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Monthly Archives: March 2005

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Terror, Inc.

March 21st, 2005 - 3:59 pm

It seems Sunnis and Shiites can get along:

Senior al Qaeda financiers worked more closely with Iranian-backed Islamic radicals in the mid-1990s that previously known, showing that the division between radical Muslim Sunni and Shi’ites was bridged long before the meetings between al Qaeda and Hezbollah in 1996.

Full story here.

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Gracias

March 21st, 2005 - 3:34 pm

Just though I’d pop in to second Martini Boy’s “thank you” for the contributions of the New Kids last week. I’d promised Steve months ago to step up with a full week of blogging while he was out chasing mescal worms, but as fate would have it, I spent most of that time on airplanes and in meeting rooms instead. Fortunately, Steve had the pre-bender foresight to invite in a merry band of bloggers who more than managed to pick up the slack for both of us.

So again, thanks, folks.

Oh, and regarding that Goldstein fella… [hankhill] That boy ain’t right. [/hankhill]

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Good News/Bad News

March 21st, 2005 - 3:18 pm

The headline reads, “Arabs Reject Normalization With Israel.” Same old, same old, right? Wrong:

ALGIERS, Algeria Mar 21, 2005

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You Can’t Say No With a Full Mouth

March 21st, 2005 - 3:10 pm

Are abstinence pledges keeping kids from having sex? I suppose that depends on what your definition of the word “is” is:

Teens who take abstinence pledges are almost as likely to be infected with sexually transmitted diseases as kids who don’t, according to a new study that found pledgers tend to substitute other risky behavior for regular intercourse.

The rates of oral and anal sex among people who planned to stay abstinent until marriage are higher than among other teens who have not had intercourse at all, according to the study, published in the April issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health. Researchers found that kids believe engaging in oral and anal sex gets around the rules of abstinence programs by technically preserving their virginity.

Let me get this, uh, straight: Abstience leads to buggery?

Anti-sodomites are gonna be pissed. The funny part is, they’re a subset of the same people who thought “just say no” was an effective way to curb teen sex.

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Do As I Say

March 21st, 2005 - 2:23 pm

Germany and France seem to finally have scuttled the eurozone’s Stability and Growth Pact:

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank on Tuesday slammed an accord among finance ministers that relaxes the fiscal rules underpinning the euro by giving governments a range of let-outs to escape punishment over bloated deficits.

The euro zone’s central bank issued a statement just hours after ministers struck a deal in Brussels to rework the rules of the EU Stability and Growth Pact after repeated breaches of the pact’s deficit limits by Germany, France and others.

“The Governing Council of the ECB is seriously concerned about the proposed changes to the Stability and Growth Pact,” said the ECB, which is independent and sets interest rates for the entire 12-nation euro area.

Want to know the irony of all this? Franco-German deficit spending will likely make the euro stronger vis-a-vis the dollar.

Let me explain. The ECB is much more hamstrung than our Federal Reserve when it comes to interest rates and inflation. Berlin and Paris spending too much? The ECB will jack up rates. Higher rates mean higher yields on the bonds used to finance those deficits. In the US, the Fed is usually more concerned with growth than with inflation — and it can afford to be, given that American workers outperform European workers. (Productivity helps keep a lid on inflation.) With less inflation risk, the Fed can keep – and has kept – American interest rates low. Lower rates mean lower yields.

And so the euro gains against the dollar. After all, it pays better.

Meanwhile, the US economy continues to create much more wealth and many more jobs than the Eurozone has managed since the “economic miracle” ended 30 years ago. Since then, the dollar has been in a long term decline.

Ironic, isn’t it? The worse Europe’s economy performs, the more it costs us to buy their stuff.

NOTE: Yes, I know there are lots of other factors involved here. I’m just looking at one of them.

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Being Sean Hannity

March 21st, 2005 - 2:05 pm

I’m pretty sure Jeff left out a Hannity.

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Required Reading

March 21st, 2005 - 1:11 pm

Dan Drezner has everything you need to know about the state of “Iraqification” in a single post.

NOTE: Know what phrase I’m sick of hearing? “Exit strategy.” Whatever happened to “winning?” As noted elsewhere, we had no exit strategy from Normandy. Iraq is our beachhead into the Arab world.

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Money Well Spent

March 21st, 2005 - 10:35 am

Just how badly did Vlad Putin overplay his hand in Ukraine last year? Read:

KIEV, March 21 (Itar-Tass) – Ukraine is steering firmly towards eurointegration, President Viktor Yushchenko said at a meeting with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rotfeld.

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Fair Trial, Then Hang Him

March 21st, 2005 - 9:39 am

You know it’s a big case when the accused hasn’t even been on trial, and already his lawyers have been kicked in the SCOTUS:

The Supreme Court Monday rejected the appeal of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person publicly charged in the United States in connection with the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The justices announced their decision Monday after meeting privately Friday to discuss the case.

Moussaoui, an admitted member of al Qaeda, the Muslim terrorist group linked to the September 11 attacks, had asked the court to rule on whether his right to a fair trial hinges on obtaining testimony from other al Qaeda detainees who, he believes, would exonerate him.

Still no clue when we’ll actually be able to put the bastard on trial…

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The Good Old Days

March 21st, 2005 - 9:28 am

Germany’s Pink-Green coalition government continues to push for renewed arms sales to China, but nasty right-wingers say it’s a bad idea:

”This is not the right time to lift the embargo,” Friedbert Pflueger, foreign affairs spokesman for the Christian Democrats, said in an interview.

”It sends the wrong signal to China. It is also damaging for Europe’s relations with the United States. We are going to bring this issue to the parliament and vote on the matter.”

The European Union imposed the arms embargo after the Tiananmen Square massacres in 1989. Pushed by France and Germany, which have substantial economic interests in China and whose leaders are eager to increase sluggish growth rates, the EU is preparing to lift the embargo, saying the human rights situation in China has improved.

Remember when the lefties told us selling arms to dictators was a bad idea? Remember when righties were accused of being little more than shameless money grubbers with no interest in human rights?

Remember that? Wasn’t that cool?

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(Someone Else’s) Mail Bag

March 21st, 2005 - 9:09 am

From Drudge:

**Exclusive**

PLAYGIRL editor-in-chief Michele Zipp has been stripped of her duties after she revealed how she voted Republican in the 2004 election.

Zipp, in an e-mail, claims she was fired after an onslaught of liberal backlash.

“Hello Drudge,

“After your coverage of my article about coming out and voting Republican, I did receive many letters of support from fellow Republican voters, but it was not without repercussions. Criticism from the liberal left ensued. A few days after the onslaught of liberal backlash, I was released from my duties at Playgirl magazine.

“After underlings expressed their disinterest of working for an outed Republican editor, I have a strong suspicion that my position was no longer valued by Playgirl executives. I also received a phone call from a leading official from Playgirl magazine, in which he stated with a laugh, “I wouldn’t have hired you if I knew you were a Republican.

“I just wanted to let you know of the fear the liberal left has about a woman with power possessing Republican views.”

Developing…

Meanwhile, Ward Churchill — known liar and alleged plagiarist and human being — is still employed by the University of Colorado.

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Sign of the Apocolypse?

March 21st, 2005 - 8:31 am

Remember wheh Communists had all the cool culture? Movies by Eisenstein, bold graphic art on propaganda posters, truly heroic sculpture… you get the idea.

(Hell, up until fairly recently, you couldn’t even find a decent right-leaning movie in this country. If our artists weren’t all capital-C Commies, they sure seemed to travel that direction.)

So it’s with no small amount of pleasure that I tell you that the tide has turned: The Communists can’t even do decent web design any more.

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I Only Laugh When It Hurts

March 21st, 2005 - 8:17 am

Mark Steyn:

Sending John Bolton to be ambassador to the U.N. is like … putting Sudan and Zimbabwe on the Human Rights Commission. Or letting Saddam’s Iraq chair the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. Or sending a bunch of child-sex fiends to man U.N. operations in the Congo. And the Central African Republic. And Sierra Leone, and Burundi, Liberia, Haiti, Kosovo, and pretty much everywhere else.

All of the above happened without the U.N. fetishists running around shrieking hysterically. Why should America be the only country not to enjoy an uproarious joke at the U.N.’s expense?

Why? Because we’re expected to pay 25% of the dues, sit down, and shut up. But where’s the fun in that?

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Notice

March 20th, 2005 - 10:59 pm

I’m tan, rested and ready to blog — and maybe post a few pictures, once I finish sorting them.

Thanks to Will and Jeralyn and Jeff and La Shawn and Andy and Kate for filling in while I was away. Looks like they didn’t trash the place too badly, which really is the only disappointment of the vacation.

Seriously, guys: Thanks.

Back with fresh stuff right after my morning coffee. Monday morning. Really.

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Anybody know how to resuscitate a middle-aged dolphin who’s washed down two bumps of caffeine-cut special K cut with a six-pack of Mike

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A Parable

March 19th, 2005 - 11:55 pm

A Parable?

Late one evening in the summer, a sudden rumour ran round the farm that something had happened to Boxer . . . A few minutes later two pigeons came racing in with the news: “Boxer has fallen! He is lying on his side and can’t get up!”

About half the animals on the farm rushed out to the knoll where the windmill stood. There lay Boxer, between the shafts of the cart, his neck stretched out, unable even to raise his head. . . .

After about a quarter of an hour Squealer appeared, full of sympathy and concern. He said that Comrade Napoleon had learned with the very deepest distress of this misfortune to one of the most loyal workers on the farm, and was already making arrangements to send Boxer to be treated in the hospital at Willingdon.

The animals felt a little uneasy at this. Except for Mollie and Snowball, no other animal had ever left the farm, and they did not like to think of their sick comrade in the hands of human beings. However, Squealer easily convinced them that the veterinary surgeon in Willingdon could treat Boxer’s case more satisfactorily than could be done on the farm . . .

(more…)

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I Hear Keys in the Door!

March 19th, 2005 - 10:18 am

It’s just one day until the folks get home and Vodkapundit goes back to being a little more… regulated. I say we trash the place! Woohoo!

Or not.

Unrelated, but my blog is three years old today and it’s gone one and a half of those without wetting the bed.

Update: Spoke too soon – the sheets were damp this morning. Bad, blog, bad!

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Terri Schiavo Will Starve to Death

March 18th, 2005 - 7:24 pm

Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed today, despite her parents’ efforts to keep her alive.

A statement on Schiavo’s parents’ Web site read: “Terri’s nutrition and hydration have now been withheld from her. It is unclear if the port that accommodates her feeding tube has been surgically removed as her family was ordered to leave her room.”

Schiavo, who is in a persistent vegetative state, will starve to death within a week or two unless the tube is reinserted. No person has ever come out of a persistent vegetative state.

Many people say the feeding tube removal is tantamount to murder. Others believe it’s the only humane thing to do. What do you think? Join the discussion at my blog.

Also see visit Terri’s Fight.

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Abstinence Only

March 18th, 2005 - 6:36 pm

…but anal sex first!

Teens who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are more likely to take chances with other kinds of sex that increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, a study of 12,000 adolescents suggests.

The report by Yale and Columbia University researchers could help explain their earlier findings that teens who pledged abstinence are just as likely to have STDs as their peers.

Whoops.

Are kids today really stupid enough to not understand how disease is transmitted?* Reminds me of a certain someone with whom I used to work who believed her boyfriend when he said “You can’t get pregnant if I only stick it halfway in.”

Hey hey hey, look who’s got a bun in the oven.

Sounds to me like we need more sex education**, not less.

(once again not cross-posted to The World Wide Rant)

* Don’t answer that.

** In the homes. In the schools. Wherever. Because these kids are dumb.

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yin: “For better or worse, remember?”

yang: “Sure, I remember. Do you remember how perky your breasts were when I made that promise…?”

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Dry Spell

March 18th, 2005 - 3:27 pm

In a long and rambling New Yorker piece comparing Joe Biden to John Kerry, writer Jeffrey Goldberg says,

Most national-security Democrats believe that the Party

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