:: ::


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:: Saturday, July 31, 2004 ::

This is classic...I promise!

Via Instapundit of course [>]

:: Max 11:55 PM [+] ::
House of Saud Lambasts Moore

The Saudi Royal Family breaks their silence and debunks Moore's ridiculous fantasy; point out that Saudis are a prime target for OBL undermining Moore's principle conspiracy theory.

Via Drudge [>]

:: Max 8:58 PM [+] ::
Allah be Praised--He's Alive

Iraq the Model welcomes Zeyad back to the blogosphere. His first post features a whole new flock of Iraqi bloggers--many of them teens.

Note: Iraq the Model is keeping tabs on the murderous bandits that have infiltrated his country. Omar's got some harsh words and interesting comments on the activities of the 'insurgents' who are attempting to destabilize Iraq. You'll never find a report like this on CNN [>]

:: Max 7:02 PM [+] ::
Oil For Fraud Update

Claudia Rosett, in her latest article, suggests OBL was financed by UN's Oil for Food Program. Is it really such a stretch?

Besides Claudia Rosett (who deserves a Pulitzer Prize), nobody, including the Feds, seem to be taking the Oil for Food scandal very seriously. Why?

:: Max 3:24 PM [+] ::
Zarqawi Captured?

Mudville Gazette links to Aljazeera who reports Abu Musab Zarqawi has possibly been captured on the Syrian border. This is hard to believe--other than Aljazeera, no mention of it in the main stream media. The Gazette also has a new Kerry photo caption contest. Give it your best 'shot' [>]

Update: US Command says reports of Zarqawi's capture are "unreliable". Denies he's been arrested.

:: Max 2:53 PM [+] ::
Moore Nabbed Falsifying Newspaper Headline

Small town newspaper, Pantagraph, disputes headline attributed to their front page, shown in Moore film--paper says they never ran it. The Media Drop has more [>]

Update: Drudge links to Editor & Publisher report that Pantagraph is suing Moore for copyright infringement citing "unauthorized...misleading" use and demanding an apology.

:: Max 11:48 AM [+] ::
Jeff Jarvis critiques the Bloggers performance at the Democratic National Convention--and the "Big Story" everybody missed.

:: Max 11:38 AM [+] ::

Kerry 'dissed' by "A Few Good Men"

:: Max 11:26 AM [+] ::

Hacking RFID Chips

Radio Frequency ID chips, those increasingly ubiquitous chips found in some consumer products make inventory control a breeze for retailers, but of course, there's a glitch. Hackers have found a way to reprogram RFIDs using PDA's:

A would-be scofflaw heads into a grocery store where all the products have RFID tags on them. Rather than paying $7 for a bottle of shampoo, he'd rather pay $3. To make that happen, he whips out a PDA equipped with an RFID reader and scans the tag on the shampoo. He replaces that information with data from the tag on a $3 carton of milk and uploads it to the shampoo bottle tag. When he reaches the check-out stand--which just happens to be automated--he gets charged $3 instead of $7, with the store's computer systems none the wiser.

Industry is catching on, making RFID's more secure but I'm betting hackers will continue to 'end-run' new technology.

Forbes via Wired [>]

:: Max 10:35 AM [+] ::

"built to withstand a 1 MEGATON blast within 3,000 feet and survive!"

Defenstech reports Titan II Missile complex featured on Ebay auction--what a country.

:: Max 10:20 AM [+] ::
Oil for Fraud Update via Instapundit [>]

:: Max 9:09 AM [+] ::
Zell Miller, the Republican's favorite Democrat hammers Kerry and Edwards:

Today, it's the Democratic Party that has mastered the art of division and diversion. To run for president as a Democrat these days you have to go from interest group to interest group, cap in hand, asking for the support of liberal kingmakers. Mr. Kerry is no different. After Hollywood elites profaned the president, he didn't have the courage to put them in their place. Instead, he validated their remarks, claiming that they represent "the heart and soul of America."

No longer the party of hope, today's Democratic Party has become Mr. Kerry's many mansions of cynicism and skepticism. As our economy continues to get better and businesses add jobs, Mr. Kerry's going around America trying to convince people that the roof is about to cave in. He talks about "the misery index" and the Depression. What does he know about either?

And when it comes to taxes and services, you'd be pressed to find anyone more opposed to the interests of middle-class Americans than John Kerry. Except maybe John Edwards. Both voted against tax relief for married couples, tax relief for families with children, and tax relief for small businesses. Now Mr. Kerry wants to raise taxes on hundreds of thousands of small-business owners and millions of individuals. He claims to be for working people, but I don't understand how small businesses can create jobs if they've got to send more money to Washington instead of keeping it to hire workers.

Worst of all, Sens. Kerry and Edwards have not kept faith with the men and women who are fighting the war on terror--most of whom come from small towns and middle-class families all over America. While Mr. Bush has stood by our troops every step of the way, Messrs. Kerry and Edwards voted to send our troops to war and then voted against the money to give them supplies and equipment--not to mention better benefits for their families. And recently Mr. Kerry even said he's proud of that vote. Proud to abandon our troops when they're out in the field? I can hear Harry Truman cussing from his grave.

Zell nails it--Kerry and Edwards really are just opportunistic, pretentious phonies. Read the whole thing [>]

:: Max 8:14 AM [+] ::
Crude Oil Prices Surge to New Record Highs

This surge is interesting because, although there is no current disruption in supplies, the market seems to be anticipating a shortage. This is a bad news for the recovery, the deficit, inflation and if the trend is not reversed, Bush's chance for re-election.

Update I: Global Guerrillas extrapolates [>]

Update II: Alan Greenspan suggests the recent surge in oil prices is merely 'transitory'. Tech Central's Desmond Lachman says the Fed Chairman will have to rethink interest rate increases if oil prices prove to be something less than 'transitory' [>]

:: Max 7:53 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, July 30, 2004 ::
Dead Cat Bounce

Although the fawning liberal press has decided Kerry's speech was a hit, the Iowa Electronic Market says otherwise:

07/29/04 DEM04 0.490 (Kerry)
07/29/04 REP04 0.500 (Bush)

He'll get a little bounce but I suspect not the five points many pundits are predicting.

:: Max 8:44 PM [+] ::
New Democrats Smack Moore

The bad guys (conservatives) are winning, warns Moore, despite the fact that America is really "a liberal-majority nation" -- scores of polls to the contrary notwithstanding. America has, among other things, a "love affair with homosexuality," he writes -- another example of Moore's specious reasoning. By positing the opposite of what all the evidence suggests, he seeks to discredit the evidence. His writing sometimes comes close to the method known as the Big Lie.

This is a very good critique of Moore's MO--via Instapundit [>]

Powerline also has a nice Moore fragging:

Moore's movie has been heavily promoted by Fidel Castro; it has played to packed movie theatres all over Cuba, and now has been broadcast in prime time on Cuba's state-owned television network. Castro has endorsed Fahrenheit 9/11, and he recently drew laughs by quoting Moore's book Stupid White Men in a speech.

Moore's blatant propaganda film is also gaining a wide audience in the middle east. All it proves is Moore's willingness to enrich himself at the expense of the men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq which seems the penultimate irony; Moore's accomplishing exactly that of which he accuses George W. Bush.

:: Max 7:33 PM [+] ::
Berger Update

Winds of Change has a major recap of the Docs-in-Socs scandal. Bookmark it.

Via Instapundit [>]

:: Max 10:10 AM [+] ::
Dem Convention Tickets Oversold

P Diddy shares skybox with Hillary as hundreds of ticket-holders, some of them "glamorous and important people", fumed outside locked convention doors.

:: Max 9:51 AM [+] ::
Reaction to Kerry's Speech

Thomas Oliphant, Boston Globe: "a golden opportunity slipped away"; John Podhoretz, New York Post: "speech...was spectacularly disingenuous"; Washington Post Editorial: "Missed Opportunity" NROs, Jed Babbin "God help us--he may be the 44th President of the United States"

Via RCP [>]

:: Max 8:55 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, July 29, 2004 ::
Guess who just got his big, fat credentials to the Republican National Convention:

You guessed it.

:: Max 11:01 AM [+] ::
"Those damned American soldiers doing their humanitarian work! How dare they!"

:: Max 10:51 AM [+] ::
Jews Fleeing France

The French have done little to clamp-down on rampant anti-semitism so this should be no big surprise [>]

Via Drudge [>]

:: Max 9:44 AM [+] ::

Courtesy of Allahpundit Via Powerline

Bunnysuitgate update: Townhall comments on 'Bubble-Boy' and it appears Kerry's lawyers have invoked the Hatch Act forcing NASA to remove the Dukakisesque pics from their website. The Hatch Act?!

Too Late:

:: Max 9:34 AM [+] ::
85% of African Americans Believe '00 Election was 'Stolen'

Dems pander to Black Americans--AEI's John R. Lott comments on the myth of the stolen election. [>]

Via RCP [>]

:: Max 8:57 AM [+] ::
Stacks of Tapes 'Languished' on FBI Shelves

New revelations in the docs-in-socs scandal indicate Sandy Berger filched memos by FBI officials who complained they didn't have enough Arab speaking translators to decipher hours of bugged telephone conversations between Afghan terrorists and a Brooklyn Mosque.

If this is true, seems to me Richard Clark, Sandy Berger and Bill Clinton all have some real culpability--maybe that's why they're so aggressively pushing the blame on the Bush administration. Obviously, in view of these new allegations, had Clinton's National Security team been more proactive, 9-11 might have been avoided.

Of course, Bush's critics will point out that had Clinton not been subjected to Ken Starr's 'witch-hunt', he might have devoted more time to National security matters.

Update: Larry Elder comments on the media coverup of the Sandy Berger Scandal.

:: Max 8:27 AM [+] ::
Kerry Retains Joe Wilson

Joe Wilson is defiant--continues to serve as Kerry Campaign advisor depite being "totally discredited" by bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report. Town Hall has more [>]

:: Max 8:17 AM [+] ::
NRO's Donald Luskin comments on the New York Times liberal bias, manhandling Dan Okrent in the process.

:: Max 7:59 AM [+] ::
"who the hell is Steve Bing?"

ABC Via Drudge [>]

:: Max 7:50 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, July 28, 2004 ::
Convention Blogging

Matt Welch and Tim Blair are reporting from the front lines. Matt has a particularly nice assesment of last night's speechifying and Tim comments on the celebs. By all means, drop in [>]

:: Max 6:21 AM [+] ::
Crude Hits 21 Year Record High

Geez...whadaya think the odds are that three 'crude units', in Germany, Japan and the Netherlands, all have nearly simultaneous 'fires' that cut their production capacities? Just a coincidence? Probably, but it's an eery harbinger of those who speculate that terrorists are targeting the oil production infrastructure. Whatever the reason, oil at $42.00 per bbl cannot be good for Bush's economic recovery--it'll fan the flames of inflation triggering the fed to raise interest rates quicker than expected.

:: Max 5:41 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, July 27, 2004 ::
The Daily Ablution chronicles the UKs decent into the abyss of unbridled liberalism. I've come to think of it as a guilty pleasure.

:: Max 8:41 PM [+] ::
Realtime Punditry

It's always a gas to check in with the brain trust at NROs The Corner. Go ahead, listen over their shoulders as they deconstruct the Democratic Convention--in real time. Ain't technology wonderful?

:: Max 8:25 PM [+] ::

Jeff Jarvis comments on the Dems perennial pandering:

Am I the only one who noted how far out of their way the DNC went to find a Muslim woman to speak on behalf of the families of victims of 9/11 last night?

Of course, I don't mean to devalue her sacrifice and suffering one bit or her right to speak on behalf of fellow victims.

But the DNC turned an important moment into a moment of politically correct tokenism.

But wouldn't the DNC have been wise to at least find a fireman's widow, too?

I'm still baffled that intelligent people fall for this old Democrat routine...curious. Incidentally, Jarvis' BuzzMachine is one of the really great blogs--if you're not doing so already, check in frequently.

Note: I've got the convention on in the background and Gephart's speech is a cringing mess (hey...Prairiewife...turn him OFF!).

Note Note: Can't decide who sounded more like a stack of china hitting the floor--Gephart or Daschle--jeez, my hair hurts.

Note Note Note: Uh oh...Howard Dean just took the podium...

:: Max 7:37 PM [+] ::
C'mon Matt, we gotta have the pictures--seriously--tell me you didn't space-out your digital camera!?

:: Max 7:03 PM [+] ::

Lets see, there are 8-16 oz. bottles in a gallon (128 oz.) so, at $3.00/16 oz. bottle, water at the Democratic National Convention is selling for $24.00 per gallon! Check the Johns, they're probably lapping it out of the stools...hmmm...that is apparently not an option.

:: Max 6:29 PM [+] ::
Step out of the Democratic National convention and into the Republican 'War Room' [>]

:: Max 6:25 PM [+] ::
My Favorite Ohio Delegate (he fits right in) [>]

:: Max 6:19 PM [+] ::
Google IPO Nontraditional

Google to test Dutch Auction in it's initial public offering. Dutch auctions differ from traditional allocation methods which favor large, institutional buyers. Forbes has more. While your at it, you might want to breeze through a related Forbes article on the impending Google offering: Beware the Monster IPO.

:: Max 5:59 PM [+] ::
Nader to Crash the Bash

"I would like to see the bazaar. I'd like to see the alcoholic-musical-political payoff bazaar of accounts receivable," Nader said. "I would like to be there at the convention to watch. I will try to get credentials... I may try as a syndicated columnist, which I've been for 35 years. Let's see if they are against reporters."

It would seem to me that Nader's Socialist/Liberal 'credentials' are unimpeachable. It'll be fun to see if he can get in the front door.

:: Max 5:52 PM [+] ::
Loser Update

Know who Jimmy Carter sat next to last night? Find the not-so-surprising answer here [>]

Via Powerline [>]

:: Max 9:54 AM [+] ::
Unfinished Business: Joe Wilson and Sandy Berger

The Opinion Journal has a nice follow-up on Sandy Berger's doc's-in'socs scandal and Investor's Business Daily ties-up some loose ends on the Wilson-Plame affair.

Via RealClearPolitics [>]

:: Max 9:31 AM [+] ::
Kerry warns Blacks: In the last election, a million African-Americans nationwide had their votes stolen and, gosh darn it, I won't let it happen again!

The Dems are agitating their African American base by continuing to suggest the 2000 election was heisted by George W. Bush, Katherine Harris and brother Jeb who 'stole' their votes--and they apparently believe it. The purpose of perpetuating this ridiculous myth is clear; to create a Michael Moore style conspiracy hysteria in the black population. McAuliffe and the DNC are hoping the strategy works because Black voters have been given few other reasons to vote for Kerry and Edwards. The WSJ Opinion Journal has more on this and how electronic voting figures into the mix. [>]

:: Max 9:09 AM [+] ::
Democrats Unified by Hate

Jonah Goldberg identifies the unification principle of the Democratic base; they all hate Bush--but they don't like Kerry:

Everyone from the patchouli-soaked activists with open-toed shoes and closed minds to the button-down blue dogs are holding hands and singing kumbaya for one reason: They hate George W. Bush.

Not only is this is an odd motivation for a party that demands that "hatred" be literally outlawed (though hate crimes aimed at Republicans aren't really hate crimes--that's merely "speaking truth to power" or some such). Such unity is particularly shocking because nobody likes Kerry. Delegates still talk about Bill Clinton like he's family; they talk about Kerry like he's the professor of a class they never took.

It is difficult to find a Democrat or a liberal journalist who truly likes Kerry--and some of these people adored such human toothaches as Al Gore and Michael Dukakis. This is the unspoken secret of this convention and campaign. For more than a year, New Hampshire voters--who knew Kerry well--rejected him entirely.

The Dems have closed ranks and are marching in lockstep. It will be interesting to see if the Republicans are equally as disciplined.

:: Max 8:43 AM [+] ::

Security Update: Mydoom's Back!

How to avoid MyDoom

Here is some basic care you must take to keep your computer safe.

The virus comes as an attachment to what is seemingly a bounced message sent from an infected computer's e-mail account. It invites a user to open the attachment to see why the message never reached its destination. Do not open the attachment because this will launch the virus. Security experts generally advise computer users to avoid opening any e-mail attachment unless it is sent by a trusted person and it was expected.

Make sure that your anti-virus software is current. Most anti-virus providers update their software to be on the lookout for this version of MyDoom.
If you open the attachment and the anti-virus software is not updated -- or you just don't have any anti-virus software installed -- your computer will be infected. If this happens, immediately download, install and run one of the free tools offered by several Internet security companies like Network Associates's McAfee.com http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/, F-Secure Inc. http://www.f-secure.com/v-descs/mydoom_m.shtml, Symantec http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/w32.mydoom.m@mm.html and Trend Micro http://www.trendmicro.com/download/dcs.asp.

:: Max 8:38 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, July 26, 2004 ::
"Once countries get a reputation for being thoroughly toothless people stop paying attention to their threats."

The Belmont Club--need I say more? [>]

:: Max 7:00 PM [+] ::
More Convention Blogging

The New Republic also has a great convention blog. Check it out [>]

Update: Daniel Drezner's page is loaded with convetion blogging links and opinions. One of the more interesting observations is that big-time journalism is using the blog format in their coverage of the convention. Blogger Josh Marshall writes:

I buzzed by the MSNBC convention coverage site (probably through the ad link they're running on this and other blogs) and was flabbergasted to see that they've absorbed the blogging model to something like a mind-bending degree....

I've never been much for the blog triumphalism that seems always to be so much a part of the blog universe. Blogs make up a small, specialized niche within the interdependent media ecosystem -- mainly not producers but primary or usually secondary consumers -- like small field mice, ferrets, or bats.

When I see the mainest of mainstream outfits buying into the concept or the model I really don't know what to think. The best way I can describe my reaction is some mix of puzzlement and incredulity.

They're so predictable.

:: Max 5:50 PM [+] ::
Good News From Afghanistan

In his continuing series, Arthur Chrenkoff has another 'biggie-sized' post on Good news from Afghanistan Part 2. The Wall Street Journal thinks so much of Chrenkoff's work, they've featured it again in the online Opinion Journal. There is a tremendous amount of research here; don't miss it.

:: Max 5:03 PM [+] ::
Best State Delegate Title: The KerryOkies

Via Team Blogger coverage from the Democratic National Convention: Matt Welch and Tim Blair in Boston [>]

Update: This is a great resource if you looking for scuttlebutt from the convention floor--just keep scrolling.

:: Max 4:55 PM [+] ::
Coulter Mouths Off

This is why I'm not a big fan of Ann Coulter. She's probably very intelligent and could be humorous if she weren't so flippant and snarky. Instead of simply throwing around sophmoric insults, she could utilize her edgey satire to articulate her conservative position. Too often though, she just comes off as tasteless if not as unhinged as Michael Moore or Stuart Smalley.

As a Conservative/Libertarian, I'm not sure what I get, philosophically or intellectually, out of this kind of hysterical screed--and I don't find it particularly humorous either [>]

:: Max 4:27 PM [+] ::
Reinventing the Convention

Jeff Jarvis has some compelling insights, a manifesto actually, regarding the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Although it's true the contemporary conventions bear little resemblance to those of the past, they still serve the purpose of pulling together the party faithful for a massive pep-rally prior to the impending Presidential election. Although this 'sanitized' version is devoid of the 'smoke-filled' rooms and brokered deals that veteran journalists crave, the new conventions are simply a great excuse for the party to party. To this extent, the political conventions aren't unlike, say, Toyota's national dealership convention--complete with motivational speakers and elaborate power-point presentations proclaiming the virtues of it's latest product. The difference, of course, being that Toyota at least has a new product.

Are the conventions newsworthy? Probably only to the attendees, big-time journalists and micro-pundits like me who consider the American political process high sport. Will it change anytime soon? Probably not. With the exception of their votes, the last thing either the controlling forces of the Republicans or Democratic party want is meaningful 'people' participation--it's way too unpredictable (God forbid either party would end up with a living, breathing, human candidate--a populists like, say, Howard Dean or John McCain).

:: Max 2:25 PM [+] ::
The Washington Post is holding a Best Blogs Politics and Elections contest. Nominations start July 26th. Go here to nominate your favorite political blog [>]

Via Jeff Jarvis [>]

:: Max 2:12 PM [+] ::
New twist in Berger scandal: What did Sandy bring into the National Archives?

:: Max 12:09 PM [+] ::
Man of the People

Kerry by contrast is master and commander of no fewer than five lavish mansions, all large, and all on the priciest real estate, where property values boggle the mind: There is the $3.7 million mansion in Fox Chapel, Pa., on a 90-acre estate with a pool and a carriage house; the $6.9 million town house on Beacon Hill back in Boston; the $9.1 million waterfront house on Nantucket Island; and a $5 million ski chalet in Ketchum, Idaho, built from a 15th-century barn discovered in England that was then taken apart, shipped to America, and reassembled stone by stone. When they want to live simply, the Heinz Kerrys make do with a 23-room town house in Georgetown, almost three times the size of the one that the Kennedys lived in, and worth a mere $4.7 million. To go back and forth between all of these places, the Kerrys have the deluxe model of the Gulfstream V private jet, which retails for about $35 million.

Noemie Emery in The Weekly Standard [>]

:: Max 11:15 AM [+] ::
Looking out the rear window--Mark Steyn on Kerry's approach to the War on Terrorism:

What matters is where we're headed, not where we were. And, in that respect, John Kerry is still looking through the rear window. Not so much because of his remarkably poor choice of advisers -- Joe Wilson (the Politics Of Truth fraud), Max Cleland (with his schoolyard cries of "Liar, liar!") and Sandy Berger (with his pants on fire) -- but because Kerry's prescriptions (the U.N., the French) are so Sept. 10. A holiday from history is one thing. The Democrats are now embarked on a holiday from reality.

Chicago Sun Times Via RCP [>]

:: Max 11:00 AM [+] ::
Blogger's Convention Coverage

WSJ Opinion Journal has an article on bloggers at the Democratic National Convention. Hopefully, we'll get a broader perspective from the blogosphere than we've come to expect from the talking heads. It's unfortunate both conventions have been 'sanitized'--bloggers or not, there will probably be very little in the way of big surprises at either event.

:: Max 10:43 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, July 25, 2004 ::
More...umm...crushing of dissent:

Dems force removal of Al Jazeera banner at their convention (go figure) [>]

:: Max 8:52 PM [+] ::
Poles unimpressed with Moore's "Propaganda"; Critics label it "a foul pamphlet"

BBC via Instapundit [>]

:: Max 2:16 PM [+] ::
DNC Convention Update

It's Terrorism the economy stupid [>]

If the buggars manage to pull-off another massive terrorist attack in the US, as the 911 Commission suggest is immanent, the delegates to the Democratic National convention will be kind of right--the US economy will tank into another terror-triggered recession, pulling the plug on the recent recovery fueling much higher Federal deficits. Hope Kerry and Edwards aren't too busy gladhanding their loony base to have at least glanced at the commission's report--it's the economics of terrorism stupid.

:: Max 1:39 PM [+] ::
Honora Howell Chapman locks Michael Moore in the Wayback Machine and spins the dial:

July 21, 2004
Fahrenheit A.D. 467
Apologies to Ray Bradbury
by Honora Howell Chapman
Private Papers

I have an idea: let's send Michael Moore with his camera in a time machine back to fifth-century Britannia, decades after the Romans have stopped replenishing troops there, so that he can reveal the tragic consequences of Britons befriending Saxons (à la the Bushes and the Saudis with bin Laden clan) initially in order to fight off nasty Picts descending from Scotland to the north. ("Pict" is Latin for "painted.") Imagine the conspiracy theories Moore could conjure up for our viewing pleasure, e.g., Unocal in cahoots with the Picts actually funded the building of Hadrian's Wall-he has the incriminating tablets! Also, picture Moore slipping north beyond the wall, with unkempt hair, smeared and tattooed with the blue dye of the woad plant. Not a pretty sight-actually, pretty darn terrifying.

V.D. Hanson's Private Papers is always a must read--go there now [>]

:: Max 1:26 PM [+] ::
Loon Update [>]

:: Max 1:11 AM [+] ::
What do gun control and DNA have in common? Samizdata.

Just keep scrolling [>]

:: Max 12:52 AM [+] ::
Islamofascists Threaten Aussies:

"We call upon you to leave Iraq before your country turns to pools of blood... We will shake the earth under your feet as we did in Indonesia, and lines of car bombs will not cease, God willing."

I don't know that the Australians are as easily intimidated as the Philippinos or Spanish...they've got a better grip on the big picture.

Via Arthur Chrenkoff [>]

Update: Australian FM blames Philippines/Spain for new spate of kidnappings [>]

:: Max 12:22 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, July 24, 2004 ::
Political Influence and the Power of Blogs

Daniel Drezner and Henry Ferral present to the American Political Science Association "The Power and Politics of Blogs". The abstract:

Weblogs occupy an increasingly important place in American politics. Their influence presents a puzzle: given the disparity in resource and oganisation vis-a-vis other actors, how can a collection of decentralized, non-profit, contrarian, and discordant websites excercise any influence over political and policy outputs? This paper answers that question by focusing on two important aspects of the "blogosphere"; the distribution of readers across the array of blogs, and the interactions between significant blogs and traditional media outlets. Under specific circumstances--when key weblogs focus on a new or neglected issue--blogs can socially construct an agenda or interpretive frame that acts as a focal point for mainstream media, shaping and constraining the larger political debate.

Drezner and Ferral's paper amounts to a manifesto. For those who are comfortable utilizing the world wide web for information gathering and knowledge acquisition, a three network information source with 20 minutes of agendized 'push' journalism daily is simply anachronistic. To continue to rely entirely on such a narrow band of opinion seems, frankly, incomprehensible and lazy. The other shoe is dropping on Rather, Brokaw and Jennings and it looks as if they'll be the last to know.

Good riddance.

:: Max 11:39 PM [+] ::
Lewinsky bin Laden Link?

I know what your thinking but no, it really is mentioned in the 911 Commission Report...I swear [>]

:: Max 5:55 PM [+] ::
Almost Free Long Distance Calling

I discovered Skype P2P telephony on Jeff Jarvis' blog. After downloading the free software, I fooled around with it but haven't really tapped into it's potential.

Skype has just announced it's signed 4 carrier aggreements that will allow pre-paid subscribers using Skype software to call any telephone in the world from a computer. All you need is a PC, a microphone and headset. Costs are said to be as little as 2 cents a minute.

If you've got the software, you can call any other Skype user for free. The biggest problem I'm having is getting family members and friends to download and install the software--and of course, they also have to be online to accept your call. Here's the Reuters article[>]

:: Max 1:37 PM [+] ::
Security Update: bin Laden Trojan

:: Max 1:28 PM [+] ::
Lehman's Grave Warning

Suggesting the two nations are sitting atop a fault line between secularism and fundamentalism, Mr. Lehman pondered what grave consequences would result should either tip toward the latter. "In the case of Saudi Arabia, it could well lead to a total cutoff of oil," he said. "In Pakistan, they have hundreds of nuclear weapons."

Very serious indeed. Read the whole thing [>]

:: Max 8:44 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, July 23, 2004 ::
Urgent: Terminator, Batman, 007 Call Home

Islamofascists planning the 'Big One'?

:: Max 10:28 PM [+] ::
Lightspeed Puditry

Bloggers claim access.

CNN reports bloggers are 'new breed of political observers'; are granted coveted access to both political conventions. In a related story, CBS Anchor Dan Rather found drunk in a Boston hotel room with a rubber hanging out his ass....


:: Max 8:17 PM [+] ::
Bush Twins Open Their Mouths and 'Leave no Doubt'

Wonkette is all over the Bush twin's sophomoric online 'chat'. This travesty makes Chelsea Clinton look like Stephan Hawking for Christ's sake.


:: Max 7:56 PM [+] ::
Elastic Electorate

Speaking of red and blue States, check-out this torturous silly-putty map of the American electorate.

:: Max 7:32 PM [+] ::
You Said a Mouthful

Until recently, Kerry had the entire Clinton national security team on board. Sandy Berger, one-time head of the National Security Council, stepped aside earlier this week when questions were raised about classified documents he took from the National Archives

Sleep with the Devil and you'll likely wake up with a little Clinton DNA on your Blue State dress...

:: Max 7:21 PM [+] ::
Thanks for the Help Bubba

"And here Clinton is defending him by saying mistakes like these are just plain funny because they're so typical. Berger steals documents in the lead-up the 9/11 Commission hearings because - according to his lawyer! - he was too distracted stealing notes that he couldn't keep things straight. And Bill Clinton is laughing it off. Why? Because that's so like Sandy! He was always a slob with vital national security documents.

Mr. Berger has been a top advisor to the Kerry campaign. He resigned this week to stem the damage to the Democrats. But why didn't Berger tell Kerry he was being investigated? I guess being investigated by the Justice Department for his chicanery is as laughable - and therefore trivial - a subject as losing "password" class documents and sneaking past armed guards with notes crammed into your pants.

With friends like Clinton....

Jonah Goldberg in Townhall.com [>]

:: Max 7:09 PM [+] ::
911 Commission Report Debunks Michael Moore Claim

(1) Did any flights of Saudi nationals take place before national airspace reopened on September 13, 2001?

(2) Was there any political intervention to facilitate the departure of Saudi nationals?

(3) Did the FBI screen Saudi nationals thoroughly before their departure?

First, we found no evidence that any flights of Saudi nationals, domestic or international, took place before the reopening of national airspace on the morning of September 13, 2001. To the contrary, every flight we have identified occurred after national airspace reopened. Second, we found no evidence of political intervention.We found no evidence that anyone at the White House above the level of Richard Clarke participated in a decision on the departure of Saudi nationals.[emphasis mine. ed]


Third,we believe that the FBI conducted a satisfactory screening of Saudi nationals who left the United States on charter flights. The Saudi government was advised of and agreed to the FBI’s requirements that passengers be identified and checked against various databases before the flights departed.


Moore unbunked via Jeff Jarvis [>]

:: Max 3:36 PM [+] ::
Step Into The Wayback Machine

President Clinton has defended his National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, against demands for him to resign over the alleged theft by China of US nuclear secrets.

Eighty opposition Republicans earlier wrote to Mr Clinton saying they wanted Mr Berger to resign.

"Mr Berger has failed in his responsibility as this nation's national security advisor by not properly informing you of the most serious espionage ever committed against the United States," the lawmakers said in the letter.

They said he knew of concerns about Chinese espionage, but delayed taking action.


Newsfeed via Instapundit [>]

:: Max 3:23 PM [+] ::
"Much Ado" my ass

Eleanor Clift has obviously been into the cooking Sherry [>]

:: Max 2:20 PM [+] ::
Shut up and sing update [>]

:: Max 12:33 PM [+] ::
Blogger's Berger Analysis

"Home on jam"

Belmont Club has a typically triangulated assesment of the Berger caper speculating mysterious forces might be at work behind the scenes, creating decoys that misdirect attention from the real target.

"Original Copy"

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Blogosphere, mystery writer Roger Simon points out that a handwritten note on the margin of a 'Xerox' magically converts the 'copy' into an original.

Stay tuned.

:: Max 11:39 AM [+] ::
Missing in Action

Iraqi blogger Zeyad hasn't posted since July 3rd. Hope he's just slacking and not the victim of foul-play. As the PA and Iraqi security forces tighten the noose, the Baathists and foreign-born insurgents are becomming far less tolerant of any Iraqi who supports Democratization and the locals are terrified; these correspondents are truly risking life and limb to get the news out.

Iraq the Model has more [>]

:: Max 11:18 AM [+] ::
Convention Coverage--What to Expect

The Media Research Center has a top-notch shakedown of what to expect from the talking heads in their upcomming convention coverage. The article is largely an historical analysis of past conventions and is accompanied by statistical data contrasting differences in the way the two parties are traditionally covered. The only real change this year is that networks are limiting their coverage to 3 hours, virtually eliminating key speeches while allotting more time for Rather & Co. to pontificate:

And journalists are becoming a bigger part of the story. This year, the broadcast networks will offer just three hours of live coverage for each party. That means the average voter--one who doesn't spend the week watching cable--will hear far more from TV talking heads on the regular morning and evening news shows than from politicians giving prime time speeches.

That's not a neutral shift: As the coverage includes less of the actual convention, the liberally-skewed analysis of network reporters becomes even more dominant than in previous years.

I'll likely miss the network propaganda coverage this year because I have to...paint the fence...clean the closet...have my roots planed.

:: Max 10:54 AM [+] ::
MoDo happily submits to yet another fine Fisking. This time, she's in the capable hands of VodkaPundit.

('oooh--stop it again!').

Via Pejmanesque [>]

:: Max 10:13 AM [+] ::
The Belgravia Dispatch deconstructs the Times handling of Berger. Not that there could be any doubt left regarding the Times dishonesty, but it's refreshing to see their spin unspun by a talented blogger. Check it out [>]

:: Max 8:37 AM [+] ::
CBS: Democratic Party Shills

After completely ignoring a spate of damning revelations against prominent Bush critic Joseph Wilson, Dan Rather and his CBS colleagues are consigning another hot news item to their dust bin. After dismissing the scandal surrounding former Clinton intelligence official Sandy Berger's removal of classified material from the National Archives on Tuesday as a smear job, CBS hasn't run a story about it since.

Considered in light of the fact that CBS has not run a single report on corruption within the United Nations' oil-for-food program or about Sept. 11 commission member Jamie Gorelick while at the same time "flooding the zone" with over 80 stories about Iraqi prisoner abuse and 29 on Wilson's accusations of Republican malfeasance, Rather and company's disregard for the Berger story and newfound disinterest in the former ambassador are making it harder and harder not to think that CBS News should really call itself CBS Views.

Rather is still playing by the old rules and makes him look like a moron.

Via Ratherbiased [>]

:: Max 8:30 AM [+] ::
Big Surprise--Press Spins Berger Scandal

Press hammers Condoleeza Rice on document theft investigation: 'What did you know and when did you know it?'

Or how about this whopper: Bush Aides Knew!

And of course, this one might as well be titled: Lieing Administration Lied--Top Secret Papers Still Missing!

They are so utterly predictable.

:: Max 7:42 AM [+] ::
Conservative Protest Comandos Agitate Kerrey--911 Commissioner Spouts Expletives [>]

:: Max 7:14 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, July 22, 2004 ::
Lileks Weighs In
Fine. That's how they want it, that's how it'll go. So, Sen. Kerry: Did your "informal" adviser tell you what was in the memos? Did he tell you he'd taken them? Did you know about the investigation before it was leaked, and did you keep Berger on as an "informal" adviser anyway?

What did you know, and when did you know it?

Ah, the magic invocation, the recipe for Washington's favorite dish: piping hot scandal. Expect Bergergate splashed all over your front page, making headlines for weeks to come! Providing you live in an alternate dimension, of course, a place where the press isn't actively pulling for Kerry, that is.

Here on Earth? A non-story by August. It's not important.

C'mon, 'fess up: Wouldn't you rather look at John Edwards' hair for four years than Dick Cheney's? All right, then.

Lileks is right...here's your New York Times headline: 'Bush Administration Focus of Berger Leak Investigation--Top Secret Documents Still Missing'

:: Max 1:10 PM [+] ::
Middle Easterners Probing Airline Security
A second pilot said that, on one of his recent flights, an air marshal forced his way into the lavatory at the front of his plane after a man of Middle Eastern descent locked himself in for a long period.

The marshal found the mirror had been removed and the man was attempting to break through the wall. The cockpit was on the other side. The second pilot said terrorists are "absolutely" testing security.

Via Powerline [>]

:: Max 10:58 AM [+] ::
"stuffing his pockets with papers as he left"

So my question is: Did Berger, who knew that he was under scrutiny since last fall, alert Kerry to the combustible fact that he was the subject of a criminal probe by the Justice Department and the FBI? My guess is not. Kerry is far too smart, too responsible to have kept him around had he known. But if Kerry didn't know, it tells you a lot about Berger, too much, really. A more important question, of course, is: What was contained in the papers that Berger snatched? The answer to that question might answer another. Maybe Clinton's top national security aide didn't want others to see what they documented.

TNR Must Read [>]

:: Max 10:46 AM [+] ::
Instapundit has all the good stuff:

Last Oct. 2, former Clinton national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger stayed huddled over papers at the National Archives until 8 p.m.

What he did not know as he labored through that long Thursday was that the same Archives employees who were solicitously retrieving documents for him were also watching their important visitor with a suspicious eye.

After Berger's previous visit, in September, Archives officials believed documents were missing. This time, they specially coded the papers to more easily tell whether some disappeared, said government officials and legal sources familiar with the case. . . .

The government source said the Archives employees were deferential toward Berger, given his prominence, but were worried when he returned to view more documents on Oct. 2. They devised a coding system and marked the documents they knew Berger was interested in canvassing, and watched him carefully. They knew he was interested in all the versions of the millennium review, some of which bore handwritten notes from Clinton-era officials who had reviewed them. At one point an Archives employee even handed Berger a coded draft and asked whether he was sure he had seen it.

At the end of the day, Archives employees determined that that draft and all four or five other versions of the millennium memo had disappeared from the files, this source said.

And this:

WASHINGTON - Former national security adviser Sandy Berger repeatedly persuaded monitors assigned to watch him review top secret documents to break the rules and leave him alone, sources said yesterday.

Berger, accused of smuggling some of the secret files out of the National Archives, got the monitors out of the high-security room by telling them he had to make sensitive phone calls.

Berger also took "lots of bathroom breaks" that apparently aroused some suspicion, the source added.

It is standard security procedure to constantly monitor anyone with a security clearance who examines the type of code-word classified files stored in the underground archives vault in the building where tourists view the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Asked if guards left Berger alone in the classified reading room while he made calls, archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper replied, "I'm not going to say I haven't heard that."

There's a lot more where this came from, if you can stomach it [>]

:: Max 10:33 AM [+] ::
This guy gets it right:

Were Mr. Berger a Republican, he would already be turning on a spit over the hot flame of mainstream media scrutiny, roasting him for every ounce of juicy political fat they could extract. The excuses for Mr. Berger's actions, being taken seriously by the same media, ravenous for the taste of tainted Republican flesh, has exposed their double standard as clearly as it could possibly be.

The New York Times had no problem running a story of a "rumor" that President Bush was dropping Dick Cheney as his Vice President, on page one above the fold. Will Mr. Berger's predicament receive the same honor from the New York Times? There is no rumor with respect to Mr. Berger having removed the documents from the archives, he has openly admitted to the fact.

The Berger scandal will be a real test for the elite media and I predict they'll flunk it.

:: Max 9:09 AM [+] ::
Blogosphere Keeping Tabs on Rather & Co.

If you still tune into the nightly news, you're probably either a Democrat or one of the many bloggers who chronicle leftwing spin. Internet sites tracking media bias and hypocracy include Brent Bozell's Media Research Center, and Ratherbiased.com. The current Clinton/Berger scandal is a textbook example of leftwing propaganda--news that's been massaged and kneaded well beyond what one might consider simple 'spin' and Gregg Sheffield and Brent Bozell are taking notes. If you are concerned about how this scandal is being portrayed in television and print media, keep an eye on these two sites.

:: Max 8:33 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, July 21, 2004 ::
Timing is Everything: Ben & Jerry's Ben Cohen Flouts Anti Bush "Pants on Fire" Mobile Protest Sculpture:

Ben Cohen couldn't have picked a worse time to unveil his mobile, anti-Bush sculpture 'Pants-on Fire'. Cohen is dragging his 'message' around the country hoping to convert uninformed Dead-Heads.

Too bad he failed to vet it through Bubba's Democratic machine. In view of Berger's recent transgression, Cohen might want to rethink his Anti Bush 'pants-are-burning' meme--it's been usurped.

:: Max 11:22 PM [+] ::
I proclaim Scott Burgess a genius and blog-rascal of the highest order. Go now and ping his stat-counter [>]

:: Max 9:39 PM [+] ::
Clinton Administration 'Sloppy' on National Security

American Spectator columnist George Neumayr chronicles security lapses during Bubba's regime [>]

Via Powerline [>]

:: Max 9:12 PM [+] ::
Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert Begins Pantgate Probe

To: National Desk

Contact: John Feehery or Pete Jeffries, 202-225-2800, both of the Office of Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert

WASHINGTON, July 21 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) today made the following statement:

"Like many Americans concerned about our national security, I look forward to learning more from the House Government Reform Committee's investigation into the wayward actions by Sandy Berger. The American people deserve to know why Mr. Berger apparently skirted the law and removed highly classified terrorism documents, purportedly in his pants, from a secure reading room at the National Archives and then proceeded to lose or destroy some of them.

"How could President Clinton's former National Security Advisor be so cavalier?

"Was Mr. Berger trying to cover-up key facts regarding intelligence failures during his watch?

"What happened to those missing documents?

"Whose hands did they fall into?

"What kind of security risk does that pose to Americans today?

"I know Chairman Tom Davis (R-Va.) will work to get the full truth of what really happened and help all of us better understand why Sandy Berger, a person who should fully understand the gravity and importance of sensitive national security materials, would operate with such overt negligence and apparent disregard for the law."

US Newswire via Hugh Hewitt [>]

:: Max 8:56 PM [+] ::
Urgent: Hans Blix Call Home

Via Drudge [>]

Update: Colin Powell has just infromed Sean Hannity that this story is, in all likelyhood, not true. Too bad...Hans, you can relax now.

:: Max 2:38 PM [+] ::
Instapundit is getting innundated with emails like this:

Just to back up some of your other correspondents. I spent 27 years total in the AF - with a Top Secret clearance. I had at times, specific appended code word clearances, which are controlled on a strict need-to-know basis - because they often involve sensitive sources (say, you are getting data from a mole in the Itanian Gov. - that particular data would be graded TS and then given a code word to further identify it as very sensitive and to restrict access from those with just general TS clearances). In a nutshell, the security system from least classified to most classified was: Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, Top Secret codeword). When we worked on Top Secret codeword (it might read something like Top Secret Fishhook), it was in a vault and our notes were put in burn bags. We were not allowed to take any notes out -period. We clearly understood that you didn't screw around with Secret, much less TS or TS codeword. For us a slip-up meant the slammer. What Berger did is so far removed from accepted security procedure, that I can only see two possible explanations: dishonesty with an ulterior motive (political CYA, I would guess) Or he's crazy. There is no way a veteran in the security business doesn't understand the gravity of walking out with TS codeword data.

Doug Rivers

Berger joins the legions of all who've fallen on their swords for Bill and Hillary Clinton--and he might have skewered Kerry in the process.

:: Max 1:52 PM [+] ::
Looks like it's just an 'Honest Mistake':

Cheboygan Daily Tribune, MI: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Mattoon Journal, IL: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Natchez Democrat, MS: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Bonner County Daily Bee, ID: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Dunn County News, WI: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

The Porterville Recorder, CA: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Petoskey News-Review, Michigan: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Rapid City Journal, SD: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Helena Independent Record, MT: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Santa Maria Times, CA: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Benton Courier, AR: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Lodi News-Sentinel, CA: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Columbia Basin Herald, WA: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

North County Times, CA: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Idaho State Journal, ID: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Munster Times, IN: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Orangeburg Times Democrat, SC: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, IA: Berger: Incident was 'Honest Mistake'

Well gosh...it's obviously just an 'honest mistake'--what's all the hullabaloo?

:: Max 1:12 PM [+] ::
Anti-Limbaugh/Fox News Plank Hammered Into Dem's Platform [>]

Via Drudge [>]

:: Max 11:07 AM [+] ::
Gorelick's "Wall of Separation" Implicated in Stolen Documents

But Attorney General John Ashcroft, who has the advantage of having read the document in question, had a different take. In his own 9/11 testimony in April, Mr. Ashcroft recommended that the Commission "study carefully" the after-action memo. He described it as laying out vulnerabilities and calling for aggressive remedies of the type he and the Bush Administration have been criticized for. Mr. Ashcroft further noted that when he took office, this "highly classified review" was "not among" the items he was briefed on during the transition.

Maybe that is because of the potential for embarrassment at the mentality the memo reveals. Mr. Ashcroft testified that the Justice Department's "surveillance and FISA operations were specifically criticized for their glaring weaknesses." The most glaring, of course, were the restrictions on the sharing of critical information between intelligence and law enforcement--even within the FBI itself. This was the infamous "wall of separation" that Clinton Deputy AG Jamie Gorelick instructed the FBI director should "go beyond what is legally required."

WSJ Opinion Journal (requires registration)[>]

:: Max 10:56 AM [+] ::
Joe Wilson and Valery Plame: Tragic Victims of the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy (requires registration) [>]

:: Max 10:41 AM [+] ::
Berger Targeted "Code Word" Level Documents

The documents Berger took--each copy of the millennium report is said to be in the range of 15 to 30 pages--were highly secret. They were classified at what is known as the "code word" level, which is the government's highest tier of secrecy. Any person who is authorized to remove such documents from a special secure room is required to do so in a locked case that is handcuffed to his or her wrist.

NRO's Byron York [>]

:: Max 10:24 AM [+] ::
Come Clean Mr. Kerry

So---Bill Clinton knew that Sandy Berger was under criminal investigation and was advising the presumptive democratic presidential nominee. And obviously former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger knew as well. We're now asked to believe that neither informed Mr. Kerry? It's quite the riddle as to exactly how many Democrats knew that Mr. Berger was under criminal investigation. It's hardly a leap to believe that someone in the Kerry campaign or at least close to Mr. Kerry had knowledge of this investigation. It's quite a jagged pill the Kerry campaign is asking America to swallow that John Kerry was the last to know.

So--this begs the beltway's favorite question--what did John Kerry know and when did he know it?

CK Rairden, The Washington Dispatch [>]

:: Max 9:50 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, July 20, 2004 ::
Berger's Apparent Transgression: The Relevant Statute

Sec. 793. - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information


Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense,


through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or


having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer -

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Glenn Reynolds has a lot more over at Instapundit [>]

:: Max 11:23 PM [+] ::
Socks the cat Bergler (or something like that).

:: Max 5:27 PM [+] ::

:: Max 5:02 PM [+] ::
Apparently, Clinton's National Security Advisor stuffing highly-classified documents down his pants is not considered a front page story.

Update: New York Times buries Berger story on page A16.

:: Max 11:03 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, July 19, 2004 ::

Just scanned Google News headlines. As of midnight Central Time, not single mention of the FBI's Berger Investigation. Apparently, it's already evaporated.

:: Max 11:57 PM [+] ::
Waking Up

Well...it's from ITM so there is reason for optimism. The Bush doctrine seems to be gaining steam in the Middle East and, contrary to Moore's absurd conspiracy theory, the ultimate victims seem to be the autocrats and monarchs including those who inhabit the House of Saud. It'll take many years for democracy to take root but it seems the horse is out of the barn [>]

Update: VDH articulates the meme:

In other words, Kerry and Edwards sense that Iraq has had some strange -- but as yet not fully understood -- positive effects that are just beginning to ripple out. Are Middle Eastern autocracies and monarchies such as Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia talking more or less about democratic reform after Saddam's removal? Are rogue regimes such as Iran and Syria now more or less worried about scrutiny of their terrorist subsidies?

The ME autocrats are understandably worried; their opressed masses are asking all the right questions. This is bad news for the hapless Chirac who is praying on his hands and knees for the new regime in Iraq to fail.

Update: It's a war of ideas and the House of Saud is caught between the rock of democracy and the hard place of Islamofascism. Either way, the future appears to be kind of sketchy for the Royal Family.

:: Max 11:44 PM [+] ::
I know, International Diplomacy is "nuanced" but I'm going with the Dems on this one; Why in the world are Americans taxpayers subsidizing the House of Saud?

Beats me.

:: Max 11:25 PM [+] ::
Joe Wilson apparently chickens-out--fails to show for News Hour with Jim Leherer appearance. Leherer fails to mention or explain Wilson's absence.

This kind of stuff makes the editors at Pravda look like rank amateurs; Leherer should be ashamed for not commenting on this akward situation. Had the scheduled guest been a conservative, they'd have devoted an entire segment to his failure to show up.

Silent Running via Instapundit [>]

Update: Wilson appeared on Tuesday evening's Newshour with Jim Leherer in a point-counterpoint with Senator Kit Bond (R MO). My feeling was that Wilson seemed evasive and 'nuanced'. Kit Bond wasn't particulary aggresive but he got in the last word, forcing Wilson to respond to allegations Valerie Plame had certainly recommended him for the Niger mission. The segment ended with a kind of Wilson hamada-hamada-hamada. Bond won but he could have been more articulate and forceful.

:: Max 10:07 PM [+] ::
Government/Media Daisy Chain

"In the course of reviewing over several days thousands of pages of documents on behalf of the Clinton administration in connection with requests by the Sept. 11 commission, I inadvertently took a few documents from the Archives,"

I'll go out on a limb and predict this Clinton Administration scandal disappears from big media coverage within twenty-four hours. The last thing the liberal press wants is a Bubba scandal right before the Democratic National Convention. Maybe the blogosphere will fan the coals and keep the fire alive but I think this thing just evaporates--another X-Files redux with a fawning, uninterested media (NYT--crank up the Abu Ghraib photos).

Via Drudge [>]

:: Max 9:35 PM [+] ::
Chirac's Psychosis

With his irratic actions and statements, Jacques Chirac leaves no doubt that France is completely severing diplomatic ties to the west. Apparently suffering from a Napoleonic "little man" complex, but aware of his increasing irrelevance on the world stage, Chirac has chosen to align his country with Islam--a decision that the French people apparently condone.

eh oui, c sa la vie

:: Max 5:01 PM [+] ::
Just Shut Up and Sing

Here's the Las Vegas Sun's account of the beginning of the end of Linda Ronstadt's career.

Via Drudge [>]

:: Max 4:55 PM [+] ::
Red or Blue--Which are You?

Slate quiz devines the hue of your political stripe. Click here to take the test [>]

Via Daniel Drezner [>]

:: Max 10:28 AM [+] ::
Oil For Food Bucks Funding Iraq Insurgency?

More on the Oil For Fraud scandal. No, it's not Claudia Rosett this time but New York Post's Niles Latham:

The network of bankers, front companies, couriers and money-launderers involved in handling Saddam's oil-for-food kickback schemes still appears to be active, investigators say.

U.S. intelligence officials believe a portion of the funds in these hidden accounts — possibly millions— is now being used to fund the Ba'athist guerrillas responsible for much of the postwar violence against coalition troops, sources said.

Glenn Reynolds suggests Claudia Rosett deserves a Pulitzer Prize for her tanacious grip on this story. Of course he's right but it'll probably never happen--to the left, Koffi Annan and his corrupt UN are sacrosanct.

:: Max 9:58 AM [+] ::
Cowboy Update

WSJ Opinion Journal has this high contrast comparison between a Canadian and American town. Here's an excerpt:

"When foreigners see us as cowboys, they are not mistaken. As a people, we still exhibit a high degree of courage, independence, aggressiveness, competence, and spirit. Diplomatic Europeans have responded to tyranny over the latest century mostly with accommodation, like the townspeople in "High Noon." Cowboy Americans, on the other hand, have hungered to confront and defeat tyrants, in real life as in legend. Our Western experience--love of freedom, little deference to wealth and status, an idealistic drive for justice, and a willingness to be ferocious toward these ends--continues to drive much of what is best about America.

This is a classic juxtaposition of a libertarian/conservative VS socialist/liberal approach to governance--and a nice smack-down of our condescending neighbors to the North. What hosers.

:: Max 9:23 AM [+] ::
Big Fat Slob Update

Cathy Young, columnist for the Boston Globe has some thoughts on Moore's pathological hatred for America.

:: Max 9:16 AM [+] ::
Master-Blogger Arthur Chrenkoff continues his series (#6) Good News From Iraq. Given the obvious quality of Arthur's work, The WSJ Opinion Journal has finally picked it up and is running it in today's online edition. Congratulations Arthur--better late than never!

:: Max 8:41 AM [+] ::
Global Guerrillas is a blog covering "Networked organizations, infrastructure disruption, and the emerging marketplace of violence. An open notebook on the epochal war of the 21st Century." GG Blogger John Robb has an interesting CV and his "open notebook" is worth your time. I've added him to the Prairie Fire SciTech blogroll on your left. His most recent post? A shadow OPEC: Guerillas that manipulate the world oil market by squeezing the supply chain and disrupting oil-production infrastructure.

Via DefenseTech [>]

:: Max 8:00 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, July 18, 2004 ::
Mark Steyn, in the Chicago Sun Times also weighs in on Joe Wilson's fall from media grace:
How a serial liar suckered Dems and the media

"But Joe Wilson's already slipping down the old media memory hole. He served his purpose -- he damaged Bush, he tainted the liberation of Iraq -- and yes, by the time you read this the Kerry campaign may well have pulled the plug on his Web site, and Salon magazine's luxury cruise will probably have to find another headline speaker, and he won't be doing Tim Russert again any time soon. But what matters to the media and to Senator Kerry is that he helped the cause of (to quote his book title) The Politics Of Truth, and if it takes a serial liar to do that, so be it."

Via RCP [>]

:: Max 5:23 PM [+] ::
College buddy is still in town so blogging's been sporadic. In the meantime, here's more Wilson Meltdown via Instapundit.

C'mon Joe...give back the ten grand.

:: Max 5:08 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, July 15, 2004 ::
Unverified (but freaky) blogosphere anecdote  Via Instapundit [>]

:: Max 9:59 PM [+] ::
Oh...that antisemitism...

"Yet, in the British media, every Israeli sin is amplified, while those of the Arab world are ignored. The million dead of the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam Hussein's 300,000 victims, thousands more massacred in Chechnya, the Arab militias killing black Sudanese, the torturing Middle Eastern tyrannies are ignored - but in Britain, every Palestinian death is reported like a sacred rite. Our media conceal the venom directed at Israel by Arab clerics, television and the internet, presenting Israeli complaints as propaganda. The Middle East commentator Tom Gross revealed in the National Review that when the "moderate" Saudi cleric Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais visited Britain this month, the BBC hailed him as a brave worker for "community cohesion". Yet his Friday sermons call for Jews - "scum of the human race, rats of the world" - to be "annihilated". . . .

It is as if, in the mythical scale of 9/11, al-Qaeda had unlocked a forgotten cultural capsule of anti-Semitic myths, sealed and forgotten since the Nazis, the Black Hundreds and the medieval blood libels. Just words? But words matter in a violent world."

Via Instapundit [>]

:: Max 9:50 PM [+] ::
" As an employer, I had occasion recently to place a vacancy with the Jobcentre.

"The assistant refused to let me specify that applicants should be hardworking as this could be discriminatory."

More UK silliness via Scott Burgess [>]

:: Max 7:33 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, July 14, 2004 ::
Above The Law

Check-out this gutwrenching turn of the worm. U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow killed an innocent motorist because he was an arrogant, free-lunch slob that habitually disregarded stop signs and boasted about driving his Cadillac wrecklessly. Not unlike Kennedy's Chappaquiddic, this out-of-control Republican broke the law and killed someone and then leveraged his privliged position to beat a second degree manslaughter rap--and taxpayers are going to pay for civil damages awarded in the wrongful death judgement. Americans should be outraged by this offensive rip-off.

Janklow should serve a realistic prison term like any "normal" American would under identical circumstances and he should be held personally responsible for any damages incurred by his imprudent actions. Taxpayers should have no liability for his negligence.

Officials elected to high public office should never be immune from the laws they impose on their constituents; sticking them with the tab for their costly misdeeds is repugnant.

This is certainly not what the Founders had in mind and it sets a terrible legal precedent for future abuses by anyone working in the public sector.

:: Max 11:29 PM [+] ::
Don't Agree

Jarvis and Sullivan speculate America's ability at future preemption is forever and ever undermined by the intelligence failures that led to the war in Iraq--and they place this heavy toll soley on George W. Bush.

Going way out on a limb, I predict Iraq's successful conversion to a legitimate, secular and capitalistic nation-state will eventually quell this criticism--especially as a flourishing democracy in the middle-east threatens the not only the House of Saud (Michael Moore--where are you?) but other ME dictatorships as well. Sketchy intelligence combined with Bush's bold gambit might prove to be the ultimate undoing of the middle-eastern giordian knot. It'll be unfortunate if W's not awarded another term to tie up the loose ends.

But it's done. The Iraqis have tasted freedom and a lot of their Arab neighbors (and French guys and UN guys) are jealous (if not outraged) of/by Iraq's new position in the world community.

Will preemptive action by the US be more difficult in the future? Yes...as it should be.

Now, if only Chirac would just give it up (note to Chirac: Give it up slime-ball; the oil-for-food party is over.)

:: Max 10:29 PM [+] ::
Moore is Less

Jarvis is reporting Michael Moore abandons blog after two lame (and self-serving) entries. Figures (slacker).

:: Max 10:15 PM [+] ::
Some of my best friends are postal hourly-wage employees--including my wife and daughter.

Of course, Victor Davis Hanson [>]

:: Max 10:08 PM [+] ::
Arthur Chrenkoff has a brilliant post on...well...nothing [>]

In view of current events, Chrenkoff is right; the nineties will go down as the decade of missed opportunities.

:: Max 9:56 PM [+] ::
More Plame/Wilson

Hugh Hewitt admonishes us to commit this to memory. Verbatim from the Butler Report:

We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the government's dossier, and by extension the prime minister in the House of Commons, were well founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush's state of the union address of 2003 that "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" was well founded.

Jonah Goldberg via Hugh Hewitt

Where else you gonna get this stuff...huh?

:: Max 9:36 PM [+] ::
It has to be said: Koffi Annan is a venal, grasping pig of a man. The 15 billion American taxpayer dollars Bush has just committed to fight Aids in Africa is obviously going to supplant the loss of Oil for Food profits skimmed by Annan, Chirac and the rest of the maggots that feed on the rotting flesh of the UN cadaver.

It is time; American taxpayers, must demand a transparant and open accounting of United Nations expenditures or we cut-off the money-faucet.

If you're concerned, you might want to jot-off a little email to your venal grasping pig of a Senator [>]

:: Max 8:48 PM [+] ::
Big Media Dusts-Off Breck Girl Adjectives

"fresh-faced," "vigorous," "engaging," "crisp," "charismatic," "eloquent," "uplifting," "appealing," and "youthful" (Son of a mill worker is a) "moderate," "middle-class," "populist," (with) "small-town appeal," (who will help) "working families," (and) "common," and "folksy" (people).

They're so predictable...

:: Max 8:24 PM [+] ::
Knight Ridder Misquotes Bush--Again

The Bush Administration is up against the most unabashedly dishonest media in American history. They're out to get him--and his family. Look for more of this kind of low-level, spin between now and November.

:: Max 8:09 PM [+] ::
Oh...that cocksucking media...

Via iNo Pasaran [>]

:: Max 3:45 PM [+] ::
Must have missed this (published July 2nd). It's Christopher Hitchens again, in the UK Mirror:

As the man begins to name names, guards appear and escort them white-faced from the room. Saddam continues to puff away until nearly half his audience has been dragged off.

The next sequence, which hasn't ever been televised, apparently shows what we know did happen: the survivors were then given pistols and compelled to shoot their former comrades. This perfect Godfather touch improves on anything done by the great dictators of the 1930s. It shows that Saddam had really studied the methods and techniques of tyranny, and added some refinements of his very own.

Via Tim Blair [>]

:: Max 3:14 PM [+] ::
Safire on Senate Intelligence Committee Failures

The 511-page Senate report concluded this: Nobody in the White House or the Pentagon pressured the C.I.A. to change an intelligence analysis to conform to the judgment that the world would be a safer place with the monstrous Saddam overthrown.

New York Times via RCP [>]

:: Max 11:48 AM [+] ::
Update on the Oil for Food scandal by the tenacious Calaudia Rosett [>]

:: Max 11:34 AM [+] ::
More on Joe Wilson's "covert political agenda" by Christopher Hitchens at Slate [>]

:: Max 11:25 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 ::
Wilson Plame Shakedown

Clifford D. May at NRO has nice deconstruction of the Wilson/Plame meltdown.

:: Max 1:05 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, July 12, 2004 ::
Canadians Deny Entry to Reformed Terrorist

Walid Shoebat, a resident of Northern California, is a pro-Isreal, ex PLO suicide bomber who has converted to Christianity. Recently, on his way to deliver a speech at the Italian Culture Center in Vancouver, BC, Canadian Immagration officials blocked his entry into the country saying "U.S. citizens may have to have an entry permit in some cases, depending on criminal and security considerations, health risks and other "inadmissibility" criteria".

Fortunately, Canadian organizers cobbled together a live video feed allowing Mr. Shoebat to deliver his controversial message to attendees. If you were unable to hear his speech, it's OK, he's got a website.

Via Arthur Chrenkoff [>]

:: Max 6:40 PM [+] ::
Moore's Deceitful Conspiracy Theory Deconstructed

Articulate and comprehensive shred of Fahrenheit 9/11: Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 9/11

:: Max 2:18 PM [+] ::
:: Saturday, July 10, 2004 ::
"A Place in Which There are no Bloggers"

"It seems that some people in the major media still think they're the only ones who have eyes and ears and cameras and that ordinary people cannot have access to the information except from the major media outlets. They underestimated the prevalence and the effect of the internet in connecting people to each other and making the readers in direct contact with real eyewitnesses at the scene of events. I hope this will serve to make them more careful in the future on what to report, or make sure that they report from a place in which there are no bloggers. Here is the L. A. Times correction.
Thanks to all the bloggers who helped to reveal the truth this time, and thank God for the Internet."

It's sad--pathetic actually--Iraqis have to fight radical islam AND Western media simultaneously. Browkaw, Rather and Jennings (among others) should be ashamed but they're not; they are shameless.

The guys at Iraq the Model deserve a Pulitzer...really they do.

Note: This is not the first time bloggers have embarrassed "big media" and it won't be the last.

:: Max 11:53 PM [+] ::
Moorehouse In

Best friend from college is in town and so I'm entertaining (and entertaining...and entertaining)--blogging will be sporadic until we wear each other out. If you haven't been to Instapundit lately, hop on over--it's phat (How does he do it?--Is he a friggin blogbot? Reynolds really is the blogfather).

:: Max 11:13 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, July 08, 2004 ::
Polling Update

Iowa Electronic Market: Bush .49--Kerry .49

RCP Average: Bush 46.6%--Kerry 45.8%

Hedgehog: Bush 260 EV--Kerry 250 EV

Rassmusen 7/2, 7/5, 7/6: Bush 47%--Kerry 45%

Edwards bump may be appearing in the Iowa Electronic Market.

:: Max 2:24 PM [+] ::
Speaking of murderous regimes...

Instapundit on Chirac's latest insanity [>]

:: Max 12:30 PM [+] ::
Islam: Accept it's superiority (or else)

The Square will also host a number of Marquees presenting various aspects of Islam such as its unique economic system able to solve the problems of inflation, the hoarding of wealth and the fair distribution of resources -- Islam's unique social system which eradicates the exploitation of the sexes and eliminates promiscuity, pornography and sexual deviancy and Islam's ruling system based upon the concept of sovereignty for Allah alone, where man is not a dictator (like Bush or Blair) but rather God's trustee on Earth managing mankind's affairs according to God's infallible law...etc...

Note: Do not bring balloons or kites, no dancing or music of any kind allowed, women are allowed to must use their own restricted section, all jihadis must check their shoe-bombs at the gate, beheading of infadel to be announced, bring all your wives...etc...via Scott Burgess [>]

:: Max 11:53 AM [+] ::

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