Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Hamdan Decision

The best I can determine the chief result of this ruling will be to delay the trials of Guantanamo detainees until Congress or the Pentagon establishes a regime of military commissions that meets the court's approval. Now we have to listen to the liberals screech about how terrible it is that no terrorists will be let free and are being held without a trial for an unlimited period of time. Hopefully that time will be when the threat of terrorism is over.

Makes you go "Hmmmmm!"

Eleven insurgent groups, eight of which are being led by the 1920 Revolution Brigades, have issued a counter proposal to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's plan for national reconciliation. The insurgent groups have offered to quit the battlefield if the following conditions are met:

• The United States agrees to withdraw foreign forces from Iraq in two years.

• An end to U.S. and Iraqi military operations against insurgent forces.

• Compensation for Iraqis killed by U.S. and government forces and reimbursement for property damage.

As I read this we can make the following observations. First, the insurgents agree with the liberals in the Senate that there should be firm withdrawal date...albeit one further away than John Kerry wants. Secondly, we must be doing some good work on the military front if the insurgents want us to stop. Winners of a war seldom sue for a cease-fire.

Sad but true

"For too long the Palestinians have been protected from the natural consequences of their own brutality and bloody-mindedness, allowed by the Western world to make war while pretending at peace. This has only infantilized them, shielding them from the rightful consequences of their actions, encouraging them to become more vicious.

At some point there has to be a war to resolve this, a real war, with the other side fighting back. And one side needs to be decimated and humilated. That's how peace is made. Only when people truly feel the horrors of war are they willing to give it up."

This conclusion is offered by a blog that confirms what I have felt for some time. The terrorists in Gaza announced today that they shot a rocket tipped with a chemical warhead into Israel. It is doubtful that this is true, but the consequences of actually firing one intended to kill civilians in Israel would be profound enough to actually bring an end to the conflict in that region.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Putin Solutiton vis a vis Guantanamo

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered Russia's special services to hunt down and "destroy" the killers of four Russian diplomats in Iraq, the Kremlin said.

Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Federal Security Service _ the main successor to the Soviet KGB _ later said that everything would be done to ensure that the killers "do not escape from responsibility," the Interfax news agency reported.

"The president has ordered the special forces to take all necessary measures to find and destroy the criminals who killed Russian diplomats in Iraq," the Kremlin press service said in a brief statement.

Bush, Roosevelt and Treason

The battle of Midway Island was the turning point of the Pacific War. Victory at Midway was possible because the U.S. had broken the Japanese naval code. The Chicago Tribune spilled the beans in a story that ran under the headline: "NAVY HAD WORD OF JAP PLAN TO STRIKE AT SEA."

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was furious. He knew that if the Japanese read the story, they'd suspect their codes were compromised, and change them.

The president "initially was disposed to send in the Marines to shut down Tribune tower," wrote Harry Evans. "He was talked out of that, then considered trying (Chicago Tribune publisher Robert) McCormick for treason, which carried a death penalty in wartime."

A grand jury was empaneled, but prosecution was dropped because the Japanese were still using the Purple code, evidently having missed the story. The publicity from a trial would clue them in.

So Col. McCormick escaped prosecution. But with what the Chicago Tribune had done in mind, Congress in 1950 added Section 798 to the Espionage Act of 1917. It reads in part:

"Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits...or publishes ...any classified information...concerning the communications intelligence activities of the United States...shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."

Section 798 applies specifically to what the New York Times did last December, when it published a story revealing that the National Security Agency was listening in on calls from al Qaida suspects abroad to people in the U.S.

Read it all here.

Bush can't win

There are two recent stories now being digested which point up how the Bush administration can't win with the press and liberal columnists. The first is the arrest of the clowns in Miami who are being charged with planning attacks on the Sears Building and other targets. It turns out they are largely unable in either assets or intellect to carry out their plans in all probability so the mantra now being advanced is to the effect that Bush is not really protecting us and the announcement of the capture of the Miami blacks is shear hype. What is the alternative? Well, we could have continued to monitor them until they actually acquired the means, but that would have meant we had to tie up resources for maybe years. The decision to go ahead and arrest them, prosecute them and lock them up seems to make sense to me. The liberal media is uspet that Bush can claim credit for an undercover effort that did not involve an "eminent" threat. Sound familiar?

Another example of how Bush can't win is in the revelation that billions were dispersed to folks who falsely claimed to be victims of the Hurricane Katrina. The reason for this was the decision by FEMA to go ahead and pay those who claimed money and support rather than make a detailed investigation of each claim while the media screamed that the cruel Bush administration was needlessly delaying help to poor starving blacks. I am not at all happy with the way funds were wasted, but some of it was unavoidable as best I can see.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

How true

"A bore is a man who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company."
Gravina (1664-1718)

Unsolicited Advice

The Democrats really have a problem which this Republican would like to see remedied, but that is not likely. As long as the liberals who control the dems persist in their opposition to our efforts to confront islamofascism, they will not get anywhere politically. The recent votes in the Senate pretty much show that the democrat Senators are divided into two camps---Out Soon or Out Pretty Soon. What they should do is revert to the Democratic posture of the 40's when they were the ones who advanced the idea of promoting democracy through the projection of force if necessary. The Republicans took the opposite position and a quick look back at their fate will help explain how futile the liberal dem stance is today, in my opinion. During the cold war the liberals were considered soft on communism because they were. They exhibited core sympathy with the idea that communists redistributed wealth, advanced the working class, etc. Now, the liberals are widely thought of as being soft on a religious fundamentalism that represses women, kills gays, suppresses dissent through decapitation, and has no problem killing civilians to promote fear. Americans know instinctively that if we leave Iraq too soon the jihadists will be imboldened and consider that a victory leading to more terrorism in places not now at risk. So, the effort in Iraq is being carried on with a split in our body politic which will only slow its conclusion. This fits the classical definition of incompetence whereby an action which is advanced to achieve an objective produces the exact opposite result. The fastest way out of Iraq is to support the President and the only way to recapture any political power is to support what the liberals now oppose. Those of us who are conservative (as opposed to Republican) would like to see a different party in power, but not one advancing the idiotic positions of John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, and others who think we have a law-enforcement problem with some muslims and Bush lied.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tribes in the Mideast

I read an essay the other day which I have been thinking about quite a bit. The problem is I can't find it now and don't even remember who wrote it so I can provide attribution. The point of it was to advance the premise that our attempts to bring democracy to Iraq is really a steep climb because these people are not constitutionally able to embrace it. His analysis was based on the historic reliance by these people on tribal society. He went all the way back to Alexander the Great, but the bottom line is these people are more comfortable with a tribal structure where they know their place and can rely on the fact that the others in the tribe will support them in all of life's endeavors from jobs to marriage to conflicts with others. Democracy requires more individual activity than these people with centuries of tribal loyalties can excercise. They need a strong man to rally around (like Saddam) and democracy as we know it does not encourage that. One General asked a tribal sheik what the U.S. military needed to do right after taking over Iraq. He was told to start reconstruction activity and get out as many pictures of George Bush as they could for the Iraqis to rally around. I am afraid the sheik was right and our go nice approach is doomed to a long insurgency conflict.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

World Cup Soccer

I am really getting to like this soccer. Today Germany beats Sweden and the German fans proceed to have a riot with English soccer fans. Ghana beat someone the other day and the fans at home went crazy and as of last count there were 3 deaths during the celebration. This is going to get really good when someone actually wins something.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Kerry Does it Again

There are too many people watching our politicians now. In the good old days a comment meant to seem smart and insightful would not be remembered and used against a pol on some future date. Alas, poor John Kerry can't catch a break with the bloggers. Here is what ol' "I served in Viet Nam" Kerry said in 2003 to the Council of Foreign Relations:

I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election, the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy. Their sudden embrace of accelerated Iraqification and American troop withdrawal dates, without adequate stability, is an invitation to failure. The hard work of rebuilding Iraq must not be dictated by the schedule of the next American election.

I have called for the administration to transfer sovereignty, and they must transfer it to the Iraqi people as quickly as circumstances permit. But it would be a disaster and a disgraceful betrayal of principle to speed up the process simply to lay the groundwork for a politically expedient withdrawal of American troops. That could risk the hijacking of Iraq by terrorist groups and former Ba'athists.

Kerry was against cutting and running before he was for it!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

World Cup Soccer

I watched more soccer today than I ever have----cumulatively. This was only parts of 2 games, but it occured to me that some of the players have definite skills and admirable stamina, but one thing that was not obvious to me was the value of a soccer coach during a game. It doesn't seem to me that they do much actual coaching at this level. Another thing I quickly realized is Brazil has a better team than the U.S.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

French Fried Nonsense

Most people have never heard of the Center for Science in the Public Interest but it is really worth learning about. It recently sued Kentucky Fried Chicken for using cooking oil containing trans fat. It is asking the court to make KFC use other types of oil and to inform its customers just how much of this is used. The suit says KFC's use of trans fat shows the company is beset with an "evil motive" and recklessly puts its customers at risk of a Kentucky fried coronary.

As you evaluate this situation to see which side you are going to be on, keep in mind that the reason KFC uses hydrogenated oils in the first place is because CSPI forced the company to quit frying their potatoes and chicken in beef tallow in 1988. Now the same group of idiots who harassed the company into switching to oils modified to remain solid at room temperature is suing to do the exact opposite. This is accompanied by a study by Dr. Scott Grundy who is director of the Center of Human Nutrition at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas which found the alleged link between trans fat and heart disease was too weak to warrant government controls or limitations.

I say bring back the old fries cooked in real fat.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


While on the recent trip, we spent a couple of days in Tunica, Mississippi at a casino. One of the things that I started wondering about was the high percentage of casino patrons who smoke relative to the number at other places where I find myself. I no longer go to bars, but I suspect casinos are maybe the last place where smokers are not discriminated against and treated like second class citizens. If that is so, smokers may go there to kill themselves without a hassle. On the other hand, it could be argued that a lack of common sense accompanies both smoking and gambling and persons who gamble against the house odds may also be inclined to gamble against the medical odds. I really wish there was such a thing as a smoke-free casino, but I have talked to managers of casinos about this and they all say there is no way any casino is going to alienate their smokers. I am sure that they know what is best for the gambling business.

Troop Support

On a recent trip we found ourselves in a large rotunda at the Atlanta airport waiting for a plane while I got on the internet. All of a sudden there was a chorus of applause and as I looked around the subject of the adulation was a group of our soldiers coming through on the way to a terminal. The applause was unanimous and continued until the last uniform was out of sight. Very moving.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Just when I thought it couldn't get more ridiculous

Take some nausea medicine and go read this article in the Washington Post whereby 41 high school students were actually named Valedictorian.

Ann Coulter is in the sweet spot

It is greatly amusing to watch the reaction to Ann Coulter's book on the Godless Liberals. As she pointed out in a recent article the fact that she called them Godless is not an apparent charge anyone wants to challenge. She called Bill Clinton a rapist. No problem. She made further charges relating to the shady acts by Hillary. No outrage. She called some liberal widows of the 9/11 terror attack "broads" and everyone gets an attack of the vapors. I just love watching the liberal media make her into a superstar when she should be ignored if their agenda is to be well served.

Something missing?

The Democrats have just issued their plan for "A New Direction for America" that never mentions al Qaeda, terrorism, or any aspect of national security. Is that a lack of ideas or a lack of interest? Maybe if we raise the minimum wage the terrorists will just go to work at the higher wage level and leave us alone. Here are their suggestions:

Democrats in Congress offer a New Direction, putting the common good of all Americans first for a change, and will:

Fix the prescription drug program by putting people ahead of drug companies and HMOs, eliminating wasteful subsidies, negotiating lower drug prices and ensuring the program works for all seniors; invest in stem cell and other medical research.

Crack down on price gouging; eliminate billions in subsidies for oil and gas companies and use the savings to provide consumer relief and develop American alternatives, including biofuels; promote energy efficient technology.

Raise the minimum wage; repeal tax giveaways that encourage companies to move jobs overseas.

Make college tuition deductible from taxes; expand Pell grants and cut student loan costs.

Prevent the privatization of Social Security; expand savings incentives; ensure pension fairness.

Restore the budget discipline of the 1990s that helped eliminate deficits and spur record economic growth.

Too much information

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal this past week about a scientist by the name of Bruce Lahn who is a Professor at the University of Chicago. The gist of the story is that he is a world renowned scientist in the field of genetics and spent several years analyzing DNA from various populations looking at how mutations over the past several thousand years might be linked to cultural development. Oops. The data did not suit the outcome desired by the politically correct crowd. Even though Dr. Lahn is of Asian descent, his findings that lead to maps showing mutations and brain size and accomplishments followed those who established themselves in Asia, Europe and the Americas exceeded those of the people who were analyzed in sub- Saharan Africa were not appreciated. The usual charges of racism were hurled at him and even his own school advised him to go into other pursuits rather than raise the ire of the critics who want nothing to confirm what we all strongly suspect--there is a genetic basis for behavior and intelligence. Dr. Lahn, who left China as a teenager, based his research on the premise that there was a small group of anatomically modern humans who left Africa some 100,000 years ago and once they reached the Eurasian land mass they continued to split up and became isolated from one another. Thus genetic analysis of these groups was undertaken to determine if various traits could be identified which developed differently. So, one finds lactose intolerance in Europeans, for example, is much less common than in the African gene pool. This could be explained by a theory which holds that drinking milk from domesticated dairy animals conferred a nutritional advantage which was not needed by those in Africa with different eating habits. Likewise, the African population has a resistance to malaria which is not observed in other populations to the North. These traits are perfectly fine to publish, but not theories which would hold that one gene Dr. Lahn found corellated with the appearance of art on cave walls and another appears in a group which occured 5,800 years ago and coincided with the development of cities and written language. It is not necessary to point out that none of this happened in the sub-Saharan African population left behind, of course.
Well, the uproar over this research is most interesting but not surprising. There is simply some research that the liberal establishment does not want done. The results could be awkward for these antiscientific protectors of African descendents and their argument is that the knowledge does not help anyone and could be "hurtful". As a scientist, I would like to see the results and doubt they should cause damage we can't handle. In any event, it is an interesting dynamic.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


We are now passing laws which require U.S. motorists to use at least 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol by 2012. This is being touted as a measure which will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We subsidize ethanol to the tune of 51 cents per gallon, in addition. All of this is mostly a sham. First, we need to realize that it takes 1.29 gallons of fossil fuel to produce one gallon of ethanol. This was recently found by research conducted by scientists from Cornell and Berkley. That is because it takes considerable fossil fuel to produce ethanol in the form of fertilizer to grow the corn, transportation of the crop to the distillery, transportation of the the ethanol to the blending sites, and so forth. So, the liberals who claim that if we use ethanol it will keep us from supporting the Saudis and the nasty oil companies who support George Bush are full of it.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Election Results

The election of Brian Bilbrey to take Duke Cunningham's seat in the 50th district of California on Tuesday is being greeted with a sigh of relief by the Republicans and I am only semi-happy. It would be pretty much a doom-like scenario if the democrats had taken this seat which is in a pretty solid Republican district. I would like to see the clowns in Congress get a wake-up call and do such things as pass some meaningful border control measures, some restrictions on earmark inserts into the budget process which waste money, make tax cuts permanent, and confirm some more appeals court judges. I am afraid they will read the California results as an "all clear" sign and go back to their business as usual mode. That could be all it takes to lose the House this fall.

A warning from the U.N.

"The prevailing practice of seeking to use the U.N. almost by stealth as a diplomatic tool while failing to stand up for it against its domestic critics is simply not sustainable....You will lose the U.N. one way or another."

These words were offered this week by the number 2 man in the U.N. He is Mark Malloch Brown and I have never heard from him. I just hope he is prothetic and that our loss of the United Nations comes sooner rather than later. I say send them to Paris.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Haditha Context

One of the most keen observers of the war in Iraq is a young man named Michael Yon. He has been imbedded with our troops over there for years now and his reports have been linked in this blog several times. His new report is a must read as we consider the yet to be revealed details of the so-called massacre being discussed in the liberal press ahead of the facts.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ann's new book

Ann Coulter has a new book out and if you are wondering whether to buy, here is a sample.

Throughout the 2004 campaign, the Democrats were looking for a Democrat who believed in God—a pursuit similar to a woman searching for a boyfriend in a room full of choreographers. The religious outreach coordinator hired by the Democratic National Committee was Brenda Bartella Peterson, who had signed a brief to the Supreme Court advocating the removal of “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. Apparently, Madalyn Murray O’Hair was unavailable.

The religion adviser to John Kerry’s presidential campaign was Mara Vanderslice. She had previously been the religious outreach coordinator for Howard Dean—an assignment that would have required the patience of Job, whoever the hell he was. Vanderslice had spoken at rallies cosponsored by the radical gay group ACT UP, famous for a protest at St. Patrick’s Cathedral at which its members spat the Eucharist on the floor. She had been an organizer of violent protests in Seattle and Washington, D.C., when liberals reacted as any normal person would by smashing Starbucks windows and torching police cars because some bankers had come to town for a meeting. Vanderslice majored in “peace studies” at Earlham College. There she was a member of the Marxist-Leninist group that supported convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. That’s devoutly religious for a Democrat. In fact, by Democratic standards Vanderslice was a veritable C. S. Lewis.

The Silver Solution?

If I were still making even the slightest effort to maintain my credentials as a microbiologist, I would be on top of the latest news on antimicrobial products and technology rather than reading about it in the newspaper. But, I don't so I wasn't and I did. I would always mention in my beginning lectures on antimicrobials that heavy metals had antibacterial properties and would use such examples as organic mercury, gold, and silver to achieve disinfection.
Well, they have moved on in this area using a new science called nanotechnology to produce some really neat sounding new products. Silver nanoparticles are being incorporated into soaps and other consumer goods such as socks. The soap is called Cor and is the next in way to keep microbes off the skin. It had better work, however, since it costs about $115 a bar. My Dial would have to fail me mightily to induce me to switch, however. Toothpaste is said to be the next product to look for. Other products, however,are already here. Sharper Image sells a set of plastic food containers with imbeded silver which are intended to keep food fresher for longer. One owner reported keeping strawberries fresh for 14 days in such containers. Samsung has a washing machine launched in the U.S. which uses silver ions to sanitize laundry. The washer has a grapefruit sized drum which uses electrical currents to nano-shave two silver plates each time the washer is turned on. The resulting ions interact with the bacteria to disrupt membrane functions and very effectively reduce the bacterial count in your laundry ( hospital usage here?). The silver plates will last 10 years according to Samsung and even though they cost $1200 at Best Buy, for example, you don't have to use hot water to kill 99.9% of the microbes in your wash.
If you want to try the product and have a special need, you can go to WalMart and buy some sports socks with E47 (element 47 or silver which has an atomic number of 47). Supposedly they keep your feet warm in winter, cool in summer, and your feet don't stink.
We will be hearing a lot more about nanotechnology in general and disinfection products in particular.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Amen, Brother Sowell

When it comes to racial and ethnic minorities, liberal politicians and judges can make it literally a federal case to give IQ tests to black children. Among the facts that we would never have known if some people did not find ways around this taboo is that black IQs have risen in recent times.

The greatest danger to the liberal vision are facts about the consequences of liberalism itself and the laws, policies, and ways of life that the left has spawned.

That the black family, which survived centuries of slavery and generations of discrimination, has disintegrated in the wake of the liberal welfare state is only one example.

Liberals have been driven to the desperate expedient of attributing this and other social pathology in today's ghettos to "a legacy of slavery" -- even though black children grew up with two parents more often under slavery than today.

Blacks only a generation or two out of slavery also had higher rates of employment and lower rates of crime than today.

The illogic of the "legacy of slavery" argument only illustrates the desperate attempt to salvage the liberal vision.

Read the whole thing here

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Terror Plot in Canada

Canadians have broken up a terror ring which was planning on blowing up a target in Ontario. Consider the identity of this group the next time you see a grandmother being wanded in the line at the airport. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service confiscated three tons of ammonium nitrate -- the same fertilizer ingredient that Timothy McVeigh used in the Oklahoma City bombing, only three times as much. Of the seventeen, 12 have been publicly identified, while five are apparently underage. The identified suspects are:

1. Fahim Ahmad, 21, of Robinstone Drive, Toronto, Ontario;
2. Zakaria Amara, 20, of Periwinkle Crescent, Mississauga, Ontario;
3. Asad Ansari, 21, of Rosehurst Drive, Mississauga, Ontario;
4. Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30, of Lowville Heights, Mississauga, Ontario;
5. Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, of Montevideo Road, Mississauga, Ontario;
6. Mohammed Dirie, 22, Kingston, Ontario;
7. Yasim Abdi Mohamed, 24, Kingston, Ontario;
8. Jahmaal James, 23, of Trudelle Street, Toronto, Ontario;
9. Amin Mohamed Durrani, 19, of Stonehill Court, Toronto, Ontario;
10. Steven Vikash Chand alias Abdul Shakur, 25, of Treverton Drive, Toronto, Ontario;
11. Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21, of Robin Drive, Mississauga, Ontario;
12. Saad Khalid, 19, of Eclipse Avenue, Mississauga, Ontario.

Yes, they are connected to al-Qaeda. The group has been under surveillance since 2004. I sure hope their civil rights weren't violated by anyone.

Was this a message to Pat?

Tammy Bruce recalls that Pat Robertson attributed Ariel Sharone's stroke to God being unhappy with his Jerusalem policy. Now that Pat's airplane just crashed into the water up in Long Island it is only fair to ask if this is a wake-up call of some kind.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I agree with this

It's time for Dennis Hastert to go.

Rep. Hastert, R-Ill., ought to announce sooner rather than later that he will not be a candidate for re-election as Speaker of the House when the next Congress convenes in January, 2007. He should do so for reasons both principled and purely political. He should do so because, in practical terms, his effectiveness is reaching -- or probably has already reached -- an end.

Read it all here.

I have wondered about this

Cosmic Thoughts

I wonder if it is part of God's plan for old people to get so disillusioned with the changes in their world that they are not all that unhappy when the end of their time on earth comes around. An article in the paper today got me to thinking this may be so. It seems the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference has decided that, as of this fall, coaches whose teams win by more than 50 points will be suspended for the next game. This is so silly and depressing at so many levels that it's hard to know where to start in listing them. Suffice it to say that this score management scheme is concocted by the same morons who want to just hand out grades in school or pay people based on factors other than merit. We must avoid hurt feelings in some even if it means it makes others of us just want to take a bullet to get away from this idiocy.

Personal Unsecured Loan