Thursday, December 27, 2007

Horrible News From Pakistan: Benazir Bhutto Assassinated


Heard this on the radio on the way home from the airport: the former prime minister of Pakistan, who returned in October to campaign in the country's upcoming elecions, was assassinated earlier today.

My husband put it pithily, and he was exactly on point: "Awful. And it was really just a matter of time."

Yes, it was. As the above-linked story describes, an attempt was made on her life the very day she returned to Pakistan for the first time in eight years. (Gee, welcome home.) And, the list of people who wanted her dead is not exactly short -- from the Taliban and the warlords supporting them (who hate her for siding with the U.S. against radical Islam), to military officials who stood to lose by her party's rise to power.

Al Qaeda wasted no time taking credit for her death, though U.S. intelligence has not confirmed their claim. While details of who is responsible for the day's events are still emerging, this horror show has all the elements of a typical Al Qaeda bloodfest:

The former prime minister was murdered by an attacker who shot her in the neck and chest after a campaign rally and then blew himself up....

At least 20 others were also killed in the homicide bombing that immediately followed Bhutto's shooting....

[A]n Associated Press reporter saw body parts and flesh scattered at the back gate of the Liaqat Bagh park, where Bhutto had spoken. He counted about 20 bodies, including police, and could see many other wounded people.


Religion of peace, indeed.

I send my condolences to the family of Benazir Bhutto and the other innocents killed or harmed in today's madness. I wish Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, the best of luck keeping his (nuclear) tinderbox of a country under control in the coming weeks, while allowing citizens to grieve. And, to the extent that it is ever appropriate to wish for something good to come out of violence, I fervently hope that the blood shed today will give a few million Pakistanis -- and a good number of Westerners too -- the incentive they need to join our fight.

Godspeed, good lady.

BENEDICK ADDS: More than 50% of the Pakistani population support bin Laden. Musharraf is a barely-tolerable but responsible caretaker of the nukes. And he won't be around forever. Stay tuned for Democrats to start telling us -- once the jihadis take power -- that we need to talk nicely and that we shouldn't be "imperialist" by trying actively to prevent them from nuking Western countries. Iran, Pakistan, nukes . . . hmph. It's all falling into place for the Friends of Jihad we call the Left.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Can't . . . Resist . . . Urge . . .

. . . to make jokes: Tiger Escapes S.F. Zoo Cage and Kills 1.

"Local liberals insist victim had it coming, citing 'human imperialism,' and 'radicalizing depredations of capitalism' as root causes of third-world tiger's rage."

Religion of Peace Update

Via the Jawa Report, see what happens when a Muslim man suspects his wife of infidelity. You may be shocked by the images (warning: they are graphic), but at this point can you really be surprised?

Meanwhile, American Feminists had this to say on the matter:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

OXY-Clinton

Classic. I wish my brother were ambivalent about Hillary Clinton.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

*GASP*

What's that, you say? The New York Times? Publishing a misleading, anti-White House trope? And having to issue a correction when called out on the inaccuracy? Where have I heard that before?

Oh yeah. Here. And here.

(And here.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Uses of Science I Approve Of

A Study That Shows How I Managed Not to Fall Flat on My Face Whilst Pregnant

As Benedick will attest -- and oh, will he ever enjoy doing so -- yours truly was a sight to behold during the last few months of pregnancy. Let me explain: when not gestating, I'm about five foot one in thick socks and, though no Olsen twin am I, decidedly petite.

So, when I gained 45 pounds during pregnancy -- and every bloody ounce of it went to my belly -- I looked incredibly silly.

And by silly, I mean to say, like a snake that swallowed a small planet. I was comical. Cars actually slowed down to stare at me as I was walking (nay, waddling) along the sidewalk. Friends laughed. My doctor frowned. Children pointed. Strangers *gaped*.

So, to all those (including our friend Benedick) who wondered how in the world I managed to stay upright, here you go. I evolved uniquely for that very purpose. How cool is that?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the human body is a grand thing. (Though, thankfully, I'm about 45 pounds less grand than I was 16 months ago.)

End of The World

Worth a chuckle. I'm not endorsing any political message that may be gleaned from this.

Brief Hiatus

Having figured out how to post YouTube videos on the blog (and, yes, I'm really excited about that), it's time for a short blogging break. I'll be on the road until Monday and may not have much time to log in. While I'm away, if you need a fix of snarky Republican mud-flinging, stop over at Protein Wisdom. Proprietor and blogger-in-chief Jeff Goldstein has been MIA for a couple of weeks, but his guest bloggers are filling in nicely.

See you next week.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Big Endorsement

National Review has endorsed Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination. The writing staff is divided (as are Republicans at large), but the editors explain their choice here.

I'm leaning the same way. I was enthusiastic about Giuliani at first, but I think Romney is the right guy. And Huckabee needs to go away.

More Global Warming "Consensus"

Thanks to Al Gore and the bevy of academics who have turned "climate change" into a burgeoning industry, most of the world seems to have swallowed the wholly improbable (not to mention unproven) hypothesis that human beings are the dominant force affecting the Earth's climate. Consequently, we are constantly pelted with admonitions to reduce our "carbon footprints" and to support macroeconomic policies designed to cripple the developed, industrialized world.

Fortunately, there are plenty of scientists who are willing to point out the obvious flaws in the climate-alarmists' facts and agendas. You don't hear much about them because they threaten the political movement (by the way, scientific inquiry is not supposed to be a political movement). And they are rather courageous, given that their heresy deprives them of research funds and standing. Nevertheless, a growing number of skeptics are making themselves heard:
Lord Christopher Monckton, a UK climate researcher, had a blunt message for UN climate conference participants on Monday. "Climate change is a non problem. The right answer to a non problem is to have the courage to do nothing," Monckton told participants.
Lord Chris is going to get himself beat up with rhetoric like that. We all know how liberals love dissenting arguments.
Monckton also noted that the UN has not been overly welcoming to the group of skeptical scientists. "UN organizers refused my credentials and appeared desperate that I should not come to this conference. They have also made several attempts to interfere with our public meetings," Monckton explained.
Climate science is -- and this is not a controversial point -- an exceedingly complex and nascent endeavor. Science is a process. History is littered with things we thought we knew or understood that turned out to be wrong. That's why science has evolved to be an inherently skeptical exercise. So why are the humans-cause-global-warming prophets so hostile to skepticism?

Even global-warming alarmists are compelled to acknowledge that the best computer climate models of today are wildly inaccurate and unreliable. There are ample reasons to keep an open mind about the causes, extent, and consequences of climate change, rather than to declare "consensus" and set about the task of devising "solutions" that stand to cost the world's developed economies trillions of dollars:
  • Contrary to Al Gore's claim, global warming is not causing the extinction of polar bears.
  • Gore claimed global warming would cause sea levels to rise 20 feet. 20 FEET! Based on more recent studies, the IPCC puts the number somewhere closer to 7 inches. Think about that. That's an "inconsistency" on the order of magnitude of over 3,400% between the predictions proffered by partisans on the same side of the issue.
  • Gore (and others) hysterically prognosticated after Katrina that global warming would pound us with ever more numerous and devastating hurricanes. In 2006 the NOAA predicted 7-9 Atlantic basic hurricanes, with 3 striking the United States. Actual number? Zero.
Collectively, the skeptics are saying, "slow down -- we need to understand a lot of things a lot better than we do now." Science is a process pursuant to which our understanding is constantly advancing and evolving (and sometimes taking very hard turns). Why do the alarmists want to stop science in its tracks? Why do they insist that anyone with a question shut up, sit down, and accept the dogma? Australian scientist Dr. David Evans offered a guess at the recent UN Climate Change conference:
"Most of the people here have jobs that are very well paid and they depend on the idea that carbon emissions cause global warming. They are not going to be very receptive to the idea that well actually the science has gone off in a different direction," Evans explained.
It's no longer science. It's a business and a political movement. And, as is the case with so many other international issues, the American Left is leading the charge in pushing for "solutions" that are calculated to weaken free-market economies, starting with ours. But if you doubt my charges about the hostility of these "liberals" to dissenting voices and the free exchange of ideas, just try going to any college campus and suggesting that we need to better understand climate change before committing to invasive and expensive "remedies." Just make sure you bring a body guard.

Monday, December 10, 2007

This Should Be Fun

Insane race-baiter Cynthia McKinney is running for president:

The former six-term Democrat Congresswoman was ousted in 2006 from Georgia’s 4th Congressional district for the second time. In 2002, she spoke to the Black Congressional caucus claiming that President Bush had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. She also openly solicited $10 million from the Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal; New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani rejected the check after the prince suggested U.S. foreign policy had brought on 9/11. McKinney’s actions resulted in her first electoral defeat in the 2002 Democratic primary, after serving five terms in office. On the night of her 2002 primary defeat, McKinney’s father told media, “Jews have bought everybody...J-E-W-S.” She came back in 2004, and promptly signed a “call for immediate inquiry into evidence that suggests high-level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur.”
Her coup de grace before being ousted from her House seat was an incident in which she punched a white Capitol police officer.

So, what impact could this have on the general election?

Ralph Nader received roughly three million votes in 2004 running on the Green Party line. McKinney’s Presidential effort could pull more African-American votes than Nader did, particularly if Obama falters. A 3-to-5 million vote margin for the Green nominee is possible. That sort of vote margin coming out of the Democrat column could prove devastating to Hillary Clinton.
Now all we have to do is make sure the right-wing crazies who support Ron Paul don't offset the left-wing crazies whom McKinney can be expected to siphon away from Hillary.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Frustrated Democrats

Next time you vote, bear in mind the revelatory moaning by Democrats this week. What are they so upset about? Why, that they're having a hard time raising your taxes:

Republicans say they simply want to prevent higher taxes of any kind, even if the targets are not-so-sympathetic groups such as oil companies and hedge fund managers. After 11 months of insisting that all major programs be paid for with tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere, Senate Democratic leaders acknowledged Thursday they cannot persuade enough Republicans to join them. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., reluctantly allowed a vote on a long-debated middle-class tax cut that would add billions of dollars to the deficit because it is not offset elsewhere.

The main tussle lately has been over how to fix the problem of an Alternative Minimum Tax that stands to bludgeon middle-class taxpayers in 2008 unless revisions are made. The Democrats' plan was to cap the AMT and to make up the difference by . . . (wait for it) . . . imposing other taxes!

And this, folks, is the philosophical difference between Republicans and Democrats on fiscal issues. When there's a need to balance the ledger, Democrats only look at the income (tax) side, devising creative ways to take more. They don't even dream of making downward adjustments on the spending side. God forbid we trimmed some of the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted on misguided and mismanaged government programs each year.

So let them whine. If you have a combined household income over $100,000 thank the Republicans for keeping the tax man from reaching ever deeper into your checking account. And when you get your next paycheck, look closely at the amount that's been subtracted for federal and state taxes. And ask yourself whether you want to elect people whose number-one priority is to make that number bigger. You know, for your own good.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Jericho Returns (Soonish)

One of the best new television shows last season was Jericho, the CBS prime-time drama about a rural Kansas town's efforts to survive in the wake of a massive nuclear attack against the United States. The show wasn't renewed, but -- thanks to unprecedented and herculean efforts by rabid fans -- CBS agreed to produce a shortened, seven-episode second season to run as a mid-season replacement. The episodes were shot in early fall, and they are edited and in the can.

I was biased in Jericho's favor long before it ever aired, as one of its creators was my roommate in law school and remains a close friend. But it really is terrific entertainment, and exactly the sort of show I would have embraced even without the personal connection. My friend informed me the other day that CBS has officially announced Jericho's return. CBS will begin airing Season Two on Tuesday night, February 12, 2008 at 10:00.

This second season is a sort of probationary period for the show. It was cancelled because its ratings had trickled off near the end of the first season. CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler has made it clear that if a Season Three is ever going to happen, the ratings this time around are going to have to justify the additional investment.

It is, then, perhaps a blessing that the motion picture and television writers are currently on strike, with no end in sight. Networks are rapidly running out of new episodes and unable to produce any more until the strike ends (which my friend speculates will not happen until March, at the earliest). Thus, between now and Spring we can all expect an increasing dose of reality shows (which require no writers) and re-runs.

Which means that come February 12, Jericho will be one of very few primetime dramas that are actually airing new episodes. Hopefully this will draw in fans that otherwise wouldn't have bothered giving it a chance. It also helps that -- unlike last year -- Jericho apparently won't face off against American Idol.

If you're intrigued and didn't catch Season One, I highly recommend picking up the DVDs and getting up to speed. Otherwise, you can enjoy this in February, while I'm enjoying this.

You Have A Friend In Pennsylvania

This gentleman from Alabama sure seemed to find a few, when he was involved in a car accident in Western PA over the Thanksgiving holiday.

All I can say is, it's a good thing he wasn't in Philly.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New Look

Yes, you're in the right place. I've been toying for some time with the idea of changing the layout of Primary Reason to make it a little more interesting visually. Also, I didn't think block quotes stood out enough in the old template, and I use them liberally enough that they ought to be readily identifiable. So we'll try this format out for awhile. As always, feedback is welcome.

Megan Meier Update

I wrote last month about the tragic suicide of Megan Meier, who was driven to depression and despair by a fake online personality created by the parents of a former friend of hers. Neighbors who lived down the street and were friends of Megan's parents. When the story first became public, the media refused to identify the perpetrators, law enforcement said there was nothing it could do, and Megan's parents (who are in the process of getting divorced) had decided not to take legal action.

Here's an update. Authorities are still refusing to press charges, but the woman down the street who created the fake MySpace account has since been identified (in comments to this blog and elsewhere) as Lori Drew. Ms. Drew has lawyered up and now claims ignorance of the abusive online messages that drove Megan to take her own life.

To me, the more interesting development is that the Meiers apparently are now pursuing a civil case against the Drews:

Tina Meier told The Associated Press on Monday that the bottom line for her was that the other mother knew about the fake profile, knew Megan was on medication, and let the hoax continue. She said the fake profile was deleted right after the death. Then, she said, the woman didn't tell the Meiers about what happened. "Our daughter died, committed suicide, and she still didn't say a word," Meier said. "I still feel what she did is absolutely criminal."

As do I. And civil litigation is going to take its toll on the Drew family, which, let's face it, is a viscerally satisfying prospect.

Given that the now-deleted MySpace account is at the crux of the matter, this case is going to be all about what we law-talkin' folks call spoliation (not "spoilation") of evidence -- that is, the intentional or negligent loss or destruction of evidence that one reasonably should know will be relevant to litigation that one should reasonably anticipate. A party found to have "spoliated" evidence faces sanctions ranging from an "adverse inference" instruction (an instruction from the judge to the jury that they may infer, from the loss/destruction of the evidence, that it would have been harmful to the spoliator's case) to an outright judgment against the spoliator.

Here, the Drews created the MySpace account for the sole purpose of targeting and harrassing Megan Meier. As soon as they learned she'd hanged herself as a direct consequence of the online harrassment, they damn well knew they could be in a lot of trouble -- civilly, if not criminally. And with that in mind, they deleted the account, destroying the evidence. Slam dunk, if you ask me.

I'm glad the Meiers are pursuing this. I hope holding the guilty accountable will help to assuage some of the rage that inevitably attends a tragedy like this one. I'll follow this story and keep you updated.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Yikes

Over at The Corner, Jonah Goldberg links to a couple of Canadian public service ads. And they are oh so disturbing. Seriously, if violence bothers you, skip these. Otherwise, check out what Canadian TV audiences are seeing these days on the topics of landmines and workplace accidents.

I'm reminded of Kyle's mom's line in South Park - The Movie: "Remember . . . horrible, deplorable violence is OK, as long as nobody says any naughty words!"

Willful Blindness

Over the last three months, the defeatists in the mainstream media (e.g., The New York Times, Associated Press, and Reuters) have been forced to acknowledge that the surge of troops in Iraq has proven a dramatic success under the brilliant leadership of Gen. David Petraeus. Heck, even John "Our Troops Are Cold-Blooded Murderers" Murtha acknowledged it this week. The facts don't lie. Violence in every part of the country (including, recently, in Baghdad) has plummeted. Iraqis are working with coalition forces, marginalizing radicals, and joining security services in droves. Although political progress on some issues has been slower than U.S. commanders would like, the significantly improved security situation can only make such progress more likely.

Well, the far left still isn't having any of it. Success? What success? An editorial this week in The Nation (a socialist publication with wide readership among "progressives") exemplifies the extraordinary commitment to failure in spite of all evidence that success is attainable:
With antiwar sentiment at home widespread but not deep, the outcome of the domestic debate on Iraq depends in large part on the perception of success or failure: public opinion is liable to swing in favor of staying in Iraq if people think the war is going well. This poses a challenge -- and opportunity -- for the peace movement . . . . Without question, it is important to counter GOP propaganda about the surge's "success." But to build a stronger opposition movement, the emphasis must remain on what is fundamentally wrong--not just what is going wrong now--with the war and occupation.
Kind of a stunning admission, no?

You see, under no circumstances should we allow the U.S. to successfully complete its mission. Under no circumstances should we provide Iraqis with an opportunity to build a stable, pluralistic nation. Under no circumstances should we defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq. Under no circumstances should we permit civil liberties to flourish in Muslim countries. I mean, sure, all those things might be nice and all. And the chances of succeeding may be better today than ever before.

But it is far more important to hand the Republicans a political defeat. That Fascist Bush must be remembered as a failure, and no sacrifice is too great in service of that cause. So get out there, Peace-lovers, and "counter" any "propaganda" that consists of good news or positive portrayals of the military.