Friday, July 29, 2005

Fatwa Against Terror

The Fiqh (trans: "Islamic Law") Council of North America (FCNA) has issued a religious edict - a fatwa - purportedly advising its members that terrorism and extremism are wrong:

"1. All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam.
2. It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.
3. It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) offered its support for the fatwa. Yet, many noted terror watchers are highly suspect of the fatwa. "Bogus" is a word being used.


Guys, guys, guys ... take credit. The harsh light you have cast on these potential collaborators has had its effect. This is a public renunciation.

Bummer isn't jumping on this anti-fatwa bandwagon (yet). Bummer is applauding (for now).

BummerReaders know that he's a hardliner. Bummer ain't no pussy. Posted here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and ...well, you get the idea.

A good islamofascist is a dead one. But this renunciation, on its face, is a very good development. First step down a long road.

UPDATE: Bummer is losing colleagues over his position on this. The 23 are down to 14, based upon the hate email. Maybe its BummerNaivete - not the first time.

Anyway, here is the entire English translation:

"The Fiqh Council of North America wishes to reaffirm Islam's absolute condemnation of terrorism and religious extremism. Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians’ life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram – or forbidden - and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not “martyrs.”

The Qur’an, Islam’s revealed text, states: "Whoever kills a person [unjustly]…it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind." (Qur’an, 5:32)

Prophet Muhammad said there is no excuse for committing unjust acts: "Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well, and that if they do wrong you will do wrong to them. Instead, accustom
yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong (even) if they do evil." (Al-Tirmidhi) God mandates moderation in faith and in all aspects of life when He states in the Qur’an: “We made you to be a community of the middle way, so that (with the example of your lives) you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind.” (Qur’an, 2:143)

In another verse, God explains our duties as human beings when he says: “Let there arise from among you a band of people who invite to righteousness, and enjoin good and forbid evil.” (Qur’an, 3:104)

Islam teaches us to act in a caring manner to all of God's creation. The Prophet Muhammad, who is described in the Qur’an as “a mercy to the worlds” said: “All creation is the family of God, and the person most beloved by God (is the one) who iskind and caring toward His family." In the light of the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah we clearly and strongly state:

1. All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam.

2. It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.

3. It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians.

We issue this fatwa following the guidance of our scripture, the Qur’an, and the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him. We urge all people to resolve all conflicts in just and peaceful manners. We pray for the defeat of extremism and terrorism. We pray for the safety and security of our country, the United States, and its people. We pray for the safety and security of all inhabitants of our planet. We pray that interfaith harmony and cooperation prevail both in the United States and all around the globe. "

145 (and counting) Muslim organizations and Muslims are publicly supporting the renunciation.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

MSM: You Shall Ignore The Gorilla

Is it a 900 lb. gorilla in the room? Or a pink elephant that is only visible to Bummer?

The effect of illegal aliens on US labor union members, that is.

The NYTimes this morning puts a tiara on the splintering of the AFL-CIO, looks around the room, and pretends the gorilla isn't there. Its lead editorial pretends that 15 million illegal workers don't exist:

"The labor federation has been on the ropes for years, losing battles ... against technology and global economic change. ... The unions that once organized the great blue-collar industries now mainly concentrate on managing the pain as their members watch their jobs give way to automation or globalization."

INTERNAL NY TIMES MEMO: "No staff member shall include in any labor union story or column any reference to the discredited allegation of any link between illegal immigration and the loss of jobs for US labor unions. Any violation of this edict shall result in immediate termination for cause, for engaging in racist workplace behavior."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

It's So Dirty, The Teamsters Won't Say It

Two large labor unions, the Teamsters and the SEIU, have left the AFL-CIO. It's quite a birthday for the AFL-CIO: 25% of its members just walked out.

Leftish MSM coverage is feeling about, trying to find some acceptable angle to pursue. Funny, amidst all this searching, not a single Teamster nor union steward, nor any MSM outlet, will dare say anything about the 900 lb. gorilla sitting in the union hall:

Illegal immigration is destroying the economic life of the American workingperson.
Illegal Alien Workers. A phrase so dirty, so politically incorrect, that even the Teamsters blush.

But the Comintern-inspired Left Wing won't talk straight to the union members.

-Downward pressure on low-end wages?
-Downward pressure on benefit packages?
-Downward pressure on raises?
-Downward pressure on hours and conditions?

Not a peep from the unions.

Check out the unions' websites for some insight as to how the unions view the 900 lb. illegal alien gorilla. Many have elaborate essays as to the union's efforts to increase the number of illegal workers ... and to insist that an employer pay benefits to the illegal alien who takes your job, at half the pay.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Dead Ninth

The Supreme Court is a bunch of pussies, afraid of the nation's past. Maybe that's because the Supreme Court didn't give itself the power of judicial review until Marbury, in 1803. Too much use of the 9th, perhaps was not thought good for the Court's own power.

Why else would the Court continue to pretend that the 9th Amendment to the Constitution doesn't exist?

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
Whether you want strict construction, or a make-it-up-as-we-go Court, the 9th is where the action should be.

With a bunch of rickety jurisprudence pilings becoming somewhat rotted over the past 50 years, as Constitutional matters were "bent" by activist courts to achieve desired outcomes, watch the 9th become a hotbed in the coming 25 years.

Many activist court decisions have had decades to make their mark on society. Query whether the social good intended thereby, can sustain itself, if the questionable rulings are abrogated.

With Republicans, and even more so conservatives, in power in Washington for the foreseeable future, perhaps it will be left to localities to pass leftie laws. Now the lefties will cry for states' rights, and the right wingers will press the federal key.

The late John Hart Ely, a liberal Democrat law school dean and scholar, warned of this coming inversion.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Monkey Crusade

The Scopes Anti-Science Trial went down 80 years ago. A local law prohibiting the teaching of science was upheld, but the harsh light of publicity lit a long fuse that eventually vitiated the underpinnings of such Dark-Ages codes.

Bummer's outlandish attire at an oceanfront party last night - a shirt with a huge Crusader cross embroidered across the front* - goaded conversation with some Euro historians about the nature of the Crusades. What fine coincidence that this morning, an obscure Winston Churchill quote (below) appeared from behind a century-old veil.

Might it be that the freedom of scienctific inquiry is the defining bedrock of "our" culture, versus "theirs?"

BummerHypothesis: Science and scientific vigor are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. **

Said Churchill: ***
"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! ... No stronger retrograde force exists in the world... .Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome."

- Sir Winston Churchill, The River War, 1st edition, Vol. II, pp. 248-50 (1899)

*- Not indicative of Bummer's "faith" or lack thereof; rather, Cruciforms are in fashion now. Thanks, Madonna.

** - Yes, Bummer often cites Scopes. Leftist feminists and leftist polemicists using the video medium have felt Bummers silver Scopes hammer... .

*** - As always, LGF.

Friday, July 22, 2005

It's September 2001

9/11 is days old.

You are a cop stationed at an airport. You see someone you suspect is a suicide bomber. Has on a heavy coat, despite the heat.

You and your fellow cops tell him to stop. Instead, he runs. Running away from you and other cops, a couple of days after 9/11, in a high-security airport (or station).

Suicide bombers have self-activated detonators, by the way.

He falls, or is tackled, while running.

Again, suicide bombers have self-activated detonators.

Do you shoot him in the head 5 times ... or chance it?

That's what just happened in London. Executed on the spot.

"He half-tripped, was half-pushed to the floor. The policeman nearest to me had the black automatic pistol in his left hand, he held it down to the guy and unloaded five shots into him."

Get down with it. This is war. And don't run when halted by the cops in a station.

Victor D. Vonnegut

If you haven't yet gotten hooked on Vic Hanson, maybe this will goad you: His prose has the cadence of Vonnegut and the bite of Ambrose Bierce.


"... And the cowboy Patriot Act to now-panicked European parliaments perhaps seems not so illiberal after all.

... Perhaps the jihadist killing was ... symptoms of a global pathology of young male Islamic radicals blaming all others for their own self-inflicted miseries.

... Had bin Laden ... slammed an airliner into a skyscraper in Shanghai, there is no telling what a nuclear China might have done... .

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Surrender Monkey Scores -- Hatchet Job Quadra Slap

Paul Begala -- a spokesmodel aide to President Clinton dating back to his Ozark days -- manages that which was previously thought impossible: The Hatchet-Job Quadra Slap !

In a single speech, he proves that:

(1) Republicans want to kill Americans,
(2) Republicans are stupid,
(3) Republicans are military pussies (compared to Democrats) and --- get ready --
(4) Republicans supported Hitler.

You can't make this stuff up any better:

"[Republicans] want to kill me and my children if they can... . They are utterly and completely brain-dead.... Republicans...didn't want to get in [WWII]... .They didn't have any problem with Hitler... .Democrats have always been just as tough as Republicans once they're in office."

For what it's worth, I think one can discern the difference between, i.e., employed and employable ballers [that's a compliment] like Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and the now sidelined, out-of-work, looking-for-my-next-political-job tossers like Begala.

Friday, July 15, 2005

You Build It, Pay for It, and then Surrender It To Us


The United Nations, representing a flotilla of countries without the knowledge or technology to build the internet, without the national stability to protect it, without the money to have developed it, without the money to maintain it, without anthing relevant, really, other than its existence, now nonetheless WANTS CONTROL OF THE INTERNET.

A perfect microcosm of the issues at large.

nb: Remember the pigs and the horse in Animal Farm?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

You Will Now Ignore all Pre-9/11 Islamic Fascism

Hugh Hewitt nails it:

As the bloody toll of the Islamist movement grows and its record of horrors lengthens from Bali to Beslan to Madrid to London, the incredible cost that can only be attributed to the Afghanistan metastasis that went unchecked from the time of bin Laden's return there in 1996 until the American-led invasion of 2001 becomes ever more clear. That was the true "breeding ground" of the world's menace, not the Sunni triangle, where jihadists are continually under pressure and increasingly desperate. The long years ahead in the global war on terrorism will be spent trying to undo the damage done by allowing the Islamist radicals a safe haven from which to export their ideology and to train and deploy their converts.

The realization of the price of inaction through the '90s has a huge political cost attached to it, one that the Democrats will bear if a full accounting is ever compiled. Thus the "breeding ground" rhetoric--empty and absurd as it is--is a convenient and even necessary bit of smoke. There's no fire underneath that smoke. Just a desperate hope that noise will drown out voices pointing to the real history of the rise of the Islamist threat.

Shocking Development in London Bombings


The London bombers were....Islamic fundamentalists acting like ordinary citizens.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

More Dirty Laundry in the Plame Affair

The second act speculation unfolds:

Fitzgerald (the special prosecutor) had a major bone to pick with Miller (the NYTimes reporter in jail).

Right after 9/11, Fitzgerald was on the verge of indicting an Islamic front grou, Holy Land Foundation, and he is convinced that Miller tipped off the Foundation under the guise of “calling for comment,” and that the Foundation commenced a shredding party.

From the Washington Post:
“Times reporter Judith Miller telephoned officials with the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a Texas-based charity accused of being a front for Palestinian terrorists, and asked for a comment about what she said was the government's probable crackdown on the group. U.S. officials said this conversation and Miller's article on the subject in the Times on Dec. 4 increased the likelihood that the foundation destroyed or hid records before a hastily organized raid by agents that day."

Fitzgerald sought her phone records on that occasion to uncover the source of a potential leak in his own office and was blocked by a New York judge named Robert Sweet.

Miller didn't get so lucky this time.

This theory has it all that Fitzgerald is going after Miller. And the theory goes that Miller, in calling around Washington on the story, was the person who used Plame's name.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Plame Affair: Wilson the Partisan Liar

The bipartisan, unanimous Senate Intelligence Committee Report called Valerie Plame's husband Joseph Wilson a liar, albeit such official reports don't use the word "liar."

Wilson spent over a week in Niger on his information gathering trip. His specific task in being sent there, under an operational "Secret" clearance, was to look into possible Iraq procurement of uranium from Niger. The U.S. had received reports of a transaction, and it was thought (by whom? became an issue...) that Wilson might be able to add facts, given his experience in a neighboring African country.

Out of work Democrat Wilson (anti-war, pro-Democrat) had political and career reasons to portray his trip as having "disproven" that Iraq has procured uranium for WMD's from Niger.
But in fact, Wilson obtained corroborating evidence that Iraq had sought (although not obtained) uranium from Niger. Not a smoking gun, nor proof, but relevant corroborating information. It is this difference -- "Iraq had procured" vs. "Iraq had sought to procure," that underlay the entire affair (and a good microcosm of the larger political debate about Bush's pre-emptive war).

Per the Report, the CIA "Counterproliferation Division" gave Wilson his script for his Niger trip and the questions to raise in his discussions with Nigerian officials. Wilson was to ask Nigerian officials if Niger was approached, conducted discussions, or entered into any agreements concerning uranium transfers with "countries of concern." [Report, p. 41]

Wilson's information gathering tasks bear repeating. The information being sought was, "Had Niger:

---- been approached?
---- conducted discussions? or
---- entered into agreements?"

The Report calls Wilson a Liar on several points.

First Wilson Lie: Wilson Lies to the Mainstream Media.

The unanimous Senate Intelligence Committee Report calls Wilson a liar for his claims to the MSM that purported uranium purchase documents between Iraq and Niger were forgeries:

"[Wilson]...was the source of a Washington Post article ....which said, "Among [Wilson's] conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because 'the dates were wrong and the names were wrong... .' [Report, p. 45]

But the Report noted a glaring problem with Wilson's lip-flapping claims to the Washington Post:

"[Wilson] had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports. [Wilson told the Senate Committee] that he may have 'mispoken' to the reporter when he said he concluded that the documents were forged.' " [Report, p. 45]

[For those non-lawyers, the word "mispoken" is legalese for, "What I said was not true, and you've caught me and thus I am admitting is was not true, but of course I am not admitting that I committed perjury."]

The Senate Committee caught Wilson in a lie, confronted him on it, and Wilson admitted he had lied to the Washington Post. It's in the Report.

Second Wilson Lie: Wilson Lies to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The Report points out that Wilson lied a second time, on a related item. The initial intelligence reports about possible Iraqi purchases of Niger Nuke Nuggets included foreign agency reference to some documents, which now appear to have been forgeries (but no one knew at the time). Wilson lied to the Senate Committee, trying to cover up the anti-Bush lie he told the Washington Post set forth above (about the dates and names):

"[Wilson] said he discussed with his CIA contacts which names and figures should have appeared on any documentation of a legitimate uranium transaction. In fact, the intelligence report [i.e., the report written by the CIA agents who debriefed Wilson] made no mention of ... signatures that should have appeared on any documentation of such a deal. " [Report, page 44].

Third Wilson Lie: Wilson Tries to Deep-Six Evidence He Uncovers Regarding Iraqi Uranium Procurement Efforts.

Remember one of Wilson's key objectives: Gather information as to whether Niger had been approached concerning uranium purchases by Iraq.

When Wilson was debriefed by the CIA after his trip, Wilson told one story. When grilled by the Senate Intelligence Committee, he told another. The differing Wilson stories were an attempt by Wilson to downplay the important admission he received from a Nigerian ex-official.

"[Wilson's description of his findings [to the Committee] differed from the DO intelligence report and [Wilson's] account of the information provided to him by CIA differed from the CIA officials' accounts in some respects." [Report, p. 44].

This is because Wilson had sat with Niger's former Prime Minister, and a Minister of Energy and Mines. They confirmed to Wilson that, in fact, both Iranian and Iraqi delegations met with the Nigerians in 1998-1999. The Iranian delegation in 1998 explicitly sought 400 tons of uranium ore, but no deal was ever completed.

Then, in June 1999, some businessmen asked the Prime Minister to meet with an Iraqi delegation for the purpose of "expanding commercial relations" between the countries. (Remember, Iraq is under international embargo at this time.)

The CIA intelligence report on the matter states that the Prime Minister thought that "expanding commercial relations" meant that Iraq wanted to discuss yellowcake. The Senate Report states that Wilson said the Prime Minister met with the Iraqi delegation, but that the Prime Minister told Wilson that nothing happened because the Minister "let the matter drop due to the UN sanctions on Iraq." [??? See "*" below.]

So in summary, Wilson is sent to Niger, to speak with Nigerian officials about actual or attempted Iraqi procurement of uranium, and the Nigerian Prime Minister tells Wilson about the above meetings concerning Iraqis. A huge intelligence "get," right?

Says the Washington Post:

"Wilson last year launched a public firestorm with his accusations that the administration had manipulated intelligence to build a case for war. He has said that his trip to Niger should have laid to rest any notion that Iraq sought uranium there and has said his findings were ignored by the White House."

Back to the Senate Report: "[Wilson's description of his findings [to the Committee] differed from the DO intelligence report and [Wilson's] account of the information provided to him by CIA differed from the CIA officials' accounts in some respects." [Report, p. 44].

Apparently, Wilson told the Committee that his objective in Niger was to refute that a sale of uranium had taken place. The CIA intelligence report differed, noting that Wilson was also to investigate whether Iraq had sought uranium from Niger. Remember, the CIA "talking points" script given to Wilson before he went to Niger included as one of Wilson's tasks finding out about whether Niger had been approached by Iraq about obtaining uranium.

Wilson had uncovered an important piece of corroborating information, but Wilson did not like the political ramifications of his find. Instead, Wilson wanted to have "disproven" that uranium sales had occurred, yet he had corroborated that uranium had been sought.

Wilson's later statements to the MSM, and his after-the-fact "changing the story" as to what were his objectives in Niger, were lies. Because Wilson didn't like the fact that what he found in Niger corroborated (correctly or incorrectly) the Iraqi "trying to develop WMDs"-justification for war.

Fourth Wilson Lie: "The Wife Didn't Send Me" Lie.

Frankly, I can't figure this one out just yet. Wilson denied that his wife got him the Niger job, but she did. Was it pride, or a Wilson objective to obscure that a career Democrat (his wife) had suggested a career Democrat for a job, with all the overtones of nepotism and bias that might be raised? Or a desire to instead portray himself as an envoy of Cheney, thus his factual findings against Iraq having uranium would be more credible (which he thought disproved an Iraq link, but unknown to Wilson actually corroborated another link)?

And why did someone - presumably a Republican, but who knows - disclose the Plame connection? To debunk the idea that Wilson was acting as Tenet's or Cheney's personal envoy? That seems right, and the Rove-Cooper emails seem to point to this.

*-- Query: In June 1999, Prime Minister Mayaki is asked to meet with an Iraqi delegation. He does --let's assume that meeting was between July and September, perhaps. Mayaki left office a few months latter, in November 1999. Rather than Mayaki's claim that "UN sanctions" were the reason he didn't pursue the matter, isn't it more likely that the matter was "dropped" because Mayaki was no longer Prime Minister?

And Joseph Wilson, the Niger expert, doesn't press this issue with Mayaki?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Bummer Summer Mags

Bummer is tooling around along PCH this afternoon, Steely Dan Gaucho vibing out of the stereo of a bitchin' convertible, and there's the sign. "Garage Sale." Bummer's little PCH hacienda ain't the place one sees lots of Garage Sales.

The old man is someone who Chauncy Gardner might have worked for. He's 80's or 90's, big ole hearing aide, but still a sharp old coot.

A junkyard of a life, all laid out. I pick up a hemp rope for the winery, and an old VFW WWII vintage 4-book picture encylopedia, and a 100-year old Twain compendium.

"You went right for the good stuff," dit mon vieux ami.

"Yep, and I figure you're gonna tell me these are 5 bucks a piece."

A pause.

"They are 5 bucks each."

"Worth every damned penny," I admit.

The old man smiles with pride. Young whipper giving props to his books, in front of the other old men sitting around.

I buy the hemp rope and the books. I'm 27 bones lighter.

And then they just appear: The boxes.

Magazines. Pulp Gold.

Inside: Treasure. Pure, adulterated pleasure. Suddenly it's 1975, and Bummer is visiting some pussy neighbor who happens to have an older brother, who happens to have some magazines in his closet.

"How much?" I ask the old man.

"A buck each. Got 7 or 8 titles, there..." The old man drifts off, but no matter, he is mind-surfing some 78-degree Hawaiian wave, sometime back in 1963..... He 's back in bliss.

"You must have 200 of them, there."

"More than that," and he again drifts on his warm wave.

188 of them magazines, to be exact. Playboy, mostly, 1966-ish through mids-80's. Plus a couple dozen Penthouse from the 70's and early 80's, and a smattering of other mens mags of the era.

I gave the old man $190, cash. "Keep the change."

I look down at his little cashier desk. There's a stake of bolo ties, and the hand-lettered sign the old man has created: "Bolos - $2." Apparently, over the decades he had a hobby or job as a stone artist; there were lots of rocks and polished marble thingies, of another age. But there lay the polished stone marble bolo ties, $2 each.

"Wait - I'll take a bolo."

The old man's compadres came over. They pepper rapid-fire both questions about the mags, and the bolo.

"You even heard of -- what's her name - Benton, she was my neighbor, she's in one of them. A while ago."

"Yep, she married Hugh," I say.

"You know her, then?"

"You an afficiando?"


"You looking for this one?"says another, exhibiting a fine amber bolo.

"That's a nice one."

"Gonna sell 'em on that E-Bay?" asks the old man.

"Nope. For me."


"For you, then." And the old man just smiled. And he seemed to relish the 78-degree Hawaiian wave he was riding, from long ago.

A generation passed, there.

Friday, July 08, 2005

There Is No Terror War

There is no bona fide War on Terror. It's all a ruse by the Republicans.

Highlights of the 4,000 + people slain by Islamic terrorists over the last decade. Countless terrorist attacks against Israel are omitted:

1. FEB 26 1993: Six people killed by a 500kg bomb beneath the World Trade Center in New York.
2 DEC 11 1994: Explosion on a Philippine Airlines jet bound for Tokyo killed one and injured ten.
3. JUN 25 1996: Nineteen US servicemen killed in Dharan, Saudi Arabia, when their housing complex was blown up by a suicide bomber.
4. AUG 7 1998: American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania attacked in suicide truck bombings. Around 230 people died.
5. SEP 11 2001: 2,986 people killed as hijacked planes are flown into New York’s Twin Towers and the US Pentagon, and in a fourth hijacked airliner.
6. DEC 23 2001: Shoe bomber Richard Reid foiled trying to blow up flight from Paris to Miami.
7. MAR 17 2002: Five people killed when terrorists hurled grenades into a church in Pakistan.
8. APR 11 2002: Twenty one people, including 18 German tourists, killed when an ancient synagogue was bombed in Tunis.
9. OCT 6 2002: French oil tanker, the Limburg, attacked by a suicide speed boat off the coast of Yemen. One crew member died.
10. OCT 12 2002: A bomb in a Bali nightclub killed 202 people, mostly Australians.
11. NOV 28 2002: Sixteen dead, including three bombers, at the Israeli Paradise Hotel in Mombassa, Kenya. Two missiles missed an Israeli plane carrying 200 people.
12. MAY 12 2003: Suicide bombers hit three compounds for foreign workers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The 34 dead included nine attackers.
13. MAY 16 2003: Fourteen suicide bombers attacked four targets in the Moroccan capital Casablanca. Forty one people were killed.
14. AUG 5 2003: Twelve killed by car bomb outside Marriott Hotel in Indonesian capital Jakarta.
15. NOV 8 2003: Housing complex in Riyadh attacked by suicide car bomb. Seventeen dead, 100 hurt.
16. NOV 15 2003: Two synagogues in Istanbul attacked, killing 23 and wounding at least 300.
17. NOV 20 2003: Attacks on British Consulate and HSBC bank in Istanbul killed 27 and injured more than 450. Among the dead was Consul-General Roger Scott.
18. MAR 11 2004: In Madrid, TEN bombs remotely detonated on four trains in the rush hour killed 191 commuters and wounded 2,000.
19. MAY 29 2004: Gunmen stormed residential buildings for foreign workers in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Twenty two workers killed.
20. JUN 6 2004: Gunmen attacked a BBC crew in Suweidi, Saudi Arabia. Irish cameraman Simon Cumber was killed and BBC correspondent Frank Gardener injured.
21. JUN 18 2004: American engineer Paul Johnson executed by his kidnappers in Riyadh.
22. OCT 7 2004: At least 40 people killed when three suicide bombings hit resorts on Egypt’s Red Sea coast. At the Taba Hilton, a huge car bomb killed at least 30 people.
23. DEC 6 2004: Five staff and four gunmen killed in a raid on US consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
24. JUL 7 2005: 50+ killed, hundreds injured in London transit bombings.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Rehnquist Retirement Tip

Rehnquist will resign before Monday, July 11th.

During the Senate Recess.

It's all here.

NY Times' Immunity Thuggery

The MSM is going into hyper-drive over Judith Miller going to jail.

Remember: The attorney-client privilege can be waived by the client. The attorney has no input on such waiver. If the client waives the privilege, the lawyer may be compelled to testify, like any other citizen. Also, if the communication by the client was in furtherance of a crime, the privilege does not apply.

Waiver and crime. Those are the exceptions. Same for doctor-patient and clergy-member.

The NY Times still clings to its immunity, regardless of the commission of a crime and regardless of waiver.

Buried in the Times' own report today, is this cheeky dismissal of the fact that the "source" being protected has waived such protection:

"Investigators have presented many government officials with waiver forms instructing journalists to ignore pledges of confidentiality. Mr. Cooper, Ms. Miller and other journalists have said they view such waivers as coerced and ineffective."

Further, a reporter being contacted by a "source" for the criminal purpose of exposing the name of a CIA agent is a crime.

So, is it not a fair summary to say that the NY Times' position has nothing to do with protecting its sources? The sources have said, "Go ahead and speak with the government."


This is about institutional power, and immunity = power. The MSM wants immunity. It has nothing to do with "protecting sources."

By the way, the NY Times writes 7 paragraphs today disclosing that the "source" is Karl Rove. So much for protecting "sources."

Redux: The Nuclear Option is the 2006 Midterm Elections

Regarding the Supreme Court nomination(s):

Bush will respond to a stalled Rehnquist-replacement nomination with an interim appointment. None will be needed with O'Connor. After the 2006 election, any nominee, including a filibustered nominee, will be greenlit, because the Democrats won't have 41 votes needed to hold a filibuster.

I've written about it before, here. The Senate Democrats didn't seem to have the needed 41 votes to hold a filibuster 2 months ago.

As I noted yesterday, with the 2006 midterm elections upcoming, and a more-than-likely gain for the Senate Repulbicans (gaining a seat or two [or more?]) to put their total at 57-58, +/-, the Senate 'Publicans need not abrogate the filibuster process. Instead, they can wait it out.

That will put the Democrats at around 42 seats, +/-.

The Democrats didn't have 41 votes on filibuster, despite having a de facto 45-seat delegation. If the Dem delegation is reduced to 42 seats, it's even less likely that the Dems can hold a filibuster. Using interim appointment(s) and the 06 Midterms, the 'Publicans (a) get their nominees on the court, (b) paint the Dems as being obstructionist, and (c) have a strong issue (Democrats are obstructing things) for the 2008 presidential election.

ContraPoint: Force Hillary to vote on the filibuster. Make her defend it, in '08.


Note, Justice O'Connor did not resign. She is holding her seat until a replacement is confirmed. (Query the Constitutional issue, her resignation would not be effective upon an interim appointment by Bush - would an interim appointment be possible? O'Connor specifically states her retirement is "effective upon the nomination and confirmation of my successor.")

Note, O'Connor also issued her retirement letter during a Senate Recess.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Effete Thug Ordered To Jail

New York Times reporter Judith Miller has been ordered jailed for refusing to obey a federal court subpeona. The Supreme Court let stand the 2 lower court rulings upoholding her obligation to obey the subpeona.

Exactly the right decision. Backstory here.

In a separate case, rapper L'il Kim was sentenced to a year in jail for trying to protect her friends from being prosecuted for a shooting. She lied to a jury. The Judge said:
"Going to jail because you lied to protect violent men with guns is not heroic. It's stupid and it's wrong."
I wish Judith Miller's judge, Thomas Hogan, had made the same point. He would have said something like:
"Going to jail because you want to be a hero in a clique of organized effete thugs who wrongly claim to be above the law is not heroic. It's stupid and it's wrong."

S Ct Endgame Stuff

[See Update]

So there exists the possibility of a stalemate with the "Gang of 14" and its claimed deal on the judicial filibuster.

I'm not buying it. The Dems didn't have the votes lined up, for the Appellate battles a month ago.

In any event, you can be sure that the following memo was drafted by a White House lawyer in the past few days:

Section 2 of the Constitution provides:

Clause 2: [The President] ... shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint ... Judges of the supreme Court....

Clause 3: The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Lame duck President. Stalled Supreme Court nominee(s) caught in a partisan fight over the "filibuster." An energized Conservative base, viewing the nomination battle as a litmus test (much like the Left has viewed abortion as the litmus test issue for 30 years). The 'Publican "dealmakers" (i.e. the "Gang of 7") all with a Yossarian choice over any filibuster vote. Frist running for President in 08. Clinton needing to appear moderate to score '08 votes. The Left Wing deciding (again, in an act of political malpractice) to order a doomed Pickett's Charge over the nomination.

In short: Too many Senators have too many reasons to avoid confrontation, yet the partisan Left will force the issue (even though they may be bluffing,or delusional, on having 41 votes.) A filibuster vote is unwanted confrontation. Ergo, the elements of a perfect storm of stalemate.

The Constitution provides for these situations, with its built-in default mechanisms: "If stalemate, then X.' "

That's Section 2, Clause 3. A Stalemate Clause. It lets the President make a short-term appointment, until the next Senate election.


Let's do the math. The Republicans hold the Senate, 55-44(+1). The Senate line-up may well be shuffled by the 2006 Senate Elections. 33 Senate seats will be put to the voters in 2006. 18 are held by Democrats, 15 by Republicans. 4 of those 33 seats are being surrendered by retiring Senators (3 Dems, 1 Republican).

It's fanciful to imagine the Republicans NOT increasing their Senate control as a result of the 2006 elections. Assume a 57-42 Republican majority when the Senate reconvenes in January 2007.

So, you're Bush. No 2008 election to worry about. Nor should you worry about your Supreme Court nominee getting held up in the Senate. You know that you can make an interim appointment during one of many upcoming Senate recesses, under Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution.

Then, you simply wait for the 2006 midterm elections to break the logjam, and then ask the Senate, again, to confirm your recess appointments.

The Dems don't see this one coming.

[Update: With a Rehnquist death possible during a stalled nomination process, O'Connor is cognizant of not handing the Court over to a Left majority, in that her resignation is conditional upon the confirmation of her replacement: "This is to inform you of my decision to retire from my position as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, effective upon the nomination and confirmation of my successor."

If her replacement gets stalled, and Rehnquist dies, there is a 4-4 tie, as she has not resigned. Bush may elect to effect interim appointments, as noted above.]

[Update: The Senate reconvenes on Monday, July 11. Watch for Rehnquist to resign before the Senate reconvenes. ]

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Counsel Speaks Truth

Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald nails it:

"Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality — no one in America is."
All of this regarding the Plame Affair.

Best Peep Show in the Universe

A secret science geek, Bummer tries to visit this website daily.

You are very welcome.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Good Vibrations for Africa

The Live Aid concert follow-up, Live8, happens this weekend.

It will be a good show, yet as other spoil sports have pointed out, it won't change much as far as solving the Africa problem.

What will solve the Africa problem? Sovereign Enterprise Zones -- basically, small zones inside the poor countries, that are leased byteh poor country for 50-70 years to Western nations, as sovereign territory of the Western nation (think of a cross between our European war cemetaries, Hong Kong, and an urban enterprise zone in a ghetto).

The SEZ has a low tax (remitted to the poor country and perhaps a pan-African SEZ oversight agency), a court system provided by the Western country (no graft), and protection by the Western country military. Business will flourish there. As economic activity in the SEZ expands, business will build an infrastructure, irrespective of the inevitable revloving door of juntas who inhabit the make-believe bandit governments.

As the small SEZ zone prospers, there is a spillover effect. Economic zones just outside the SEZ will develop in the poor country. Citizens will have money from working in the SEZ. Citizens will learn the benefits of a stable, corruption-free court, capital and military infrstructure. Worker income rises. Foreign investment flows into the SEZ - protected by the Western legal system and military protection.

Each poor African nation with one or more SEZs will begin the long march to developing real economies and real governance, without the bandit governments looting everything.

In 2 generations, it's a different ballgame for poor Africa. Other programs may help, but an SEZ program is the game changer.

Think about it.