Thursday, August 31, 2006

A quick, drive-by post

I've been in Europe on business since late last week, so I haven't had much time for posting. But here's a shot of my favorite bar in Heidelberg, from their web page since I neglected to bring my camera.

The staff at The Dubliner is the absolute best, and catching an Irish Football game (the details of which I'll put up in a later post) on a Sunday afternoon at The Dubliner is something not to be missed

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Beloit College Mindset List - 1918

After reading this morning that Beloit College has released its "Mindset List" for this year's incoming freshman class, I started to look for a copy of it online. I stumbled across this piece by Adam Underhill, and thought it worth posting.

M I N D S E T L I S T: 1 9 1 8

By Adam Underhill

- - - -

The millions of young gentlemen, and handful of young ladies, who will be freshman students at the great universities of our Republic came into this world in the year of our Lord 1900. Consider the following:

1. They have no meaningful recollection of the administration of President William McKinley, and probably do not know that he had been shot.

2. They were but three years old when the Wright brothers first took flight at Kitty Hawk.

3. They have never lived in fear of an Indian insurrection.

4. The "hobble" skirt has always appeared fashionable to them.

5. Their life-time has always included Coca-Cola as a recreational beverage. A Coca-Cola has always cost five cents.

6. They likely have never heard of William Jennings Bryan.

7. To them, "Bismarck" is merely the name of the capital of North Dakota.

8. They have only known North Dakota to be a state in the Union—never a mere territory.

9. They were a mere eight years old when the Habsburgs acquired Bosnia and Herzegovina.

10. They have always known the luxury of the hand-cranked Victrola.

11. They have never heard of the Panic of 1893.

12. They have always known the Gold Coast as a British possession.

13. They have never known King Umberto I of Italy.

14. They have never seen the great Roger Connor play baseball.

15. They shall never know war again, now that the War to End All Wars has forged a new era of world peace.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Opening salvo?

This is getting very little coverage so far, but both AP and Reuters are reporting that Iran fired on, then boarded, a Romanian oil rig off the coast of Iran. GSP, the Romanian company that owns the rig, has since been unable to contact anyone there.

Is this simply a case of Iran's military exercises getting a little too rambunctious, or the opening phase of something bigger?

Via Jihad Watch

Update at 08:15 on 23 August: This appears to have been a "commercial dispute" in which Iran took extreme measures.

Hizb ut-Tahrir spokeshater convicted in Denmark for hate speech

Fadi Ahmad Abdel Latif, Hizb ut-Tahrir in Denmark's
spokesman and chief hater

A court in Copenhagen last week convicted Fadi Ahmad Abdel Latif, spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir in Denmark, according to an item in Jyllands-Posten. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a radical Islamist organization, banned as a terrorist group here in the US, but still condoned in many other countries. That may be about to change in Denmark.

According to Jyllands-Posten:

A unanimous panel of judges in a Copenhagen city court found Adbel Latif, the spokesman for the Danish branch of radical Muslim organisation Hizb-ut-Tahir, guilty on all three counts for which he was charged, including for distributing fliers in 2004 urging Mulsims to 'kill their leaders' if they prevented them from helping their 'brothers' fighting in Fallujah.

He was also convicted for threatening the lives of Jews by calling on Muslims to 'kill them all, wherever you find them'.

It comes as no surprise that Abdel Latif denies the accusations, saying his fliers had been misinterpreted:

Abdel Latif claimed that the flyers had been misinterpreted. He appealed the conviction and the three month jail sentence.

'This was expected. The decision is politically motivated. It's only intended as a way to force Danish Muslims to keep their mouths shut,' he said after the trial.

Right. I'm sure the fliers actually said kiss the Jews wherever you find them.

Unfortunately, Abdel Latif only draws a 3-month sentence for his hate mongering, and the article makes no mention of booting his fascist ass out of the country. On the bright side, the conviction may lead to the banning of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Denmark:

The government shelved a 2005 effort to dissolve the controversial organisation after the attorney general, Lene Espersen, said there was no specific reason to do so. But if Thursday's conviction is upheld, Espersen may ask the public prosecutor to determine whether if can be used to forcibly disband the group.

I posted an entry on Hizb ut-Tahrir back in March, which linked to their web site. Unfortunately, all the non-Arabic versions of their site have been suspiciously taken down, but here's a clip from their site that I was able to snag at the time:

Its aim is to resume the Islamic way of life and to convey the Islamic da’wah to the world. This objective means bringing the Muslims back to living an Islamic way of life in Dar al-Islam and in an Islamic society such that all of life’s affairs in society are administered according to the Shari’ah rules, and the viewpoint in it is the halal and the haram under the shade of the Islamic State, which is the Khilafah State. That state is the one in which Muslims appoint a Khaleefah and give him the bay’ah to listen and obey on condition that he rules according to the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and on condition that he conveys Islam as a message to the world through da’wah and jihad.

The Party, as well, aims at the correct revival of the Ummah through enlightened thought. It also strives to bring her back to her previous might and glory such that she wrests the reins of initiative away from other states and nations, and returns to her rightful place as the first state in the world, as she was in the past, when she governs the world according to the laws of Islam.

It also aims to bring back the Islamic guidance for mankind and to lead the Ummah into a struggle with Kufr, its systems and its thoughts so that Islam encapsulates the world

This is a very scary organization, folks.

Monday, August 21, 2006

British Muslims on campus

This First Post article by Professor Tom Gallagher correctly identifies a major problem on British university campuses. According to Gallagher:
Extremist groups are targeting Muslim undergraduates, offering them a simplistic narrative of victimhood in which to make sense of their lives.
Unfortunately, Gallagher offers his own "narrative of victimhood", effectively excusing Muslim students who turn to violent radicalism:

The response of university officials has all too often been timid and sluggish. Too many have gone along with the Government strategy to increase student numbers while diluting the quality of degrees, especially in the humanities and social sciences.

This means many Muslim graduates will fail to establish themselves in the labour market. The word will spread that university is only a prelude to casual or low-paid jobs, which aids extremists grooming a young generation to reject Britain and embrace an international identity championing Islamic revolution.

Gallagher, in true whackademic fashion, then proposes a government program to cure this particular ill:

Government needs to have a strategy for promoting upward mobility in the Muslim population. Many young men should be steered away from university and into vocational training for jobs that will offer them the financial stability that will elude many graduates. High-earning Muslim tradesmen would be good role models for young Muslims.

Gallagher is shooting so wide of the mark with this piece that none can take it seriously. Linking low earning potential to radicalization is a red herring. Osama Bin Laden is (was?) filthy rich. His lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is a physician. He could have emigrated to any western country and lived quite nicely.

The problem in Britain is radical Islamic hate-mongering. The solution is to cut it out like the cancer that it is.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Shaping the Democratic party, Kos style

The Daily Kos is considered by many to be the premier web site of the "progressive" wing of the Democratic party, and Markos Zuniga (the site's founder) and his followers there like to think of themselves as the vanguard of the Democratic party's reformation. For that reason, it pays to take a look over there every now and then and see what they're thinking.

I came across this item today. The writer appears to be one of the saner members of Kos' Komrades, but in the fourth paragraph the hatred comes to the fore:
I know alot of you don't understand why people hated Dean so much, but there's a reason for it, at least there was for me. George W. Bush, and all his followers/enablers, scare the shit out of me. You see, I'm from the south. Specifically, the Bible Belt. I grew up with these people, I know how they think, these so called social conservatives, the fundamentalists. These are dangerous, scary, creepy people. They need to be removed from power with the quickness. To me, that objective takes priority over all other concerns. Gay Marriage, Abortion Law, Terrorism, even Iraq Policy takes a backseat to the overriding goal of removing these people from office.
I guess that even though I'm neither a Republican nor fundamentalist (fundamentalist what...agnostic?) I might be considered a social conservative for my extremist view that the world doesn't owe me (or anybody else) a living. Therefore, I too need to be removed from power with "the quickness". I might actually be worried if I held any kind of power.

With the Kos Krowd, nothing else matters. Their hatred for Republicans and/or anybody holding traditional values is what drives them, and ridding the land of their ilk is more important than life itself.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Nasrallah claims Hizballah victory's a good thing Hizballah won. I'd hate to see what Beirut would have looked like had they lost.

We now return me to my regularly scheduled vacation.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I need a vacation

I'll be posting lightly, if at all, for the next week. I'll be somewhere on the beach pictured above.

To all the bad guys out, my house will not be vacant!

Snakes on a Plane

Our local editorial cartoonist, Clay Jones of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, obviously "gets it".

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Wolves in sheep's clothing

While browsing today for news from Europe, I came across this item in the French news section.

To summarize, the article describes the efforts of Prince Talal Mohammad al-Rashid, the son of the last ruler of the Rashidi emirate which reigned in the northwestern Hail region of Arabia until 1921, when the House of Saud consolidated the kingdom of Saudi Arabia under their rule.

Prince al-Rashid claims to want to replace the ruling monarchy in Saudi Arabia with a democracy. Happy-happy joy-joy. But according to the article:
He said his group, with "some 2,000 active members, mostly in Saudi Arabia," would coordinate its activities with other opponents of the Saudi government at home and abroad, chiefly the London-based Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA) which calls for a regime change in the kingdom.
Frankly, any group with the word "Islamic" or "Muslim" in its name piques my interest, so I did a little bit of research on MIRA. What I found gives me serious doubts about Prince al-Rashid's desires for democracy.

First, there's this US Treasury Department report from 14 July 2005 designating MIRA as a terrorist organization supporting al-Qaeda. According to the report:
MIRA is run by al Qaida-affiliated Saad al-Faqih, who was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 by the Treasury on December 21, 2004 and is named on the United Nations 1267 Committee consolidated list of terrorists tied to al Qaida, UBL and the Taliban.

"Al-Faqih uses MIRA to facilitate al Qaida's operations," said Stuart Levey, the Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). "Designating MIRA will help stem the flow of funds to the organization and put the world on notice of its support for al Qaida."

Next was this item from Militant Islam Monitor dated July 2005 tieing Muslim Council of Britain finance director Iqbal Asaria to MIRA and thus, in turn, al-Qaeda.

This raises some unsettling questions. For instance, why does Britain continue to allow the MCB to operate in its midst? And just how deep does one have to probe to find similar connections to other ostensibly peaceful Islamic groups?

The media holds up groups like the Muslim Council of Britain and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as models of moderate Islam. Is this the "vast majority" of Muslims we keep hearing about?

Got three more Egyptian "exchange students"

Fox News is reporting that three more of the missing Egyptian "exchange students" were bagged today. Two were taken into custody near Baltimore, and one at a Chicago airport. That makes six of the eleven, so five more to go.

Of course, the FBI continues to stress that they pose no terrorist threat. Maybe they're referring to the guys in custody.

But let's look at this. Of the six nabbed so far, one was arrested in Minnesota, two in New Jersey, two in Baltimore and one in Chicago. All in or near major cities, but not all of which one would consider major tourist destinations for a young Egyptian student who suddenly decided to do some sight-seeing on his way to Montana.

Let's hope these guys are questioned vigorously and not just shipped back home.

Previous posts on this topic:
First post
Second post

The Dems need a new mascot

The new symbol of the Democratic party

After seeing the spectacularly deranged reaction of denial to the UK airline plot from the "progressives" over at DU and Daily Kos, it's obvious they need a new mascot. For them to continue to use the noble ass as their symbol is an incredible insult to asses everywhere.

So here it is. Please update your literature and web sites.

The loony left reaction to the UK airline plot

Well, I put on my hazmat gear and went over to Democratic Underground to check their hive-mind reaction to the British airline plot. The results were predictable:
Ain't this the biggest CO-INKEDINK ? BE VERY AFRAID! VOTE REP !

Have to keep the Sheep Afraid.

What "plot"? Has Jerkoff provided any evidence of the plot?

Anti war candidate defeats a major Bush supporter - next day, a terror plot is thwarted.
That's great timing.
So on and so forth, ad nauseam.

Some early theories on the airplane bomb plot

While I'm hearing bits and pieces on the news now that Pakistani authorities might have tipped off the Brits about a suspected plot, I have another theory.

Some of the early reports I've seen on TV and have read online were saying that the suspects were very close to executing their plot, with multiple suspects aboard each flight. It's also been reported that the airplanes were to have been bombed nearly simultaneously.

This can only mean that they'd already booked tickets, and the departure date was nearing. This leads me to believe that the British authorities, as much as we criticize them for political correctness, saw a red flag when a lot of Mohammeds and Ahmeds were preparing to travel to the US on the same day.

So for now I'll say "Good job, mates!".

SecDef Joe?

The First Post has an interesting item by Damien McElroy suggesting that with Joe Lieberman losing the Democratic nomination for his senate seat, the Bush administration may tap him for Secretary of Defense to replace Donald Rumsfeld. Mr. McElroy makes a fairly convincing argument for this scenario.

I take issue with some of Rummy's policies and methods, but I think that overall, he's a great SecDef. And given Bush's reputation for loyalty, I don't see him throwing Rummy under the bus any time soon. At the same time, I can see Bush making some changes within his administration to deflect some of the criticism he's received over the years, and just maybe boost his abysmal approval ratings.

As for Joe Lieberman, I've been a big fan of his for a long time. When I lived in Connecticut, I voted for him for the US Senate in the late '80s when he ran for the first time, and didn't regret it. He's a man of honor and integrity, as evidenced by his sticking to his values even though it was those very values that led to his ouster by the far-left wing of the Democratic party.

The questions then are (1) will Bush seek to replace Rummy, and (2) if so, will he offer the position to Joe, and (3) would Joe take it?

Things will have to happen fast with Joe having already filed to run for his senate seat as an independent.

Revealed: Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus NOT part of UK airplane plot!

It took a few tries, but I was finally able to find a news item on the latest foiled terrorist plot that gives a hint as to the background of the plotters.

The Times of London indelicately states in the second paragraph of this article:
So far 21 suspects - believed to be British citizens, many of Pakistani origin - have been arrested in overnight raids in London, the Thames Valley and Birmingham...
But then again, you didn't need me to tell you this.

Update at 08:33 on 10 August: Drinking From Home has a good post on the verbal gymnastics being performed by Britain's media in which they're painfully avoiding the words "muslim" or "islamic".

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's not what we's worse!

Retransmitting original full frame for context to show full scale of
the number of human shields used by the Palestinian terrorist.

Charles at LGF has an update to that human shields picture I had up yesterday. It appears that AP needed to issue a clarification that the picture wasn't what we all thought. It was even worse.

AP completely misses the point that the Palestinian terrorists habitually surround themselves with kids and other bystanders so that any return fire will inevitably kill or wound at least some of them. Great propaganda value, see? So the "original context" only shows that there were even more kids around the pig with the rifle.

The AP caption with the new photo says:
RETRANSMITTING ORIGINAL FULL FRAME FOR CONTEXT TO SHOW THAT PEOPLE IN BACKGROUND ARE NOT DIRECTLY IN THE LINE OF FIRE — A Palestinian militant fires toward Israeli troops during an arrest raid in the West Bank village of Qabatiyeh near Jenin, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2006. Four Palestinians were wounded when the army arrested an Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades militant, Palestinians sources said. The army said two Islamic Jihad militants were arrested during the operation. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)
A little re-captioning is once again in order.

Three down, eight to go

AP is reporting that three of the eleven Egyptian exchange students that went walkabout have been nabbed, one in Minnesota, the other two in New Jersey.


Hizballah short on corpses, performers

*** Update at 13:10 on 9 August ***: Tempest in a teapot, or NYT spin? The Times has issued a correction of the caption accompanying the slide show. I'm giving NYT enough benefit of the doubt to put this update at the top.

OK, I had to do it. It took me a few minutes of cropping screen shots, but here are frames 2, 3, 4 and 6 from the NY Times slide show of Hizballah's propaganda fest as previously reported by Gateway Pundit.

Note that I'm not blaming NYT for anything other than editorial inattentiveness here. And I'm sure not taking credit for the sharp eyes that first caught this.

Maybe it's fatigue after the Reuters Photo Phiasco, but this one seems to be getting under-played a bit, so here it is in detail.

Hizballah apparently can't find enough bodies to parade for the press corps covering the attacks in Lebanon, nor do they have enough stage actors. So, the actors playing the role of rescuers must occasionally double as corpses.

Note the guy with the backwards baseball cap...

...and again at upper-right background...

...and one more time right foreground just before...

...his sudden and untimely "death"! Note the cap now tucked between
his left arm and body. Can't go cap-less in the afterlife!

Update at 09:39 on 9 August: Michelle Malkin reports that NPR's caption, in an interview item with NYT photographer Tyler Hicks, is very different from NYT's own.

NYT slide show caption: The Mayor of Tyre said that in the worst-hit areas, bodies were still buried under the rubble, and he appealed to the Israelis to allow government authorities time to pull them out.

NPR caption for the same photo: After an Israeli airstrike destroyed a building in Tyre, Lebanon, one man helps another who had fallen and been hurt.

Hurt, or playing possum?

Update at 11:10 on 9 August: Ace is almost, kinda-sorta ready to retract his post on this topic, but still has questions. So do I. Why the two vastly different captions?

Lieberman falls victim to the anti-Israel left

Ned Lamont, darling of the far left, has beaten incumbent Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic senatorial primary. One of the few remaining sane voices in the Democratic party, Joe Lieberman will now have to run as an independent if he hopes to retain his seat in the elections this November.

As I posted last weekend, the far left's seething hatred for George Bush has made it virulently anti-Israel and Joe's unflinching support for Israel and the war against Islamofascism were the catalysts for his defeat.

The Democratic party's lurch to the far left is now complete.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

And the hits keep coming...

Gateway Pundit has uncovered another media manipulation, this time it would appear at the hands of the Hizballah propoganda masters.

In this one, the photos are apparently real, but there's something a little odd...a "rescuer" turns into a recovered "corpse"!

It must be seen to be (dis)believed.

Did the nutroots hack Lieberman's campaign site?

WFSB-TV in Hartford is reporting that Sen. Joe Lieberman's campaign web site and e-mail system has been hacked. It's not clear what happened, but certainly the web page ( or don't respond.

The Lieberman campaigners claim this was deliberate sabotoge on the day of his primary run against challenger Ned Lamont:
Lieberman's camp is claiming that the Web site has been sabotaged by hackers who support his challenger Ned Lamont for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.

"They have totally attacked our Web site and e-mail system," Lieberman's campaign manager, Sean Smith said. "If Ned Lamont has a backbone in his body, he will call on these people to cease and desist."
Well, I know of at least one "progressive" Democratic activist with a strong dislike for Lieberman who's also pretty tech-savvy.

Update at 18:14 on 8 August: Kos is all over this. For someone disavowing all knowledge, he sure knows an awful lot about Joe's web and e-mail servers.

Oblivious reporting as bad as fake reporting

A Palestinian terrorist fires at anti-terrorism forces, using
children and other by-standers as human shields.

The caption accompanying this AP photo from Yahoo News is simply unbelievable:
A Palestinian militant fires toward Israeli troops during an arrest raid in the West Bank village of Qabatiyeh near Jenin, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2006. Four Palestinians were wounded when the army arrested an Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades militant, Palestinians sources said. The army said two Islamic Jihad militants were arrested during the operation. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)
Without the photo, one might assume a lone, brave "militant" was standing up to Israeli aggression against his comrades.

I've taken the liberty of captioning the photo a bit more appropriately.

Hat tip: LGF reader Piltdown Man

11 Egyptian students enter US, disappear

This one raised the hackles on my neck this morning. is reporting that 11 Egyptian students from Mansoura University entered the US on student visas, and never showed up for class.

Authorities aren't overly concerned:
FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko emphasized that there was no indication that the men were involved in any illicit activity.

"At this point, all they have done is not show up for a scheduled academic program," Kolko said. "There is no threat associated with these men."

Cases like these are actually quite common, Kolko said. Oftentimes when large groups of foreign students arrive in the United States, it is almost inevitable that some will break off and head to tourist destinations before turning up several days later.
The students entered the country on 29 July for cryin' out loud! That's about 10 days ago, by my count.

The University of Montana where they were scheduled to attend classes appears to be more concerned over the implications for the exchange program than for national security:
Montana State has tried repeatedly to contact the students, university spokeswoman Cathy Conover said. When that failed, the school notified Homeland Security officials and registered the Egyptians as "no-shows" in the system developed after Sept. 11 to track foreign students.

"We hope this doesn't cast doubt on this program because we think it's important to have international students on our campus and in our community," Conover said.
And they ask me why I drink. Yeesh.

Oh, those mean, blackhearted...Democrats?

The next time your liberal friends complain about how Bush's cruel, GOP-dominated government is stealing from the poor and giving to the rich, throw this back at them.

In an op-ed column in today's Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, Deroy Murdock, a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service, reveals that government spending on anti-poverty programs is the highest it's ever been.
Everybody knows that President Bush and the Republican Congress have chopped poverty spending to finance massive tax cuts for their wealthy friends.

"The Republican House just voted to slash health care for struggling families, cut college loans for middle-class kids, and take food off the tables of poor children," the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees complained in TV ads during budget votes last December. As Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) moaned in The Washington Post, "I don't know what the poor, the elderly, the disabled, or our foster children have done to Republicans to deserve this."

Once again, what "everybody knows" turns out to be false.

Heritage Foundation budget analyst Brian Riedl actually looked at social spending under Republican control. What he finds is as astonishing as it is counterintuitive: Under the mean, nasty, coldhearted Republicans, expenditures on the poor have zoomed to record levels.

In 2004, 16.3 percent of the federal budget went to anti-poverty efforts. This figure never has been higher.

In 2001, President Bush and the GOP Congress spent $285.7 billion on 33 anti-poverty programs. By 2005, that sum had grown $111.2 billion to a total of $396.9 billion. That 39 percent boost far outstripped that period's 10 percent cumulative inflation.
Another liberal meme debunked.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Reuters Photo Phiasco round-up

I'm hesitant to say that this will be my last post on the subject, but unless something significant develops, it will be. Let's stop beating this dead horse, and just get it off to the glue factory.

To recap, Adnan Hajj, a Reuters stringer based in Lebanon, shot a picture of Beirut after an Israeli airstrike. Apparently not satisfied with the impact of the shot, he punched it up a bit by adding more smoke. The photo showed up on Yahoo News on Saturday, 5 August.

Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs jumped all over it, igniting a blog storm as other bloggers ran with it, most notably Left & Right, Ace of Spades, Hot Air and Michelle Malkin.

By Sunday morning, Reuters issued a "kill" of the photo, and it gradually began to disappear from both Reuters and Yahoo News.

In an effort to convince the unwashed masses of Reuters' commitment to journalistic ethics, Hajj was dropped by Reuters as a source.

But the question of how this could have happened lingers, and the loss of whatever credibility Reuters had left is all but assured.

Why doctor up the image in the first place? Without getting into Adnan Hajj's head, we may never know. It's not as if Israel didn't bomb Beirut and we the public needed to somehow be convinced that they did. Maybe Hajj thought that a single smoke plume from one building wasn't enough. Clearly, the intent of the doctored photograph was to imply that much more than a single building was struck. But still, why was one burning building not enough? Here's where I'll venture into speculation.

As will be obvious to anyone who reads this humble blog, I'm not a journalist. But one of the things I do know about journalism is that a journalist is supposed to maintain objectivity. He's not supposed to take sides. This rule has been incrementally marginalized by the mainstream media over the years to the point where little that the media says can be taken at face value.

In the case of the Israel-Hizballah conflict, the leftist-dominated MSM has become so anti-Israel (see my earlier post on why), that the entire conflict is framed in terms of Israeli aggression and Lebanese suffering. Never mind that Israel specifically targets what it believes to be Hizballah military positions (after pleading with civilians to evacuate) while Hizballah randomly lobs Katyusha rockets into Israeli civilian population centers.

So Hajj doctors up his image, and Reuters' part comes down to one of either complicity or incompetence, neither of which augur well for the credibility of Reuters as a world class news organization.

And that's my last post on the subject. Unless it's not.

Reuters not doing much to clear things up

A quick look at Reuters' web site turns up nothing about their Photoshop Phiasco. In fact, in searching their photos with the search string "beirut", one can still find the doctored photo. Hit this link, and select the photo described as "Smoke billows from burning buildings destroyed during an overnight Israeli air raid on Beirut's suburbs".

Update at 10:39 on 6 August: This story's obviously generated a lot of interest. Poor Charles over at Little Green Footballs is probably having a hard time getting stuff posted today as his server's getting hammered pretty hard.

Update at 11:40 on 6 August: Heh. Now the above linked entry still shows up in the search, but the photo is gone.

al-Reuters: busted!

The blogosphere, and in particular LGF, has been developing the story of apparently doctored photos of Beirut, allegedly taken after an Israeli airtstrike.

Here it is in a screen capture I snagged last night, in the context of the Yahoo news page on which it appeared. Just in case the original meets with an untimely "accident".

If you haven't been following this story, just take a look at the plumes of smoke. Patterns in smoke just don't repeat like that. Hit the LGF link above to see what else is wrong with this picture.

Update at 08:25 on 6 August: Yahoo News has killed the photo.

Update at 08:30 on 6 August: And yet, this link on Yahoo still carries the photo as a legitimate one.

Update at 08:44 on 6 August: This just keeps getting stranger. Yahoo News now has a link to the photo they say is the real one. Below are the two photos, the "real" one on top, the doctored one immediately beneath.

Now, why was the photo doctored, and who did the doctoring? I see a few possibilities:
  • Someone at Yahoo News just screwing around.
  • Someone at Reuters thinking the original needed more "punch".
  • The photographer himself.
The first possibility is the least worrisome. Either of the other two only confirm the bias I already suspect in the MSM.

Update at 09:05 on 6 August: I just noticed the additional caption in the Yahoo News post of the "real" picture which states that Reuters issued the kill of the fake picture. That, I think, gets Yahoo off the hook and confirms that either Reuters' bias or that of their stringer in Lebanon was the source of the manipulation.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

US reaches a deal with the Devil

The Associated Press is reporting that the US and France have reached an agreement on a UN resolution for a ceasefire between Israel and Hizballah. According to the article:
Officials with knowledge of the document said the draft calls for a "full cessation" of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, but would allow Israel the right to launch strikes if attacked by Hezbollah.
Gee, thanks. So if Hizballah uses any of the weapons that Israel is frantically trying to destroy, Israel can hit back.

Why not just let Israel defeat Hizballah in detail, then call a ceasefire?

The Left and Islamofascism: Partners in Crime

Cartoon courtesy of Cox and Forkum and used here
in accordance with their usage policy.

The minute Israel chose to defend itself and responded to Hizballah's aggression, the always-angry left joined with every Islamist organization known to mankind to protest Israel's actions and demand an immediate ceasefire. In doing so, they're continuing in their role as useful idiot tools of groups like Hizballah and Hamas.

What motivates the left to back a group of people who engage in mass-murder in the name of God, and side with extremists who preach a religious supremacy over all other religions? What kind of hypocrisy moves them to do this when they protest the briefest mention of Christian or Judaic faiths in public venues?

The simple answer is that it's convenient to do so. In the warped mindset of the rabid leftist, there's no greater evil than George Bush or Tony Blair, and any admission that radical Islam is a problem would imply that maybe Bush and Blair were right about something. So if Israel is right to defend itself against Islamofascists seeking her destruction, then Bush and Blair just might be right in their war against Islamic terrorism. The left simply can't have that, so Israel must be wrong.

Update at 09:05 on 8 August: I'll occasionally shoot one of my blog entries to the local paper as a letter to the editor, as I did with this one. From now on, I'll update the post with a link when the paper publishes the letter. The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star published this one today.

First 'blogiversary'

So I was looking for something I'd posted back in August last year, and noticed that today is The Pool Bar's birthday.

Happy blogiversary!

Now, back to subjects of substance.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Quick takes

Just a couple of quick thoughts on recent events since I'm traveling (again!) and don't have much time for anything of substance...

Mel Gibson is said to have gone on an anti-semitic tirade during his arrest for DUI the other night.
My take: He's just trying to regain his standing with the Hollywood left.

Fidel Castro has been hospitalized and has relinquished control to his brother, Raoul. The cuban community in Florida parties in the streets.
My take: Put away the mojitos, mi amigos. All signs are that Raoul's no better than his brother. But should Fidel go to the great communist collective in the sky, watch for a power struggle that will depose Raoul and leave Cuba in a state of political flux. Watch for Venezuela's Hugo Chavez to interfere.