Pakistan Peace Jirga Begins

The Pakistan peace Jirga has begun, and calls for Nato withdrawal. Along with that, they call for the expelling of “alien extremists”. This could be long term good if they really mean it. The Jirga is being led by Asfandyar Wali Khan, a leader of ANP, founded by the pacifist Khudai Khitmatgar movement formed in the ’30’s. Whether this is effective, or just for show before the elections in early 2007, remains to be seen.

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Sam, You’re No Ronald Reagan

Sam Brownback is nosing about that he intends to run for president, and following up on a pledge made here, I will be actively and continuously campaign against his nomination.

brownbackraza.jpgSam Brownback is nosing about that he intends to run for president, and following up on a pledge made here, I will actively and persistently campaign against his nomination.


WASHINGTON —  Sen. Sam Brownback, who is considering a White House bid in 2008, said Monday the Republican field has room for a “full-scale Ronald Reagan conservative” and pledged to make a final decision next month.

The Kansas senator said he was not discouraged from running by the Democrats’ strong gains in this month’s midterm elections, including majority control of the House and Senate.

“It does not make it less likely,” he said in an interview. “I really believe that the basic conservative ideas and ideals were not repudiated. Our execution was.”

Re-read that last sentence. I hold the Senate highly accountable for the election losses the Republicans received, without their sloth, obstruction, and ambivalence over every issue of import before them the past four years we would have made much better progress.

Last time I looked, Sam was still in the do-nothing Senate: No end to the judicial fillibuster, no action on border security, no movement to gain the executive branch the lawful powers needed to effectively wage the war on terror, and finally right before the election, a bill to help trie detainees and the fence bill… three years late.

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Acquainted With the Night


 I Have Been Acquainted With the Night

I  have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain–and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-by;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

— Robert Frost

Renewable vs Nonrenewable Energy

The real point is that Energy Independence for the US is just not enough — we must instead have energy abundance for the entire world. We do not want to be the lone island of energy wealth in a sea of misery, and it’s a simple formula for strife unending if we take that path.

Please take a stop by Anthonares for an interesting new study from Rand, as well as some good analysis. The study is cost comparison/future projection between renewable and nonrenewable energy prices and essentially concludes that it will be a wash.

Personally, I don’t think cost comparision studies are needed anymore — the days of exploration for new technologies for energy are really over. Anyone doing cost comparisons is jockeying for government grants, not implementing a real solution.

There are many viable energy alternatives, and we will need them all. We can also build them all now. Capitalism will do the rest once the wind, hyrdo, nuclear, and geothermal farms are built.

The real point is that Energy Independence for the US is just not enough — we must instead have energy abundance for the entire world. We do not want to be the lone island of energy wealth in a sea of misery, and it’s a simple formula for strife unending if we take that path. 

Pakistan Update II

cartoon1121.jpgFor some interesting analysis of the political impact of the passage of the Women’s Protection Bill (WPB) in Pakistan please see this article.

ISLAMABAD – Whether by design or coincidence, the political undertones of the Women’s Protection Bill were never in doubt. The timing, both on occasion of introduction of the bill in September and now its adoption by the assembly, could not have been so cut out to perfectly suit the General-President to whom it has provided reprieve from extremely dicey situations. It has also set in motion the most tantalizing albeit dangerous, options for Gen. Musharraf, besides creating a framework of new political permutations and alignments.
In the immediate future it has caused a grievous vertical rupture in the body politic of the country, the politicians and political parties of all hues and colour, including the king’s party. The combined opposition is in utter disarray; the dream of a grand alliance lays completely shattered; the groupings like ARD and MMA face split down the line among components and within the component parties. In the calculus of gains and losses, Musharraf, for the time being, appears gloriously triumphant, having achieved even unintended objectives.

Passage of the bill has put the government of Pakistan into a chaotic maelstrom — what comes out the other side will be interesting to see. For now, Musharraaf and the PPP have splintered and torn assunder opposition alliances between ARD  and the fundamentalist party, MMA.

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Pakistan Update

Dawn reports more round-ups of Afghan Taliban on suspicion of terrorism near the Iran border in Balochistan. This is further evidence that Iran is still playing a hand in Afghanistan, and futher that they might be trying to destabilize Pakistan from their border areas. After all, what quicker way for Ahmadinejad to gain nukes than to take over Pakistan? Large amounts of civil unrest and strife in Pakistan could give him the excuse to do so. This could have been Taliban crossing from Iran to Pakistan, or it could have been the other way — perhaps they were going to visit the Qods brigade factory and pick up some IED’s.

QUETTA, Nov 18: Law-enforcement agencies on Saturday arrested 120 Afghan nationals from Nushki and border area Tump at Pakistan-Iran border on suspicion of terrorism. A team of Frontier Corps raided a hidden place in Nushki, some 160km from here and taken 33 Afghan nationals who crossed into Pakistani area without legal documents. The team arrested another badge of 87 Afghan suspects from Tump a town at Pakistan-Iran border who arrived here with the aim of crossing into Iran illegally.


The other possibility besides creating unrest in Afghanistan or Pakistan would be for them to have been headed out to join the Islamic Courts in Somalia, or heading to Oman then up to Iraq.

In other news, this is not looking good in Peshawar, from the Frontier Post:

PESHAWAR (SANA): Law enforcement agencies in the NWFP have unearthed a vast network of suicidal attackers in the country. Official sources here said that investigations into Friday’s abortive suicidal attack, in which the attacker was killed and two policemen injured, had pointed a wider network of such attackers active in the province. They said that these attackers were planning more such attacks in the near future. Two suicidal attacks took place in the NWFP over the last couple of days. The first took place in Dargai, Malakand Agency, in which 40 recruits of Pakistan Army were martyred. In the second attack, the attacker was killed and two policemen injured in the provincial capital. The police, after the Friday incident, had taken the brother and father of the suicidal attacker Nadeem into custody. Besides, the Pesh Imam of the local mosque was also nabbed for questioning. The father of the slain attacker said that Nadeem used to remain absent from the houses for many days and nights. He said he was also out of the house on the night before the attack

New National Space Policy

For a lucid, detailed, and factual review of changes to our national space policy please see this article by Dwayne Day at Space Review. I will keep an eye out for his future articles, he definitely grabbed me with this first para:

Ever since the new National Space Policy was released on October 6, partisan pundits on both the right and the left have been commenting on it with limited degrees of knowledge or logic. After reading their work, one gets the sense that very few of the commentators actually bothered to read the ten-page policy. Rather, they read articles about the policy, and comments about it by people they dislike, and then fit it into their standard partisan model of good and bad. Because all politics are tribal these days, there is no need to actually think. All that matters is whether one is a Crip or a Blood, an Eloi or a Morlock, a Republican or a Democrat. Rather than analyze and discuss, the pundits reach for the nearest rock.

He also posts at great link at the end of the article to a PDF that compares the prior policy to the new.

Pakistan National Assembly Passes Women’s Protection Bill

Predictably, the Taliban supporting party from NWFP, MMA stalked out in a snit. From the Pakistan Observer:

Fazl and other Opposition members taking part in the debate, belonging to MMA and ARD criticized the Bill and described it in conflict with the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah and in violation of the constitution. They stressed the need that the rights of the women should be protected but the Bill under consideration is meant to weaken the family system. They were of the view that it will shatter the very basis of our values and norms. They demanded that the recommendations of the Ulema Committee should be incorporated in the Bill. Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman wanted that the consideration of the Bill should be delayed and members of the Ulema Committee consulted.

Under the previous law, if four males did not testify to the woman’s rape, then the woman was automatically guilty of adultry or other crime which could lead to stoning. A woman could not testify in her own behalf, meaning that a raped woman was better off not reporting a rape. The “hudood” laws are this way to match extreme fundamentalist views of sharia.

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Environmental Imperialism

It’s just wrong to export our environmental claptrap to limit population growth, development, and freedom in the third world. It’s pure Environmental Imperialism.

Many liberals in the US decry the fact that many of our social values are seeping out into the world, and overwhelming the native cultures in foreign lands. Meanwhile they are practicing Environmental Imperialism of which the latest vehicle is the Global Warming Crisis, the carbon bank concept, and the Kyoto treaty.

To the rest of the world they are saying:

Liberals in the West know what’s good for your country, you may not log your forests, you may not farm, you may not exploit your own resources the way we did to establish the modern western world. We would rather you become dependent on the handouts from developed nations and subservient to the Kyoto treaty and the world bank.

This neo-luddite cabal jets around the world to conferences on carbon neutrality, debates on carbon taxes, and other environmental socialist ponzi schemes. Since folks began pointing out how much carbon they are putting into the atmosphere with their antics, the Kyotites have developed a conscience and started planting trees to compensate. In their jargon, this creates “carbon neutrality”.

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The Error of My Ways

Blogging with integrity takes willingness to recognize and admit where you were wrong. In two of my pre-election posts I predicted that the Republicans would keep both houses. In my analysis I failed to look hard at the southern Democratic candidates, probably a mistake many made. Next time I promise to work harder folks.

The Dems ran a slate of veterans who were moderate to conservative, and I missed it. They out-Lincoln Chaffee’d us, and now have to live with what they did to themselves. I think the first sign was in the defeat of Pelosi’s pick, Murtha. I expect more fun to come for the slight majority party, the next two years are going to be interesting.