Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Powell Joins Revolt of the Generals

Colin Powell and his former chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, have begun their attack on the president.

Things must be looking much better for us in Iraq, so someone needed to provide a new diversion after the attention given to retired generals faded away. Powell and Wilkerson volunteered.

At least the people who wrote this description of events were candid about what was going on:

Associated Press
Updated: 7:41 p.m. ET April 30, 2006

WASHINGTON - Just back from Baghdad and eager to discuss promising developments, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice found herself knocked off message Sunday, forced to defend prewar planning and troop levels against an unlikely critic — Colin Powell, her predecessor at the State Department.

For the Bush administration, it was a rare instance of an in-house dissenter going public.

On Rice’s mind was the political breakthrough that had brought her and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to Iraq last week and cleared the way for formation of a national unity government.

Yet Powell sideswiped her by revisiting the question of whether the U.S. had a large enough force to oust Saddam Hussein and then secure the peace.

He said he advised Bush before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003 to send more troops to Iraq, but that the administration did not follow his recommendation.

Rather than look at what is happening right now in Iraq, Powell wants people to think about what was happening more than three years ago. What a guy!

Meanwhile, Powell's old chief of staff plays the role of mooncalf:

Is U.S. being transformed into a radical republic?

By Lawrence Wilkerson
Originally published April 23, 2006 [Published in today's Kitsap Sun]

We Americans came not from a revolution but from an evolution.

That is in large part why our so-called revolution produced success while most throughout history did not. We came as much from the Magna Carta as from our own doings, as much from British common law and parliamentary development as from the Declaration of Independence and Continental Congress.

Unlike the true revolution on the other side of the Atlantic that led to Napoleon's dictatorship and strife and conflict all across Europe, our evolution founded the greatest country the world has ever seen.


As Alexis de Tocqueville once said: "America is great because she is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

In January 2001, with the inauguration of George W. Bush as president, America set on a path to cease being good; America became a revolutionary nation, a radical republic. If our country continues on this path, it will cease to be great - as happened to all great powers before it, without exception.

The statement Wilkerson attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville exists in no known writings of the man. How appropriate it was to place a "fake but accurate" quote in with the rest of Wilkerson's diatribe.

Note, too, that Wilkerson's dire prediction of the fall of the U.S. as a great power contains a truism which doesn't mean what he thinks it means. The fate of all previous great powers has no predictive value. All great powers have ceased to be great -- because nothing lasts forever on the Earth.

Wilkerson even includes the usual litany of false criticisms that every left winger can recite as easily as regular churchgoers can recite the Apostles' Creed:

From the Kyoto accords to the International Criminal Court, from torture and cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners to rendition of innocent civilians, from illegal domestic surveillance to lies about leaking, from energy ineptitude to denial of global warming, from cherry-picking intelligence to appointing a martinet and a tyrant to run the Defense Department, the Bush administration, in the name of fighting terrorism, has put America on the radical path to ruin.

Unprecedented interpretations of the Constitution that holds the president as commander in chief to be all-powerful and without checks and balances marks the hubris and unparalleled radicalism of this administration.

Wilkerson knows nothing -- not history and not current events. If he had included all of the spurious quotation, he would have revealed the difference between our revolution and that of the French (and Russians) -- adherence to Christianity produced the good in America, while hatred of religion (other than the quasi-religion of soclialism or communism) produced the bad in France (and Russia).

(Wilkerson doesn't even know English grammar. The last sentence in the above excerpt is a mess.)

Eleven years ago, I thought for a while that Powell might be a good president, but came to believe that he was not a true conservative. (That is to say, a person who knows and loves the ideals upon which this nation was founded, and therefore wants to retain them as its foundation.)

It seems I was more correct than I had imagined.

Obama Fails Global Test

Where was Senator Barack Obama during the last presidential campaign? Didn't he hear about the global test?

There was a big gathering of people urging action (of some apparently undefined kind) to end the "genocide" in Sudan's Darfur region. As reported by Agence France-Presse:

US legislators also spoke at the protest, including Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democratic minority in the House of Representatives, and Democratic Senator Barack Obama, who said: "If we care, the world will care. If we bear witness, the world will know. If we act, the world will follow."

The conflict has surged as a top issue in Washington as peace talks under way in Nigeria faced a deadline on Sunday. Mediators hoped to salvage a peace agreement but two rebel groups said they would refuse to sign the deal.

Just what "act" does Obama want the U.S.A. to perform?

Let's see: There are battles between rebels (two groups of them) and the government of Sudan. Lots of people have been killed, and even more have fled the fighting but suffer as refugees. The rebels refuse to sign an agreement to end their rebellion. What "act" could change this situation? An armed invasion by U.S. forces?

Are the leftists now demanding that we invade a country which poses not the slightest threat to us? (Don't they know that Osama bin Laden doesn't want us to put our armed forces in Sudan?)

Having checked the coverage in the Washington Post and New York Times, I'm wondering if the French reporter just made that up about Sen. Obama. According to "our" papers, neither Pelosi nor Obama said anything newsworthy. They weren't even mentioned in the Post and Times. Some heavy hitter named Clooney got all the attention.

Friday, April 28, 2006

State Forbids Hospital in Issaquah

Is there any chance that the left-wingers will take umbrage at this clearly monopolistic effort to keep health care prices high by preventing competition?

Saying "the evidence did not demonstrate a need for an additional East King County hospital," an administrative-law judge Thursday upheld the state Department of Health decision last year that a new hospital in the city would create a glut of patient beds on the Eastside.

In fact, wrote Judge Zimmie Caner, "a new facility may adversely affect the existing facilities by the creation of a surplus bed supply that would last for a number of years."

Is it any wonder that health care costs keep going up? Everywhere you look, the government's thumb is on the scales.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Are these just misfits?

When groups of young people plan (or carry out) deadly attacks, it might be one thing; but when "loners" plot violent attacks, is it another?

This report in the Kitsap Sun indicates that a boy attending Rogers High School in Puyallup, Washington, planned to "go out in a blaze of hatred and fury."

Student Charged in High School Shooting Plot

By Associated Press
April 25, 2006


A 16-year-old student accused of plotting to shoot people at Rogers High School, then kill himself "to finally go out in a blaze of hatred and fury" was charged Monday with first-degree attempted assault, Pierce County authorities said.

Another student passed along word of the alleged plot to the school’s ROTC commander, court papers said.

Investigators searched Brian Michael Evans’ home Sunday and found two rifles, two handguns, ammunition, a homemade bomb and a CD copy of "The Anarchist Cookbook," which includes directions to make explosives, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Sheriff’s investigators believe the boy didn’t plan to target specific people.

The boy wanted people to "feel his pain, and he wanted to be hated, not having earned respect in the past," Troyer said.

Do we simply assume that he is a classic, angry "misfit," or is something else involved?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Are these examples of critical thinking?

What explains the cases of teenagers plotting to murder classmates, teachers and school administrators?

In Alaska:

6 arrested in Alaska school shooting plot
Parent alerted police of rumors of students’ plan to attack middle school
The Associated Press
Updated: 1:05 a.m. ET April 23, 2006

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Six middle school students in a small Alaska town were arrested Saturday on suspicion of plotting to bring guns and knives to school to kill their classmates and faculty.

The students had planned to disable North Pole Middle School’s power and telephone systems, allotting time to kill their victims and escape from North Pole, a town of 1,600 people about 14 miles southeast of Fairbanks, Police Chief Paul Lindhag said.

In Kansas:

Students: Rumors of Attack Rampant Before Arrests
By ROXANA HEGEMAN, Associated Press
April 23, 2006

"Whatever you do, don’t shoot me."

Freshman Nathan Spriggs, 15, also said his friends, who are suspected of planning to shoot fellow students and school employees, told him they had posted a threat on the Internet as a joke and feared they would be suspended or expelled for doing it.

Riverton High School officials were taking no chances.

Five boys, ages 16 to 18, were arrested Thursday, the anniversary of the Columbine massacre, authorities said.

"The sheriff’s office believes it is the real thing," said Superintendent David Walters. "I have no reason to mistrust their judgment."

And, in Kitsap County:

Alleged Plot Was Retaliation for Discipline
· Kitsap County sheriff's detectives were told a teen had plotted to blow up part of Central Kitsap Junior High.

By Josh Farley
March 29, 2006

Central Kitsap -- Sheriff’s investigators have been told that a 14-year-old Central Kitsap Junior High School student planned to blow up part of the school with homemade explosives and use a gun to kill the principal and possibly other staff and students.

Those allegations are included in an affidavit filed March 22 by Kitsap County sheriff’s detectives as they sought a search warrant to investigate suspicions of a possible plot by Alexander Cory Vichi and other teens.

Granting that they are impulsive, immature, impressionable teenagers, where did they get the idea that such actions would be appropriate or justified?

"Critical thinking" has been a buzz word in public education for years: Children are supposedly taught "critical thinking skills."

Unfortunately, some people seem to equate critical thinking with criticizing everything and everybody -- religion, country, parents, ancestors, morals, etc.

How many of these would-be murderers were influenced by the wrong kind of "critical thinking"?

Something led them to have no regard for the lives of many people they knew.

Perhaps someone will try to find out what it was.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Cross-threaded Growth Management

"Bedroom communities" don't produce the level of tax revenue demanded by the governments that have grown up around us.

It's not just me. The Seattle Times says so, too:

In the past, cities have been reluctant to annex large residential areas because it costs more to provide services to them than they generate in taxes.

And, as the article notes, our legislators, governor, and the King County executive say the same thing.

In fact, the gist of the article is the anticipated annexation of areas now in unincorporated King County as a result of the state revenue made available to cities by a statute which becomes effective in June -- Chapter 361, Laws of 2006 (Substitute Senate Bill 6686).

As noted in an earlier entry, there is a seemingly odd clash of ideas involving growth management. Is it better and cheaper to concentrate population in certain areas, or not?

It seems that merely concentrating people in "urban growth areas" won't help, if there are so few commercial and industrial businesses and jobs that the people end up in a "bedroom community."

Isn't that the problem noted in the Seattle Times article? The cities didn't want to annex the suburbs, because there isn't enough tax revenue available from them -- in the sense of property tax revenue.

The cities already get quite a bit of revenue from those same human beings who live in suburbs, assuming the cities offer jobs (business and occupation taxes) and stores and services ( sales taxes). The cities enjoy the revenue without needing to provide services to the commuters who depart at the end of the work day.

If it's not affordable to be a "bedroom community" when it comes to "urban services," why do the movers and shakers in Kitsap County want to encourage an even greater degree of "bedroom communityness" here?

They are doing so. The Kitsap Transit board, which is made up of elected officials from each city and the county, wants to increase the availability of "passenger-only" ferries (sometimes called "foot ferries") at taxpayer expense. That can only lead to a greater number of people who live in Kitsap County and work in another county -- probably King County.

Washington State Ferries plans to do much the same thing. Part 2, page 11 of their draft long-range plan states:

While the jobs-housing balance in other counties will improve or remain relatively stable, Kitsap County’s balance is projected to worsen—population growth is expected to outpace its employment growth. In fact, Kitsap is expected to be home to 10% of new regional population and only 5% of new regional jobs. This suggests that Kitsap County will become more of a “bedroom community”, with a significant portion of new residents expected to commute across Puget Sound to King County, which is expected to be home to more than 60% of new jobs. [Emphasis added.]

And, the ferry system leaders plan to accommodate that type of development in Kitsap County, if they can, by building more ferries and increasing their capacity to carry people and vehicles.

Why do all this with the foot ferries and auto ferries?

Why make it easier for people to live here and work there?

Isn't it a problem when they do?

Doesn't that kind of situation make it impossible to provide urban services because of the lack of tax revenue?

If it happens because of choices people freely make when those same people face the economic consequences of their own choices, that's fine. But government shouldn't be encouraging and subsidizing the very thing government then claims is a problem.

Let all the people who want to pay their own way on the foot ferries go ahead and do so. (There are hardly any such people -- that's why the privately operated ferries disappeared more than fifty years ago and reappeared in a fit of nostalgia recently, only to wither again for lack of riders.)

Kitsap County may always have a substantial "bedroom community" aspect to it, but government shouldn't be encouraging an even greater degree of such development.

France, France, Kennedy and France Discover Norm Dicks

Ouch. The Greensboro, North Carolina, News-Record reports:

ISC also has tried to reach out to U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., a Bremerton native whose district includes a potential track location.

Four top ISC officials have contributed $8,000 to Dicks' campaign, according to The Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington, D.C., research group that tracks money in politics. The four -- ISC chairman Bill France, ISC chief executive officer Jim France, ISC president Lesa France Kennedy and ISC board member Brian France -- each contributed $2,000 to the Dicks campaign in December.

Records show that none had contributed to Dicks' campaign before.

International Speedway Corporation has met a lot of resistance to their proposed new NASCAR-capable speedway. They want it to be in Kitsap County, Washington -- and want public financing and tax breaks to make it more profitable for them. Few people seem enthusiastic about their proposal.

Congressman Norm Dicks has been around for a long time, and doesn't need any donations from ISC. He may have an opponent in this year's election, if the GOP can come up with someone willing to be thoroughly beaten. It's not that Dicks is a great man: It's just that he's good enough, and incumbents are hard to beat when they're good enough.

Will anyone else notice what the News-Record article pointed out?

Note this January 27 article in the Kitsap Sun, in which Dicks was reported to have spoken favorably about the speedway proposal:

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, urged state lawmakers Thursday to keep an open mind about a proposal to build a speedway for NASCAR races in Kitsap County.
Dicks stopped short of offering an official endorsement of the proposal, acknowledging there is opposition to it. What he did say, however, came close to a thumbs-up.

"I don’t think there’s any problem with these numbers," he said of the funding package. "I see nothing but a positive sign for Pierce County and Kitsap County."

The congressman’s remarks are not likely to have an impact in Olympia this year.
His remarks didn't cause the legislature to reverse course in mid-session this year, but Dicks is an influential guy. When he says it looks pretty good, others are willing to take a closer look in preparation for next year's legislative session.

The timing isn't good: campaign donations in December and nice words in January.

Dicks should have thought to tell the ISC people to please not donate to his campaign. Their money isn't needed, and the potential hassle isn't worth it.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Dying isn't what it used to be

The Chicago Tribune reports that the number of Americans who died in 2004 dropped dramatically:

The preliminary number of U.S. deaths recorded for 2004 was 2,398,343. That represents a decline of 49,945 from the 2,448,288 recorded in 2003.

U.S. deaths ordinarily rise slightly each year. The last decline in annual deaths occurred in 1997, a modest drop of 445 deaths from 1996, Minino said.

The number of deaths has not dropped this steeply since 1938, when there were about 69,000 fewer than in 1937. A drop in 1944 came close -- about 48,000 fewer deaths than the previous year. Health officials could not immediately say why the number of deaths fell so sharply in either of those years.

"These are preliminary data," said Paul Terry, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Atlanta's Emory University. "But if it holds up, it's obviously very good news."

To see such a giant drop after years of annual increases was a little hard to swallow for some.

"We will not make much of this until the final data come out," said Elizabeth Ward, director of surveillance research for the American Cancer Society.

Check the voter rolls. Three of those years were federal election years. I wonder what was on the ballots in the off-year elections of 1997.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Washington Post and ABC News Form Tag Team

First the Washington Post took a stab at smearing President Bush, then ABC News via "Good Morning America" laid on a little more calumny:

As Paul noted earlier today, the Washington Post's story this morning [April 12] on the mobile biological weapons labs in Iraq was highly misleading. (The Post reported, as if it were an expose, that one team that was sent to examine the purported mobile labs reported that they were not intended to produce biological weapons. But buried deep in the Post's story is the fact that three teams examined the trailers, and two of the three thought that they were indeed intended for bioweapon production.) But ABC, on today's Good Morning America, went the Post one better, twisting the Post's already-deceptive story into a "Bush lied" claim:
They'd found a couple trailers that he said actually were the mobile biological laboratories that he said showed that they were indeed developing WMD, and The Washington Post has a story today that says the President knew at the time that was not true.

Thanks again to Power Line for acting as a sort of clipping service and making it possible for those who are interested in the truth to keep up with at least some of the "liberal" and "progressive" lies being told by the Democrats' accomplices in the "news" media.

Trying to keep up with the lies told by the president's opponents would be almost impossible for any one person to do.

That's obviously why they tell so many lies. They know that many of their viewers and readers won't learn that what they saw or read was nothing but lies.

Liberals Hate Freedom of Speech

Update, April 17: Michelle Malkin has posted a photograph showing that the professor indeed took part in the denial of rights by tearing down the display.

People who are usually called "liberals" or "progressives" so often deprive their political or ideological opponents of the right to freedom of speech that it is obvious the so-called liberals and progressives hate the very idea of free speech.

Here is an example:

Damage to Ky. anti-abortion display probed


HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. -- A university professor is under investigation after some of her students pulled up crosses from an anti-abortion display on campus and dumped them in the trash.

The crosses, put up last week by a student group called Northern Right to Life, were meant to represent a cemetery for aborted fetuses.

Sally Jacobsen, a professor of literature and language at Northern Kentucky University, said nine students in one of her graduate-level classes dismantled the display Wednesday.

"I did, outside of class during the break, invite students to express their freedom of speech rights to destroy the display if they wished to," Jacobsen said. She declined to say if she took part.

The college professor actually claims that destroying the display was an act of free speech, but it is obvious to anyone with even a modicum of intelligence that destroying someone else's display is a denial of free speech.

Does anyone doubt that the professor and her accomplices favor the left end of the political spectrum?

Our country's patriots respect the rights of others to speak freely in debating and discussing issues important to all of us or even to only a few of us.

Those who do not love the ideals which form the basis of our society and country do not respect the rights of others. That is one reason their patriotism is so often doubted.

Patriotism isn't a love of the ground on which we stand. It is a love of the ideals upon which this country's government and society were founded.

That professor and her students are not patriots where this country is concerned. Their love is obviously for tyrannies like the former Bolshevik empire. It must cause them great sorrow to see the end of such tyrannies on this earth, whether it occurs in Russia, eastern Europe, Iraq, or anywhere else.

They know they are losing, and they hate losing as much as, if not more than, they hate the freedoms guaranteed by our country's laws and ideals.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bellevue Community College and Condoleezza

According to The Seattle Times, the math question that caused a stir has stirred the bureaucratically-minded people at Bellevue Community College to react in typical fashion:

[College President] Floten praised the courage of the students who brought the question to the college's attention, and promised that the college would redouble its efforts to improve racial and cultural sensitivity on campus, including increasing staff training and creating an ombudsman position.

There's no need for all that. Just have the faculty members publicly recite each morning this simple statement until it sinks in: "All liberals are jackasses with neither mature judgment nor any allegiance to the truth, so never trust anything a liberal says or does."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Thank you, Power Line

For the rest of the story on yesterday's demonstrations in support of illegal immigration into the U.S.A., see Power Line.

There is a point at which the omission of information from "news" reports amounts to telling a lie. The so-called "mainstream media" have once again gone to and beyond that point.

Monday, April 10, 2006

How Soon News Reporters Forget

Someone needs to remind Emily Heffter of the Seattle Times that the Seattle School District already benefits from a "lid lift" within Seattle. This new proposal by the teachers union is not a new idea:

Teachers try new funding approach
By Emily Heffter
Seattle Times staff reporter

Frustrated by a lack of state funding for schools, Seattle's teachers union plans to ask voters this fall for a citywide increase in taxes.

If successful, the initiative would pour as much as $40 million a year into the Seattle Public Schools budget, to be spent mostly on new teachers and staff. To approve the measure, voters would be agreeing to lift the levy lid and increase their property taxes.

The Seattle Times editors could perhaps search their online archives, if need be, and discover that the voters approved a property tax lid lift in September 2004 to benefit the schools and accomplish the same sorts of things this "new funding approach" purports to do:

$116.8 million, 7-year Families and Education Levy passing
By Jessica Blanchard
Seattle Times staff reporter

The Families and Education Levy, a Seattle property-tax measure that would renew funding for a host of school programs, community-based organizations and health clinics, appeared to sail to victory last night.

"It's nice to continue what has been a long history of support for kids and education," said Dana Robinson Slote, spokeswoman for the Families YES! campaign.

The seven-year, $116.8 million levy is the third such measure since 1990, and requires a simple majority to pass. This time around, the levy amount was boosted by nearly $48 million, and in unofficial returns it had won resounding approval.

The money would pay for preschool and child-care programs, work to close the achievement gap between racial groups and lower the dropout rate. The levy also included roughly $200,000 for more thorough program audits to increase accountability.

Seattle School District already has a much higher "levy lid" for their excess property tax maintenance and operations levies than most of the other 295 districts in Washington.

They may be the only ones using the city's property tax authority to get more funding through their "Families and Education Levy."

Now, the teachers union wants even more.

The union may have gone too far, since they have prompted the city's leaders to voice some opposition to relying so much on local property taxes that the state feels no pressure from the Seattle area to increase state funding for education:

Mayor Greg Nickels' spokeswoman called the idea "absurd"; City Councilman David Della said he's waiting on a legal opinion; and the president of the citywide PTSA said it's too early to take a position.

Della, who chairs the council's education committee, said he may support an initiative but that it would have to fit into statewide efforts to get money.

"It somewhat takes the state off the hook, as far as funding education in Seattle and in other parts of the state," he said.

Seattle School Board member Michael DeBell had the same concern.

"I'm reluctant to have Seattle do something alone on school funding," he said. "I would prefer to see the state do something for the whole state, for all school districts."

So would I, Mr DeBell; but legislators representing the residents in the Seattle School District seem to know that their schools already get a lot more from their relatively rich tax base so they don't seem to give a damn about the rest of the districts in the state.

What would cause the mayor and others to balk? Simple: Initiative 747 limits the tax increases the city can impose without the voters' approval, and the city will eventually want to ask the voters for a "lid lift" on its own behalf. If the city's unused levy capacity is earmarked for the school district, then it won't be available for the city's own lid lift request.

I had wondered what it would take to get some of the politicians in Seattle to notice that the state ought to be doing more for all school districts. It seems that all it took was for them to recognize that their own rice bowls are at risk.

This may get interesting. If the state increases funding for all school districts, a large part of the revenue must come from the Seattle metropolitan area. (That's why, I presume, the politicians over there moan about the school funding situation, but rarely do much about it. They want to keep those tax dollars in their own region, rather than helping the state meet its obligation to provide a uniform school system for all children in Washington.)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Al WaPo

The Washington Post "news" section is really fascinating. I should probably check it more often.

In this article, the "news" people do what they can to protect the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq from the efforts of the U.S.A. to publicize his terrorist activities:

Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi
Jordanian Painted As Foreign Threat To Iraq's Stability
By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 10, 2006; A01
The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

It sure would be nice if the "news reporters" didn't have a blind, unthinking, dogmatic, zealous, bigoted hatred for "W." Maybe then they wouldn't so often try to harm our country's war efforts. But there's no chance of that, so I guess we just have to put up with their treasonous efforts to cheer up our deadly enemies.

Washington Post at Brink of Civil War

The editorial opinion (noted earlier) in today's Washington Post is directly contradicted by a "news" article on the front page of the same paper.

What's going on? Is internecine warfare about to break out at the "WaPo"?

Here is how the "news reporters" describe the veracity of President Bush's assertion that there were reports of Iraq's attempt to buy uranium in Africa:

One striking feature of that decision [to release National Intelligence Estimate parts to the press] -- unremarked until now, in part because Fitzgerald did not mention it -- is that the evidence Cheney and Libby selected to share with reporters had been disproved months before.

United Nations inspectors had exposed the main evidence for the uranium charge as crude forgeries in March 2003, but the Bush administration and British Prime Minister Tony Blair maintained they had additional, secret evidence they could not disclose. In June, a British parliamentary inquiry concluded otherwise, delivering a scathing critique of Blair's role in promoting the story.

The "news reporters" are apparently quite proud of their "unremarked until now" discovery.

Being unable to recall any British parliamentary inquiry that "concluded otherwise," I searched online for the report I recalled. It was the Butler Report, which -- according to those famously impartial news media, CBS News and CBC -- concluded that the British intelligence reports of Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium in Africa were "credible."

Also worthy of note was the finding that the forged documents which the "news reporters" point out as having been forgeries were not -- repeat not -- even available to the British when the intelligence assessment was made, so provided no part of the basis for the British intelligence assertion. In other words, the "news reporters" either don't know beans about the subject or are including calumny in their "news" article.

Do Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer, the authors of the front page "news" article, just make their stuff up as they go along?

And, note the difference in the "news" about the prosecution's case as revealed in documents this past week.

The editorial opinion said:

Mr. Wilson subsequently claimed that the White House set out to punish him for his supposed whistle-blowing by deliberately blowing the cover of his wife, Valerie Plame, who he said was an undercover CIA operative. This prompted the investigation by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald. After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald has reported no evidence to support Mr. Wilson's charge.

The article's lead paragraph states:

As he drew back the curtain this week on the evidence against Vice President Cheney's former top aide, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald for the first time described a "concerted action" by "multiple people in the White House" -- using classified information -- to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" a critic of President Bush's war in Iraq.

For how long can the two sides go on like this before they come to blows? (I'm assuming the "news reporters" will have to be slapped around at least a little bit to get them to renounce their practice of slanting the "news" to the point of misleading the Washington Post's readers.)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Washington Post Knows Joseph Wilson

I guess this means it's official: Joseph C. Wilson IV, mooncalf critic of "W" and the invasion of Iraq, has engaged in calumny in his effort to discredit President Bush:

Mr. Wilson originally claimed in a 2003 New York Times op-ed and in conversations with numerous reporters that he had debunked a report that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium from Niger and that Mr. Bush's subsequent inclusion of that allegation in his State of the Union address showed that he had deliberately "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraq threat." The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium. [Emphasis added.]

The Washington Post editorial continues in the same vein to bring the story up to date:

Mr. Wilson subsequently claimed that the White House set out to punish him for his supposed whistle-blowing by deliberately blowing the cover of his wife, Valerie Plame, who he said was an undercover CIA operative. This prompted the investigation by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald. After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald has reported no evidence to support Mr. Wilson's charge. In last week's court filings, he stated that Mr. Bush did not authorize the leak of Ms. Plame's identity. Mr. Libby's motive in allegedly disclosing her name to reporters, Mr. Fitzgerald said, was to disprove yet another false assertion, that Mr. Wilson had been dispatched to Niger by Mr. Cheney. In fact Mr. Wilson was recommended for the trip by his wife.

And, all this was included in an editorial opinion which started off by saying Vice President Cheney and his former chief of staff did nothing illegal by releasing declassified parts of the National Intelligence Estimate, but did act in a manner which created the opportunity for the leftists to go ballistic:

A Good Leak
President Bush declassified some of the intelligence he used
to decide on war in Iraq. Is that a scandal?
Sunday, April 9, 2006; Page B06
PRESIDENT BUSH was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons. Presidents are authorized to declassify sensitive material, and the public benefits when they do. But the administration handled the release clumsily, exposing Mr. Bush to the hyperbolic charges of misconduct and hypocrisy that Democrats are leveling.

Has someone hacked into the Washington Post web site and posted a fake (but accurate) opinion?

Seattle Communes

The age-old yearning for a collectivist society thrives in Seattle.

Bless their hearts.

If they can find their way around the obstacles presented by human nature, they might keep any small community going for a while.

The prospects aren't good, though.

More power to them -- so long as they don't try to use the government's power to impose their ideas on anyone else.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Holier than thou

It's a free country:

Audience Member in N.C. Challenges Bush
President Defends Warrantless Spying Program in Rare Public Response to Criticism
By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, April 7, 2006; Page A07
CHARLOTTE, April 6 -- Harry Taylor got the chance Thursday to do what frustrated liberals across the country have wanted to do for a long time: He stood up and told off the president.

Here's the recording. Watch the lady seated to the man's right. Is there a lip reader in the house?

Given the opportunity to ask the President a question, the man said, "I don't have a question."

Holier-than-thou zealots rarely do, nor do they care what the other guy says:

"I didn't care about his response," Taylor said. "I wanted to say what I wanted to say and I wanted him to know that despite being in a room with a thousand people who love him . . . there are plenty of people out there who don't agree with him in any way, shape or form."

Thanks for the show, Harry.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Venezuela's Chavez Mimics Mao

According to the New York Times, Hugo Chavez is spending his countrymen's fortune in an effort to make himself a big man:

Chávez, Seeking Foreign Allies, Spends Billsions [sic]
Published: April 4, 2006
CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chávez is spending billions of dollars of his country's oil windfall on pet projects abroad, aimed at setting up his leftist government as a political counterpoint to the conservative Bush administration in the region.

Mao tried that in Red China -- starving his countrymen so he could spend what little China had to buy himself a big name.

Here's to the high cost of oil: May it save the Venezuelans from suffering anything more than lost opportunities.