animation displays on the web. The coding seems to be done and as I have noticed you can spend quite a bit of time crafting up the artwork for an animation.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Last Night.

At a birthday party last night a buddy was telling me about another guy at the party earlier who had recently returned from duty in Iraq. The soldier told my buddy he had pictures from a warehouse full of drums of chemicals. Chemical 0 and chemical 1, i.e. binary weapon agents.

A binary chemical weapon is a weapon that has two components. Each component on its own is probably not as healthy for a human as whole wheat bread, but each component taken alone is relatively benign. Mix the two together and you have a deadly chemical weapon.

Now, I am skeptical. Why? If true why the heck wouldn't the administration show the nation? If true, that is vindication. My buddy, claimed to me the leaders don't give us credit enough to understand the details enough to know that warehouse means vindication. I would like to believe it but can not do so honestly.


The immigration debate is heating up again. This is a debate with three sides.

On one side we have the open borders crowd arguing for no restrictions whatsoever on immigration (especially from Mexico), we have the regulated immigration crowd, and we have the very low or no immigration crowd.

Caught in the middle is the regulated immigration crowd who only has an ally in the eyes of the other two crowds. The open immigration crowd sees the regulated immigration crowd as part of the no immigration crowd, and the no immigration crowd sees the regulated immigration crowd as part of the open immigration crowd. Got it?

To use variables we have groups A, B, and C. A sees B and C as the same, and C simultaneously sees A and B as the same.

A often argues in two fashions; first B and C are racist xenophobes and secondly immigrants are hard workers who contribute to the overall wealth of the nation.

C usually argues immigrants refuse to assimilate, bring diseases and open immigration poses a national security risk to the nation.

A usually refuses to note the immigration we are talking about is against the law already. In fact group A is working hard to drop illegal from any discussion of undocumented aliens i.e. illegal aliens.

Count me in group B. For a number of reasons. I am under no illusions about the work ethic of way too many Americans. Too many people in group C refuse to admit it, they tend to be older people who grew up in the great depression where Americans would take any work. When I lived in the Middle East I saw this first hand and we have it too. A buddy of mine tells about his days working in a packing plant. The wages to be earned in the packing plant were very good, better than the bank's pay but the young Americans would not work in the packing plant. The packing plant he worked in had to hire immigrants.

Our population trends are not as bad as they are in Europe and elsewhere (I hear Japan has the grimmest population trends) but they are definitely lopsided. The baby boomers are demanding a lot of goods and services and the generations after them are not large enough to supply those goods and services (even if they will do all the work required). Now, unless you are willing to pay real big bucks for the goods and services (services especially) you use, you want immigration to be fairly open.

The open immigration crowd miss some things too. First off, open borders are a legitimate problem when it comes to national security. I figure the human mules don't give a rats @$$ if they are carrying guys who are going to frame or to blow up houses, they want the money.

Second, as long as Mexico can pawn off its excess workers, Mexico has no incentive to improve its economy! The fat cats in Mexico can sit back and be fat cats without having to worry about upstarts since those upstarts are in America. Why should we as a nation give Mexico that crutch? I have lived closely with a community of ex-patriate labor in the Middle East. Quite a bit of social pathology was going on, men and women separated from their families at home.

So crowd A, crowd B is not racist or xenophobic (I'll let crowd C speak for themselves) and Crowd C you need to face up to some facts. We need immigration but controlled immigration.

A guest worker program (asylum or amnesty if you will) is a good idea ONLY if accompanied by tight border control. Once those controls are up, I am all for fairly liberal immigration quotas.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Christian Peacemaker Teams

Say they encourage not violence. In fact, they reject the use of any violence to rescue them should they be taken hostage.

However, is as often the case with these groups there is little or no condemnation of the violence perpetrated by terrorist types. LGF just published a CPT tract condemning the violence of the Israelis against the Palestinians but nary a mention of Palestinian violence. They reject violence one side and by their selective silence approve the violence of the other side.

Remember, peace is also found in the grave.

My Legacy Lives On!


In 2004 I and a buddy setup a website for the Outagamie County Bush campaign. It was simple but got a web presence out there and we published events (via MySQL & PHP, so I didn't have to constantly hack html pages for events), I even put section out there tracking sign vandalism and a simple report. Hehehe.

The URL for that site was Well, lo and behold we are now in 2006 with a governor's race and the fine folks running the Outagamie County campaign for Mark Green's gubenatorial campaign have just announced: Outagamie County for Mark Green! The domain they use is, did I set a trend or just use the obvious?

The Flood.

Of Iraqi documents being released is helpful.

However, I think the documents will do little to convert those who oppose the current Administration's policies on Iraq. I am sure if we found very detailed documents recording all sorts of WMDs and WMD production gear going across the border many on the left would not believe, claiming the documents to be forgeries or faked up.

However, in the long term those documents will help to bolster the WOT. First and foremost because it will take time to decipher, analyze, and paint a large and coherent picture of what they all mean. This is a long term project and we can look at the Cold War for illumination. Are there any Democrats out there who now claim they were not shoulder to shoulder with Ronald Reagan in fighting the Cold War? Not many. It is only with the passage of time do people who have dug themselves so deeply into a position can extricate themselves. Also, of course, our intelligence will come to be declassified and revealed.

Even with all of that beware, not all will be convinced. After all, there are those who think the Rosenberg's were still unjustly executed, that Alger Hiss was framed even after the release of Soviet communication intercepts and outright statements from ex-Soviet leaders on the helpfulness of the various spies they employed.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Turkey, Russia, Iraq, and the 4th Infantry Division.

This Iraqi document has sparked a debate in the blogosphere. The document is a Russian intelligence report to Iraq, it was delivered the day before Turkey formally refused to allow our 4th US Infantry Division to stage out of Turkey and to attack Iraq from the north.

Wretchard at the The Belmont Club (surprise) notes this and wonders what happened that Turkey did not allow the move. It is clear Wretchard believes the fact the 4th ID was blocked from participating was a significant disruption to our plans.

Chester at the The Adventures of Chester takes up the discussion both in The Belmont Club's commentary and on his own blog. I have also participated in The Belmont Club's commentary section.

A couple of things. First off, looking at the document the information is not super top-secret material. It is information a guy on the street can gather. Also, helpful (not necessary) are highly technical methods of which Russia possess. Wretchard notes there is no mention in the document of the 4th Infantry Division whose fate was not yet sealed by the Turkish Parliament. Wretchard reads into this the Russians knew and most likely gave strong encouragement to the Turks to bar staging rights to our 4th Infantry Division.

Of course, it was not just Russia working against our Iraq policy, but France, Germany, China and others. Turkey, it has to be remembered, has a Kurdish minority and that minority wants to split from Turkey. Turkey probably didn't want Saddam toppled either for fear of encouraging the Kurds in the region (Northern Iraq, Southern Turkey) to become even more encouraged to unite and fight for a separate Kurdish homeland thereby splitting off a chunk of Turkish territory.

Also, rank anti-Americanism. Turkey is secular in its governance not in its cultural and social life. While many commentators see no contradiction between Islam and America the nonsensical do and work very hard to convince sensible Muslims there is and since the nonsensical are largely unopposed in voicing those opinions they win by default.

Now, to another question. Both Wretchard and Chester think the loss of the 4th Infantry Division in the invasion (in retrospect) was not a big deal. I beg to differ. In the beginning I wasn't worried about that loss, now in retrospect it figures to be a bigger problem than we had anticipated. Why? Because the 4th ID could have swept down to Baghdad and done a couple of things. Provided blocking preventing the dissolution of the Iraqi Republican Guards Divisions (IRGDs). Instead of allowing those soldiers to melt into the general population many proto-terrorists could have been killed.

Commentators on the Belmont Club have countered the IRGDs didn't so much as dissolve as were allowed to drop their arms and return home. Fair point, but of course, this was after a certain point. Other commentators have noted another division working Iraq could have helped provide security and found and secured many of the ammo dumps that the Saddamites set up prior to the invasion.

The lack of the Fourth Infantry Division probably delayed elections and the government that is still trying to form.

Now, Chester brings addresses who messed up in securing Turkish territory. Well, he really doesn't name any one particular individual
Was it a State function or a Defense function to convice [sic] the Turks to let us have our way? If memory serves, both Powell and Wolfowitz made trips to Turkey in the Jan/Feb/Mar timeframe. Who was ultimately responsible? Was everyone on the same page, making the same kinds of overtures to the Turks? or was it a case of an issue -- everyone who's worked in a large organization has observed this phenomenon -- where both were in charge and therefore neither took the initiative, knowing that they had the other to blame if it went south . . .
Source: The Adventures of Chester - Why didn't Turkey let us open a northern front in 2003?
Hmmmm. It pains me to say this but when two subordinates in an organization are stepping on each other's toes or pointing at the other, what is supposed to happen? The boss steps in and resolves the situation by either taking care of the matter themselves or by designating one subordinate the lead. If as Chester says is true then this confusion comes from the top of the organization, that is the President's office.

Which department should have been in charge of the operation to secure Turkish territory? The State Department should have taken the lead in that effort.

Scott Walker out of the Race.

FYI Ya All,

It has been out for sometime now but Scott Walker is out of the governor's race. So now it is just Mark Green vs. Doyle.

Go Mark Go!

Al-Pazeera Strikes Again!

Powerline Blog catches the AP distorting reality so badly it falls into the land known as Deceitburg. Al-Pazeera reports that Mark Kennedy the GOP candidate for the US Senate stayed away from a public appearance with the President at a 3M plant, but showed up for a fundraising event later on.
Last month, GOP Senate candidate Mark Kennedy in Minnesota did not attend an appearance by Bush at a 3M Corp. plant outside Minneapolis, but joined him later at a fundraiser.
Source: Powerline Blog - Why Let the Facts Get In the Way of the Story? Quotation taken from an AP story.
However, John points out when the President made the 3M appearance Mark Kennedy was in the Capital voting on a new Majority Leader. Heheheh, that is not all, John also notes the fundraiser that Kennedy attended with the President occurred, get this, two month prior to the President's 3M appearance.

The 3M appearance was on February 2 and the fundraiser that Mr. Kennedy attended (this information that Powerline reports is based on a statement from Mark Kennedy's office) with the President was on December 9th. Either way you look at that, it isn't close.

The best we can hope for is Al-Pazeera makes the BS go away quietly, it would be silly to expect a correction.

Here is a website that helps to confirm that Al-Pazeera is in Deceitsburg with this story. BTW, I don't buy the Independent moniker, but if the President and Kennedy had a fundraising event together on the day of the 3M visit, they would have noted it, but all they note is the 3M visit occuring well after the Kennedy fundraiser. Hehehe, but they do whiff bigtime on the fact that Kennedy was away on official business when the President was visiting 3M.

Yale's Taliban Talib File.

Evan Coyne Maloney went to Yale to interview the administrators why a Taliban guy is a student while many more qualified American students get rejected.
After getting the door literally slammed in his face in the administrative building that houses the office of Yale President Richard Levin, Evan sauntered outside where he interviewed Natalie Healy, a woman who lost her son Dan - a Navy SEAL - in Afghanistan last year. Naturally, Ms. Healy is outraged that a man who was an official of a murderous regime that killed her son has been given a place at Yale while many thousands of better qualified American kids are sent rejection letters every year.

Apparently this was too much for the Yale administrators who sent the police to give Evan and our cameraman the same message that is sent to ROTC and military recruiters every year: Get off campus!
Source: On the Fence Films - Stonewalling At Yale

Shame on Yale.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

An Emailian Slip.

Drudge has gotten a hold of an e-mail note from an ABC producer. The note says "If he uses the 'mixed messages' line one more time, I'm going to puke," in regards to the President warning about sending mixed messages to the terrorists of the world.

Yeap, ABC and their ilk are fair are fair and balanced. RUBBISH!

Eight Ball Award.

Three years and 2,314 (as of March 20) American lives and billions of dollars later, what has been accomplished? I can see nothing positive.
Source: Letters to the Appleton Post Crescent Editor by Paul Horvath

Of course you don't because you are not looking for anything good and the MSM you rely on doesn't report the good.

Three years later, Iraq is engaged in a civil war. Three years later, people continue to kill people. Three years later, the area of the world is still in turmoil. No hint of peace has been attained.
Source: Letters to the Appleton Post Crescent Editor by Paul Horvath

By his standard America is at civil war too. The Bloods and Crips don't like each other and fight amongst themselves, does this mean we are in a state of Civil War? No it does not.

Two thousand three hundred fourteen American lives later, the number only increases. Two thousand three hundred fourteen American lives later, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, spouses and children weep for the loss of their loved ones. Two thousand three hundred fourteen American lives later, those same relatives try to rebuild their lives from the void left.

Billions of dollars later, the war industry prospers. Billions of dollars later, the price of gas soars. Billions of dollars later, American workers continue to be jobless. Billions of dollars later, no weapons of mass destruction have been located. Billions of dollars later, the world is still not a safer place.
Source: Letters to the Appleton Post Crescent Editor by Paul Horvath

I would argue the world is safer or at least on track to becoming a safer place. Notice how Mr. Hovarth focus is exceedingly materialistic.

Through you, I urge our president, our legislators and our citizens to do everything that can be done to end American involvement as soon as possible in Iraq, concentrate on finding and bringing to the world courts those responsible for the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center (that was the original purpose, was it not?) and bring our men and women in uniform home in something other than body bags.

Paul Horvath,

Source: Letters to the Appleton Post Crescent Editor by Paul Hovarth

This is where Mr. Horvath's inner moonbat comes out. I urge our president, our legislators and our citizens to do everything that can be done to end American involvement as soon as possible in Iraq, concentrate on finding and bringing to the world courts those responsible for the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Center. The world court? Huh? Are you out of your mind Mr. Horvath? The World Court would dilly-dally until any of those in the dock on account of 9/11 are ripe old men. Also, the rotten regimes of this world would just spawn more terror.

Mr. Paul Horvath you are to be congratulated as you are today's Eight-Ball Awardee! A very codemnable achievement especially considering the stiff competition you faced!

Mr. Horvath's Hard Won Eight-Ball Award


Reminds me,
In India as the British were taking charge, a Major was watching a funeral.
The dead man, atop the pyre which was about to be set ablaze.
The Major noticed a bound woman being led to a post and secured, next to the body. The Brit asked the the [sic] Raj what as happening.
"In our Culture, we kill the widow when the husband dies." replayed [sic] the Raj.
"I see," replyed [sic] the Major "in my Culture, we hang men that kill widows."

Needless to say the old woman was released.
Source: Desert Rat's Commentary in response to The Belmont Club's blog: Before the dawn
Yesterday I commented on what we expected in the very possible death sentence of an Afghani convert to Christianity. The above comment got me to thinking about the situation.

In that blog I never gave a definite stand I was taking but it should have been obvious to which way I was leaning. Desert Rat's comment has pushed that lean over the other way.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


The case in Afghanistan of the man who converted from Islam to Christianity is fairly well known by now. To sum up, a man faces a death sentence in Afghanistan for apostasy.

This case (while I hope has a favorable outcome) is the focus of how much do we interfere with a society such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Obviously, we went into Afghanistan and taught the Taliban (talib is Arabic for student, add the "an" and it becomes plural) a lesson, there is no argument that invasion was interference. However, we interfered with a government not a society.

Now, Afghanistan is an Islamic state and while it is not governed strictly by the Sharia its law is definitely sharia based. That is, the whole body of traditional Islamic law may not be adhered to the last vowel and is insuffiently "Islamic" to please Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban, but it is essentially based on the Koran.

The Koran commands apostates be put to death. Now, in our society that a convert be killed is completely unimaginable (a good thing). Many in our society see what is happening to the apostate in Afghanistan and are shocked. Why? Because, we toppled the Taliban and therefore any government setup under our occupation/guidance should be every bit as liberal as ours. Many will say, why did we bother toppling the Taliban only to allow apostates to be put to death, surely any government setup under our supervision should prohibit such barbarism.

Should it? The left will use this case to paint Afghanistan a failure another case of bungling by the Bush Administration. However, I have written here before anything short of having the Vagina Monologues showing in trendy Kandahar coffeeshops would be considered as a failure by the left. The President had it right when he asked Hamad Karzai to stop the sentence of death but in the end admits it is ultimately an Afghani decision.

Concerned people and organizations are free to work through other channels to pressure Afghanistan to put an end to such practices and they should work to that end. People may say "Wow, we just took them to the 12th century, what use was that?" Well, Dinesh D'Souza said that going from the 7th to the 12th century is still—progress.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

From Rush To Sean.

I swear to God I heard the same leftist call into Rush's show and then later call into Sean's show. The same insipid leftist comments. The only difference is Sean gave the caller a little mor airtime. When the caller went into the meat of his comments on Rush's show Rush laid into him and that was the end of it. Sean laid into the guy as well but let him go on a lot longer.

The connecting comments? How would we feel if an army that spoke another language came in and occupied our nation?

Stephen Hayes and the Saddam Files.

HTs to Wretchard and to Pajamas Media's IRAQFiles.

Was Saddam supporting terror? Yes he was. It is well known he supported the families of Palestinian suicide bombers and notorious terrorists were being sheltered in Iraq. Stephen Hayes from The Weekly Standard looks at documents detailing Iraq's support of the notorious Abu Sayyaf a Philippino Islamo-Terrorist group.
These documents add to the growing body of evidence confirming the Iraqi regime's longtime support for terrorism abroad. The first of them, a series of memos from the spring of 2001, shows that the Iraqi Intelligence Service funded Abu Sayyaf, despite the reservations of some IIS officials. The second, an internal Iraqi Intelligence memo on the relationships between the IIS and Saudi opposition groups, records that Osama bin Laden requested Iraqi cooperation on terrorism and propaganda and that in January 1997 the Iraqi regime was eager to continue its relationship with bin Laden. The third, a September 15, 2001, report from an Iraqi Intelligence source in Afghanistan, contains speculation about the relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda and the likely U.S. response to it.
Source: The Weekly Standard - Saddam's Philippines Terror Connection (And other revelations from the Iraqi regime files.) by Stephen Hayes

Saddam supported terrorism don't let anyone get away with saying otherwise.

Worry About the Last Strike.

HT: Drudge Report Breitbart reports some bellicose talk from the nutters in North Korea.
North Korea suggested Tuesday it had the ability to launch a pre- emptive attack on the United States, according to the North's official news agency. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the North had built atomic weapons to counter the U.S. nuclear threat.

"As we declared, our strong revolutionary might put in place all measures to counter possible U.S. pre-emptive strike," the spokesman said, according to the Korean Central News Agency. "Pre-emptive strike is not the monopoly of the United States."
Source: - N. Korea Suggests It Can Strike U.S. First
Well, a first strike by North Korea would be terrible but if I were North Korea I would not worry about first strikes but about the second strike. Our nation prepared to survive a first strike from the USSR. This is not the only silliness in the article just the most noteworthy.

Blogs and the MSM.

Over at Boots and Sabers there is a commentary exchange going on about the roles of the MSM and the blogosphere.

I shouldn't use MSM but use traditional reporting, as traditional reporting is good and I view the MSM as a perjorative.

Quite a few traditional reporters cast aspersions on the blogosphere saying we do not do reporting. Well, I plead guilty (mostly) as charged. I am one person in a small quiet corner of the world there is not a whole lot for me to report on and what does go on really doesn't get me worked up enough to become a primary source. When an interesting (to me) story pops up in my vicinity I will report on it. I have wrote blogs that focus on reporting and not opinionating. To sum up, I do depend on traditional reporting. Analysis without facts is like building a house by trying to build the second story before the foundation.

That said why does the MSM think they are the gold standard? There are MSM bodies that actively tilt the news in a direction that favors their personal views (by their personal views I mean the views of the editorial staff). I don't necessarily trust those sources to be able to present facts accurately.

For example, the Associated Press and their story about how the President was warned about the possible consequences of Hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans. The AP said the President was warned about what happened, but when one goes back to view the tape they cite there was no such warning. He was warned water may get pushed over the top, which would have done damage but nowhere near the damage done by the actual events which was a breach.

Now, one may say the President's administration should have been working on a worst case scenario rather than a less than catastrophic overtopping scenario. That is properly called analysis and it seems what the AP was doing, not reporting but opining and presenting that opinion as fact.

Far and away most of my writing is analysis and opinion not reporting.

Should I or Should I Not?

Give someone more attention?

This someone has been in the media's eyes now for a little bit more than 1/2 year now. This person said some pretty crazy things on MSNBC and I do believe they should get out because they represent the attitude of the lunatic no-so-fringe left. Most people would disagree with those sentiments.

However, I and most others are thoroughly sick of this person and wish they would just go away. I am afraid to give this person the publicity they so often and desperately hound out.

I will think on it.

A New Ambassador.

The new ambassador from the USA to the Philippines just assumed her new post on Roxas Blvd in Manila Philippines. HT: Willie Galang. Willie's blog also contains details on the leftists protesting in front of the USA embassy on the Iraq Invasion Anniversary.

Smoking Bans

Kaukauna is considering a smoking ban. The ban in front of the Kaukauna city council is one that prohibits smoking in public places with an exemption for bars.

This is more reasonable than Appleton's ban which I hope (but am not confident of) is going to be rolled back by referendum.

WHBY played two soundbites from opponents of the Kauakauna ban. They oppose because they want a total ban. One was a doctor who said smoking has no redeeming value. I differ, if it had no redeeming value then would people be plunking down good hard cash for a pack of smokes? Hardly. Just because the good doctor refrains from smoking does not mean it is without redeeming value. In any event there is much that adds spice to our lives that really can be easily reduced to an activity with "no redeeming value".

The second soundbites were from some woman who I guess led the charge to get the Appleton smoking ban in place. She was threatening the Kauakauna council members who voted for the ban with removal from office. Methinks she will try and fail at that.

WHBY opened up the airlines and some woman called in and said this is just like Jim Crow laws. That is, the same argument that private businesses should be allowed to bar or allow smoking is the same as allowing them to have a blacks only section or to bar blacks all together.

I will concede there is some similarity. However, there are much more pressing societal concerns against Jim Crow laws than there are with if a given tavern allows smoking or not. Society can and does regulate private conduct on a frequent basis, but society had better have a good reason to do so. Just because a law feels good and seems good does not justify robbing people of their private property rights.

There are taverns in the Appleton municipality that will not allow smoking even if the current ban is repealed. Other bars have solid smoke mitigation plans in place. One bar that just opened will allow smoking upstairs and ban it on the first level. Beefed up ventilation systems also mitigate the smoke problem.

In the end this is what scares me about the smoke police. The smoke police and health enforcers will get a statewide business smoking ban, but will they stop? No, they will then go into our homes.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Busy Day Today.

Since last week's blogging was light I am slow to start off this week. I have a hard time getting back into blogging after time off of blogging. Don't worry it will pick up. Today I spent a fair amount of time working on one of my other websites, so that is one reason the blogging is light.

I am expecing a surge in traffic on this other site so have been working on it, been adding a new feature to it.



Diplomacy is a widely misunderstood tool of statesmanship.

Diplomacy is regarded as the end all be all of statesmanship by certain segments of our population. They say, we never gave diplomacy a chance prior to the invasion of Iraq. Those people did not favor doing anything to Iraq and urged empty talk in place of action.

The problem this brings on (in addition to the silliness of talking beyond hope) is a reaction from those opposed to the diplomacy first, diplomacy always school. The reaction is of course, that people may totally write off diplomacy as a limp wristed, effete, and ineffective way of solving problems. This is just as wrong as the first school of thought I characterize above.

Diplomacy is nothing more than a tool. It is the tape measure alongside the hammer of war in the statesman's tool belt. Both have a time and a purpose and need the other.

War without diplomacy is a cheap, a lonely, or a meaningless affair. Diplomacy without war is limp wristed and effete.

Diplomacy in the past has been used to maneuver others into war and has been used to prevent war. Diplomacy has been used to prolong war and to end war. Don't ever think diplomacy and war are opposites of each other, they are not.


It is only Astronomical Spring

It is still meteorlogical winter up north, but there is little winter left. There was a lot of snow yet and was a hoot to ski on.


Spotted in a Reader's Digest. They whined about how OWI is on the rise. Well, duh! The threshold for OWI keeps getting lowered, of course, the rate of people OWI is going to rise. Wonder what will happen when the definition of OWI is looking at a bottle of beer within 24 hours of driving a car. What will MADD want then?


That is me! Hehehe, Saturday and Sunday were both sunny days and I was out skiing in the sun until they told us no more rides up the hill. I did not apply any sunscreen and at this time of the year one should. Well, it would have been much worse had we been out West. I am not burned badly but am definitely red in the face!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Has Bin Laden Been Dead?

There is a story out there that Osama Bin Laden has died.

Weldon made the stunning claim during an interview Wednesday with the Philadelphia Inquirer, which reported: "Weldon is making explosive new allegations. He says a high-level source has told him that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden has died in Iran, where he has been in hiding."
Source: - Curt Weldon: Bin Laden Is Dead
I know there are many people upset we did not catch Osama bin Laden, but the point is to take out the organization not the man. The man can be replaced the organization can not.

Some others will say its a matter of justice we capture Osama Bin Laden, but–if dead– Osama Bin Laden was met with justice. History is replete with evil men never meeting justice on earth the first example that comes into my mind is Josef Mengele. Justice is important but job number one is putting an end to the ability of evil men to do evil.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dried Water Buffalo Tongues.

Yummy! Hehehe, actually they are dried mangoes and come from the island of Cebu in the Philippines. They are very yummy and I suggest you all run out to the nearest Woodmans store and buy not one, not two, not three, but perhaps four or more packages.

I have no financial interest in dried mangoes of any brand, just I want to make sure Woodmans keeps putting them on their shelves so I can buy them.

Geeze Tony! An Eight-Ball Worthy Editorial!

Tony Staley in The Compass editorializes on reaping what you sow. That is how the Dubai Ports World deal collapse was all W's fault for the terror warnings, Guantanamo Bay, the Patriot act, warranteless wiretaps, and the Iraq War.

Geeze Tony, 9/11 had nothing to do with it? The East African embassy bombings? The USS Cole? Somalia? The first bombing of the WTC? The Khobar Towers? Beruit? All the bombings in Israel?

Mr. Staley's Eight-Ball Award
Congraulations Mr. Staley on the winning of your first Eight-Ball Award!

Robbing The Federal Government.

On the front page of The Compass the headline story has an interesting quote. Bp. William Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., sharply challenged ongoing tax cuts that he said rob the federal government of the revenues [emphasis added] needed to meet "our moral obligations to the respond to human needs." The Compass Friday March 17, 2006 Vol. 29 No. 10

Incredible. It shows quite a bit of ignorance to state that tax cuts rob the federal government. I wonder if hitting up an ATM for some spending money is robbing a bank? By the Bishop's thinking it is.

Update on Southpark Story.

Thanks to reader Jake for pointing out Isaac Hayes did quit Southpark.

"South Park" co-creator Matt Stone responded sharply in an interview with The Associated Press Monday, saying, "This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem — and he's cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians."
Source: Fox News - Isaac Hayes Quits 'South Park'

Thanks Jake!

Another Touchy Religion.

Isaac Hayes may cease being the voice of Chef on Southpark. Why? Because Southpark made fun of Scientology.

It was all fun when Southpark pokes fun at Mormons and Christians eh Isaac? Not so funny anymore, eh?

In the end Southpark does poke fun at religions but I have seen some episodes that really outline Christianity's central message.

For example on a Christmas episode Santa Claus went to Iraq to spread the good feelings to the Iraqi children. Well, Santa's sled was shot down and Santa was captured and was being tortured. The boys along with Jesus went to rescue Santa. The boys and Santa escape but only because Jesus stayed behind and held up the Iraqis pursuing them, yes Jesus was killed in action.

On his return Santa says Jesus died for me and reminds the audience that Jesus died for them as well.

Now Tom Cruise is throwing a snit-fit and has caused Comedy Central to pull a repeat of the episode in question. Wah-wah-wah go the Scientologists.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Energetic Musings.

Over at the Badger Blog Alliance I got into a discussion on the energy hearings in Washington D.C. The discussion is in the commentary section and with a reader and a BBA co-blogger.

The Congress has dragged oil industry executives in front of them and asked them why gas prices are high. We should drag our congressmen in front of us and ask why taxes are so high. Hehehe, our state legislature would have a lot of 'xplaining to do.

Anyway. There are a couple of reasons oil prices are high. Terrorism. The terrorists just attacked an oil facility and a high percentage of the oil supply has to go through the narrow Straits of Hormuz which an unfriendly nation (Iran, I have blogged plentifully on the situation and how the DPW Deal figures into that) dominates. Insurance rates for ships in the Persian Gulf skyrocket. Go to the Fujairah Hilton and look out at night. You will see the lights of many ships waiting to dash in, pick up their loads (of oil), and dashing back out. Not cheap.

Now add to this China and other emerging economies. They need the same energy to produce as we do, what happens when you have multiple parties bidding for the same thing?

Lets see, we can not extract oil from our lands as the environmentalists go crazy at the suggestion. We have not built a refinery in years due to environmentalists and NIMBYs (Not In My BackYard). Also never forget the refineries during summer, have start making special blends usable by only a given region, this chokes total available output. Etc etc etc.

A few of those factors have their origin in Washington D.C., not with the oil executives testifying, but with their inquisitors. The common number is that on average oil companies make a profit of about 10% on the gasoline. That is a dime on every dollar, that is not a fantastic profit margin. Hehehe, I wonder what the profit on a bottle of Aquafina water is? I wonder what is on the Smith Sunglasses I bought.

If our goal is to get off of oil based energy then working to keep the price artificially low is the exact wrong way to go about it. Let the price rise and as the price of a gallon of gas rises people may settle for a Honda that gets 45 mpg instead of a Yukon that gets 17 mpg (may is the keyword, a guy in Orlando FL with no children and who only drives from to/from work does not have a pressing need for the Yukon, a carpenter in Northern Wisconsin has a need, but in both cases let them make their choices). Funding for alternative fuels and energy will expand thereby giving us a greater chance of a goodyear moment.

Pressuring the oil companies to lower their prices and profit is the surest way to keep our addiction to oil going.

Sympathy for the Devil.

Jerry Bader observed on WTAQ today that many people have some sympathy for Steven Avery. The avenue is 18 years of being in jail for a crime he did not commit would be enough to turn a good guy into a bad guy. After all prisons are notorious for being criminal college.

Captain Ed noted sometime ago that of the 163 prisoners released from prison by the Wisconsin Innocence Project (WIP) only two have faced criminal charges after their release (this counts Avery so it is 1 prior to the Halbach case). A commentator reports the normal recidivism rate for felons released from prison is 70%, that is for every 100 felons let out of jail, 70 find themselves back in jail within four years.

Okay, what does this say? It tells me the people released by the WIP's efforts are indeed innocent. It also tells me the people released did not snap or become vengeful after their release, they went back to life as much as they can.

Now, Mr. Bader noted that of the 18 years Mr. Avery spent in prison, six were being served concurrently for another crime, so to say Mr. Avery was in prison for nothing all 18 years is wrong. So, we have a genuine felon here in Mr. Avery and as it appears genuine felons are just–BAD.

Don't give Mr. Avery the out that he snapped because of his wrongful incarceration. Mr. Avery is a bad man, and if not for the jail term Theresa Halbach may still be alive because it would have been Jane Doe on June 27, 1989 or April 15, 1993, or September 21, 1998...

Poor Boy.

Ted Rall is considering filing a slander lawsuit against Ann Coulter. HT: Michelle Malkin.

Poor Ted, Ann said something nasty about him, a nasty guy. Ted Rall is the guy who called Pat Tillman an idiot, said Ronald Reagan was probably turning a toasty brown shortly after the President's death and while the article I link to refers to him as a liberal it is pretty clear his ideology is way left and probably wraps around and gets close to the whacky right.

Ann Coulter quipped there were only three entries in the Iranian Holocaust Cartoon Contest submitted by Gary Trudeau, the New York Times, and by Ted Rall. Gary Trudeau is ignoring the comment, no comment from the New York Times and Ted Rall is clueless. According to The Editor and Publisher report, Mr. Rall conducted a survey asking what to do and asked for donations for the slander suit filing fee.

According to the story Rall says:
"A lot of people are fed up with how Coulter has turned slandering liberals into a cottage industry and want to see her held to account. I'm actually fairly overwhelmed by the response -- more than 300 pledges, many in the $20 to $100 range."
Source: Editor and Publisher - Ted Rall Says He Might Sue Ann Coulter for Holocaust Cartoon Remark

How rich is that? A lot of people are fed up with how Coulter has turned slandering liberals into a cottage industry and want to see her held to account. Someone from the looney left whining about how the right slanders those on the left? By those standards one would think Rush Limbaugh would sue Al Franken, but of course Rush just laughs it off, something the likes of Rall are constitutionally unable to do.

Anyway Ann's response is what one would expect from Ann.

Anyway I have seen children with thicker skins than Rall.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Isn't Senator Fiendgold's [sic] talk about unconstitutionality rich? Him and his stiffling of political speech now lecturing others on the Constitution.

Leaning For

The amendment prohibiting gay marriage.

I am constitutionally (i.e. my constitution) opposed to gay marriage, but the issue doesn't stir me to passion. Its on the ballot so I will vote for the amendment.

Now, there are conservatives who oppose the amendment on libertarian grounds. Conservatives and leftists need to remember that. The Conservative coalition is split into several different groups.

Libertarians are very much government keep your hands off of my business and stuff. Cultural conservatives (which IMO is the dominant and growing group in the Conservative movement) do not mind restrictions on lifestyle issues under certain circumstances. Count myself in the later group (think: First Former, Last Later).

Why? Its not a position I am versed enough to argue for. I have been paying cursory attention to the writings of Stanley Kurt on National Review and he makes the case gay marriage has plenty of social costs I do not think the nation should be asked to bear.

Now, recall my earlier proviso the issue doesn't stir me to passion. I have never advocated for it, I have not studied deeply the pro and con positions. Given that, I do characterize my position as leaning for, not because I think I can be swayed into the anti-camp but because I am not going to push hard for it.

IIRC I have a total of two blogs about gay marriage, one in Nov of 2004 some commentary on the legislative debate over the amendment (IIRC that was 2-3 weeks ago) but other than that I have not commented extensively on the subject here or elsewhere.

BTW: Charlie Sykes is serving as a Blogosphere reaction clearing house on the topic. Go check it out.


Yet another blog to add to my blogroll.

Give a warm Blogger Beer welcome to: Bss & Brn in Al Ain. Al-Ain is a city in the United Arab Emirates built on an oasis and on the border between Oman and the UAE. The portion in Oman is called Al-Buraimi and the portion the UAE is Al-Ain.

Al-Ain is where I lived for six years and where The Empress and myself met and fell in love. I have been both critical of the UAE and supportive of the UAE since leaving. I am critical of their stand on the Mohd cartoons but was supportive of the Dubai Ports World deal.

Anyway, a warm welcome to Bss & Brn in Al Ain!

Profiles in Eight-Balledness!

Today's study in Eight-Balledness involves Mr. John Edmondson from Appleton.

Three days after Katrina struck, President Bush told the country: "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."

The AP article in the March 3 P-C entitled "Blanco wrong on levees, video indicates" noted the transcripts existed showing the president and others discussing the impending storm.

The article, however, failed to mention the discussion also covered the possible breach of the levees the day before Katrina struck, and Bush's statement, made three days after Katrina had struck, claiming: "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" (obviously not counting those people at the briefing from four days earlier).
Source: Appleton Post Cresscent Letter to the Editor by John Edmondson of Appleton

Mr. Edmondson, I forgive you. After all, Al-Pazeera did mischaracterize the warning that was issued. Read it:
WASHINGTON (AP) - In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.

Bush didn't ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured soon-to-be-battered state officials: "We are fully prepared."

...Homeland Security officials have said the "fog of war" blinded them early on to the magnitude of the disaster. But the video and transcripts show federal and local officials discussed threats clearly, reviewed long-made plans and understood Katrina would wreak devastation of historic proportions. "I'm sure it will be the top 10 or 15 when all is said and done," National Hurricane Center's Max Mayfield warned the day Katrina lashed the Gulf Coast.

..."I don't think any model can tell you with any confidence right now whether the levees will be topped [underlining added] or not but that is obviously a very, very grave concern," Mayfield told the briefing.Other officials expressed concerns about the large number of New Orleans residents who had not evacuated.
Source: Wizbang - Rewriting Katrina History - AP Style

That is Al-Pazeera is spreading how they wish things were not as they were. As they were is President Bush was warned water most likely will lap over the top of the levees NOT that the levees will breach, that is collapse and break as they did.

Unfortunately, this lie will live forever. Let us look at what other lies Mr.Edmondson pushes. Be a good boy Mr. Edmondson so Santa Claus will get you some real class goodies next Christmas, you must still believe in Santa Claus if you haven't heard the Al-Pazeera report you refer to is disinformation.

This is reminiscent of shortly after 9-11, when the Bush administration complained that the hijacker's attacks were unpreventable because such an attack couldn't be anticipated ... until it became know that while on a monthlong vacation in August 2001, Bush received a security briefing memo entitled, "Bin Laden determined to strike inside the U.S.," and that it stated the FBI had discovered "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York."

What is clear is that someone in the White House needs to be certain that President Bush either stays fully awake at important briefings or that they do a better job of destroying evidence that shows what had really happened, so the later "spins" offered by the White House won't look like such blatant lies.

Otherwise, gosh, some of us are going to start losing confidence.

John Edmondson, Appleton
Source: Appleton Post Cresscent Letter to the Editor by John Edmondson of Appleton

Mr. Edmondson, bears are going to pollute the woods today. Now, go and stop them! What? You say there are no locations, no times, no information on which specific bears are going to pollute the woods? Well, no kidding. That is what President Bush had and what he had was a fairly obvious sort of warning. Radical Islamists want to hijack airplanes in the USA, wow what a revelation that was. Perhaps the next warning will be one warning about Islamists wanting to kill Jews by sending suicide bombers out.

Congratulations Mr. Edmondson, you are today's study in Eight-Balledness your award is below.

Mr. Edmondson's Eight-Ball Trophy.

New Blog.

Welcome the View From Cheap Seats blog. VFCS is a new Wisconsin blog and Billiam roves the nation but is based in Northeast Wisconsin just like myself!

Wow! He read the Thomas Covenant series by Stephen R. Donaldson. Most of those books were very good, but one was a turkey. However, I have a hard time coming up with short blogs how easy can it be to write six books based on the same character?

Anyway, welcome to Billiam!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Eye Rolling and Sighing.

Cheney says it all about Russ Fiendgold's [sic] censure resolution:
Cheney said Monday, "The outrageous proposition that we ought to protect our enemies' ability to communicate as it plots against America poses a key test of our Democratic leaders."
Source: Fox News - Dems Have Little Support for Feingold's Censure Resolution
Why are terrorist communications not considered to be that of the enemy at war?

Read this Supreme Court decision and ask yourself Is Senator Feingold trying to usurp powers that are not his? I would say he is.

Hmmm, I wonder about the timing, with Vice President Cheney in Wisconsin today.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

No to A Coup.

The best and most productive sources I have related to the political situation in the Philippines are the following three blogs: and the Philippino newspaper website

DJB Rizalist is definitely opposed to PGMA, The Belmont Club's Wretchard does a good job of hiding his position and usually provides good analysis of what he thinks is happening and what is going to happen. He does not provide what he hopes is happening and what he hopes will happen. I suspect though based on some of his blogs and some of the stories he tells, he may be among PGMA's opposition (though he does not live in the Philippines). The INQ7 is a newspaper and while they do a good job of reporting facts and events it is widely held the MSM in the Philippines also desires PGMA to leave office.

Statue of Manuel Quezon on Corregidor Island.
MLQIII I think is also opposed to PGMA but not so vehemently as DJB Rizalist. MLQIII also is the grandson of Manuel Quezon who was President of the Philippines at the outset of WWII and went into exile from Corregidor.

Another occasional commentator on the situation is also on my blogroll and he is Willie Galang. Willie is a PGMA supporter one of the few in the blogosphere (count me in as well). He once said on his blog (reference is gone) and I paraphrase, I support PGMA but she makes it hard to be a supporter. I heartily concur.

I would support PGMA's ouster if there was a good answer to the following question: Who would be president after PGMA's resignation or ouster? Rizalist gave an answer to that question over at Bob's Mindanao Blog but that was a long time ago and is lost in the blog's history (a determined searcher should be able to find it). However, it is my opinion the disease is not rooted in a single person but is the predominant political culture in the Philippines. Change the president and little changes.

Willie says:
I hope my country will not eventually go the way of Myanmar (Burma). If she does, Manila will be worse than Rangoon. We're going to have a corrupt military that takes orders from politicians that have links to local and transnational organized crime syndicates while local show business and mainstream media organizations with very close business and familial ties to the previous administration, will ensure the entire setup is acceptable to the general masses. (I mean, give junta seats to Susan Roces, Kris Aquino, and Willie Revillame and the people will be happy even if they're, and remain, poor.) Game ka na ba? (Are you game?) Wow wow wee!
Source: Willie Galang - Filipinos must reject notions of military junta
I believe that any outcome except for the orderly resignation of PGMA would result in a military junta. While it is the stuff of rumor the NPA (i.e. the left) and the right are working together to oust PGMA, I don't see it. Recent events show a lack of coordination between the left and the right; they are united in rhetoric only.

If a PGMA ouster is extra-constitutional (I'll give you the obvious comment but we are talking current events, not history) then it will be a military junta that will be in control. The NPA will not stand for that. I also highlight Willie's fear such a junta will be worse than others and would have current PGMA opponents pining for the liberal days of PGMA.

Heheh, I love Willie's parting references to two popular Philippino gameshows. On that note, I have a burning question for any Philippinos reading this blog. Are there any signs Wowwowwee is coming back? I pray it so!

Blogroll Additons.

Two recent blogroll additions.

No Runny Eggs and Later Me Ask blogs have been added to the Blogger Beer Blogroll. Welcome them and give them a visit!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Back At You Bilal.

I have written many words here how the UAE and our moderate Arab allies have solid justification to feel unappreciated by the United States of America.

However, this blog is directing that feeling of under/unappreciation back to the Arabic/Muslim world. Quite a few of my countrymen and myself have that same feeling. There is much rhetoric about how the USA is waging war against Islam, and this is not rhetoric that is necessarily coming just from radical nutjobs such as Al-Qaida, the Taliban, et al.

Two quick examples. We had a situation in Eastern Europe in Bosnia/Herzogovina. Where Christian Serbs were attacking and killing Bosnian Muslims. President Clinton stood up for the MUSLIMS and bombed the $#!+ out of Serbia until Serbia cried uncle. The persecution of Muslims in Bosnia came to an end. What thanks & appreciation does the USA receive for that?

Before that, Muslims were starving to death in Somalia because ISLAMIC warlords were stealing food and supplies for themselves and their armies. George HW Bush ordered the Marines in to make sure the starving Muslims got the supplies they so desperately needed. What all became of that? Osama Bin Laden can tell you, some help he was to the Muslims of Somalia. Osama helped the high and mighty warlords of Somalia and spit on the ordinary folk. What thanks (even thanks for trying would have sufficed) did the USA receive for that?

Of course, we can not forget about the aid delivered to Islamic victims of natural disaster (the tsunami, numerous earthquakes, etc) as well as aid delivered in the normal course of affairs.

What did the USA have to gain from any of those operations? A friend of mine would say only "warmth and fuzzies". I do not recall either nation (Somalia & Bosnia) sitting on top of oil. I do not see either nation (Somalia & Bosnia) being really worth a whole lot in terms of geopolitics.

So, when you feel unappreciated for your moderateness and (quiet) helpfulness (which is okay that it is quiet) I say welcome to the club.

Brace Yourself for the Riots!

Apparently the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals upheld an Alaskan student's right to unfurl a banner saying Bong hits 4 Jesus. His school suspended him after doing so and the court is slapping the school district for the suspension. If my understanding of the case is correct, than the Ninth Circus did the correct thing.

However, brace yourself for worldwide riots by Christians over the blasphemy. Old hat? Yeah, but it bears publication and this is my blog!

Anyway, gotta run and get some Cheetos.

Cheap Pacifism.

Wretchard exceeds his usual self (which does say a lot). He writes about the death of Tom Fox.

It is abundantly clear from the Christian Peacemaker Team website that they could hardly have done more to declare their sympathy for the Muslim world, the Palestinian cause or their distaste for America. A less haggard Tom Fox is shown holding up a sign protesting the construction of an Israeli barrier in "Palestine". There's a statement abhorring the publication of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons, which says:...
Source: The Belmont Club - Crushed and broken on the virgin soul
The Christian Peacemaker's probably felt they would be insulated from attacks by the terrorists with their positions on such matters. However, the terrorists viewed Tom Fox as a dirty kaffir worthy of not just death but a horrible one.

Wretchard then goes on to detail about a someone who was tasked with the murder of a Marcos (i.e. Ferdinand Marcos from the Philippines) informer. The informer was killed before the assassin could carry out his deed and was thankful for it. He then asks is proper is it okay to have another to do your own dirty work? He phrases it along these lines. If Tom Fox knew of a car bomber headed for a school bus of children, would Tom Fox have used violence to save the school children, would Tom Fox have condemned a US Soldier who used violence to save the school children?

The commentary section is even more interesting. Wretchard is normally a level headed writer, but the distinct feeling of rage comes across in his commentary. Most interesting is this comment from Wretchard:
We read from Reuters that his poor guy was tortured before he died. I thought on all his past pictures, the earnest looks, the hopeful orange uniform ... all the useless accoutrements of pacifism ... and get very, very angry. Those SOBs had no right to kill this man any more than they had a writ to kill a child.

Civilization, if it has any purpose, to protect the silly and the weak in spite of themselves. The kids, retards, old, infirm and the pacifists. None should die before the wolves while civilization stands. We no longer leave grandma on the trail with a bottle of whisky and a razor when she gets too old to walk. From that point of view no innocent man deserves to die. But Tom Fox's killers certainly do.
Source: Follow Up Commentary to The Belmont Club's Crushed and broken on the virgin soul
He is more active in the commentary than usual and on each one of those comments I get the same sense of rage.

His killers will do so again and again and again. They will not attack the coalition soldiers instead they will hunt out the defenseless.

Quite a bit of condescension is dripped on the bumper-sticker pacifist, they live a cheap existance in comparison to Mr. Fox. God rest the soul of Tom Fox, he has found his cherished peace.

Not Quite the Last Word

On the Dubai Ports World deal disaster.

There are quite a few commentators out there that are taking exception to the charges of racism and xenophobia some supporters are making against opponents. Well, if the shoe doesn't fit then never mind. There are good arguments to be made and bad arguments to be made.

Last night I popped into Dummocrats to see what their take was and in fact I knew what their take was, commented on it, and had not visited or followed up on my comments. Well, take a look at these two doozies:
...RE: You missed the world's best ribs in Billy Blues a barbecue joint in one of Dubai's hotels.

Hey, are those HUMAN ribs recovered from victims of that mornning's hotel bombings?

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Islam sucks!
Source: Daddy's Commentary to Dummocrat's About that Dubai Port Deal blog.

That's not all in the same commentary thread we see:
This is to Marcus.........maybe you can explain to us all who the "MODERATE ARAB GOVERNMENT " is ?
I think the thing you and many might overlook THEIR Religion and Government .... are one & the same.
Its not alot different then the Cartoon wars going on .....IF you don't stand for something ,, you will fall for anything....

Don't even talk to me about your time in Dubai.. I have spent 9 years in Saudi and know the ideology well...

nice try , though!
Source: Panama's Commentary to Dummocrat's About that Dubai Port Deal blog.

Panama drank too much sidiqqi (nasty homebrew liquor conconction) in Saudia Arabia. In any event his view is racist. The situation in Saudi as opposed to Dubai is no more similar than they are between Bedford, Alabama versus the upper East Side of Manhattan New York City. Heck, drive one mile into Oman from Al-Ain and into Oman's Al-Buraimi (this map is not quite right, Al-Buraimi was definitely in Oman) and there were noticeable differences. The local dressed differently and the architecture of the mosques was noticeably different.

Most blogs, radio commentators, and print commentators have expressed fairly well informed opinions (informed to one degree or another from so-so to pretty well) on the matter. Quite a bit of street talk and some of the comments on blogs I have read typically (again, not always) boil down to ignorance or prejudice. Unfortunately, too many of our elected leaders reacted with ignorance.

Usually, I assume differences to be honest, not in this case. I have a hard time believing many of our elected leaders who went up and talked about how we were handing over security to Arabs (or A-Rabs as one Wisconsin legislature said in debating the ethanol bill) were being honest.

Now, if you were opposed to the DPW deal don't necessarily take this as an indictment of your motives and positions. I admit there were good reasons to be suspicious but it wasn't plain suspiciousness that carried the day, it was more.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Caption This Photo!

I don't know what is going on in this picture, but it was taken in Bagiou in the Philippines. Perhaps you know, can you help out and suggest a caption for this photo?

Abato Fidel!


Just heard a story about a Cuban sports official who tried to take a sign away from a spectator at a baseball game in Puerto Rico.
The image of the man holding the sign behind home plate was beamed live Thursday night to millions of TV viewers -- including those in Cuba. The top Cuban official at the game at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan rushed to confront the man.

Puerto Rican police quickly intervened and took the Cuban official -- Angel Iglesias, vice president of Cuba's National Institute of Sports -- to a nearby police station, where they lectured him about free speech.

"We explained to him that here the constitutional right to free expression exists and that it is not a crime," police Col. Adalberto Mercado was quoted as saying in El Nuevo Dia, a San Juan daily.
Source: AP World News - Anti-Castro Sign at Ballgame Causes Stir
Hahahaha! Glad to see free speech in the news again. I wonder if there will be riots and such? My guess is there will be a protest in Havana with Castro's Coerce A Crowd company springing into action.

I wonder what the left's take will be? This time the left needs not worry about decapitation, but of course its Fidel offended so we will probably hear all sorts of lectures about not being offensive.

The TIC is Correct About One Thing.

The Teacher's Industrial Complex (The TIC) is right about one thing. The TPA will not stop our legislators from wasting money. Of course, don't expect the TIC to tell you the TPA will limit the amount of money our legislators can waste.

So with the TPA our legislators will be able to waste $100 but without the TPA our legislators will have $150 to waste. Since the money is not found but comes from us this is a good thing!

Roe V Wade for Men.

Roe V. Wade for men? A 25 year old from Saginaw Michigan is suing to prevent him having to pay $500.00/month in child support. The grounds? That men are not protected equally from such responsibility by our existing laws. The argument is if a woman gets pregnant she can elect to abort the baby thereby dodging her responsibility to the baby, whereas a man has no say in the matter. If a woman gets pregnant she and the child are automatically entitled to support from the man.

I say to the 25 year old from Saginaw.


The purpose of marriage and asbstaining from sex is to avoid situations such as this. However, our society is hellbent to wreck marriage and make it nothing more than an event for which to dress up extra special for.

Well, 25 year old and his ex decided to have sex and as a result they brought a life into this world. In the olden days this wouldn't have happened or it would have been done in the context of a committed marriage and there would be no court case. Not today, in fact 25 year old is suggesting men have a period of man opt-out for a given period of time during the pregnancy thereby giving the woman a chance to react. Huh, great, more work for lawyers, more legal wrangling, more.... Do we really want to go there? I am sure the various state bars do but do we?

Why does the quest for non-discrimination all too often seem to be a race for the bottom of the barrel?

Such a measure would take all disincentive out of the pre-marital sex act and that I oppose. I support putting full disincentives back into the act.

Here a RINO, There a RINO, Everywhere a RINO.


It is RINO hunting season. Sean at The American Mind points out this blog by Dennis York with a spoof piece that Charlie Sykes is now at the receiving end of the RINO charge. Hehehe, funny stuff.

Seriously, though the RINO charge is often casually tossed about. Kinda like racist and PC. I consider a RINO to be an elected official who can not possibly be elected as a Democrat in a district so they join the Republican party. They may participate in Republican functions and court the Party when they need help or support, but when it comes for them to support other Republican causes or candidates they bolt. A RINO is a Republican who wants Republican support but is unwilling to give their support to the Party.

Yes, after a certain level it is impossible for RINOs to be elected as they are ferreted out, and the parties do not support them. They mostly reside in local offices and especially those considered non-partisan.

Its All A Plot!


Just scanned a search that a Blogger Beer visitor used to land here. It was on the Dubai Ports World deal and a surprisingly large number of blogs were favorably disposed to the deal. However, the funniest one I saw was someone who looked like they were claiming the whole thing has actually gone according to nefarious plan.

Yes, you see it is obvious now Haliburton is going to get the ports and we all know what an evil, nefarious, and scheming company Haliburton is. That Rove & Cheney!

A Republican Civil War?

The leftist MSM and their allies are not only pushing the concept of an Iraqi Civil War but now a Republican Civil War.

Sorry, neither is not happening. You sure would like it though, wouldn't you?

So expect the drumbeat of stories on how GOP legislators are turning against President Bush and are running from him. Just the same as the MSM kept pounding out stories of the looming Iraqi Civil War.

It all gives lie to the notion that Republicans are mindless robots who take their orders from Karl Rove. Republicans didn't swallow the Harriet Miers nomination and most did take the DPW deal either.

Procrastinating Editorial.

The Appleton Post Crescent ran an insulting editorial yesterday. Its topic was the upcoming advisory vote on bringing back the death penalty.

Let's fisk it.

Editorial: Death-penalty vote would be knee-jerk reaction

The likelihood that you will be able to let the state Legislature know how you feel about the death penalty, or lack thereof, in Wisconsin this fall is a day or two from becoming a certainty. An advisory referendum on the subject will probably go to voters in September.

As much as the topic is worthy of discussion and referenda have their merit, the timing couldn't be worse.

Steven Avery's trial probably will be starting right around then, and the public will be reintroduced to the horrific details of his case all over again after months of trying to forget about Calumet County Dist. Atty. Ken Kratz's graphic press conference last week. Voters once again will be angered, shocked and saddened as the murder trial plays out.
Source: Appleton Post Crescent Editorial - Editorial: Death-penalty vote would be knee-jerk reaction, March 9, 2006.
Well, at least they admit it is a worthy debate. However, they insult their readership by the criticism the voters will not be able to separate the Steven Avery trial from their stand on this particular issue. It is a common arrogance death penalty opponents have and I was accused of having an all to convenient stand on the death penalty last weekend.

Those are not the emotional states in which any decision should be made, let alone one as monumental as whether the death penalty should be reinstated.

Longtime capital punishment advocates such as state Sen. Alan Lasee see the Avery case as their new Exhibit A in the debate over whether some people should be killed for their crimes.

They want to strike while the iron is hot and force Wisconsin voters to the booths while Avery's alleged mutilation and murder of a young woman is fresh in their minds.

While that's a smart move for their cause, it's a poor one for the state as a whole.

Emotional thinking makes for bad decision-making. Knee-jerk reactions to public incidents have made for some bad law in the past —some provisions of the Patriot Act are the most recent example.

Making rash decisions in one's personal life is a no-no; the public sector is no different, and the death penalty is arguably the most serious issue in any state.

In a society in which human life is the ultimate value, the discussion of why, how and when to take it is a debate of the highest order. That doesn't mean it isn't a debate worth having, or that the public's opinion isn't one of the most important components of that debate. But just as taking one's temperature when feverish is not indicative of his or her overall health, asking a citizenry how it feels about punishing criminals while it watches a trial for a vicious murder is unfair and exploitative.

The death penalty in Wisconsin is a subject worth talking about. Just not now.
Source: Appleton Post Crescent Editorial - Editorial: Death-penalty vote would be knee-jerk reaction, March 9, 2006.
This is a class of argument both sides use when events force the discussion of an issue in a direction they do not like. I do not know for sure what the Appleton Post Crescent's stand on the death penalty is and have to assume they oppose the imposition of the death penalty. So, events force the discussion in a pro-death penalty direction and the Appleton Post Crescent complains.

Love that little shot at the Patriot Act. What a drive-by shooting that is!

There is a hole in the roof and it is raining, and the Appleton Post Crescent doesn't want to fix the hole until it stops raining. I would guess—despite their claims—that when it stops raining the Appleton Post Crescent will not bother attending to that leaky roof.