Axis of Stupid

Instapundit, Spoons, The Rev. Chapin, and LGF all link to this amazing story:

Earlier there were unexplained incidents at the U.N.’s Baghdad compound when two men — one carrying three knives, the other a notebook and shouting “Save me!” — tried to enter the base.

Both men were apprehended and turned over to Iraqi authorities, U.N. officials reported. It was unclear whether the two incidents were related.

On the two incidents, U.N. officials said that one man approached the hotel’s security gate with a metal instrument, before Iraqi guards wrestled him to the ground. He was later found to have three knives, the U.N. said.

About 40 minutes later, another Iraqi man stopped a U.N. vehicle outside the headquarters pleading “Save me! Save me!” in Arabic, according to the U.N. The man, apparently unarmed, forced his way into the driver’s seat of the stopped vehicle, as an Iraqi guard struggled to pull him out, while an unfazed U.N. inspector watched from the passenger seat.

It gets better. Rather than attempting to find out what is going on, or what may be in the NOTEBOOK, our intrepid Clouseau’s allow this to happen:

Appearing agitated and frightened, the young man, with a closely trimmed beard and mustache, sat inside the white U.N.-marked utility vehicle for 10 minutes, AP reported. At first, an inspection team leader sought help from nearby Iraqi soldiers, but the man refused to leave the vehicle as the uniformed men pulled on his sleeve and collar.

“I am unjustly treated!” he shouted.

Then U.N. security men arrived, and they and Iraqi police carried the man by his feet and arms into the fenced compound, journalists said. The man was turned over to Iraqi authorities at a government office adjacent to the compound, U.N. officials said.

Iraqi officials said they had no information on the incidents.

The Instapundit wants to know if the inspectors can be charged with “material breach.” I would recommend accessory to murder.

*** Update ***

Go read the idiots at Metafilter.








GM Foods

I am not sure how they manage it, but the NY Times seems to work overtime to find the wrong viewpoint on almost every issue. Today’s offering, Don’t Pester Europe on Genetically Modified Food by Clyde Prestowitz, is no exception.

Mr. Prestowitz’s reasons for not pushing the issue are as follows, and I quote:

Europeans are scared to death of genetically modified food.

There may be no good scientific reason for concern, but to consider eating something that has resulted from some laboratory manipulation is felt by many Europeans as a kind of denial of the true self. For Americans to insist that the union accept genetically modified products is bound to be felt in Europe as another exercise in American cultural and economic imperialism.

The administration will argue that it wants only to give the consumers a choice. But as one who spent years selling to European supermarkets and consumers, I can say with confidence that such a move by the United States would very likely result in a European campaign against all American food.

We have already caused great resentment among our European allies by rejecting the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and the International Criminal Court, both of which were championed by the European Union. Given that we will want European support for whatever actions we eventually decide to take in the Persian Gulf or in North Korea, is this really the time to mount what is bound to be a bitter, high-profile case in order to sell genetically modified potatoes?

Got that? Europeans have an irrational fear of GM foods, despite any scientific evidence, and we may upset them. Not only that, we already upset them by withdrawing from Kyoto. That is the logic behind cowering away from scientific breakthroughs that could feed billions- European fear and European resentment.

Norman Borlaug, a true Nobel Peace Laureate (Instapundit has discussed him here, here is his foundation), debunks many of the myths and much of the hysteria surrounding GM foods in a guest editorial for the Opinion Journal, aptly titled Science vs. Hysteria. An excerpt:

Current genetically modified crop varieties that help to control insects and weeds are lowering production costs and increasing harvests–a great potential benefit to all Third World farmers. Future products are likely to carry traits that will improve nutrition and health. All of these technologies have more benefits to offer poor farmers and consumers than rich ones.

For example, Kenya is ready to field-test virus-resistant sweet potatoes that should yield 30% to 50% more of this important food staple. Virus-resistant bananas and potatoes have already been bred, but are being barred in African countries where people urgently need their higher yields. Indian researchers are developing a vaccine against the epidemic livestock disease, rinderpest, which can be genetically engineered into peanut plants. African farmers would be able to protect their draft animals simply by feeding them the peanut plants–again if biotech is allowed.

The needless confrontation of consumers against the use of transgenic crop technology in Europe and elsewhere might have been avoided had more people received a better education in biological science. This educational gap–which has resulted in a growing and worrisome ignorance about the challenges and complexities of agricultural and food systems–needs to be addressed without delay. Privileged societies have the luxury of adopting a very low-risk position on the issue of genetically modified crops, even if this action later turns out to be unnecessary. But the vast majority of humankind does not have such a luxury, and certainly not the hungry victims of wars, natural disasters, and economic crises.

Without adequate food supplies at affordable prices, we cannot expect world health, prosperity, and peace. Responsible biotechnology is not the enemy; starvation is.

At least Mr. Borlaug and Mr. Prestowitz agree on one thing, as Mr. Prestowitz noted:

It is, indeed, appalling that some countries would rather starve than accept donations of genetically modified corn.

Appalling, indeed. Do you ever get the feeling that if the South hadn’t received such a bad reputation for secession that the NY Times would be circulating petitions for New Yorkto become part of the EU?








Media Laziness

So you want to write a story about oil well fires, and how we should be prepared to puta bunch of them out if there is another Gulf War? Great idea. A different angle, allowing you to speculate about the future based on an established history of what happened in the first Gulf War. But tell me, how do you write a 7,000 word story about oil well fires and not once mention Red Adair: An American Hero?

I met Red Adair when I was in Kuwait in 1991- so maybe I am biased. But, c’mon. He essentially invented the field of oil well fire containment.








Geek Hierarchy

In case you were wondering where you are in the big scheme of things, you can plot where you stand using this Geek Hierarchy Flowchart.

Via The Corner








Two Can Type

typing.JPG

Part of the reason this site has so many typing issues.








Boxgate!

This has got to be one of the dumbest things any White House has attempted in a long time. Atrios has the whole goods, including pictures.

This is so patently stupid and neanderthal, whoever was behind it should be hit in the head repeatedly.

*** Update ***

It is even dumber than I thought. They actually taped over box labels, and not just merely set up a tapestry as I argued vehemently on Atrios’s blog. I don;t know how I missed that, but I feel stupid about missing the obvious.








Verizon, Court Ordered Net Nanny

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Recording companies won a victory in their fight against online piracy on Tuesday when a U.S. court ordered Verizon Communications to turn over the name of a customer suspected of downloading more than 600 songs in one day over the Internet.

U.S. District Judge John Bates said Verizon must cooperate with recording industry efforts to track down online song swappers, rejecting the telecommunications giant’s assertion that such a move would violate customer privacy and turn it into an online copyright cop.

Verizon said it would appeal the decision.

The case could set an important precedent as the recording industry asks schools, businesses and Internet providers to help them track down individuals who they believe are cutting into CD sales by trading digital songs through “peer to peer” services like Kazaa.

You are not paranoid. They really are watching everything you do.








Jesse “The Mouth” Ventura

I guess preening effeminate liberalism did not work, so MSNBC is going to replace Donahue with testosterone laced stupidity. MSNBC Presents, one hour live with Jesse ‘The Mouth” Ventura.

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura has signed a deal for a new talk show on the MSNBC network and the Mall of America has been scouted as a possible location.

Negotiations between Ventura and the cable network were widely reported in November. KSTP’ chief poilical reporter Tom Hauser says three unidentified sources confirmed to him that an agreement had been reached.

Since taking office in 1999, Minnesota’s flamboyant governor had been a regular on the cable television news circuit. Ventura decided against running for a second term and left office Jan. 6.

MSNBC is an all-news cable channel whose top-rated show is “Hardball” with Chris Matthews. Ventura has appeared often on the program, several times as Matthews’ only guest.

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!








Concrete and ReBar Work Better

How empty must your existence be that this is a goal in life:
LONDON (Reuters) – A first wave of mainly Western volunteers will leave London this weekend on a convoy bound for Iraq to act as “human shields” at key sites and populous areas in case of a U.S.-led war on Baghdad.

“The potential for white Western body parts flying around with the Iraqi ones should make them think again about this imperialist oil war,” organizer Ken Nichols, a former U.S. marine in the 1991 Gulf War, told Reuters.

His “We the People” organization will be sending off a first group of 50 human shields from the London mayor’s City Hall building Saturday, part of a series of departures organizers say will involve hundreds, possibly thousands, of volunteers.

Seriously, now. John Walker Lindh at least had the sense to arm himself.








Weapons Inspector By Day, Pedophile By Night

Check out Scott Ritter:

Channel Six News has learned that Colonie Police arrested former UN Weapons Inspector and Delmar resident Scott Ritter two years ago as part of an Internet sex sting operation. Sources say Ritter was charged in June of 2001 for trying to lure a 16 year-old girl he met online to a Burger King. But that 16-year old girl was really a Colonie Police investigator. Sources say Ritter was charged with a misdemeanor, but the case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal and a judge sealed the record. Ritter searched Iraq for weapons in the years following the Gulf War. More recently, he’s been speaking out against President Bush’s policies on Iraq and has been a frequent contributor on national and local newscasts, including Channel 6 News.

Is that a missile in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me, Mr. Ritter?

Seriously, though. Why was he not charged?








The Anti-War Crowd

Opposing war on general principles can be an honorable thing. However, opposing war, regardless of the outcome, is not only unprincipled, but it is lazy, stupid, immoral, and an intellectually vacant approach to life. That is the main reason I despise the anti-war crowds (not to mention their odious background, best documented here by Tacitus). Kos does a fairly decent job of summing up some of my positions regarding the anti-war crowd. My chief complaint, usually, is that they are simply wrong- and thus- no amount of protesting is going to get me to change my mind. I am not sure why the left things of the protest as some sort of cure-all for any social ill. Most of the time, I think less of protestors AFTER the protest. Most of them look like a Grateful Dead concert without a coherent message and worse music. At any rate, some of the dumbest anti-war stuff as of late has been the ridiculous remake of the “Daisy” commercial. I don’t want to waste too much time on this, so I will let Christopher Hitchens swing away.

From Hardball on Friday, 17 December:

It (the commercial) certainly illustrates two things about the circle of peace movement. One, illiteracy and second, conservatism. This is the ad with which Lyndon Johnson helped to lie and bully the United States public and Congress into Vietnam. A peace group that has a memory as bad as that and a propaganda instinct as poor as that really doesn’t deserve a name of peace movement at all. All they’re saying is let’s keep the status quo in the Middle East. Let’s, as Americans, lead a quiet life. This is not a radical position at all. It’s a scandal.

Mmmhmm. Later, Hitchens notes:

I mean the same people who make these tremendously alarmist pieces of propaganda, it’s not just this item, are the same ones who say Saddam Hussein doesn’t have any weapons. So, he’s going to threaten us with the weapons they say he doesn’t have?

Clearly, these people do not understand the framework of the U.N. Weapons Inspections nor do they understand the nature of evil. Here is Hitchens in Front Page Magazine:

A year or so ago, the “peace movement” was saying that Afghanistan could not even be approached without risking the undying enmity of the Muslim world; that the Taliban could not be bombed during Ramadan; that a humanitarian disaster would occur if the Islamic ultra- fanatics were confronted in their own lairs. Now we have an imperfect but recovering Afghanistan, with its population increased by almost two million returned refugees. Have you ever seen or heard any of those smart-ass critics and cynics make a self-criticism? Or recant?

To the contrary, the same critics and cynics are now lining up to say, “Hands off Saddam Hussein,” and to make almost the same doom-laden predictions. The line that connects Afghanistan to Iraq is not a straight one by any means. But the oblique connection is ignored by the potluck peaceniks, and one can be sure (judging by their past form) that it would be ignored even if it were as direct as the connection between al Qaeda and the Taliban. Saddam Hussein denounced the removal of the Sunni Muslim-murdering Slobodan Milosevic, and also denounced the removal of the Shiite-murdering Taliban. Reactionaries have a tendency to stick together (and I don’t mean “guilt by association” here. I mean GUILT). If the counsel of the peaceniks had been followed, Kuwait would today be the 19th province of Iraq (and based on his own recently produced evidence, Saddam Hussein would have acquired nuclear weapons). Moreover, Bosnia would be a trampled and cleansed province of Greater Serbia, Kosovo would have been emptied of most of its inhabitants, and the Taliban would still be in power in Afghan-istan. Yet nothing seems to disturb the contented air of moral superiority that surrounds those who intone the “peace movement.”

It is amazing how some people can be so consistently wrong yet remain relevant.








Court Files

Here are the PDF files for all the documentation of the Michigan Affirmative Action cases now before the Supreme Court.








Saudi Plans for Saddam?

Convinced that President Bush is serious about invading Iraq, Arab leaders hope to avoid war by orchestrating a coup in Baghdad. Well-placed sources have told TIME that Saudi Arabia is vigorously pursuing a concrete plan to encourage Iraqi generals to overthrow Saddam and his clique. Western and Arab diplomats say the Saudi proposal requires a UN Security Council resolution declaring amnesty for the vast majority of Iraqi officials if they orchestrate a transition of power in Baghdad.

Apparently there is room for only one corrupt dictatorship in the Middle East- the House of Saud. This line is informative:

Convinced that President Bush is serious about invading Iraq.

Gee-, maybe the world’s foremost expert on the Middle East, Bernard Lewis, was right- these regimes only understand force. I would love to see the left sputtering if we are able to orchestrate a regime change in Iraq without using one bomb, losing one soldier’s life, and going through the UN. It doesn’t matter- they’ll still call Bush a dolt and Powell an Uncle Tom.

At any rate, I will believe it when I see it.








Idiots Abroad

Some shit-heel fired Iain Murray because of his blog. Go visit the Edge of England’s Sword and throw something in the tip jar (which is located down and to the left, and is an Amazon system).








Mary McGrory’s New Crisis:

And it is not her hair:

Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), the premier calamity collector of the House of Representatives, is just back from a country we’d rather not think about, and telling us things we’d rather not know. As usual, he is demanding that attention be paid.

This time it’s the famine in Ethiopia, one of those loser countries where Wolf feels most at home. He’s warning Congress and the White House of the urgency of the situation and the prospect that millions of Ethiopians will die if help is not on its way soon.

To Wolf, the Ethiopian famine is an “opportunity” for George W. Bush. “I think he really cares about these things and wants to do the right thing,” he says. He must use the bully pulpit to rally people and increase our aid to set an example to the world.

I am not sure if it is an opportunity- but it is the right thing to do. Great nations do the right thing, not for accolades and awards, but for it simply being the right thing to do.