Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Trouble in Russia
This is a great editorial from the Washington Post about the arrest of the richest man in Russia; a move our friend Putin does not deem political in the least-riiiight.
Their market dropped 14% yesterday [so I heard], the oil market will plummet along with the ruble, and foreign investment will be moved elsewhere. Overall it looks like the former KGB member is reverting back to old habits at the expense of his comrades.
Urge your Congressmember to support resolution condeming Malaysian Prime Minister's anti-Semitic remarks
Ah, the wonders of Capwiz...and for those of you who think correspondence with your representatives in DC is meaningless, I'm living proof that you're 1000% wrong. So go ahead, click the link and send the letter!
Senate Votes to Restrict Military Aid to Malaysia
The Senate Responds to Mahathir:
A small, but meaningful move by the Senate last night...the question is whether or not it will be waived by Sec. Powell for "national security reasons" like most things are.
I hate Paul Krugman-Again
He just doesn't stop. Just because he's Jewish means he feels its ok to be an anti-Semite apologist? And he calls the BOTW info a "smear campaign." You'd think he'd just shut up and stick to bashing Bush's economic policies...as if the backlash to his article last Tuesday wasn't enough. What an absolute fool.
Un-Happy Ramadan...how many people were killed because of Muslim terrorism today?
Quote of the day:
"Gen. Boykin has confused the heck out of the White House with all this talk about the Almighty, because when he talks about the Almighty, the president thinks he's talking about Cheney, Cheney thinks he's talking about Halliburton, . . ., and John Ashcroft thinks they're talking about him--so they don't know where to go."--the very French-looking Sen. John Kerry who, by the way, served in Vietnam in case you forgot from the last time he reminded you.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Digital Divorce
This is so strange
Here's what happens...
This is what happens when Prime Ministers say stupid anti-Semitic comments-you get newspapers that that run with it as truth, not just the opinion of one twisted leader.
Mahathir persists
More bigotry from the Malaysian leader who, I'm giddy to say, will be retiring on Friday.
Communist News Network
CNN calls Bush's condemnation of Mahathir's comments the 'Political Play of the Week.' They try to tie it to an upswing in Jews voting GOP [as noted several weeks back on this wonderful blog], but I think any president would have come out strongly against it, just like every other foreign leader did. No, not every other foreign leader. Jacques Chirac did not. Go figure.
Anyway, this was not a political move, this was coming out clearly and adamantly against anti-Semitic remarks by the Malaysian PM. These people need to stop looking for political reasons for Bush's every move. It's sickening.
Anti-Globalism's Jewish Problem
At long last this article has been made available online for free. This is a MUST READ article, and I don't say that lightly.
Additionally, Foreign Policy is offering better subscription deals online than they are to current subscribers. I just resubscribed for another two years for the price of one, or four dollars more for two years than I paid for this year. There are always many great articles in each issue [six issues per year], I very highly suggest subscribing.
Please leave me some feedback about this one, I'd like to know your thoughts.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

I realized I had to take the WSJ online article I posted on Thursday night about Mahathir off the blog...it was too big and I don't think it's worth the space. I realize I was a bit too focused on that last week but it was a big deal-to me, at least-and I think it was worth noting. However, it appears to have vanished into history [though the Foreign Policy article I wrote about a short while ago, does make reference to Mahathir's anit-Semitic comments back in '97...it really is a great article.] like everything important tends to do in this nation with a five nanosecond attention span-which is sad. Considering I've been getting no feedback from my avid readers [there must be some because the visitor counter that was posted two weeks ago is already up to 422 the last time I checked], unless there's a request to repost it, it will be gone from this blog forever. My condolences to those of you not lucky to have read it in time.
The Opt-Out Revolution
I haven't read this article yet, but make sure not to tell women that this is just an excuse for their inability to reach the levels men do...it might cause bodily damage, trust me.
Amazon Turns on a New Page
This'll make plagerism a whole lot more difficult.
I read a great, albeit very long, article about anti-Semitism and anti-globalists on Friday in the new issue of Foreign Policy. However, since the calendar has not turned to November yet, it is only available in print to subscribers like me...should be available online for the general public soon. So when it is, I'll post it and it will be required reading for all of you!

Thursday, October 23, 2003

From today's CQ Daily Midday Update:

Times may be tough outside the Beltway, but members of Congress will get their pay raise in 2004. The Senate today killed, 60-34, an amendment to the fiscal 2004 Transportation-Treasury spending bill (HR 2989) that would
have blocked the cost of living increase of nearly $3,400. Russell D. Feingold, D-Wis., who offered the amendment, declared, "This is the wrong time for Congress to give itself a pay hike." Appropriations Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, tersely replied, "We have provided COLAs to . . . a whole list of federal categories of civil servants and federal servants. This is not a pay raise." House leaders used a procedural move to block a similar challenge to the pay increase Sept. 4 on a 240-173 vote. The 2.2 percent COLA will raise the typical lawmakers' salary to $158,000, from $154,700 currently. Top leaders get more.
Thank you to my friend, "Shmaryahu" for this tidbit:

"Best of the Web Today," James Taranto's popular daily political Web log, draws more than 75,000 readers each weekday. Known for its witty commentary and sharp analysis, it recently won a 2003 WebAward for excellence in the Advocacy category from The Web Marketing Association.

So for all the liberals and democrats that argue that it's biased etc...HAH!
A piece from today's NYTimes letters to the editor:

President Bush's silence regarding the growing trend of anti-Muslim rhetoric within the neoconservative evangelical political elite is sending the wrong message to the American Muslim community, and, more important, to the entirety of the Muslim world.

Washington, Oct. 22, 2003
The writer is director of legal affairs, Council on American-Islamic Relations.

And what message does Muslim leaders cheering an anti-Semitic speech send to the entire world, let alone Jewish one???
Palestinians back armed struggle after state

A new poll suggests that a majority wants to keep fighting Israel even if there's a political settlement and a Palestinian state. Just as discouraging:
Ninety-six percent of Israeli Jews say the people who piloted the planes on September 11 were terrorists, while 37 percent of Palestinians share that view. Slightly more than one in four - 26 percent - of Palestinians believe Israelis planned the 9-11 attacks.
Forty-two percent of Palestinians and 61 percent of Israeli-Arabs stated that they support the people who are attacking Americans in Iraq. Zero percent of Israeli Jews said they did.

Another leak in Washington

This one came out of the Pentagon, where a memo to four high ranking DoD officals somehow made it to the cover of the USA Today. Perhaps we should have a DoJ investigation into the matter? Oh, wait, this actually benefits the Dems, they won't mind.
In fact, Tom Daschle states, ""I think Secretary Rumsfeld's comments are an illustration of the concern that they have about the failures of their policy in Iraq so far...They acknowledge they have not succeeded to date"
From an online chat today on washingtonpost.com:

Q: In a recent interview President Bush said something like he doesn't read newspapers or watch TV news because he has people do that and report to him. Do you think it's a little dangerous to have the man in charge having his news put through the only-good-news-for-the-president filter?

Tina Brown: Maybe he spends his day reading bloggs

I'm just livid about this. This piece of news really puts things into perspective. Now I can justifiably-if I lacked justification beforehand-dismiss Krugman. Here's the following from today's "Best of the Web" draw your own conclusions:

An Unraveling Mind--II
The Anti-Defamation League has sent a letter to the editor of the New York Times protesting former Enron adviser Paul Krugman's column, which we noted yesterday, blaming President Bush for the anti-Semitic remarks of Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's prime minister:

In his obsession with criticizing U.S. policy, Paul Krugman underestimates the significance of the anti-Semitic diatribe by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad before the Organization of the Islamic Conference ("Listening to Mahathir," Oct. 21).

Mahathir's comments cannot be explained away by themes of domestic politics. They come in the context of a surge of anti-Semitism in the Islamic world, and not only on the fringes. Conspiracy theories about blaming Jews for 9/11 are believed by tens of millions. Denial of the Holocaust is rampant in the media. Images of Jews in op-ed pieces, editorials, and cartoons reflect classic anti-Semitic stereotypes--drinking the blood of Muslims, all-powerful, secretive and conspiratorial.

The last time the world saw such a hateful anti-Semitic tirade by a national leader, there was a tendency to play it down as well--as only politics, as buffoonery, as a passing thing. We know how that ended up in Germany. Let's not make that mistake again.

It turns out that Enron isn't the only dubious past recipient of Krugman's advice. Blogger David Luskin notes that Krugman also is a former Mahathir adviser. In a September 1998 Fortune article, Krugman advocated controls on currency trading, a position that Mahathir's government quickly adopted. In a September 1999 article for Slate, Krugman describes going to Malaysia, where he advised Mahathir not to abuse what he said had come to be known as "the 'Krugman-Mahathir strategy' of recovery via capital controls."

Krugman made some effort to distance himself from Mahathir, opening his Slate piece as follows:

I didn't want to go to Malaysia. The Malaysian government would surely expect me to deliver a stronger endorsement of its heterodox economic program than I was prepared to offer. And, of course, it would try to use me politically--to provide a veneer of respectability to a regime that has lately developed the habit of putting inconvenient people in jail. But sometimes an economist has to do what an economist has to do.

But Krugman has not exactly been full-throated in his condemnation of Mahathir's anti-Semitmsm. Here's Luskin:

In a November 8, 1998 article for, yes, the New York Times Magazine, Krugman wrote an article that dealt with, among other things, the impact of currency speculators in precipitating economic crises of the type that rocked Malaysia in 1997-1998. Once again he writes of Mahathir's anti-Semitism--but this time, he doesn't say it's "inexcusable." He agrees with it:

"When the occasional accusation of financial conspiracy is heard--when, for example, Malaysia's Prime Minster blames his country's problems on the machinations of Jewish speculators--the reaction of most observers is skepticism, even ridicule.

"But even the paranoid have people out to get them. Little by little, over the past few years, the figure of the evil speculator has reemerged."

And who's the example of the "evil speculator" given in the very next sentence? That's right, George Soros--a Jew.

Five years later Krugman blames Mahathir's anti-Semitism on George W. Bush--who when Krugman wrote the words above had just been elected to his second term as governor of Texas.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Fallout from Krugman's article:

It appears that my comments regarding Mahathir and Krugman's article earlier today were on par with the pundits. As evidenced by the four letters to be printed in tomorrow's Times, as well as other blogs, and the "Best of the Web" [more on that later], it seems pretty clear that Krugman must have been on whatever drugs Rush was on for the past few years when he wrote today's piece. There was no logic in it; he merely attempted to justify the comments of an anti-semite and went on to blame the comments and the underlying sentiments on the Bush administration. Krugman can write about economics and other policies the public may know little about without being questioned or critiqued. But when discussing the age-old problem of anti-semitism, is he naive enough to believe that people will agree that it, in its contemporary form, is the fault of the current adminstration? Apparently he is. But we're not, as evidenced by the loud outpouring of criticism.

Here's a sample, from today's "Best of the Web":

Can former Enron adviser [there is an obvious anti-Times, anti-Krugman bias here, but please look past it for the bigger picture] Paul Krugman get any nuttier? We'd have said no, but then we read today's column. Krugman weighs in on last week's anti-Jewish tirade by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia, and the results boggle the mind.

Krugman begins by characterizing Mahathir's comments as "inexcusable," but then goes on to make excuses for them. "Mr. Mahathir is a cagey politician, who is neither ignorant nor foolish," Krugman explains. The anti-Semitism is "rhetorical red meat" for the rabble, "part of a delicate balancing act aimed at domestic politics." And anyway, it wasn't even the central theme of Mahathir's speech:

<< Most of it is criticism directed at other Muslims, clerics in particular. Mr. Mahathir castigates "interpreters of Islam who taught that acquisition of knowledge by Muslims meant only the study of Islamic theology." Thanks to these interpreters, "the study of science, medicine, etc. was discouraged. Intellectually the Muslims began to regress." A lot of the speech sounds as if it had been written by Bernard Lewis, author of "What Went Wrong," the best-selling book about the Islamic decline. >>

If Krugman is right, this is terrific news. The leader of a Muslim country is confronting his fellow Muslim rulers with hard truths, in the manner of Bernard Lewis, no less. But in the twisted mind of Paul Krugman, this is evidence of "how badly things are going for U.S. foreign policy." And of course it's all President Bush's fault:

<< Not long ago Washington was talking about Malaysia as an important partner in the war on terror. Now Mr. Mahathir thinks that to cover his domestic flank, he must insert hateful words into a speech mainly about Muslim reform. That tells you, more accurately than any poll, just how strong the rising tide of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism among Muslims in Southeast Asia has become. Thanks to its war in Iraq and its unconditional support for Ariel Sharon, Washington has squandered post-9/11 sympathy and brought relations with the Muslim world to a new low. >>

So, to summarize Krugman's argument: Normally, when a "cagey" Muslim ruler "castigates" theocratic elements of his society, he feels no need to "protect his domestic flank." If only Saddam Hussein still ruled Iraq and America opposed Israel's efforts to protect its citizens from terrorism, there would be no anti-Semitism in the Islamic world.

Some letters to the Times editor in response to Krugman's article, and the front page article [posted below]:

<< It is not fair to rationalize the hateful remarks by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia by linking them to the American invasion of Iraq and our support for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel.

Mr. Mahathir's comments are anti-Semitic and bigoted and can't be rationalized. >>
Simple and to the point, exactly what I would have written.

<< Much as I would like to believe, as Paul Krugman suggests ("Listening to Mahathir," column, Oct. 21), that Mahathir Mohamad's anti-Semitic speech was merely a result of President Bush's foreign policy, I believe that the blame lies elsewhere.

The standing ovation the Malaysian prime minister received and the subsequent defense of his remarks by almost all the participants at the meeting of Muslim leaders suggests that rather than feeding his Muslim public "rhetorical red meat," the Malaysian leader was simply restating anti-Semitic beliefs that are unfortunately popular throughout the Muslim world, even in so-called moderate states like Malaysia. >>

And finally:
<< As a Jew and a Republican, I felt doubly insulted when Paul Krugman connected Muslim anti-Semitism with the Bush administration's war in Iraq and its unconditional support for Ariel Sharon (column, Oct. 21).

Muslim anti-Semitism has been a growing problem for decades. Its roots lie in the cultures of various areas, not in American policy.

Instead of justifying anti-Semitism or blaming others for it, we should directly oppose the anti-Semites, as President Bush did when he criticized the comments of Mahathir Mohamad, the Malaysian prime minister. >>

Time to get back to studying...wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I hate Paul Krugman.
This piece is so one-sided, it is almost a praise of a bigot's history of racism. Krugman makes no mention of a fact that was included in the front page article [posted below]:
"In fact, Malaysia ...was run by a man who once blamed the Asian financial crisis in 1997 on the Jews and often said Western-style democracy would be a disaster in the developing world."

All Krugman says is that:
"At that time, rather than accept the austerity programs recommended by the U.S. government and the I.M.F., he loudly blamed machinations by Western speculators, and imposed temporary controls on the outflow of capital — a step denounced by all but a handful of Western economists. As it turned out, his economic strategy was right: Malaysia suffered a shallower slump and achieved a quicker recovery than its neighbors."

Perhaps Krugman got mixed up? The front page article claims Mahathir blamed the Jews for the financial crisis while warning that western democracy would be a disaster for the developing world [not such a far-fetched idea, I've actually read a lot to suppor this but this might have been too simplistic]. Krugman claims Mahathir blamed the crisis on western machinations while making no mention of blame directed toward the Jews.

Further, for him to blame this idiot's comments on President Bush's policies is just dumb. There comes a point in time when people like Krugman and Dowd must wake up and realize that everything bad in the world is not the fault of George W. Bush. Though you may argue he is not a good president, promotes bad policies, and has drawn us into two wars [I'll give you that much], anti-semtism is not his fault! Anti-semitism preceeded this administration and it will, in all likelihood, be around long after it as well. I'm sick and tired of people blaming everything on one man. As I study for my poli-sci mid-term, we've learned that to analyze an issue exclusively from the purely individualistic viewpoint is flawed. You can't blame everything on one man. You must look at what goes on on the domestic level [which, you can argue, Krugman was doing by pointing out that his anti-semitism was throwing a bone to the muslims in his nation...that's just sick, but ok], on the international level, as well as on the individual level. You can't blame all of World War II on Hitler and you can't blame all that's wrong in the world today on Bush.
I hate Paul Krugman.
More anti-semitism, this time from a New Republic senior editor, as described here in the Washington Post.
The Washington Post's editorial and Op-ed pages comment on the last issue I posted about last Friday-Gen. Boykin. The editorial calls for President Bush to condemn those comments like he did for Mahathir's, while Fareed Zakaria argues that instead of spending money on ways to improve American-Arab relations, we should just fire Boykin. Both are articles worth reading.
I still hate Krugman.
Well, it looks like Mahathir's comments have generated a good deal of controversy-rightly so-but this article proves that his comments were not taken out of context.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Some articles that may be not be getting enough attention because of the Yankees victory early this morning:
OIC Summit Host Responds to Criticism of Mahathir's Remarks About Jews
and some more on this at Western countries turn on Mahathir
I'm not sure why DoD didn't rebuke this one or at least distance themselves from it but this is just terrible: General: We're in a 'Spiritual Battle'--Says 'Christian army' fights Satan, Muslims worship 'idol'
On the Iraqi reconstruction bill making its way through Congress: Senate Turns Half of Iraq Aid Into Loans-Senate Turns Half of $20.3B in Aid to Iraq Into Loans in Embarrassing Setback for Bush
And some follow up on the horrific Staten Island Ferry 'accident': Staten Island Ferry Was Going Full Speed-Staten Island Ferry That Crashed, Killing 10, Was Going at Full Speed As It Hurtled Into Pier

That's all for today...I won't be posting until Sunday night at the earliest, but here's a picture of where I'll be for the weekend: The Ramada Plaza Hotel in Edison, NJ for Camp HASC's Simchaton...YAY!!!
Have a great weekend, please come back soon, and GO YANKEES!

[I'm a Met's fan but when in Rome, do as the Romans...they're the hometeam, I won't betray them like the Times did last week]

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Although Thomas is not acknowledging this, and the Congressional Record has yet to be posted online, WaPo reports that the Syria Accountability passed in the House tonight.
This WaPo article describes Tom DeLay's involvement in its passage and his overall participation in deciding foreign policy. The required "the Zionists control the world" argument is made by James Zogby, followed up by a statement by Shibley Telhami.
Interestingly, while searching for the bill on thomas, I stumbled upon H.CON.RES.106 which is "Recognizing and honoring America's Jewish community on the occasion of its 350th anniversary, supporting the designation of an "American Jewish History Month", and for other purposes." This bill was agreed to by voice vote this morning. Not at all surprising is the fact that my own representative did not cosponsor it. We'll have to inform him, yet again, or our displeasure resulting from his lack of doing ANYTHING for us.
Just returning to the subject for a moment, I managed to track down the vote here. And, as luck would have it, my congressman didn't vote for it! Wow, one startling revelation after the other! The only thing-and I mean only thing-that might give him reason to not vote was if he rushed back to his district because of the Ferry accident [see below] considering the vote took place at 7:24pm, just over three hours after the accident. I, however, have found no proof to substantiate that alibi. We'll see if his office people respond to the email I just sent them.
I would be remiss if I didn't post some info on the tragic accident that occured in my hometown late this afternoon.
Here's a slideshow of photos from the wreckage.
This is the worst part though-the captain was unconscious at the time of the accident...read the story for more details.
This is just another story about the accident from a different local tv station.
For a national perspective, click here for a WaPo article.
Finally, from the New York Times:
An article further describing the mystery surrounding the co-captain as well as another story of passenger accounts, and a piece about the scene.
When I first heard about it, my first reaction was that the winds were so strong and the water so choppy that the boat just hit the pilings too hard and some people must have hit the wall and died while others might have gone overboard and gotten pinned between the boat and the slip. I've often wondered why people don't fall off the boat on days like this; why, when hitting the pilings head-on the impact doesn't knowck people off the boat. I don't mean to make fun of the situation at all-anyone who's ever taken a ride on the Ferry on a day with super-choppy waters can relate to my question. Well, it appears that wasn't even what happened this time so it's irrelevant.
Is it time to assassinate George Dubya Bush?
Just for clarification, Great Britain is still our ally, correct? That being the case, why is this question published in the "Talk" section of the British "Guardian"?

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

From Andrew Sullivan:
was Rush actually high during his broadcasts? Given the enormous amount of drugs in question, given their addictive quality, I'd say that the odds that Limbaugh was high when he was broadcasting are pretty good. Some might argue that you need to have your brain on drugs to say the things Rush said. But I'd argue the opposite. In fact, it might be true that Rush was a better broadcaster because he was high. His particular blend of self-mocking, lacerating, funny and fluent commentary reminds me in a way of people on a kind of high. Or maybe this attitude is actually hard to sustain for so long at such a pitch - and so the drugs helped him endure the slog of daily broadcasting the way drugs can enhance athletes' performance. Either way, the drugs may well have helped him do his job well. Obviously, he got addicted in a major way - which is the mega-down-side of such meds. And he may have lost his hearing because of enormous abuse of the pills. But it behooves us to notice the upside as well: that these drugs, far from impairing his ability to do great radio, may have helped him. If there were a way for Rush to use the drugs in moderation without getting addicted, why would that be a bad thing? And how would that differ in a deep way from people on anti-depressants who aren't clinically depressed? Or casual pot-smokers? Or old-time columnists who used to write brilliant columns while under the influence of a triple scotch? (I recall one of my early days on Fleet Street when I asked a brilliant columnist how he could write such stuff after several strong whiskeys in the afternoon. "My dear boy," he replied, "The real question is how I could write without the whiskey." Somehow, I get the feeling these permutations won't be fully developed in our puritan culture. But they should be. There's a reason Rush enjoyed these rushes. And conservatives benefited.
Worker blogs raise some company concerns
Good thing I'm not working yet and can speak freely!
From Polipundit:
466,884! That's how many volunteers Howard Dean has already signed up for his campaign. Imagine what a difference those volunteers could make in 2004, when they'll spread out all over the country to elect a hard-left Democrat who will raise your taxes, appease terrorists and fill the courts with ultra-liberal nominees who will make the Ninth Circus look reasonable by comparison.
I've tried getting links to all the presidential campaigns but I was only able to find two...if anyone can find others, let me know, I'm an "equal opportunity advertiser" although I obviously don't support all of them.
As a serious aside, I had to go to the DNC website just to find out how many [NINE!!!] people are running against the President and who they are [Kerry, Dean, Kucinich, Braun, Edwards, Gephardt, Sharpton, Clark, and Lieberman...phew!]. This field seriously has to be whittled down because its only twelve and a half months before the elections and they're all definitely taking votes from each other...consolidation is sorely needed soon.
Go ahead, splurge on The Bulge, but any resulting fat is on you
See, this is what McDonald's should have done all along!
Definitely worth reading
And now it is Syria's choice
An article by Darrell Issa (you know, the one who started and personally funded the recall in California) about President Assad. To those who don't know, Issa is Lebanese and has a vested interest in Lebanon regaining sovereignty over its land, citizens, resources etc.
Woman Gets Jail In Assault On Boy, 4-Hot French Fries Smashed in Face
All about ice cream...which flavor was it anyway?
On Bashing Bashar
A must read Safire article on the situation in Syria and Howard Dean's response to Israel's attack.
Smile, You're on Candid Cellphone Camera
An interesting article from the Times "Week in Review" that I forgot to post earlier in the week about camera phones and their affect on society.
Fighting the War at Home
Here the Times weighs in on the form letters sent to local newspapers by soldiers in Iraq.
Saudi Arabia Downplays Rare Public Demonstration
First the announcement of elections, now public protests...looks like the monarchy is quickly losing its grip.
Tailors Rush to Finish Cardinals' New Clothes
Why is this newsworthy?
""This isn't the kind of stuff you can see in shop windows where I come from," said Nick Handels, a student from Illinois."-Don't you just love American tourists in European countries?
Iraq aims for elections next year
Good luck to them...let's just hope there are no bombings on election day like we had in NYC the day of the mayoral primary just over two years ago-September 11, 2001.
Terror in Gaza
This time the attack was not aimed at innocent Israelis-it was an attack on an American diplomatic convoy (with clearly marked diplomatic plates!) on its way to distribute grant funds. According to Ha'aretz, quoting Reuthers, the convoy attacked in Gaza was taking U.S. officials to meet Palestinian candidates for Fulbright scholarships in the U.S.
The picture of the hole left in the explosion's aftermath is simply breathtaking.
Arafat calls it a "crime." So he's equating it to, say, robbing someone? "Crime"?!? I could think of a much stronger description given the circumstances.
Abu Ala says, "We will investigate this from our side." Here's a hint, search the Muqata and its inhabitants!
It's ok, the FBI is on its way to investigate also...I wonder if they'll actually reveal the truth, or it'll be another whitewash just like every other Palestinian attack on Americans.
The BBC reporter on the ground says that, "it is not clear whether the easily identifiable convoy was deliberately targeted."
I'll just leave you on your own to make your own conclusions about their reporting.
I couldn't figure out how to post the picture, but the following caption appears underneath a picture on the front page of "The Hill":
"At a press conference yesterday, Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), right, laughs at a barb by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who opined that some of the 170 newspapers in Iraq “are probably more credible even than, shall we say, The New York Times.”
"Never Lie to Me"
The Hill has published some excerpts from Sen. Daschle's upcoming memoir entitled, "Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever." Only $17.95 on Amazon.com! Why, that's cheaper than Krugman's new book! Now the question: which one should I [not] buy?
Democrats blast EPA ‘illegal’ ad campaign
So the President is using an executive branch agency as a branch of his campaign? Who would have thought?

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

We've had our 100th hit since Friday afternoon at 2:30pm! Wow, I thank all my readers for visiting, I hope you've enjoyed the experience, I definitely have.
Thank you for visiting, please come again soon!
Rumsfeld, the Action Man
Isn't he just dreamy? This had to have come from the WSJ.
Women are from Venus, men are idiots
Not that I need to know this yet (though I read it anyway), but perhaps this will help those that need it, assuming anyone else reads this wonderful blog.
From this week's WaPo Style Invitational in which readers were asked to think of "ways to make modern life harder than it needs to be."
Some of the good suggestions:
Introduce "17-29 Items" lanes at the supermarket.

Install speed bumps on the Beltway. [Only funny if you've ever been on this 'wonderful' road.]

Standardize the size and shape of all keys, so the only difference between them is the variation in the teeth. Also, make key rings and key chains illegal.

Replace friendly, knowledgeable humans with an automated voice that prompts callers to ceaselessly punch buttons until they no longer remember why they called or even have the will to live.

Adapt to all appliances the "Are you sure?" message that computers demand before deleting something.
Microwave a burrito: "Are you sure?" Change the channel: "Are you sure?"

All pills must be suppositories.
Diplomacy. (Submitted by George W. Bush, Washington)

Adopt California recall rules for all government positions. If you get 500 signatures and a filing fee, you can recall your postman.

Phone book arranged in alphabetical order -- by first name.
Bush Courts Regional Media
The evolution of the White House propoganda machine, with some "justification" for the form letters some GI's sent to their hometown newspapers [see below if you're feeling clueless again].
Don't Look Down
Another optimistic Krugman article, this one (surprisingly) about the sorry state of our economy.
Congress Weighs Corporate Tax Breaks
Why???? Hasn't this administration been 'helpful' enough to big business?
Obesity predicted for 40% of America
This is becoming the #1 health problem in America and is already a steep uphill battle. What's interesting is that obesity is a bigger problem in developing third world nations than in fully developed ones because we've had more time to ease into our larger clothes [which is the result of bad farm policies-if you've been keeping up here (see below if you're utterly clueless)]

Monday, October 13, 2003

Saddam's Syrian Stash
Justification enough for Syria being a member of the "Axis of Evil"?
Many soldiers, same letter
This is definitely the stupidest PR move the Bush White House has EVER made. Do they really think that in this information age they could con a whole bunch of newspapers into printing the SAME EXACT letter and NO ONE would notice? Please, this is an insult to our collective intelligence. Someone's head at DoD should roll for this one.
The Wrong Message
A WaPo editorial about Wilsongate that's right on the money.
Lieberman, the Centrist in the Middle of the Pack
A pretty bad article from Lieberman's perspective, I can't imagine this will energize his base or get more fans on his bandwagon.
Also, here's a WaPo article about one his plans-tax cuts.
Why Terrorism Works
I haven't had time to read it yet, but Dershowitz's articles are always insightful and interesting.
Faith Fades Where It Once Burned Strong
An interesting article about an increasingly-secular European culture.
Saudi Announces Plans to Hold First Elections
This is huge! As the article points out, we're talking about an aboslute monarchy here opening up to democratic elections...well, we'll see how democratic but still! The principle of a shred of democracy arriving in Saudi Arabia. Let's not delude ourselves though, they've got a long, long, long way to go...
New Yorkers warned of mystery disease
The first time I've ever seen Staten Island mentioned on the Google News page...apparently this is a big health concern, I've heard people talking about it locally as well. I hope that the next time we're on the front page, though, its for something good! And please don't make any stupid comments about inhaling the 'fresh air' from the dump...
Here's an update from WNBC posted 11 hours ago...I'll ask my sister about what's really going on, she works in SIUH.
Politics aside, doesn't this say something about the state of affairs in the Palestinian territories? [The following, a comment on the above linked article, from Friday's "BOTW"]:
This paragraph appears at the bottom of an Associated Press dispatch about Palestinian Authority politics:

In the West Bank town of Nablus on Thursday, one person was killed in an explosion in the courtyard of the hospital. Palestinian security sources said the man apparently was playing with an anti-tank missile when it exploded.

Playing with an antitank missile? Wow, what fun!
I'm not going to do the legwork on this but from others in this great blogosphere have described (with the tremendous help of sixtyseconds), Andrew Sullivan is trying to correct the perception that the Bush Administration felt that Saddam's regime posed an "imminent threat." He even claims victory, citing an editorial from today's NYTimes which makes no use of the term, employing "extraordinary" instead.
One Democratic Debate, Nine Losers
Why bother making up jokes about the Dems when they do a good enough job making fun of themselves? Seriously, all one needs to say about the contents of this article is, "nuff said."
I guess I'll be sad when the primaries roll around...although then it'll be one "great" Democratic orator against another "great" Republican one.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

In Drive to Aid Israel, Lobby May Be Shifting Out of Neutral
An interesting article about AIPAC's partisan leanings based on a recent article in Roll Call. [I'll have to wait till I get that job on the Hill to get a subscription...till then I'll have to rely on follow-ups like this one from the "WaPo."] Personally, I haven't been following politics long enough to have an opinion but I'd say that one line in the article is 100% incorrect: "Apparently no tough words yet for President Bush, who last week defended Israel's attack inside Syria."
Perhaps the Washington Post forgot about AIPAC's press release from June 11, 2003 that got widespread media attention as being the first criticism of President Bush since he took office? Here's the press release in full:
"Abu Mazen has stated repeatedly that he is not willing to use force against the terrorist organizations that are attacking the people of Israel and seeking to destroy the peace process. As long as this is the case, the Government of Israel will and must take the responsibility to fight the terrorist organizations. It should be the policy of the United States to support the people of Israel in their struggle against terror until the Palestinian Authority is able and willing to assume this responsibility, as required by the Oslo accords, President Bush's June 24 speech, and the Roadmap."
The fact that AIPAC was suggesting what American policy should be was the most criticism AIPAC will ever dish out. But after a retraction from the White House, they issued another release the following day which read:
"The most important element in the global struggle against terror is the leadership of President Bush, and the statement of the White House today is another example of the clarity the administration is bringing to this subject. As White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said, 'The issues is not Israel, the issue is not the Palestinian Authority, the issue is terrorists who are killing in an attempt to stop the [peace] process. … It's not as if a phone call will get Hamas to stop being terrorists."
Either way, I'd say that AIPAC either wants to continue to influence foreign policy [which, although not ideal, is better than CAIR etc filling that position] and the way to do it is by courting the party in power, or they really are moving to the Republican base just like the Jewish voters seem to be. According to the RJC, the 2002 elections witnessed Jews voting for the G.O.P. 35% of the time, and while this number is not mindblowing, it is a departure from our parents' generation and certainly a trend the Dems must be aware of.
The (Agri)Cultural Contradictions of Obesity
A thorough article positing that America's obesity epidemic is the result of terrible farm policies over the 20th century that have yet to be rectified.
Notion Building
A very important article about the future of the Democratic party-that is if Podesta and Daschle's plan unfolds as they intend it to. A definite must read.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Not again...
The following from today's CQ Midday Update:
The Juneau Empire reports that, following the success of the California recall, activists in Anchorage, Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula will meet this weekend to craft a ballot initiative to recall Republican Gov.
Frank H. Murkowski. Soren Wuerth, 38, a former chairman for the Alaska
Green Party and an Anchorage activist, listed Murkowski's elimination of Longevity Bonus payments to seniors and his decision to appoint his
daughter, Lisa Murkowski, to his vacated U.S. Senate seat last year as two reasons to recall the governor. The governor's spokesman, John Manly, said the group has no legal grounds for a recall, which the state constitution permits only for lack of fitness, incompetence, neglect of duties or corruption.
Quote of the day:
What's really important, of course, is that political figures stick to the issues, like the Bush adviser who told The New York Times that the problem with Senator John Kerry is that "he looks French."
-Paul Krugman
Lessons in Civility in which he goes on to bash everything about President Bush, his administration, and its policies etc...it's almost as if he's turning into Maureen Dowd. You basically know what his op-eds will be about day after day: "Bush is a failure when managing the economy and the nation as a whole, here's why..."
WMD In a Haystack
A great article by Charles Krauthamer regarding discrepancies between the WMD reports of Hans Blix and David Kay. "A must read."
Panel Approves Sanctions on Syria With White House Support
Legislation seeking to sanction Syria for its ongoing support of terrorism and development of chemical and biological weapons passed by an overwhelming 33-2 margin yesterday in the House International Relations Committee and could be brought to the floor next week. More than 280 House members and 78 senators have signed on as cosponsors of the bill, making its passage all but certain. The bill, introduced by Eliot Engel (D-NY), had been opposed by the White House for the past several years, which prefered to deal with the "Axis of Evil" memeber diplomatically. All that changed over the weekend and now the bill, strongly supported by ZOA, AIPAC, OU-IPA, and almost every other pro-Israel organization, appears to be ready for the president's signature.
Arafat has suffered heart attack, admits aide
This is one story that has not gone over the way as the week progressed...the Palestinians keep issuing statements about various doctors from many Arab nations visiting to do check-ups. Although "a picture's worth a thousand words," the Chairman is always said to be in fine health.
Are the News Media Too Liberal?Forty-five percent of Americans say yes

This is quite interesting Gallup poll...as much as people say the right controls the media and messages etc, this seems to suggest just the opposite. How will the left respond to this one?
The Times Leaks on Arnold

I heard about this on Rush Limbaugh's soap box show while driving to school Wednesday afternoon but don't believe everything I hear. This story seems to be gaining legs...pity it won't be followed for much longer considering the election's over and done with.
Qorei threatens to resign as premier
Please note that this has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with Israeli interference; this is entirely Arafat's doing. By trying to form a government not approved by the PLC he's undermining Abu Ala and doing a grave disservice towards any efforts to restart the peace process, should there be a cessation of violence anytime soon.
Arnold's Vision Is All About Himself
Interesting analysis

...and I've included a link to the printable page because apparently the Washington Post has, of late, decided to cut articles in half and post them on at least two pages-most likely to sell more ads per article. I'm getting more annoyed by the day and here's my way of protesting.
Just as an aside, while I search for articles to post on this most auspicious blog, why has there been no mention of Wilsongate lately? Is my professor correct? Do we really have a five minute attention span?
Humanitarian Organization of the Year Award
"Let's say you're a famous Las Vegas entertainer who specializes in making very large cats do exciting things in front of an audience. Unfortunately, you have a bad day and are gravely wounded by a 600 pound tiger. Guess what's waiting for you when and if you wake up? That's right, a fax from everyone's favorite embarrassment to protoplasm, PETA.
"Of course, this isn't PETA's first adventure in epic insensitivity in the name of its cause--let's not forget their heartfelt letter to a certain Mr. Yasser Arafat, objecting to the use of donkeys by suicide bombers. Or their media campaign--much beloved by M.A.D.D--where they urged college students to drink beer instead of milk, claiming it was "healthier."
Minor Accident Leads to Charge for Torricelli
He just can't stay out of the news, huh?
Dream Teams
The New York Times published an editorial this week that contradicted "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Instead of rooting for the hometown Yanks in the ALCS against the Red Sox, they're supporting the Sox and the Cubs so that one team will break its championship-less streak. Interesting, considering the Times is also a partial owner of the Sox...not that that means anything.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Everyone's making this whole big deal about the Israeli strike into Syria over the weekend. If America can go into other nations and attack terrorist camps, why can't Israel? It's not like we're going to be getting any cooperation from the Syrians, the Lebanese, or any of their Arab League brothers in the "War on Terror." We're talking about Syria, the nation that had an open border policy with the terrorist regime to its east. The nation that probably let Iraqi WMD's into their country for "sake keeping" [based on intel from several countries, not just America-which seems to be a bit faulty these days]. What's ironic is that Syria is complaining about acts of agression against a sovereign state. I forgot. Could someone please remind me who's in control of Lebanon right now? Take your time. Right, that's what I thought.
Despite anyone's concerns that Syria's next on our "Nations to Overthrow" list, they truly are a terrorist-supporting state. They've supported Hezbollah for decades. Last time I checked they were a terrorist group, correct? It's a known fact that Hamas and PIJ [as well as who knows how many more terrorist organizations] are based in Damascus. They, too, are terrorist organizations which would make Syria a haven for terrorists, right? So if the terrorist organizations order attacks on Israeli civilians within "Pre-67" Israel, wouldn't it be appropriate for Israel to retaliate against those that ordered the attack? Syria complains of Israeli aggression...isn't killing civilians in another sovereign state considered 'aggression'?
Graham ends his campaign for president
Imagine the time I would have wasted had I actually researched him as a viable presidential candidate? So how many are we down to now? 9? Maybe the 134 who will not win in Cali tomorrow can file for papers with the FEC for a presidential candidacy? Of course, that's not possible-you have to be an American citizen to qualify for the Office of the President. There's goes Ah-nold's campaign...
Act of desperation or a cynical ploy?

If media is any evaluation of a society's views on a given subject, it's no wonder that we have such different views of the middle east than the europeans do. This is just a terrible article with fairly faulty logic, if I may add humbly.
FBI sent money to Hamas while Clinton was negotiating Wye
A soap opera-esque story that, if true, only furthers assertions that our government is always giving money to the enemy before discrediting them. This article touches on so many random topics its baffling...but very much worth reading.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Mice to test Bush’s food in Thailand
This reminds me of the anecdotes regarding Saddam's security precautions in Khidhir Hamza's "Saddam's Bombmaker." I suppose such things are necessary in this day and age but nevertheless ironic that my mind drew the parallel in the first place.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Limbaugh's popularity a sad commentary on us all
I think there seems to be a consensus that this was a ratings gimmick gone awry. People say dumb things like this all the time. But, honestly, ESPN knew what it was getting itself into when they hired him. They wanted him to say dumb controversial things on the air to boost ratings. The problem is that taking him off the radio, away from his much beloved Dittoheads, takes him out of his element and into the rest of the world where not everyone agrees with usually-twisted comments. I doubt this will really affect him though. Certainly not as much as Limbaugh says he'll cooperate with authorities...
Hamas Belittles the "Second Berlin Wall"
Hamas claims the wall/fence will not prevent them from continued homicide bombing attacks while the terrorist-friendly PA calls on America to stop Israel before they actually create an effective deterrent to Palestinian terrorism.
US Weapons Inspector: No Banned Weapons Found in Iraq Yet
This is very disappointing. I really thought Kay would make it up if he had to, he was that gung-ho about going in and was so certain Saddam had things hidden. [Will Karl Rove be talking about his wife this weekend in retaliation?]
Almost more important than the main topic discussed is the short paragraph at the end about the US and Turkey "purging" the PKK from northern, Kurdish-controlled, Iraq. That might be a war in and of itself, let's wait and see how that turns out.
If the Secret's Spilled, Calling Leaker to Account Isn't Easy
After reading article after article about "Wislongate" [my name, though if you see it elsewhere, you saw it here first!], several things have become obvious to me:
a] leaks are a usual, almost necessary facet of Washington politics.
b] leak-initiated investigations are usually futile and end with no resolution.
c] it will be close to impossible to catch the culprit-all it will do is political harm to an Administration not quite as slick as "Slicky Willy's."
[You'd think the oil would help everything slide off...not this time, not now, not after so many PR snafus since Karen Hughes officially left the WH.
Ruling Shakes Up Moussaoui Terror Case
Looks like the government's in a bit of trouble with this one. Interesting how the reporter notes that Brinkema's ruling was a 'punishment' of sorts to the Justice Dept. for defying her orders on other occassions.
Speaking with the Speaker
An anlysis of Denny Hastert from someone who lives in a town where "we have no Republicans."
[It's more of a discussion about an article he wrote in the current issue but, alas, that article is not available online so this will have to suffice. I even agree with a lot of it!]
Oozing Hypocrisy Over a Leak
Another interesting analysis of the whole "Wilsongate" saga from the left's Richard Cohen courtesy of the Washington Post.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Political Intelligence
There are still far too many 'real stories' about what happened with Novak's article in July for me to figure out what the truth is-if we'll ever know-but here's an interesting analysis from the WSJ.
Maftir Yonah for Sale
On a much lighter note, I think that once you've seen this page, you've seen it all. I've heard of auctions in shul for such things but for it to be auctioned off online? Maybe they figure they'll get more money this way? Or attention? I don't know. It straddles the fence on chilul hashem, bizayon hamitzvos, and some other nasty stuff all rolled up in one. Funny, yet very distasteful.
School apologizes for Nazi flag flap
That a school would ever for a second think this would be okay with anyone other than skinheads is shocking. When we can't even trust a school administrator to make decent decisions, what does that say about the education they claim to be providing to our nation's youth? This is outrageous.
Cabinet seen approving Ariel fence `gap'
So Ariel and Kedumim will be inside the fence...sort of, maybe, if America lets. Let's wait and see some more.
Turner not optimistic about world's future
Do Not Engage Mouth Until Brain is in Gear Dept.:
"If I had to predict, the way things are going, I'd say the chances are about 50-50 that humanity will be extinct or nearly extinct within 50 years...Weapons of mass destruction, disease, I mean this global warming is scaring the living daylights out of me."

"The most dangerous thing in the world right now is the fact the Russian and American nuclear missiles, 10 years after the Cold War is over, are still a hair-trigger away with less than 10 minutes response time from two presidents who thankfully are together today."
-So they're "thankfully together" but it's still dangerous? I see. And you'd rather we not be protected from a Russian leader who has reinstated many of his KGB cronies to high levels of gov't.

"We spent $87 billion to blow Iraq up [all of it? Really? When did this happen?] and then we spent another $87 billion to put it back together, [again, when did this happen? Here I thought the bill just got out of markup from the Senate Approps Committee...wow, I must be slow today] and all to get one man and we still haven't got him...Talk about a failure."
-Yeah, I guess you were hiding out with Dick Cheney in an "undisclosed location" so our armed forces couldn't get the guy they were really after.

But this one really puts it all into perspective for us:
"I said 20 years ago newspapers wouldn't be around in 10 years, and I was wrong."
-Ted Turner
An Accusation and a Bush Memo Coming at an Especially Bad Time
What gets me is that there's a quote from a "senior official" regarding a meeting in the Oval Office yesterday morning in an article detailing the loose lips [possibly] of a "senior White House official." Is it the same culprit???
Not Quite Piling On the Homework

I don't know...I have several hours of work per week for one, let alone the other four other classes and I just finished it a short while ago!
S.E.C. to Revise Election Rules for Directors
Putting the power back into the hands of the shareholders that make those money-grubbing directors filthy rich beyond their most elaborate dreams...finally. We'll see how large the actual impact-if any-turns out to be.
IDF troops seize Jihad chief in Jenin
Hmm...looks like both Israel and America are engaging in anti-terror operations today. And both resulted in zero casualties or fatalities! A huge success!
Analysis: Iraq funding passes first hurdle
Markup complete despite Senator Byrd's objections, the "Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan Bill" will be up for debate on the Senate floor early tomorrow morning.
US: Civilian Translator Arrested in Guantanamo Prison Probe

At what point do we realize we have a national security problem? When we allowed two Saudis into our country despite their fine standing on the FBI terrorist list? When we fail to intercept key pieces of 'chatter'? Or is it when we have several Syrian terrorist accomplices guarding other fellow terrorist accomplices in Gitmo?