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Saturday, January 31, 2004

Tough Talk From The United Nations 

According to BBC News (I know, I know) the United Nations Security Council has finally decided to get tough on terrorism. By unanimous decision, 15-0, they have declared that if you are a country that has not submitted a list of what you are doing to thwart terrorism they are going to, um, well, uh, "circulate a list" of names among themselves. So... you better just watch it Mister.

UN votes on tough terror measures
This latest resolution means the UN's al-Qaeda monitoring committee will be able to circulate a list of countries that do not submit a report by the end of March.

They will also publicise the reason behind the failure, whether it is a question of resources or political will.

The chairman of the monitoring committee and sponsor of the resolution, Ambassador Heraldo Munoz of Chile, said this would send a strong signal.

The new resolution calls on governments to look out for al-Qaeda or associated groups, trying to channel funds through different means, such as the informal banking system.

But it does not include any real new sanctions.

Man, them boys over at the UN are tough. They don't just make idle threats neither. When they say they're gonna do something they follow through.

Sean #

Friday, January 30, 2004

Aaaarrrrrrrrgh! 

You just won't believe this from the New York Times.
State Assemblyman Leland Y. Yee, Democrat of San Francisco, has introduced a resolution that urges the California Building Standards Commission to adopt standards that would aid feng shui, the ancient Chinese practice of promoting health, harmony and prosperity through the environment.

The resolution, which has yet to pass a committee vote before going to the full Assembly, is meant to encourage planning agencies, building departments and design review boards to provide for the use of feng shui principles, which often touch on the placement of doors and staircases, the position of buildings and the alignment of objects in rooms. It aims to help people live in harmony with nature by promoting the flow of chi, or positive energy, and neutralizing or avoiding negative energy.

With all of the problems they have in California this is what they are concentrating on? I guess the phrase "Democrat of San Francisco" says it all.

Sean #

Thursday, January 29, 2004

2+2=2 

With all of the Democratic candidates claiming that up to three million jobs have been lost during the Bush administration Irwin Seltzer at the Hudson Institute helps to clarify The Fuzzy Jobs Picture.
The trouble is that no one seems to have a clear, unambiguous picture of what is going on in the jobs market. And with good reason. The U.S. Department of Labor regularly surveys employers to ask how many people they are hiring, and how many they have laid off. It also surveys households to find how many people say they are in work. Any sensible person would expect the results of these two surveys to be more or less the same: if employers are hiring, more households should be reporting that their members are finding jobs.

Alas, the world of economic statistics is not so straight-forward. In the past year, employers reported a net loss of over 70,000 jobs, while households reported a net gain of over two million. Believe the second figure. Here’s why.

The survey of employers, which is the more widely reported of the two, is so bleak because of the way it is designed. Assume, for example, that a factory employs some 3,000 workers making widgets, and 300 workers in the on-site canteen. Management decides to outsource the food service. When this employer next responds to the employment survey, he will report a job cut of 300 and, best of all, that he is now producing all of the widgets that he once produced with a workforce of 3,300, but using only 3,000 workers–a bogus productivity miracle.

Even more misleading is the fact that the new firm formed to handle the canteen catering is not picked up in the employment survey, which does not cover new firms or the newly self-employed.

Turn now to the household survey. The canteen worker reports that he most certainly has a job, even though it is with a new employer. And if the new catering firm upgrades the quality of the fare on offer, so that fewer workers bring their own homemade lunches, forcing the caterer to add workers, those newcomers to the job market will not be picked up in the employment survey, but will be recorded in the household survey.

If you take the 300 lost canteen jobs Seltzer talks about, and the 300 jobs that were created by outsourcing the same services, you would think that would create a wash, wouldn't you? The problem comes when you only calculate losses. What you end up with is 300 jobs lost. End of analysis.

This is the one sided approach that the Democrats will take over the next year to try to convince voters (who are living in the midst of a robust economic recovery) that the sky is falling. This is the way they can claim that there have been three million jobs lost.

Sean #

Weapons of Mass Destruction 

Claudia Rosett at The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies has a very interesting take on the obsession with Weapons of Mass Destruction.

I tried several ways of excerpting her article but really think you should just read the whole thing. It's not very long and has a very practical, and therefore unique, perspective.

Sean #

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Veterans Against Kerry 

This page seems to have dissappeared sometime yesterday evening even though the U.S. Veteran Dispatch home page still points to it.

You can still see it here for a while.

It is an interesting page, though by its very nature it must be taken with a grain of salt.

With a tip of the hat to The Evangelical Outpost.

Addendum:
It's back - and twice as big.

Sean #

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The Axis of Naughty 

I feel naughty,
Oh, so naughty,
I feel naughty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any boy who isn't me tonight.

In case you haven't figured it out yet I'm declaring my allegiance to The Axis of Naughty. Why? 'Cause Instapundit was the second blog I ever read. Clicked onto it off of Hugh Hewitt's blog (the first blog I ever read). I immediately saw the value of a good blog. Thanks.

By the way, the Captain was the third blog - man was I on a roll!

Sean #

What The....? 

AL FRANKEN KNOCKS DOWN DEAN HECKLER

Do you think they'll call him a hero or a heel?

Sean #

Not "He Lied" Again 

The reason I named my blog "Everything I Know Is Wrong" is that whenever I take the time to find out the facts about a politically or religiously charged issue the liberal media tells me I am wrong. They tell me things like the Christmas retail sales gains across the board are a sign of a declining economy. John Kerry tells me that he
(from Captain's Quarters)Voted against military action in 1991 because he believed we should have used military force, and he voted for it in 2002 because he thought we should wait.

Now here comes another round of the "Bush lied about WMD." Outgoing weapons inspector David Kay's inability to find weapons of mass destruction has renewed accusations that Bush lied in his 2003 State of the Union speech. This despite Kay's own comments
(from FoxNews.com) Kay said: "I actually think the intelligence community owes the president, rather than the president owing the American people."

Let's just get this over with right now. Here is the full text of the State of the Union speech and here are all of President Bush's comments in that speech that pertained to Iraq:
Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction. For the next 12 years, he systematically violated that agreement. He pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, even while inspectors were in his country. Nothing to date has restrained him from his pursuit of these weapons -- not economic sanctions, not isolation from the civilized world, not even cruise missile strikes on his military facilities.

Almost three months ago, the United Nations Security Council gave Saddam Hussein his final chance to disarm. He has shown instead utter contempt for the United Nations, and for the opinion of the world. The 108 U.N. inspectors were sent to conduct -- were not sent to conduct a scavenger hunt for hidden materials across a country the size of California. The job of the inspectors is to verify that Iraq's regime is disarming. It is up to Iraq to show exactly where it is hiding its banned weapons, lay those weapons out for the world to see, and destroy them as directed. Nothing like this has happened.

The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons sufficient to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax -- enough doses to kill several million people. He hasn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.

The United Nations concluded that Saddam Hussein had materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin -- enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure. He hadn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. In such quantities, these chemical agents could also kill untold thousands. He's not accounted for these materials. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents. Inspectors recently turned up 16 of them -- despite Iraq's recent declaration denying their existence. Saddam Hussein has not accounted for the remaining 29,984 of these prohibited munitions. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

From three Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These are designed to produce germ warfare agents, and can be moved from place to a place to evade inspectors. Saddam Hussein has not disclosed these facilities. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.

The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary; he is deceiving. From intelligence sources we know, for instance, that thousands of Iraqi security personnel are at work hiding documents and materials from the U.N. inspectors, sanitizing inspection sites and monitoring the inspectors themselves. Iraqi officials accompany the inspectors in order to intimidate witnesses.

Iraq is blocking U-2 surveillance flights requested by the United Nations. Iraqi intelligence officers are posing as the scientists inspectors are supposed to interview. Real scientists have been coached by Iraqi officials on what to say. Intelligence sources indicate that Saddam Hussein has ordered that scientists who cooperate with U.N. inspectors in disarming Iraq will be killed, along with their families.

Year after year, Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks to build and keep weapons of mass destruction. But why? The only possible explanation, the only possible use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack.

With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in that region. And this Congress and the America people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.

Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes. (Applause.)

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option. (Applause.)

The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages -- leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. (Applause.)

And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country -- your enemy is ruling your country. (Applause.) And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation. (Applause.)

The world has waited 12 years for Iraq to disarm. America will not accept a serious and mounting threat to our country, and our friends and our allies. The United States will ask the U.N. Security Council to convene on February the 5th to consider the facts of Iraq's ongoing defiance of the world. Secretary of State Powell will present information and intelligence about Iraqi's legal -- Iraq's illegal weapons programs, its attempt to hide those weapons from inspectors, and its links to terrorist groups.

We will consult. But let there be no misunderstanding: If Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety of our people and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm him. (Applause.)

Tonight I have a message for the men and women who will keep the peace, members of the American Armed Forces: Many of you are assembling in or near the Middle East, and some crucial hours may lay ahead. In those hours, the success of our cause will depend on you. Your training has prepared you. Your honor will guide you. You believe in America, and America believes in you. (Applause.)

Sending Americans into battle is the most profound decision a President can make. The technologies of war have changed; the risks and suffering of war have not. For the brave Americans who bear the risk, no victory is free from sorrow. This nation fights reluctantly, because we know the cost and we dread the days of mourning that always come.

We seek peace. We strive for peace. And sometimes peace must be defended. A future lived at the mercy of terrible threats is no peace at all. If war is forced upon us, we will fight in a just cause and by just means -- sparing, in every way we can, the innocent. And if war is forced upon us, we will fight with the full force and might of the United States military -- and we will prevail.
Do you see anything about how WMD attack on the US was imminent and that is the reason we must go to war? Sorry to repeat, but this all he said about the weapons themselves:
The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons sufficient to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax -- enough doses to kill several million people. He hasn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.

The United Nations concluded that Saddam Hussein had materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin -- enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure. He hadn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it.

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. In such quantities, these chemical agents could also kill untold thousands. He's not accounted for these materials. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents. Inspectors recently turned up 16 of them -- despite Iraq's recent declaration denying their existence. Saddam Hussein has not accounted for the remaining 29,984 of these prohibited munitions. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

From three Iraqi defectors we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs. These are designed to produce germ warfare agents, and can be moved from place to a place to evade inspectors. Saddam Hussein has not disclosed these facilities. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed them.

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.
and there is nothing there about an attack on the US. He also said:
With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in that region.
Again, nothing about an attack on the US. He did say:
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent.
which is the same as saying that the threat is not imminent.

Everything I know is wrong except this: the hypocrisy of Liberals and their media is offensive and inexcusable. Why didn't they complain when the Clinton administration enacted a policy of "regime change" in Iraq? Why are they complaining about it now? I can only think of one reason.

Here is more on David Kay's assesment of the Iraq situation.

Sean #