Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Et tu, Brute? Again?!...


The L.A. Times is at it again... again with the help of anonymous sources/leakers of classified information in the Pentagon. This morning, the AFP helps expose yet another covert intelligence operation,

The US military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to print stories written by US soldiers in an effort to polish the image of the American mission in Iraq a US newspaper reported.

US military "information operations" troops have written the articles, which are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of the Lincoln Group, a Washington-based defense contractor, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Many articles are presented to Iraqi newspapers as unbiased news accounts written and reported by independent journalists, the daily said, citing documents it obtained and unnamed US military officials. (emphasis mine)

The unnamed source is reported to have leant reason for leaking the information to the press,

"Here we are trying to create the principles of democracy in Iraq. Every speech we give in that country is about democracy. And we're breaking all the first principles of democracy when we're doing it," a senior Pentagon official who opposes the planting of stories was quoted as saying.
There is a War going on in Iraq. Propaganda is another weapon deployed in that effort as it has always been from The Revolution to present... by both sides. Unlike gunfire, bombs and torture, it is relatively innocuous with the exception of those posessed by more delicate sensibilities regarding their perception of 'the enemy'. The LA Times should well recognize the efficacy of propaganda. Except the Left need not pay them to distribute agitprop. The Mainstream Press and Media willingly distort the truth before the world on a daily basis to propagate an agenda that most people otherwise find repugnant and suicidal.

And now they have ensured that the Iraqi people have as much faith in their fourth estate as we have in our own fifth column. Thanks again, Brutus!

(corrected 11.31.05 This was an AFP story, not an AP story)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Rustoleum for the "Rust Belt"

Major Mike

Hugh Hewitt poses an interesting question on his November 22nd post on whether American industry is dead. Specifically he links to an article about the American auto industry and its current struggles. Since I have recently returned to the American steel processing industry, specifically, investment castings, I feel I am in a reasonable spot to comment from.

First, the only American industries that are dying are those that are killing themselves. The major causal factors are unrestrained labor costs, no synergy between management and labor, lack of continuous process improvement, and undisciplined management.

Let’s take those in reverse order. It is the responsibility of management to guide companies in directions that build value for the shareholders, provide usable and imaginative products to consumers, and reward their human capital (workers) with security and a liveable wage. Instead we live in the age of the “diamond” parachute. An age where CEOs and VPs make obscene amounts of money, and the average worker and supervisor scrape out a living on overtime or the promise of a promotion. GM, Delta, Ford, Northwest, etc., etc., etc. are failing, principally because of poor, over-paid management.

It is the job of management to ensure their company remains relevant in the marketplace. GM and Ford, for example have been floundering since the first gas crunch in the early 70‘s. Those companies have yet to generate a consistent excitement about their product that many foreign manufacturers routinely generate. Yes, Ford has a hit with the new Mustang, and their F150s are the most popular full size truck in the market, but those niches represent a minute portion of the market, and soon, if they cannot generate excitement and loyalty around a wider range of products…they will go under…likely after GM.

A good example of growing excitement and a market for a product is the simple M&M. Twenty years ago M&Ms were a candy, today they are a home accessory. Holiday colors, custom ordered colors, and the addition of a covered almond product, are examples of how one manufacturer re-defined the market, and grew business through imagination and marketing. Look at the American auto industry…how much innovation and imagination has really occurred over the past 35 years…darn little.

This is a management failure. CEOs and VPs have to be innovators and marketers as well as MBAs. They have to have a vision for their companies and a desire to succeed, not just a golden parachute “in case it doesn’t work out.” Industry is being let down by management in many cases.

Look to GE for the model on process improvement. To those on the inside it is challenging and potentially brutal. They have an arduous evaluation system that pressures all to be innovative and to cut costs. Those that do, succeed, those that don’t generally have to move on. Now, I am not advocating the widespread use of this semi-Darwinian system for cost cutting and innovation, but if you’re content to sell the M&Ms of twenty years ago, you business will stagnate, and stagnation in the market place is the harbinger of collapse.

Process improvement and cost cutting are the responsibility of all those in the business…not just management. Workers generally become the process experts, as they are the ones performing the required tasks day in and day out. As the experts, they are a valuable resource of information about process and product improvements. This information must be cultivated and used by management. Additionally, the workers MUST have enough buy-in to the companies they work for to actively and enthusiastically participate in company programs and volunteer such information where formal programs don’t exist. Management has to be smart enough to have programs in place, and aggressive enough to leverage the useful information they get.

There are inefficiencies in all American businesses, those that drive costs out, see opportunity…those that don’t will perish in the global economy.

Management and labor synergy would seem to many of those in American industry as an impossibility. It is an impossibility when management is overpaid and where they have been caught pilfering the companies they were hired to manage, but it is not in companies where worker involvement, worker welfare, and company stability is valued. This synergy is ultimately based on labor/management trust. This trust must be built on fair compensation, proven trustworthiness, high productivity, and team success.

American industry has a history of the opposite behaviors. Low wages, safety issues, and brutal tactics by management in the early history of the labor movement have hampered the building of the kind of trust that it takes to build this synergy. “A house divided cannot stand.” A company divided cannot succeed. Successful companies need the efficiencies derived from a positive management/labor synergy to survive. Labor and management MUST be working towards the same aims in order for this positive synergy to exist.

Manager involvement, properly directed bonus incentives, safe working environments, and company/worker support of community based activities are ways to build this synergy and ensure company success.

Compensation packages are probably the number one killer of American businesses. Certainly CEOs are well over-paid, but worker wages have far outstripped productivity gain in most of our struggling industries. Total UAW compensation commitments are significant, and unless those costs are offset by an equal gain in productivity, the model breaks. When the model becomes skewed because labor costs are not matched by productivity offsets, the company begins its slow spiral to its eventual demise.

Companies cannot operate on ever-decreasing margins or losses. Lower margins and financial losses have to be offset with productivity increases and lower overall fixed costs. If this relationship cannot remain somewhat in balance, over and extended period, the business and/or industry is doomed.

Workers must recognize that labor costs are generally the greatest fixed cost in most industries, and that high wages require high productivity and value added to the product. High wages are not a reward for seniority or attendance, but a reflection of a skill set and the ability to translate that skill set into profit via productivity and lower costs.

Health care, dental, vision, daycare, holidays, all must be paid for, not from lower profits, but with efficiencies, teamwork and productivity increases. Simple formula. In the struggling American enterprises, portions of this equation are out of whack. During boom times, management is held over the barrel for higher, unsustainable wages, that cannot be rolled back during lean times…an unsustainable model. The auto industry, steel industry, airline industry, all have defective or broken labor models that will not sustain their companies out into the future.

The answer is not universal healthcare, which is just another form of government subsidy or personal entitlement, it is a combination of all of the factors listed above. Business must run as teams, not as diametrical entities each seeking only to sustain their short term existence. The divisiveness that exists within many of our struggling industries is the cause of their imminent demise, not the cost of health care.

As a last comment to the author HH references, and his comments about college attendance rates in the “rust belt,” this is a parental problem. Although I grew up in a working class neighborhood outside of Detroit, college was always on the horizon. My parents constantly harped on the importance of college, and in the end, all four of us attended college…two of us attending private schools. The lack of college attendance has less to do with living in the rust belt and more to do with working class parents not emphasizing the point to their kids.

You want your kids to go to college, show them how to get there…even if you yourself did not attend…it is called parenting.

E. J. Dionne sneaks in another pitch for universal health care as a solution to the decline of the UAW and the loss of manufacturing jobs in America. This bristles me in a number of ways.

First, using universal health care to keep union jobs is just another form of corporate and indiviudal welfare. If those workers want health care they need to earn it through productivity...see above. If there is a bail out for this inertia, then there is no incentive to trim costs, innovate, and increase productivity. The unions, with their restrictive practices and contracts, make it nearly impossible for GM to do anything BUT eliminate jobs in order to reduce costs. A government subsidy here would just be subsidizing poorly negotiated and manged contracts that dis-incentivize initiative and do little to spur productivity...sound like the Soviet economy at all?

Secondly, no person is entitled to their job for life. Change is inevitable in capitalism. Those that change, survive, those that lament about the good ole days go bankrupt. The UAW is not such an American icon that we could not live without it. Just like the black and white TV, some things outlive their utility and appeal. The only thing that US manufacturers are entitled to is the marketplace...relevance, cost, and utility determine whether there is a market, not the government.

Third, universal health care is is the ticket to mediocre health care...see Europe and Canada. The medical market needs to be incentivized via competition, the same as all truly free markets. This competition breeds innovation and inproves quality. Without competition, Walter Ruether would have us driving Model Ts in favor of a strong union membership. Regardless of what the liberal socialists think...competition in the health care field is good for all.

Lastly, the clamor for universal health care is just a shell game that hides another form of income re-distribution...those of us who work hard would pay for those who don't...sorry, but that is not why I come to work. Most Americans can find jobs that have good benfits, but they have to look. If E.J. Dionne gives them universal health care...where is the incentive to look? Again...see socialism in the dictionary.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Giving Thanks...


On this day of Thanksgiving, we should all give thanks for the singular vehicle of liberty...

Spend it liberally! Use it wisely ... and
recall what is it's real worth.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

What is Being Left - Human Rot...


Throughout the height of the 2004 Presidential Election campaign, there was Candidate John Kerry, his party leaders and primary advocates, challenging the history of the man, in an attempt to separate judgment from character in the role of leadership. ( See:
Mice and Men)Bear witness now to the reality of what was being offered as a substitute for substance paraded before the nation and the world in raw and unnmodified form. It is human rot!

The political manifestation of this rot is revealed to us today by Michelle Malkin, through the words of John O'Neill's New York Sun op-ed:

Are the politicians like Mr. Kerry who led the campaign to send our kids to war (when it waspopular) now to withdraw support while they are locked in combat and apparently succeeding because the task is difficult or unpopular? Will Mainstream Media "Kerry" our troops by portraying Abu Ghraib or isolated cases of prisoner mistreatment as the rule to demoralize our troops and nation, while ignoring the beheadings and butchery of those peacefully praying in Mosques or shopping in a Bazaar? Will the press's selective glorification of isolated figures such as Cindy Sheehan, Mr. Kerry, or Mr. Murtha drown out the actual voices of the large majority of our servicemen? I hope not. We pay our troops little and subject them to considerable danger. We can at the very least support them with stability of mission and honesty of reporting.
Likewise, we ought not to "Kerry" our troops with after-the-battle second-guessing. The fog of combat produces in any war mistake and folly. Both World War II and the Korean War began with wholly avoidable military disasters - Pearl Harbor and the retreat to Pusan. Likewise, the Iraq War has had its share of mistakes and miscalculations (along with brilliant successes). But it simply Kerries our troops in the field to elevate network newsmen (who have likely never even spent a night in a tent) or self-promoted Congressional military heroes with two months of 35 years ago combat in a much different world into armchair Napoleons. That is why we rely instead upon the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the best professional military establishment in the world (when they are left alone). And we should remember the words of Thomas Dewey declining to make Pearl Harbor a campaign issue in 1944: "I would rather lose the presidency and win the war than the reverse."

On December 23, 1776, with Washington's army freezing in tatters at Morristown, Thomas Paine in "Common Sense" wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls." He noted many mistakes by the American army, but noted that "tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered" and that heaven charges a high price for freedom because it is so precious. It was a time when "the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot shrink ... " but those who stood firm would someday receive the love and appreciation of the nation.
Far from his projection as the winter soldier, Kerry personifies a movement that lacks soul with no semblance of common sense. Contempt has become the currency of the fearful, deployed against those pillars of liberty. And no word better defines the essence of what is being Left, if not profound contempt... for everything and everyone.

The problem with the Left - and Democrat Party by proxy - is that it has become an assemblage of self-loathing insects. I use the word insect quite deliberately, because they believe humans to be merely a parasite that plagues the Universe. Whether this causes them to hate themselves, or is bred of the fact that they already hate themselves is quite irrelevent. What is relevant is the projection of that self-image by them on everyone else. Over the years, the relativist doctines of liberal/leftists dogma invented to take advantage of that very same notion of worthlessness, has attracted the righteous and the rebrobates alike; all sharing one common essence of a morality... that they should not be allowed to exist. No one should be allowed to exist. Freedom in that regard is relegated to the service of lip yet a folly in fact. Parasites dare not be free to act in their own self interest. Ultimately they must be exterminated.

It is the ethic of the anti-human that holds as its fundamental precept that humans should never have existed. Its concepts have been manifested in the beliefs of fanatical nihilism that seeks to right a metaphysical wrong by means of erasure. It is by definition of its suicidal intentions, a pathology. It is one so repugnant as to have since driven away men of virtue from affiliated organizations like the Democratic Party and its related causes, leaving only what is Left....those that want:

1. to die

2. to take everyone else with them (ie: those who will oblige you to "Kill Yourself")...

...and 3. those that want to use these pitiful saps as a means to their ends, be they despots or butchers. (ie: those who will order that you be killed or will simply kill you.)

As Major Mike explains, the Chris Matthews' of the world, great shamans of nihilist idiocy, would have you struggle to understand the lovecraftian demons lurking the murky frontiers of primordial savagery. In true kantian fashion - masturbating his own depraved fantasies for a momentary epiphany of worth - he would have us pause to figure out "the other side." The butchers of this world, like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Ottis Toole, according the the doctine's of Leftist mythology, "just have a different perspective."

Kerry and Matthews and the inane wart preaching at the DU would have us withdraw our judgment in relative consideration of that perspective, while the butchers extend their razors of objective consequence to fulfill the ultimate desire of what is being Left.

see also:

What Is Being Left v.13.0
What Is Being Left v.12.0

What Is Being Left v.11.0

What Is Being Left v.10.0
What Is Being Left v.9.0
What Is Being Left v.8.0
What Is Being Left v.7.0
What Is Being Left v.6.0
What Is Being Left v.5.0
What Is Being Left v.4.0
What Is Being Left v.3.0
What Is Being Left v.2.0
What Is Being Left v.1.0

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Free to Be?


This originally started as a comment to Major Mike's recent post entitled "Hating America".

One thing I have come to understand in my 30-something years on this planet is that people often mistakenly apply their own core values system to all of those around them. I have personally made the same mistake many times. But, in spite of my best efforts to find common ground with people regardless of their background, I constantly meet people that have a completely different perspective than I do.

I believe that much of the Left is applying their basic belief in human dignity, regardless of its many (misguided) manifestations, to everybody on the planet. They don't understand that there are people out there that are crazed enough to mortally devalue their own humanity, sometimes at the expense of the lives of those around them.

Curiously, however, they seem to find no human dignity in their fellow countrymen that have a slightly different view of the nature of human dignity. For instance, it's perfectly fine for them to view Christian Fundamentalists as whacko's that should be coerced to suicide. The minute you question the dignity, judgement or sanity of a member of a "foreign" religion or culture which they know nothing about, however, they are the first to come to the defense of the religious/cultural minority that you are "victimizing." EVERYONE BUT their fellow countrymen on the Right gets to be viewed through the "innocent until proven guilty" prism.

While the United States was founded on Judeo-Christian principles (not specific denominations, mind you - just the basics), its Constitution specifically allows for the free excercise of ANY religion, as long as said excercise does not infringe upon the basic rights of others. Although I'm not an expert on the subject, it seems to me that that early American settlers developed an innate understanding of the importance of being able to develop one's own system of beliefs, which logically and ethically led to the importance of protecting OTHER's right to their own beliefs.

But people in other geopolitcal entities are not so lucky. They have been kept under the thumb of either ruthless monarchs, dictators, ethnic hatred or religious intolerance. This shapes their world view, a view of which the American Left has no conception.

The Catch-22 is that the Left doesn't recognize that the kind of people they hate are the same kind of people who willingly sacrifice their lives so that people can have the right to disagree. Perhaps, stated simplistically, these people fight for the right to be hated by those they protect. We at MySandmen certainly recognize the profound debt and respect we owe to these protectors. But does the American Left?

If historical cycles remain true, the people of the United States will soon reach a point where they will have to fight to survive, both ideologically and existentially. The big question is not whether or not our planet will survive humanity (it will), but this: does an individual have the right to determine the meaning of their own existence?

I am as concerned and fearful as anybody else is with tragedy of misjudging people and fatally acting on that misjudgement. But I am equally as concerned about the resultant fashionable and/or selective abandonment of the principles we agreed upon 200 years ago: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Hating America

Major Mike

Yesterday, Michelle Malkin linked to a couple of pieces that got my attention.

One is a Chris Matthews quote that disturbs me quite a bit. It reads…

In a speech to political science students at the University of Toronto yesterday, the host of the CNBC current affairs show Hardball had plenty of harsh words for U.S. President George W. Bush, as well as the political climate that has characterized his country for the past few years. "The period between 9/11 and Iraq was not a good time for America. There wasn't a robust discussion of what we were doing," Matthews said. "If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil -- they just have a different perspective."

I am not getting a couple of things here. How hard am I suppose to work to understand the perspective of a person who is pointing a gun at me and wants to kill me? Who runs three airplanes into occupied buildings? What were the injured in the Tacoma Mall suppose to do, when a man they have never met, who they had not injured in any way, decides he wants to kill them? Talk him out of it? Get him therapy? What?

All you anti-warniks, answer that question. No one possessed the capacity to change the outcome in Tacoma, just as no one has the capacity to change the course of these Islamafascists through cultural negotiation.

There are Islamafascists out there that want to kill us for no greater reason than we breathe air. With these people the Chris Matthew’s option is not an option. This kind of inanity simply fuels the hollow rhetoric of the psycho-babble crowd and pretends that we are engaged in something that is less than a war for our lives, our culture and our way of life. This war was started in Munich in 1972, and it has been fueled by the left leaning MSM, liberals from all nations, and the psycho-babble crowd that would have you blame yourself should you become a victim of one of these terrorist.

Islamafascists are not fighting an ideological war. They are fighting to get air time. And the graver their crimes become, the more the liberal do-gooders in the media feed their cause. And for some crazy reason, the more we come to be blamed. If they don’t like us and our culture they can stay away from us…the same advice you would give a five year old. There is NO excuse for targeting innocents for any reason. No cause is that great, and there is no justice in the end state that the Islamafascists seek…inequality for all but men and those in power, no education for women and girls, imposition of Muslim values on all they dominate, no freedom of thought or speech. Name one export from a fundamentalist Islamic nation other than terror and violence.

I understand their has death written all over it.

Quit pandering to the US haters Chris, or get off the air and get on the Jimmy Carter, John Kerry, Cindy Sheehan, Bill Clinton and Jane Fonda “defeat” bus.

A bit farther down she has a link to a Democratic Underground rant that is perhaps the most incoherent assemblage of words without a point I have ever read…it goes on far longer at the site, and offers no more of a point. Excerpt below…

"I am an American, Born and Raised, but I am NOT a citizen of BUSH'S America. I want nothing to do with the country these people have created.

And for those who support them, Let's get Something Nice And Sparkling CLEAR:

Stay The [F***] Away From Me. Stay OUT of my personal space. I want NOTHING from you. I want NOTHING to do with you. I want NOTHING to do with your"vision" of what the world should be.

What DO I want from you?


I will freely admit there are days, and they are becoming more than not, that the Alien at Area 51 in Independence Day and I share quite a common ground on the answer to that question.

And I am NOT apologizing for it.

In the words of the Late, Great Bill Hicks, about the most conciliatory thing I can say for those people at this point is simply this:

Kill Yourself."

The part I do get is that those on the left do not understand the underpinnings of democracies. They do not get that democracies, while inherently imperfect, still provide a forum for ideas. Even though your beliefs may not be represented in the rule of the majority, you can still voice your opinion and work for change through argument and logic. The above, mindless rant calling for the suicide of over half of our current population, shows me that the left in not interested in democracy, but only a slightly different form of domination than the Islamafascists prefer. They are advocating a liberal, but fascist singularity of thought that not only ignores the voice of the dissenter, but silences it as well. The Howard Deans and the mindless ranters such as those above, are damaging our democracy through their threatening rhetoric and their incomprehensible discourse.

Oh, by the way, get over it…majority rules.

Michelle also has a great excerpt today from John O’Neill about not being “Kerry-ied.” Great work Michelle.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

It Tolls For Thee...


AP is reporting that Al-Zarqawi May Be Among Dead in Iraq Fight .

U.S. forces sealed off a house in the northern city of Mosul where eight suspected al-Qaida members died in a gunfight — some by their own hand to avoid capture. A U.S. official said Sunday that efforts were under way to determine if terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was among the dead.
For whom does the bell toll, afterall? We'll wait and see...


The Jerusalem Posts reports ... US: Reports of al-Zarqawi's death are unreliable.
The United States dismissed the reported killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as unreasonable and unreliable early Monday morning.

Several news outlets, including The Jerusalem Post reported of the possibility that Zarqawi may have died Sunday night during a battle between American forces and Iraqi insurgents.
Unreliable! That should be the Associated Press' new tagline.

Friday, November 18, 2005

More Ass than Brains...

Democrats Demand Unconditional Surrender!

Republican Congressmen prepare to slink home in shame for the Holiday recess as Congressional Democrats catering to the world's radical Leftwing constuency, demand today the unconditional surrender of the United States in the Global War on Terror. Speaking on behalf of the Democrats, Rep. John Murtha (D. Pennsylvania) called for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from operations in the theatre of Iraq. Its not the first time the so-called 'hawk' urged the cut-and-run policy it would seem. But, again it launched headlines in a media obessed with bringing down this particular Administration... even if it means an insurmountable victory for the enemies of Civilization.

Discussing the failure of Congressional leadership on his show today, Hugh Hewitt probed the ramifications of Republican capitulation to the Democrat cut-and-run caucus with columnist Mark Steyn who warned,

I think it's interpreted around the world by everyone from Mssrs. Zarqawi, in whatever place he's holed up in, in the Sunni Triangle at the moment, to President Chirac, as President Bush's abandonment, even by his own party. And that's why it's a disgrace.

Yet, while Democrats continue to explore the depths of their own stygian repugnance, Republicans have all but surrendered the field of debate to their despicable adversaries. Providing Democrats with a renewed degree of momentum in their political quest to undermine Administration efforts in the GWOT earlier this week, Republican and Democrat Senators voted overwhelmingly for the Warren Amendment which calls on the President to provide Congress with regular updates of progress on the War in Iraq. And while the same Senate rejected a Democrat proposal for specific withdrawal procedures, consensus opinion on the matter concludes that passed legislation establishes the means for withdrawal by transferring war matters from the realm of National Security to that of political expediency in the hands of partisan opportunists. It was, for all intents and purposes, a unmistakeable vote of no confidence in the President and his Administration in their efforts to bring liberty to the Middle East and security to the World. Perhaps its just a slight bit of pandering to concocted concensus by the glorified manure haulers posing as an aristocracy, insulated within the ivory privies of D.C. But, Steyn is absolutely correct that - with soldiers, allies and enemies alike -it surely stripped a fatal degree of confidence in the Nation's ability to sustain battle, even after the staggering(?) casualties sustained in over 4 years of combat with the vilest butchers the world has ever known. Those same butchers now have suddenly been given every reason to continue their reign of barbarian savagery thanks to Mr. Murtha and his cohorts on the Left...and Right.

And that surely is, among other things, at least a disgrace.

This inexplicable demonstration of complete political impotence on the part of Congressional Republicans has afforded the fanatic Left unmitigated impertinence to come fully unglued. At will now, they deliver personal insult. They proclaim unchallenged and near-treasonous admonitions abroad. They profess outrageous demands for withdrawal and surrender of U.S. forces fighting and winning both the War and the Peace against Terrorism on the Iraq front. And the Old Media reports on it all tonight with a glorified air of self-righteous impertinence.

Clearly, the donkeys have prevailed in Washington this week. It is certainly worth repeating that the entire U.S Senate can be said to be composed of jackasses... at least 3/4ths of it anyway which is more ass than brains. And the House is not proving itself any more admirable after abandoning key provisions of the President's Energy Plan, joining with their Senate colleagues to abandon their values and sustain an infectious moratorium on wisdom, intellect and courage.

Once abandoned, not even the great Oz can restore those virtues in the faith of the American people. Certainly not in the next 12 months.


Democrats, do you not see the pattern of consequences to your actions?

Bombers Kill 65 at Two Mosques in Iraq

Or is this what you are counting on to grease the skids of your political ambitions?


It looks like
a showdown and its happening now. House republicans have indulged Rep. Murtha's call for immediate surrender and are bringing the Murtha Amendment to the floor for a vote within the hour. Do you understand what is happening in the House, Mr.Frist? Take notes.


If withdrawing from the War in Iraq is such a popular sentiment, Senators, then why a vote
403-3 from your colleague in the House?
The House voted 403-3 to reject a nonbinding resolution calling for an immediate
troop withdrawal.
AP Reports the vote tonight as a political stunt initiated by Republicans in the House. But the real stuntwork has come from the Democrats, championing a clearly unpopular notion in the hopes of sinking an unmistakeably successful effort in the War on Terror... a notion that, despite months of pressing, in the end they would not even publicly support when it came to the Congressional record. It has been a show in which the Associated Press and other factions of the Lefts's media propaganda machine have played both dog and pony.

As for New Media... Hugh Hewitt wraps this episode up nicely!

Democracy at Its Weakest

Major Mike

Democracies are at their best when all branches of government are bold and confident. When the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 it was demonstrative of how bold leaders, with a belief in democracy, could propel a nation onto the highest road yet traveled by civilization.

Democracies, particularly this one, are weakened when professional politicians (those Al Gores, KKK Byrds, Arlen Specters, etc., etc.) decide that re-election is more important than the defense of this country, and the welfare of the very constituency they seek to be elected by. They have been elected to lead this nation, not to re-tool for their next campaign.

The treasonous Republicans who endorsed the Warren Amendment are selling their souls, the souls of those killed and wounded in Iraq, the safety of all Americans, and the strength of our country for some maneuver room in their next campaigns. We have come to expect that kind of selfish and egocentric behavior from Democrats who have based their last 40 years of political strategy on denigrating this country and its accomplishments, but I am astonished by the same weak-kneed behavior shown by Republicans over the past few weeks…behavior that can only be viewed as those pols placing “Self Before Country.”

Republicans have come to power over the last 25 years because of their firm belief in the righteousness of Reaganesque thinking, not by political maneuvering around the issues, as their ever-weakening Democrat opponents have. I am not a hard-core rightie, but I am coming to believe that the extreme right may be the only thing that keeps the Republican Party from mirroring the Democrats. More and more, Republicans are “designing” their “positions” so that they can play well at home at re-election time, instead of championing the righteousness of their beliefs…at that point in time they might as well re-label themselves Democrats.

The best leaders throughout the history of democracy have endeavored to do the right thing regardless of their potential for re-election. Lincoln endured an unending scorn, although his firm belief in the righteousness of his thinking saved this nation, and earned him the highest respect among knowledgeable historians. Andrew Jackson, Churchill, Reagan, Washington, all giants in democratic history, all pursued righteous policies, not political policies. Their legacies are cemented. Who will remember Clinton, Murtha, and Warren fifty years from now?

Unless of course, they are able to subvert the righteous efforts of this country enough to ensure defeat in Iraq, then they will be remembered by me as the Jane Fondas, Pat Haydens, and John Kerrys of our times…defeatists and losers all.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

CNN Brain Trust


A colleague of mine sent the following statement from a CNN news story to me a few moments ago:

"The housing starts report contains no information on home prices. A separate government report last month showed that the median price for a new home fell 6 percent in September to $215,700. Half the homes sold for more than the median and half for less."

Brilliance! Sheer, unadulterated Brilliance! (HT: Wile E. Coyote) Who would have guessed that
the number of houses that sold at prices higher than the median price would be exactly the same as the number of houses that sold for less than the median price?

This is just a quickie, but I just couldn't resist sharing this demonstration of the depths of economic know-how by our friends at CNN.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I'm Baaaack

Major Mike

I apologize for being away for so long...I didn't mean to leave my colleagues hanging, but I have changed jobs, and I have been comsumed with producing a paycheck from which I can derive the basic necessities of life...good bar-b-que and gin.

I am back into the steel business, and it is as gritty and dirty as ever. But the plant is populated with real Americans that carve out their livings each day with grit and drive. I am sure those that know where I was in my previous job will ask that I seek psychiatric attention, but this is where real people come to work everyday...and I love it.

More later...good to be back.

Google the Lie...


At least until the folks running the search engine flush its own memory hole, Michelle Malkin suggests that you Google the lie...

Take a look at the post and read Bryan Preston's latest column for TechCentralStation. (correction 11:15:05:12:22)

Party of Kites...


Washington Times reports that Senate Republicans are joining with their Democrat colleagues to begin unravelling the GWOT.

The Senate is expected to vote today to demand that the Bush administration "explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission in Iraq."

Republican leaders are resisting Democrats' call for the administration to provide a plan for withdrawal, but in agreeing that the administration must provide more information and a schedule for reaching full Iraqi sovereignty, they are joining Democrats in signaling that the White House and the Iraqi government must produce results in 2006.

Democrats have grown bolder in their criticism of the war and have forced the debate onto the Senate floor as the body considers the Defense Department authorization bill. They offered an amendment calling for the administration to report on progress in Iraq, explain its strategy and set goals that would lead to a timeline for withdrawal.

Republican leaders, facing the prospect of losing that vote, countered with their own version -- an edited copy of Democrats' amendment that still requires the administration to give a schedule for meeting specific conditions on the road to Iraqi sovereignty, but drops the requirement that the schedule be tied to troop withdrawals.

"I think they're reasonable reporting requirements, but the real objective is to get out of this timeline, cutting and running, which the Democrats have in their amendment," said Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican, who is sponsoring the Republicans' alternative along with Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner, Virginia Republican.

Both their amendment and the Democrats' amendment face votes today, before the Senate finalizes its version and sends it to a House-Senate conference committee.

Congressional Republicans might pretend that their behavior represents nothing more than empty compromise in the face of conjured political pressure. A full scale MSM assault has been underway now for weeks against the War, The President, Republican policy, and even personal character. It has obviously taken its toll as popular approval has been fabricated into a negative picture of national consensus. Yet doing the 'right thing' is not always compatible with doing the 'popular thing' as any teenager can attest. We elect leaders on the basis of their personal integrity and constitution, such that we trust them to know that difference... especially when it is most difficult to acknowledge . Hugh Hewitt appropriately identifies the proposed Senate resolution as unmistakable vote-of-no-confidence in the Adminsitration, and the best gift the United States Senate could give Zarqawi and his terrorist ranks. It is almost incomprehensible that Senate Republicans could see this in any other fashion.

It is in fact, nothing more or less. I agree with Hugh. Let them know what you think on this one, before you - like me - withdraw in a state of utter dissappointment in the faith and effort invested with a movement of admirable virtue, clear direction, popular support and absolutely no political momentum. We are flying kites when we should be sailing ships.

So let these men know we have no need of kites...

Senate Majority Leader Frist, (202) 224-3344, e-mail
Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, (202) 224-2541, e-mail
Armed Services Chairman John Warner, (202) 224-2023, e-mail
You can also use the Congressional switchboard: 202-225-3121.

Dear Sirs,

Let me be succinct. Not another Dime! Not another vote!

If you, and your apparently feckless colleagues in the Senate insist on playing political games with the Nation's security (my Family's security) indulging the outright insanity - Yes Insanity - of your Democrat counterparts, while fundamentally undermining both the President and the popular resolve in one of the most critical struggles in this nation's history, then you can be sure that no Republican currently in the Senate will get another dime or another vote from me for the foreseeable future.

To me, elections are national. And although I have little political representation for my own sensibilities where I am from, I count on it elsewhere throughout the nation. What's more, I support it with my hard earned cash. But, no sir! No longer. I've had it with Republicans in both Houses caving in to conjured concensus on key issues.

If you want to ensure that your base stays home next year, keep it up. How many votes do you think you can harvest from the Left by removing your spine and bowing at their feet? You best hope it is enough. Because from me, you'll get not another dime!... not another vote! ...until I see you catering to the sensibilities that elected you. In case you have forgotten what it is you are there to do, let me remind you...

Just do the Right thing!


Hey there Senators Judas! How about this AP headline that you purchased today?

Al Jazeera...

Are you proud of this? Excuse me but your strings seem to have been snipped. I think it can be said now that the entire U.S Senate is composed of jackasses... at least 3/4ths of it anyway which is more ass than brains.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Public Good Be Damned...


Relentlessly defending her standing as the dumbest woman in Washington, Senator Barbara Boxer (D. California) participated this week in a Congressional inquisition of Petroleum Executives as part of a special joint hearing regarding U.S. Oil production. The ultimate goal of this hearing was to set the ground work for a new 'windfall profits tax' imposed on the Petroleum industry to be collected from the average 10% profit margin the companies realize from every gallon of gas sold in the United States. As the transcript posted by the
Washington Post demonstrates, the churlish Senator has much to learn about Capitalism, and even more to learn about hypocrisy:

Boxer: Mr. Chairman, today's hearing in the mind of most of my constituents is about shared sacrifices in tough times versus big oil company greed.

And, gentlemen, to all of you, I hope I can give you a bit of a reality check. Working people struggle with high gas prices and your sacrifice, gentlemen, appears to be nothing.

And I want to get to a very simple thing that everyday people can understand, and that's oil executive bonus versus average U.S. salaries. I have a chart. And I don't go into all of you because some of you work for companies that don't have to file this information.

In 2004, Mr. Raymond, your bonus was over $3.6 million. This was on top of your salary of $3.2 million, and stock gains and other compensation of $19 million.

Mr. O'Reilly, your bonus was almost $4 million in addition to a salary of $1.5 million and stock gains and other compensation of $11.2 million.

Mr. Mulva, your bonus was a little over $4 million on top of your $1.5 million salary, and $2.7 million stock gains and other compensation.

Gentlemen, this compares to an average American who makes $23,276 per year. Each of your bonuses was more than 155 times greater than the typical American's yearly salary.

And compare your bonuses to a worker on minimum wage, which Congress hasn't raised in nine long years, that minimum wage workers makes $10,713 per year. Each of your bonuses -- forget the rest of it -- each of your bonuses was more than 300 times greater than a minimum wage worker's annual pay.

So let me just ask you a question here: Will you consider making a major personal contribution and major corporate contributions from record profits to a charitable fund set up, hopefully with your efforts and community effort, to help America's working families get relief from higher home heating oil prices or higher gas prices? Just a "yes" or a "no" if you would consider this.
Let us first note that it is not Mrs. Boxer's nor any other Congressman's business to know what any individual citizen of this country earns... wealthy or not. The Senator is not qualified to do what these executives do, nor as it seems, is she able even to comprehend the significance of their responsibilities to the interests they represent. She is a glorified manure hauler for the American people and nothing more. That being said, and since she feels it is within her right as a Senator to qualify a citizen's professional value, do let's look at Barbara Boxer's net worth as well as some of her colleagues in the Senate, and test their feigned concern for greed against the hypocrisy of their own conditions;

California Democrats Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer do not need to count the days until their next congressional paycheck arrives. Feinstein and her husband, investment banker Richard C. Blum, are so wealthy that her annual financial disclosure statement filed Friday (June 11, 1999) runs 102 pages, 20 longer than last year. The couple reported assets in excess of $22 million. (At the time that Ms. Feinstein ran for governor of California, it was widely reported that she and her husband had a net worth around $50 million. WFI Editor) Boxer's handwritten five-page report listed a $1-million to $5-million blind trust held by herself and husband Stewart, an attorney. While they are financially better off than the average American, Boxer and Feinstein hardly stand out in a Senate full of millionaires, including Sen. Herbert Kohl (D-Wis.), owner of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team, and a Rockefeller: John D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV (D-W.V.), who listed three blind trusts, one worth more than $50 million.

It would seem that Senator Boxer's net worth is over 200 times greater than the typical American's yearly salary.

Yet, pushing her hypocrisy aside for an instant, the point of her rant is to expose corporate greed on the part of 'Big Oil' said to be gouging the American public in times of crisis, like the recent disaster of Hurricane Katrina. So let's look at who is actually 'gouging' the American people in the sale of this precious commodity. The Tax Prof Blog points out that the main source of high gasoline prices isn't oil company profits. It is State and Federal governments, Mrs. Boxer. (HT. Powerline),
Who's Gouging?

The biggest beneficiaries of gasoline sales are federal and state governments, not the oil industry.

Federal and state taxes on gasoline production and imports have been climbing steadily since the late 1970s and now total roughly $58.4 billion. Due in part to substantial hikes in the federal gasoline excise tax in 1983, 1990, and 1993, annual tax revenues have continued to grow. Since 1977, governments collectedmore than $1.34 trillion, after adjusting for inflation, in gasoline tax revenues—more than twice the amount of domestic profits earned bymajor U.S. oil companies during the same period. (emphasis added)
Do you understand that Mrs. Boxer? "Since 1977, governments collected more than $1.34 trillion, after adjusting for inflation, in gasoline tax revenues—more than twice the amount of domestic profits earned by major U.S. oil companies during the same period.more than twice the amount of domestic profits earned by major U.S. oil companies during the same period." If you are incapable of comprehending the meaning of that analysis. Let me explain it for you? Who, Mrs. Boxer, is gouging the American people on the price of gasoline?

You are!

The American people owe these executives a profound apology for the folly they have been subjected to by the poultroons in the Senate. I don't expect the feckless Madam Boxer to repent for her consistently boorish behavior. But, I for one extend an open apology to these Men,

Lee Raymond, Chairman and CEO, Exxon Mobil Corporation
David O'Reilly , CEO, Chevron Corporation
James Mulva, Chairman and CEO, ConocoPhillips
Ross Pillari, President and CEO, BP America INC.
John Hofmeister, President and U.S. Country Chairman, Shell Oil Company

...for one of the most repugnant hearings I have heard in my own lifetime.

May I add simply... thank you Gentlemen, for what you do and for the service that you provide to this nation by helping to fuel and sustain the precious liberty afforded by Capitalism.

And next time you are brought before a similar hearing of aristocratic nitwits the likes of Mrs. Boxer, recall
the fictional trial of Henry Reardon, President of Reardon Steel, from Ayn Rand's famous novel Atlas Shrugged. His testimony before a similar chamber of clowns is as follows,

"No, I do not want my attitude to be misunderstood. I shall be glad to state it for the record. I am in full agreement with the facts of everything said about me in the newspapers - with the facts, but not with the evaluation. I work for nothing but my own profit - which I make by selling a product they need to men who are willing and able to buy it. I do not produce it for their benefit at the expense of mine, and they do not buy it for my benefit at the expense of theirs; I do not sacrifice my interests to them nor do they sacrifice theirs to me; we deal as equals by mutual consent to mutual advantage - and I am proud of every penny that I have earned in this manner. I am rich and I am proud of every penny I own. I made my money by my own effort, in free exchange and through the voluntary consent of every man I dealt with - voluntary consent of those who employed me when I started, the voluntary consent of those who work for me now, the voluntary consent of those who buy my product. I shall answer all the questions you are afraid to ask me openly. Do I wish to pay my workers more than their services are worth to me? I do not. Do I wish to sell my product for less than my customers are willing to pay me? I do not. Do I wish to sell it at a loss or give it away? I do not. If this is evil, do whatever you please about me, according to whatever standards you hold. These are mine. I am earning my own living, as every honest man must. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact of my own existence and the fact that I must work in order to support it. I refuse to accept as guilt the fact that I am able to do it better than most people - the fact that my work is of greater value than the work of my neighbours and that more men are willing to pay me. I refuse to apologise for my ability - I refuse to apologise for my success - I refuse to apologise for my money. If this is evil, make the most of it. If this is what the public finds harmful to its interests, let the public destroy me. This is my code - and I will accept no other. I could say to you that I have done more good for my fellow men than you can ever hope to accomplish - but I will not say it, because I do not seek the good of others as a sanction for my right to exist, nor do I seek the good of others as a sanction for my right to exist, nor do I recognise the good of others as a justification for their seizure of my property or their destruction of my life. I will not say that the good of others was the purpose of my work - my own good was my purpose, and I despise the man who surrenders his. I could say to you that you do not serve the public good - that nobody's good can be achieved at the price of human sacrifices - that when you violate the rights of one man, you have violated the right of all, and a public of rightless creatures is doomed to destruction. I could say to you that you will and can achieve nothing but universal devastation - as any looter must, when he runs out of victims. I could say it, but I won't. It is not your particular policy that I challenge, but your moral premise. If it were true that men could achieve their good by means of turning some men into sacrificial animals, and I were asked to immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own - I would refuse. I would reject it as the most contemptible evil, I would fight it with every power I possess, I would fight the whole of mankind, if one minute were all I could last before I were murdered, I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living being's right to exist. Let there be no misunderstanding about me. If it is now the belief of my fellow men, who call themselves the public, that their good requires victims, then I say: The public good be damned, I will have no part of it!"

Excerpt, Atlas Shrugged.

Thank you again, Gentlemen.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Jaws of Defeat...


AP is reporting that House Leaders are dropping ANWR drilling from a forthcoming budget bill Thursday,

WASHINGTON - House leaders late Wednesday abandoned an attempt to push through a hotly contested plan to open an Alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling, fearing it would jeopardize approval of a sweeping budget bill Thursday.

They also dropped from the budget document plans to allow states to authorize oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts — regions currently under a drilling moratorium.The actions were a stunning setback for those who have tried for years to open a coastal strip of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, to oil development, and a victory for environmentalists, who have lobbied hard against the drilling provisions.
After a relentlesss battle in the Senate for this provision that is key to energy independence and longterm National security of the United States at a time when global unrest threatens the future supply of that critical resource, rather than engaging the fight in the public forum where Representatives would be forced to live with the consequences of their recorded votes, Republican leadership again collapses like a sail without wind... as formless and directionless as a crumpled useless canvas. And as loyal, determined Conservatives search for something positive in the headlines today, Republican moderates spread salt and vinegar on a set of fresh wounds, nearly ensuring a wave of apathy heading into the 2006 election season. The story continues,

Twenty-five Republicans, led by Rep. Charles Bass of New Hampshire, signed a letter asking GOP leaders to strike the Alaskan drilling provision from the broader $54 billion budget cut bill.
From tomorrow's Washington Post, Jonathon Weisman reports that even with energy provisions removed, the bill is threatened,

Democrats did not budge, and at least 22 Republicans told the House leadership they would not vote for the sweeping bill unless the drilling provision was removed and they were given assurances that it would not return after House and Senate negotiators hash out a final measure. Even then, several moderate Republicans have said they still would oppose the bill, which would allow states to impose new costs on Medicaid recipients, cut funds for student loans and child support enforcement, trim farm supports, and restrict access to food stamps...

...In exchange for stripping out the energy provisions, however, enough GOP moderates promised their votes last night to all but ensure passage, said Sarah Chamberlain, executive director of the Republican Mainstreet Partnership, the moderate coalition that led negotiations. (emphasis added)

Who are these Legislators abandoning the President and the Party yet again on a key issue? Make them vote, Mr. Hastert, and we will find out!

Michelle Malkin is now on it!

And just who in the hell is...

The Republican Mainstreet

Our Mission...

The Republican Main Street Partnership was founded in 1998 to promote thoughtful leadership in the Republican Party, and to partner with individuals, organizations and institutions that share centrist values.

The Partnership is comprised of party members and public officials who are fiscally conservative deficit hawks. The Partnership is working to Grow Our Party through a pragmatic approach to governing that reaches out to a broad base of Americans who share the Republican ideals of fiscal responsibility and limited government. The Partnership contributes to the nation's governance through developing and promoting creative public policies for implementation at appropriate levels of government.

Republican Main Street Partnership Congressional Members 109th Congress (See the List!)

Contact (Oh, by all means!)

Telephone 202-682-3143
FAX 202-682-3943

1350 Eye Street, NW Suite 560
Washington, DC 20005

General Information:

Press Inquiries:


Who is the The Republican Mainstreet Partnership?

Michelle Malkin provides the answer... Soros and Friends are now selecting Republican candidates and directing the Conservative agenda.

Main Street Individual Fund, 2004 Election Cycle Formed: 2002

The Main Street Individual Fund (MSIF) is a New York-based group founded to help elect moderate Republican candidates. Among those candidates it supports in the 2004 elections is Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa), who is fending off a tough primary challenge from Rep. Pat Toomey. MSIF raises funds from individual donors and is affiliated with another 527, the Main Street Fund, which solicits contributions from corporations and unions. Both are connected to the Republican Main Street Partnership.

Affiliated Personnel:

Sarah Chamberlain Resnick, executive director
Bob Duke, fund-raiser


Dinakar Singh, Goldman Sachs, $100,000
George Soros, Soros Fund Management, $50,000
Sidney V Weinberg Jr, Goldman Sachs, $50,000
John C Whitehead, Lower Manhattan Development Corp, $50,000

Excuse me, Republican leadership. Ahem...EXCUSE ME?!!

Contact Speaker Hastert, now!

Disarming San France-isco...


Talk about April fools. They will be the one's disarming this spring in San France-isco. The criminals will be stockpiling in advance... including domestic gangs and terror cells. Check out Michelle's take on this.

And Neal Boortz' take on the ban is that it will... (HT: Michelle Malkin)

require that every resident of San Francisco who owns a handgun to turn it in to the government by April 1st. April 1st, by the way, is more commonly known as "April Fool's Day." Even voters in San Francisco should be bright enough to figure out that law-abiding citizens will be the ones to turn over their guns, while the lawless, the criminal element, will not. The number of guns in the hands of law abiding citizens will go down. The number of guns in the hands of criminals will not.

It is particularly amazing that 58% of the San Francisco voters would support this foolish measure after New Orleans. San Francisco faces the prospect of a naturaldisaster far worse than Katrina. Do the people of San Francisco think that the criminal element will just stay home and behave after the earthquake hits? There will be no violence? No looting? After the experience of the victims of the lawless in New Orleans it is hard to believe that any logical group of Americans would voluntarily disarm. But ... I did say logical, didn't I?

As promised... In a previous set of posts on the violence in Europe, I made the point that consequence, like revenge, is a dish served cold. San Francisco, like its French models (New Orleans included), will too have its taste of the cold swill of violent recompense. Yet, by the time the most insane city in America recognizes such a lesson, it will be far too late for the people to repent. In clear violation of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, the participating electorate of the City by the Bay have made a majority decision (regardless of how tight) to dispense with the right to keep and bear arms. On April 1st, 2006, the law abiding citizens will oblige and voluntarily disarm by means of sale or surrender. And Craiglist does not allow the sale of firearms.

Those that do not, regardless of their respect for civility and loyalty to law, will become criminals of that City State. Those that already reside outside the boundaries of common civility will certainly not oblige. The City State of San Francisco, established in direct opposition to the Laws of California and of the United States, having effectively seceded by means of rejection of both ratified Constitutions, will remain an armed city. Yet, only the criminals will be armed.

God help them, when the ground begins to shake... or the remaining Amendments fall off the edge of their concern in favor of additional offerings of momentary popular whimsical consensus from the people who abandoned liberty (Oops!... and God) in favor of quasi-humanitarian dogma.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Best Served Cold, Part 2...


Well into the second week of so-called rioting in Europe, the
AP reports that violence is occurring in over 300 cities in three adjacent nations, France, Belgium, and Germany, and has claimed its first homicide...

As urban unrest spread to neighboring Belgium and possibly Germany, the French government faced growing criticism for its inability to stop the violence, despite massive police deployment and continued calls for calm.

On Sunday night, vandals burned more than 1,400 vehicles, and clashes around the country left 36 police injured, setting a new high for overnight arson and violence since rioting started Oct. 27, Michel Gaudin told a news conference.

Australia, Austria, Britain, Germany and Hungary advised their citizens to exercise care in France, joining the United States and Russia in warning tourists to stay away from violence-hit areas.

Alain Rahmouni, a national police spokesman, said the man who was beaten died at a hospital from injuries sustained in the attack, but he had no immediate details of the victim's age or his attacker.

The man was caught by surprise by an attacker after rushing out of his apartment building to put out a trash can fire, Rahmouni said.

Earlier we reported via Sky News that last week, a disabled woman on a bus was doused with gasoline and set ablaze by rioters. Neither victim has been identified to the best of my knowledge. Its a good bet that both are Jewish. For that asssertion to be relevant, however, the AP would have to report the perpetrators to be Islamic. And judging by the content of the latest story, that simply will not happen.

The cold swill of consequence is being force fed to European appeasers in response to their insufferable pacifistic oblivion and delusional collectivist conceit. Wretchard at the Belmont Club is riding this story
Here, and Here relaying a CNN report about Churches, Schools and Police Stations getting torched,

"In the northern city of Rouen, a police barricade was set afire and a burning car was pushed into the police station; and in Strasbourg, near the German border, a school was torched. A church was set ablaze in the southern fishing town of Sete and another in nearby Lens, Pas de Calais; two schools in the southeastern town of Saint-Etienne and a police station in the central France town of Clermont-Ferrand were torched, as was a social center in Seine-Saint-Denis, near the border with Switzerland."
Wretchard makes an important observation regarding the solutions at hand for the French and other EU States:

What I am afraid will happen is that the French authorities will apply the worst possible combination: a short-term crackdown based on profiling together with an agreement to cede the governance of these ghettos to some kind of Islamic councils. That will make the banlieus more opaque while at the same time making them more alien. Yet the attraction of this policy mix is obvious. It throws a bone to the extreme right and left wings of French policy and may quell the disturbances for a moment. It kicks the can down the road into a minefield. It's a soothing gargle of antiseptic mouthwash prior to flossing with a razor blade.
Indeed! Mark Steyn extends this line of thought in discussing what he calls the Eurabian civil war,

Leaving aside what I'm told are more than a few cries of "Allahu Akhbar!" on the streets, my correspondent is correct. But that's the point. The first country formally to embrace "multiculturalism" - to the extent of giving it a cabinet post - was Canada, where it was sold as a form of benign cultural cross-pollination: the best of all worlds. But just as often it gives us the worst of all worlds. More than three years ago, I wrote about the "tournante" or "take your turn" - the gang rape that's become an adolescent rite of passage in the Muslim quarters of French cities - and similar phenomena throughout the West: "Multiculturalism means that the worst attributes of Muslim culture - the subjugation of women - combine with the worst attributes of Western culture - licence and self-gratification. Tattooed, pierced Pakistani skinhead gangs swaggering down the streets of northern England areas are as much a product of multiculturalism as the turban-wearing Sikh Mountie in the vice-regal escort." Islamofascism itself is what it says: a fusion of Islamic identity with old-school European totalitarianism. But, whether in turbans or gangsta threads, just as Communism was in its day, so Islam is today's ideology of choice for the world's disaffected.

Some of us believe this is an early skirmish in the Eurabian civil war. If the insurgents emerge emboldened, what next? In five years' time, there will be even more of them, and even less resolve on the part of the French state. That, in turn, is likely to accelerate the demographic decline. Europe could face a continent-wide version of the "white flight" phenomenon seen in crime-ridden American cities during the 1970s, as Danes and Dutch scram to America, Australia or anywhere else that will have them.

And just as with a century past, Humanity is witness to the Europeans once again priming the world for a catastrophe of armageddon by extending the fuse rather than defusing the bomb.

See Also: Best Served Cold, Part 1...

UPDATE: 11.08.05:13:40

There is an ongoing stream of information emerging now through the avenues of the New Media, such that one need not bother themselves with labyrinth of the Old Busted Media. Start here with The Anchoress. Okie On The Lam directs his readers to her posting of letters from a friend witnessing the chaos first hand.

When we dare to grumble, when we dare to murmur that Islam is a religion of death, that we do not want to become an Islamic republic, the media and the politicians also scorned us saying we were racist and fascist and anti-arab, and islamophobic, and anti-Semitic. But our money was not scorned upon. (we have to pay to sustain the newspapers which would collapse if it were not for our forced contribution. I pay for abortions, even if I disagree; I have to pay for communist and Trotskyite newspapers, even if I loath them; I have to pay for bad comedians who have no talent)

We pay, with our taxes, scores of “associations” full of communist-islamics and we just have to shut our mouths and say amen. Well, not “amen”; amen is not politically acceptable.
The check out Victor Davis Hanson's interview with Hugh Hewitt, and his link to an article by Bruce Thornton.

Even those who presumably believe that humans do have free will, and that spiritual reality is as real as material, are seduced by the same determinist assumptions. The Bush administration's belief that jihadist terror is a deformation of Islam brought about by lack of political freedom expresses the same assumption. This is akin to the equally mistaken belief that the jihadists in Iraq are blowing up American soldiers and fellow Moslems because of anger over the U.S. overthrow of Hussein. In both cases, those who act on the basis of spiritual beliefs are reduced to mere reactors to environmental forces outside their control. And when the jihadists identify for us, as they do repeatedly, the religious beliefs and doctrines that inspire their actions and that are consistent with the history and theology of their religion, we arrogantly dismiss their words as expressions of some neurosis or delusion whose true sources lie elsewhere.

And Hugh Hewitt links readers to Michael Totten's visions of Beirut.

Wretchard is providing his usual level of thorough analysis over at the Belmont Club,

The underclass which has announced its existence over the past 12 days is still largely uncommitted to a specific ideology; it is a variable waiting for a value. Radical Islamic elements are naturally bending effort to lead this discontent. France must offer an alternative vision, one that consists not merely of welfare checks or government benefits, but an identity which each and every resident of the banlieus can be proud of. In this contest, France must revive many of the notions which it sought even recently to bury. The idea of a love of country, not mere membership in a soulless European Union; the idea of pride, denigrated in an age of national guilt; the idea of community, at a time when cultural division, diversity, multiculturality is the highest value of the day.
He links readers via Glenn Reynolds to a series of very informative and provocative links at Adloyada. This link in particular, goes to the heart of the primary concern of those challenging the MSM's selective reporting on this story.

Today, French counter-terror sources are willing to admit, albeit on the quiet and not for attribution, that those clandestine terrorist cells may well be at the bottom of the current riots. They note the history of the Palestinian uprising, which kicked off in 1987 with stones and petrol bombs, only to evolve into a suicidal terrorist war by the late nineties. They fear this process may be beginning - not just in France but in the rest of Europe too, that the covert nucleus of trained and indoctrinated Islamic terrorists al Qaeda buried inside Europe is being turned against the continent, starting in France.

My own fear is that we are seeing another episode of the ongoing European conflagation rising as it has many times before, sucking the world like oxygen into its inferno while the great doomed promethian Pheonix perishes again.

UPDATE: 11.08.05:20.15

Another bit of news not being widely reported. Debkanews further notes a new slogan being deployed by the impoverished hooligans.

...disturbing new slogans were hurled, depicting Paris as ”Baghdad-on-the Seine” and their campaign as the start of Europe’s Ramadan Intifada.

A single slogan made a mockery of president Jacques Chirac’s efforts of the last three years to distance France from President George W. Bush’s Iraq war.

(emphasis added)

I'd say, based on comments that I have heard today, members of a certain Western political persuasion have begun running the rioters' campaign. Never let it be said that there is an episode of violence too ghastly for the Left to exploit for their our perverted advantage. One might imagine Indymedia printshops in Portland and Seattle working overtime cranking out T-shirts, posters, and molotov labels for their new friends. If there's anything Socialists and Communists know, its how to use people to death.