All posts by Tanstaafl

Undermining Anti-Terrorism

Anti-terrorism bill seen as undermining civil liberties
Tania Branigan, political correspondent
Wednesday September 21, 2005
Guardian

Liberal Democrats yesterday warned that the government’s counter-terrorism proposals would inflame community tensions and alienate young Muslims, as they unanimously passed a motion urging the party to defend civil liberties and oppose any move to water down human rights legislation.

. . .

Summing up the motion, Brian Stone, an activist from Hackney, London, said it expressed the heart and conscience of the Liberal Democrats. “The bombs were non-discriminatory. That day any Muslims in London were just as much [at] risk as I was. We have a government that seeks to imply that for some reason Islam is a crime and those who practise it are perpetrators. That’s what this motion is about.”

No, what we have is a sactimonious fifth column that seeks to imply that for some reason questioning Muslims is a crime and those who inquire are racist bigots. That’s what this motion is about.

Anyone who becomes alienated or inflamed by our attempts to protect ourselves is likely someone we need to protect ourselves from.

Open Letter to Michael Moore

A Letter to All Who Voted for George W. Bush from Michael Moore:

I really want to know — and I ask you this in all sincerity and with all due respect — how do you feel about the utter contempt Mr. Bush has shown for your safety? C’mon, give me just a moment of honesty. Don’t start ranting on about how this disaster in New Orleans was the fault of one of the poorest cities in America. Put aside your hatred of Democrats and liberals and anyone with the last name of Clinton. Just look me in the eye and tell me our President did the right thing after 9/11 by naming a horse show runner as the top man to protect us in case of an emergency or catastrophe.

I want you to put aside your self-affixed label of Republican/conservative/born-again/capitalist/ditto-head/right-winger and just talk to me as an American, on the common ground we both call America.

Are we safer now than before 9/11? When you learn that behind the horse show runner, the #2 and #3 men in charge of emergency preparedness have zero experience in emergency preparedness, do you think we are safer?

Well, I don’t think we have much common ground and you’re a poor excuse for an American, but I’ll try to answer. You want to know if those of us who voted for George Bush feel safer. Unlike you I don’t claim to speak for anyone but myself. My answer is: hell yes assclown. Certainly safer than Al Gore, John Kerry, or you would have made us. Even after 9/11 none of you would have lifted a finger against the Taliban. None of you would have taken out Saddam and his sons. None of you would have confronted the Jihadi threat. Of course we’re safer now that Al Qaeda’s Afghani training camps are closed, Saddam’s WMD shell games are over, and Jihadis are flocking to paradise by way of Iraq. Of course you would have trouble seeing the value in any of this. You never recognized the threat, or blamed us for creating it ourselves. Sorry if I sound confused – you’ve never been very clear on that point.

Unlike you I don’t hold civilization or the people who sustain it to blame for the sociopaths who want to tear it down. Unlike you I don’t sympathize with those sociopaths and undermine those who fight them. And unlike you I don’t blame Bush or FEMA for Katrina. I blame the dehumanizing welfare state and the mentality of dependency engendered by it. And that was wrought by the kind of soft-headed leftist idealism you espouse. You alone are to blame for your short-sighted and self-serving partisan vitriol, your hypocritical holier-than-thou criticisms of the righteous, and your two-faced attitude toward your country and countrymen.

And on this sacred day of remembrance, do you think we honor or shame those who died on 9/11/01? If we learned nothing and find ourselves today every bit as vulnerable and unprepared as we were on that bright sunny morning, then did the 3,000 die in vain?

So a letter demonstrating your ignorance of what has been achieved and utter contempt for those who paid for it is how you honor those who died? On 9/11 I learned that we were vulnerable and unprepared. Today I see that we are better off, thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of many brave and mostly unsung individuals, to which those of us who cherish civilization all owe a great debt. I also see that you are just as narcissistic and pompous as ever. Mr. Moore, in all sincerity and with all due respect please write your next open letter in Arabic so your most ardent fans won’t need to translate it.

vonn_moonbat

Moonbat Hero: Kurt Vonnegut

Excerpts from a transcript of “Real Time With Bill Maher” September 9, 2005:

MAHER: Well, I’m thrilled you’re here. When all this went down the last couple of weeks, you know, a flood is kind of biblical, and I thought, let’s get someone on here who can – who has really seen it all, and who can compare this to other – how would you compare this to other fiascos and disasters that this country has seen?

VONNEGUT: Well, this country was already financially and spiritually ruined before the hurricane ever hit New Orleans. I thought about the tsunami hitting Indonesia. Nature was a piker compared to human beings when it comes to killing people. The tsunami killed, I think, I calculated about 3% as many people as the Holocaust killed.

Vonnegut could have really made Nature look like a piker if he had cited the much larger death tolls of the Soviets (20M) and Communist Chinese (40M). If I were a socialist I wouldn’t call attention to those examples either. He opposed the war in Vietnam, so maybe he’d be interested to know that the post-war deaths there (430K) also exceed the tsunami (123K). Probably not.

This financially and spiritually ruined country sent more aid to the tsunami victims than any other and played a critical role in ending the Holocaust. Both of Vonnegut’s examples contradict his point, which didn’t even answer Maher’s question. Nobody noticed, they were so eager to get straight to the insults:

MAHER: Well, what do you, as a writer, when you see President Bush, is there something tragic there? Is that a story that appeals to a writer? Because here’s a guy, like most tragic figures, who is trying very hard to avoid something. In his case, he was trying very hard to avoid the fate of his father. And then he’s undone by a war in Iraq and a hurricane.

VONNEGUT: Yes. [scattered applause] It’s a tragedy for me that he’s president of my country. [applause] And he doesn’t – you know, my book is called A Man Without a Country. Well, I’ve still got a passport, but if I showed this now in Portugal or Spain or Italy or Germany or France, or Denmark, or Japan or even Communist China, what it would say about me is that I am not only from the richest country in the world, but the dumbest country in the world. [laughter] [applause] Is our president a tragic figure? Perhaps, but he doesn’t know diddly-squat about economics or history or science, even how to speak well. [laughter] [applause]

Is Vonnegut a tragic figure? [laughter] Perhaps, but he doesn’t know diddly-squat about economics or history or science, even how to think well. [laughter] [applause] The next time he’s in another country he might consider how they compare to the US in economics, history, or science. [boos]

Judging by the reaction in the blogosphere some of the dumbest people are Vonnegut fans.

Crescent of Dhimmitude

FLIGHT 93 MEMORIAL: FIGHTING BACK
By Michelle Malkin

The Flight 93 Memorial
The Belmont Club

The hijackers of Flight 93 were motivated by deeply held Islamic beliefs. Misguided or not they considered themselves Jihadis. Soldiers of Allah. They went down screaming “Allahu Ackbar”. This was not four guys out to make some money who just happened to be Muslim. Their goal was to kill and terrorize as many innocent civilians as possible because that’s what they thought their god wanted.

The innocent Americans trapped on Flight 93 quickly realized they were going to die unless they fought back. They fought and they died, but it wasn’t in vain. They thwarted the Jihadis and drove home, for those of us who were paying attention, what is still to this day the most valuable lesson in our struggle against their ilk: negotiation and wishful thinking is wasted on this villain, our only choices are to resist or perish.

The brave people of Flight 93 deserve a fitting and dignified memorial. Not an homage, intentional or not, to the religion that motivated their depraved killers.

Halliboogeyman

Hurricane Halliburton
By John Nichols
The Nation
Sunday 11 September 2005


With the wheels rolling for the purchase of his own $2.9 million home on the east coast, the Cheney was more or less ready to commiserate with the folks who had lost their homes on the Gulf Coast. Unfortunately, not all of the locals were prepared to thank the vice president for finally showing up.

Cheney was greeted in Gulfport, Mississippi, by a survivor of the disaster who – recalling the veep’s blunt salutation for Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy during a visit to Capitol Hill last year – repeatedly shouted: “Go f— yourself, Mr. Cheney.”

Class envy? Charming. And a dash of ad hominem too. How witty.


If Cheney had actually interacted with anyone on the ground, however, he would have heard a lot more. But the vice presidential visit was merely the latest in a series of photo opportunities by administration aides who are scrambling to undo the damage done by their plodding and disengaged response to a catastrophe that was made much worse by initial federal neglect and incompetence.

Hmm. First he knocks Cheney for not visiting quickly enough, then calls his visit a mere damage control photo op. Something tells me there’s no pleasing Mr. Nichols.


Joe Allbaugh, the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has a new job. He’s lobbying for the Halliburton subsidiary in Washington and elsewhere. Conveniently, Allbaugh showed up in Louisiana on the day before Cheney’s visit with the purpose, in the words of a Washington Post report, of “helping his clients get business.”

Even if Allbaugh drops the ball, Halliburton is well covered.

The vice president can always be counted on to “make certain that we’re doing everything that needs to be done.”

And then the big scary corporation popped out of the closet and gobbled up all the funding that should have gone to our soft headed bleeding heart liberal causes instead. BOO! Why make an argument based on fact when sarcasm and innuendo are so much more entertaining?

The Fourth Estate’s Fifth Columnists

Jack Kelly: No shame
The federal response to Katrina was not as portrayed
Sunday, September 11, 2005

“The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne.”

For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.

Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the size of England in which power lines are down, telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently have little interest in finding out.

Reporters are supposed to at least pretend to be objective and unbiased, aren’t they?

What War?


Terror war all but forgotten on home front
September 11, 2005
BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST


It wasn’t a “tragic event” or even one of a series of unfortunate events. It was an “attack,” an “act of war.” I sat at the lunch counter with a guy who’d tuned out the same station on the grounds that “I never heard my grampa talk about ‘the tragedy of Pearl Harbor.’ ” But, consciously or otherwise, a serious effort was under way to transform the nature of the event, to soften it into a touchy-feely, huggy-weepy one-off. As I wrote last year: “The president believes there’s a war on. The Dems think 9/11 is like the 1998 ice storm or a Florida hurricane — just one of those things.”

. . .

Only a tiny minority of Muslims want to be suicide bombers, and only a slightly larger minority want actively to provide support networks for suicide bombers, but big majorities of Muslims support almost all the terrorists’ strategic goals: For example, according to a recent poll, over 60 percent of British Muslims want to live under sharia in the United Kingdom. That’s a “moderate” Westernized Muslim: He wants stoning for adultery to be introduced in Liverpool, but he’s a “moderate” because it’s not such a priority that he’s prepared to fly a plane into a skyscraper.

. . .

So four years on we’re winning in the Middle East and Central Asia, floundering in Europe and North America. War is hell, but a war that half the country refuses to recognize as such staggers on as a very contemporary kind of purgatory.

Great article, but I have to disagree with that final point. The problem is not that half the country refuses to recognize we’re at war. The problem is they support the other side.

All About The Poor

Black lawmakers angry about federal response to Katrina

WASHINGTON (AP) — Black members of Congress expressed anger Friday at what they said was a slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina.”It looks dysfunctional to me right now,” said Rep. Diane Watson, D-California.

She and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, along with members of the Black Leadership Forum, National Conference of State Legislators, National Urban League and the NAACP, held a news conference and charged that the response was slow because those most affected are poor.

Pay no attention to the race-related labels. It’s all about…the poor.

Many also are black, but the lawmakers held off on charging racism.

“The issue is not about race right now,” said Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio. “There will be another time to have issues about color.”

Yes, still plenty of time to play the race card.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Illinois, said too much focus has been placed on the looting, taking away from what should be the priority: getting food, water and stability to the tens of thousands of displaced victims.

It’s OK to focus on bad news when it comes from Iraq. But newspeople have a responsibility to edit out anything that might make black- I mean poor people look bad.

Watson and others also took issue with the word “refugee” being used to describe hurricane victims.

“‘Refugee’ calls up to mind people that come from different lands and have to be taken care of. These are American citizens,” Watson said.

Added Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland: “They are not refugees. I hate that word.”

Yes, let’s frame this properly. How about “victim”? Fits perfectly with the epidemic of victimology sweeping the US today.