Teacher's Ramblings

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

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Voting Begins

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Polls opened early Sunday in Iraq (news - web sites)'s first free elections in a half-century.

At polling stations across the country, voters began filtering into the polling stations, as poll workers checked their identifications. Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawer was one of the first set to cast his vote at the convention center serving as election headquarters in the heavily fortified Green Zone.

The Damning But...

What has been speculation for several days now, is turning into reality. John Cole has the early roundups of the Damning Buts, now being hit from the MSM. The following is only the beginning of his post:

The Damning "But"

The Damning But (aka the "Copperhead Conjunction") is out in full force:


Iraq to Vote Shadowed by Threat of Bloodbath-Sat Jan 29, 2005 04:24 PM ET

Insurgents threatened a bloodbath on Sunday when Iraqis go to the polls in an election intended to unite the country and quell violence but which could instead foment sectarian strife.

Or they could all join hands and sing Kumbaya. Or they could go on without incident. Or there could be some mild violence and nothing more. The possibilities are endless. Why pimp only the worst case?


Iraq leaders urge calm on election eve, two Americans killed in embassy attack Iraqi officials have predicted up to eight million of 14 million voters will turn out for Sunday's election to choose a National Assembly and governing councils in the 18 provinces. Voters in the Kurdish-run north also will select a regional legislature.

But turnout is uncertain, especially in the Sunni Muslim areas of central, northern and western Iraq where the insurgency is most deadly. About 300,000 Iraqi and U.S. troops are on the
streets and on standby to protect voters.

To The Naysayers

At this stage of my life, I find myself quite the cynic. In some ways I guess life does that. However this morning I woke up very hopeful for the people in Iraq. My guess is there will be many killed it is and has been the nature of Iraq for decades now.

I have no idea how this will turn out in the long run, but there are some signposts. Germany and Japan are two frequently mentioned successful examples, versions of our system were forced on both of them. Poland, Czechoslovakia are two more modern examples, where the people demanded their freedom and rights. Russia may well be an example of where things are not turning out so well.

I found this chart that shows where the trends have been: http://www.freedomhouse.org/reports/century.html

But looking over that chart, again one is filled with hope tempered by caution.

I guess my hope is in seeing some of the commonalities of those governments where the people actually have more freedom and wealth and hope than they did under their prior systems. Some of those commonalities that strike me:

* a more eduated populace
* a citizenry willing to stand for their rights
* desire and wherewithal to develop natural resources
* a younger population* some history of self-determination
* a history of looking 'outward' to other governments and cultures

The examples of where democratic governments have not been as successful or where 'the jury is still out' lack most of the above, but also have some of the following:
* A long history of totatalitarian control, from within that country, NOT imposed upon it.
* A lack of developing available resources over a lengthly period of time.
* A modern history of a lack of a 'middle class', for want of a better term.

Iraq mostly falls into the former group. They are an educated people and Saddam was seen as a national nightmare, to all but those who benefitted by his reign of terror. He was the uneducated one, imposing through force his will upon the people. Stalin was all that and perhaps more. The Russian people though, had tolerated continued serfdom centuries past the rest of Europe. There was always a ruling elite in Russia, from governing to the arts. Illiteracy was historically high, until the communist schools were set up.

Japan on the other hand had been looking outward, searching for a better way to protect it's tiny culture since the Meiji Revolution. Granted they had a bit of a 'supercharge' there in between the wars, but considering the length of time they decided to look outward, it seems their learning curve on both successes and learning from failures was very high. Iraq fits into this example in many ways. Even under Saddam, many of the educated people managed to get their children out to experience something else. Consider the number of Iraqis now voting from outside of Iraq. They were not willing to stay under his fist, no matter how high the cost might be to those left behind.

Another example of what people will do for freedom and rights, can be seen in the Enfranchisment movements in the US, women had been fighting for the right to vote prior to the Civil War, though many put their 'cause' aside to fight for abolition. They later picked up their cause again, succeeding after WWI. True the franchisment for Blacks took longer and was more violent, but they were willing to pay the price, no matter how high. All things considered, I am hopeful for Iraq. For its people and also for the region. There were many reasons to make Iraq the starting point.

One other funny thought this morning, it used to be those fighting for freedom were considered the 'progressives.' Today the terms Progressives and Conservatives appear to be reversed.

Anyone Else Feeling This Tension?

All day I've been trying to get things done around the house, you know regular Saturday stuff. I keep running to the news. Force myself back to making dinner, working on lesson plans. Back to computer to see what's going on in Iraq.

I really thought today was going to be bad, I mean 'big time bad.' Worse day there ever. So far, one missile and 2 dead. While my prayers are always with those serving in Iraq, ours or theirs, this seems impossible to believe good news. I keep hoping and praying it stays like this.

Three Years of Blogging and Two Years of Politics

Short and to the point.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Chrenkoff: Good News From the Muslim World

His weekly reports are a must read. This is Part 4 of 'The Muslim World'.

A Beautiful Piece On A Soldier

Hat Tip to INDC Journal. Just when you think you must give up on the MSM, the Washington Post publishes this. One of Bill’s readers suggested that this should carry a “throat constricting” advisory. Consider that done.

Thank You That Serve

Well I can’t say she didn’t warn me, but heh. My brother is a deputy chief of police, my uncle was a Lieutenant on Chicago PD. His brother a Lieutenant on CFD. They face danger every day, take the time to thank them!

2005 or 1942?

You won't be able to tell the difference, really. (No, it's not Memorex). Here's my favorite bit from the end of his post:

And here's another quote by Dorothy Thompson, one I found by chance:

When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force. When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered.

Here's the European version:

When liberty is taken away by force it can only be restored by multilateral diplomacy, by treaties and by concessions. When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it will be recovered because of the good will of dictators.

I'd rather go with Dorothy Thompson's version...

Add To Prayer Lists, Please

Captain Ed has so many posts that I could link to, and I've done so many times. (In all transparency, many times and his readers are always very kind with their comments too!)

Right now he and his wife only need a bit of the power of prayer.

Memo To Self

Not that it would happen, but don't tee off Professor Reynolds. He can be wicked nasty, in a very polite way.

Update: 1/29 1:49pm http://instapundit.com/archives/020826.php

*Anchoress told me a while back, link whoring is permissible.*

There IS Good News Coming Out of Iraq

From Hammorabi we hear of hopes and some TELEVISED confessions from captured terrorists, the list of their sins will not surprise those that have been following the blogs.

This morning I heard Tony Snow recommend Friends of Democracy, I will be checking this all weekend. The current top post is on the difficulty of getting to polling places with no autos, not to mention an absence of information on where to go to vote.

Mohammed has the most recent post up at Iraq the Model, again the refrain is hope for the future:

“Go Iraq...go! Less than 48 hours left before the people of Iraq experience free decision making for the first time in their country's modern history.

It's a moment of pure freedom but still surrounded by lots of dangers just like any beautiful rose surrounded by spikes.There is fear from the enemies of freedom who have their weapons already prepared to intimidate us and stop us from choosing our future.

But at the same time we're full of hope as we know that we've put our feet on the right track and even if we make a bad choice once, we know that we will have the chance to reevaluate the situation again.

No more tyrants ruling the country for decades.We're standing before a historic moment and I won't be exaggerating if I said that it's an important moment for the whole world; we're standing before a crossroads and everyone should watch and learn from the rebirth of Iraq.

Regardless of the winners in the se elections, those who opposed the elections and resisted the change will have to deal with the new reality.In 48 hours from now, the dying dictatorships and their filthy tools, the terrorists, will find themselves facing an elected legitimate
government in Iraq.

The tyrants nightmare is becoming reality, now they will have to deal with the scariest word in their dictionaries; THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE.

The terrorists have challenged the bravery of the Iraqi people but they messed with the wrong people. The people have accepted the challenge; democracy and elections are not a luxury for Iraqis, it's an issue of life or death. And the terror brutal campaign has only made the people more determined to go on with the change.The results of some recent polls that have shown how determined Iraqis are to hold the elections might have surprised you, but they weren't a
surprise for us; we're not the kind of people that kneel to terror and the sights of blood and beheadings.Saddam had tried all tools of oppression, killing and torture he could find against our people (including WMD's) but he failed to make the people believe in his hateful regime. And that's why the people abandoned him and now, he and his regime are just a bad old tale from the past.On Sunday, the sun will rise on the land of Mesopotamia. I can't wait, the dream is becoming true and I will stand in front of the box to put my heart in it."


We wish them all the best and will be watching.

Godspeed To The Iraqis This Weekend

The whole post is well worth reading:

A few years ago Billy Bragg recorded a song called "All You Fascists," with words written by Woody Gurthrie during World War II. I don't know if Mr. Bragg or the late Mr. Guthrie would approve of my borrowing that song's refrain for this post, but it's what leapt to mind when I saw this Washington Post report focusing on the efforts of the National Democratic Institute (affiliated with the US Democratic Party) to help prepare Iraqis for democratic elections:

Thursday, January 27, 2005

This Is Appalling

For some reason I have trouble with comparisons of the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Guantánamo Bay, http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap/20050128/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/guantanamo_sex_vs_faith or Abu Ghraib. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

Homeland Security Is NOT Going So Smoothly

This post is truly frightening. Read the whole thing:

Michelle Malkin has the immigration beat covered like no one else in the media. Today she reports on an astonishing story: the Immigration and Naturalization Service has awarded a green card to an immigrant from Siberia named Eugueni Kniazev. Only one catch: Mr. Kniazev was murdered in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

That's right: the INS has no mechanism in place--still, more than three years after the September 11 attacks--to make sure that the people whose immigration status is under consideration are still alive. Which makes it pretty clear that they also have no idea whether those people are engaged in any undesirable (e.g., terrorist) activities.

Were All Votes Equal?

I'm becoming convinced I'm a masochist at heart. After reading the above post, I just had to google "Count every vote." What do I find? An article that quotes from Noam Chomsky! Sheesh!

I wouldn’t bother reading the whole article, though you definitely want to read Michelle’s.

...In the course of his very rich article, "The Non-Election of 2004" (Z Magazine, Jan., 2005), Noam Chomsky sought to minimize the importance of the fact that the 2004 presidential election was stolen. And if there is still any doubt in the anti-Bush camp that this past election was stolen, it is - in my view - chiefly because most opinion formers (including writers in the "New York Times", the "Nation" and the "Village Voice") have (mis)understood "stealing" on the model of robbing a bank, where someone has to catch the winning candidate piling boxes of unopened ballots into the back of his pick-up truck before one can say it has occurred. Stealing an election, however, is more like stacking a deck of cards where a devious sleight of hand ensures that the same party wins every time...

Corporate Nanny State?

Seems to me that once you open this door, the employer becomes in control of your home. I wonder if this will make it through the courts?

BTW, over eating causes obesity, more dangerous than smoking...

Diplomad and the UN/Tsunami, Again

It seems the UN just has a problem with the US...

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

It's All Here and There

Only Austin Bay can explain this.

On the Rice/Boxer Confirmation Kerfuffle

If it weren't for others joining Boxer, this would be a non-starter. However, as I posted earlier, this becomes a nexus.

Funny, 10/01 My 7th Graders Thought National ID Was The Way To Go

I didn't agree then, don't now. I did understand the arguments though.

Regarding the Coptic Christian Killings

While appalling, there may well be something here.

US The Global Threat: From The Great Iranian Minds

See: http://teachersramblings.blogspot.com/2005/01/no-progress-on-iran-and-nuclear.html

Ok, you checked out the above link. Does the main meme make you feel better?

Am I The Only One Who Finds This Inappropriate?

Whatever are they thinking? My heart goes out to every person serving in the military and their families. There are no words to express my admiration or debt. With that truly meant, this 'plea' is way, way over the top.

Is This Supposed To Influence Opinion In The US?

For some reason the idea that a US hostage is appealing to Quadafi, is not a big selling point to me. I wish this man released, but not because of Libya. How far can a Marine throw him?

I Hope Powerline Will Forgive Me

I am going to cut and paste their post, no worry I will trackback, but when Byrd is called "Centrist" it is worth copying:

"Centrists" Oppose Rice Nomination

Reader Richard Banyard pointed out this remarkable paragraph in the
Washington Post's story on the vote in the Senate on Condoleezza Rice's nomination:

Some of the Democrats who opposed Rice were centrists from states in which President Bush won or ran strongly in November, including Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

"Centrists"?? Mark Dayton? Robert Byrd? Carl Levin? And Tom Harkin?? These are some of the most far-left politicians who have ever served in the United States Senate. At the Post, "centrist" apparently means "someone who isn't any more liberal than we are."

DEACON adds: The only centrist on the list is Evan Bayh. And I suspect that his vote against Dr. Rice is best understood in the context of the possibility he will run for president in 2008. Perhaps we are witnessing Bayh's transformation into an ex-centrist, in the Al Gore tradition.

UPDATE: Reader Jack Carrel points out that the Post has now removed the word "centrists" from its article. I assume this was the result of our pointing out the absurdity of the characterization. But there is no indication of any correction, no acknowledgement that the change was made. So go the mainstream media.

FURTHER UPDATE: Reader David McGuire has more, which casts doubt on the competence of the Post:
You will be interested to know that I e-mailed Chuck Babington about his "centrist" Democrat comments in this morning's Washington Post. Amazingly, this is how he responded:
Thanks for writing. You will not find this quote in my article:

"Some of the Democrats who opposed Rice were centrists from states in which President Bush won or ran strongly in November, including Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)." You (and many others) are victims of a cut and paste job that rearranged paragraphs in order to attack the story. You can read the real article on Washingtonpost.com. I'd be happy to respond if you want to take it from there.again, thanks,cb
I then went back to the Washington Post website to cut and paste Mr. Babington's "real" article. The fourth paragraph of his article reads precisely the same way that the quote above reads. Either someone is writing articles using Mr. Babington's byline, or Mr. Babington cannot even remember what he wrote on the same day he wrote it! It is absolutely amazing that a political writer at one of the major newspapers in the country believes he can somehow deny writing a paragraph that appeared on the official website of a newspaper only a few hours before. Mr. Babington has met the blogosphere, and he has lost BIG TIME.

Posted by Hindrocket at 01:48 PM

Byrd On Rice

Check out this wonderful post regarding the democratic attack dog, yes dog. He has a great bio on Sen. Byrd-Must Read. Here is the intro:

Dems revert to Klan roots

It seems that the Democrats are busy this week attacking a black woman who is in line for one of the highest positions in the American government.

"Dr. Rice is responsible for some of the most overblown rhetoric that the administration used to scare the American people," Sen. Robert Byrd , D-W.Va., said.

Are the AP Tests Effecting Teaching?

I don't know what is currently going on with high school teachers, but at the middle school we actively counsel our students that wish to be competetive at that level, to go 'beyond' the assignments given. The advice is given to the whole class, but there is consistently about 25% of 8th graders that find themselves working at that level. They have had no problem with the AP classes or the tests that follow prior to college entry.

I think the AP system is very cool. I would like to see more offerings in poorer schools, where the college credits could really give them a flying start and save tuition.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Ok, I Am Posting In Its Entirety!

Richard Perle and Europe's 'Soft Power'

I think this interview with Richard Perle in the German conservative daily "Welt" is outstanding.
(Translation by Hartmut Lau)

“He Won’t Change The Thrust Of His Policies”

Groundbreaking neo-conservative thinker Richard Perle on George W. Bush, the Iraq war, multilateralism and the UN’s weakness / by Hanspeter BornBorn:

“Have you – privately - had doubts on the decision to go to war in Iraq?

Perle: No, I don’t have any doubts. Given the circumstances at the time, doing what we did was the right thing. At the end of the day we’ll look back on this effort and see it not only as successful and very much necessary, but also as the beginning of comprehensive change in the region. ...

Q: Will President Bush continue on the same course in his second term or will he listen to people who advise him to rely more on soft power than on military force?

A: We don’t want to emulate the Europeans. The Europeans employ soft power day and night. They cannot get enough of it. That isn’t our role. Our role is not to pretend – as the Europeans pretend –that soft power can change North Korea’s Kim Jong Il or the mullahs. ...

Q: A primary European criticism of the America concerns its behavior with respect to international law. Europeans regret that the US deliberately undermines the world order created by Roosevelt and its institutions, such as the UN.

A: What world order? The UN passed 17 resolutions against Saddam Hussein and did nothing to enforce them. It was weak and ineffective.

Q: The Europeans especially deplore the doctrine of preventive war. Can any country now justify a war-like attack with the claim that it pre-empted a threat?

A: The Europeans have learned nothing from their own history. Would a preventive war against Nazi Germany have been a mistake?

Q: It would not have been a pre-emptive war if Europeans had attacked after Hitler’s march into the Rhineland in 1936. They would have been punishing a violation of the Treaty of Versailles. The Iraq war is, as Kofi Annan and most Europeans see it, a violation of international law.

A: Nonsense. Claiming that there was a world order, in accordance with international law, upon which we could rely, is nonsense. There was no such order. Who is Kofi Annan to say what is legal and what is illegal? Every country has the right to defend itself. This right is not granted by the UN Charter, but is mentioned in Article 51. This right existed long before there was a UN Charter. At the time the Charter was written, there was no terrorism that could pose a danger such as that which we now face. The concern was tank divisions advancing across borders. Today’s concern is people who conduct terrorist attacks. Do we have to wait until the attacks have been carried out before we move against the terrorists?

Q: In Europe people resent that the US has moved away from multilateralism.

A: We will not allow our fate to be determined by a majority vote in the UN when there are dictatorships casting a vote. The world in which we live is not a world that we can trust with our fate. We cannot depend on Zimbabwe’s vote to assure our safety. We will not subject ourselves to this sort of multilateralism.

Q: Do you see parallels between Bush and another underestimated president, Harry Truman?

A: Yes, I do see such parallels. And I see parallels to Ronald Reagan. Bush is straightforward, honest and says what he thinks. When he visits Europe in February he’ll say some reconciliatory things but he won’t change the thrust of his policies – policies with which he is completely comfortable.

David's Medienkritik Looking For A Bit of Help

If you can, lend a hand:

Getting Back to the Roots

Our most loyal readers know:

Davids Medienkritik began as a German-language blog. In order to grow, the site transformed into an English-language site. Why? Davids Medienkritik gained readers by getting noticed in the English-language blogosphere by large, established sites like Instapundit and Andrewsullivan.com.

As many of you know, no large German blog sites exist that could have helped us reach the point that we are at today. We want to change that. How? By founding a major new media-critical German-language blog site and using our influence to promote it. That is our goal for 2005: We want a blog as successful as Davids Medienkritik in German!

We Need Your Help

Logistically, David and I have what it takes to get a blog site up and running. So what do we really need? First, we need to promote this new site in the mainstream German-language press to gain a significant German-speaking audience. Davids Medienkritik will throw its full weight behind the project in terms of promotion, but it is imperative that everyone interested in seeing this new blog succeed
donate what you can now to help us advertise our new blog.

Join Us

If you feel that you have what it takes to be a good German-language blogger on our site, don’t hesitate to
email us. If you can help us translating English to German, we may also be able to put you to good use on our new site. Let us know!

Spread the Word

If you have the ability to spread the word about our new site online or offline, we urge you to do so. We are also looking for German newspapers and publications to advertise our site. Please feel free to make suggestions in the
comments section or via email.

Let’s Give Our New Blog a Name

I have already come up with a potential name for the site. However, it is not fixed in stone and I am open to suggestions for names. Again, please feel free to make your suggestions in the
comments section or by emailing me.

Enormous Potential

David and I both feel that such a site has enormous potential. Millions of Germans are fed up with the one-sidedness and bias of the mainstream media. Yet they don’t know of any viable alternatives. We want to provide that alternative. We want to build the success story that is the American blogosphere for the German-speaking audience. It will be an absolutely critical alternative source of analysis and information. But again,
we can’t do it without you.

Grand Debut: February 1, 2005

Our new blog will debut this coming Tuesday, February 1, 2005. The name and web address will be announced here on Davids Medienkritik. Stay tuned!
(Written by Ray D.)

David's Medienkritik Looking For A Bit of Assistance

As many of you know, no large German blog sites exist that could have helped us reach the point that we are at today. We want to change that. How? By founding a major new media-critical German-language blog site and using our influence to promote it. That is our goal for 2005: We want a blog as successful as Davids Medienkritik in German!

We Need Your Help

Logistically, David and I have what it takes to get a blog site up and running. So what do we really need? First, we need to promote this new site in the mainstream German-language press to gain a significant German-speaking audience. Davids Medienkritik will throw its full weight behind the project in terms of promotion, but it is imperative that everyone interested in seeing this new blog succeed donate what you can now to help us advertise our new blog.

Join Us

If you feel that you have what it takes to be a good German-language blogger on our site, don’t hesitate to email us. If you can help us translating English to German, we may also be able to put you to good use on our new site. Let us know!

Byrd Is A Disgrace

tip of the derby to Instapundit:

The Democrats really know how to pick their spokesman. Why if they have complaints against Dr. Rice would would they pick Senator KKK to voice them?Well let us look into Senator KKK's roots:

Byrd was a local leader of the
Ku Klux Klan for a period of time in the early 1940s, holding the title Kleagle; Klan recruiter. In a 1946 letter, he wrote, "The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia." However, when running for Congress in 1952, he announced, "After about a year, I became disinterested, quit paying my dues, and dropped my membership in the organization. During the nine years that have followed, I have never been interested in the Klan." Still, in 1964 he opposed the Civil Rights Act.

Isn't that special. Who to better speak out against Dr. Rice than an anti-Civil Rights Democrat. Who indeed. Well what about Byrd's recent history? Senator Byrd quit the Klan in the 1940s and has renounced it since. On the other hand, his history is worth revisiting, since it's something Democrats have been willing to tolerate, despite Lott-like remarks that would have ended a Republican's career. Only last year Mr. Byrd told Fox News that "there are white niggers. I've seen a lot of white niggers in my time, if you want to use that word. But we all--we all--we just need to work together to make our country a better country and I--I'd just as soon quit talking about it so much."Mr. Byrd quickly apologized, but he wasn't denounced by Democrats, much less by the Clintons. Nor did the press corps use the opportunity to wallow in other Byrd racial lowlights, such as the 14 hours and 13 minutes he spent in an unsuccessful filibuster during the debate over the 1964 civil rights act, which he voted against along with 20 other Senate democrats. The political press also didn't dredge up his votes against both Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, votes that made him the only Senator to have opposed the only two black Supreme Court nominees in U.S. history.Is the good Senator anti-Black? Could be.

Thurgood Marshall was a Democrat. Which U.S. Senator is a former member of the Ku Klux Klan? Which U.S. Senator wasn't just a member of the KKK but was a "Kleagle" -- an official recruiter who signed up members for $10 a head?Which U.S. Senator said he joined because it "offered excitement" and because the Klan was an "effective force" in "promoting traditional American values."Which U.S. Senator wrote the following, three years after he claims to have ended his ties with the KKK: "The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia" and "in every state in the Union."Which U.S. Senator also wrote that he would never fight "with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds." Which Senator indeed.

The Democrats ought to be ashamed of themselves. If that is possible.

Professor Offers Some Old Advice On Preventing Election Fraud

Couldn't be simplier or more effective.

Chicago Tribune Mimics NYT

The above is being passed off as a Nation/World story. Problem is, generalizing from one to many. Few facts and the only poll data quoted is brushed off as 'old', since it states a 81% turnout. The Trib decides to go with an unnamed source saying they'll get maybe 50%. Time will tell, but this is NOT news. MSM is following its course.

What Was That About Nastiness On the GOP Side?

Hat tip: Instapundit In Wisconsin they have some suspects in the tire slashing incident during the elections.

No Progress On Iran and Nuclear Enrichment

There are reasons that Iran is on top of the agenda.

Diplomats familiar with the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the atmosphere between the two sides had improved during the second round, held in Geneva Jan. 17.But they agreed that no progress is being made on the Europeans' insistence that Iran's present
temporary suspension of its enrichment programs be turned into a commitment to permanently mothball all such activities.

"The two positions cannot coexist," said one of the diplomats, from a West European nation. "If the impasse cannot be resolved, then there will be no solution," clearing the path for Iran to
resume work on activities that will allow it to enrich uranium, he said.

Iran publicly insists it only seeks to make low-grade enriched uranium for generating power. The United States and other countries say that once the program is fully active, Iran will use it to make weapons grade uranium for the core of nuclear missiles.

The summary of the last meeting suggests that at those talks, Iran privately acknowledged what Washington and its allies have argued all along - that as an oil rich country, it does not need nuclear energy.

"Iran recognizes explicitly that its fuel cycle program cannot be justified on economic grounds," the summary said.


The Mossad views Iran’s nuclear weapons project as the greatest threat to Israel today. The Mossad chief left no doubt that the ayatollahs in Teheran will wind up with nuclear weapons within a couple of years in they are not forced to halt.

Wisconsin Trying To Catch Up With Chicago

There are many things worth emulating about Chicago, corruption shouldn't be at the top of the list. Captain Ed has many links and commentary on what transpired in the Dairy State.

Democrats Are Attacking Rice

I think this is going to be a mistake. Of course the administration must stop backing away from these kids of fights:

WASHINGTON - One Senate Democrat called Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) a liar Tuesday and others said she was an apologist for Bush administration failures in Iraq (news - web sites), but she remained on track for confirmation as secretary of state.

Rice, who has been President Bush (
news - web sites)'s White House national security adviser for four years, was one of the loudest voices urging war, Democrats said. She repeatedly deceived members of Congress and Americans at large about justifications for the war, said Sen. Mark Dayton (news, bio, voting record), D-Minn. "I don't like impugning anyone's integrity, but I really don't like being lied to," Dayton said. "Repeatedly, flagrantly, intentionally..."


"My vote against this nominee is my statement that this administration's lies must stop now," Dayton said in opposing Rice's nomination on the Senate floor.

Politicians rarely use the word "lie," preferring some of the milder terms other Democrats used Tuesday. "There was no reason to go to war in Iraq when we did, the way we did and for the false reasons we were given," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass.

Rice is not directly responsible for intelligence failures prior to the Iraq war that overestimated Saddam's nuclear capability, said Sen. Carl Levin (news, bio, voting record), D-Mich. "But she is responsible for her own distortions and exaggerations of the intelligence which was provided to her," Levin said.

"Dr. Rice is responsible for some of the most overblown rhetoric that the administration used to scare the American people," Sen. Robert Byrd (news, bio, voting record), D-W.Va., said.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Maybe I Read Too Many Original Documents; This Is News?

No different than what I read in college in early 90's.

Fascist Italy's reputation for being far less evil than Nazi Germany may have to be revised after a new book accused Benito Mussolini of being an enthusiastic accomplice in the slaughter of Europe's Jews.

Rather than being a reluctant participant in the Holocaust, The Shoah of Italy argues that "Il Duce" forged a secret deal with Hitler to hand Jews to the SS and was far more anti-semitic than once thought.

Mussolini was voicing anti-semitic views as early as 1936 and his Racial Laws of 1938 reflected the regime's "biological racism", the book's author, Michele Sarfatti, claims. Until now, the passing of the laws that made Jews second-class citizens has been written off as an attempt to curry favour with the Führer.

Does It Really Matter, Is Anyone Surprised?

BAGHDAD, Iraq - An al-Qaida lieutenant in custody in Iraq (news - web sites) has confessed to masterminding most of the car bombings in Baghdad, including the bloody 2003 assault on the U.N. headquarters in the capital, authorities said Monday.

Sami Mohammed Ali Said al-Jaaf, also known as Abu Omar al-Kurdi, "confessed to building approximately 75 percent of the car bombs used in attacks in Baghdad" since the Iraq war began, according to the interim Iraqi prime minister's spokesman, Thaer al-Naqib.

Global Warming May Be Boon To Moderate Temps

Gee, humans may not be as bad as the Greens see us.

By John von Radowitz

HUMANS may have unwittingly saved themselves from a looming ice age by interfering with the Earth's climate, according to a new study. The findings from a team of American climate experts suggest that were it not for greenhouse gases produced by humans, the world would be well on the way to a frozen Armageddon. Scientists have traditionally viewed the relative stability of the Earth's climate since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago as being due to natural causes, but there is evidence that changes in solar radiation and greenhouse gas concentrations should have driven the Earth towards glacial conditions over the last few thousand years. What stopped it has been the activity of humans, both ancient and modern, argue the scientists.

Over the last 8,000 years carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have gradually risen, when previous trends indicated that it should have dropped. Methane, another greenhouse gas, had also increased instead of fallen. The unexpected trends could be explained by massive early deforestation in Eurasia, rice farming in Asia, the introduction of livestock, and the burning of wood and plant material, all of which led to an outpouring of greenhouse emissions. The United States researchers, led by William Ruddiman from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, used a climate model to test what would happen if these greenhouse gases were reduced to their "natural" level. They wrote in the journal, Quaternary Science Reviews: "In the absence of anthropogenic contributions, global climate is almost 2C cooler than today and roughly one-third of the way toward full glacial temperatures." At the peak of the last ice age, which began 70,000 years ago, 97% of Canada was covered by ice. The research showed that without the human contribution to global warming, Baffin Island would today be in a condition of incipient glaciation".


One Take On the Iranians

In no way do I consider myself an expert on any type of foreign affairs. With that said, I do remember being in California for the 'We the People' National Academy in the Summer of 2001. That was a very long, hot summer. I kept calling home, since the news was Chicago was being hit with a heat wave of epic proportions.

It was the summer of Chandra Levy and Monica's pocketbooks. It was ALSO the summer of Iranian student discontent, though far fewer stories.

From Mine Eyes To God's Will

Zarqawi suckered. Not just Austin Bay that thinks so, http://www.indepundit.com/archive2/2005/01/zarqawi_is_doom.html#

I remain hopeful.


Watching 24, wow! I don't watch much television, but got turned onto this 2 weeks ago. 4th season, but no problem picking up the threads.

Phil Bredesen

Via Instapundit who seems very taken with Mr. Bredesen. The Professor is in the locale to know. Here are some other links Glenn has:

MSNBC and this, The New Republic and this, Instapundit Archives

Will Try To Get Some Blogging In

I got the report cards in. The kids have assignments for Catholic Schools Week, known by teachers by another name. Whatever. I still have make up for my Master's classes, but will try to post a bit in the next couple of days.

Here in Chicago, we are shoveled out. I heard the East coast called a snow day, wimps. (Ok, sour grapes here, but too bad!)

Why Doesn't This Make Me Feel Bad?

It doesn't.

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