Friday, August 15, 2008

Russia 'destroying' towns before withdrawal

Explosions rocked the Russian-controlled Georgian town of Gori on Wednesday, posing a fresh threat to a fragile truce between the enemy neighbours.

Georgia and the United States accused Russian forces of destroying installations in several towns as they withdrew.

Under the ceasefire, Russian and Georgian forces were to return to positions held before Georgia launched its offensive against South Ossetia.

One clause, however, allowed Russian forces to "implement additional security measures" pending agreement on an international peace mechanism.

A senior Russian military official, General Vyacheslav Borissov, said it would take two days for all Russian troops to leave Gori...

[the French brokered cease-fire, and subsequent 'negotions', have handed Russia the EU legitimization to control the area for years to come]


Russia complains of media bias

"When war is declared, truth is the first casualty." So goes the old saw about how problematic it can be to discern the truth when a war starts. Now, predictably, Russia is complaining that its invasion of Georgia is being unfairly portrayed in the news media -- an accusation mainstream media executives deny, according to an article in Variety.

Writer Nick Holdsworth notes at one point that piecing together information from the Internet may be the best way to figure out what's going on in Georgia...


Georgia/Russian War: Predictable, Preventable

Georgia’s president Mikheil Saakashvili has been watching the American elections closely. Like the rest of the world, what he sees is a man who presents and even weaker foreign policy stance than the feminized policies of Bill Clinton in the form of Barack Obama, the leading favorite to step into the White House in 2009.

President Saakashvili understands that an Obama presidency will be a nod to the Russians that absolutely anything they do will be met with hot air and nothing else, effectively giving the expansionist Russians the green light to do what ever they want to do with no fear of reprisal.

The Georgian president is on a timer. Once Obama gets in office, the world knows that the USA will likely not come to the assistance of any democratic nation striving to survive. Once Obama gets into the White House bad actors the world over understand that they will be on the rise. And Mikheil Saakashvili understands this and made his move accordingly... [snip]

[overstated? ask:] Can anyone imagine that a president Obama would even have used American assets to help Georgian soldiers to get from the Middle East to their war zone at home as Bush did this week?

[Highly Recommended > ]


“Please, educate me: In over 5,000 years of more or less recorded history, how many tyrannies have been overthrown by noble sentiments? How many genocides have been averted by reasonable discussions? How many wars have been prevented by Quakers?

Ralph Peters, LTC, USA-Ret., On War and Words

US stays the course in Iraq while media loses

AND now for some news from the front. Iraq says it's ready to stand on its own two feet, and the United States is planning a gradual pullout. War over. Sorry, I should have prepared you for this. I can see you're shocked.

You never saw this coming, did you? No wonder. The way the media has reported Iraq has been like reporting every Allied setback in World War II - from Dunkirk to the Battle of the Bulge - without mentioning the fact that the Nazis were still, ahem, beaten.


The Troops Mobilize...

MSNBC Freaked Out by 'Dishonest' Swift Boaters Attacking Obama

On Wednesday's "Hardball," substitute host David Shuster previewed a new book targeting Barack Obama by issuing the following warning to viewers at the top of the show:

It was right around this time four years ago that the dishonest and highly effective Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry began. Now the man who started it all, with a book about Kerry, has one out attacking Obama. Can the Swift Boaters repeat their success, or does Obama know how to fight back?
[again, a very sad example of the media's ability to propagate an untruth and create a pejorative where none should exist: 237 ex-veterans said Kerry lied. Kerry said 237 ex-veterans lied. Naturally, the 237 are the liars, and now 'Swift Boating', a case of private citizens speaking up when they heard untruths, is affixed in our lexicon as a pejorative. wonderful]


CNN Concerned Anti-Obama Book 'Might Catch on With Some Voters'

Never Again! Not the Holocaust. We're talking about the MSM's determination not to let Barack Obama be "Swiftboated." In successive segments today, CNN provided a perfect example of the phenomenon.

First, a one-sided trashing of Obama Nation, the anti-Barack book by Jerome Corsi, who co-authored Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry.

In the succeeding segment, anchor Suzanne Malveaux worried out loud to Paul Begala that Barack Obama might not be responding fast enough to attacks against him, thereby "falling into the same trap as John Kerry."

[see above - or better: set up a debate with the author. unlikely; I've heard him speak and none of Ob's brave defenders are going to go near him: the man has done a credible work]


Fearful Publisher Drops Novel About Mohammed's Wife

Self-censorship toward radical Muslims continues to be a problem in corporate America. The latest casualty: a book by author Sherry Jones about Aisha, the favored wife of Islam's founder Mohammed, whom he is said to have betrothed when she was less than ten years old.

Writing in today's Wall Street Journal [You Still Can't Write About Muhammad] , Asra Q. Nomani tells how the book, "The Jewel of Medina," got canceled by would-be publisher Random House:

In an interview about Ms. Jones's novel, Thomas Perry, deputy publisher at Random House Publishing Group, said that it "disturbs us that we feel we cannot publish it right now." He said that after sending out advance copies of the novel, the company received "from credible and unrelated sources, cautionary advice not only that the publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community, but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment."
Of course, Christianity is constantly ridiculed in books, film, and song. Ah but Christians aren't known for going around making bomb threats--at least outside the mind of Rosie O'Donnell.

Put this down as yet another incident that gives lie to the ridiculous liberal phrase about how courageous they are about "speaking truth to power."


Countering Islamism

America is in a unique position to avoid making the same mistakes the UK and continental Europe have made in trying to solve the tension between having an open, democratic society of religious tolerance, and halting the efforts of Islamists who use such privileges as cover to advance an anti-democratic, intolerant and even violent agenda. [snip]

The error both of these extremes foster is the failure to recognize that two genuine views of Islam exist today: The Islamic view and the Islamist view. The primary difference between the two is that Islamic adherents reject the idea that Islam mandates a global superstructure built on Shari'ah law.

For Islamists, or those who adhere to the ideology of Islamism, the ultimate end is the establishment of a global political superstructure called the Caliphate where Allah's law reigns supreme. Islamists advocate comprehensive Jihad to achieve this worldwide Islamic State, with violence as only one means of achieving the goal. [snip]

One of the most visible extensions of the MB [Muslim Brotherhood] is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) which Baran testified "was created by MB to influence the US government, Congress, and NGOs, along with academic and media groups."... [snip]

The British and Europeans are awash in a wave of Islamism that for decades has been crashing over their culture. To avert the same destiny, deliberate and specific efforts to counter the ideology of Islamism must be engaged. Failure to do so will only embolden the Islamists and hasten their efforts...

[and we're failing to do so. Recommended > ]


BioLunacy [no, it doesn't mean seeing the light]

Report Blames Biofuels for Food Crisis

LONDON - Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75 percent -- far more than previously estimated -- according to a confidential World Bank report published in a British newspaper on Friday. The assessment is based on a detailed analysis by Don Mitchell, an internationally respected economist at the Washington-based global financial body, the Guardian said.

[again, an object lesson: few ideas have so quickly been proven so disastrously wrong - yet watch how long it takes government to react {i.e.,, remove all biofuel subsidies}. Health Care anyone?]


Britain says to slow introduction of biofuels

LONDON - The British government said on Monday it would slow the introduction of biofuels to address concerns that switching the use of land could push up food prices. (Snip) Critics say diverting land from food crops to produce biofuels has helped push up global food prices and in some cases has led to the destruction of rain forests.



In 2005, Congress imposed a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandate requiring the addition of biofuel in gasoline; in 2008, nine billion gallons of ethanol were required to be blended in, and even more will be required in 2009. As a precautionary measure, Congress gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the power to waive the new mandates if they turn out to have unforeseen, negative consequences.

• In 2004, the cost of corn hovered around $2 per bushel; now it is close to $8.
• In April 2008, Perry asked the EPA to cut the grain-based ethanol mandate in half for one year.
• In response, the agency opened a comment period and received more than 15,000 comments, most of which supported the request.
But in August 2008, the EPA decided to deny the request. The EPA claims that the mandates are not causing sufficient damage to warrant action.

If forcing Texas ranchers to close their doors because they can no longer feed their livestock is not sufficient damage to warrant action, than what is?
The United States should follow Texas's lead and begin developing technology that makes use of nonfood energy sources.


Study says most corporations pay no U.S. income taxes

WASHINGTON - Most U.S. and foreign corporations doing business in the United States avoid paying any federal income taxes, despite trillions of dollars worth of sales, a government study released on Tuesday said. The Government Accountability Office said 72 percent of all foreign corporations and about 57 percent of U.S. companies doing business in the United States paid no federal income taxes for at least one year between 1998 and 2005.

[1) businesses never pay taxes, they only collect them from customers.
2) finding write offs that exceed tax liability for business, with capital investment and/or loss deductions, in one of 7 years, is hardly news - so how did 'professional' journalists come up with that headline? {better question: why}]



Race- and gender-based government contracting has become endemic in the US. From the U.S. State Department to city garbage collection, contracts at all levels of government employ race and gender 'preferences'. Race-based contracting practices are an enormous burden on taxpayers, according to a study by Justin Marion of the University of California at Santa Cruz:

• Road construction projects in California cost 6 percent less after the overturning of affirmative action by Proposition 209 in 1996.
• In the two years after racial preferences were eliminated, the state saved an estimated $64 million.
Several factors account for the tenacity of preferential-contracting programs, despite two Supreme Court rulings against them:

• First, aggrieved non-DBE-eligible companies are reluctant to sue the government and offend a hand that may feed them in the future.
• They also fear offending well-organized civil rights activists who have the potential to organize pickets, demonstrations, and sophisticated public relations campaigns against a firm. [you know: extortion]
On the political front, neither party takes seriously the concept of colorblind government. Unless the public loudly demands a colorblind government, we will continue with the existing system that is guided by the notion that the government is entitled to discriminate among its citizens.


Cavuto Rejects ABC's Economic Pessimism
ABC’s “Good Morning America” hosted Fox Business anchor/managing editor Neil Cavuto on Wednesday morning — by himself with no liberal counterpart! While co-host Diane Sawyer peppered Cavuto with questions based on the idea that the economy was a disaster and Barack Obama was being unfairly attacked by John McCain, Cavuto offered a healthy alternative not typically seen on ABC.

Sawyer dourly observed that consumer confidence was at “almost a 22-year low.” But Cavuto rejected Sawyer’s pessimism:

If people have a feeling that things are so miserable, why are they buying $300, $400 IPhones with very expensive contracts. Why are they spending so much at the movie theaters? Why are they still going out in record numbers to restaurants?...When people are surveyed Diane on this stuff, it's very important to distinguish between someone saying we think things are lousy but when they're asked about how are you doing, they say, well, you know, not that bad, not that bad. There is a difference...
[there is: they know their own situation, but are reliant on the media for all other perceptions of the economy]


exactly who's idea was it to send a Frenchmen to 'negotiate' with a Russian?