Saturday, August 23, 2003

See ya!

I'm off to Europe. I'll be blogging again in a few days, once I get settled in and get over the big-time jet lag. Hit the blogroll for new stuff, especially the ones you've never visited.

posted at 07:48 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

More Anti-Israel bias

This AP story is entitled "Israelis Injure Stone-Throwing Protesters", and starts off with this paragraph:

NABLUS, West Bank - Israeli troops fired rubber bullets at Palestinian stone throwers, wounding 16, and tanks rolled through West Bank towns Saturday as Palestinian leaders appealed for international intervention to stave off a new round of violence.

The eighth paragraph reveals a little more information:

In Nablus, the army said soldiers tried to disperse dozens of Palestinians throwing rocks and firebombs.

Rocks, firebombs, what's the difference? Why did the writer take so long to point out those pesky firebombs?

Some 200 teenagers remained in the streets hurling stones at soldiers and tanks. Demonstrators burned tires. The army said a small bomb exploded near Israeli troops in Nablus, but no one was hurt.

If they were throwing stones at me, and I had a gun, you can bet that there would be more dead Arabs. I'd have absolutely no regrets at blowing away the little shits, whether they were 10 or 50 years old. Let Allah decide who was justified.

Now, Palestinian leaders say they hope to discuss a new cease-fire this time, one Israel might also be asked to sign.

But Israel said it wasn't interested in making new agreements while the Palestinians have yet to live up to commitments under the current road map, which calls for the Palestinians to dismantle militant groups.

Oh, yeah. The Israelis are the only side that have actually followed any of the steps in the "road map". The Arabs have not even begun the most important step of the process—disarming the terrorists. When that occurs, Israel will be ready to talk.

The Palestinians say Thursday's killing forced them to suspend a planned crackdown on militants. Efforts were under way to reopen talks with militants to rescue the cease-fire, said Ghassan Khatib, the Palestinian labor minister.

And before the bus bombing, Sharon was ready to hand over all of the West Bank, plus throw in Jerusalem and the Negev Desert as well. It's just as likely.

A prominent Hamas leader, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, lashed out at President Bush, calling him "Islam's biggest enemy" in comments carried by Dubai-based satellite channel Al-Arabiya. He called the U.S. decision to freeze assets "a theft of Muslim money by the Americans."

Hey, Sharon is no longer at the top of the Islam Hate Parade! Freezing assets is not the same as theft, and since the money is being used to finance terrorism, they ought to be damn glad the US doesn't just seize it outright. We have a deficit, you know, and that money could be used to reduce it...

Following the latest violence, the army has re-established large numbers of checkpoints, severely restricting movement between towns.

It wouldn't be a shock if Israel completely shut down ALL towns in the territories, and confined the Arabs to the cities which they are currently located. That would cut down on some of the violence in Israel, although it would create more violence in the territories. If it comes down to that, I'm sure Israel would prefer the latter to the former.

posted at 03:05 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Schumer's hypocrisy

Note: many of the links to Schumer's website will give you "cannot find server" faults. Just hit the refresh button, and they will load. The Senate's servers are apparently a bit overloaded.

An AP story entitled Schumer Faults Bush for Massive Blackout highlights Charles Schumers monumental and shameless hypocrisy. He blasts Bush and the Republican party for favoring deregulation, accusing their policies of resulting in the blackout last week.

"I can think of no greater indictment of this policy than the millions of people without power and the loss of billions of dollars that occurred last week," he said.

He found a culprit in what he called the Republican administration's "doctrinal commitment to unfettered deregulation."

However, a quick check of Schumer's own website reveals that when it comes to energy deregulation, Schumer is a supporter himself. In 2000, he and Phil Gramm (yes, Phil Gramm of Texas) introduced a bill (The Consumer Empowerment and Electricity Deregulation Act of 2000") that would have established a sweeping deregulation of the energy industry, far beyond the minor restructuring in New York or California. The bill was never brought up for a vote, but Schumer was an enthusiastic sponsor. Note the bill has nothing to do with updating transmission lines, nothing to do with strengthening the oversight board, nothing to do with reliability; in short, nothing to do with what he is now blaming Bush for failing to fix.

Schumer has an extensive archive of press releases relating to energy issues, yet there is very little that mentions rebuilding the energy grid. What few press releases mention this issue are limited exclusively to New York City and Long Island, rather than to the northeast power grid. In this press release from October 2000, he advocates linking New Jersey and (eastern) Pennsylvania (two areas not affected by the blackout) to New York, using technology that does not yet exist. If this had been implemented (ignoring the technology hurdle) the end result would have been an even wider blackout. His most recent release calls on Spencer Abraham, Secretary of Energy, to disregard court rulings in Connecticut and authorize permanent use of the cross-sound cable, which provides up to 330 MW of power to Long Island, from New England. The cable has been tied up in environmental litigation since completion, but Schumer wants to bypass the environmental safeguards to keep Long Island lit up.

UPDATE: John Cole at Balloon Juice has the goods on New York's OTHER senator, Hillary Clinton, as well as a link to a New York Times piece that showed that Bush's energy plan, which included plans to strengthen the grid, was killed by Senate Dems two years ago. Schumer was one of the leaders in the fight against the Bush plan. Check it out.

posted at 10:53 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 22, 2003

Life's little annoyances

Yet another little annoyance reared its head today.

I *hate* people who insert code that forces a google cached page to display the most current page, instead of the page that has the information for which I was searching.

A moderately well-read blog (I won't drop names) was the source of my frustration. I was looking for something he posted in June or July (cannot remember which) so I googled his site name and a few keywords on the subject, and after what seemed like forever, the page came up, with a date of 20 August, and of course, the post for which I had been searching was nowhere to be found.

posted at 09:11 PM | permalink | Comments (1)

I hate that too, but it is almost always done with javascript. I use Opera, where I can just hit the F12 key and turn off javascript. So I turn it off and click on the cache again. (Assuming I really want the info, of course.)

posted by Kathy K on August 23, 2003 12:56 PM

Memo to the Arabs

American Digest has a post entitled Memo from Israel to Palestine, which neatly sums up the essentially groundless position from which the Arabs are attempting to argue. If the Israelis were a corporation, and the Palestinians were an employee, something like this would be in order for a personnel record.

posted at 07:37 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

It's Israel's fault...

...according to the Guardian (of course). In this editorial they insist that Israel is the side that must make all of the concessions, despite the fact that the Palestinians have never moved an inch from any of their positions since the end of the 1967 war; the only change is that Israel is now occupying "Palestine", referring to lands that were occupied by Jordan and Egypt prior to the war. The Arabs didn't complain until Israel took the land.

Think for a moment—what would have happened if Israel had immediately returned the lands it captured in 1967? Do you think that would have brought an end to the hostilities? Do you think that Jordan and Egypt would have established a state of Palestine in Gaza and Judea and Samaria? If you answer "yes", I have a bridge for sale...

Neither side is entitled to use the others' violence as an alibi for its own, but Israel, with the preponderance of power, is better placed to reflect on the folly, even in narrow terms of self-interest, of perpetuating this vicious cycle.

Israel has demonstrated time and again that it is willing to work with the Palestinians towards peace; the transformation of the PLO into the PA could not have happened without the consent and blessing of Israel. The self-rule in Gaza and significant portions of the West Bank (which has ended due to the continuous suicide bombings) would not have happened without Israeli cooperation. Israel's actions have been largely reactive, rather than proactive; every time there is a lull in bombings, the Israelis pull out and let the PA run things.

The "targeted killings" of Palestinian militants - and innocent passers-by - were described as exceptional two years ago: now they have become routine.

They sure as hell are better than the random murders caused by Islamokazis blowing themselves up in discotheques and pizzerias. Would the Guardian prefer that the Israelis start emulating the barbarism of the terrorists?

Instead of deterring Palestinian terrorism they have encouraged it to the point where even many Israelis believe that it is being done by their government to sabotage the peace process.

I think there are fewer Israelis that hold this view than there are European newspaper editors, with their extreme anti-Israel bias. There are a few Israeli appeasement groups out there, but they are far outweighed by those who are tired of European support for Islamofascism.

A related story is this AP story, entitled "Israel threatens to Kill Militant Leaders". I applaud Israel's decision, which is overdue and entirely justified. Of course, the Euro-weenies will have their panties in a bunch over the action, but they have never expressed support of any action Israel has taken, unless it is acquiescence to one Arab demand or another.

The decision to kill leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad was made in a meeting of Israel's security Cabinet earlier this week, in response to a Hamas suicide bombing that killed 20 people, security officials said. "As far as we are concerned, anyone who is in the Hamas leadership is a fair target," one official said on condition of anonymity.

Most people believe that the Mossad keeps track of most of the leaders of the various terrorist groups operating in Israel and in the territories it administers. A blitzkrieg-type action, in which the leaders are rapidly eliminated, has the potential to irreperably disrupt the activities of the groups. Yes, there would be plenty of volunteers eager to replace them, but planned actions would be disrupted, contacts with foreign governments hostile to Israel would be terminated, knowledge of activities would be eliminated, and access to funding would be hampered. Meanwhile, a clampdown on foreign activity in the territories would serve to prevent the reestablishment of such ties.

Expect the UN to enter another resolution condemning Israel, an activity they do with mind-numbing regularity. After all, the UN has only once issued any condemnation of Arab actions against Israel, and it was ignored. (I am speaking of the resolution passed when Egypt closed the Suez canal to ships carrying cargo to or from Israel in 1951).

posted at 04:07 PM | permalink | Comments (1)

What a giveaway:

"Neither side is entitled to use the others' violence as an alibi for its own..."

That's the pacifist ethos, isn't it? The position that, no matter what anyone might do to you, for you to defend yourself by force would still be morally wrong? The position that deeds the world and everything in it to those who are willing to use force?

"The meek do inherit the earth, but they tend to inherit very small plots, about six feet by three." -- Robert A. Heinlein.

posted by Francis W. Porretto on August 23, 2003 03:53 AM

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Hamas, IJ scrap truce

This AP story discusses the end of the most recent truce between the Palestinian terrorist groups and Israel, after Israel retaliated against a suicide bomber who murdered 20 Israelis.

In almost every argument I've seen (in the mainstream media, not necessarily in blogs), it is accepted that a Palestinian state is a moral imperative. Israel has accepted this, and all the negotiations have proceeded with the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state as a goal.

The only problem with this equation is that Hamas and Islamic Jihad refuse to accept the existence of Israel, and have stated that they never will. In fact, the charter for Hamas specifically calls for the destruction of "the Zionist entity", which pretty much rules out peace between Hamas and Israel.

The United States should allow Israel a bit of latitude, and the Israelis should use the latitude to announce that they will not recognize a Palestinian state until Hamas and Islamic Jihad recognize Israel. At that time (and not before), negotiations will begin.

Some will say that this is unfair, and that Hamas and Islamic Jihad do not represent the views of the Palestinian Authority, or of the Palestinian people. This is simply incorrect. The PA's refusal to REALLY crack down on terrorism is due in part to a shared belief in the terrorist groups' stated goals, and even more importantly, is due to the enormous support these groups derive from Arabs in Gaza and Judea and Samaria. A true attempt to rein in militants could result in civil war amongst the Arab factions, and Arafat desperately wishes to avoid such a situation. It would be bad for the Palestinian Arabs, and would create problems for Israel in the short term (refugees and more unrest). However, in the long run, it would be likely to work to Israel's advantage; once the dust settles, there would be only one group representing Palestinian interests, and it is much easier to negotiate with one group.

I support Hillary Clinton and John McCain's efforts to encourage the Israelis to complete the wall around the West Bank; the wall would help contain a Palestinian civil war to non-Israeli territory. Almost all of the suicide bombers come from Judea and Samaria, because the wall around Gaza keeps the terrorists there away from Israel.

posted at 05:29 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Blatant racism

Alphecca points out the infuriating double standards from the left on racial politics. It's inexcusable, and if such a situation had arisen on the right, it would have been political dynamite. Reciprocity, anyone?

(NOTE: Fixed grievous spelling error in title.)

posted at 09:34 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Iran's final solution?

Daily Pundit
pointed out how the two wings of Iran's increasingly schizophrenic government need to settle on a single message. He links to a December press release from the Iranian Press Service, with a quote from one of the Mullahs, asserting that Islamic countries which develop nuclear weapons should bomb Israel.

"If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world", Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani told the crowd at the traditional Friday prayers in Tehran.

A nuke over the old city would certainly alleviate the tension over control of Jerusalem. Too bad the destruction of Judaism's holiest shrine, along with the destruction of an allegedly important Islamic holy site, and the irradiation of Bethlehem (can't leave out Christianity) would outweigh the benefits. Nothing like a nuke to unify opposition against radical Islam.

I don't think the mad mullah thought this through, unless he was talking about Tel Aviv. Of course, nuking Tel Aviv would kill scores of Muslims in Jaffa, and it would lack the impact of leveling Jerusalem.

posted at 10:16 PM | permalink | Comments (1)

The "Mad Mullah" happens to be the former president of Iran, Rafsanjani, and the #2 mullah (how they keep score, I don't know).

In other words, this isn't just any Iranian nutjob, but rather an extremely powerful Iranian nutjob.

posted by John Moore (Useful Fools) on August 19, 2003 10:39 PM

Vacation's over

...and despite a slightly flaky broadband connection, I have access to the net without tying up the phone.

I'll be posting until next week, when I will be deploying again. I am looking at alternatives to the solution I used last deployment, which was less than satisfactory.

posted at 10:05 PM | permalink | Comments (1)

Good that you had some vacation time, hard to say when you'll get your next R&R.

Doubly indebted to you as this is not your first deployment. Wishing you a bon voyage and a successful, safe, and =quick= mission.

Hope you are able to keep in touch and your superior blog updated.

As they say:

Until we meet again,


posted by SzaffireBlue on August 19, 2003 11:45 PM

Vacation's over

And I once again have access to broadband internet, without tying up the only phone line.

posted at 07:59 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

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