“With Friends Like This…”

Maliki gives the old trusim life for the 21st century.

Does Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki have the political spine to deal with Iraq’s No. 1 problem — the Shi’ite militias? There’s a growing suspicion in Baghdad that he does not. Having promised, for the umpteenth time, to crack down on the sectarian death squads wreaking havoc on the Iraqi capital, the prime minister promptly turned around and castigated U.S. forces for doing precisely that. The Iraqi leader claimed that a predawn raid Wednesday on a militia stronghold by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers had been conducted without his approval, and said such attacks would not be repeated.
…For the beleaguered residents of Baghdad, this has become a familiar Green Zone farce. Beholden to the very militias he has vowed to crush, the increasingly hamstrung prime minister has forced U.S. troops guarding the city to don kid gloves when dealing with the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to the radical Shi’ite leader Moqtada al-Sadr, which has been blamed for much of the sectarian violence that kills an average of 100 Iraqis a day. And there is palpable frustration among U.S. soldiers patrolling the streets of Baghdad that every time they strike against the Mahdi Army, they are publicly scolded by the Iraqi prime minister. “Every time he does one of these about-turns, he makes the Madhi Army stronger and the government weaker,” says a Western diplomat in Baghdad. “And of course, it drives the [Americans] up the wall.”

It’s not as if the kids gloves are on the other guys at the same time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it ’til the cows kids come home: OUR troops. OUR blood is paying the price for YOUR f*cked up ‘diplomacy’ where NONE is warranted.
George? Don? Hey, White House/Pentagon ~ to quote the old Pink Floyd song “Is there anybody IN there?
Anybody on our side?
UPDATE: Hahahaha! THIS guy must have read my post the other day!

…We should’ve killed him in 2003, when he first embarked upon his murder campaign. But our leaders were afraid of provoking riots.
Back then, the tumult might’ve lasted a week. Now we’ll face a serious uprising. So be it. When you put off paying war’s price, you pay compound interest in blood.
We must kill – not capture – Muqtada, then kill every gunman who comes out in the streets to avenge him.
Our policy of all-carrots-no-sticks has failed miserably. We delivered Iraq to zealots, gangsters and terrorists. Now our only hope is to prove that we mean business – that the era of peace, love and wasting American lives is over.
And after we’ve killed Muqtada and destroyed his Mahdi Army, we need to go after the Sunni insurgents. If we can’t leave a democracy behind, we should at least leave the corpses of our enemies.
The holier-than-thou response to this proposal is predictable: “We can’t kill our way out of this situation!” Well, boo-hoo. Friendly persuasion and billions of dollars haven’t done the job. Give therapeutic violence a chance.
Our soldiers and Marines are dying to protect a government whose members are scrambling to ally themselves with sectarian militias and insurgent factions. President Bush needs to face reality. The Maliki government is a failure.
There’s still a chance, if a slight one, that we can achieve a few of our goals in Iraq – if we let our troops make war, not love. But if our own leaders are unwilling to fight, it’s time to leave and let Iraqis fight each other.
Our president owes Iraq’s treacherous prime minister nothing. Get tough, or get out.

Dealing With Addiction

When it’s a family member, it can tear your heart out.

“Then, late one night after I’d put the dogs out, Lady wouldn’t come in,” Laura Mirsch says. “She finally staggered over to me from the cattails. She looked up at me, leaned her head over and opened her mouth like she was going to throw up, and out plopped this disgusting toad.”
It turned out the toads were toxic — and, if licked, the fluids on their skin provided a hallucinogenic effect.

But sometimes…

“We couldn’t keep our dog’s addiction a secret any longer,” Laura Mirsch says. “The neighbors all knew that Lady was a drug addict, and soon the other dogs weren’t allowed to play with her.”
In the end, Lady seems to have found a way to manage her problem.
“She seems to have outgrown the wild toad-obsessed years of her youth,” Mirsch says, “and now only sucks on weekends.”

…miracles happen.
If only there was a way to reach Bingley. He still pretty much sucks all the time…

While She Might Be a Flamin’ New Yawk Liberal

Cindy Adams is definately ALL red, white and blue.

It rained Thursday the day I arrived. Rained as I’m flying back. Rained every day I was in this town. It’s no wonder London Bridge finally fell down. The damn thing was probably mildewed.
LET it be known prices aren’t all that’s up in Great Britain. Anti-Americanism is, too. Still tilting at the Colonies, one local journalist, whose nose and various other parts are stuffed up, reported: “Even with 300 million people, it’s still not enough for America to rule the world as each of them obviously thinks they should.”
And with the greatest respect: Up yours, pal.

Of Course It Was

…taken out of context. He’d say something like that, but in a whole string of other hateful shiite they forgot to quote.

…A spokesman for Sheik Taj Aldin al Hilali said the cleric’s comments in a sermon last month had been taken out of context in a report in The Australian newspaper. But the spokesman, Keysar Trad, didn’t challenge the accuracy of the translation.
“If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden, or in the park, or in the backyard without cover, and the cats come to eat it … whose fault is it, the cats’ or the uncovered meat’s,” The Australian quoted Hilali as saying.
The uncovered meat is the problem,” he was quoted as saying. “If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred,” he said, referring to the head covering worn by some Muslim women.

New Jersey And You: Perfect Together…Sort Of

Well, the NJ Supremes have ruled on Gay Marriage. EnlightenNJ has a link to the opinion. I must warn you that in keeping with current rules of lawyerly liberal jargonese it runs to 90 freakin’ pages. Dredd Scott is under 30 paragraphs; Marbury v. Madison has a few more paragraph, but most of them are single sentences. What does such excess verbiage that our modern Solons bestow upon us actually get us?
Not much, I’m afraid, in the specific, but quite a lot in the general, as clearly shown here and here at the always worth reading in full Volokh Conspiracy. So go read them already. The Slippery Slope is now officially confirmed as a key part of the activist agenda; indeed, it’s the key to the whole process.
As far as the whole issue of gay marriage goes, I’m for strong marriage. What do I mean by that? Well, a committed relationship that is not easily entered into nor is it easy to get out of. Marriage is hard, but divorce should be harder. It is in society’s best interest that people be encouraged to form such long-lasting unions, and that encouragement takes the form of various tax benefits as well as estate issues, health benefits and survivor benefits. I would much prefer that a committed gay couple be allowed to legally marry and gain such benefits than to allow an unmarried hetero couple that has merely been cohabitating, for however many years and offspring, to access such benefits when they are unwilling to make any sort of a legal and binding vow to one another. I am not, however, in favor of allowing gay couples to adopt children (if they actually have them, obviously, that’s a different story), as that to me is like allowing baseball players to score touchdowns: as talented and gifted as you may be you’re playing the wrong game, folks. I feel that a child’s best interests are served by a father and a mother, warts and all.
Your mileage may vary.

Amazon Makes A Profit…Sort Of

Amazon announced their ‘profits’ for the quarter yesterday, and they’re pretty poor, frankly

Selling everything from books and computers to diamonds and lawnmowers, Amazon said net income in the quarter fell to $19 million, or 5 cents per share, from $30 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier. Sales rose 24 percent to $2.31 billion.
Analysts, on average, had expected earnings of 3 cents per share on sales of $2.25 billion, based on Reuters Estimates.
Amazon has been seen as focusing on revenue growth at the expense of profits amid intense competition. In the process, it has alienated many investors who wonder when investments in technology and a costly free shipping program will pay off.

I mean, my goodness, if I generated $2.31 billion of revenue and could only squeeze $19 million profit out of it I think I’d need to find a new business model. It reminds me of the old joke we always laugh about when one of our competitors undercuts us to make a sale to one of our clients, and does the business for what we know is in effect a loss: “Oh, they’ll make it up on the volume.”
That ranks up there with “The check is in the mail” and “I’ll respect you in the morning” as phrases that should cause reasonable people to grab their wallets and run for the hills.
But since I’m not a stockholder, who am I to turn down their free shipping offer? So last night I got the three books I’d ordered last week: America Alone by Mark Steyn, Londonistan by Melanie Phillips, and The Politically Incorrect Guide To Islam by Robert Spencer.
Last night I poured myself a nice glass of port and settled in for some enjoyable reading, only to be interupted by daughter who wanted to watch Victoria And Albertagain. So there went the night. It is a good production, though, and I certainly can’t complain when she wants to watch stuff like that. She wanted to watch Seven Samurai last week, and she actually liked it. I love this girl!

It’s the Real Thing

A quarrel that has surfaced this week between Venezuelan workers and the local subsidiary of soft drinks bottler Coca-Cola Femsa might, at first sight, appear to be nothing more than a routine labour dispute.
But, at least according to some economists, it just may be a taste of what is to come under President Hugo Chávez’s recipe for “21st-century socialism”.
Since Monday, hundreds of unemployed ex-contractors have blocked delivery trucks from distributing the soft drink around Venezuela in demand of what they allege is $2.8m worth of severance arrears owed to more than 10,000 former workers. Coca-Cola alleges that the protest action is “illegal”.
The former Coca-Cola employees, however, are being actively encouraged in their protest by a government-backed commission from the Venezuelan legislature, which is controlled 100 per cent by government allies.
The company should be expropriated,” said Iris Valera, a pro-government deputy who is supporting the labourers, adding that Coca-Cola’s four plants should be converted to produce a homespun Venezuelan brand soft drink.

Great idea.

This Date in History

…in living color.

…The UN came into existence on 24 October 1945, after the Charter had been ratified by the five permanent members of the Security Council — Republic of China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States — and by a majority of the other 46 signatories.


…the first woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, in 1901…Anna Edson Taylor, after emerging from her barrel, said, “Nobody ought ever do that again,” then lapsed into incoherency for several days(she recovered).


1648 – The treaties for the Peace of Westphalia were signed, ending the Thirty Years War, ultimately destroying the Holy Roman Empire, and ushering in the modern European state system.


Walt Disney testifies to the House Un-American Activities Committee, naming Disney employees he believes to be communists.


President Kennedy’s announcement to world heads of state regarding the US ‘Naval Quarantine’ of Cuba (24 Oct-20 Nov 1962) to prevent further Soviet arms shipments of offensive weapons and development of further missile bases


Gil Perez was a Spanish soldier of the Filipino Guardia Civil who allegedly suddenly appeared in the Plaza Mayor of Mexico City on October 24, 1593. He was wearing the uniform of the guards of Malacanang Palace in the Philippines, and claimed he had no idea how he had arrived in Mexico.

Talking Out of Both Sides

…of the same mouth.

I mean, it really LOOKS like the same mouth, huh? How whack is that? Now, I’d post on the interview that accompanies this picture but, with the riveting calibre of the grilling Eleanor Clift subjects Nancy Pelosi to…

CLIFT: You’re presented as a wealthy woman from San Francisco when you’re really this middle-class kid from Baltimore …
PELOSI: Little Italy—downtown …

…well ~ unlike CNN ~ we won’t be a party to the bloodshed.

China: For Kim, “Solly” Seems To Be The Hardest Word

So now the Chinese are saying that Lil Kim is not a font of contrition after all:

BEIJING – North Korean leader Kim Jong Il did not apologize for his regime’s nuclear test when a special envoy from China’s president visited Pyongyang last week, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.
South Korean news reports said last week that Kim had expressed regret for the Oct. 9 test during a visit by State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, who delivered a personal message and a gift from Chinese President Hu Jintao.
“These reports are certainly not accurate,” ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at a regular press briefing. “We haven’t heard any information that Kim Jong Il apologized for the test.”

After the UN’s “very angry” letter to Kim has achieved its predicted results of, er, nothing

you can see the Chinese are sweating dumplings over Kim flooding their border with refugees.

In a sign China took Kim’s threat seriously, Liu also warned against expanding the sanctions.
“All parties should not willfully interpret or expand the sanctions,” he said.
China, which has traditionally opposed sanctions and advocated dialogue, supported the U.N. Security Council action against North Korea and condemned the North’s test in unusually forceful language.
But Beijing also fears any sanctions that could squeeze impoverished North Korea so tightly that it collapses, causing instability on its borders and a potential wave of refugees.

So the Chinese are scurrying to build a nice big fence on their border with NoKo. I have to say, though, given what we’ve heard about the conditions there, what with all the starvation that already exists, how could conditions for the citizens really get any worse? Sure, if the military starts feeling the squeeze then you could see a barracks coup, but the poor people are in such a horrid condition because of this guy. Oops, I mean because of Bushcheneyhalliburton, obviously.

“My gweat pwan is woking bwillyantry!”
Update: It seems Capt. Ed is thinking along these lines as well:

Keep an eye on Pyongyang. The DPRK Army tried twice to remove Kim, and if they get hungry enough, they may try it again.

Thank You, Robert Fisk

Never thought I’d say that, but thanks to the Fiskmeister I now know the next movie for the Netflix queue.


major dad came home with a gem this afternoon. From NPR’s Morning Edition, Robert Krulwich reports on more Scotch-Irish oppression from the government.

“We want our ‘H’!
And who the hell are YOU ?!”

Listen up. The story’s great.

Hunting High

and low, á la Français.

On a routine call, three unwitting police officers fell into a trap. A car darted out to block their path, and dozens of hooded youths surged out of the darkness to attack them with stones, bats and tear gas before fleeing. One officer was hospitalized.
…In France, a high school teacher received death threats, forcing him into hiding, after he wrote a newspaper editorial in September saying Muslim fundamentalists are trying to muzzle Europe’s democratic liberties.
…Michel Thooris, head of the small Action Police union, claims that the new violence is taking on an Islamic fundamentalist tinge.
“Many youths, many arsonists, many vandals behind the violence do it to cries of ‘Allah Akbar’ (God is Great) when our police cars are stoned,” he said in an interview.
Larger, more mainstream police unions sharply disagree that the suburban unrest has any religious basis. However, they do say that some youth gangs no longer seem content to throw stones or torch cars and instead appear determined to hurt police officers — or worse.
“First, it was a rock here or there. Then it was rocks by the dozen. Now, they’re leading operations of an almost military sort to trap us,” said Loic Lecouplier, a police union official in the Seine-Saint-Denis region north of Paris. “These are acts of war.

Not an encouraging assessment, given the national mettle of France in wartime.

Question of the Day

…on Fox and Friends. A congressman asked :

“Why should American troops risk their lives to protect embedded CNN reporters?”

Well, that’s a toughie, by George. I think the answer is always simply:

Because they would. That’s the kinda kids they are.

Another Mea Culpa Buried

at the bottom of the column.

CORRECTION: We said official Army photos appear at the end of Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers.” A Marine points out “Army” is not generic and the Iwo Jima photos were taken by Marines, just as they took the island!

All through the reviews of the movie it’s “the soldiers”. No. It’s not.

Nowadays, When You Think About Something

THIS cool

Thieves lead to discovery of Egypt tombs
Curse protected 4,200 year old graves of royal dentists

…The thieves launched their own dig one summer night two months ago but were apprehended, Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters.
That led archaeologists to the three tombs, one of which included an inscription warning that anyone who violated the sanctity of the grave would be eaten by a crocodile and a snake, Hawass said.
A towering, painted profile of the chief dentist stares down at passers-by from the wall opposite the inscription.

…one also has to think of the Taliban and if fundamentalist Islam had Egypt by the throat.
They would be setting the charges the second the tomb door was found, if they’d allowed anyone to go looking at all.

The Rotten State Of State

Sis yelled at me this morning because I said that all the folks at the State Department are scum.

US State Department mouthpiece Alberto Fernandez issued a statement tonight saying he’s sorry for condemning American “arrogance and stupidity” in Iraq:

“Upon reading the transcript of my appearance on Al-Jazeera, I realized that I seriously misspoke by using the phrase ‘there has been arrogance and stupidity’ by the U.S. in Iraq,” said Fernandez, director of public diplomacy in State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
“This represents neither my views nor those of the State Department,” Fernandez added. “I apologize.”

Okay. But like I said, it was where and how he chose to criticize Iraq policy–in Arabic on the terrorist propaganda network, al Jazeera, right after a terrorist spokesman called on jihadis to bring America to its knees.

And I will admit to a lapse of judgement. Why, I seriously misspoke by using the phrase “all the folks at the State Department are scum.”
The problem with State is they forget who they work for. Much like ensconced Academics who lose touch with the real world and grow to despise their students, the analysts and career ‘diplomats’ at State feel that it is they and they alone who have the special insights and should set US foreign policy, regardless of what the elected officials, let alone those mindless sheep of us who elected them, feel or desire. The arrogance of these people towards US citizens is palpable, and treasonous. Statements like this are giving aid and comfort to our enemies. It’s that simple. I’m sorry if I’m not displaying sufficient nuance here. State’s job is to advise the elected officials and to promote a positive view of the US around the world; you don’t do this by saying we’re stupid and arrogant and thereby weakening US policy. If you disagree with current US policy…tough. Write reports showing the errors and try to bring about a change in a manner which is not harmful to our country.
Don’t become poster boys on terrorist networks.

Oh The Erie Was A’ Risin’ And The Gin Was Gettin’ Low

Great news via Publius Pundit

Panama’s great referendum on expanding the mighty Panama Canal, to accomodate two times’ as much ship traffic, is taking place today. 1.7 million Panamanians are registered to vote on the $5.3 billion upgrade, essentially a bond project to be financed with crossing fees. Local muni-bond initiative as is, it will affect billions of people around the world. Some 70% of Panamanians are polled to favor it ahead of the vote.

And once again the polling data was wrong, as nearly 80% voted for the project. Thanks you, citizens of PAnama. This is great news for world trade. When this project is completed transit times and rates will fall, which will mean lower prices for consumers and more trade.
I can tell you from personal experience that the Canal currently is clogging up; my business is affected all the time by delays at the Canal entrance. Now, this will also lead to environmental fights at our ports as well, as the larger ships that can come through the canal will need similarly expanded port facilities on US east coast, and especially Gulf, ports, which means we will have to do some, gasp, dredging.
And you know how much the left hates muckraking.

TWO Years Old

Her father. With a pair of scissors.

“Curdled Cat Piss” Goes the Way

…of the dinosaur.

…Lately, though, you may have noticed if you’re a Miracle Whip person, that your sandwiches don’t quite taste the same, and your coleslaw doesn’t hold up overnight.
That’s because the old standby you used and loved for decades is no longer the same product. They’ve changed the recipe! If you look on the label, you see the first ingredient is now water, not soybean oil as in the past. Since products (at least in the US) are labeled with ingredients in order of the amount, that means there is now more water than anything else.

Don’t let yer label hit you in the a$$, pretender. SEE ya.
A Swill salute to the Blogfaddah for the tip confirming everything we already knew.
Previous “Cat Piss” Statistical Research.

RE: World Series Game 2

If anyone has the remotest clue what eminem and his friends sang(rapped?) in the rousing musical interlude provided by the programming introduction, could they email me?
On second thought…never mind.

::GASP:: Thank GOD

…I’d already stocked up!

Oh, the humanity…
There is no more brave…

…or noble bird.

George Bush Made Me Do It

Even thought it WAS legal…and NO ONE’s personal data was compromised…and maybe terrorists really DIDN’T already know about it…I was just so durned mad at the mean way Bush and his guys talk about my newspaper. So in an emotional, proactive, “gotcha” fit of pique, I printed it anyway. ‘Cause I can.

Since the job of public editor requires me to probe and question the published work and wisdom of Times journalists, there’s a special responsibility for me to acknowledge my own flawed assessments.
My July 2 column strongly supported The Times’s decision to publish its June 23 article on a once-secret banking-data surveillance program. After pondering for several months, I have decided I was off base. There were reasons to publish the controversial article, but they were slightly outweighed by two factors to which I gave too little emphasis. While it’s a close call now, as it was then, I don’t think the article should have been published.
Those two factors are really what bring me to this corrective commentary: the apparent legality of the program in the United States, and the absence of any evidence that anyone’s private data had actually been misused. I had mentioned both as being part of “the most substantial argument against running the story,” but that reference was relegated to the bottom of my column.
…What kept me from seeing these matters more clearly earlier in what admittedly was a close call? I fear I allowed the vicious criticism of The Times by the Bush administration to trigger my instinctive affinity for the underdog and enduring faith in a free press — two traits that I warned readers about in my first column.

So…sorry. My bad. I said I was flawed in my judgement, blahblahblah. You can read all about it if you can find the thing buried at the end of an article on the Op-Ed page.
And I forgot to tell the nimrods who send out our daily email edition to put a link to it on there, too.
But, like I said, sorry.
(And all those cranky Minnesotans can just quit being mean, too. And Malkin’s just a poopoo-head.)



Boston sets Halloween ‘Jack-o’-lantern’ record
Beantown lights 29,000 pumpkins, but nearby town vows to out do ’em

All for a ‘record’ ~ a RECORD! How morally bankrupt is that? And now? Oooooh, the puncturing pumpkin pretenders in the next burg over are compelled to “out do ’em”.
Violence begets violence. Have we learned nothing (asks the plaintive voice from the wilderness….)??

¡Sí, Se Puede!

The drug lords at war in central Mexico are no longer content with simply killing their enemies. They are putting their severed heads on public display.
In Michoacan, the home state of President-elect Felipe Calderon, 17 heads have turned up this year, many with bloodstained notes like the one found in the highlands town of Tepalcatepec in August: “See. Hear. Shut Up. If you want to stay alive.”

Jeez, who needs Baghdad insurgents? Or a fence?

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