Friday, August 18, 2006

Pacifism Kills, Torture Saves

It seems you can't swing a dead cat these days without hitting some anti-US, anti-Bush, anti-war liberal, screaming something about the rest of the world hating us. Hell, you can't even fly a plane across the pond without some pacifist fruitcake from Vermont screwing things up. Catherine Mayo recently forced the diversion of a London to DC flight due to radical behavior, including urinating in the cabin aisle. James Taranto has uncovered several articles by Mayo for the Daily Times of Pakistan. Here are some excerpts of her "enlightened prose":

I think the US people have forgotten that President Bush didn’t win the election. He only got the job because they couldn’t decide what to do with pregnant chads in Florida. He was put in the White House because someone had to be there when Clinton left.

When people come into my room they comment on the map. I really have nothing to say about it. I am a citizen of the world. My friends in the US don’t like to send me e-mails anymore. Some mornings, my Inbox is empty. They have expressed guarded concern about their un-elected president. Congress is in recess. The Department of Homeland Security is in full swing.

Like their troops, Americans are plagued by questions about why they are in Iraq. No WMD, no Al Qaeda, no regime change. But they can’t admit this to themselves. Never in history has the US made such a bad mistake. Americans are wandering around in the dark, hoping that someone will provide an intelligent explanation soon.

I am an American child of the 1960s. We defied the standards of our parents and declared that a war was unjust. And we were heard. We changed the way humans think. We dared to say that the human race does not have to fight wars. Ever. All conflicts can be settled by peaceful means.

Now that last piece is important, especially the vacuous comment about "all conflicts can be settled by peaceful means." One of the most ubiquitous rallies cries of the lunatic left (eg. "Bush Lied, Baby Harp Seals Died!") has centered around the death of innocents caused by the zealous religious right and its war machine. So the next time you bother to debate someone who is of this inclination, ask them this: "Would you support the use of torture to thwart a possible terror attack?" Chances are they won't say "yes." It will either be "no" or "it depends".

If they say "it depends," juice the pot. Tell them the threat is somewhat vague, and the torture techniques are real, not just watching 24 hours of "Oprah." Eventually they will either get to "no" or put such restrictions on implementation that torture is a nonstarter. Then remind them of the recently thwarted attempt (shhh... by Muslims) to blow several transatlantic flights from the sky. Also make them aware of this (if they aren't already):

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.",,1844559,00.html

No one will argue that taking the fight to the Jihadists results in the tragic deaths of innocent people. Yet to adopt an appeasement strategy also means the death of innocent people. Specifically in this case the hundreds or thousands who would have died if these terrorists (shh... Muslims) accomplished their attack. So both pacifism and aggressive response results in the death of noncombatants. The difference is dhimmitude or liberty. Peace is good, but freedom is better.

PS. To whomever pulled the bloody toenails out from Rashid Rauf's feet - Thank You!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

If Al Gore Says It, It Must Be True...

GLOBAL WARMING UPDATE!!! The recent string of thermometer popping temperatures have broken record highs across the nation! From California to Maine, Texas to Minnesota, Americans are suffering from oppressive heat! We are all going to die!!

In unrelated news, it is August.

It certainly has been a warm one recently eh? I think Al Gore had taken some advice from his political strategists and worked a bit on his timing. If you recall back in January 2004, he ranted on about how the current administration was on the cusp of singlehandedly bringing down all of civilization as we know it by ignoring the obvious threat of global warming. I was in NYC for unrelated work at the time of this speech, and the cold was nipple-shattering:

Yesterday the erstwhile veep came to New York, where he delivered one of the silliest speeches in American political history. The topic was "global warming," the temperature outside in the single digits. The sheer ludicrousness of warning of warming in the middle of an exceptionally cold winter was widely noted in the press but apparently lost on Gore, who decided against rescheduling his speech so as to make it less preposterous.

Now, Al Gore has come out with his movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" during the dog days of summer. Hmmm. I wonder if Al Gore lives the "carbon-neutral" lifestyle he professes for all of us, or is he like Robert Kennedy who tells us all to drive hybrids while he buzzes from place to place in a private jet? Or is he more like Uncle Teddy, who abhors the thought of damaging his yacht's gelcoat on a windmill in Nantucket Sound? Tough to say - or at least it was until this article came out from USA Today:

But if Al Gore is the world's role model for ecology, the planet is doomed. For someone who says the sky is falling, he does very little. He says he recycles and drives a hybrid. And he claims he uses renewable energy credits to offset the pollution he produces when using a private jet to promote his film. (In reality, Paramount Classics, the film's distributor, pays this.)

Of course it is easier for glass house occupants to throw stones, when you are not quite sure which glass house they are in at any one time:

Public records reveal that as Gore lectures Americans on excessive consumption, he and his wife Tipper live in two properties: a 10,000-square-foot, 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville, and a 4,000-square-foot home in Arlington, Va. (He also has a third home in Carthage, Tenn.) For someone rallying the planet to pursue a path of extreme personal sacrifice, Gore requires little from himself.

Ahh, as usual, the message from this self proclaimed leader in the effort to save the planet: "I am more important than you."

Then there is the troubling matter of his energy use. In the Washington, D.C., area, utility companies offer wind energy as an alternative to traditional energy. In Nashville, similar programs exist. Utility customers must simply pay a few extra pennies per kilowatt hour, and they can continue living their carbon-neutral lifestyles knowing that they are supporting wind energy....

But according to public records, there is no evidence that Gore has signed up to use green energy in either of his large residences. When contacted Wednesday, Gore's office confirmed as much but said the Gores were looking into making the switch at both homes. Talk about inconvenient truths.

Well, you may say that what one person does to modify their lifestyle matters little compared to the Bush-conspiring minions of BIG-OIL who systematically trash the planet and wipe out our fragile ecosystem one yellow-crested titmouse at a time. And you may very well be right:

So why, then, didn't Gore dump his family's large stock holdings in Occidental (Oxy) Petroleum? As executor of his family's trust, over the years Gore has controlled hundreds of thousands of dollars in Oxy stock. Oxy has been mired in controversy over oil drilling in ecologically sensitive areas.

OK, maybe he just hasn't gotten around to signing up for wind power yet. And maybe he shouldn't have cancelled the mint julep social with his stock broker and financial advisor last month - but at least he isn't raping the earth!

Humanity might be "sitting on a ticking time bomb," but Gore's home in Carthage is sitting on a zinc mine. Gore receives $20,000 a year in royalties from Pasminco Zinc, which operates a zinc concession on his property. Tennessee has cited the company for adding large quantities of barium, iron and zinc to the nearby Caney Fork River.

Oh Damn! Well I guess that Al Gore doesn't consider our planet in mortal danger after all. Otherwise he would surely be leading us by example and use wind power, divest his oil holdings, stop treating the land like a cheap elemental whore, and live in smaller (and fewer) houses. But if he refuses to do these things while he continues to wail about our imminent planetary demise, why should I change any of my habits unless it directly saves me either money or time?

If only Al Gore could create a renewable energy resource the same way he invented the internet:

"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

Maybe Al could figure a way to harness suction power. He certainly seems to think there are alot of suckers out there.