July 12, 2002

MEDICAL RANTS:

It would be nice if everybody could find a doctor with half the common sense of this one. It might just fix the health care manufactured demagoguery crisis.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE

endorsed a labor strike. But now I'm going to propose one. The Allied Pilots Association should strike nationwide against all air carriers, to force the airlines and more importantly the Bush Administration, to honestly deal with the issue of arming pilots. A strike would put both on the spot, and force them to defend their anti-defense policy. Pilots favor having a firearm in the cockpit by roughly 3-to-1, a margin mirrored in the general populace. But the voices of those most knowledgeable and those in their care are being ignored, and the reason seems to boil down to insurance, which basically means lawyers are in charge. The government could solve that problem if it wanted to, but chooses not to, and the result is that the last line of defense against hijackings are themselves defenseless.

What's got me so fired up about this? Propaganda like this, that the NY Times spews. A strike is about the only thing that will stop the Times from gradually taking over this issue, or at least creating enough confusion to bury it.

(story courtesy Chris Regan)
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WHAT CRIME GETS THE DEATH PENALTY IN PAKISTAN?

Not gang-raping teenage girls. That'll just get you a fine. Just the simple act of being a Christian. Ayub Masih is a Christian hero, and a reminder to us who are fortunate enough to live in a free country just how different our lives would be if we'd been born in most parts of the world. Sadly, Ayub's case is not only not atypical of what happens to Christians in Muslim countries, it's the norm. His sentence, death by hanging, is on appeal to Pakistan's Supreme Court. Let's hope Musharraf sees the chance to show the world that Pakistan is capable of civilization.

And I bet you can't name a single Christian country that executes Muslims solely because of their faith. There aren't any, and haven't been for centuries.

(catch by Dave)
Posted by B. Preston at 05:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A FOOL FOR A CLIENT

: Alleged 20th hijacker Zacharias Moussaoui thinks the government planted a bug, in the form of a fan, on his car so that it could track his movements while he lived in Oklahoma a few months before 9-11.

Yes, he did say Oklahoma, and he did live there before moving on to Minnesota. Dates and places would be nice, and maybe we'll get those during the trial. Maybe the government had a reason to track him, but they wouldn't use a fan. They have tracking devices much less obvious than that.

He also wants to testify before Congress. I say let him. He'll spout conspiracy theories similar to those that can be found on Democrats.com, and that have been uttered by the contemptible Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, which will force the Dems on the Hill into a nasty little box--embrace his theories and you embrace a terrorist, repudiate his theories and you repudiate the paranoid ravings of a sizable chunk of your own party.

So, Moussaoui will never testify before Congress.

(thanks to Dave)
Posted by B. Preston at 03:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

DICK GEPHARDT

should be careful when accusing others of financial wrongdoing. He may have a money skeleton in his own closet. And his skeleton seems to have its bony arms wrapped around another Terry McAulliffe skeleton.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

ONE THING ABOUT TAKING A FEW DAYS OFF

from the blog is the amount of email that stacks up. Sifting through some of it today, I came across this story, detailing "bin Laden's" plans for the first anniversary of 9-11. Al Qaeda plans a series of "spectacular" attacks here and elsewhere, aimed at us the British, and Jewish interests the world over.

I don't mean to minimize the dangers, which are very real, but it's getting harder and harder to get worked up about al Qaeda's bluster. Didn't they plan something big for the 6-month mark? Didn't they plan something big for July 4? Didn't they promise a new reel from Usama himself, repeatedly, over the past few months, only to deliver old photos and badly composited video from the pre-Tora Bora days?

I suppose I should give some credit to our military and intel agencies, which do seem to be doing a fine job of bottling up the terror genie, and to allies like Italy and Britain who take the threat and the war seriously and are willing to arrest their own terror cells. And surely the lion's share of the credit should go to President Bush, who seems to have been reading the situation, both in Afghanistan and in the Middle East, correctly from the beginning.

But it's hard to take al Qaeda seriously anymore when the rant on and on about "spectacular attacks," and promise new material from their deceased and rotting leader. They sound more and more like their old buddy Saddam, who famously promised "the mother of all battles" before the mother of all air campaigns destroyed his military machine. It's hard to give much thought to what either al Qaeda or Saddam says, but not so hard to remain serious about what they do.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

ANOTHER ONE BAGGED

: Pakistan has arrested Sheikh Ahmed Saleem, reportedly bin Laden's financial advisor.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

FOUR AREAS

the Bush Administration is reportedly watching to determine when to attack Iraq:

The CIA says Iraq is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon but is probably years away from succeeding because of the difficulty of producing the necessary fissile material, especially under the international embargo on Iraq. The timetable could shorten if Iraq obtained plutonium or enriched uranium on the international black market.
The CIA says Iraq is reconstituting its ability to develop chemical and biological weapons, though U.S. intelligence is less clear on whether Iraq has these weapons ready to use.
Iraq continues to defy international weapons inspections, most recently in negotiations last week with top U.N. officials. Iraq says it will allow no further inspections, which it agreed to at the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, unless the United Nations lifts all sanctions on Iraq.
Iraq is on the list of terrorist-sponsoring nations, and the CIA says Iraq actively supports a variety of terror groups. But the agency has yet to establish a clear link between Iraq and al-Qaeda, the militant Islamic group believed responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Though the agency is pursuing leads pointing to some tenuous links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, it has no evidence tying Saddam's regime to the Sept. 11 attacks.



It seems to me that #3 is met, since inspectors haven't been in the country in four years, and #4 could be met if our intel agencies would take a closer look at Ramzi Yousef, the 1993 WTC bomber. #2 is probably close to fruition, with #1 being the long shot.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

OUR REAL FRIENDS, THE ITALIANS

have arrested 9 al Qaeda types, who may have provided logistical support for 9-11. I think the French could learn from Italy's example--Italy has a ghetto Arab population, but isn't coddling them. Italy has stepped up security around Jewish quarters, and as a result hasn't suffered from rampant anti-Jewish violence the way France has. Italy is also standing with the US on a range of related issues, proving itself a real ally since 9-11.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

THE 1990 MURDER OF RABBI MEIR KAHANE

in New York was, according to the FBI, an ">"isolated incident" when they arrested Egyptian Sayyid Nosair and charged him with it. That a search of his residence turned up numerous Arabic documents linking him with terrorist groups, and that foreshadowed the 1993 WTC bombing, didn't seem to change the FBI's mind. On July 4, Egyptian Mohammed Hadayet entered the LAX international terminal, walked up to the El Al ticket desk loaded for bear and started shooting, and the FBI again says it's an "isolated incident."

What does that mean, "isolated incident?"

It could mean what it seems to mean--that it's just the actions of a lone gunman, a fringe nut, with no connections to terrorism. Or it could mean that, insofar as authorities have been able to determine, it has no connection to other attacks either underway elsewhere or that they have been able to determine will be carried out in the near future. One thing it can't mean is that the FBI already knows that the attack in question is definitely not terror-related, but that's the message it sends and which is duly picked up and broadcast by the media.

Either way, the use of the phrase "isolated incident" is an insult to our intelligence. The FBI should either say nothing until it can make a reasonable determination, or just come out and say what we all already know--that whether Hadayet's actions were actually connected to Al Qaeda or any other terrorist group or not, it was an act of terrorism. Calling it anything else is obscuring the facts and creating confusion, whether intentionally or not.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 11, 2002

A SAUDI WRITER

wants a free press in Arab countries, and Arab News actually ran the editorial. As Arab News is an official Saudi publication (they don't have any other type of publication yet), the publishing of even one article supporting a free press should be noted and encouraged.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

THE SUPER-CONDUCTING SUPERCOLLIDER

, which was to have been built in my home county in Texas, would by now probably have answered some of the deepest puzzles in physics-if it had been built. It was killed in the early '90's, ostensibly as a cost-cutting move, but as it cost the US taxpayer as much to end the project's construction prematurely as it would have to go ahead and finish it, it looked more like a Democratic Congress being vindictive against then-President Bush's home state.

Over the years, the huge site with its 50-mile circular underground tunnel has languished. Now, it may play a role in the war, or at least in training counter-terrorist operators. It would've been better had the Congressional Democrats not been so short-sighted when they killed the SSC, but of all the proposed uses, a training camp sounds like the best viable option to me.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

IRAN--A SOCIETY ON THE BRINK

: Now the wives are offing their husbands. It's a story to warm Patrician Ireland's heart.

(thanks to Dave)
Posted by B. Preston at 04:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WAR-CRIME BOMBERS:

Amnesty International finally sees the light on Palestinian suicide bombers.
Posted by B. Preston at 03:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CYBER JIHAD

: USA Today does a nice job of rounding up terror sites and discusses ways terrorists are using them. Their fund-raising efforts come with a bit of a mark-up:

Qassam.net, a site U.S. officials believe is linked to the militant Muslim group Hamas, is appealing for donations to purchase AK-47 rifles, dynamite and bullets "to assist the cause of jihad and resistance until the (Israeli) occupation is eliminated and Muslim Palestine is liberated." It recommends donations of $3 per bullet, $100 per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of dynamite, $2,000 for a Kalashnikov assault rifle and $12,000 for a rocket-propelled grenade.


$3 a bullet?
Posted by B. Preston at 10:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I'M BACK.

I took a few days off from work and blogging to spend time with my brother and his family, who came up from Texas for a few days. We had a great visit that wasn't nearly long enough, but now I'm back at work and ready to get back to sniffing out terrorist sites and whatever else seems interesting. Stay tuned...
Posted by B. Preston at 08:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack