Different River

”You can never step in the same river twice.” –Heraclitus

September 3, 2008

Liberals claim ANOTHER faked pregnancy!

Filed under: — Different River @ 4:26 pm

You will be pleased to know that the liberals at DailyKos and elsewhere who broke the rumor that Gov. Palin faked a pregnancy to cover up the “fact” that her youngest child is “really” her daughter Bristol’s, are not taking the announcement that Bristol is currently pregnant lying down.

They’re now claiming that Bristol’s current pregnancy is a fake, to cover up the “fact” that the Governor faked an earlier pregnancy to cover up Bristol’s real pregnancy!

Can you believe it? Here’s DailyKos:

This is a complete cover up from the McCain campaign because the blogosphere is actually making headway in exposing Ms. Palin’s fake pregnancy. I made this deduction by how fast they’re willing to tell us about what we didn’t really ask them about.

Bristol is not currently pregnant; this press release is a head fake.
Bristol’s tummy is still big from the birth of Trig
Gov. Palin is using the ultimate cover up to cover her fake pregnancy.

Bristol is the real mother of Trig. And Trig is the grandson of Sarah.

This admission is all the proof we need; this admission of pregnancy is the red-flag.

Again congratulation folks for an outstanding “grassroots oppo job”

Congratulations indeed…..

I have always been impressed by the ability of liberals to believe mutually contradictory facts (as in this list which is portrayed as humor but is basically true).

But this really takes the cake.

Ironically, if Bristol were not actually pregnant now, there would have been NO WAY to refute the “fake pregnancy” charge — a DNA test can’t reliably distinguish which of a mother-daughter pair is the real mother of a child, since mitochondrial DNA is passed unchanged from mother to daughter (or son). And of course, if a DNA test showed that Todd Palin was the father, they’d just add incest to the list of allegtions.

And of course, they couldn’t use medical records from Trig’s birth, since the whole claim is that those records were faked.

September 2, 2008

Sex, Hypocrisy, Bill Clinton, and Sarah Palin

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:00 pm

It seems that everyone on the left — from bloggers to CNN — are going on and on about the “hypocrisy” of Sarah Palin expressing pro-life values while her daughter was, um, … making a pro-life decision. And, advocating pre-marital abstinence, while her daughter was, likely without her knowledge, not acting according to that standard.

These people do not seem to understand the meaning of the word “hypocrisy.”

It is not hypocritical to “go on and on” about pro-life values and then make a pro-life decision. That is called, acting in accordance with your principles. It is called being consistent. It is the opposite of hypocrisy. It would have been hypocritical to do the opposite.

As for abstinence and hypocrisy: Have YOU ever done anything your parents disagreed with? Does that make your parents hypocrites? Or does that just mean you didn’t do what they wanted you to do?

Seriously.

Now, here’s some real hypocrisy:

  1. Liberals claiming that Bill Clinton’s sexual misdeeds were irrelevant to his qualifications, but Sarah Palin’s daughter’s sexual misdeeds — not even hers, but her daughter’s! — are relevant to her qualifications.
  2. Liberals claiming that Bristol Palin’s misdeeds are the public’s business, but that Al Gore III’s drug and drunk driving convictions are his own private business.
  3. The New York Times‘ long record of ignoring John Edwards’ affair and out-of-wedlock child, but running three front-page stories on the same day about Sarah Palin’s daughter’s out-of-wedlock child. So apparently the NYT’s view is that a candidate’s affair is irrelevant to his qualifications for public office, but the candidate’s child’s affair is relevant. Do they really expect us to believe that? Are they discriminating against women, or against Republicans?
  4. Liberals respecting the privacy of Chelsea Clinton, including her dating habits, but plastering the private life of Bristol Palin all over the front pages.
  5. Liberals claiming women should be able to work outside the home when they have small children, that Sarah Palin shouldn’t be VP because she has young children. And of course, they seem to have missed that from the time her first child was born, Mrs. Palin never had a full-time job outside the home until she was elected governor. Which, they are happy to point out when discussing “experience,” was not all that long ago!
  6. Liberals claiming to be against sexism, yet saying that Sarah Palin shouldn’t be VP because she has young children — but it’s OK for Barack Obama to be President even though he has small children. What do that think, that Michelle Obama should be home with the kids? She’s always had a full-time job before, even with young kids.
  7. … And ignoring the fact that when Joe Biden first became a U.S. Senator, Biden was a single father of two children both under age 4.

Note that when the Republicans are involved, the rules get reversed. Who are the hypocrites now?

September 1, 2008

Sexism at CNN

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:56 am

CNN’s John Roberts asked if Gov. Palin would have enough time to take care of her baby if she were elected VP.

Would have have asked that question of a man with a young child?

Of course not.

But if he is asking because he really wants to know, rather than just to smear a Republican woman, here’s the answer: She’ll have more time then if she stays Governor, since as Governor she actually has constitutional duties. All the VP has to do is show up in to open the Senate once a year, and to break a tie vote if there ever is one.

Nice try, CNN.

June 19, 2008

Not all Hollywood People are Liberals

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:27 am

At least, not on all issues.

Here’s Angelina Jolie on the Second Amendment:

“If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids, I’ve no problem shooting them.” That’s Angelina Jolie, revealing her up-with-the-Second-Amendment maternal instincts to Britain’s Mail on Sunday.

And, as an added warning, the protective mom of Maddox, 6, Pax, 4, Zahara, 3, Shiloh, 2, and the still-baking, Brad Pitt-spawned double buns in her oven, points out that she “bought original, real guns of the type we used in ‘Tomb Raider’ for security.”

“Brad and I are not against having a gun in the house, and we do have one,” acknowledges Jolie[.]

November 16, 2007

“Bad” News from Iraq

Filed under: — Different River @ 11:29 am

Sometimes, people often say the media is biased. Sometimes, they say the media focuses too much on bad news. Sometimes, they are so right it’s almost funny.

Note that the story quoted below is not a parody. It is not from The Onion, or Scrappleface, or some other humor-focused publication. It is from the quite mainstream McClatchy Newspapers, which include such papers as the Raleigh News & Observer, The Miami Herald, and others, and it appears on Yahoo News.

You have to see it to believe it:

As violence falls in Iraq, cemetery workers feel the pinch

By Jay Price and Qasim Zein, McClatchy NewspapersTue Oct 16, 2:40 PM ET

NAJAF, Iraq — At what’s believed to be the world’s largest cemetery, where Shiite Muslims aspire to be buried and millions already have been, business isn’t good.

A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months, and that’s cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds.

The burials aren’t expensive, usually $200 or less, but many people draw their income from them.

When a family arrives— after going through the indignity of having the coffin searched repeatedly for explosives— the body is taken to be washed at one of five family-owned businesses. Female bodies are washed by teams of women. Men wash the male bodies.

The bodies are then carefully wrapped in white cotton shrouds, made in factories in Najaf that also export them. Then the bodies can be taken to the tomb of Imam Ali for a ceremony that includes circling the imam’s tomb.

After prayers, the coffin is borne to the gravesite. There, professional preachers are paid to recite verses from the Quran. The family and the gravedigger remove the body from the coffin and ease it into the grave, placing the head in a niche dug at the end of the grave that faces Mecca.

“Certainly, when the number of dead increases I feel happy, like all workers in the graveyard,” said Basim Hameed, 30, a body washer. “This happiness comes from the increase in the amount of money we have.”

So if “the surge is working,” they can blame Bush for the decreased income of Iraqi cemetery workers!

December 20, 2006

DR is Time Person of the Year!

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:06 am

TIME CoverTime has named everyone “Person of the Year” this year. Including you. Including me.

Can I put this on my resume?

November 1, 2006

Democratic Candidate Arrested

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:52 pm

Well, that’s not the original headline of this story, but it could have been.

BOSTON (Reuters) – A Maine attorney who released information in 2000 about President George W. Bush’s drunken driving conviction was arrested on Tuesday after he dressed up as al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and waved a fake gun at traffic.

Police in South Portland, Maine, arrested Thomas Connolly, 49, of Scarborough, Maine, and charged him with criminal threatening. He was released on bail, local officials said.

Connolly, a Democrat, ran for governor in Maine in 1998.

The line about Connolly being a Democratic candidate was the second-to-last sentence in the story (the last giving the location of South Portland, Maine, relative to Boston).

I suppose it is an indication of the media’s bias (er, point of view) that much earlier in the article, they took the opportunity of the Democratic candidate’s arrest yesterday for criminal threatening to re-hash Bush’s arrest 30 years ago:

The Bush campaign said Democratic “dirty tricks” were behind the disclosure that at age 30 Bush had been arrested for drunken driving in Kennebunkport, Maine, pleaded guilty, paid a fine and had his license suspended for 30 days.

We’ll see if this guy gets any punishment at all for dressing up as a terrorist and running around waving (what looked like) a gun at random people. I wonder if he was drunk at the time. Or was he just an idiot? Here’s how he explained his actions:

In a phone interview, Connolly said he’d been trying to protest a planned change in local tax rules.

“I didn’t expect to be arrested,” he said. “Obviously I touched a post-9/11 nerve.”

Right. Protest tax laws by dressing up as a terrorist and running around waving a gun. By John Kerry’s standard, he ought to be sentenced to getting “stuck in Iraq.”

October 13, 2006

A Chilling Effect on Free Speech

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:19 am

One of my favorite blogs, Likelihood of Confusion reports that it is in danger of being shut down by draconian regulations. See, that blog is written by a lawyer licensed in New York, and if certain proposed rules are put into effect, blogging will considered a prohibited form of advertising for lawyers:

Public Citizen’s CL&P (Consumer Law and Policy) Blog wrote last month that New York is considering draconian advertising rules that would essentially make it impossible for lawyers to maintain blogs. I am excerpting liberally, but urge you to follow the link and the discussion at the CL&P Blog:

Stripped to their essence, the proposed amendments would define the term “advertisement” extremely broadly as any public communication made “by . . . a lawyer . . . about a lawyer.” Sec. 1200.1(k). This definition explicitly includes all forms of communication on the Internet, including websites, email, and instant messaging. Sec. 1200.1(m). There is no requirement that the speech be commercial in nature or related to the lawyer’s practice of law.

You might think, given my opinions on some issues, that I’d think it’s a good idea to shut lawyers up. But you would be wrong.

First, I am a strong believer in free speech, and I don’t think one’s speech should be restricted because of one’s choice of profession. I understand there are certain things about their professions that people can’t talk about (e.g., attorney-client privileged information, classified information, trade secrets, etc.), but that’s no reason to restrict speech that is not “related to the lawyer’s practice of law” or anyone else’s practice of any other profession.

Second, any damage that might be done by lawyers (as a class) to society is not done by lawyers blogging, or exercising free speech in any other way. It usually comes about by abusing the court system, with or without the assistance of an equally abusive client. (“Without” in the case of class actions.) How this can happen is a subject for another post — but it has nothing to do with blogging, emailing, instant messaging, or writing articles for newspapers or journals. Or even, usually, with advertising. While there are no doubt some sleazy “ambulance-chaser” types who advertise for socially damaging services, that’s not a big part of the problem, in my view.

Third, there are an awful lot of very good blogs written by lawyers. Likelihood of Confusion by Ronald Coleman is a fascinating blog about trademark law. The Volokh Conspiracy is a great group blog about (mostly) constitutional law and law education. There are several more linked on the blogroll to your right.

But the over-riding concern here is free speech. I’d be against this rule even if all the law blogs were bad. The great thing about the internet is that if thery were bad, they wouldn’t be read.

As Mr. Coleman points out:

You can comment on the proposed rules by writing to:

Michael Colodner, Esq.
Counsel
Office of Court Administration
25 Beaver Street
New York, New York 10004

by November 15, 2006. I encourage it.

Meanwhile, before it’s too late, I’d be interested in Mr. Coleman’s opinion on this case:

“The producer of the canned pork product Spam has lost a bid to claim the word as a trademark for unsolicited e-mails. EU trademark officials rejected Hormel Foods Corp.’s appeal, dealing the company another setback in its struggle to prevent software companies from using the word ‘spam’ in their products, a practice it argued was diluting its brand name. The European Office of Trade Marks and Designs, noting that the vast majority of the hits yielded by a Google search for the word made no reference to the food, said that ‘the most evident meaning of the term SPAM for the consumers … will certainly be unsolicited, usually commercial e-mail, rather than a designation for canned spicy ham.’”

Seems to me that if Hormel had acted earlier — before the use of the word “spam” for junk e-mail were so widespread, they might have had a better case. Is that right? Then again, that’s based on what I (think I) know about U.S. trademark law. The E.U. could have different rules.

September 17, 2006

In Memoriam, Oriana Fallaci

Filed under: — Different River @ 1:15 pm

Oriana Fallaci, arguably the greatest journalist of the century (this one, and the last one), passed away on Friday in her native Florence. She was 77, and had been fighting cancer for 14 years.

She had spend most of the last decade or two in New York, especially in the last year and a half — since she was facing charges in Italy for what she wrote in her last book.

Fallaci lived a fascinating life, and her biography reads like a history of the world from the time she was born. She joined the Italian anti-fascist resistance with her father at the age of 10. After Italy was captured by the Allies and switched sides, her father was tortured by the Nazis but released alive; Oriana was honorably discharged from the Italian Army at the age of 14. She started writing at age 15, and became a reporter in Florence at age 16, while attending the University of Florence. She was originally a Leftist, but was open to changing her mind based on what she saw — and as such, she necessarily abandoned the Left repeatedly on issues she covered in depth, from Vietnam to Iran to the Middle East to the War on Terror — which she never hestited to call Islamic terror. She was an avowed atheist who had a strong admiration for Pope Benedict XVI, and in fact was one of the first people invited to meet with him after he became Pope. (And she will be buried at an Evalgelical cemetary.)

The Left, of course, called her a fascist. Never mind the fact that she started off in life fighting the real fascists.

Tributes are pouring in from such diverse quarters as Daniel Pipes, Tammy Bruce, Victor Davis Hanson, The Anchoress, Rusty Shackleford, and many others.

Formal obituaries are from the New York Post, Times [of London], the Basque news channel EiTB,

Her manifesto against antisemitism is worth rereading. As is her interview with an Iraqi soldier in Saddam’s army.

September 11, 2006

This is BIG News

Filed under: — Different River @ 10:00 pm

One of the original — and I mean original — al-Qaeda-style Islamofascists was captured today in eastern Afghanistan. This is none other than the unlamentable (and unpronounceable) terrorist leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. I remember Hekmatyar from the 1980s when the U.S. was aiding anti-Soviet fighters in Afghanistan, and Hekmatyar was sort-of on our side in the sense that he was against the Soviets, but was deemed insufficiently trustworthy to receive U.S. support, since he seemed to spend as much time fighting other anti-Soviet allies as fighting the Soviets. When the (Islamic) mujahideen finally drove the Soviets out, Hekmatyar refused a place in the coalition government, claiming it was “un-Islamic” — and continued the war, shifting effortlessly from shooting rockets into Kabul to fight the Soviets, to shooting rockets into Kabul to fight the “un-Islamic” Islamic government. His nemesis was Ahmad Shah Masoud, “The Lion of Panjshir,” the very Islamic, and very pro-Western leader of the anti-Soviet resistance and then the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan, better known as the Northern Alliance. Masoud was assassinated on September 9, 2001 — which, as you can see by subtraction, was two days before September 11, 2001. It’s never been entirely clear whether Masoud’s assassination was ordered by Osama bin Laden or Gulbuddin Hekmatyar — it’s believable either way.

As for Hekmatyar, he is the sort of guy who thought the Taliban were not “Islamic” enough — meaning, not violent enough against non-Muslims and not-his-type-of-Muslim. The funny part — if you can call it that — is that according to this biography written in 1997, Hekmatyar was originally a Communist. When he became disillusioned with Communism and fell under the influence of the writings of Sayd Qutb, he traded one form of absolute evil in for another.

And, today — five years to the day after the attack on the United States — this advocate of “martyrdom” to the cause of Islam, surrendered without a fight. Glenn Reynolds quotes Bill Roggio:

On the day of the fifth anniversary of the 9-11 attack, Coalition forces score a high value target in Afghanistan. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the commander of Hezb-i-Islami and ally of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, has been captured during a joint U.S. and Afghan Army raid in “eastern Afghanistan.” Hekmatyar, contrary to his rhetoric gave up to the Coalition forces without a fight. Hekmatyar’s arrest is said to be part of an ‘ongoing operation.’

Hekmatyar has been designated by the U.S. Department of State as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist“ and “has participated in and supported terrorist acts committed by al-Qa’ida and the Taliban.”

I’ve been waiting for 20 years for Hekmatyar to be taken out of action The first 15 of which were spent waiting for the West to decide he ought to be taken out of action.

As an aside, here’s my media prediction: This will get practically no play in the mainstream media. My subsidiary prediction is that if If I’m wrong about that and it does get significant play, half that play will consist of Democrat politicians and strategists and commentators explaining how unimportant it is.

It’s about as unimportant as capturing bin Laden.

August 4, 2006

Shop Talk

Filed under: — Different River @ 6:35 am

The Economist magazine has an article on economists with blogs.

Hat tip to Megan McArdle, who writes for The Economist, blogs at Asymmetrical Information under a pseudonym, and is currently guest-blogging at Instapundit.

July 30, 2006

Muslim Attacks Jews in Seattle; 1 Killed, 5 Wounded

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:54 am

I don’t know why this isn’t getting more attention. A Muslim attacked a Jewsh Federation building in Seattle, killing a one women and wounding five others. The Seattle Times is reporting it, but for them it’s a local story.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

“Once inside he immediately started firing”

The gunman who forced his way into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle on Friday afternoon put a gun at the back of a 13-year-old girl to gain entry to the building, police said this afternoon.

The man who described himself as a Muslim American angry with Israel then opened fire with two handguns, killing one woman and wounding five others before surrendering to police.

The dead woman was identified this morning as Pamela Waechter, 58.

“Once inside he immediately started firing at people.”

He rattled off anti-Israel slurs and commanded people not to dial 911. But shooting victim Dayna Klein, who is 17 weeks pregnant, ignored him. Her actions convinced Seattle police chief Gil Kerlikowske to call her a hero.

Seconds after being shot in the arm, she crawled across the floor toward a phone and called for help.

Within minutes police were at the building and the Everett man put down his two semi-automatic handguns and surrendered.

In a bail hearing this afternoon, King County District Court Judge Barbara Linde set bail at $50 million and found probable cause that Haq could face one charge of first-degree murder and five charges of attempted-murder.

Prosecutors will meet next week to decide whether they’ll pursue the death penalty, said spokesman Dan Donohoe. [Will they have candlelight vigils if he's executed? --DR]

Three of the victims underwent surgery Friday night. They are Layla Bush, 23, of Seattle; Christina Rexroad, 29, of Everett; and Cheryl Stumbo, 43, of Seattle. They are in the Intensive Care Unit, said Pamela Steele, hospital spokeswoman.

The two other victims, Dayna Klein, 37, of Seattle, and Carol Goldman, 35, of Seattle, remain in satisfactory condition.

Waechter grew up in Minneapolis, Minn., as a Lutheran, the daughter of a businessman. She converted to Judaism after marrying Bill Waechter, an airline pilot, and the couple moved to Seattle in 1979. After raising their two children, Waechter became a student at the University of Washington, graduating with a degree in nutrition.

She became much more active in the Jewish community than her husband, Bill Waechter, from whom she is now divorced. She worked at Jewish Family Service and later at the Jewish Federation, where she did outreach and fundraising. She rose from secretary to two-term president at Temple B’nai Torah.

The shooting came a day after the FBI had warned Jewish organizations nationwide to be on alert after Hezbollah leaders in Lebanon and al-Qaida’s second in command urged that the war raging in the Middle East be carried to the U.S. However, the law-enforcement source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there is no evidence that Haq was involved with any group. [Yet. --DR]

“He said he hates Israel,” said the source, who is part of the Seattle Joint Terrorism Task Force, which was called in to help investigate the shootings.

David Gomez, the assistant special agent-in-charge of the Seattle FBI office, said there is “nothing to indicate he is part of a larger organization.” [Yet. --DR]

“We believe he is a lone individual with antagonism toward this organization,” said Gomez.

Amy Wasser-Simpson, the vice president for planning and community services for the Jewish Federation, said the man announced “I’m a Muslim American; I’m angry at Israel,” then began shooting. Wasser-Simpson said she heard the account from staff members who witnessed the shootings.

His 1994 yearbook photograph from Richland High School showed a smiling Haq with the words “Peace Be Unto You.”

An obituary of Pamela Waechter is here.

Dave at American Thinker has some snarky thoughts about the role of the Seattle Times.

July 28, 2006

More Evidence There Really Were WMDs in Iraq

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:08 pm

I noted previous poorly-publicized evidence of WMDs here and here.

Here is some more evidence:

Senator Rick Santorum … as announced a document ( ISGQ-2005-00022470 Title: “Information from a source about the transfer of weapons of mass destruction to Syria prior to the attack of the Coalition Forces on Iraq”) has been released by the “US Army Foreign Military Studies Office” that convoys consisting of 50 trucks carried an unknown cargo to Syria from Baghdad before the American invasion. The trucks were accompanied by Iraqi Intelligence. Upon arrivial at the Syria border, Syrian Inteligence took the trucks and emptied the cargo.


In the day of 10 Mouharam before the coalition forces started the war on Iraq, 50 trucks for land transportation entered Syria on an intermittent convoy. I met some of the drivers and they did not know what they carried in these trucks. These trucks were loaded from an unknown location in Baghdad and was brought to the drivers and the Iraqi Intelligence was with them. Each time they crossed a certain distance, the Iraqi Intelligence stopped them and asked them what are they carrying and their answer was we do not know. And when these trucks arrived to Syria in the area of Deir Al Zour the drivers were taken out of their trucks and the Syrian Intelligence ride instead. These trucks were entered into large warehouses and when these trucks were emptied it was given back to the Iraqi drivers. And they were given a reward worth of 200 dollars for the safety of arrival. One of the drivers mentioned to me that this was second time they carry these secrets loads and the first time was 1 Mouharam.

I have a friend in Syria who works in a Syrian company as partner with a Syrian merchant. This person is an Iraqi ex-Consul in the Iraqi embassies and he resigned from the diplomatic circle and he has strong connection with the Iraqi Embassy in Syria and he knows all the Iraqi Intelligence and those knows that I work for the Iraqi opposition in Syria. I was visiting him daily during this period to find out the important news. When the trucks entered Syria I went to him and told him that Iraqi Weapons entered Syria so he said to me who told you that and I said to him I knew from my sources, and he told me to keep this confidential and not tell anyone because it indeed entered.

Singature

7/13

Under translation and print

Moustafa Al Khaliye.

I’m sure now the Democrats will claim the Iraqis were lying about having WMDs.

(Hat tip: Clayton Cramer.)

July 14, 2006

Mid-East Double Standards

Filed under: — Different River @ 5:33 pm

The Iranian-sponsored group Hezbollah has, as of the time of this report, fired 150 missiles into northern Israel from Lebanon. An estimated 220,000 Israelis are living in bomb shelters. Two Israeli civilians have been killed, and 50 wounded, plus eight Israeli soldiers have been killed and two kidnapped in a cross-border raid (i.e., Hezbollah attacked within Israel’s borders). This is on top of the cross-border raid by Hamas from Gaza earlier, in which six Israeli soldiers were killed and one kidnapped, and the rockets fired earlier from Gaza, from which Israel voluntarily withdrew (and whose Jewish population it expelled) back in August.

So, Israel is responding, by attacking Hamas in Gaza and attacking Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Naturally, the world diplomatic community is outraged — at Israel, for daring to respond to deadly attacks on itself:

Major US allies condemned the ferocity of Israel’s military attack on Lebanon, revealing a clear split with Washington’s moderate call for restraint.

Cries of alarm mounted worldwide after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered armed forces to intensify the offensive in response to rockets hitting towns in northern Israel, killing two and wounding 50.

“I find honestly — as all Europeans do — that the current reactions are totally disproportionate,” [French President Jacques Chirac] said in a live television interview on France’s national Bastille Day.

“In my view, Israel is making a mistake,” said Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. “It will only lead to an escalation of the violence.”

In Italy, Prime Minister Romano Prodi said he recognized Israel’s legitimate concerns and condemning the kidnapping of the soldiers.

But “we deplore the escalation in the use of force, the serious damage to Lebanese infrastructure and the civilian casualties of the raids,” the Italian leader added.

The Vatican secretary of state, Angelo Sodano, said: “The Holy See deplores the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign country,” adding that he felt for the people “who had already suffered in defence of their independence.”

“On the one hand, Israel has the internationally recognised right to self defence. But at the same time we ask our Israeli friends and partners not to lose sight of the long-term consequences when they exercise this right,” German deputy government spokesman Jens Ploetner said.

Iran, which with Syria is a sponsor of Hezbollah, called on the United Nations to step in. “The international community and the UN must intervene to stop this crime,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said during a visit to Greece.

In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim state, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was quoted by the state news agency Antara as saying: “Indonesia repeats its call for Israel to stop its military action.”

“I consider that all sides implicated in this conflict should immediately stop military action,” [Russian President Vladimir] Putin said.

It seems the world is divided between those countries that claim Israel has no right to self-defense, and those that concede they have it but don’t want them to actually exercise it. So far, only the U.S. and Britain have acknowledged that Israel actually has any business defending itself — and only they and Russia have bothered to note that Hamas and Hezbollah are wrong to be attacking Israel in the first place.

Of those who claim the Israeli response is “disproportionate” — what response would be “proprotionate” to hundreds of missiles launched at civilian targets? How would Germany or Italy respond to a similar attack?

Do they want Israel to appeal to the UN? That wouldn’t work, since the UN Security Council voted 10-1 (with 4 abstentions!) to condem Israel for defending itself!

That’s right: of the 15 countries on the UN security council, only one — the United States — was willing to say that Israel does not have to sit back and allow Hamas and Hezbollah to shoot missiles at their towns and kidnap their soldiers to their hearts’ content.

This is not surprising — this is the same UN that displayed a map showing Israel removed. Naturally, they cannot condemn violent attacks on a country that is not supposed to exist in the first place.

And of course, the press and the diplomats and “world leaders” are referring to the deaths of Hezbollah and Hamas fighters as “civilian deaths.” I suppose technically this is correct since they are not members of any legal military force. But they are shooting missiles, attacking soldiers, and killing random, peaceful citizens of another country — so in what sense, exactly, is it informative to call them “civilians”?

June 30, 2006

Shark Abortions

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:04 pm

Are Abortions Sad? Well, if they are accidental abortions of sharks:

SARASTOA, Fla. (AP) — The likely world-record hammerhead shark caught in May weighed 1,280 pounds because it was pregnant with 55 pups — the most scientists have ever seen.

“Although we are thankful that the fisherman gave this unique specimen to Mote, and we are learning a lot about this species from this large female shark, we were saddened to see so many unborn pups inside her so close to birth,” said Dr. Robert Hueter, director of Mote’s Center for Shark Research.

Would a director of human (e.g., medical) research say the same thing about unborn humans? In public, if he wanted to keep his job?

Recall also my previous post about the pro-life movement for dolphins.

“We ask fishermen not to kill sharks for sport and to remember that shark populations have been severely depleted by overfishing. Very large sharks like this hammerhead are often pregnant females that help maintain the status of the species’ population into the future. We advocate release of these large sharks and the tagging of them whenever possible.”

Is there similar concern for maintaining the human population?

If you ask the folks in the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, the concern is precisely the opposite! (Their motto: “May we live long and die out.” I am not making this up.)

June 22, 2006

Turns Out They Actually Did Find WMDs in Iraq

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:30 am

Well, waddaya know — it turns out there actually were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!

WASHINGTON — The United States has found 500 chemical weapons in Iraq since 2003, and more weapons of mass destruction are likely to be uncovered, two Republican lawmakers said Wednesday.

“We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons,” Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said in a quickly called press conference late Wednesday afternoon.

Reading from a declassified portion of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a Defense Department intelligence unit, Santorum said: “Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq’s pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist.”

You can read the recently-declassified document for yourself Howard Dean or Michael Moore to acknowledge this — they’ll keep on saying “Bush lied” about Iraq having chemical weapons, even though what he said was true.

Nor should we expect the pollsters that reported that most Americans are “ignorant” for believing tht Iraq had weapons of mass destruction to report that it was, instead, the pollsters who were ignorant.

June 20, 2006

Backyard Global Warming

Filed under: — Different River @ 3:49 pm

James Taranto points to this gem from ABC News, which sounds like the sort of thing you’d see in the satirical newspaper, The Onion:

Witnessing the impact of global warming in your life?

ABC News wants to hear from you. We’re currently producing a report on the increasing changes in our physical environment, and are looking for interesting examples of people coping with the differences in their daily lives. Has your life been directly affected by global warming?

We want to hear and see your stories. Have you noticed changes in your own backyard or hometown? The differences can be large or small — altered blooming schedules, unusual animals that have arrived in your community, higher water levels encroaching on your property.

Well, I’ve noticed that in my community, there has been significant warming over the past six months. And yesterday, there was a massive rainstorm which caused a much higher-than normal water level in my backyard.

I guess by ABC’s standards, that’s proof of global warming!

May 24, 2006

Horrible Headline

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:53 pm

The New York Post has this headline:

EX-VP HOPEFUL BENTSEN DEAD

On which the indefatigable James Taranto commented:

“Don’t Worry, Mr. Gore, He’s Dead.”

April 7, 2006

TV and Society

Filed under: — Different River @ 12:08 pm

Does the behavior and culture depcited on television reflect reality, or is it the other way around? This study shows that it’s probably one or the other, and more likely TV affects reality:

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Sexually charged music, magazines, TV and movies push youngsters into intercourse at an earlier age, perhaps by acting as kind of virtual peer that tells them everyone else is doing it, a study said Monday.

“This is the first time we’ve shown that the more kids are exposed to sex in media the earlier they have sex,” said Jane Brown of the University of North Carolina, chief author of the report.

Previous research had been limited to television, said the study which looked at 1,017 adolescents when they were aged 12 to 14 and again two years later. They were checked on their exposure during the two years to 264 items — movies, TV shows, music and magazines — which were analyzed for their sexual content.

In general it found that the highest exposure levels led to more sexual activity, with white teens in the group 2.2 times more likely to have had intercourse at ages 14 to 16 than similar youngsters who had the least exposure.

Most people who produce violent/sexual/offensive TV like to claim that there is no evidence that TV affects behavior. Now, there is.

Still, however, I like Michael Medved‘s argument against that claim: That is, if TV doesn’t affect behavior, then TV networks and stations owe their advertisers a 100% refund for every commercial ever run on TV.

March 29, 2006

Hollywood Ethics

Filed under: — Different River @ 2:31 pm

Sharon Stone discourses on the “need” to go behind mothers’ backs to teach their daughters (how) to submit to sexually aggressive males.

Unreal.

(Link from Drudge.)

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