Putin’s Anointed Heir Shows Hints of Lighter, Less Icy Style. Well by God, he sure shows it, huh?


Dmitri A. Medvedev, left, who is expected to be Russia’s next president, arriving to speak at the Tamanskaya Motorized Rifle Division’s base outside Moscow.

ALABINO, RussiaDmitri A. Medvedev, the man chosen to be the next Russian president, sat surrounded by soldiers. It was Feb. 23, Defenders of the Motherland Day, and Mr. Medvedev had traveled to the parade grounds of the Tamanskaya Motorized Rifle Division outside Moscow.

The division has long been a fixture of Russian political life. Its battalions have marched for decades in formation in Red Square.

Eight years ago, as President Vladimir V. Putin introduced himself to the world, its platoons fought for the capital of Chechnya, helping to forge Mr. Putin’s persona as a leader of icy resolve.

Now, Mr. Medvedev, the presidential successor personally selected by Mr. Putin, is creating his own public identity according to a choreographed script. And here, in a mix of Soviet and Russian symbols, the man rising to Kremlin power avoided the stern themes that have often accompanied Mr. Putin’s appearances.

He wanted to talk about living conditions, for soldiers and civilians alike. “Let’s talk about the problems that exist,” he said to the soldiers beside him before a bank of television cameras. “Let’s have a normal conversation. Please.”

YEP! Regular, Joe he is.


The Walter Duranty New York Times

DAMN! I always forget something. Yo, Dmitri…Tell Igor (to your Left, pardon the pun) to get a new suit, for Christ Sakes, huh?

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William F. Buckley: R.I.P., Enfant Terrible…By Ann Coulter


As with Ronald Reagan, everyone prefers to remember great men when they weren’t being great, but later, when they were being admired. Having changed the world, there came a point when Buckley no longer needed to shock it.

Other tributes will contain the obvious quotes about demanding a recount if he won the New York mayoral election and trusting the first 100 names in the Boston telephone book more than the Harvard faculty. I shall revel in the “terrible” aspects of the enfant terrible.

Buckley’s first book, “God and Man at Yale,” was met with the usual thoughtful critiques of anyone who challenges the liberal establishment. Frank Ashburn wrote in the Saturday Review: “The book is one which has the glow and appeal of a fiery cross on a hillside at night. There will undoubtedly be robed figures who gather to it, but the hoods will not be academic. They will cover the face.”

The president of Yale sent alumni thousands of copies of McGeorge Bundy’s review of the book from the Atlantic Monthly calling Buckley a “twisted and ignorant young man.” Other reviews bordered on the hyperbolic. One critic simply burst into tears, then transcribed his entire crying jag word for word.

Buckley’s next book, “McCarthy and His Enemies,” written with L. Brent Bozell, proved that normal people didn’t have to wait for the Venona Papers to be declassified to see that the Democratic Party was collaborating with fascists. The book — and the left’s reaction thereto — demonstrated that liberals could tolerate a communist sympathizer, but never a Joe McCarthy sympathizer.

Nor would National Review endorse liberal Republican Richard Nixon, waiting until 1964 to enthusiastically support a candidate for president who had no hope of winning. Barry Goldwater, though given the right things to say — often by Buckley or Bozell, who wrote Goldwater’s “Conscience of a Conservative” — was not particularly bright.

But the Goldwater candidacy, Buckley believed, would provide “the well-planted seeds of hope,” eventually fulfilled by Ronald Reagan. Goldwater was sort of the army ant on whose body Reagan walked to greatness. Thanks, Barry. When later challenged on Reagan’s intellectual stature, Buckley said: “Of course, he will always tend to reach first for an anecdote. But then, so does the New Testament.”

With liberal Republicans still bothering everyone even after Reagan, Buckley went all out against liberal Republican Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. When Democrat Joe Lieberman challenged Weicker for the Senate in 1988, National Review ran an article subtly titled: “Does Lowell Weicker Make You Sick?”

Buckley started a political action committee to support Lieberman, explaining, “We want to pass the word that it’s OK to vote for the other guy or stay at home.” The good thing about Lieberman, Buckley said, was that he “doesn’t have the tendency of appalling you every time he opens his mouth.”

That same year, when the radical chic composer Leonard Bernstein complained about the smearing of the word “liberal,” Buckley replied: “Lenny does not realize that one of the reasons the ‘L’ word is discredited is that it was handled by such as Leonard Bernstein.” The composer was so unnerved by this remark that, just to cheer himself up, he invited several extra Black Panthers to his next cocktail party.

In a famous exchange with Gore Vidal in 1968, Vidal said to Buckley: “As far as I am concerned, the only crypto Nazi I can think of is yourself.”

Buckley replied: “Now listen, you queer. Stop calling me a crypto Nazi, or I’ll sock you in your goddamn face and you’ll stay plastered.”

Years later, in 1985, Buckley said of the incident: “We both acted irresponsibly. I’m not a Nazi, but he is, I suppose, a fag.”

Some of Buckley’s best lines were uttered in court during a lengthy libel trial in the ’80s against National Review brought by the Liberty Lobby, which was then countersued by National Review. (The Liberty Lobby lost and NR won.)

Irritated by attorney Mark Lane’s questions, Buckley asked the judge: “Your Honor, when he asks a ludicrous question, how am I supposed to behave?”

In response to another of Lane’s questions, Buckley said: “I decline to answer that question; it’s too stupid.”

When asked if he had “referred to Jesse Jackson as an ignoramus,” Buckley said, “If I didn’t, I should have.”

Yes indeed…R.I.P., Enfant Terrible.

Human Events

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An Inconvenient Truth was just a remake.

Who would have guessed that Frank Capra beat Al Gore to the punch by nearly 50 years?

Via JunkScience.

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Sicily’s Mafia ‘restoring US links’. This is a lie! A Bald Faced Lie!

Brunettini Giuseppe, Sergio Corallo, Antonino Chiappara, Filippo Casamento, Giovanni Simone, Nicola Di Salvo, Melchiorre Guglielmini, Tommaso Lo Presti, Gaetano Savoca, Vincenzo Savoca, Giovanni Lo Ve

No one in my family knows a single one of these pictured. Although the individual bottom left does favor my   Ahem…Never mind.

As I was saying. This article is another example of the NYT BBC wasting time (or is it Newsweek) on complete and utter nonsense. BBC, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

A suspect is led away by FBI agents during an operation in Italy and the US, New York 7 February 2008

US authorities detained more than 80 suspects

The commission says it has evidence Cosa Nostra is sending its top members to New York while allowing those expelled by the mob during the clan wars of the 1980s to return home to Sicily.

Their report says that many US food distribution and construction firms are now controlled by the US Cosa Nostra, whose bosses are of Sicilian origin and have direct links.

And while Cosa Nostra still maintains its control over the lucrative drugs trade and its traditional activities of extortion and racketeering, it is now diversifying into new industries like online gambling.

Angela Napoli, a member of the anti-mafia commission, says the work to defeat Cosa Nostra falls on the Italian politicians – who must do more – and on the very brave witnesses who come forward to give evidence.

Lies! ALL Lies, I say.

(As you see in the second picture, cousin Vinny is quite popular. All his friends escort him everywhere, they just can’t get enough  of Vinny. The very fact that Vinny is looking down at a gum rapper some filthy uncaring person, just tossed away, shows the goodness and compassion that fills the heart of my cousin Vinny.)


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The Times Plagiarizes the Miami Herald…So? That isn’t THE Headline here….


The hell wrought on Argentina by the illicit drug “paco” has already become a journalistic staple.

Paco is highly addictive because its effect is so short—a couple of minutes—and so intense that many users resort to smoking 20 to 50 cigarettes a day to try to make its effects linger. …

Paco is even more toxic than crack cocaine because it is made mostly of solvents and chemicals, with just a dab of cocaine, said Jim Hall, executive director of Up Front Drug Information Center, a Miami nonprofit that has been tracking cocaine abuse for more than two decades.

Paco is highly addictive because its high lasts just a few minutes—and is so intense that many users smoke 20 to 50 paco cigarettes a day to try to make its effects linger. Paco is even more toxic than crack cocaine because it is made mostly of solvents and chemicals like kerosene, with just a dab of cocaine, Argentine and Brazilian drug enforcement officials said.


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“I have some news. Al-Qaida is in Iraq. It’s called `al-Qaida in Iraq,'” McCain said, drawing laughter at Obama’s expense.


McCain Mocks Obama’s Iraq Views

TYLER, Texas (AP) – Republican presidential hopeful John McCain mocked Democrat Barack Obama on Wednesday for saying he would take action as president “if al-Qaida is forming a base in Iraq.”


If I may, Senator McCain..al-Qaida WAS in Iraq, prior TO the invasion…. in the form of the dearly departed person, pictured above.


Mr. Obama, campaigning in Columbus, Ohio, responded soon after. “I have some news for John McCain,” Mr. Obama said at a large rally at Ohio State University. “There was no such thing as Al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq.”

An insurgent group operating in Iraq, called Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, is actually a homegrown Sunni Arab extremist group that American intelligence agencies have concluded is foreign led. The extent of its links to Osama bin Laden’s network is not clear. Some leaders of the group have sworn allegiance to Mr. bin Laden, but the precise links and extent of affiliation are unknown, and it was created after the American invasion.

The next stop on his itinerary was his old stamping ground – Afghanistan. He is believed to have set up a training camp in the western city of Herat, near the border with Iran. Students at his camp supposedly became experts in the manufacture and use of poison gases.

It is during this period that Zarqawi is thought to have renewed his acquaintance with al-Qaeda.

He is believed to have fled to Iraq in 2001 after a US missile strike on his Afghan base, though the report that he lost a leg in the attack has not been verified.

US officials argue that it was at al-Qaeda’s behest that he moved to Iraq and established links with Ansar al-Islam – a group of Kurdish Islamists from the north of the country.

He is thought to have remained with them for a while – feeling at home in mountainous northern Iraq.

Sectarian strategy

In October 2002, Zarqawi was blamed for the assassination of US aid official Laurence Foley in Amman.

Months later, in 2003, he was named as the brains behind a series of lethal bombings – from Casablanca in Morocco to Istanbul in Turkey.

It is in Iraq, though, that he has been most active.

An intercepted letter released by the Americans in February 2004 seems to support their claim that targeting Shias is central to Zarqawi’s strategy in Iraq.

In it, Zarqawi appears to share his plans for igniting sectarian conflict in Iraq as a means of undermining the US presence there.

And he claims to have already undertaken 25 successful attacks against the enemy.

Within days of the letter’s release, bomb attacks on recruiting centres for the Iraqi security forces had killed nearly 100 people.

Attacks are now a daily occurrence in Iraq. Whether or not Zarqawi is behind them all, he is seen by the US as the biggest obstacle to their hopes of progress in Iraq – their most dangerous enemy in the country.

Really now?  Well Obama, all that can be said IS…It kind of looks like, YOU ARE WRONG, AGAIN!

Just as you are….WRONG FOR AMERICA!


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William F. Buckley dies at 82. RIP, Great One.

Fox News

OUR deepest sympathy, extended to his family both genetically and his “spawn” at National Review.

 You will be missed William F. Buckley.


Jonah Goldberg NRO/The Corner

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Hillary is History

First, watch this clip from Duane Patterson posting at Hugh Hewett’s place (We’ll see if photobucket vids embed – this is a test, no animals will be harmed).

If you don’t see the video embed, go to the link.

Then watch this clip – which I can’t embed because NRO doesn’t have that feature – in which Obama makes hillary look very, very small and petty.

You know what this is, exactly? I do: It’s a debate between that cool Social Studies teacher you had in high school, versus the dull and plodding History teacher you hated. There is no way Hillary can win, because she’s no political genius like Bill was… but Obama is. Seriously, he’s an Obamanon, and she’s a hack.


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If Politics Was A Beauty Contest…

If politics was a beauty contest, which team do you think would win?


I switched the pictures around, with our team at the top, because I didn’t want to cause accidental blindness. RebeccaH called this very real possibility to my attention.

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Pieces of Skylab

Thanks to the drama of the American military recently shooting down a spy satellite to keep it from landing on an unsuspecting town somewhere, the Skylab “incident” of decades ago has been in the minds of some West Australians.

Some background on the re-entry of Skylab can be found in Time Magazine and on the Wired and the Australian Broadcast Corporation websites.  Also see “Dangerous Re-entries of Spacecraft” on Space.com.

Pieces of Skylab, and the equipment sent here by NASA in America to track the re-entry, can still be found in little, out-of-the-way hidey-holes… as evidenced by our contributor TimH and others!

** Click here to see some of our West Australian Skylab-related pictures. **


West Australian Skylab Trivia: At least two dozen pieces of Skylab, including an oxygen tank the size of a Volkswagon, fell on the Shire of Esperance, which issued the Americans a $400 ticket for littering, a fine which remains unpaid to this day. In addition, Australia hosted the Miss Universe pageant for the first time in 1979 just a few days after Skylab fell, and since it was being held in Perth, they decided to display a large chunk of Skylab on the stage along with the girls.

UPDATE: Sometimes it takes a little while for the slideshow to run all the way through properly. Be patient when you first click it, and I’ll try to fix.

UPDATE #2: Pieces of Skylab, colour slide show

* and thank you, Ash, for getting the photos to me in the right format
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Instapundit..”As of tonight’s debate, I can’t stand Clinton or Obama.”…and more


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McCain is better than Obama for Australia

In contrast to the Obamamania which seems to be sweeping the globe, in Australia’s daily national newspaper, The Australian, Hugh White says that of the current candidates, it is John McCain with his strength and experience who is Australia’s best bet for the next President of the United States.

* * *

As Hillary Clinton falters, it is likely the US will face a choice between Barack Obama and John McCain. Each seems capable of becoming a good, maybe even a great president.

But they are different people, suited to different times, and they would take the US in different directions. Which of them gets to the White House may therefore make a big difference for Australia, too. So whom should we hope will win? Personally, I’d rather have tea with Obama, but I’d rather the other bloke becomes president. […]

McCain’s record is not perfect, by any means, but it does show strength and determination, and it gives him immense credibility on national security issues […] On that basis he’d get my vote.


full article here

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More Pacifist Moonbattery from Obama (Update: O’Bambi!)

Via the Power Line blog, a frightening display of Pacifist Moonbattery from Obama.

I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems…

…I will not weaponize space…

…I will slow development of future combat systems…

…and I will institute a “Defense Priorities Board” to ensure the quadrennial defense review is not used to justify unnecessary spending…

…I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons…

…and to seek that goal, I will not develop nuclear weapons…

…I will seek a global ban on the development of fissile material…

…and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert…

…and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals…

…and if anyone so much as looks at us funny…


(Okay, so I took the liberty of adding those last two on… but isn’t that the gist of his military philosophy?)

UPDATE:  28 February, Confederate Yankee discusses this video and dubs him O’Bambi.  !

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