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Archive for July, 2005

July 30th 2005

24 Hours Of Al Jazeera in English

Al Jazeera will launch its international English language network in early 2006, promising to offer “a Middle Eastern perspective on global events.” Presumably, they are not including Israel in the Middle East.

To prep for the launch, Al Jazeera has hired the London-New York-DC public relations firm Brown Lloyd James (BLJ), giving it the challenge to “demystify” the channel. Interesting word for what is really a challenge to give the station a modicum of believability.

BLJ has media experience (BBC, Forbes, Clear Channel) and represents Qatar, Dubai, and Ayad Allawi, but even so, this quote provided to PR Week is a beaut of understatement:

“The channel must establish its identity quickly because there are complex feelings toward the Arabic channel.”

Complex indeed. Stopping being the network of choice for bin Laden could be a good first step.

h/t PR Week, subscription required

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July 30th 2005

Musharraf Limits Madrassas

This very significant piece of news was buried as the last two paragraphs in the WaPo story about the arrests of another three London terror suspects:

Meanwhile, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s president, ordered all foreign students at madrassas , or religious schools, to leave the country, according to wire service reports. The schools have come under renewed scrutiny after reports that at least one of the four alleged suicide bombers in the July 7 attacks became radicalized while studying at a madrassa.

The order is part of a new crackdown on Islamic extremism that Musharraf has ordered in the wake of the bombings. More than 200 people have been arrested, although none of the detainees are alleged to have had any role in the attacks. “We will not allow madrassas to be misused for extremism, hatred being projected in our society,” Musharraf told foreign journalists in Islamabad.

To fight terror, Islam must force the closure of madrassas run by crazed jihadists, so they cannot spread their vile disease to impressionable young men. Musharraf needs to go further than simply expelling the foreign students, but this public recognition of the danger of the schools is good, particularly because Pakistan has become such a fertile breeding ground for terrorists.

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July 30th 2005

The Name Game

Ibrahim Muktar Said. Ramzi Mohammed. Osman Hussain.

Just noting that the London terrorists arrested yesterday appear to be Muslims.

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July 30th 2005

Vice Fund Outperforming Market

Take a look at this chart; it shows the performance of the Vice Fund, which invests in companies that profit off human moral weaknesses. As you can see, it is out-performing the S&P Index pretty healthily.

But don’t be so quick to think it’s all about booze, tobacco and gambling. Only 61.26% is. There’s 17.15% in “other” — that’s troubling — but a big contributor to The Vice Fund’s performance is the 21.59% share of its portfolio invested in defense stocks.

Defense as a vice? Here’s how the fund justifies it:

The Case for Defense Stock Investing

Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea. Those should be reason enough to believe in Defense Stocks. Homeland Security and anti-terrorism have become large, profitable industries. So called “Socially Responsible Investors” would claim that you shouldn’t own stocks that have anything to do with defense or weapons. That means that all of the Aerospace and Defense Industries are to be avoided. Maybe in a perfect world these industries wouldn’t need to exist, but until that perfect world does exist, we want to own these stocks.

Through good times and bad times, Aerospace and Defense firms employ millions of Americans and contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. economy. They provide technological innovations that are used in almost all of our daily lives. Why wouldn’t we want to invest in these companies?

Are these good stocks to own? The new Bush budget calls for increased defense spending, and defense stocks have performed historically well following conflict. As an example, look at any public information on stocks like Lockheed Martin or General Dynamics since the 1970′s. You’ll see that they outperformed the S&P 500 Index by wide margins over the past 30+ years.

What high horse can someone who makes their living investing in alcoholism, lung cancer and the destruction of families through gambling be on that allows them to say that the defense of our country is a vice? How can you be “for our trooops” if you think it’s a vice to provide them with the tools they need to survive and win?

And where are the pop music companies and MTV/Viacom in the portfolio? Those are among the biggest vice stocks going nowdays.

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July 30th 2005

Hillary’s Unelectability

Jacob Weisburg writes in Slate about the problem Hillary has in her run for president. With considerable right-bashing, Weisburg dismisses the conventional arguments: too liberal, too much married to Bill, too divisive, and ends up with this:

You may admire and respect her. But it’s hard not to find Hillary a bit inhuman. Whatever she may be like in private, her public persona is calculating, clenched, relentless—and a little robotic.

With the American electorate so closely divided, it would be foolish to say that Hillary, or any other potential nominee, couldn’t win. And a case can be made that the first woman who gets elected president will need to, as Hillary does, radiate more toughness than warmth. But in American elections, affection matters. Democrats lost in 2000 and 2004 with candidates Main Street regarded as elitist and aloof, to a candidate voters related to personally. Hillary isn’t as obnoxious as Gore or as off-putting as Kerry. But she’s got the same damn problem, and it can’t be fixed.

Hillary does indeed suffer profoundly from that weakness, but a more damning weakness politically is her transparent pandering. All pols play the audience and tweak their speeches accordingly, but Hillary harps louder, covers less effectively, and votes more deceitfully than most.

The Left still doesn’t get it. Like Weisburg, they can see the likeability issue, but they completely miss the larger believability issue. And it’s the problem that is rotting the Dems to their core. As they become more extreme, more out of step with mainstream American values, they must become less believable in order to sound better. And while they may think Americans are too dim to figure that out, they’re wrong.

h/t Real Clear Politics

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July 30th 2005

Durbin’s Roe v. Wade Gulag

I didn’t know Dick Durbin went to Washington as a pro-life Dem, only to be converted to one of the leaders of the abort-abort-abort crowd. Terence P. Jefffery writes in the WashTimes about it, and gives us Durbin’s explanation from a Tim Russert interview:

On “Meet the Press,” this is how Mr. Durbin explained his conversion: “You know, it’s a struggle for me. It still is. I’m opposed to abortion. If any woman in my family said she was seeking abortion, I’d go out of my way to try to dissuade them from making that decision. But I was really discouraged when I came to Washington to find that the opponents of abortion were also opponents of family planning. This didn’t make sense to me. And I was also discouraged by the fact that they were absolute, no exceptions for rape and incest, the most extraordinary medical situations. And I finally came to the conclusion that we really have to try to honor the Roe v. Wade thinking, that there are certain times in the life of a woman that she needs to make that decision with her doctor, with her family and with her conscience, and that the government shouldn’t be intruding.”

As Jeffery puts it, the logic of that statement is akin to saying “Some pro-life people are Dodger fans, therefore abortion should be legal.”

People are allowed to change their minds; they’re even allowed to sell their souls in return for campaign contributions. But when Durbin starts prying away at John Roberts to reveal him as (Gasp!) a pro-lifer, it would be nice if it were possible (and in today’s litmus test world, it’s not) for Roberts to look Durbin in the eye and ask him about his conversion, and whether he can accept that people hold views that he once held.

And if Roberts is, in fact, not a no abortion ever under any circumstances kind of pro-lifer, it would be nice if he could tell Durbin as much.

That would put Durbin in a situation he’d have to weasle and lie his way out of. So, in addition to making Durbin feel comfortable and right at home, it would make the hearings honest, instead of the sham they’ve become because of the Dems’ extremism on abortion rights.

h/t Real Clear Politics

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July 30th 2005

Memories We Must Never Forget

Steve at Double Toothpicks does a helpful public service by reminding us that when we hear the excuse-making and blame-shifting that surrounds the War on Terror, we need to never, ever forget this.

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July 30th 2005

Big Yuks At UN Press Briefing

The UN press corps was in a goofy mood today.

Here’s one curious exchange:

Question: Secondly, the Security Council this morning looked like a
parody of “Saturday Night Live” with one resolution after another, done by numbers rather than name. Anyway, for them to say that this is now terrorism, this is now Georgia…

Spokesman: We’ll try to get them better comedy writers.

That passes for UN humor. Next, we have the Uzbeks to Romania humor. Uzbeks who fled to Kyrgyzistan to escape the home-town violence were moved to Romania — except a guy who decided he’d rather take his chances and go back home:

Question: Do you know why that particular person you mentioned didn’t want to go to Romania? What’s the reason, what happened?

Spokesman: No, he said he wanted to go back to Uzbekistan.

Question: So Romania is a worse place than Uzbekistan?

Expect a formal complaint from both ambassadors tomorrow.

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July 29th 2005

An Extremely Disappointing Energy Bill

The Libs are going to have to change their rant. If Bush and the Republicans are so much in the pocket of Big Oil, why didn’t the 1,724-page just passed energy bill include new drilling in ANWR on Alaska’s North Slope?

The exclusion of that provision makes laughable any rhetoric about freeing ourselves from dependence on Islamofascist oil. There is no good reason not to drill there, given the light-touch technology today; only bad reasons from ranting greenies who use emotion, not science. Even they have abandoned their “save the critters” rhetoric on ANWR, replacing it with an even more onerous message: If we drill for more oil, we’ll just keep driving our cars longer.

What a bunch of hooey! We will drive our cars for as long as we possibly can, then leave them abandoned by the side of the road when the gasoline finally runs out. Everyone in America but the small cadre of enviro-socialists accepts, enjoys and celebrates the personal freedom cars give us. They would have government tell us how to get to where we go; we will not accept that.

Why did ANWR get cut? Here’s Sen. Dominici’s explanation:

During two presidential campaigns and repeatedly over the last five years, Bush has talked of the need to tap the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for the billions of barrels of oil that it holds. He views it as key to reducing the country’s reliance on foreign oil. It is not mentioned in the energy bill.

“If we put it in we wouldn’t be here,” Domenici told reporters.

In other words, fear of filibusters. Bah! We need to change the filibuster rules pronto to require the old-time Mr. Smith and Mr. Byrd ramble endlessly type of filibustering, then let them filibuster. Let them stand there for hours saying it’s more important to pretend we’re coddling carribou than it is to be independent of Saudi terror shieks.

We still might not end up with oil wells in ANWR, but the country will have more evidence of the continuing Sept. 10th mindset of the Dems.

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July 29th 2005

White House Will End Run Bolton

A recess nomination is in the works. So I was wrong, but I still think the Roberts nomination is the prize here, and moving on Bolton could drive the Dems to not give up until they delay Roberts long enough that we suffer through one more O’Connor term.

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With Obama winning the presidency by seven percent, we can't blame the media. Their laudatory coverage and refusal to extensively probe into Obama's background and [lack of] experience was at best responsible for five percent of his vote, the pundits tell us. Here is a compilation of over 100 significant instances of pro-Obama/anti-McCain bias during the 2008 campaign.

For all 'Media Bias 2008' – Click Here

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