Archive for May, 2007

>Rosie O’Donnell’s low favourability rating

>According to a new Rasmussen poll sub-cretinous, untalented, cacophonous, oxygen thief Rosie O’Donnell is viewed unfavourably by 61% of Americans. That’s the same percentage as George Bush’s disapproval rating, which should give the loud-mouthed, 9/11 nutjob something to chew over in the fifteen minutes a day that she spends not stuffing her repulsive, puffy face.

Seventy-three percent (73%) of Americans have read, seen or hear about recent stories about Rosie O’Donnell’s early departure from her latest TV venture–“The View” O’Donnell, an outspoken and well publicized Democrat, is viewed favorably by just 25% of Americans (including just 33% of Democrats). Sixty-one percent (61%) of all Americans hold an unfavorable view of the daytime TV diva. While far from a popular endorsement, O’Donnell’s these ratings are better than those received by Hollywood bad girls Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Lindsay Lohan.

That’s not much of a comparison list. I presume she also has better ratings than Charles Manson, David Duke and Osama bin Laden.

O’Donnell quit “The View” following a recent quarrel with her co-host, Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck is a conservative whose views on the Iraq War have been highly criticized by O’Donnell. But, while most Americans have doubts about the War, they like Hasselbeck more than O’Donnell. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of adults express a favorable opinion of Hasselbeck, while just 27% hold an unfavorable view.

That’s not a bad effort given Hasselbeck is always getting shouted down in mid-sentence by the hideous, vulgar O’Donnell.

Another public figure in the O’Donnell-Hasselbeck saga is Donald Trump. The man who likes to name things after himself was recently quoted as saying “I’ve always said Rosie is very self destructive…As far as Elisabeth Hasselbeck, I’ve always said she’s probably the dumbest person on television, but when she called me…obnoxious, she was probably right.”

“…the dumbest person on television”? Hasn’t Trump ever seen Keith Olbermann? Now that Rosie is off the air Olbermann has a clear lead in the Dumbest On TV Stakes.

Still, even Trump receives better ratings than O’Donnell (but not much better). Thirty-two percent (32%) rate the mogul favorably while 54% have the opposite opinion. Men give Trump slightly better ratings than women. Rumors surfaced shortly after the latest O’Donnell-Hasselbeck eruption that the whole incident was a publicity stunt. Barbara Walters, creator of the show, denied the rumor stating, “Aunt Barbara is back, and there will be peace in the kingdom.”

Walters is seen in a more positive light than any of the other participants. Overall, 57% rate the veteran journalist favorably, while 31% give her unfavorable reviews.

So there you go. O’Donnell has a 61% unfavourable rating but is the darling of the DailyKos, Huffington Post crowd. That pretty much tells you how far to the left those profoundly racist, reality-challenged sites are.

Categories: Media, United States

>Hamas proves conventional wisdom wrong. Again.

>Noah Pollak has a great post at Michael J. Totten’s site dealing with the reality versus the predictions of Hamas’ rise to power in Gaza.

I’ve had little time to post over the past week, as we’re in full production mode at the journal I work for and my days have been busy. But I wanted to make a brief observation about the situation today in Gaza, as by my lights there are three fundamentally important premises of recent Middle East diplomacy that the lawlessness there has overturned — and quite violently, at that.

The first is the notion that power would moderate Hamas. After the terrorist group was elected in January 2006, western interpreters of “the conflict” dreamily predicted that its stridency and absolutism would attenuate; with its constituency being the entire Palestinian population, this thinking went, Hamas’ war against Israel would be necessarily curtailed by the mundane requirements of governance and incumbency. At the time, President Bush said, “I think people who generally run for office say, vote for me, I’m looking forward to fixing your potholes, or making sure you got bread on the table.” The AP’s Jerusalem Bureau Chief wrote, “if the elections pull the Islamic militants off the streets and into the corridors of power — shifting their focus from terror to governance — prospects for peace could be improved.” Not only has Hamas not moderated, it has actually become even more self-confident. Islamists, like most people, aren’t “moderated” by winning political power; they only compromise when a more powerful force, or necessity, compels them to.

Why anyone would think that power would moderate Hamas’ and reduce its terrorist activities is beyond me given it hasn’t worked for the Taliban, the Syrian Baathist regime or in Iran.

The second is an idea that dates back at least to the start of Olso in the early 1990’s. It is the belief that Israel must make concessions in order to validate and strengthen the Palestinian moderates and marginalize the radicals. Another piece of conventional wisdom holds that Hamas won the 2006 election primarily due to a widespread feeling of disgust among Palestinians with Fatah’s corruption and fecklessness. Yet Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza happened just four months before the election, and the commotion surrounding that event distracted many people from taking note of what the withdrawal meant for the Palestinians themselves.

And what it meant for the Palestinians, especially the residents of Gaza, was that Hamas’ fierce resistance over the decades had finally forced an Israeli retreat. It was the Shia reaction to the 2000 Lebanon pullout all over again, with Hamas playing Hezbollah. Hamas was able to campaign proudly on this victory, which was viewed as additional evidence of Hamas’ strength and competence. And so it seems clear that a massive Israeli concession — its departure from Gaza — did not strengthen the Palestinian moderates at all, but in fact did the opposite: it vindicated the extremists, who unlike the moderates could declare a great victory and bask in the ensuing public admiration — and collect a lot more votes when election day arrived.

Exactly as could have been predicted given the Middle Eastern man in the street’s propensity to support the ‘strong horse’.

And finally, there is the matter of foreign aid and its relationship to democracy-promotion. The Arab states and Iran have always spoken with great high-mindedness about the plight of their brothers in Palestine, but these regimes in practice have always lustily enjoyed seeing their brothers become permanent wards of UNRWA, settle into never-ending refugee status, and stagnate in extremism and violence. Since Hamas came to power, as David Frum helpfully notes, the gushers of largess that flow into the Palestinian territories have actually increased.

It is a little-known fact that international aid to the Palestinian territories has actually risen since Palestinians elected a Hamas government in January, 2006. According to International Monetary Fund and UN figures, the Palestinian areas received a total of $1.2 billion in official aid in 2006, up from $1 billion in 2005.

America’s contribution rose from $400 million in 2005 to $468 million in 2006. Aid from the European Union and other international organizations also increased handsomely, and the UN has called for still greater increases in aid in 2007.

Look at the incentives that have been created for the Palestinians: vote for terrorism, get an increase in your foreign aid. The Palestinian areas now receive more than $300 per person, per year, making them the most aid-dependent population on Earth. (The people of sub-Saharan Africa receive only $44 per person per year.)

And yet the UN, EU and every NGO operating in the place wants us to pour more money into this illegitimate, festering cesspool. Makes you wonder, really.

Meanwhile Hamas’ supposed pariah status has allowed it to strike a deal with a generous fellow-pariah, Iran, which since the election has spent well over $100 million directly on the terrorist group. Iran, whose economy is rapidly falling apart, is not providing this money out of altruistic solidarity, or even as cheap symbolism, as Saddam Hussein used to do with his payments to the families of suicide bombers. Iran is purchasing terrorism against Israel and improving its already substantial ability to foment crises in the region, which is one of mullahs’ greatest deterrent capabilities.

Add all of this money up, and one confronts the reality that Hamas and the PA today are awash in unprecedented sums of money, absolving both Hamas and Fatah of the need to fulfill the most basic requirements of governance. This largess has so taken the pressure off Hamas that it is free to indulge almost exclusively in its greatest interest, and a major interest of its new patron, Iran — waging jihad against Israel.

Why would anyone think that Hamas would do otherwise given its constitution that explicitly states what its goals are?

The primary givers to the Palestinians — America and the EU — have for years insisted on democracy without demanding accountability, or even a modicum of initiative and self-sufficiency. This is not aid; it is welfare. If there should ever be a moment when the institutions that are charged with improving the plight of the Palestinians take stock of what their benevolence has wrought, that moment it now, amidst Hamas’ acts of war against Israel, its entente with Iran, and its civil war with Fatah. Have all of these billions been helping the Palestinians, or hurting them?

Is there anywhere on earth where aid without accountability has provided a positive, ongoing benefit? If there is then I’m yet to see it.

Many observers of Hamas’ rise to power have noted that the U.S. wishes for the Hamas government to collapse under the weight of its own narcissistic radicalism and unrestrained ambition. But the U.S., UN, and EU are pumping so much money into the Palestinian territories that they’re preventing that collapse, and the ensuing recognition among Palestinians that their votes were perhaps cast unwisely. With its prolific foreign aid, the West is not just infantilizing the Palestinian people and continuing to thwart any possibility, however implausible, of a Palestinian state. It is now underwriting the emerging Palestinian-Iranian alliance.

This is an important point. Not only is the Israel-Palestine conflict a proxy war between the US and Iran, Syria etc, it’s also a proxy war between the EU and the US in order to gain political leverage at the UN and elsewhere. The moral malnourishment of the UN and Europe is thus exposed for all to see.

This will all end in tears, of course, and people will blame the one nation that had been trying to achieve peace in the region. Any guesses which one?

Categories: Middle East

>Islam for Dhimmis

>Hey, it’s been done a few times before but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t make my contribution to the genre.

(click on the image to embiggen)

Lots of work by my brother, coz I’m too retarded with Photoshop.

Categories: Islam

>Crap in, crap out. Welcome to climate science.

>Anthony Watts has been questioning the validity of temperature readings due to what appears to be a completely inappropriate placing of recording devices.

Check out how the device is placed at Marysville’s Fire Station.

Hmmm, asphalt. Doesn’t that get a little warm? Even in winter it’s much warmer than the surrounding environment.

It sure does look like a nice BBQ. Just the thing to increase temperature around the sensor.

Unsurprisingly, there’s an upward trend to the data.

Meanwhile, in Orlando, which is just 50 miles away, Anthony shows us what a proper recording station looks like along with its temperature graph.

We always told that the Urban Heat Island Effect has been factored out of the data but when pressed to show how that has been done, given evidence to the contrary, climate scientists do what they do best – attack the man.

Check out part two of Anthony’s How Not To Measure Temperature posts, which I hope will expand with input from all over the world.

Categories: Climate Change

>Zbigniew Jaworowski’s demolition of climate science

>If you haven’t seen it yet then Zbigniew Jaworowski’s demolition of the state of climate science is well worth catching up with. Jaworowski is an old school scientist, one of the type that still believe in those pesky things that climate scientists and their Brown Shirt brigade have so much trouble with – facts.

He refers to the Four Basic IPCC Lies:

1. Carbon dioxide, the most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas, increased markedly as a result of human activities, and its atmospheric concentrations of 379ppmv (parts per million by volume) in 2005 by far exceeded the natural range of 180 to 300ppmv over the last 650,000 years.
2. Since 1750, human activities have warmed the climate.
3. The warmth of the last half-century is unusual, is the highest in at least the past 1,300 years, and is “very likely” caused by increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.
4. Predictions are made that anthropogenic warming will continue for centuries, and between 2090 and 2099 the global average surface temperature will increase 1.1C to 6.4C. Various scare stories of global catastrophes are prophesied to occur if man-made emissions are not curbed by drastic political decisions. The obvious beneficial effects of warming for man and all of the biosphere are downplayed.

When people say that the “science is settled” why is it that there seems to be such a growing contrarian body of science? It’s a strong article and well worth reading the whole thing.

Categories: Climate Change

>10 Questions to test your political nuance and judgement faculties

>The recent Amnesty International annual report comparing Australia to Zimbabwe and America to North Korea confirmed two things. One is the shocking demise of Amnesty into just another loony left wing anti-US advocacy group. The other is the lack of nuance that makes up postmodern leftist thought.

Here are 10 questions that require you to make nuanced judgements.

1. Where would you rather live? a) Cuba; b) United States
2. Where would you rather live? a) North Korea; b) Israel
3. Where would you rather live? a) Mugabe’s Zimbabwe; b) Ian Smith’s Rhodesia
4. Where would you rather live? a) East Germany; b) Post 1990 Germany
5. Would you rather? a) Withdraw from Iraq, fight Al Qaeda in Afghanistan; b) Stabilise Iraq, fight Al Qaeda wherever they are
6. Who would you rather be tortured by? a) Al Qaeda; b) the United States
7. Who was the better President? a) Bill Clinton; b) Ronald Reagan
8. If your child converted religions then which would you prefer them to change to? a) Islam; b) Buddhism
9. If you see Muslims praying loudly and shouting “Allahu Akhbar” in an airport departure lounge what would you do?: a) Not worry about it because all cultures are equal; b) Be happy to see airport security questioning them
10. You believe that the science of Global Warming is: a) settled; b) inconclusive and subject to ongoing research

Score 1 point for all A answers and 0 points for all B answers.

0: Congratulations! Your nuance and judgement faculties are intact and fully working.

1-3: A disappointing result. Perhaps you haven’t yet been mugged by reality after being indoctrinated by all of those years in the education system. There’s still hope for you, though, if you recognise the danger to your moral compass early enough.

4-7: I bet you think that the New York Times is the world’s best newspaper, don’t accept blame for the 3 million deaths caused by the US withdrawal from Vietnam, have a ‘War is not the answer’ bumper sticker on your car, believe Global Warming is man made and that world wide terrorism is the United States’ fault and nothing to do with Islam. You are absolutely part of the problem and not the solution.

8-9: You are definitely a Useful Idiot. You contribute nothing to the world while also complaining about everything.

10: Holy smoke, Batman! We have a real Cindy Sheehan, DailyKos, Huffington Post type on our hands. You need to move to Cuba. Or Camp Casey. Just go. And good riddance.

Categories: Politics

>Sunday night Aussie rock

>The Masters Apprentices were a raw-edged Aussie rock ‘n’ roll band from the 1960s and early 70s that included a couple of industry notables – Jim Keays and Glenn Wheatley.

Here’s a couple of their classics.

Because I Love You

Turn Up The Radio

Categories: Australia, Music