January 30, 2005

Glad You Cleared That Up
— Ace

A trusim from Dave.

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— Ace

First Kevin Drum calls election numbers in the absence of election numbers.

Here, the DUers explore their own feelings on the matter, finding the first elections in Iraq's 9,000 (give or take a thousand) year history to be "not impressive," and "total bullshit."

Here, Ramsey Clark defends Saddam Hussein from the "illegal occupying power that demonized [him]."

Quite a night.

UPDATE: Wuzzadem nails the puppets.


Posted by: Ace at 02:53 PM | Comments (3)
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So Long
— Ace

Hey everyone,

This is just a quick note to say so long. It's been a lot of fun posting here and reading all the comments. What a smart and devoted group of readers you all are.

I am so honored be part of a group of such funny and talented guest-bloggers and I'm very grateful to Ace for this opportunity.

Anyway, I look forward to visiting here and commenting myself after Ace returns. I'd also be honored by your visits to my blog - The Urban Grind.

Kind regards,


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I Just Want To Wish You Good Luck, We're All Counting On You. [Dave at Garfield Ridge]
— Ace

Parting is such sweet sorrow, but alas, Sunday came too quickly.

First off, I want to thank the Academy for proving how stupid they are through their failure to nominate Paul Giamatti for Best Actor.

Oops, sorry, my bad-- wrong speech.

FIRST OFF, I'd like to thank Ace for the opportunity to write on his site. Ace of Spades HQ has been the biggest influence in my little blogging adventure. I am humbled by how well Ace does it, day after day. He's not only provided a great example, but tremendous encouragement as well. Thanks for letting me help out, pal; anytime. Just save me two tickets for your Hollywood premiere, okay?

Second, to my fellow guest bloggers, thank you for your excellent postings. Informative, witty, and often brilliant-- I can't help but be jealous, especially when my clumsy postings prove the "Infinite Monkeys at Infinite Typewriters" rule. The best part is, after this week, I now have a bunch of great new blogs to read during my day!

Lastly, you, the readers. You are among the greatest readers a blog can have. Great feedback, hilarious comments, and I always end up learning a lot from you. Most of all, I appreciate that you continued to visit during Ace's absence-- it means a lot to all of us guest bloggers that you didn't trade Ace for Wonkette this week, even if she had her pants on sale (half off!).

Again, thanks to everyone. I would be honored if you stop by Garfield Ridge every now and again, I'd love to hear from you all!

Okay, one last thing: in honor of the bang-up job all the bloggers but me did, I bestow upon you the Jack Burton Kick-Ass Award for Excellence.

Now sit tight, hold the fort and keep the home fires burning. And if Ace is not back by dawn. . . call the President.

Thank you,

Posted by: Ace at 01:58 PM | Comments (2)
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— Ace

As of this moment Kevin Drum has published voter turnout numbers completely out of his own head.

Goldstein has more.

They are officially losing their minds.


Posted by: Ace at 01:53 PM | Comments (2)
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So Long, Folks [Say Anything]
— Ace

Ace will likely be back later today or tomorrow, so the time has come for me to wrap-up my guest-posting here. I've certainly enjoyed it.

When Ace first asked me to guest post here I thought he was a little crazy. I wasn't sure I'd be the right fit for the blog he's created here, most because I'm not...you know...funny. But I think it worked out ok.

I didn't get to focus on posting here as much as I wanted to. Hosting problems at my own site and a busy work schedule kept me from participating in many comment discussions, but I hope you enjoyed my posts and will consider linking and/or visiting Say Anything.

Thanks again to Ace for allowing me to post here in his absence and to the other guest bloggers for making this an enjoyable experience.

Posted by: Ace at 01:09 PM | Comments (3)
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More Misanthropy From Environmentalists
— Ace

Many people seem to hold a benign view of environmentalism -- that if it helps keep our air and drinking water clean, then it's a good thing.

But to me, that's a short sighted view. As I see it, environmentalists want to sacrifice the well being and quality of life of humans for the sake of nature, which, in their view, has the right to exist for its own sake, unconditionally.

Via Yahoo News

SAN DIEGO — On the southwestern-most tip of the country, just across the border from Tijuana, rugged canyons drop down to a rich Pacific estuary, where millions have been spent restoring fresh and saltwater marshes that sustain the California brown pelican and other rare birds and plants.

But this landscape also represents a gaping hole in the nation's defenses against terrorists, drug traffickers and other criminals, federal officials say.

The Bush administration proposes closing off this final 3.5-mile stretch of border between the United States and Mexico by moving massive amounts of dirt from nearby mesas into canyons to create a long earthen berm. On the berm, parallel to the existing border fence, a second fence and a patrol road would be constructed.

But opponents argue that if Congress pushed through the border proposal as planned, it would be authorizing a landfill project that would cause tremendous erosion in the ecologically fragile Tijuana River Valley area. That could threaten endangered species such as the San Diego fairy shrimp, California gnatcatcher and the light-footed clapper rail.

So pelicans, rare birds and shrimps take precedence over the safety of American citizens in the middle of a war on terror? Personally I can't understand anyone equating the well being of a Pelican or a shrimp with that of a human being. But then again, I'm not an enlightened liberal, just a selfish conservative.

Making this landfill is a step in the right direction. But a lot more needs to be done. Also, there has been plenty of debate about placing the military on the U.S. /Mexico border. And while I don't think it's a bad idea, it's not a permanent solution either.

Just now, I remember watching an interview with the former head of Israeli airline El Al's security. This man said that their screeners were never nationalized. Instead, they were employed by private companies operating under government guidelines.

But getting back to the porous U.S/Mexico border, I just wonder if the job could be done better by private companies operating under governmental guidelines. Think of the business opportunities that would become available.


Cross posted at The Urban Grind

Posted by: Ace at 11:41 AM | Comments (9)
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Moving The Goal Posts [Say Anything]
— Ace

This from Balloon Juice:

First, critics* said the elections couldn't/wouldn't happen.

Then, critics* said they would happen, but they would be wracked with violence and no one would vote because the ballots were too confusing or the security situation would keep people away from the polls.

What happens when you are wrong twice? Why, you continue, undaunted, to make dire predictions.

This is just the beginning.

I've been watching Iraq election coverage on CNN and MSNBC all day and the general theme of the coverage seems to be "what's next." Seems like a lot of these "experts" would like to erase the memory of this victory from mind as soon as possible so that they can move on to the next negative story.

"What's next" is a valid question, but its one that's already been answered. As the President has already decided, we will continue to assist the newly-elected Iraqi government in whatever role they deem as acceptable. The future of Iraq has been handed over to the Iraqi'\s this day.

"What's next" is a question to be answered by them.

[Cross-posted at Say Anything]

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Quote Of The Day (WuzzaDem)
— Ace

Just one of so many. It's actually the first half of an old proverb, but when I heard it today, coffee came out of my nose. And I wasn't even drinking coffee.

From Fox News Sunday, on the anticipated response to the Iraqi elections by dems.

Bill Kristol
Today, on January 30th, 2005, will Hillary Clinton make a statement praising the Iraqi people for their courage, and saying that we are committed to helping the Iraqis govern their own country?

Juan Williams
I think you're going to hear that from Democrats all over.

Chris Wallace
Well, yes, success has a thousand fathers.

I think we're about to see a lot of deadbeat dem dads arguing over who gets to take the kids out for ice cream.

Update: Democratic pessimism - sing along!

Posted by John from WuzzaDem

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McDonald's Needs A Lesson In Slang [Say Anything]
— Ace

I'm not sure I like the mental image this animated banner ad creates.

I'd hit it?

Umm, no thanks.

(via World Champion)

[Cross-posted at Say Anything]

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The MSM's Response to the Iraqi Election
— Ace

Cross posted at The Urban Grind

On the one hand, you have joyous Iraqi's risking their lives to be able to vote:

Samir Hassan, 32, who lost his leg in a car bomb blast in October, was determined to vote. "I would have crawled here if I had to. I don't want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me. Today I am voting for peace," he said.

"This is a wedding for all Iraqis. I congratulate all Iraqis on their newfound freedom and democracy," said Jaida Hamza, dressed in a black Islamic veil that also hid her face.

As do I, along with my fellow guest-bloggers and most Americans.

Baghdad's mayor was overcome with emotion by the turnout of voters at City Hall, where he said thousands were celebrating.
"I cannot describe what I am seeing. It is incredible. This is a vote for the future, for the children, for the rule of law, for humanity, for love," Alaa al-Tamimi told Reuters.

All of this despite the repeated attacks by terrorists.

Salama al-Khafaji, a 46-year-old Shiite dentist, has survived three assassination attempts, including one last year in which insurgents killed her 20-year-old son and a bodyguard.

"We have principles, we believe in democracy and human rights," she said. "If I die, it is better to have died for something than to have died for nothing." As she spoke, she struggled into a bulletproof vest and a traditional black cloak to return to Baghdad's streets for a last round of campaigning.

Yet despite printing this brave woman's comments, The New York Times then proceeds to belittle the entire Iraqi elections on the grounds that they are held under the dominion of the U.S. (How eeevil!!!)

Many Iraqis, interviews in recent months have shown, do not accept that fundamental choices about the shape of their future political system should be made by a foreign power, particularly one they regard as a harbinger of secular, materialistic values far removed from the Muslim world's.

Hmmm...I remember seeing Fox News's Alan Colmes of "Hannity & Colmes" go on about how we shouldn't go to war with Iraq, since it's a secular country with no ties to Al Qaeda, and that Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden hate each other, etc.

And now, for the purpose of bashing the elections, the Times blathers on about how we can't force a Jeffersonian democracy on a religious country:

But questions over the election go far beyond the American stewardship, to issues that touch on whether it was ever wise or realistic to think that Jeffersonian-style democracy, with its elaborate checks on power and guarantees for minority rights, could be implanted, at least so rapidly, in a country and a region that has little experience with anything but winner-take-all politics.

Granted, it won't be a Jeffersonian style democracy right away. But so what? America's Founding Fathers owned slaves. And women, at first, did not have the right to vote. Does that mean we should disregard everthing else they stood for? Does that make our republic style of government any less valid? Should we throw out the baby with the bath water?

With regards to Iraq, The New York Times seems to think so:

Compounding those objections, the elections are being held in the grip of a paralyzing fear that many Iraqis see as inconsistent with a free vote. A savage insurgency, and the harsh measures America's 150,000 troops have taken in response, have angered and terrified Iraqis, who now face election conditions that have made an obstacle course of the process, at every stage.

Apparently, The New York Times would rather the Iraqi's cower in fear, rather than getting out and voting.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

Zelda - The Urban Grind

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Kerry Talks Down Iraq Election [Say Anything]
— Ace

AP - "It is hard to say that something is legitimate when whole portions of the country can't vote and doesn't vote," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said on NBC's "Meet The Press."

First of all, a "portion" of the country is the Sunni minority who Saddam Hussein pandered to during his regime. The only way they'd take part in this election is if Saddam were back on the ballot and the only alternative to casting a vote for him were to vote for torture and death. These people do not want free elections because they are quite aware that the rest of Iraq will likely vote in a leader who will not look kindly on the Sunni's and their actions under Hussein.

Second, there's this:

BAGHDAD, Iraq — The polls in Iraq have closed, ending the country's first open elections in more than 50 years and setting a course for what U.S. officials hope will be a long democratic future.

All around the country, Iraqis defied threats of violence and cast their votes. Iraq's Independent Electoral Commission initially estimated that 72 percent of the country's eligible voters had turned out to cast their ballots but an official later said an estimated eight million Iraqis — or 60 percent of eligible voters — turned out to vote.

Seventy-two percent voter turn out? That's better than America's voter turn out.

One has to wonder, is Senator Kerry really concerned about Iraq's election or are he and the people echoing his sentiments just bitter about the fact that President Bush and his administration will likely, and justly, be credited with this victory?

(via Blogs for Bush)

[Cross-posted at Say Anything]

Posted by: Ace at 08:50 AM | Comments (6)
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A Wonderful Day In Iraq [Say Anything]
— Ace

Here's something you wouldn't have seen had America and its allies not liberated Iraq.

Women Voting In Iraq

AP - Watched by her daughter and an election official an Iraqi woman votes at a polling station located in a school in the town of Abu Al Khasib on the southern edge of the Iraqi city of Basra , Sunday Jan. 30 2005. Iraqis defied threats of violence and calls for a boycott to cast ballots in Iraq's first free election in a half-century Sunday. Insurgents seeking to wreck the vote struck polling stations with a string of suicide bombings and mortar volleys, killing at least 44 people, including nine suicide bombers.

The bitter, anti-Bush left will no doubt crap all over this fine display of suffrage choosing instead to highlight the fact that terrorists continue to fight against democracy in that country. They'd rather hang this newly-founded, fledgling democracy out to dry instead of fighting to the good fight against hate-mongers would would see Iraq returned to an oppressive, terror-sponsoring regime.

To which I say: To hell with them. Today is a wonderful day for the Iraqis even if blind partisanship doesn't allow some people to see that.


Conservative Princess:

Democracy in Iraq is so obviously a threat to other Middle East nations--when a group is determined enough to risk their lives to stand in the way, there must be a lot at stake. In Iraq, casting a single vote for freedom--the recognition that the people have a will and it is not that of fanatic clerics and terrorists--is a blow to the survival of totalitarianism, religious fanaticism, and religious oligarchy. If the Bush doctrine is correct, the election of a Parliament in Iraq should be responsible for a slight domino effect--one that already has roots in Iran, Libya and Syria. The war in Iraq has already been successful in exposing and curbing nuclear proliferation in both Iran and Libya, and in exposing Syria's extensive terrorist ties.

Saturday started out with a mortar attack on the US Embassy, killing two Americans, and insurgents did not fail to fulfill their promises of homicide bombings, the Iraqi forces, with US help, contained the promised "spectacular attacks" to less than 20, with less than 30 deaths overall; there were 5300 polling stations. Absolutely amazing.

Read the whole thing.

Update 2:

Alpha Patriot has a round-up of reactions from Iraqi bloggers.

[Cross-posted at Say Anything]

Posted by: Ace at 07:39 AM | Comments (3)
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What A Wonderful Thing To Wake Up To. [Dave at Garfield Ridge]
— Ace

When I went to sleep last night, the Iraqis had just begun their voting.

When I woke up just now, the Iraqis had finished-- in record numbers, without the widespread violence everyone, including me, had feared.

Alas, there still were attacks, and tragic deaths as a result. Zarqawi's group claimed responsibility for several in a very odd way:

A statement posted on several Islamic Web sites, purportedly from a group headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for Sunday's attacks on polling areas in Baghdad as well as attacks in other areas of Iraq.

The statement said the group had promised to conduct the attacks "to make fun of those that demand democracy."

Ha! The jokes on you, beheader:

I wonder what John Kerry and his faithless friends are going to say about all of this?

Kerry: 'We Should Not Overhype Election'.... (Drudge)
John Kerry, I believe we should finally stop overhyping *you*.

More from his "Meet the Press interview, care of the WaPo:

"It is hard to say that something is legitimate when whole portions of the country can't vote and doesn't vote," Kerry said.
Those prevented from voting were kept away by the enemy; would John Kerry have thrown away the whole election in order to please our enemies? Uh, don't answer that.

Besides, someone should tell John Kerry that it's happened before. I wonder if he'd like to the winner of this election illegitimate.

Godspeed, free people of Iraq. May you soon live in peace and prosperity, and cheerfully wave goodbye at our boys and girls heading home in victory.

UPDATE: One last thought before I leave my house this morning: what do today's events tell us about the strength of our enemies?

The insurgents had months to prepare for this election. The all knew how important it was. Yet, by all reports so far, they failed in their nefarious mission.

I expect more bombings, and assassinations of newly-elected members of the Iraqi Parliament. But still, this was our enemies golden opportunity, a chance to launch their own Tet Offensive with all of the world's media-- well, at least some of them-- watching. They failed to take that chance, either through miscalculation, or impotence.

I believe that the truth is likely to be much, much closer to the latter than the former reason. Don't be looking hard for any folks in the MSM to be saying that, however. America and Free Iraq winning the war makes for bad copy at the New York Times.

Even as the war continues, I'm reminded today of the words of Margaret Thatcher, after the first British victory in the until-then dark days of the Falklands War: "Rejoice! Rejoice!"

Yes indeed. Rejoice today. Rejoice!

-- Dave at Garfield Ridge.

Posted by: Ace at 05:39 AM | Comments (10)
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Iraqi Elections: Live-Blogging (WuzzaDem)
— Ace

I just got home. The polls in Iraq opened about 45 minutes ago, I'll be live-blogging the election coverage on the cable news networks:

Geraldo Rivera
...on this most exciting, joyous, and indeed historic of occasions in the lives of these proud Iraqi people, who have lived for so long under the tyrannical rule of the murderous, bloodthirsty, megalomaniacal, power-hungry, sadistic, brutal dictator Sadam Hussein. I have here with me Sergeant Buck Trainor of the Fighting First Cav, a unit that my brother and I spent quite a bit of time with in Afghanistan. Come on over here, Sarge.

Sergeant Trainor
Good to see you, Geraldo.

Geraldo Rivera
Good to see you again, man. The last time I saw you, my brother Greg and I had just driven across some of the most treacherous territory in Afghanistan, literally putting our lives at risk in a valiant effort to reach the front lines. I recall our driver, a little guy we called 'Wazzi', saying that he'd never seen a more courageous and dedicated...


Joe Scarborough
Ron Reagan, this will be the first time in over fifty years that the people of Iraq will have the opportunity to participate in a free, fair, and democratic election. What are your thoughts on this historic occasion?

Ron Reagan
Well, Joe, there are over a thousand candidates in this election. They are as diverse as the people of Iraq, and include Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds. Fortunately for the people of Iraq, none of them are bible-thumping evangelical Jesus-freaks who feel compelled to shove their religious beliefs down the throats of.... more...

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January 29, 2005

Ailing Al Jazeera
— Ace

Via Britain's "Al Guardian"

Surprisingly, Al Jazeera is not so popular in the Middle East. They are even (gasp!) censored in some countries and "harshly criticised." So says the group Reporters Without Borders. (I wonder if they're connected to Doctors Without Borders.)

Reporters Without Borders said that since the start of 2004, al-Jazeera has been "harshly criticised" by Saudi Arabia and America and has been censored in Algeria, Iran, Tunisia and Canada.

We regret that some governments have no hesitation in censoring al-Jazeera, the leading Arabic news channel, to protect their political and diplomatic interests," said the group.

Well what do you know? They object to terrorist propaganda being broadcast into their countries. It's not only the eeevil imperialistic American occupying forces objecting.

And Saudi Arabia has banned al-Jazeera from covering the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca for the third year in a row, the latest in a long line of obstacles put in the way of its operations in many countries.

The channel has also been blocked in Algeria since June 2004, the first time in 10 years that a foreign channel has been banned.

Like Algeria has ever been a paragon of freedom for the media, or anyone, for that matter?

Iran has threatened sanctions against the al-Jazeera bureau in its country on several occasions. In November 2004, the government in Tehran told the channel to remove a cartoon it considered offensive from its website or face restrictions on it operations in Iran.

The channel was threatened with expulsion a second time for referring to the "Arabic Gulf" and not the "Persian Gulf".

Reporters Without Borders also urged the US authorities to either explain its detention of al-Jazeera cameraman Sami al-Haj at the Cuban military base at Guantánamo Bay, or release him immediately.

Oh that poor terrorist accessory/mouthpiece!

And al-Jazeera is growing increasingly alarmed about the health one of its journalists who is awaiting trial in Spain on terrorist-related charges.

Talk about having access to insurgents...

Yet Al Jazeera spokesman Jihad (what a name!) Ballout offered the following comment:

"We are simple observers, and not actors. We do not apply any political judgment and we try to present a balanced coverage of the conflict. We give equal airtime to the Iraqi people as to the insurgents and the US forces."

I think it's safe to say that terrorists, or insurgents, if you want to call them that, don't easily grant access to any old Joe Schmoe. You would have to be in pretty tight with them to be able to film beheadings.

On another note, the government of Qatar is looking to sell Al Jazeera, as a result of complaints by top Bush administration officials. And they're not the only ones complaining:

"We have recently added new members to the Al Jazeera editorial board, and one of their tasks is to explore the best way to sell it," said the Qatari official, who said he could be more candid about the situation if he was not identified. "We really have a headache, not just from the United States but from advertisers and from other countries as well." Asked if the sale might dilute Al Jazeera's content, the official said, "I hope not."

Estimates of Al Jazeera's audience range from 30 million to 50 million, putting it well ahead of its competitors. But that success does not translate into profitability, and the station relies on a big subsidy from the Qatari government, which in the past has explored ways to sell it. The official said Qatar hoped to find a buyer within a year.

If a media property is not selling enough advertising, that's not good. From years of experience selling advertising, I can tell you that advertisers are *very* fussy about the placement of their ads. They *don't* want their ads appearing next to news of someone being murdered, or of an earthquake, or any other kind of disaster. So I can understand them not wanting their ads running after a segment where you have a hostage begging for his life.

Then again, it could also be that these advertisers don't want to give money to terrorists (although that's probably wishfull thinking on my part.)

Posted by: Ace at 08:31 PM | Comments (2)
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Bill Gates Kowtows To China. . . Or, "Why I Just Might Buy A Mac Next Time." [Dave at Garfield Ridge]
— Ace

Bill Gates knows computers, but his economics is shoddy, and his politics. . . well, I'll let him speak for himself:

US software giant Bill Gates has high praise for China, which he says has created a brand-new form of capitalism that benefits consumers more than anything has in the past.

"It is a brand-new form of capitalism, and as a consumer its the best thing that ever happened," Gates told an informal meeting late Friday at the World Economic Forum (news - web sites) in this ski resort.

He characterised the Chinese model in terms of "willingness to work hard and not having quite the same medical overhead or legal overhead".

Unless, of course, you count living in a police state as "legal overhead."
Gates continued by heaping praise on the current generation of Chinese leaders.

"They're smart," he said with emphasis.

"They have this mericratic way of picking people for these government posts where you rotate into the university and really think about state allocation of resources and the welfare of the country and then you rotate back into some bureaucratic position."

That rotation continued, Gates explained, and leaders were constantly subjected to various kinds of ratings.

"This generation of leaders is so smart, so capable, from the top down, particularly from the top down," he concluded.

At first glance, I didn't get it.

There hasn't been this much dicksucking of China since Nixon walked the Great Wall.

What advantage does Bill Gates possibly gain by lavishly praising the corrupt leaders of the world's largest dictatorship?

Could his sycophantic remarks have anything to do with enlisting the Chinese government's help in cracking down on software piracy, particularly of Microsoft products?

Could I interest you in the Brooklyn Bridge?

I know the risk of caricature. I've never been to China, so I can't claim any personal knowledge. My many friends who have spent time there all report back that Chinese capitalism-- not to mention the non-political freedoms of daily life-- is wildy unregulated when compared to the United States. Money talks.

While I recognize that the China of today bears little resemblance to Maoist China, or even to the China of Tiananmen Square, no one should be under any illusions that the Chinese government is in it for anyone but themselves.

China is fundamentally a kleptocracy, committed to obtaining money at the expense of its people, and especially foreigners. They're happy to make money when they can, but they also have no qualms about stealing money when they can't make it for themselves.

China's chaoticly corrupt capitalism is staggering in its scale. *95%* of software is pirated. And piracy isn't limited to just software and DVDs-- everything is pirated, from erection pills to even cars. On top of this blatant disregard for intellectual property-- the lifeblood of Western economic success-- bribery is often the most effective mechanism available to deal with obsolete communist regulations.

What's worse is that many of the most influential companies in China are owned by the government, or even direct subsidiaries of the People's Liberation Army. What these inefficient companies lose out on in revenue they more than make up for with advantageous political connections.

To look at only one example there is a deal pending between the Lenovo, China's top computer maker, and IBM, in which Lenovo will buy IBM's personal computer unit.

For decades, the United States (mostly by itself) has had regulations prohibiting the transfer of high-technology to China and Chinese corporations, for national security reasons. IBM's PC business may not be cutting edge anymore, but I still don't see how this sale can possibly meet the national security test.

Especially when the largest shareholder of Lenovo is the Chinese government.

I guess Bill Gates and others like him think that's all okay, though. Because hey, those Shanghai shopkeepers are so free to make money-- who are we to crush their romantic capitalistic spirit?

C'mon-- It's. Not. Like. China. Has. Ever. Stolen. Western. Technology. For. Use. By. Its. Military.

Wait a moment, why am I worrying? The world's richest man says China's cool, I guess that means they're cool, right? Who's going to disagree with that assessment?

I mean, who aside from him?

-- Dave at Garfield Ridge

Posted by: Ace at 08:05 PM | Comments (17)
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A Mundane Plea To The Guestbloggers For Help [Dave at Garfield Ridge]
— Ace

Guest bloggers--

Can someone please delete my duplicate China post below? The 11:56 pm one, not the 12:03 one?

I double-posted. . . then I double-deleted. . . but the site just isn't updating.

Man, I love this Moveable Type, it's a lot easier to use than Blogger, but I do miss that "percent publishing" page that gives me the illusion of progress.

Whomever cleans up my mess wins a Garfield Ridge no-prize.

Dave at Garfield Ridge

UPDATE: Problem solved, for now. Still, the site is running way slow tonight. I guess the guests can only flog the blog for so long before it gets cranky. Oh well; Ace will be back tomorrow to make it all better.

Also, many of you seem to be having problems with the comments. I'm in the same boat-- I keep getting the "unacceptable content" or some such error message.

Fine, screw you Mu. You want some "unacceptable content"? Here ya go.

Yeah, I said it-- you're just like Microsoft, you mercurial crashing pain-in-the-ass blogging program you.

Go home and cry to your operating system.

Posted by: Ace at 07:21 PM | Comments (3)
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A Lame Defense For The Current Social Security Program [Say Anything]
— Ace

Last week the President made the claim that the current Social Security program is unfair to America's blacks because, on average, blacks don't live as long as other demographics. Now some economists are saying that claim is untrue, but in trying to prove the President wrong they just uncovered more inequalities.

AP - The way Bush explained it to a group of black supporters last week, blacks are short-changed because they are more likely than whites to die before receiving their fair share of retirement benefits.

It is true that blacks, on average, have shorter lifespans than whites. But that is not the only factor that needs to be considered, say economists who study the government's retirement program.

Social Security pays lower-income workers more, relative to what they pay into the program, than higher-income workers. Blacks are paid less than whites on average, so the distribution of benefits favors them. That evens out the discrepancy caused by the difference in death rates, said economist Jeffrey Liebman, a former Clinton administration official whose research is often cited by the Bush administration in support of its own policies.

So their defense against Bush's comments is that blacks are poorer than whites, therefore they get more benefits. That's...not very convincing. Basically, they are arguing against a plan that would allow Social Security account holders to bequeath their account balance to their inheritors in favor of a plan that allows only the spouse of a deceased citizen to collect half benefits, if those benefits are even still in existence. The way Social Security is being run now, the existence of benefits even a few decades down the line is very much in doubt.

The second line of defense against the President's comments from these "experts" is even sillier: more...

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Spamusement. [Dave at Garfield Ridge]
— Ace

Take a subject line from your spam email.

Then draw a cartoon inspired by that phrase.

Then you have Spamusement.

Absolutely brilliant.

-- Dave at Garfield Ridge

Posted by: Ace at 05:11 PM | Comments (3)
Post contains 29 words, total size 1 kb.

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