Monday, February 28, 2005

Wolfowitz' Democracy Domino Theory

BummerDietz was, and is, a huge proponent of the use of the US Military to insert, and maintain, a democracy into the Middle East, as a catalyst of regional change. To date, this was an unpopular viewpoint in my part of the world.

Lebanese democracy riots? Mass resignation of Syrian puppet regime in Lebanon?

Gosh, a few more days like today, and I can actually go out to a public restaurant again.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Really Good Breasts

I gotta give it to the smart yet semi-nerdy Powerline guys. I check in every day to see what's up.

Hindrocket is dead on, yet completely clueless. No wonder the brothas laugh at geeky white guys from Minnesota. Yes, John, Beyonce Knowles is stunning. But John, I am stunned that you posted her picture and didn't comment on the real story - the boob job scar in her left armpit is alarmingly exposed.

John ... it's Hollywood. It's all make believe.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Italian TV Signals In Albania

[see nota bene update]

There are a few phenomena particular to Hollywood - discussed elsewhere in detail - that came to a head over the Iraq invasion. I sat at many tables populated by lots of people with juris doctorate degrees, as well as others who were either educated or news-aware, 75%+ of whom were strongly, very strongly or vehemently strongly, against U.S. military action in Iraq. In both the pre-invasion and post-invasion phase, I had the pleasure/burden of explaining what the "Wolfowitz Plan" actually was (rather than some Haliburton-laced version).

Reactions to my Wolfowitz tutorials were all over the map, but there was one common theme: They were hearing it laid out, for the first time, from me. I was continually struck by how educated people, who had each spent hours, and maybe scores of hours, listening to news and analysis of the war, had never been told what the actual Wolfowitz Plan was. Phenomenon #1: These otherwise bright people are so proselytized by their news sources, that the Playbook 101 of the Guys Currently Running the World are unknown them. (I have espoused that cognitive dissonance is an equally plausible explanation - to wit, they had indeed heard the basic Wolfowitz Plan spelled out, but their brains re-configured it before copying it to the brain's hard drive, so as to not upset some feisty cranial neighbors).

nb: The original, Clinton-era Wolfowitz Plan is reported here. Have you ever seen it reproduced, in its entirety, after September 2002 (i.e., the month that Bush gave The Speech to the UN) ? For those who have followed it, Wolfowitz' 1998 idea was to establish (by force) an in-country Iraqi US military base as a safe zone for an anti-Saddam, pro-democracy movement in Iraq. After 9/11, this idea inflated in Big-Bang-like style. The post-9/11 need to prevent regional WMD proliferation dovetailed nicely with a grander Wolfowitz Plan -- the US could try to achieve regional reformation in a single generation, instead of 3, by turning the entire country of Iraq into a democracy safe zone, rather than just a small Free Zone out in the Iraqi desert.

I use the following explanation with Leftie Hollywooders, to some effect: During the Cold War, the Soviet Politburo and Party Congress came to the conclusion that world communism could not survive in the face of the economic engine of capitalism. The capitalist system simply created too many goods (consumer and military) for the communist system to combat, in the long run. Accordingly, in addition to the Soviet's plan to gradually communize the third world, as a necessary strategic step towards eliminating the capitalist engine, the Soviet also closed its borders - the Iron Curtain descended - in order that knowledge of the prosperity of the West be minimized, to the extent possible, to the hundreds of millions living behind the Curtain. [Good time to get your listener to acknowledge that the foregoing is basically accepted as true, to prevent slippery avoidance later.] The Soviets then commenced a decades-long propaganda program, telling its wards that the West was a bad, dangerous place.

But in pockets behind the curtain,Western radio and TV signals could be received. And for decades, an alternative version of reality was provided to those behind the Curtain. Put simply: How can you expect two generations of semi-starving Albanians to accept the Soviet's Big Lie, when every night they view Italian TV commercials? To wit: The Big Lie gets exposed, continually and continuously, for a generation. At some point, the Big Lie no longer has much effect; the Albanians knew that they were being systematically lied to. And that is a critical pre-condition for an oppressed people to rise up and revolt against a dictatorship of thugs. It doesn't happen overnight, but the long fuse gets lit.

In other words: Rising Expectations of the proletarian.

[I gotta interrupt and tell you: I hope you have experienced the pleasure/burden of seeing the faces of Lefties, when you lay this out to them.]

To the extent that one believes that micro- and macro-history is closely linked with Rising Expectations, the Wolfowitz Plan is simple. It is the US using military might to inject, and support, a democratic area into a despotic region. Over a long period - a generation or two - the Rising Expectations created will change the region, somewhat organically. The resulting political structures will not be carbon copies of the US, but the hegemony of despots will have been broken. And that stranglehold of despots, financed by petro dollars and continued with the use of their own Big Lie - the scapegoating of Israel as the nefarious cause of all of the regional woes of the Arab and Muslim proles - will go away. (What about that American flag? Well, that's simple. The Jews secretly control Amerika....Amerika is a puppet of its Israeli masters.....)

The regional despots will not all go away quietly. So, make sure there are no WMD's lying around.

In any event, the Wolfowitz Plan will take time. And that realization is why Bush seems to so many on the left to be a fanatic, a God Squad zombie. The Left - who generally have no idea what the Wolfowitz Plan is - see religious fervor.

I see something else. I see a guy who realizes that it will be 10, 20 or 40 years from now before the results of his actions will become apparent. I see a guy who realizes that the short-term opposition and political squabbling is absolutely part of his undertaking a paradigmatic shift. (If it wasn't such a brilliant strategic paradigm shift, there would be no opposition! How ironic that the opposition, in Bush's mind, is a sign that he will be proven correct.) The Kennedy's (the dead ones, that is) would have seen it the same way; it isn't a Dem vs. Publican issue.

Telling people with gnat-like attention spans that the Wolfowitz Plan will play out well, in a generation, is like telling your zit-faced teenager that he'll laugh about it in 20 years. The teenager simply has no frame of reference. Thus, your words are insane babble.

David Brooks uses different terminology today in his excellent NY Times column, but otherwise blends Rising Expectation theory with - gasp! - "regional democracy" happy-talk in the Mideast. (I like Brooks' careful, considered and correct use of the work "powerful." Power in the physical sense means, "transformative." Perfect, perfect words and thoughts.)

This is the most powerful question in the world today: Why not here? People in Eastern Europe looked at people in Western Europe and asked, Why not here? People in Ukraine looked at people in Georgia and asked, Why not here? People around the Arab world look at voters in Iraq and ask, Why not here?... Wherever it is asked, people seem to feel that the rules have changed. New possibilities have opened up.

The question is being asked now in Lebanon.... 'It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, eight million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world.'

So now we have mass demonstrations on the streets of Beirut. ....The head of the Syrian Press Syndicate told The Times on Thursday: "There's a new world out there and a new reality. You can no longer have business as usual."

...It's amazing in retrospect to think of how much psychological resistance there is to asking this breakthrough question: Why not here? ....But if there is one soft-power gift America does possess, it is this tendency to imagine new worlds.... Things don't come out wonderfully just because some fine person asks, Why not here? But this is clearly the question the United States is destined to provoke.


Wolfowitz, Perle, Rice and Bush, Brooks is applauding you this morning, as am I.

Maybe my Hollywood dinner conversations will now result in a slower erosion of my base of Hollywood friendships. Or, at least I won't get called a f***ing Nazi so often...

Nota bene update: One repeated, crucial claim of the anti-war advocates was that US military action in Iraq would infuriate the "Arab Street," presumably by giving radicals a recruiting tool, and/or causing worse hatred of the U.S. among otherwise passive Arabs and Muslims. I spent many a dinner in exposition that such attitude was a non-thinking position, a sort of lazy remnant of a Leftist/collectivist education. My claim was that the speaker had been bombarded for decades with teachings that "the proletarian masses will one day rise up," etc., and had come to accept a proletarian revolution as a given. Because a Leftist is more-or-less programmed to think in such class-struggle terms - consciously or not - Leftists were and continue to be far more concerned about the "Arab Street," causally connected to their belief in, and/or hope for, the "rising up of the proletariat masses."

Some of this professed concern over the Arab Street was genuine; other concern, when properly deconstructed (with a bit of pepper and snark tossed in), really was a nagging worry that, "If a U.S. invasion doesn't result in massive uprising among the Arab proles, then perhaps this entire class-struggle paradigm is...not ever gonna happen."

In case no Leftist has noticed, as the sun sets on February 2005, there are some early and compelling signs that what the "Arab Street" really wants is....democracy. Gasp !!!

Curse you, evil George Bush! Damned be your house, Paul Wolfowitz!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Ginger or Mary Ann?

Ginger or Mary Ann? A little dated. (They're both drawing Social Security now.)

An updated quandary: Ann Coulter or Laura Ingraham?

So when Bummer is having dinner with Ann next week, the perfect timely quip designed to render her silent - if only for a moment: "Ann, I might be gay, and you are one smoking hot piece of pie."

I think that line will work. She'll have a momentary period of pure enjoyment of a blank mind, and I'm in. Sorta Zen-like, Sun-zu war tactic.

Hat tip to Spock (or was it Kirk?), for the idea, i.e. decommissioning some Star Trek andoid's programming with, "Everything I say is a lie. I am lying."

Thursday, February 24, 2005

O'Reilly Jumps the Shark

Bill O'Reilly and Dennis Miller are the only 2 TV shows I record on Tivo. I watch O'Reilly every night, albeit in 30 minutes because I get to FF through commercials and crapicola.

I was a bit dismayed when irrational leftie NYTimes columnist Paul Krugman bested O'Reilly a few months ago in a taped segment. Krugman is almost incapable of constructing a rational syllogism, and even a moderately skilled college debater could take him down 19 times out of 20. O'Reilly, however, clearly agitated, performed poorly against Krugman (who [whom?] I have no respect for, whatsoever). So badly, in fact, that they both flunked in substance, and O'Reilly was by far the worse of the two, in form. Winner: Krugman (believe me, it pains me to admit this....)

We all have bad nights. But O'Reilly's dogged defense of Dan Rather, done (in my eyes) without much of an understanding of the operative facts involved, caused a bit of further dismay.

There's a Hollywood phrase that's gotten a bit worn out in certain segments,. Maybe people in Omaha haven't heard it yet. It's called "jumping the shark." It's the defining moment when a good TV show turns to the darkside and begins to head downhill. The idiom comes from a Happy Days episode that featured the Fonz waterskiing (and jumping a fake shark in the water).

In the entertainment business, lots of watercooler talk revolves around "jumping the shark" analysis. Like witnessing a great, or pathetic, sports event, there is a similar group experience in simultaneously and/or independently witnessing, and identifying, an exact moment when some program or actor or the like takes a permanent turn for the worse.

Tonight - February 24, 2005 - I watched Bill O'Reilly jump the shark. O'Reilly had as a guest the former ex-KKK personality David Duke, in a segment where Duke gave a "1st Amendment" defense of wayward hippy Ward Churchill. My guess is that O'Reilly - who has increasingly moved rightward over the past 12 to 15 months - wanted some "fair and balanced" ballast to his right-of-center show, and decided to pick a fight with perceived right-winger racist David Duke, over 1st Amendment issues involving America-hater Ward Churchill. Then O'Reilly could claim he goes after both the Left and the Right.

But O'Reilly - as he did in his "Krugman debate" - performed like a clown amped up on speed (espresso, of course.....) David Duke, by a calm demeanor, came away as the more reasonable man. Mind you - Duke is a clown -- yet he "won," in the same manner as Krugman "won" - due to O'Reilly's horrible, over-the-top, parody-like performance.

Based upon his inability to out-do David Duke, on his own show and with his own producers - O'Reilly has jumped the shark. When clowns like Krugman and Duke come across as more tempered and reasonable than O'Reilly, on his own turf, with his own producers, he has arrived at the critical point in time. Like the Fonz jumping a fake shark for laughs - sad that he had to resort to that....and sad that O'Reilly has to book clowns on his show, but then comes up with the short straw.

Roger, for chrissakes send O'Reilly on a 90-day sabbatical. Or, your lead network asset will begin the meltdown, in front of your eyes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Ward Speaks with Beavered Tongue

The whole Ward Churchill thing, while interesting, evinces a bit of a generation gap, methinks.

Ward has now admitted that his application under the affirmative action program was a fraud; he is not a native American. (Goodbye, job...)

Although my undergrad poli sci department 25 years ago consisted of all liberals or socialist professors, the anti-American rabid nature wasn't there. But in law school (a good one, at or near the top of those stupid lists), there were a couple hard core groups - "critical legal scholars" (i.e., marxist/socialist), hard core feminist, and a few malcontent mouthfoamers. But even that was 20 years ago. Indeed, often times the radicalism took the form of either a) equating the Soviet Bloc with the US/Europe, and/or b) denying various aspects of the Cold War and/or the arms race.

People 40+ years old or so (like me) likely missed the inflection point in the trend towards radicalized campuses.

Once the Soviet menace was gone (15 years ago, can you believe it?), what were these giant factories of left/very left/socialist thinkers to do?

Really. What topics would they turn their attention to? The history departments were already filled up.

Enter the Ward Churchill types. For those of us over 40, we just weren't there during the inflection point.

nb: I have not checked the status of my undergrad department. I should. Maybe it moderated. Then again, maybe it didn't. I do know of certain political battles at the law school, which continue, but large alumni donations tied to more corporate/business chairs turned the trend a bit.

Memogate: Do You Think Rigler Read Any Blogs?

see update

In addition to hiring Dick Thornburgh, last September CBS hired Erik T. Rigler, a former F.B.I. agent and Navy aviator, to track down the source of the forged memos. Joe Hagan breaks this story at the New York Observer.

"But Mr. Rigler’s search for the origins of the documents dead-ended with the man who had given them to CBS, former National Guard employee Bill Burkett. His work did yield one result, which he passed on to the independent panel: a two-page memorandum about Ms. Mapes herself. Mr. Hibey and another outside source said that Ms. Mapes was dismayed to learn that the ostensible investigation of the documents had turned into an inquiry into the producer.

"He didn’t get any more information beyond Burkett," said [Thornburgh co-counsel Michael] Missal. "There was nothing to give us."

Rigler and Missal, here are 3 fairly obvious rocks to look under: xxx & xxx & xxx.


I have nothing but respect for military veterans. Investigators who are also attorneys with an FBI background would seem to be qualified to assist CBS in searching for the forger(s).

But…Erik T. Rigler’s specialty is … airplane crashes. With all the private dicks available to CBS, why would they put this critical Who-Done-It investigation in the hands of an airplane crash investigator?

I’m not bashing Rigler, he seems like an able guy. But the skills sets needed here are more journalism, forensic document review, web and librarian experience, and (frankly) internet/blog savvy.

Given the skill set needed here, I just don’t see why Rigler was CBS's go-to guy in this situation.

Perhaps his FBI background and Texas connections? That is plausible. And perhaps I'm just using 20/20 hindsight -- Rigler failed, after all, to find the culprit(s) -- at least, we assume that he failed.....

Curiouser and Curiouser.......

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


OK, it ain't McDonald's 100 billion or anything, but S&C passed 100,000 hits today, at the tender age of ... 4+ months.

To celebrate, try this.

Burkett. A Victim, and Boring To Boot

2600 words, yet Burkett cannot manage a single unique statement.

In a 2,600-word letter, obtained by Salon, Burkett charged that the report, through inaccuracies and "selective recall" among the key players, "exacerbated the defamation of character that CBS obviously committed when they laid the blame for the collapse of this story at my feet."

Burkett clearly hints at future legal action against the network. "We are actively reviewing each finding of the report and detailing its inaccuracies in anticipation of future events," Burkett wrote on behalf of himself and his wife, Jessie.

Contacted by Salon about his letter, Burkett issued this statement: "....There were mistakes made by professional journalists that placed an undue hardship on me and my family and served as fodder for the destruction of my reputation .... I was miserably squashed throughout this horrible nightmare. CBS wanted everything that I had and then made every effort to discredit and later blame me for their own errors and failings."

Burkett's central complaint with the panel's report is its failure to note that in giving the Killian memos to Mapes and Texas-based freelance reporter Mike Smith, who helped her track down the story, Burkett was making, in his words, a "contingent" agreement with them, one that put the onus on them to authenticate the memos before using them.

The memos' chain of possession, and how Burkett obtained them, remain key. The panel's report indicates that reporter Smith and producer Mapes recall slightly different versions of how Burkett said he got the documents. Smith told the panel that Burkett said he had received them anonymously in the mail. Mapes said "that Lieutenant Colonel Burkett stated that he received the documents after he was interviewed on a national television show in February 2004 concerning President Bush's TexANG service, but did not say how he received them or from whom."

According to Burkett, as soon as he handed over the memos, Mapes began needling him for information about his source, focusing on George Conn, a former Texas Air National Guard colleague of Burkett's. She "began playing an old media trick of baiting questions to get me to deny their origin. ... Mapes told the panel that Burkett did say the documents had come from Conn. USA Today, which also received copies of the Killian memos from Burkett last September, reported on Sept. 21 that Burkett initially told its reporters that the documents had come from Conn.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Mo Hinchey, Meet Tommy Flanagan

S&C readers know that pointing out instances of cognitive dissonance of folks on the Left (and Right) fringes is a favorite BummerPastime.

Cognitive dissonance ("CD") is a discomfort or anguish which arises when a discrepancy exists between existing beliefs and new information. Our minds want to restore balance, and to accomplish that, either the existing belief has to be modified or discarded, or the new information has to be ignored or rationalized.

But when beliefs are strongly held, as is true for activists on the fringes, the level of daily CD is particularly strong (4 out of 5 voices in my head go, "Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!"). Against such strong beliefs, the mind instead recasts new incoming data in increasingly fanciful ways, in order to protect the non-reality-based core beliefs from causing anguish or dissonance. (It's easier to distort facts, than overhaul an entire belief system.)

Enter our public figures -- particularly politicians -- whose currency requires that they exude a semblance of authority. The combination of strongly-held fringe viewpoints, frequent public appearances and the need to process new facts on-the-fly, creates the perfect Petri dish for classic source material of comedy and tragedy.

More than a parlor game, Bummer's belief is that cognitive dissonance is one of the sharpest tools for exposing delusional figureheads, and a healthy democracy requires such exposure and forced retirement of those who have moved to the fringes.

Oh, what a glorious few months it has been for CD...

Reigning champ Charles at LGF has scored again with his source documentation of the Cognitive Dissonance rantings of Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY). Refusing to reconsider his core beliefs in the face of overwhelming incoming factual data, Hinchey provides a moment both comedic and tragic as he reinvents the facts, real time, as good or better than Jon Lovitz' Thomas Flanagan character ever did on SNL:

"...They've had a very very direct, aggressive attack on the, on the media... the most flagrant example of that is the way they set up Dan Rather... It originated with Karl Rove...They set that up with those false papers. Why did they do it? They knew that Bush was a draft dodger... And so what they did was... they accentuated it....They produced papers that made it look even worse...and they distributed those out to elements of the media. And they finally bought into it, and they aired it. And when they did, they had 'em... Based upon the false papers that they produced. "

nb: Nowhere does Hinchey say, "Yeah, that's the ticket!"


Sunday, February 20, 2005

Hackers, the Secret Service and Rogue Programmers

Charles at LGF (more) and others (more) have noted that, compared to lefty sites, ROC (Right of Center) blogs get no love when it comes to indexing by Google.* Blogspot, the host of Scylla&Charybdis, is owned by Google. I sorta ignored this seemingly technie-issue until today.

Coming to light only because blow-up-doll Paris Hilton apparently got hacked, note this: A single hacker easily broke into the T-Mobile system, using the stolen ID of the Secret Service agent who is investigating the hacker.....

My, my, my....

What havoc could result from one rogue programmer at Google, re: ROC blogs s/he disliked?

Would this be of concern to the high-flying (a 134x P/E ratio !) Google stock and its holders? Google identifies the following material risks to its business: "Risk Factors:"

--Our business may be adversely affected by malicious third-party applications that interfere with our receipt of information from, and provision of information to, our users...

--There is an ongoing and increasing effort by “index spammers” to develop ways to manipulate our web search results.

--We rely on bandwidth providers, data centers or other third parties for key aspects of the process of providing products and services to our users.

* -- Most would label Scylla as being a Right-of-Center blog. (I disagree that being anti-Left Wing is the same thing as Right-of-Center, but fine, whatever.) I note that my profile on this page lists my last post as being pre-Halloween. A 4-month backlog???

NYTimes' Bush Tapes: Felony Wiretapping?

The NY Times today runs the story of the "Bush Tapes."

I presume the tapes were recorded in Texas, and that Bush and the wiretapper (ex-friend Doug Wead) were both Texas residents. If so, then Wead could legally record the conversation, without Bush's knowledge. Texas Penal Code 16.02 requires only one party's consent to the wiretap, not the consent of all parties. Remember the outrage over Linda Tripp recording her conversations with Monica?

Wiretapping and eavesdropping laws vary by state. The states listed below require that all parties to a conversation consent to any recording or eavesdropping. A violation is typically a felony. If Wead or Bush was a resident of, or otherwise located in, any of the following states, then ... then Wead has a felony wiretapping problem:

New Hampshire

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Summers Affair. It Is Critical. I Mean It.

Harvard President Lawrence Summers is to be criticized for withholding a transcript of his remarks for a month, allowing a tempest became a storm. (Summers, you deserve some heat for refusing to release the data. You should know better. Heat that's appropriate for stonewalling journalists at CBS and CNN, is also appropriate for an Ivy League President.)

Yet, Summers seems to have sandbagged his critics. His critics - assuming the worst, since the transcript was being withheld - now have no clothing (other than to criticize his delayed release of the transcript.) They loudly pronounced vehement, anti-Summers positions based upon inaccurate hearsay claims of what Summers was supposed to have said, as interpreted by persons who have invested their careers in not having their orthodox domain challenged.

Summers then released the transcript. Bravo, albeit serious deductions for tardiness. Three things are happening, although the MSM will not likely dwell on these:

First, the transcript shows that Summers did not say what his harshest critics claim he said.

Second, Summers appears to be correct, as far as current research goes in a murky area.

Third, the harshest critics of Summers are now digging in (and now must argue against a hypothetical fact that never happened).

Query, when will the first critic, perhaps embarrassed by the transcript, accuse Summers of having falsified the exculpatory transcript?

For those not wanting to read the entire dense transcript, congrats on having a real life. Below is my digest of the controversial words from Summers' speech. Note: If you have not been to college in the past 25 years, you have missed out on rise of impenetrable non-English that is the currency of the realm among social science professors. Almost no one can really understand what they are saying; hence, they are critique-proof. Techno-babble substitutes for substance. To combat this, my digest does NOT use traditional "..." to signify deletions. It's my personal battle against Professor-Obfuscation.

Short subjective version: Summers does not say that men generally have a greater innate science ability that women. Rather, he makes a narrow observation about the statistical data, corrected for differences in a family's economic means and ethnicity, at the VERY HIGH END - e.g., 4 standard deviations above the norm, at the edge of the bell curve where high-end specialists reside. Summers states that at such extremes, in certain sciences, the sex of the persons receiving those aptitude scores skews 4-1 male, and maybe 5-1 male. That is, 4 or 5 men for every woman. Summers notes that small, perhaps insignificant differences between the sexes in the middle of the bell curve (remember taking 8th grade algebra class?), nonetheless become highly pronounced when you run data in the far extremes of the bell curve.

Every stat person knows this.

Summers suggests that if science institutions continue to use "highest scores" as the key aptitude qualifier for these science jobs (which might not be a good idea, certainly a fair argument and apparenlty one of the conference themes), then society has locked itself into the decision that this statistical difference in aptitude between the sexes, in the outlier 4x standard deviation area, will render the upper level science corps as lopsidedly male.

Have any of those critics calling for Summers' head properly stated Summers' position? As in, actually read the transcript. Apparently not.

My digested version of the key parts of the long transcript (full transcript is here):

Conference on Diversifying the Science and Engineering Workforce

"…There are many aspects of the problems you're discussing and it seems to me they're all very important from a national point of view. I'm going to confine myself to addressing …the issue of women's representation in tenured positions in science and engineering at top universities and research institutions.

"…I am going to adopt an entirely positive [meaning, scientific] rather than normative [meaning, lecturing about how things "should" be] approach, and just try to think about and offer some hypotheses as to why we observe what we observe, without the kind of judgmental tendency that inevitably is connected with all our common goals of equality.

"There are three broad hypotheses about the very substantial disparities documented with respect to the presence of women in high-end scientific professions. The first is what I call the high-powered job hypothesis. The second is different availability of aptitude at the high end. The third is different socialization and patterns of discrimination in a search.

"Why is the representation [of women] even lower and more problematic in science and engineering than it is in other fields? On many, many different human attributes (height, weight, propensity for criminality, overall IQ, mathematical ability, scientific ability) , there is relatively clear evidence that [regardless of a family's income] there is a difference in the standard deviation, and variability of a male and a female population. And that is true with respect to attributes that are and are not plausibly, culturally determined.

"If one is talking about physicists at a top twenty-five research university, one is not talking about people who are two standard deviations above the mean. It's talking about people who are 3 ½ or 4 standard deviations above the mean. Even small differences in the standard deviation will translate into very large differences in the available pool substantially out [?in this far area of the bell curve?].

"I looked at evidence on the sex ratios in the top 5% of twelfth graders. They're all over the map, whether it's math, or science, and so. But one woman for every two men would be a high-end estimate from [various researcher's] estimates. From that, you can work out the difference out several standard deviations. If you do that calculation-and I have no reason to think that it couldn't be refined in a hundred ways-you get five to one, at the high end.

"Now, it's pointed out by one of the papers at this conference that these tests are not a very good measure and are not highly predictive with respect to people's ability to do that. And that's absolutely right. But I don't think that resolves the issue at all.

"So my sense is that the unfortunate truth-I would far prefer to believe something else -is that the combination of the high-powered job hypothesis and the differing variances probably explains a fair amount of this problem. "

Friday, February 18, 2005

Laughing At Drudge at Oscar Time

Having a group laugh at you (not with you) is a childhood terror. Great comics are able to channel that terror into getting an audience to rotate from laughing at the comic, to laughing with him.

Whatever you think of the DrudgeReport, he gets laughed at (in the DoublePlusUngood way) each year when he attempts to influence the Oscars. I am not silly enough to accuse him of taking bag money for his efforts, but I will state that he simply gets laughed at.

The Hat Trick of Drudge's Failed Oscar Campaigns:

1. Trying to prevent Chris Rock from being MC of the Oscar telecast. Since it is not acceptable to oppose Rock because he is an African American, Drudge's Oscar campaign claimed that Rock was anti-gay. [Hint: There are a lot of gay people in Hollywood.]

2. Trying to prevent "A Beautiful Mind" from winning Best Picture. Miramax Films, which has perfected the art of running successful Oscar campaigns for mediocre films (including by courting writers with untold devices), wanted its obscure film "In the Bedroom" to win Best Picture. Unfortunately, "A Beautiful Mind" was the front runner. Since it was not effective for Drudge to merely state that Miramax really wanted its obscure film to win, Drudge's Oscar campaign claimed that the real life person portrayed in "A Beautiful Mind" was an anti-Semite. [Hint: There are a lot of Jewish executives in Hollywood.]

3. Pumping one of the worst films of the decade as a "Masterpiece of the Age." Drudge ran a pre-release "exclusive" on Spielberg's 2001 mega-flop "Artificial Intelligence: AI". Since it was not acceptable for Drudge to report that the film was terrible and that Spielberg had a mega-flop on his hands, Drudge began this early Oscar campaign by reporting that the tears at the screening were not over financial failure, but because, "Steven has created a masterpiece for The Age, perfectly realized." The reality: The film was skewered by critics, and $200 million film (negative cost and marketing) garned a paltry $78M at the US box office (which dug a $150M hole for the studio to try to crawl out of in other markets.) [Hint: Pre-release "masterpiece buzz" is important in Hollywood, as it was for the naked emperor.]

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Why Do Women (Tend To) Suck at Super Math?

There has been much ado about Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers' remarks at a January Conference on Diversifying the Science & Engineering Workforce.

Most of the ado has been raised by women's and feminist organizations, more or less along the lines that Summers' comments evinced a sexist attitude unbecoming of Harvard.


In my grandfather's time, in some places it was against the law to teach about evolution and species diversity. It was a crime. The attack on orthodox religious thinking was - well, blasphemy.

Laws criminalizing scientific thought are no longer with us (for the most part), but the attack on any science that challenges orthodoxy is now more focused. The scientists are branded as Nazis or racists or communists or xxx-ists. Something bad. The underlying science is ignored; instead, the scientist is attacked for having bad motives. This is particularly nefarious at colleges, where the ad hominem has become a high art, in a manner that alums from the 50's or 60's would be shocked to witness.

I submit that any person of higher learning, personally attacking President Summers for his remarks, is the moral equivalent of the prosecutor at the Scopes Monkey Trial.

I would relish the debate with any professor who personally attacks Summers for his remarks. Simply, I would show them to be a fool. But, then again, the actual transcript does the same thing.

Here is the transcript. I hope you do the same.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

On the Topic of Really Bad "Official" Reports

[see Update, below]

Think the Thornburgh Report is lame?

It's too bad that the blogoshere didn't exist in the aftermath of the crash of TWA Flight 800. An entirely different outcome would have resulted, I think.

Want a break from all this MSM crap? Spend 10 minutes here. And here.

I'm a lawyer and a pilot. Although I have much better things to do with my time (so protested the proto-blogger!), I've read several books on TWA 800, and am convinced that the reality of TWA 800 is one of these three things:

1. The plane was shot down accidentally by US littoral military exercises underway that evening in the area, and an active cover-up was engaged in by the FBI and later, the CIA (at the expense of the NTSB).
2. Significantly less likely is that the plane was shot down in an act of terrorism
3. Not dissimilar to the chaos and non-cooperation that existed among the FBI, CIA, FAA, NSA, etc., that is partly to blame for the 9/11 plot not being stopped, the lack of cooperation (and active interference) by different agencies in the investigation has rendered the real story incapable of being known.

I am reasonably convinced that the "official" excuse - spark in the fuel tank - is rubbish. The theory is so preposterous - and against all evidence - that the FBI called in the CIA (yes, I am not kidding) to create a short PR film, trying to justify it.

If you're bored with Eason, Gannon, Rather, and all else, check out those links, above. There are some tireless heroes to be found there, who have been pursuing the truth against enormous odds.

[Update]: Good comments, keep 'em coming. I do a disservice to the entire affair, trying to summarize it in a paragraph. Suffice it to say, if you spend a dozen hours deep in the material (much of it authored by ex-NTSB staffers, ex-military guys, etc.) the analysis is chilling. I also do NOT take lightly the idea of blaming the US military for something bad. (I'm the type who tends to wreck physical violence on foilhats who do so.)

As to the astute comments that such a huge affair could never be kept secret, because it would involve 300+ conspirators, that's a very good point. However, when you drill into the material, the claim is not that a ship-launched surface-to-air missile was to blame. Rather, more like a hand-held RPL that missed a drone and locked onto the 800, a couple miles above. (That is, a shoulder-fired RPL in a small military littoral duckboat, with a crew of 6 of less.) Accordingly, the assumption that several hundred military personnel would have been accomplices is not necessarily true; the number of military eyewitnesses could and would well be counted on a single hand. I agree that any theory that assumes several hundred - or even several dozen- "conspirators" being involved in the actual firing of the missile, is presumptively not acceptable, for the exact reason that the story would have leaked by now. (On the other hand...leaking the story could about one's own involvement in killing several hundred people might well guarantee a court martial for the leaker, and he and all his mates go to the brig, a powerful silencer...)

Having said that, generally, most alternative theories/conspiracy theories are incapable of testing (not the case here), and at some point rely upon a violation of Occam's Razor. What struck me about these TWA 800 counter investigations - the books, web stuff, and even a C-SPAN briefing I watched years ago that sparked my interest - was that the guys doing the expose investigations seem at all points to be ruthless disciples of Occam, and to this non-professional, yet skeptical, eye, their arguments are not only compelling, they put to shame the official version.

Then the lawyer in me kicks in. The government is actively working against this inquiry. Plus, there are a few pieces of forensic evidence that are dispositive. (Like the Jordan Eason tape....just show it, dammit.) Guess what? The government (the FBI, not the NTSB) has "misplaced" those exact pieces. The exact part of the fuselage where the missile had to have entered and then exited. (Gosh, the whole plane is rebuilt in a hangar...except those fuselage panels?)

Rose Mary Woods must have been on the job.

The early tip-offs were by insider NTSB investigators who were furious about never-before-experienced FBI actions. One man's involvement is another's tampering. Truly fascinating. My point: Had the blogosphere existed back then, I think a whole different outcome would have emerged.

My previous post, which is remarkably relevant: CBS Will Happily Burn a Whistleblower.

I encourage my 23 readers to spend a little time on this one. Sorta like Encyclopedia Brown, for grown-ups.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

CBS' "Requested Resignation" Strategy Backfires

How great if the senior insiders at CBS News begin lawsuits (and discovery) against CBS alleging that the Thornburgh Report was a gamed whitewash? What sweet angel deigned us worthy of this gift? All those manipulations under the “attorney client privilege” will get tested.

nb: The reason that interviews were memorialized with only handwritten notes (and not recordings)? Simple. A lawyer's handwritten notes are almost impossible to subpoena. The notes are protected by 2 privileges - the "work product privilege" (for which the client and the attorney's permission are typically required for disclosure) and the "attorney client privilege" (for which only the client's permission to disclose is required.)

The theory is that an attorney's subjective interpretations in deciding what notes to write, what to emphasis, etc., are so intertwined with any factual data included in the notes, that the protected "work product" of the attorney in making the notes cannot be unscrambled from any raw data that might otherwise be subject to subpoena/disclosure. In other words, the notes are deemed to be a strategic playbook, not a factual transcript, and the "other side" isn't entitled to view the strategic playbook of the attorney.

This typically renders the handwritten notes as "undiscoverable," as being inherently "attorney work product," and thus privileged from discovery and disclosure. (A nuance is that, even if CBS waives thework product privilege, Thornburgh's law firm may be able to refuse to turn over the notes, as some states have found that the attorney is a "co-holder of the privilege" and thus the attorney must consent to any turn-over. Compare this to reporter's who refuse to divulge a source, as being "bad for the reporter's reputation.")

Further, because the attorney's notes become integral to giving advice to the client, the "attorney-client privilege" typically applies to such notes.

Thus, contrast the attorney notes with a tape recording, which is much closer to pure evidence and thus easier to obtain via subpoena over "privilege" objections.

None of this is coincidence. Remember, Thornburgh's law firm is "expert" in preventing the raw data of their investigation from being released to third parties. As I've previously written:

Former U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh is an attorney with Kirkpatrick & Lockhart ("K&L"). K&L has a practice specialty involving "internal investigations."

K&L's primary objective in the investigation is "to prevent criminal charges from being filed" against CBS..... K&L's second objective is to ensure that CBS and its executives are "acquitted of any charges."

To prevent indictment and assure an acquittal of CBS, K&L's expertise is to conduct the investigation "to maximize the ability to assert attorney-client and work product privileges over the materials compiled in any subsequent criminal or civil proceeding."

Another Victory over Thuggery

Two good decisions in 24 hours. The Corpolitical mafia loses another power grab under the camouflage of immunity and privilege:

WASHINGTON (AP) A federal appeals court today upheld a ruling against two reporters who could go to jail for refusing to divulge their sources to investigators probing the leak of a CIA officer's name to the media.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with prosecutors in their attempt to compel Time magazine's Matthew Cooper and The New York Times' Judith Miller to testify before a federal grand jury about their confidential sources.

Thug or Warrior? You MUST Return My Call ....

[See Update below]

The Baltimore Sun (sister of the Los Angeles Times) is said to have not taken well to the new Republican Governor of Maryland, Robert Ehrlich. The Sun ran a story (later corrected) misrepresentnig the size of a state land swap with a developer. Another Sun coumnist ran an article describing an unflattering facial expression of the Governor's aide at a hearing; alas, since the columnist was not at the hearing, how could he describe the facial expression? Bias was charged, and Ehrlich banned state employees from returning phone calls or speaking with the 2 offending journalists, citing them as "not objectively covering the administration." The Sun sued.
The Sun just lost round 1.

The Sun claims that its reporters are being denied the access to government that an ordinary citizen enjoys - hence, a First Amendment violation. The Governor claims that the Sun demanded "special access" above and beyond that of a private citizen, due to the Press Badge each carries, and that no reporter has the 1st Amendment Right to demand that his calls be returned.

I have not reviewed the opinion yet, and all of the online reports are written by either Sun or L.A. Times reporters, or advocacy groups for greater First Amendment rights. Thus, the actual facts are unclear, and I cannot tell (yet) whose version is closer to the truth.

Judge Quarles is reported to have decided that the Governor has the right to favor certain journalists, and so long as the statutory access rights of citizens were not violated, the Governor has no duty to grant "most favored nations" status to every demanding journalist. In other words, he can refuse to return a reporter's call. Quarles' opinion stated:

"The Sun seeks a privileged status beyond that of the private citizen....The Sun seeks more access than that accorded a private citizen."


The 23 loyal readers of Scylla&Charybdis know that I have zero tolerance for the effete nonsense of corpolitical media thugs hiding behind spurious claims of immunity and privilege. Hard to tell at this early juncture if that is the case here, or if the Governor is just being a jackass.

UPDATE: Opinion is available here.

Sounds like a case of the Sun reporters wanting special privileges, not just ordinary privileges. Judge finds these facts establishing that the journalists were not being denied legal access to government information:

"It appears that the memorandum has not cut off all the Sun’s access to public information. .. [T]he Governor informed Mr. Nitkin that Public Information Act requests from him and Mr. Olesker were exempt from the memorandum and would continue to be answered. ... Mr. Nitkin has attended at least three press conferences. Press conferences are open to all members of the press and the public and are held in the Governor’s Reception Room which holds 80. Press briefings are held with a limited number of the press in the Governor’s conference room--which holds 10-12 persons – or some similar, small room; usually no more than five reporters are invited to press briefings. ..It appears that Mr. Nitkin has been excluded from a press briefing."

More from Judge Quarles' opinion:

"The Fourth Circuit has similarly declined to recognize a journalist’s right ... to be treated the same as other journalists.... [S]uch a right “would presumably preclude the . . . widespread practice of public officials declining to speak to reporters whom they view as untrustworthy because the reporters have previously violated a promise of confidentiality or otherwise distorted their comments.

"[The reporters'] complaints ... –e.g., refusal of officials to comment on statements of legislators, refusals to comment on contracts between private firms and the state, refusals to provide information or views for columns, refusals to provide background discussions to identify issues or topics of interest to readers, and refusals to provide personal reasons or justifications for declining comment – are far beyond any citizen’s reasonable expectations of access to his or her government .... the Sun seeks a privileged status beyond that of the private citizen; that desire is not a cognizable basis for injunctive relief."

Bravo, Judge Quarles.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Nothing About John Kerry and Jordan Eason

Take it for granted that my marbles are misplaced, at least two days per week. Accordingly, there is no need to accuse me of having lost them, on the Shakespearean notion that "Nothing will come of noting...".

I note:

The MSM ignored, and then (individually and as a collective) became an active agent against investigation or disclosure concerning the "less than honorable" military discharge of candidate John Kerry and his refusal to release his military records pertaining thereto (now somewhat mis-identified as the "Swift Boat" affair). For the MSM to have done so would have dealt a negative blow to the candidate overwhelmingly preferred by MSM reporters. The MSM became so active, and then blinded by partisan zeal, that the otherwise rookie "Memogate" forgery and coverup resulted, more or less crashing an entire network news division. Alternative web logs were both the "but for" as well as "proximate" causes of the crash.

Similarly, with the brief EasonQuiddick Affair, the MSM (collectively) ignored the story, and at least in the individual case of CNN, actively worked against any investigation or disclosure concerning the affair, most particularly in acting to suppress the release of the videotape at issue. (Had more time passed, one can speculate that the individual and collective response of the MSM may have paralleled that of the Swift Boat matter.) Had the MSM paid attention to the EasonQuiddick Affair, it would have dealt a negative blow to much of the "negative-Iraq" reporting that aligned with the overwhelming political "anti-Bush" consensus of MSM reporters, and would have called into question the bias of the MSM in its war reporting. Even at the early stage of EasonQuiddick, CNN (and/or an Eason faction within) became so active working against the story that CNN committed the otherwise rookie mistake of a proto-coverup, and the firing (crashing?) of a senior executive of the news division resulted. Alternative web logs were both the "but for" as well as "proximate" causes of the crash.

Call me crazy. Same same.

Friday, February 11, 2005

I Guess the Eason Jordan Tape Was Worse...

Eason Jordan resigned today over his comments about the US military targetting journalists.
Curiously, the tape of his comments has not been made public.

Unsaid elsewhere, there is the nefarious version of events, and the less nefarious.

Nafarious Explanation: Query whether Eason acted intentionally, and tried to deep-six the tape, and got fired for the attempted cover-up.

Least Nefarious Explanation: The least nefarious explanation is simple cognitive dissonance, which Eason has previously demonstrated. Eason has a core belief that international journalism (and its agents, journalists) is an absolute good thing, tantamount to any other value. Faced with facts which might contradict this ethical ordering that the Cynosure=Journalism, Eason’s mind lapses into cognitive dissonance mode, in order to realign facts and beliefs so that they do not contradict each other (and to stop the “whomp whomp whomp” noise in his head). Values are hard to change, so Eason's brain instead re-interprets facts to comport with the truism that the Journalist is always good.

Eason did this when CNN adopted a policy of spiking anti-Saddam stories, so that CNN journalists wouldn’t get kicked out of Iraq by Saddam. Eason’s mind reinterpreted the facts. Instead, in Eason's mind, CNN journalists were being threatened with death, and thus the spiking was justified to protect the absolute good from death at Saddam's hands. (Yes, I am suggesting that no death threats really existed... .) Similarly, with this recent Easonquiddick Affair, Eason’s brain took in the fact that journalists had been killed by gunfire in war zones. Eason's value ordering (Cynosure=Journalism) cannot accept that the journalists (representing pure, absolute good) could die under neutral or random or ambiguous circumstances (or, their own negligence); rather, Evil must be responsible when Good falls. Ergo, Evil killed the journalists. So Eason’s brain kicks into further cognitive dissonance mode, and invents a personified Evil. Voila, the good journalists were – fragged - by the military! As in, intentionally targeted. Eason’s brain is one again back in balance, with journalists once again on the altar of the almighty Good. Except...the balance is achieved by the use of invented facts.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Immunity Disguised as A Privilege

My 23 readers know that BummerDietz has a jones on for the excesses of the Corpolitical mafia hiding behind the false claim of "immunity" of the press. There is a balance to be struck; the balance is currently off.

It's not just the press. A similar privilege - the attorney client privilege - exists for attorney/client communications. Under statute, that privilege is (usually) well-formulated, with exceptions for fraud and the like. Yet, particularly among criminal attorneys, this "privilege" often serves as an immunity to coach defendants to commit perjury. Or, worse.....

Lynn Stewart, soon to be a former lawyer, is a a seditious* vermin with Nazi-like anti-Semitic personality defects (and also, IMHO, one of the ugliest females on the planet, which may explain what drove her off the track). Stewart was convicted of terrorism.

She defended her terrorism by arguing that her sedition was "privileged" as an "attorney-client communication." Her flawed understading of her privilege perhaps is the reason she was dumb enough to ferry terrorist messages in furtherance of a conspiracy with jailed islamofascists. As if, no one will notice?

I'm surprised she lasted this long; maybe Darwin's laws are wrong.

To the extent that the Maker showed mercy on Hitler and the Rosenbergs, perhaps too will Stewart be spared from Hell. I'll gladly pull the lever on the electric chair, if a volunteer is needed.

* - I love calling it like it is, when seditious fascists are convicted of being...seditious fascists.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Why Eason Jordan Matters...Dumbed Way Down

[Update: Well, it's been a week since I posted this, and the videotape of Eason's statements has been withheld, while CNN does damage control and bloggers amass more contextual data regarding Eason. For those who focus on MSM bias, consider this a positive development, because regardless of the competing spins to this matter, any average joe understands why the tape isn't being released. The MSM bias war is a battle for the attention of the average joe, and the average joe can't really be spun on this one...]

Captain's Quarters and TKS are correct to accent the repeated Eason Jordan claims that "journalists are targeted" and killed and tortured by the US Military.

Why is it so bad?

1. First off, if it is true, we have a problem.
2. It's not likely true, though. So why is a veteran journalist continually making such false, incendiary claims?
3. The false claims serve as fodder for islamofascist propaganda (via al jezeera) that hurts the national interest of the United States.
4. The false claims provide support for racist islamofascist propaganda to the effect that, despite appearances, the U.S. and Israel are secretly planning harmful actions against Islamic peoples. That is, the U.S. is shooting journalists to keep the real story from being disclosed.
5. The false claims help islmaofascist recruitment by creating plausible war crimes, against which homicide bombers may be recruited and stoked.
6. The false claims by the manager of CNN's Iraqi operations call into question the journalistic competence of Eason.
7. The false claims establish an anti-military, anti-U.S. bias on the part of the executives at CNN who control the flow of news out of Iraq.

Now there is an "Easongate" blog acting as a clearinghouse.

Before I convict the guy, I want to read the transcript of the Davos conference. It is possible that Eason did not make the claim that journalists are being targeted by the U.S. military, but rather he instead complained that the military doesn't "do enough" to avoid killing journalists. That is a critical distinction. Even a dog knows the diference between being tripped over, and kicked.

But, if Eason kicked here, well.....let's see what the tape establishes.

nb: If the tape is claimed to have "disappeared" or to be "spoiled," remember Rose Mary Woods.

Why Is This So Rare? The Reasonable Lefty

Quick: Visualize yourself in a discussion/debate about Iraq with a Manhattan or West Los Angeles middle-aged liberal activist. Most of my cohorts fit into this category, except those who are "left wing" instead of "liberal."

Your mental image, no doubt, includes the many irrational and emotional postions that are taken, marred by suppressions and which run afoul of many basic rules of Logic 101, not to mention the ad hominem attacks against Bush, the gist of which are that:

(1) he has acted with malicious intent (i.e., he and Cheney are hell-bent to destroy this country, while printing loot for a shifting coalition of global petro-industrial conglomerates),

(2) he at best is mentally deficient (i.e., an I.Q of 85),

(3) he is blinded by Christian fundamentalism, the tenets of which goaded him to start a new Crusade against the Islamic hordes; and/or

(4) he cares only about remedying the "blunder" of his father, who failed to "kill Saddam" during the prior Gulf War.

Like Bummer, you probably spent college, law school or other time engaged in lengthy, substantive discussion and debate with urban liberals, and although you disagreed with them, you respected them because you could usually reduce the issue down to a fundamental value point, such as "collectivism vs. capitalism" or some such thing. The adage that, "Reasonable people can differ," allowed you to then drink 14 martinis with your reasonable debate mate, and try to pick up girls, which almost always was a futile undertaking.

This paradigm of the "rational person" is NOT the image your brain brought up when you started reading this post. What happened? When did the Left suddenly adopt Kool-Aid as their breakfast juice?

Why is the following Iraq War sentiment - from a liberal middle-aged activist - so rare today? How great would it be if even 25% of the the Left were to have the reasonable, logical position of Thomas Friedman of the NY Times:

As someone who believed, hoped, worried, prayed, worried, hoped and prayed some more that Iraqis could one day pull off the election they did, I am unreservedly happy about the outcome - and you should be, too.

Why? Because what threatens America most from the Middle East are the pathologies of a region where there is too little freedom and too many young people who aren't able to achieve their full potential. The only way to cure these pathologies is with a war of ideas within the Arab-Muslim world so those with bad ideas can be defeated by those with progressive ones.

We can't fight that war. Only the Arab progressives can .... But we can collaborate with them ... and that is what American and British soldiers have been doing in Iraq.

President Bush's basic gut instinct about the need to do this is exactly right. His thinking that this could be done on the cheap, though, with little postwar planning, was exactly wrong....

[T]his [Iraqi] election has made it crystal clear that the Iraq war is not between fascist insurgents and America, but between the fascist insurgents and the Iraqi people.... [W]hatever you thought about this war, it's not about Mr. Bush anymore.

I've left out the lines where Friedman criticizes Bush, to make my point, that logic and reason underpin Mr. Friedman's argument. (Friedman haters, don't flame my comment board, please).

Something tells me that a couple of decades ago, Mr. Friedman and Bummer would have spent a lot of money together, in a lot of watering holes ...

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

IslamoFascists Love Their Dolls

Who knows what is effective in an illiterate, tribal- and sectarian-based place like Iraq?

You've gotta think that the combination of (1) the election turnout, (2) the failure of the insurgents to prevent the vote and (3) the news that the insurgents are now using posed dolls to scare people, will bolster to some degree the will of the Iraqi people to build a stable society.

Remember the image of Bert from Sesame Street, emblazoned on those bin laden posters?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Other George

Having licked his wounds after Bush's victory, George Soros is back with his therapeutic lecturing.

Had he thought of it, Victor Hanson might have worked Soros into these observations:

"This attitude is part of the therapeutic view of the present struggle that continually suggests that something we did ...brought on our present bother..... We, not fascists and Islamist psychopaths, are blamed for the mess in Iraq, the mess in Afghanistan, the mess on the West Bank, and the mess here at home...

"To all you of the therapeutic mindset, listen up. We can no more reason with the Islamic fascists than we could sympathize with the Nazis' demands over supposedly exploited Germans in Czechoslovakia or the problem of Tojo's Japan's not getting its timely scrap-metal shipments from Roosevelt's America....

"The artists, musicians, [billionaire capitalist parasites] and entertainers have also railed against the war. ...But in the tragic view, they can be little more than puppets of inspiration."

George, maybe you need confront the tragic view that you are a puppet of inspiration. This will get you started.