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Archive for January, 2006

January 31st 2006

Putting The Stoned In Estonia

The Bush girls at their wildest fantasies have nothing on Helena and Maria Ruutel, 15 and 13 respectively, the granddaughters of Estonian president Arnold Ruutel. Moscow News reports on the girls’ wild parties at the presidential palace while granddaddy’s away:

Friends of Helena and Maria smoked marijuana, drank alcohol and urinated on the roof of the building.

The first party took place on Oct. 1 when the girls invited about 50 guests, while their grandparents were away. Most of the youths now know the door codes of the palace, reporters said.

In a lovely bit of undertatement, the News wrapped up their story with “Maria and Helena have enjoyed living with their grandparents. It seems, that they prefer the presidential palace to the home of their mother, an artist, and father, an acupuncturist.”

As much as I’d like to laugh at the foibles of political families, I am the father of daughters, so I just hope this is a wake-up call for the Ruutens that works.


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January 31st 2006

Slouching Towards Tehran

Here’s a European diplomat from a couple years back, on how to deal with Iraq:

Our diplomacy is an attempt to prevent an escalation. You may criticize it as being lengthy and not especially promising, but I believe that it is both smart and correct to reserve the possibility of cautious steps toward escalation (e.g. to keep the possibility of an escalation on the table).

Oh, wait. That’s German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier talking to Der Spiegel yesterday about the Quartert negotiations with Iran over the Iranian nuke program.

Some things never change … but in this case, WMDs are a reality or near-reality and letting diplomacy go even one day too long could have disasterous results.

The next step will be a Security Council resolution opening the door for Iran to accept Russia’s offer to enrich uranium for the Iranians. That has to be the last step … one more Ahmadinejan moment and diplomacy must come to an end.


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January 31st 2006


Has President Bush given up on opening ANWR for oil production? In his SOTU speech, he rambled on for four paragraphs on energy, hitting on zero-emission coal plants, solar and wind technology, nuclear energy, car batteries, hydrogen cars and ethanol.

It’s not like we shouldn’t give these things a shot, but for the most part, these ideas are so tomorrow. Hydrogen, for example, needs a massive amount of work if it’s ever to become efficient. It takes so much energy to produce that hydrogen cars net out with very lousy gas mileage. Ditto ethanol. Solar needs big tax subsidies. Wind ticks off environmentalists and eats up land.

ANWR is today, a smart and necessary bridge that will help us fuel our internal combustion engines, which remain the most efficient way of moving goods and people. Nothing comes close.

Oh, by the way … remember the carribou that were going to get wiped out by oil operations in Prudhoe Bay? Here’s a photo showing all that big bad carribou pathos:


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January 31st 2006

State Of The Union Vapidness

On Monday, I listed my fears about President Bush’s State of the Union speech.

I feared pretty much correctly that President Bush would announce troop cuts in Iraq. He said cuts were likely, but would be the military’s decision, not his. Cuts seem inevitably in the offing, and I think it’s wrong. We should increase troop strength and blast through a short-term, aggressive military assault on jihadist insurgents.

I feared needlessly (for now) that President Bush would announce defense spending cuts. Nothing this specific was mentioned, but I still fear that we are not going to move the defense budget up until it represents five percent of the budget.

I feared rightly that President Bush would talk about temporary worker programs without enough emphasis on border control. He went on about guest workers (which I support) but did not give one whit of detail about toughening up the border. A temporary worker program will not work if illegals can continue to cross the border easily.

I feared that President Bush will say something nice to John Murtha. I didn’t hear anything, but I was listening, not watching, so I couldn’t see if there was eye contact.

So once again, I made that same old mistake: I expected specifics in the State of the Union speech. There’s no constitutional mandate for a State of the Union speech. If I were president, (1) duck and cover because I’d really mess things up, and (2) expect a nice solid written report on the state of the union, and none of this joint session nonsense.


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January 31st 2006

Kos Bummed By Campaign Funds

Kos is bummed. Yes, the leader of the whacked-left charge has lots to be bummed about, but today it’s this:

Before we get too giddy about poll numbers showing Republicans like Santorum and Burns in serious trouble, let’s take a gander at their fundraising numbers in the top-tier races.

Stroll on over to Wackyville and take a gander at the numbers. The Dems are having a tough go at fundraising this time around. I wrote about this earlier in a post Deadbeat Dems Voting Smart? about the fundraising shortfalls over at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The Dems are short on ideas and long on shrillness, a combination that doesn’t inspire a lot of check-writing. But that’s just the fact. Expect Kos and others to blame it on Abramoff next … ignoring the beaucoups of Abramoff tender the Dems pocketed before his downfall.


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January 31st 2006

Iranian Spies At IAEA

“No nuclear weapons for Mullahs” says
this sign at an anti-Iran rally. (CBC)

Here’s an interesting question: If Iran’s nuclear intentions are purely peaceful, why have they set up a special nuke-tech team to infiltrate the compliance division of IAEA?

And here’s another: How can we trust IAEA to do its job if it staffs itself with representatives of the most highly suspect nations under its watch?

Both questions grow out of a report in the London Telegraph which says:

Iran has formed a top secret team of nuclear specialists to infiltrate the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, the UN-sponsored body that monitors its nuclear programme, The Daily Telegraph has been told.

Iran has formed a top secret team of nuclear specialists to infiltrate the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, the UN-sponsored body that monitors its nuclear programme, The Daily Telegraph has been told.

Its target is the IAEA’s safeguards division and its aim is to obtain information on the work of IAEA inspectors so that Iran can conceal the more sensitive areas of its nuclear research, according to information recently received by western intelligence.

The operation to target the IAEA is being run by Hosein Afarideh, the former head of the Iranian parliament’s energy committee.

Mr Afarideh, reported to have close links with Iran’s ministry of intelligence, is in regular contact with a team of Iranian nuclear engineers seconded to work at the IAEA’s Vienna headquarters.

The answers to the lead-in questions, by the way, are (1) Of course their intentions aren’t peaceful, and (2) We can’t trust IAEA.

What Iran is doing is technically legal because any signatory of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty is entitled to have staff on board at IAEA — but there’s a catch. They have to be in compliance.

Despite overwhelming evidence of Iran’s 20-year history of non-compliance, the IAEA isn’t quite ready yet to jump to that conclusion. So the Iranians are still on staff, and still fly regularly to Tehran to meet with Afarideh … presumably laughing all the way at the ridiculous ineptitude of IAEA and the UN.

The cause of the ineptitude? The non-judgmental inclusiveness and moral relativity that permiates the UN — not the character traits normally associated with tough and effective cops.

h/t memorandum


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January 30th 2006

Run, Cindy, Run!

Here’s Cindy Sheehan with her new best-buddy comrade, Venezuelan president and moonbat- in- residence Hugo Chavez.

Lovely pair. C’mon, Cindy, run against DiFi! You can do it! Run as a Dem, not the socialist that you are!

It’ll be so much fun listening to you campaign hard. It’ll be fun listening to your friends like Hugo campaigning hard for you. We’ll hear stuff like this, which you and he recently spouted off at the World Social Forum:*

Hugo: “Enough already with the imperialist aggression! Down with the U.S. empire! It must be said, in the entire world: Down with the empire!”

Sheehan, noting that Harry Belefonte had just called President Bush the greatest terrorist in the world: “I agree with him. George Bush is responsible for killing tens of thousands of innocent people.”

* The World Social Forum (WSF) is an annual meeting held by members of the alternative globalization movement to coordinate world campaigns, share and refine organizing strategies, and inform each other about movements from around the world and their issues. It tends to meet in January when its “great capitalist rival”, the World Economic Forum is meeting in Davos, Switzerland. — Wikipedia


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January 30th 2006

Alito’s In

Confirm Them reports:

It appears that the Switzibuster has failed. There is no joy in Davos, for Mighty Kennedy has struck out. Tomorrow morning Judge Samuel Alito will be confirmed as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

CNN reports that 14 Dems broke ranks and voted for cloture — that’s just shy of one-third of the Senate’s Dems. A sign of weakness in the Kennedy/Reid block, for sure.

Looked at another way, two-thirds of Dems are willing to play petty games — denying Alito a seat before the State of the Union — and that’s just plain pathetic. This is supposed to be a significant national party?


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January 30th 2006

Making An Ash Of Oneself

Now there’s a whole new environmental calamity to worry about. But the good thing is that those who cause it have nothing to worry about at all!

From the WashTimes:

Mourners who scatter the ashes of their loved ones on the mountaintops of Scotland are being warned that they are playing havoc with the environment. The problem, it seems, is that cremated human remains make a dandy fertilizer.

Critics say the practice is upsetting the foliage by causing plants to grow too fast and too thick.

“The instant you put [human ashes] down on the ground,” says one professor, “you are getting luxuriant growth” of vegetation.

“What’s wrong with luxuriant growth?” you ask. “Isn’t a healthy environment with lush growing things a good thing?” you wonder.

Oh, silly, silly you. Improving the environment is just another one of man’s ugly fingerprints on the natural domain of Mother Earth.

Look how un-verdant that Scottish hillside is! Can you imagine how disgusting it would be if human ashes were to cause it to become … gasp … green? Oh, the horrors!


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January 30th 2006

State Of The Union Fears

I fear that President Bush will announce troop cuts in Iraq tomorrow night. He should announce increases, a short-term, aggressive military assault on jihadist insurgents. Anything less will be translated across the Jihadist network as an American defeat, and will be a recruiting tool par excelance.

I fear that President Bush will announce defense spending cuts tomorrow night. We should be increasing defense spending steadily towards a target of 5 percent of the budget. It’s OK if he cuts yesterday’s systems, but only if he funds tomorrow’s systems and today’s troops like crazy.

I fear that tomorrow night President Bush will talk about temporary worker programs (which I’m for) without drubbing Mexico for its farcical and hypocritical policies, and without promising immediate toughening of our border protections. Temporary worker programs will not work if illegals can continue to cross the border easily. Close the border, handle violators roughly and with quick dispatch, then offer a temporary worker program.

I fear that President Bush will say something nice to John Murtha tomorrow night. Nope, sorry. Not even a nod in his direction.

I hope I’m wrong on all points, but I fear I’m not.


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