Friday, October 29, 2004

Advice to Trolls

There are always disagreements between people of goodwill. And then there are people whose only intent is to twist logic and substitute allegations for reasoned dispute.

If your desire or goal is to engage and possibly persuade someone to consider your point of view, you have a lot to learn about simple etiquette and civil converse.

If your purpose is, on the other hand to try to just aggravate people who disagree with you, you've accomplished that, but so freaking what? How does that make Kerry's task any easier? How does it make the governing of this country at all easier by going out of your way to insult people with whom you differ?

Whoever wins the election, we still are a nation besieged. The Hatred of Islamic zealots forunbelievers predates by six centuries the arrival of Christians and Jews on the shores of North America. However stupid George Bush may be, his dumbness or brilliance is a miniscule factor in the enduring belligerence between Islam and ALL its neighbors.

Look at any academic site (as opposed to those of organizations that are PROMOTIMG Islam) and read for yourself a concise history of Islam. You will find (forgive me, those of you who have seen this before) that the Prophet Mohammed himself commanded military assaults upon his enemies, and personally ordered beheadings and executions of unbelievers. In the first decade after his death, the leadership of Islam changed hands several times. In each instance, one aspirant murdered and replaced his predecessor. In the first century of its existence on the planet, Islam was imposed by its fanatical leaders use of military assault on successive neighbors spreading from the Arabian Peninsula eastward across north Africa and Northward up Palestine,Lebanon and Syria, through Turkey to Istanbul. In many parts of the Islamic world, slavery is still routinely practiced. Sharia--- civil law according to Islamic principles--- imposes beheadings, amputations, and hanging for acts and behaviors many in the Western democracies tolerate and even defend as fundamental rights--- sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, dissent, etc.

The European Union is experiencing its own difficulties assimilating huge Islamic immigrant populations. Anti-semitism has deep roots, and racial tensions and racist attitudes are very strong in Europe. For them to be lecturing the United States about our attitudes and attempts at resolving our problems is ludicrous.

For any person who intends to govern America, it is insane to expect Europe to provide answers to our problems. They can't defend, or govern, themselves. Joschka Fisher, the FOREIGN MINISTER of Germany, is a terrorist sympathizer--- He was photographed in an internationally reported incident in th3 1970's kicking and beating a German police officer at a dmonstration, with six other demontstrators assisting. He admitted in a widely reported trial of the Bader-Meinhoff gang (of terrorists) that his home was used as a safe house by known terrorists in the 1970s.

That such a man could be ELECTED by the german population, OR appointed to such a high office in the German government, speaks volumes about the fundamental INSANITY of the current European culture.

For John Kerry to announce that he regards the European attitudes as any sort of touchstone for his policies identifies him as someone who should never be entrusted with the reins of government.

I apologize for my typos. I'm writing this at the library, no splee chekcer.

Monday, October 18, 2004

"The Days of Swine and Roses..."

It's been a generation since the "Swine Flu" mess, and people's ambivalence about vaccines, their value and dangers, has grown rather than subsided. Every chiropractor's office I've ever visited has publications ranging in tone from calmly reflective to almost hysterical, challenging the use, safety, and fundamental validity of vaccines as preventative of all the hideous diseases we try to fend off using them.

The Present Fuss about the flu vaccine is another occasion for headscratching about the utter perversity of the Public, The Media, and Politics. Several times in recent years, the flu vaccine question getting all the media attention has been that the vaccine MIGHT CAUSE MUCH GREATER HARM THAN THE FLU ITSELF; so many consumers were complaining about coming down with “flu-like” symptoms which they insisted were caused by the vaccines that they were foreswearing submitting to the darn vaccines ever again.

Here’s a little background information:
Each year, a number of influenza strains emerge in different parts of the world, and begin to spread outward from their points of origin, in a steady march that brings them to the United States a few months later.

Human flu viruses exploit pigs and other animals as “vectors” (when they can’t get humans) and sometimes even viral strains from ducks and other critturs intermingle and we get unprecedentedly... well, “VIRULENT” new strains to attack us. This works for the viruses because humans and pigs and fowl have long-standing intimate living arrangements in some places. Like rural China, for instance. That’s why many of the new strains emerge from that region of the world, and bear such evocative names as “Asian flu” or “Swine flu.”

Somebody --- actually, teams of somebodies--- have to be out in the field researching the new strains all year, and other somebodies have to make educated guesses as to just which ones will eventually spread to the U.S., in order to formulate and then manufacture and distribute a vaccine that will be reasonably effective against the flu strains that are expected to show up in the U.S. months later.

The public take this whole process of critically complex interactive steps for granted. They complain when it works, and complain when it doesn’t work.

A few decades back (1976) there was a huge stink, with people calling for Congressional investigations around the so-called “Swine Flu Epidemic,” because it appeared the vaccine CAUSED the paralyzing and even occasionally lethal “Guillain-Barre´ Syndrome.” It took a number of very careful studies to show that in fact, there did seem to be some causal relationship, but what that really demonstrated is that in fact, there is frequently some tiny possibility of individual bad reactions to vaccines, despite the overwhelmingly greater good they do.

Here is the first paragraph of a Harvard School of Public Health study copyright 1997 by Elissa A Laitin and Elise M. Pelletier about that, which gives you an idea of the complexity of the flu vaccine issue:

In February of 1976, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) investigated and confirmed that an influenza outbreak at Fort Dix had been caused by the swine-type influenza A virus. Subsequently, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, as well as numerous medical experts, became concerned that a major flu epidemic was imminent for the coming fall. Fear of influenza deaths in numbers similar to the 1918 flu epidemic led to a recommendation that the federal government vaccinate all Americans.

When insurance companies refused to provide coverage to the vaccine manufacturers, the government agreed to accept liability for claims of adverse events (Neustadt).[I separated out this paragraph for]

This obstacle having been cleared, the National Influenza Immunization Program (NIIP) officially started in October of 1976. The number of vaccinations given each week increased rapidly from less than one million in early October to more than four million in the later weeks of the month, and reached a peak of more than six million doses a week by the middle of November 1976 (Marks). The NIIP was unique in the annals of epidemiology: an organized surveillance effort was in place from the very beginning, and over forty million people were vaccinated during the short time the NIIP was in effect. However, on December 16, 1976 the NIIP was suspended following reports from more than ten states of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in vaccinees. By January of 1977, more than 500 cases of GBS had been reported, with 25 deaths (Langmuir, 1979). Millions of dollars in lawsuits and many years later, we present in this paper a summary of the epidemiologic evidence of the possible causal association between influenza A/New Jersey/76 vaccine and GBS.
(The full article is available at:

Joel Warner authored another fairly daunting technical analysis of the 1976 epidemic, available at:

The best discussion of that event is in the book “The Coming Plague,” by Laurie Garrett, former NPR science correspondent. Despite the sensational sounding title, she gives you a very clear understanding of how public health issues have been approached in a number of problem areas--- Ebola, the new vicious strains of TB, HIV, and how everything is affected by promiscuous overuse of antibiotics. It’s pretty darn comprehensive--- something close to 500 pages, with indexes (okay, “indices”)--- but it’s very readable, and doesn’t assume or require the reader to have any specialized science education beyond maybe middle-school-level biology & chemistry.

My reason for this dense post is just to say that it is typically irresponsible disgusting mud-slinging for someone like John Kerry to be blaming the present vaccine shortage on BUSH. To quote from the Galen Institute: “This crisis is the result of a series of policy decisions dating back a decade. In 1994, First Lady Hillary Clinton led an effort to enact the Vaccines for Children program, and the government now purchases 60% of all pediatric vaccines. “

Don’t just take my word for it, because I’m a registered Clinton critic. Look up the “Vaccines for Children” 1994 proposals and resulting legislation, which are credited to Bill and Hillary Clinton, with inspiring introduction by then-Secretary of Health and Human Services, Donna Shilala:
A critical 1994 article in Reason Magazine:

"The Shiny Thing Hypothesis"

Here I am, trying to stay employed and pay my bills, and pay enough attention to international issues to try to cast a vote for a President who will end up making the world a little better place. I started off believing that the Democratic Party meant the shiny things it dangled in front of idealistic voters. Gradually, I began to see that they dangled different shiny things in front of different sorts of voters hoping to enlist them. Later still, it became clear that the shiny things were just... well, SHINY things, and we were all like so many stupid trout, snapping reflexively, and ending up feeding some fat fisherman.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Picking Cherries...

The full article excerpted below is available at:

Allies dismiss reports of Saddam payoffs

By Betsy Pisik

NEW YORK — French, Russian and U.N. officials warned against making hasty judgments yesterday after the U.S. Iraq Survey Group reported that Saddam Hussein had used the U.N. oil-for-food program to buy influence at the United Nations.
The report accused key officials — including former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky and retired U.N. oil-for-food director Benon Sevan — of accepting oil vouchers, which could be exchanged secretly for cash.


The ISG, headed by former U.N. weapons inspector Charles A. Duelfer, on Wednesday issued a 1,000-page report detailing Iraq's quest for weapons of mass destruction, including the possibility that more than $10 billion had been wrung from oil sales authorized by the U.N. program.
The ISG found a pattern of gifts and bribes to officials of nations serving on the Security Council, in an apparent effort to hasten the crumbling of the already weak sanctions on the regime.
The regime was "using every tool possible, through its deception, front companies or sweetheart deals on oil and other things, to try to suborn the sanctions regime and try to acquire things it was not supposed to be buying under the sanctions regime," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said yesterday.
Mr. Duelfer told Congress in releasing the report on Wednesday, "It's pretty clear that the Iraqi strategy and tactics of dividing the Security Council were having a fair amount of success.
"I think that's clear in the report when you see that the amount of conventional military equipment that was being sold to Iraq, being transported into Iraq ... with the help of some Security Council members, there is, in my mind, little doubt that the ... constraints that the U.N. was able to put around Iraq were collapsing."
The report fueled impatience on Capitol Hill over the slow pace of the [former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul] Volcker investigation and the U.N. refusal to make documents available to Congress.


U.N. officials say privately that they hoped Mr. Volcker could work a little faster, at least to investigate the apparent complicity of their own personnel.
The first phase of the independent investigation, originally expected next month, is not expected to be ready until early 2005, according to a U.N. official.
"Obviously, the secretary-general is keen to get to the bottom of this, get it out in the open and over and done with," an official said. "But I do not think he can put any pressure on him [Mr. Volcker] to speed it up."


It is interesting that the Kerry campaign look at a 1,000 page report and all they find worthy of note is the ONE fact that everyone ALREADY KNOWS---no stockpiles of WMDs.

All you need for a weapon of mass destruction is a few pounds of a nasty substance, and enough explosive to disperse it. It doesn't need to be even the size of a briefcase. There have already been found some several dozen artillery shells full of Sarin LIQUID, which becomes a GAS or cloud of tiny droplets on detonation.

Unfortunately, the pitiful state of American secondary education under DEMOCRATIC PARTY administration over the last half of the 20th century deteriorated to the extent that many high school graduates no longer are given the information they need to be able to assess certain types of data.

It used to be widely understood that manufacturing processes depend on mass-production assembly lines to be efficient or affordable. Consider the ball point pen: Because of the microscopic texture of the ball needed for optimal ink retention, and the critical tolerances between the ball and the conical tip needed to allow the ball to turn and the ink to flow, making a SINGLE ball point pen could cost thousands of dollars. But to set up a factory capable of manufacturing a million pens per 24 hours, ends up bringing the cost down to a few cents apiece.

The discovery of ten Artillery Shells filled with Sarin chemical poison, clearly shows that at some point SADDAM HUSSEIN in fact, had a factory producing such weapons of mass destruction.

Even if the factory were dismantled, and the shells shipped out of Iraq, He still had the industrial know-how, the technicians and scientists and workers, and a United Nations on the take, casting a blind eye on Saddam's flouting of the sanctions.

In the 1920's and 1930's, Germany was secretly building up its military capacity with the aid of sympathetic countries, which shared expertise and manufacturing capacity. Once Hitler came to power he accelerated these programs. By the time he revealed to the world Germany's new armaments, aircraft, ships, and tanks, England and France and the United States were a decade behind the times.

None were willing to actually use military force as allowed by the Treaty of Versailles to compel Hitler to comply with the restrictions imposed on Germany by its surrender at the end of World War I. It has been well established that the Treaty of Versailles imposed burdens on Germany that made her people justifiably resentful of the allies' harshness. However unreasonable the reparations burden were, the problems they caused were allowed to lead to war by the gutless leaders who were unwilling to confront Hitler's growing belligerance.

Similarly, it can be argued that the sanctions on Iraq caused hardships AS THEY WERE MANIPULATED BY SADDAM, which make many Iraqis blame the U.S. Still, it was SADDAM who was the decision maker, the one in charge, the person calling the shots.

Kerry repeatedly stated that Saddam was a threat, that we would be justified in using military force to disarm him. It is only now that he is trying to get elected by the deconstructionist postmodern marxist blow-dried manicured tofu-gnawing left, that he reverses these claims.

His slogan should be “Peace in Our Time!”

Friday, October 01, 2004

Continental Drift

Europe is the First-born son in an old wealthy family, of which America is the later born. Europe stayed home, waiting patiently for Papa to age and eventually die, so as to inherit the family groves and fields and business interests. Biding its time, gritting its teeth, putting up with indignities and whippings and even the contempt of its elders, Europe opted to set aside pride and independence for the guarantee of eventual inheritance of the hoarded treasure of earlier generations. In doing so, Europe learned to shun risk-taking, to avoid the rigors of exploration, adventure, challenge, the examination of exotic options. Europe traded independence for security.

America packed its few bits of belongings in a kerchief and hiked off down the lane to seek its fortune elsewhere. It learned to think for itself, to assess and face difficulties and find its own solutions in the absence of guidance and advice. On its own, working out its own fate gradually made it more able to see the world as it is instead of how it wishes it were. But America's choice of freedom instead of the comfort of staying home also allowed it to dream; to imagine that its dreams could be realized.

Now, Europe has come into its inheritance, but for all its grudging tedious waiting, it has learned rather to sit on its hoard like some arthritic dragon, than to boldly flex and exercise its powerful sinews. With flinty eyes Europe views with alarm the confident stride of its younger sibling, at once jealous of the success gained by adventure, luck and daring, and fearful of an America that having proved its own fiber, cannot be cowed by Europe's bullying or tempted by its wealth.

Worse, Europe is shamed to see what it might have become had it not opted for the safe and comfortable way, instead of the challenge of freedom.

Admittedly, this is only a convenient metaphor.

But I think it captures the essence of the relationship between the European collective mind, and the attitude of America, particularly since 9-11-01. That attack is conceptually a continental divide. On one side of that event, logic and beliefs all were governed by a gravitic force pulling one way: toward insularity. timidity, conformity, passivity. On the other side of that discontinuity, perceptions, logic, and motives are pulled by an opposing force, drawing America toward awareness, purpose, will, sobriety, responsibility.

Stephen Green at Vodkapundit links to an article in the coming Weekly Standard:

"Islamic Europe?"
From the October 4, 2004 issue: When Bernard Lewis speaks . . .
by Christopher Caldwell
10/04/2004, Volume 010, Issue 04

The article is short. Quick, provocative read. It puts me in mind of a number of articles that have come out in the last year indicating that current birth rates among the European "native" populations yeild either zero or negative population growth, while the immigration and the birth rates among immigrants are leading to accelerating population growth among non-natives. Some predictions assert that in many European nations the natives will become minorities within the lifetimes of those living today.

Whether this is a good or a bad thing depends on your perspective. But at least it seems worth considering whether cultural dislocations and hostilities might result from a process that is too hurried.

For several centuries, Europe has been losing many of its most productive, vigorous, independent-minded folk to immigration or to its many conflicts. The remainder is then, is— inevitably— LEFT.


Of course, this is an entirely self-serving and smugly self-congratulatory analysis. But I think it has a little truth. At least it explains for me why certain folks in America, having come into wealth and comfortable living by marriage or inheritance rather than by their own industry, have attitudes that coincide so markedly with the worst of the European socialists.