I accidentally caught the C-SPAN re-broadcast this morning of the Washington, D.C., seminar two months ago on the John F. Kennedy assassination. It was fascinating to see how convinced the various sides are of their assassination theories.
What did the recording record? Some believe the recording of a Dallas patrolman’s radio transmissions include sounds of the Dealy Plaza shots as they were fired Nov. 22, 1963. And they seem convinced four or five shots were fired, most coming from the "grassy knoll."
Others say the motorcycle policeman with the stuck-open microphone was not in Dealey Plaza at the time, so the sounds on the recording were not gun shots at all.
Bullet fragments genuine? Those who say Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassination, shooting from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, point to tests that showed the bullet and fragments found had a chemical composition specific to the ammunition for Oswald’s rifle. They say only two or three shots were fired.
But then others say someone could have replaced the real bullet fragments with bullet fragments intended to throw off the investigation.
And still others say, yes, the bullet fragments were from ammunition specific to the kind of rifle Oswald used, but perhaps a second gunman had a second rifle of the same kind.
All interesting questions.
Where are the women? One other thing struck me as I watched the C-SPAN broadcast on this debate. There weren’t any women speakers, and there weren’t any women in the seminar audience.
Is there something about the Kennedy assassination controversy that interests only men?
Now at least 10 Iraqi political parties are calling for the postponement of the scheduled Jan. 30 elections in Iraq.
Any delay should be resisted, but if the Iraqi election commission considers the idea, it should insist that the Sunnis and Kurds explain clearly what there is to gain by having the elections in eight months, rather than in two months.
And once they make their case, they should be asked why they didn’t make that very same case six months ago. It’s important to have this on the record.
For the United States, the sooner the elections, the better (unless you believe the conspiracy theorists who claim the Americans want to stay to steal the oil or to serve Israel). Once Iraq’s government has some legitimacy, the Americans can begin to step back, letting the Iraqis take up the fight for their own freedom.
Let Iraq be Iraqi. In the last six or nine months, every delay in the democratization of Iraq (delayed caucuses, delayed battles) has produced no discernible advantage, either in support for the Iraqi government or in general security.
If the political parties can show in detail how a delay would improve the prospects for safer or more inclusive elections, fine. Otherwise, Jan. 30 is it. It’s time to let Iraq be Iraqi.
Steve Sailer reports, “The more kids whites have, the more pro-Bush they get.” And he proves this with statistics on women in their childbearing years.
In states like Utah, Texas and Arizona, where Bush is especially popular, the average white woman has 1.92 or more babies.
In states like Massachusetts, California and New York, where Bush is least liked, the average is 1.72 babies or fewer.
It’s not clear why the baby rule doesn’t apply to women of other colors. Sailer doesn’t explain, except to say, "The reasons blacks vote Democratic are obvious."
Overall, this election’s fertility phenomenon probably was related to Bush’s higher popularity among married women (a 51-44 percent advantage), and Sen. John Kerry’s popularity among single women (60-35 percent).
I don’t think it’s simply a traditionalist versus progressive formula, but that has to be part of the explanation.
And don’t forget that earlier study suggesting that, since 1991 (18 years after Roe v. Wade), more likely Democrats than likely Republicans have been lost to abortions.
Babies shape today’s opinions, and tomorrow’s opinions, too.
Take a look at this map of Ukraine, showing how voting patterns changed between the indecisive Oct. 31 vote and the Nov. 21 presidential runoff election. The analysis indicates suspiciously heavy increases of voting in eastern Ukraine. Now there’s talk of another election on Dec. 12.
One of the many surprising facts about the recent disputed Ukraine election is how the Ukraine television station was controlled solidly by pro-Russian forces.
So it was refreshing today to see the staff at Ukraine state TV, UT1, announcing it would join the giant crowd in Kiev protesting the dubious election results, which could give Ukraine's presidency to the pro-Russia candidate Viktor Yanukovych instead of the apparent Ukrainian favorite, Victor Yushchenko.
“We are not lying anymore,” a TV journalist said. One of the station’s lies was simply not to broadcast pictures of the Kiev protest. East Ukraine, where Yanukovych is popular, had not yet seen the size of the opposition led by Yushchenko.
For the first time in years, the UT1 bulletin aired opposition views in a balanced way after the station’s management acceded to the journalists' demands.
It was the culmination of a rebellion among journalists at the state-run channel that had been brewing for days.
Even the sign-language presenter said that in an earlier bulletin, she had rejected the pro-government script and informed her viewers instead of the allegations of vote-rigging.
The news staff at UT1 were not alone. A couple of hours earlier, journalists on the pro-government private channel One Plus One took a similar stand….
This new balance in TV coverage on previously government-controlled channels means that pictures making plain the huge size of the opposition demonstrations can now reach the heartland of Mr. Yanukovych’s support in the east of the country.
Ukraine left the Soviet Union 13 years ago, supposedly ending Russian domination. But the transition to democracy and independence hasn’t been simple. Add in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent moves to claim dictatorial power, and we all have a problem.
BBC objectivity. It was interesting that the BBC reported on the outburst of Ukrainian journalistic courage. On its own airwaves, the BBC has for days been reading e-mails and text messages from Russian-Ukrainians and Finlanders claiming the Ukraine vote was perfectly fair.
It was almost as if the BBC staff were saying, well, if American Secretary of State Colin Powell won’t accept the Ukraine election results, then we will. Perhaps now the BBC might abandon its knee-jerk anti-Americanism and look at Ukraine objectively.
"[W]hen all was said and done they were very happy wih all i did. Except one of the first things i blew up was a safe. I was just supposed to blow the door off the safe so they could see what was in it. Well i got a little into the moment and used 4 times the amount of c4 i should’ve used and ended up blowing the whole house up.
"They gave me a hard time about it but luckily they laughed it off. There was alot of things i did that i could’ve been hurt really bad but thanks to everyone’s prayers back home i made it out ok."
Yeager doesn’t mention the grenade-tossing incident. That was reported earlier by a lieutenant colonel. I suppose Yeager believes thousands of other U.S. soldiers and Marines came as close to death as he did, and he’s not going to blow his own horn.
But if you’re wondering what you should be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day, consider the risks these men – and women, too – are taking to pave the way to democracy and a lasting peace in Iraq, and to a safer world.
Today, these Americans are so far from home, and yet their work touches all of us. As they clean their rifles and mull over the last battle, they don’t have to think long for something to be thankful about. They’re thankful for another day.
Without these liberators and others before them, we in America wouldn’t be sitting down today to a Thanksgiving dinner in peace. I’m thankful for the freedom fighters. We’ll never know how many times they’ve saved our lives.
Dick Morris says yes. And he compares Russia’s theft of Ukraine for Putin’s candidate to Hitler’s invasion of the Rhineland in 1936. The evidence is disturbing. In tone and size, “the evil empire” is rising from the ash heap of history.
Why do Islamic clerics in nations considered U.S. allies call on Muslims to kill Americans in Iraq, but a noted Muslim cleric in "unfriendly" Syria tells the jihadists they’re going to hell?
On Saturday, in response to those "friendly" clerics, the jihadists ran out shooting up neighborhoods all over Baghdad and suburbs, according to Zeyad.
As usual, the clerics passed the word to their faithful freedom-killers through ever-hateful Al-Jazeera television. As Zeyad blogged from Baghdad:
"Relatives calling us from other areas [in and around Baghdad] confirmed that the clashes erupted all at once around 6:30 a.m. indicating that this was a coordinated movement. Many say this was in response to the incident yesterday at the Abu Hanifa mosque in Adhamiya which is a sacred Sunni shrine.
"Apparently storming the mosque [by U.S. and Iraqi forces] during the Friday prayers has provoked Arab and Muslim clerics to call for Jihad yet again. Qardhawi reiterated his call for Jihad in Iraq yesterday on Al-Jazeera describing it as a ‘religious duty,’ and the International Union of Muslim Scholars based in Pakistan has also called all Muslims to head to Iraq for Jihad.
"One can’t help but notice that the clerics who usually incite holy wars in Iraq against the U.S. occupation on the expense of Iraqis are based in countries allied to the U.S. such as Qatar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
"On the other hand, you have Sheikh Salah Al-Din Kuftaro, son of Sheikh Ahmed Kuftaro, the late Grand Mufti of Syria, publicly denouncing the behaviour of Iraqi insurgents yesterday during Friday prayers at the Kuftaro mosque in Damascus. He described them as the ‘present day Kharijites’ and their actions as ‘unislamic.’"
OK, I don’t know what Kharijites are, but I have the feeling that Syrian cleric was delivering one holy put-down to the violent fanatics obstructing democracy in Iraq. Why is he swimming against the angry tide?
Egypt and Jordan advise a postponement of Iraq’s scheduled Jan. 30 elections in the hope more Iraqis can participate in the free vote. Isn’t the real question, What’s holding up free elections in Egypt and Jordan?