Monday, December 13, 2004

ElBaradei Needs to be El-Out-of-Work

Well, I'm glad to hear the Administration is pressing for Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei of the IAEA to be replaced when his current term is up next year. Since he assumed office in 1997 as head of the organization charged with monitoring nuclear activities, India and Pakistan officially became nuclear powers (1998), the North Koreans further developed their nuclear program, Libya advanced its nuclear program until the U.S. called their hand, the clandestine A.Q. Khan supplied several rogue nations with nuclear-related materials and blueprints, and Iran has been pursuing nuclear weapons. So...uh, what's this guy's job again? Naturally, since we want him out, the "Old" Europeans, perpetually engrossed in the anti-logic of appeasement, will try to keep him on. You would think it would dawn on Europe that maybe when we're concerned about Islamist nations and terrorists acquiring WMDs, that maybe it's taking some unnecessary risk by keeping this Egyptian Muslim as head of the effort, when he has "missed" the developments of such weapons in the region more than once. I'm not saying he looked the other way, but maybe I am saying that. With the deception we've seen surrounding the UN Oil-F0r-Food Program, who knows if you can trust any of these so-called "diplomats"?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Think I'll Pass on the Chicken-Dioxin Kiev

More information has been coming out about the cause (thought to be the poison, dioxin) of the mysterious illness that has befallen Ukrainian opposition leader and presidential candidate Victor Yushchenko. ABC reports that the candidate's chief of staff now believes that KGB-type agents were behind a plot to kill Yushchenko.

Makes you wonder if this was only one of a string of similarly mysterious incidents, including the drugging and blackmail of Putin's election opponent earlier this year in Kiev and the 2000 murder of a journalist in Ukraine, which the opposition has suspected Kuchma of ordering.

Wal-Mart to Take Over the World?

Last Wednesday, David Sanders, columnist for Arkansas News Bureau and sometime contributor for NRO, reported that Wal-Mart, already the world's largest retailer, may be looking to step it up a notch...a big notch.

Speculation is that the company is looking to acquire a major container shipping company. If this story has legs...check that, a rudder, it may "make some waves" as it filters out. KPIX-TV, a CBS affiliate in San Francisco has already picked up the story and reported how such a development would affect the Bay area.

In addition to the rumors coming out of Northwest Arkansas, as evidence of plans to increase current shipping operations, the company plans to open a major distribution facility at the Port of Houston in 2005. The Port of Houston is ranked #1 in the nation in foreign tonnage.

Now, a major corporation does not undertake such a major move without ample planning and often years of consideration. If Wal-Mart does have an eye toward the sea, they will need someone who knows how to manage a maritime fleet operation. Of course, the shipping company would have its own expertise, but they will surely want someone with such knowledge in addition to that of their own company’s inner workings. Possibly, the crucial piece of this puzzle is the fact that in 2001, Wal-Mart hired J. Paul Reason as a Director on their board. Admiral Reason is a former Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Naturally, he knows a thing or two about maritime logistics.

The company rumored to be under consideration is American President Lines, currently owned by Neptune Orient Lines of Singapore. One of the largest shipping companies in the world, APL has offices in over 80 countries. Their sister company, APL Logistics, a global supply-chain management company has offices in over 100 countries. APL also has extensive trucking and rail networks, which Wal-Mart would need for such an expansion.

Wal-Mart is in no danger of losing its status anytime soon. In some respect, their ascendant climb seems to have just begun. (Even with their expansion overseas, the 42-year-old company is still building stores in this country).

The company is coming on strong in online retailing. They are working to develop a profitable urban format, and have sought a piece of the financial services pie for years.

If Wal-Mart does follow through on this shipping deal, the world will be watching. Wall Street's jaws will drop, their competitors will wince, and no one will be able to touch them.

UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

The Campaign Contributions That Keep On Giving

Bill Clinton is apparently still working for the Chinese. At an event this past week, Clinton helped launch and promote a new internet search engine called Accoona, designed to rival Google and Yahoo! As one might have expected, Accoona Corp. "donated an undisclosed amount to the William J. Clinton Foundation." Among the principal backers of Accoona Corp. - the Communist government of China. Great.'s perfectly normal for a former U.S. president to promote a company owned by a hostile foreign government. Why, you might ask, would he do this? Because he can. I mean, when you've already given them missile technology, what's a website, really? And, he is building that bridge to the 21st century and bridges cost money, you know. This certainly won't be the last of such blatant self-aggrandizement. The "Foundation" will be his ticket to the Land O' Kickbacks. They say the Clinton library cost $165 million. There's no way it "cost" that much. The Reagan library was $45-60 million. Bush 41's cost $83 million - the library museum was $43M and the Bush School of Government and Public Service was $40M. I predict yet another Clintonian scandal somewhere down the road where the Foundation or one of these deals gets really called into question.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Pearl Harbor Day

Well, today is the 63rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the worst attack on American soil before 9/11. My dad, who was just a young boy at the time, says he remembers sitting in the living room with his parents and listening to the radio hearing FDR's famous words, "Yesterday, December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy". The audio of that speech can be heard here, along with the text.

Meanwhile, while other Americans reverently remember the honor due to our veterans who sacrificed so much, DNC Chair Terry Mcauliffe took the occasion to attack the GOP. Pathetic.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Conservatives Must Stay on Offense

With all the attention given this year to the gay marriage issue, it is still evident that there is a culture war going on in this country. And, with thirteen states approving bans on gay marriage, score one for the conservative side. But, we must not rest on our laurels. We must stay on the offensive. (Liberals might find “offensive” to be a double entendre there, but I digress).

A culture war is not only a struggle of ideas. It is a battle between institutions. Ours vs. theirs. Each side’s institutions are well-entrenched, but the leaders on the Left are reeling. Their party is devastated and stunned. Some of their media bosses have been embarrassed. Their radio personalities are speaking into muted microphones. They have taken a hit. Now they must be taken down. If we lean on them now, they may be crippled for a generation, or more.

Among our conservative institutions are Rush Limbaugh and talk radio, Fox News, Drudge, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, the Heritage Foundation. They have NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, billionaire George Soros, the New York Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, and on and on and they still lose. If we were them, we’d be frustrated too. But we’re not.

We must continue to defeat them. A series of election victories and the possibility of extending that for a generation present a bright opportunity for our cause. Sure, unity is a good thing, but the cries for unity from the Left are a false ruse. They’ve tried it before. And, when they sensed that bilateral accomplishments would mostly help the majority party, their true intents became evident. They showed that they would forsake all else for the good of the party, but not the country. That is a dangerous prospect.

Just read one post on the radical left-wing website Democratic Underground and you know who you’re dealing with. The hate and sheer vitriol that is spewed from these people is incredible. These people are the party faithful. This is their base. And oh yeah, they’re fans of Michael Moore. You know, that propagandist whose movie got distributed by Hezbollah…the guy whose movie premiere was attended by Tom Daschle and Terry McAuliffe…the guy who defended the Iraqi terrorists as “Minutemen”…the guy that endorsed Wesley Clark and then sat next to former President Jimmy Carter at the DNC.

They claim that we control the media, but the truth is, we have done more with less and, as a result, our ranks have grown. Or, maybe…the silent majority is no longer so silent. Perhaps the conservative citizenry has realized that they are “mainstream America” and they’re not going to let the liberals continue to define what is considered “mainstream”. The Left has sought to divide America, and for what?

Thirty-five years ago on November 3, 1969, President Nixon gave a speech to the American people. It is quite relevant to today. As America dealt with the difficulties of Vietnam, he sought to remind people of the importance of public support for a national effort and he made his appeal to what he termed the “silent majority.”

Two hundred years ago this nation was weak and poor. But even then, America was
the hope of millions in the world. Today we have become the strongest and
richest nation in the world. And the wheel of destiny has turned so that any
hope the world has for the survival of peace and freedom will be determined by
whether the American people have the moral stamina and the courage to meet the
challenge of free world leadership.

Let historians not record that when America was the most powerful nation in the world we passed on the other side of the road and allowed the last hopes for peace and freedom of millions of people to be suffocated by the forces of totalitarianism.

And so tonight -- to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans -- I ask for your support.

I pledged in my campaign for the presidency to end the war in a way that we could win the peace. I have initiated a plan of action which will enable me to keep that pledge.

The more support I can have from the American people, the sooner that pledge can be redeemed; for the more divided we are at home, the less likely the enemy is to negotiate at Paris.

Let us be united for peace. Let us also be united against defeat. Because let us understand: North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that.

President Bush, I think, has tried to do this as well, and on November 2, 2004, they gave him that support. Terrorism cannot defeat the United States. Only Americans can do that.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Speaking of weird places to visit...

Michael Totten just went to Libya, which, if there was a Bizarro World, would probably be right next to North Korea. Anyway, he has some interesting pictures.

As far as I could remember, I don't think I'd ever seen pictures from inside Libya, that is, without Gaddafi in them. I'm anxious to read his article about the trip (upcoming in LA Weekly). He's a great travel writer. He went to Tunisia, an America-friendly country next door to Libya, earlier this year. The photos from that trip were much cooler, and more scenic.

Signals from Bizarro World

The CS Monitor explains the situation in North Korea. Seems the "Dear Leader" is depressed that President Bush got reelected...somehow I don't feel sorry for him.

But, what a weird place to visit.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Legacy Continues

Good call Slick:

Dec. 1, 2004 — Former American fugitive Marc Rich was a middleman for several of Iraq's suspect oil deals in February 2001, just one month after his pardon from President Clinton, according to oil industry shipping records obtained by ABC News.
First of all, if Mr. Rich did business for Saddam's Iraq, that's despicable. As for his pardon, well, it was controversial from the get-go. For one thing, it was granted by Clinton on his last day in office...January 20, 2001...yeah, on Inauguration Day...for the new president. Tacky? Maybe a little bit.

A scandalous Oil-For-Food connection (for said pardonee) just makes it ridiculous altogether. Seriously, what was Clinton thinking? Even Jimmy Carter said it was disgraceful! That's saying something, folks.

Clinton tried to explain himself in an op-ed to the New York Times, but he's tried to explain a lot of things and frankly, we're not buyin'. The most honest reason he did it is likely, "Because he could."

For those interested in the saga of Marc "The, uh, Rich...Fugitive" Rich, here's the, ahem, 51-page criminal indictment against Rich filed in 1983 by then-U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani. More than that, here's a whole set of documents. Just for kicks, here's his "virtual" wanted poster.

Who knows, maybe Rich's ex-wife is really persuasive. Of course, it probably wouldn't have taken too much for Bill. She was a fan, however, and an official F-O-B. Just to make sure, she reportedly donated $450,000 to his presidential library. Seems all parties involved got what they wanted.

The G Block

It's like all the others, only better!

Fair, Balanced & Unafraid - FOX News had a good month in November. For the first time ever, it claimed the top 11 shows in cable news. Not bad for an eight-year-old network.

Congratulations to America's #1 news channel!