Vegetable Mystery Tour

Jane’s going on tour:

Fonda said her anti-war tour in March will use a bus that runs on “vegetable oil.”

Funny; I thought she was just a nut.

Show Us The Money

Unocal urged to consider higher bid
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A shareholder in oil and gas producer Unocal Corp. urged on Sunday the company’s board to consider a higher takeover offer from China’s CNOOC Ltd. than one it backed from Chevron Corp. .
Peter Schoenfeld, chief executive of P. Schoenfeld Asset Management which holds over 1 million Unocal shares, said the company would be liable to stockholders for any lost premium on the deal if it refused to seek a higher offer.

Schoenfeld is claiming damages would be “several billion dollars.” I guess he hasn’t read this NYT’s piece yet. Chevron’s dollars are a sure thing. Getting his mitts on Cnooc’s could be problematic.

So that is the China question: Is it an opportunity or a threat? If nothing else, the Cnooc bid for Unocal has shown how unsettled American thinking is on China and how deep the anxieties run, both in matters of national security and trade.
It is easy to dismiss Washington as a hot-air factory, but the scope of the outcry in Congress is significant. Resolutions and legislative proposals, all critical of Cnooc’s takeover bid, have piled up in the House and Senate, from Republicans and Democrats. A resolution presented last month by Representative Richard W. Pombo, a California Republican, declared that permitting the Chinese company to buy Unocal would “threaten to impair the national security of the United States.” It passed, 398 to 15.
Senator Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, has drafted three pieces of anti-Cnooc legislation that range from calling for a six-month Congressional inquiry into the bid to a bill that would prohibit the deal. Mr. Dorgan objects to the Chinese move on fair-trade grounds. The Chinese government, he says, would not allow an American company to buy a Chinese oil company. “So why on earth should they be able to buy an American oil company?” Mr. Dorgan said.

Well, why should they?


A Sunday Times Comment piece by Michael Portillo. He manages to ding on everyone from Cheri Blair to Edward Heath and Bill Clinton, and it’s marvelous.

We all just sat back and let Londonistan rise against us
For all our stoicism we Londoners had hoped that July 7 would be a one-off. A kind of fatalism led us to expect that our city would take its turn to be attacked after New York, Washington, Istanbul and Madrid, but we harboured an unfounded expectation that once it had happened, it would be over…
…We can no longer tolerate mealy-mouthed attitudes from people in authority. Ken Livingstone should heartily regret sharing a platform with Dr Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, who once said that suicide bombings in Palestine were a legitimate form of self-defence…
…During the Clinton presidency, as American forces went to the rescue of Muslims in Bosnia and as the president toiled alongside Ehud Barak, Israel’s prime minister, to bring peace to Palestine, Al-Qaeda escalated its attacks on the United States, bombing its embassies in east Africa and attacking the warship USS Cole. Clinton’s response — firing a few cruise missiles into supposed terrorist camps — was feeble…
…Long before George W Bush became president a policy of turning the other cheek was met by a sharp intensification of the terrorist onslaught on America, culminating in the September 11 attacks…
…During the long period in which the Iraq policy destroyed trust in Blair, Gordon Brown kept his head down and his hands clean. It seemed clever at the time, but less so now. Brown has supplied no evidence that he is the man to lead us at a moment of national peril. Blair retains that monopoly.

In Good Company

Mr. Summers’ favorite boy gets his picture in the paper.

That is, at first, Livingstone blamed the bombers. Then, he blamed everyone but the bombers.
In response, the Daily Telegraph ran Livingstone’s mug next to those of Islamic radicals Sheik Omar Bakri Mohamed and Anjem Choudary under the heading “The men who blame Britain.”

Italy Moves Towards Tougher Security Measures

Italy approves new anti-terror measures
…and said it wanted to create a supreme prosecutor for anti-terrorist investigations…
…The measures also make it a crime for the first time to train people in the preparation or use of explosives. Police will be able to detain terrorism suspects for 24 hours without charge rather than 12 hours as now.

Must be an Italian thing ~ a supreme prosecutor? Smacks of Saturday morning cartoons to my ear, but at least they’re doing something.

It’s In The PA Paper, So It MUST Be True…Right?

Lord, I hope not. I don’t see how anyone could be that offensive. And if it is, there are no words to describe the outrage.

Lt. gov. crashed Marine’s funeral, kin say
The family of a Marine who was killed in Iraq is furious with Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll for showing up uninvited at his funeral this week, handing out her business card and then saying “our government” is against the war.

GTFO. I still can’t believe it.
Swill Salute to Michelle Malkin.

Truth is the First Civilian Casualty

A Newsweek ‘Web Exclusive

Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died since 2003. But killings by U.S. troops are not nearly as common as the war’s critics would like us to believe.
But how often, really? The answer: not very often, in fact. And not nearly often enough to make the 150,000 U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq the leading scourge of Iraq’s civilians. That dishonor goes, hands down, to the insurgents. Even one incident is bad, of course, and there have been many. But civilian killings by U.S. troops are not nearly as common as the critics of the war in Iraq would like us to believe. It has become an article of faith among them that American troops have been slaughtering Iraqi civilians indiscriminately, and that one of the consequences of the war has been an unconscionable loss of life among the civilian population. It just isn’t true.

READ it. Then email Newsweek to ask why they didn’t have the cajones to put this in all their print editions. This way they can say, “look at us – we’ve told the other side of the story!” ‘Web exclusive’, indeed. Everyone who buys the print edition has a right to read this.

Not A Bomber Afterall. Damn.

Thanks to Tim Worstall for the heads up in the comments below that the guy shot in the Tube turns out not to have been a bomber. As I commented over there

Oh gosh, Tim, the worst possible outcome, as I feared too. But unless clearly shown otherwise I won’t subscribe to the suggestion that “the police” as an entity are racist, which is the implication of yours and Nosemonkey’s statements. This guy was shot because the police thought he had a bomb and was going to blow up. Under an incredibly stressful situation they had to make a snap judgement, and it appears to have been horribly wrong. I fear for, and honor, and respect, the next poor officer who is forced to make such a decision, and I truly pray that the firestorm of negative and scathing press and political posturing and outright whoring that will surely result from this awful, awful incident will not cause that next officer to hesitate too long when there really is a suicide bomber standing on the platform next to you over there or me here in New York.

I just hope the political folks in Scotland Yard are made of sterner stuff than politicians here, because the political/media fallout from this is going to be huge.

Bombings In Egypt

So, they’ve set off car bombs at a crowded resort in Egypt, killing mostly…muslims, just as in Iraq the terrorists kill mostly muslims. I’m sure that there are those who still maintain with a straight face (foam-flecked though it may be)that this is all the US’s fault (or those pesky Zionists, natch) in spite of the mounting death toll of muslims killed by muslims. It seems to me more and more that this is what we’re involved in:

Polarizing the Islamic world between the umma and the regimes allied with the United States would help achieve bin Laden’s primary goal: furthering the cause of Islamic revolution within the Muslim world itself, in the Arab lands especially and in Saudi Arabia above all. He had no intention of defeating America. War with the United States was not a goal in and of itself but rather an instrument designed to help his brand of extremist Islam survive and flourish among the believers. Americans, in short, have been drawn into somebody else’s civil war.

Religious/ideological civil wars are horribly, insanely violent. Look at all the blood shed in christianity’s civil wars of the 16th and 18th centuries. Look at all the blood shed in communism. Imagine if they had had IEDs and 767s. And now we are in the midst of one in Islam. Well, sadly, we’re not yet in the midst because the ‘moderate’ forces in islam have not yet begun to fight back against the orthodox forces. I assume they will. I hope they will, otherwise the world, and especially the West, is in for a whole lot more death and destruction for the foreseeable future. Certainly a civil war in Islam will be bloody, bloodier than what we have seen so far, but if the moderates fail without a fight do we want a world caliphate? I take them at their word; their goal is a Taliban-style government everywhere. And that can not be allowed anywhere.
So, here we are, while large elements of our society are wracked by violent conflict. Now, mind you, I don’t think we’re simply pawns on someone else’s chessboard. We needed to fight back, but we need to make sure that the more-modern forces in Islam triumph. How do we do that? Well, certainly we continue to attract as many of the radical elements as we can onto the field of battle where we kill them, plain and simple. Don’t kid yourselves, the governments of the countries surrounding Iraq love what we are doing there, because the siren-song of US troops calls irresistably to the uncontrollable youth elements in their societies and they are extremely happy that we are culling that huge revolutionary potential for them. We need to encourage and help the development of more secular nations in the Middle East, and we don’t do that by having Congressmen muse about nuking Mecca, for criminy’s sake; that only strengthens the hand of the 13th century orthodox.
We also need to change some of our attitudes on the home front. As Perry de Havilland makes clear, we have met the quagmire, and it is us:

For decades the supporters of multiculturalism have used tax money and government regulations to actively discourage assimilation of immigrants into the broader society, preferring to see communities develop which favour ‘identity politics’ better suited and more amenable to their own collectivist world views. And now we are paying the price for that. We will not be able to defend ourselves physically or preserve our liberal society unless we stop tolerating intolerance, and that includes not just fundamentalist Islam but also the anti-western bigotry of the multiculturalists.

While this is most clear in Europe we certainly have seen a lot of this going on here in the US as well, and it needs to stop. People from all customs and backrounds are welcome here if they agree to abide by our laws and customs. This can not be negotiable.
Many folks (myself included) have observed that what the Islamic world needed was it’s own version of the Protestant Reformation; well, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for
Bah. That’s too much disjointed babbling for a Saturday morning. Damn you Florida Cracker for say I had “thoughts”!

Now THIS Is Irony

Kerry seeks release of Roberts’ documents
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. John Kerry urged the White House on Friday to release “in their entirety” all documents and memos from Supreme Court nominee John Roberts’ tenure in two Republican administrations.
“We cannot do our duty if either Judge Roberts or the Bush administration hides elements of his professional record,” said the Massachusetts senator who was his party’s presidential candidate last year

I find his lack of faith disturbing. “Hides elements”, indeed. As I recall, we were supposed to elect Senator Kerry PRESIDENT without seeing any of his ‘professional record’.

When You Need To Travel Indognito…

…grab yourself one of these for Fang.

Are you sick of people looking at your breed of dog in fear because politicians and the media are saying things like;
“We want to breed these dogs out of existence,”
“They are killing machines on a leash.”
“These breeds don’t belong in our community”
Well worry no longer, Attachchi will be making disguises for all the so called ‘dangerous breeds’. Now you can go to the park with your kids and your dog (like you have been doing for years), without the worry of people thinking you are a bad parent. All our Invisible Breed Products™ are currently FREE to to responsible dog owners.
Ultra Poodle Disguise Kit for Dobermans™

Kit includes;
– ‘Tibet’ fake fur pieces (4 ankle pieces, one body piece, head piece and tail attachment)
– Safe suit fitting method statement and instructions.
– High Quality duct tape
– Under harness
– Black face paint (safe for dogs)

And you get…

Read more »

(The) Donald Does D.C.

Oh. My. Gawd. The Senate International Security Subcommittee was holding hearings on a proposed U.N. renovation in the 1.5 BILLION DOLLAR neighborhood and someone had the bright idea to ask New Yawk’s most famous developer his opinion. Man, does he deliver on your tax dollars at work! This transcript is, bar none, one of the funniest things I’ve ever read in my life. I can hear the man speaking in my head and, as an ex-pat of the TriState Area, I know who and what he’s talking about. I am going to pull out some howlers to pique your interest, like this…

It’s going to be a disaster. And if you know your New York City landlords, and some of you do, there is no worse human being on Earth, okay?

…in the section below, but read the whole thing when you’ve got the time, youse guys. And yeah. I’m tawkin’ ta you. Tanks to the Blogfaddah and RadioBlogger for da Swill tip.
UPDATE: Your tax dollars at work. This is why they asked The Donald to speak:

…is the U.N.’s plan to undertake a complete renovation of its headquarters at Turtle Bay, at a cost of $1.2 billion, 22% of which would be shouldered by American taxpayers. The renovations – set to begin in 2007 and expected to take five years – would be financed by America in the form of a $1.2 billion, 30-year loan at 5.54% interest offered last fall by the Bush administration.

Well NavyFed sure hasn’t done that for ME lately…

Read more »

Surprises Abound!

From the LA Times Opinion page:

Is Islam to blame?
Despite claims of moderate Muslims, a literal reading of the Koran offers cover for acts of terrorism.

How’s that for a headline? Irshad Manji writes a powerful column.

Which is why I don’t understand how moderate Muslim leaders can reject, flat-out, the notion that religion may also play a part in these bombings. What makes them so sure that Islam is an innocent bystander?
What makes them sound so sure is literalism. That’s the trouble with Islam today. We Muslims, including moderates living here in the West, are routinely raised to believe that the Koran is the final and therefore perfect manifesto of God’s will, untouched and immutable.
This is a supremacy complex. It’s dangerous because it inhibits moderates from asking hard questions about what happens when faith becomes dogma. To avoid the discomfort, we sanitize.
And so it was, one week after the first wave of bombings. A high-profile gathering of 22 clerics and scholars at the London Cultural Center produced a statement, later echoed by a meeting of 500 Muslim leaders. It contained this line: “The Koran clearly declares that killing an innocent person [is] tantamount to killing all mankind.” I wish. In fact, the full verse reads, “Whoever kills a human being, except as punishment for murder or other villainy in the land, shall be regarded as having killed all humankind.” Militant Muslims easily deploy the clause beginning with “except” to justify their rampages.

One needs to ask how dangerous a column this is for Irshad Manji. I hope there’s no horrible price to pay for such honesty.
UPDATE: This would seem to be one of the clerics referred to.

Attacks on UK will continue, radical cleric says
LONDON (Reuters) – Militant Islamists will continue to attack Britain until the government pulls its troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, one of the country’s most outspoken Islamic clerics said on Friday…
…Bakri said he would like Britain to become an Islamic state but feared he would be deported before his dream was realized*.
“I would like to see the Islamic flag fly, not only over number 10 Downing Street, but over the whole world,” he said.

*Why, in God’s name, isn’t he already gone?

Jamie Rubin…

…surprises me. Pleasantly, I might add. He’s quoted in Thomas Friedman’s NYT piece today.

We also need to spotlight the “excuse makers,” the former State Department spokesman James Rubin said. After every major terrorist incident, the excuse makers come out to tell us why imperialism, Zionism, colonialism or Iraq explains why the terrorists acted. These excuse makers are just one notch less despicable than the terrorists and also deserve to be exposed. When you live in an open society like London, where anyone with a grievance can publish an article, run for office or start a political movement, the notion that blowing up a busload of innocent civilians in response to Iraq is somehow “understandable” is outrageous*. “It erases the distinction between legitimate dissent and terrorism,” Mr. Rubin said, “and an open society needs to maintain a clear wall between them.”

*emphasis mine

Oh Please, Buy Yourself a Ticket

‘Raging Grannies’ want to enlist, go to Iraq

Um, sure they do.

TUCSON, Arizona (AP) — A group of anti-war senior citizens calling themselves the “Tucson Raging Grannies” say they want to enlist in the U.S. Army and go to Iraq so that their children and grandchildren can come home.
Five members of the group — which is associated with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom — are due in court Monday to face trespassing charges after trying to enlist at a military recruitment center last week.
The group has protested every week for the last three years outside the recruitment center.

EVERY WEEK for three years?? Morons. The spokewoman for Tucson area Army recruiters had some sound advice…

…people who disagree with the war should be contacting their legislators instead of bothering recruiters.
They need to direct their frustrations at people who have the power to change things*,” Hutchinson said. “Recruiters don’t make policy and they can’t change policy. They have a job to do and they are following orders.”

*Well, yes that’s true. But you don’t get to be in the paper or on CNN that way, either.

One Down

Calif. man gets death sentence for killing girl
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A judge Friday formally sentenced to death the man who kidnapped and murdered 5-year-old Samantha Runnion in a case that led to the expansion of abduction alerts on electronic billboards along state freeways…
…Avila snatched the kicking and screaming girl* as she played outside her Stanton home. Her nude body was found the next day about 50 miles away, left on the ground as if it had been posed. Authorities said she had been sexually assaulted and suffocated.

*The injustice of it all is that he gets to go quietly.

Japanese Theaters and Crappy Photography ~ Part Deux

I’ve always hated this movie.

I Really Really Hope That This Guy Was Wearing A Bomb

Otherwise it’ll be a big big mess for the cops.
Look, I’m not questioning or second guessing what little we know of the situation; if the guy is going to blow up then you shoot him as rapidly as you can to make sure he doesn’t. There’s no way I’d want to be in the position of having to give the ‘shoot to kill’ order. It’s a no-win situation.
update: Tim Worstall has some running comments on this, as well.

I hope to hell for all our sakes that he was indeed a bomber. If they’ve gunned down some poor schlep in error this will just increase the hatred.

I agree, Tim, but what frankly worries me more than “increase(d) hatred” is how hamstrung the police will become if this was an error.
*BUMP Update 2: To show how crazy things are, and how unreliable “eyewitnesses” can be, look at these two descriptions just a few sentences apart from the same BBC article:

“He was quite large, big built, quite a sort of chubby guy.”

“I saw the guy. He had a beard, he was thin, Asian-looking.”

“They shot him twice in the front.”

“The policeman nearest to me had the black automatic pistol in his left hand, he held it down to the guy and unloaded five shots into him.”

All these “eyewitnesses” are describing the same incident, they all claim to have been a few feet away, yet they are completely different.
THS UPDATE: Sky News is reporting that the police had indeed been tailing this guy as a bombing suspect, but that, after he’d taken off and been shot, there were no explosives found on him. Now, I could say this is bad. On the other hand, who would want to be responsible if he’d been wired and you only politely asked him to stop? Sounds like a sh%t sandwich all around.

Good For Him!

“Lt. Dan” has a fine charity rolling.

When actor Gary Sinise talks about Operation Iraqi Children, the humanitarian organization he cofounded 16 months ago to provide basic supplies to schools in the war-ravaged country, he does not peddle sob stories. He does not proselytize, or inflate with self-satisfaction the way celebrities usually do when they wax about giving back. He describes his project in modest terms, as if it were as simple and obvious as shutting off the lights when you leave a room. “We’re just about giving some pencils to some kids,” says Sinise, 50, star of “CSI: New York” and an Oscar nominee for “Forrest Gump.” “That’s it.”…
…OIC, which now operates out of a central warehouse in Kansas City, Mo., is proudly supportive of U.S. troops….


Whoa !! Had Me a Radio Free Europe Flashback There

On Wednesday the US Congress passed an amendment that allows the administration to broadcast television and radio programmes into Venezuela.
The amendment, introduced by Connie Mack, a Florida Republican, is aimed at offsetting the perceived “anti-American” influence of Telesur, a nascent satellite television channel that is majority funded by the Chávez government.
It is unclear whether the Bush administration has firm plans to beam into Venezuela a stream of what the amendment describes as an “objective and comprehensive” news. It has triggered a sharp reaction. “This is just another desperate attack by the imperialists,*” said Mr Chávez. Telesur, whose creation was funded by Cuba, Argentina and Uruguay, bills itself as a Latin American alternative to the “US-centric” programming of such commercial channels as CNN.

Chavez says he’ll be using jamming equipment like his close buddy in Cuba does.
Time to break out the .
*Yup. That’s us.

You Can Take The Byrd Out Of The Klan…

But you can never really take the Klan out of the Byrd, now can you? Can you imagine the hue and cry if a feller with an (R) next to his name said this:

Mr. Byrd embraced the same judicial philosophy as the president in his memoir, “Child of the Appalachian Coalfields,” released earlier this summer. In the book, he repeatedly blamed “liberal judges” and “activist judges” for many of the nation’s problems.
“One’s life is probably in no greater danger in the jungles of deepest Africa than in the jungles of America’s large cities,” he writes. “In my judgment, much of the problem has been brought about by the mollycoddling of criminals by some of the liberal judges who have been placed on the nation’s courts in recent years.”

Pop Quiz: Who’s up for re-election next year?

Japanese Movie Theaters…

…sell such cool sh$t in the lobby.

(Late-night-three-glasses-o’wine photos are so glary. My apologies.)
I got this at a double feature in downtown Iwakuni. The movie(s) had Japanese subtitles running down the right hand side of the frame, in a gaudy yellow print and we were all royally grateful they weren’t dubbed. The other film showing was “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” and yes. I have that poster, too, but I didn’t care much for that gruesome flick. I’m not sure if I should blame Kate Capshaw’s incessant caterwauling or the hearts being ripped out. No matter. I adore “The Search For Spock”, with it’s mystic themes. Damn. So many good lines. The Scotty quote mentioned in the post below and these two (which, while actually spoken in the prior movie, are pivotal in this one):

“These needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one.”
And Spock, gasping his last breath in a hyper-radioactive environment after sacrificing himself to save the ship, makes sure to say…
“Jim. I have been…and always will be…your friend.”
And at the very end…
“Jim. Your name is…Jim”

“I Do Not Consent To Being Searched”

You knew it would happen. The NYPD come up with a reasonable plan to enhance safety on the subway system, and the lefty wackoids are up in arms.

Reacting to the NYPD’s announcement Thursday afternoon that police would randomly—but routinely—search the bags of commuters, one concerned New Yorker quickly created a way for civil libertarians to make their views black-and-white.
In a few outraged moments, local immigrant rights activist Tony Lu designed t-shirts bearing the text, “i do not consent to being searched.”

Well, guess what, asshole? 50 people in London did not consent to getting blown up. The fact that police are going out of their way to hamstring themselves so that your precious “profiling” does not occur bugs the hell out of me, frankly. I wish they’d search everybody, but at the very least it would be nice if they concentrated on those most likely to commit the crimes, i.e. young islamic males of middle eastern ethnicity. Sorry folks, but those are the facts. With the exception of Oklahoma City every major terrorist act of the past, what, 30 years has been committed by either a middle eastern muslim or, in the case of Bali, an asian muslim. Sorry, but I think that that should allow the police to watch them a little more carefully.

A Lovely Scotty Tribute

From Hank Stuever at the WaPo.

The real tribute to James “Scotty” Doohan, 39 light-years after he first saved the USS Enterprise’s heinie (and did it many times over), is that it’s now almost impossible to have a boyfriend or husband who can’t do a somewhat reasonable impression of Doohan’s famously stressed-out burr: “We’ve got nuh powrrrr, Cap’n!” Or “She cannuh take much moor.”
Men say these things when copy machines are jammed. They say it about an overstuffed Diaper Genie, or a ’91 Honda with an expired inspection sticker. The world is full of chief engineers, and oh, the things they could do, if they only had a wee more dilithium and a little more time. Ask your man right now to do some chore: He’ll do it, but maybe not without some Scottytalk…

How true can you get? I loved it.

John Howard…


“Now I don’t know the mind of the terrorists. By definition, you can’t put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at objective facts, and the objective facts are as I’ve cited. The objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq. And indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of principles of the great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder. “

Oh yeah ~ what the MAN said!
Swill Salute to the Blogfaddah.
UPDATE: And video vault god Trey Jackson has the tape, for all to relish.

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