imkittymyers at hotmail dot com
Saturday, May 15, 2004
GAS FIRE SPARKED BY CELL
One warning listed at gas stations is to turn off your cell.
A college student who answered his cellphone while gassing up his car got connected to a ball of flames - in what may be the first-ever case of a wireless phone igniting gas fumes.
"I believe the cellphone can ignite a fire from gas vapors," said Koch, a New Paltz police officer and volunteer firefighter.
But Adam Savage, co-host of the Discovery Channel's "MythBusters," said the show twice looked into the controversial topic and found "there is nothing inherent in a cellphone that was likely to create a spark."
Travis Larson, spokesman for the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association which represents the wireless phone industry, said the rumors have never been proven true.
"If confirmed by authorities, this would be the first documented case that the wireless industry is aware of where a wireless phone ignited gas fumes," he said.
Fluke fire shows cell phones, gas don't mix
NEW PALTZ -- The ExxonMobil Corporation and town officials are investigating a freak fire at a New Paltz gas station Thursday that is believed to have been ignited by a college student's cell phone.
The unusual incident has generated considerable media attention, in part because some studies having suggested it's unlikely a cell phone's operation could spark such a fire.
Matthew Erhorn, 21, received minor burns after answering his flip-style phone Thursday night.
Some research studies suggest cell phones sparking gas pump fires is just an urban legend, with static electricity more likely to create such fires.
The station's security camera footage is blank because of a computer glitch, he said, but everything points to the cell phone.
Erhorn ''took the nozzle, threw it on the ground and ran,'' said Koch, reporting preliminary findings based on interviews and field work. ''He saw a big flash of fire. He received minor singe marks. ... He just got scared, basically.''
Erhorn suffered minor burns to his arm. Preliminary investigations show he was holding the phone in one hand and the nozzle in the other.
On the Web
For information on how to stop static, visit www.pei.org, and click on "Stop Static."
This was all I found:
While filling up...
Turn Off Engine
Never Re-enter Your Vehicle
To see an actual video of a gas pump fire, go to StupidVideos.com and (on the left side) choose #30 "Pumping Gas."
YO, KERRY, IS THAT YOU?
The Republican Party yesterday tried to bug Democrat John Kerry with a flutter of insect humor - using a new Web video that morphs him into a cicada, the bug now plaguing much of the East.
"Every 17 years, cicadas emerge, morph out of their shell and change their appearance . . . Like a cicada, Sen. Kerry would like to shed his Senate career and morph into a fiscal conservative, a centrist Democrat," the video begins.
"But he leaves his record behind," it goes on as one of the creepy-crawlies sheds its shell and grows wings.
Friday, May 14, 2004
ACE is voicing a sentiment I think many are thinking.
Nick Berg's Dad is abusing his 15 minutes
We want to be sensitive and understanding toward the father of Nick Berg, after his horrible execution which can be seen by the entire world.
THE POLITICS OF WAR
I’ve been very reluctant to discuss this issue of Nick Berg. I have great empathy for his loved ones, who are beyond grief at the moment. Imagine being Nick’s mother (or father or sister or …) and seeing your son’s picture everywhere. Imagine the helplessness you must feel for not being able to do anything while the entire world can play and replay your son’s death in gruesome film footage AND horrific sounds.
The Left is practically gleeful thinking they NOW have the silver bullet to kill off a Bush second term. I believe that the Left will begin to voice their blame-Bush spin. Pat at Kerry Haters has posted the interview Alan Colmes did last night with L’Fraude in which he was asked about the Berg case. Which side are the Dems on anyway? They crave the White House more than they crave peace; they’re far more interested in their own party than the welfare of American soldiers!
But back to Nick Berg … I got an e-mail this morning pleading with me to begin posting articles about this case. “This story just REEKS - i.e it doesn't pass the smell test!! There is a LOT here, and we're just beginning to get a few morsels of info about him.... WOW - can't believe I'm STILL UP reading posts on lucianne about this story, but now one poster says he/she (??) thinks Nick Berg was a bounty hunter over there to turn in a terrorist & make big buckeroos by doing it!! I've also read that no CIA operative would have been using a Jewish name while wandering around Iraq with a passport stamped by Israel, either. And then there's the Iraqi in-law that he visited in Mosul... Please, GET ON THIS STORY - ” Up until I read that, I must admit I was not interested in this at all. I was willing to allow the family to grieve in peace. But as I began reading articles this morning, I could understand my e-mailer’s interest.
So here is what I found, and please, I'd love to read what you think, too.
SEAN Hannity bucked the rest of the media yesterday and played the horrifying audio from the videotaped beheading of Nick Berg on his radio show.
The 33-second audio clip contained at least nine blood-chilling screams from Berg, heard over continuous terrorist chanting.
His final scream appeared to end with a gurgling sound.
"I think people need to know what we're dealing with - it's evil right before your eyes," said Hannity.
AL-JAZEERA: BEHEADING A FAKE
"[T]he body is completely motionless even as the knife is brought to bear - not so much as an instinctive wiggle."
A difficult claim to make with a 2-piece body as evidence.
WHAT LED HIM TO IRAQ?
BERG'S JOURNEY SPARKED FBI PROBE AND OTHER STRANGE DETAILS
[W]hen 26-year-old Nick Berg walked into the kettle of paranoia and violence that is Iraq, people suddenly didn't see the same guy his buddies from Henderson High knew. Suddenly, Berg's stubborn wanderlust made him a target of suspicion - a religious Jew riding around Mosul in a taxi with a copy of the Koran.
Some U.S. soldiers even wondered if the patriotic Berg was "a wannabe freedom fighter."
[T]here are still as many questions as answers regarding the way that Berg lived - what exactly he was doing in Iraq, why our allies in Iraqi threw him in jail while the FBI investigated him, and what happened in his final days.
His friends insist that Berg's real story is simpler than it looked - that in the most cynical place on earth, he was merely trying to help.
Berg might have been slow to realize by his second visit that things had deteriorated in Iraq.
[P]olice were suspicious because of "his demeanor," and authorities also wanted to know why he had the Koran and a book that the source said may have been called "The Jewish Problem" or "The Jewish Solution."
His friends say that while he was in jail, Berg had no way of knowing that four American contractors had been burned and hanged from a bridge in Fallujah, or that the situation in Iraq was sliding downhill.
But he still wanted to do things his own way - spurning an offer from U.S. consular officials for help in leaving from Jordan.
Reply 3 - Posted by: erp, 5/14/2004 6:02:46 AM
Steve Malzburg on WABC radio early this morning said that Berg's parents belong to A.N.S.W.E.R. the uber leftwing organization which funds a lot of leftwing mischief and which gets lots of money from Mrs. Kerry's Heinz foundations.
The truth about Berg will get out and we'll see how far the left will go to defeat Bush.
Reply 7 - Posted by: mitzi, 5/14/2004 6:42:19 AM
With a limited knowledge of Arabic and with a distant relative - possibly an uncle by marriage - living in Mosul, Berg spent January and February in Iraq and then returned for a second time in March.
No so distant according to Buffalo News:
Michael Berg told the AP that Nicholas' paternal aunt, now dead, married an Iraqi man named Mudafer, who became close to Nicholas. In one of the e-mails, Nicholas Berg describes going to the northern city of Mosul, where he introduced himself to Mudafer's brother, identified as Moffak Mustaffa.
Berg had refused passage out of Iraq
I'm wonder if the uncle was involved ... collecting an award for turning over an American?
9/11 SUSPECT GOT BERG'S E-MAIL PASSWORD
Nick Berg, the young American beheaded by terrorists in Iraq, had an earlier encounter with a Muslim fanatic - and inadvertently provided accused 9/11 al Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui with his e-mail password.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
GOT GOLF JOKES?
I need golf jokes! You can e-mail them to me at Myerskatt@aol.com.
Keeping One’s Head
By R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
One of the gravest losses attendant with the spread of broadcast media is, I suppose, perspective. Yes, the public gains pictures, film clips, and sound bites, but we lose perspective and with that judgment, always at the expense of sound policy.
What is essential is that the civilized not lose a sense of proportion. American forces, aided by other members of the coalition, are in
After tour of swing states, Bush gains in polls
President Bush has made gains with voters in the past three weeks, despite the revelations about US abuses of detainees in Iraq
The latest Christian Science Monitor/TIPP poll, taken May 2 through 8, shows Bush beating Democratic challenger John Kerry 46 percent to 41 percent, with independent Ralph Nader getting 5 percent of the vote. In a two-way race, Bush leads Senator Kerry 47 percent to 44 percent. In the last Monitor/TIPP poll, taken April 16 to 22, Bush led by four points in a three-man race.
The poll showed greater intensity among Bush supporters than Kerry supporters. Two-thirds (68 percent) of Bush supporters say they support him strongly, while 38 percent of Kerry supporters do so.
The poll also showed a rise in the president's leadership index rating, from 49.5 in April, the lowest point of his presidency, to 51.8 in May. On the economic front, the poll showed more good news for Bush, in a week capped by positive job-creation numbers: TIPP's Economic Optimism Index rose 2 points, to 54.8. A reading above 50 means optimism, below 50 means pessimism.
Keeping One’s Head
By R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
One of the gravest losses attendant with the spread of broadcast media is, I suppose, perspective. Yes, the public gains pictures, film clips, and sound bites, but we lose perspective and with that judgment, always at the expense of sound policy.
What is essential is that the civilized not lose a sense of proportion. American forces, aided by other members of the coalition, are in Iraq to pacify that country and give its citizens a chance for peace and freedom. Our government and our soldiers have paid a high price for this expansion of American security and civilized values. Saddam's regime was crueler than anything done at Abu Ghraib prison.
[An] Iraqi noted that his countrymen have available video of torture practiced in Iraqi prisons by Saddam's torturers. They buy and sell the videos on the street. They show dogs eating prisoners alive and prisoners being put in shredders. Our guards, devotees I presume of Hustler magazine, were mere amateurs, slaves to infantile sex.
The No Clue Election
By David Hogberg
This is the "We Pundits Don't Have a Clue How It Will Turn Out" election.
Indeed, this may be the election that defies predictions. The reason is that there are simply too many unknowns,
Back in early February I suggested that it "won't be until early June, mid-May at the soonest," that we would know how the presidential race is shaping up. Serve me up a big heaping plate of crow. With a constant torrent of bad news for the incumbent, a lackluster challenger, and an economy heating up late in the game, no one may be able to confidently predict a winner until November 3.
ACE has posted the dastardly techniques employed to humiliate the radical Islamics.
RUMSFELD IN BAGHDAD
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (L) is greeted by Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, head of the Coalition Forces in Iraq, upon his arrival in Baghdad, May 13, 2004.
Rumsfeld, Myers in Iraq to Meet Troops, See Prison Conditions
May 13 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is in Iraq today with General Richard Myers, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, to review conditions under which Iraqi prisoners are being held and meet with troops, the Pentagon said.
The purpose of Rumsfeld's ``trip is to meet with commanders and get a firsthand look at detaining operations as well as meet with troops to let them know they have the continued support of the American people, said Bryan Whitman, a deputy Pentagon spokesman. ``The trip will be brief. The recent events certainly gave impetus to the secretary's desire to travel to Iraq. He visits Iraq regularly but hasn't been there in a while.''
U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (R) reviews notes aboard a military aircraft while flying enroute to Iraq, May 13, 2004. Accompanying him is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers (L) and Dr. William Luti, Under-Secretary of Defense.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (L) confers with Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, head ot the Coalition Forces in Iraq, on a helicopter over Baghdad, May, 13, 2004.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
HORROR: IT WON’T DISAPPEAR
I’m not the first person to notice a certain mendacity concerning the “outrage” over the Abu Ghraib Collection. A woman called Rush yesterday and pointed out that "The Pictures" are no worse than the “Kill Bill” movies. We have at least one entire generation raised on violence portrayed as fun/thrilling/acceptable entertainment. At least one generation if not two. Tom Cruise’s character in the ’86 movie “The Color of Money” was a video game master. He loved them. He claimed that video arcade fighter pilot games were the best training tools for fighter pilots in real life. Get it? He was learning how to kill. And with every kill, he whooped it up. Just look at the genre of games the kids are now playing. Very graphic. Very gross.
“The Pictures” have been compared to the Mapplethorpe Photo Collection. You know the ones: disturbing images (to say the least) involving men and bullwhips. Jesse Helms tried to stop the public-funding of Mapplethorpe’s work, and he was excoriated as straight-laced.
The Abu Ghraib Collection
Outrage at obscene photos would be a little easier to take from liberal senators if they didn't have a history of financing them. Had Robert Mapplethorpe snapped the photos at Abu Ghraib, the Senate might have given him a government grant.
The Senate back then could handle disturbing images and even felt dutybound to use taxpayer dollars to pick up the tab for them. Who knows, perhaps the photos from Abu Ghraib will reappear as modern art at one of the museums the senators have patronized over the years.
Senators who can straightfacedly call depraved photography "art" in debate with Jesse Helms shouldn't be surprised that the "intentionally disturbing" pop culture they have helped spread might seep into the military. The Abu Ghraib scandal did not happen in a cultural vacuum. It is a reflection of the libertine pop culture the American left has long tried to impose on a military culture it considers too "rigid."
While the public is collectively shocked, SHOCKED!, by “The Pictures,” and now the video of the brutal beheading, there is a significant number who are still fascinated with Charles Manson. It was 35 years ago and I still remember that butchery very well. Sharon Tate was only 26 years old and 8 months pregnant. What they did to her and her unborn child is beyond gruesome, and yet another re-make of the movie “Helter Skelter” has been made.
Sharon Tate and Charles Manson
CBS will be airing a new remake (with Jeremy Davies as Manson) of its biggest ever two-night hit, "Helter Skelter," based on Bugliosi's best selling book. Why Manson? And why make this same movie again?
After all, it's been 35 years since Manson ordered his crazed followers to brutally murder Sharon Tate and all her guests one night and then to viciously slash to death chain store president Leno LoBianca and his wife, Rosemary, the next.
"In fact, according to the L.A. Times, Manson continues to get more mail than any other prisoner in American history!
"The majority are kids - I get letters from kids asking me to pass them onto Manson so they can join his family! They don't understand that he's not some glorious outlaw.
So how popular today is Manson with kids who weren't even born when he was getting other American kids to kill for him?
So popular that in Europe, Bugliosi tells me that there are at least 40 rock bands playing his music (Manson fancies himself a songwriter) or playing tributes to him. "He's been catapulted to almost mythological proportions."
As if real life butchers aren't enough, twisted minds come up with fiction just as repugnant.
UNEASY TALE OF YOUTH
THE MUDGE BOY
Rated R (strong sexual content including graphic dialogue, a rape and language.)
Duncan Mudge, a sensitive, awkward 14-year-old growing up on a farm as an only child.
When Duncan strikes up an uneasy friendship with the town stud, Perry (Tom Guiry), a troubled youth whose father beats him mercilessly, his homosexuality is awakened - but it's clear their relationship is going nowhere good.
Burke, who debuted his film at last year's Sundance Film Festival, sustains a palpable sense of disquiet as he gently guides the story through its unpredictable arc, making the odd moments of brutality all the more shocking.
Outrageous isn't the half of it.
HOLD THE GAS
BARBRA Streisand ... who for years has been imploring her environmentally correct fans to conserve energy, is hawking a customized gas-guzzling truck on eBay to help fund her liberal causes, reports The Post's Braden Keil. The eco-unfriendly 8-cylinder Ford Econoline with shower, 3-burner stove, satellite TV, high-output air-conditioning and monogrammed doors has been "used by Barbra in lieu of a limousine or car service," according to the auction description. The oversized van, which has a minimum starting price of $6,000, is now keeping Streisand comfortable on the set of "Meet the Fockers."
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
FOGGY BOTTOM BOMBAST
HER ROYAL C
What did they know? When did they care?
What did our important (just ask them) members of Congress know about the abuses at Abu Ghraib Prison, and when did they know it?
Several congresspersons conceded yesterday that they knew about the abuses months ago, sort of, when the Pentagon first put out the news that the abuses were under investigation. But they didn't get excited until they saw the network television technicians arrive on the Hill and start unpacking their cameras.
"A press release from Central Command isn't good enough," sniffs Lara Battles, a spokeswoman for Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri. "The Pentagon communicates with the Hill ... and that did not occur in this instance."
There's certainly no cover-up; the Pentagon first revealed the abuses on Jan. 12, in a press release that Congress couldn't bother to read, and followed it up with a March 20 announcement that criminal charges would be brought against six soldiers for "dereliction of duty, cruelty and maltreatment, assault and indecent acts with another."
Congress Ignored Reports of Prisoner Abuse
Democrats howling for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for not informing them of reports of prisoner abuse in Baghdad are ignoring the fact that concerned parents of an accused soldier informed 16 members of Congress - top Democrats such as Senators Hillary Clinton, Edward Kennedy and John D. Rockefeller - and the governor of Virginia of the burgeoing scandal as far back as February 26th of this year.
None of these people acted to disclose the detailed information contained in the letters.
Sen. Daniel Akaka (D)
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R): Bartlett said he was looking into the matter.
Sen. Evan Bayh (D)
Sen. Robert Byrd (D): Senator Byrd's office would not even accept the letter e-mailed to him on the grounds was too long.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D)
Sen. Mark Dayton (D): nearly abusive in holding the feet of Sec. Rumsfeld, Gen. Myers et alii to the fire last week
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D)
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D): Senator Joe Lieberman is the only one of these members of Congress who has defended Donald Rumsfeld and the world's mission in Iraq.
Sen. Benjamin Nelson (D)
Sen. Bill Nelson (D)
Sen. Mark Pryor (D)
Sen. Jack Reed (D): nearly abusive in holding the feet of Sec. Rumsfeld, Gen. Myers et alii to the fire last week
Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D): Rockefeller begged off on the grounds that he was barred by privacy rules
Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D): Sarbanes said he had written the the "appropriate officials."Gov. Mark Warner (D)
I've got a date Wednesday morning with a certain lil' buckaroo, so I may be late posting.
In the meantime, you might check out ...
Airborne Combat Engineer
I'll be back!
Check out Pat's blog Brainster for an Iraq photo you won't see in mainstream media. Glod bless bloggers!
A drunk man who smelled like beer sat down on a subway seat next to a priest. The man's tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick, and a half empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his torn coat pocket. He opened his newspaper and began reading. After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked, "Say, Father, what causes arthritis?"
The priest replied, "My son, it's caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol and a contempt for your fellow man, sleeping around with prostitutes and lack of bath."
The drunk muttered in response, "Well, I'll be damned," then returned to his paper.
The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. "I'm very sorry. I didn't mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?"
The drunk answered, "I don't have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does."
BUTTONS FOR BARBRA
Barbra Streisand has made up so much money and is so revered in Hollywood that she can pick and choose, and pick and choose again, whatever project to which she wishes to associate her vaunted, if grandly over-rated, reputation.
So while she waits for that "perfect" project, she spends her free time blogging about the evil of Republicans in general and President George W. Bush in particular, and fundraising for Democrats.
Sure, every once in a while she'll sing a song or act a bit on screen, but even that has the tinge of politics.
Soon, she will perform for like-minded folk interested in giving wads of cash to presumptive Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. But before she does that, she is filming her first celluloid appearance in what seems like decades: playing the mother of the Ben Stiller character in the sequel to the successful Meet the Parents film.
Streisand is joined in the film by Academy Award-winning actors Dustin Hoffman, who plays her husband, and Robert De Niro, who reprises his role as the nutty CIA operative/father-in-law.
What does politics have to do with the film? Not much except that this dream cast was almost broken up before it could perform by the 2004 presidential election. Seems Hoffman was in the habit of needling Streisand at every turn, but went too far when he distributed about 25 "Bush/Cheney 2004" buttons to the camera crew and production team on the movie set. Streisand, upon seeing the buttons, flew into a rage and stormed off the set. Apparently only the entreaties of De Niro could get her to return to filming.
To Iraqis, prisoner abuse story is largely a non-issue
By Robert C. Gross, a Utahn, is a senior adviser of Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.
It is Friday, May 7, 2004, the Muslim "weekend."
It's amazing to us that people are calling for Rumsfeld's resignation or firing. Interestingly, it's mostly a non-event for most of the Iraqis with whom we work or meet. A typical reaction came from one of our key staff I'll call Abdul. He has a degree in English literature, is in his mid-30s, served in the Iraqi Army during the Iraq-Iran War, has a side business in women's cosmetics, and works with us in the coordination of several of our social institutions. He is somewhat typical of the many more educated Iraqis.
When I questioned him about how most Iraqis view the prisoner abuse story, his first reaction was a startled stare. He didn't really even connect with my question. When I explained more fully, he said, "Well, actually, sir, to be quite honest with you, we think that it represents a small dot on a large piece of paper. We know that the hearts of almost all Americans are good and they do so much good for our people. And remember, sir, we lived under Saddam for nearly 30 years. To be quite honest with you, sir, we believe that the media is not fair and has not been fair for this entire war. After all, we Iraqis watch every despicable act committed by terrorists as they are glorified by Al Jazeera."
Nearly all our translators and Iraqi staff indicate basically the same thing. Many Iraqis, even those who have televisions and watch Al Jazeera, are mostly nonplussed by the prisoner story.
Sean Delonas (NY Post) will get lots of letters for this one :)
Arabs use porn to attack America
TWO ARAB NEWS sites have published porn pictures lifted from the web believing them to be real cases of American abuse of Iraqi women.
The pictures, which claim to be of American GIs raping and sexually abusing Iraqi women, have appeared on Albasrah.net and a site by the Committee for the Defence of Saddam Hussein posted in Tunisia.
According to World Net Daily, Albasrah said it had been sent the pictures and thought them real. But later it discovered that the pictures were screen shots from two motion pictures “Iraq Babes” and “Sex In War”.
They also realised that the Iraqi women depicted were actually ‘actresses’ and the producers of the films didn’t even know they had been nicked from its website. The pictures were given credibility because they were mixed with real snaps of American troops abusing Iraqi prisoners of war.
Hat tip to Michael Savage.
Too bad that can't be said for ALL the pictures. I've reached my limit of this story. I had never intended to post anything about it, and now I'm sick of it. America is the greatest country on earth, the most compassionate, the first to lend a helping hand with both manpower and money. So, refuse to allow a few to taint our whole country.
Look, Rich Galen says it best (below):
(who used to work at GOPAC.)
I am now officially sick-and-tired of the self-serving and largely uninformed hand-wringing about the goings on at Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad. As someone who has actually been on the grounds of Abu Ghraib prison, let me explain a few things.
First of all, there is no excuse for what a few soldiers did; but there is also no reason to make this into the moral equivalent of the Black Plague.
It should be pointed out that the prisoners at Abu Ghraib are not Boy Scouts rounded up for jaywalking. These are bad guys who either blew up or shot a coalition member; or were caught assembling an explosive device; or were caught in a place where the makings of explosive devices were found; or were caught with a cache of weapons. See the pattern here?
In short they were trying to kill me and others like me. And if they succeeded in doing that, they were going to come over here and try to kill you.
Ugly thought? You bet. But that is the kind of prisoner being held in the terrorist section at Abu Ghraib.
Read the rest; it's one helluva read.
Monday, May 10, 2004
CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?
Buy the T-shirt here.
Daschle must be worried about his re-election chances if he’s talking about how mean’n’nasty politics can be. Rush had nicknamed him the "Pit Yorkie" because he was so politically vicious, albeit short.
Senate minority leader sees 'startling meanness' in politics
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle decried Monday what he called the "startling meanness" of American politics.
"Today, enormous new challenges confront each and every one of us," he said. "We will not meet those challenges or seize those opportunities if we indulge in the brutal politics of division, if we attempt to silence those who have other ideas."
He continued: "Demonizing those with whom we disagree politically does not serve the interests of democracy. It does not resolve differences."
Dr. Thomas Sowell is someone who, once you listen to him, you wish you could have coffee with him just to hear his thoughts. Occasionally, he writes these great stream-of-consciousness type of columns called “RANDOM thoughts on the passing scene.” Except his stream of consciousness is worth listening to. Here’s a sampling of his latest:
Australian economist Wolfgang Kasper has figured out the day on which the average citizen has earned money enough to pay his taxes, so that he can then begin earning money for himself instead of for the government. For Singapore, that date is March 31st, for the United States April 21st, for Germany July 1st and for Sweden August 5th.
* IT is amazing how many people seem to think that the government exists to turn their prejudices into laws.
* UNDER the terrible stresses of war, there are some in every country who commit atrocities. The difference is that Americans are upset, ashamed or angry when their troops do it, while people in some Middle Eastern countries danced in the streets on 9/11 and when the bodies of dead American civilians were dragged through the streets in Iraq.
Democracies and Double Standards
Our enemies have no business standing in judgment of America.
BY NEWT GINGRICH
The media coverage of the violations of American law against Iraqi prisoners is in peril of setting a dangerous double standard for America and the Arab world. The administration must be very careful in explaining how we feel and what we will do. Otherwise our enemies will use our own words as an excuse to exploit this double standard.
That due process is something we as Americans should be proud of, and unequivocal about. In view of Mr. Rumsfeld's significant contribution to our security, this incident will be but a footnote.
Not surprisingly, the anti-American left in our own country and in Europe--with its selective memory, remembering forever any American mistake while forgetting every anti-American and antihuman atrocity by others--is already on radio and television exploiting this as an opportunity to condemn America.
The pan-Arab media, with their selective outrage, honor and give prominence to terrorists and barbaric mobs.
Finally, we should angrily reject anyone who would smear the 200,000-plus courageous decent men and women who have risked--and are risking daily--their lives for a free Iraq, and for a safe America. Any effort by the anti-American left or the Arab media to generalize the acts of a few into an attack on America, or on America's armed forces, should be repudiated and condemned.
HOW SADDAM TREATED HIS OWN PEOPLE
Local Iraqis divided over photos
The abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of U.S. soldiers draws intense reactions from some who left Iraq to find freedom in Washington state, but prolonged outrage isn't one of them.
While some local Iraqis are bothered by the images, others welcome them.
Imad al-Turfy, another Everett resident, shows no sympathy for the prisoners, saying their treatment paled when compared with the horrors inflicted under Saddam Hussein's regime.
"They raped our women. They killed our kids. So there's hatred between us, the people here, and the people in Iraq," he said, referring to the Shiite Muslims who emigrated and the Sunni Muslims who ruled Iraq under Saddam.
"Anything coming to them would make me happy."
Al-Turfy said he could "tell a million stories" about Saddam's abuses: the people who were blown apart by dynamite or thrown off 20-story buildings, or the family that was buried alive in a car in Baghdad.
"You can't imagine," he said. "They killed us like rats. Like anything cheap”
BLAIR'S PROBLEM, TOO
PM didn't see 'abuse report'
Downing Street said today that Tony Blair did not know about a damning report produced by the International Committee of the Red Cross on abuses in coalition prisons in Iraq, which included specific claims about the behaviour of British soldiers.
The report, which has now been published by the New Yorker, makes a numer of allegations about soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners. It includes a claim that British troops stamped on the necks of agroup of kneeling captives, one of whom later died.
When did British ministers know of prison torture?
Defence ministers will face angry questions from MPs this week about why the Government claimed to know nothing about allegations of abuse of Iraqi prisoners by British troops, months after the authorities had been tipped off by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The Ministry of Defence, meanwhile, is facing fresh claims about the conduct of British troops in Basra over eight new cases of Iraqi civilians allegedly being shot dead in cold blood, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.
The eight cases detailed for the first time in the IoS today will be added to a dossier of more than a dozen cases of unarmed Iraqis allegedly killed by British soldiers that is being presented to the High Court in London this Tuesday.
IMAGINE IF CARTER HAD HAD GUTS
The Wages of Appeasement
How Jimmy Carter and academic multiculturalists helped bring us Sept. 11.
Imagine a different Nov. 4, 1979, in Tehran. Shortly after Iranian terrorists storm the American Embassy and take some 90 American hostages, President Carter announces that Islamic fundamentalism is not a legitimate response to the excess of the shah but a new and dangerous fascism that threatens all that liberal society holds dear. And then he issues an ultimatum to Tehran's leaders: Release the captives or face a devastating military response.
The 20th century should have taught the citizens of liberal democracies the catastrophic consequences of placating tyrants.
In contrast, George W. Bush, impervious to such self-deception, has, in a mere 2 1/2 years, reversed the perilous course of a quarter-century. Since Sept. 11, he has removed the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, begun to challenge the Middle East through support for consensual government, isolated Yasser Arafat, pressured the Europeans on everything from anti-Semitism to their largesse to Hamas, removed American troops from Saudi Arabia, shut down fascistic Islamic "charities," scattered al Qaeda, turned Pakistan from a de facto foe to a scrutinized neutral, rounded up terrorists in the United States, pressured Libya, Iran and Pakistan to come clean on clandestine nuclear cheating, so far avoided another Sept. 11--and promises that he is not nearly done yet.
Sunday, May 09, 2004
“The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance”
by Russell Roberts
‘[Sam] went to the board and wrote down two numbers: 531,000,000,000 and 16,500,000,000.
The first number, 531 billion, is the amount of crude oil, measured in barrels, that’s still under the ground. They’re called reserves. The second number is the world’s annual consumption of crude oil. Here’s the quiz: when will the world run out of oil?’
Sam Gordon, an economics teacher and a conservative, and Laura Silver, an English Literature teacher and a liberal, are the two main characters in a charming book about economics. Yes, charming.
Sam hooked his students on the first day of class with the above question, the first of many thought-provoking puzzles. He made learning fun as well as challenging. Laura, being the liberal that she is, found Sam’s teaching techniques intriguing but his politics bewildering and sometimes cold.
The classroom passages in Russell Roberts' “The Invisible Heart” are engaging as the reader becomes a student. But the heart of the book is found in Sam’s and Laura’s budding relationship. Without sex, Roberts draws the reader into the conversations between Sam and Laura as he gradually teaches her about the real world of economics. As impossible as that may sound, it works.
I heard Roberts for the first time on Rush Limbaugh’s show. Dr. Walter Williams was guest hosting that day and interviewed Roberts, who talked about his book. He said that people tend to think of economics as dry and boring, so he decided to incorporate the subject into a love story.
I never thought a book on economics, even one disguised within a budding romance, could ever hold my attention, but “The Invisible Heart” did. In fact, I zipped through it within two days’ time. The questions made the book fascinating.
“By the way,” Sam was saying, “that 531 billion barrels of reserves and the 16.5 billion barrels of consumption were actually for 1970. If nothing else had changed, we should have run out of oil around thirty years later. But by the time the year 2000 actually rolled around somehow reserves had somehow climbed to a trillion barrels even though the world was using about 26 billion barrels annually. We suddenly had almost forty years worth of consumption left.”
For the rest of Sam’s lesson, you’ll have to read the book.