And what’s with all the reflexive pronoun abuse? I’ve written about this before but it’s getting worse. Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same person or thing. Like “I dress myself”. You cannot therefore say “please contact myself”. Because it makes you look like an imbecile.Read it all friends, read it all.
If you send a letter to a client saying “my team and me look forward to meeting with yourself next Wednesday”, be prepared for some disappointment. Because if I were the client I’d come to your office all right. Then I’d stand on your desk and relieve myself.
I’m not a grammar freak — I can eat, shoot and then take it or leave it — but when someone says “myself” instead of “me” I find it more offensive than if they’d said “spastic wog”.
Friday, January 27, 2006
Via the Corner, we find this excellent editorial: The Worst Word in the Language:
Over at NRO, they are handing it out in spades to our democratic friends in the Senate.
Victor Davis Hanson:
Victor Davis Hanson:
All that mess is what killing bin Laden and stopping Iranian nukes may well be about, if we don’t “outsource” responsibilities — however glib that sounds on a Democratic blog or thrown out as a gnarly bone to an oohing and aahing academic audience.George Neumayr:
The historic purpose of the Senate was to serve as an aristocratic counterweight to the sometimes mindless and destructive passions of the House of Representatives. The Senate would safeguard “the cool and deliberate sense of the community,” according to the Federalist Papers. The framers wanted aged men to serve in the Senate, age providing the advantages of “greater extent of information and stability of character.” The framers didn’t get a chance to meet Pat Leahy and Ted Kennedy. Under these old frauds the Senate has become perhaps the least deliberative body of our government, a club of posturing hacks incapable of reasoning beyond the most immature categories.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
As luck would have it, my Irish pal Ciaran and I were having an email discussion about a related topic just this morning. He and I disagree about many things, but I think we are in agreement that the major European economies of Germany and France are facing a demographic crisis that will require some serious work to fix. Well, then Mark Steyn comes along and says a lot about the upcoming economic problems in Scotland (as an example for most of Europe):
Scotland is the canary in the United Kingdom's coal mine, but, given that three of the four component parts of the realm are mired in the same bloated, dead-end dependency culture, it would be foolish for the English to assume they won't get stuck with the bill for a Celtic fringe decaying into a long-term geriatric hospice. I doubt any Scot with an eye to electoral viability would want to run on anything that smacked of American conservatism, but surely they could at least learn something from Ireland, where, you will recall, Braveheart was filmed. They could have shot it in Scotland, but the Scots are too busy shooting themselves.As they say, read the whole thing.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Canadia! (and yes, I meant to spell it that way...say it a few times and you will not be able to stop)
This is excellent. We need this here in America. Beer polls! Say it with me!! Beer polls!
Monday, January 16, 2006
Via the Corner, we find that the community of Elk Grove Village, Illinois is, in addition to its ban on smoking in all public places, considering banning the sale of cigarettes altogether within the town. Why not beer, too? Or fatty food? Or aspirin--after all, aspirin causes more deaths each year than Vioxx ever dreamed!!
Merchants are likely to fight being told what they can or cannot sell, said Rob Karr, vice president of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.
Elk Grove Village officials will consider the cigarette-sale ban and a restriction on public smoking during a series of meetings starting Wednesday.
"This is a legitimate product, like it or not," Karr said. "Where does this stop? There's a myriad of products that can be abused. Twinkies, ice cream, all to a certain amount are not good for you. Is the next step in the obesity battle a ban on the sale of ice cream?"
Stanley Magnuszewski, owner of Turner Liquors at Turner Avenue and Arlington Heights Road, said banning cigarette sales would hurt his business.
"Pretty soon the government will dictate what you can eat," he said. "As long as they are making them, we should be able to sell them."
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Via AFP, we find out that some crazy fool is going to try to set a world's record by kissing a "poisonous" snake: "A Malaysian snake charmer said he will attempt to break the world record by kissing a poisonous snake 50 times in 10 minutes." The problem here is that the snake isn't "poisonous," it's venomous. If the snake is "poisonous," it won't matter if the snake is venomous or not--the poison may be delivered without the necessity of the snake's biting the man. You would think professional writers would understand the difference.
Of course, if the venomous snake bit the man, he might get nauseated (not "nauseous"--remember that one, for there will be a quiz). The King's English is going down the tubes!!!
Once again, we are treated to the New York Times' "principled opposition" to eavesdropping by the government for national security purposes--assuming that the perpetrator is George W. Bush. But when Clinton's the president? Well, it's just fine and dandy that the government is eavesdropping, because, well, Clinton's motives were pure (and he is a Democrat). And even if his motives weren't pure, well, he's our guy so back off.
Tellingly, the existence of the program was confirmed not by the New York Times or the Washington Post or by any other American media outlet – these were the Clinton years, after all, and the American media generally treats Democrat administrations far more gently than Republican administrations – but by an Australian government official in a statement made to an Australian television news show.Newspaper of record, indeed.
The Times actually defended the existence of Echelon when it reported on the program following the Australians’ revelations.
“Few dispute the necessity of a system like Echelon to apprehend foreign spies, drug traffickers and terrorists….”
And the Times article quoted an N.S.A. official in assuring readers
“...that all Agency activities are conducted in accordance with the highest constitutional, legal and ethical standards.”
Of course, that was on May 27, 1999 and Bill Clinton, not George W. Bush, was president.
Even as the Times defended Echelon as “a necessity” in 1999, evidence already existed that electronic surveillance had previously been misused by the Clinton Administration for political purposes. Intelligence officials told Insight Magazine in 1997 that a 1993 conference of Asian and Pacific world leaders hosted by Clinton in Seattle had been spied on by U.S. intelligence agencies. Further, the magazine reported that information obtained by the spying had been passed on to big Democrat corporate donors to use against their competitors. The Insight story added that the mis-use of the surveillance for political reasons caused the intelligence sources to reveal the operation.
“The only reason it has come to light is because of concerns raised by high-level sources within federal law-enforcement and intelligence circles that the operation was compromised by politicians—includingmid- and senior-level White House aides—either on behalf of or in support of President Clinton and major donor-friends who helped him and the Democratic National Committee, or DNC, raise money.”
So, during the Clinton Administration, evidence existed (all of the information used in this article was available at the time) that:
-an invasive, extensive domestic eavesdropping program was aimed at every U.S. citizen;
-intelligence agencies were using allies to circumvent constitutional restrictions;
-and the administration was selling at least some secret intelligence for political donations.
These revelations were met by the New York Times and others in the mainstream media by the sound of one hand clapping. Now, reports that the Bush Administration approved electronic eavesdropping, strictly limited to international communications, of a relative handful of suspected terrorists have created a media frenzy in the Times and elsewhere.
Congressmen Moran (D-Va) and Murtha (D-Pa) catch hell from a veteran of Afghanistan. And well deserved, indeed. Note the ridiculous response: "That wasn't in the form of a question." Well done, Mr. Moran!! I trust you to answer difficult questions of national security for me! Asshole.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Via the Officer's Club (go read it!), we find a report in the Weekly Standard that should drive a nail in the coffin of those of the "Bush lied, people died" camp.
THE FORMER IRAQI REGIME OF Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by eleven U.S. government officials.And why are we just now finding out about this?
The secret training took place primarily at three camps--in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak--and was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria's GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis. According to three officials with knowledge of the intelligence on Iraqi training camps, White House and National Security Council officials were briefed on these findings in May 2005; senior Defense Department officials subsequently received the same briefing.
The discovery of the information on jihadist training camps in Iraq would seem to have two major consequences: It exposes the flawed assumptions of the experts and U.S. intelligence officials who told us for years that a secularist like Saddam Hussein would never work with Islamic radicals, any more than such jihadists would work with an infidel like the Iraqi dictator. It also reminds us that valuable information remains buried in the mountain of documents recovered in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past four years.
The main worry, says DiRita, is that the mainstream press might cherry-pick documents and mischaracterize their meaning. "There is always the concern that people would be chasing a lot of information good or bad, and when the Times or the Post splashes a headline about some sensational-sounding document that would seem to 'prove' that sanctions were working, or that Saddam was just a misunderstood patriot, or some other nonsense, we'd spend a lot of time chasing around after it."
Other officials familiar with the captured documents were less cautious. "As much as we overestimated WMD, it appears we underestimated [Saddam Hussein's] support for transregional terrorists," says one intelligence official."No shit, sherlock. Do you think Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Dr. Dean are getting this? I reckon they will just say that they are disappointed that they didn't have this information sooner, and it's Bush's fault they have egg on their faces. Oh no wait, Bill Kristol is trying to get the egg to their faces first.
IT'S CONVENTIONAL WISDOM. In fact, it's more than conventional wisdom. It's an article of faith among the enlightened: There was no connection, at least no significant connection, between Saddam Hussein's regime and al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.There's a lot more. Read both of these articles, and go impress your friends and defeat your enemies!
Senate minority leader Harry Reid put it this way: "There was [sic] no terrorists in Iraq." His colleague, Carl Levin, member of both the Armed Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee, says Iraq's relationship with al Qaeda was "nonexistent."
Senators Reid and Levin are Democrats, to be sure. But few prominent Republicans have challenged these assertions. And the Bush administration has been as quiet as a mouse--and just as meek. So the conventional wisdom reigns.
In fact, some of these documents have already been the subject of media reports:
(1) A 1992 internal Iraqi Intelligence memo lists Osama bin Laden as an Iraqi Intelligence asset in "good contact" with the Iraqi Intelligence section in Damascus. The Defense Intelligence Agency told 60 Minutes the document is authentic.
(2) Another internal Iraqi Intelligence memo, this one from the mid-1990s, reports that a Sudanese government official met with Uday Hussein and the director of the Iraqi Intelligence Service in 1994, in order to set up meetings between bin Laden and Iraqi Intelligence in Sudan. According to the Iraqi document, bin Laden was "approached by our side" after "presidential approval" for the liaison was given. The former head of Iraqi Intelligence Directorate 4 met with bin Laden on February 19, 1995. Bin Laden requested that Iraq's state-run television network broadcast anti-Saudi propaganda; the document states that the Iraqis agreed to honor this request. The al Qaeda leader also proposed "joint operations against foreign forces" in Saudi Arabia; there is no Iraqi response provided in the documents. When bin Laden left Sudan for Afghanistan in May 1996, the Iraqis sought "other channels through which to handle the relationship, in light of his current location." The IIS memo directs that "cooperation between the two organizations should be allowed to develop freely through discussion and agreement." Pentagon analysts told the New York Times that the document appears authentic.
I have been to Buchenwald (I lived there for almost a month), Auschwitz and Birkenau, and I can tell you definitively that this guy is a complete fruitcake. Check it out:
Dr. Sindi in an Interview with [Iranian] Mehr News Agency (December 26, 2005)Who is this guy? He is "a Saudi professor of political science who has taught at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia, at two American universities (the University of California in Irvine and California State University at Pomona) and at two American colleges (Cerritos College and Fullerton College)."
Interviewer: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that he thinks that the Holocaust is a myth. However, he also said some European countries insist that millions of innocent Jews were killed during World War II by Hitler, and asked why the Europeans don’t give part of their land to the Jews if they are correct. What is your view?"
Dr. Sindi: "I agree wholeheartedly with President Ahmadinejad. There was no such a thing as the 'holocaust.' The so-called 'holocaust' is nothing but Jewish/Zionist propaganda. There is no proof whatsoever that any living Jew was ever gassed or burned in Nazi Germany or in any of the territories that Nazi Germany occupied during World War II. The holocaust propaganda was started by the Zionist Jews in order to acquire worldwide sympathy for the creation of Israel after World War II. I detailed all of this in my book (The Arabs and the West: The Contributions and the Inflictions).
"I also wrote a detailed article titled 'The Holocaust is a Typical Zionist Myth' (http://abbc.net/sindi/typic.htm ).
"President Ahmadinejad is 100% correct and 100% logical when he states that if the European countries keep insisting that Nazi Germany gassed and burned six million live Jews, then Germany or Austria should be the real location for this rogue state of Israel. In fact, this illegal and illegitimate state of Israel is the one that created a real holocaust against the Palestinian people, both Muslim and Christian."
Friday, January 06, 2006
Victor Davis Hanson is at it again in an open letter to Europe. Amen, brother:
Unemployment, postcolonial prejudice, and de facto apartheid may have led to the fiery rioting in the French suburbs, but it was also energized by a radical Islamic culture of hate. In response followed de facto French martial law. All that remains certain is that the rioting will return either to grow or to warp liberal French society. Indeed, so far has global culture devolved in caving to Islamism that we fear that only two places in the world are now safe for a Jew to live in safety — and Europe, the graveyard of 20th-century Jewry, is tragically not among them. Cry the beloved continent.Read the whole thing.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Here's to a great 2006. For a look back at 2005, check out Roto-Rooter's top 5 rescues. Ick:
Roto-Rooter technicians were called to remove what was believed to be a large black root. However, upon further inspection they discovered that it wasn't a root at all…it was a clump of human hair - over eight feet long! The mass had accumulated over several years and took the technicians over an hour to remove.