Sunday, January 30, 2005

Iraq Is Going To Be Just Fine

In Europe, the wise old foreign-policy ''realists'' scoff at today's elections in Iraq -- Islam and democracy are completely incompatible, old boy; everybody knows that, except these naive blundering Yanks who just don't have our experience, frankly.

If that's true, it's a problem not for Iraq this weekend but, given current demographic trends, for France and Belgium and Holland a year or two down the line.

But, as it happens, it's not true. The Afghan election worked so well that, there being insufficient bad news out of it, the doom-mongers in the Western media pretended it never happened. They'll have a harder job doing that with Iraq, so instead they'll have to play up every roadside bomb and every dead poll worker. But it won't alter the basic reality: that today's election will be imperfect but more than good enough. OK, that's a bit vague by the standards of my usual psephological predictions, so how about this? Turnout in the Kurdish north and Shia south will be higher than in the last American, British or Canadian elections. Legitimate enough for ya?
Mark Steyn - Chicago Sun-Times

"When Amr Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League, warned that the U.S. invasion of Iraq would ''destabilize'' the entire region, he was right. That's why it was such a great idea." Mark is on the money once again. - KS

Iraq Election Headlines

BBC - Iraq election declared 'success'
Iraq's first open election in decades is hailed by Iraqi officials and the US, but marred by a spate of attacks.

I wonder what the quotation marks are for?? - KS

CNN - Iraqis vote amid violence
With polls now closed in Iraq's historic election, Iraqi officials are reporting a higher turnout than expected, despite a spate of attacks and threats aimed at disrupting the vote. At least 25 people were killed and more than 70 wounded in a string of attacks, some of which targeted voters waiting in line to cast their ballots.

FOX News - Millions Cast Ballots Despite Violence
The polls in Iraq have closed, ending the country's first open elections in more than 50 years and setting a course for what U.S. officials hope will be a long democratic future.

MSNBC - Iraqis vote in historic election despite violence
Iraqis defied threats of violence and calls for a boycott to cast ballots in Iraq’s first free election in a half-century Sunday, and insurgents seeking to wreck the vote struck polling stations with a string of suicide bombings and mortar strikes, killing at least 44 people, including nine suicide bombers.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Area 51 'Hacker' Charges Dropped

Federal prosecutors formally dropped charges this month against an amateur astronomer who exposed a buried surveillance network surrounding the Air Force's mysterious "Area 51" air base in Nevada.

Chuck Clark, 58, was charged in 2003 with a single count of malicious interference with a communications system used for the national defense, after prosecutors held him responsible for the disappearance of one of the wireless motion sensors buried beneath the desert land surrounding the facility. The Register

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Remembering Johnny Carson, 1925 - 2005.

WHEN A PROMINENT AMERICAN in any field passes on, it's front page news. Some sneer at this and say, "The same thing happens to everyone. Why is it bigger if it happens to a star?" But I think it is bigger. Yes, thousands probably die in the same way at the same time, and each is a sorrow, but the passing of a beloved icon makes us all stop and think and reflect and remember, and gives a country with too little in common a great deal in common, if only briefly. So it is with Johnny Carson. Even in the hard-edged world of politics for instance, I like to think that, when they heard the news, both Howard Dean and Karl Rove and everyone in between stopped strategizing for a minute and thought, "Boy, I really loved that guy." Larry Miller - Weekly Standard

World Marks Auschwitz Liberation

Holocaust survivors and world leaders have held an emotional ceremony in Poland, 60 years after the liberation of the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp.

The ceremony began with a train whistle on the railway track that took more than a million people to their deaths.

Thousands gathered in heavy snow next to the site of the German gas chambers, where Jews and others were murdered. BBC

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Rice Confirmed Despite Dems' Criticisms

Photo -

Condoleezza Rice won confirmation as secretary of state Wednesday despite blistering criticism from Senate Democrats who accused her of misleading statements and said she must share the blame for mistakes and war deaths in Iraq.

The tally, though one-sided at 85-13, was still the largest "no" vote against any secretary of state nominee since 1825. More...

The nays include a former Klan bigshot, a drunk driving swimmer, and a failed Presidential candidate. - KS

The Spectator's Auschwitz-Jenin Parallel

On the anniversary of the liberation of German death camps, The Spectator suggests an IDF-Nazi comparison.

On Monday (Jan. 24), the United Nations and European leaders marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, testifying to that greatest crime in human history ― the industrial murder of 6 million Jews.

While much of the British media (including BBC) provided helpful educational material on the Holocaust, The (London) Spectator ran an article by Anthony Lipmann, who declared that on this day

I will think not just of the crematoria and the cattle trucks but of Darfur, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Jenin, Fallujah.

Interesting, considering the creator of the fraudulent docmentary "Jenin Jenin" has already admitted in public that he is a liar. Front Page Mag - KS

Monday, January 24, 2005

Zarqawi Vows War On Democracy

Terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi yesterday declared war on democracy in Iraq "and all those who seek to enact it," in what was seen as an attempt to intimidate voters from participating in nationwide elections on Sunday.

Polls have shown that most Iraqis plan to vote despite such threats and unremitting violence, but the fear is palpable in conversations with Iraqis, many of whom refuse to be photographed or even to talk to Westerners. Washington Times

Two Suspected Terrorists Arrested In Germany

German police Sunday arrested two suspected al-Qaida terrorists - one attempting to buy enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb, the other allegedly planning a suicide attack in Iraq.

German Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm said the two arrests took place early Sunday, and came after months of investigation. He described one of the suspects, Ibrahim Mohamed K., a 29-year-old German citizen with an Iraqi background, as a high-ranking member of al-Qaida in charge of recruiting suicide bombers and planning attacks from Europe. More...

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Dems' Klan Card

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi found herself on the defensive Thursday morning over the decision by Senate Democrats to put former Ku Klux Klansman Sen. Robert Byrd in charge of efforts to derail the confirmation of Secretary of State-nominee Condoleezza Rice.

"I don't think that whatever Senator Byrd is doing has anything to do with his sad past," Pelosi told WWRL radio hosts Steve Malzberg and Karen Hunter.

Instead, said the San Francisco Democrat, the one-time Grand Kleagel was acting out of concern that the advise-and-consent role of the Senate in presidential appointments was being overlooked.

In a move that was seen by many as an insult to the first black woman ever appointed secretary of state, Sen. Byrd announced his decision to hold up her confirmation late Wednesday, saying it needed more debate before the full Senate. Front Page Mag

'Inch Of Snow' Shuts Down Air Marshals

Hundreds of federal air marshals were grounded and unable to access critical information to pinpoint potential terrorist activity for eight hours on the eve of President Bush's inauguration after snow paralyzed the Mission Operations Center in Washington, said several air marshals and a supervisor.

The marshals said they could not reach the Mission Operations Center (MOC) by telephone to be placed on other flights after hundreds of flights were rerouted because of the snow, and marshals seeking information on reports of a dirty bomb in Boston were unsuccessful. Washington Times

It was 40 below with the wind today and we got at least 2 more inches of snow overnight, and as far as I know everyone went to work. These people really have to toughen up a bit. - KS

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Oil-for-Food Scandal – The Canadian Connection

Paul Desmarais (senior) and Paul Martin (Junior)

"Its all about the oil" was the chant issued by a vast army of protesters around the world.

Yes, it may have been "all about the oil" – but it didn't involve Americans, who did not own any of the oil in Iraq, but rather a horde of rich global fat cats who wanted to make millions in a so-called U.N. humanitarian program.

One of those who made out like a bandit is a rich Canadian whose bank made millions and whose Paris-based holding companies include the originally French-Belgian oil company TotalFina Elf, which cut lucrative deals with Saddam's Iraq and is currently operating in war-torn Sudan. NewsMax

Tough Day For Some In Iraq

My Pic Of The Day From The Army Times

Saturday, January 15, 2005

High Tech Piracy Down On The Farm

Wired Magazine has this ineresting story on seed piracy.

Monsanto's "seed police" snared soy farmer Homan McFarling in 1999, and the company is demanding he pay it hundreds of thousands of dollars for alleged technology piracy. McFarling's sin? He saved seed from one harvest and replanted it the following season, a revered and ancient agricultural practice.

"My daddy saved seed. I saved seed," said McFarling, 62, who still grows soy on the 5,000 acre family farm in Shannon, Mississippi, and is fighting the agribusiness giant in court. More

Verizon Persists With European Email Blockade

The Register

US ISP Verizon is persisting with a controversial policy of blocking email sent from Europe. Since 22 December, mail servers at have been configured not to accept connections from Europe by default.

Verizon is blocking ranges of IP addresses belonging to British and European ISPs (the IP space from RIPE, APNIC, and more) in a misguided attempt to reduce spam. Domains are only unblocked following complaints, with Europeans effectively treated as guilty till proven innocent. More

A bit heavy-handed perhaps, but justifiable non the less. KS

Triangulating the War

Victor Davis Hanson has a nice piece on all the arm chair generals out there..

"We cannot flee, but must not stay. Iraqis publicly say we should leave, but privately beg us to remain. We were after cheap oil, but gas prices somehow climbed almost immediately after we went in. Democracy won't work with these people, but somehow we are seeing three elections in the wake of the Taliban, Arafat, and Saddam."

Everyone has a better idea on how this war should go, even those who have been against it all along. I remember when the pundits were talking about the quagmire that Afghanistan would become. How can the US win when the Russians were beat so badly there? When the elections are over in Iraq, things will settle down considerably, the terrorists will start to lose their stomach for this and start to go home. I do think that GW did the right thing when he said "Bring It On". How better to get terrorists from all across the middle east to come running to their own doom. KS

Friday, January 14, 2005

Sgro Finally Gone

Why does it take these flakey polititians so long to see the writing on the wall. Martin should have had the sense to bounce her ass out of there months ago. KS

Immigration Minister Resigns

OTTAWA (CP) - Judy Sgro, who was already on political life support, succumbed Friday to a fresh allegation of wrongdoing and resigned as federal immigration minister.

But she said she was only stepping down to allow her to prove she's innocent and fight to clear her name. She became the first casualty in Prime Minister Paul Martin's seven-month-old minority government, which limped back to power in June on promises of being squeaky clean after the sponsorship scandal.

Sgro's departure came after a Toronto pizzeria owner alleged she promised him asylum in return for providing food and workers for her re-election campaign last June. CNEWS

Thursday, January 13, 2005

9.0 On Ungrateful Scale

Thanks for the help, but now get out,Indonesian veep tells U.S. soldiers.
New York Daily News


The Indonesian government yesterday showed its appreciation to U.S. soldiers who have been risking their lives helping tsunami victims by ordering them to get out of the country by the end of March.

"Three months are enough," Vice President Jusuf Kalla told the official Antara news agency. "In fact, the sooner [they leave] the better."

Ever wonder why we even bother to help? KS

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Wish I Was Fishing

When it is -50 with the wind chill I can only think back to last summer when I was fishing. Took this picture of Robertson Falls. mmm...

Vaporize Mecca?

This is so wacky, I can only hope that it is true....

Has U.S. threatened to vaporize Mecca?
Intelligence expert says nuke option is reason bin Laden has been quiet

Why hasn't Osama bin Laden's terror network executed an attack on U.S. soil since 9-11? Simple, says Dr. Jack Wheeler, creator of an acclaimed intelligence website dubbed "the oasis for rational conservatives": The U.S. has threatened to nuke the Muslim holy city of Mecca should the terror leader strike America again.
On his website, To the Point, Wheeler explains how the Bush administration has identified the potential of wiping Mecca off the map as bin Laden's ultimate point of vulnerability – the Damoclean Sword hanging over his head. WorldNetDaily