What Really Happened in Lebanon

With recent reports of Nasrallah (Hezbollah Leader) and some Iranian Mullahs commenting that the cross-border raid that triggered the recent Israeli incursion, it pays to read the article below.

Israel certainly didn’t “win,” but Hezbollah’s crowing about victory wasn’t accurate either.
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Hezbollah Didn’t Win

Let us start with Lebanon.

Immediately after the U.N.-ordained ceasefire started, Hezbollah organized a series of firework shows, accompanied by the distribution of fruits and sweets, to celebrate its victory. Most Lebanese, however, finding the exercise indecent, stayed away. The largest “victory march” in south Beirut, Hezbollah’s stronghold, attracted just a few hundred people.

Initially Hezbollah had hesitated between declaring victory and going into mourning for its “martyrs.” The latter course would have been more in harmony with Shiite traditions centered on the cult of Imam Hussain’s martyrdom in 680 A.D. Some members of Hezbollah wished to play the martyrdom card so that they could accuse Israel, and through it the U.S., of war crimes. They knew that it was easier for Shiites, brought up in a culture of eternal victimhood, to cry over an imagined calamity than laugh in the joy of a claimed victory.

Politically, however, Hezbollah had to declare victory for a simple reason: It had to pretend that the death and desolation it had provoked had been worth it. A claim of victory was Hezbollah’s shield against criticism of a strategy that had led Lebanon into war without the knowledge of its government and people. Mr. Nasrallah alluded to this in television appearances, calling on those who criticized him for having triggered the war to shut up because “a great strategic victory” had been won.

The tactic worked for a day or two. However, it did not silence the critics, who have become louder in recent days. The leaders of the March 14 movement, which has a majority in the Lebanese Parliament and government, have demanded an investigation into the circumstances that led to the war, a roundabout way of accusing Hezbollah of having provoked the tragedy. Prime Minister Fuad Siniora has made it clear that he would not allow Hezbollah to continue as a state within the state. Even Michel Aoun, a maverick Christian leader and tactical ally of Hezbollah, has called for the Shiite militia to disband.

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Far from representing the Lebanese national consensus, Hezbollah is a sectarian group backed by a militia that is trained, armed and controlled by Iran. In the words of Hossein Shariatmadari, editor of the Iranian daily Kayhan, “Hezbollah is ‘Iran in Lebanon.’ ” In the 2004 municipal elections, Hezbollah won some 40% of the votes in the Shiite areas, the rest going to its rival Amal (Hope) movement and independent candidates. In last year’s general election, Hezbollah won only 12 of the 27 seats allocated to Shiites in the 128-seat National Assembly–despite making alliances with Christian and Druze parties and spending vast sums of Iranian money to buy votes.

Hezbollah’s position is no more secure in the broader Arab world, where it is seen as an Iranian tool rather than as the vanguard of a new Nahdha (Awakening), as the Western media claim. To be sure, it is still powerful because it has guns, money and support from Iran, Syria and Hate America International Inc. But the list of prominent Arab writers, both Shiite and Sunni, who have exposed Hezbollah for what it is–a Khomeinist Trojan horse–would be too long for a single article. They are beginning to lift the veil and reveal what really happened in Lebanon.

Having lost more than 500 of its fighters, and with almost all of its medium-range missiles destroyed, Hezbollah may find it hard to sustain its claim of victory. “Hezbollah won the propaganda war because many in the West wanted it to win as a means of settling score with the United States,” says Egyptian columnist Ali al-Ibrahim. “But the Arabs have become wise enough to know TV victory from real victory.”

Are you one of those poor souls who married a “Career Woman

Forbes.com recently roiled some puddles of the blogosphere with this article/debate.

For my part, I’m happily married to a career woman, but the statistics in the first article are hard to argue with.

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If a host of studies are to be believed, marrying these women is asking for trouble. If they quit their jobs and stay home with the kids, they will be unhappy (Journal of Marriage and Family, 2003). They will be unhappy if they make more money than you do (Social Forces, 2006). You will be unhappy if they make more money than you do (Journal of Marriage and Family, 2001). You will be more likely to fall ill (American Journal of Sociology). Even your house will be dirtier (Institute for Social Research).

Revisiting the TRUE Culprit behind Katrina’s Devastation

With Mainstream Media in full “Katrina” mode, it pays to remind people that the REAL problem with the USA’s (and New Orlean’s) failure during disasters lies not with too little government, but too much.

The need to add layers of bureaucracy after every crisis (Homeland Security, Sarbox, FEMA) is evidence of an empire in decline. Pouring $122 billion of extended waste into New Orleans isn’t a solution.

Our political leadership at most levels (and in both parties) is as rotten as it can be. Even decent leaders are forced into compromise with a culture of corruption so pervasive that it actually threatens the Republic.

Allow me to demonstrate…
[Read more...]

More Proof of Substandard Suburban Schools

So your kid gets into college with a 3.5+ GPA. You are proud of them. Further, you are proud of your local suburban school, which apparently educated them well enough to get them there.

Your experience proves critics of public education wrong, doesn’t it.

Not hardly. Your kid’s education has more potholes than Illinois Roads (and that’s a lot of potholes).
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The potholes in college students’ minds

We were talking informally in class not long ago, 17 college sophomores and I, and on a whim I asked who some of their favorite writers are. The question hung in uneasy silence. At length, a voice in the rear hesitantly volunteered the name of … Dan Brown.

No other names were offered.

The author of The DaVinci Code was not just the best writer they could think of; he was the only writer they could think of.

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Not only was The Da Vinci Code an insufferably mediocre book, but this article indicates that the kids were too stupefied to even mention “Toni Morrison,” or some other pile of drivel offered in schools today.

This proves that your kids in college have the attention span of a peanut. So much for your tax dollars poured down the sink hole of “learing how to learn.”

Here is more…
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A few years ago, I began keeping a list of everyday words that may as well have been potholes in exchanges with college students. It began with a fellow who was two months away from graduating from a well-respected Midwestern university.

“And what was the impetus for that?” I asked as he finished a presentation.

At the word “impetus” his head snapped sideways, as if by reflex. “The what?” he asked.

“The impetus. What gave rise to it? What prompted it?”

I wouldn’t have guessed that “impetus” was a 25-cent word. But I also wouldn’t have guessed that “ramshackle” and “lucid” were exactly recondite, either. I’ve had to explain both. You can be dead certain that today’s college students carry a weekly planner. But they may or may not own a dictionary, and if they do own one, it doesn’t get much use. (“Why do you need a dictionary when you can just go online?” more than one student has asked me.)

You may be surprised and dismayed by some of the words on my list.

“Advocate,” for example. Neither the verb nor the noun was immediately clear to students who had graduated from high school with GPAs above 3.5. A few others:

“Derelict,” as in neglectful.

“Satire,” as in a literary form.

“Pith,” as in the heart of the matter.

“Brevity,” as in the quality of being succinct.

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Let me remind you that these are college kids, and that you pretty much need a 3.5 GPA to get into even state schools these days.

With that reminder, let me say this. These kids are uneducated morons. If you don’t know the 4 or 5 words above, you are moron. It’s axiomatic.

These are the results of the schools you support.

Rumors of Bush’s Demise are Greatly Exaggerated

I’ve had some lively debates with detractors of Bush’s policies in Iraq. Just yesterday I was forced to defend some fairly effective and scathing attacks on the overall situation in Iraq.

Fortunately, the article below, by Norman Podhoretz, comes at an opportune time.
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Is the Bush Doctrine Dead?
The president’s critics are wrong. That includes the neocons

So misrepresented has the Bush Doctrine been that the only way to begin answering that question is to remind ourselves of what it actually says (and does not say); and the best way to do that is by going back to the speech in which it was originally enunciated: the president’s address to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 20, 2001.
In analyzing that speech shortly after it was delivered, I found that the new doctrine was built on three pillars. The first was a categorical rejection of the kind of relativism (“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”) that had previously prevailed in the discussion of terrorism, and a correlative insistence on using such unambiguously moral categories as right and wrong, good and evil, in describing the “great harm” we had suffered only nine days earlier. But, the president went on, out of that harm, and “in our grief and anger, we have found our mission and our moment.”

In spelling out the nature of that mission and moment, Mr. Bush gave the lie to those who would later claim that the idea of planting the seeds of democracy in Iraq was a hastily contrived ex post facto rationalization to cover for the failure to find weapons of mass destruction there. Indeed, the plain truth is that, far from being an afterthought, the idea of democratization was there from the very beginning and could even be said to represent the animating or foundational principle of the entire doctrine:

“The advance of human freedom, the great achievement of our time and the great hope of every time, now depends on us. Our nation, this generation, . . . will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage.”

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One of the best line of this vary long, but exellent article, is where Podhoretz makes the following point (after laying out many of the critiques of the situation in Iraq)…
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I must confess to being puzzled by the amazing spread of the idea that the Bush Doctrine has indeed failed the test of Iraq. After all, Iraq has been liberated from one of the worst tyrants in the Middle East; three elections have been held; a decent constitution has been written; a government is in place; and previously unimaginable liberties are being enjoyed. By what bizarre calculus does all this add up to failure? And by what even stranger logic is failure to be read into the fact that the forces opposed to democratization are fighting back with all their might?
Surely what makes more sense is the opposite interpretation of the terrible violence being perpetrated by the terrorists of the so-called insurgency: that it is in itself a tribute to the enormous strides that have been made in democratizing the country. If this murderous collection of diehard Sunni Baathists and vengeful Shiite militias, together with their allies inside the government, agreed that democratization had already failed, would they be waging so desperate a campaign to defeat it? And if democratization in Iraq posed no threat to the other despotisms in the region, would those regimes be sending jihadists and material support to the “insurgency” there?

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Agree or disagree, I strongly suggest reading the entire article. It will clarify things for you.

Gambling with Your Children’s Future

Now that I’m back to posting a little bit, I thought it would be good to remind you that public education doesn’t deserve the level of support it gets from the public.

Here is yet another story about what is increasingly becoming the RULE, not the EXCEPTION.

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School fleeced by gambling principals

What are the odds that a gambler who stole school funds would be replaced as principal of a Northwest Side school by another gambler who stole school funds?

That’s what authorities said happened after Robert Malek, 38, succeeded Myrtle Burton-Sahara, 69, as principal at Locke Elementary, 2845 N. Newcastle.

Burton-Sahara made headlines several years ago when a “transition audit” after her December 2000 retirement led to charges she had stolen $66,000 from Locke during the five years before she retired by writing school checks out to herself without proper documentation.

Schools Inspector General James Sullivan contended Burton-Sahara had been a frequent visitor at the Hollywood Casino gambling boat in Aurora, where she played the slot machines and lost $170,000 over her last five years at Locke.

Turns out her successor as principal, Malek, also liked to gamble — but on the ponies, Sullivan said Monday.

Malek was indicted Aug. 8 on charges he stole $57,000 from Locke from January of 2002 through March of 2005.

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The truly disgusting thing is that the populace (in Illinois anyway) is so corrupted and jaundiced that they actually accept this behavior.
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And though a second principal now has been charged with theft from Locke, that principal still had his supporters Monday.

Marianne Brunelli said that as a Locke local school council parent member who helps pick principals, she would take Malek back “in a heartbeat.”

“I thought he was a very good educator,” said Brunelli.

“My daughter never went without [while he was there]. . . . My daughter got a computer lab. She never went without books. When I bought my pictures, I got them.

“I would take him back,” Brunelli said.

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Brunelli is an idiot. The principal belongs in jail, and Brunelli has no place on a school council. If you won’t hold people to high standards you will get a very low class of people.

…and people who gamble with embezzled public money are criminals, not “good people with an addiction.”

Proof that Topinka isn’t fit to Govern

Well well well…

Part one of Topinka’s long-touted “edumacation plan” is now revealed, and it’s the same old crap we get from the political class.

This is just more evidence that there is no differnce between the Democrat and Republican in Illinois, as both are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Ed-Mart (always the high price – always).

More money for teacher’s pensions? When did a pension for a proteced apparatchik educate a child?

More money for “school construction?” All the fancy buildings in the world won’t correct for mediocre staff and an oatmeal-mush curriculum.

For all of his absurd spending, at least Blago has a scheme to pay for it (selling the Lottery).

Illinois is beyond reach by either party or gubernatorial candidate. Under these circumstances, we are all better off having Blagojevich and his party take the blame for the coming finacial conflagration and ficticious “tax swap” schemes.

Extreme Wisdom gets a Promotion

Huge News!

Extreme Wisdom now on from
10:00 AM to Noon daily!

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Though I’ve actually been in the new time slot since Monday last week, I haven’t yet had the chance to announce it on my website.

I’ve been crazy busy with a remodeling project, and doing that and the radio show has had an impact on my ability to post to the site.

I look forward to more aggressive posting after labor day, when WKRS will hopefully be up and running with streaming. It will be nice to once again connect with my statewide, national, and international fans.