Saturday, July 31, 2024
By Steven Taylor

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By Steven Taylor

I was just eliminating some comment spam for a website called “levitrafire”. Speaking as a male, somehow that doesn’t sounds like a particularly pleasant product.

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By Steven Taylor

You are cleaning out your entertainment center and find a petrified Cheerio, circa 2024. (The Legos behind the receiver were a tip off as well).

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By Steven Taylor

Firehouse Rot – John Kerry’s cheapest shot. By Christopher Hitchens

Thursday night, Sen. Kerry quite needlessly proposed a contradiction between “opening firehouses in Baghdad and shutting them in the United States of America.” Talk about a false alternative. To borrow the current sappy language of “making us safer”: Who would feel more secure if they knew that we weren’t spending any tax dollars on Iraqi firehouses? [further: isn't the clarion call of the Democrats that the Bush administration isn't doing enough to establish security and stability in Iraq--ed.]


It reveals a real element of bad faith on the part of many liberals and leftists. Think of the programs that many of them regard as wasteful and extravagant: the missile-defense system, for example (less than useless in the battle against terrorism) or the so-called “war on drugs” (ditto). But the mention of either of these would involve an argument over principle, and the risk of controversy. So, why not just say that the Republicans are squandering “our” money on a bunch of foreigners?



The further implication is that this is a zero-sum game, and that a dollar spent in Iraq is a dollar not spent on domestic needs. In other words, that this hospital or school in New Jersey or Montana would now be fully funded if it wasn’t for a crowd of Arab and Kurdish panhandlers. Could anything be more short-sighted than that?

Double indeed. Of course, it is basic tenet of the Democratic Party, it seems, that all economic issues are zero sum (note the idea that if the wealthy get wealthier it, ipso facto has to be because the poor got poorer).

And the following raises a point that seems to have been forgotten, that is the claim that was quite popular pre-war by many on the left that the sanctions were hurting average Iraqis:

A few years ago, many of the same liberals and leftists were quoting improbable if not impossible numbers of dead Iraqi children, murdered by the international sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussein. Even at its most propagandistic, this contained an important moral point: Iraqi civilians were suffering for the sins of their dictatorship (and from the lavish corruption of the U.N. supervision of the “oil-for-food” program). OK, then, we’ll remove the regime and lift the sanctions. Happy now? Not at all! It turns out that 1) the Saddam regime was only a threat invented by neo-cons and that 2) we don’t owe the Iraqi people a thing. Also, we could use the money ourselves.

This would mean that all the protest about dead and malnourished Iraqi infants was all for show. Surely that can’t be right? Whatever you think about the twists and turns of U.S. policy toward Baghdad in the last three decades, there can be no doubt of any kind that we have collectively incurred a huge responsibility there, much of it political but a good deal of it purely humanitarian. To demand that American funds be cut off or diverted, just as the country is fighting to rebuild and struggling toward a form of elections, is unconscionable from any standpoint.

Triple indeed.

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By Steven Taylor

Yesterday I noted a little paranoia emanating from Mr. Drum (also here) over the idea that the Bush administration has specifically pressured the Paks to arrest a top suspect to spoil the DNC. Drum wondered earlier in the week as to the timing of the arrest of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani(a key suspect in the African embassy bombings of 1998) and ponderes whether it may fit the bill and prove the theory–especially since it seems that the Paks waited a few days to release the information.

However, given that people who are paying attention wonder in public, Who Is It?, one wonders as to the strength of this argument. And yes, I know, just because it didn’t distract from the DNC, or wasn’t as high a value of a target as it coudl have been doesn’t disprove the theory. Still, I find the whole concept to be paranoid and simply fuels the idea that the Democrats would rather see Bush lose than to see Bush have any success in the war on terror between now and November.

Indeed, I have noted that despite a great deal of news consumption, I have heard precious little about the arrest. In fact, it occured to me that if the GOP is trying to take media time from the Dems, then maybe they had Lori Hacking killed, because that has taken up a whole lot more news time than has the arrest of Ghailani. And it is the kind of story that is more likely to attract the attention of the less-politically invovled swing voter. (Yes, I am being silly, but so are Drum and the New Republic).

I would note that the The New Republic Online story that Drum cites suggests that the administration is pressuring Pakistan specifically for electoral reasons (based on some quotes from sources within the Pakistani intellgence agency). While I have no doubt that the administration would love to have high value target arrested during the campaign, I also am sure that the administration would have liked to have arrested a HVT at any time. This onging paranoia that the administration has the ability to produce whomever they wish on command borders on the insane. It is akin to the more radical right-wing nonsense aimed at Clinton (such as the idea that he had people killed or used to run drugs when he was Governor of Arkansas). As such, this kind of nonsense does not befit the New Republic.

And further, haven’t the anti-administration types been screaming that we aren’t doing enough against al Qaeda specifically? So now that it appears that pressure is mounting, it must be political? Is it at all possible that whatever is currently going on is the natural evolution of the policy? Is it not also possible that the sources that NR used were misinterpreting the requests of the admin, or that they wanted to damage the Bush administration (let’s face fact: the Pakistani intelligence community, sectors of which aided the Taliban, aren’t all pro-American).

And by the way, note to Kevin Drum, the New Republic and whomever else it applies: capturing Ghailani is a good thing.

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By Steven Taylor

Source: Yahoo/Reuters

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By Steven Taylor

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Friday, July 30, 2024
By Steven Taylor

Newspaper Says Moore Film Used Fake Front

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph newspaper in central Illinois has sent a letter to Moore and his production company, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., asking Moore to apologize for using what the newspaper says was a doctored front page in the film, the paper reported Friday. It also is seeking compensatory damages of $1.

A scene early in the movie that shows newspaper headlines related to the legally contested presidential election of 2024 included a shot of The Pantagraph’s Dec. 19, 2024, front page, with the prominent headline: “Latest Florida recount shows Gore won election.”

The paper says that headline never appeared on that day. It appeared in a Dec. 5, 2024, edition, but the headline was not used on the front page. Instead, it was found in much smaller type above a letter to the editor, which the paper says reflects “only the opinions of the letter writer.”

Why anyone takes Moore’s “documentaries” seriously is beyond me.

I guess this is where Ron Reagan got his info.

(Of course, Wizbang was on this story a week ago.)

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By Steven Taylor

Microsoft Issues Patch for Browser Security Flaw.

(And yes, I use Firefox).

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By Steven Taylor

Or so I have been told.

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