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Posts Tagged ‘wishful thinking’

Dangerous delusions

Posted by Richard on June 1, 2010

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is promoting her new book, Nomad, and recently was interviewed by Tavis Smiley on PBS (HT: Booker Rising). She made the point that she'd recently revised her opinion regarding religions. She previously believed that "all religions are the same and all religions are inherently evil." But she now has a more positive view of Christians and wishes that Muslims would "distance themselves" from the facets of their religion that are "hostile to humanity" as most Christians have. Muslims haven't, she argued:

… I say in the book right now we cannot speak of moderate Muslims because they still cling to the absolute idea that everything in the Qur'an is the true word of God and cannot be changed by human beings, and that the prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, left a moral guidance behind and all we can do is follow it, not question it.

Smiley, somewhat incoherently, expressed doubt that anything needs to be done to change Muslims or "take on Muslims here in the West." Hirsi Ali tried to explain:

… The people who are engaged in terrorist activities look like you and me. They look like everybody else here.

 Major Nidal Hasan, the military guy who in November shot 13 of his colleagues and injured 32, he's going to be on trial pretty soon, I think this week, the young man, Faisal Shahzad, in Times Square who tried to blow innocent people that he doesn't know up, these guys are acting on conviction. Somehow, the idea got into their minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter.

Smiley objected, revealing a profound delusion about the world in which he lives (emphasis added):

Tavis: But Christians do that every single day in this country.

Ali: Do they blow people up (unintelligible)?

Tavis: Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that's what Columbine is – I could do this all day long. There are so many more examples of Christians – and I happen to be a Christian. That's back to this notion of your idealizing Christianity in my mind, to my read. There are so many more examples, Ayaan, of Christians who do that than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that inside this country, where you live and work.

Wow. I guess I haven't been checking the same news sources as Smiley. I wasn't aware of all the bombings and mass killings and aborted terrorist plots in the name of Christianity. No, wait — I'm being too snarky. There's something more seriously amiss here. 

Smiley specifically mentioned Columbine. Does he really think Columbine was an example of Christian terrorism analogous to the Ft. Hood massacre or the Times Square bombing attempt? Apparently he does. That's simply insane.

Occasionally, people who are purportedly Christians shoot up schools or offices, rob banks, or rape and murder people. But here's the thing — they're not doing it in the name of Christianity, to punish, intimidate, or destroy non-Christians, or for the purpose of subjugating all non-Christians and imposing Christian law on all the inhabitants of Earth. That's the difference, Mr. Smiley — can you not understand that??

But Smiley isn't the only person who's delusional regarding Islamists. This administration is full of them. Case in point (emphasis added): 

The president's top counterterrorism adviser on Wednesday called jihad a "legitimate tenet of Islam," arguing that the term "jihadists" should not be used to describe America's enemies. 

During a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, John Brennan described violent extremists as victims of "political, economic and social forces," but said that those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in "religious terms." 

"Nor do we describe our enemy as 'jihadists' or 'Islamists' because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one's community, and there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children," Brennan said.

As Robert Spencer noted, purifying one's community according to Islamic law is not something the nation's counter-terrorism chief ought to be endorsing: 

Brennan should study the Qur'an and Sunnah in order to discover just how Muslims understand what it means to purify "one's community," and what the Islamic understanding is of the term "innocent." He would find, of course, that a community that is fully purified is one in which non-Muslims live as subjugated dhimmis, and that non-Muslims are never understood in the Qur'an and Sunnah as being "innocent." But he will not undertake such a study, and will never find these things out.

This ignorant son of a bitch is what stands between you and the next terrorist attack, folks. Maybe when a tactical nuke or a "dirty bomb" is detonated in Manhattan, John Brennan will finally understand what Islamists mean by "purifying one's community."

And speaking of dangerous delusions, the U.S. government is actually trying to deport Mosab Yousef. Yousef is the son of the founder of Hamas, the author of Son of Hamas, a convert to Christianity, a one-time Israeli counter-terrorism agent, and a passionate opponent of radical Islam. Check out the interview with Yousef at GQ. It is insane, contemptible, and vile to move to deport this man. Who is responsible for this travesty of justice? 

For the ridiculous details of why Yousef has been declared a terrorist, see this World Net Daily post. And then ask yourself, given the above, whether you think this administration is capable of effectively protecting you from terrorists.

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Heads in the sand

Posted by Richard on May 14, 2010

If you think I was too harsh in Naming the enemy, you need to watch Eric Holder, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, respond to a simple, direct, and non-confrontational question by Rep. Lamar Smith. It's an amazing two minutes of video, at once infuriating and hilarious.

[YouTube link]

This pathological unwillingness to identify the root cause of the problem, to name our enemies, and to acknowledge the seriousness of the threat we face is going to get a lot more people killed. Depending on blind luck and inept bomb-making to keep us safe is a losing strategy. Pretending that the real terrorist threat comes from anti-government right-wing extremists, tea partiers, and opponents of Obamacare is … well, I don't know if it's contemptibly cynical or just self-delusional.

Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn explore this issue in depth in the May 17 issue of The Weekly Standard, noting that "success in the war on terror is not apprehending terrorists after their attacks fail. Success is preventing them from attempting the attack in the first place." I strongly suggest reading the whole thing, but here's an excerpt (emphasis added): 

So, three attacks in six months, by attackers with connections to the global jihadist network—connections that administration officials have gone out of their way to diminish.

The most striking thing about all three attacks is not what we heard, but what we haven’t heard. There has been very little talk about the global war that the Obama administration sometimes acknowledges we are fighting and virtually nothing about what motivates our enemy: radical Islam. 

This is no accident. Janet Napolitano never used the word “terrorism” in her first appearance before Congress as secretary-designate of Homeland Security on January 15, 2009. Shortly thereafter, the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration had dropped the phrase “Global War on Terror” in favor of “Overseas Contingency Operations.” And just last month, we learned that the White House’s forthcoming National Security Strategy would not use religious words such as “jihad” and “Islamic extremism.”

When asked why she did not utter the word “terrorism” in the course of her testimony, Napolitano explained that she used “man-caused disaster” instead to avoid “the politics of fear.” 

The Department of Homeland Security was created after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history to prevent further terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. And the head of that department is worried that using the word “terrorism” is playing the politics of fear.

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Relentless negativity

Posted by Richard on February 1, 2007

Since the Democrats have hitched their future to failure and retreat in Iraq, it’s not surprising that their PR operatives in the mainstream media have committed themselves to reporting the news from Iraq with a relentless negativity. In practice, this has mostly meant ignoring positive developments, battlefield victories, and enemy losses and setbacks, while providing a steady stream of stories about IEDs, American and civilian deaths, and Iraqi failures and shortcomings.

Occasionally, something positve is too big to ignore, such as the recent battle near Najaf, the largest since the U.S. invasion. A radical religious sect, mostly Shia, apparently intended to attack Najaf and massacre the Shia clergy supportive of the government, starting with Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani. Iraqi forces, backed up by U.S. troops and air support, killed between two and three hundred and captured hundreds more. Eleven Iraqi soldiers and two Americans were killed. A horrible and bloody act of terrorism was prevented, and a dangerous religious militia organization was destroyed — that’s a pretty positive story, right? Well, not if you’re determined to portray everything negatively (emphases added here and there):

Analysis: Najaf battle raises questions

By ROBERT H. REID Associated Press Writer
© 2007 The Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Accounts of the bloody battle near Najaf have produced more questions than answers, raising doubts about Iraqi security forces’ performance and concern over tensions within the majority Shiite community.

Missteps by Iraqi forces in battle raise questions
By Marc Santora
Published: January 30, 2007

BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces were surprised and nearly overwhelmed by the ferocity of an obscure renegade militia in a weekend battle near the holy city of Najaf and needed far more help from American forces than previously disclosed, American and Iraqi officials said Monday.

The Iraqis and Americans eventually prevailed in the battle. But the Iraqi security forces’ miscalculations about the group’s strength and intentions raised troubling questions about their ability to recognize and deal with a threat.

A victory, of sorts

… Across Iraq, many called for an end to Iraq’s bloodshed. Not least among them was Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of a powerful Shia party, who said “I condemn the killing of Sunnis just as I do Shia and any other Iraqi”. But the events in Najaf show how quickly a hitherto unnoticed group that threatens to bring further violence to Iraq can spring up. Worse still the emergence of this mainly Shia splinter group suggests that on top of Shia-Sunni enmity, power struggles among Shia are yet another problem that Iraq’s leaders must counter. And elsewhere in the country, the mindless small-scale killings that plague Iraq carried on. But the near-disaster at Ashura shows that, for a day at least, it could have been much worse.

Militias on rise in Iraq
Burst of splinter groups stiffens challenge for US

By Farah Stockman and Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | January 31, 2007

WASHINGTON — The messianic Soldiers of Heaven militia that fought US and Iraqi troops in one of the fiercest battles of the war Sunday is among the more than two dozen extremist militias operating across Iraq that are fast becoming a powerful, and hidden, new enemy.

Ashura pilgrims attacked in Iraq, 40 killed

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Bombers killed 36 people in two attacks on majority Shi’ite worshippers marking the religious ritual of Ashura on Tuesday amid heightened tensions between Iraq’s Shi’ites and once politically dominant minority Sunnis.

Fearing a possible strike by insurgents, Iraqi authorities had deployed 11,000 police and soldiers to the holy Shi’ite city of Kerbala, focus of the commemoration that marks the death in battle of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson there 1,300 years ago.

The fears were fuelled [sic] by the discovery of what Iraqi officials said was a plot by a messianic Muslim cult to target senior Shi’ite clerics in the holy city of Najaf south of Baghdad at the climax of Ashura this week.

Iraqi security forces backed by U.S. tanks, helicopters and jet fighters fought a fierce day-long battle with the "Soldiers of Heaven" near the city on Sunday in which one U.S. helicopter crashed. Iraqi officials said the cult’s leader was killed.

Mideast tensions dominate Ashura ritual

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Attackers killed 40 Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims in Iraq on Tuesday and Hezbollah’s leader warned of the threat of civil war in Lebanon as tensions across the Middle East overshadowed the annual rite of Ashura.

In most of the Arab world the climax of the ritual, in which Shi’ites mourn the slaying over 13 centuries ago of the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson Imam Hussein, went off peacefully.

But the talk from worshippers and preachers alike was of impending struggle and conflict.

None of this negativity was enough for the rabidly leftist "media critics" at Media Matters, though. They’re angry that the reporting wasn’t negative enough:

Media uncritically reported Bush’s statement touting Iraqi success in Najaf

Summary: Numerous media outlets reported — as President Bush claimed in an interview on National Public Radio — that Iraqi troops took the lead in the battle near Najaf against religious militia the Soldiers of Heaven, without noting that the Iraqis were reportedly "overwhelmed" until U.S. forces joined them.

The barking moonbat outlets, quoting "authoritative" Iraqi and Arab sources, have already begun spinning this as an atrocity and cover-up — just simple, peaceful tribesmen on a pilgrimage attacked without provocation by the Iraqi army and then massacred by American planes and helicopters.

Almost none of the news stories mentioned, and none analyzed, what struck me as some rather important information about this "Soldiers of Heaven" cult: They’re a messianic group that wants to hasten the return of the mahdi, or 12th imam, and thought killing the Najaf clerics would help bring this about. The group’s presence in the area expanded greatly in recent months, and they set up sizable compound. There were some interesting discoveries at the compound:

BAGHDAD, Iraq — The ruins of the Soldiers of Heaven compound in Najaf yielded evidence Tuesday that the group had amassed huge wealth and weapons storehouses virtually under the noses of the Iraqi and U.S. militaries.

McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Qassim Zein entered the compound Tuesday afternoon, more than 24 hours after the battle ended.

He found a beauty salon for the women who lived there. New air conditioners kept the building cool, and outside was a large swimming pool. Expensive furniture was everywhere.

Zein said a police official told him a search of the compound uncovered $8 million to $10 million in U.S. currency. U.S. Army officials took the money, along with computers and documents, he told Zein.

A spokesman for U.S. forces referred questions to the Iraqi government. A State Department spokesman had no comment.

Zein counted more than 60 vehicles, including pickups and sedans. Another four large trucks were thought to have hauled weapons.

So this small, messianic cult somehow suddenly obtained vast weapons stockpiles, luxurious facilities, and mountains of U.S. currency (maybe counterfeit hundreds like those that Hezbollah passes out?). And their goal is to bring about the apocalypse by hastening the return of the mahdi. I can’t imagine where they got all these resources — maybe it was someone *cough*Ahmadinejad*cough* who shares their goal.

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Alternate reality

Posted by Richard on December 8, 2006

One little excerpt from the Iraq Surrender Group report told me everything I needed to know about it and confirmed the fears and suspicions I had: "No country in the region wants a chaotic Iraq." Ahem. In what alternate reality do these tired old political reprobates reside? In this reality, Iran absolutely, positively does want a chaotic Iraq, and is working 24/7 to create one! And it’s client, Syria, is doing its share!

There is more wisdom, insight, judgment, and sense of history in the head of one young American soldier than in the entire preening, self-congratulatory, self-aggrandizing Baker-Hamilton commission — as evidence, consider the reaction of T.F. Boggs, a 24-year-old Sergeant in the Army Reserve who returned from his second tour in Iraq just last month (emphasis added):

The Iraq Survey Group’s findings or rather, recommendations are a joke and could have only come from a group of old people who have been stuck in Washington for too long. The brainpower of the ISG has come up with a new direction for our country and that includes negotiating with countries whose people chant “Death to America” and whose leaders deny the Holocaust and call for Israel to be wiped from the face of the earth. Baker and Hamilton want us to get terrorists supporting countries involved in fighting terrorism!

What the group desperately needed was at least one their members to have been in the military and had recent experience in Iraq. The problem with having an entire panel with no one under the age of 67 is that none of them could possibly know what the situation is actually like on the ground in Iraq. …

We cannot appease our enemies and we cannot continue to cut and run when the going gets tough. As it stands in the world right now our enemies view America as a country full of queasy people who are inclined to cut and run when things take a turn for the worse. Just as the Tet Offensive was the victory that led to our failure in Vietnam our victories in Iraq now are leading to our failure in the Middle East. How many more times must we fight to fail? I feel like all of my efforts (30 months of deployment time) and the efforts of all my brothers in arms are all for naught. I thought old people were supposed to be more patient than a 24 year old but apparently I have more patience for our victory to unfold in Iraq than 99.9 percent of Americans. Iraq isn’t fast food-you can’t have what you want and have it now. To completely change a country for the first time in it’s entire history takes time, and when I say time I don’t mean 4 years.

Talking doesn’t solve anything with a crazed people, bullets do and we need to be given a chance to work our military magic. Like I told a reporter buddy of mine: War sucks but a world run by Islamofacists sucks more.

HT: Hugh Hewitt, whose assessment of the report is spot-on, including an apt historical comparison:

The report combines an almost limitless condescension towards the "Iraqi sovereign government," even going so far as to lay out a timetable for its exact legislative program for the next six months, with a cavalier indifference to the Syrian death squads operating in Lebanon, and the certain nature of the Iranian regime –still, on this very day, hosting the anti-Holocaust conference.

It is a wonder, this bit of appeasement virtuosity, and I think it will gain for its authors all the lasting fame that has attached itself to the name Samuel Hoare, and his brainchild, the Hoare-Laval Agreement.

I think Dean Barnett may have correctly identified the mindset of these morons:

Yesterday, the self-esteem movement reached its zenith. A nation and a government, eager to feel better about themselves, rounded up a passel of political has-beens to offer policy prescriptions that we could all support. And, other than the brain-dead nature of its policy prescriptions, what’s there not to love about the Iraq Study Group’s report? It’s the foreign policy equivalent of “a chicken in every pot.”

If this vacuous and venal piece of tripe isn’t dismissed and ignored — if its policy recommendations are actually followed, and the United States commits itself to appeasing terror states into being a bit nicer — then a few short years from now, when the nuke takes out Tel Aviv, we should refer to it as the Baker-Hamilton Holocaust.

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Vacation in Saudi Arabia?

Posted by Richard on July 21, 2006

Dolphins swim in the Red Sea, south of Jeddah, in Saudi ArabiaI’ve had this sitting around for about a week and finally got around to finishing it: At the direction of King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia is promoting itself as a tourist destination:

Abdullah, a reformer, says his country is more than just the former home of Osama bin Laden and a breeding ground for Islamic extremism.

"He wants to show the world a different face to the kingdom, said Mishari al Thaybi, a Saudi writer and analyst for the London-based newspaper Al Sharq al Awsat.

It’s all part of a greater plan to open up the country, to show that though it is Arab and Islamic, it is also modern and moderate.

There’s much for tourists to do and see in Saudi Arabia. It’s not all just desert, you know. There’s scuba diving among the dolphins in cerulean waters. There are stunning, unspoiled coral reefs and pristine Red Sea and Persian Gulf beaches. There are verdant mountains teeming with wildlife. There are hundreds of fascinating cultural and archeological sites.

According to Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdel Aziz, the secretary-general of the Saudi tourism commission, which is licensing tour operators for non-Muslim visitors, Saudi Arabia is eager to have you come and see what it has to offer:

"It not a problem for us to open up. We just want to make sure we are doing it right," Prince Sultan said.

Umm, yeah, well… that "doing it right" part does have a few gotchas for us infidels. Don’t expect any alcohol, and don’t try to smuggle any in; I think they cut off your hand for that.

The tourism commission has prepared a multi-language booklet that explains all the rules you must abide by. Here are a few (emphasis added):

Tours by groups of both sexes will be allowed – as long as a father or brother is with any single women under 40.

"The tourists must comply with the social conducts of the kingdom, to know what’s allowed and what’s not allowed, what to wear and what not to wear," said Saad al-Kadi, adviser to Prince Sultan.

All female tourists will be required to dress according to Saudi tradition: covered from head to toe with only their face, hands and feet exposed. And in the most conservative city, the capital, Riyadh, women must wear a black robe over their clothes.

If tourists choose to travel during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, tourists will not be allowed to eat or drink in public during fasting hours.

One thing visitors won’t do, however, is tour Islam’s most holy sites, including the cities Mecca and Medina. They are off limits to non-Muslims.

And when they say "off limits," they mean it. I believe infidels who ignore the ban and enter Mecca or Medina are beheaded. I don’t know if the tourism commission’s booklet makes that clear. Make sure your satellite navigation system is reliable. Taking the wrong exit could get you killed.


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Remembering the London bombings

Posted by Richard on July 7, 2006

It’s been a year since the London tube (subway) bombings, and Howie at The Jawa Report put together a retrospective, linking to "The Jawa Reports account of the hours and days following this cowardly attack." Well worth your time.

Others are remembering the 7/7 bombings, too. As Bill Roggio noted at Counterterrorism Blog, al-Qaeda is celebrating the anniversary via a newly-released video crowing about the attack, lionizing the perpetrators, and promising more to come.

Meanwhile, Perry de Havilland at reminded us that Britain has more than its share of craven cowards who’ll do anything to avoid incurring the wrath of the Islamists and are ready to embrace their dhimmitude. De Havilland linked to this Daily Mail article reporting that the Church of England may dump St. George as patron saint of England. He scoffed at the idea (emphasis added by me):

I would have to say that the Church of England are flattering themselves if they think it is actually up to them. … I suspect the association of this mythic dragon-slayer with ‘Englishness’ will outlive England’s established church comfortably.

In a post-Christian society like England, St. George, who may or may not have been a Roman general, is really just a cultural construct that embodies certain mythic values ascribed to England. And that is, of course, why the emasculated appeasers who make up the leadership of the Church of England really want to replace the mythic warrior St. George:

But the Church of England is considering rejecting England’s patron saint St. George on the grounds that his image is too warlike and may offend Muslims.

The news story provided further evidence of why the pusillanimous poltroons of the Church of England might not be comfortable with St. George:

The image of St George was used to foster patriotism in 1940, when King George VI inaugurated the George Cross for civilian acts of the greatest bravery. The medal bears a depiction of the saint slaying the dragon.

However, George has become unfashionable among politicians and bureaucrats. His saint’s day, April 23, has no official celebration in England, and councils have banned the St George flag from their buildings and vehicles during the World Cup.

The saint became an English hero during the crusades against the Muslim armies that captured Jerusalem in the 11th century. 

The crusades … oh, my! No wonder that flag’s been banned and the Church wants to dump this guy. Why, any invocation of St. George is bound to offend Britain’s Muslims, and who knows what that might drive them to do. On the other hand, if we avoid giving offense, the Islamists won’t hurt us, right?

I wonder how long before the bishops of the Church of England discuss dumping the cross as a symbol because it offends Muslims.

 An infallible method of conciliating a tiger is to allow oneself to be devoured.
      — Konrad Adenauer


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AP: not just anti-American

Posted by Richard on June 11, 2006

Media bias doesn’t just manifest itself in politics. Reporters and editors are continually making decisions about the relative importance of different facts, what to include or exclude, what to emphasize, etc., and those decisions are inevitably affected by their beliefs, preconceptions, interests, and prejudices. I’m one of those who thinks reporters should stop pretending to be entirely objective. In politics especially, I think we’re better served by honesty and transparency than by a pretend objectivity.

Nonetheless, reporters and editors should try to be fair and balanced, and they should ask themselves, "Does this story leave out something or misrepresent the situation because of my own blinders?" Case in point: the June 8 Rocky Mountain News carried an Associated Press story by Sara Karush headlined Toyota, Lexus tops in quality rankings. It began thus (emphasis added):

Toyota Motor Corp. held onto its dominant position in annual vehicle quality rankings, which were revamped to highlight design and layout problems that can irritate consumers as much as defects.

Toyota and Lexus, the automaker’s luxury brand, took the top spot in 11 out of 19 vehicle categories in the survey released Wednesday by J.D. Power and Associates. Porsche AG came in first in the overall ranking of brands, averaging 91 problems per 100 vehicles. That compared with an industry average of 124 problems per 100 vehicles.

Lexus came in second in the overall nameplate rankings, with 93 problems per 100 vehicles, while the Toyota brand was fourth with 106. The two brands scored particularly well on the defect side of the equation. 

The story contained 20 paragraphs in both its print and on-line versions (curiously, the print version added an important graphic not available on line). In addition to Toyota, Lexus, and Porsche, the story focused on BMW, which had the distinction of relatively few manufacturing defects, but very poor marks for ergonomics (design defects). Other brands mentioned in the story included GM, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Chrysler, and Ford.

From the quote above, you know that Porsche took the top spot, Lexus was 2nd, and Toyota was 4th. What you won’t find anywhere in the 20 paragraphs is the name of the number 3 brand, the one that finished ahead of Toyota: Hyundai.

The graphic included with the print version showed you the scores of all vehicle brands, but the on-line story didn’t include that. And the AP’s Sarah Karush apparently didn’t think it worth mentioning (at least, in the first 20 paragraphs) that the upstart Korean manufacturer known primarily for cheap econoboxes has surpassed Toyota in initial quality. Could there be an anti-Korean bias at the Associated Press? πŸ˜‰

For a remarkable example of how two reporters can present the same data from the same study in strikingly different ways, compare the RMN/AP story with Sarah Webster’s Detroit Free Press story, J.D. POWER SURVEY: Hyundai leapfrogs Toyota in quality. It began thus (emphasis added):

Maybe Hyundai Motor Co. drivers don’t need that 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty after all.

The South Korean automaker known for its value pricing — all its vehicles sell for less than $29,000 — delivered a jaw-dropping performance in J.D. Power and Associates’ annual survey on new-vehicle quality, which was released Wednesday.

Hyundai was the No. 1 non-premium brand in the United States, edging past Toyota, the Japanese brand whose rock-solid quality reputation has been shaking Detroit’s dominance in the nation’s auto market for years.

Overall, Hyundai was No. 3 in this year’s report, behind No. 1 Porsche and No. 2 Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, and right ahead of Toyota. Last year, Hyundai was No. 11, so the leap made Hyundai the third-most improved nameplate this year.

Now, you defenders of the media explain to me again how virtually all mainstream journalists are objective, how I can count on what I see in the mainstream media to be a complete, accurate, and unbiased presentation of the facts, and how I should stop worrying about slanted, incomplete, inaccurate information. πŸ™‚

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A modest proposal for New York

Posted by Richard on June 2, 2006

The Department of Homeland Security has released a list of the anti-terrorism grants to cities for fiscal year 2006, and some people are screaming bloody murder. DHS official said they need to spread the funding to more communities, so past major grant recipients like New York and D.C. are facing significant cuts this year.

New York politicians across the entire New York political spectrum — from moderately liberal Republicans to extremely liberal Democrats — are up in arms, of course:

New York will receive $124.5 million in anti-terrorism grants for cities at high risk of attacks, a deep cut of some 40 percent described as "a knife in the back" by one lawmaker.

"As far as I’m concerned, the Department of Homeland Security and the administration have declared war on New York," said Rep. Peter King of Long Island, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. "It’s a knife in the back to New York and I’m going to do everything I can to make them very sorry they made this decision."

"Anyone who can’t see New York monuments at risk is blind as a bat when it comes to homeland security," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

"When you stop a terrorist, they have a map of New York City in their pocket," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "They don’t have a map of any of the other … 45 places."

I’d like to make a suggestion to Messrs. King, Schumer, Bloomberg, and their friends and supporters: Why don’t you apply the same principles to the prevention of terrorist attacks that you apply to the prevention of "gun violence"? Prohibit the possession of bombs, explosives, incendiary devices, and other terrorist weapons within the City of New York without a permit. Then issue permits only to a well-connected, privileged few.

Oh, and post plenty of signs declaring New York to be a "Terrorist-Weapon-Free Zone" and warning of severe prison terms for possession of a terrorist weapon without a permit.

That should make you all much safer, right?

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