Thursday, August 17, 2006

Some things never change

One of those things is crazy liberals attacking Walmart. We all know that Diane Carman is one such crazy liberal whom the Denver Post sees fit to give a regular platform to. Her latest anti-Walmart piece is typical of the drivel and lack of knowledge of the real world common in inner city liberal establishments.

The piece starts as the standard "back to school" shopping cultural exam. It continues ad naseum for half the piece droning you into a bored lull. And then the first hard punch.....
The folks from the world's largest retailer - the same sanctimonious bunch that refuses to sell Jon Stewart's "America: The Book" and only started selling emergency contraception after legislatures in several states mandated it - stock some of the most tasteless, lewd, offensive back-to-school clothing anywhere.
She is implying (or should I say lying) that Walmart chose not to order Jon Stewart's book because he is a big lib or they don't like the politics in it or some such. The truth, which took me about 10 seconds to find, is that Walmart initially ordered the book (presumably knowing that Stewart is a lib) and then chose not to sell it when they discovered a photoshopped picture of the Supreme Court members nude inside. Walmart has a policy against selling anything that has nudity in it. They don't sell Hustler and they don't sell calendars of "artistic nudes" and if you put a naked person in your book they don't sell it. Walmart didn't CHOOSE not to carry his book, he CHOSE to make sure that his book wouldn't be sold in Walmart. And that isn't censorship, that is the free market.

Second, I absolutely love the attempt to use language to disguise what is being said. She uses the word "emergency contraception" as though Target has a drive through condom dispenser so you don't have to take all that time to go to the back of the store to find them and then wait in line to pay for them when you are all horney. Other libs like the term Plan B. Plan A1 is to take birth control pills for weeks before you start having sex. Plan A2 is to use a condom when you have sex. Plan B is to go ahead and have sex and then run to the store to get a quick fix pill. And before you send me hate mail about how important this is for women who are raped, I believe that emergency rooms should stock such drugs for dispensing to the small, although not small enough, number of such instances. Many do. The majority of "Plan B" is sold to women who were just irresponsible. Some of it is sold to women who used Plan A and it didn't work but that is as small a group as the raped women who need it. What she is really talking about here is making the morning after pills an over the counter medication. I already posted on what I see as the brilliance of Walmart's strategy on this drug here. And I may some day get around to blogging on what a terrible idea it would be to make this drug over the counter.

So what is lewd, outrageous clothing you are asking:
For starters, a vast inventory of beer T-shirts, including Coors, Guinness, Corona and Schlitz (Do they still make Schlitz?) is available at Wal-Mart, as if kids don't get enough beer advertising on TV.
So beer is lewd. I suppose you would rather kids wear T-shirts advertising French Champagne? As an aside, calling a Coors shirt lewd or obscene in Golden, CO is a hanging offense. But Golden is outside of the liberal dominated zone that I am sure Diane lives sheltered inside of so she probably doesn't know that.

And it gets better:
Among the T-shirts on sale for $6.87 are those hustling: "98% naughty, 2% nice" and "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, have no fun."
Many would say that I am an old conservative fuddy duddy. I am shocked and disappointed in what many people in this country allow their children to wear in public. For that matter I am shocked at what some supposed adults wear (or don't wear). If I had a daughter of school age who wanted to wear a shirt like this I would have no issue. It is a clean, mildy funny rebellion of youth. I see no offense here, particularly the latter one. Frankly, I would buy that shirt if they made it in my size for $6.87. I might buy 2 so that I had a backup when I wore out the first one.

And now we get to the punch line.
While these messages are hardly unusual for anybody who has spent even a single lunch hour strolling the 16th Street Mall, one particular item caught my eye as breathtakingly awful.

There in Columbine blue was a T-shirt sporting the words: "Welcome to the gun show."

I think it's supposed to be funny.
First, I can't imagine that Diane Carmen was shopping at Walmart. In fact, if she has any conviction to what she writes she cannot shop at Walmart. I don't carry an American Express card. I mostly stopped shopping at Target, except my phenomenal pharmacist who I just can't give up, after they kicked out the Salvation Army. The Denver area has no shortage of places to shop and if you hold the views she claims to hold about Walmart and still shops there she is a hypocrite. So I have to assume that someone called her attention to this shirt. She may have gone there to see it but she likely wasn't just shopping there.

Second, why would the people at Walmart headquarters (located in a small town in Arkansas for those of you who don't know) have any clue what a high school in Colorado's school colors are? I will grant you that it is possible that the shirt maker knew, but why would you expect Walmart merchandisers to? Or to care? They live a long long way from here Diane. Many of them have never been to Colorado except to ski or to visit Coors. It is also possible that the shirt was blue because blue is a really popular color. I would guess more than half of my T-shirts are either red or blue.

I will also grant you that the local store management in Columbine probably should have not put this shirt in the rack. When confronted the corporate management agreed.
"I don't know how that T-shirt got there," said Gail Lavielle, spokeswoman for Wal-Mart's corporate headquarters, who said that the biggest factor considered when making decisions about what will be stocked at Wal-Mart stores is customer demand - with the notable exception of censored books, music and Plan B.
That is too rich. First of all, nobody is censoring a book. Walmart censors nudity. Most mothers who shop at Walmart with their kids appreciate that I would guess. Second, the biggest argument against stocking "Plan B" is customer demand. It has to be prestocked because women can't wait for it to be delivered to the store and there just isn't that much of it sold, particularly to Walmart shoppers.

But the big lib goes further than that. Remember boys and girls, beer and guns are offensive.
Columbine High School principal Frank DeAngelis said no way would anybody be allowed to wear the gun-show shirt - or one like it - there.

"It would be insensitive to the community," explained Lynn Setzer, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County School District.

No kidding.

But Wal-Mart hardly gets a pass for letting the shirt slip into Colorado inadvertently. Honestly, try to imagine a high school in Michigan, Oregon, New Mexico, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Arkansas - or anyplace in the U.S. - where the message wouldn't be considered cynical and insensitive.
Um, OK. You see, apparently unlike Diane, I have actually been to some of those places. I would start with Indiana, which she didn't mention but is between Michigan and Kentucky, but is where I went to high school. I can tell you that shirt would have been no problem. I highly suspect that is still true. I lived 20 minutes from Louisville Kentucky and saw shirts like that there too. I just polled a friend from Michigan. Ditto. The richest claim is that this shirt would spark outrage in Georgia and Arkansas. Have you ever been to a rural community in the deep south? Guns are part of the social order. Everybody has a gun so people don't shoot other people very often. They sell ammo at the local convenience store. I would be very surprised if a good student were sent home from a rural Arkansas public school for wearing this shirt.

Then she makes a grand statement that is certifiably untrue.
It doesn't exist.
I think what she meant to say is that she wishes it didn't exist. I would bet good money that it does. If it doesn't it is only because the liberal establishment has managed to corrupt the thinking of every community in the country. If you want to stop school shootings you are much better off banning Ridilin than banning shirts glorifying beer and guns.

Update: For a few minutes this post was up with an error that it is RU-486 that Diane is talking about. It is not. After walking downstairs it struck me that I had screwed up and I corrected the post.

Say Cheese

Stolen from Sondra K.

Dennis Prager on CBS

Dennis has recently dubbed CBS the "Communications for Barbarians Service" and I have to agree. His article on that topic and Mike Wallace's disgraceful interview with the dictator of Iran is worth a read. He lists a number of the questions that should have been asked and they are quite good.

I have a different take I want to express. There are lots of good questions but we all know that dictators don't answer hard or critical questions. This was an embarrasment for 3 main reasons.

1. Many people are asking what the rules of the interview were. CBS isn't saying. If the questions were prescreened or there were limitations on what could be said or asked CBS should say so. Frankly, if the questions were prescreened they shouldn't have done the interview at all. If there were other conditions that they were comfortable with they should tell us all what those conditions were. If there were no conditions they should tell us that (because most of us don't believe that would be the case) and they should be totally ashamed.

2. How can you give an interview to a foreign leader on a US network that is known to have kidnapped Americans and not ask him about that or put a clip of it in the intro or something? Isn't that little nugget of background important to an American audience?

3. If you have an interview where the interviewee refuses to give a direct answer to any of the "not totally softball questions" that you ask I think you have two choices. You either don't air the interview or you comment on the fact that this anti-semetic little monster wouldn't answer the questions. Airing the interview and pretending that it was something other than a political advertisement isn't a viable option. CBS bothers to inform me that their infomercials in the middle of the night are paid advertisements. This was an unpaid advertisement and should have been appropriately labeled so I didn't have to watch it a second time looking for the "news interview" that I never saw.

If anybody needs the interview and can't find it I digitized the video and have it in full, iPod video and audio formats. Send me an email.

Uncivilized thugs terrorize 2 yuppies in BMW

Go watch this video. (HT: SondraK) As I was watching these two morons following some yuppie couple in their Beamer convertible seemingly for a very long time I was curious as to why on earth anybody would post this video showing to the world what idiots they are. The ending had me ROTFLMAO. The beginning is slow and uninteresting. Stick with it. Trust me. GO!

Raging Dave finds updated quiz

And he admits he stole it from Kim du Toit so I am stealing it from him :-) Enjoy. Feel free to steal it from me.
1. In 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by:
(a) A salesman from Utah
(b) An construction worker
(c) A college student on Spring Break
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

2. In 1972, 11 Israeli athletes were killed at the Munich Olympics by:
(a) Your grandmother
(b) A Midwest auto-parts dealer
(c) A mom and her 6-year-old son visiting from Indiana
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

3. In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Iran was taken over by:
(a) A bluegrass band
(b) Dallas Cowboy fans
(c) A tour group of 80-year-old women
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

4. During the 1980’s numerous Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
(a) A family on their way to Disney World
(b) Jesse Ventura
(c) A Boy Scout Troop
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

5. In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
(a) A pizza delivery boy
(b) The UPS guy
(c) Geraldo Rivera making up for a slow news day
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked, and a 70-year-old disabled American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard by:
(a) A girls’ choir
(b) A hardware store owner
(c) A secretary
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a U.S. Navy diver was murdered by:
(a) A Marine officer with two weeks leave
(b) A plumber going to visit his mom
(c) A Catholic nun
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
(a) A college-bound freshman
(b) A cardiac surgeon on his way to Houston
(c) A waitress
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

9. In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed by:
(a) A starving actress
(b) A mom with a newborn
(c) Twin six-year-old boys
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

10. In 1995, a plot to blow up U.S.-bound international flights over the Pacific was attempted by:
(a) Hawaiian school kids
(b) A decorated Vietnam veteran
(c) Twin sisters on their way to Paducah
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

11. In 1998, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
(a) A local TV weatherman
(b) A dad and his two sons on a ski trip
(c) A widower going to visit his grandchildren
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

12. In 2000, 17 sailors died in an attack on the USS Cole (DDG 67) in Yemen by:
(a) A child in a stroller
(b) A high school class on their way to visit Washington, DC
(c) Newlyweds on their way to Miami
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

13. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked—two flown into the World Trade Centers, one into the Pentagon and one into the ground in rural Pennsylvania. They were hijacked by:
(a) A retired police officer on a mission trip to Haiti
(b) A firefighter going to Maryland for training
(c) A paramedic on his way to vacation in Hawaii
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

14. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl and other Westerners were kidnapped and beheaded by:
(a) The Peace Corps
(b) Scottish clansmen
(c) Cuban refugees
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

15. In 2002, more than 330 hostages in Beslan and 130 hostages in Moscow were murdered in sieges by:
(a) American exchange students
(b) The Red Guard
(c) Church planters
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

16. In 2003 the United States liberated Iraq from “The Butcher of Baghdad,” but most American military personnel were killed by:
(a) Iraqi school-girls
(b) Street vegetable vendors
(c) Women without burkas
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

17. In 2004, more than 200 Spanish civilians were murdered on trains by bombs in Madrid, detonated by:
(a) Morning commuters
(b) A three-year-old Chinese girl
(c) Flamenco dancers
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

18. In 2005 more than 50 UK citizens were killed by bombs on trains in London, detonated by:
(a) Rail workers
(b) Those unable to hail taxis
(c) Wheelchair-bound grandmothers
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

19. In 2005, there were hundreds of casualties, men, women and children, killed by bombs in Jerusalem, Riyadh and Amman. These innocent civilians were murdered by:
(a) Construction workers
(b) Farmers
(c) Christian missionaries
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

20. In 2005, the city of Paris, and other European cities experienced an extended period of riots and destruction. The unrest was led by:
(a) “Youth”
(b) Soccer fans
(c) Catholic nuns
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

21. Since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, more than 2,500 Americans have been murdered by terrorists. 35,000 Iraqi men, women and children have also been murdered by terrorists. Most of the combat and civilians casualties were the result of bombs detonated in civilian population centers by:
(a) Portuguese fruit vendors
(b) Disgruntled transit union workers
(c) Nebraska schoolteachers
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

22. In 2006, hundreds of Israeli civilians have been killed by rockets launched by:
(a) the Salvation Army
(b) remnants of the ‘Jackson Five’
(c) the cast of ‘Friends’
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

23. In 2006, a plot to blow up 10 U.S.-bound planes from the U.K. was attempted by:
(a) members of the Royal Family
(b) Japanese tourists
(c) Metallica groupies
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

24. Since 2001, the FBI has reported that there are major terrorist cells still in U.S. urban centers. Several of these cells have been uncovered and cell members arrested. In every case, the terrorists cell members were:
(a) elderly Southern Baptists
(b) Lutheran Youth Groups
(c) Presbyterian ministers
(d) Middle Eastern Islamist males between the ages of 17 and 40.

Jimmy Carter needs a rubber room

From his European "I hate America too" tour we have this report on the former president (HT:LGF).

I must explain that my heritage is 100% German on one side and around 75% on the other. I therefore have nothing against Germans as a people. I don't have anything in particular against their current government or their army.

That said, Jimmy Carter thinks it would be just peachy to have a large number of German soldiers in uniform on the Lebanon/Israeli border. As you all know I am not particularly politically correct. But you can't tell the Israelis that they have to stop killing the terrorists in Lebanon and retreat back into their own borders because we are going to PROTECT them by putting ARMED GERMAN SOLDIERS on THEIR BORDER.

Apparently the reporter couldn't believe the former President's answer either as he asked a very respectful follow-up to give him the opportunity to "clarify". His response to the follow-up was perhaps even more disturbing than the first lunacy.
SPIEGEL: Should there be an international peacekeeping force along the Lebanese-Israeli border?

Carter: Yes.

SPIEGEL: And can you imagine Germans soldiers taking part?

Carter: Yes, I can imagine Germans taking part.

SPIEGEL: ... even with their history?

Carter: Yes. That would be certainly satisfactory to me personally, and I think most people believe that enough time has passed so that historical facts can be ignored.
Perhaps we now have an explanation for the number of totally idiotic policy moves during those terrible 4 years. If a fact has a few years on it, it can be ignored!

why the anti-torture law was stupid

There was a big debate not long ago about the legislation eventually passed by the Congress of the US banning the use of torture against anyone by any government employee. It further banned handing our bad guys over to people who have no such qualms. There are/were really two reasons why this legislation was a bad idea. Many people only heard about one of them. I will present the other first and the common one heard on the floor of Congress second.

Reason 1: While it is, and has been for a long time, the explicit policy of the US government not to use torture in interrogation many of the bad guys either
  • don't know that
  • don't believe that
  • believe that the "boots on the ground" ignore the policy and aren't punished
This can be quite useful for an interrogator.

Is the direct or implied threat of torture really torture? It certainly isn't if the bad guy is utterly convinced that the threat isn't real.

Different rational people argue about the usefulness of this tactic or its morality. I think it is impossible today to rationally argue about the second reason this was a bad idea.

Reason 2: There are cases where most sane people believe torture is justified. This is generally referred to as the "ticking bomb" scenario. The left, and I include John McCain in this group, scoffed this argument off as a "theoretical" scenario that they were quite certain had rarely if ever happened in all of human history.

Well, that "very rare if ever" scenario came up last week. From this Guardian article (HT: Powerline):
Reports from Pakistan suggest that much of the intelligence that led to the raids came from that country and that some of it may have been obtained in ways entirely unacceptable here. In particular Rashid Rauf, a British citizen said to be a prime source of information leading to last week's arrests, has been held without access to full consular or legal assistance. Disturbing reports in Pakistani papers that he had "broken" under interrogation have been echoed by local human rights bodies. The Guardian has quoted one, Asma Jehangir, of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, who has no doubt about the meaning of broken. "I don't deduce, I know - torture," she said. "There is simply no doubt about that, no doubt at all."
So, we all now know that there wasn't one ticking bomb but several of them. The claim is that the Pakistani government had a guy they knew, or at least strongly believed, had information that would lead to those bombs and they tortured him to get that information. And it worked! We live in a world where there are bad people intending to do great harm to us.

There will be a next "ticking bomb". What happens if the next time the guy with the information is caught by a New York beat cop instead of a Pakistani soldier? The left in this country refused to put an exemption in our wonderful new law to allow that scumbag to be tortured to get the information that, in this case, would lead to the saving of thousands of innocent lives. So the cop and his superiors have two choices. They can obey the law and let thousands die or they can torture the guy, save lives, then lock themselves in the jail cell next to him.

The same liberals who told us all that this "ticking bomb" scenario would never happen also assured us that if it did the torturer would never be put in jail. If I am not mistaken these are also the same folks that tell us that judges must inform jurors, incorrectly, that they must accept the judges instructions on the law and if the defendant broke the law as it is explained by the judge they must find him guilty. While I truly believe that the US system of justice is at least one of the best in the world, would you want to trust that some liberal DA wouldn't file charges against you and some liberal judge wouldn't allow that DA to stack a jury of Human Rights Commission members against you?

How about a jury stacked with antique media journalists? You don't think the journalists would convict a cop who saved thousands of lives? Read this last part of the same article:
But none of this stops governments acquiescing in torture to acquire information, rather than secure convictions, as British as well as American practice has shown. It has been outsourced to less squeamish countries and denied through redefinition: but it is still torture and still illegal. The former British ambassador to Uzbekistan has provided disturbing evidence of the uneasy boundary between benefiting from torture and encouraging it; so did the Council of Europe's report on rendition in June. The defence, to the extent that anything other than evasion has been offered, is no better than the one provided by Colonel Mathieu in Algiers: it works. But does it? Torture and other illegality can offer authorities a short-term seduction, perhaps even temporary successes. Information provided by torture may have helped foil the alleged airliners plot. But evidence provided uder torture is often unreliable, sometimes disastrously so - and its use always pollutes the broader credentials of torturers and their allies. This battle must be won within the law. Anything else is not just a form of defeat but will in the end fuel the flames of the terror it aims to overcome.
In the liberal mind because torture is generally bad it is always bad. There can be no exemptions or we wind up going down that "slippery slope" that our cops will begin to stretch the interpretation of the "ticking bomb" scenario to the point that they are torturing the neighborhood subway tagger.

I, for one, am glad they caught the bastard in Pakistan instead of New York or London. While I believe that the Pakistanis use torture as a general rule and not an exception, and I find that appauling, these 20+ guys were not deserving of the dignity of humanity and I applaud the use of torture to stop them.

It is a war folks.

War is ugly.

If you don't fight to win you lose.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Welcome back to 1937

Can somebody explain to me why we allowed this insane UNSC resolution to pass? Has Condi been spending too much time with the pacifists at State or did she forget to pack her brain on her trip to NY? Unless this is a total head fake, which I don't believe but cannot entirely rule out, this is an awful deal for Israel, Lebanon and the western world.

What do I mean by a head fake? What does Israel do if their two soldiers are not returned alive and healthy? What does Israel or the "new and improved" UNIFIL do when the first rocket is launched from UNIFIL/Lebanese army controlled area?

PM Olmert is describing this as a pause between wars. Is that political ploy in the face of the unpopularity amongst Israelis of this result? Or is it a warning that he intends to take the gloves off if the soldiers don't come home followed by the disarmament of Hezbollah?

What the hell can the UNIFIL force do after the next Lebanese election when the terrorists will undoubtedly install a majority government? Southern Lebanon will then be controlled both by the elected leadership of the country AND a terrorist organization all at the same time.

And when is Mike Wallace going over to Syria where Nasrallah has been hiding to do his next "60 Minutes" "interview"? I really need to know how many kids he has and what he does with his spare time.

So it's 1937 all over again except the apologists are on color TV instead of AM radio.