Friday, April 27, 2007

Jimmy Carter: Anti-Semitic Entrepreneur?

Recent disclosures of Carter's extensive financial connections to Arab oil money, particularly from Saudi Arabia, had deeply shaken my belief in his integrity. When I was first told that he received a monetary reward in the name of Shiekh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, and kept the money, even after Harvard returned money from the same source because of its anti-Semitic history, I simply did not believe it. How could a man of such apparent integrity enrich himself with dirty money from so dirty a source?...And let there be no mistake about how dirty the Zayed Foundation is...A student at the Divinity School, Rachael Lea Fish showed me the facts...The Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-up, a think-tank funded by the Shiekh and run by his son, hosted speakers who called Jews "the enemies of all nations," attributed the assassination of John Kennedy to Israel and the Mossad and the 9/11 attacks to the United States' own military, and stated that the Holocaust was a "fable."...To its credit, Harvard turned the money back. To his discredit, Carter did not..."This award has special significance for me because it is named for my personal friend, Sheik Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan." Carter's personal friend, it turns out, was an unredeemable anti-Semite and all-around bigot....The Real Jimmy Carter, Alan M. Dershowitz, FrontPage Magazine, 4/27/2007

As we were saying about sanctimonious hypocrites and piles of money....


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Al Gore, Carbon Offset Sales Entrepreneur?

Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on “carbon credit” projects that yield few if any environmental benefits...A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place...The FT investigation found: Widespread instances of people and organisations buying worthless credits that do not yield any reductions in carbon emissions; Industrial companies profiting from doing very little – or from gaining carbon credits on the basis of efficiency gains from which they have already benefited substantially; brokers providing services of questionable or no value; a shortage of verification, making it difficult for buyers to assess the true value of carbon credits; companies and individuals being charged over the odds for the private purchase of European Union carbon permits that have plummeted in value because they do not result in emissions cuts....Industry Caught in Carbon 'Smokescreen', The Financial Times, 4/25/2007

I'll bet that's surprising.

As we in New York know very well, behind every sanctimonious hypocrite stands a pile of money, either money in hand, or money to be made.


Separation of Church and State, Except Islam?

Come September, an Arabic-language public secondary school is slated to open its doors in Brooklyn. The New York City Department of Education says the Khalil Gibran International Academy, serving grades six through 12, will boast a "multicultural curriculum and intensive Arabic language instruction."...An organization that lobbies for Arabic instruction, the Arabic Language Institute Foundation, claims knowledge of Islam's holy language can help the West recover from what its leader, Akhtar Emon, calls its "moral decay." In other words, Muslims tend to see non-Muslims learning Arabic as a step toward an eventual conversion to Islam...The school's key figure, principal-designate Dhabah ("Debbie") Almontaser, has a record of extremist views, as William A. Mayer and Beila Rabinowitz have shown at or Muslims, Ms. Almontaser says, are innocent of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001: "I don't recognize the people who committed the attacks as either Arabs or Muslims."....A Madrassa Grows in Brooklyn, Daniel Pipes, The New York Sun, 4/24/2007

Pipes's disagreement is understated. This is grossly offensive to a Founding concept of the United States, supported for two centuries by Supreme Court rulings, that religious instruction does not ever belong in public schools. The more Mike Bloomberg is New York's Mayor, the more he and his appointees seem like the card-carrying, surrender monkey liberal he was before his "conversion" to the Republican Party.


Et Tu, Brute?

For a playwrighting class, Cho penned Mr. Brownstone and Richard McBeef (which, despite the Macbethian title, is a Hamlet-knock off about a young hero's lethal conflict with the new stepfather who murdered his real father)...Many have asked: "How could the English Department not recognize the horrific implications of these works?"...No one who wonders that, however, is familiar with the poetic oeuvre of one of Cho's own teachers, Virginia Tech's Distinguished Professor of English and Black Studies, Nikki Giovanni (for her website, click here)...Among the most celebrated figures of the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and recipient of 21 honorary degrees, Giovanni has published poems strikingly similar to Cho's plays in both vileness and incompetence. For example:

The True Import of Present Dialog, Black vs. Negro, by Nikki Giovanni

Can you kill
Can you kill
Can a ni**er kill
Can a ni**er kill a honkie
Can a ni**er kill the Man
Can you kill ni**er
Huh? Ni**er can you
kill....Virginia Tech's Professor of Hate, Steve Sailer, Front Page Magazine, 4/26/2007

One might ask the same question about the rhetoric of Rev. Al Sharpton. By the "lights" of the Left, it's okay to be a racist, sexist, mud-and-slander-slinging thug if you're not white.

Oh, and surprise, Killer Cho was in Nikki Giovanni's class.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Laurie David Continues to Warm Globe

Instapundit highlights the continuing hypocrisy of the Goracle's film producer, Laurie David, buddy and pal of Cheryl "Single Sheet" Crow. The Hollywood and Entertainment Left may be the best argument yet for getting a chastened Republican Party back in power in Congress in 2008. Otherwise, we'll have to continue to endure patronization like the following:
Laurie David, the producer of "An Inconvenient Truth" and global warming activist, told Texas A&M students to change their "individual behavior" in order to consume fewer resources and to help battle global warming. As an employee of Easterwood Airport, I would like to point out that Mrs. David flew to our campus in a luxurious private jet, which could be seen from 10 miles away due to the thick plume of smog it left in its wake. I am neither denying nor confirming the epidemic of global warming, I am simply pointing out that hypocrites such as Mrs. David don't care about the environment, only their own political agendas. This is proven time and again by these celebrities' and lobbyist's "do as I say, not as I do" attitude.
Not only is David a hypocrite, the kind that used to be called a "limousine liberal." She is actually more appropriately termed a "Gulfstream Liberal," so named for doomsaying "global warmers" who trot about our dying planet via convenient private jets, ordering us to use one sheet of toilet paper per duty trip. Meanwhile, on the way to their next 21st century-style whistle stop, they burn up enough private jet fuel to illuminate Cleveland for a month. Of course, this is all right, because these people are clearly more important than you or me.

But, making matters worse, David has been discovered as a proven despoiler of the pristine environment of that playground for rich, lefty snobs, Martha's Vinyard:
Even worse is David's chic but hypocritical environmentalism at her summer home in Martha's Vineyard. She was issued a "notice of apparent violations" for building a 26-foot-long barbecue station, stone-and-concrete bonfire pit, and outdoor theater on an environmentally sensitive patch of their 14-acre North Road property without the proper permits. They were also cited for tearing up protected vegetation to make way for a lush, sodded lawn, among other crimes against nature.

The commission has since ordered her to remove the offending structures and restore the area to its previous state. All these violations were allegedly done to prepare for a political fundraiser hosted by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (another faux Green). Alas, there's no such thing as cheap environmentalism on the Vineyard.

I wonder how many rainforests David needs to plant to provide "carbon offsets" for that party? (HINT: Laurie doesn't have a clue.)

As we've stated elsewhere, these embarrassing goofballs are only in it for the publicity. "Global warming" chic is now clearly in the process of jumping the shark. From trashing Bush, to "supporting the troops" by denying them support, to squeezing dollars and guilt out of America's hard-working middle class, when it comes to wealthy Stalinists like David, it's all about them and to hell with the rest of us in the booboisee. It's "intellectualism lite" at its finest, practiced by "gaudy, cheap cuts from the beast life, immensely capable of that great disquiet called entertainment," as Djuna Barnes once aptly noted. The level of asininity currently being demonstrated by the likes of David and Crow in their fatuous "global warming" crusade may mark the beginning of the end of the left's latest bogus cause. And it won't be soon enough.

The Lies of the Left

Although we here at HazZzMat range far afield, topic-wise, our central focus remains the cynical manipulation of languge, culture, and media by the American left to achieve the ultimate objective of a socialist state within a world socialist collective. Frequently, the subversive manipulation of language is their weapon of choice.

Power Line today tips us off to an interesting article on this topic by mystery writer Andrew Klavin. It launches with the following observation, with which HazZzMat wholeheartedly concurs:
The thing I like best about being a conservative is that I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to pretend that men and women are the same. I don’t have to declare that failed or oppressive cultures are as good as mine. I don’t have to say that everyone’s special or that the rich cause poverty or that all religions are a path to God. I don’t have to claim that a bad writer like Alice Walker is a good one or that a good writer like Toni Morrison is a great one. I don’t have to pretend that Islam means peace.
Power Line cites one of our favorites, City Journal, as the source for this piece and encourages a full read. We took them up on it and found further gems in Klavin's piece, like this one:
This is leftism’s great strength: it’s all white lies. That’s its only advantage, as far as I can tell. None of its programs actually works, after all. From statism and income redistribution to liberalized criminal laws and multiculturalism, from its assault on religion to its redefinition of family, leftist policies have made the common life worse wherever they’re installed. But because it depends on—indeed is defined by—describing the human condition inaccurately, leftism is nothing if not polite. With its tortuous attempts to rename unpleasant facts out of existence—he’s not crippled, dear, he’s handicapped; it’s not a slum, it’s an inner city; it’s not surrender, it’s redeployment—leftism has outlived its own failure by hiding itself within the most labyrinthine construct of social delicacy since Victoria was queen.
Klavin's final sentence in the above excerpt is important. The Stalinist left's harsh prescription for socialist nirvana has indelibly stained the 20th century with its murderous failure. And yet, today, they force their message on the public all the more fiercely while concealing the utter failure of all flavors of Marxism to achieve peace, stability, and prosperity without mass murder.

Klavin also duly points out how the odd streak of puritanism in the left has gradually, stealthily silenced rationalism and truth-telling, although, as do most writers, he fails to trace the Gramscian roots of this strategy, which enlists the media, the intelligentsia, and the arts to serve as agents for retooling a capitalist culture into a servant of socialism:
To rewrite the rules of courteous behavior is to wield enormous power. I see it in Southern California, in the bleeding heart of leftism, where I live. I’ve been banned from my monthly poker game, lost tennis partners, lost friends—not because I’m belligerent but because I’ve wondered aloud if the people shouldn’t be allowed to make their own abortion laws, say, or if the world might not be a better place without the UN....

...It’s manners, not morals, that lay the borderlines of our behavior.

This, I believe, is the reason conservative politicians so often lose their nerve, why they back down in debate even when they’re clearly right. No one wants to be condemned as a brute—especially not conservatives, who still retain some vague memory of how worthy it is to be a lady or gentleman.

And because we’ve allowed leftists to define the language of political good manners—don’t say women are less scientific; don’t remark that black people bear the same responsibility for their actions as whites; don’t point out that the gunman was a Muslim, it’s not nice—the sort of person willing to speak the truth isn’t always the sort of person you want to be seen with....
The author concludes:
We find ourselves at a precarious moment in an endeavor of great importance: namely, the preservation of Western rationalism and liberty. It does mankind no good to allow so magnificent an enterprise to slip away merely for fear of saying the wrong thing.
Check out the whole piece via the link above. Well worth your perusal if you want to identify and start turning back the left's ruthless stifling of dissenters on the right—those who pursue rational truth and support the restoration of our noble but rapidly crumbling American culture.

Virginia Tech: Legal Precedent Prevented Action

Cho Seung-Hui was so clearly mentally disturbed that just about everyone who looked him in the eye all but ran screaming in the other direction. The twisted, blood-soaked essays he wrote for his English class scared the bejesus out of his fellow students—and remember that these are kids suckled on Grand Theft Auto and Reservoir Dogs. The poet Nikki Giovanni, one of Cho’s teachers, says that students were so terrified of him that many stopped coming to class...So what prevented anyone from taking this creature out of the dorms and off the streets? For starters, as the New York Times reported, privacy and antidiscrimination laws make it almost impossible for school officials to protect students from crazed classmates. If they try to expel a student from a dorm because they think he’s dangerous, they can be sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Recently, CUNY officials had to pay $65,000 to forestall a lawsuit by a student barred from her dormitory after her suicide attempt and hospitalization...The only people who might be able to take some action when a student shows signs of trouble—family members—are kept deliberately out of the loop. A 1974 law, known as the Buckley Amendment in tribute to its architect, former senator James Buckley, makes it illegal for administrators to tell parents almost any details about their child’s college life—including serious medical problems—without the student’s permission....Why We Ignore Madmen, Kay S. Hymowitz, City Journal, 4/24/2007

In this environment, the recommendation that well-trained teachers and perhaps even well-trained students should bear arms to class seems like the most rational idea yet heard in response to campus shootings. Don't expect to hear that from White Flag Reid or any other Democrat.


War Critic Shays Changes Tune

Last week, Connecticut Republican congressman Christopher Shays briefed his Republican colleagues on the progress he observed in Iraq earlier this month. No member of Congress has visited Iraq more often than Shays, and since he’s an outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s war strategies, members of Congress were attentive as he gave his impressions from his 16th trip. For the first time in over a year, Shays saw promising signs, and he is anxious to confirm them when he returns to Iraq next month. He is encouraged by the improved security in Baghdad, the cooperation of Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar province, and the dramatically improved oil production in the north....Shays of Optimism, Kate O'Beire, The National Review Online, 4/24/2007

I'll bet Rep. Shays isn't invited to any parties at the Reids's house this week.


Al Qaeda and the Psychopaths Among Us

The face of terrorism has changed dramatically in just five years. Bin Laden and his Egyptian deputy Zawahari take credit for a grand Muslim “awakening” post 9/11...More often, Bin Laden and the terrorist propaganda serve as an excuse and inspiration for deranged people who fetishize about, and sometimes commit, mass violence...Al Qaeda’s marketing has been so pervasive that it has served as an excuse for violence by angry young men who were not practicing Muslims. In January 2002, 15-year-old Charles Bishop crashed a small plane into an office building in Tampa, Florida. He had no connection to al Qaeda but nonetheless his lengthy suicide note praised Bin Laden, 9/11, and threatened a nuclear explosion at the Super Bowl....The Virginia Tech tragedy, carefully documented by its perpetrator, and Bishop’s suicide flight, may be al Qaeda’s newest, though unintended, product. This latest iteration of terror will likely be characterized by individuals and groups recruited via the advertising of al Qaeda. They may completely ignore the pseudo-religious veil and adopt only its mythology of personal grandeur and pathology of violence....McJihad at Virginia Tech, R.P. Eddy, National Review Online, 4/24/2007

R.P. Eddy's article in National Review, troubling and perceptive, is one to keep. And one wonders. Under the ancient "freedom of speech does not mean freedom to shout fire in a crowded theater" dictum of the Supreme Court Court, when are efforts going to made to shout down American-based Internet sites that advocate violence and the violent overthrow of the United States government?


A Little History for White Flag Reid

Lincoln wrote to Democrats in Ohio: "You claim that men may, if they choose, embarrass those whose duty it is, to combat a giant rebellion, and then be dealt with in turn, only as if there was no rebellion. The constitution itself rejects this view."...The Copperheads, Editorial, The New York Sun, 4/24/2007

If you'd like a little history on Democrats in action under white flags, take a look at this splendid editorial in New York's principal conservative paper, The New York Sun.


Quote of the Day on "White Flag" Reid

Reid has to understand that his rhetoric can only encourage short-run insurgent attacks on Americans in Iraq...Their blood stands to be on his hands...And that's a terrible price to pay for a political payday that's so tentative that even an instinctive gut-fighter like Chuck Schumer recoils from the risk...Harry Reid needs to put a cork in it...Today....Reid's Bloody Hands, Editorial, The New York Post, 4/24/2007

The question, of course, is which end should the cork go in.


Another Democrat, Another Martyr

The [NJ's ex-Governor Jim] McGreevey divorce hit a catty new low yesterday, with the gay former love-gov calling his estranged wife a "homophobe" who's trying to take the sashay out of his step..."On the off hand she wasn't paying attention, I AM A GAY AMERICAN," the furious former New Jersey governor hissed in the latest court response to Dina Matos McGreevey..."She is in deep denial. Why would she question what I have made clear? To try and lessen my 'gayness' by making me bisexual is a clear form of homophobia."...McGay Bashing, Jeanne MacIntosh, The New York Post, 4/24/2007

Before New Jersey's ex-Governor resigned as the heroic actor in a gay melodrama, he was widely regarded as yet another of the sleazy occupants of the New Jersey statehouse, with scandals brewing across the state -- to wit:

Left out [of the furor over McGreevey's resignation] were the following details, sketched by Associated Press reporter John P. McAlpin, in the first report I saw on McGreevey’s sudden resignation: “But he has been dogged by several scandals involving fund-raising. “Among those caught up in recent scandals were his first chief of staff and former counsel; a top Democratic fund-raiser and former high school classmate; and real estate developer Charles Kushner, McGreevey's biggest campaign contributor, who was charged with trying to thwart a federal campaign-finance investigation by luring a grand jury witness - his own brother-in-law - into a compromising position with a prostitute and sending video and photos to the man's wife.”...McGreevey Scandal: Homosexuality as the Last Refuge of a Scoundrel, Nicholas Stix, citing AP's John P. McAlpin, 8/15/2007

Only in New Jersey? If only that were true. What is true is that, if you're headed for disaster while sitting in a governor's chair, it sure beats prison to make yourself into a martyr.


Corporal Rock vs.Harry Reid's Party of Defeat

We sometimes get material from a source with military connections. Today, our source sent us what appears to be an authentic email from a GI stationed in the notorious Ramadi area of Iraq. The email seems to have been posted elsewhere on the Web, so if someone finds a source, we'll be glad to link. In typical email fashion, the text is hastily written, mostly lower case, and full of little grammar errors. But the clarity of thought and mission is at least as eloquent as the expression of any professional writer.

The email below describes the difficult life of an American GI in Iraq and also describes an Iraq that the MSM never bothers to report. While Harry Reid, allegedly the Senate Majority Leader, has already proclaimed America's defeat (at least he's honest about where the Democrats stand and what kind of party they are), our writer, Corporal Rock (love the name, maybe a pseudonym), relates the kind of story we never hear, the kind of story that might have aided our effort against the terrorists if anyone had ever bothered to report it.

Abbreviations below: IP = Iraqi Police. IA = Iraqi Army. IED = Improvised Explosive Device. OP Horea = Observation Post Horea, a dangerous military post in the middle of Ramadi.

Mon Apr 23 2007 13:07:1 ET:

This Email To America, Direct From A Grunt On The Front Lines Of Ramadi, Is Just Hours Old.

A view [no photo included in the HazZzMat copy] from OP Horea, “Most Dangerous Spot On Earth”, Downtown Ramadi. I no shit watched several terrorists die, on several different days, on this small strip of asphalt. We also took many IED strikes on it. This photo is from Corporal Rock.

Today, from Corporal Tyler Rock in an outpost in downtown Ramadi. His first sentence is in response to an email from me:

“yeah i know how you feel. its going to be very weird leaving this place and going back to america. weve been here for almost an entire year and have lived in the center of it the whole time. its crazy that when we got here it was so hectic and now its calmed down so much. so it was awesome to be able to see that turn out. yeah news worth reporting…. well ramadi was once dubbed by everyone as the worst city in the world. but we have done such a great job here that all the families in the area have worked with us on driving out the insurgency and that we work directly with the IA and the IP’s. the city has been cleaned up so well that the IP’s do most of the patrols now and we go out with them to hand out candy and toys to the children. you can tell that the people want us here to protect them from the thugs and gangs (insurgents). granted they would rather have peace and quit but they know that if we arent here they will be thrown around by the insurgents. a good example is this one mission we did. long story short we got blown up in multiple buildings and had to run into a families house. i spent my christmas holidays covered in ash from the mortar fire and the IED’s, sleeping under a dirty rug i found in the house. everyone was sleeping way too close for comfort just to stay warm. anyways. a family was there and they obviously didnt want us there. atleast at first. the daughters were very sick so our corpsman treated them. they didnt have electricity so we got them a generator for power, they were cold so we got them gas heaters, we got them food and water and then we gave them $500. by the end of the week long visit with them we were drinking tea with them. when we left we cleaned their house better than it was when we got there. i even have pictures with the family. they told us that they liked marines and they would help us as much as they could and they gave us some information on the insurgents in the area. we ended up catching a HUGE target down the road from there house because of it.

yeah and i got a qoute for that douche harry reid. these families need us here. obviously he has never been in iraq. or at least the area worth seeing. the parts where insurgency is rampant and the buildings are blown to pieces. we need to stay here and help rebuild. if iraq didnt want us here then why do we have IP’s voluntering everyday to rebuild their cities. and working directly with us too. same with the IA’s. it sucks that iraqi’s have more patriotism for a country that has turned to complete shit more than the people in america who drink starbucks everyday. we could leave this place and say we are sorry to the terrorists. and then we could wait for 3,000 more american civilians to die before we say “hey thats not nice” again. and the sad thing is after we WIN this war. people like him will say he was there for us the whole time.

UPDATE: We found a link, plus comments, here. Other sites are linking and server can be slow.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cheryl Crow Proposes Major Change in America's Bathroom Habits

We are all now to use just one piece of toilet paper in the loo, according to pop warbler Cheryl Crow. This must be the finest example yet of how infantile armchair leftists, particularly those in the entertainment world, purport to "think." A Drudge scare headline expresses this best:


Drudge's link takes you to a BBC link where even that organization's lefty cadre finds Crow's nonsense a bit too much to bear:

Crow has suggested using "only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required".

The 45-year-old, who made the comments on her website, has just toured the US on a biodiesel-powered bus to raise awareness about climate change.

She teamed up with environmental activist Laurie David for the shows.

The BBC simply allows Crow to hang herself:
I have spent the better part of this tour trying to come up with easy ways for us all to become a part of the solution to global warming," Crow wrote.

"Although my ideas are in the earliest stages of development, they are, in my mind, worth investigating.

"I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting."

Gee, maybe we should propose a limit on the hot air that Crow and David are generating. We'd have the Ice Age back in a New York minute.

Blogger Don Surber and his commentators continue with the fun. Surber writes, in "Cheryl's Peril":

The BBC has gotten in on Sheryl Crow’s call to limit toilet paper use to one square per sitting. See my previous post, “Crow droppings.”

In case Miss Crow, 45, wonders why people are rebelling — I have a little song parody to explain it:

All I wanna do is wipe my bum
I got a feeling I’m not the only one
All I wanna do is wipe my bum
Until the TP comes off the roll by the yard

You will take my TP when you pry it from my cold brown fingers.

But Surber's commentators get a little more down and dirty. Says one clinical observer:

I suspect that Ms Crow is dealing primarily with female urination. Perhaps in that case a single square would be adequate (although in a house sometimes full of females it seems that way more than that is being used), but I doubt it is adequate for almost any instances of defecation. Perhaps Ms Crow solves that by thoroughly washing her TP-holding hand after the fact, but that is not my favorite exercise.

I’ll cut back on my TP right after she cuts the energy use of her singing and tours by at least 10%.

Says another:

Don’t expect me to start using a single square of toilet paper to wipe my arse until I know that Sheryl Crow does the same.

And I wont believe it till I see it.

But commentator "Chris" sums up our official HazZzMat reaction to this nonsense quite succinctly:

“Perhaps Ms Crow solves that by thoroughly washing her TP-holding hand after the fact, but that is not my favorite exercise.”

Extra washing also increases water usage. The contradictions inherent in their ideas are just so obvious.,.,.,

But that is the essence of today's leftist "thought." It never has to be logical. You just have to feel good about it and be seen by the public as "virtuous." And above all, you have to be seen as posturing against the enemy so that your fellow lefties will all coo and admire you—the primary reason behind these juvenile outbursts.

Speaking of which, Crow and David concluded their educational tour in Washington, DC, over the weekend, where they attended a usually fun-filled annual Washington event, the generally good-natured White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. The dynamic duo quickly exploited this additional opportunity to put their childish behavior on display for public admiration.

Accompanied by aforementioned SUV-owning, private jet-flying intellectual giant David, who produced the Goracle's ridiculous "academy award-winning" propaganda epic on the Republican-caused "global warming crisis," Crow teed off on presidential advisor Rove. The Washington Post is coy about what went down, but at least gave Rove equal time to describe David's original sally forth:
Rove's version: "She came over to insult me and she succeeded."
Crow allegedly tried to act as peacemaker, but ended up engaging Rove as well, and fared equally poorly:
Things got so hot that Crow stepped in to defuse the situation and then got into it with Rove herself. "You work for me," she told the presidential adviser, according to singed bystanders. "No," was his response. "I work for the American people."
I'll take Rove any day, even though his response owes a debt to Mitt Romney's snappy putdown of a puffer-pigeon reporter last October.

One sheet of toilet paper is but a short distance to a staged media brouhaha. If it's not painfully obvious, David's and Crow's antics drive home our point that this enviro-freakishness is all just for show, just another series of PR stunts to get Hollywood and music stars guaranteed fawning reviews in the media which will do anything to make Bush look bad, via Rove or anyone else. Commentator Chris above pointed out the fundamental unseriousness of Crow's asinine proposal. Except for the daintiest among us, one sheet of TP just ain't going to do the job, and it doesn't do the job for Crow either.

All this media blather about another dumb entertainer is, in the end, a waste of perfectly good soy ink and an additional tragedy for the environment.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Light Blogging Thru Today

Light blogging in these precincts yesterday and today due to pressing work issues. After all, even bloggers have to eat.

Frankly, it's also been a little tough to blog over the last day or two due to the magnitude of the Va Tech situation. The killer is now revealed to have lived only a few miles from the Wonker manse, and many of the victims were perfectly nice northern Virginia kids who totally didn't deserve this.

Nonetheless, we'll be back as soon as we can with more comments on the Va Tech massacre, today's Supreme Court decision barring, at last, hideous third-term abortions on demand (and the predictable responses). Hugh Hewitt calls it "A 5-4 Decision Against Barbarism." Wish we'd said that, because that's telling it like it is. (But watch our lefty friends explain that a 5-4 decision is not a real decision.) We also plan to offer a hypothetical parsing of daisy-chain arguments put out by the environmentaloids that leave no way out of any dilemma.

More here at HazZzMat as soon as we can find a time window.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech Death Toll Increasing

The almost-unimaginable breaking story HazZzMat presented below is apparently taking a turn for the worse, as the apparent death toll continues to mount. According to ABC News:
At least 29 people are dead in what may be the biggest mass killing on a college campus in American history — and the death toll may rise.
This massacre appears to follow on the heels of bomb threats made recently on college engineering buildings. This at a college regarded by many as in the top rank of engineering schools nationwide. Investigators are still being tight lipped, but this would appear to be a pretty well-planned hit, and the story no doubt goes deeper.

We are trying to get to more local sources and know folks down in Blacksburg who may be able to update us, but connections are tough right now and this once-tranquil rural setting, Virginia's geek paradise, will never be the same.

UPDATES: The campus newspaper, "Collegiate Times," is posting on an alternate server due to traffic and has relevant updates here for students and their families. Try to take it easy on the server. The main site was down much of the morning.

Sky News is providing a few more details, indicating that the gunman, now, according to local cops, "deceased," was possibly of Asian origin and was looking for a girlfriend. Nothing confirmed, though.

Audio interview with an injured student here, providing additional details.

Most media outlets are all over this now, so this will be our last post, at least on the breaking story itself. Implications could be interesting. Judging from the interview above, this was a methodical act. The "why," however, has yet to be fully explored. Our condolences go out to the families. This is a hell of a way to wind up an academic year, and it speaks volumes about how our coarsened culture has not only made massacres like this eminently possible. When a culture values life cheaply, denigrates religious traditions, and trashes our country's essential goodness, unstable people get the message, and things like this are the result.

Gunman on Rampage at Virginia Tech: 22 Reported Dead

Breaking story: HazZzMat has learned that at least one gunman opened fire randomly on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia this morning. Reports estimate one dead and as many as 21 injured. The injured have been transported in ambulance to the regional hospital, as today's high winds are preventing helicopter "Medivac" flights from occurring.

Link to Fox for continuous updates. More as it comes. Story here is relatively local and we'll try to stay on it.

UPDATE: 22 now estimated dead. According to Fox News:
"Today the university was struck by a tragedy we consider of monumental proportions," Virginia Tech President Charles Steger said during a press conference shortly after noon.
2nd UPDATE: Statement from VA Tech website. (No link provided. They're having understandable bandwidth problems):
Two shootings on campus today have left 22 confirmed dead, including students.

Families wishing to reunite with students are suggested to meet at the Inn at Virginia Tech. The university is planning a convocation for tomorrow at noon at Cassell Coliseum for the university community to come together to begin to deal with the tragedy.

Counseling is available in the Bowman Room in the Merriman Center (part of the athletic complex) for employees who seek assistance following today’s events.

All faculty and staff have been released and asked to go home effective immediately.

The university will open tomorrow at 8 a.m. but classes are cancelled.

3rd UPDATE: Here is University President Charles W. Steger's official statement. It includes further details. Again, we're not providing the link, due to circuit overload at VA Tech:
The university was struck today with a tragedy of monumental proportions. There were two shootings on campus. In each case, there were fatalities. The university is shocked and horrified that this would befall our campus. I want to extend my deepest, sincerest and most profound sympathies to the families of these victims which include students There are 22 confirmed deaths.

We currently are in the process of notifying families of victims. The Virginia Tech Police are being assisted by numerous other jurisdictions. Crime scenes are being investigated by the FBI, University Police, and State Police. We continue to work to identify the victims impacted by this tragedy. I cannot begin to covey my own personal sense of loss over this senselessness of such an incomprehensible and heinous act The university will immediately set up counseling centers. So far centers have been identified in Ambler Johnston and the Cook Counseling Center to work with our campus community and families.

Here are some of the facts we know:

At about 7:15 a.m. this morning a 911 call came to the University Police Department concerning an event in West Ambler Johnston Hall. There were multiple shooting victims. While in the process of investigating, about two hours later the university received reports of a shooting in Norris Hall. The police immediately responded. Victims have been transported to various hospitals in the immediate area in the region to receive emergency treatment.

We will proceed to contact the families of victims as identities are available.

All classes are cancelled and the university is closed for the remainder of today. The university will open Tuesday at 8 a.m. but classes are cancelled. The police are currently staging the release of people from campus buildings.

Families wishing to reunite with the students are suggested to meet at the Inn at Virginia Tech. We are making plans for a convocation tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon at Cassell Coliseum for the university community to come together to begin to deal with the tragedy.


Counseling is available in the Bowman Room in the Merriman Center (part of the athletic complex) for employees who seek assistance following today's events.

Faculty and staff on the Burruss side of the Drillfield are being released and asked to go home effective immediately. Faculty and staff on the War Memorial side are asked to leave at 12:30 p.m.


Virginia Tech has closed today Monday, April 16, 2007. On Tuesday, April 17, classes will be canceled. The university will remain open for administrative operations.

There will be an additional university statement presented today at noon.

All students, faculty, and staff are required to stay where they are until police execute a planned evacuation. A phased closing will be in effect today; further information will be forthcoming as soon as police secure the campus.

Tomorrow, there will be a university convocation/ceremony at noon at Cassell Coliseum. The Inn at Virginia Tech has been designated as the site for parents to gather and obtain information.


In addition to an earlier shooting today in West Ambler Johnston, there has been a multiple shooting with multiple victims in Norris Hall.

Police and EMS are on the scene.

Police have one shooter in custody and as part of routine police procedure, they continue to search for a second shooter.

All people in university buildings are required to stay inside until further notice.

All entrances to campus are closed.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Granholm to Unemployed Michiganders: Drop Dead

Some people are gluttons for punishment.

We love the state of Michigan, which contains some of the greatest outdoor space and seashore in the U.S. as well as the nicest people imaginable. Except for the fact that most people in the Lower Peninsula at least, vote for Socialist Democrats no matter what, which completely baffles us, given what they've been getting from the Peoples' Party: economic disaster for themselves and the generations that will follow.

Thus, we end up with the worst state in the union from an economic standpoint, an absolute basket case. Michigan boasts stratospheric tax bills, lousy services, and, increasingly, no jobs at all as the auto industry and the unions do their best to write a quick obit for what was once the soul of Detroit. Small wonder that Michigan now has the highest number of mortgage foreclosures in the country. Hard to pay on a mortgage when you can't find work anywhere.

Yes, life in Michigan is tough. Think things couldn't get worse? Think again.

Governor Jennifer Granholm—recently returned to office, like Socialist Senator Debbie Stabenow, by voters seemingly incapable of rational thought—has just repaid her constituents for their support:
Gov. Jennifer Granholm is warning that unless lawmakers take immediate steps to raise taxes, she will cut school aid by as much as $125 per student.
Hey, now there's a solution that hasn't been tried before. Want more companies to do business in Michigan and start creating jobs to replace the tens of thousands that have already left? Just impose even HIGHER taxes on all those ungrateful, unemployed, lazy, crybaby bastards that happen to live in Michigan. That's showing them!!

What a concept! Does Granholm have a clue or what? You lose jobs, you lose entire industries, you lose population, you lose hope, and you RAISE TAXES????????

Granholm also employs the terrorist tactic of threatening everyone's kids as if there is not a single alternative to this, a time-honored favorite of Democrats everywhere. Rather than, say, cutting this or that political subsidy to pressure groups—like maybe teachers' unions whose annual dues collections amount to a gigantic Democrat PAC—Granholm somehow figures she's going to squeeze more money out of unemployed workers who are losing their homes.

That's right. Scare 'em into supporting something they can't pay for anyway. (Someone else will. Last one out of Michigan, please turn out the lights.) That's real Democrat leadership for the 21st century. Pay up, or I'll screw your kids, and the ignorant little twits will never get to be Governor like me!! BWAHAHAHAHAH!!!

Michiganders, I love ya, but you have simply got to wake up. Don't do this to yourselves again in 2008. Give yourselves a blessed chance and start voting for people who promise to CUT taxes and encourage business. Not ones that threaten your kids unless you pony up money that you don't even have. THINK, next time, please.

Don Imus: The Markets Respond

On Drudge today this giddy listing from Google stores appeared. It seems that someone other than Al Sharpton is benefiting from the fall of DOn Imus.


China Charges: Exports More than US

China surpassed the United States as the world's second-largest exporter last year and now makes more cars than Detroit...'Made in China' Overtakes US In Exports, Patrice Hill, The Washington Times

No doubt that's the only quotation that the Post will take away from this story, or that you'll hear in testimony on Capitol Hill about new efforts to restrain trade "unfairness." But the kicker is the next quote:

"China today is much more capitalist than the U.S.," said John Rutledge, a former Reagan economic adviser who now advises China. Competition in China is robust to the point of cut-throat, and surveys show that nearly three-quarters of Chinese think that the free market is the best economic system -- a higher percentage than in the U.S..."The big words in China are entrepreneurship and innovation," Mr. Rutledge said. Everyone from the humblest workers on factory assembly lines to top managers and government officials have been reaping rapidly growing incomes and profiting from China's engagement with Western market economies....('Made in China' continues...)

Yes, Senators Clinton, Obama, Reid, Speaker Pelosi, wealth comes from competitive free markets, not from sending more billions to an increasingly derelict Detroit; wealth comes from working hard, not from subsidizing inefficient systems (like hospitals or Chrysler or GM); wealth comes from private companies rewarding workers, not finding a new form of welfare subsidies, such as "reparations" paid by people who did nothing, whose ancestors were not even here in the 19th century; wealth comes from a friendly tax environment, not a confiscatory or "French" one.


Second Quote of the Day: Blair on Gangsta Culture

British prime minister Tony Blair has just broken one of the biggest taboos in Western politics: talking frankly about black crime. Give the man a medal for courage. And then ask why American pols are unable to summon such backbone in addressing the biggest impediment holding back poor black Americans: out-of-control crime rates and the gangsta culture that gives rise to criminality, problems that will be with us long after Don Imus is sent into belated retirement....Blair Breaks the Black Crime Taboo, Heather McDonald, City Journal, 4/12/2007

Of course Tony Blair doesn't have to worry about electoral consequences. He's leaving office after one of the longest tenures as PM in British history. But McDonald's larger observation is worth pursuing. Check out City Journal's article. Don Imus may be gone but the gangsta trashing women is still out there.


Quote of the Day: Surveillance in England

The media reports of practically every murder in Britain now conclude with the words, “The police are studying the CCTV evidence.” Britain has by far the highest density of closed-circuit television cameras in the world, each Briton being filmed 300 times per day. But no amount of electronic surveillance can ensure common decency....The British Way of Murder, Theodore Dalrymple, City Journal, 4/9/2007

That's the way it is in post-democratic society. The more rigid and specific are the laws, and the more advanced tools are for enforcing them, the more deranged the society acts. Post-democratic society? Yes. In Britain, with its sovereignty more or less assigned to Brussels, more than 90% of laws and regulations come from unelected officials. People under unrepresentative governments tend to act out.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sadr's Najaf Protest a Big Bust

Faux cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr, who, may Allah forgive me, possesses clerical credentials somewhat along the line of the Minor Orders in the Roman Catholic Church, promised a big protest in Najaf over the weekend vs. the American "occupiers." Judging from countless MSM reports, it was a massive success, reportedly drawing "tens of thousands" of demonstrators against the hated infidel.

But surprise! The MSM must've been drawing (as usual) from the Islamofascist propaganda mills for their bogus numbers. According to Gateway Pundit, the turnout was about as pitiful as the recent anti-war farce held in Washington, DC:
Of all of the 1,800 plus articles published yesterday on the Al Sadr Anti-US-occupation protest in Najaf, Iraq, not one mentioned that the turnout was way below what was expected and hoped for by the media and the pro-Iranian Regime Mahdi Army leader.

Both the Associated Press and New York Times reported that "tens of thousands" attended the protest.

From the pictures that were released by the MSM of the protest it was impossible to tell exactly how many showed up to stomp on and burn the US flag.
So far, nothing really surprising for these Islamofascist water-carriers who would turn us into a nation of dhimmis to spite President Bush. Your own hometown newspaper, no doubt, helped out using the age-old trick of splashing a tight shot of the protests in color on the front page. Tight shots, of course, exaggerate the effects of a sparse crowd by not showing you the nearness of the crowd's margins. While we harp on the manipulation of words in leftist propaganda here at HazZzMat, faked or dishonest pictures are another clever means of spreading disinformation. In this case, they've been used to perpetuate the MSM's neverending meme: We're losing!! We're losing!! Support the troops and declare our unilateral defeat!!

As to the truth of the matter, Gateway Pundit cites newly aggressive and assuredly more truthful military media specialists and provides us with numbers that are, well, a little less than the millions or tens of thousands so fervently hoped-for by MSM defeatists:
The demonstration in Najaf has been muted. While Middle East Online claimed "hundreds of thousands of Shiites burned and trampled on US flags," the reality is the protest was far smaller than Sadr would have liked. Reuters puts the protest size in the thousands, and during a press round table briefing today, Rear Admiral Mark Fox noted that the Coalition is closely monitoring the protest, and put the number of demonstrators between 5,000 and 7,000. The protest is monitored both on the ground and via air, which allows for a relatively accurate count of the number of protesters. Sadr's weak showing during the April 9 protests highlights the setbacks he has suffered both politically and militarily since the inception of the Baghdad Security plan and his flight to Iran.
We also have an overhead shot of the demo in case you doubt the military's head count:

We've lived in DC since those fabled Vietnam protest days. Trust us. This ain't "tens of thousands" and it sure ain't "millions." It's a shame that you have to mistrust nearly everything the MSM puts out these days, but here's another case in point. We're being told that the surge is "failing." But this picture of a weakened Al Sadr, who can't even field a convincing protest on his home turf, speaks volumes. Or at least it would have if anyone in the MSM had allowed it to be printed. But that would spoil the "story," wouldn't it?

Wonker Fights Flu, Loses...

Wonker is reporting back to duty at HazZzMat after an unfortunate Easter Weekend marred by a sudden and close encounter with the flu. It's been awhile, and one forgets how bad this stuff is. Recovering today, and sporadic posting will resume shortly.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sarbox, Another View

Paul Sarbanes and Michael Oxley, renowned authors of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance reform legislation, have become America's favorite whipping boys for the emigration of foreign equity listings to London from New York. But it was the earlier efforts of another congressman, one who now has far more influence over the competitiveness of the U.S. capital markets, which in fact sparked the exodus by deliberately mixing domestic market regulation with foreign policy....Cox, Not Sarbox To Blame, Benn Steil, The New York Sun, 4/5/2007

Steil wouldn't disagree with other points on this blog about government intervention in free markets. This fine article points out that Sarbox, born in a fervent, but not very well-informed, climate of reform, had a predecessor. That was the efforts by Congress, mixed with highly-conflicted intelligence, to interfere with Chinese intelligence-gathering by restricting access to U.S. capital markets. That was a Republican Congress, but the effect was the same, to wit:

When studying PetroChina's Sudanese oil business in 2004, I found that its largest non-state shareholder was Warren Buffett, controlling 14% of the public shares. He chose to buy 95% of them in Hong Kong, rather than in New York, highlighting the irrelevance of the sanctions campaign, which had no influence on the behavior of either PetroChina or Sudan....(Cox, Not Sarbox...continued)

Political regulation, like careless economic legislation, is about like trying to stop up a sieve with hat pins. If there's no flow through one hole, there are thousands of others. With the interpenetration of national borders by the Internet and thousands of private networks, one can, as advertisements have suggested for years, trade anywhere for anything. The net result of regulation or legislation most times is the construction of yet another bureaucratic mess that restricts the very people it was trying to protect while having no positive effect other than a pat on the politician's back.


Gramscian Dems Play Word Games with GWOT

Although we wander about a bit, the major mission of HazZzMat is to keep you informed as to the subtle but devastating way that America's Socialist Party, the Democrats, uses language and culture to weaken and destroy American culture. This, allegedly, will reshape the argument in such a way as to destroy capitalism, devalue private property, and turn the administration of the U.S. over to the Wise Persons in the U.N. Ultimately, however, in the early part of the 21st century, these tactics are more likely to result in an American defeat in the Global War on Terror, aka GWOT.

One of the favorite tactics of the left is a gradual redefinition of national and cultural terminology to better support socialist hegemony rather than a prevailing capitalistic and democratic hegemony, a tactic much favored by Italian Communist theoretician Antonio Gramsci.

One of the ways this gradual transformation is accomplished is by the over-use of hype, such as in a radio report I heard yesterday identifying an "epidemic" of overweight children. "Epidemic," in its original sense, describes rampant diseases caused only by various microorganisms. Thus, the broadening of this nomenclature to describe social or nutritional maladjustments is scientifically absurd, though highly effective in scaring the public into focusing on the leftist agenda of the week.

The use of "epidemic" here in this sense is absolute nonsense. Kids overeat because they're underexercised and undersupervised. But calling this an "epidemic" makes it a "disease" which then enables this or that university research facility to troll for taxpayer funds like all good socialists do. These in turn will fund "studies" that will, of course, add phony statistics and research reports with foregone conclusions that will be used to bolster demands for "Federal Programs" to combat the "epidemic" of childhood obesity—a condition that, in Wonker's day, was headed off at the pass when mom turned off the TV and told us to go out and play baseball in the back yard. Tomorrow, it will "take a village" to do this—one funded by the Feds.

A more political flavor of terminology redefinition has recently surfaced, as the Dems try to undermine what support is left for the GWOT by altering how it is described. Check this out:
The House Armed Services Committee is banishing the global war on terror from the 2008 defense budget.

This is not because the war has been won, lost or even called off, but because the committee’s Democratic leadership doesn’t like the phrase.

A memo for the committee staff, circulated March 27, says the 2008 bill and its accompanying explanatory report that will set defense policy should be specific about military operations and “avoid using colloquialisms.”

The “global war on terror,” a phrase first used by President Bush shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S., should not be used, according to the memo. Also banned is the phrase the “long war,” which military officials began using last year as a way of acknowledging that military operations against terrorist states and organizations would not be wrapped up in a few years.

"Colloquialisms," eh? Tell that to the bits of bone still scattered around the World Trade Center site. With Islamofascist terror cells scattered across the globe, what the hell else should we call what's going on? Tea time in Mecca? Apparently, a term like "long war," which accurately describes what we're involved in whether we like it or not, is also a "colloquialism," while presumably the much-hyped and falsely substantiated "global warming" ideology is not. How do you split the difference? Well, let the Socialists tell us themselves:

Committee staff members are told in the memo to use specific references to specific operations instead of the Bush administration’s catch phrases. The memo, written by Staff Director Erin Conaton, provides examples of acceptable phrases, such as “the war in Iraq,” the “war in Afghanistan, “operations in the Horn of Africa” or “ongoing military operations throughout the world.”

“There was no political intent in doing this,” said a Democratic aide who asked not to be identified. “We were just trying to avoid catch phrases.”

Okay. Let's get this straight. "Global warming" is not a "catch phrase" but "Global War on Terror" most certainly is. You see the game. The problem with GWOT is two-fold. The term is accurate. But it was coined by a Republican Administration. Therefore, it is not an accurate description of this conflict. It is a "catch phrase." While "global warming," trumpeted by the former Veep of the Socialist Party, is most assuredly NOT a catch phrase.

What's really being said here is that the only acceptable way of describing people, places, or events is to employ terminology developed and vetted by the Democrat Party apparatus—terminology that is carefully crafted and shaped to promote their big government, socialist agenda for the U.S. No other entity, and most certainly NOT the Republican Party or its President, are allowed to craft and put in common use, terminology that supports their arguably more rational viewpoint. Thus, the absolute hypocrisy of the "Democratic aide's" proclamation that there "was no political intent in doing this." Dear readers, ANYTHING Democrats do has a political intent. Always.

The Democrats, frankly, have been brilliant over at least the past half-century in undermining the language in order to force everyone to support their world view by default. They have entirely internalized Gramsci's tactics whether they've ever read his dense prose or not.

The most phenomonally successful deployment of the tactic of redefinition in recent memory was the Clinton Administration's insistent substitution of the term "investment" for the more accurate term "spending" when describing what the Federal government does with all the money it steals from you each year. "Spending," which is what they're really doing with it, is abhorrent. It's our money, and we should be spending more of it ourselves.

But hold on there Baba-Looey. The Clintonistas patiently taught us that they're not "spending" our hard-earned money. They're "investing" it in, well, "investments," like critical studies of bovine flatulence. So now we can feel better. Because if you "spend" money, you tend to waste it. But if you "invest" it, you get something back. Or at least that's what our minds are trained to think. After all, we do it all the time ourselves to buy a house, send junior to college, or put something away for our retirement in case the Dems spend the rest of the Social Security "Trust Fund" (which doesn't exist).

By its insistent use of the term "investment" to describe the governmental redistribution of assets, the Clintonistas sanitized this activity, quietly manipulating the unthinking into resisting any hint that we might be so foolish as to cut back on "investing" in America's future, i.e., by cutting taxes. Hey, that would hurt us, right?

The reason you're getting this dissertation today is that, as we've just sketched out, the Dems are now trying to transform America's legitimate Global War on Terror into discrete, regional "conflicts" like Iraq, that somehow have no bearing on the whole. In so doing, they can further reduce the "Conflict in Iraq"—which is actually now the ground where we are facing down Al Qaeda en masse rather than in the streets of Manhattan—to "Bush's War," a small, idiosyncratic "skirmish" that they can de-fund and terminate without consequence.

Employing this proposed terminology will thus make it easier for the Democrats to sanitize their "cut and run" strategy for America's defeat, much the way they accomplished this when they abandoned Vietnam. Once having done so, they will presumably reduce "investments" in the military so that they can use the money to increase "investments" in pork barrel projects designated for Democrat-voting Congressional districts, the better to buy votes to win in 2008. After all, Clinton showed them how to spend, I mean, "invest" the "peace dividend" that occurred when the Reagan-Bush I combo ultimately caused the Berlin Wall to fall and the Cold War to conclude.

These dudes never quit, do they? But now you know. Never accept a Democrat's efforts to redefine terminology. In so doing, you will accept their Socialist premises which will make it easier for them to lighten your wallet in 2008. They're working on it already.

Trans-Nationalism, Global Warming's Real Agenda

According to the respected on-line service STRATFOR, a longstanding objective of the transnational progressives, U.S. ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), is now just a matter of time. Already, parochial business interests, U.S. Navy lawyers and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have embraced the Transies' bid to compel the United States to submit to a treaty Ronald Reagan rightly rejected, one that would make decisions affecting use of the international sea-beds and the waters above them the exclusive purview of an international organization. Apparently, the decisive argument will be that only transnational bureaucrats will be able to contend with the implications of the melting Arctic ice caps induced by global warming....Assault of the 'Transies', Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., Front Page Magazine, 4/6/2007

There it is. This is what the Gore-a-phytes want. In any totalitarian politics, the real agenda is never spoken aloud. But this one is revealed by Frank Gaffney's brilliant analysis in this Front Page Magazine article.

This has been an ongoing, mostly bureaucratic war for decades. As Gaffney rightly notes, the late President Reagan refused to accept the Law of the Sea treaty because it targeted American sovereignty. Evidently, the W's minions don't see it, at least the minion heading up State. Want to live in a world like Great Britain, where the vast proportion of rules, from use taxes to political correctness, are dictated by unelected bureaucrats?

Pay attention.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pelosi Does Dhimmi

HazZzMat brings you our esteemed feminist Speaker of the House (third in line to the Presidency) as she visits the People's Paradise of Syria during Holy Week, no less. Dhimmi before tea, anyone? (Note: This was not taken in a mosque.)

We'll let the photo speak for itself, with a hat tip to LGF and others. Maybe Repubs will choose to actually vote in 2008 rather than sit another one out. For once, Wonker is virtually speechless.

Maybe It's Not All Sarbox, Mike

Local politicians and policymakers began to call for trimming the city’s taxes. But Mayor Bloomberg defended the high levies by arguing that they’re necessary to provide “premium” services that New Yorkers demand. What the mayor failed to note is that the gap between New York’s tax burden and that of the other eight cities has widened under his administration, even though city services haven’t increased substantially. In the 1990s, tax cuts engineered by the Giuliani administration and the City Council under former speaker Peter Vallone began shrinking that gap, without substantially reducing the level of services delivered....The Priciest City, Stephen Malanga, City Journal, 3/27/2007

The campaign to undo Sarbanes-Oxley, the act that radically increased regulatory constraints on listings on American stock exchanges, the largest of which are based in New York, was the usual rhetorical display. We were to believe that New York's future standing was dependent on fixing the over-regulation of one part of the economy. And it is true, that Sarbox is a big problem. The number of IPOs in the New York exchanges declined spectacularly in the years after the enactment of this legislation. But this article in City Journal intimates that the elephant in the living room isn't the health of New York's financial services business, but the fact that most businesses other than financial services don't want to be in New York City. Why?

Read the article.

Hint: taxes.

Second hint: The Mayor was a liberal Democrat before he became a "Republican."


Environmentalists and Priorities

Don Roberts, Prof. of Tropical Public Health, Uniformed Services University: "If you look at the amount of money going into a vaccine, it's probably in the billions" Roberts says. "Look into what's gone in to drugs to treat malaria and that's probably in the tens of billions. Then there's the environmentalist fight against DDT, which has probably also consumed billions of dollars," he notes. "But how much is being spent on an insecticide that would be less controversial and yet could be more effective at killing mosquitoes than DDT? Zero."

He adds, "For me, it's a failure that's almost breathtaking."....Defeating Malaria with both High and Low-Tech, Michael Fumento, TCS Daily, 4/4/2007

Failure? Naivete about politics is one of the sweeter (but treacherous) aspects of a scientist. What the environmental movement succeeded in doing by a UN-mandated ban on DDT (now partially lifted) was to allow more than thirty million people to die who might otherwise have lived. How did they get away with actions that killed five times as many people as the "Final Solution" in Nazi Germany? There wasn't any difference in their publicly declared rationale of "cleansing society". There wasn't any real difference in the primary population of victims. The Jews were regarded in German law as non-human. The principal victims in malaria's toll are dark-skinned and live in poor countries. There's no specific label of non-human attached, but, if one class of humans is regarded as worth saving and another, as easily identifiable, as expendable, what's the difference? What Michael Fumento and Don Roberts look at is the most horrifying example of doing good without a thought about consequences, the worst kind of Left-wing politics, and one of the world's great evils.


Democrats, Protectionism, Ethanol, and Cuba

If the United States wants to boost ethanol consumption and reduce oil-dependency, it needs to make a simple decision -- eliminate its 54-cents-a-gallon tariff. Experts tell us that corn-based ethanol, the kind being produced in the United States, is eight times less efficient than Brazil's sugarcane version of the biofuel. Alessandro Teixeira, Brazil's point man for his country's ethanol strategy, insists that "we are the world leader, and if people really want to benefit from our ethanol industry, they have to embrace it in practice, not in theory.'' Precisely because corn is much less efficient than sugarcane, the U.S. has been able to replace only about 3 percent of its oil consumption despite a huge government biofuel program....Castro's Enemy: The Ethanol Alliance, Alvaro Vargas Llosa, TCS Daily, 4/4/2007

Speaking of the ill effects of intervening in markets, Alvaro Vargas Llosa's article probably won't be printed to benefit the Democrat caucus in the House or the Senate. I hope Republicans are reading it. The Brazil story on energy is a fascinating one. They have made a decades-long, concerted effort to create an alternative to oil, because they don't have any. But -- guess who chose this? -- we have a tariff on importing biofuels from Brazil. Bart Simpson would make better trade policy.


What Democrats Love

The following from Front Page Magazine is a fine description of what happens when governments intervene in markets.

Another aspect of protectionism that flies under the radar screen of most Americans is its ripple effect on the American taxpayer. One of the fundamental insights shared by economist Ludwig von Mises is that government interference with free markets causes maladjustments and unpleasant side effects that create demands for further intervention. For example, when taxpayers are taxed to subsidize farmers, they take a second financial hit by paying above-market prices for goods that include the subsidized commodities. Higher prices impose hardships on poorer Americans, so our “compassionate” government hits the taxpayer a third time by issuing food stamps to poorer Americans. When guaranteed prices stimulate overproduction, the taxpayer is hit a fourth time to build and maintain storage facilities for the surplus. Often, Uncle Sam “compassionately” donates surplus supplies to poorer countries. The huge influx of supply depresses market prices for those commodities in the recipient country, squeezing profits from local producers, keeping them poor and jeopardizing their economic viability.[12] Our “compassionate” government hits the American taxpayer a fifth time to give foreign aid to those poor countries. Ironically, some of the leaders of countries that have received foreign aid assert that instead of aid, all they need is for the United States and other developed countries to open their markets to exports from developing countries so that the people there could earn what they need.[13] Apparently, our government is not yet that “compassionate,” choosing to retain import quotas to benefit privileged domestic producers....Globalization in a Nutshell, Mark Hendrickson, Front Page Magazine, 4/4/2007

This is a perfect summary if what happens when politics is about feeling good instead of about doing good, of the substitution of irrational reaction for reason. American jobs are not saved by protectionism. Nor is the environment improved by suppressing economic development in the rest of the world.

Another common environmentalist myth is that economic development leads to environmental degradation. The fact is that wealthier societies are cleaner societies.According to exhaustive studies by such eminent institutions as the World Health Organization and Princeton University, once societies attain a certain level of economic development (somewhere between $4,000 and $8,000 per capita, depending on the specific pollutant) pollution progressively declines.[15] There is a simple, logical explanation for this phenomenon: Human priorities shift according to how wealthy people are. The priorities of the poor in developing countries are the basics of life: food, shelter, clothing, health care and education. Once those priorities have been addressed, people become more ready to tackle pollution. The wealthier a country’s population, the more anti-pollution measures it can afford. Thus, environmentalists who hope to curtail and clean up pollutants should favor globalization rather than oppose it, because globalization will hasten the economic development that generates the wealth to pay for environmental improvements....(Globalization...continued)

The trouble with lies, whether about the environment or about the war in Iraq, which Democrats repeat endlessly, is that they're built on what people are feeling at the time. Feeling, as any researcher can tell you, may be marvelous, but it's also treacherous. We feel good when we discover something. We also can feel good when we do something absolutely informed by any fact. The Left-wing control of MSM makes this much easier. Democrats depend upon the plausibility of lies in the media. And, if the reporters lie, and we react to what they write and say, we're falling for a political gambit that depends on us to react stupidly instead of to research and think.

Read Hendickson's whole piece for a refresher.