Sunday, October 31, 2004

WorldNetDaily

According to WorldNetDaily, weapons in Northern Iraq were moved prior to the invasion, which of course, must, must I tell you, mean that the Al Qaqaa facility had already been looted by the time we got there. According to WND, "Bush and other administration officials have accused Kerry of making wild claims and charges before all the facts are known."
Good advice, which I myself have given.
Still WorldNetDaily might want to take Bush's advice themselves, particularly when the claim they make in the headline is not supported in the article.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Alan Bock Weighs in on the DMX

Alan Bock weighs in on the missing explosives. Bottom line: not certain what is true, yet. Alan Bock is one of the better antiwar writers, in my opinion, because he tries to avoid letting his emotions control him and tries to understand both sides of an issue, so his columns tend to be more persuasion and less "pounding the enemy."
This link takes you to whatever his current latest column is.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Vote for Peroutka

Jude Wanniski, in his endorsement of Kerry, sums up why I can't vote for either candidate. Kerry is an internationalist, Bush is an imperialist. As a non-interventionist, I cannot in good conscience support either one of these madmen.
My vote goes to Michael Peroutka of the Constiution Party.

Interesting Debate

FrontPageMag has an interesting debate between Greg Bates, David Lindorff (of the Bush wore a wire" fame), Jed Babbin, and Clifford May.
(Sorry that Bates and Lindorff's links aren't as good as Babbin's amd May's, but Counterpunch does not seem to have an "author archive."

The discussion is essentially about whether we need to stay in Iraq or leeave it.
Three points seem to stand out to me:

For one thing, Mr. Lindorff seems to suggest that the killing in Vietnam was reduced greatly after we left. It may well have been reduced after the North won in 1975, but I was under the impression that a lot of people were killed in the North's final offensive, and that that occurred after we left.

Secondly, it is obvious that Jed Babbin doesn't care about liberation and is intent on conquering the Middle East. (I'll try to expand on this in a future post by referencing specific National Review Online (NRO) commentaries by him). While he gives the implication that we will only build military bases in Iraq if the Iraqi government okays it:

"Yes, many [note that he implies that the majority of Iraqis want permanent US bases - a point he also hints at in this article, although does anyone really believe that he would care if not "many" but "most" Iraqis were against it? - Glaivester] Iraqis may object to our building military bases there, but unless their government decides we cannot, we must press on."

the fact that the government has essentially been selected by us means that what he is really saying is that we will have bases whatever the majority of Iraqis want. And he also boldly states htat he wants regime change in Syria, Iran, and Sauid Arabia, and it seems pretty clear to me that he isn't thinking just through covert ops like Michael "Faster, Please" Ledeen claims to be. (His writings on this at NRO are somewhat mixed, I'll try to give a deeper analysis later here is his archive if you'd like to read some of his stuff yourself). He is also a pompous twit:

"First, Lindorff, from you to me it's 'Mr. Babbin.' I do not choose to allow evasion of the honorific by those such as you."

Finally, Jamie Glazov, who is referenced here as "FP" for FrontPage, is not a good moderator. This symposium, for all intents and purposes, is a debate, and it seems rather unsporting or the moderator to officially take sides, and then to take offense at Mr. Lindorff for seeing this as unfair bias:

"And before we move on Mr. Lindorff, please, the next time, don’t be so incredulous if I decide to make a few comments in my own symposium. This is the style of these symposiums and if I talk the world still turns and life goes on, ok?"

The moderator should challenge the statements of the guests, but there is a difference between bringing up facts that the guests seem to be ignoring (but isn't it true?) and explicitly taking one side (you are lying like a typical leftist!)

Oh, and one more point:

Mr. Glazov asks:
"I wonder what leftist journals (i.e. the Nation, Counterpunch etc) will ever invite someone like David Horowitz to voice his views in their pages for the sake of dialogue, as we are doing here."
Well, I'm not certain that it entirely counts, as it is not done as a debate, but Counterpunch has run a fairly Bush-friendly piece by Amir Taheri, who is a member of the neoconservative Benador Associates.

Forget the Whales, Save the Andaman "Pygmies"

Steve Sailer has made an excellent point on his website.
Why are we so concerned with saving tigers and whales and birds, but no one seems to care about preserving unusual little tribes of humans who live in isolated areas. The favorite example that Steve brings out are the "Pygmy Negritos" of the Andaman Islands (not true Pygmies in the sense of relationship to the African Pygmies, but called "Pygmies" in the sense that they are a race of "dwarfed" humans). I mean, if we really want to celebrate diversity, shouldn't we be actively trying to protect these groups rather than just letting them get killed by ouhttp://www.blogger.com/r germs and destroyed by the encroachment of cultures that they are not prepared to deal with?
I don't think that we should just keep them isolated, and as a Christian believe that we need to evangelize them, but shouldn't we be very careful and deliberative about how we reach out to them so that they don't get destroyed in the process?

And shouldn't we be at least as interested in studying bizarre and wonderful little pockets of our own species that are currently alive as we are in "hobbits" that are probably extinct?

LewRockwell Article on Peroutka

Gail Jarvis discusses voting for the Constitution Party (he's for it).

Kerry v. Bush

Being at a university, I have noticed a tendency of people to "unBush" things. That is, whenever someone puts up a pro-Bush sticker, someone else pastes lots of pro-Kerry stickers on over it.
I haven't noticed the reverse, although this might be because there aren't enough Bush supporters on campus to respond in kind.
It could also be that pro-Bush people are more polite.
In any case, as much as I dislike Bush and his policies (I will admit htat his manner oftens fills me with a visceral dislike) I can't stand the absolute hatred that many liberals seem to have. As a person said in the comments on VFR, Bush has done lots of things the liberals should like (increased AIDS funding, signed "campaign finance reform"). So why do they, of all people, hate him so much? It's one thing to want your guy to win, another to portray Bush as "Saturn Devouring his Children."

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Draft? Yglesias Considers.

Matthew Yglesias discusses the possibiliy of a draft in the American Prospect.
(Link via AntiWar.com, I just realized that this article ran 2 weeks ago on Oct. 13).
Bascially, he makes the point that idiots like Rush Limbaugh gloss over. The fact that Congress voted against the draft or that the President promises not to have a draft or that the military doesn't want a draft is irrelevant in the face of a looming manpower shortage.
Although he is a liberal, and a Kerry supporter, his blog has a lot of interesting stuff, so check it out.

Having said this, I stick with my previous statement: because a draft is politically unfeasible, we will resort to wholesale slaughter to keep control. If we wish to attack Iran, we will simply reduce our forces in Iraq and resort to using Kurdish pershmega and brutality to retain control (by brutality I mean levelling entire villages with bombs and punishing disobedience by killing every member of someone's family). We will also pull troops out of Europe and maybe Korea. In a worst-case scenario, we may wind up nuking Iran and/or Syria.

The RDX "Scandal"

OK, here's my view (links are sparse, I am tired today).
(1) Kerry and other anti-warriors should not have automatically assumed that the most anti-Bush version of the story was true. Nor kept repeating this conclusion after NBC cast doubt on it.
Essentially, this is what a lot of pro-war people did during the invasion of Iraq and immediately afterward. Any finding that might be WMDs was trumpeted, and then quietly dropped after it turned out to be a dead end. WorldNetDaily and FrontPageMag were especially bad offenders. I remember both of them running a headline "Chemical Weapons Found," with FPM subtitling it with something to the effect of "Wonder why Hans Blix missed this?"
Well, the very article they quoted said that a site that might have had WMDs was found - the article by no means said anything as definitive as the headline. (I'll find the references later).
In any case, jumping on any favorable news story is a stupid move. One should always be cautious and let the story play out before making definitive statements.
(2) Claims such as the ones that James Robbins made in National Review that this proves Saddam had WMDs are stupid. The material in question was already declared and monitored by the IAEA. If Saddam's possession of said material was a breach, then why didn't we remove it earlier during the inspection period, or during the inspections in the 90s if he had the material then and we knew about it? The same is true for the "components" that have gone missing. If we were truly concerned we should have removed them in the 90s, when the initial inspections were taking place. Or the nuclear material stored at Tuwaitha. Robbins wants us to believe that this proves that Saddam had the ability to produce "WMDs" in the form of "dirty bombs" (which are not a WMD) and thus had to be removed. Robbins ignores the fact that we all knew about Tuwaitha and no one made a move to take the material out of Iraq (as far as I know, it was mostly waste or stuff that Saddam no longer had a use for, but which had to be stored so it wouldn't contaminate anything, from what I understand, much like our proposed Yucca Mountain Facility). In other words, he is to be considered guilty of breaking his agreement not to mkae WMDs because he has nuclear material that (a) everyone was okay with him having and (b) which he couldn't get rid of if he wanted to (how was he supposed to get rid of the Tuwaitha material? Did the US offer to take it off his hands? Does he have the magical ability to caused nuclear isotopes to suddenly lose their radioactivity?
Of course, what are we to expect from National Review, a magazine that has lost all pretense of serious scholarship years ago and has become nothing more than a partisan rag.
UPDATE: This may have some relevance, as it shows that the explosives might not have been removable in the 90s. I'll have to ponder this a bit to see how, if at all, it changes my opinion.

Pigs with Wings, Devils with Snowballs

Hell has frozen over.
Pigs can fly.
The cows have come home.
The Red Sox have won!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Explosives

I don't have time right now, but I'll be posting something on my thoughts on the missing explosives soon.
In brief: Kerry and otehr anti-warriors shouldn't jump the gun, it makes them look like WorldNetDaily and FrontPageMag did during and right after the invasion, when they announced that Saddam's WMDs were discovered every time someone sneezed.
Idiots like James Robbins of NRO also shouldn't pretend that this is evidence of an ongoing WMD program, because all of these things were already known and accounted for by the weapons inspectors; if they had been considered a WMD threat, why didn't we take them away rather than let them sit in cold storage?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Funnier than Franken

Remember when I said that Al Franken wasn't that funny? In particular, I mentioned a skit where he pretended to be some southern woman who was trying to suppress th black vote.
Some people may have thought that I was simply not amused by Franken's humor because he was liberal. However, that's not true. He is simply not funny. How can I prove this? By showing that I find something that was making the very same claim to be hilarious.
You want a funny way of trying to suggest that the GOP wants to prevent (heavily Democratic-leaning) minorities from voting? Read this.

$70 Billion Here, $70 Billion There

So Bush will be requesting $70 billion more in war-funding according to the Washington Post. This will bring the Afghanistan/Iraq War spending total to $225 billion since the invasion of Iraq (a strange way to figure - I'd think one should either count the amount since the invasion of Afghanistan, or else separate Iraq funding from Afghanistan funding and report how much is spent only in Iraq after the Iraq invasion.
In any case, without a breakdown, it is difficult to determine how much will be spent in each country.
At Instapundit, Megan McArdle thinks this is good news for hawks, because it is so much lower than the trillions that some leftists have suggested it would cost.
Also, she points out:
"The war has cost more than I think I thought it would (I don't remember ever assigning it an exact price tag), but if it succeeds in building a democracy in the middle east, it will be well worth the cost."
That, I feel, is a VERY BIG if. Moreover, I have a feeling that the costs will not go down next year or the year after that, particularly if the Kurds begin moving toward separatism and Turkey intervenes, or if Bush decides to invade Syria or Iran next.

Hawaii, the Last Battleground

Well, for those of us who check out third party ballot access at Richard Winger's Ballot Access website, the only state not to have made its final decision on who to exclude from the ballot is Hawaii, which may or may not put Nader and Peroutka on. I assume not, as there is only a week left to re-print ballots.
I think it would be a good idea for some states to formulate a rule that any presidential candidate who is on the ballot in enough states to be elected president (i.e. states with a total of over 270 electoral votes) gets automatic ballot access in that state. If every state did this, it would ultimately mean that candidates would only need to vie for access in a subset of states, and then would get access in all of the rest.
Actually, I think that ballot access should be made easier overall. California's recall proved that you can have an election with hundreds of candidates running and still pull it off successfully. Would each state having ten presidential candidates running really be that bad?
And let's not forget the fascist state of oklahoma, where there are no third-parties on the ballot and no ability to write-in.

Steve Sailer on Fox News

At 8:44 am EST today (Tuesday), Steve Sailer will be on Fox News to discuss his article about Bush and Kerry and their relative IQs.
I'll try to post more after I watch this.

Hmm... Mr. Sailer comes off a lot better on his blog than on TV, although that might be because he was up at 5:44 am in the morning.
In any case, he brought up the same points he had in his article, and I think that he generally made a good showing.

Rankine 911 is Now My Second Blog

Well, Glaivester readers, now I have a second weblog, Rankine 911: Insane Ravings. I doubt I'll update that one as often, and it doesn't have a comments section.
Rankine 911 is reserved entirely for off-the-wall, humorous posting.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Rankine 911

Has anyone else noticed that the Ray Bradbury novel, Fahrenheit 451, from which Michael Moore got the title idea for Fahrenheit 911, could also be called Rankine 911? That is, 451 degrees Fahrenheit is approximately 911 degrees Rankine.

What is Rankine, you ask? Rankine is to Fahrenheit what Kelvins are to Celsius. Do you know what Kelvin is? If not, then here is the explanation: Kelvin and Rankine are two temperature scales that use the same units as Celsius and Fahrenheit, respectively, but which are zeroed at absolute zero. Absolute zero is -273 degrees Celsius and -460 degrees Fahrenheit. So Kelvins (of all four scales, Kelvin is the only one to forego use of the term "degree") = degrees Celsius + 273, and degrees Rankine = degrees Fahrenheit + 460. 451 + 460 = 911. So voila, Rankine 911.

UPDATE: I am not the only person to have noticed this.

Can You Vote for Peroutka?

This color-coded map shows which states have Constitution Party candidate Michael Anthony Peroutka on the ballot. Dark blue means he is on the ballot, yellow means he is a write-in candidate, and black means that he isn't even eligible as a write-in (although in some states such as North Carolina, you are still allowed to write him in, they just won't count it).
Hawaii alone is still undecided as to status, although I imagine it is too late for much of anything to be done to put him on the ballot now.
The one state that fascisitically is forcing everyone to choose between Bush and Kerry is Oklahoma. It makes me want to organize a protest and shut down voting there through civil disobedience - except for the fact that I live in New England (my legal residence is in Maine), more than a thousand miles away, and am too lazy to do something like that anyway.

You Thought 2000 was Close? Just Wait...

Steven LaTulippe is suggsting that the 2004 elections may have even more problems than the 2000 ones, and that that may not be an entirely bad thing.
I have said much the same thing myself, and I think that in a little more than a week, we may have a very interesting time on our hands.
If only I could get myself to actually care who wins....

Burt Blumert's Gold Page

(Note: The following is not intended as any sort of financial advice, rathr, I'm telling my story and pointing out a web page that might be useful to some people).

Over the past two years, I have been putting some of my money into gold and silvr coins, based on the assumption that sooner or later the Federal Reserve's turning on of the money spigots (i.e. inflation) is going to lead to massive devaluation of the dollar (i.e. what most people call inflation).

Of course, it was difficult at first to figure out the price from day-to-day by looking at the commodities section of the newspaper, particularly since so many newspapers have cut back on the financial section. It also is more convenient to have up-to-the-second information that is quick and easy to check.

I personally have found Burt Blumert's gold page to be a useful source of information on the current spot prices of gold and silver (if I invested in platinum, I suppose I would find it useful for that as well). If anyone who is a regular Glaivester reader is interested in the spot price of precious metals, and doesn't know of a good internet site to look at, this webpage has been pretty useful to me.

I also enjoy the articles he occasionally writes, perhaps because they have a gentle, self-deprecating, down-home-y sort of humor that is satirical without being mean.

Macs v. Linux v. PCs

Gary North has an article on LewRockwell discussing what he refers to as the "Apple cult" and the "Linux cult."

Well, as a dedicated Mac-ker, here's my feeling: As a Steve Sailer reader has said (scroll down about 1/6 of the page and look for the quotes in blue AND green highlights), Apple has a superior product but has inferior market share. Mr.North is essentially correct hat Apple will never seriously challenge Microsoft, but I think that it will still be around for a long time for those people who are willing to trade sheer volume of available programs for not having to deal with computer viruses and worms all the time.
As for Linux, I don't think that Linux is necessarily based on the presumption that "everyone should be a priest" (i.e. that everyone should be able to understand source code). I think it is based on the presumption that there are people who don't work for software companies who would like to "be priests." In other words, Linux provides a useful alternative to Mac or PC for the people who use it, and so it is a good thing for the world to have, particularly since a lot of internet infrastructure runs on it (see third message down, by Brad R). Having said that, it is also fairly obvious that Linux will never be the operating system for the masses, but it really wasn't intended to be, as far as I can tell.
In short, while Mr. North is right that Mac and even moreso Linux are marginal systems, I think that they are still important and that they fill an important niche.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Ann Althouse has no Sense of Fun

It appears that Ann Althouse's wishes for the election are the exact opposite of mine.

I say, let the legal wrangling begin! The best of the Red Sox - Yankees games was the one that went into all of the extra innings - we need more drama like that!

Red Sox

Well, this is an exciting day. If the Red Sox win this one, they're only two games away from total victory! Of course, the sobering thought that comes to me is, "What happens if they win the first three games? Wouldn't it be ironic if they were ahead in wins by 3-0 and then..."
Oy. Or as Al Franken would say, Oy-Oy-Oy.

(I'm not actually Jewish, but seeing as White Gentiles like myself do not have any expression simultaneously as useful and as brief as "oy" or "oy vey," I feel justified in appropriating it).

Friday, October 22, 2004

Tired.

Well, I don't have much to say at the moment. Probably no more updates until Monday.

Al Franken is Really UnFunny

I saw on television the Al Franken radio show the other day (basically, they filmed him in the studio).
He wasn't funny. He read off the news and all of the things he hated about Bush with a dour, sour attitude. He didn't have Rush Limbaugh's ebullience, or the loud obnoxious wrath of Michael Savage. He just seemed bitter and angry.
This is not a good thing for the liberals. Part of the reason that conservative talk radio has done so well is that the radio personalities have, well, personality. Al Franken simply vents his spleen in a monotone voice without developing any qualities to attract people.
Even the little skits he did were... boring.
There was the "Oyoyoy show," where he took on the personality of an old Jewish curmudgeon (now there's a stretch) with a heavy New Yawk accent (actually, it could have doubled as an excellent Michael Savage impersonation), lamenting different ways that Bush might draft his dermatologist son. The whole thing was done in a monotone. Then he portrayed some sort of southern woman whose goal was to disenfranchise Democrats. Again, in a monotone.
In neither case did he come off as humorous (as, say, Jon Stewart or practically anyone else on The Daily Show might have), just as annoying.
I think that another issue is subtlety. Franken tends to hit people over the head with a hammer, and spell out (in a monotone voice) exactly what the message he's trying to convey is:
Franken's radio partner (I don't know her name): "So, any advice on how to make certain I get to vote?"
Franken (as the aforementioned Southerner): "Why would I want to do that? You're not a Republican. I don't want you to vote."
Oh, so Republicans want to disenfranchise Democrats? Thanks, that was almost a little too subtle for me!
Of course, part of the problem may be that Franken has the charisma of a log and looks as if he was the model for Julia Sweeney's "Pat" character on Saturday Night Live.
Of course, his show could still be wildly successful. I mean, if radio personalities needed charisma, then would Garrison Keillor still be on?

Why I Don't Like Bush

I'll try to provide links to back up these assertions later:
(1) Huge deficits
(2) Iraq War, with ridiculous goals (exporting democracy, particularly while keeping a completely artificial country intact) and the possibility of expanding to try to conquer the entire middle east.
(3) No Child left Behind, which will eventually require that every single child in a school meets certain standards; in other words, that there is a 0% failure rate (John Derbyshie cynically remarked that it requires all students to be above average). Impossible goals like this lead to disaster; in order to meet the impossible goals, expect education fraud to increase markedly.
(4) Total lack of introspection and a total refusal to see that he can be wrong on policy issues; in the debate, his only mistake that he can see was appointing people who didn't turn out to be yes-men. No nalysis whatsoever.
(5) No spine on gun rights issues; wouldn't oppose the assault weapons ban, won't pressure Norman Mineta to expedite the armed pilot's program.
(6) Bush wants open borders, or close to it.
I'm sure I'll think of more.

Hopes for the Election

I think that my preferred outcome for this election would be another tie; with weeks of wrangling afterwards. Preferably, the tie would have George W. Bush winning the popular vote and Kerry the electoral vote at first count (not that I want him to win; read on to find out why I ould want it this way). Moreover, everything would fall out so that the situation would be a reverse of last time; with Bush wanting more recounts; that way, we'd see whose positions in 2000 were based on party and whose were based on principle.
I won't say that I thought of this myself, someone else on LewRockwell or Antiwar.com made the statement earlier (I'm too lazy right now to find the link), but I think that it would be a fun thing to have happen.
Oh, and when the final count happens, do I want Kerry or Bush to win?
I honestly can't say that I care. Kerry and Bush both scare me, each for his own reasons.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Fatalities Much Lower in October

If things keep going at the rate they are going, October will show about 55 hostile and 8 non-hostile deaths, lower than the previous two months. (October's toll is 39 and 5 currently).
Why is this?
The pro-warriors and Bush supporters would say that either Zarqawi has lost support, or else we are doing better at going on the offensive.
I have another theory:
We found the enemy city that would be easiest to re-take and re-took it (Samarra).
Otherwise, we have stayed inside more than the previous two months (as we did in February, but to a lesser extent than during that month).
We have restricted our attacks on Fallujah to air attacks (i.e. bombing).
I think that we are trying very hard to lower casualties in the month before the election, regradless of its effect on the war, as cynical as that may seem.
Before this is seen in any way s being pro-Kerry, let me say that were Kerry the president, we would probably be doing this to an even greater extent.

I Voted.

Well, I finished my vote, absentee, a few days ago.
So I have voted for Peroutka, and now it is useless for Bushites to try to convince me to vote for Dubya.
I predict 0.2-0.3% for my candidate in the polls, nationwide.

THE RED SOX WON!!!!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Why I am Voting for Peroutka

1. Pro-Life
2. Oppose to income tax
3. Opposed to Iraq War
4. Opposed to open borders
5. Against gun control
6. Against unconstitutional federal programs
7. Against gay marriage
8. Against anti-discrimination laws
9. Only candidate to feature animated characters in his ads.
10. I really want to stick it to Bush.
CORRECTION: Why I VOTED for Peroutka (absentee).

Chad

(WARNING: Links contain sound, turn volume down).
The Constituion Party has yet more fun with Chad. The third episode is new.
I like the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade theme, particularly ironic seeing as Peroutka is not even available as a write-in candidate in Indiana.
Don't waste your vote, vote for Michael Anthony Peroutka!

What Happened After the Debate

(WARNING: Turn volume down, link has sound!)
This link here shows the after-debate party for Bush and Kerry.
Thanks to Karen de Coster for blogging the link.
I think that the choice of attire fits each candidate.

Bush's Warped Reality

Pat Robertson appears to agree with Ron Suskind.
A I said before, Bush's problem is faith in himself, not faith in God.
I'm voting for Michael Anthony Peroutka of the Constitution Party.

Joseph Farah, Man of Principle

Joseph Farah of WorldNutDaily makes his endorsement.

Summary:
F$%# the Constitution! Let's elect someone who will kill us some Ay-Rabs!

I am aware that Mr. Farah is himself Arab; however, he seems to believe that the US ought to be decimating the Middle East's Arab population, and dominating them. He and his paper, WorldNetDaily, are still agitating for us to attack Syria, and has been since Baghdad fell. Some of this may have to do with his Lebanese background; Christian Lebanese would politically benefit if Middle Eastern Muslims were crushed. his may also explain his affinity for Israel; he wants them to retake Lebanon in order to keep the Muslim majority there down.
There's a longer post in here waiting to get out, but not right now. I'll also add a few more links when I have the time.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Draft - Not Exactly

As I have said before, there will be no draft for this war. Whoever becomes president would not want to risk getting shot by an irate parent or college student.
what will happen, though, among other things, is a slow attempt to pull more people ino the military.
While most people talk about increasing enlistment by offering more generous pay or benefits to soldiers, what no one has yet mentioned (except me, see prediction 3c), is the reduction of benefits to non-soldiers, that is, the reduction of non-military financial aid programs. If all Pell Grants, federal scholarships, aid programs, etc. are cut, and then other federal funding of colleges, tuition will rise and students will have a harder time paying for college. And guess which program will be the only one to be expanded? You guessed it, ROTC.
Not that I mind the idea of cutting federal aid to education, education is not the function of the federal government.
But a move like this, if it does happen as I predicted, would show a great deal of cynicism on the part of the administration (whether it is a Kerry or a Bush administration).
And of course, we'll probably beef up our forces with Kurdish death squads.

Red Sox

By the way, I'm not into baseball much, but I am a fan of the Red Sox. I hope they pull out a third win tonight.

Celebrating Celebrating Britain Britain

(WARNING: turn down the volume on your computer before you click on any links - some play music - LOUD music - when opened).
Diana Moon has an interesting post critiquing an article in FrontPageMag about how the British hate Jews and Americans. Basically, I agree with Ms. Moon on this, although in gneral her politics are far to the left of mine.
Personally, I think that aside from the occasional columns by Lawrence Auster and Robert Locke, FrontPageMag is nothing but a shrill neocon cesspool that allows Mr. Horowitz to bask in delusions of grandeur. Which makes it surprising that in person (by which I mean watching him interact with other people on television), Mr. Horowitz seems to be a much more subdued individual.
But one quote from Ms. Moon bothered me:
"If you hate a group of people (i.e. Americans), then why would you laugh at their comedians, embrace their popular culture, knowing that for the most part the interest is not reciprocated?"
We ought to reciprocate. And what better way than to flood the airways for requests for "Reach Out for the Sunrise", the new single by Duran Duran from their album Astronaut, released a week ago. Or by buying the album.
The album's already at #2 in Italy and #3 in the UK. C'mon and make it #1 in the US! (The single is at #30, but the album has not yet placed).

FREE KURDISTAN

I believe that a free and independent Kurdistan in Northern Iraq is necessary. Iraq has no hope if we force it together.
If anyone has a "Free Kurdistan" graphic they would like to se me display on my blog, please tell me in the comments section on this post.

Vote for Peroutka

Gary North offers the most persuasive case of why to vote for a third party: you can stick it to both the Shrub and the Poodle.
Howard Phillips endorses Michael Peroutka in The American Conservative, although this is hardly surprising, given that Phillips ran for president in the same party (Constitution Party) in 1992, 1996, and 2000.
Taki Theodoracopoulos also endorses Michael Peroutka in The American Conservative, giving Peroutka the only double endorsement in the magazine.

Joseph Farah, make up your $%%&#!!! Mind!!!

Joseph Farah writes a column about why voting for Kerry is a terible idea, although he cannot vote for Bush. Well then, who the Hell is he voting for? Can't he endorse a third-party candidate or else say specifically not to vote?
What the Hell does he want, and why, like in 2000, does he keep beating down both candidates without actually offering a course of action?
UPDATE: He has now endorsed Bush, so this criticism is no longer operative. Nonetheless, now there are a whole new string of criticisms to make.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Thoughts

If someone refuses to answer a hypothetical question, 9 times out of 10 it's because they are ashamed or afraid of the answer.
Incrementalism isn't a bad thing, but it has to be incrementalism in the right direction.
As you get older, avoiding conflict becomes more important than getting your own way all the time.
Naming yourself after something from a movie you like is cool, whether you're a band or a blogger.
A good night's sleep will often make worries seem lighter.
Bare feet are sexier than high heels.
On my deathbed, I won't regret that I have never watched an episode of Friends, but I will regret missing that episode of Babylon 5.
Politics may be the art of the possible, but the campaign is the art of the impossible.

NRO v. DD

Clay Waters has a review of the new Duran Duran (turn down volume before clicking on link) album, Astronaut on National Review Online.
He apparently doesn't think it's that good.
Well, if NRO doesn't like it, that's enough of an endorsement for me!
Besides, Medazzaland and Pop Trash were flops, and I loved 'em.

Suskind on Bush

Ron Suskind's piece in the NY Tiems Magazine (registration required) suggests that the problem with Bush is his muscular Christianity; that is, that he relies so much on faith that he doesn't look at the reality undergirding his actions. Therefore, he doesn't value empirical evidence.
While this is scary, it does not strike me that his problem is Christianity, which is rooted in humility and faith in God (which requires one to admit that they may not always be doing God's will, and to assume fallibility) but rather with the Foucaultian premise that power can be used to reshape reality by mere will. That is, that if we believe strongly enough, what we want will come true, and that if authority is used to make us believe, reality will change for us. In other words, Bush has faith in his faith.
This is bad, because faith has no inherent value. Faith is only valuable to the extent that the object in which we place faith has value. (Faith, by the way, means "trust." In the Christian context, the issue is whether or not you trust God. The idea that faith automatically implies a lack of evidence is false).
This explains Bush's anger at Kerry for "sending mixed messages" and the constant refrain that negative media coverage is hurting the troops in Iraq. Bush is assuming that if we do not report bad news but only the good news, that our belief will, in and of itself, make the Iraq situation work out. Hence, any attempt to criticize the administration hurts the collective psychic consciousness of the nation that is necessary to succeed.
And if we fail, it can always be that we didn't try hard enough, that we didn't believe; never that the object of our belief (Democracy throughout the world, the Bush Admnistration) might not be worthy of it.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Who Needs Buffy?

Forever Knight is one of my favorite TV shows.
Vampires, cops, and an oh-so-Gothic shot of the Toronto sky-line (who knew that the CN Tower looked so much like some sort of Gothic spire)?

Why are Macs Better?

Because no one jumps rope to
Mary PC, PC, PC
All dressed in black, black, black,
That's why.

Krull 2

Anyone else out there think that Krull is just SCREAMING for a sequel?

What to do About Iraq

I think that if my predictions about Iraq come true, it would be a disaster. Not only would thousands of Arab Sunnis get killed, but the relationship between Turkey and Israel will be soured, Kurds from Iran and Turkey will probably be killed in large numbers and driven out brutally, and the US will suffer a loss of prestige and influence.

The only way to salvage this situation is for the US to realize the problems and to start dealing with each one.
(1) We need to bring Syria, Turkey, the Iraqi government, and Iran together in a meeting with Kurdish leaders from all four countries and discuss what would be necessary to protect their interests if a Kurdish state were to form in northern Iraq. Unless there is a massive, to the point of genocidal, campaign against the Kurds (which the US would have to be a party to, if it is still in Iraq when a fight for Kurdish independence begins), this WILL happen, so these countries (Turkey particularly) will have to form their plans with a Kurdish state as a fait accompli.
(2) We need to pressure the Kurds to allow religious freedom for Assyrian Christians in Kurdistan as a condition for a new state. At the same time, for those Christians who live elsewhere in Iraq and/or who do not wish to live in Kurdistan, we need to see what arrangements can be made with the Syrian, Lebanese, and Israeli governments to grant them either temporary refugee status or else full residency and/or citizenship. Ultimately, Christians who wish to leave Iraq would probably be best settled in Lebanon.
(3) For the Arab areas of Iraq, we need to start drawing down our forces, and to let whatever happens happen. We will have to rely on the Kurds as a break on Iran instead of using a Sunni Arab-dominated Iraq as we did in the Hussein years. If extremists take over in Baghdad, or if Iranian sympathizers in Najaf, we will just have to deal with that fact.
(4) I think it would be a good idea to pressure the government of Iraq to accept Palestinian refugees, whether from Jordan or from Israel. Palestinians who wish to leave these countries but who have no place to go can go there.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Morale

An addition to the point I made in the previous post.
Similar to the idea that we are winning but can't convince the public, and that that is our only barrier to victory is the idea that negative news coverage demoralizes our troops and so makes defeat more likely.
This strikes me as akin to the idea that Bush is to blame for the economic downturn of 2001 because he was "talking down" the economy (he was theoretically doing this because he was scared that there would be a downturn when he got into office, and didn't want to be blamed for it). By this I mean that it is sheer nonsense based on the "power over truth" philosophy that we can alter fundamental reality by willing it to be different (I believe that this ideology is associated with Michel Foucault.
The economy, I believe, functions mainly based on the wisdom of the overall decisions made by the people who are most in charge of its structure, e.g. bankers, stockbrokers, businessmen. Consumer confidence and emotion have very little impact, because the people with real power are those who do not make stupid decisions from day to day based on any one person's statements. There are the basics of what constitute good decisions that do not change much or do not change quickly. People's "feelings" will not alter these. If banking is sound, scare-mongering will not cause a depression. the idea that anyone can "talk up" or "talk down" the economy so as to have any lasting effect is ridiculous. Maybe "talking down" the economy will cause stocks to drop for a day or two, but within a week things will be back to reflecting the underlying reality.
The same is true in war. If the overlying strategy is sound, things will go well regardless of the amount of carping at home. If it is unsound, things will go poorly. Morale plays a role, and feelings on the homefront play some role, but in the end the reasonableness of the strategy, the wisdom of the tactics, and the sufficiency of the hardware.

Misunderstanding Guerilla War?

In a recent post on his blog on the American Future Foundation's Brainwash, Chris Roach suggests that the reason we lost in Vietnam and that the French lost in Algeria was that public opinion did not understand that we were winning the war and so we lacked the will to follow things through.
I think that this misses a fundamental point about guerilla warfare; the guerilla does not need to win any battles to win the war; he can be defeated time and again, and as long as he can gain new recruits, he will keep showing up.
The question in Iraq is not, can we win all of the battles, it is can we annihilate all of the insurgents without new ones coming in to replace them?
The insurgents' main goal right now is not to win land or battles, but to take down as many of our troops as possible.
Ultimately, casualties matter a lot more to the coalition than to the insurgents, because the insurgents can keep regenerating because people who are unhappy with the occupation have to stay in Iraq because they live there. The coalition, on the other hand, does not live there and so does have the option of leaving; at the very least, individual soldiers have this option to the extent that can leave the military, or individual potential soldiers have this option to the extent that they can decide not to join.
The big problem in keeping up troop strength is that the procedures which get us more troops in teh short run (stop-loss and calling up the National Guard and the Reserves) make it more difficult in the long run, because people will be afraid to joing the military if they are told that they will not be allowed to leave when their time is up. Even paying them more may not do the trick.
In the end, we are going to have to rely on the Iraqi Security Forces, which will, in effect, mean giving hte job of maintaining order off to the Kurds. But in the near future, I expect that the government will start resorting to more coercive measures - not like a draft, but like cutting all non-ROTC financial aid programs for college.
If we try to invade Syria or get into a conflict with Iran, even these measures may not be enough, and we will have to resort to extreme measures; e.g. indiscriminate bombing. Our troops definitely could get total control over Iraq - for a time - if they simply took a lesson from Saddam and retaliated brutally against any hint of opposition. If it comes to this, we could very well lose the moral edge our military has had for the past 25 years, which serves it so well in normal conflicts, and go back to the Vietnam era - not a good thing, in my opinion.

Thoughts on Kerry's Mary Cheney Comment

I think that Kerry's comment about Mary Cheney in the debate WAS off-base, for the following reasons:
(1) It was very presumptive of him to assume what Mary Cheney would or wouldn't say; paticularly as "born that way" is much more agreed upon by gay men than by Lesbians.
(2) Suggesting that Bush had not asked his running mate's daughter or that he obviouly didn't know her well seems to me to be a little insulting and personal.
Nonetheless, it wasn't THAT big a deal, in my opinion. I didn' even think of it as possibly a bad move until after the debate when other people mentioned it as such.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Steve Sailer

Everyone, take a look at Steve Sailer's webpage.
Where else can you find a discussion on the causes of Lesbianism, and lowering the black-white IQ gap through breastfeeding in this country and through adding more iron and iodine to the diet in Africa?

Archives

I am adding a second archive to my blog; this one is by topic for easy reference. Remember, it is a work in progress, so at first it will be very limited.

Bush the Fiscal (Here Comes the Funny Part) "Conservative"

An excellent commentary by former Libertarian Presidential Candidate ('96 and '00) Harry Browne.

Christians Being Driven out of Iraq

It appears that Christians may soon be driven out of Iraq.
One would like to blame the Arabs, but it seems that a lot of Kurds are in on it as well.
Of course, if the US invades Syria, as some report the military is drawing up plans for (and as Osama bin Farah suggests we do), then it is likely that Christians in the Middle East will lose all of their havens, and unless Israel will take them, are going to be expelled (presumably to the US or Europe) or killed.

Of course, if there is a demographic war going on here, then the obvious thing to do for the Iraqi Christians (or Chaldo-Assyrians) is to resettle all of them in Lebanon to help them to once again outnumber the Muslims; if the Syrian government falls, whether by our hand or from internal struggle, we'll probably have to move them to Lebanon as well (although if Syria's government falls, either the US or Israel will have to occupy Lebanon to prevent anti-Christian genocide there).

According to recent reports, as much as 5% of Iraq's christian population has fled since the invasion. At that rate, it will be about 30 years before they all leave, but I have a feeling that it will pick up and the Christian communities in Iraq will be cleared (i.e. < 100,000 left) within 5 years. This has an impact on the issues of how we are to deal with Syria, Lebanon, and the Kurds in the following years; and as the Kurdish star rises in Northern Iraq and Syria, finally resolving their issues, the issues of the Christians in Iraq are going to be the next Gordian knot to solve.

Or not; we may just let them get killed or expelled.

Paleoconservatives in the News

Are paleoconservatives making a comeback?
Enter Stage Right is giving paleo ideas some play.
And Sam Francis is discussing the possible comeback.
My thoughts: this ought to strengthen the paleoconservtive Constitution Party, at least until the G.O.P. gets it act together.

Unfortunately, Buchanan has endorsed Bush, and Paul Craig Roberts has basically said that he will vote for Kerry to punish Bush (the last two paragraphs make this clear, although the title of the article claims he is "Not for Kerry." The blithering moron Charley Reese has also said this, and Lawrence Auster seems torn between punishing Bush (I can't find where right now, but I remember him specifically saying that voting for Kerry would do more to punish Bush than voting for a third-party candidate) and hoping that if enough people vote for him, it will give the G.O.P. the courage to become conservative. And Richard Poe refuses to say anything negative about Bush, and even portrays his participation in Skull and Bones as a positive thing, because he seems to believe that Hillary Clinton is the Antichrist and will take power if Kerry is elected (although from his blogging, I'm not certain whether he means in the Christian or the Mayan Apocalypse). Oy vey.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

They Like Me, They Really Like Me?

Apparently, the Kurdistan Bloggers Union has noticed my blog and added it to their links.
This is a happy development, as I always like getting linked to.
More later.

Casualties Rise

Well, as of this posting, the number of coalition fatalities in Iraq for October 2004 is 26 (24 hostile, 2 non-hostile), with 12 over a three-day period (the 11th to the 13th).
What will the total October trend be? We'll have to wait and see.
But I don't think that there will be any way to subdue Iraq in time for elections without streets running red with blood.
Kurdish death squads, anyone?

Previous postings:
Iraq Deaths Down for Now

Bush Did Well

For this debate, I was actually pleased by Bush's performance. I'm still voting for Peroutka, though.
Although Bush dodged a few questions (e.g. Roe v. Wade) or used dubious statistics in some places (e.g. Pell Grants) (by dubious I mean that we didn't have enough context to interpret the significance of the statement), he did sound like he was thinking, at least. The big score for Bush was when he brought up Kerry's vote against the First Gulf War, because this implied that Kerry's suggestion that he would support the war if we had a bigger coalition is false.
On immigration, Kerry seemed somewhat to the right of Bush in calling for more stringent enforcement, however, Kerry didn't cite some facts that he could have used to devastate Bush, e.g. the fact that a lot of our security procedures are streamlined for Mexicans and Canadians, so that an Arab claiming to be, e.g., Mexican could easily get into the US with little or no identification.
Bush wimped out onthe assault weapons ban, I'm afraid, and Constituionally, he's not a very good president. But the question for the debate from my perspective is how well he made his case, not whether or not I agree with his positions.
I think Bush's biggest strength on domestic policy is that his arguments do NOT revolve around telling Kerry that he is "sending mixed messages" and "discouraging our troops and allies" every time Kerry points out an unpleasant truth.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Lynndie England a Mommy

Well, Lynndie England has given birth. The baby is apparently Charles Graner's, but I cannot help thinking that some people in the military were praying "Please don't let the baby be half-Arab. Please don't let the baby be half-Arab."

(In case you didn't understand what I am implying, it is that if the baby were half-Arab, there's a good chance that she would be charged with rape).

Chechens Cross the Border

This is something that should be taken very seriously.
What does anyone think are the chances of immigration being an issue in the debate?

Update: Yes! It got mentioned!!!

Predictions

Here are my predictions for what various pundits will say about the debate:

Hugh Hewitt: Bush blew Kerry away! When he responded to a question aobut health care with the answer: "Saddam was a threat to health care, and now we've captured Saddam, we know that that is one costly threat our health care system will never face," he was brilliant!
And he only foamed at the mouth seven times! Oh, man Kerry's answers were so long that no one could pay any attention! Ha, ha, Bush won, even although he wet his pants during the debate!

Andrew Sullivan: Gay marriage. If Bush would only come out in favor of gay marriage, he would win in a landslide. Gay marriage and allowing foreing gay spouses automatic entry into the US. Gay marriage. Gay marriage. Let's face it, the one thing that all of America wants to know about is why gay men like me can't get married. What do you mean I'm obsessed with myself? No, everyone is worried about how the candidates stand on gay conservative British bloggers. No, I'm not a narcissist. Excuse me, I need another testosterone hit. Did I mention how testosterone increases ALL of my appetites? What? Of course everyone cares about my sex life. It's the most interesting thing in the world. No, I'm not self-obsessed. Why is everyone asking me that?

Justin Raimondo: As usual, both candidates fully supported Israel. And both endorsed the goals of the war party. We will elect Ariel Sharon either way. Count on it.

Joseph Farah: Highlights of the debate! With commentary by Joseph Farah, Dave Kupelian, and Laurie Mylroie! Only 19.95 at ShopNetDaily! Plus, why an Israeli with dual citizenship would make the best president for the war on terror.

David Horowitz: Kerry is a traitor! Blah, blah, blah, Commie traitor! Blah, blah, blah, Commie traitor! Blah, blah, blah, Commie traitor! Blah, blah, blah, Commie traitor!

Llewellyn Rockwell: As usual, this debate shows why government is evil.

The VDARE staff: Uh, what about immigration? Anyone? Anyone at all?

Let's see how correct this is.

Algeria and Iraq

See? Don't they look alike?
(Algeria is on the left, Iraq is on the right)
PicAttic.comPicAttic.com
Maps coutesy of the Perry-Castaneda collection at UTexas.

Steve Sailer has some thoughts on more substantial parallels.

Bush Didn't Wear a Wire - but Bush NEEDS to Wear a Wire

I'm sure some of you must have seen the article suggesting that Bush cheated in the first debate by using a wire.
This charge may have been designed to distract from charges that Kerry had brought notes, or to point out how anyone can misinterpret things to make up such charges. (It is entirely possible that some people were outraged that the pen Kerry brought was immediately assumed to be notes, and so they decided to show how easy it is to blow things out of proportion by saying "see? You can claim that Bush had a wire!")
In any case, I don't think that anyone who saw Bush's debate could have thought he had a wire, unless he was being fed answers by Elizabeth Dole and Bob's Viagra was just kicking in... "It's hard!"
But I DO think that Bush needs a wire. Someone needs to put a wire on him and feeed him the answers so we don't listen to more of his stupid claptrap.
He can't think in more than 1 dimension at a time, a distinct disadvantage, because it means that he can't admit mistakes or see any nuances. Therefore, he cannot see why people are less than impressed by the multilateralism of a coaltion where 1 nation provides ~ 83-84% of the troops.
And of course, the "conservatives" are lapping up monkey-boy becasue he occasionally grunts a few of their push-button phrases.

An Excellent Article

James Wilson makes the anti-Bush case excellently at LewRockwell.com.
Remember, a vote for Bush or Kerry is a vote for Bush or Kerry.
And Wisconsin residents, you CAN write-in Peroutka's name. The Peroutka 2004 color-coded ballot access webpage is wrong (as of last check it showed Wisconsin as a "black" (no-access) state rather than a "yellow" (write-in access) state.
Same with Vermont.
And New Hampshire Constitutionalists, you'll have to write him in as well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Namesake

Does anyone else out there like the movie Krull?

It's the End of the World

When one of the architects of the Reagan tax cut and the most capitalist-libertarian member of Congress are writing for a practically communist website, you know that something is haywire.

Kurds Planning De-Arabization of Kirkuk?

I think the subtext for this article is that the Kurds are planning on slowly driving the Arabs out of Kirkuk, but leaving the Turkomen in there, for now at least.
The best way for them to deal with Turkey for now is to encourage the immigration of Turkish Kurds into Iraq. If the Kurdish population in Turkey is reduced, then the Kurds will seem less of a threat to Ankara.

Suggested Replies for Bush in the Debates

Here are a few things Bush could have and should have said in the debates if he wanted to score points (Keep in mind, I am basing these statemetns on what George W. Bush believes; they don't necessarily reflect my views on a subject).
[Note, when I use a letter for a number it means that I don't remember the exact amount; Bush should memorize exact amounts before the debates].

(1) When Kerry used the term "unilateral:"
Okay, listen here. I understand what Senator Kerry meant by unilateral. He meant that the UN didn't approve, and that we didn't get a whole lot of material support from other coalition countries. A fair point, but that isn't the same thing as unilateral. More than 30 countries supported us in the war, and more than 30 sent troops to help us. In many cases, it was a token force, but that still means that they supported rather than opposed our efforts. Granted, I would have liked not to have had the US pull most of the weight, but to suggest that every other country was opposed to us is false.
Moreover, in all honesty, I don't think that the French, the Germans, the Russians, the Chinese, the Turks, or the Indians would have ever given us troops, and the other countries in the coalition couldn't afford to give more than they had. So in my opinion, our coalition was the best that we could have gotten under the circumstances, and waiting another month, three months, or a year wouldn't have changed that.
(2) When talking the budget:
Kerry claims that my estimate of $2.2 trillion over x [I don't know the exact number] years [what Bush said Kerry's proposals would cost] is "fuzzy math." He's probably right. Knowing what we know about government, it would probably wind up costing more. The tax cut is estimated to be $y trillion dollars over x years, and $z trillion of that would come from the top 2%. there is no way that Kerry can finance his current proposals simply by eliminating the tax cut for the top 2%, let alone finance them and reduce the deficit by 50%, even if his best estimates for the costs of his programs are true. Moreover, the combined deficits over the past three years was $j trillion while the tax cuts were only $k trillion. The tax cuts did not create the deficit; it would still be here without them, so the idea that my tax cuts created the deficit is false.
(3) On prescription drugs:
[Bush's talk of safety was ridiculous; that's not the reason we don't import drugs from Canada and he looked like a fool when he kept using it as a reason].
Listen, what Kerry doesn't understand is that developing a drug costs money, but making the drug after it is developed is very cheap.
All the other countries, including Canada, have price controls; these are absurdly low and reduce drug companies' profits to the point where they couldn't do research for new drugs. Sure, they will still sell the drugs in Canada, because the price of the drugs in Canada is high enough to cover the costs of making and shipping the pills. But if everyone bought drugs at Canadian prices, the drug companies would stop doing research and there would be no more new drugs out there.
What we need to do is use the WTO, NAFTA, GATT, and the FTAA to start forcing these other countries, like Canada and Europe, to pay their fair share of the research costs. If their price controls were loosened, we could pay less here; if they would pay their fair share, we could pay less.
(4) On the federal funding of abortion issue:
What Kerry is saying, in so many words, is YES, I WILL FORCE YOU TO PAY FOR ABORTION WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS. I guess Kerry really isn't pro-choice - if you're a taxpayer. Listen, it's a great thing to talk aobut choice, and about how we have philosophical disagreements and how we can feel different ways but not force our beliefs on each other. But Kerry believes that you should be forced to pay for somoene else's abortion, so he IS forcing his belief on you. It strikes me as strange that someone who claims to believe that life begins at conception wants not only legal abortion, but government subsidized abortion. I guess it's just one of his flip-flops.
(5) On mistakes:
Yes, I'll list three mistakes I made. I'll list them right here.
First, I made the mistake of reaching out to the more liberal members of hte Democratic Party, such as Ted Kennedy long after they showed me that they had no interest in reaching back. In the future, I'll only reach out to those in the Democratic Party who are willing to work with me and who are willing to give as well as take.
Second, I made the mistake in the build-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom of assuming that the Turks were going to let me use their land to launch the northern part of the invasion. Well, they denied us the use of their space. As a result, the 4th infantry division was delayed x weeks when it had to go all the way around Africa. In the future, I will only deploy troops to points where we have an ironclad guarantee of access or which are relatively near places where there is an ironclad guarantee. I should have put all of the troops in the Persian Gulf area from the start.
Third, initially I was willing to delay Iraqi elections and allow a caucus-selected government to govern Iraq for a few years first. This was my initial plan, and it was a huge mistake. Happily, my administration was constantly in touch with the Iraqi people and we managed to realize the mistake and correct it. Now we are committed to having elections in January. So that was a mistake which we corrected.

Lebanon and Syria

A question for everyone who wants to get Syria out of Lebanon:
What do you think will actually happen if Syria leaves?
Does anyone truly believe that Lebanon will suddenly transform back into the democracy it was before the Muslims won the demographic war?

Monday, October 11, 2004

It's as Easy as... Martin Fry?

Remember this band?
I liked the "How to be a Zillionaire" line-up, with the two members who didn't actually sing or play their instruments (the girl and the bald guy in the picture; aka Eden and David Yarritu).

More Kurdistan

Here would be the borders of Kurdistan if it annexes part of Syria, based on where the Syrian Kurdish population is.
PicAttic.com

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Borders of Kurdistan

PicAttic.com

This photo shows where I predict that the borders of an Iraqi Kurdistan will be. The base map I used to construct my illustration is from the Perry-Castaneda map collection at the University of Texas Library and can be found by this link. Click here for more maps of Iraq.

Ballot Access News

Another marvelous website to look at.
If you want a ballot access database for your third party (whichever one it is), or your independent candidate, this is the website for you!!!!

Kurdo's World.

Now this is an interesting Iraqi blog.
It seems to be somewhat separatist.
Let's keep an eye on it and see how their ideas agree or disagree with my predictions about Kurdistan.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Kurds, Kurds, Kurds

So what do people think about my theories about the Kurds?
Apparently, one person to whom I referred my article thought that it was stupid wrong to suggest that Israel would threaten Turkey.
Perhaps so, but Israel is, according to some sources, helping the Kurds.
In the end, it is possible that Israel might use non-military means to convince the Turks to allow a Kurdistan to form, but I think that the Israeli-Turkish alliance is nearing its end.

Blog Format

Anyone have suggestions on how they would like to see my blog format improved?
Just click on the comments for this post!

Bush's Problems

One of Bush's problems is that he doesn't blow Kerry away on points where he could have;

A lot of Kerry's "tax cuts" sound like welfare proposals in disguise.

Bush could have answered the abortion question by saying "What Kerry means is 'Yes, I WILL force you to pay for someone else's abortion.' Because he really isn't pro-choice. He's pro-abortion. He believes that the government should force all taxpayers to pay for abortion. That's anti-choice for the taxpayer."

Bush should have had an explanation in hand for why Kerry's tax increases could not cut the deficit by the amount he claimed, a few numbers memorized in his head.

When asked about mistakes, Bush should have said "Well, one mistake I made was that I assumed that Turkey would be more accomodating than it was. I should have put all of the troops in the Persian Gulf. By the time Turkey refused us entry, it was too late to get them into the Gulf in time for a timely invasion; if we had waited for them, the invasion would have happened in the hot summer, which would not have been possible, so we were forced to go in with fewer troops than if the Turks had been more accomodating.
"I also made a mistake in suggesting that elections be put off in Iraq and that caucuses be used to select their government, but I corrected that mistake early on.
"Finally, I think I made a mistake in not getting tougher with Ted Kennedy and the other liberals in Congress early on. It's a mistake I intend not to repeat.

Instead, Bush did the same thing he had done with Al Gore, repeat stupid insults and avoid substance. Unfortunately, Kerry has more personality than a piece of wood, so this tactic didn't work on him.



Friday, October 08, 2004

And now for something nice

It may be an invasive species, but I love it.
My late grandfather and grandmother had a buckthorn hedge, and I am continuing on by growing buckthorns from the progeny of that hedge.
The beautiful European buckthorn.

The Debate

It was a blowout. Kerry won, big time.
Bush is a &%##$$##!!! moron, and he alienates people without even being conservative!!
If the GOP ran Jesse Helms, at least we'd alienate people by actually being conservative!!!!!
Well, I'm voting for Peroutka.

Constitution Party and Christian Reconstructionism, Part II

In an earlier posting,
I questioned the relationship between Christian Reconstructionism and the Constitution Party. I asked around, and here is a response I got:

"One of the founders of the CP was RJ Rushdoony, who was also one of the most prominent founders of the Christian Reconstruction movement. However, what you have to keep in mind, if you disagree with CR theology, is that those who agree with it only constitute a small segment of the CP. And, speaking as a Christian Reconstructionist myself, I can tell you that there are a great many members of that movement who currently choose to remain in the Republican Party. In other words, while yes, you will find a small CR influence in the Constitution Party, you will also find it in the GOP."

Are They the Israelis or the Palestinians?

An article about the two-state solution. No, in Iraq.

Money quote: "As a result, former Kurdish guerrillas now make up a disproportionate share of the American-backed Iraqi National Army laying siege to Arab cities like Fallujah and Samara."
Who could have predicted this?
(I must admit, though, that this is the first article I have heard that seems to support my predictions, so I shouldn't trust it blindly. We'll see if this trend continues).

The Kurdish Equivalent of Zionism?

Does anyone else think that there are parallels between the Kurds and the pre-Israeli Zionist Jews? That is, that they are a people without a state looking to build one?
I think that we are going to see a parallel situation over the next few years, although I think it will be considerably bloodier.
For a Kurdistan to succeed, the Kurds need 7 things:
(1) Land.
(2) A source of revenue to use to build their economy.
(3) Help developing their economy.
(4) Protection from Turkey.
(5) Total destruction of any ability of the Arabs in Iraq (most importantly the Sunni Arabs) to oppress them ever again.
(6) The transfer of Turkomen
(7) Enough people to keep the area viable.

My thoughts on how this will work:

(1) Kurdistan's boundaries will be established much in accordance with the Kurdish distribution shown in this map, although the Kurds will probably control all of the oilfields
east of the Tigris and will set the western Kurdistan boundary as the Tigris River from somewhere north of Tikrit to somewhere north of Mosul.
A more detailed description:
In the following description of Kurdistan's borders, references to the oilfield map will be labled OF, and to the ethnoreligious map ER.
Basically, the Northern, eastern, and northwestern borders of Kurdistan will be the current boundaries of Iraq. The southern border of Kurdistan will start at the border with Iran, a little farther north than due east from Baghdad, where the Kurdish region starts (ER). The border will continue more or less along ethnic boundaries up until it gets due east of Tikrit (ER). At this point, it will go more or less west to the Tigris, so that Kurdistan encompasses the Hamran and Talkhana oilfields (OF) and meet the Tigris just north of Tikrit (ER), so that Kurdistan encompasses the refinery near Bayji (OF) that is on the east side of the river. From here, the border of Kurdistan will be the Tigris River, up to just north of Mosul (ER, OF), where it will veer west and slightly south so as to encompass the Sasan and northern oilfields (as well as the refinery on the northeast bank of the Tigris) (OF) as well as the city of Sinjar (ER), connecting with the border between Iraq and Syria just about where the Sunni Arab/Kurd Mix patch's (ER) southern border ends.
In the northern Tigris region, the Sunnis will be left with the Bayji and Al Qayyarah refinery and the Al Qayyarah and surrounding oilfields.

Kurdistan may also at some point spread west into Syria, as it has a Kurdish population of 2 million (out of around 20 million) and a relatively weak government. Neither Turkey or Iran are likely to lose territory, as both are strong enough to simply expel their Kurds. In any war with Syria, Israel is likely to help the Kurds so that they can get the most favorable settlement possible.

(2) Oil will at first probably be the Kurd's most useful source of revenue. Thsi will be used to develop other areas of the economy.

(3) I have a feeling that Israel will be more than willing to hlep encourage Kurdish economic development, althoug the US may not be so helpful out of a desire not to alienate Turkey.

(4) If it comes to a threat of Turkish invasion, I have a feeling that Israel will threaten to protect Kurdistan with nukes, or at least will provide support to make Turkey rethink that idea (but nukes are always in the background).
Realistically, though, I don't think that the Turks can accept a Kurdish state that sponsors terrorism within Turkish borders, so ultimately the Turks will end the threat of terrorism by brutalizing their own Kurds, eventually driving many or most of them into Iraqi Kurdistan.

(5) I have a feeling that as the insurgency builds, and the Us runs out of troops, that instead of reinstituting a draft, we will simply put down the Sunnis by redubbing the Kurdish pershmega as "Iraqi Security Forces" and using them to "clean up" recalcitrant Sunni cities. In other words, let them do mass slaughters. I think that the Sunnis in Kirkuk, and in fact all throughout the northeastern region of Iraq will be slaughtered or driven out. Mosul could well become a split city, a like the split Jerusalem plan for Israel. Sunnis in the northwestern portion of Kurdistan will likewise be encouraged to lead. It is also possible that a large portion of hte Sunni population in Mosul will leave as well.
In addition, many Kurds will probably be willing to severely punish the Sunnis in cities like Fallujah, in order to weaken the Sunnis in general so they cannot challenge the Kurds later.

(6) The Turkomen, I think, represent a threat to a Kurdish state because they provide a reason for a Turkish invasion and because Turkomen in Kirkuk are competitors for oil revenues. I have a feeling that the Turkomen will be slaughtered en masse if not transferred to Turkey or Turkmenistan.

(7) I have a feeling that once a Kurdistan exists, there will be a great movement of Kurds to it. Moreover, the Kurds in Kurdistan may actually attempt to provoke Iran and Turkey to exepl their Kurds so as to gather them in Iraqi Kurdistan, in order that they can win any demographic wars with the Sunni Arabs in Iraq. In many ways, I expect that there will be a repeat of the Arab nation's expulsion of their Jews and their subsequent resettlement in Israel, although in the case of the Kurds I expect that the Kurdish government itself will, as I said before, provoke the expulsion (as I recall, some Arabs accuse Israel of doing this, but I am not familiar with the arguments and counterarguments). Syria is the one place where there is a sizeable Kurdish population where this might not happen; in the case of Syria, it is likely that Kurdistan will annex portions of land rather than just accept refugees, although it is possible that Kurds living on non-annexed land will be expelled. I think of Syria as exceptional because Israel would be able to intervene if the Syrians just started expelling Kurds, and could help the Iraqi Kurds to conquer portions of what is currently Syrian land.

I'll make a graphic of Kurdistan later, but I think that within 4 years, there will be an independent Kurdistan, and that within 10 years, we will see a Kurdistan of 15-20 million people in what is now Northern Iraq and eastern Syria, and a greatly diminished Kurdish population in Iran and Turkey.

Previous Posts:
Predictions for Iraq
Thoughts on Iraq

The Brothers Hitchens

Christopher is a Marxist and very supportive of the Palestinian cause, believing that Israel should go back to its 1947/48 borders.
Peter has left Marxism and supports the idea of transfer of the Palestinians.
Guess which one supports the Iraq war.
Wrong.
"Who would have thought on September 10 2001 that Christopher Hitchens would support military action led by George W Bush. Who would have thought Peter Hitchens would oppose it?"
- Stephen Barton

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Iraq Deaths Down - For Now

Currently, the trends in casualties for October are down - 1 hostile coalition death per day for October. Link
I have a feeling that Bush has decided to hold back during the month before the election in order to reduce casualties before the election.
How does that square with the capture of Samarra? I have a feeling that we don't have anywhere near the control of the city that the administration wants us to believe we have.
We'll see in a month if I am right. If casualties start suddenly going up, that will suggest something fishy going on. Moreover, if I am right, we should see a dramtic increase in successful attacks on Iraqis like we did in February, another low casualty month.

The Beatles of the Video Generation

They they are are back back with with a a new new video video.

Peroutka for President

In case I haven't made it clear yet, I am planning on voting for Michael Anthony Peroutka of the Constitution Partyfor President in 2004.
I support him because he wants to:

(1) Stop abortion
(2) Protect our borders from illegal aliens
(3) End the income tax
(4) Cut unconstituional spending
(5) Undo the unconstituional programs that have built up over time.

I do have some reservations about the party, but his positions are the closest to mine of any political party in existence.

Funny Animation

I was and am still against the Iraq war;
Still, I get a kick out of this.

Just to be absolutely clear about this...

When I refer to Sunnis in Iraq, unless the context dictates otherwise, I am referring to the Sunni Arabs. Same with Shi'ites. So if I use the terms "Sunnis, Shi'ites, and Kurds," I am not displaying an ignorance of the fact that most of the Kurds are Muslims, too. My feeling is that Sunni Kurds will see Sunni Arabs as "the other," rather than as fellow Sunnis, because of their oppressed status for so many years under Arab rule. I think the Sunni Kurds may feel less hostile to Shi'ite Arabs, as they were also under Sunni Arab domination. Persian Shi'ites might be more of a mixed bag, Iran hated Saddam, but they also have an oppressed Kurdish minority with whom Iraqi Kurds might find common cause.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Predictions for Iraq

I made a generalized prediction for Iraq here.
Here are more predictions for things that will happen over the next, say, four years:

(1) Kurdistan will move toward independence.
I think that the Kurdish areas will move toward independence. I think that Israel will likely move to block any move against the Kurds by Turkey, and as a result, the Kurds will have the upper hand in moving toward independence. If terrorism in Turkey by Kurds increases, or is sponsored by Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan, expect a move to expel the Turkish Kurds. In fact, I have a feeling that Northern Iraq may become a sort of "Kurdish Zion," in that the surrounding countries (except Syria, see point 4) will expel their Kurds there much as the Arab states expelled their Jews into Israel.
Link to a Yahoo! search for the term "Israel" and "Kurds" (using quotes).

(2) If we start agitating against Iran, we will probably begin overt military action within two months. (whatever Michael Ledeen says, political action against Tehran will lead to military action). I'm not certain about an invasion, though (i.e. military action would be mostly bombing). With Syria, there is a reasonable expectation that we might invade, but I honestly don't know; all options, from leaving them alone to actualy invasion, are open at this point.

(3) The monthly coalition hostile death toll will climb into the 100s by next summer. The US army will finally be stretched beyond where it can operate on Reserves and National Guard. The sharp drop in casulaties so far this October will NOT last. This will be exacerbated if we are in conflict with Iran or Syria.
A draft is, IMO, out of the question, because it would expand the anti-war movement, cause riots on all college campuses, and nearly start a civil war in this country.
In the 60s, people protested and put flowers in guns. In the 00s, I would expect that a lot of people would have guns ready, and if there were another Kent State, would shoot back. So no draft.
What would happen instead:

(a) First, we would accelerate the drawing down of troops in Europe. If necessary, we would also reduce troop strength in Korea precipitously, leaving only enough to insure King Jong-Il that we aren't pulling out so we can nuke him. These troops would be transferred to Iraq.
(b) Second, we would begin to see an increase reliance on Iraqi forces; however, these wouldn't be nationalist forces like the ones Bush says we are training. They won't be "Iraqis who ae willing to die for their country's freedom." No, they will be made of ethnic groups that are friendly to us and used to wipe out unfriendly groups. For example, I have a feeling that sooner or later we will send large, entirely Kurdish units into Sunni towns like Fallujah to put down the rebellion. The result will be large, large numbers of dead Sunnis, and lots of collateral damage, and probably quite a bit of deliberate civilian killing, toward which we wil look the other way, and because it is done by Kurds and not us, to which we will claim to bear no responsibility. The Kurds likely will try to kill or oherwise drive the Sunnis away from much of Northern Iraq so that they can prevent a future challenge to the Kirkuk oilfields.
(c) Thirdly, we will begin to use subtler methods than the draft of procuring more recruits. For example, make more and more financial aid dependent on military service. Slowly make scholarships harder to get until ROTC is the only option for a growing number of students. This may someday lead to a draft, but it will move VERY, VERY slowly.
(d) At some point we might pay more to recruit people, as well, although this could cause a lot of budgetary problems.

(4) If we don't attack Syria, expect the Kurds in Syria to eventually rebel. With help from Israel and Iraqi Kurdistan, I don't think that Kurds in Syria would be as easily expelled as those in Iran (Syrian's Kurdish population is twice as big proportionally as Iran's). It is possible that Syria would have to surrender some land, or at the very least, would need to move most of its troops out of Lebanon to counter the threat.

(5) If Lebanon gains independence, expect the Christian population to flee to either Syria, or to Israel (they may eventually get refugee status in the west). Or else expect the situation to be put down by troops from other countries (In An End to Evil, Richard Perle and David Frum suggest that Syria should be pressured to leave Lebanon and that if Lebanon needs help to maintain security, a "less intrusive" force from other countries can be put together).
"Other countries" presumably means the US and Israel. How we would manage to stya this time when last time, the US and Israel were both driven out, I'm not certain.
However, there may be a solution to keeping order in Lebanon:

(6) Iraqi Christians will increasingly flee. They will eiher go to Syria or Israel, or eventually may get refugee status in the west. It is also possible if Syria evacuates Lebanon, and if the US and Israel intervene to prevent massive ethnic cleansing agianst Christians, that they may be resettled in Lebanon to try to shift the demographic balance. Over the long run, I think that Lebanon may divide its Muslim and Christian populations geographically. It is also not unreasonable to expect that, if Israel rather than Syria has influence over Lebanon in the future, that thos ewho push for Palestinain transfer will also push for the transfer of Lebanese Muslims to Syria. In any case, if the Christians ever get contol again in Syria (whether as a majority or as a minority with just enough power to prevent the majority from taking over, e.g. the non-Palestinian Jordanians), I expect that there will a be a push to prevent demographics from taking Lebanon from them.

In short, I believe we will see the emergence of an independent Kurdistan, increasing pushes for more US soldiers for the Middle East without an actual draft, a weakening of Syria, a Lebanon once more consumed in war or else occupied by the US or Israel, and attempts to win the "demographic war" in Lebanon and maybe northern Iraq with population transfers.

Gotta Hand it to Peroutka

He's got some very funny political advertisements. I especially like the chads.

Pomegranate Juice

The best antioxidant drink there is.
Seriously, I got into it a year ago and I really like it.

I LOVE FLICKR! Photo hosting for Mac users!

See the cool picture of me holding the Glaive right by the title of the blog? (If you don't know what the Glaive is, then check this out. The Glaive is the five-armed thingy to the right of the title "KRULL.")
I got the picture on the website using
Flickr photo hosting (another link on the side of htis page).
For you Mac users out there, this will let you host photos so you can display them on your webpages (at least in the template).
I mention this because the Hello system that is offered by Blogspot.com doesn't actually work with Macs.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Now can he get some respect?

Rodney Dangerfield, 1921-2004.

Vice Presidential Debates

I didn't hear all of them, but my impression is that Cheney won.
When he came out and said that we had only spent $120 billion rather than $200 billion, and explained why, and then Edwards could only respond with "no, it WAS $200 billion," it became obvious that Cheney had a much better command of the facts.
Also, Edwards failed to make the biggest point he needed to make: Why Kerry (and Edwards, if he had also voted against it, I'm too lazy to check right now) had voted against the $87 billion. He needed to say:
"Yes, Kerry (and I) voted against the package. But not because we wanted to deny funding to the troops. We knew that the bill was bad, and that we could do better. If the bill had failed to pass, you now darn well that a revised version would have appeared within days; when something is that urgent, people work fast, remember the call-waiting list? It took, what, two days after it was struck down before it was re-submitted. I voted against the bill because there was no mechanism to pay for it. If we are to win this war, we need to be honest about the sacrifices it requires. And borrowing money to fund the troops while we cut taxes just won't do. We needed for other spending to be cut or for tax breaks to be repealed. And we hoped that if we voted it down, we'd get a new version where the new spending was actually funded from new revenues or from cutting other spending. As it was in the bill that Kerry voted for - before he voted against the bad one."
But he didn't. And so Cheney trounced him.
Edwards didn't come across as poorly as Bush, but he did come across poorly, IMO.
Cheney offerred some surreality, though. The idea that as soon as elections are held, that the insurgency will go away, is ridiculous.
As for the idea of counting Iraqi Security Forces as part of the coalition, I think Cheney is wrong, but I can't figure out exactly how yet.
UPDATE:
"At one point, toward the end of the foreign policy discussion, he went off on a tangent about Cheney voting against head start and the MLK holiday. Unfortunately, this had nothing to do with what they were discussing.
"Edwards wasn't as bad as Bush, but Cheney was better than Kerry, so I think this debate reverses what happened in the previous one."
From GNXP.
In any case, this was far more interesting than the Cheney/Lieberman Mutual Admiration Society Debate of 2000, where the candidates were so nice to each other that everyone went to sleep.

Complicated Reasons

One thing that I have come to a conclusion about in Iraq is that there is not single reason we went to war.
There are lots of conspiracy theories involving Israel, oil, and the like, but hte fact of the matter is, several different groups pushed for an invasion for their own reasons.
(1) Some people were truly concerned about Saddam's perceived WMDs (Bill Buckley).
(2) Some wanted to end Saddam's reign because they believed it would be good for the Iraqi people and because they thought it would make up for abandoning the Kurds and Shiites in the early 90s (Paul Wolfowitz).
(3) Some wanted long-term American control over the Middle East for strategic reasons, including the ability to control the oil flow (James Woolsey). Note that the goal was strategic control of oil; not making the oil more available and cheaper in the short run, nor helping the oil companies, but gaining control of it as a strategic resource.
(4) Some believed it would improve Israel's strategic position (Richard Perle).
(5) Some wanted to take power in the new Iraq (Ahmad Chalabi).
(6) Although this may not have entered into the decision-making process fo anyone who officially influenced the administration, it's not unlikely that some wanted us to invade in order to strengthen the strategic position of the Iranians, which is why Iran, as I recall, gave us some logixtical help or something when we originally invaded.
(7) Some wanted us to take steps that they believed would help to lead us to Armageddon (Hal Lindsey).
(8) Some may have wanted us to keep Iraq, and by extension, other oil-producing nations, from going Euro and weakening the dollar (no particular name comes to mind).

In any case, I doubt that there was a unified conspiracy as much as there have been lots of people both before and after the invasion, attempting to carry out their agendas in the war.
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