Teacher's Ramblings

A potpourri of education, politics, family matters, and current events.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Palestinian Birthrate May Not Be As Commonly Reported

Isn't that a kettle of fish?

Thank You All!

I'm not sure what happened this weekend, but my sitemeter has jumped for two days in a row. I've been trying to analyze what caused the blips, but it seems to be no one thing. USMessageboard linked me, but only was responsible for 5 of the 76 views. Needless to say, blackfive and Michelle’s site sent traffic, but it seems that blogspot sent the most.

Anyways, thank you all. I do appreciate your notice.

If This Is "Real", It's Devastating

Sounds like snopestime! Well I tried, any better luck readers?

This and Michelle, One Might Deduce The Left Is Not That Tolerant

There was this for Michelle: http://michellemalkin.com/archives/001212.htm

Now the above. One could get the idea that the 'progressive' party is anything but.

Hit It!

I forgot to post on this earlier, #120! Do some good.

What Choice Does Israel Have?

Only Abbas can fix this, which might be helped by a bit of pressure from his European supporters:

...Once again, Israel is waiting for firm Palestinian moves against the terror organizations; and once again, it is pressuring foreign entities - the United States and the European Union - to get the Palestinian leadership to take action or at least to make promises.

Once again, the Israeli expectations are likely to remain unfulfilled.The next step is known in advance: The disappointment in the Palestinians will push the Israel Defense Forces into mounting broad offensives in the Gaza Strip. The PA's security mechanisms may not be the primary target, but they will be among those hit...

Anyone Want a G-Mail Account?

I have 6 invites, email me if interested.

I Wish I Could Think, Much Less Write Like This!

How does he do it? The Good News from Afghanistan and Iraq reports? Numerous posts like the one cited above, geez. There is a lot more:

. . .

Coincidently, this something I have been thinking about quite a lot recently. I do believe that over time the situation in Iraq will continue to improve, but regardless of the short and medium term outcomes, it seems to me that the whole region has been shaken and stirred hard enough over the past three years - not just as a result of the intervention in Iraq, but also generally through the war on terror and America's increased political and military involvement - that the Middle East will never be the same again. To use the old local metaphor, the genie's out of the bottle now and the forces of reaction simply might not be able to put it back in and hammer in the cork. This is not to say that it's impossible for the proponents of the status quo and the guardians of various vested interests throughout the region to halt and turn back the push for reform, democracy, women's rights, freedom and peace - but that in this case a sort of a mental critical mass has been reached and the counter-revolution, despite momentary tactical successes, might prove to be too difficult to sustain...

Graner Was Guilty, He Is Punished

This site has several very disturbing images, but those aren't from the prison. Perspective, a concept.

Lowry On Lanny Davis and Zell

No doubt, Democrats that would like to win an election are hoping for some messages to put out. Unfortunately for them, the left wing is dominant and likely to remain so. Read it all:

January 14, 2005, 7:30 a.m.

Problematic Party

Zell Was Right Last year, then-Sen. Zell Miller, a Georgia Democrat, wrote a scathing critique of the Democratic Party called A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat. A quick quiz — in the book, Miller said which of the following things:

a) "We have to be more aware that issues like abortion, like guns, like gay rights, have two sides, and that we need to address people who feel deeply about those issues and show a willingness to compromise";
b) "We gave up on the South. And as Churchill said, 'Wars are not won by evacuation; they are won by blood and sweat and toil and tears.' We can make this the majority party of America in the future, but we must talk about our values. We must embrace people of faith in this party";
c) "We are too coastal. We are too urban. We are too secular. And, most of all, we are too dovish. The public simply doesn't trust us to keep them safe";
d) all of the above;
e) none of the above.

The answer is "e." These statements were made by Democratic consultant Lanny Davis, candidate for Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Roemer and former John Kerry campaign manager Jim Jordan, respectively.

Hmmm, Why Does the Roosevelt Corollary Come to Mind?

QandO really demonstrates the problems of Zimbabwe are being duplicated in our hemisphere. There is much more, this is only the introduction:

Maybe its because they both have "z's" in their name, but for whatever reason, the winner of the Moammar Gadhafi Human Rights Award, Venezualan El Presidente Hugo Chavez, has decided that land redistribution is the way to go in that benighted country.

If you're not familiar with the Zimbabwe's disasterous attempt at this very same thing, you might want to read through this blog to refresh your memory. Robert Mugabe did exactly what Chavez is considering, and the results have destroyed Zimbabwe's economy.

Of course, wrapped in the arrogance in which most socialists cocoon themselves, Chavez obviously believes that the idea is sound, it just hasn't been executed properly.

Iraq Election Site

Via Mudville Gazette. I have to agree, this is a must see site, for at least the next 3 weeks or so. Here's the most recent post. Check the whole thing out:

Iraqis in two of the country's most troubled provinces will be permitted to register and vote on the day of elections, the head of Iraq's electoral commission said Saturday. Commission Chairman Abdul-Hussein Hendawi also said he expected a same-day preliminary vote count. Tallying final results from the Jan. 30 elections could take as long as 10 days. (AP)

In an apparent bid to head off car bombings on election day, Iraqi authorities will restrict the use of automobiles throughout the country and will place security cordons around polling stations, a Cabinet minister said Saturday. Provincial Affairs minister Waeil Abdel-Latif also pledged that the government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi would provide adequate security for voters on Jan. 30, but he acknowledged that the security situation in four of the country's 18 provinces was unstable. (AP)

The top Islamic scholar of the highest Sunni institute called on Iraqis to participate in the Jan. 30 elections, a Saudi newspaper reported Saturday. The official al-Riyadh daily quoted Sheikh Mohammad Tantawi, the head of the Cairo-based al-Azhar, as saying all Iraqis should take part in the general elections in order to form a legitimate government and retrieve Iraqi sovereignty and independence. (UPI via Washington Times)

Iraq's impending elections threaten to create a Shiite axis that will bring Iranian extremism to Baghdad and endanger the Mideast. That's the warning of both Israelis and Jordan's King Abdullah, who recently tried and failed to convince the United States to postpone the Jan. 30 vote. (New York Post)

Crying and Whining Is Not Appropriate For Adults

Doctor Horsefeathers explains what we all teach our children. I have really posted little on the nonsense coming from the left regarding the inauguration, but this is on the money.

Guess The New Pali Leader May Not Be What Some Hoped

and round and round they go:

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Forty-six members of the Palestinian election commission, including top managers, resigned Saturday, saying they were pressured by Mahmoud Abbas' campaign and intelligence officials to abruptly change voting procedures during the Jan. 9 presidential poll.

A Unique Offer, That Would Most Likely STILL Be Criticised for It's Harshness

Scott Ott 'reports' on the early negotiations between Israel and the newly elected PM of the Palestinians. The site is satire, the European perspective in my title is not.

Diplomad Has A Few Words For the Lefties and The UN

As he points out, he's been there and seen what is happening on the ground. The left hasn't. This is so good, that I am quoting more than usual:


"The UNocrats know that young Aussies and Yanks have shown them up as the fakes the UNocrats are. That makes them furious; it makes them lash out at us and our friends. They call us names ("stingy"); sniff about our alleged mistakes ("you fed some people twice"); and complain that we won't take their instruction ("you should wear blue vests.") When all else fails, they try to take credit for what Australian and American taxpayers and their military and diplomatic services have done -- yes, indeed, a word of praise for the State Department, which responded superbly.

Some lefties have the nerve to rationalize UN ineptness by stating, "Well, the UN doesn't have aircraft carriers and fleets of helicopters." Please note: Had the lefties had their way, the USA wouldn't have any either. OK, the UN doesn't have aircraft carriers, but doesn't it have access to international airlines and merchant ships? The Diplomad must assume that all the first class seats were taken by the likes of The Queen of the High Priest Vulture Elite UNICEF Director Carol Bellamy, who flew out for a brief disaster tour and a long press conference. The cargo space probably went to the Land Cruisers and the Mercedes sedans. Hey, priorities are priorities; we'll provide ourselves the luxury cars, the Yanks and the Aussies will provide food to the hungry . . . .

The UN's performance in this disaster has been a disgrace of epic proportions; it's vastly overfunded and overstaffed agencies, allegedly established to deal with precisely this type of event, are MIA. We are now in day 16 (DAY 16!) of the crisis, and the UN is still not ready to act. It is no wonder affected countries want to deal with the US and not the UN. At a minimum, the UN owes the world an apology; the entire upper echelon of the UN and its bloated agencies should resign.

But The Diplomad is kind and forgiving. We say to our lefty "friends" if you genuinely believe in the UN, now's your chance to put your filthy lucre where your pie hole is. Please respond generously to the UN Sec-Gen's Humanitarian Appeal, known as the "Consolidated Appeals Process," or CAP. Give the UN your money. See where it goes. Where, you ask? Hey, Lefty, don't take The Diplomad's word that it will be wasted, go and see what the UN is asking and for what. Go to the Overview page and see what the UN lists as its pre-tsunami priorities and then go to the Funding page and see who is the biggest donor by far. Surprise! The number one priority, well ahead of caring for suffering tens-of-millions of Africans is UNRWA! Number one overall donor, well ahead of the EU, is the "stingy" USA! And remember, despite attempts in the next chart to minimize the US contribution, the US provision of aircraft carriers, helicopters, C-130s, and troops to peacekeeping and other humanitarian operations is not included in that chart."


About the Missing WMD

Comprehensive discussion and links to such. I don't think it ever was all about WMD.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Deficit is Shrinking!!!

Didn't see that headline? Me neither. Well, what can we expect from the MSM?

Friday, January 14, 2005

Too Pro-American

Guess so!

On Distortions In Iraq

There is no adequate way to say, "Thank you," to all of the Americans that have served, whether voluntarily or not. Here is an inadequate, "Thank you!" All of you, whether 17 or 87 are my hero.

This has been a rough week shortly before the elections, between the bombings and shootings in anticipation of the elections, which may or may not happen on time. This post from B5 sums it up.

On the Opposition

A roundup of interesting links.

Warning About 'Evangelism' Regarding Tsunami Relief

There are many things to criticise Yahoo! about, headlines come to mind. With that said, they do get many of their articles so on the point. A couple of 'quotes' from the above that just jump out at me.

Ok, while trying to select, I realized that the whole article was fair game, doesn't happen often:

Indonesia Muslims Warn Against Evangelism
Fri Jan 14, 4:15 PM ET
By EDWARD HARRIS, Associated Press Writer

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia - A senior Islamic leader warned foreign relief workers Friday of a serious backlash from Muslims if they bring Christian proselytizing to tsunami-struck Sumatra along with humanitarian help.

Masked health workers, meanwhile, fanned out spraying insecticide to kill mosquitos and prevent malaria from breaking out in Aceh province's refugee camps, where poor sanitation and contaminated water pose a health risk to tens of thousands of survivors.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan
said he would name a special envoy next week to coordinate relief and reconstruction in the 11 countries hit by last month's earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 157,000 people, two-thirds of them in Indonesia.

Annan, speaking to reporters at a conference in the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius, did not explain how the envoy's role would differ from that of the U.N. emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, who has been responsible for coordinating tsunami aid.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz planned to visit Thailand on Saturday to discuss relief efforts. No other details of his trip were announced, but a U.S. Embassy official in Bangkok said privately that Wolfowitz would then travel to Aceh, which suffered the most damage in the Dec. 26 catastrophe.
At Friday prayers in the main mosque of Banda Aceh, the provincial capital, a Muslim leader warned against any attempt by Christian aid workers to evangelize among tsunami survivors. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation, and Aceh is particularly conservative.

"All non-governmental organizations, either domestic or international, with hidden agendas coming here with humanitarian purposes but instead proselytizing, this is what we do not like," said Dien Syamsuddin, secretary-general of the Indonesian Council of Ulemas, or religious scholars.

He also condemned reports the U.S.-based welfare group WorldHelp had planned to adopt 300 Acehnese children orphaned by the disaster and raise them in a Christian children's home. The group told The Associated Press on Thursday it had dropped the idea.

"This is a reminder. Do not do this in this kind of situation," Syamsuddin said. "The Muslim community will not remain quiet. This a clear statement, and it is serious."

Later Friday, teams with insecticide sprayers began working in refugee camps around Banda Aceh, where the tsunami and heavy rains have left pools of stagnant water that are perfect breeding grounds for mosquitos.

"Short-term, we're trying to prevent an epidemic," said Richard Allan, director of the Mentor Initiative, a public health group that fights malaria epidemics. "And it may already be too late."

Allan warned that an additional 100,000 people could die of malaria in the Aceh region if quick action wasn't taken to reduce the numbers of mosquitos.

Other major health risks in Aceh included dirty drinking water — often from unsanitary latrines — that could give people cholera, typhoid, dysentery and other waterborne diseases.

While the chances of an outbreak are diminishing as more clean water reaches survivors, the danger is not over and epidemics could erupt at any time, health experts say.

In Sri Lanka, another hard-hit nation, there were signs of resilience as more than 25,000 people left relief camps over the preceding 24 hours to return to their villages and begin rebuilding, U.N. officials said Friday. They said just over half the 800,000 Sri Lankans left homeless by the tsunami remained in camps on the island, where the waves killed 31,000.

U.S. helicopters flew some 30 tons of relief materials, including fresh fruit and vegetables, into eastern Sri Lanka. In Aceh, Australian troops ferried heavy earth-moving and electrical equipment, water-purification materials and other supplies from a navy frigate.

"It's a significant step," said Brig. David Chalmers, commander of the nearly 1,000-strong Australian contingent sent to Indonesia.

During a visit to Banda Aceh, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla told reporters the government was pursuing a permanent truce with Acehnese rebels who have been fighting for an independent homeland in northern Sumatra for decades.

Malik Mahmud, a leader of the Free Aceh Movement exiled in Sweden, welcomed the move. But when asked if they would drop their independence bid, he replied: "The struggle is deep in our hearts."

Despite the talk about a cease-fire, Indonesia's government is insisting foreign aid workers in Aceh be accompanied by army escorts — a move relief groups say will hinder their work. Indonesia is sensitive about foreign involvement in the area, and reiterated Friday that it wanted foreign troops out by late March.

In Tokyo, a Japanese official said Japan and the United States, which have the most advanced tsunami alert systems, would provide tsunami warnings to countries around the Indian Ocean as a provisional measure until the region can set up its own system. Experts have said casualties could have been substantially reduced if there had been warning of the approaching waves.

Associated Press writers Yeoh En-Lai in Banda Aceh; Tini Tran in Ampara, Sri Lanka; and Shimali Senanayake in Colombo, Sri Lanka, contributed to this report.

Stingy Countries At It Again

What can you say? The US and Japan are putting a tsunami warning in place for the Indian Ocean areas, until they can get it together.

On Cretins, Economic Efficiency, And the Ability to Ignore

Via Instapundit. I’ve think I’ve found another favorite blog, remind me to never make him mad!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Subtlety Is Everything

There are reasons that Clint Eastwood is a fav among right wing.

I'm Beginning To Think This Administration Is From The Democratic Party

Seems to me they are GOP on foreign side, but far left on domestic. What the heck is going on?

Can You Believe This?

One could almost think we are altruistic or at least empathetic.

Rosa Parks

I don't think anyone would accuse me of being a liberal, but neither am I or most conservatives, a neandrathal. Rosa Parks was a beacon during a sad time in US history, let her twighlight years have some dignity.

A Public Service From Captain's Quarters-CBS

History of the problem, the facts, and the (lol) resolution.

I Am Speechless

It doesn't happen very often. This is just a surreal situation, Germany had better start addressing problems from these kind of 'enlightened' rules.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Did I Miss the 'Thons' For the Mudslide Victims?

I don't think there are any, guess most of them are insured, unless they are dead. Michelle has a point, outside of the US, does anyone care? There is a real sad tale at her site, these people ARE hurting.

If You Haven't Given, Here's Your Chance

It’s hard to imagine that anyone reading the blogs hasn’t already donated, but if you haven’t or suddenly find that you can give more, here’s an easy way to do so. Thank you Captain’s Quarters.

Oh Yeah, A New Start With France, Thank You So Much!

Want to bet this means that the US is to kowtow to Chirac?

"I think 2005 should mark a new start in our relations, between the United States and France and between the United States and Europe," he told reporters gathered at the Foreign Ministry for the minister's traditional New Year greetings.

Barnier, who visited Washington last month, said relations should be based on "listening to each other, having a more regular dialogue and mutual respect." He has said he planned to visit the United States every three to four months.

"I think the NATO (
news - web sites) summit will be one of the occasions to enter into these new, constructive relations between Europe and the United States," Barnier said, referring to Bush's planned visit to NATO and the European Union (news - web sites) on Feb. 22.

Leave Indonesia By March

Ok, seems like we could accomplish this goal before the deadline? I wonder how the people feel, not that it matters to government. Here's a quote:

In announcing the decision, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla said Tuesday that
"a three-month period is enough, even sooner the better."

Tony Snow On CBS

...CBS suffers from three problems – one, reflecting some of the most basic elements of human nature; the other two of its own devising. On the human side, CBS chieftains display the virtue of loyalty and sin of pride. They stuck with a horrible tale out of loyalty to those who foisted it upon them, and clung to falsehood out of pride. They didn’t want to encourage perceived foes.

Then come the structural problems. CBS News lost its way long before it lost its ratings or reputation. Walter Cronkite’s fabled agonizing over the Vietnam War combined a naïve faith in the lure of socialism (“the Vietnamese people really like the Vietcong”) with faithlessness in American exceptionalism. That fashionable cynicism burrowed its way into the corporate culture, so that one would be hard-pressed to identify a single major CBS on-air talent over the past quarter-century who wasn’t a votary of the Conventional Wisdom.This bias in turn begat messianic zeal. CBS led the way in producing a proselytizing brand of advocacy journalism – the sort of stuff people saw when Mike Wallace chased the meat inspector through a cold locker, while no CBS reporters saw fit to probe in a serious way the defects of, say, the welfare system.

The news division developed a culture that didn’t welcome dissent, insisting instead that it had a handle on the Truth and acting as if those who didn’t agree were ideologues or idiots. Dan Rather’s team didn’t question the bogus claims against the president – assertions that had been knocked down definitively during the president’s second gubernatorial campaign and first presidential campaign – because it fit perfectly their assumption that the president was a shirker and a dope, as compared with the valiant Lt. (jg) John Kerry. To this day, the network unconvincingly disavows the existence of bias among its reporters, editors, anchors or executives.

In its fire-the-minions approach to Rathergate, CBS kicked away its strengths and strengthened its weaknesses. The decision to fire four senior people (three women and the lone male atop CBS to recommend a quick retraction of the original story) shocked staffers because it sent the message that management wouldn’t accept responsibility for big problems. The old loyalty vanished forever. As a result, staffers skittered for shelter. One unnamed employee told The New York Times, “We have no juice. We’re a dying business, and this didn’t help us. Some people feel like CBS News could be out of business in five years.”
That’s probably right. CBS can’t straighten out its problems by hiring a few well-known conservatives. The network could hire Brit Hume himself and it wouldn’t help a bit. Numbers matter, and the addition of a conservative here or there will do nothing to create the kind of intellectual brio necessary to take a fair look at the teeming world around us, or question the fads and assumptions of the age. The listless, leftish culture persists at CBS, and will for years and years...

One of the Strangest Stories I've Seen In A Long Time

One might think it was a rodeo in Salem, VA. That wasn't it though...

Not the Best Way to Start My Day

Bush insists on going ahead with this 'immigration-reform proposal', which does not mean tightening our borders.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Captain Ed Does It Again!

The best analysis of what is going on with CBS story take, by bloggers and MSM. I think there are reasons that some bloggers are choosing to lay low, but the MSM is missing this at their own peril.

Remember When?

Wow! My favorite: http://groups-beta.google.com/group/alt.hypertext/msg/395f282a67a1916c

On The CBS Kerfuffle, A Word From The Site That Started It All

Can't blame them for reminding us all. Congratulations Powerline and LGF!

Monday, January 10, 2005

Some Justice

CBS going farther than I thought they would. Mapes out, but CBS President Andrew Heyward survives

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Why Would They Want To Gas the French?

Guess they don't know allies when they see them? What the heck does this mean:

The authorities said the threat to release Zyklon B gas
yesterday morning at the airport was not fully credible but was not a hoax.

Religion and Democracy Compatible?

Ali, one of the brothers from Iraq the Model started his own blog awhile back. Yesterday he began a very interesting discussion at the headline link.

Steyn Says It

There's more...

As for the most striking photograph of this disaster, it's by AFP's Jimin Lai. I haven't seen it in any of the papers, oddly enough. It shows a tsunami-devastated village in Galle on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka: a couple of rescuers are carrying away a body while, behind them, smack dab in the centre of the picture, a young man looks on. He's wearing an Osama bin Laden T-shirt.

I gave up worrying "Why do they hate us?" on the evening of September 11, 2001. But, if I were that Osodden bin Loser guy watching the infidels truck in water, food, medical supplies and emergency clothing for villagers whose jihad-chic T-shirt collection was washed out to sea, I might ask myself a more pertinent question: "Why do they like us?"

The path of the tsunamis tracked the arc of the Muslim world, from Sumatra to Somalia; the most devastated country is the world's most populous Muslim nation, and the most devastated part of that country is the one province living under the strictures of sharia.

But, as usual, when disaster strikes it's the Great Satan and his various Little Satans who leap to respond. In the decade before September 11, the US military functioned, more or less exclusively, as a Muslim rapid reaction force – coming to the aid of Kuwaiti Muslims, Bosnian Muslims, Somali Muslims and Albanian Muslims. Since then, with the help of its Anglo-Australian allies, it's liberated 50 million Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq.

That's not how the West's anti-war movements see it. I found myself behind a car the other day bearing the bumper sticker, "War Is Costly. Peace Is Priceless" – which is standard progressive generic autopilot boilerplate, that somehow waging war and doing good are mutually exclusive. But you can't help noticing that when disaster strikes, it's the warmongers who are also the compassion-mongers. Of the top six donor nations to tsunami relief, four are members of George W. Bush's reviled "coalition of the willing".

The UN's Greatest Perceived Threat

Any question in anyone's mind? Read it all:

Is the UN a defender of the weak against
aggression by the powerful? Not exactly. Two of this planet's most intractable
conflicts pit small democracies against vastly more populous neighbouring
states. In both cases, the UN treats the democracies – Israel, Taiwan – like

This record may explain why the UN is regarded by so many Americans as neither moral nor authoritative – and why American leaders of both political parties reject UN attempts to control American actions. And indeed, when we talk about UN authority, it is UN
authority over America that we always seem to have in mind. The UN is the stated
topic, but it is American power that is the real subject of concern.

Illinois Politics Isn't for the Squimish

Too often it's been the matter of life or death. As a mainly Republican voter, I am so glad that the Ryan administration in particular and the Illinois GOP in general are paying a price. I can't say that I like the Democrats here better, my hope this will clean up the GOP.

Remember, things were so bad here, we had to import Alan Keyes to run against Barak Obama.

Interesting How Some Hollywood Types Flock To Things European

(Via Captain’s Quarters)

Seems the likes of Madonna and Demi Moore, certainly paragons of the intelligentsia, have been flocking to the London center of a sect that promotes its own brand of beliefs; part ancient Jewish mysticism and part pseudo-science. Seems this group is asserting that the victims of the holocaust were not practicing the right form of Judaism.

Like so many things since 9/11, this brings back some history lessons from the earlier half of the 20th Century. In this case, the ‘stars’ remind me of Joe Kennedy or Charles Lindbergh regarding Hitler. The BBC has been investigating this sect, sounds like a very good idea.

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