Saturday, January 21, 2006

Uneasy dreams and monstrous vermin

Here are two items on different topics related by their common absurdity.

Reuters is reporting that some of the ransom money paid for the German government for the release of Susan Osthoff (the archaeologist who was kidnapped by Iraqi militants and later released in exchange for Mohammad Ali Hammadi, the man who killed Navy diver Robert Stethem in a hijacked TWA flight) was found on her effects. (Hat tip: Davids Medienkritik)

BERLIN (Reuters) - Part of the ransom money alleged to have been paid by the German government to win the freedom of Iraq hostage Susanne Osthoff last month was found on Osthoff after her release, the German magazine Focus said on Saturday. Without citing its sources, Focus said officials at the German embassy in Baghdad had found several thousand U.S. dollars in the 43-year-old German archaeologist's clothes when she took a shower at the embassy shortly after being freed. The serial numbers on the bills matched those used by the government to pay off Osthoff's kidnappers, the magazine said.

Medienkritik quoted Osthoff's earlier interview at  Al Jazeera that:

her captors told her not to be afraid as her kidnapping was "politically motivated". "Do not be afraid. We do not harm women or children and you are a Muslim," she quoted them as saying. "I was so happy to know that I had not fallen into the hands of criminals." ...

"They said we don't want money ... Maybe we want from Germany ... hospitals and schools in the Sunni triangle [area northwest of Baghdad], and they would like to get money in the form of humanitarian aid." She described her captors as "poor people" and said that she "cannot blame them for kidnapping her, as they cannot enter [Baghdad's heavily fortified] Green Zone to kidnap Americans."

The other comes from the Times of London. (Hat tip: Little Green Footballs)

Copies of the Koran were handed to the jurors in the Abu Hamza trial yesterday as his defence argued that some of the cleric’s “offensive” statements were drawn directly from Islam’s holy book.

Edward Fitzgerald, QC, for the defence, said that Abu Hamza’s interpretation of the Koran was that it imposed an obligation on Muslims to do jihad and fight in the defence of their religion. He said that the Crown case against the former imam of Finsbury Park Mosque was “simplistic in the extreme”.

He added: “It is said he was preaching murder, but he was actually preaching from the Koran itself.”


The problem is there are literally no logical responses possible to these lines of argument. In fact, composing a reply would almost be an act of madness in itself, similar to starting a serious debate with inmates in a psychiatric hospital. It's true there's a certain superficial coherence to the idea that one can't blame kidnappers from abducting whoever they can on the grounds that they can't kidnap who they want; and one struggles to think of how Edward Fitzgerald, QC's argument is at all different from the serial killer's defense that "the Devil made me do it", but the sanity is only surface deep. I'm reminded of the man who, when I asked him when he was going to repay a personal loan I made him said "if I had any money to pay you back why would I have borrowed money in the first place?" It's statements like these which actually put a stop to the conversation. They annihilate the history of any dialogue that may have gone before because they prove that whatever was said, wasn't.


Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"They annihilate the history of any dialogue that may have gone before because they prove that whatever was said, wasn't."

I need to learn how to do that.

1/21/2006 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Democrat Self Destruction
Victoria Toensing

In 1985, I experienced the pain of terminating a FISA wiretap when to do so defied common sense and thwarted the possibility of gaining information about American hostages.
During the TWA 747 hijacking, American serviceman Robert Stethem was murdered and the remaining American male passengers taken hostage. We had a previously placed tap in the U.S. and thought there was a possibility we could learn the hostages’ location.

But Justice Department career lawyers told me that the FISA statute defined its “primary purpose” as foreign intelligence gathering. Because crimes were taking place, the FBI had to shut down the wire.

Boy, don’t we miss those days?

FISA’s “primary purpose” became the basis for the “wall” in 1995, when the Clinton-Gore Justice Department prohibited those on the intelligence side from even communicating with those doing law enforcement.

Let me try and expand on this. This was a time when leads being detected by the NSA on possible terrorists overseas contacting their cohorts here in the US could not pass the lead onto the FBI - because the FBI does crime and the NSA does intelligence.

All the reporting indicates the only change since 9-11 was leads detected by the NSA were being passed to the FBI for review.
And that is an impeachable offense?
No, being against that is an impeachable offense. And Ms. Toensing expands on what I pointed to earlier - to understand who a terrorist overseas is communicating with, you have to read the address of the other side of the communication. Doing so is the same as reading the to/from addresses on an envelope.
It is not illegal to do that, it is illegal to open the envelope without good cause.

1/21/2006 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

BTW, John Kerry, or someone claiming to be him, is a blogger at the Daily Kos.

President Bush's mouthpiece Scott McClellan can claim this administration puts terrorists out of business, but yesterday's tape reminds us that instead of being out of business, Osama is still out there.

If this administration had followed through on the opportunity to capture Osama Bin Laden at Tora Bora in 2001, the world would be a better place with Osama Bin Laden brought to justice -- and we wouldn't be having this discussion today.

1/22/2006 12:19:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Liars will always believe they got beat by a better lie rather than the truth.

1/22/2006 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Making Sense of Nonsense

1/22/2006 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Gudeman said...

Nuts. I've been planning for months to write a post about how I suspect a lot of these hostages are voluntary. I could have claimed a success in my rather sad speculation performance.

It just seemed too improbable that so many hostages were political allies of the terrorists and defended their kidnappers after they were freed.

By the way, just because the kidnappers cut off the victim's head, that doesn't mean the victim didn't volunteer to be a hostage. It's not like you can trust terrorists.

1/22/2006 01:40:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

France will now nuke terrorists - Chirac

Reuters is reporting that some of the ransom money paid for the German government for the release of Susan Osthoff. Somebody told. Merkel?

EU3 wants to stop nuclear Iran... etc etc.

So EU has got the message. Hell, not even the French could live with "Le Beaujolais Nouveau est Harram"!

Without the slightest hint of shame, they have aligned themselves with the US.

Just like France after WW1 and WW2, no shame.

Just like W's borrower - They annihilate the history of any dialogue that may have gone before because they prove that whatever was said, wasn't.

It's even worse than down the memory hole - they have no shame.


1/22/2006 02:48:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...


even our Religion of Peace can get one thing right - Le Beaujolais Nouveau is harram. Every year.


1/22/2006 03:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

So how do we make sense of what seems so nonsensical?
Rather easily—just keep in mind four general talking points about America’s recent role in the world and most things gradually become clearer.

Point One (for Americans): My own flawless three-week removal of Saddam Hussein was ruined by your error-prone postwar peace.

Point Two (for Middle Easterners): We are for democracy—unless you Americans help us obtain it.

Point Three (for Europeans): We are privately for and publicly against what you do.

Point Four (for everyone else): When angry at either the United States (or yourself,) just blame the Jews in America, and Israel abroad.

Sometimes in these crazy times, that is all you need to know.

1/22/2006 03:32:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...


I think you've got it.

You've certainly got EUnochstan.


1/22/2006 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Someone else used to get befuddled by questions like this - Prince Hamlet.

We do better, for ourselves and for our children, when we come to our senses and decide to act before we suffer his fate.

1/22/2006 04:45:00 AM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...


Doug's comments are the conlcudling lines from an essay by Victor Davis Hanson that appeared in NRO on Friday. Notice the link he provided to it a few comments above.


1/22/2006 04:46:00 AM  
Blogger miklos rosza said...

If Abu Hamza is found innocent because the Koran told him that jihad is an imperative for all Muslims, this seems to establish a rather important precendent. For so long, we have been generally reluctant or afraid to oppose Islam itself in absolute terms. And of course we have Muslim allies in Iraq and elsewhere. (Lebanon, for instance.)

But if the religion wants all unbelievers dead, and this is found acceptable in legal terms, then it certainly seems that out of self-preservation we may in turn be justified in killing Muslims without discrimination.

Legally, that is, at least in terms of this ruling (if it turns out to be a ruling), because turnabout is obviously fair play.

At this point though this absurdity is nothing more than a lawyer's ploy. (But absurd lawyer's ploys have worked before.)

1/22/2006 04:59:00 AM  
Blogger NooYawkah said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/22/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"President Bush's mouthpiece Scott McClellan can claim this administration puts terrorists out of business, but yesterday's tape reminds us that instead of being out of business, Osama is still out there."
John Kerry

No, John, Osama still being out there does NOT mean, and is not construed by reasonable or honest people as meaning, "The channels through which Osama expressed his particular terrorist poison are still in place," which is what YOU imply (knowingly, you shameless scoundrel) when you argue as you do!

1/22/2006 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger NooYawkah said...

"...hospitals and schools in the Sunni triangle..."?

What irks me about Susan Ostoff's nonsensical explanation is that, as far as I know, Coalition forces have been building and repairing hospitals and schools everywhere else in Iraq except the Sunni triangle because of insurgent activity.

As absurd as her comments are, people will buy into them because, between the lines she's taking a jab at the U.S. occupation.

1/22/2006 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

And while we're on the subject, Jesus of Nazareth claimed to be bringing 'life' to those seemingly already-alive humans who choose to believe in Him.

How long until this is construed as "proof" that Jesus REALLY brought DEATH for all non-believers? How long until Jesus' declarations are the "cause" of alienating those good people around the world SO MUCH that they just HAD to crucify Christians to stop them from spreading discomfort and lies?

How do we deal with this? this willfull, blatant disregard for words, and the value of words in manifesting human values?

The way we always have: we CHOOSE integrity for ourselves, CHOOSING to act in accord with our spoken/written word; and we SEEK OUT and ALIGN OURSELVES with others whose actions have shown them responsible, honorable, TRUSTWORTHY and hence People of Integrity.

We don't spend time engaging the mad, the insane or willfully dissembling thugs in dialogue: we shun, isolate, provide treatment for or eliminate them.

1/22/2006 05:52:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You ought to at least cite VDH as the source of "your" wisdom.

1/22/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

We of the Aztec Community of Britain will rejoice if the words of abu Hamza find justification in the Koran.
We shall demand restitution of our ancient traditions and insist on the right to construct a step pyramid in Hyde Park.A Lottery grant for such a valuable cultural entity should be forthcoming.
I might remind abu Hamza that our observance far exceeds his,and to put it mildly "He aint seen nothin' yet"

1/22/2006 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Could the EuroTrash at least have had the decency to pay their ransom in Euros???

I have heard many reports that this slug was a German spy. Maybe she is the real 'curveball'. Only a drunken dope addict would have left a jacket overflowing with ransom money in a public area...

Honestly, how long do these odd activists think we are going to react to their ‘kidnappings’? Someday soon the gentleman’s agreement will break down and an activist head will be sawed off - if it hasn't already.

BTW, I watched an intriguing show on Discovery last night that demonstrated how it is thought small groups radicalize independent from one of the global terrorist organizations – then kindof petition for admittance. Are those folks who allow themselves to be kidnapped for 'political' reasons other examples of small, independent groups radicalizing? Just a very weird reaction to the world we live in.

1/22/2006 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Abu Hamza’s defense tactic is truely interesting.
Will Religious Doctrine trump Secular Law?
The Mohammedans believe that Secular Law, when it contradicts Religious Doctrine can be ignored. Abu Hamza’s rants are nothing when compared to unprosecuted "Honor Killings" across Europe.

In the US the bigamists of Utah and Arizona, on a lesser level, operate in the same way.

In general it is Law Enforcement's fear of being seen as bigoted that allows for Religious extremists to thumb their noses at Society.

To bad for those "moderate" Mohammedan women and Mr van Gough.

1/22/2006 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Carradine, your focus on the meanings is always good. There's another weirdness in the cited non-sequiters--or arguments from false premises (or whatever they are): Words are simultaneously trivialized (meanings made subjective), as well as idolized (substituted for reality). It's crazy-making, alright.

1/22/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

This topic and the VDH column highlight the maddening inscrutability of the left.

1/22/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I can understand going along to get along, but Osthoff seems sanguine about the prospect of kidnapping Americans. A commenter on David’s Medienkritik goes on to suggest that the whole episode was a ruse by the BND to release Mohammad Ali Hammadi. Quid pro quo.

The old testament has some pretty nasty stuff in it. Fortunately for humanity its lessons have been absorbed over the millennia without calling for the murder of infidels and non-believers.

“It is said he was preaching murder, but he was actually preaching from the Koran itself.”

Until Islam can reform itself, it’s practice in lawful society should be outlawed.

1/22/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

It's the dialectic--having flipped so many meanings, the past is up for grabs, yet the future is 'inevitable'.

Precisely backwards to nature.

1/22/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Doug said...
Making Sense of Nonsense
1:17 AM

1/22/2006 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Only a drunken dope addict would have left a jacket overflowing with ransom money in a public area..."
I wasn't even drunk when I left out my Hanson cite.
Wo is Me!
King 'Rat is Irked!

1/22/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Now you want to 'outlaw' the Religion of Peace. I doubt the Mr Bush could be convinced, let alone Mr Blair. They would lose their "Progressive" status if that happened.

We could do that if there was a War against these Mohammedan extremists, but instead there are negotiations and payoffs.

To bad the US has given up on Mr Bush's statement 'support a terrorist, be treated like a terrorist'.

To bad we have never even acted on that Policy. Syria, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan all get a pass.

The Federals could not even get a conviction on that FL professor that was raising funds for the Terrorists.

We did get Johnny 'Taliban' Walker though. That was a really major coup in the Mohammedan Wars.

1/22/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"We did get Johnny 'Taliban' Walker though. That was a really major coup in the Mohammedan Wars."
You should have cited my post to that effect in the last thread.

1/22/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Diodor Bitan said...

The mugger that threatened this guy with a broken bottle, got his money and still spat in his face (read on an US forum).

The widespread Romanian meme used to justify voting to keep the utterly corrupt ex-communist party in power as "the others who didn't steal are hungry and would steal even more".

The pathological lier and grotesque slanderer who leads our left wing nationalistic party gloating over fake medals and diplomas bought over the internet for $50.

The ex-communist Parliament chamber leader who, caught in a huge corruption scandal, forfeits his party position but declines to do the same for his chamber presidency.

The Westerner that declares in his article that the US is "the single most potent obstacle to the spread of freedom and democracy in the world".

It takes two for dialogue to be possible, and not only a shared language but a shared common sense.

1/22/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

My grandfather's answer to the loan question was better: "I'd rather owe it to you than cheat you out of it."

1/22/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Annoy-Mouse, per your 8:11, what's maddening wrt to the case in court is, Koranic practices are already all over the map.

The practice of setting one's personal favorite passages in stone, while apparently not giving a fare-thee-well about other passages, gives the lie to any 'right' to the former.

1/22/2006 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

Words are simultaneously trivialized (meanings made subjective), as well as idolized (substituted for reality). It's crazy-making, alright.

I see this phenomenon as nothing more than a form of juvenile Holden Caufield type rhetoric that so impressed in high school. It signifies to me a group of neophytes just discovering the world stage and the dizzying ego trip of a press that actually repeats adolescent drivel. Foolish and not the real deal.

1/22/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You were speaking of his father and CNN's lack of respect for his Privacy.
Violated his Constitutional Right to Privacy, or so it seems to his dad.

I was speaking of how his arrest and conviction put a major crimp in aQ's operations in Afghanistan and around the World.

A major terrorist player taken off the streets, while we finance the ISI in Pakistan.
Payoffs to US enemies will not get US to Victory.

I keep forgetting, though, that Mr Chemey does not expect US Victory for decades.
Perpetual War against shadows, diminished freedoms for US citizens, payoffs to our Enemies.

When a Country's Leaders to not expect to win, it won't.

1/22/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"If you're not going to kick a man when he's down,
When are you going to kick him
(can't recall the cite right now, will find later for 'rat.)

1/22/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

It is said he was preaching murder, but he was actually preaching from the Koran itself.

Why should the one exclude the other?

Preaching murder from the Koran: the true believer's defense.

1/22/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Perpetual War against shadows, "
More money for Halliburton.
...but you already knew that.

1/22/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

A Country that will not allow the destruction of aQ infrastructure by US and will or cannot destroy aQ without US assistance is supporting aQ.

The President said we would treat those that behaved in that manner the same as we would treat aQ.

Osama still roams the World and we fund his paymasters. Sweet.

1/22/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No wonder it will take decades

1/22/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

(don't miss the subtext, kids)
Desert Rat is calling for Genocide against the Pakistani Race!

1/22/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Doidor, Rat, we have to remember that unless the measured, incremental approach is tried, then the west will be guilty forevermore of not having tried the measured, incremental approach. That's where we are, I think, in the middle of that attempt.

Listening to latter-day Hillary, the real fireworks are yet to come, if things don't wind up under the very amiable and forgiving Mr. Bush.

1/22/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Glad you DIDN'T miss it Bud!

1/22/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...but will the "New Hillary" ACTUALLY bring back Holbroke?
(wholly broken)

1/22/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Brokeback Lout&Company"

1/22/2006 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

"I aint sure we've seen these people before. Their kind. I dont know what to do about em even. If you killed em all they'd have to build a annex on to hell."

Cormac McCarthy in No Country for Old Men

1/22/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Speaking of "no logical responses" I have noticed that Democrat tv-talkers have lately taken up the cry "Google 'Democratic plantation'" in defense of Hillary's openly racist pandering on MLK day.

Well ... no duh! Google is openly leftist, and their search relevance is openly manipulated by their leftist editors. Years ago, when Google first came out, the concept of "Google bomb" was published and easily proven. The way it works is that a number of sites cooperate to make a specific term mean whatever they want it to mean. In this case, tons of leftist sites simply tie the query term "Democratic plantation" to anti-Repubican hit sites.

Now these turds go on TV, and as is typical of the Dems, assume everyone listening to them is dumb as dirt.

Try searching for any politically charged term, and I'll bet you can't find anything unbiased in the first few pages of hits.

You can google it - indeed!

It's a shame that the world's most popular search engine is as hopelessly comprised as the NYT.

1/22/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

Warping the framework of society --

Underneath the variety that drapes the minimal requirements of society, are the minimal requirements of society. Included amongst those is respect for others, so long as they respect you. Turn it around and it says, "Don't do to others what you don't want done to you."

Insofar as people warp this minimal framework, we are free to protect ourselves from them. And must.

1/22/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

They need to be killed.
(I think Texas is the source on that.)

1/22/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Ultimately freedom is freedom of choice. Pick and choose your poison well.

“Timur Kuran, professor of economics and law and the King Faisal professor of Islamic thought and culture at the University of Southern California,” Barf.

We can not complain of Islam. Their murderous god is more powerful than ours. They got the ‘their’ state in Pakistan. When did god ever give a religion a state? Israel? If so, who are the Mohammedans to deny it?

“In recent decades, Islamic economics has come to mean three things, all supposedly rooted in the ''golden age'' of seventh-century Arabia: a ban on interest, a wealth tax known as zakat, and honesty and altruism in commercial dealings. “ I suspect that the ‘honesty’ thing only applies to good Muslims.

Allah is the supreme kidnapper. Islamic altruism means murdering for a good cause.

Sometimes to choose life means accepting the challenge of war.

1/22/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I can see a possibilty that the lady--whose purity as a politician is discolored only at the margins, by a vindictiveness that may itself be part of her art--will come to power (if at all) bearing both a promise to out-hawk the GOP, AND a desire to stick-it-to the anti-war left, which will presumably have abandoned her with prejudice.

And, somewhere in there, may lurk a little smidge of 'do-the-right-thing-for-USA'.

1/22/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Return of the WASP"
...female version.

1/22/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"anti-war left, which will presumably have abandoned her with prejudice"
They already have.
Just ask Kos.
...or Kevin.

1/22/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe she could stick it to the Draft-Dodger too.
Show how a Real Man puts on his (pink) pants.

1/22/2006 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

There is also the problem that Hillary distinguished herself from the GOP cites in that she really DID talk like that back in the 60's.
(You Know what I'm Talkin About)
But those speeches have been, uh,

1/22/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Google IS a Democrat Plantation.

1/22/2006 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Anybody that might disagree w/ Tony, need only glance at the headlines in the Google News site.

1/22/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger sammy small said...

Copies of the Koran were handed to the jurors in the Abu Hamza trial yesterday as his defence argued that some of the cleric’s “offensive” statements were drawn directly from Islam’s holy book.

I wonder if the infidels (jurors) handled the Koran with the perfunctory white gloves as does the U.S. guard contingent at Gitmo.

1/22/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No doug, not genocide.
All war is not genocide.

Either the President of the USA can be trusted to keep his word, or thoughts of a RAD Policy are incompatable with US actions.

We will not even engage our own announced Enemies with Conventional methods, how could anyone else think we would confront theirs, with Nukes?

Now that John McCain is the front runner in the '08 race...

1/22/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Russians are said to have destroyed the pipeline to Georgia. Initially reported to have been attacked by Mohammedan rebels, it was just reported the Russians did it themselves.
Now that Eastern Europe is in the hold of the coldest winter in 25 plus years, the natural gas deliveries to Georgia are halted, there is a 24 hour supply in the System. Quite a few folk will die.

Got to hand it to those KGB guys, they know how to make a point.

In the mean time the Iranians are raking in the cash, as Energy Traders push the price of a barrel of crude to $68. Prices are still headed north and the Iranian accounts are filling, as the Georgians are freezing.

Whose side are the Russians on?

1/22/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

"It is said he was preaching murder, but he was actually preaching from the Koran itself."

The popping sound you hear is the heads of CAIR members exploding. If the defense wins, Ann Coulter was correct.

1/22/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

if he is found innocent based on the verses from the Koran, we can find verses in the Bible that can be used for the same purposes. That would actually make things a lot easier for us.

1/22/2006 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger PSGInfinity said...

whit @ 7:51

I have Three Precepts of the Liberalism Movement® that I like to refer to when they get inscrutable:

1) We are better, in every way, than our enemies.

2) Therefore, we alone deserve to govern.

3) Anything that helps us, this moment, is GOOD. Anything that hurts us, this moment, is EVIL.

With cite goodness...

1/22/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

A couple threads ago I commented on the utility of language as a predecessor to military strikes. I said that our dance in the UN and with the EU-3 was not as worthless as it appeared, because what we are purchasing in these forums is not decisive action, but a recorded agreement on context.

Here is Reuel Gerecht writing in the Weekly Standard:

(The other good thing about the EU-3 process with Iran is that it is actually rhetorically and morally preparing the arguments and language for a preventive military strike, if we must go in that direction. The astute European participants in this process know this, which provokes both considerable anxiety and, in some, relief.)

It may seem like I am searching for an "attaboy," but I'm not. Of course, comportment with authority helps any point, but what I really want to do is use this as a springboard to delve even deeper into what I see as a very large part of our strategy with Iran.

In law, the reasonable person standard is used to judge what, if any, liability accrues to an action. It is an eminently adaptable standard: the context of the action determines its reasonableness, so that even a normally unreasonable action could be judged "reasonable" if the situation itself was unreasonable or extraordinary.

Upon first hearing of this amorphous standard, many law students are horrified at its latitude and malleability. Law should be a system of solid, inviolable rules, not a prisoner of context. This reaction, however, becomes replaced by appreciation as more decisions are read. Course of dealing and usage of trade concepts make the "reasonableness" standard resonate. After a while, what was once objectionable seems obvious, and necessary.

What is it that causes this effect upon an originally skeptical mind? It's not that any particular application of the standard is unobjectionable--people will argue all day long about whether this or that decision was correct. It is that the application, whichever outcome it produces, is tolerable. You may disagree with the result, but you are sold on the process. This mental commitment mitigates what otherwise might be a strong, emotional response to a disfavored outcome. It's what creates the disposition of the legal mind.

So what causes this? I was reading Edgar Allen Poe last night, and his essay on English Verse. He comments that there are certain usages of language that humans inherently enjoy. He says this corresponds to the universal human enjoyment of equality, and fitness.

If equality and fitness cause verse to resonate in the human mind, could this not also be the explanation for the resonance of argument? Could this not account for why the "reasonable" standard is unobjectionable to a diverse people with vastly different perceptions?

Wretchard's debtor shut down the conversation because his response struck the mentally rejectionable chord of absurdity. Such argumentation might have utility in the realm of mutuation, but it surely has none in the realm of persuasion. The reason, it seems to me, is because such discordancy contains no inherent fitness, and therefore cannot engender a positive response in the listener.

Which brings us the long way around to my original point. In our dance at the UN and with the EU-3, we are building a consensus on context, which will then satisfy the condition precedent of the reasonableness standard: that of argumentative fitness. We will never get to a world where everyone agrees; lawyers probably disagree more than any other professional genus on the planet. What we are getting to, what we are trying to bring about in the minds of other world powers, is the inclination of toleration, so that when we do that which is objectionable but necessary, they will not defect from this system of stability.

We know they won't laud the outcome. What we must strive to ensure is that they don't reject the process, even if it leads to a military strike in Iran.

1/22/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Norman said...

Tony wrote:

"You can google it - indeed!

It's a shame that the world's most popular search engine is as hopelessly comprised as the NYT."

Well, before "Google" was coined, it was "Yahoo!"

When Yahoo! first came along, it was before the mainstream had seriously started getting on the internet (the 90's).

1/22/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Please note that there seems to be no problem on the Left with being simultaneously contradictory.

We were told we had too few troops in Iraq and should have relied more heavily on foreign forces. But for Afghanistan Kerry claimed that Bush let OBL get away by "outsourcing" to foreign forces rather than using ours.

For Iraq we were told we needed to work more closely with our allies and consider foreign concerns, especially those of Europe.
As for Iran, the other day Senator Clinton accused President Bush of screwing up the effort to halt the Mullah's nuclear program by "outsourcing" the negotiations to the Europeans.

So, we are simultaneously using too few troops and using too many - using too many foreign troops instead of our own and also vice versa - and of not considering European concerns and considering them too much.

It is hard to say what is a greater concern - the possibility that they don't see this gestalt of gibberish - or that they think that the rest of us don't.

1/22/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Iranian Uranium, Split Atoms, Broken Craniums.
Just look deeply into Pootie's Eyes, 'Rat:

The EU and the United States back a plan put forward by Moscow for Iran to enrich uranium in Russia, which would ensure the uranium was only enriched to levels where it could be used to generate electricity and not to make nuclear bombs.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was due on Monday to hold his first major news conference since taking office in August.

A staunch conservative, Ahmadinejad has resolutely refused to renounce Iran's right to uranium enrichment and has stirred up more mistrust in the West by dismissing the Holocaust as "a myth" and calling Israel a "tumor" to be "wiped off the earth."

1/22/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Robert Schwartz nailed it:

If the MSM was on our side, this would be the trial of the Century, and Coulter would be leading the coverage.

1/22/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Late last week, while every region's financial markets were in tailspin, Russia's gained I believe about 15%. Annualized this'd be around 3,000%.

Of course, Russia is an oil exporter. Iran's deep goal--$100/bbl--wouldn't hurt Russia, or the Ruple.

A variation on whuppin' the West with weather (a la Napoleon & Hitler).

1/22/2006 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

On way to Alaska, X-Band radar makes stop off Maui

A pair of fishermen, Patrick Lahey (left) of Lahaina and B.J. Schuller of Kula, find they have a fishing spot with an unusual view as the MV Blue Marlin settles in the ocean off Olowalu to offload the Sea-Based X-Band Radar – a floating platform holding the radar dome that’s a key component in the nation’s planned ballistic missile defense system. “We’ve never seen anything like this,” Lahey said. The Blue Marlin is slowly filling its ballast tanks to submerge the main deck to allow the radar platform to float free.
Rogers said the radar platform should be in sanctuary waters for only a short time once it’s off the Blue Marlin. It is scheduled to be taken to Pearl Harbor for additional work before being hauled up to Alaska, where it will become a part of the national Ballistic Missile Defense System. The dome will allow the defense agency to detect, track and assess missiles, discriminate among different types of missiles and target those deemed to be threats.

Based on designs for oil-drilling platforms, the SBX is a twin-hulled self-propelled vessel that can reposition itself when in operation to provide optimum coverage. Its main deck is the size of two football fields, according to a Missile Defense Agency document, and it includes the X-band radar antenna array and command control and communications centers.

1/22/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Corpus Christi to AK, via HI.

1/22/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Of course, Russia is an oil exporter. Iran's deep goal--$100/bbl--wouldn't hurt Russia, or the Ruple."
Does our massive dependency on foreign cost us anything in dollars or security?
Drive On!

1/22/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...


1/22/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


Yahoo was always one of those human-edited and organized search systems, that's why you search in categories, people are putting stuff in categories.

My idea of "pure" information retrieval was more like the old InfoSeek, which used very advanced IR techniques going all the way back to Dr. Salton's pioneering work at Cornell. In those kinds of systems, algorithms are used to determine relevance to a particular query. You could still hack them, for at least one specific term, by putting that term all over the place, especially in prominent places where the you know the spiders look - like in your metatdata, article titles, section titles, you know, snuggle it in amongst the high-value spots. The only difficulty with doing it that way, is you have to make the articles still make sense to humans, so you can't just brute force it by repetitive listing. I consider that method of hit ranking relatively fair.

Now, Google has human editors assigning special relevance to certain sources, so they tilt the overall relevance of the hits to sites of their choosing. You think you are searching the Web, but you are really mostly getting what they want you to get. This is precisely the same fraud that the NYT perpetrates by pretending they are giving us a fair and comprehensive view of news.

Then again, they put out blogger. I guess it would be interesting to search for some of the topics that Wretchard writes about, and see if you ever stumble across this blog without including overt references like "Belmont Club" or "Wretchard."

Sorry to go so far off topic, Google's depradations are a pet peeve.

1/22/2006 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Then again, they put out blogger. I guess it would be interesting to search for some of the topics that Wretchard writes about, and see if you ever stumble across this blog without including overt references like "Belmont Club" or "Wretchard.""
Used to be able to search comments as well as articles.
No More.

1/22/2006 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I'll leave that to Mr Bush, doug, he says he saw Mr Pootie's soul.
Or something like that.

As big John said this morning, the Russians are now using the Energy Weapon and that even the Soviets never had the nerve for that.

The Russians deny that they blew up the pipeline to Georgia. The Georgians do not believe it. The winter, coldest in over two decades has been brutal.
Without the Russian natural gas the Georgians will freeze, many to death. The Georgians have 24 hours worth of stockpiled supply.

If the Iranians are not to trusted, can and have reprocessed nuclear fuel without IAEA supervision, then they would just be getting fuel from Russia, partially enhanced. They would be able to process it further, covertly.
Not a REAL solution, but one the US would accept?
Shows, to me, that this is a propaganda campaign.

The Iranians WANT to be hit. Limited airstrikes will play right into the Iranians game.
Attacking and destroying what they do not have, consolidating their hold on power through calls to Nationalism.
A hugh error. By US or Israel.

The Chicoms are working the same head game with their people, vis a vie Japan & Taiwan.

When will we ever learn.

1/22/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


I was going to say:

I guess it would be interesting to search for some of the topics that Wretchard writes about, and see if you ever stumble across this blog without including overt references like "Belmont Club" or "Wretchard" or "Doug"!

1/22/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

...and there's this.

And Nigeria and Venezuela, too!

Better sell yer Google, Apple, and Yahoo and buy domestic energy.

Unless, unless the wise guys are already 'in', and are waiting for the retail players (aka "suckers") to come in bidding oil stocks up on Monday, so they can sell high--and fiendishly quickly--on a sensible word from Ah-alphabet-jad (which we may've heard today, with his call for 'further talks' with the EU3).

So, Monday is like, best I can make it, 1-in-3 up, 1-in-3 down, and 1-in-3 no change.

Hate to stick my neck out like that.

1/22/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

little 'd'
or is Google not case sensitive.

1/22/2006 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Liberals have always had as their core constituency: the poor and uneducated. They win in landslides, however, when arch-conservatives hold on to things they shouldn't. Examples:

1) DDT
2) Premarital sex illegal
3) Asbestos
4) Cigarette advertising
5) Current opposition to smoking bans
6) Opposition to suing tobacco firms

1/22/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


The proper answer is RTFM, but since we are so polite, here's what it says:


Google searches are NOT case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case. For example, searches for george washington, George Washington, and gEoRgE wAsHiNgToN will all return the same results."

Btw, I hope I haven't offended Doug, it's been two or three minutes and he hasn't responded yet. I thought it was pretty funny.

1/22/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, is the Iran gov't acting like it wants to be attacked, as the best bet to build-out without getting attacked?

And, per the jumpy global markets, I'm betting that sometime next week--probably early Monday afternoon--traders will switch over to playing Russia's tiny economy, and China's built-in vulnerabilities, up against the Four economic Horsemen Britain, France/Germany, Japan, and USA.

Moods can whip around very quickly.

1/22/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...


DDT, removing that particular chemical compound from use has caused hugh death tolls in Africa and South Asia.
Malaria deaths are on the rise, often confused for HIV/AIDs.
Not a challenge in Germany, but devastating in Africa.

1/22/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

The Chinese economy cannot expand indefinitely.

The marginal barrel sets the price for the next one.

We are one Chinese bank run from $30 or even $20 oil.

It sucks being in the commodity business. If you do not prepare for the lean times when times are good, then it will be a very, very rough let down.

1/22/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Iranians are, IMO, a short term win-win situation.

With each sabre that rattles, on their side or ours, the markets get the gitters. Oil prices rise, without REAL cause. As you say the compounded growth is impressive.

Limited strikes will cause them no damage, that was been proven in Sudan & Iraq over the past 10 years. A long term, continued Air Campaign is not in the cards, prior to December '06, IMO.
Even a long term Air Campaign did not do much damage to Serbians, apart from blowing up the Chinese. Serbia is a tiny place when compared to Iran.

1/22/2006 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

RRiver--even if you're an onion farmer. Have a profitable year, and next spring all your neighbors plant onions, too, and ya can't give 'em away.

but, uyou're dead right about the oil--the supply situation is manageable, given no big geopolitical snafu. The risk pricing of that snafu--the risk premium--is figured to be about $20/bbl currently--up from $10 or so a year ago. A dub, IOW, in a year. So, we could settle back to below $50 with not much more than the sabre-rattling starting to look a little contrived.

1/22/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Please note that there seems to be no problem on the Left with being simultaneously contradictory.

Which is why they will lose. Contradiction is a fatal vulnerability in the long-term.

Whatever they play at, it is not persuasion.

1/22/2006 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

what do you think of this

The part I found interesting was the ME Reserves and how they have "grown"

1/22/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Aristides: After I wrote that, I considered that the Soviets were famous for being self-contradictory and that, combined with the denial of the military option were key factors in their collapse.

Can we expect the same from the Left? Unfortunately, I doubt it. Like Wretchard's example of the borrower who thought it contradictory to pay back the money, the Left is infinitely adaptable. Hardly missing a beat, they swung from the "American Troops are Butchers." rhetoric of the Vietnam Era - and Desert Storm, as well - to the "American Troops are Being Butchered" rallying cry of today.

A major criticism of our Cold War Realpoltick was "We support Dictators if it is in our interests." But today it is "We are Arrogant Fools to Think That We Can Depose Dictators and Impose Democracy."

An "Anti-War" protest held at the Pentagon shortly after I left there in the early 90's was but a shadow of earlier similar events - and at least some of the protestors were there because we WOULD NOT invade East Timor and save the people there from Indonesian brutality.

The Reagan Admin, with hawks firmly in power under a leader determined to win the Cold War at any cost, not only did so successfully but negotiated the greatest nuclear arms reductions in history - probably the greatest arms control triumph in all history.
The Clinton Admin, composed largely of proud peaceniks, did zip on arms controls. Did you know that B-52's and TU-95 Bear bombers were paying friendship visits to each other's bases during the Bush I years? And at the Pentagon I sat in on meetings that were intended to lead to a joint U.S./Russian effort to defend THE ENTIRE WORLD against missile attack. Clinton's incoherent military adventurism put a stop to all that.

So will USE of the military option - and all that it implies -- combined with its internal contradictions cause the Left to collapse? No, probably not, or at least no more so than it already has.

1/22/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Everybody trying to understand the mkt ought to read that article. Boone Pickens agrees with the author--he's an 'early topper', and usually right on the big calls. We could very well be at or very near peak right now--with demand rising dramatically. As far as the damaged KSA fields, that's been around for a couple of years, with academic paper after paper arguing both sides. The American Petroleum Institute is very, very protective of its reputation as the final word on many issues--wouldn't be a bad idea to dig into their reportage. I haven't yet, I hear it too is inconclusive, and also because I'm assuming that as long as the question is in the air, it has to be played 'worst-case'.

1/22/2006 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

RWE, right, the 'new world order' of Bush I was no pipe dream--it was aimed at finessing such things as GWoT, and was in motion when the '92 election came along and put your basic Al Gore types running USSR/USA relations, in place of the old-school patriots who intended to shepard Russia into the first world 'clean'.

Dallas, giving us Perot, has shot the world to pieces twice now.

1/22/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Hey, Osama; You knocked down a couple of buildings. Now, Carrie Underwood is singing "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Playoffs, and you're living in a cave.

How's the Plan working, so far?

1/22/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"see if you ever stumble across this blog without including overt references like "Belmont Club" or "Wretchard" or "Doug"...

...the only difficulty with doing it that way, is you have to make the articles still make sense to humans, so you can't just brute force it...

1/22/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

OT, but look at this:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - The U.S. Navy boarded an apparent pirate ship in the Indian Ocean and detained 26 men for questioning, the Navy said Sunday. The 16 Indians and 10 Somali men were aboard a traditional dhow that was chased and seized Saturday by the U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill.

P.S.: The Word Verification program just called me a name. Wish I knew what it meant.

1/22/2006 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"We could very well be at or very near peak right now--with demand rising dramatically."

Related, this 01/20 Reuters article has been making the rounds:

Kuwait oil reserves only half official estimate-PIW

LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - OPEC producer Kuwait's oil reserves are only half those officially stated, according to internal Kuwaiti records seen by industry newsletter Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW).

"PIW learns from sources that Kuwait's actual oil reserves, which are officially stated at around 99 billion barrels, or close to 10 percent of the global total, are a good deal lower, according to internal Kuwaiti records," the weekly PIW reported on Friday.

It said that according to data circulated in Kuwait Oil Co

(KOC), the upstream arm of state Kuwait Petroleum Corp, Kuwait's remaining proven and non-proven oil reserves are about 48 billion barrels.

Officials from KOC were not immediately available for comment to Reuters.

PIW said the official public Kuwaiti figures do not distinguish between proven, probable and possible reserves.

But it said the data it had seen show that of the current remaining 48 billion barrels of proven and non-proven reserves, only about 24 billion barrels are so far fully proven -- 15 billion in its biggest oilfield Burgan.

Kuwait has been adding up to 500 million barrels a year at Burgan which means the remaining non-proven reserves of some 5.3 billion barrels will likely be upgraded to proven, according to PIW.

Three consortia led by BP , Chevron and ExxonMobil are in the race for Project Kuwait, a 20-year operating service contract to raise crude capacity at four oilfields in the north of Kuwait.

Okay, who's next?

1/22/2006 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Nice of Saddam to've burnt up one or two percent of the world's oil, there in Kuwait, wasn't it?

Trish, some say the various figures coming out of OPEC are being gamed downward by OPEC oil ministers--afraid to get into another price collapse. I have no idea what to believe anymore.

1/22/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Celine Dion

1/22/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

nope, ain't celine nobody all day.

1/22/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Nat'L Center for Policy Analysis asks oil the right questions.

1/22/2006 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Buddy, yours is a clarifying observation, Thanks.

And as we can see by reading THESE posts, WE (at least) DO what rational people do when faced with word-twisters, adolescents, irresponsible and purposefully obfuscating (liars, thugs, politicians, certain clergy)...

We engage in MEANINGFUL dialogue, to consider and sort through Reality for ourselves.

KosKidz and their LLL ilk, however, wallow in their feelings, savor the rank stench of their meaningless spew, and congratulate themselves on getting a word-spin that the NeoCons can't undo, ha-ha! (Is 'God' capable of making a rock so heavy that He can't lift it, NeoCon? Bwahahaha!)


1/22/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Moderation in all things, I say.
Esp in condemnation of adolescent word twisters.

1/22/2006 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Trish, some say the various figures coming out of OPEC are being gamed downward by OPEC oil ministers"

Could be. Then there were those dramatic upward revisions of OPEC reserves in the 80's - each country outdoing the last in increasing its reserve numbers.

I think the Kuwaiti reserves have been known for some time to be less than stated - but nowhere near half. The issue now is the extent of overstatement there and elsewhere within OPEC, esp KSA.

At any rate, the PIW report is still being combed (and mulled) over by those with access to it.

1/22/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Could be. Then there were those dramatic upward revisions of OPEC reserves in the 80's - each country outdoing the last in increasing its reserve numbers."
Improved Seismic Testing/Geology?

1/22/2006 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Improved Seismic Testing/Geology?"

Yes, Doug. I do realize that.

1/22/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

R-R said:
"The Chinese economy cannot expand indefinitely."

No, but with 60 years of pent-up energy waiting to emerge from Moao's revolution, and with the a sizable percent off the worl's population, it has potential for many years of growth.

What we've seen from China could be a blip on the radar screnn compared to what's possible.

It all depends on the amount of free reign the Chicoms want to allow.

1/22/2006 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

sheesh...what deplorable spelling.

promise to proof next time.

1/22/2006 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OT- Other Monstrous Vermin:
Judge Alito's Radical Views

The White House has tried to create an air of inevitability around this nomination. But there is no reason to believe that Judge Alito is any more popular than the president who nominated him.
Outside a small but vocal group of hard-core conservatives, America has greeted the nomination with a shrug - and counted on its senators to make the right decision.

The real risk for senators lies not in opposing Judge Alito, but in voting for him. If the far right takes over the Supreme Court, American law and life could change dramatically.
If that happens, many senators who voted for Judge Alito will no doubt come to regret that they did not insist that Justice O'Connor's seat be filled with someone who shared her cautious, centrist approach to the law.
-who else? NY Times

1/23/2006 03:13:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

" If the far right "

1/23/2006 03:16:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Institutional memory?

1/23/2006 03:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe they think it's Genetic.
The Animal Self
More OT:
At least read the hilarious Octopus Descriptions: Leisure Suit Larry, Lucretia McEvil, and etc.

1/23/2006 04:00:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...


I'm reminded of the story of the scorpion who asked the turtle for a ride across the river, and the punchline "I couldn't help it, I'm a scorpion"

There comes a point when the scorpion in human form just runs out of dissimulation and admits "Hey, I'm a scorpion. You should have realized that I will act according to my nature without regard to the meaningless things I said in order to gain your confidence"

1/23/2006 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

...and in more ways than one, the scorpion has a point.

1/23/2006 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No matter which Country it's from

1/23/2006 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Or which tank, in the case of Octopussies.
(8th armed division)

1/23/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

A Man After His Own Heart : A True Story
"Uniting his subjects is his fight against the idea that a greater medical knowledge about the workings of the heart "has led to a diminished appreciation of its abiding metaphysical significance."
Siebert wonderfully illustrates how the heart does not serve as the seat of emotions, but rather as "the brain's subtle antagonist, its emotional and psychological counterpoise," and that the mystique of the heart "now requires even newer and better metaphors in order to be conveyed."
Best of all is Siebert's exploration throughout of the subtle paradox of "the burden on the heart... which the very life that a heart allows brings.

1/23/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Gotta love circular reasoning, the closest people often come to intelligence in an era that condemns it.

1/23/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

'circular reasoning'--often spoke to spin and tire.

1/23/2006 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy spins, but does not tire.

1/23/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger texasviolinist said...

You say it is like debating the insane. I think it is more like allowing cockroaches to defend themselves. Every time I think of these Islamist extremists I see an image of the aliens from that horrible movie, Independence day, The Fourth of July.

1/23/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Calling the March of the
Tin Eared Soldiers of the left.

1/23/2006 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

OT, but at this point isn't everyone

A few months ago there was a discussion of Blogger tv

Check these clips out and tell me what you think of the possibilities.

All were done with equipment bought on ebay for pennies on the dollar, excempt for "Final Cut Pro".

1/23/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Because Google is your friend, for real.

Real on demand TV, 24/7

Gotta love it.

1/23/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Didn't you say you were less than impressed with videos as advertising?
...was that because you were refering to tapes at the time?
Video V Print

1/23/2006 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My wife was very impressed, but then her Daddy raised her around it the few years she got to be with him.
He wrote a book, you do movies.

1/23/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Uneasy dreams at the Corner (John Derbyshire, full post):

In the matter of Iran: I've been reading the recent Iran-war speculations by Clayton Cramer, Niall Ferguson, et al. Are things as bad as all that?

I think they are. The week after 9/11 the excellent and prescient Irish columnist Kevin Myers wrote a piece that caught my eye. Said he:

"Last Tuesday, the entire world crossed a terrible threshold. We departed from the realm of ordered events into the realm of chaos... We are back to that place of chaos, twice visited in the last century, where consequence runs free of human control, where wisdom seems to be of no avail, and evil seems master of all."

That phrase "the realm of chaos" stuck with me, and is still with me. The word "chaos" has a fairly specific meaning in physics. It refers to situations where tiny inputs can cause huge outputs -- the flapping of a butterfly's wind setting off a cascade of events that ends with a hurricane, the pebble that rolls loose & starts an avalanche.

I do think that since 9/11 we have indeed been in the realm of chaos, and are now deep into it. A small miscalculation on our part could have tremendous consequences, and this is more and more the case every day that passes. Consider the following sequence:

(1) Iraq 2003, pop. 26m, may have been trying to acquire the technology to get started on producing nukes. Stable under strict dictatorship.

(2) Iran 2006, pop. 68m, has all the technology & expertise to produce nukes, may be just months away. Semi-stable under loose dictatorship.

(3) Pakistan 2006, pop. 162m, possesses goodish stockpile of nukes & delivery systems. Unstable under feeble military dictatorship.

That 1-2-3 may be an up escalator, and we may get stuck on it: by doing the wrong thing when we should have done the right thing, by doing something when we should have done nothing, or by doing nothing when we should have done something. These are dicey times. Let's not forget it. And let's pray for wisdom in our leaders.

1/23/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'll take that option RWE talked about.
Before Clinton.
Easy Dreamer.

1/23/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I said a picture was worth a thousand words.

I've published books, just not authored one. Working on that now.

The majority of people, for the most part, do not read. Sad, but I'm afraid, true.

Headline writing is all important in the newspaper business.

If you think about the possibilities of this, TV without broadcast infrastructure.

Good thing for Dan Rather he's retired. This will open and change the world of video and of viewing.

A greater Revolution than written Blogs vs MSM.

Capacity is no longer an issue in Television, only Capability is.

1/23/2006 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...


1/23/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That was it:
Didn't you say a picture on a printed page was the best advertising vehicle?

1/23/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

could have

1/23/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I recall the discussion
The Bard as reading vs. performance.

That was the part of it I recall best. Been in publishing 25 plus years, amonst other things, and most people may more attention to pictures and the cut line then to the article.

1/23/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Cutting horses, right?

1/23/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

King Abdullah sign multiple agreements with the Chinese Government while on a State visit to Peking.

Voice of America:
" ... The Saudi leader met with Chinese President Hu Jintao before signing a memorandum of understanding, which broadly outlines the two countries intentions to increase cooperation on energy. China, the world's number-two petroleum consumer, is eager to diversify its sources as its energy demands continue to soar. ... "

" ... There was also an agreement on a Saudi loan to fund a development project in China's largely Muslim region of Xinjiang.

The Saudi King's visit to Beijing follows a visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing last week to several West African nations, including oil-rich Nigeria. China announced this month it is bidding for a major stake in a Nigerian oil field. ... "

The most telling line, to me, "project in China's largely Muslim region of Xinjiang"

Any bets on Wahabist infulence expanding there?

1/23/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Al Dunning is a big cutting horse trainer.
In the printed edition we have niched into "Reining", which is a USET, Olympic, Event.
Smaller market than Cutting, but that makes it better.
Big fish in small pond vs minnow in ocean.
No cattle used in Reining, it's all horse & rider.

1/23/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

LeMay was right.

1/23/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Wonder what sort of fine arts legacy the west would have had our current image-making gadgetry developed at the front end of the Renaissance? If Shakespeare had been able to video-blog?

Aristides--Derbyshire has been pretty depressed about the near-future ever since 911, at least as i've read him. The basic rule of the system-order that he discusses is still that a stable system will contain chaotic subsystems until it can't. And since we're the system, our willpower has an input that can't be taken away. Tho we can surrender it, for sure, for sure.

1/23/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Rat, re KSA & PRC, and that boxed-in feeling, this oughtta cheer ya up (be sure and link the pix at the bottom of the text):

Tell your congressmen to keep the US Navy strong.

1/23/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Roger Simon is a tad more sanguine, too.

1/23/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If the Chinese can secure their short term oil needs from the Saudis, they could be preparing to dump on the Iranians, or at least have that option.

King Abdullah knows how to wield the Oil Club. The KSA has been a player on the World stage for quite a while now. The King has no great love for the Iranians.
The KSA have been and still are, at times, our greatest ally in the Realpoitik of both the Cold & Mohammedan Wars.

What is it worth in Saudi oil to secure China's UN vote?

I recall, buddy, in 1994 readung that scientists were beginning to think oil was a REnewable resource. In "Time" as I recall. Right before the elections.

1/23/2006 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As to Mr Chavez and the Marxists in the South.
If or when there is the Will, there would be a way.

Hugo will be siding with the Mullahs, expect an oil embargo on shipments to US, from Venezuela. Those barrels will be heading to France or Spain, making up for the Iranian shortfalls in Europe.
At War time pricing Chavez will be able to both subsidize and guarentee EU deliveries.
Ensuring his continued Security from to much US meddling, for the short tem at least.

1/23/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"guarentee EU deliveries"
Not to include mystery U-Boat encounters of the unpleasant kind.

1/23/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That was one of several reactions I had to the KSA cozy-up; that happy Chicoms are good for us all.

We need to remember, too, when regarding the PRC petro-aggressiveness, that they tried to secure some sources in the heart of capitalism, Unocal, on the NYSE, but the American people did not want to play that game.

1/23/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, some folks even wrote the WSJ about it!

1/23/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yep. Just shooting off my mouth, tho--had no idear wut i was talking about.

1/23/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Lie Of The Day
"We [Democrats] overwhelmingly support the Patriot Act," claimed Sen. Dick Durbin, on Fox News Sunday.

Is that why Sen. Reid took so much pleasure in announcing that the Dems had "killed the Patriot Act" a few weeks back???
- Ingraham

1/23/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(checked out Laura's site to see if she had the hilarious Kerry soundbyte that your "idear" reminded me of.)
Kerry pronounces "subpeener" in a way that sounds positively pornographic, as well as funny as hell.

1/23/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yeh, in Massachusettsese, Castro is from "Koober".

1/23/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Speaking of reading, I'm reading "All About Glue", and can hardly put it down.

1/23/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Buddy, I have to agree with your Nat'l Center for Policy Analysis report. It seems that every time oil pops up in price a number of "lucky" oil speculators makes new finds. There is plenty of oil.

But, this not to say that some clever group can't temporally squeeze the price upwards. Add in some Iranian nut case who just may scorch the earth because "It's Allah's will" plus the chicoms and there could be some rough sledding.

Some day we might just realize that the towel heads in the sandbox/oil field have been poor stewards over a valuable Portfolio (i.e.: spending the customer's money to kill the customer for some mythical religious reason). It that case it may be time to change the management of the Portfolio.

Yes, Doug, LeMay was right.

1/23/2006 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger rufus said...

Again, how many of you really believe the future of America is in fighting a bunch of Arabs over stuff they can dig out of the ground.

We could be free of this nonsense in 10 years if we just spent as much on transforming away from this madness as we have spent the last 3 years fighting in Iraq.

Of course, it wouldn't make the shareholders of Exxon and BP very happy.

1/23/2006 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"What we've seen from China could be a blip on the radar screnn compared to what's possible." Enscout

Agreed, BUT ONLY IF China solves serious, significant structural problems: TRYING TO Centrally control its economy and its people (a Communist necessity); getting WATER for people (5 of China's 7 rivers are BADLY polluted); finding wives for the just-now-breaking wave of young, male Chinese of marrying age, who outnumber women 5-1; meeting a crying need for qualified or competent middle managers for international projects, needing 35,000 NOW and having about 6,000;

there's more, but these are big, ripping dynamics which may very well spell the end of monolithic, Communist China as we grew up knowing it. Several smaller states, trusting We, the People, instead of forcing all us hexagonal pegs into triangular holes...

1/23/2006 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I just wonder how all those problems look to the Chinese themselves--who are seeing fantastic growth, and the end of those regular famines that are still well into living memory.

I mean, if all you knew of USA is what you read in the papers and see on TV--well, you might want to fly hijacked planes into skyscrapers or somethin'.

1/23/2006 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Not to challenge your knowledge, Carradine--who would, with your background and location--but just to point to the possibility that things might be improving so rapidly in PRC, by the metrics, that a certain 'mission zeal' could be expected among the populace, a sense of awakening that could override their problems in the same way that many (Democratic) Americans, grown to expect perfection, seem to fixate on--and be shaken by--much smaller problems here.

1/23/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Viva La Revolucion !
Apparently, Cuba is falling apart (no surprise for me). The question on everyone's mind is whether it will collapse before or after its aging revolutionaly leader/dictator does:

1/23/2006 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Bin Laden tape a troubling reminder:

What we do know is that bin Laden is a very dangerous man. With this tape, he actually may be doing Americans a public service by reminding us to keep our eyes on the prize.

The recent, successful bombing on the Afghan-Pakistan border makes it clear that he's still in the cross hairs of our government and military, even though they don't talk about him much. That's a relief.

Bin Laden

1/23/2006 11:48:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

They say society is a reflection of those individuals in it.

Err,.. wait a minute. Canada elects Mr. Harper into office.

CBC, you rascals you!

1/24/2006 12:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Bremer Paradox
It is impossible to finish "My Year in Iraq" without thinking that President Bush might have avoided a lot of difficulty--and saved a lot of time--if he had kept in place retired general Jay Garner, the civilian point-man in the invasion's immediate aftermath.
Gen. Garner knew the key figures in the Iraqi opposition and had a kind of humility that Mr. Bremer never seemed to possess. Zalmay Khalilzad, the current U.S. ambassador to Iraq, had similar qualifications and might have also played a constructive role early on.

Instead, we were given Paul Bremer playing proconsul.
For all his experience in the field, he failed, ultimately, to be a diplomat--to see his role as that of a facilitator more than an administrator.
Perhaps a better title for his book would have been "My Lost Year in Iraq."

1/24/2006 01:44:00 AM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Cart without the horse?

USS Clueless has been down for a while.

1/24/2006 04:40:00 PM  

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