The Plain Truth

...and some fancy speculation.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Test Post...

...just testing out pinging, Amish Tech Support has beat the drum enough!
posted by David 3/08/2003 02:36:00 PM


Check out the latest over at Pournelle's.

posted by David 3/08/2003 01:57:00 PM

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

George Will on Conrad Black:

America has had "the most successful foreign policy of any major country" not just because of its strength but because "it has never had any objective except not to be threatened and when threatened, to remove the threat." And it "does not believe in durable coexistence with a mortal threat."

Black says that three of the greatest strategic errors of modern times -- Germany's unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917, Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and the Soviet refusal of postwar U.S. aid in exchange for liberality in Eastern Europe -- involved underestimating the dangers of provoking America. Khalid Sheik Mohammed, one of the authors of the fourth great error, the Sept. 11 attacks, may have belatedly understood that danger when, before dawn Saturday, he stood in his underwear, facing the drawn guns of the men who told him America would like to ask him some questions.

posted by David 3/05/2003 12:10:00 AM

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Constitutionality of "Under God" in the Pledge
The following are some of my comments to a disscussion on this
topic over here:

(Starts out with someone else's reply to mike, with my response below)

>Hi Mike,
>Since the 14th amendment, we operate under the legal doctrine
>'incorporation,' in which many of the rights enumerated in the
>bill of rights are considered to apply equally to any
>governmental action at any level.
>For example, no level of government, including the government
>operation of schools, can violate the establishment clause. So
>basically no one, from the president through congress, and down
>to the principal at your local school, has the legal authority
>to take actions that effect the 'establishment' of religion.
>Prayer is under that umbrella...

Exactly, "can take no actions that effect the 'establishment' of
If it becomes established somewhere, they can't stop it. They
also can't do anything to encourage or disallow it's
establishment either.

We are in agreement, if you don't like that flavor, vote in the
market. THIS is one of the reasons vouchers are good.
posted by David 3/02/2003 11:05:00 PM

5 Lessons from the Iraqi Standoff

Just read it.
posted by David 3/02/2003 03:11:00 PM

Beyond the Pale

If anyone still has reservations that Saddam Hussein is among the most degraded despots to walk this earth and MUST be forcibly removed, the following excerpt from this article should remove all doubt:

By 1993, Alwishah and his family had left the Saudi refugee camp that they called home for 14 months and had resettled in the United States. That's when his brother, Gen. Abdallah, was arrested and charged as an anti-Saddam conspirator and sent to a small prison in Baghdad for high-ranking officials accused as traitors. I asked him about the experience.

ABDALLAH: I was in jail for eleven months. There was no judge. They just put you in. If one was to be executed or put in jail, no judge. They put us in the same room as those five generals who were executed. And they were killed with big knives. Those people were killed with big knives hitting them on the neck. And the room had blood everywhere.

SH: Did you think you might be next?

ABDALLAH: Yes. I thought that they would do the same thing to me. Every day they told me that I will be executed.

SH: How long?

ABDALLAH: Eleven months. Intimidation every day. At that time they found out about a conspiracy by another person who was a big general, a doctor actually, from the same town as Saddam. His name was Raji al-Tikriti. It's a very famous story in Iraq. And they made him a food for dogs.

SH: You were in prison when this happened? You heard about this?

ABDALLAH: They showed me these prisoners that were eaten by wild dogs. They made us--that was one kind of intimidation--they brought all of the generals and officers in the prison to watch it, to intimidate us. . . . They took us from jail and they put some blindfolds on our eyes and they took them off and we saw him. Before the dogs ate him we saw them read the judgment and they said why they were going to kill him. He was the head doctor for all the military, and he was the personal doctor for Saddam Hussein and for former Iraqi president Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr.

SH: Was he killed before this happened?

ABDALLAH: He was alive when these wild dogs . . .

SH: Do you remember what month this was?

ABDALLAH: It was the wintertime, but I can't remember exactly because for 11 months I didn't see the sun, nothing--I didn't know what time. There was only spider webs in the room, so I didn't know if it's day or night. [Pause] Probably what you're hearing is impossible to believe, but that's what happened. And all that you're hearing is nothing compared to everything else.

Abdallah later explained that Raji al-Tikriti was dressed in "prison pajamas" with his hands and feet bound when this was done to him. Abdallah and seven other prisoners were forced to watch. The five dogs, he said, "were like big wolves."

posted by David 3/02/2003 02:50:00 PM

Curiouser and Curiouser...

We all keep hearing about how it'll be too hot to fight in Iraq "any week now", but how hot will it get how soon?

Interestingly, their is no data listed for average monthly temperatures at's Baghdad page.

Honest gap in the data, or strategic misinformation?

Hmmm.....must go digging elsewhere, more soon.

UPDATE: Well, they've got data for Kuwait City, avg. high in March is 78, April is 88, and May is 101, so I guess we really DO need to get a move on!!!

Damned paranoia....

posted by David 3/02/2003 09:35:00 AM


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