Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Does the U.S. Have What it Takes?

One of the most consistently disheartening experiences an adult can have today is to listen to the endless attempts by our intellectuals and intelligence professionals to explain religious terrorism in clinical terms, assigning rational motives to men who have moved irrevocably beyond reason. We suffer under layers of intellectual asymmetries that hinder us from an intuitive recognition of our enemies. Our rear-guard rationalists range from those convinced that every security problem has a technological solution, if only it can be found, to those who insist that members of al Qaeda and its affiliates are motivated by finite, comprehensible, and logical ambitions that, if satisfied, would make our problems disappear.

Living in unprecedented safety within our borders and lacking firsthand knowledge of the decay beyond, honorable men and women have convinced themselves that Osama bin Laden's professed goals of driving the United States from the Middle East and removing corrupt regional governments are what global terror is all about. They gloss over his ambition of reestablishing the caliphate and his calls for the destruction of Israel as rhetorical effects--when they address them at all. Yet, Islamist fanatics are more deeply committed to their maximalist goals than to their lesser ones--and their unspoken ambitions soar beyond logic's realm. Religious terrorists are committed to an apocalypse they sense within striking distance. Their longing for union with god is inseparable from their impulse toward annihilation. They seek their god in carnage, and will go on slaughtering until he appears to pat them on the back.

He who has never experienced a soul-shaking glimpse of the divine inevitably explains religion-driven suicide bombers in terms of a lack of economic opportunity or social humiliation. But the enemies we face are burning with belief, on fire with their vision of an immanent, angry god. Our intelligentsia is less equipped to understand such men than our satellites are to find them.

Our struggle with Islamist terror (other religious terrors may haunt our descendants) has almost nothing to do with our actions in the Middle East. It's about a failing civilization's embrace of a furious god.

Despite the horrors we have witnessed, we have yet to take religious terrorists seriously on their own self-evident terms. We have invaded a succession of their tormented countries, but haven't come close to penetrating their souls. The hermetic universe of the Islamist terrorist is immune to our reality (if not to our bullets), but our intellectuals appear equally incapable of accepting the religious extremist's reality.

We need to break the mental chains that bind us to a technology-über-alles dream of warfare--a fantasy as absurd and dated as the Marxist dreams of the intellectuals. Certainly, military technologies have their place and can provide our troops with useful tools. But technologies are not paramount. In warfare, flesh, blood and will are still the supreme currency. And of these, strength of will remains the ultimate weapon. Welcome to the counterrevolution.

Ralph Peters,

The jury is still out but it ain't looking good.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Suspected Greyhound Therapy Confirmed

(San Francisco) City officials created a program last year to give homeless people [bums] one-way bus tickets out of town. Thus far, more than 960 homeless have left San Francisco under the program, Homeward Bound.

Apparently, San Francisco is passing the buck or officials have been deluded into thinking that derelicts become valuable contributors to society after being dumped in a new location. Either way, the program is merely a conveyer out of town. San Francisco's homeless problems are just being farmed out to other locations with the hope that somebody else [city of Arcata?] accepts responsibility. The program has been called Greyhound Therapy. Unfortunately, there have been complaints.

From SacBee.com:

"City [of San Francisco] welfare officials have agreed to stop sending homeless people to Humboldt County without notifying their counterparts in the far northern county.

The agreement reached Friday resolves a dispute that began after Humboldt County officials learned that San Francisco had sent at least 13 homeless people north on one-way bus tickets over the past year.

San Francisco officials said they will start informing Humboldt officials whenever homeless people are sent over its borders through the city's Homeward Bound program. They will also verify beforehand that the person is actually from Humboldt, [yeah right] located about 200 miles north along the coast."

Shipping vagrants out of town is nothing new. Communities have been doing it for ages. And, it's much better for San Francisco's taxpayers than the previous program which paid every vagrant and attracted newcomers.

I'm hoping that San Francisco gets into a homeless dumping duel with another city [Arcata, California]. Imagine the fun.

ht/ interested participant

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Reporting or Playing "Gottcha!"?

Viewing the so called "presidential news conferences", it becomes abundantly clear that "news" has little to do with these exercises. They are for the most part demonstrations of the agendas of collectivist "journalists" when the chief executive does not wholly subscribe to the leftist mindset .

Writing in USA Today, Richard Benedetto and David Jackson refused comment on allegations that Gannett's flagship newspaper runs "memes" instead of news stories, and that the two reporters were engaged in an effort to "shape public opinion" by mislabeling "news" stories that minimize facts while concentrating on speculation.

Bendetto and Jackson were caught fashioning a meme insertion device intended to create fabricated "links" between President Bush and convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The device was activated Thursday by editors at USA Today.

After covering a White House news conference that lasted nearly an hour and covered a wide range of subjects, Benedetto and Jackson gave the most prominence to something they called "White House links" to Abramoff. They were not able to produce any White House links to Abramoff, but apparently still felt that the most important event at the news conference was that President Bush "fended off questions" about them. Neither commented on whether this amounted to covering the behavior of other reporters at the conference, rather than the conference itself.

Critics have charged that Benedetto and Jackson devoted fully one-half of their report on the news conference to chimerical "links to Abramoff," even going so far as to include what Senate Democrats were "calling for" and including a quotation from Democratic Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado, even though Salazar was not present at the news conference and the President of the United States — who was — was trying to answer questions about the NSA surveillance program, the 2006 elections, the crisis in Iran, and other issues.

Neither Benedetto nor Jackson explained why they spent more column-inches on the Senate Democrats and Salazar's allegations than they did on the President's response to a question about Iran.

Leonidas believes this practice will be discontinued upon the reassension of a true collectivist to the white house.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Justice Islam Style

Tehran, Iran, Jan. 07 – An Iranian court has sentenced a teenage rape victim to death by hanging after she weepingly confessed that she had unintentionally killed a man who had tried to rape both her and her niece.

The state-run daily Etemaad reported on Saturday that 18-year-old Nazanin confessed to stabbing one of three men who had attacked the pair along with their boyfriends while they were spending some time in a park west of the Iranian capital in March 2005.

Nazanin, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, said that after the three men started to throw stones at them, the two girls’ boyfriends quickly escaped on their motorbikes leaving the pair helpless.

She described how the three men pushed her and her 16-year-old niece Somayeh onto the ground and tried to rape them, and said that she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand.

As the girls tried to escape, the men once again attacked them, and at this point, Nazanin said, she stabbed one of the men in the chest. The teenage girl, however, broke down in tears in court as she explained that she had no intention of killing the man but was merely defending herself and her younger niece from rape, the report said.

The court, however, issued onin early January a sentence for Nazanin to be hanged to death.

The court in the city of Rasht, northern Iran, has sentenced Delara Darabi to death by hanging.

Are we ready to surrender to these folks?


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Is an Oil Economy Sustainable?

In the long run, an economy that utilizes petroleum as a primary energy source is not sustainable, because the amount of oil in the Earth’s crust is finite. However, sustainability is a misleading concept, a chimera. No technology since the birth of civilization has been sustainable. All have been replaced as people devised better and more efficient technologies. The history of energy use is largely one of substitution. In the 19th century, the world’s primary energy source was wood. Around 1890, wood was replaced by coal. Coal remained the world’s largest source of energy until the 1960s when it was replaced by oil. We have only just entered the petroleum age.31

"Without innovation, no technology is sustainable."
How long will it last? No one can predict the future, but the world contains enough petroleum resources to last at least until the year 2100. This is so far in the future that it would be ludicrous for us to try to anticipate what energy sources our descendants will utilize. Over the next several decades the world likely will continue to see short-term spikes in the price of oil, but these will be caused by political instability and market interference — not by an irreversible decline in supply.

It would appear that the short to medium term problems of energy production are caused by political considerations. Much of the planet's petroleum reserves are controlled by less than stable political regimes i.e. Middle East, Asian and Latin American . This is not, however an issue of supply. Even with regard to reserves under control of the United States the disproportionate power of Marxist inspired "environmental" groups will continue to result in global and national shortages. Look for $100.00/barrel crude oil in the not too distant future.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

French Glass Houses

With the Western media focused on Iraq, and only too quick to report the slightest infraction by US troops, a report from Reuters about the goings-on in the French-occupied Ivory Coast provides a salutary reminder of the less than benign nature of French foreign policy.

The news is of the suspension by French defence minister Michele Alliot-Marie of General Henri Poncet , the officer commanding French "peacekeepers" last May when an Ivorian man, named as Mahe, died after being shot by French troops. In addition to Poncet, Colonel Eric Burgaud and an unidentified platoon commander have also been suspended.

At the time of the shooting, the French claimed that the dead man was a known highway gang leader who was wanted for crimes including five killings and four rapes. He had been spotted by a French patrol which had pursued and surrounded him, whence he had opened fire and been shot "in self defence".

It now transpires, from a report in Le Figaro, that Mahe was killed in cold blood. The newspaper claims that a platoon had seen Mahe by the side of the road. When the bandit ran, the platoon commander ordered his men after them and they "all opened fire." Some 650 rounds were fired and, badly wounded, the man was left for dead. Some villagers then carried him to the road, where he died. There was therefore no self-defence, the newspaper said, citing several unidentified French officers as its sources.

Le Figaro adds that the original report into the incident was sent to the Ferench headquarters where General Poncet approved it, despite - as one officer claims - being "aware of what happened."

Now, following an official investigation, French Defence Ministry spokesman Jean-Francois Bureau has admitted that: "the facts, as they have been gathered by the command's inquiry, have established that, contrary to what was said at the time, there was no legitimate defence."

Poncet, who is currently based in the southwestern French city of Bordeaux, headed an operation code-named "Unicorn" from May 2004 until June this year, taking charge of 4,000 French troops, supported by UN forces, which had intervened after a failed coup in Ivory Coast in September 2002. He is now being questioned in Paris about an alleged cover-up following the death of an Ivory Coast national in military custody.

Under somewhat dubious circumstances, France sent troops to its former West African colony in September 2002 after a coup attempt against president Laurent Gbagbo during which rebel forces won control of the northern part of the country, despite the reluctance of the Ivorians to accept them, wanting a neutral force.

This is only the latest episode in the unhappy relations between France and the Ivory Coast. This West African country, having been a French colony since 1893, was formally made independent in 1960, although its economic assets and major businesses have since remained largely under French control. The French own 45 per cent of the land and, curiously, the buildings of the Presidency of the Republic and of the Ivorian National assembly are subject to leases concluded with the French.

Resentment of French "neocolonialism" has been behind much of the political unrest in the country, which took a turn for the worst last November when the Ivorian air force bombarded a French base at Bouaké, killing nine French soldiers, after president Gbagbo had accused the French of siding with the rebel forces in an attempt to depose him.

The French army had already fired without warning on unarmed Gbagboist demonstrators in November 2003, seriously wounding three of them and then, on direct orders from Chirac, France responded in what was seen at the time as a gross over-reaction - by destroying the country's entire air force, sparking riots in Abidjan. Some 70 Ivorians were killed and over 1,000 injured by French troops firing on unarmed crowds. In a move which further infuriated the Ivorians, the French chief of the general staff dismissed claims of a "massacre", only admitting that his troops might have "wounded or killed a few people", while "showing very great calm and complete control of the violence."

While the African Union troops now stand alongside the French, the UN has brokered a deal which will keep Gbagbo in power for the next 12 months, until further elections, when the pressure for complete French withdrawal will strengthen. Such is the hatred of the French now that – contrary to the scenes elsewhere denouncing Bush, Ivorian have actually been calling for US intervention. Strangely, little of this has percolated into the Western media and, of the latest episode in want has been called France’s little Iraq, from the BBC we hear nothing.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Jimmy Carter to help Pigs Grow Wings?

Hamas is paying a spin doctor $180,000 (£100,000) to persuade Europeans and Americans that it is not a group of religious fanatics who relish suicide bombings and hate Jews.

The organisation, also known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, has hired a media consultant, Nashat Aqtash, to improve its image at home and abroad because it expects to emerge from next week’s Palestinian general election as a major political force, and wants recognition and acceptance by the US and EU.

“Hamas has an image problem. The Israelis were able to create a very bad image of the Palestinians in general and particularly Muslims and Hamas. My contract is to project the right image,” said Mr Aqtash, who also teaches media at Birzeit University in Ramallah.

“We don’t need the international community to accept Hamas ideology, we need it to accept the facts on the ground. We are not killing people because we love to kill. People view Hamas as loving sending people to die. We don’t love death, we like life.”

Mr Aqtash, who describes himself as opposed to violence and “believing in the Gandhi route”, has advised Hamas leaders to change their image by explaining that they do not hate Israelis because they are Jews. And he is attempting to persuade influential foreigners that Hamas is essentially a peaceful organisation that was forced to fight, but is now committed to pressing its cause through politics, not violence.

“Hamas does not believe in terrorism or killing civilians. But Ariel Sharon pressed buttons to make people angry. Sometimes we are innocent enough to react in a way that the Israelis use the reaction against us,” he said. [Note: the “innocent reaction” he’s talking about involves suicide bombing a bus full of schoolchildren. —ed.]

Next week Mr Aqtash says he will address the former US president Jimmy Carter and former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt, and other prominent foreigners monitoring the election.

th/ LGF

Be Very Afraid

During the “confirmation hearings” ( senate dog and pony shows would be more accurate) for recent nominees to the supreme court, some disturbing realities have become evident. We're being told two very troubling things:

First, Supreme Court decisions are the absolute law of the land, equal in weight to the text of the Constitution itself. Supreme Court precedents should never be changed, and all nominees to the Court must accept them as settled law or be disqualified.

Second, if the American people don't like any of the "laws" created by the Supreme Court, they have no choice but to live with them unless by some miracle the Court later overturns itself. The people have no recourse through Congress to address unpopular Court decisions.

Our federal courts, like the rest of our federal government, have become far too powerful. When federal judges impose their preferred policies on the American people, the ability of average citizens to influence the laws under which they must live diminishes. This is why every American should read or reread the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. Only when we understand the proper role of the judiciary in our federal system will we stop viewing judges as purveyors of social, political, and economic rules for our nation.

Several years ago after the Oklahoma city bombing incident a briefing of local law enforcement agencies by the FBI on potential “domestic terrorists” included a profile of likely “terrorists” encountered during routine traffic enforcement. Among the items included were: “possession of copies of the U.S. Constitution and libertarian bumper stickers as well as National Rifle Association decals". We must not, however profile members of “Allah’s religion of peace”. Last Monday all who entered the Atlanta, GA Aquarium were subjected to metal scanners, including Leonidas’ 3 year old grand daughter. Be very afraid.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

19th Century Crisis!

It is not widely known what with government schools focusing on “self esteem” and tree hugging, but during the middle part of the 19th century there was a resource crisis of nearly world wide proportions. The major source of oil for lamps had been whale oil and the whale population had been reduced due to over hunting. The price of whale oil rose steeply as the supply contracted. Candles had been widely used in prior years but they were expensive as well due to the scarcity of animal fat. Does the expression of something being or not being “worth the candle” ring any bells? Poorer people could not afford the price of illuminating oil and mostly confined their activities to daylight or utilized the light from heating fires. In 1850 a brand new technology was developed in Pennsylvania relying on the efforts of a business man by the name of Colonel Drake who drilled the first oil well and was able to sell the crude oil to a local refiner. The refiner was able to produce cheap lamp oil which we now call kerosene. Furthermore, the gas which always accompanies crude oil production opened up other possibilities. It is not widely known but for many years casing head gas which is gasoline condensed from the natural gas at the well head was disposed of as a waste product by being burned off by flaring. Having grown up in the oil fields of California, Leonidas burned many barrels of casing head gasoline in his first few autos. It was FREE!! Please do not rat out your humble writer for “delaying payment” on the required government imposed taxes.

The moral to this tale is that if left free of government interference, human resourcefulness will usually solve the problems of scarcity by developing new solutions and technologies. This is not to say that there are not dislocations and pain. What do you suppose happened to all of the unemployed whalers, buggy whip makers and ice delivery men? Are they still collecting government unemployment benefits?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Al Jezeera on the Hudson

Is a fake staged photo fit to print? What if it is staged in a way that makes the US forces fighting the War on Terror look cruel and ineffective? The evidence argues that yes, it can run, and in a prominent position - at least in the case of the New York Times website.

The only problem is that the long cylindrical item with a conical tip pictured with the boy and the man is not a missile at all. It is an old artillery shell. Not something that would have been fired from a Predator. Indeed, something that must have been found elsewhere and posed with the ruins and the little boy as a means at pulling of the heartstrings of the gullible readers of the New York Times.

So the formerly authoritative New York Times has published a picture distributed around the world on the home page of its website, using a prop which must have been artfully placed to create a false dramatic impression of cruel incompetence on the part of US forces. Not only did the editors lack the basic knowledge necessary to detect the fake, they didn’t bother to run the photo past anyone with such knowledge before exposing the world to it.

There is an old saying in journalism about stories which editors really want to run: “too good to check.” It is plainly clear that the New York Times thought this story was too good to check. Their standard of “good” is painfully obvious to all.

Without the internet and blogosphere, probably they would have gotten away with it.

Someone Has to Say it

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, a National holiday. Have you ever tried to make a list of the official national celebrations, holidays if you will, celebrated by the United States? Here you go:

First we have three holidays that are shared with many other countries:

New Year's

Then we have several more holidays that are unique to the United States

Independence Day
President's Day*
Martin Luther King Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Memorial Day
Veteran's Day
Labor Day

Now .. look at that list. There are only two holidays on that list that honor one individual. Christmas honors the birth of Jesus Christ, and we honor the birth of Martin Luther King today.* I do not in any way intend for these comments to marginalize or denigrate the immense contributions that Martin Luther King Jr. made to our Republic. I consider him to be a great man, a man who held the United States to the promise made in the documents of our heritage; that all men are created equal, and that all men are to be afforded equal protection under our laws. The so-called civil rights leaders of today aren't worthy to park Dr. King's car. To compare Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson to MLK would be to compare a go cart to a limo. I just find it problematic that throughout the entire history of our nation we have only designated one American as worthy of a national holiday, and how we did it.

There is something else unique about the MLK holiday. It is the only holiday that came into existence largely through treats of boycotts and political retaliation. The taxpayers of this country paid millions of dollars over a period of years to fund a federal commission who's only purpose was to cajole state governments into honoring the holiday. If the voters of a particular state dared to decide that they did not want to officially recognize the MLK holiday, the state was threatened with boycotts and other reprisals. The voters of Arizona approved the holiday in 1992 only after being threatened with the loss of the 1996 Super Bowl.

Just how much honor is there in having a day named after you through coercion and the threat of boycotts?

Nothing's going to change here, but instead of honoring one particular individual, wouldn't it be a better idea to honor the idea of civil rights, equal protection and the rule of law on this day?

By the way .... if you were asked to come up with a new federal holiday, what would you chose? We already have a holiday honoring freedom, and a holiday on which to give thanks for all that is good in our lives. We have a holiday honoring those who have served in our armed forces, and one to honor those who gave their lives in that service. We have a holiday for those who's labor has contributed to the greatness of America, and one honoring those who have served in our highest office. So, how about a national holiday honoring the individual who truly made America the great country it is today? And just who, you ask, might that individual be? The Individual, that's who. The individual Americans, all 275 million-plus of them, who work every day to make a good life for themselves and their families in our system of freedom and economic liberty ... or what's left of it. The collectivists have been engaged in a war against individualism for decades. Maybe it's time to fight back by honoring the concept of the individual. Let's try it! I would just love to see the collectivists lose their composure over the prospect of honoring individuality.

*Nope, Columbus Day does not honor an individual. This holiday commemorates the discovery of America. President's Day honors all past presidents.

Hat tip: Neal Boortz

The Sky is Falling!!

German scientists have discovered a new source of methane, a greenhouse gas that is second only to carbon dioxide in its impact on climate change.

The culprits are plants.

They produce about 10 to 30 percent of the annual methane found in the atmosphere, according to researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany.

The scientists measured the amount of methane released by plants in controlled experiments. They found it increases with rising temperatures and exposure to sunlight.

"Significant methane emissions from both intact plants and detached leaves were observed ... in the laboratory and in the field," Dr Frank Keppler and his team said in a report in the journal Nature.

Methane, which is produced by city rubbish dumps, coal mining, flatulent animals, rice cultivation and peat bogs, is one of the most potent greenhouse gases in terms of its ability to trap heat.

Concentrations of the gas in the atmosphere have almost tripled in the last 150 years. About 600 million tonnes worldwide are produced annually.

The scientists said their finding is important for understanding the link between global warming and a rise in greenhouse gases.

It could also have implications for the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for developed countries to cut their emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.

Keppler and his colleagues discovered that living plants emit 10 to 100 times more methane than dead plants.

Scientists had previously thought that plants could only emit methane in the absence of oxygen.

David Lowe, of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, said the findings are startling and controversial.

"Keppler and colleagues' finding helps to account for observations from space of incredibly large plumes of methane above tropical forests," he said in a commentary on the research.

But the study also poses questions, such as how such a potentially large source of methane could have been overlooked and how plants produced it.

"There will be a lively scramble among researchers for the answers to these and other questions," Lowe added.

If we follow the logical and latest hue and cry of the enviro nazis we would adopt a policy of defoliating the planet.

Which reminds Leonidas AGAIN of the following exerpt from a 1978 publication called THE COOLING by a "scientist" named Lowell Ponte:


“We simply cannot afford to gamble...by ignoring it. We cannot risk inaction. Those scientists who say we are entering a period of climatic instability are acting irresponsibly. The indications that our climate can soon change for the worse are too strong to be reasonably ignored.”


Friday, January 13, 2006


Leonidas has not been closely following the ongoing circus called the "senate confirmation hearings" so when he initially encountered the below referenced exchange he chuckled and thought it to be a parody. Alas, it is aparently NOT parody: Biden v Alito -- the abridged Senate Confirmation Hearing questioning, 3

Biden: “With all due respect, Judge, please don’t dodge the question. Will you or will you not allow hillbillies to take control of a woman’s uterus by removing it from her body and using it as a kind of mini-accesorized rucksack? A simple yes or no will do, sir!”

It may be time to rethink Claire Wolf's other work: "It's Not Time to Shoot the Bastards...Yet".


Thursday, January 12, 2006


The aphorisms that power corrupts and politics attracts scoundrels are evidenced perfectly in the current confirmation hearings of Samuel Alito. Richard Cohen (a pundit with which Leonidas seldom agrees) in Wednesday's Washington Post seems to nail it perfectly in referring to Senator Joseph Biden:

"The seniority that makes Biden so knowledgeable on foreign policy -- a conversation with him is always instructive -- is also what cripples. He has been in the Senate since 1973 and suffers, as nearly all senators do sooner or later, from the conviction that he and his colleagues are the center of the world. After all, no one -- with the possible exception of family members -- ever tells a senator to shut up. They are surrounded by fawning staff and generally treated as minor deities. They lose perspective, which is why, now that you've asked, they talk and talk at these hearings. They are convinced the world is watching. Actually, it's only a half a dozen shut-ins on C-SPAN -- and, of course, the nearly catatonic press corps. Everyone else is playing computer solitaire.

Biden ran for president once before -- and then, too, his mouth went off on its own. (In 1988, his stump speech was perilously similar to the one used by Neil Kinnock, Britain's Labor Party leader.) This time seems no different, except the loss is greater... He has much to say -- and then too much to add. He is an anatomical disaster. His Achilles' heel is his mouth."

And then there is the other mouth: "The Swimmer", Kennedy. Of course the reason for the ongoing circus is the incredible power wielded by the U.S. judiciary as well as the perquisites enjoyed by other members of our ruling elite. Leonidas believes he will reread Claire Wolf's "101 Things to do Until the Revolution".


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Famous last words: "He's Bluffing!"

In 1923 an inmate of Spandau prison completed a work of non fiction laying out his plans for a new order. In Mein Kampf, Herr Hitler clearly indicates his program for a "Greater German Reich" but was dismissed by those who stood to lose the most under such a regime as "unserious". DON'T PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THIS DANGEROUS MAN ..... HE'S BLUFFING.

I know that [some] will urge the west to ignore this Islamic goon, but Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the 'secular' president of Iran, has told a crowd of "theological students" in Iran that Islam must prepare to rule the world. Ahmandinejad said "We must believe in the fact that Islam is not confined to geographical borders, ethnic groups and nations. It's a universal ideology that leads the world to justice,"

Some other of his pronouncements: The Holocaust is a myth, Israel must be wiped off the face of the Earth, and Iran is going to become a nuclear power no matter what the Western world thinks about it.

Let's not take effendi Ahmadinejad seriously. While we're at it, let's make sure we never identify the religion of Islam as the violent entity that it most assuredly is. Wouldn't want to offend someone, would we?

hat tip Neal Boortz

Monday, January 09, 2006

A Reminder

Leonidas is old enough to vividly remember this earlier bit from the "scientific community":


“We simply cannot afford to gamble...by ignoring it. We cannot risk inaction. Those scientists who say we are entering a period of climatic instability are acting irresponsibly. The indications that our climate can soon change for the worse are too strong to be reasonably ignored.”

Lowell Ponte, 1978 The Cooling p. 237

Another prediction

On 17 February (next week) audio tapes which have been found in Iraq will be released to the public which purport to refer to Saddam Hussein's alledged weapons programs.

The audiotapes, which had apparently been overlooked, were found in a warehouse along with many other untranslated Iraqi intelligence files. These tapes are extremely significant, since they may be the best evidence yet of Saddam's secret intentions concerning weapons of mass destruction.

Before 9/11, many intelligence experts were convinced that a very strong and important Iraqi WMD connection existed, only to change their minds when no concrete evidence of that connection could be uncovered in the three years following the beginning of Iraqi war.

Because of the considerable historical importance of this stunning recent development, the contractor who obtained and reviewed these tapes plans to release them to the public on February 17, 2006...

After his presentation, a panel of intelligence experts will discuss the ways in which experts may verify the fact that Hussein in fact recorded these audiotapes. These procedures include utilization of voiceprint analysis and other technical means of voice verification.

Further information about The Intelligence Summits may be found on its website: www.IntelligenceSummit.org.

Leonidas predicts that depending on ones war view template, this evidence will either be: a) ignored by the media or b) dismissed as fabrications even though the technology exists to determine their authenticity.

ht: NoPasaran

Saturday, January 07, 2006

And it isn't California!?

Missouri State Senator Bill Alter (R-High Ridge) wanted to attack the problem of drunk driving in a novel way. Rather than hire enough police officers to throw up sobriety checkpoints every block or outlaw the sale of alcoholic beverages altogether, Alter decided to write a law that would make beer taste like shit — Senate Bill 763 is up for consideration this week.
This act prohibits any grocery store or convenience store from selling individually packaged beer or beer that is refrigerated below 60 degrees on the premises. The Supervisor of the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control may suspend or revoke a license for any violation of this provision.
No beer sold from a convenience store below 60 degrees Fahrenheit? That's blasphemy, according to most beer experts, who suggest a range between 40 and 60 degrees, dependent upon type of beer, to ensure good taste. And that's why Alter thinks his bill makes good sense -- as he puts it, "The only reason why beer would need to be cold is so that it can be consumed right away."

Some point out that other states have laws similar to what Alter proposes. They note the law seems incongruous in light of the fact that bars "can over-serve as much ice cold beer as they want," and express doubt that a driver was going to get blotto from one cold beer consumed right after leaving a store. They also noted that in states with similar laws, drivers there either got used to drinking warm beer or put ice chests in their cars.

Alter, a police officer for twenty years, gives credit for his bill to a fifth-grade student who participated in a program to come up with some new state laws. Alter says: "I thought it had the best chance at getting legislative attention. Plus, I think it's a good idea whether or not other people do." Alter pointed to last year's success in having elementary students propose laws.

Great moments in Marxism (corruption)

The great Aral Sea disaster of the Soviet Union is among the crowning achievements of what happens when prices are set by the government, not by the market. The Soviet Union sucked the Aral Sea's drainage dry to grow cotton--and then, because it had destroyed the fisheries that employed Aral Sea workers, it started flying in fish from the Arctic Ocean, thousands of miles away, to keep the cannery workers occupied. Free market prices would have prevented this. The cost of this enormous irrigation system would have showed up in the cost of what Stalin called "white gold"--the cotton produced in the Aral Sea. If you can't sell overpriced cotton, you go out of business.

Prohibiting the government from interfering with pricing would have a major positive effect: it would reduce at least a little the opportunities for corruption. But the continuing scandals of corruption require something more than a ban on govenment control of prices. It would require a complete ban on governmental interference in the economy. As nice as that sounds in theory, in practice, there are probably at least occasionally circumstances where this wouldn't be a good idea, and there's no way that such a return to Constitutional government could ever occur. I think we are going to just have to accept that bribery (whether blunt or the indirect form of "campaign contributions") is a fundamental part of our representative form of government.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Say What?

You really have to read this to understand the incoherence of Chuck Schumer's position(s) on which nominees deserve a particular grilling by the Senate: To summarize, Schumer's position is as follows:

1. Answering questions is "particularly important," and "much more vital," for someone like Roberts, who has not "spent years forging a legacy on an appeals court, which can provide an excellent guide to [a nominee's] judicial philosophy," who has "served only two years on the bench," and as to whom there are not "many documents which would reveal [the nominee’s] thinking," and who is therefore "more of a tabula rasa than many other nominees in terms of . . . judicial philosophy."

2. At the same time, "there is a greater obligation to answer questions," "the obligation increases," and there is "more to answer for," for someone like Alito, who, unlike Roberts, has spent 15 years forging a legacy on an appeals court (which, you will recall, can provide an excellent guide to a nominee’s judicial philosophy), and who has a "written record on executive power; [a] written record on Congressional power; [a] his written record on the issue of personal autonomy and choice," and who "has spoken out - in a clear and direct way - on . . . particular issue[s]," and expressed views "strongly," and who is therefore not more of a tabula rasa than many other nominees in terms of judicial philosophy.

3. On the other hand, it was "less critical" for someone like Justice Ginsburg "to answer every question,” because she, unlike Roberts (but like Alito), had spent "13 years on the appeals court and had written 305 opinions," and thereby had a "long record" of spending years forging a legacy on an appeals court (an excellent guide, of course, to a nominee’s judicial philosophy), had "penned" many "substantive" writings, and thus had an extensive written record, had spoken out in a clear and direct way on issues, had expressed views strongly, and therefore was not more of a tabula rasa than many other nominees in terms of judicial philosophy.

Or, to put it differently: Roberts and Alito are Republican nominees, Ginsburg was a Democrat, and the rest is window dressing.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Enviro Nazism

David Lucas owned shoreline property that the South Carolina government told him he couldn't develop, even though his next door neighbors developed their property. South Carolina's regulation made his shoreline property virtually worthless. Lucas sued and the U.S. Supreme Court forced the South Carolina government to pay Mr. Lucas $1 million. Once the state was forced to pay Lucas $1 million, they changed their minds about the worth of keeping the shoreline undeveloped. In fact they sold it to a developer.

Costs born by others will have less of an effect on our choices than when we bear them directly. Environmentalists love it when the government can force private citizens to bear the burden of their agenda as opposed to requiring that government pay landowners for property losses due to one regulation or another. It's cheaper and that means government officials will more readily cave in to environmentalists' demands. In other words, regulations that stop a landowner from using his land because of the red-cockaded woodpecker, or prevent a farmer from tilling his land because of an endangered mouse, or prevent a homeowner from building a firebreak to protect his home produce costs that are privately borne. If government had to compensate people for regulations that reduce the value of their property, more intelligent decisions would be made. Besides, if a particular measure will benefit the public, why should its cost be borne privately?

Environmentalists go berserk whenever there's talk of drilling for the tens of billions of dollars worth of oil in Alaska's National Wildlife Refuge. Why? It doesn't cost them anything. Here's what I predict. If we gave environmentalists Alaska's National Wildlife Refuge, you can bet your last dollar that there'd be oil drilling. Why? It would now cost them something to keep the oil in the ground. The Audubon Society owns the Rainey Preserve in Louisiana, a wildlife refuge. There's oil and natural gas on their property and they've allowed drilling for over half a century; not allowing drilling, in the name of saving the environment, would have cost them millions of dollars in revenue.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

European Delusion

Mrs. Leonidas is a Swedish citizen and has been participating in a "discussion" thread hosted by a newspaper on the northern part of that country. The participants demonstrate an astonishingly distorted perception of the U.S. e.g. pervasive poverty, raceism, crime and corruption. They are daily exposed to a level of anti "Anglo Saxon" society propaganda that literally boggles the mind in its sovietescness. This situation is apparently common throughout much of Europe where true unemployment hovers above 20%.

This fall in status in Europe has resulted in a rise in envy and often an irrational dislike of the outside world (much of it directed at the U.S.). Many Europeans are in denial about the failures of their socialist or "social market models." All too many are woefully ignorant about the reasons for economic growth or failure. Europe is strangling itself in bureaucracy and killing incentives through excessive taxation. Now the Germans and French are trying to infect the new free market economies in Eastern Europe with this status flu.

Many in the European ruling elite put down pro-growth policies by disdainfully referring to them as the "Anglo-Saxon model."

The U.S. government ought to wage an aggressive information campaign in Europe to offset many factual misrepresentations about the U.S. in the European press -- particularly in health care, levels of poverty, schooling, crime, justice, etc. By almost any measure, though far from perfect, the U.S. comes out better than much of Europe.

The vaccine for economic flu is economic literacy. European (and other) economic education organizations have been dispensing the vaccine, but their resources are too meager to stop the spread of economic ignorance. Americans have in general greater economic literacy, and hence have been less infected by economic flu, because private individuals and businesses have understood it is both their responsibility and in their long-run interest to support economic education programs run by nongovernment organizations.

If Europeans were as familiar with the teachings of Hayek as those of Karl Marx, most of their economic problems would disappear.»

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Sorry for the lack of posting the last few days. Lightning fried the modem so even the phone has been down. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Hold on to your wallet!

The United Nations is trying to blame natural disasters on, of all things, the U.S. (read President Bush)

The title of the U.N.’s first disaster conference, held in 1994, was the “World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction,” which, incidentally, occurred during the U.N.-proclaimed "International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction" (1990-1999). Anyone for joining the “Stop Tectonic Movement” protest?

Natural disasters, as far as the U.N. is concerned anyway, apparently are no longer “natural.”

The U.N. is a leading promoter of the unproven notion that humans are significantly altering global climate for the worse in order to be able to blame people, i.e. Bush as opposed to Nature, for deadly and costly occurrences such as hurricanes, floods, droughts, heat waves and the like.

As the global warming alarmist community likes to point out, the U.S. is the largest single contributor to the alleged global warming, emitting 25 percent of all greenhouse gases while possessing only 4 percent of the world’s population.

Toward the goal of blaming the U.S. for what used to be considered “natural disasters” in order to eventually extract financial compensation, the U.N.’s draft action plan is riddled with references to climate change [read, “U.S.-made climate change”] as causing or contributing to “disasters.”

“I hope there will be a global recognition of [U.S. caused] climate change causing more natural disasters,” said Jan Egeland, U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs.

Weather disasters like hurricanes, floods, droughts, heat waves, cold snaps, ice storms always have, and always will plague man. As far as we know, they are entirely natural occurrences. There is absolutely no credible evidence that humans , much less Americans in particular, have had have any discernible impact on the frequency and severity of natural disasters notwithstanding the media’s new habit of linking virtually any extreme or unusual weather event with global warming. Now to the bottom line:

The U.N. dramatizes the need for its “action plan” by claiming that: economic damages resulting from “disasters” have increased from about 1,500 disasters costing $200 billion during the 1970s to 6,000 disasters costing $700 billion during the 1990s; and the number of people “threatened” by “disasters” has increased from about 750 million people in the 1970s to about 2.5 billion people in the 1990s.

Translation: “Americans open your wallets”.

This assertion is unfounded since there is no scientific evidence that global warming — which involves a hypothesized few-degree rise in global temperatures over the course of a century — has anything to do with these events. Weather, after all, is not climate.

The end-game of the U.N. , is to be able to blame natural disasters on global warming so that it also can eventually seek compensation for its losses from U.S. businesses and taxpayers.