Saturday, July 31, 2004
UPDATE 08/02/04: The World Wide Rant won the Mug of the Month competition. Do you think that my blog is full of crap and a flop? I need a break...
Friday, July 30, 2004
John Kerry is not a person with cash problem, but he seems to have a long track record in affiliating himself with shady characters. First he had dealings with comrades from the People's Republic of communist China and then with a middle-man to the Mullahs in Iran. [UPDATE 07/31/04: Allah has links.] Now he is turning to a guy with a connection to the mafia... [Editor's note: Could it be that members of the mob have had a "chat" with ABC News? You get this message when you click on the link: "Sorry This content is not available. We apologize for the inconvenience." Is it a cover up operation, or is due to the high traffic coming from InstaPundit?] Here is an excerpt from Andrew Buncombe's article, Convention Diary: Bing does the decent thing by Democrats:
One of the Democrats' biggest contributors is Hollywood producer Steve Bing, the ungentlemanly cad who impregnated poor English rose Liz Hurley and didn't do the decent thing. Bing has been more than generous to the Democrats however, contributing $16m. But law enforcement officials have told ABC News that Bing is a friend and business partner of Dominic Montemarano, a New York Mafia figure currently in prison on racketeering charges. Montemarano is better known by his street name Donnie Shacks. No word yet from Bing. (Independent.co.uk, 07/30/04.)
[Editor's comment: If you a fan of John Cleese and Elizabeth Hurley, check out The Human Face.]
Click here for a profile of Steve Bing. You could search on Mr. Bing's donations to different leftist organizations, if you go to Political Money Line. "The Campaign finance reform led to the birth of plenty of "527" groups." [Editor's comment: Maybe we should call it "Heinz 5(2)7" groups!? Nice try for a transition to the next topic of this post, namely: ketchup! ;)]
To give you a background, here are a couple of quotes from John McCormick's article, Kerry campaign savors tie to Heinz:
Heinz Kerry's first husband, Republican Sen. John Heinz, died in a 1991 plane crash. He had served in the Senate since 1977 and was a member of the House for three terms before that.
At the regional history center that bears the Heinz name, there are only a few mementos from his political career, one a campaign bumper sticker that features his name printed in ketchup red.
The exhibit also lets visitors in on the secret of how the "57" in the "Heinz 57" name was selected. There were more than 57 varieties of condiments at the time, but H.J. Heinz simply liked the number's sound.
Today, the company makes more than 4,000 varieties. Although the bottles don't carry the Kerry name, around here they might as well. (Chicago Tribune, 07/11/04.)
Did you know that a ketchup "war" has started between conservatives? [Via Andrew Sullivan.] Glenn Reynolds and his daughter conducted a taste test of different ketchup brands. As a "chilehead," I think regular ketchup is a bit too blend for my taste. I prefer a ketchup with more heat to it, e.g., Jonas Borssén's curry ketchup.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Related: My post, HAMAS WEBSITE HOSTED IN SWEDEN.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has more information about the case. I wish it existed an "A" (standing for American in spirit) visa for foreigners who want to come to the Land of Opportunity.
Monday, July 26, 2004
~ The Empire Blogs Back. Guess the connection to New England and I will tell you a personal story...
~ High bid not enough for DotComGuy. What's up with this guy?
~ MooLatte is not in the same category as Fasces wine...
~ Killington, VT, wants to move to the "Live Free or Die" state...
~ G.W. Bush's pants on fire? I thought that Sandy Berger had problem with his trousers... Cool down with Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
~ Sir Timothy Berners-Lee: Thanks for the WWW! Al Gore has to wait before he could be knighted...
Here is an excerpt from Quent Cordair's tribute to Lance Armstrong -- Role Model for Success:
His determination, focus and willingness to invest everything he has towards achieving his goals -- both immediate and longer range -- is truly remarkable and inspiring. He is an athlete worthy of Greek mythology, and in true American fashion, the foundation of his victories is -- hard, hard work. He prepares more thoroughly and more meticulously than any of his competitors, paying attention to the smallest details. (Quent Cordair, 07/22/04.)
Related: If you are interested in cycling, check out Jerry Nilson's page.
Sunday, July 25, 2004
Go and read NS' (Noumenalself.com) post on activism before you go and vote. It looks like the "compassionate conservatives" are mobilizing their supporters before the Republican national convention in August... I agree with Joel Belz' statement: "Presidential elections, however important, reflect the culture much more than they change it." [Editor's note: I don't know anything about the Christian World Magazine. Do you?] Here is an excerpt from Martin F. Nolan's article, John Kerry should be thankful for the enemies he has made:
Republicans have owned the religious right since 1980, or is it the other way around? Reagan could deal with puritan busybodies, but his successor could not. In 1992, at the GOP convention in Houston, the handlers of George H.W. Bush handed over prime time to a declaration of "culture war" by defeated candidate Patrick Buchanan. The effect among moderate suburban voters, catastrophic for Bush, helped elect Bill Clinton. (San Francisco Chronicle, 07/25/04.)
I want to introduce you to The Intellectual Activist Daily's election coverage project called Secularism Reader. Here is an excerpt from Robert Tracinski's article, God, Freedom, and Immortality:
That is the goal of a new project being launched by TIA. Our goal is to create a "Secularism Reader," a series of essays explaining and defending the secular basis of American civilization, while tying the unique achievements of that civilization--especially freedom and individual rights--firmly to their secular foundation.
I chose "secularism" as the central concept of this project, because it names a crucial issue that cuts to the heart of both cultural and political issues, and that names central battles both in domestic American politics and in America's conflicts with its enemies in the Middle East.
The theme of this book will be to show, by reference to philosophical argument, to the lessons of history, and to examples from contemporary politics, that man's most important spiritual values--epistemological certainty, moral clarity, individual rights, and an exalted view of man--require a secular foundation and are destroyed by religion rather than preserved by it. Its goal, in contradiction to Kant, is to show that freedom does not require God and that a reverence for the human spirit does not require a belief in supernatural immortality. (TIA Daily, 07/26/04.)
The answer to your question is the appeasement in the Middle East that has been going on for about 50 years. We should have learned our lesson by now. It is time to take care of the root of the problem.
Joseph Marshall commented on my comment:
I must say, Mr. Lindeskog, ideology aside, folks like you amaze me. Make a third war on Iran, while we have two still going on that we haven't yet finished? Do you think our military resources are bottomless?
Go over to globalsecurity.org and take a good look at how thin we really are stretched. The section you want is named "Where Are The Legions?" After you do, then come back and tell us just how you think we should mount a serious assault on Iran.
If Mr. Marshall had bothered to click on the above link (to my post,
EXTERMINATE THE ROOT OF TERRORISM, NOT ONLY THE BRANCHES...) in my comment, he would see the following statement:
Don't you think it is time to put the spotlight on the HQ of terrorism - Iran? I believe that it had been a better choice to attack Iran as the first member of the Axis of Evil. (EGO, 06/17/04.)
To clarify my message: Iran should have been the first target instead of Iraq, but as the situation is now, it is time to get busy and move on to the next member of the Axis of Evil. It could be the case that the experts in Pentagon and the military have some kind of master plan, similar to the strategies discussed at InstaPundit:
YESTERDAY, I noted new reports of an Iran/Al Qaeda connection and wondered if skeptics of the Iraq war would be calling for an invasion of Iran. Now, in response to those reports, Brad DeLong writes: "And where is our counterstrike against the Iranian government? It is now, by my count, some 1030 days overdue." (InstaPundit, 07/19/04.)
I went to to the page Mr. Marshall recommended, and found the following information:
Of the 34 combat brigades and Armored Cavalry Regiments in the US Army's active component, some 15 are currently deployed (including the two from the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea), in the process of rotating to and from deployments or having just returned from deployment. (Globalsecurity.org, 07/21/04.)
So, theoretically shouldn't we be able to move 19 troops into Iran? 12 of the 15 brigades are located in Iraq (/SWA = Southwest Asia?).
Bradford Plumer of Mother Jones is agreeing with Mr. Marshall and concludes:
The arguments against full-scale military action are legion. We barely have enough troops to pacify Iraq; invading Iran would be logistically impossible. Even a smaller air strike against Iran's budding nuclear facilities, as Israel has advocated, could prove disastrous. The Iranian government has scattered its nuclear program out around the country, and a partial or unsuccessful Israeli strike would leave Iran poised for nuclear counter-action. (The Foundation for National Progress, 07/22/04.)
What do I know, I am only an "armchair general"... What's your opinion? Which country should be next? Scroll down the page and cast your vote in the EGO poll.
Mr. Marshall has answered my "call to arms" and he has been kind to enter the role as a miltary expert. Here is an excerpt from his analysis:
By the way, I have posted on many blogs the contention that the invasion of Iraq was a massive strategic mistake precisely because it prevents us from now dealing with Iran.
I want to thank Andy Clarkson (The Charlotte Capitalist) for his comment on this post. Here is the last part of his comment:
Do I know the "surround" strategy to be true? Nyet. But to say we should not take down Iran because of some website (globalsecurity.org) is doing exactly what Martin is being accused of -- having opinions without facts. Facts that none of us have unless you are with the CIA or are a defense intelligence expert. In addition, it fails to consider context of what, why, and how.
Martin is right on with the what and why. There are lots of strategies for taking down Iran -- bombing, on the ground, a combo, making best use of pro-freedom/pro-American individuals, etc.
Let's hope the Bush administration comes up with the best how and does it soon.
If you haven't clicked on the trackback link yet, swing by Illustrated Ideas and read Robert Tracy's post, Good Tactics Then. Here is an excerpt:
Strategy and tactics were important then, and they served us well. Today, the enemy has no qualms about living. They will kill and die for the hell of their cause. Today, we must throw traditional strategy and tactics out the window, and just go out and kill. This war is not about gentlemanly arts of war. Just kill the bastards before and as they kill us.
Other political parties have even less impressive statistics. On a typical day, just 605 people visit the Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) website (http://www.sps.ru), generating 2,845 page views. Four hundred twelve people visit the Yabloko site (http://www.yabloko.ru), generating 2,530 hits. Among the major parties, the pro-Kremlin Unified Russia party's site is the least active, with just 370 visitors a day generating 1,458 hits. (RFE/RL Newsline, Volume 8 Number 136, 07/20/04.)
Frank Brown (Newsweek) describes the Russian economy in the following way:
To put it bluntly, Putin faces his biggest crisis since taking office in 2000—and it has nothing to do with Yukos. The Russian president may be no democrat. But it is hard to dispute that he is a reformer, determined to remake Russia as a modern, free-market economy. And just now the Kremlin is embarking on its most unpopular reform of all—stripping away the Soviet-era social benefits that most of Russia's 145 million citizens have long taken for granted. (Moving In For the Kill, Newsweek, August 2 issue.)
Putin must have been listening to his economic adviser, Andrei Illarionov. Here is a comment by Andrei Illarionov on the fact that "Russia's banks are running out of credit":
"Hiding our heads in the sand and saying there is no crisis would be totally incorrect," Interfax news agency reported him as saying. "The solution of a prob lem can only begin when the problem is identified correctly." (Carolynne Wheeler, The Guardian, 07/12/04.)
It looks like Mr. Illarionov has an aspiration to scrap much of the tax code, reduce the tax pressure, and start to compete, in an economical sense, with the rich United States of America. How successful has he been in the improvement of the economy? Here is an excerpt from article in BusinessWeek:
And Putin appears to be listening. Shortly after he appointed Illarionov--a fellow native of Saint Petersburg--in April, 2000, Putin decided to support the economist's proposal for a 13% flat income tax. That rate, introduced in January, 2001, represented a major cut from the previous sliding scale of 12% to 35%. Russia's income taxes are now Europe's lowest and the country's once-meager tax collection has vastly improved. Putin also backs Illarionov's ideas for slashing bureaucracy and creating competition for the monopolies. (BusinessWeek, 06/17/02.)
Here is another example, this time from Ivan Osorio's article, A Russian Revolution:
Reforms advocated by Illarionov and enacted by Putin's government have already yielded impressive results, giving Russia GDP growth of 9 percent in 2000, 5 percent in 2001, and 4 percent in 2002. Last month, the Russian government revised its GDP growth estimate for 2003 to 6.6 percent (Tech Central Station, 01/12/04.)
The Flat Tax at Work in Russia: Year Four, January–June 2004 by Alvin Rabushka (RussianEconomy.org).
Here is an excerpt from an interview with Andrei Illarionov [hat tip to HBL subscriber, Tony P.]:
AI: The ideal split between the government and the private sector is just to limit government to the three or four core functions of the government which are functions that cannot be performed efficiently by anybody else except the government, for example, the protection of property rights, the courts, conducting foreign policy, and so on. All the rest should be left to the private sector which should be allowed to do whatever the private sector can and wants to do. (Frontier Centre for Public Policy, 12/01/00.)
Saturday, July 24, 2004
Friday, July 23, 2004
The report of the 9/11 Commission is out (link here, searchable version here), and its bottom line conclusion seems about right to me. The Commission reports: "We Believe We Are Safer. But We Are Not Safe." (MSNBC Interactive, 07/22/04.)
Here is an excerpt from my post, STATUS REPORT: THE WAR ON TERRORISM:
Are you feeling safe? How real is the terror threat? I must say that the picture is pretty bleak after reading the below mentioned excerpts from the CIA director George Tenet's appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (EGO, 02/25/04.)
Go to BBC News site and watch a clip from a surveillance video at Dulles airport on September 11, 2001, showing the hijackers before they climbed aboard flight 77, American Airlines.
Do you think that the right solution to the problem, is to to get rid of useful tools like my AVO cigar cutter and Leatherman tool, from the carry-on luggage? Or could you prevent future hijack attempts in some other ways? How about arming the pilots? Shouldn't they have an effective screening process in place and updated profiles of terrorists on file? However, a more crucial life-and-death issue is how quickly we could exterminate the root of terrorism.
I did a Vivísimo search on the keyword "Iran" @ the site of The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (a.k.a 9-11 Commission) and found this excerpt:
In sum, there is strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers. There also is circumstantial evidence that senior Hezbollah operatives were closely tracking the travel of some of these future muscle hijackers into Iran in November 2000. However, we cannot rule out the possibility of a remarkable coincidence—that is, that Hezbollah was actually focusing on some other group of individuals traveling from Saudi Arabia during this same time frame, rather than the future hijackers. (9-11 Commission report, Paragraph #1133, page 241.)
Here is the last paragraph from David Warren's article, Iran [via InstaPundit]:
Once again, the U.S. is the only power in a material position to act, in defence of the West. The confrontation being inevitable, the sooner it happens the better. (Ottawa Citizen, 07/21/04.)
I recommend you to read Dr. Leonard Peikoff's article, End States That Sponsor Terrorism (10/02/01). Here is an excerpt:
Eliminating Iran's terrorist sanctuaries and military capability is not enough. We must do the equivalent of de-Nazifying the country, by expelling every official and bringing down every branch of its government. This goal cannot be achieved painlessly, by weaponry alone. It requires invasion by ground troops, who will be at serious risk, and perhaps a period of occupation. But nothing less will "end the state" that most cries out to be ended. (Capitalism Magazine, 10/02/01.)
If you think that Iran has its hands full with terrorist activities already, think again. Last month, according to Reuters, the Islamic Republic of Iran – through the proxy known as the Committee for the Commemoration of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign – launched a new campaign calling for volunteers to carry out suicide attacks against U.S and Coalition forces inside Iraq, as well as missions targeting Israel and author Salman Rushdie. Since the 10,000 volunteers already registered are not enough, they distributed a “Preliminary Registration for Martyrdom Operations” application for the position of “martyr.” Announcing this new campaign, the cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati urged the public that "It is the duty of every Muslim to threaten U.S. and British interests anywhere.” (Iran's Growing Threat by Rachel Ehrenfeld, FrontPage Magazine, 07/23/04.)
Put another way, the administration has two Iran policies, and the result has been a mix of good and bad. Kerry, by contrast, boasts a single, coherent, and--to judge by the description of Teheran's activities in yesterday's report--utterly delusional Iran policy. Now, if only the Bush team could sort out its own, it might have an opportunity to draw a meaningful distinction. (Engagement Announcement by Lawrence F. Kaplan, The New Republic, 07/23/04.)
The weakest part of the report concerns what needs to be done to destroy the terror masters. The whole section is written as if the state sponsors were somehow beside the point; the commission focus is entirely on the terrorist groups. This is an odd position, given all the evidence of the deep involvement of countries like Iran, Syria, and Iraq.
In short, we should strive for competitive intelligence. Keep the boxes small, let them present their analyses and recommendations, and make the policymakers sort it out. The commission goes through the ritual pieties of keeping policy and analysis separate, but most of such talk is misleading, since every grownup knows that certain conclusions--say, that Iran supported the 9/11 operation--lead inevitably to certain policies--say, that "selective dialogue with Iran" is a joke. (The 9/11 Vision by Michael A. Ledeen, American Enterprise Institute, 07/23/04.)
If you want to read about a related topic, airline security, scroll down for the outcome of Annie Jacobsen's spooky experience on the Northwest Airlines flight 327 and her story, Terror in the Skies, Again. Rachel Lucas wants to have valium served on the flights, and the Commissar at the Politburo Diktat is suggesting that we shouldn't be "jumping at shadows."
The mysterious Syrians, whose in-flight act prompted fears among passengers between Detroit and Los Angeles, turned out to be simply a band on the run to an Arabic music show at Sycuan Resort and Casino near San Diego, according to new accounts of the long, strange trip. (Infamous Syrian musicians performed at Sycuan casino by Benjamin Spillman, The Desert Sun, 07/23/04.)
Thursday, July 22, 2004
In the news:
Please note that EGO blog will host the carnival on August 25. Please go to Silflay Hraka for more information.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
The opponents of whaling fear a return to commercial hunting is virtually inevitable within the next few years. (BBC News, 07/20/04.)
I wrote the following a year ago:
I don't blame the Japanese delegates if they want to leave the International Whaling Commission. Let them hunt whales if they want. It's good business. Norwegian fishermen have had a tough time for many years. Give 'em a break! Are you hungry? Read Anders Jacobsen's post, Eating Whale Steak. (WHALE STEAK, 06/17/03.)
Monday, July 19, 2004
[1st Stars and Stripes / Betsy Ross flag from my old apartment.]
Sunday, July 18, 2004
This new task force finds that the U.S. government’s lack of sustained engagement with Iran harms our national interests in this critical region of the world. The task force also concludes that external efforts to change the current regime are not likely to succeed, and urges the United States to pursue direct dialogue with Tehran on specific areas of mutual concern.Go to Free Iran News / ActivistChat.com and read about a protest against this approach and a demonstration outside the Washington Club.
Here is an excerpt from Roger L. Simon's post, Time Out of War - The Question is Iran:
But I do think the Mullahs are the central enemy (el enemigo principal, as we used to say in my marxist days) of freedom and democracy. Vastly more sophisticated than the Saudis, they will be even more dangerous and powerful when they have nuclear weapons (assuming they haven't already).
Roger L. Simon is not advocating an invasion as the solution to the problem, but I must say that I don't rule out that option, especially after the latest news:
- The Iran Connection by Joe Klein and Adam Zagorin.
A senior U.S. official says the commission has uncovered evidence suggesting that 8 to 10 of the 14 "muscle" hijackers — those who helped gain control of the four 9/11 aircraft and subdue the crew and passengers --passed through Iran between October 2000 and February 2001. (Time magazine, July 26 issue.)
- 9/11: The Iran Factor by Michael Isikoff and Michael Hirsh.
According to a December 2001 memo buried in the files of the National Security Agency, obtained by the commission, Iranian officials instructed their border inspectors not to place Iranian or Afghan stamps in the passports of Saudi terrorists traveling from Osama bin Laden's training camps through Iran. (Newsweek, July 26 issue.)
Hundreds of alleged members of Al-Qaeda, including 18 of its top leaders, and other terror groups are living in Iran, some under tight security, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported Thursday. (TurkishPress.com / Agence France Presse, 07/15/04.)
An Iranian general collaborated with al Qaeda to arrange the transit through Iran of nine of the September 11 hijackers, the Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Monday. (Reuters.co.uk, 07/19/04.)
From WorldNetDaily: Regime change in Iran if Bush wins? by Aaron Klein.
Here is an excerpt from Michael A. Ledeen's article, The Discovery of Iran:
Those of you who have followed along these little therapy sessions of mine know of my despair regarding this administration's fecklessness concerning the mullahs. It has pained me enormously, especially because I still believe that this president has a solid understanding of the evil of the Islamic Republic, despite the efforts of the State Department--even after the departure of Haas--to convince him that a really good deal is just minutes away. I have been reduced to begging "faster, please," but I have long since recognized that nothing would happen until after the elections (a potentially suicidal policy). Now the London Times has found a nameless someone in the Bush administration who promises that a second term for W. would bring vigorous support of democratic revolution in Iran, and decisive action against the atomic project. It is beyond me why anyone would take seriously such claims, given the fact that after four years in office this administration still has no Iran policy, and the deputy secretary of State, Richard Armitage, has never backed off his claim that Iran is a democracy, nor has he been gainsaid by any other top official. I certainly hope the Times is right, but I have my doubts. I'm afraid we're not going to get serious about Iran without another 9/11. (American Enterprise Institute, 07/19/04.)
Glenn Reynolds is asking the following question:
Can you say "counterstrike?" Brad DeLong can!
I wrote a post with the title, STRIKE IN / ON IRAN, on 07/02/03.
Saturday, July 17, 2004
I have a website documenting the politics behind the World Trade Center rebuilding process, in which a handful of politicians deceived the public in order to keep tall, significant buildings from being rebuilt at Ground Zero. The site also has a comparison diagram showing the height difference between the Twin Towers and their intended replacement... Due to fears of terrorism, the intended replacement, dubbed the "Freedom Tower," is a full forty stories shorter than the original towers. The only thing making it the tallest building in the world is an unoccupied spire stuck on top of the roof to "simulate" the effect of a taller building without actually being one.
Here is an excerpt from the FAQ page:
The cornerstone for the Freedom Tower has been laid. Isn't it time to give up?
No. Although the cornerstone has been laid, no construction of any kind will take place until 2005.
The northwestern corner of the Ground Zero, where the Freedom Tower foundation is supposed to be built, currently contains one of the last remnants of the original WTC complex- A ruined six-story parking garage. The garage was left intact during the site cleanup because it helped prop up the slurry wall. However, it is structurally incapable of supporting the Freedom Tower. That garage must be demolished before any construction can begin.
The purpose of the Freedom Tower cornerstone laying was to create an appearance that progress was being made, in spite of the fact that even foundation work is at least six months away.
The design of the Freedom Tower's signature portions, and the design for most of the other proposed buildings, has not yet been decided on.
Resources on the Internet:
The Skyscraper Museum.
Great Buildings Online.
It is difficult for me to write this post without going back and think about the memories from my first trip to New York City in 1996.
I want to illustrate the importance of New York City as a center of business and financial trading, by including Gay Gentry's painting, The Survivor.
© Copyright 2003, Gay Gentry. Quent Cordair Fine Art.
Here is description of the painting by Quent Cordair:
The painting is of an actual scene, of a "bench sculpture" in Liberty Plaza, next to the World Trade Center. After the terrorist attack of 9/11, the plaza was covered in rubble and debris. This sculpture was covered in dust, but withstood the event relatively undamaged. What I see in the painting is the American Businessman continuing his work, focused, unstopped and indestructible, granting not the slightest metaphysical importance to the terrorists and their desire to stop him.
I have stored a framed poster of Bryan Larsen's painting, A New Height, at a friend's place in Ohio. I look forward to the day when I once again could place the poster on a wall in my future home, somewhere in the Land of Opportunity - America...
© Copyright 2001, Bryan Larsen. Quent Cordair Fine Art.
Here is an excerpt from a letter by Quent Cordair:
My thanks to the artist, Bryan Larsen, who during the months in which others were plotting to destroy the World Trade Center, was busy creating, featuring the towers in an artwork which identifies and celebrates in theme all the towers stood for. The creation of this painting while others were targeting the painting subject for destruction was no coincidence; there is no irony in the timing. Each side identified the WTC as a vital symbol of America in these times; one side sought to destroy that value, the other to celebrate it and build on it. In retrospect, the artwork stands in memorial. The World Trade Center was not fully appreciated, by many, until it was gone.
May this image serve as inspiration as we recover and look to the future. Please feel welcome to share it with all, to remind ourselves, and the world, of who we are, undaunted and unbeaten. God bless America, those who built it, those who will build again, and higher. (Quent Cordair, 09/14/01.)
I want to end this post by giving you a great example on the right spirit coming from the "Big Apple," by directing you to NYC Newcomer weblogs and Catherine Shu's post (The Only City in the World) on the movie, The Day After Tomorrow [link via Andrew Medworth].
Related: My post, THE WORLD TRADE CENTER RESTORATION MOVEMENT.
Friday, July 16, 2004
Martha Stewart, who built a multimillion-dollar empire around her own cooking, decorating and entertaining visions, was sentenced today to five months in prison for lying to investigators about a stock sale that brought her relatively little financial gain but has cost her heavily in terms of her reputation. (Lawyers for Stewart Have Vowed to Appeal Her Conviction by Constance L. Hays, The New York Times, 07/16/04.)
Read Andrew Bernstein's article, Martha Stewart: The Injustice of Insider Trading Laws. Here is an excerpt:
Martha Stewart was investigated for the "crime" of insider trading and later convicted of obstructing justice for lying to authorities during the investigation. But the questions no one is asking are: Should Martha even have been the subject of a criminal investigation in the first place? Should anyone be investigated for insider trading? Is insider trading objectively a crime? (MensNewsDaily.com, 07/12/04.)
Related: My post, MARTHA TALKS: "NOT GUILTY".
Dr. Michael J. Hurd has the following comment:
Martha had no defenders except the millions who loved how she made their lives a little brighter. These people have no voice; they could file no class action suit on her behalf. The cultural elites who despise everything that's good about this country do have lots of power, and that's why they beat Martha.
I thought that the "Jante Law" was a phenomenon predominantly ingrained in SWEDEN - THE SOCIALIST "PARADISE". But after reading Stephen Evans' article, Martha Stewart: What should she do next?, written in a form of a fictitious "memo" to Martha Stewart, I am starting to think that this unspoken moral code has taken over the rest of the world. Rachel Marsden is commenting on the situation in an outspoken way, in her article, How Lady Justice Failed Martha Stewart. Here is an excerpt:
After Martha was pursued relentlessly by the prosecution and charged with lying to the feds and bureaucrats, she was convicted by a jury which I believe lowered the hammer out of envy for her success and for her perceived bitchiness--which has been played up to the hilt in the press.
Do you really think that same jury that convicted Martha Stewart on those questionable charges would have convicted an average Joe or Jane who was just like them? Not a chance. One juror by the name of Chappell Hartridge called his verdict a “victory for the little guys.” Clearly he saw himself as the “little guy” and Martha as the big tycoon who needed to be brought down to size—facts of the case be damned. (OpinionEditorials.com, 07/21/04.)
If you want to learn more about the "tall poppy syndrome," go to Cox & Forkum's post, 'Tall Poppies'.
For more cartoons like this, check out John Cox & Allen Forkum's book, Black & White World.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Here is an excerpt from Dave Pehling's review, Canadian Power Trio Delivers The Goods:
With the lyrical themes of suburban alienation, freewill and nonconformity (not to mention their adaptations of works by Ayn Rand, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Shakespeare), Rush served as a sort of touchstone for the intellectual development of many a disaffected kid. (KTVU.com, 07/14/04.)
Please note that EGO blog will host the carnival on August 25. Please go to Silflay Hraka for more information.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Since "economic growth" is today's great problem, and our present Administration is promising to "stimulate" it—to achieve general prosperity by ever wider government controls, while spending an unproduced wealth—I wonder how many people know the origin of the term laissez-faire? ["Let Us Alone!," The Ayn Rand Column, page 24 and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, page 140.]
Monday, July 12, 2004
From the about page:
This blog supports -- as the moral, and only, means of securing peace and freedom -- a massive, total war against the Arab and Islamic dictatorships (this includes the right of Israel to defend itself). This blog is also sharply critical of the brutal, de-humanising culture predominant in the Arab and Islamic world.
Saturday, July 10, 2004
Blogging for some is an obvious labor of love, and having a forum that belongs to them and enables them to write whatever they want, and have it seen by throngs of readers, is a very attractive proposition. This is especially true because blogging is a timeless endeavor and one that allows authors to vent about whatever's on their minds. (Wired News, 07/08/04.)
Glenn Reynolds comments on his blogging:
It's a major effort. For me, it's still a fun effort, but it's nonetheless a lot of work.
I wrote on this issue in my post, DEPRESSING NEWS COVERAGE. Here is an excerpt:
I still enjoy blogging and I will continue to blog as long as I think it is fun and I get something out of it. I will soon have my second blogiversary. I have enjoyed the comments and feedback I get from my posts, and I have met several individuals online who I share the same core-values with. I look forward to meet some of them on my future trip to the Land of Opportunity - America. I am in one way, "journalistic" speaking, pessimistic about the future of the world, but philosophically, I am more positive about the future to come. That's why I will continue to be an "armchair general" and fight the battle of ideas. On a personal note, my life is guided by an integrated system of ideas, and I am seeking the pursuit of happiness by achieving my values. (EGO, 04/14/04.)
I am sorry to see that one of my virtual "neighbors" (@ Cox & Forkum's blogroll), Rachel Lucas, has decided to stop blogging. [UPDATE 07/18/04: Great news! Rachel Lucas is back with "piquant rants & sassy impudence."]
Wayne Hurlbert is trying to come to a conclusion why we blog, in his post, Bloggers: Who are we anyway?
So after all of that, then, who and what are bloggers anyway?
Bloggers are believers in conveying thoughts and ideas in written form, to other people, on an individual basis.
It would be safe to say that bloggers are communicators of individual freedom of thought, speech, and the press. Along with that individual freedom is the right to agree or to disagree with others. (Blog Business World, 07/08/04.)
I am thinking of including different "memes" from time to time, e.g. quizzes, "quotes of the day," cat blogging and other types of photoblogging, audioblogging, et cetera. I will publish this kind of "lighter" blog posts now and then, as a way to prevent burnout.
I found a site called Blogliners ("fresh inspiration daily") via Just A Girl.
- Two by Two -
Name two things in each category that no one's life should be without:
songs, literature, movies, poems, snack foods, places, websites.
You will find some of my choices from my Blogger user profile.
* Songs: Samba de Uma Nota Só and It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing).
* Literature: Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.
* Movies: Chocolat and The Winslow Boy.
* Poems: The Thinker and If.
* Snack foods: Frito Lay's honey and mustard pretzels and Blair's Habanero chips.
* Places: Empire State Building, New York City, NY, and Leaf & Vine, Troy, OH.
* Websites: Google News and Cox & Forkum.
I will "mix up" things by adding clippings with a twist to EGO clip blog (powered by the newly redesigned aggregator Bloglines). In the first batch of clippings you will find the following:
~ Dutch enlist Elvis for EU reforms.
~ Defiant pub flouts new Irish smoking ban.
~ Sex Blogger Turned Author.
~ Weblogging, The Trees Fight Back.
One of the things that is keeping this blog running, is the advertising. Thanks to the folks who have sponsored this blog by placing Blogads. The money goes to buy stuff, e.g. books, magazines, and electronic newsletters, and thereby adding new intellectual fuel and energy for future blogging.
Spoons has a dilemma:
Blogads are great, and I've made more from them than I really expected, but the downside is, they make it just about impossible to take a blog break.
Ideally, I'd like to take about 2 weeks off at the moment, but with blogads, that'd be cheating my advertisers. Hmmm.
I think that Jeff Jarvis has described a solution to the problem, in his post, How do we measure up?
We need to define new metrics. This medium isn't about impressions; it's about relationships; it's about conversations; it's about influence; it's about authority. We are starting to measure how many conversations a blog starts (or at least takes part in) with Technorati. But it's just a beginning.
I think you could have a win-win situation if you look at the advertising issue as an exchange of ideas and an opportunity of a "two-way street" communication.
With that said, it is time for a short summer vacation and blog break for maybe a day or so... ;) So long & "hasta la vista, baby"! Don't worry, "I will be back"...
[UPDATE 07/18/04: Great news! Rachel Lucas is back with "piquant rants & sassy impudence."]
Friday, July 9, 2004
Here is an excerpt from John Gleeson's article, Ditko dissects Shotgun Mike:
One of Ditko's contributions to the original Spider-Man (apart from doing all the artwork and plotting all the stories) was his unique take on "supercriminals" as pathetically ordinary human beings. Once the mask was off and the weapons taken away, there was nothing there -- "just a guy named Joe" with a few screws loose and an unchecked propensity for violence. (Winnipeg Sun, 07/09/04.)
I wonder if Ian Michael Hamet of Banana Oil will do a review of Spider-Man 2? Have you read Blake Bell's book, Steve Ditko: The Mysterious Traveler: A Critical Retrospective of His Career & Work?
"It is a great relief after fighting for so long to get him out of there," he said. "The process has been one of modern society's worst catastrophes." (Jenny Lepley, The Local, 07/09/04.)
UPDATE 07/15/04: Go and read the following posts @ The Stockholm Spectator:
Prisoner released, exchanged or brushed under the carpet? by Aidan Isherwood.
Robbing Banks for Al Qaeda? by Paul O'Mahony.
In the news: Doctors split over mind of a killer.
Thursday, July 8, 2004
At 6 P.M. it was time for us to start walking up the Avenue. I met up with an Iranian acquaintance and some of his friends. They carried a different kind of flag, Derafsh Kaviani. Here is an excerpt from Iran Zamin's post, The Legend of Kaveh Ahangar (Kaveh the Blacksmith):
Kaveh's flag was later on famous as Darafsh and it was customary in the ancient Persia that every king would add a jewlery to the darafsh. When Arab Muslims invaded Iran, the darafsh was seized in a bloody battle fought around Nahavand (a city with the same name in today's Hamadan province in the mid-western Iran) and taken, among many other war spoils. The Arabs burned the flag and used the valuable items.
Here are some of the slogans we shouted:
"Say hey - Say Ho -- The mullah has got to go."
"United Nations -- pay Iran Attention."
I didn't manage to take pictures or using the video feature with my new Canon PowerShot A310 digital camera. [Editor's comment: I am not sure if I already have used up the batteries, or if it something wrong with it. I have to go through the manual again and see if I can get the camera working properly, or if I have to re-format the CompactFlash-card.] I am sorry that I didn't manage to get some snapshots from the demonstration, but you could get a glimpse of it if you watch the local news program. [Editor's note: Click on the time "22:15" below the title "Våra senaste sändningar:". If you see someone with a black & white baseball cap, waving a Gadsden flag ("Don't Tread On Me"), that's me!] The reporter in segment says that around 1,000 people participated in the demonstration.
I got permission from Allen Forkum to print out the Tir 18 cartoon, so I distributed it to a few people at the rally. The demonstrators ended the walk at Götaplatsen. They played Sorud-e Ey Iran and then it was time for some speeches by different politicians and student representatives, and a few songs performed by musicians. I ended the evening by having a hamburger at McDonalds.
Listen to Prodos' interview with Aryo B Pirouznia, Coordinator, Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran.
UPDATE 07/10/04: Please note that the news video has moved to Swedish Television's (SVT) archives. Click on the time "22:15" below the title "Torsdag". You could watch the segment until Wednesday, July 14. I will ask around and see if I can get hold of some photos from the demonstration.
Wednesday, July 7, 2004
Here is an excerpt from Mark Steyn's article, Iran got tough – Blair just crumpled [via Inoberable Terran]:
Washington's position is clear: Iran is a charter member of the axis of evil. (Well, it's clear-ish: State Department types are prone to Jack Straw moments.) But London opted for "engagement" on the usual grounds that if you pretend these fellows are respectable they're more likely to behave respectably. In return, Britain's boys got hijacked and taken on a classic Rogue State bender. And the version being broadcast throughout the Muslim world is that Teheran swatted the infidel and got away with it. (Telegraph.co.uk, 07/06/04.)
Have you seen any Iranian "tourists" (read: spies) in New York City lately?
It is time to "connect the dots" and take care of the "Persian problem".
Over the last five years, security guards from the Iranian mission also were found filming critical infrastructure and transportation nodes such as the Brooklyn Bridge, a Queens subway station, the Queens-Midtown tunnel and the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Should we be concerned about Iranian security guards running around the Big Apple taking happy snaps?
Heck, yeah! These aren't security guards at all. They're members of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) or perhaps even of the paramilitary Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). (Connecting the Dots by Peter Brookes. Cybercast News Service, 07/07/04.)
Carter let the Iranians off the hook. Three years later, Iran’s terrorist government ordered its personal terrorist group, Hezbollah, to attack the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. The attack killed 63 embassy personnel. President Reagan did nothing about it. Six months later, 241 Marines and sailors were killed in a Hezbollah hit on the MAU barracks at Beirut International Airport. Again, nothing was done about it. With no retaliation, these successes prompted Iran to send Hezbollah after more and more American targets.
Today, Iran is sending Hezbollah into Iraq to kill still more Americans. And a couple of weeks ago, we caught two Iranian spies reconnoitering potential targets (the subway, ferries, bridges, busses, trains, landmarks, et al) in New York City. These “security guards” for Iran’s mission to the United Nations were preparing “target folders” for Hezbollah, which was planning to carry out mass-casualty attacks but to leave bogus evidence pointing to al Qaeda, thus keeping Iran of the hook. (The Persian Problem by Bob Newman. OpinionEditorials.com, 07/05/04.)
UPDATE: Watch Roger L. Simon on SOS Iran TV.
From Michele Catalano's post, Free Iran:
Back in the day, during the Iran hostage crisis, some radio DJ took The Beach Boys' Barbaran Ann and did a parody called Bomb Iran. Maybe it's time for an update.
No, I'm not really calling for the carpet bombing of Iran. But something has to be done. However, I wonder if this is something we should leave alone for now and let the people of Iran take control.
To A Small Victory readers: Click here if you want to listen to the song, Bomb Iran, and go to Dustbury.com if you want to learn more about the story behind the parody.
While you are listening to the tune, you could read in the news that Defence Minister, Ali Shamkhani, is threatening America and Israel:
"The United States and the other enemies of the Islamic republic must know that we will respond to a military action against our country with all our force," he said, adding the retaliation would be "unlimited by time and space". (Middle East Online, 07/07/04.)
Check out Cox & Forkum's showcase of Iran cartoons.
Tuesday, July 6, 2004
For instance, how would health care work if the government ran it like a business?
My answer is that the government should exit the area of health care. I could give you plenty of examples from Sweden on why it is not working with a having a huge public sector and socialized medicine. Sweden would need an ad hoc organization like Americans for Free Choice in Medicine, but I don't hold my breath that this will happen in the near future...
Here is a quote by Richard E. Ralston, executive director, AFCM:
The best way to celebrate Independence Day is to understand that we must counter the seduction of dependence on government, which robs us of our liberty. (Inside the Beltway, Washington Times, 07/02/04.)
Related my post, I AM GETTING SICK AND TIRED...
Saturday, July 3, 2004
"Independence Day" is a critically important title. It signifies the fundamental meaning of this nation, not just of the holiday. The American Revolution remains unique in human history: a revolution — and a nation — founded on a moral principle, the principle of individual rights. Jefferson at Philadelphia and Washington at Valley Forge pledged their "lives, fortunes, and sacred honor." For what? Not for mere separation from England, not — like most rebels — for the "freedom" to set up their own tyranny. In fact, Britain's tyranny over the colonists was mild compared to what most current governments do to their citizens. (The Union Leader, NH, 07/03/04.)
(STOCKHOLM - June 30, 2004) - The Stockholm Spectator, a forthcoming English-language monthly, today releases an expose of Dagens Nyheter New York correspondent Peter Borgström. The Spectator's two-part investigation meticulously documents Borgström's brazen plagiarism, slipshod reporting and Dagens Nyheter's astoundingly insouciant response.
The Spectator piece-written by the paper's Media Watch team-is firm in its conclusions: "As we will show, the evidence against Dagens Nyheter is clear; our case unambiguous. Peter Borgström is a serial plagiarist. There is little doubt that, if Dagens Nyheter is to abide by the standards of professional journalism, Borgström should be sacked."
Friday, July 2, 2004
For more on Moore, read my post, MICHAEL MOORE HAS A ROLE IN BIG FAT LIAR II!