The Pope And The Fall Of Communism

It appears that Pope John Paul II is nearing his final days on Earth. Being an agnostic, I don't have many strong views on religion, but I respect them all with a live and let live attitude. However, this Pope will stand alongside Ronald Reagan as a man that did so much to fight world communism during the 80s. His visit to his native Poland when he met with Lech Walesa was a watershed moment for the democratic movements in Eastern Europe. Even Gorbachev admitted as much. The world owes him a tremendous debt.

This Just In From Our Irony Bureau...

(AP) -- The United Nations launched disciplinary action Thursday against the U.N. official responsible for upholding the integrity of the world body after he was accused of violating regulations that cover integrity and competence, a U.N. spokesman said Thursday.

Ed. - Classic.

BREAKING: Smuggling Ring Flies From Las Vegas

***JIM-ROSE.COM EXCLUSIVE*** RALEIGH, N.C. -- Eleven passengers were escorted off a Southwest airlines flight Tuesday and taken into custody, suspected of being illegal immigrants. The people were taken off Southwest flight 2340 from Chicago at RDU International at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities said that an air marshal who was on the flight overheard some people talking about being smuggled into the U.S. The air marshal then contacted immigration and customs officials who met the plane.
Cary immigration attorney Jorgelina Araneda said although North Carolina attracts thousands of illegal workers, organized smuggling operations typically do not venture too far past the Mexican border. "If they're using the airlines, I would say it leads me to believe that it was a truly motivated work need. They need a workforce in this state and that's why they were bold enough to try the airlines," Araneda said. The 11 Mexican nationals were taken to the Johnston County jail where they were held overnight and are still being interviewed.


Authorities said they believe each person spent about $1,000 to get on the flight and that one of the 11 planned the incident. The other 136 passengers on board were delayed by 15 to 20 minutes after the flight landed. The other passengers reportedly cheered when authorities removed the suspected illegal immigrants.

Journalists On The Take

If this story is true about the New York Time agreeing not to talk to the other side of an issue in order to get a committee report from Columbia U., then I'm gonna lose it. It's just as bad as the Jayson Blair scandal in my mind...and it has a striking similarity to Eason Jordan covering up for Saddam. (Hat tip: lgf)


Say It Loud, Say It Proud

Drudge caught a story today in the Atlantic Online about how the Congressional Democrats are taking the advice of linguistics guru George Lakoff from the University of California-Berkley (I guess Noam Chomsky is away on assignment). It's subscribers only, so I found the same story on Time Magazine's website. Apparently, they feel it's not their message, but the way they're expressing their message that's the problem. This is the kind of stuff that I find fascinating. It all ties in to the media theory of Agenda Setting (see several links in the left column). There is a point to this as the Republicans have decided that "privatization" is a bad word, a word that turns off the American public, and the Democrats seem to agree and are exploiting it. So, the Republicans are using the term "personal accounts" when talking about Social Security. There's so much here to analyze, I could go on for pages.

Ayn Rand once said that conservatives are more dangerous than liberals because conservatives are always apologizing for capitalism. The debate over Social Security reform is a classic example. The Republicans have allowed the Democrats to convince people that privatization is a 4-letter word, so they try and use their own semantics, i.e. "Personal Accounts", to get around the issue. This is a very bad idea for two reasons. One, the reform of Social Security will never be successful if the Republicans try and sell a privatization plan while at the same time denying that's what it is. Two, for the love of God, they shouldn't' be ashamed of it!! Privatization, i. freakin' e. CAPITALISM, is what made America what it is today: the richest country in the world. The Repubs need to say it loud and say it proud. Show a little confidence.

What am I saying? The Senate is full of cowards.

Unrest In The Palestinian Territories

(AP) -- Palestinian militants fired at Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' West Bank headquarters Wednesday while he was in the compound, but Palestinian officials said Abbas was not injured. Later, the group of 15 gunmen -- who said they belong to Abbas' ruling Fatah movement -- went on a shooting rampage through Ramallah, firing their weapons and damaging several restaurants, witnesses and officials said.

Ed. - Bad craziness.

The Snowball Keeps On Rolling

(AP) -- A dozen Kyrgyz men and women stood at a border post, badgering guards about why they could no longer enter Kazakhstan. "The checkpoint is fully closed," a Kazakh guard said repeatedly. Asked why, an officer replied: "I cannot disclose a state secret."
As Kyrgyzstan shakes with revolutionary fever, officials in oil-rich Kazakhstan are hoping to quarantine their country from political infection. But the opposition in this former Soviet republic says it's time for change and President Nursultan Nazarbayev must accept it. "If authorities continue to use the same language of intimidation, pressure and blackmail ... the people and the opposition will be cornered and will have no other choice but to take more decisive steps," opposition leader Zharmakhan Tuyakbai told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The overthrow of President Askar Akayev in Kyrgyzstan is emerging as a powerful catalyst for the Kazakh opposition, which already was inspired by popular uprisings in Georgia and Ukraine. With an upcoming presidential vote, opposition leaders say preparations are afoot for a final push to unseat Nazarbayev.

Ed. - Heh.

So Where Was Putin During All This?

This theory has been bandied about for years, but now it looks like there may be some hard evidence. Recently discovered KGB documents from what was their East German command post say that the assassination attempt on the Pope in 1981 was ordered by the Soviet Union. The Pope always thought there was more to the story, as did the rest of us. I wonder if Gorby had a role in that? (Hat tip: Drudge)


Judge Scalia, You Magnificent Bastard!

Check out my latest column on the Blogger News Network about the Supreme Court case involving internet file sharing. It's looking good for the file-sharing software folks as Judge Scalia showed his libertarian side in the oral arguments. Here's hoping.

Things Are Not What They Seem

Now the jewish-libertarian-agnostic (his definition) columnist Nat Hentoff has come down on the side of keeping Terri Schiavo alive in this blistering column where he takes the ACLU and the judges in this case to task for essentially ordering Schiavo to death. With Tom Harkin, Jesse Jackson and Ralph Nader on board, it's getting harder and harder to label the Republicans as theocrats.

Albanians Stand With America

A fantastic column in the Washington Times from the Albanian Ambassador to the United States. Little did any of us know that Albanians love Americans and haven't forgot what it's like to live under tyranny. (Hat tip: Chrenkoff)


Attack Of The Relics

(AP) -- Challenging the White House, 59 former American diplomats are urging the Senate to reject John R. Bolton's nomination to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. "He is the wrong man for this position," they said in a letter to Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Indiana Republican has scheduled hearings on Bolton's nomination for April 7.
"We urge you to reject that nomination," the former diplomats said in a letter obtained by The Associated Press and dated Tuesday. The ex-diplomats have served in both Democratic and Republican administrations, some for long terms and others briefly. They include Arthur A. Hartman, ambassador to France and the Soviet Union under Presidents Carter and Reagan and assistant secretary of state for European affairs under President Nixon. Others who signed the leader include Princeton N. Lyman, ambassador to South Africa and Nigeria under Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton; Monteagle Stearns, ambassador to Greece and Ivory Coast in the Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations; and Spurgeon M. Keeny Jr., deputy director of the Arms Control Agency in the Carter administration.
Their criticism dwelled primarily on Bolton's stand on issues as the State Department's senior arms control official. They said he had an "exceptional record" of opposing U.S. efforts to improve national security through arms control. But the former diplomats also chided Bolton for his "insistence that the U.N. is valuable only when it directly serves the United States." That view, they said, would not help him negotiate with other diplomats at the United Nations.

Ed. - What we seem to have here is relics from the age of "detente" who can't stand the new Nietzschian form of foreign policy that says you must be ready..."To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" Or so to speak. Call it what you will, it's a hell of a lot more effective than the days "realism" where we coddled dictators and tried to find virtue in weakness.


Restraint For Thee, But Not For Me

John Fund points out how in the Elian Gonzales case, the same people who are ready to burn Tom Delay at the stake for intervening in the Terri Schiavo case were thrilled when Janet Reno thumbed her nose at the courts and shipped Elian off to the Cuban gulag. (Hat tip: Drudge)

Time To Face Up To The Un-Face-Up-Toable

Joe Lieberman was on Meet the Depressed this morning with Tim "Mario Cuomo's Lackey" Russert talking about Terri Schiavo. After Chris Shays, Republican Congressman from Connecticut (and all around wimpy-ass idiot) bashed his party for its Terri Schiavo legislation, Lieberman said he agreed with the GOP that Terri should be kept alive.

As I've stated previously, my opinions on the Terri Schiavo story are lackluster and uninspired, but as far as Lieberman goes, this is just another example of how he no longer belongs in the Democratic Party. He'll never leave it, but despite the fact that he was his party's VP candidate just 5 years ago, he is rapidly becoming the new (though much more soft-spoken) Zell Miller.

All I'm saying Joe is to just give it some serious thought.

Catch The Fever! II

Now even the Mongolians are crashing the party. Gateway Pundit has the news of nearly 1,000 protesters outside the government building calling for democratic reforms. They put it plainly: Hey, the Kyrgyzstanians are doing it!

No Room At The Wynn

Drudge caught Norm Clarke's latest article in the Las Vegas Review Journal that came as a bit of a shock to us here in the Las Vegas media. Apparently, the only media allowed inside the Wynn Resort on the first week will be Vanity Fair, the rest of us can take a powder. This is gonna suck.

The Middle Ground

Check out my latest editorial on the Blogger News Network. There I give my take (or lack thereof) on the Terri Schiavo situation.


Anarchy Is Big Business

The Anarchists Book Fair is coming up in San Francisco. For the past 15 years it's been a place for leftist's radicals to meet, buy and sell books, and discuss politics. With the rise of George W., the book fair has grown in size as anarchists gather to complain about the rise of democracy around the world. What really got my attention in this story is one line:

"The Bush era," says Joey Cain, 50, a longtime organizer, "has been good for anarchist consumerism."

My head hurts.

The Gehlen Boys

(AP) -- President Bush on Friday signed a bill giving a government group more time to declassify secrets about former Nazi war criminals hired by the CIA after World War II. The measure gives the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group until March 2007 to make the documents public. Otherwise, the group's mandate would have expired this month.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the bill's House sponsor, said it had been 10 years since she first proposed legislation seeking information about the U.S. government's involvement with former Nazis, and it was time to finish the job. "History, and the memory of the millions who perished n the Holocaust, deserve nothing less than full disclosure," Maloney said when the bill passed the House earlier this month, sending it on to the president. Her bill led to a 1998 public disclosure law that required the release of all U.S. government papers related to the Holocaust and Nazi war crimes. So far, more than 8 million pages of documents have been brought to light, including 1.25 million from the CIA. This information revealed for the first time that the CIA and its predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services, had sought former Nazi officials to provide expertise on the former Soviet Union during the Cold War.
For example, the documents revealed that German Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, who served as one of Adolf Hitler's most senior military intelligence officers during World War II, later became a key U.S. intelligence resource after the war, Maloney said.

Ed. - It's always been common knowledge that the CIA hired Nazis after the War...but finding out exactly who they were, where they were and what they did, should be most interesting.

Catch The Fever!

MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- About 1,000 pro-democracy protesters tried to gather near the palace of President Alexander Lukashenko on Friday, claiming to be emulating the popular uprising in fellow ex-Soviet republic Kyrgyzstan, but they were quickly pushed away by police and about a dozen were arrested.
Protest organizer Andrei Klimov said the demonstration was intended to help spark a revolution similar to those that have swept Georgia, Ukraine and, most recently, Kyrgyzstan, ousting unpopular governments. "Today's gathering must send a signal to the West, Russia and our own bureaucrats that Belarus is ready for a serious change," Klimov said. Lukashenko has ruled his nation of 10 million people with an iron fist, stifling dissent, persecuting independent media and opposition parties, and prolonging his power through elections that international organizations say were marred by fraud. Lukashenko, who has been called Europe's last dictator, pushed through a referendum in October that will allow him to seek a third term in 2006 and run in subsequent elections.

Ed. - Freedom is contagious.


The Office - American Style!

Just watched the premiere of the American version of the cult BBC series, "The Office." Being such a huge fan of the British show, it's really hard for me to pass judgment on this version, especially since the pilot was pretty much identical to the British pilot. But Steve Carell is a very talented comedic actor (I hear he's playing Uncle Arthur in the Bewitched movie), and given some time, it could work. But, I'm sorry, you can never replace the Brentmaster General.

Ward Churchill Watch UPDATE

Blogger News Network has a link to the Ward Churchill Report from the University of Colorado, as well as a breakdown of the high points. Much like Al Capone was brought down for tax evasion, Churchill may be brought down not for what he said, but what for claiming to say what he didn't say. Got it?

I think the boys at Powerline put it best, but please allow me to put it much less eloquently: Churchill shouldn't be fired for his "Little Eichmanns" comment. As stupid a human being he is, you can't fire someone for comparing innocent Americans to Nazis anymore than you can fire someone for saying that blacks are better athletes than....whites....uh, nevermind.

Anyway...Ward Churchill should not be fired for creating a new left-wing catch-phrase but for the fact that he is a fraud. He's a charlatan. He's lied about his work, he's lied about his heritage. I thought about saying here that he doesn't deserve to be a janitor at the university, but it occurred to me that's just too unfair to people who work as janitors. Janitors perhaps that were in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Little Eichmanns? No...big Americans...much bigger than a lying, pathetic fraud with a Ph. D.

Hariri Investigation Falls Flat

(AP) -- A U.N. report Thursday into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri concludes that an independent, international investigation is needed. The report, which was obtained by The Associated Press and was to be released later Thursday, says there was a "distinct lack of commitment" by Lebanese authorities to investigate the crime, and the investigation was not carried out "in accordance with acceptable international standards.

Ed. - The protest babes in Lebanon are not going to like this one bit.

Ward Churchill Watch

(AP) -- The University of Colorado on Thursday ordered a review of its tenure system after one of its professors created a furor by likening the World Trade Center victims to Nazi bureaucrats.
The university's governing Board of Regents voted to form a panel to examine the way the school awards tenure and the way professors are evaluated after they get it.
University President Elizabeth Hoffman said some changes are likely at the conclusion of the review.
Tenure, which protects faculty members from being fired except for blatant misconduct, was thrust into the spotlight by the controversy surrounding an essay by professor Ward Churchill in which he called the Sept. 11 victims "little Eichmanns" -- a reference to Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi bureaucrat who helped carry out the Holocaust.
Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies, has said he was arguing that some World Trade Center victims were participating in an unfair American economic system that provoked the terrorist attacks.
Since the publicity about his essay, Churchill and the university have faced questions about how he managed to get tenure.

He Robs From The Rich, And Gives To...Himself

Best story of the day...the Michael Moore Bandit. Police in Monroe, Michigan are looking for a bank robber they've dubbed the Michael Morre Bandit due to his similary looks to the mockumentary film-maker. I sure hope the real Michael Moore doesn't get arrested by mistake.

Morty, We Hardly Knew Ye

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Barney Martin, a comedian and stage actor best known for playing Jerry Seinfeld's father on the hit television series "Seinfeld," has died. He was 82. Martin died of cancer Monday at his Studio City home, said his publicist, Jennifer Glassman.

Martin got his start in film when Mel Brooks featured him in "The Producers" in 1968. That role launched Martin into Broadway theater, where he appeared in a number of musicals, including "South Pacific," "The Fantasticks," All American" and "How Now Dow Jones." He is credited with creating the role of Roxy's unappreciated husband, Amos Hart, in the musical "Chicago."

Martin also appeared in a number of television series in the 1990s, including "The Tony Randall Show," "US," "Sydney" and "Zorro and Son." Born March 3, 1923 in the New York City borough of Queens, Martin served as a navigator in the U.S. Air Force during World War II before starting a 20-year career as a New York City police detective. Martin showed a talent for making deputy police commissioners laugh during presentations. In the 1950s, he began writing on the side for comedy shows such as "Name That Tune" and "The Steve Allen Show."

He was best known for his role as Morty Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld's father on the TV series. Martin was the third actor to play the part and became the one most identified with the role of the Florida retiree. He said at the show's wrap party in 1998: "Playing Jerry's dad was like having whipped cream on top of a mountain of ice cream." He is survived by his wife and son. A daughter died in 2002 of cancer.

The New Infantilism

Jacque Chirac gets a bitch-slap of epic proportion from the London Times editorial page. Chirac actually had the onions to call liberal economics the "new communism." This guy serves as an example of what would have happened to America if George McGovern had won the presidency.


Registan has some nice pictures from Kyrgyzstan of the ongoing revolution. My favorite is the empty chair.

Happiest Mayor Steals Uncle Ted's Identity

This is an absolute classic. Senator Ted Kennedy suing Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman for identity theft. It's so ridiculous, I almost believe it. Heh.

Fall Of Saigon Redux

The President of Kyzst...no, Kzystas...wait, Kyrgyzstan, yeah that's it!...has fled to Russia after protesters stormed the Presidential Palace. Sounds like they're taking it up a notch.

Name That Scandal

Ankle Biters is calling for a censure of Harry Reid over the GOP-Schiavo memo, citing word that it may have come through him. Also looking for a clever name for this new memo-gate. Send me your thoughts or pass them on to the Ankle Biters. (Hat tip: Instapundit)


Judges Who Make Law

DJ Drummond over at Polipundit has an excellent take on the difference between conservative judges and liberal judges:

"I now realize why no court will step in to save Terri Schiavo. The ‘Conservative‘ judges are so-defined by a practice of “judicial restraint“, which comes down to a strong aversion to making law, or assuming jurisdiction, when the law is clear. Accordingly, no ‘Conservative‘ judge will step in to save Terri, because procedurally, Judge Greer has conducted his courtroom as required by the laws of Florida. That Greer has exhibited appallingly poor judgment, arbitrarily rejecting all testimony which contradicts (and in some cases out and out disproves) the claims made by Michael Schiavo, yet also gagging those witnesses from public statements regarding their information or his own conduct, that Greer has completely ignored the behavior by Michael Schiavo which invalidates his claim to stand as Terri’s legal guardian, is not even considered by any judge. For the ‘Conservative‘ judges, it means they do not believe they carry the authority to take that action, even at the cost of innocent life.

The ‘Liberal‘ judges will not step in, even though their “judicial activism” allows them to consider any desired case their own. On the history of such judges, it becomes clear that a “right to die” argument will receive their support, but not a “right to live” perspective, unless the person facing death has been sentenced by a jury for a capital crime."

I haven't said much on the Schiavo story as it's really not my kind of issue, but I am a strong believer in the fact that our courts have become corrupt with activists judges and something needs to be done to stop these guys from making a mockery of the Constitution.

Keep Racking Up The Numbers

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 80 militants in a battle west of Tikrit, Iraqi officials said Wednesday. The clash on Tuesday happened during a raid on a terrorist camp in Lake Tharthar and left seven Iraqi troops dead and four more injured, Col. Ahmed Essa told The Associated Press. U.S. military officials were not immediately available to comment Wednesday. But they issued a statement late Tuesday saying 20 militants had been captured and an undetermined number of rebels killed in what appeared to be the same raid. Iraqi insurgents have suffered a series of blows this week, including 26 deaths during a clash with American soldiers on Sunday.

Ed. - 80 more terrorists dead. That's the kind of news we need to hear.

Things Heating Up In Kyrgyzstan

(AP) -- Kyrgyzstan's new interior minister said Wednesday the government may use force to restore order following recent opposition protests -- a warning to groups that have seized key administration buildings in the south and called for the president's ouster. "Our primary task is to restore constitutional order in all regions, but strictly in accordance with the constitution," Interior Minister Keneshbek Dushebayev said. "The law gives us every right to take action, including by using physical force, special means and firearms." Dushebayev was named interior minister Wednesday after President Askar Akayev fired Bakirdin Subanbekov. Dushebayev, the former Bishkek police chief, was instrumental in preventing protests from swelling in the capital the last few weeks following parliamentary elections the opposition and the United States have called fraudulent.

Ed. - Looks like this one could get ugly. Let's hope we don't have another Tiananmen.

We Won't Get Fooled Again

Some more violence in Lebanon as a bomb kills three people in a Christian section of Beirut. Most everyone agrees (except maybe for the MSM) that it's pro-Syrians (i.e. Hezbollah) trying to create the impression that Syrian troops are needed to maintain peace and order. However, this wire story has an interesting passage:

"The intensity of the political battle over Syria's troops in Lebanon has raised fears of a return to the sectarian violence of the civil war. So far, however, the political factions do not conform to religious boundaries, with Christians and Muslims on both sides of the debate."

In other words, this isn't about religion, it's about freedom.

Fighting For Corruption: We're The U.N.

After many a denial, the U.N. admits it paid the legal fees for those involved in the Oil for Food Scandal. Maybe they can set up a legal defense fund like the Clinton's used to do. (Hat tip: Instapundit)

Corruption Just Isn't As Popular As It Used To Be

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) -- Riot police broke up a small opposition rally in the capital Wednesday and the new interior minister warned that authorities may use force to restore order -- signs of the government's determination to keep protests in southern Kyrgyzstan from spreading north. "Our primary task is to restore constitutional order in all regions, but strictly in accordance with the constitution," Interior Minister Keneshbek Dushebayev said. "The law gives us every right to take action, including by using physical force, special means and firearms." The new top police official spoke hours after President Askar Akayev fired his predecessor and the chief prosecutor over unrest in the south, where opposition demonstrators have seized control of several key government buildings and kept up pressure for the president to resign over alleged vote fraud in recent parliamentary elections.


Air America Uncut

Drudge does it again with an exclusive look at the HBO documentary on the hot air at Air America Radio. Ethics seem to be in short supply for the holier-than-thou crowd. What a shame.

French Workers Face Reality

(AP) -- French workers may be saying au revoir to the 35-hour work-week. In a final vote, the National Assembly approved a government-backed bill to let employers negotiate deals with workers to boost time on the clock by 220 hours a year in return for more pay. The previous Socialist government had shortened the work-week in an effort to combat unemployment. The view was that companies would hire more workers to compensate for shorter work hours. The French jobless rate stands at ten percent. The National Assembly is controlled by President Jacques Chirac's (zhahk shih-RAHKS') conservatives, and approved the changes by 350 votes to 135.

In short, they tried to get around the problems socialism creates without getting rid of socialism. So, they shortened the work-week, hoping that would help. It didn't. Ten percent unemployment! Can you imagine that in the United States?


Bring On The Elections

Today the Lebanese Opposition agreed to stop calling for the resignation of President Lahoud and called on Prime Minister Omar Karami to form a new government. This is a smart move. To keep pushing them now would mean a delay in the upcoming May elections, which would only hurt the opposition. They have to keep the momentum going, thus the sooner the elections, the better. Let Lahoud and Karami have their thrones for a few more months, then...it's go time.

Moving Up In The World

Jim-Rose.com is honored to be named an "Up-N-Comer" blog on Radioblogger.com. There is also a link to my site on dcthornton.com, a fellow Las Vegan, it seems. Thanks much to both.

George Orwell's Campaign Finance Reform

Instapundit caught a great column from John Fund about how the McCain-Feingold bill was pushed using special interest money...the exact sort of thing the bill claims to deplore. George Orwell must be laughing in his grave.

Unclean! Unclean!

Breaking news on Drudge...the Playgirl editor who outted herself as a Republican has been fired. In a letter to the Drudge Report she recounts how there was a strong liberal backlash over her admission and her boss said "I wouldn't have hired you if I knew you were a Republican."

I'd say we should boycott Playgirl, but I don't know one woman (or gay man) who reads it.


Called It!

Chrenkoff echoes my comments (though in fairness, I think he posted first) posted on The Blogger News Network about the fact that there were no anti-American protest in Iraq (or anywhere else in the Middle East, for that matter) on the 2nd anniversary of the invasion. I guess great minds think alike.

The Terrorists Keep Making It Worse

A suicide (or homicide) bomber killed an Iraqi police officer in the anti-corruption department of the Mosul Police. Once again, we have Muslims killing Muslims. Osama's followers apparently aren't listening to him when he essentially said some weeks ago that they've got to stop killing Muslims and start killing Americans. The more they keep killing Muslims, the worse their PR gets in Iraq...just ask Jordan.

But there is some good news as Coalition Forces killed 24 terrorists in a battle on the outskirts of Baghdad.


Harry Reid: Friend Or Foe?

The Blog Herald is reporting that Senator Minority Leader Harry Reid has come out defending blogs and criticized McCain-Feingold for its possible squelching of blog speech. Raw Story has a copy of a letter Reid sent to the FEC and was also granted Reid's "first online interview." Here's the part that interests me:

"What has happened in recent years [is] the concentration of media power, so one station, one owner can own 1,200 radio stations," Reid said. "What this means is that wealth and power control most everything in this country. But one thing they do not control, wealth and power does not control the Internet."

"I think the blogs are a tremendously important way for the American public to find out what's really going on," the senator continued. "That's why I go out of my way to communicate any way that I can on the Internet."

Something is going on here that is not what it seems. Harry Reid, the leader of the Senate Democrats, is supporting the Blogosphere? There are three possibilities: One, Reid may ignorant to exactly what the Blogosphere is all about. This is a distinct possibility. I've known Reid for about 4 years now and talked with him one-on-one on a number of occasions. He does have an affably-ignorant grandfatherly way about him, but being a politician, you never know if it could be a rouge. The fact that he's using the tired old "media conglomeration" argument to defend those that are fighting the liberal media conglomerates that protect him, is vexing. Two, he may be trying to soften his image in the Blogosphere which has been quite hard on him (me included). Three, he's got a trick up his sleeve. This seems less likely, as I don't see Dusty Harry as the crafty type, but perhaps he feels regulation of Blogs is a foregone conclusion and if he sides with them in a losing fight, they won't see him as the enemy.

I'll have to do some more pondering. Something here just ain't stirring the kool-aid.

Two Years That Changed A Nation

Here's a great tribute to the last two years of struggle by the American-led forces and most importantly, the Iraqi people from the Iraqi blog, Democracy In Iraq. Here's a sample:

"Ask him (the average Iraqi) if it was worth it. Ask him what is different. Ask him if he would go through it again, go ahead ask him, ask me, many of you have.

Now I answer you, I answer you on behalf of myself, and my countrymen. I dont care what your news tells you, what your television and newspapers say, this is how we feel. Despite all that has happened. Despite all the hurt, the pain, blood, sweat and tears. These two years have given us hope we never had."

Read it all. (Hat tip: Publius Pundit)


iPod And Then Some

Douglas Kern over at Tech Central Station has a good write-up on the popularity of the iPod and counter-points Andrew Sullivan's lamenting of what it's doing to our nation. Andrew used to be so cool, but lately he's gotten so uptight. It's a shame.

"Hell No, Fait Accompli!" II

Instapundit has some advice for the protesters that will be marking the 2nd anniversary of the Iraq War...the war that's essentially over, the war that we won, the war that led to a democratic Iraq, the war that has emboldened the people of the Middle East to demand freedom...you know, that war? They're going to mark the anniversary with an anti-war protest. Insty retorts:


Not bloody likely. What I still can't get over it that they're protesting a war that's over. I seem to recall getting a bit hysterical on February 15th when there was a big anti-war march in Great Britain:

People...IT'S OVER! The war in Iraq is over. Yes, there's still some violence, but Saddam Hussein is out of power! They've had an election! Remember? They're talking about who's gonna be Prime Minister and President for God's sake!! Meanwhile, you guys are out there protesting a fait accompli.


The Death of Diplomatic "Realism"

Legendary diplomat George Keenan has died. Keenan's career spanned over 60 years and he was famous for his notion of Soviet containment as the best way for America to defend itself against the Communist foe. I don't know a lot about Keenan, but from what I can tell he was a good American, sincere in his pursuits, but like many foreign policy wonks of the 20th century, he did not possess a bold vision. He was adamant that the United States should not advocate democracy to authoritarian nations but instead should work with them and essentially "hope for the best." Men like Ronald Reagan came along with much different ideas that, wouldn't you know it, proved to be quite effective. It's poignant that one of the great foreign policy realist of our time should pass away just as the Middle East is bearing the fruit of the idealism of Reagan/Bush.

A Bolton Stamp Of Approval

North Korea, possibly the most criminal regime in the world is lashing out at President Bush's choice of John Bolton as the next U.N. Ambassador. It's not surprising as Bolton has been rather hard on the despotic regime, but given that this choice upsets them so much, shouldn't we see that as a sign that Bolton is the right choice for the job? I'll be interested to see who backs North Korea on this point.


The Fairness Doctrine Rises Again

John Kerry is complaining about how he was screwed by the media in the 2004 election. The media, he says, hasn't been the same since the Fairness Doctrine was repealed in 1987. Meanwhile, a new FCC Chairman is on the way I'm sure he'll have to deal with calls for a return to the Reed Hundt era. I will be doing some extensive analysis on this in the coming days.

The Libertarian-Conservative Marriage

Great column on Tech Central Station about the union of libertarian and conservative ideas and why the partnership should continue. I call myself a South Park Republican, which is a modern term for a libertarian-conservative, or dare I say it, a Reagan Conservative. (Hat tip: Instapundit)

Gannongate De-"gated"

No big surprise...the White House Correspondents' Association has ruled that "Gannongate" is no big deal and there is no reason to change credentialing policy. Put in a more accurate way: they know better than to stir the pot and make the likes of Helen Thomas ripe for criticism. Jeff Gannon was very pro-Bush, but 95% of the press corps is anti-Bush. Gotta protect that monopoly...it's one of the few the MSM has left.


The South Park Republicans Do It Again

Tonight on South Park, Cartman the Hippie Hunter, saves the town from hippie infestation. What I found rather interesting was how all the hippies, the first group of them coming from the University of Colorado, would call anyone "bringing them down" little Eichmans. Congratulations Ward Churchill...you've just been parodied on South Park.

Blair Turns The Screws

Silvio Berlusconi did some tap-dancing today as he clarified earlier statements that Italy would begin a complete troop withdrawal from Iraq beginning in September. He now says that this is a hope, but it's not set in stone. Put more accurately, Tony Blair gave him a call and reminded him of the facts of life in Year 5 of W's Revolution.

We Don't Need No Thought Control...

Regime Change Iran is reporting there are various protest and demonstrations against the Islamic government in Iran today. Today marks the first celebration of the Iranian New Year's Festival of Fire...a Persian ritual that the Mullahs have cracked down on since their takeover in 1979. However, it appears many have faced down the Mullah's jack-booted thugs and continued celebrating while at the same time chanting, "Death to Khamenei" and "Bush, Bush, Where is Bush?"

That snowball just keeps getting bigger.

BREAKING: Finally! Let There Be Oil!

(AP) -- Amid the backdrop of soaring oil and gasoline prices, a sharply divided Senate on Wednesday voted to open the ecologically rich Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling, delivering a major energy policy win for President Bush. The Senate, by a 51-49 vote, rejected an attempt by Democrats and GOP moderates to remove a refuge drilling provision from next year's budget, preventing opponents from using a filibuster -- a tactic that has blocked repeated past attempts to open the Alaska refuge to oil companies.

UPDATE: This isn't final, but it's a step in the right direction.

Reality TV, Iraqi Style

There's a popular program on Iraqi TV that serves a higher purpose than mere entertainment. "Terrorism in the Hands of Justice" shows terrorists (or "insurgents" for those of you used to Reuters) giving televised confessions. It has the significant psychological effect on the citizenry of showing the terrorists for what they are...murderous thugs. (Hat tip: Polipundit)


A Semi-Apology to Philip Bennett

Hugh Hewitt sensed something wasn't right about the People's Daily interview with Washington Post Editor Philip Bennett, so he asked Bennett for a transcript of the interview. Bennett sent the transcript to Hewitt along with an explanation of how the paper twisted his words and even made some of it up. The transcript shows he did not say that America should not be the leader of the world...sort of. He said it was not his place to answer such a question.

Therefore, my apologies to Mr. Bennett for being so harsh on this point. Mea Clupa. However, my analysis on The Blogger News Network: Post-Moderism In The Main Stream Media still holds up. Yes, he was misquoted in spots, but being an editor of one of the most prestigious newspapers in the free world who's giving an interview to a newspaper in Communist China...he really should have seen it coming. (Hat tip: lgf)

Gratzi Silvio, We Know You Did As Much As You Could

Before everyone starts having a cow over Italy's announcement they're withdrawing troops from Iraq...let's just take a deep breath, calm down, and look at the facts. First, Italy will begin withdrawing troops in September...that's 6 months from now, and it won't be all at once. Second, by that time, we'll be thinking about sending some boys home. Iraq will soon get an interim government in place, start making like Thomas Jefferson, then it'll be time to leave the Bush nest. Calling this a "crack in the coalition" is a bit melodramatic.

Bill Maher To The Rescue

Here's the question I pose: After Bill Maher had Ward Churchill on his show and said, "I think you deserve to be heard," I wondering when Maher plans to have Lawrence Summers on his show so he can make a similar defense for the Harvard President?

A Letter To Nancy Pelosi

Turns out Howard Dean is even too much for some San Francisco liberals. This guy is taking the matter to his Congresswoman. Chris Anderson, if you're reading this, this one's for you. (Hat tip: )


Don't Get Mad, Get Better

I'd be remiss if I didn't link this article from Editor & Publisher entitled: Why Rathergate and Easongate Are Still Open. A far cry amidst the MSM that they need to change their ways lest they join Mikhail Gorbachev and virgin sacrifices on the ash-heap of history. (Hat tip: Instapundit)

Your Move Bashar

BC-Lebanon-Syria-Rallies 03-14 0235 BC-Lebanon-Syria-Rallies,0241
A look at mass rallies held in Lebanon since slaying of former prime minister
By The Associated Press
Mass rallies protesting or supporting Syria's presence in Lebanon after the Feb. 14 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
-- March 14: Demonstrators flood Martyrs' Square and spill over into nearby streets in Beirut to call for the removal of Syrian troops. Turnout is estimated at 1 million.
-- March 13: Pro-Syria demonstrators turn out in the southern market town of Nabatiyeh in a protest organized by the militant Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah. At least 100,000 people.
-- March 8: Pro-Syria protesters rally on Beirut's Riad Solh Square in the first demonstration organized by Hezbollah to counter the opposition. About 500,000 people.
-- March 7: Anti-Syria protest is held in Martyrs' Square. About 70,000 people.
-- March 5: Lebanese protesting Syria's presence gather in Martyrs' Square to watch a speech by Syrian President Bashar Assad on large video screens. About 1,000 people.
-- Feb. 28: Anti-Syria protest is held outside parliament in Beirut. About 25,000 people.
-- Feb. 21: Hundreds of thousands of anti-Syrian protesters march through Beirut to Hariri's grave in the city center.
-- Feb. 16: Mourners shout anti-Syria slogans as they crowd Beirut's streets to bury Hariri. An estimated 200,000 people.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APTV-03-14-05 1354PST

Courtney Love in Lebanon?

Hitler's Bomb

BERLIN, Germany (AP) -- A new book suggests the Nazis may have been closer than previously thought to building a nuclear bomb for military use. A German researcher claims Nazi Germany tested a crude nuclear device in March 1945. He says the ensuing massive blast killed hundreds of people south of Berlin -- but admits he has no positive proof of a test explosion. The researcher (Rainer Karlsch) says Nazi doctors didn't lag behind U-S colleagues in understanding nuclear theory. But he says they lacked enough material like enriched uranium to build a full-size, functioning nuclear bomb.(emphasis mine)
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

There's a lesson here...

That's What I'm Talkin' 'bout!

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) -- Hundreds of thousands of opposition demonstrators have turned out in Beirut today. The protesters have been chanting "Freedom, sovereignty, independence" and unfurling a huge Lebanese flag. It's the biggest protest yet against the Damascus-backed government. The throngs of men, women and children took to the streets throughout the country in response to an opposition call to demonstrate for the removal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. Meanwhile, Syria continues its military withdrawal from Lebanon. Intelligence agents have closed two offices in northern towns and dismantled two checkpoints. About 50 agents have also departed for unknown destinations. The redeployment is the first stage of what Damascus says will be a full withdrawal, although it has not given a timetable.


Gag Me With A Spoon?

Roger L. Simon weighs-in on the Philip Bennett interview, and he's none too pleased.

Neo-Modernism v. Post-Modernism

Check out my analysis on the Philip Bennett interview on the Blogger News Network.

BREAKING: Paging Bernard Goldberg...Paging Bernard Goldberg

Well, they've done it again. Philip Bennett, Managing Editor of the Washington Post gave an interview to People's Daily of China and states clearly that the U.S. should not be leader of the world. Money passage:

Yong Tang: In such sense, do you think America should be the leader of the world?

Bennett: No, I don't think US should be the leader of the world. My job is helping my readers trying to understand what is happening now. What is happening now is very difficult to understand. The world is very complex. There are various complex forces occurring in it. I don't think you can imagine a world where one country or one group of people could lead everybody else. I can't imagine that could happen. I also think it is unhealthy to have one country as the leader of the world. People in other countries don't want to be led by foreign countries. They may want to have good relations with it or they may want to share with what is good in that country.

That is also a sort of colonial question. The world has gone through colonialism and imperialism. We have seen the danger and shortcomings of those systems. If we are heading into another period of imperialism where the US thinks itself as the leader of the area and its interest should prevail over all other interests of its neighbors and others, then I think the world will be in an unhappy period.

Oh my! This isn't going to go over well in the Blogosphere. Before we go off half-cocked, let me state that American journalists do not have to pledge allegiance to the notion that America should lead the world, but at the same time, they cannot pledge allegiance to the opposing view (especially in a God damned, freakin' Communist Chinese newspaper!). But the interview gets better:

Yong Tang: So the world order should be democratic?

Bennett: Democracy means many things. How do you define democracy? As a Chinese journalist, you may have your own definition of democracy which corresponds to your history and your way of seeing the world. I may have another definition. Someone else may have their own definitions. Democracy means a lot of different things.

Let me give an example. Democracy in one sense means the majority decides, but it also means the rights of the minority are protected. As UK late Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, democracy is the least bad system that we have ever thought of. So democracy is never perfect. It always has problems. Our democracy here in the US has many contradictions, problems and challenges. So democracy is not a cure that could turn everything bad into good. It has its own advantages and its disadvantages.

Oh sweet Mother of God!! Post-Modernist's thought in its purest form. Bennett states: "Democracy means a lot of different things." NO IT DOESN'T! If you can't vote in a free and fair multi-party election (like they CAN'T in China) that is not a democracy!

Read the entire interview. This is a text-book case of what is wrong with the MSM, and an example of what I and many others in the Blogosphere are fighting. (Hat tip: Drudge)

The Game Is Afoot, Hose-me!

Publius Pundit has the latest on the Egyptian Presidential race as jailed opposition leader Ayman Nour was released on bail:

"He came out much stronger than he went in - himself, the party and most of all the spirit of freedom in Egypt," party member Mazen Mostafa told Reuters.

Thus Nour's Ghad Party is emboldened as they head into the September Presidential election. However, it still remains to be seen how true to his word Hose-me Mubarrak will be.

Time For A Big Re-Think

The Fourth Rail has a nice collection of articles on how the terrorists groups in Israel (sorry, but there is no Palestine) and Lebanon are having to re-think their plans for the future as events in the respective areas continue to unfold at a rapid rate. While Kofi Annan sends mixed signals: first saying the U.N. must renounce all terrorists groups then saying Hezbollah should be recognized as a political organization, Hamas and Fatah are fighting amongst themselves and Israel may be hatching plans to strike at Iran. The Middle East has become a tense chess match that would challenge even Garry Kasparov.


Time To Face The Music

Michelle Malkin has a good breakdown on the Italian hostage fiasco. Italy now says it won't pay ransoms to terrorists anymore and admits they kept U.S. forces in the dark about the operation. Wow, it looks like we're not the bad guys! Go figure.

The Begin Doctrine

The Times of London is reporting that Ariel Sharon's government has drawn up secret plans for a military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities if American and European diplomatic efforts fail. If true, it harkens back to when Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin ordered a strike on Iraq's Osirak Nuclear Reactor in 1981...a move that most admit was the key move that prevented Saddam Hussein from ever possessing nuclear weapons. Deja vous all over again?

Now I Understand!

I've always bashed the fundamentalist Islamists for forcing their women to cover themselves up. But lately, as I see pictures of Lebanese women protesting in the streets and this picture of a Kuwaiti hottie demanding voting rights, I'm starting to understand why. With women like this walking around, they'd never be able to get anything done. Mamacita!

The Goings-on In Lebanon

Publius Pundit has a nice roundup of the lastest goings-on in Lebanon. (Hat tip: Instapundit)


BREAKING: Online Reporters Must Divulge Sources To Apple Computers

(AP) -- A judge on Friday ordered three independent online reporters to divulge confidential sources in a lawsuit brought by Apple Computer Inc., narrowly interpreting who is a journalist and thereby entitled to First Amendment protections.

The reporters allegedly published product descriptions that Apple employees had leaked to them in violation of nondisclosure agreements and possibly the U.S. Trade Secrets Act.

The ruling concerned free speech advocates, who insisted that the people who write for Apple enthusiast sites should enjoy the same legal protections as reporters for mainstream publications. Among those are protections afforded under California's "shield" law, which is meant to encourage the publication of information in the public's interest.

Knight To Bishop's Three, Vladdy!

The world's greatest chess play, Garry Kasparov, has announced his retirement. One passage in the AP story caught my eye.

"As a chess player, I did everything I could, even more. Now I want to use my intellect and strategic thinking in Russian politics," Kasparov said Friday in a statement cited by the Interfax news agency. "I will do everything in my power to resist Putin's dictatorship. It is very difficult to play for a country whose authorities are antidemocratic," he said.

I wonder what Garry's definition of "democratic" is. If it's similar to America's definition, then this could be very interesting.

Democracy Does Work

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Shiite and Kurdish coalitions have agreed on a deal to divvy-up the country's top three government posts. The three-member Presidency Council would include Iraq's first Kurish president (Jalal Talabani), and a Sunni and Shiite Arab as the two vice presidents. The Kurds would get one major Cabinet post -- one fewer than they'd wanted. But they've agreed to support a Shiite -- Ibrahim al-Jaafari -- for prime minister. A member of the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance says the basics of an agreement are "almost finished." He says negotiators will meet again to finalize things before Monday. The country's new parliament is set to meet Wednesday. The Shiite spokesman says an agreement has also been reached to allow ethnically mixed army units to patrol Kurdish provinces. But both Kurdish parties deny that. (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Good news, everyone seems to be getting along.

Don't Forget About The WMD's

There's one aspect of the Lebanon-Syria story that everyone seems to be missing: The WMD's. It's been speculated for quite a while that the WMD's we couldn't find in Iraq were moved to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon before the war by the Syrians. If true, Assad's quandary is bigger than we think. If he completely pulls out and tries to take the WMD's with him, somebody's gonna see that. If he leaves the WMD's behind and the Lebanese opposition forces find them, they may be inclined to suck up to Uncle Sam and say, "who do you love?" Either way, Assad can't be sleeping too well these days.


There Are A Million Stories In The Naked City...

Iowahawk has done it again. Read the latest adventure of Detective Dan Rather and make sure your floors are clean, 'cause you'll be rolling on them soon.

Let It Blossom, Let It Flow

(AP) -- Lebanon's president, emboldened by a massive pro-Syria demonstration, reinstated Omar Karami as prime minister on Thursday, 10 days after the Damascus-backed leader stepped down under popular and international pressure. The move ensured Syria's continued dominance in Lebanese politics. Syria's allies felt they have the momentum in the political crisis and President Emile Lahoud's decision appeared to be in part political jockeying to show who sets the agenda as Syria's troop redeployment picked up.

This is nothing to get too worked up over. Yes, it's a setback for the opposition, but the seed has been planted. The Lebanese have got a taste of Western freedom...and they'll be back for more. Revolution takes time and this isn't over by a long-shot.

You're Not Listening!

MOSUL, Iraq (AP) -- A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a Shiite mosque during a funeral Thursday in the northern city of Mosul, killing at least 30 people, witnesses and hospital officials said. U.S. troops cordoned off the area in the northeastern Tameem neighborhood near the mosque. Civilian vehicles helped ambulance crews in ferrying casualties to hospitals. "We received 30 dead and 25 injured, and the numbers are increasing," said Dr. Saher Maher, at a hospital in the city. "As we were inside the mosque, we saw a ball of fire and heard a huge explosion," said Tahir Abdullah Sultan, 45. "After that blood and pieces of flesh were scattered around the place," he added. The U.S. military that controls the area could not immediately be reached for comment. Mosul has been a hotbed of insurgent activity and the scene of many bombings, drive-by shootings and assassinations against the country's security services, Shiite majority and people thought to be working with U.S.-led forces. (Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Bad move boys...killing other Muslims is not going to help al Quada's case...Osama bin Laden has said as much himself. May the victims rest in peace and their murderers rot in hell.


"Will You Attend My Funeral?"

Joe Hagan at the New York Observer has a great investigative piece on Rathergate. It's a little convoluted, but do read the whole thing...it's worth it. (Hat tip: Drudge)

A Very Fashionable Revolution

The Iranians have found a way to tweak the ruling Mullahs. Women are wearing pink clothing and men are wearing jeans, sporting long hair and shaving their beards. While the Mullahs have tried and tried to crack down on this, they seem to have given up. Last week, the USA Today had a great write-up on the "Pink Revolution." (Hat tip: Fox News Channel)


Newt In Las Vegas

Had a celebrity sighting this morning as my parents, who are here in Vegas for a few days, saw Newt Gingrich walk by them on the sidewalk near the Barbary Coast. Not sure why he's in town, but lots of political types come in and out of Sin City.

The Official Stand Of The Democratic Party

Never forget the interview with former Clinton aide, Nancy Soderberg on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

Stewart: He's gonna be a great--pretty soon, Republicans are gonna be like, "Reagan was nothing compared to this guy (Bush)." Like, my kid's gonna go to a high school named after him, I just know it.

Soderberg: Well, there's still Iran and North Korea, don't forget. There's hope for the rest of us.

Not if John Bolton has his way.


Fear And Loathing In The Middle East

These are my favorite pictures from the news today. The first is obviously from Lebanon. (Question: Is English their state language, or do they make those signs for the West?)

The second picture is from Egypt where protesters are telling Hose-me Mubarrak to make sure to be true to his word on free elections.

And the third picture is from Jordan where many Unions are angry over the government's treatment of its members.

This is the crucial point: the fear that the people in the Middle East have felt for years is subsiding with only the loathing of their masters left. That loathing (with a little help from an American Cowboy) is giving them the spirit to rise up and say, we are not numbers, we are free men.

How Hunter S. Thompson Brought Down Bill Clinton

I almost missed this column by Newsweek's Jonathan Alter entitled "Boxers or Briefs," in which Alter tells the story of how the infamous question to Bill Clinton during an MTV faux-political program came to be. No, Hunter didn't propose the use of the question. In fact, he wouldn't even answer it.

The Clapton/Assad World Tour

Mary Steyn has a ripping-good column drawing parallels between Eric Clapton and Bashar al Assad. Poor BA is nerd of the group of leaders in the Middle East, with all the charisma of a loaf of bread. (Hat tip: Powerline)

Republicans Do It Better

Our man Drudge has a preview of the April edition of Playgirl (thankfully, not the pictures) where the editor Michele Zipp out's herself as a Republican. Her reasoning is priceless:

"Those on the right are presumed to be all about power and greed - two really sexy traits in the bedroom. They want it, they want it now, and they'll do anything to get it. And I'm not talking about some pansy-assed victory, I'm talking about full on jackpot, satisfaction for all."

She adds...

"The Democrats of the Sixties were all about making love and not war while a war-loving Republican is a man who would fight, bleed, sacrifice, and die for his country. Could you imagine what that very same man would do for his wife in the bedroom?" asks Zipp.


Bush At The Craps Table: Let It Ride!

Gotta hand it to George W. He knows when he's on a roll and he's having fun with it. Today, he announced his choice for U.N. Ambassador, State Department Undersecretary John Bolton. Bolton has a reputation of being a diplomat that uses undiplomatic language and has been very critical of the United Nations in the past. The Democrats, led by Nevada's own Harry Reid had a collective cow with Reid saying this sends the wrong message.

Rule number one: If Dusty Harry says it's wrong, it's gotta be right.

Good, Good, Good!

The Lebanese people are showing just what they're made of. Today, as Syria began it's "redeployment" of troops in Lebanon 70,000 protesters gathered in Beirut...the largest gathering yet! Meanwhile, Bush backs up the protesters by continuously nudging and prodding the Syrians, complaining what they're doing is not enough. Everything is going according to plan.


Time To See What You're Made Of

This is a big week for the Lebanese people. Assad says they'll start the first phase of pullouts Monday. It would be easy now to wait for this to happen and get complacent, but that would be a mistake. The Syrians are hoping for some relief, but the Lebanese must keep up the pressure. According to this article, many Syrians think the Lebanese are being ungrateful. Uh huh. They came in as a "peace-keeping" force during the civil war and ended up staying 15 years after it ended and took over the government. Thanks a million, Baathists!

Guess Who's Coming To...The Briefing

A big congratulations to Garrett M. Graff of the FishbowlDC for being the first blogger to get a press pass to the daily White House Press Briefing. I think it's a smart move by Bush and McClellan after the non-scandal of Jeff Gannon. Let a blogger in and drive Helen Thomas nuts.


Bill And Ward's Excellent Adventure

If you think you can bare to listen, over at Buzz Machine, Jeff Jarvis has done an excellent audio-fisking of Ward Churchill's appearance on Bill Maher's show. As Jeff points out, for Maher is was a great night as he was able to show the public someone who says dumber things than he does.

Let's Roll Another One: Enter The Grape Revolution

The hits just keep on coming. On the eve of elections in Moldova, the former Soviet Republic that has pretty much stayed communist since the Soviet breakup, is ready to turn around on a dime. Strangely enough, all the candidates for office are calling for aligning with the West and joining the EU...even the Communist president is talking anti-Russian in a most shrill manner. It may just be expedient rhetoric, but the point is, he knows which way the wind is blowing...and in Moldova, it's blowing from the general direction of Ukraine.

Russian commentators have dubbed this the "grape" revolution, due to the fact that Moldova has many wine vineyards.

You Cannot Be Syria-us!

This is a fascinating time in history, especially if you're a foreign policy junkie like myself. Today, Syrian President Bashar al Assad gave a rare speech to parliament and said in a very round-about, vague way that there would be a "redeployment" of troops in Lebanon that will meet with the requirements of U.N. Resolution 1559. His advisors were quick to say after the speech that he did indeed promise a full withdrawal even though his words hinted otherwise. There's a lot of stuff to go through here, but I have two major points:

"Thanks a lot, dad!"

First, France has been playing nice with the U.S. and talking tough on this issue, but I really liked the wording of a statement released by the U.S. State Department:

"President Assad's announcement is not enough. As President Bush said on Friday, when the United States and France (emphasis mine) say withdraw, we mean complete withdrawal - no half-hearted measures."

This is brilliant. Yes, France has been talking tough along with us, but just to be safe, we're going grab them by the shirt collar and bring them up front and center along with us, you know, just to make sure they stay with the good guys. "I'm telling you to get out and my buddy here wants you out too, isn't that right buddy? Yeah, that's right!"

Second, Assad is doing exactly what all dictators in his position do: he's giving the oppressed people a little bit of rope and hoping they'll be content with that and it'll essentially "make them go away." Big mistake. Freedom is like a drug, you have a little and you want more. All this move is going to do is give the Lebanese people the opportunity to say, "okay, that's good, now here's what you need to do next," and on and on it goes, until they're completely free.

Poor BA, he's gotta be cursing his father for dying when he did. He could be in London right now going, "better like this or better like this?"

(He was an eye doctor, in case you didn't get the joke)

The "Stans" Are Getting Restless

Gateway Pundit has a nice roundup on the political strife in Kyrgyzstan. Like Ukraine, they don't seem to be too happy with the first round of parliamentary elections and are hungry for more. GP also has a link to a map which helps answer the obvious question: "Where the hell is Kyrgyzstan?!"

The Red Rose Sexy Revolution

My thanks to Instapundit for keeping track of the protest in Lebanon. I'm gonna tell you what...if this is what Lebanese women look like, I need to start making my vacation plans.


The Two Faces Of Harry Reid

Austin Bay has a good take on Harry Reid's performance as the leader of the Senate Democrats. Nevada (where I reside) is not a home for extreme leftist politics. The Democrats here are for the most part center-left. Dusty Harry should be too, but he apparently can't be anymore.

You Don't Have Rather To Kick Around Anymore

Ratherbiased.com has a roundup on Dan Rather's appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. Nothing surprising here, Rather takes only insincere responsibility and points out that the Thornburgh Report found no evidence of bias..which is crap. A person doesn't have to have the scientific knowledge to explain why the sky is blue to know it's blue. Kudos to the boys at Powerline who summed up Rather's comments as "People have got to know whether or not their [anchor] is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook." Good one.


Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge...

Excellent opinion column in the Times of London by Gerard Baker on the subject of "What have the Americans done for us?" To answer the question, Baker quotes The Life of Brian. Gotta love that. (Hat tip: Instapundit)

A Battle Of The "Times"

Looks like the LA Times doesn't want to be outdone by it's East Coast brethren, the New York Times, when it comes to liberal (anti-American) bias. Hugh Hewitt, lgf and Powerline all have analysis of this article about Kim Jong Il's regime: North Korea, Without the Rancor.

Nevada's Shame II: Reid Bashes Greenspan

Look, I'm not saying Greenspan is the be-all end-all, but c'mon! Harry Reid goes on CNN's Inside Politics today and says that Greenspan is one of the biggest political hacks in Washington? Again, kinda feel sorry for Dusty Harry, he is so in over his head. Between him and Howard Dean, the Democratic Party ship is taking on a dangerous amount of water.

Peter Arnett Returns!

Well look who's back. Peter Arnett apparently is working for Playboy Magazine doing some investigative reporting. In the new issue, he says that Saddam Hussein's son Uday was planning to overthrow his dad just as U.S. forces were moving in. But alas, it was too late and Uday and Qusay were forced to flee and were eventually killed. What this wire story doesn't convey is whether Arnett speculates (or has evidence) of what Uday's plans were for his leadership. I'm better dollars to donuts that Arnett's going to say Uday was going to be a democratic leader and the war was all for naught. Anyone out there seen this article? If so, please enlighten me. (Hat tip: Drudge)

John McCain's Rein Of Terror

Here's the article that everyone in the Blogosphere has been talking about today. Parts of the McCain-Feingold Act could derail the Blogs. Everyone who cares about Internet freedom needs to read this article.

It's All Part Of The Game

Instapundit thinks it's a little premature for the GOP to be calling for Dean's resignation over the good and evil comment. What he doesn't realize is that that's not what they're doing. The GOP are the last people to want Dean to resign. Knowing that he won't, they call for his resignation in order to keep his foibles in the news. Keep that story alive...keep the bloggers blogging.


Spreading The Work Around

CIA Director Porter Goss gave a speech today at the Reagan Library and admitted that he is overwhelmed with the workload: "The jobs I'm being asked to do, the five hats that I wear, are too much for this mortal," Goss said. "I'm a little amazed at the workload."

What interested me in the story was this small nugget of info:

Goss, a CIA clandestine officers for 10 years who retired in 1972, said it takes him five hours every day to prepare and deliver the president's daily briefing, calling bush "a voracious consumer of intelligence."

I recall from the book Reagan's War, by
Peter Schweizer that Ronald Reagan was the same way. It seems great minds think alike.

Remember Kids, Don't Drink And Drive...Use A 7-Iron

As a member of the news media in Las Vegas, I can safely say that I'd like to see Oscar Goodman Mayor for life. The man is a soundbite machine and always has a way of creating amusing controversy. Today, the story broke that Mayor Goodman was reading to some school children and and one of them asked him what one thing would he want to have if he were stranded on a deserted island. He said...a bottle of gin.

Oh my! This one is gonna be fun.

Somebody Had To Say It

Finally, somebody is taking Klansman Robert Byrd to task for his Nazi-Republican comparison the other day. The Anti-Defamation League put in their two cents and called on Byrd to retract his statements, as did Senator Rick Santorum. Doesn't matter though, he won't. What I'd like to see is the MSM forced to cover the story so more and more people see what he's all about.

Nevada's Shame (Press Release From Harry Reid)

For Immediate Release Wednesday, March 2, 2005
Contact: Tessa Hafen 202-224-3545


Washington, D.C. – Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) joined representatives of MTV's Rock the Vote and college students from around the country at a Capitol Hill news conference today to show how much young people will lose under President Bush’s Social Security Privatization Plan. If the plan passes, Nevadans in their late teens and twenties could lose as much as 35% of their annual benefit by the time they retire.

"The Bush privatization plan is a bad deal for young Americans," said Reid. "The President promises increased benefits but in reality, private accounts will only deliver cuts and new debt."

The President's plan to privatize Social Security would hit college kids and twenty-somethings the hardest, according to calculations based on formulas by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. College students and others born between 1983 and 1987 would lose more than 35% of their total annual benefit. Twenty-somethings born between 1975 and 1982 would lose more than 30% of their annual benefit. If Social Security is kept intact, young people will not face the steep benefit cuts they would get from privatization.

"Nevadans don’t like privatization, they don't like benefit cuts, and they don'’t like the amount of debt the President is willing to take on," said Reid. "Democrats are united on this issue. We won't let this happen."

Reid was joined at the news conference by his Democratic colleagues, Sens. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Max Baucus (D-MT). College students at the news conference used a web-based calculator to illustrate how much of their Social Security benefit would disappear under the President’s privatization plan. Hans Riemer, the Washington director of Rock the Vote, was also at the news conference.

"Mr. President, please let us in to your events on Social Security,” said Riemer. “Young people would like a seat at the table. We'd like to talk to you about why you would support a plan that cuts benefits for young people so much."

Jim: Yes, here we have Harry Reid on the wrong side of history on every issue joining forces with the "non-partisan" Rock The Vote. Absolutely pathetic.

When The Going Gets Tough...Write A Book

Mary Mapes of Rathergate fame says she's going to write a tell-all book about the scandal according to our friends at Newsmax. This could either be interesting or a waste of time. We'll see.

Let It Blossom, Let It Flow

Lebanon wants Syria out...which in turn is emboldening the Syrians to demand more freedom. The Washington Times has this report.


Yes Virginia, There Is A George W. Bush

Stop the freakin' presses! Daniel Schorr, the Godfather of the liberal media, echos the New York Times in his latest commentary for Socialist State Radio (more well known as NPR). (Hat tip: Roger L. Simon)

Pretty, Pretty, Pretty

How much longer are we gonna put up with this old, racist disgrace in the United States' Senate, Robert Byrd? He must have some set of onions (or he's just senile) to compare the Republicans to Nazis, especially with his past. Radioblogger has an excellent roundup of the coverage.

It Sure Beats Tom Ridge's Color Chart

Okay, so let me make sure I have this straight. All the revolutions are color-coded:

Ukraine: Orange Revolution
Georgia: Rose Revolution
Iraq: Purple Revolution
Lebanon: Red Rose Revolution (or so says the Washington Times, basing it on the protesters handing out roses to soldiers and police)

So what's next?

A Momentary Lapse Of Stupidity

It's been the talk of the Blogosphere and talk radio all day...and here it is. The New York Times throws in the towel and admits (at least for now) that Bush was right. Money quote:

"The Bush administration is entitled to claim a healthy share of the credit for many of these advances. It boldly proclaimed the cause of Middle East democracy at a time when few in the West thought it had any realistic chance. And for all the negative consequences that flowed from the American invasion of Iraq, there could have been no democratic elections there this January if Saddam Hussein had still been in power."

This from the New York Times...next thing you know Bill Moyers will declare Rush is right.

A Beautiful Revolution

The protest continue in Lebanon and I must say, I like what I see. (She's kinda hot). Anyway, Syria is now talking like they may withdraw troops in a couple of months. Assad really has a chance here to be a man remembered for generations, or he could try to cling to power and end up like Gorbachev. It's his choice.

Oh yes.

Protest Begets Protest

It's amazing, but not surprising. Nearly 2000 protestors turned out in the town of Hilla to protest terrorism, shouting "No to terrorism!” and “No to Baathism and Wahhabism!”

Why is this happening? Besides the fact that they're emboldened by having a democratic election...they're emboldened by the protest in Lebanon and Egypt. Soon, Iranians will be emboldened to act. It's always easier to do something if someone else does it first. Protest begets protest.

We Now Return You To Our Regulary Scheduled Revolution, Already In Progress

Micheal Leeden of National Review has a great write-up today on the revolution going on in the Middle East and parts of Southwest Asia. Be sure to notice his description of the Bush41-Clinton years:

There was then a pause for a dozen years, first during the presidency of Bush the Elder, who surrounded himself with short-sighted self-proclaimed "realists" and boasted of his lack of "the vision thing," and then the reactionary Clinton years, featuring a female secretary of state who danced with dictators.

Yes, that Kim Jong Il is very light on his feet. (Hat tip: Captain's Quarters)

Fighting the Good Fait Accompli

Okay, I said this the last time there was a protest and I'm going to say it again without losing my temper. Story on the Drudge Report this morning that several Vermont towns will vote on anti-Iraq War referendums at their town meetings. Activists say these small town venues are the perfect place for a discussion on the issue.

I'm going to say this one more time....it...is...over! For the love of God people, the war is over in Iraq, don't talk to me about insurgency. Saddam is out, democratic government is in and the rest of the Middle East is poised to follow suit. If you're gonna pass a referendum against the Iraq War, you might as well pass one on Vietnam and Korea while you're at it. Not only are they too late for this kind of crap, but with what's going on in Lebanon and Egypt (and quietly, Iran) , it looks all the more foolish and rather crass. Where do these people get the onions?

Kudos To CNN? There Must Be A Cold-Front Moving Through Hell

I can't believe I'm saying this, but kudos to CNN for being one of the first networks to once again air commercials for spirits (that's hard liquor for those of you in Louisville, Nebraska). While I still won't watch CNN ever again due to the Eason Jordan legacy, I have to give them credit for doing this. As long as a product is legal to make and sell, there's no reason that it can't be advertised.