Social Engineering

Via the haves.
In todays NYTimes is a story about one person’s idea to send $150 laptops to children in third world countries. It sounds cool.
Small screen, linux operating system, wireless internet capability and ways to re-charge itself when the power is out. But no harddrive. Read the article. What a concept.

But Bill Gates seems to think this is a bad idea. Why?

And Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman and a leading philanthropist for the third world, has questioned whether the concept is “just taking what we do in the rich world” and assuming that that is something good for the developing world, too.

Ummm, oftentimes. And computers and internet access are awesome advances in knowledge throughout the world. What a pompous…….

In related news Mick at Uncorrelated writes one of the best posts I’ve seen on the hated Walmart. Here is the start:

Democrats: Protecting Your Right To Pay Higher Prices

I watched a show recently profiling Warren Buffet, the second richest man in the U.S. next to Bill Gates. Buffet commented that the average middle class family lives better than the 19th century robber-barons, mentioning Rockefeller in particular. Warm in the winter, cool in the summer, vast choices in entertainment, abundant food, transportation at a whim.

All true. I remember getting a request for money once from Habitat for Humanity. In it they profiled a poor single woman who needed a new house. They went through her budget which didn’t allow for much on a mortgage. That budget included a new car payment (required to get to work) and cable tv (required for her son). Huh?

So now we have Walmart, that allows for even more consumer goods to get into the hands of the poor. For all the pieces against Walmart I’ve ever read, they don’t seem to do anything more than use their spending power to lower their prices even further, giving those shopping there a 25% more bang for their buck.

Yeah, you can talk about loss of the local stores etc, but until people quit using ATMs and automatic checkins at airports or self-check lanes at supermarkets etc, we can’t accuse Walmart of being the only folks “taking away local jobs”.

Anyway – I got off on a tangent. Read Mick’s post.

The UN

Captain Ed continues to dog the UN and their sex problems. It’s pretty pathetic that grown-ups have to go to children for either sex or power.

Drudge shares this headline this morning.

FLASH: One in every 32 Adults is in Prison, Jail or on Probation

While that is sad commentary I would say that while this number affects those peole and their families etc, some things are illegal and the US is not a hell hole for it.
The point being that rape is illegal. Buying sex when you are a member of the UN should be illegal if it isn’t. Why the hell aren’t those people in jail? They know it goes on, why not these creeps in the local lockup?

In other UN news, Kofi Annan has expressed “deep concern” for the break in peace in Sudan. via bloodthirstyliberal

Burning

Michelle Malkin continues to follow the story on the burned Sunnis.

Her re-cap:

Two unnamed Associated Press reporters get new acounts from three unnamed witnesses (who, of course, refuse to be identified by name–although the AP has no problem describing some weirdly specific details about their ages, occupations, ethnicity, and religions) about six burned-alive Sunnis, five of whom no one can name and whose bodies can’t be disinterred in an investigation because it would violate Islamic law. And of the two original sources who claim the incident happened, one has recanted and the other is someone whom the military and Iraqi officials maintain is not who he says he is.

She also links us to this blog by Jim Hoft that included a reminder that the AP also mentioned 4 burned Mosques where only 1 was burned.

Iraq acting Sovereign, Bush to Blame

This story in the LA times today was interesting.
Maliki wants a) more control over his forces, b) faster training of his people, c) bigger and better weapons d) talks with Syria and Iran.

Maliki’s emboldened stand comes at a time of uncertainty for U.S. strategy in Iraq.

While the process may be accelerated due to Democrats in office and Bush leaving in 2 years, this sounds like the exact US strategy that we’ve been working on. Get the Iraqi’s to take care of themselves. Isn’t it?

This cracked me up:

“If the Americans withdraw, the fighting will stop,” Iraq’s most revered Sunni cleric, Harith Dhari, said in Jordan, where he met with Abdullah in the run-up to the summit. “Once Americans make the decision to withdraw, whether it is in one or two years, we can go to the resistance and tell them you have what you have been fighting for.”

If you can go to the resistance and tell them the Americans will leave in 2 years and you have what you want, then why can’t you go to the resistance and tell them that the Americans will leave as soon as the resistance stops killing their own people? Pulease.

In other news, the famous NYTimes has leaked MORE classified information. Though I have to say with all the leaking going on, I’m personally going to start calling it “President Bush’s special way of getting out the news without actually having to talk with reporters.”

The memo presents an unvarnished portrait of Mr. Maliki and notes that he relies for some of his political support on leaders of more extreme Shiite groups. The five-page document, classified secret, is based in part on a one-on-one meeting between Mr. Hadley and Mr. Maliki on Oct. 30.

Yes, this was leaked from Senior Administration official and the Times just went right ahead and put it in their paper. And the secret part? The administration wonders if Maliki is up to the task ahead. LOL.

If I were President Bush, I would want that information on the table and out in the open before going into a meeting with President Maliki. It looks to me like Bush knows exactly where to accidently leave his memos in order to get them printed in the NYTimes.

And one more. Iraq the Model has a short post of the rumors in Baghdad about this meeting today.

Lebanon

Abu Kais notes a suicide bomber at the Lebanon border who truly was a “suicide” bomber. I love those stories.

Syrian-born Omar Hamra, a “tawhid and Jihad terrorist and military official”, was casually crossing the border with Lebanon today with a suicide belt strapped to his waist, and nine different fake IDs. He ended up “exploding himself”, according to the Syrian News Agency SANA.

And bloodthirstyliberal notes that security forces in Lebanon have uncovered an assasination plot by Syrians.

Lebanese security forces discovered a Syrian plot four days ago to target 36 anti-Syrian officials, according to the Lebanese paper al Mustaqbal and cited by Israel Radio Wednesday. The paper is owned by the Hariri family.

The Revenge Burning

Powerline has a quick re-cap concerning the story from the AP that may or may not be true. The AP is insisting it’s true and they think it’s crazy to even doubt their reporting.
They might want to go back and check recent history for why their public might doubt their stories.

Michelle Malkin has a longer version along with tons of links.

The Press

As I read the papers today I kept thinking, “how do I know if this is true or not?” Michelle Malkin has a short follow up on the AP bullshi** from yesterday along with a quick poll.

So this morning I’m reading about President Olmert offering to exchange Palestinian prisoners for the captured Israeli soldier. (second reference from Al Jazeera so I’m not sure if this is true or not but it seems truish.)

So imagine my laughter when I came across this title on the BBC.

Olmert speech puzzles press

LOL. The story is about the press not knowing how to spin this! ROFL.

What a world.

Posted in MSM

Those Six Immans

Captain Ed handles this story that came out in the Washington Times today. What were the suspicians?

– Praying loudly. I do my praying on an airplane quietly with sweat pouring out my forehead but others may choose out loud.

- Switching from their assigned seats. Ok -on an empty plane, but something to look at. The 2 that went to first class when they weren’t assigned those seats should have been expelled right then.

- Going back and forth to talk amongst each other and holding up the boarding process. Irritating enough when done amongst families. I would say it’s enough to tell them to get back to their “assigned seats” and if not done, then boot them.

- And finally:

And those seat-belt extenders? Once they received them from the flight attendants, the imams put them under their seats, and not on the seat belts that purportedly would not fit them. Anyone who saw that would understandably wonder why the imams requested them in the first place, especially the flight crew, which has primary responsibility for flight security.

Outta here. Those are simple weapons. Simple like a box cutter.

Part D

Look who made Instapundit!

MICKEY KAUS: “With the midterm election safely in the past, the NYT’s Robert Pear reveals that the Bush administration delegated the task of saving the Medicare drug plan to … a competent civil servant.” Analysts say that this business of holding positive stories until after the election is common media behavior . . . .

Prejudice

Unbelievable. Last week was the big story about Sunnis being burned alive as part of a revenge killing spree in Bagdad. This week, its appearing the whole thing was quite possibly fabricated, yes, fabricated. There was one source for that story and that man apparently doesn’t really exist but has been sending the AP stories for a while now.

Flopping Aces broke this story and continues to update his posts.
The fun just goes on.

I mentioned prejudice because in reading that original story didn’t we all kind of go, “ewww – what is with these people?”
Here is what Iraq the Model has been going through. Mohammed called them “Rough Days”. I believe he gets the prize for understatement of the year.

The other star of the crisis was rumors about ugly revenge attacks and I sometimes feel that those rumors are part of the terrorists and militias propaganda campaign.

Sadly the AP turned out to be a part of that.

Rough times blur the vision and disrupt reason, I understand that. When you hear stories about people burned alive or mass public executions it makes you imagine that the streets are full of monsters coming to predate everything and makes you shout calling for merciless punishment upon even those who are only suspects.

Thankfully most people are better than that. As Mohammed says:

Being stuck at home for four days with all the violence going outside and the fear that it might reach you at home was a horrible experience. When the news came that the curfew was over and people began walking on the streets again there was a strange feeling that was particularly very strong this morning in Baghdad; despite all the rumors and fear from more wide-scale revenge attacks there was a feeling among the people that they must go out on the streets and live in all possible means.
The most beautiful scene was that of students going to their schools and colleges despite all what happened in the days before.

Not everyone will absorb the lesson but I’m sure that this last dose of terror has changed the feelings of so many people here, a change in favor of denouncing and rejecting violence, I hope.

He brings me hope. If you didn’t read his post, he has a friend who has been kidnapped. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.