Archive for April, 2006
27 Apr 2006

Juan Non-Volokh Identity to be Revealed


Readers are being invited to post their guesses.


Hat Tip to Brian Hughes.

27 Apr 2006

Michelle’s Wrong on This One

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Michelle Malkin is posting this morning opposing amnesty for illegal aliens. Sorry, Michelle, I don’t agree with you for once.

Immigration policy is a classic example of the kind of issue America simply cannot handle rationally.

It’s just like Prohibition and Drug Control. Nice people want to have a drink themselves before dinner, but you know what problems result from letting those workingmen waste their paychecks on beer down at the saloon. Of course, we all smoked a little weed in our day, but how could we walk the streets safely if we didn’t imprison vast numbers of poor minority group members for drugs? Besides, we don’t want our children’s academic success compromised by experimenting with marijuana. They might become pothead slackers. Of course, we want our lawns mowed, and we naturally enjoy the low prices resulting from the availability of cheap labor, but we don’t want all those Mexicans all over the place. Can’t they just go home to Guadalajara when they’ve finished the yard work?

We have a fine tradition of hypocrisy in this country going right back to the Pilgrim Fathers who settled Massachusetts Bay. Americans want to have it both ways. We all want the hard work and the stoop labor done by somebody else. (We’re certainly not going to do it.) And we want affordable services from cheap labor. We just don’t want all those funny-looking riff raff foreigners hanging around spoiling our views. So we demand that the politicians get to work, and pass some laws, which we still really don’t want enforced.

When –as happened with Prohibition– the law proves impossible to enforce, and the law becomes a joke, the answer is to get rid of the law we’re all collaborating in breaking, not redouble our efforts to enforce the inconvenient law.

Illegal Latin Americans working in the United States are illegal because we have unrealistic immigration quotas (which fail to recognize our national need for labor), and the barrers are just too high. What Bush thinks in private, and at present doesn’t dare say out loud, is perfectly correct. We need to legalize the status of everybody already here, and we need to change the rules to make immigration easier to do legally. And don’t give me any of that sanctimonious statist stuff about how it’s wrong to “reward breaking the law.” We Americans have lots of stupid laws, and we break them all the time. Do you always drive 55 mph, Michelle?

This is a country that has major public debates over how we handle the Korans we supply to incarcerated terrorists, and you think we’re going to kick in doors, handcuff, and forcibly expel millions of hard-working people who are here doing all of our most unpleasant jobs at the lowest wages? It’s never going to happen, and – of course – it shouldn’t happen.

26 Apr 2006

Why Don’t We Just Hang Them?

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Black Jack Ketchum 1901

Today’s New York Times editorial mendaciously asserts that the widely-adopted contemporary approach to execution featuring lethal injection, like all other forms of capital punishment, is “unconstitutional.” The editorialist is clearly historically illiterate. They executed convicted felons in every single one of the 13 states at the time of the adoption of the Constitution.

The same authority ascribes cruelty to lethal injection, on the basis that Human Rights Watch has declared that “there is mounting evidence that prisoners may have experienced excruciating pain during their executions.” One wonders exacty what that mounting evidence might be, since no reports of executed murderers coming back to complain have been so far appeared in the newspapers.

But, if lethal injection is too cruel for liberals, there is an obvious answer.

26 Apr 2006

Looking at Global Warming

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Manga Author James D. Hudnall examines the problem, and concludes what’s going wrong is located not in the Earth’s atmosphere, but between the ears of a sizeable segment of the contemporary human community.

America became the pre-eminent super power after WWII with the invention of the atomic bomb. We used the bomb on two cities in Japan. Having killed so many people, so easily, had a double edged impact. It made people confident in American supremacy. It also made people afraid that it could happen to them. Then scare stories about the effects or radiation came out. Suddenly, the public came to worry that science had gone to far and we had opened a pandora’s box.

Popular culture began to churn out stories about mankind creating monsters by fooling around with science and the power of the atom. In addition to this, the holocaust forced the culture to look honesty at discrimination, which resulted in social upheavals in the form of various civil rights movements. The Vietnam war, the assassinations of John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, and Watergate made a generation question the government. People started looking for reasons to doubt everything because the reality they had previously accepted was thrown into turmoil.

Previous to all these events, most Americans had a positive view of their society. The Europeans looked at us favorably. But things began to change.

Around this time, the environmental movement began to form. Among the many causes they championed was the reduction in air pollution. The concern was what it was doing to people’s lungs. How it was effecting the environment. At some point the theory of the greenhouse effect was born, and it was considered mostly a good thing. Because CO2, a greenhouse gas, is beneficial to plant life. But then the environmental movement became a big money making machine. The EPA was formed by President Nixon and began to grow exponentially in size. To justify this, it found more and more excuses to engage in every aspect of society. Government grants to study environmental issues soon became a great way for scientists to make a living. A whole industry blossomed around it. To justify their grants, some scientists looked for things to scare politicians, so they could keep that grant money flowing.

The Green movement is ironically named.

And to keep the green rolling in, they had to concoct crises to frighten the public with. In the 1960s it was pesticides. In the 1970s it was Nuclear Power plants. In the 1980s it was the Ozone Hole. In 1990s it was global warming.



26 Apr 2006

Our Future: Flying Steerage-Class (Courtesy of Airbus)

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Yesterday’s Times reports Airbus has been trying to persuade Asian carriers that stand-up flying is the next solution to enhanced profitability.

Fausta denounces the idea.

And Airbus tells CNN, no, we wouldn’t think of such a thing, not us.

Perfidious, aren’t they?


Hat tip to Franco Alemán.

26 Apr 2006

German Brothel Threatened by Angry Muslims

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The sex industry, which is legal in Germany, is anticipating a bonanza of lonely customers from abroad, travelling to attend the World Cup soccer tournament taking place June 9 to July 9. So the Pascha Brothel in Cologne, which boasts of being the largest bordello in Europe and the only business of its kind to offer a money-back guarantee to dissatisfied customers, wanting to welcome customers from all 32 participating countries, placed a 9-story tall advertising poster on its high-rise building, featuring a smiling blonde removing her bikini, above the flags of all 32 countries, captioned with a paraphrased version of the official motto: “The World as a Guest Among Girlfriends.”

Well, the sons of the Prophet were not amused. The BBC reports that Brothel-owner Armid Lobscheid told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper that Muslim groups accused the brothel of insulting Islam:

He said they had accused the brothel of insulting Islam by using the flags.

First there were telephone threats of violence, then about 30 hooded protesters armed with knives and sticks turned up outside Pascha on Friday, the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper reported.

“The situation was explosive,” Mr Lobscheid told the paper.

“Some of the people compared our ad to the Danish Mohammed cartoons,” he said, referring to cartoons which sparked violent protests in several Muslim countries in February.

German brothel-keepers are no more courageous on the average than the management of Borders, of course, so the flags of first Saudi Arabia and later Iran were obligingly blacked out.

25 Apr 2006

Mary O. McCarthy: Another Clue

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Ray McGovern

It looked suspicious to me this morning when I read Rick Moran‘s explanation of just who is representing Mary O. McCarthy. The mere presence of that particular counsel suggested strong ties to the strategic and financial wellsprings of the democratic left.

We had already seen Larry Johnson, Rand Beers, and Larry Wilkerson rush to McCarthy’s defense. And now here comes no less than Ray McGovern himself, chief spokesman of VIPs, the public face of the Anti-Bush Intel Operation, defending her on PBS.


The ever-expanding roster of Pouting Spooks appearing out of the woodwork to defend La McCarthy’s God-given Constitutional right to register personal dissent from White House policies by dispensing National Security secrets to the Press would appear further to hint darkly about the lady’s personal and professional associations and ties.

Hat tip to AJStrata

25 Apr 2006

Leftism-Which-Astounds Award

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Today’s award for Leftism-which-Astounds goes to Keith Uhlich, who reviews films non-commercially (meaning nobody pays him) on several web-sites, including Slant Magazine. Uhlich did not like Universal Studios’ new 9/11 film United 93.

First of all, he didn’t like the film’s emotional direction.

It’s pornography, really, a kind of somber sub-Bruckheimer sideshow that stokes our anger instead of stroking our libidos, all building to an inexorable and anticlimactic cum shot—a sound-deprived descent into black—that does nothing more than empty us of any kind of constructive emotion. We’re constantly told to “never forget,” but on the evidence of United 93 I have to ask what it is, exactly, we’re being asked to remember beyond a Pavlovian sort of rage that constantly and deceptively folds back on itself?

But, worse:

while the stench of death and dread permeates every frame of United 93, it is nowhere near as strong as the stink of synergy. Certainly this isn’t the first Hollywood production done in by the competing corporate and personal interests that funded it (consider the unspoken implications—both commercial and propagandistic—of the film’s last-minute title change from Flight 93 to United 93), but it is the only one I’ve come across where the families of those onboard gave it their full-on approval. Not all the families, of course. All evidence suggests that the terrorists’ relatives were left entirely out of the creative process, an action which goes a way toward revealing the film’s hagiographic bias (how easy it then becomes to turn victims into heroes and adversaries into monsters) and points up the general ridiculousness of involving the families in the first place (too many cooks spoiling an already rancid broth).

What could be worse than a film which provokes emotions of sympathy for your own murdered countrymen, and indignation at the actions of fanatical mass murders? Films ought to be instructing the audience to identify with the viewpoint of the enemy, and blaming American corporations and the US Government. NYU obviously succeeded in training Mr. Uhlich to believe that the only proper response to enemy attack is treason.

Hat tip to LGF.

25 Apr 2006

Bible Rap

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Baby Got Book — Rap, Evangelical-Christian-style. I haven’t got much use for Religion or Rap personally, but thought it was funny.

25 Apr 2006

More McCarthy Background

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Hot Air has assembled a very handy primer of background information.

If she’s innocent, it seems a curious coincidence that she’s got such a high-powered democrat party defense attorney defending her.

H/T to Michelle Malkin.

25 Apr 2006

McCarthy Denies Leaking

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Washington Post reports that Mrs. McCarthy’s not guilty, and you can’t prosecute her successfully either, if she is.

A lawyer representing fired CIA officer Mary O. McCarthy said yesterday that his client did not leak any classified information and did not disclose to Washington Post reporter Dana Priest the existence of secret CIA-run prisons in Eastern Europe for suspected terrorists.

The statement by Ty Cobb, a lawyer in the Washington office of Hogan & Hartson who said he was speaking for McCarthy, came on the same day that a senior intelligence official said the agency is not asserting that McCarthy was a key source of Priest’s award-winning articles last year disclosing the agency’s secret prisons.

McCarthy was fired because the CIA concluded that she had undisclosed contacts with journalists, including Priest, in violation of a security agreement. That does not mean she revealed the existence of the prisons to Priest, Cobb said.

Cobb said that McCarthy, who worked in the CIA inspector general’s office, “did not have access to the information she is accused of leaking,” namely the classified information about any secret detention centers in Europe. Having unreported media contacts is not unheard of at the CIA but is a violation of the agency’s rules…

..Though McCarthy acknowledged having contact with reporters, a senior intelligence official confirmed yesterday that she is not believed to have played a central role in The Post’s reporting on the secret prisons. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing personnel matters…

..Where Cobb’s account and the CIA’s account differed yesterday is on whether McCarthy discussed any classified information with journalists. Intelligence sources said that the inspector general’s office was generally aware of a secret prison program but that McCarthy did not have access to specifics, such as prison locations…

..Thomas S. Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, a nongovernmental research institute at George Washington University, said he does not think the Post article includes the kind of operational details that a prosecutor would need to build a case.

“It’s the fact of the thing that they’re trying to keep secret, not to protect sources and methods, but to hide something controversial,” he said. “That seems like a hard prosecution to me.”

Kate Martin, executive director of the Center for National Security Studies, said that “even if the espionage statutes were read to apply to leaks of information, we would say the First Amendment prohibits criminalizing leaks of information which reveal wrongful or illegal activities by the government.”

And the New York Times unlimbers its Ouija Board and channels a warning from a Pouting Spook.

A criminal trial would be devastating for Langley,” said one former C.I.A. officer, referring to the agency’s Virginia headquarters. He spoke about a possible prosecution on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Well, they’ve double-dared Porter Goss and the Administration to try to do anything about the Press leaks and the Anti-Bush Intel Operation. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens next.

25 Apr 2006

Republican Lemmings Racing For the Cliff

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Today’s Wall Street Journal notes the disgraceful appropriation of the democrat party’s politics of envy by the current so-called Republican Congressional leadership. I don’t know exactly who was managing the candidate and leadership selection processes over the last several years, but it’s only too clear that the current Republican Congressional majority was built on a foundation of non-conservative opportunist politicos, who would make late unlamented Everett McKinley Dirksen and Charles A. Halleck (me-too Republican minority leaders of the early 1960s) seem like rock-ribbed examples of Conservative Republicanism. We’re facing an electoral disaster in November, and this Congressional leadership will deserve exactly what it gets.

Few things are less becoming in a political party than desperation, as Republicans are now demonstrating as they panic over rising oil and gas prices. If blaming private industry for Congress’s own energy mistakes is the best the GOP can do, no wonder its voters may sit out the November election.

Oil prices hit $75 a barrel last week, while gas has reached a national average of about $2.85 a gallon. The Republican response has been to put on Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi fright wigs and shout about corporate greed and market manipulation. House Speaker Denny Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist fired off a letter to President Bush yesterday demanding the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department investigate “price fixing” and “gouging.” Senator Arlen Specter wants to go further and impose stricter “antitrust” laws for oil companies, as well as a “windfall profits” tax. Mr. Hastert also delighted the class warriors in the press corps by lambasting recently retired Exxon CEO Lee Raymond’s pay “unconscionable.”

There’s been unconscionable behavior all right, most of it on Capitol Hill. A decent portion of the latest run-up in gas prices–and the entire cause of recent spot shortages–is the direct result of the energy bill Congress passed last summer. That self-serving legislation handed Congress’s friends in the ethanol lobby a mandate that forces drivers to use 7.5 billion gallons annually of that oxygenate by 2012.

24 Apr 2006

Anzac Day

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On April 25, 1915, soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Australia: 18.500 wounded and missing – 7,594 killed.
New Zealand : 5,150 wounded and missing – 2,431 killed.

Lest we forget.

George Lambert, Anzac the Landing, 1915

24 Apr 2006

The Wrath of the Elect

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I spend too much time every day arguing politics with college classmates via email. Reading some of today’s messages, I feel moved to ask: what is “liberalism,” really?

One could try to identify its ideological components, but it can be wildly inconsistent, and I think it is both more economical and more accurate simply to identify “liberalism” as identical to the consensus of the American elite, based upon the perspectives and assumptions, and the values and agenda, articulated by its own representatives in the establishment media.

Where the Right and the Left really disagree, I would contend, is on the credence, loyalty, and respect due to that consensus.

Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff, and prominent public spokesman of the Pouting Spooks Against the Bush Administration, went postal in the Baltimore Sun yesterday, denouncing George W. Bush as a Jacobin and a revolutionary, precisely because Bush has spurned the consensus of the elect.

I think Wilkerson’s editorial was ideationally confused and stylistically turgid, but his piece does, nonetheless, still eloquently and accurately express his own indignation, and that of his class, at the rejection by George W. Bush (and an alternative American leadership) of the intellectual consensus (and the organic process continually manufacturing it) on which both the very identity, and the basic mechanisms of perceiving reality, of the American establishment are based.

Wilkerson is right to feel that Bush and his associates have dared to enter the temple and lain violent hands upon the idols.

Wilkerson emoting earlier on the same theme.

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