Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Bring back private screeners

Yahoo! News - Bring back private screeners: "Private screeners were made the scapegoats for the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy. Actually, the federal government was at fault for failing to set standards and enact rules that could have prevented the hijackings. On Sept. 11, no federal rules were in place to stop hijackers from carrying box cutters or plastic knives onto aircraft, nor were there uniform standards for private screeners."

While I wasn't actively blogging in those days, I did say the very same thing back then!!

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Wm. Buckley: - DOES MARRIAGE MATTER?

National Review: DOES MARRIAGE MATTER?: "The swirl of opinion that came in after the ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court tells its own story, which is that the judicial arm has achieved a moral standing not even dreamed of by Cotton Mather, or mere popes and rabbinical councils. Witness the failure of the two major political parties to take corporate positions on gay marriage. "

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Tuesday, November 25, 2003

TWO CENTS / Is it wrong to root for the Iraqis?

If you have any doubt that some on the Left are on the wrong side of the war for purely politial reasons, please read a letter
to the San Francisco Chronicle...

TWO CENTS / Is it wrong to root for the Iraqis?: "I'm definitely torn, because I obviously don't want any more of our soldiers getting killed, but I also wouldn't mind the quagmire going on just long enough to ruin Bush's re-election chances. "

And the Right is called mean-spirited??

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Monday, November 24, 2003

The Opus interview

"I think he said the comics syndicates were looking for a disaffected office worker who couldn’t draw. Berkeley Breathed knows the business better than he lets on. He always knew when to throw in a reference to “Marmaduke”."

Read more of The Opus interview here.

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Friday, November 21, 2003

Never mind Enron, what about UN and the Oil??

Never mind Enron, what about UN and the Oil??

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit raises a good question... one that the WSJ raised over a year ago, but never got a final answer:


Instapundit.com:: "THE U.N.'S 'OIL FOR FOOD' PROGRAM in Iraq (memorably named the 'Oil For Palaces progam' by Tommy Franks) is officially ending.
Let's find out where the money went, now. "

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Thursday, November 20, 2003

Study: IT outsourcing fears misplaced | CNET News.com

Study: IT outsourcing fears misplaced | CNET News.com: "Market research firm IDC on Thursday predicted that offshore activities of the U.S. information technology industry are set to rise dramatically over next four years but that the rise may not affect U.S. jobs in ways some industry observers feared. "

Finally!! Some good news, or at least hopeful news.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

The Race Card, Dealt From the Bottom

KYW NewsRadio 1060 - Commentary Report

Philadelphia Talk Radio Host Michael Smerconish on race in Philly Public Schools:
Commentary

(11/19/03) On Monday, there was a protest against the Philadelphia School District. The protestors want more Afrocentric lessons and black teachers.

Fair enough. I disagree with the mindset that if you have “x” percent black students, you need “x” percent black teachers, but to each his own.

There is nothing new about protests, and certainly not of the school system. But here is what was new at the protest, and very troubling.

Some protestors had signs that said “Paul Vallas is a racist liar” and “Get white teachers out of our children’s faces.”

That is despicable. And that is racist. And we need to say so.

If we don’t confront those who are so quick to play the race card, who in the world is going to want to have a job like that held by Paul Vallas?


I submit Mr. Smerconish is wrong when he claims the mindset of "x% black students, x% black teachers' is fair enough but overall I agree with him. To think otherwise is to suggest racism is a one-way street.

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Rush Limbaugh: Money Launderer?

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/WNT/US/rush_limbaugh_031118-1.html

Authorities say they became aware two years ago, during an investigation of New York bank US Trust, that Limbaugh had taken between 30 and 40 cash withdrawals from his account in amounts just under $10,000.

Banks must file a report to the government if someone withdraws more than $10,000 at once.

Limbaugh's lawyers confirm that as part of US Trust's service, a bank employee personally delivered cash to Limbaugh at his New York studio in amounts of $9,900 or so.

"That in itself is a suspicious activity: They are structuring their transaction to avoid reporting to the government, and the bank is required to file with the federal government something called a suspicious activity report," said Jack Blum, an expert on financial crimes.

Limbaugh's lawyers say it was US Trust that suggested the arrangement. In July 2001 the bank paid a $10 million fine because of the Limbaugh transactions and many others like it.


Some readers may know that many years passed I was employed in banking in NYC. During that time the IRS began it's strict enforcement of what was known as '4789', the IRS form used to report 'suspicious cash transactions.' So while I am unlike Mr. Blum, who according to the story is an 'expert on financial crimes', I do know a thing or two about the form.

The article throws out the line 'in July 2001 the bank paid a $10 million fine because of the Limbaugh transactions and many others like it', but chooses not to source it. In fact, it is the bank itself who is responsible for the filing of the 4789, and clearly the instructions direct the institution to do so in the case of multiple transactions. So assuming for a moment Rush did, as it is alleged, it is the bank's responsibility to file the reports.

Assuming the bank did, in fact, pay the fine listed, the next step would be for the banking authority to refer the matter to the IRS. Now I cannot speak for Rush, but I think it would be easy to suggest the crimes he's being accused of -- notabably in the media alone, and not apparently by any law enforcement agency -- are largely heresay.

If Rush is formerly charged with a specific crime, and the evidence shows he is guilty, then I will not argue with it. If it remains to be a piling-on of accusations -- as he has endured for 15 years -- then his opposition are showing themselves for what they are: mind-numbingly foolish.

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Monday, November 17, 2003

It's making the rounds on the Internet:

Five Sad Tales to Cheer You Up


Have things gotcha down? Are ya having a bad day?

Consider this:

In a hospital's Intensive Care ward, patients always died in the same bed, on Sunday morning, at about 11 am, regardless of their medical condition.

This puzzled the doctors and some even thought it had something to do with the supernatural. No one could solve the mystery as to why the deaths occurred around 11 am on Sunday, so a worldwide team of experts was assembled to investigate the cause of the incidents. The next Sunday morning, a few minutes before 11 am, all doctors and nurses nervously waited outside the ward to see for themselves what the terrible phenomenon was all about. Some were holding wooden crosses, prayer books and other holy objects to ward off the evil spirits.

Just when the clock struck 11, Pookie Johnson, the part-time Sunday janitor, entered the ward and unplugged the life support system so he could use the vacuum cleaner.

Having a Bad Day?

The average cost of rehabilitating a seal after the Exxon Valdez Oil spill in Alaska was $80,000. At a special ceremony, two of the most expensively saved animals were being released back into the wild amid cheers and applause from onlookers.

A minute later, in full view, a killer whale ate them both.


Still think you are having a bad day?

A woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen shaking frantically, almost in a dancing frenzy, with some kind of wire running from his waist towards the electric kettle. Intending to jolt him away from the deadly current, she whacked him with a handy plank of wood, breaking his arm in two places. Up to that moment, he had been happily listening to his Walkman.

STILL think you're having a bad day?

Two animal rights defenders were protesting the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn, Germany. Suddenly, all two thousand pigs broke loose and escaped through a broken fence, stampeding madly.

The two hopeless protesters were trampled to death.

What? STILL having a bad day?

Iraqi terrorist Khay Rahnajet didn't pay enough postage on a letter bomb. It came back with "return to sender" stamped on it. Forgetting it was the bomb, he opened it and was blown to bits.

There now, feeling better?


http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=5054

Yeah, so I stole it from someone else's... as if this is a bad thing.

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Say what?

NEW YORK POST November 15, 2003 -- Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein gave terror lord Osama bin Laden's thugs financial and logistical support, offering al Qaeda money, training and haven for more than a decade, it was reported yesterday.
Their deadly collaboration - which may have included the bombing of the USS Cole and the 9/11 attacks - is revealed in a 16-page memo to the Senate Intelligence Committee that cites reports from a variety of domestic and foreign spy agencies compiled by multiple sources, The Weekly Standard reports.


But why rely on the NY Post? Let's go to the Weekly Standard:
The memo, dated October 27, 2003, was sent from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was written in response to a request from the committee as part of its investigation into prewar intelligence claims made by the administration. Intelligence reporting included in the 16-page memo comes from a variety of domestic and foreign agencies, including the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. Much of the evidence is detailed, conclusive, and corroborated by multiple sources. Some of it is new information obtained in custodial interviews with high-level al Qaeda terrorists and Iraqi officials, and some of it is more than a decade old. The picture that emerges is one of a history of collaboration between two of America's most determined and dangerous enemies.

So why has ABCCBSNBCCNN jumped on this??? Not even to debunk it?

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*NOT* an Urban Legend

People who know me know I enjoying debunking Urban Legends. Here's one story that ISN'T an UL, but a worthy cause:


Campbell's is donating a can of soup to the needy for every person that goes to their site and votes
for their favorite NFL team. Go to the site and it is right there, very easy to do. It will only take a
few seconds of your time to fill some empty tummies with warm soup this winter. Please forward
this message to everyone in your address book too. Thanks.

http://chunky.nfl.com/click_for_cans.html


Yep, it's legit. So go forth and choose your favorite team (since I don't follow football, they ought to have 'none of the above', but why get picky??)

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Monday, November 10, 2003

President Bush Discusses Freedom in Iraq and Middle East

Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did
nothing to make us safe -- because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of
liberty. As long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a
place of stagnation, resentment, and violence ready for export. And with the spread of weapons that
can bring catastrophic harm to our country and to our friends, it would be reckless to accept the status
quo.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/11/20031106-2.html

Any questions?

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Thursday, November 06, 2003

Ploiticizing War Intel?? GET OUT!

Democrats Mull Politicizing Iraq War Intelligence - FOXNews.com


WASHINGTON — Fox News has obtained a document believed to have been written by the Democratic staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee that outlines a strategy for exposing what it calls "the administration's dubious motives" in the lead-up to the war in Iraq.

The memo, provided late Tuesday by a source on the Committee and reported by Fox News' Sean Hannity, discusses the timing of a possible investigation into pre-war Iraq (search) intelligence in such a way that it could bring maximum embarrassment to President Bush in his re-election campaign.

Among other things, the memo recommends that Democrats "prepare to launch an investigation when it becomes clear we have exhausted the opportunity to usefully collaborate with the [Senate] majority. We can pull the trigger on an independent investigation of the administration's use of intelligence at any time — but we can only do so once ... the best time would probably be next year."


I find it interesting that this story -- which has been ackonwledged by the ranking Deomcrat on the Senate Select Intel committee, Sen. Jay Rocerkfeller (W.Va) -- was broke late Tuesday, and today there's word that some 3rd-party-twice-removed tried in vain to avert war by negotiating through back door negotiations. A pity this same man was detained at the airport for carrying a .45 gun and no less than 4 stun guns!

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Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Media response

Jessica's Well - A Midland, Texas Blog on Media and Government.:



"John Podhoretz in the NY Post today on 'The Filter':

You might think that an attack that killed 15 Americans and wounded hundreds more might inspire even the merest hint of anger on the part of those Americans whose job it is to write about it. Their articles might offer some perspective on how those seeking to kill Americans in Iraq are working for the restoration of one of the most barbaric regimes in world history. They'd ask the key question raised by such an attack: What is to be done to smoke out these barbarians?
But that's not the central focus of the news coverage. Instead, the question that obsesses the media filters is: How much is this going to hurt George W. Bush?



Yep, that sounds right. "

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Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Sorting out the "imminent threat" debate

Excellent clarity!!
Spinsanity - Sorting out the "imminent threat" debate: "Sorting out the 'imminent threat' debate
By Ben Fritz

November 3, 2003

In recent weeks, a debate has raged over the phrase 'imminent threat.' Many liberal critics have asserted that a central claim in President Bush's case for war in Iraq was that Iraq posed an 'imminent threat.' They argue that it's now clear that no such threat existed, and thus the President's argument has been revealed as deceptive or illegitimate. Conservatives retort that Bush never actually used the phrase and in fact specifically used language indicating that the threat was not imminent on several occasions.

As a factual matter, conservatives are largely correct and liberal critics and journalists are guilty of cheap shots or lazy reporting. However, the evidence is not completely clear and both sides are guilty of distorting this complex situation for political gain. Specifically, while there's some evidence indicating the Bush administration did portray Iraq as an imminent threat, there's much more that it did not. Those attempting to assert that the White House called Iraq an imminent threat are ignoring significant information to the contrary. Similarly, those who say the Bush administration never used the phrase or implied as much are ignoring important, though isolated, evidence."

I would argue the administration wanted to move fast to prevent the Iraqi troops from preaparing to attack, but that angle was not covered in this review.

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So who is gettign rich on the wars?

Slate.com is hardly a cheerleader for the Bush Administration (merely consult their Complete Bushisms). Yesterday they published quite a telling piece:
Fables of the Reconstruction - Bush isn't really favoring Halliburton and Bechtel. By Daniel Drezner: "A new report by the Center for Public Integrity attempts to prove something that many people simply assume to be true: that the Bush administration has strongly favored cronies and campaign contributors in awarding reconstruction contracts for Iraq and Afghanistan. The CPI devoted six months to research and filed more than 70 Freedom of Information Act requests and appeals to get to the bottom of the story. The conclusion of the report, 'Windfalls of War,' is that a clear quid pro quo exists between government procurement and campaign contributions to George W. Bush. Charles Lewis, the group's executive director, released a statement arguing that the report reveals 'a stench of political favoritism and cronyism surrounding the contracting process in both Iraq and Afghanistan.'

There's just one problem: The CPI has no evidence to support its allegations. "


The author took follow-up Q&A at his blog.

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Monday, November 03, 2003

It's about time!

Linda Tripp will get more than $595,000 from the Defense Department to settle a lawsuit over the release of confidential personal information about her to a magazine, her lawyers said Monday.

Finally, Ms. Tripp can begin to put this ordeal behind her. Last year Time Magazine hearalded an entire issue dedicatedt o women whistelblowers. WHile the three featured women are all to be admired, why wasn't Ms. Tripp included?

Why indeed?

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Johnny Comes Marching Home - ninedwarfs.com

Johnny Comes Marching Home


It seems as though Governor Dean has a fondness for the ole’ Stars and Bars, or at least he wants the vote of those who run Johnny Reb up the flag pole. Dean said, “I still want to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.” I didn’t know the Klan was a group that Dean would pander to. Are they that big of a voting block in the South? The next think you know, Dean will be burning crosses at campaign rallies and David Duke will be out on the stump for Dean. And what Dean group would be complete without a website, “Klansmen for Dean.” I’m sure Howard could get Robert Byrd to blog for him.

Of course the really ridiculous thing about this is Dean is getting a pass from groups such as the NAACP and Rainbow Push when it comes to this statement. The only people criticizing him are the eight other clowns running for President. If a Republican so much as cuts a loud fart somewhere in the vicinity of the Confederate flag he gets labeled a racist and the NAACP is swearing up and down that he has a white robe and hood in his closet. But hey, double standards when it comes to race are great, especially if you’re a Democrat.

ninedwarfs.com

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Unconscious Mutterings

LunaNiƱa.com | Unconscious Mutterings Home: "I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Taboo:: Bad
  2. Poison:: Bad heavy metal band
  3. 1983:: Reagan Shot?
  4. Tim:: Tiny
  5. Groovy:: Dude
  6. Italy:: Pasta
  7. Think:: IBM
  8. Penthouse:: Magazine
  9. Shelter:: Gimme
  10. Twinkie:: Hostess


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