Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cox and Forkum on Iranian Missiles in Iraq

Cox and Forkum do their typical good work in covering the use of an Iranian missile to kill American soldiers in Iraq. Go take a look. There's a depressingly long list of stories on such actions by Iran.

Students Can Get Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 for $59.95

For any students out there, if you want a copy of Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007, now's the time. Microsoft is offering the suite for $59.95.

Ultimate includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher, OneNote, Groove, and InfoPath. For a student, the $59.95 would be justified for OneNote alone, which is great for taking notes (and is even better on a Tablet PC).

RealTechNews has the story here.

Hewitt and Brandow Debate 9/11/2007

Here's an interesting debate in the LA Times between Hugh Hewitt and Doug Brandow on where we stand six years after 9/11/2001. I don't agree with either of them completely, but I would say this quote from Hugh Hewitt makes some sense:

No sane person can look at the last six years and see unbroken success or decisions that he or she didn't wish had been made differently.

But the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq aren't among them. Not even the Petraeus-slanderers at debate the decision to topple the Taliban. But the world is also much safer today because Saddam Hussein was overthrown and his mad-as-hatter sons are dead and not in line for the throne; the U.N. oil-for-food-for-dictators-sending-money-and-arms-to-terrorists-while-corrupting-officials-in-other-governments was exposed and ended; Libya's WMD program was dismantled; scores of Al Qaeda's senior leadership are dead or imprisoned (with more ending up that way each week), the A.Q. Khan network has been cabined; and the U.S. military is embedded with new or longtime allies around the world, teaching them the basics of counter-terrorism.

Read the whole thing.

Putin Preparing His Power Play?

Here's a post on Publius Pundit regarding Putin's recent power play in dissolving the Russian government and appointing a new Prime Minister, and what it bodes for the near future of Russian politics. The gist:

Russian analysts widely believe that Putin will only hand over his authority in a nominal manner next year, to achieve technical compliance with the constitutional edict, and will return in four years -- perhaps with a longer presidential term having been secured by constitutional amendment. Stepping away from the forefront may offer Putin the chance to affect an even more far-reaching crackdown on civil liberties without being personally blamed for it, and Ivanov is just about the perfect person to carry out such a strategy.

On the other hand, it's obviously risky to surrender the reigns of power to anyone for any period of time, much less to a strongman capable of carrying out such a crackdown. So it may be that Putin will opt for a mere figurehead, or he may ultimately choose not to leave power at all. That is not necessarily a bleak option for Russian democracy, since it would indicate Putin believes there is enough opposition to his rule that he cannot trust anyone else to resist it.

Read the whole thing.

Noam Chomsky Upholds Place as #1 Anti-American Intellectual

Noam Chomsky is one of my least favorite people. Having him quoted by Osama bin Laden doesn't help. And the following quotes definitely hurt:

Chomsky later added, "just as Bush is Osama Bin Laden's best ally, he is also Ahmadinejad's best ally." Washington's "threats" against Iran had the anticipated effect of making the Iranian government "more harsh and verbal," he said.

Yes, of course. And, Washington's threats against Iran went back in time and caused the act of war that was the occupation of the US embassy in Iran and the holding of American hostages in 1979. And every other act of Iranian-sponsored terrorism since then.

In Osama's words:

This war [in Iraq] was entirely unnecessary," bin Laden said in the video, according to the transcript released by the SITE Institute. "And among the most capable of those from your own side who speak to you on this topic and on the manufacturing of public opinion is Noam Chomsky, who spoke sober words of advice prior to the war, but the leader of Texas doesn't like those who give advice."

Some other key quotes:

-- That he had predicted directly after 9/11 that governments would use the attacks "as an excuse" to intensify repression.

-- That the invasion of Iraq was a war crime.

-- That the U.S. bombed Taliban-ruled Afghanistan after 9/11 despite having no real evidence at the time that the plot had been hatched in that country.

-- That while Afghanistan today needs constructive help, including offers of alternatives to poppy cultivation by peasants, "what the West prefers to do is to bomb."

-- That "the United States is not a functioning democracy."

-- That the "first 9/11" wasn't the al-Qaeda attack in 2001 but the Sept. 11, 1973 military coup that toppled Chile's communist President Salvadore Allende. "The effect of the first 9/11 was incomparably worse than the second 9/11," Chomsky says. "How come nobody talks about that? Well there is a simple reason. Because we were responsible for it."

I wish the definition of sedition included such words as these. Chomsky's obviously provided aid and comfort to the enemy if he's being quoted by Osaba bin Laden.

Digg Report

Digg Report: Today's #1 Digg, at 6166 Diggs, is a link to a story about Chicago police arresting a man for allegedly soliciting a prostitute, despite the fact that his wife and daughter were with him.

The comments are telling, especially this one:

"Such cases are only possible in US!"

It's amazing how the likes of Diggsters consider this such an onerous case of, what, oppression? Corruption? Abuse of power?

In Iran, with such a misunderstanding, who knows what would have happened with the man but the prostitute would likely have been stoned to death. In Russia, how the man was treated would have been determined by who he is and who he knows.

Having lived in Chicago, I know that the city cops are tough. Perhaps in certain instances they're even corrupt. But I doubt that this is the first time they've came across a man and a woman (the daughter wasn't present) soliciting a prostitute together. Even husbands and wives, I'm sure.

Once again, Digg demonstrates its uninformed membership and its proclivity for finding abuse and corruption only in America.