October 2003
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"We're really blessed in this country to have the Judeo-Christian tradition of wanting to love each other and help each other have better lives and to enjoy life and be good to each other. As opposed to the tradition of some Islamofascist localities where they do the reverse - sending their own children off to be blown up."
The Big Picture, 4/29/04.
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    October 28, 2003

    Clark Living in Dreamland.

    Democrat Clark blames President Bush for Sept. 11 intelligence failures

    Democrat Wesley Clark on Tuesday blamed President Bush for the intelligence failures that contributed to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    “There is no way this administration can walk away from its responsibility for 9-11,” Clark told a conference, titled “New American Strategies for Security and Peace,” “You can’t blame something like this on lower level intelligence officers, however badly they communicated memos with each other. ... The buck rests with the commander in chief, right on George W. Bush’s desk.”

    In a related story (sarcasm on), Clark blamed FDR for Pearl Harbor.

    Clark acts like in his administration, the CIA would have the omniscience of God. Sure it would!

    I can’t wait to see what Scrappleface does with this.

    Cool Stuff at the iTunes Music Store.

    Combination of Screen Shots showing Some of My Favorite Interviews

    I found this while browsing at the iTunes store. Who knew Robin Williams had done interviews? Judging from these, he would be a great talk show host. These are hilarious, and often very informative. Excerpts of a minute or so in length are available online for all of them.

    October 27, 2003

    Why Aren’t More Muslim Leaders Speaking Out Against Terrorism?

    They’ve got a great opportunity here to lead their people to safety and into the modern world. Rumsfield offers them the chance to do it:

    “We are in a war of ideas, as well as a global war on terror,” Mr. Rumsfeld said during an interview at the Pentagon with editors and reporters of The Washington Times.

    “And the ideas are important, and they need to be marshaled, and they need to be communicated in ways that are persuasive to the listeners,” he said.

    Mr. Rumsfeld said, “In many instances, we’re not the best messengers.

    “The overwhelming majority of the people of all religions don’t believe in terrorism,” he said. “They don’t believe in running around killing innocent men, women and children. And we need more people standing up and saying that in the world, not just us.”

    Syria’s Blatant Support for Terrrorism.

    "Syria threatens to attack Golan settlers if Israel strikes again:"

    Syria has threatened to attack Israeli settlements in the Golan Heights if Tel Aviv launches another assault on its territory. ...

    "We have many cards that we have not played. Don’t forget there are many Israeli settlements in the Golan. I am not exaggerating but I am describing things as they might happen."

    What is this, villain casting central? He might as well be twirling a mustache.

    Israel goes after the terrorists who are killing Israeli civilians, and gets them, doing everything possible to avoid civilian casualties.

    And Syria’s official response? Syria may retaliate by killing more civilians, i.e. with terrorism.

    07:00 PM • Permalink & Comments (1)Blogroll The Big Picture!

    Categories: Counter-Terrorism,

    Comment thread started by: RW

    Israel’s Security Partition.

    Fred Alexander has an excellent letter in the LA TIMES on this subject.

    The Palestinian terrorists’ strategy is to kill Israelis in hopes that Palestinian civilians will be killed in retaliation. Their strategy is to gain worldwide sympathy for the killing of innocent Palestinian bystanders by Israel. To ensure that Palestinian civilians are killed, the terrorists live, manufacture bombs and store ammunition in Palestinian cities. Israel has used great restraint in subduing terrorists, limiting Palestinian civilian casualties. The bombs used by Israel in counterattacks have limited collateral impact, while the terrorist bombs are made to cause maximum collateral damage. The “security partition” simply prevents suicide bombers from attacking Israeli civilians. This barrier will deprive terrorists of their strategy.

    He’s got a point—the terrorists do hide among civilians. They don’t care if their own civilians get killed. It’s just more of their own sick disregard for human life. The question is, why do the civilians let them get away with it?

    October 24, 2003

    Hey, is there Free Speech in this Country or Not?

    The left is always trying to get somebody fired. It reminds me of the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland:

    The players all played at once without waiting for turns, quarrelling all the while, and fighting for the hedgehogs; and in a very short time the Queen was in a furious passion, and went stamping about, and shouting `Off with his head!’ or `Off with her head!’ about once in a minute.

    Rush Limbaugh makes a perfectly reasonable comment but commits the banned-by-the-left action of referring to someone’s skin color, and he’s pressured out of a job. General Boykin refers to terrorists who are trying to kill us as Satan, and the left calls for him to resign.

    This is hysteria on the left. The left says they and they alone have the right to free speech. They want to control what other people say.

    Few on the right called for the Dixie Chicks to be banned from showbiz when they slammed Bush. A lot of their fans stopped wanting to hear their music, but nobody tried to get their record contracts terminated.

    In the recent matter of Gregg Easterbrook, Easterbrook was criticized far and wide for making patently racist comments, but few if any pundits on the right called for him to be fired. Little Green Footballs specifically forgave him following his apology:

    There’s no weaseling here; he apologizes directly and simply, and it comes across as totally sincere. Very classy. Case closed.

    Glenn Reynolds stated that “a simple blog update could have (mostly) taken care of this flap. “

    Following Easterbrook’s apology, he was fired, and most conservative pundits regretted this and found it disturbing.

    It’s only the left that tries to get you fired for what you say.

    Somebody needs to remind the left of this sentiment:

    I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

    And to conclude, here’s an excellent Ramirez cartoon on the subject.


    If your cell phone acts up on Friday, it’s because of a space storm.

    I never even heard of a space storm until now. But evidently we’ve got one on the way.

    Space storm coming to Earth

    Scientists are warning about a strong geo-magnetic storm expected to hit the Earth tomorrow.

    Forecasters say the storm has the potential to affect everything from cell phones and power grids to other satellite communications.

    The disturbance is rated a G-3 storm. The highest is G-5.

    NASA scientists are calling it the perfect space storm.

    A largest cluster of sunspots caused an explosion on the sun, sending a massive amount of gas and charged particles into space towards Earth.

    Scientist say they expect it to be the worst solar flareup to be felt on Earth since a storm in 1859. That storm caused telegraph wires to short out across North America and Europe.

    October 23, 2003

    Found: a Prominent Muslim who Rejects Islamo-Fascism.

    Recently I noted an article by king Abdullah II of Jordan, denouncing terrorism, and I asked, “Now, where do all the other Muslim leaders stand on this issue - both in and outside of the U.S.? Why aren’t their voices heard, ringing out, condemning the killing of innocents, as Abdullah II has done here?”

    Well, we found another one. In a letter to today’s L.A. TIMES this letter appears, from Nayyer Ali, Vice Chairman for the Muslim Public Affairs Council of Huntington Beach:

    ...I read the entire text of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s speech at the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and I did agree with much of what he said. His call for Muslim nations to revive themselves economically and intellectually is good advice. He also correctly pointed out that 50 years of opposition to Israel had not accomplished anything and, in fact, had made the situation worse. I agree with him that it is in Muslim self-interest to end this conflict on an equitable basis.

    However, I would strongly criticize him on two grounds. His remarks about Jews, such as the odd claim that they invented democracy and human rights to further their own interests, are bizarre. It would come as a surprise to ancient Athens or 18th century Philadelphia to learn that neither of them are the source of democracy. But this conception of democracy and human rights dovetails with his complete lack of any comment on these issues to the OIC. This lack of basic human freedom is the single largest problem of the Muslim world, and if he were serious about fixing its ills, he would have brought them front and center. His cockeyed view of democracy puts him outside the camp of true Muslim reformers.

    He’s not yet the most prominent Muslim leader by any means, but he’s saying reasonable things.

    Are there any other Muslim leaders willing to make similar statements?

    October 21, 2003

    Starting A Usenet Newsgroup for the Blogosphere.

    What is a Usenet newsgroup, you say? It’s pretty amazing, actually. Usenet is part of the Internet. It supports tens of thousands of newsgroups, which are discussion groups devoted to specific subjects. There are Usenet newsgroups to discuss almost everything. For example, there are newsgroups dedicated to:

    and almost everything else.

    On these groups, people from all over the world discuss the subject. Unlike chat rooms, these discussions are not real time. People read and respond to posts whenever it’s convenient. If you have a question about the subject, you can ask, and usually someone will post an answer to your question, within hours. The person may be hundreds or thousands of miles away. It’s amazing. And once in a while, you yourself may know the answer to someone’s question and be able to help.

    On many of these newsgroups, the posters seem to know all the latest info. Just scanning the newsgroup can keep you informed about the latest developments in a subject.

    You can access newsgroups via Google, or via dedicated software. Most of the dedicated software is freeware or shareware.

    And yet—there isn’t a newsgroup yet for people who read and write weblogs.

    A newsgroup about weblogs would permit discussions about things like:

    Your vote could be key to getting this newsgroup approved.

    I’ve made a formal request to start a newsgroup about weblogs. There’s a correct procedure for doing this. I researched it, got coached by one of the Usenet experts on how to do it, and filed it. It appears, of course, on a newsgroup, called news.groups. You can see it here.

    What happens next is, there’s a discussion about the need for a newsgroup like this, and then there’s a vote. The discussion and vote are open to the public. Anyone who would like to use such a newsgroup is officially invited to participate in the discussion and in the vote.

    If you’d like a discussion group like this, click here, and use the “Post a follow-up to this message” link at the bottom of the page to add a comment saying that you would find such a newsgroup useful. In a month or so, there will be a vote to approve the newsgroup. In order to pass, there must be 100 more Yes votes than No votes, and two thirds of all votes must be Yes.

    I’ll keep you posted here on the status so that you can join in the voting when the time comes as well, if you wish.

    If you have any questions about this, post them in the Comments section here, and I’ll try to answer them.

    NOTE: Spammers sometimes check newsgroups to harvest email addresses. When posting to newsgroups, it’s good to spam-block your email address. Directions to do this are here.

    UPDATE: People were more interested in a forum, so I started one. Read about it here..

    05:22 PM • Permalink & Comments (2)Blogroll The Big Picture!

    Categories: Blogging,

    Most recent ones by: Vik RubenfeldPatrick Cook

    The InstaPundit site is down temporarily.

    In the meantime, you can go to the InstaPundit backup site.

    October 16, 2003

    Screen Shots from ‘Second generation’ iTunes Music Store.

    At its special event in San Francisco, Calif., Apple on Thursday unveiled a multitude of changes to its popular iTunes Music Store—so much so that Apple CEO Steve Jobs called it the “second generation” of the service, which has only been online since late April…

    iTunes Music Store started out in late April with about 200,000 music tracks available for purchase. Today Jobs announced that by the end of October, the iTunes Music Store will have more than 400,000 available for purchase. What’s more, Apple has signed distribution agreements with 200 independent labels, answering one early criticism of the service, which debuted with content from artists signed to the five major distributors of commercial music in North America.

    Audio book support is a new feature of this updated iTunes Music Store. Thanks to an exclusive multi-year agreement with Audible.com, iTunes Music Store users can now purchase 5,000 different audio book titles, with previews available just like their music counterparts.

    Home Screen

    New Celebrity Playlist Feature

    New AudioBooks Section


    This is big pop culture news. Apple sold over 10 million songs to Mac users alone since the iTunes Music Store premiered.

    Apple unveils iTunes, Music Store for Windows

    At a special event held today at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the long-awaited iTunes software for Windows. The service provides not only digital music playback features for Windows users, but also offers them access to the iTunes Music Store. Both iTunes and the iTunes Music Store have hitherto been limited for use by Macintosh users.

    iTunes for Windows is identical to its Macintosh counterpart.

    Windows users: click here to download the free iTunes Music Store software.

    How many songs will they sell now that Windows users can also access the store? This will continue to revolutionize the music business. I’ll be posting screen shots from the updated iTunes music store here later today.

    Ramirez Spoofs the Logic of the Left.


    October 15, 2003


    An “Apple Special Event” is scheduled for tomorrow, at which Steve Jobs is expected to announce iTunes for Windows. I’ll post an update here tomorrow with details. Check here for screen shots of iTunes Music Store, which has sold more than 10 million songs since it premiered.

    Steve Jobs will give another of his presentations at an “Apple Special Event” in San Francisco’s Moscone Center tomorrow, scheduled for 10am PDT. Jobs is expected to announce the Windows version of Apple’s iTunes Music Store…

    The year’s biggest music story is about to get even bigger,” reads the invitation, which provides directions and instructions to attend the event. The invitation itself features a silhouetted figure on a colored background holding an iPod—an image that’s becoming ubiquitous in Apple’s multimedia campaign to build brand awareness around its enormously popular digital music player.

    October 13, 2003


    Newsweek has a cover story on Rush Limbaugh that’s as much of a slam as they could make it. Look at some of these quotes.

    He was a lonely object of mass adulation, socially ill at ease, at least occasionally depressed and, for the past several years, living in a private hell of pain and compulsion.

    First of all, note the past tense. They write the whole article as if it’s an obituary. That’s malicious wishful thinking on their part. It shows their bias.

    Second, they definitely don’t know that for several years Rush was “living in a private hell of pain and compulsion.” It would be equally valid to speculate that the author of this article has for years been living in a private hell of malice. Rush’s show has continued to do spectacularly well over the past few years, and Newsweek has no basis for speculation over how Rush felt during that time.

    IN THE END, he was betrayed by his own housekeeper.

    Right, as if normally your housekeeper is your best friend.

    Limbaugh clung to the ideology of self-reliance to the last. I’m not going to portray myself as a victim, he said.

    As if self-reliance is a laughable thing. Evidently Newsweek would prefer it if Rush started blaming various doctors, drug companies, and government officials. Then Rush would be the darling of the media.

    In fact Rush’s self-reliance is admirable, courageous, and the first step to recovery.

    Note the phrase “to the last,” again as if writing an obituary.

    The fall of a moralist is always a great American spectacle.

    Is it immoral to be addicted to pain pills that are constantly being prescribed by doctors? Of course not. These pills are known to be extremely addictive, even more so because they can take away some serious pain.

    Newsweek itself buries this quote from Gary Bauer, president of a conservative organization called American Values, in the second-to-last paragraph:

    From a moral standpoint, there’s a difference between people who go out and seek a high and get addicted and the millions of Americans dealing with pain who inadvertently get addicted.

    “The fall of a moralist”—they wish. As if the media never has times when things go wrong. Did Newsweek attack the NY Times as cruelly over the Jayson Blair fiasco?

    I’ve got news for you, Newsweek. He’s not dead, and he’s coming back.

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