Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Rumsfeld Speech

And you wonder why Bummer likes this Rumsfeld guy?:

I quote the Donald (funny how none of the wire services will provide a transcript):

In the decades before World War II, a great many argued that the fascist threat was exaggerated--or that it was someone else's problem. Some nations tried to negotiate a separate peace--even as the enemy made its deadly ambitions crystal clear. It was, as Churchill observed, a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.

There was a strange innocence in views of the world. Someone recently recalled one U.S. Senator's reaction in September 1939, upon hearing that Hitler had invaded Poland to start World War II. He exclaimed: "Lord, if only I could have talked with Hitler, all this might have been avoided."

Think of that!

I recount this history because once again we face the same kind of challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism. Today, another enemy--a different kind of enemy--has also made clear its intentions--in places like New York, Washington, D.C., Bali, London, Madrid, and Moscow. But it is apparent that many have still not learned history's lessons.

We need to face the following questions:
-With the growing lethality and availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow vicious extremists can be appeased?

- Can we really continue to think that free countries can negotiate a separate peace with terrorists?

- Can we truly afford the luxury of pretending that the threats today are simply "law enforcement" problems, rather than fundamentally different threats, requiring fundamentally different approaches?

- And can we truly afford to return to the destructive view that America--not the enemy--is the real source of the world's trouble?

These are central questions of our time. And we must face them. . . .

But this is still--even in 2006--not well recognized or fully understood. It seems that in some quarters there is more of a focus on dividing our country, than acting with unity against the gathering threats.

We find ourselves in a strange time:
-When a database search of America's leading newspapers turns up 10 times as many mentions of one of the soldiers at Abu Ghraib who were punished for misconduct, than mentions of Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith, the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in the Global War on Terror;

- When a senior editor at Newsweek disparagingly refers to the brave volunteers in our Armed Forces as a "mercenary army";

- When the former head of CNN accuses the American military of deliberately targeting journalists and the former CNN Baghdad bureau chief admits he concealed reports of Saddam Hussein's crimes when he was in power so CNN could stay in Iraq[*]; and

- It is a time when Amnesty International disgracefully refers to the military facility at Guantanamo Bay, which holds terrorists who have vowed to kill Americans and which is arguably the best run and most scrutinized detention facility in the history of warfare, as "the gulag of our times."

Those who know the truth need to speak out against these kinds of myths, and distortions being told about our troops and about our country.

The struggle we are in is too important--the consequences too severe--to have the luxury of returning to the old mentality of "Blame America First."

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Back from Vacation

Some observations:

1. Americans are really fat. Not overweight - but fat.
2. The cost of high calorie foods - especially for the young and poor - is significantly subsidized by the government. These subsidies are partly to blame for HUGE food portions at almost zero cost to the provider.
3. Dealing with the consequencese of being fat - particularly, geriatric health care - is significantly subsidized by the government.

Any wonder why Americans are so fat?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Idiot's Guide to 9/11 Conspiracy

Bummer needs to go into a new business. A business with a business model of catering to the stupid, who apparently represent a sizeable chunk of the population.

I digress.

Behold the work of the intellectual giants of the 9/11 conspiracy cabal:

Warning: 3-digit IQ required for entry here.

The Storm Clouds and Other Clouds

You may not agree with Ms. Glick's various political prescriptions, but she is spot-on with this notation:

"In the not so distant future, we [the Israelis] will find ourselves at war with Iran. Today, the choice [is in our hands] of whether we fight that war in our own time, and before Iran gets nuclear weapons ... . If we hesitate, if we and the rest of the free world waste precious time with worthless diplomatic wrangling with the ayatollahs, war will come to us, but on the enemy's terms. And we will have only ourselves to blame."

She gets it.


A year and a half ago, I sat at a lunch with a bunch of smart people and pondered out loud what type of shock would be required to move citizens of the U.S to the unthinkable: To be in favor of using nuclear weapons. My raising the topic was countered with furious subject-changing amidst the West LA liberal Democratic group. It was not PC to even address the topic.

My point was, and remains, this: Merely one generation ago -- our moms and dads, or maybe a grandparent -- a US population that was something like 80% pacifist/isolationist, came to accept fire-bombing and the use of nuclear weapons. In less than five years. That fast.

From pacifist to 'eradication firebombers,' in under five years. That's quite a switcheroo.

Would, or could, the current generation of US citizens undergo a similar flip, as happened between 1942 and 1945? Or has our socio-political outlook completely moved on to somewhere else?

I posit that, wherever we are as a people, the late 1930's anti-war/appeasement viewpoint is very similar to that which exists in Europe and the US today (with the big X-factor of the Depression just ending, then). News of Japanese atrocities, and then of Nazi atrocities, as well as war-fatigue, were factors in the US people coming to accept the -- necessity? -- of dropping the bomb.

Is that possible today? If it is possible, what would it take to cause the shift? And would it happen in 3 to 4 years? Or is that timeline a thing of the past?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Oh Jimmy, We Miss Your Bold Leadership

Jimmy Carter continues his political speaking tour in the Reynolds Wrap aisle of the supermarket:

Carter: ... Our country ... now we have a new policy of going to war on a preemptive basis.... as a matter of fact, the concerns I exposed have gotten even worse now with the United States supporting and encouraging Israel in its unjustified attack on Lebanon.

SPIEGEL: But wasn't Israel the first to get attacked?

Carter: [Don't answer the question, Jimmy!! - ed] I don't think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon. What happened is that Israel is holding almost 10,000 prisoners, so when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers, Israel looks upon this as a justification for an attack on the civilian population of Lebanon and Gaza. I do not think that's justified, no.

OK, so that new Carter Doctrine would read something like ...

"Attacking first is immoral, if you are the US or Israel. Counterattacking is immoral, if you are the US or Israel."

OK, thanks Jimmy. Thanks. Real good stuff. Did you or you Libyan lobbyist-brother Billy come up with that one?

We know that you're still struggling (CogDis strikes!) with the fact that you quarterbacked the worst US military fiasco of the century, Operation Eagle Claw, aren't you?

Well, it shows, and many of us remember. So have a cup of ... you know what.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

LA Times: Change the Caption to Skewer the Rich

It is an eye-catching photo from Getty, indeed:

Getty gives the photo the following caption to this Image # 71648398:

"Beirut Residents Continue to Flock to Southern Neighborhoods"

The Los Angeles Times decided to run this photo today, Page 1, above the fold. But the Times re-writes the caption to capture a leftist bent -- seemingly, to portay callous rich people out for a picnic amidst the ruins:

"Affluent Lebanese drive through a bombed-out south Beirut neighborhood."

Where do I start......?

Are all Middle Eastern women supposed to be wrapped in a burqa and missing a front tooth? Do only the affluent have all their teeth and shun the burqa? Do affluent women typically travel in foursomes -- three to the backseat - with one man? Etc.....

The Gathering Storm II



August 16, 2006 -- HISTORIANS will look back at this weekend's cease-fire agreement in Lebanon as a pivotal moment in the war on terror. It is pivotal in the same sense that the Munich agreement between Adolf Hitler and Neville Chamberlain was pivotal in an earlier battle against the enemies of freedom. The accord in October 1938 revealed to the world that the solidarity of the Western allies was a sham, and that the balance of power had shifted to the fascist dictators.

Resolution 1701 shows that, for the time being at least, the balance has likewise shifted to the terrorists and their state sponsors. Like Munich, it marks the triumph of the principle of putting off until tomorrow what needs to be done today. Like Munich, it will mean not peace in our time, but a bigger war in our future.

In that sense, the cease-fire may be even more momentous than Munich, and a greater blunder. In 1938 Chamberlain and other appeasers had the excuse that they were trying to prevent an armed conflict no one wanted. Today, of course, that conflict is already here. Historians will conclude that by supporting U.N. Resolution 1701 and getting Israel to agree, the Bush administration has in effect declared that its global war on terror is over. We have reverted to the pre-9/11 box of tools, if not necessarily the pre-9/11 mindset. From now on, the worst Iran, Syria, and North Korea will have to worry about are serial resolutions in the United Nations. Terrorists will be busy dodging Justice Department subpoenas, not Tomahawk missiles.

Our enemies know better. They know the war is only entering a new stage, and they know who the winners and losers were last weekend.

The clear losers were the United States and Israel. Israel has sacrificed lives and treasure, and had its honor dragged through the mud of international opinion, for no purpose. America squandered its political capital at the start of the crisis by getting moderate Arab regimes to condemn Hezbollah instead of Israel. They did so because they thought Hezbollah was about to be annihilated. However, they soon realized their mistake. They now know Tehran and Damascus will set the agenda in the Middle East, not Washington. The Arab League's support for this U.N.-brokered deal is just one more measure of our strategic failure.

The other loser is Lebanon. The price of peace in 1938 was de jure dismemberment of Czechoslovakia, as Germany annexed the Sudetenland. The price of Resolution 1701 is de facto dismemberment of Lebanon. A large, well-armed terrorist army acting at the behest of a foreign power now controls the southern half of Lebanon, and pulls the strings in the other half. The facade of Lebanese self-government has been preserved. As a territorial state, it may even last longer than Czechoslovakia did (Hitler gave the Czechs five months before he annexed the rest of their country).

But other states in the region will have learned their lesson. Faced by an internal terrorist organization, especially one with links with Tehran, they will have to make accommodations. No white knight in the guise of U.S. Marines will ride to their rescue; no Israeli tanks and F-16s will do their dirty work for them. Appeasement will be the order of the day.

That includes Iraq. The disarming of Sunni and Shia militias, the necessary first step to ending sectarian violence there, will be postponed - perhaps for good. On the contrary, this crisis has taught Iraq's Shia minority that extremism pays, particularly the Iranian kind.

For everyone in the Middle East knows Iran is the clear winner. Only the diplomats and politicians, including the Bush administration, will pretend otherwise. Iran has emerged as the clear champion of anti-Israeli feeling and radical Islam. The Iranians have their useful puppet in Syria; they have their proxy armies in place with Hezbollah and Hamas. They have been able to install missiles, even Revolutionary Guards, in Lebanon with impunity. Sunni regimes in the region will move to strike their own deals with Iran, just as Eastern European states did with Germany after Czechoslovakia. That includes Iraq; the lesson will not be lost on Russia and China, either. And all the while, the Iranians proceed with their nuclear plans - with the same impunity.

Finally, the other winners are the conventional diplomats at the State Department, especially Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns. In a narrow professional sense, appeasement is their business. They never saw the point to a "war on terror" they are delighted to take back the initiative from the hawks at the Pentagon and the White House.

The war in Iraq has clearly sapped the moral strength of the Bush administration. The men of Munich acquiesced to Hitler because another world war like the first seemed unthinkable. The Bush administration clearly feels it cannot face another major confrontation even with a second-rate power like Iran. Yet by calling off the war on terror, it has only postponed that conflict.

"We have passed an awful milestone in our history," Winston Churchill said after the Munich agreement was signed. "Do not suppose this is the end . . . This is only the first sip, the first foretaste, of a bitter cup that will be proffered to us year by year." Despite the failure of appeasement, Churchill still believed the Western democracies would make the "supreme recovery" and take up the banner for freedom again. The United States and the forces of democracy will recover from this debacle - even with a Democratic Congress in 2006 and a Democratic president in 2008. The reason will not be because Bush's opponents have a better strategy, or a clearer vision, or even a Winston Churchill waiting in the wings. It will be because our enemies will give us no choice.

Less than a year after Munich, Nazi panzers rolled into Poland. Instead of fighting a short, limited war over Czechoslovakia, the Western democracies ended up fighting a world war, the most destructive in history. The war with the mullahs of Iran is coming. It is only a question of whether it will be at a time or on a ground of our choosing, or theirs - and whether it is fought within the shadow of a mushroom cloud.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cleaning the Deep Down Dirt

Glenn Reynolds scores a bullseye as to the damage caused by effete thugs weilding immunity. Dirty industries get targeted for clean-up:

"Can a free press survive if the public concludes that it's in the business of purveying politically motivated propaganda on behalf of civilization's enemies? And, if this kind of thing keeps up, will people be able to resist coming to such a conclusion? The press often responds to business scandals by noting that misbehavior by businessmen is likely to undermine support for free enterprise and lead to public demands for [sic: abolition or regulation of? - ed] free enterprise. I fear that the same dynamic may lead to reduced support for a free press, and to demands for government regulation of reporting in wartime."

Monday, August 14, 2006

Effete Thugs with Blind Eyes to Thugs with Cameras

Charles at LGF and others have been stunningly effective the past 9 days, exposing the fake pictures and staged events in which the MSM engages with terrorists. Not much for Bummer to add.

There is an oft-repeated MSM canard that lies at the core of the MSM's defense: "We believe that access to these important news events is our prime directive. Access is a prerequisite to reporting."

If you accept that argument:

Then you tacitly accept that CNN agreed to favorable coverage for Saddam, as qpq for Saddam allowing CNN to remain in Iraq....

Then you tacitly accept that the MSM will take carefully coreographed tours of Hezbollah/terrorist areas, and that the qpq is that the MSM must not be critical of the obvious propaganda....

Then you accept that the MSM refuses to acknowledge its own role in the war of propaganda; the MSM knows that its argument will, inevitably, end up with the MSM becoming a propaganda piece for the other side, as the "cost" of the MSM getting some images or access.

Effete Thugs. They believe that they are immune from the treason and conspiracy laws which the rest of us must obey.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Robert Rule of Order

For the record, you read it here, first, back in March.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Immunity for Tequila Shots

Bummer loves stories of mis-behaving attorneys. Unlike the media, who wrongly claim absolute immunity for their transgressions, there is at least some level of limit to the privileges enjoyed by attorneys. This is just too good:

Judge: Lawyer Is Too Drunk to Argue Case

A judge ordered a blood-alcohol test for a defense lawyer whom she said smelled of alcohol, then declared a mistrial after declaring him too tipsy to argue a kidnapping case.

"I don't think you can tell a straight story because you are intoxicated," Clark County District Judge Michelle Leavitt told defense lawyer Joseph Caramango as she declared a mistrial for Caramango's client, Dale Jakuchunas.

...In an exchange recorded by courtroom video, Caramango arrived about 90 minutes late for trial, and can be heard slurring his words.

The judge asked if something was wrong, and said she became suspicious when details of Caramango's accident account varied.

Caramango also identified a woman who accompanied him to court as his ex-girlfriend, and called her Christine. Questioned by the judge, the woman identified herself as Josephine and said she just met Caramango about 20 minutes earlier at a nearby bar and grill.

Leavitt summoned Caramango and prosecutors into her chambers and ordered Caramango to be examined by a courthouse nurse. The nurse told the judge that Caramango said he had shots of tequila hours before court. Caramango acknowledged in court that he was drinking the previous night, but maintained he was not drunk.

Leavitt ordered Caramango to take a breath test in court, then declared a mistrial.
"For the record," the judge said, "your blood-alcohol content is .075." The legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers in Nevada is 0.08 percent.
Leavitt did not hold Caramango in contempt of court, and it was not immediately clear whether he will face discipline from the State Bar of Nevada.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Teflon Left as Seen Through the MSM Looking Glass

"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

-- The Queen, 'Alice in Wonderland'

Hinderaker @ Powerline posts a classic MSM exchange between Tom Ricks and Howard Kurtz. It's not a jawdropper, because frankly, the uncritical MSM exposition of the Teflon Leftist* positions is hardly news anymore.

The gist is: As Israel moves through Lebanon, it intentionally leaves a few enemy rocket sites undisturbed, so that the rocket attacks therefrom will tend to perpetuate the impression that Israel is under attack. This is intended to give Israel the "moral high ground" on TV.

THOMAS RICKS, REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": One of the things that is going on, according to some military analysts, is that Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they're being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon.

KURTZ: Hold on, you're suggesting that Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of it's fire power, essentially for PR purposes, because having Israeli civilians killed helps them in the public relations war here?

RICKS: Yes, that's what military analysts have told me.


Note that there is no way to rebut this "argument." It laughably violates Occam's Razor. Hundreds of Hezbollah missiles are launched each day, because there is a war going on and Hezbollah is fighting back from areas not (yet) under Israeli control.

Further, hundreds of Hezbollah missiles are being launched each day. So, the IDF would intentionally leave a couple of launch sites so that 512 missiles are launched, instead of 503?


Rational thinkers know that Hezbollah has launched thousands of missiles against Israel, AFTER Israel pulled out of disputed territory. The missiles target civilians. They are terror missiles, just like Nazi v-2 "buzzbomb" rockets. Rational thinkers know that Hezbollah is the bad guy, civilian killer here. That public impression will not be changed.

So, there is a need to portray Israel as doing the same thing. Israel is not, but the leftists must create something to grasp.

This new talking point involving nefarious intent by Israel - intentionally allowing buzzbombs to exist for the sake of PR - provides some babble points to salve the cognitive dissonance of the anti-Israeli / Leftist crowd. It it MSM propaganda, pure and simple, because it cannot be rebutted, since we cannot know what secret plans and intent are in the minds of the IDF generals.


1. There is a 900-lb. gorilla in the room - i.e., Hezbollah using civilian areas as munitions dumps and launch sites, and a significant portion of the MSM running uncritical Hezbollah propaganda pictures supplied by Hezbollah, including staged corpses parades and fake battlefield pictures.

2. A couple of WAPO reporters walk in.

3. Ignoring the gorilla, the reporters obsess about what might happen if the pet lizard (in the cage next to the gorilla) were to learn how to unbolt the cage and escape under the desk.

* -- "Teflon Leftist": MSM uncritical carriage of leftist claims or arguments, which are portrayed as bona fide logical debate or even established fact, yet which have an illogical basis in that the argument (a) violates Occam's Razor, and (b) rests upon hypothetical and unknowable "facts" not able to be tested or rebutted.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

LGF Digs, Finds Another MSM Forgery

Charles at LGF scores again, this time with a Reuters photograph of Beirut, doctored to accentuate the amount of smoke over Beirut. The photo caption references the overnight Israeli bombing of "Beirut's suburbs" (read: civilian casualties).

"Smoke billows from burning buildings destroyed during an overnight Israeli air raid on Beirut’s suburbs August 5, 2006. Many buildings were flattened during the attack. REUTERS/Adnan Hajj"

It's The Immunity, Stupid

The 9/11 Commissioners can't understand why public officials simply lied about various aspects of the 9/11 response:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Sept. 11 commission was so frustrated with repeated misstatements by the Pentagon and FAA about their response to the 2001 terror attacks that it considered an investigation into possible deception, the panel's chairmen say in a new book.

The commission found it mind-boggling that authorities had asserted [openly and knowingly lied - ed.] during hearings that their air defenses had reacted quickly and were prepared to shoot down United Airlines Flight 93, which appeared headed toward Washington. In fact, the commission determined - after it subpoenaed audiotapes and e-mails of the sequence of events - that the shootdown order did not reach North American Aerospace Command pilots until after all of the hijacked planes had crashed [and that authorities had lied, and knew they were lying when the made their statements - ed.].

What is so perplexing about people with immunity acting badly as a result? Unless a government official is under oath, he generally has immunity. The government itself has immunity from those pesky trillion-dollar lawsuits, for telling untruths. Government officials have immunity from those pesky trillion-dollar lawsuits, for telling untruths.

A public company, and via Sarbanes-Oxley its top executives, have liability for lies and intentional omissions, including:

(a) To employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud,

(b) To make any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made,

(c) To engage in any act, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any person.

The "stock price" of our country and government may have plummetted, but no official has to account. In fact, the political system only modestly forces accountability upon any lying official -- that is, Bush takes heat, but one can argue that he was gonna take heat, anyway, form his opponents. Heat is a given. So, with immunity, why tell the truth? The heat won't rise because of it.

So the lies of government officers enjoy a certain immunity.

Where there is immunity for lying, lying will tend to increase, everything else being equal.

And when lying is allowed to float in the system, unchallenged, it becomes the de facto currency of public debate. In a system, lies tend to force out truth. In a system, circulating counterfeit money tends to force good money outof circulation. In a democratic system, allowing lies to circulate as policy, tends to force truth behind closed doors. Basic Gresham's Law stuff.

Pretty simple math. So why is the Commission mind-boggled?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

9 Little Bombs on 9 Iranian Refineries

Iran apparently has only limited gasoline refineries, which must supply the entire country.

Iran's economy is hugely dependent upon gasoline. Iran's refineries supposedly have a capacity of 10 million gallons of gasoline a day, but demand is close to 17 million gallons.

Iran subsidizes gas: it costs 9 cents per gallon at the pump.

So, what targets should Israelor the US strike, to cripple Iran?

Forget the nuke sites. Bomb all 9 gasoline refineries, and blockade any tankers from importing gasoline.* The country, its military, and perhaps the entire fascist regime will be on its knees in weeks. The country will go dark. Trucks stop. Cities go dark. Economy collapses. Oil exports halted. Billions or trillions lost. Chaos.


9 little bombs on 9 refineries cuts out 10 million gallons. A blockade stops the other 7 million gallons.

Sorta puts an interested perspective - ironic (iranic?) at that - on the whole thing.

* - Sure , a little gas will trickle in by truck. A little bit.

Effete Thugs' Immunity Claim Again Rejected by Court


A federal appeals court yesterday granted the government access to newsroom phone records as part of an investigation into how two Islamic charities were tipped off to impending FBI raids.

The 2-1 decision reverses a lower court ruling and upholds the subpoenas for the phone records from late 2001 of two reporters, Ms. Miller and Philip Shenon. Because prosecutors sought the records from a telephone company — and not from the Times — the ruling does not demand any compliance on the part of the newspaper. In an unrelated 2005 case that involved the same federal prosecutor, Ms. Miller spent 85 days in jail until she agreed to testify in the Washington, D.C., case relating to leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity.

Backstory rants here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and .... well, you get the picture....