Archive for January 2004

This is where we invoke Godwin’s law, right?

Sullivan links to Harley Sorensen’s latest column which compares modern-day America to Nazi Germany, 9/11 to the burning of the Reichstag, the Super Bowl the the 1936 Olympics and stating flat out that Guantenamo Bay is the equal of a Nazi concentration camp.

In 1933, the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building, was burned to the ground. Nobody knows for sure who set the fire. The Nazis blamed communists. “This incident prompted Hitler[,then Germany’s chancellor,] to convince [German President Paul von] Hindenburg to issue a Decree for the Protection of People and State that granted Nazis sweeping power to deal with the so-called emergency.”
The Reichstag fire parallels the Sept. 11 attacks here, and Hindenburg’s decree parallels our USA Patriot Act.
Soon after Hitler took power, the concentration camp at Dachau was created and “the Nazis began arresting Communists, Socialists and labor leaders … . Parliamentary democracy ended with the Reichstag passage of the Enabling Act, which allowed the government to issue laws without the Reichstag.”
With Bush leading all branches of government around by the nose, there’s a question whether parliamentary democracy still exists here. Certainly, concentration camps exist, if we’re willing to call the lockup at Guant

Was Bush AWOL?

Bill Hobbs has taken a look at the Left’s Bush AWOL allegation and written a series of detailed posts examining and refuting the oft-repeated AWOL Bush meme.
Check it out.

A question for the liberals

I keep seeing comments like “Bush lied!” and “He misled us!” so I’d like to get something straight…
Do you believe that at the time they were making the case for war that the administration knew or believed that Iraq had no stockpiles of WMD?

An interesting approach to homelessness

Columbus seems to be having luck with an innovative solution to homelessness: give them homes.

Columbus, Ohio, is at the forefront of a trend gaining momentum in cities: housing the chronically homeless – not those who need just a nudge toward self-sufficiency, but those who, like Bingham, have been homeless for much of their lives, who may never have been independent, and who often struggle with addiction or mental illness.

[U of Pennsylvania professor Dennis Culhane] found that although the long-term homeless made up only 10 percent of the homeless population over three years, they were using half of all shelter beds on any given night. And when Culhane compared the costs of supporting those with and without permanent housing, he discovered that it cost a city just $1,000 more annually per person to offer supportive housing – with services for mental health, addictions, employment, and other needs – than to care for the chronically homeless.

[F]or the most part, the program has been successful. More than 370 units have been built, and 165 more will be ready this year. And Columbus’s approach is now part of a blueprint for cities fighting homelessness nationwide.
“The tenants are very protective of the building,” says Marla Taylor, the manager at North High. “They watch the building, keep the yard clean, take out the trash, and don’t let people who shouldn’t be here in.”

Sounds like a good idea to me. It’s not simply a giveaway. A great many of the homeless given a place to stay seem to be proud enough to work for it and I’d imagine the simple dignity of having a permanent place of their own is the biggest factor of all. It’s not just a hand out, it’s a hand up.

Oooh look, snow!

You know, snow’s a lot more exciting when you have something to go to that could be cancelled.

Kay on WMD

“We led this search to find the truth, not to find the weapons. The fact that we found so far the weapons do not exist, we’ve got to deal with that difference and understand why,” Kay said Sunday on the National Public Radio program “Weekend Edition.”
Asked whether he feels President Bush owes the American people an apology for starting the war on the basis of apparently flawed intelligence, Kay said: “I actually think the intelligence community owes the president rather than the president owing the American people.
“You have to remember that this view of Iraq was held during the Clinton administration and didn’t change in the Bush administration. It is not a political `got you’ issue. It is a serious issue of how you could come to the conclusion that is not matched by the future.”
“It’s not a political issue. Its an issue of the capabilities of one’s intelligence service to collect valid, truthful information.”
Since Kay’s resignation Friday as the top U.S. weapons investigator in Iraq, Kay has said Iraq had no large-scale weapons production program during the 1990s, after it lost the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and no large numbers of mass destruction weapons were available for “imminent action.”
Still, “that is not the same thing as saying it was not a serious, imminent threat,” he said Sunday. “That is a political judgment,” he said, “not a technical judgment.”

“I must say I actually think Iraq

Kay: “unspecified materials” moved to Syria before war

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Dr Kay, who last week resigned as head of the Iraq Survey Group, said that he had uncovered evidence that unspecified materials had been moved to Syria shortly before last year’s war to overthrow Saddam.
“We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons,” he said. “But we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam’s WMD programme. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved.”

And then there’s this gem of a quote from a “Syrian official”: “These allegations have been raised many times in the past by Israeli officials, which proves that they are false.”
That’s one whacked out sense of logic there. I hear the Israelis think the Earth circles the Sun, I guess that’s proof that it’s not true.

A good day on Mars

Opportunity is safely on Mars and talking and they now think Spirit’s problem is bad flash memory which can be bypassed.

Reposting my own comment

Responding to a comment (On this post) to the effect of “Sure Bush had the same info as Clinton, but Clinton didn’t use it to go to war”:
No body tried to use this intelligence before to go to war, but likewise nobody had to face this intelligence in the light of 9/11 either.
The intelligence said Iraq had WMD under Clinton as well as Bush, but under the Clinton administration there was a sense of security that isn’t present after 9/11. 9/11 emphasized that there are people out there who want to kill us and when they try it isn’t going to be in the form of an army massing at our border, it’s going to be one guy in a downtown somewhere. In a world where we recognize that that threat exists you have to look at enemy nations with a severe hatred of you, a history of whimsical decision making, and (according to your intelligence) WMD differently than you did before.
Sure Clinton didn’t start a war based on that intelligence, but he didn’t seriously face the threat of Al-Qaeda either. Things change. In this case it wasn’t the intelligence that changed but rather the perceived threat if the intelligence was right.

Gonna try updating to mt-2.661 now

So if things go terribly wrong you’ll know why.
–Seems to have worked. That wasn’t hard.
— 11:10 PM –Hmm, comments aren’t working, guess it wasn’t as easy as I thought.
— 11:29 PM — Ok, comments are working again. A note to future upgraders. If you get an error something like “An error occurred: Global symbol “$body” requires explicit package name at lib/MT/App/ line 251.” try making sure you uploaded your .pm files as ascii and that your ftp program didn’t default to binary.