Thursday, July 15, 2004

Palestinian maps revisited

One of my earliest posts (originally posted on RegurgaBlog, for those who remember back that far) dealt with a fundamentally dishonest map found on the home page of the Palestinian Authority's International Press Center, in which they showed a map of Israel and Palestine as a unified state (named Palestine) and described it as "Historical Palestine". The word "Israel" did not appear in any of the maps in the section.

I fired off an e-mail to them, and they responded, more or less. I blogged about it here.

Since that time, the IPC website has undergone a redesign, and many of the pages have changed names. This is to be expected, and of course with the redesign, many old links will no longer work.

However, this page is still active, although it is no longer on the front page. I cannot find a link to it on the home page (or the Arabic home page, since it is now in the "Arabic" section of the tri-lingual site), but the map is the same as it was in 2002.

What has changed, however, is the section at the top, in which they have added a statement (in French and a truncated version in English) which links to this map on a fundamentalist Christian website. The Palestinians claim that this map (a map of Solomonic Israel, 1000 years before Christ's birth) is the official Israeli governmental map, which is an outright lie. It is interesting that the more verbose explanation of the link is in French (playing to their audience, perhaps), and it is unbelievable that they link to a non-Israeli map as the official Israeli government position.

If they wanted to really portray the Israeli government's position, they could go here, with a map from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Two years ago, Jim Henley found a trio of maps from the MFA website that did not clearly acknowledge the green line (although the largest one did lay out areas under Palestinian control or partial control). The links no longer work, although I believe the large map he cites is this one. I had some issues with those maps,and the Palestinian response to my question, which I laid out here and here. But at least they were pulled from the official Israeli governmental website. Even when they are lying, the Palestinians are not subtle. It appears that they altered the page in response to questioning (mine?), but instead of correcting the dishonesty, they compounded it with an absurd link. Of course, we're talking about the Palestinians; holding them to the same standard expected of anyone else is absurd, since they have proven time and again that the only governmental task at which they excel is propaganda.

posted at 07:11 PM | permalink | Comments (2)

You always hear that Israel is the size of New Jersey, but the MFA Flash maps site does not compare it to New Jersey.

Oh well.

posted by Laurence Simon on July 15, 2004 07:29 PM

Actually, I've seen it compared to San Bernardino County, CA. It is a little more than half the size of just the one county.

posted by timekeeper on July 15, 2004 07:56 PM


I wonder if all the lefty blowhards who screamed their heads off over the Bush web-only ad "Wildeyed" will have anything to say about this ad, which is also web-based, courtesy of the wonderful ladies and gentlemen of MoveOn PAC.

The Annenberg Political Fact Check has a few things to say about the ad, unlike the Bush ad which the Kerry brigades were up in arms over. The problem (for the left) is that Bush was simply airing what his detractors had been saying all along about him, unedited and without comment. This ad, by contrast, dowdifies Cheney's quote (Scornfully repeating the terrorists) and then further compounds it by repeating the statement, something Cheney never did.

MoveOn PAC must immediately remove the ad, as Kerry insisted that the Bush campaign do with their ad. I'll not hold my breath waiting for THAT to happen, though.

(Balloon Juice linked to the RNC's response to that demand, as well as the lies spread by the left afterwards in an attempt to squeeze more money from their contributors. Check it out.)

posted at 05:31 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Don't hit the snooze button

This is an excerpt from a speech by CAPT Don Ouimette, USN, the Executive Officer of NAS Pensacola, FL. This speech was given in April 2003, but the underlying sentiments behind the speech are still valid.


That's what we think we heard on the 11th of September 2001 (When more than 3,000 Americans were killed) and maybe it was, but I think it should have been "Get Out of Bed!" In fact, I think the alarm clock has been buzzing since 1979 and we have continued to hit the snooze button and roll over for a few more minutes of peaceful sleep since then.

It was a cool fall day in November 1979 in a country going through a religious and political upheaval when a group of Iranian students attacked and seized the American Embassy in Tehran. This seizure was an outright attack on American soil; it was an attack that held the world's most powerful country hostage and paralyzed a Presidency. The attack on this sovereign U. S. embassy set the stage for events to follow for the next 23 years.

America was still reeling from the aftermath of the Vietnam experience and had a serious threat from the Soviet Union when then, President Carter, had to do something. He chose to conduct a clandestine raid in the desert. The ill-fated mission ended in ruin, but stood as a symbol of America's inability to deal with terrorism.

America's military had been decimated and downsized/right sized since the end of the Vietnam War. A poorly trained, poorly equipped and poorly organized military was called on to execute a complex mission that was doomed from the start.

Shortly after the Tehran experience, Americans began to be kidnapped and killed throughout the Middle East. America could do little to protect her citizens living and working abroad. The attacks against US soil continued.

In April of 1983 a large vehicle packed with high explosives was driven into the US Embassy compound in Beirut. When it explodes, it kills 63 people.

The alarm went off again and America hit the Snooze Button once more.

Then just six short months later a large truck heavily laden down with over 2500 pounds of TNT smashed through the main gate of the US Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut and 241 US servicemen are killed. America mourns her dead and hit the Snooze Button once more.

Two months later in December 1983, another truck loaded with explosives is driven into the US Embassy in Kuwait, and America continues her slumber.

The following year, in September 1984, another van was driven into the gate of the US Embassy in Beirut and America slept.

Soon the terrorism spreads to Europe. In April 1985 a bomb explodes in a restaurant frequented by US soldiers in Madrid.

Then in August a Volkswagen loaded with explosives is driven into the main gate of the US Air Force Base at Rhein-Main, 22 are killed and the snooze alarm is buzzing louder and louder as US interests are continually attacked.

Fifty-nine days later a cruise ship, the Achille Lauro is hijacked and we watched as an American in a wheelchair is singled out of the passenger list and executed.

The terrorists then shift their tactics to bombing civilian airliners when they bomb TWA Flight 840 in April of 1986 that killed 114 and the most tragic bombing, Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing 259.

Clinton treated these terrorist acts as crimes; in fact we are still trying to bring these people to trial. These are acts of war.

The wake up alarm is getting louder and louder.

The terrorists decide to bring the fight to America. In January 1993, two CIA agents are shot and killed as they enter CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

The following month, February 1993, a group of terrorists are arrested after a rented van packed with explosives is driven into the underground parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. Six people are killed and over 1000 are injured. Still this is a crime and not an act of war?

The Snooze alarm is depressed again.

Then in November 1995 a car bomb explodes at a US military complex in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing seven service men and women.

A few months later in June of 1996, another truck bomb explodes only 35 yards from the US military compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. It destroys the Khobar Towers, a US Air Force barracks, killing 19 and injuring over 500. The terrorists are getting braver and smarter as they see that America does not respond decisively.

They move to coordinate their attacks in a simultaneous attack on two US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. These attacks were planned with precision.

They kill 224. America responds with cruise missile attacks and goes back to sleep.

The USS Cole was docked in the port of Aden, Yemen for refueling on 12 October 2000, when a small craft pulled along side the ship and exploded killing 17 US Navy Sailors. Attacking a US War Ship is an act of war, but we sent the FBI to investigate the crime and went back to sleep.

And of course you know the events of 11 September 2001. Most Americans think this was the first attack against US soil or in America. How wrong they are. America has been under a constant attack since 1979 and we chose to hit the snooze alarm and roll over and go back to sleep.

In the news lately we have seen lots of finger pointing from every high officials in government over what they knew and what they didn't know. But if you've read the papers and paid a little attention I think you can see exactly what they knew. You don't have to be in the FBI or CIA or on the National Security Council to see the pattern that has been developing since 1979.

The President is right on when he says we are engaged in a war. I think we have been in a war for the past 23 years and it will continue until we as a people decide enough is enough.

America needs to "Get out of Bed" and act decisively now. America has been changed forever. We have to be ready to pay the price and make the sacrifice to ensure our way of life continues. We cannot afford to keep hitting the snooze button again and again and roll over and go back to sleep.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto said " seems all we have done is awakened a sleeping giant." This is the message we need to disseminate to terrorists around the world.

posted at 11:53 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Another quiz

This one is fairly accurate.


Wackiness: 8/100
Rationality: 460/100
Constructiveness: 20/100
Leadership: 28/100

You are an SRDF--Sober Rational Destructive Follower. This makes you a font of knowledge. You are cool, analytical, intelligent and completely unfunny. Sometimes you slice through conversation with a cutting observation that causes silence and sidelong glances. You make a strong and lasting impression on everyone you meet, the quality of which depends more on their personality than yours.

You may feel persecuted, as you can become a target for fun. Still, you are focused enough on your work and secure enough in your abilities not to worry overly.

You are productive and invaluable to those you work for. You are loyal, steadfast, and conscientious. Your grooming is impeccable. You are in good shape.

You are kind of a tool, but you get things done. You are probably a week away from snapping.


I'm not in shape (unless you consider "gibbous" to be a shape), and I'm not likely to shock people into silence, but it's otherwise a reasonable assessment of my personality and motivations. I'm not as grim as the results imply, but I do have a somewhat skewed sense of humor, which can cause me to appear humorless to those who don't know me well.

(Link courtesy of Andrew Olmsted.)

posted at 09:33 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

More hot air from the "uncivil rights" left

This story, from the AP, discusses the (futile) effort by the Bush administration to defend the Patriot Act against charges that it has caused more harm than good, by releasing a list of 35 instances in which the Patriot Act was used to prosecute terrorists and other criminals. I think it is futile because the llieral left's minions will always be against the Patriot Act because it was a product of the Bush administration, and therefore by definition must be unalterably evil.

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, accused the department of selectively releasing information and refusing to address civil liberties concerns.

"Coupled with the department's consistent record of exaggerating their record about terrorism, this entire report is suspect," Conyers said.


Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites), said he considered the report a political document rather than a serious examination of the Patriot Act's impact. The Bush administration, he said, should "spend less time waging public relations campaigns and more time responding to the specific, legitimate concerns of the American people."

At least they chose two individuals who have been consistent in their stance. Both Conyers and Romero have been opposed to the Patriot Act since its inception (Conyers voted against it, and Romero's organization lobbied heavily against it.) They have a lot more credibility than the Johnny-come-latelies (Kerry and Edwards) who voted to support it before they argued against it.

I'd take Conyers and Romero a lot more seriously if they were able to produce actual documentation of abuse of the act, rather than a lot of empty sound and fury. By demanding that the administration prove that no harm has occurred, they're asking Bush to prove a negative, which is unrealistic. The onus is upon them to make their case, rather than have the administration to do it for them. Until they actually cite examples, it's just another political sideshow.

posted at 06:46 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Lovely, just lovely

I discovered today (via a news brief on the dead-tree edition of USA Today) that last week's top Billboard album, Kiss of Death, by a rapper named DaJackass Jadakiss, contains a single, entitled "Why", which contains the line "Why did Bush knock down the towers?" I thought that this trope had died, after Cynthia McKinney and Howard Dean had trotted it out and found it didn't have any currency among the people outside of their echo-chamber asylum. Apparently I was wrong, as it's now part of a song by an alleged entertainer. He also manages to work in a snivel about Governor Schwarzenegger's election and how "the man" is oppressing him. Manifestly subliterate and devoid of independent thought, a transcipt of the lyrics can be found here.

posted at 06:00 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Edwards' dodgy tax dodges

Today's OpinionJournal - Featured Article (free registration required) is a fairly scathing indictment of the double standard enjoyed by high-income democrats using tax shelters to dodge the tax increases they advocate. It discusses the tax shelters employed by Edwards and Teresa Heinz Kerry to avoid paying taxes. While Heinz Kerry's information is interesting, the data on Edwards is appalling. The column points out this gem:

Senator Edwards talks about the need to provide health care for all, but that didn't stop him from using a clever tax dodge to avoid paying $591,000 into the Medicare system. While making his fortune as a trial lawyer in 1995, he formed what is known as a "subchapter S" corporation, with himself as the sole shareholder.

Instead of taking his $26.9 million in earnings directly in the following four years, he paid himself a salary of $360,000 a year and took the rest as corporate dividends. Since salary is subject to 2.9% Medicare tax but dividends aren't, that meant he shielded more than 90% of his income. That's not necessarily illegal, but dodging such a large chunk of employment tax skates perilously close to the line.

The article notes in a later paragraph that in 1993 the income limit on Medicare taxation was increased, primarily to ensure that high-income types like Edwards paid a fair share. It also notes that Edwards ostensibly set up the corporation to protect himself from lawsuits. A lawyer afraid of lawsuits? It speaks volumes about our hyper-litigious environment these days.

posted at 07:24 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 12, 2004

Who is REALLY spending more

Michael Gersh has a link to an interesting piece in USA Today on Kerry's lead in the ads runs by the two presidential campaigns, and ties in a link from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette which points out that Kerry received no bounce from his VP announcement, a first in modern political history. He follows with some analysis on why this is not good news for Kerry.

One paragraph in the USA Today piece is particularly noteworthy:

Political groups' ads were shown 56,627 times. All but 513 were ads by liberal, anti-Bush groups such as MoveOn PAC and the Media Fund. The others were by conservative groups.

99.1 percent of ads from outside groups were from leftist organizations. Remember this when people accuse the GOP of trying to win the election through a massive delulge of anti-Kerry ads. Kerry alone has spent more than Bush, but when the ads from the pressure groups are added, he has about 80 percent more ad saturation in the competitive states.

posted at 01:01 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

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