Thursday, January 31, 2008


Gates of Vienna has a picture of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem posing with Nazi SS soldiers in WW II.


The US is selling Syria computers that could be used by Iran. Selling Syria computers in itself is a serious risk.

The export, disclosed by the U.S. television network Fox, was approved despite U.S. sanctions on Damascus of military and advanced dual-use systems. Syria, deemed a terrorist sponsor, has been in the same category as Iran and North Korea.

Officials said the State Department has provided a license for the sale of advanced computers for a Syrian border surveillance program, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the systems were being provided through a United Nations program that could significantly enhance Syria's military capabilities.

And here is a story of Syrian torture prisons.


Who thinks this stuff up?

Monday, January 28, 2008


Victor David Hanson asks an interesting question about Bill Clinton's aggressive support of Hillary in his stump speeches for her.

It would be cruel, but understandable to ask amid these long encomia on Hillary’s character, her talent, and her morality—prefaced by Bill’s commentary that he almost alone realized her singular gifts, why in the world, then, did he spend over thirty years trying to escape her in almost every way imaginable? Why if she walked on water, did he find company, carnality, conversation with Paula Jones or Gennifer Flowers, or feel the need to talk trash and more with Monica? In other words, he is asking the voter to take on a partnership, a political marriage if you will, that he, mutatis mutandis, never would or has. It reminds me of the last time I bought a Chevy S-10. The local Selma salesman went on at great length about its reliability, its power, and economy, its great price, and then I asked him whose small, like-sized Toyota Tacoma was parked nearby and was it for sale? No need to tell you to whom it belonged.


Glenn Beck interviews Joel Rosenberg. Another Joel Rosenberg interview.


Bruce Thornton criticzes the Epistle to Islam which a number of Christian leaders signed.

The groveling self-abasement of this language, particularly its begging forgiveness of Allah, is matched only by its remarkable historical ignorance. “Outright hostility” has indeed existed between Muslims and Christians, for the simple reason that for 13 centuries Islam grew and spread by war, plunder, rapine, and enslavement throughout the Christian Middle East. Allah’s armies destroyed regions that were culturally Christian for centuries, variously slaughtering, enslaving, and converting their inhabitants, or allowing them to live as oppressed dhimmi, their lives and property dependent on a temporary “truce” that Muslim overlords could abrogate at any time.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Peggy Noonan comments on Bush and the Clintons:

But the Clintons are tearing the party apart. It will not be the same after this. It will not be the same after its most famous leader, and probable ultimate victor, treated a proud and accomplished black man who is a U.S. senator as if he were nothing, a mere impediment to their plans. And to do it in a way that signals, to his supporters, How dare you have the temerity, the ingratitude, after all we've done for you?

On the pundit civil wars, Rush Limbaugh declared on the radio this week, "I'm here to tell you, if either of these two guys [Mr. McCain or Mike Huckabee] get the nomination, it's going to destroy the Republican Party. It's going to change it forever, be the end of it!"

This is absurd. George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party, by which I mean he sundered it, broke its constituent pieces apart and set them against each other. He did this on spending, the size of government, war, the ability to prosecute war, immigration and other issues.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Not a very complimentary analysis of Huckabee's tenure as governor of Arkansas, particularly if you are a Republican.

For the 10 years he was governor of Arkansas, Mr. Huckabee was at war with much of his party.
Now that Mr. Huckabee is seeking the presidential nomination, many Arkansas Republicans warn that he could wage a bruising battle with the national party, too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


A friend was returning from Las Vegas and found himself seated next to an ebullient Nevada Hillary Clinton campaign worker. Hillary had just finished defeating Obama in the caucuses and needless to say the campaign worker was on a "high." The impression was left that the Bellagio had given them a villa to use--I am not sure if the campaign paid for this or it was some sort of campaign donation by the Bellagio. In the victory party $8,000 in alcohol was consumed and each campaign worker received $500.00 to go to the gaming tables. Again, I don't know if the money came from campaign donations or some other source. But this is a rather interesting way of rewarding campaign workers.

Ironically the campaign staff of Rudy Giuliani is going without pay and Huckabee is scratching for every penny. I am not sure how Obama and Edwards campaign workers are being rewarded, but Hillarycertainly is well-heeled for this election.


The editor at The State in South Carolina describes the reasoning of the editorial board in selecting Obama over Clinton and Edwards in the state Democrat primary.

It’s not just that he might be the first black president — Sen. Clinton would make history, too. It’s that he offers a fresh start for American politics. It is his ambition to be a president for all of us — black and white, male and female, Democrat and Republican. The nomination of Sen. Clinton would by contrast kick off another bitter round of the pointless partisanship that has plagued the nation under presidents named “Bush” and “Clinton.”


A staff member reflects on why the Thompson campaign failed.

Most of the leading candidates were working behind the scenes for years, making unofficial deals with the people in every state who know how to wield influence and mobilize the rank and file. Fred, on the other hand, honestly never lusted for the power of the presidency. He agreed, upon significant urging, to run because he believed it was the right thing to do for his children and the country. Politics, however, apparently requires more.

One was anti-Southern prejudice that I found particularly distressing. I’m not, y’all, actually Southern, having been raised in the linguistically neutral Northwest, but I was surprised by the sniping from our side at Fred based on his sincere and gentlemanly Southern manners. Several important conservative bloggers, including some here at Pajamas, made repeated jokes about his language and style as if they are affectations. They are not. The problem, though, is larger and there is a Northern prejudice that interprets the slower, deliberative Southern style as just dim.


The activities of the East German secret police don't get much coverage. Wired has a good summary.

The pages amounted to a minute-by-minute account of Poppe's life, seen from an unimaginable array of angles. Video cameras were installed in the apartment across the street. Her friends' bedrooms were bugged and their conversations about her added to the file. Agents investigated the political leanings of her classmates from middle school and opened all of her mail. "They really tried to capture everything," she says. "Most of it was just junk."

There's no way to know what bombshells those files hide. For a country still trying to come to terms with its role in World War II and its life under a totalitarian regime, that half-destroyed paperwork is a tantalizing secret.

The machine-shredded stuff is confetti, largely unrecoverable. But in May 2007, a team of German computer scientists in Berlin announced that after four years of work, they had completed a system to digitally tape together the torn fragments. Engineers hope their software and scanners can do the job in less than five years — even taking into account the varying textures and durability of paper, the different sizes and shapes of the fragments, the assortment of printing (from handwriting to dot matrix) and the range of edges (from razor sharp to ragged and handmade.) "The numbers are tremendous. If you imagine putting together a jigsaw puzzle at home, you have maybe 1,000 pieces and a picture of what it should look like at the end," project manager Jan Schneider says. "We have many millions of pieces and no idea what they should look like when we're done."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Interview with Beliefnet.


Who would you vote for?


James Carroll in the Boston Globe attacks the evangelical influence on US foreign policy:

The present climate is my subject. In recent years, the public realm has been invaded by a certain kind of narrow Christian enthusiasm, made up partly of triumphalistic self-aggrandizement (exclusive salvation), and partly of the impulse to denigrate other religions, especially Islam. This phenomenon has been centered in, but not limited to, evangelical fundamentalism. The United States cannot have a constructive foreign policy in religiously enflamed regions like the Middle East, northern Africa or South Asia if the American presence in such conflicts is itself religiously enflaming.

Also see this reaction.

Is rampant Christian fundamentalism really the reason the Israeli-Palestinian issue has been an intractable problem bedeviling every American president for the last four decades? Somehow I'm unconvinced by Carroll's argument that if the American public was less religious - or at least our leaders were more secular, or, by extending his logic, perhaps even atheist - we'd be much better off.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Michigan evangelicals favored Romney over Huckabee.

Why Michigan's evangelicals abandoned Huck is the inetersting question. The most likely explanation is that the reality of Huck's policies caught up with his funny, winsome style. Bill Clinton was funny and winsome as well, and even though Huck is a good man and right on the life issue and marriage, most Republicans wouldn't vote for a pro-life Democrat over a pro-life Republican, and Huck is in essence, a pro-life Democrat. Huck's got five days to get his narrow but deep base back into the game, and yesterday's fiasco about the Constitution and God's word won't help.


Interesting analysis at Tigerhawk -- I enjoyed the following quote: Judging from Frank Luntz's focus group tonight, the typical Nevadan is not nearly as articulate as the typical Iowan. Just sayin'. !!!!!


From RealClearPolitics--the voter breakdown for the Democrats is especially interesting given all this discussion of race politics.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


This is posted by Debbie Schlussel, but there are pictures. I don't follow Michigan politics, but assome say, "just follow the money."

Does Romney have problems with the fact that Knollenberg and his state legislator son, Marty Knollenberg, both took thousands in campaign contributions from Hezbollah's American agents, Nijad Fares and Abdullah Bouhabib, as I've repeatedly noted? Apparently Not. Does Romney have a problem with the fact that, to pay these egregious contributors back, Joe Knollenberg single-handedly (with Sen. Spencer Abraham on the Senate side) doled out at least $86 million of our tax money to Hezbollah in 2000, allowing Hezbollah to rebuild its strongholds in Southern Lebanon and expand? Apparently not.


Democrats, get out and vote for Romney in Michigan!


Obama's cousin in Kenya is a member of the opposition and wants to introduce sharia law in Kenya.

According to documents obtained by Kenyan officials, Obama's cousin Odinga promised Shariah law in Kenya if elected.That probably won't play too well with the Obama campaign on "Change" here at home.


Recount! Is it Hillary or Diebold electronic voting machines? We shall see. Maybe the conspiracists will be proved right, but I am not holding my breath.


He doesn't like her! Dysfunctional!!!

What do you have to forget or overlook in order to desire that this dysfunctional clan once more occupies the White House and is again in a position to rent the Lincoln Bedroom to campaign donors and to employ the Oval Office as a massage parlor?

It's often said, by people trying to show how grown-up and unshocked they are, that all Clinton did to get himself impeached was lie about sex. That's not really true. What he actually lied about, in the perjury that also got him disbarred, was the women. And what this involved was a steady campaign of defamation, backed up by private dicks (you should excuse the expression) and salaried government employees, against women who I believe were telling the truth. In my opinion, Gennifer Flowers was telling the truth; so was Monica Lewinsky, and so was Kathleen Willey, and so, lest we forget, was Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who says she was raped by Bill Clinton. (For the full background on this, see the chapter "Is There a Rapist in the Oval Office?" in the paperback version of my book No One Left To Lie To. This essay, I may modestly say, has never been challenged by anybody in the fabled Clinton "rapid response" team.) Yet one constantly reads that both Clintons, including the female who helped intensify the slanders against her mistreated sisters, are excellent on women's "issues."


The spread of disease has always interested me. I don't think this new research will resolve the debate, but it does appear that sailors introduced syphilis from the New World to Europe.

The research, they say, supports the hypothesis that returning explorers introduced organisms leading, in probably modified forms, to the first recorded syphilis epidemic, beginning in Europe in 1493.

The so-called Columbus hypothesis had previously rested on circumstantial evidence, mainly the timing of the epidemic. It was further noted that earlier traces of syphilis or related diseases had been few and inconclusive in Europe. Yet nonvenereal forms of the diseases were widespread in the American tropics.

Monday, January 14, 2008

H.L. Mencken

Of all the classes of men, I dislike the most those who make their livings by talking - actors, clergymen, politicians, pedagogues, and so on. .... It is almost impossible to imagine a talker who sticks to the facts. Carried away by the sound of his own voice and the applause from the groundlings, he makes inevitably the jump from logic to mere rhetoric. - H.L. Mencken, "Sententiae"

Friday, January 11, 2008


Night of the Living Republicans.


From Politico: The comments, which ranged from the New York senator appearing to diminish the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement — an aide later said she misspoke — to Bill Clinton dismissing Sen. Barack Obama’s image in the media as a “fairy tale” — generated outrage on black radio, black blogs and cable television. And now they've drawn the attention of prominent African-American politicians.


MS. magazine refuses to publish and ad which promotes the impact of Jewish women in Israel.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Some are proposing that Hillary's forces manipulated electronic voting machines in the New Hampshire primary.


Even Bill Richardson is lashing out at the Clintons! I saw him as one of the more loyal water carriers. I would love to sit in a Clinton campaign meeting after New Hampshire.

Monday, January 07, 2008


It strikes me as ironic that Hillary has been concerned about the vast right-wing conspiracy that was out to do her in. . . .and it is a fellow Democrat, Obama, who keeps putting nails in her coffin. We will see what New Hampshire brings. I like the comments of David Brooks on the differences.


Daniel Drezner has collected a number of examples of interesting student statements on essays! I have to truthfully say, I have never read things as bad as some of these in my years.

Friday, January 04, 2008


I can't figure out whether to increase my air conditioning capacity to protect myself from global warming or buy a wood burning stove to keep me warm when global cooling strikes.