Listening to a bit of Fox coverage this morning.... Other captured leaders were quoted as saying he was "not right in his head."
That put a smile on Moussaoui's face ....
Now it's distinctly possible that Zac is truly wacko. But methinks his superiors are protesting a bit too much. We can't discount the alternative, which is a well-established bit of spycraft. If Zac is fake-crazy, then he's preventing us from taking his activities seriously. Part of those activities involved setting up or activating a cell in Norman. This probably didn't take much work, because Mohammedan radicals have been working in Norman since 1979.
Do I fully believe this? No, but over the years I've learned to pay some
attention to my paranoid thoughts. In too many cases the reality has turned out to be worse than my thoughts.
The Viceroy speaks
Nice picture of Mexico's Emperor Vicente. In the background lurks the humble and obedient Señor Jorge Bush, the Emperor's viceroy para el Territorio Norteamericano.
Today Viceroy Jorge served his Emperor loyally and well:
"No one should play on people‘s fears or try to pit neighbors against each other. No one should pretend that immigrants are a threat to American identity, because immigrants have shaped America‘s identity."
Jury duty finished
Now that the jury experience is over, a few more comments.
Though I had to be on call for two weeks, I was only called into the courthouse for the first three days. [This is apparently typical.] Made it as far as the 'voir dire' stage twice. Neither of those cases came near any of my biases, so I couldn't honestly disqualify myself, but I was never selected.
Nevertheless, the entire two-week period was exhausting, because in recent years I've arranged my narrow little life for minimum stress, minimum expense, and maximum concentration. I'm thoroughly unaccustomed to the 8-5 routine, and being a nightowl, never performed well on that schedule anyway. So I've had to put creative activities on hold during these two weeks to avoid a wasted false start on a project; and also had to stay prepared for a possible series of long days away from home.
The television stereotype of juries (welfare recipients, culled for maximum ignorance) definitely doesn't apply in Spokane. Maybe it's true in Los Angeles and New York, but not here. The initial 'call group' on Monday morning was thoroughly randomized on every possible scale: age, gender, race, occupation and status. The assistant city manager, who actually runs the city, was in this group and had to take his chances along with everyone else.
I wasn't quite
assuming the TV pattern, but was still surprised at the actual criteria for selection. Potential jurors who were directly acquainted with one of the parties were tossed, as you'd expect. But lawyers on both sides clearly wanted
jurors who had experience with the situation in question, or knowledge of similar situations, whether the experience was positive or negative. Both sides preferred sociable and engaged jurors.
By the third day, the jury waiting room was a dour and morose place, because the chipper extroverts were all serving, and only the tight-lipped introverts were still on hold!
I briefly mentioned my previous experience on the wrong side of a corrupt court system in Ohio. Might as well tell it in some detail, because it accounts for most of my stress and dread, and shows why I'm so surprised by the overall competence and honesty of the Spokane system.
In March of 1969 (Jeez, 37 years ago!) the Bowling Green police made a massive bust, cracking up a 'drug ring'. Well, we weren't a 'ring'; we hadn't even known each other prior to arrest. The only thing we had in common was that we had all bought from a guy named Scott, who was never arrested. My roommate was never arrested, even though the only pot in our apartment was found in his room. Why? Well, just a random note, which I mention for no particular reason: he came from a prominent Ohio family, a name you'd recognize. Of course that couldn't have any possible connection with his continued freedom.
Out of the twenty or so 'ring members', only one had a previous conviction. He got out first. Why? Again mentioning some random facts: this guy had not been involved in left-wing politics, because he was on the BGSU football team. By another remarkable coincidence, he was let out of jail a week before practice started, and rejoined the team.
Most of the 'ring' (including me) spent six months in the walls, then served a few years probation and had our rights restored. Two guys stayed longer; their charge was the same, and I don't think they misbehaved inside, but I do know that they had been the most active and well-known leftists. These coincidences just keep piling up higher and deeper, don't they?
So the whole deal was basically political in both senses of the word. It served to advance the careers of several BG cops and prosecutors.
However: a couple years later, I heard that those very same BG cops ended up in jail themselves. Seems their enthusiasm for search warrants coincided with a tendency to take and sell various goodies from the searched premises.
Can I spell Schadenfreude? You bet.
LBJ had it right
Jury service appears to be finished, so I'm back.
Two items in today's headlines illustrate why the Kindler Gentler War doesn't work.This
story about Sergeant Michael Smith is especially irritating. Smith was among the prison guards at Abu Ghraib, and was convicted yesterday on several counts of doing his job properly and enthusiastically.
Smith said "Soldiers are not supposed to be soft and cuddly", and only regrets that he didn't learn how to play the game of satisfying the idiots above him. [Edit: Smith didn't say 'idiots'; it's just a factual observation.]
He should be promoted, not imprisoned.
And the story of the Afghan Christian sentenced to death by the "new" Afghan government shows the deeper contradictions of the Wilson / Bush approach. By focusing on elections and human rights as the primary goal of war, we open the door for critics to say "Why did we fight if this is the result?"
And those criticisms are fully justified.
LBJ had a much cleaner and clearer approach. When human-rights types complained about the atrocious behavior of dictator Trujillo (in the Dominican Republic), LBJ famously responded "He may be an SOB, but he's our SOB."
That's all we should require of our planted governments. We should expect them to be firmly and solidly ours
, and pay no attention to how they treat their people, unless they are likely to lose power by over-reaching.
Swarmer = complete embarrassment
Listening to Fox interview with a Major on the ground in the supposed "Air Assault" in Iraq.
This is embarrassing.
The Major says the operation was initiated by the Iraqi "partners", and that we haven't actually found or shot anything or anybody. Nevertheless, it was a "success" because the Iraqi army got some good practice.
Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.
In other words, the Iraqi army has found a way to distract us and tie us down so their real
friends can accomplish some other goal.
I got called for jury duty this week. The experience is naturally tiring and frustrating; lots of hurry-up-and-wait. Of course I won't give details of any cases, but just a couple of observations. The judges and lawyers I've seen here in the Spokane County system are uniformly competent and respectful of all sides. I'm pleasantly impressed, because my previous experience on the wrong side of the court system (in Ohio, 1969) gave a rather different picture. Even allowing for the obvious difference in viewpoint and age, I can see that those Ohio lawyers and judges were several steps below the Spokane bunch in general honesty and competence.
I doubt that any of these lawyers would commit such an elementary error as the failure in the Moussaoui case.
More broadly, I observe how the 'rule of law' depends on a general cultural agreement and a sense of reciprocity. Jurors are willing to be fair because most of us have seen and experienced fairness. When we expect the new Iraq government to try Saddam on the basis of 'rule of law' when we haven't even established basic security, we are expecting the impossible. He knows that he is still the ruler of Iraq, and he will take power again. Guaran-goddamn-teed.
City mouse, country mouse
The whole Dubai port fiasco has concluded, with a proper result. The biggest side-effect is to break open the oldest division among Americans, a division that cuts across the present party boundaries.
The unsophisticated folks tend to go with Churchill and FDR: the enemy is the enemy, and our task is to defeat him. Sophisticated folks go with Henry Ford and Neville Chamberlain: the enemy has many gradations, and we can do business with the 'moderate' segments of the enemy.
We can see now, more clearly than ever before, that Bush Junior stands with his father, closer to the Urban Sophisticate side of this divide, the Ford-Chamberlain side. This is why so many of us country folk are so thoroughly disappointed. It's not just a matter of class distinction, either. History shows unquestionably that the unsophisticated black/white approach wins, and the nuanced gray approach loses.
Bush speaking at the National Newspaper Assn.... He should do more appearances like this, with questions from knowledgeable people who don't belong to the Beltway Treason Corps. When he gets passionate about certain things, he's mighty persuasive. "Our main threat is al-Qaeda [not any particular nation]" is a good point and a reassuring statement. On education, he's both passionate and correct.
Unfortunately, his basic Wilsonian notion of spreading democracy is a theory that history doesn't support, and the current experimental evidence isn't highly positive. What makes nations peaceful is not elections but contentment, a sense of relative equality, and usefulness.
When young males feel both useful and necessary, they stay calm. When that doesn't apply, young males get wild. When young males get wild, governments have a choice: use that energy for military adventures or crack down violently.
Al-Qaeda is a sort of short-circuit whereby young males from a warrior tradition, equipped with great inherited oil-wealth [i.e. maximal wildness and maximal uselessness] can spend tremendous amounts of energy and have a tremendous effect on the world, without involving a national government. Arab nations appreciate this short-circuit, because it simultaneously works on behalf of the Caliphate and spares them the trouble of planning their own military adventures.
The best way to avoid the basic problem is (1) Encourage traditional marriage in which the male both can
provide for his wife and kids. (2) Insure jobs are available for those young providers. (3) Minimize unearned income, whether from oil or welfare.
None of this has any automatic connection to democracy; if there is a causal relationship, it's backwards from the Wilson / Bush model. In fact, a decent society, with the mechanisms needed for democracy, tends to grow under these same conditions. The conditions must come first, not the elections.
Here are a few audio samples of the techniques I've been discussing. First, preparing the listeners for a connection with people of dubious [Dubai-ous?]friendliness. In this case OWI was getting Americans accustomed to an alliance with Brazilians and other South Americans. As usual I'm taking an episode of Fibber McGee, March 1942.....Panamerican Day
Later in that season, a pleasant [temporary] character named Rosita was thrown into the mix; Rosita was the wife of a South American pilot being trained at the nearby military base. Other prime-time shows made efforts in the same direction.
Second, here's Ed Murrow reporting from London in June 1940, describing Churchill who had just then taken office as Prime Minister.Murrow
For the sake of you ever-vigilant spybots, here's a transcription of the most important passage:
"Mr Churchill can inspire confidence. And he can preach a doctrine of hate that is acceptable to the majority of this country. That may be useful in the next few months."
Dear bots, take careful note of that word HATE. Both Murrow and Churchill understood something that our modern Anglospheric politicians do not:In war, you have to hate your enemy, not reward him.
Third, here's a prime example of the doctrine of hate, as applied to the Japs:Japs
Sidenote: Even in propaganda we couldn't credibly describe the Japs in that way now, because the Japs are now the "nation of mechanics" and Americans are the folks who "can't build a dollar watch." That's part of our long-term problem; we need to get our own "mechanics" back into the workplace and reward them properly. We also need to get our shipping system back under American control, perhaps by reactivating the Merchant Marine.
Babbin says it all.
Jed Babbin says it all, here.
I'd only add one thing: Clear communication doesn't require a unique genius like Reagan. FDR didn't have Reagan's smoothness and line-reading talent; if you listen to his Fireside Chats, you'll hear plenty of hesitations and mispronunciations. But unlike Bush, Roosevelt's words
were powerful and effective, because his writers knew how to persuade and sell. They knew when to repeat, when to introduce new material, how to prepare the listener's palate for a bitter swallow.
Many good teachers and salesmen know the same techniques; there are probably two million Americans who could do the job. Why in the hell hasn't the Bush administration hired any
of them? With billions of dollars to throw around, and the very existence of civilization at stake, why can't they find just one teacher, salesman, or advertising man who can sequence intelligently and write clearly?
Students showing us the way....
Some of the students at UNC are firmly attached to reality, and are protesting the standard "nothing to see here" line.
"This is innocent people being attacked by an SUV, driven by a man who was doing it for retaliation for treatment of Muslims around the world," said Jillian Bandes, with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. "To me, that spells terrorism."Story here.
Overall, this war is getting weirder and weirder. At the start, Bush was making the right moves in terms of overt and covert military response, but failing to mobilize the public. He seemed to assume that those nice TV networks would just support America and support Republicans like they always have. (In which parallel universe?) Or maybe he just didn't assume anything. In either case he missed the opportunity to lead the country, because it was more important for him to forgive his enemies, I guess?????? I'm trying VERY hard to avoid the less charitable and more paranoid explanations.
Since 9/11, the disconnect from reality has grown ever stronger. We have experienced 4 distinct Mohammedan terrorist incidents in that time. (1) Anthrax, killing 5 and injuring several others. Clearly part of the Atta group's activities, despite the FBI's instinctive need to blame the nearest 'Klansman type'. (2) The Beltway snipers, killing 13. Despite the considerable toll in death and disruption, this remains largely unmentioned because the killers turned out to be both black and Mohammedan, again disappointing the instinctive assumptions of the authorities. (3) The Hinrichs suicide-bombing at OU. Even if the authorities were applying proper wartime assumptions here, we'd probably never know what Hinrichs was trying to do. Normal deduction would conclude that he was trying to bomb the busses in the oval, but he might have suddenly decided to pull the chain early. (i.e., decided to "quit living" only for himself, instead of assisting hundreds of others to "quit living" along with him.) There's no doubt that he was acting on behalf of Allah, though. (4) This latest incident, the car-into-crowd at UNC. Again no doubt of the motives, but considerable puzzlement at the half-baked action. Possibly he was acting on impulse without planning for the actual environment; maybe he imagined the car zooming at full speed into the crowd, and was surprised to find so many obstacles. I'm sure his mentors will learn from the failed attempt.
Update via Fox News: "When asked if he was trying to kill someone, Taheri-azar said Yes." So I can drop the maybe's from that last paragraph.
Another update, while listening to Steven Emerson: I forgot the Egyptian who shot the El Al ticket agent in Los Angeles. That makes 5, and I've probably missed a few others.
Through all these weird war years, the media have committed their usual 'Dialog Journalism', a form perfected by NPR as an outgrowth of Leninist dialectic methods. Not all of today's 'journalists' may understand the original purpose, but it still works. Presenting every issue as a Dialog insures that the facts are lost in the noise. In every Dialog on the war, the media have given us two sides: (a) Hard left, pushing for total surrender. (b) A gentlemanly and reluctant representative of the Kindler Gentler Bush approach, claiming that the approach works because we "haven't been attacked since 9/11." Because the Leftist is committed to his cause, he can always shout louder and interrupt more often. Result: the viewer remembers only the Leftist side.
But the serious pro-war side doesn't even get a seat at the table. It's always "Surrender" on one side and "Fight Carefully and Sensitively" on the other.
In WW2, the Office of War Information insured that the only message we heard from movies and radio was "Fight harder!" This side has been totally absent from all public discussion in WW4. Until now.
Bravo, Jillian Bandes! Encore!
Commies copying Mohammedan methods
An under-reported story:NAMPA, Idaho (AP) -- A woman drove her car into an anti-abortion rally outside of a Planned Parenthood, protesting what she called "vulgar" photos of an aborted fetus.
The incident happened at a local doctor's office where a Planned Parenthood clinic had recently been established. The clinic, which operates out of the office one day a month, does not perform abortions but does offer free birth control and emergency contraception.
Gail Mower, 52, of Nampa, on Friday drove her car onto the sidewalk and into the crowd of demonstrators after she became concerned over one protester's sign that depicted a "gruesome" picture of an aborted fetus, she told the Idaho Press-Tribune.
Mower said she wanted to park her vehicle in front of the sign to block it from the view of passing school children.
She ended up running over the protester's foot, wedging it between the tire and the sign. The demonstrator was not injured.
Another woman at the protest was holding a child and had to jump out of the way of the oncoming vehicle, witnesses said.
Whatever happened to American ingenuity? Commies borrowing the methods of Mohammedan terrorists! How dull. Why, in the old days, American lefties could invent their own protest methods. Comrades Friedan, King, and Alinsky were highly creative.
Oh well, I guess the copying goes both ways. Zawahiri and Osama have used plenty of propaganda techniques borrowed from our Commies, thanks to their special representative Adam Gadahn-Pearlman.
The bloody rain of 2001
During the monsoon season (July through September) of 2001, the west coast of India often experienced bursts of red rain. An astrophysicist gathered up usable samples of the water, and has recently published a paper with some analysis. The author, Godfrey Louis, seems to think the red material must be extra-terrestrial, but in fact the stuff appears to be identical to mammalian red blood cells. It's not clear why he didn't just submit a sample to an ordinary medical lab, which could answer the question easily!
If it's blood, the question of origin is really more interesting. The total amount of material is in the range of several tons, which means it can't be a flock of bats or mice that got caught in a tornado. Events of that sort do occur from time to time, resulting in brief local rains of fish, bird parts, or frogs.
But several tons of red cells, with no other bits and pieces
, simply can't be accidental. The simplest functional explanation is a huge explosion in a laboratory. Were Osama's scientists in Pakistan testing ways to introduce massive plagues? If so, was this a deliberate 'injection' to the monsoon circulation, or an accidental explosion?
Original article here.
Hillyard in the news again. An old sad drunk decided to hijack a city bus -- at gunpoint -- to his favorite bar. After he got there, he walked in and fired some shots into the ceiling; the bartender and other patrons managed to wrestle him to the ground. Motive still unknown. Good video here;
the bartender seems like a classy lady. The world could use more like her.
Personal: I'm probably crankier than usual lately because I'm trying to put together a new computer. Made the mistake of buying a 'barebones kit', because I already had some leftover hard disks and such, and wanted to amortize those investments. Definitely a mistake. Penny-wise, pound-foolish.
There was a time when I could build or assemble just about anything; in fact I built an Elf (1802) computer from total scratch, drawing and etching the circuit board freehand. Not any more. I don't have the tools or the 'junk box' of spare parts, and I've lost the sharpness and precision of youth. The latter realization is most likely the primary source of crankiness!
It's 1993 all over again.
story about an ATTACK BY AN ENEMY SOLDIER FROM IRAN on the campus of the University of North Carolina. The TV news networks are treating this as a disgruntled-student story. It is not a disgruntled student. It is an ATTACK BY AN IRANIAN SOLDIER ON AMERICAN TERRITORY. Doesn't matter if he succeeded in killing anyone. Most of the bullets and bombs in any war miss their intended targets. That doesn't make them anything other than bullets and bombs.
We are right back in 1993 with the Clinton approach. Treating enemy attacks as ordinary crimes. Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ. Haven't we learned ANYTHING? No.
Update: Sounds like the FBI is paying close attention to this one; perhaps more attention than they paid to the Hinrichs suicide-bombing at OU.
Meanwhile, Zawahiri's latest tape tells Mohammedans to avenge the Danish cartoons; the Fox News anchor-babe asks if we should take this threat seriously. No, of course not, idiot. You just finished reading a story about this Persian student who is taking the cartoons seriously. So I guess the Fox mindset is that we can just go back to sleep, confident that the enemy will take care of the serious stuff, maybe kill a few millions of us, no problemo, dude.
Like father, like son...
Bush Junior is having considerable success in India, where the people seem to like him. Not too surprising, when you look at what the Bush Sr - Clinton - Bush Jr economic policy has done for India. It's also not too surprising that Americans look askance at the same policy. Moving high-quality jobs from your own country to another country is bound to be appreciated by the recipient country and unappreciated by the victim country.
There won't be any solution to this problem as long as both political parties remain committed to 'free trade' and 'open borders', which means other nations are free to steal everything from us while we are too nice to punish them or ask for anything in return.
A moment ago Fox News was replaying Bush's speech in Pakistan; he said something about reforming the 'Arab World', and the announcer cut in to clarify that Spokesjelly McClellan had corrected the phrase to 'Muslim World'. No, Bush had it right, and I suspect he knows it just as well as Colin Powell does. Our real enemy is not the entire world of Mohammed. The more recently converted countries like Indonesia and Nigeria are not the source
of the Army of Allah, though they've certainly picked up the trend. Those non-Arab countries seem to enjoy the devotional parts of Mohammedanism, such as sticking your butt in the air five times a day like a dung beetle, but they don't really dig the more ferocious aspects of the Koran.
Piracy and aggression in the name of Allah are a long-standing Arab tradition. That's the problem.
Of course our ruling elites can't bring themselves to name the enemy with either label. They continue to slalom around the course, using weasel words like "Radical Islam" or "a tiny handful of bad apples". That's not how you win a war. You win by assuming the entire group to be guilty, and requiring the 'moderates' to separate themselves by concrete action.
Happy Blogday to Polistra!
One year on the web, and six faithful spybots have been reading this blog all that time. So to you faithful bots, keep watching for keywords; I'm sure you'll find plenty of them here. And in the wildly unlikely case that there are any human readers, thanks to you as well.
Polistra got a decent blogday present in the form of a new advertising campaign
by the Nuclear Energy Institute. Ads began appearing on CNN last night; I'm pretty sure this is the first time nuke power has been openly advertised since the eco-tyrants made it unspeakable in 1979. Maybe we're finally back on the path toward energy independence now.
The NEI has a very nice website
that asks and answers all relevant questions with plenty of documentation, and a lively group blog
as well. Good show, NEI! Polistra is pleased.
Technical note: In the strictest sense, Polistra hasn't been around for the entire year. At the start, the name simply referred to the location -- as described in the stupid 'About Me' paragraph -- and I was using a variety of Poser characters. The first few times I used this particular female character, I called her 'Spokesmodel', which seemed clumsy and immodest. Quickly, the title picture enforced a syllogism: If she is the one who inhabits Polistra's Mill, then she must be Polistra. As fictional characters will do, she gradually took on a personality which isn't always congruent with the [conscious!] personality of the author.