Paul Hsieh over at Geek Press seems shocked to learn that Newt Gingrich is a nanotech fan.

He shouldn’t be. Though you’d never know it from the libelous screeds put out by the liberal press after the Republicans won the Congress, from which you’d assume that he lived in a cave, and had the nightly chore (like me) of clawing grit out of his knuckles, Newt is actually a futurist and an idealist.

In the early eighties, he was on the board of the L-5 Society, a non-profit organization that promoted the colonization of space. He is familiar with, and has promoted the concept of solar power satellites. But when he became speaker, he probably decided that it would be wise to avoid such issues, and stick to those that were more politically crucial and realistic.

Anyway, people who only think of him as a neanderthal will be shocked to read this interview. He was one of the most technologically-savvy politicians to have ever held office.

Ideology, Oil, And Idiotarianism

The Chronicle continues to live up to its reputation as the worst newpaper in the world, as evidenced by this latest bit of stupidity from Chris Matthews. Poor Chris–he’s adrift in a sea of confusion. Can someone please toss him a clue? Make it a really big one, with lots of handles, and the words “CLUE” emblazoned on every side in big, loud red letters, with a klaxon horn.

It will take 200,000 U.S. troops to invade Saddam Hussein’s capital and effect the “regime change” demanded by neo-conservative policy wonks and backed by oil-patchers George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Cite? Logic? Analysis?

We don’t need no stinkin’ justification for these numbers we pull out of our nether regions–we’re a big-time newspaper columnist.

The question America needs to answer now, while there’s still time to stop this road trip, is whether a war justified by ideology and energy economics is truly in this country’s interests.

Ummm…Chris? That would be known as a complex question. You know, like the one about whether or not you’ve quit beating your wife? Or when you’re going to stop writing columns in which you’ve tarted up some ill-founded and ignorant opinions to masquerade as informed fact?

Here’s a fact, Chris–the war is driven by national self defense, a concept with which former Kennedy liberals like yourself used to be familiar, but with which you have somehow become disengaged since the era of, oh, Vietnam or so.

A U.S.-Iraqi war has advanced well beyond the “contingency” phase. The last barrier of restraint, Secretary of State Colin Powell, has been broken by the will of a Bush administration partnership of ideology and oil that is now set on war.

Poor Colin.

He first put up brave resistance against the evil ideologists and oil men, but Cheney called up the goons. He was taken to a room deep in Dick’s locationally-undisclosed cave, where he was liberally lubed with central Texas Sweet, and trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey. They alternated between rubber hose beatings, bright lights, Iraqi dripping-oil torture, and readings from Rice and Wolfowitz.

After weeks of this unending gruesome anguish, disoriented (unlike Chris), he could barely tell the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter like Yasser Arafat or Saddam Hussein.

Now, a shattered man, by day he attends the cabinet meetings, but only in a perfunctory manner, for appearances. At night, he lies curled up there on the Bottom called Foggy, his will broken, whimpering. He was the Only Man Who Could Save The World, and he has failed.

[most of hysterical screed against neo-conservatives snipped]

The neo-cons casually compare Iraq to the Third Reich, Israel to forsaken Czechoslovakia and skeptics to Neville Chamberlain, but their evidence for attacking Iraq doesn’t hold up. The anthrax letters came from a source far nearer to our shores than Baghdad. And CIA chief George Tenet testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that the “jury’s still out” on whether Hussein had anything to do with Sept. 11.

Well, here you make the same error as your like-“minded” friends over on the other side of The Pond. There is an unstated, and false assumption implicit in this statement. You believe, and expect everyone else to agree, that only states that participated in the events of last summer can justifiably be attacked.

Of course, by your logic, we couldn’t have gone in and done a regime change in Afghanistan prior to September 11, even if we had found evidence of exactly what bin Laden planned to do.

Here’s the deal, Chris. See, we’re defending ourselves. And often the best defense is a good offense.

Before September 11, when folks in funny hats said they wanted to kill us, we thought that was just so cute. We patted them on the head, said “nice little terrorist,” and sent them off to play.

After September 11, we believe them. We’re trying to prevent them from doing it again. Sometimes that means hitting them before they can hit you.

Oil is a much more powerful motive for an Iraq attack.

Says you.

Iraq is the Mideast’s No. 2 supplier of oil, behind Saudi Arabia. The United States, swallowing a quarter of the world’s production, is the world’s No. 1 consumer. This country is led by a pair of oil-patch veterans who share a sense of entitlement about the world’s oil reserves regardless of what flag flies above them. Bush and Cheney see Hussein’s chief weapon of mass destruction as his threatened grip on the Persian Gulf oil tap.

What’s your point? Do you understand the difference between correlation and causation? The fact that Iraq has oil, and we need oil to run our economy, does not lead to the ineluctable conclusion that we will make war on the Iraqi regime because we want the oil (though that may very well be a beneficial side effect).

After all, the Saudis are number one, Chris. We’re not beating the war drum to do a regime change in Riyadh (though we probably should be).

Basically, what you’re doing here is libeling Bush and Cheney–accusing them of being disingenuous liars.

This confluence of interest between ideology and oil has put us on the road to Baghdad. It’s time for us to realize that American principles have precious little to do with this costly prospective military campaign.

“Ideology”? I suppose, if you think that being opposed to our own destruction by amoral, cold-blooded psychopaths is a blindly ideological position.

Here’s a massive, glow-in-the-dark clue for you from Victor Davis Hanson, Chris:

After 30 years of listening to nauseating chanting from Teheran to Islamabad to Nablus, hearing the childish rants about “The Mother of All Battles” and “The Great Satan,” and witnessing presidents from Carter to Bush burned in effigy, the ritual torching of the American flag, the misspelled banners of hatred, the thousands of paint-by-the-numbers posters of psychopaths from Khomeini to bin Laden, televised threats that sound as hideous as they are empty, Nazi- inspired anti-Semitism, embassy takeovers, oil-boycotts, hijacked planes, cars, and ships, lectures from unelected obese sheiks with long names and gold chains, peacekeepers incinerated in their sleep, murders at the Olympics, bodies dumped on the tarmac of airports, shredded diplomats, madmen in sunglasses in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, demented mullahs and whip-bearing imams in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, continual televised murders of Americans abroad, our towers toppled, our citizens butchered, our planes blown up, hooded Klansmen in Hamas and Hezbollah, killers of al-this and Islamic-that, suicide bombers, shrill turbaned nuts spouting hatred on C-SPAN broadcasts, one day the salvation of Kuwait, the next sanctions against the swallower of Kuwait, the third day fury against the sanctions against the swallower of Kuwait, the fourth day some grievance from 1953, the fifth another from A.D. 752; and all the time sanctimonious fingerpointing from Middle Eastern academics and journalists who are as bold abroad in insulting us as they are timid and obsequious under dictators at home in keeping silent, I’ve about had it. No mas. The problem is you, not us ? you, you, you…

The truth is that there is a great storm on the horizon, one that will pass ? or bring upon us a hard rain the likes of which we have not seen in 60 years. Either we shall say “no more,” deal with Iraq, and prepare for a long and hard war against murderers and terrorists ? or we will have more and more of what happened on 9/11. History teaches us that certain nations, certain peoples, and certain religions at peculiar periods in their history take a momentary, but deadly leave of their senses ? Napoleon’s France for most of a decade, the southern states in 1861, Japan in 1931, Germany in 1939, and Russia after World War II. And when they do, they cannot be bribed, apologized to, or sweet-talked ? only defeated.

If you want to write a newspaper column, learn from the master. That’s why we’re going into Iraq.

New Red Star In Orbit

The Chinese claim to have successfully launched their new manned capsule (without anyone in it, this time).

They do seem to be on track to developing their own independent crewed space capability, with the medium-term goal of sending Taikonauts (their word for astronauts) to the Moon. I hope that they do, because they’ll likely succeed, which may spur us to get off our butts here, and the way they’re going about it (using expendable rockets) will be easy to compete with if we ever harness free enterprise to the problem. Their program is basically a knock off of the Soviets.

The Stupidity Defense

Layne is being culturally insensitive today.

You’ve heard of the insanity defense? Apparently the Arabs are trying to use the stupidity defense.

Buy a plane ticket? Sure! Next thing you’re going to tell me is that an Arab Muslim can drive a car or use an ATM or brush his teeth. Arab Muslims are retarded! We know that.

Clinton Legacy Watch

Commenting on my post about a possible Iraqi connection to OKC, fellow blogger John Hudnall makes an additional point that’s worth repeating.

After 911, Bill Clinton was whining to his toadies and sycophants about how cruel and unfair history was–he never had an opportunity to be a great president, because he didn’t get to preside over a war. That sum’bitch Bush just had all the luck.

But as I pointed out, there was a lot of evidence of international connections to the OKC bombing, which was the biggest terrorist attack on US soil up until that time (since the first WTC attempt in 1993 was unsuccessful). But the Administration actively avoided following the evidence trail.

I already pointed out one reason–they wanted to demonize their political enemies, and not dilute any of the blame. But the other reason is perhaps that, had they actually found hard evidence of Iraqi involvement, they would have had to do something about it, and the public would have likely been unimpressed with lobbing a few cruise missiles at aspirin factories. Particularly considering Mr. Clinton’s own history, and his cabinet picks, this was not an Administration with either the temperament or talent to fight a real war.

So Mr. Clinton potentially had his opportunity for a war against terrorism in Oklahoma City. He chose instead, as Mr. Hudnall says, to use it for crass domestic partisan advantage. Had he instead sought to find the full truth, and properly responded to it, what happened on September 11 might have been avoided.

And thus the legacy continues to build.

Iraqis In Oklahoma?

Most political observers agree that the Oklahoma City bombing resurrected Bill Clinton’s political career, or at least initiated the process. The Democrats had just lost the Congress in the 1994 elections, due to the health-care debacle, gun control, and a number of other overreaches. There were stories in Time and Newsweek about the “incredible shrinking President” and whether or not he was “relevant.”

OKC changed all that almost overnight. It not only allowed the Big He to go out on one of his “feel your pain” trips, but he and his minions used it to blast militias, talk radio, and evil Right-Wing Republicans, blaming them and their “hate speech” for the bombing.

All of this slander was contingent, of course, on the fact that the job was done, and done solely, by a member of such a “right-wing group.” So Tim McVeigh was the perfect fall guy, from the Administration’s point of view. Once they had the goods on him and Nichols, they basically quit looking for anyone else. Remember “John Doe #2”? Few others do, either, because all evidence that could implicate anyone but McVeigh and Nichols was excluded from their trial, and it became quickly forgotten.

While it could be argued that such evidence was irrelevant to the case against them, and thus properly excluded, it was also convenient to those who wanted to demonize the “right,” since it allowed the finger of blame to be pointed only at the evil right wingers. That full justice was never served wasn’t as important as making clear how evil McVeigh and like-thinking people were.

Well, now that we’re digging into terrorism, and terrorist connections, in light of the past few months, some old skeletons may be starting to clatter out of the closet, as described in this article at Insight. In the process of seeking additional justifications to go after Saddam, yet another old Clinton coverup may finally see the light of day.

Note the last, and key, paragraph:

But one thing is clear: Bill Clinton and Janet Reno exulted when they found a domestic conspiracy behind the Oklahoma City bombing, say administration insiders, and immediately ordered the FBI to call off its investigation of any international connection. Details of that connection finally are beginning to emerge.


Down again.

I’m whomping up a little perl script that will check once a minute or so automagically to see if it’s working. It’ll turn on a little traffic signal (green for up, red for down) so people can know not to waste any time with blogspotters.

Still In Denial

In an article in Salon last week, Josh Marshall displayed his tendency to check his brains at the door when it comes to the Clintons. The full article is only available as a “premium” (i.e., you have to pay cash money for it), but I didn’t bother, because this (free, thankfully) excerpt leads me to conclude that it’s worth less than nothing:

The final report into the Whitewater investigation released Wednesday by the Office of Independent Counsel (OIC) confirmed what had been known for some time — that after all the tens of millions of dollars and eight years of investigation, the OIC found no evidence of any criminal activity on the part of Bill or Hillary Clinton in the various dealings that fell under the catchall heading of “Whitewater.”

As I already pointed out previously, if Josh really believes this, he’s delusional, or he didn’t read the report (I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, and not simply call him a liar). And when a couple of Washington Post reporters tried the same thing the other day, their on-line headline later had to be revised to reflect reality.

Contrary to finding “no evidence of any criminal activity,” Mr. Ray actually found quite a bit–he just didn’t think that he had enough to get a conviction. But, as is the case with all Clinton liars and spinners, “insufficient” evidence somehow gets transmogrified into “none,” and it’s just a witchhunt on those poor paragons of virtue by the evil rightwingers.

Well, Josh, by your own standards, I find no evidence that you are a serious journalist.

The Blasphemous West

Steven Den Beste has a nice description of Japan’s martial history and how it was necessary to end it and entirely restructure their culture in order to get a lasting peace with them.

The point, of course, is that we will almost certainly have to do the same thing with Islam, at least Wahabi Islam, to end the current war. It’s a long read, but a good one. As Steven says, our very existence is not just a threat to them–it’s blasphemy.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!