18 Jun 2008

Court Of Fools

Reading the impassioned and often wrong comments following this link on the Supreme Court Boumedienne decision led me to the following response:
"It is sad to read here people speculating as to why the Bush admin neither wanted the captured terrorists to be treated as Prisoners of War under Geneva Conventions, not executed summarily as the laws of war and Geneva would have allowed. Many seem baffled by this. The answer is surely, that POWS cannot, under Geneva, be interrogated beyond "name,rank,serial number". And if they are summarily executed on or close to the battlefield they would neither be interrogated to give information. They would be dead. If the asymetrical war against international WMD seeking terrorists is not to be conducted by the shadows, the questioners, the isolation of the suspected, by harsh and secret methods, just who will conduct it? The San Francisco circuit of judges? The FBI? How about the UN? Wait, let's call on the ICC in the Hague.

The Bush admin did the world a huge service by trying to act on what waffling bodies like the UN have been paralysed over for decades - the treatment of terrorists and "unlawful combatants" or the new breed of mega-terrorists. It is indeed Bush's brilliance, not his detriment, that he realized the old Geneva Rules were useless in the face of a conspiracy so vast as Al Qaeda. If international terrorism had not been stopped cold by America's aggression post 911, the EU and others would probably be asking George Bush for the Gitmo blueprints long ago.

For those as naive as Obama,who trumpet how civilian courts dealt with the 1993 WT bombings, one has only to ask: just how effective were those civilian trials in stopping attacks on the USA and US citizens? Not at all, if we go by the Africa Embassy bombings, the USS Cole and of course the whole run in to 9/11.

Contrast the Bush approach when, with every fanatic in the world supposedly desperate to attack the American heartland, not a single attack has taken place. rather, the terrorists have been constrained, or sucked into killing fields like Iraq and slaughtered, so that Osama now hides in a Waziristan cave and most of his deputies are dead or in Gitmo. This, we are told ,is a failure. The blind sheik rotting in a New York jail after the 1993 attacks who gave us no information on the holocaust of Americans that was to come, is one learns, a success.

If America's standing in the world is low, it is largely because of the dismal and disloyal role of media, American included, in not explaining what is patently explainable: that WMD seeking mega-terrorists do not fall whatsoever under any of the protected categories of combatants under the Geneva Conventions and Rules and Conventions of War. According to the Geneva Conventions, they are war criminals and subject to summary justice.

With the terrifying possibilities of nuclear and bio-terrorism around us, which our enemies have assured us over and again they will use the minute they can obtain the weapons, to give foreign terrorists superior access to US justice than Nazi Werewolf partisans, foreign spy saboteurs in the Revolutionary War, German saboteurs on US soil in WW2 and a host of other examples including captured Barbary pirates if we go so far back, is an act of unbelievable stupidity and nothing more than a Supreme Court supremely out of touch with reality."

16 Jun 2008

When Hydrogen Equals C02

Honda makes first hydrogen cars

The FCX Clarity emits none of the gases responsible for global warming

The Japanese car manufacturer Honda has begun the first ever commercial production of a hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle.

The medium-sized four-seater, called the FCX Clarity, runs on hydrogen and electricity, emitting only water vapour.

Honda claims the vehicle offers three times better fuel efficiency than a traditional, gasoline-powered car.

As someone who totally supports the use of cleaner energy, regardless of global warming debates, this is good news. However the thorn in the rose, and what is not widely understood, is that hydrogen does not occur on earth in gas form. It can only be manufactured by using energy, and a lot of it at that. The cheapest and best way to crack hydrogen from water would be by using nuclear power, otherwise it would have to be done by fossil fuels, making the net saving in carbon emissions very minimal.

Once more, like so many "green products" this turns out to be a PR gimmick more than something we shall all be driving in 5 years, or perhapos even 50.

13 Jun 2008

The Mainstreaming of Terror

Today I read excerpts of the worst decision I have ever seen from the US Supreme Court, the Boumedienne case which, under Justice Kennedy, gives enemy terrorists of the USA the rights to habeus corpus in domestic courts for the first time in our history, supposedly because (among other reasons) the war against terror has gone on a very long time!

This is unheard of in any Common Law jurisprudence and goes against well established earlier Supreme Court cases and precedent concerning aliens making war on the united States. It is a stunning blow against the US military and the safety of Americans, and a ghastly mainstreaming of terrorists , and by extension even foreign armed forces, into the heart of US civilian courts.

There is a far finer take on this terrible decision here at the NRO which makes sobering reading. My jaw dropped and my heart ached as I read this mystical extension of the US Constitution to cover those who have plotted and executed attacks upon us from foreign countries where they were captured. As Justice Scalia said in dissent, the decision, " sets our military commanders the impossible task of proving to a civilian court, under whatever standards this Court devises in the future, that evidence supports the confinement of each and every enemy prisoner."

As has been said, no great power is ever defeated from without, without first defeating itself from within. As for Justice Kennedy, I never thought I would say this about a Supreme Court member, but the only remedy is his impeachment, which sadly will never happen.

12 Jun 2008

Rugby Hots Up

Wales vs Springboks, 2nd Test: This should be a no-brainer. The Boks have players with names like "The Beast" (photo above) and "Pickup Truck". The Welsh are all called Jones and after their 43-17 hiding I expect them to be better than last week, for a while and then fade badly in the second half. When they see the Springbok bench they will start looking for their airline tickets - it's awesome. Moderate Bok win.

Oz vs Micks (in Australia): An interesting one, Robbie Dean's first match as Australia coach and he has already, as a good Canterbury Kiwi, been moaning at the soft Aussie forwards. Ireland's are anything but and this could be the best and most even match of the weekend, especially with the super pass of veteran Peter Stringer to serve Ronan O Gara who has got over his bout of RWC "going Irish" ( booze and women) that made him so pathetic in november. Oz to win but close?

All-Blacks v England (in NZ): I don't see the ABs at their best at the moment and they too are grappling with player turnover, but they could put out the coach's grandma and her dog and still beat this depleted and experimental English XV in their sleep. England hope to play an "expansive" game against the All Blacks but the only expansion will be to the Kiwis side of the scoreline. England cannot, by temperament, upbringing, bloodline, genes, training, tradition or ability play an "expansive" game so why don't they give up ttalking and just try to grind the Kiwis down as per ususal? A big score.

The Teflon Messiah

It is often said that Ronald Regan was able to ensure that no political problem or scandal ever stuck to him - hence the moniker of the "Teflon President". Barack Obama seems set to raise slipperyness to such heights that it will make Ronnie seem like the Velcro Prez. It helps to have the media running interference for you and consigning lots of otherwise juicy stories to the fabled MSM memory hole.

A short while after hiring James Johnson as the chief of his Veep vetting panel, suddenly Obama claims today that, he had never actually worked for him. This is in the vein of Pastor Wright and multiple fraudster Tony Rezko, who contrived to get Obama a $250,000 house for about a quarter of the value. In both cases, Saint Baracky claimed these, along with the ranting Rev. Pfhelger, "were not the people he knew" despite he knew one of them for 20 years.

There is also the case of the once fired Austan Goolsbee who "never really" worked for Obama either when he was caught lying about NAFTA briefings he had with Canadian officials, who has now just been re-instated to Obama's team as a top economic policy adviser. The MSM has adroitly dodged Obama's very friendly links to domestic left-wing terrorists Bill Ayers and the charming Bernadette Dorn, once on the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted list.

Obama "never knew them very well" either, despite being neighbours and having cozy political parties with Bill, last seen in public a few years ago dancing on an American flag and stating his complete non repentance for attempting to bomb the Pentagon.

Obama has railed against the corporate greed of slippery sub-prime mortgage bankers. It seems then odd that on his Democratic fund raising staff he has people directly linked to banks like Continental Finance and many others of the worst type of subprime sharks.

Surely the real reason James Johnson, who never worked for Obama despite being appointed by him, suddenly resigned is the Wall Street Journal expose of how Johnson did not disclose the friendly loans he got from Countrywide ( another sub-prime shark) to Fannie Mae, of which Johnson was CEO. At the same time, Fannie Mae was buying Countrywide’s rotten sub-prime loans.

Presumably Obama would say, "This is not the story I read".