Misc links/Thursday-Friday open thread

It’s Friday eve. Somebody gimme a “hell yeah!” Been a long, busy week, but a productive one, and I am definitely counting down the minutes til 5pm Friday.

Before I post my list of links for the evening, I want to thank the readers of this blog for being patient and continuing to visit even though blogging has been almost non-existent during the daytime hours for the last couple of weeks. As you can see, I work hard to make up for it in the evening. Readership, as far as I can see, has not suffered from my sporadic blogging and I just wanted to express my appreciation to everyone for continuing to visit, read, comment, and email in spite of that. I will continue to blog when I can during the day, but for the time being most of the heavy blogging will be done at night.

Ok, now on to the links:

—– Make sure to check out the Wall Street Journal’s piece on the new World Bank president, Robert Zoellick, and their suggestions for what he needs to do to clean up the World Bank. Zoellick will be taking over from Paul Wolfowitz, who resigned earlier this month after the WB corruptocrats admittedly cooked up a bogus scandal in order to force him out because they didn’t like being held to any standards other than the one that goes something like “you scratch my back, I scratch yours.” (Hat tip: ST reader Sev)

—– Interested in a seat on the Watcher’s Council? Click here to find out what to do.

—– Must-read: George Will writes “The Case for Conservatism” – which makes me long for an honest-to-goodness real conservative president and Congress. Sigh …

—– Why oh why has the media virtually ignored the story of the AQ torture chamber found in Iraq? Maybe because they’d rather focus on how ‘evil’ our troops supposedly are rather than the real evil that those troops are combatting in Iraq?

—– Interesting: According to former Kerry strategist Bob Shrum, Kerry has since said that he regrets having picked John Edwards as a running mate in 2004.

—– Senator Sam Brownback gives his thoughts on evolution in the NYT? Ooookay.

—– Great news for Democrats: The economy “slowed” in the first quarter – the worst quarter in four years.

—– Former FBI director Louis Freeh is endorsing former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani.

—– Yawn alert: “Outed” former CIA agent Valerie Plame is suing the CIA, accusing them of “unconstitutionally interfering with publication of her memoir.”

When oh when will this story go away?

—– Congrats to ST reader Karl, who passed the 100,000th visit mark on his blog on Tuesday. Way to go, Karl! Keep up the great work.

—- Last but not least, the Rev. Billy Graham’s library was dedicated here in Charlotte today, and included in that dedication were all sorts of well-known public figures including former presidents Bush, Clinton, and Carter. I can’t wait to visit the library. Bush got a little teary-eyed talking about Graham.

I heard that at the begining of the library, you see a part of a barn – the original barn he used here in Charlotte when his ministry was born over 60 years ago. He’s a wonderful man who has spread the word of God to millions of people, and this library is a fitting tribute to him. The story and many photos of the dedication are here. And make sure to check out this awesome video tour of the library given by his son Franklin. A video recap of the dedication, including the 88 year-old Reverend Graham speaking at there, can be viewed here. The library opens to the public next Tuesday, and admission is free – the way they hope to keep it.

Supposedly, this will be Graham’s final public appearance.

God bless you, Reverend, aka “America’s Pastor.”

Isn’t this just typical?

I, along with many other conservative bloggers and pundits, have written about the gruesome murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, a young white Tennessee couple who were brutalized, sodomized, murdered and ‘disposed’ of – in pieces – by five black thugs, and how if the situations had been reversed we’d have seen 24-7 wall to wall mediot coverage of these vicious crimes, due to the media’s obsession with ‘crimes against minorities – when committed by white people.

Well, that outcry has finally provoked the media into writing and reporting on the story, but not all outlets are reporting from the perspective they normally would have if the victims been black and the perps been white. Sit down – because you’ll need to be sitting down after viewing even the first few seconds of this – and watch:

(via Hot Air)

The money quote, not even a minute into the vid, from CNN’s Kiran Chetry (host – formerly of Fox News):

“This case has now taken on a life of its own, thanks in part to white supremacists.”

I can guarantee that when you do a Google search on this case you’ll find far more conservative blogs like mine that talk about this case and the double standards the media have employed than you will any white supremacist rantings about it. Never mind that the criticism about the media double standards is worthy of discussion: let’s focus on a couple of hate sites that are criticizing the media’s coverage for another reason – one we all know and one that we also know that the vast majority of conservatives complaining about the coverage DON’T share with those hate sites.

Never underestimate the media’s patented ability to smear an entire group of people and their legitimate criticisms due to the actions/attitudes of a few. With just a couple of reports the focus of the complaint can be turned against those voicing the complaint, and as a result the scrutiny being applied to the media by those people falls to the wayside as a result of the media’s ‘larger story’ on the complainers themselves. And the beat goes on.

And isn’t it interesting to see the debate over whether or not this constituted a hate crime? It’s almost like debating which victim’s life is worth more – a black person’s or a white person’s?

Considering that there are those who believe in ‘special’ consideration for minority victims when the crime is committed by a non-minority, we all know the answer to that one.

Read more via: Independent Conservative, Tel-Chai Nation

Hat tip: La Shawn Barber, and ST reader Great White Rat

Political “intimate”: New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin may run for governor

Say it isn’t so:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is seriously considering a Louisiana gubernatorial bid, a political intimate of Nagin tells CNN.

According to public records and his campaign treasurer, the two-term Democrat has raised more than a half-million dollars in campaign contributions since he was re-elected in 2006, even though Nagin can’t run for mayor again. (New Orleans limits mayors to two terms.)

The mayor’s senior staff members say Nagin is often approached on the street and asked if he’ll run for governor, but they say he just laughs off the suggestion. At the mayor’s State of the City speech Wednesday, many local politicians told CNN they’d heard the rumors.

If Nagin does decide to run for the state’s highest office, it could be an uphill battle. A recent Loyola University poll showed Nagin had an approval rating of just 19% in New Orleans.

Blanco’s not going to run for re-election, so Nagin wouldn’t have the power of an incumbant to combat in the primary, even though in this case it’s anyone’s guess as to who’s been the most ineffective elected official in that state: Blanco or Nagin.

If Nagin runs, we know one automatic supporter he’ll have on his side:

Possible campaign slogans for Nagin? Let’s hope it’s not something along the lines of “working to build a more chocolate Louisiana” ….

On the Republican side in the governor’s race, Rep. Bobby Jindal has already announced his intentions.

(Cross-posted at Iowa Voice, where I am helping fill in for a vacationing Brian.)


Kissinger on the lessons of Vietnam and how they should be applied to Iraq

Nixon’s former Sec. of State writes an excellent piece for the LAT on the ‘nam/Iraq comparisons:

Of course, history never repeats itself exactly. Vietnam and Iraq are different conflicts in different times, but there is an important similarity: A point was reached during the Vietnam War when the domestic debate became so bitter as to preclude rational discussion of hard choices. Administrations of both political parties perceived the survival of South Vietnam as a significant national interest. They were opposed by a protest movement that coalesced behind the conviction that the war reflected an amorality that had to be purged by confrontational methods. This impasse doomed the U.S. effort in Vietnam; it must not be repeated over Iraq.

This is why a brief recapitulation of the Indochina tragedy is necessary.

It must begin with dispelling the myth that the Nixon administration settled in 1972 for terms that had been available in 1969 and therefore prolonged the war needlessly. Whether the agreement, officially signed in January 1973, could have preserved an independent South Vietnam and avoided the carnage following the fall of Indochina will never be known. We do know that American disunity prevented such an outcome when Congress prohibited the use of military force to maintain the agreement and cut off aid after all U.S. military forces (except a few hundred advisors) had left South Vietnam. American dissociation triggered a massive North Vietnamese invasion, in blatant violation of existing agreements, to which the nations that had endorsed these agreements turned their backs.

I’m constantly amazed at Democrats who routinely accuse the President of “not learning from past mistakes” on any number of issues, but in particular, regarding wars, while they in turn work tirelessly to repeat those same mistakes in order to …. appease their defeatist moonbat base (that they ended up backing down on the war supplemental doesn’t negate that point) and even more bizarrely, they claim that it’s done in the name of “supporting the troops.”

Kissinger makes a lot of sense, so make sure to read the whole thing.

More: Read related thoughts via neo-neocon.

Update: Speaking of Iraq, did you hear that residents in Baghdad are standing up to Al Qaeda? John Hinderaker has the details, plus more, on the latest goings on in Iraq.

A techie fantasy come true: Top spammer nabbed on 35 counts

Ever wish you could just reach through the screen and get your hands on the spammers that send you so much junk email that you spend more time deleting it than you do actually reading legit emails? Well, today one of the top ten spammers in the world was arrested on 35 counts of “mail, wire and e-mail fraud; aggravated identify theft; and money laundering.” More, via CBS/AP:

A man described as one of the world’s most prolific spammers was arrested, and U.S. authorities said computer users across the Web could notice a decrease in the amount of junk e-mail.

Robert Alan Soloway, 27, is accused of using networks of compromised “zombie” computers to send out millions of spam e-mails.

“He’s one of the top 10 spammers in the world,” said Tim Cranton, a Microsoft Corp. lawyer who is senior director of the company’s Worldwide Internet Safety Programs. “He’s a huge problem for our customers. This is a very good day.”

The arrest comes a week after a federal grand jury returned a 35-count indictment against him, said CBS News correspondent Jim Chenevey. Soloway is charged with mail, wire and e-mail fraud; aggravated identify theft; and money laundering.

Soloway pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon to all charges after a judge determined that — even with four bank accounts seized by the government — he was sufficiently well off to pay for his own lawyer.

Soloway has been living in a ritzy apartment and drives an expensive Mercedes convertible, said prosecutor Kathryn Warma. Prosecutors are seeking to have him forfeit $773,000 they say he made from his business, Newport Internet Marketing Corp.


Prosecutors say Soloway used computers infected with malicious code to send out millions of junk e-mails since 2003. The computers are called “zombies” because owners typically have no idea their machines have been infected.

He continued his activities even after Microsoft won a $7 million civil judgment against him in 2005 and the operator of a small Internet service provider in Oklahoma won a $10 million judgment, prosecutors said.

U.S. Attorney Jeff Sullivan said this case is the first in the country in which federal prosecutors have used identity theft statutes to prosecute a spammer for taking over someone else’s Internet domain name. Soloway could face decades in prison, though prosecutors said they have not calculated what guideline sentencing range he might face.

Whatever the max penalty is, it’s too bad they can’t add about fifty years to it. Jerk spammers and virus-spreaders deserve it for all the hastle and expense they put individuals and businesses through.

Taking bets …

Just how long will it be before some far leftie blames personal injury lawyer Andrew Speaker’ssuper TB” on GWB?

Place your bets here! ;)

After reading about how Speaker’s new father-in-law is a leading TB researcher at the CDC, guest poster phin at Confederate Yankee quips:

I’ve heard about fathers being overprotective of their daughters and all, but this guy has taken it to a new level.

Overheard in the halls of the CDC Atlanta Office just moments ago: What do you call a personal injury lawyer with a rare and dangerous form of tuberculosis? A good start.


Speaker, by the way, is under federal quarantine now. The last federal quarantine was in 1963.

As a side note, Speaker was told not to fly, but did so anyway. Furthermore, his name was on a “no-fly” list so as to keep the disease being carried across the border, but he managed to make it through customs and drive across the border.

What border did he cross?


I wrote last week about Canada’s loosely guarded borders in this post about halfway down.

Update: On a related note, check out just what the ACLU is up to regarding the alleged ‘violation’ of Speaker’s ‘civil rights.’ As usual, we can count on the ACLU to be on the wrong side of the issue! Oh, and while you’re at the Stop The ACLU blog, make sure to click the “email” button and welcome back Jay from his tour of duty in Iraq. Good to have you back, buddy, and thanks for your service! :)

How far is too far?

We’ve all heard about and likely visited the Google Earth and/or Google Maps websites. Now read about Google’s latest feature:

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Google said it will refresh its Google Earth/Google Maps strategy at the Where 2.0 conference here this afternoon.

In a speech before conference attendees titled “The Evolution of the Geoweb,” Google Earth and Maps Director John Hanke announced new features called Street View and Mapplets. He also called for more standardization of the Geoweb.

Street View enables users to view and navigate within 360-degree street level imagery from San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas, Denver and Miami. The images are at a high enough resolution to allow users to zoom into the fine print of nearby street signs. The feature is similar to the bird’s eye-view feature Microsoft introduced with its Live Local Search last fall.

Stephen Chau, a Google Maps product manager, told internetnews.com that Google’s first priority is to add more cities to the Street View roster, rather than keep the current five cities frequently updated. The imagery, which is between a month and a year old, comes from Google and third-party vendors, he said.

Drudge has a few searches up that he apparently did, just to show how close and how intimate the “street view” can get. Go here and click on the “street view” link and then you’ll see pictures of cameras on the cities this is currently being done in. Then click “zoom in.” You should see a little person standing in the middle of the screen. Click on that to see how close Google Maps can take you. Drag the little person around a bit for views of other parts of whatever city you’re searching in.

What do you think? Is this taking things too far in terms of privacy? Or is it a useful tool to help people get to know cities better? Or is it both?

The immigration bill

John Hawkins recently took a survey of rightie bloggers to find out their thoughts on the unpopular Senate immigration bill. You can read the questions and answers here.

Feel free to post your thoughts on the bill in this thread.