January 04, 2003

Nice doggie.

Clubbeaux would like to thank Emperor Misha I at the outstanding blog Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler for naming Clubbeaux to the Dept. of Domestic Affairs. Clubbeaux will do his diligence to uphold the honor of the position by increasing the amount of cheap red wine consumed on the job.

January 02, 2003

And the winner is…

Lots of deserving contenders, but the winner of Clubbeaux’s Stupidest Person of 2002 is Robert Burck, a street performer known as the “Naked Cowboy.” Burck sings in Manhattan’s Times Square throughout the year, and didn’t let a little snow stop him on December 5 when a snow storm hit the city. Burck, of Cincinnati, Ohio, said he was not cold because he was “burning with desire.”

Desire for... a coat? A cup of coffee? A lick of sense?

Too rich for words (almost).

The news from The New York Times is that Democrats feel “outgunned” in the “political propaganda wars.” I guess it’s not enough that they have the aforesaid Times, which hasn’t endorsed a Republican for president since Eisenhower, in their back pocket along with every single major metro daily newspaper in the country, TIME magazine, CBS News, ABC News, NBC News and NPR, all that’s as naught when set against Fox News Channel and Rush Limbaugh, huh?

“Outgunned.” Right. The real problem is they’re being “outpreferred,” and boy, do they ever hate it. They know how intellectually and morally superior they are to the rest of us, especially those stupid hicks like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, why don’t we recognize it? Why didn’t Mondale carry all 50 states? What’s wrong with us?

“For years,” Jim Rutenberg writes in the editorial-disguised-as-news style of the Times, “Democrats have groused about their inability to balance what they see as the increasing influence over the electorate by advocates of Republican policies.”

Balance? Balance? Every major media news organ in the country with the sole exception of Fox News is slanted to varying degrees towards the liberal/Democrat point of view. But that’s how it is with inherently totalitarian mindsets such as American liberalism: One dissenting viewpoint means your very existence is threatened.

Baa baa.

The very language – “increasing influence over the electorate by advocates of Republican policies” – gives them away. To liberals it’s axiomatic that the American people are ignorant sheep who need to be fed and told what to do and who need government to take care of them and manage their money for them. To conservatives it’s axiomatic that the American people are free moral agents who need to be free to make their own decisions and either reap the rewards or suffer the consequences of those decisions.

Democrats’ concerns “have taken on a new urgency,” Rutenberg says, “because of the rise to the top of the cable news ratings by the Fox News Channel, considered by many to have a conservative slant, and the loss of the Senate to the Republicans in November. Some Democrats say the election outcome enhanced the influence of Fox News and personalities like Mr. Limbaugh.”

Why can’t Democrats even pretend to be able to think? Are they really so in love with Soviet-style central state planning that they can’t even recognize the free market dynamics they so loathe? Friends, nobody puts a gun to anyone’s head and says “You must watch Fox News Channel.” The American people – here’s where I’ll lose whatever Democrats are reading this – want to watch Fox News. People want to vote Republican. Once you step outside of the liberal echo chamber you realize America is a fairly conservative country.

When Americans have free choice they overwhelmingly choose the conservative interpretation. In the free market of ideas in America conservatives kick liberals’ butts every time, every single time. Conservative talk shows flourish and liberal talk shows wither. Conservative books dominate bestseller charts and liberal books die quick deaths. Liberals hate this fact. It damages their overweening ego so they have to find some way of explaining it away where the conclusion isn’t simply that Americans prefer conservatives to liberals.

“What is their problem?”

Democrats are aghast, as they cannot comprehend anyone voluntarily watching Fox News, there must be some nefarious propaganda at work. “Doesn’t everyone agree with us? All my friends in midtown Manhattan and Georgetown agree with me, that makes it unanimous, doesn’t it? What is being done to these poor people who don’t agree with us? What sort of evil mind control has infected them where they would listen to a different point of view than mine? What’s wrong with them?”

Far be it from Democrats to maybe wonder if they’re not out of step with the rest of the country. No no, has to be that everyone else is out of step with them.

“The efforts among influential Democrats, particularly liberals, range from a grass-roots talent search for progressive radio hosts to the creation of research organizations to provide a Democratic spin for the news media, to nascent discussions by wealthy supporters about starting a cable network with a liberal bent,” Rutenberg writes with the heavy heart of a true believer who knows such efforts are doomed to inglorious failure. Liberal Democrats have no more compelling personalities than Jim Hightower and Mario Cuomo fils, both of them failed dismally with radio talk shows, as did ex-Virginia governor Doug Wilder and, if memory serves, Tony Coelho. Phil Donahue’s liberal lovefest is drowning on MSNBC as we speak.

Those are smart, interesting guys – well, except for Phil Donahue. Doug Wilder was the first and only black ever elected governor of a state (a Southern state, Northern liberal racists will note). If they were conservatives their shows would flourish – hell, certified brainless idiots Oliver North and G. Gordon Liddy succeeded with conservative radio talk shows. Yet people get liberal dogma fed to them already in the “mainstream” newspapers and TV news. A specifically liberal outlet is redundant, it would be like starting a specifically pro-Saddam news outlet in Iraq. People flock to conservative media because they like to get both sides of the story and pick which one the believe. The fact that Rush Limbaugh has been the unchallenged king of political talk radio for well over a decade and Fox News is #1 in cable news simply shows who Americans believe and who they don’t.

It’s simple supply and demand, folks. People want conservative viewpoints on the news since that’s the viewpoint they trust. It’s not that they are ignorant of the liberal slant, it’s impossible to avoid the liberal slant, they’ve simply rejected the liberal slant. People aren’t brainwashed by Rush and Fox News into being conservative, being conservative they trust Rush and Fox News more than Peter Jennings and CBS News.

“Don’t like the message? We’ll tart up the messenger.”

“During the last 10 years the opposition has become more organized and the liberals haven’t adapted to counter it,” Steven T. Kirsch, chief executive of the Propel Internet service and a Democratic fund-raiser tells Rutenberg. Discussing a new foundation he’s interested in backing to “counteract” the Heritage Foundation Kirsch says “we will have components that will include messaging, message delivery and coordination of progressive groups so progressives will speak with more of a unified voice.”

Steve, you can save your money. It doesn’t matter what voice you liberals use to try to convince Americans that 9/11 was our fault, that Yasser Arafat is a force for peace in the Middle East and that higher taxes and more government are good things since the government knows what’s better for us and our money than we do ourselves, we’re not going to agree with you on any of it.

Neither are we going to believe as you try to tell us that the Palestinian problem is all Israel’s fault. We’re not going to agree with you that sympathizing with Muslim terrorists is the right thing to do and that if we do so they’ll stop hating and killing us. We’re not going to agree with you that God and religious faith have no place in public life.

Americans don’t agree with you liberals that past injustices against one group of people justify future injustices against another group of people. We don’t accept cheapjack publicity pimp hustlers like your friends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as “civil rights” activists. We don’t believe as you do that it’s impingent upon whites to solve problems blacks can solve for themselves.

Americans don’t agree with you liberals that criminals should have more rights than non-criminals. We don’t think, as you do, that wealth is “distributed” instead of “earned.” And we’re never, ever going to agree with you that America’s no better than Iraq, that Christianity’s no better than militant Islam and President Bush is no better than Saddam Hussein.

We’ve lived with welfare being promoted as an acceptable, dignified alternative to work, with single parenthood and homosexual unions being promoted as acceptable, dignified alternatives to married family life and with morality being hey, whatever works for you. We’ve seen you liberals eviscerate the importance of personal responsibility, national pride and civic duty.

It’s not that you liberal Democrats have done a poor job getting your message out. It’s that you’ve succeeded all to well in telling and showing us who you really are. The problem is we’ve lived under liberalism and we know it doesn’t work – what, you still can’t figure out Ronald Reagan? That is why we don’t listen to you and don’t vote for you: We know you.

January 01, 2003

Wedge us, please! Wedge us!

The news today is that in the New Year’s greeting North Korea is trying to “drive a wedge” between South Korea and the U.S.

Clubbeaux is more than willing to take a few whacks with a sledgehammer on whatever wedge is positioned between America and South Korea, as it would be the same as driving a wedge between his butt and a particularly painful hemorrhoid.

Somebody, please, tell Clubbeaux why on earth America needs South Korea as an ally. Oh South Korea’s need for America is plain – without America back in the ‘50s the whole place would be one large North Korea, and without the continued American military presence today the North could invade whenever they so chose. Seoul’s only 50 miles from the DMZ, easily reachable by missile. But what does South Korea do for us other than drain our military, dump cheap government-subsidized goods here to undercut American business and hold massive We Hate America protests?

Our valued South Korean allies thanking the U.S. for fighting the Korean War, without which they’d be eating bark off trees like the rest of the North Koreans.

Right now nobody outside the Islamic world hates America more than South Korea. There’s more warmth towards America on the streets of Tehran than the streets of Seoul. Russians are practically our blood brothers compared to South Koreans. Witness a few examples from the Korea WebWeekly, which purports to be “An independent, non-partisan, FREE web on all things Korean.” Here’s a “news” blurb chosen at random:

The One- Million March for Peace in Korea on New Year's Eve.

Hey, there’s an original name. Who says Asians can’t innovate? Of course it would’ve been more impressive if they weren’t incapable of even stealing a name correctly. So we have Koreans stealing an American name for an American concept – the candlelight march/vigil – with American terminology to protest… America. No doubt participants will be wearing American-style clothing, listening to American rap music, hoping to get into American universities and – the Holy Grail – a job paying in American dollars.

“Peace – No More War in Korea!”

Gee, according to my calendar there hasn’t been any war in Korea for… let’s see now, 1952, 1953… call it 50 years now, thanks to the U.S.

On the last day of 2002, candle-light marches, in memory of the two school girls slain by the US military and for an overhaul of the one-sided SOFA…

“One-sided” is pretty accurate, since the only “side” capable of keeping North Korea out of South Korea is the American military. If America were to leave – which we should – the South would hold out about as long as South Vietnam held out against Ho Chi Minh.

Of course the big deal these days in South Korea, The Reason To Hate Everything American is that two Korean girls were killed by an American military vehicle in a traffic accident in 2002. This, mind you, in a country where traffic fatalities increased from 37,000 in 1970 to 290,481 in 2000. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for people under 29. How many of them were caused by American troops? You do the math.

Koreans are such terrible drivers that in 1999 the Prime Minister’s office formed a special commisssion to try to find ways to bring the death toll down. “As currently available information reveals, Korea’s crash rate is much higher than those of industrialized countries,” concludes Prof. Bong-min Yang of Seoul National University. No kidding: South Korea boasts the highest number of traffic fatalities per capita in the world. No doubt American servicemen are statistically the safest drivers on the road. But two girls were unfortunately killed by an American military vehicle so there’s hell to pay.

… are being held in Seoul and 60 other locations in South Korea, and more than 30 locations overseas. Following the 100,000 candlelight march of December 14, today, on the eve of 2003, one million marchers are expected to join peaceful marches.

According to news reports about 20,000 actually showed up. In other words, about as many as attended The Reverend of Islamic Hate Louis Fakerhan’s “Million-Man March.”

Had enough? Here’s another one:

Anti-US sentiment is on the rise in South Korea. This does not mean that the Korean people hate the American people but rather, they hate some of the American policies on Korea, dating back to the 1800s. Now is the right time for America to recognize Korea as a proud independent nation and stop treating Koreans as “gooks” or “bed-warmers.”

I’ll personally pay any South Korean $100 if he can show how American policy of the 1800s is having a deleterious effect on his daily life today, and another $100 if he can convince me that his life would be better off without America in South Korea today.

And if Koreans want to be recognized as a “proud independent nation” maybe they can start acting like one – stop sending everybody with half a brain to America for university and develop some decent education on their own, take care of their own defense instead of having America guarantee it and pay for it, and find a solution to their security issues other than running to America with wet pants to make the big bad North Koreans go away, develop their own contemporary culture instead of ripping off everything American – the most popular anti-U.S. songs in Korea are, predictably, badly-copied American rap. Asian innovation at work.

Boy, if North Korea’s trying to divide us from the sort of parasitic “ally” who takes and takes and takes and never does jack for America except kick us in the butt while they’re demanding we protect them from North Korea, all Clubbeaux can say is hand me the sledgehammer and point me towards the wedge.

A problem the proud, independent nation of South Korea can damn well handle their own proud, independent way.

Wealthy doctors strike for even higher pay.

Things are usually pretty straightforward here at Clubbeaux: Yasser Arafat’s a vicious, filthy little terrorist thug, Daniel Snyder would look good strapped in the seat next to him on a plane losing altitude over Siberia and Iroda Tulyaganova is our favorite women’s tennis player.

But this morning Clubbeaux’s confused. No, I had two weak Scotch and waters on the rocks last night, that’s not it. I mean it appears that doctors and the insurance industry are at each other’s throats again, and frankly Clubbeaux doesn’t know whose house to pox.

Clubbeaux’s wondered for some time why insurance companies allow rising medical costs to cornhole them year after year. Why don’t they say look, we’re going to pay this amount period, like the government does? Maybe it’s like the racket of higher education, where they can keep raising their premiums faster than costs go up and blame it all on rising costs and trust in the innate gullibility of the American public not to notice.

Anyway, some surgeons in West Virginia have had it up to here with seeing their malpractice rates skyrocket and have decided to do something about it – namely, do nothing. Here’s where it gets confusing. Let’s go through the AP article and figure out who’s the scum-sucking ratbag here:

WEIRTON, W.Va. - Surgeons at four hospitals began a strike Wednesday to protest malpractice insurance costs, and most operations in northern West Virginia were canceled or were being moved. In Pennsylvania, a similar walkout was averted.

Bad. Doctors on strike is A Bad Thing. So far so clear.

At least 24 surgeons in the coming week will begin 30-day leaves of absence at Wheeling Hospital, Ohio Valley Medical Center, Weirton Medical Center and Reynolds Memorial Hospital, according to numbers provided by the hospitals.

Emergency rooms remained open, but the action was forcing the diversion of most elective and trauma surgeries to hospitals in Morgantown, Ohio or Pennsylvania.

Oh okay, not so bad. Emergency rooms are open, all nose jobs and boob implants are being put off. Clubbeaux’s stomach settles. Clubbeaux’s not exactly sure what sort of “trauma” surgery isn’t handled in emergency rooms, but figures if you don’t go to the emergency room for it, well, it probably isn’t all that… traumatic.

With the holiday, patients likely won’t feel the impact until next week. But the surgeons expect lawmakers to get their message: From insurance rates to liberal liability laws, the state has created a hostile working environment, and doctors are ready to leave.

Translation: Thanks to a few sharp lawyers doctors aren’t making as much money as they’d like to be making and insurance companies are laughing all the way to the bank. Clubbeaux’s not sure which is more revolting, seeing insurance company profits going up or $250,000-a year doctors who write off medical “conferences” in Barcelona as professional expenses bitching about not making $300,000 a year.

Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, surgeons around the state backed off their threat to close their practices Wednesday just hours before they were scheduled to walk off the job. Strike plans were canceled after Gov.-elect Ed Rendell promised to fight for $220 million in aid for doctors this year. The aid offer is tentative.

What? What? Multimillion-dollar welfare for upper-class professionals being piped directly to insurance company wallets? Taking $220 million of taxpayers’ money and shoveling it to doctors making only $250,000 a year but who’d fancy making $300,000? Wrong. Definitely Bad. Clubbeaux hates the greedy doctors. Socialize the whole thing and put the greedy bastards on $65,000 a year.

Rendell, a Democrat,

That explains it. Even when it’s benefiting a group who probably votes Republican a Democrat simply can’t turn down a good opportunity to flush a few million down a toilet marked “Welfare.”

doesn’t take office for another three weeks and still must persuade a Republican-controlled Legislature to accept his plan. But there were signs that the offer had averted a large-scale work stoppage. “We are going to go back to work,” said Margo Opsasnick, chief executive at Delta Medix, one of several Scranton surgical groups that had planned to close Jan. 1 because of high insurance costs. “We are going to take Mr. Rendell’s offer as one of good faith, and keep seeing patients,” she said Tuesday.

Gee, thanks for taking care of sick people. What, that payment on the Jersey Shore beach house coming due? Clubbeaux hates the greedy doctors.

Other physician groups around the state followed suit. Scranton’s biggest hospital, Community Medical Center, notified state officials Tuesday that its neurosurgeons had also agreed to keep working, avoiding a planned closure of northeast Pennsylvania’s only trauma center. “It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders,” said hospital spokeswoman Jane Gaul.

“Whew, for a minute there we thought we weren’t going to be able to afford that two-week ski trip to Switzerland this year.”

No such relief came to surgeons in West Virginia. “There’s no quick fix to this,” Dr. Jeffrey Wilps said after he and other surgeons met for more than an hour Tuesday with state Insurance and Retirement Services Director Tom Susman. “They’re just trying to pacify the physicians now. They don’t realize it’s come to an acute crisis situation,” Wilps said. “West Virginia is chasing the doctors — and the businesses in general — out of the state.”

Warning. Danger, Will Robinson, danger. Whenever someone making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year starts grousing about being run out of the state the BullSh*t Detector starts beeping.

Most of the surgeons are insured through a special program created by lawmakers last year. The program recently reduced rates for those policies, but some premiums are still among the highest in the country — up to $133,978, for neurosurgeons.

Dang. Just when you had the whole thing sewn up… that’s an awful lot, for the tiny fraction of neurosurgical lawsuits insurance companies have to actually pay out. Note: Get research staff to find out how much was actually paid out in neurosurgical claims in West Virginia last year – insert West Virginia joke here – and compare it to the rise in insurance premiums. Clubbeaux suspects the doctors have a case after all.

Susman spent Tuesday trying to head off the strike but repeatedly found surgeons reluctant to wait for legislative solutions. Lawmakers convene next Wednesday in Charleston. Surgeons in Weirton said Susman asked them to postpone their walkout until Feb. 1, a delay several found unacceptable.

Just like with every one of the major league baseball strikes it’s about the principle of the thing, it’s not about the money, right guys?

“If we stay silent until Feb. 1, and nothing happens, then they pass us by for another year,” said Dr. Samuel Licata, who plans to join the walkout by taking a leave of absence beginning next Monday. Licata, a board-certified general surgeon for seven years, has seen his annual premiums soar from $18,000 to $58,000 without a single lawsuit filed against him.

Okay, Dr. Licata has a case. Clubbeaux hates the greedy insurance bastards.

He urged the state to enact laws that make it harder to sue and cap damage awards. “People don’t understand. Yes, doctors do make a lot of money. But this isn’t about us trying to make more money,” Licata said. “It’s about trying to keep our heads above water.”

You mean about as far above water as your head is on a 20-foot yacht? You had us for a minute there, doc. Of course it’s about you trying to make more money. What do you think we are, stupid?

The baseball strike in scrubs.

Bottom line: This is just the baseball strike with scalpels instead of bats. It’s the millionaires against the billionaires and the only given is that the guy trying to raise a family on five figures a year will take it in the shorts from both sets of rich greedy bastards with higher medical costs, higher insurance rates and, if this idea of doctor welfare catches on, higher state taxes. Unfortunately we can’t just walk away from medical care like we can from baseball.

But what I can’t figure is how a work stoppage hurts insurance companies. What are the surgeons demanding? That premiums come down? Oh sure, hold your breath, guys. No, they’re demanding that the state pay the premiums for them so they can take home higher pay. No doubt the doctors’ lobby and the insurance lobby got together and said “Hey, to ratchet up this daisy chain we’ve got going we need some deep pockets to pick. Businesses are getting wise and cutting back on health benefits so... hey, why don’t we screw the state? Threaten to withhold care, bitch and moan about how we’re being run out of the state, give ‘em the standard shirt rap. They’ll cave, what choice do they have? I’m a doctor and I want a new Porsche, screw ‘em.”

How much more money are doctors making than their patients? Lots more. In 2002, according to the May/June issue of Unique Opportunities the lowest median income described for doctors, pediatricians, is $143,000 a year. That’s over two and a half times the median income for all Americans. Diagnostic radiologists, far from the most lucrative medical specialty, average $262,000 a year. Guess what a brain surgeon makes.

Look, if doctors don’t want to deal with high insurance premiums they can damn well go teach in med school or get a cable TV show. If they want to cash the big paychecks they need to get used to paying fair market rates for insurance. If they think malpractice rates are out of line, if there’s a true market opportunity there, they can start their own low-cost provider and clean the other guys out. If they want to rein in the malpractice lawyers more power to ‘em, refuse to provide lawyers with medical attention for all I care but doc, don’t hold patients’ health hostage just because you’re not making as much money as you wish to be making. The only thing that does is expose you for the contemptible greedhead you are.

Carnival of the Vanities.

Clubbeaux thanks Solonor and BlogCritics for including Clubbeaux’s suggestion that maybe we should be gunning for Saudi Arabia, not Iraq in the latest Carnival of the Vanities as well as our much-commented upon tribute to The Clash's Joe Strummer and our congratulations to Pete Rose for finally making it into the Hall of Fame. As always, lots of good stuff on the Carnival, which is a great intro to some of the better blogs out there, so check it out.

And it’s not on the Carnival, but Bleeding Brain has a good piece this morning on how it’s the leftists who threw R.O.T.C. out of elite colleges and who protest the military recruiting at elite colleges who in their usual wilfully ignorant way most loudly decry the military for being the preserve of the poor, with few elite college graduates represented.

First music of 2003 on the CD player here at Clubbeaux’s office complex: Paderewski’s Symphony in B minor (Polonia), in a recording by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jerzy Maksymiuk, Hyperion LC7533. Most emotionally moving symphony Clubbeaux’s heard. One can’t live on such a rarefied plane, however, and now it’s back to Live Rust.

And while Clubbeaux was really hoping to be nominated for NFC Defensive Player of the Year, he’ll take being nominated as one of the Most Intriguing Bloggers of 2002.

Why Palestinians are dysfunctional.

Anyone wondering why Palestinians are so intractable in their hatred for Israel and the Jews and are so incapable of functioning as a decent, ordered society need only consider what Palestinian children are taught in school.

The following is from Nonie Darwish, an American of Arab/Muslim origin and a former editor and translator. Her e-mail is noniedarwish@hotmail.com. The entire article is worth a read at FrontPage. (Thanks to Tex at Whacking Day for the heads-up – and thanks, Tex, for promoting Clubbeaux in your blogroll from “Doesn’t Suck” to “Beautifully Wicked.”)

I hope that my story will shed light on the truth in the Middle East to every American, especially to those who subscribe to the erroneous idea that US policy in that region must have caused Islamic and Arab hatred of the West.

My father, who was not a Palestinian, was a very prominent military officer in the Middle East, I will not mention the country for personal reasons. His job was to mobilize Palestinian forces into Israeli territory and cause as much death and damage to Israel as possible.

As a small child in the 50’s, I remember the horror of being told not to take any candy or fruit from any stranger since it could have a bomb in it. Our house was surrounded with security, a couple of times our train trip was cancelled because the train tracks were bombed. I remember sleeping nights under the bed fearing the sound of bombs and explosions.

I remember going to a Palestinian preschool and kindergarten and the word “Jew” instilled terror and dread into the core of my very being. A Jewish person was portrayed like less than human, a dog, an evil alien from outer space who was about to destroy the world. Jews, they said, had no home because they were cursed by God and the main mission of Islam was to get rid of Jews. As a small child I remember once, at a Palestinian school, asking “why?” The response was that I was a traitor for asking this question and would go to hell, and for the rest of the day the girls in the school did not talk to me.

The education was mainly political, teaching kids the hatred of Israel. Arabic poetry was recited daily, with tears in Palestinian children’s eyes, on how Palestine was taken from them and how they will retaliate and even die to get it back.

Have this sludge force-fed into your brains every day at school for years and you’d grow up a dysfunctional witless basket case too. As Darwish shows not only are they not taught to think, they’re taught not to think.

I’m reading Robert Spencer’s Islam Unveiled now, a solid, workmanlike book obviously rushed into print, but still with lots of valuable insight. He cites the experience of Jack Kelley, a USA Today reporter looking in on a Hamas school – one of the “social services” they run – and seeing a boy of eleven giving a report to his class:

“I will make my body a bomb,” said the boy, “that will blast the flesh of Zionists, the sons of pigs and monkeys… I will tear their bodies into little pieces and will cause them more pain than they will ever know.” His classmates shouted in response “Allah Akbar!” and his teacher shouted “May the virginis [in Paradise] give you pleasure.”

That kid got his “A” for the day. Career Days at Palestinian schools must be fairly predictable affairs. No, Palestinians are not people just like you and me. They’re carefully trained not to be.

(Parenthetically does it strike anyone else that maybe this is why women must be so devalued in Islamic culture? Mothers and wives wouldn’t let their kids knowingly grow up to be human bombs, but if boys are trained that what the women in their lives say doesn’t mean anything they’re that much less likely to heed it. Darwish touches on this in her essay.)

This isn’t only Palestine, but the general Islamic approach to “education,” which is not to teach people to think but simply to program what you want to program in their brains. Clubbeaux noted a few weeks back that there are just south of a million students – boys, of course – at Pakistani Islamic schools around the country. The Wall Street Journal sent a reporter over to see what sort of “education” they were receiving. In the Journal‘s October 2, 2001 issue is printed a chilling interview with an 11-year-old attendee of one of these schools.

The boy is asked whether a man has ever walked on the moon. “This isn’t possible,” he answers. What is two times two? Silence. (Eleven years old, now.) Eager to impress, though, he announces that he knows dinosaurs exist: “The Jewish and American infidels have created these beasts to devour Muslims.”

This is the “education” millions of Muslim children are receiving. Think this poor young man is going to grow up equipped to decide for himself whether he wants to hate Israel and America or not?

December 31, 2002

Happy New Year!

The Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand, explodes in a flurry of fireworks at the stroke of midnight Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2003.

Raise a glass to scientific research.

When science isn’t scaring you to death with saccharin warnings and recommending oat bran it can actually turn out some worthwhile studies. From today’s New York Times:

Thirty years of research has convinced many experts of the health benefits of moderate drinking for some people. A drink or two a day of wine, beer or liquor is, experts say, often the single best nonprescription way to prevent heart attacks better than a low-fat diet or weight loss, better even than vigorous exercise. Moderate drinking can help prevent strokes, amputated limbs and dementia.

What are the caveats? Excessive drinking is, as always, associated with just about every ill known to man. Science has known for thirty years that moderate drinking is good for you but didn’t like the fact – thirty years ago, the Times says, health officials were so uncomfortable with this idea that a federal agency tried to suppress early data on alcohol’s beneficial effects.

The cardiac benefits of low-dose alcohol are evident in study after study. All over the world, moderate drinkers have healthier hearts than teetotalers, with fewer heart attacks from fatty plaque clogging the heart’s arteries and blocking blood flow.

In countries like the United States where heart disease is a major cause of death, this translates into a survival advantage: moderate drinkers live considerably longer on average than nondrinkers.

“The science supporting the protective role of alcohol is indisputable; no one questions it any more,” said Dr. Curtis Ellison, a professor of medicine and public health at the Boston University School of Medicine. “There have been hundreds of studies, all consistent.”

Some highlights:

- In a study of more than 80,000 American women, those who drank moderately had only half the heart attack risk of those who did not drink at all, even if they were slim, did not smoke and exercised daily. Moderate drinking was about as good for the heart as an hour of exercise a day. Not drinking at all was as bad for the heart as morbid obesity.

- In thousands of middle-aged Danish men with high cholesterol, moderate drinkers had 50 percent less risk of developing heart disease from blocked arteries than abstainers.

- Among more than 100,000 California adults, moderate drinking after age 40 was associated with reduced death rates during every subsequent decade of life in some people by as much as 30 percent.

Fighting the ATF for the truth.

A couple years ago Dr. Michael Gough reviewed the scientific research on alcohol and health, finding that moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages appears to have significant health benefits for large portions of the population. The analysis of the scientific literature was done by Gough on behalf of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Gough’s report was submitted in early December 1998 to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in support of a court case brought by CEI and Consumer Alert.

The two non-profit groups had filed suit in 1996 against the ATF for its ban on truthful information on labels about the health benefits of moderate drinking. Currently, only warnings about the potential dangers of alcohol consumption are allowed on alcoholic beverage labels.

Gough, who has published extensively on various aspects of health policy, epidemiology and health risk assessment, noted that research articles published in prestigious scientific journals provide strong evidence that moderate alcohol consumption seems to benefit all people above the age of 35, except for those groups who should avoid alcohol altogether.

The largest U.S. study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1997 (Michael J. Thun, Richard Peto et al, “Alcohol Consumption and Mortality Among Middle-Aged and Elderly U.S. Adults,” NEJM 337: 1705-1714), according to Gough, found that “Moderate alcohol consumption reduced deaths from CVD by 30 to 40 percent in men . . .” and “reduced CHD mortality about 30 percent.”

So sometimes, then, the news is good. Happy New Year, all.

America’s Most Worthless “Ally.”

In the spirit of President Herber Hoover’s half-serious statement that “The President ought to be allowed to hang two men every year without giving any reason or explanation,” Clubbeaux would like to propose a series of New Year’s Resolutions that each year America cut all but the barest essential ties with whichever country’s deemed to be our most worthless “ally” that year.

That the first country axed needs to be Saudi Arabia, of course, goes without saying. That needs to happen yesterday. Saudi Arabia’s about as worthwhile an “ally” to the U.S. as Draco Malfoy is to Harry Potter. Nevertheless, Clubbeaux nominates this year’s Most Worthless “Ally” to be South Korea.

Here’s an editorial cartoon from the Chosun Ilbo, Korea’s most widely-read daily newspaper. The picture depicts Korean president Kim Dae-jung caught between America and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il. Kim Jong-il is labeled “Axis of Evil,“ and Uncle Sam is labeled “the Embodiment of Evil,” a label given to the United States by one of President Kim’s top lieutenants.

Today’s news is that South Korea opposes North Korea’s nuclear arms program, but criticizes America’s efforts to quash the North’s nuclearization.

“We will work closely with our allies to solve this Korean peninsula problem,” says President Kim Dae Jung, “and we will firmly oppose North Korea’s nuclear arms program, but no matter what, we will pursue a peaceful solution. We cannot go to war with North Korea, and we can’t go back to the cold war system and extreme confrontation.”

This is Tweety Bird thumbing its nose at Sylvester while sitting between the paws of a huge bulldog, then urging the bulldog to get rid of Sylvester via “peaceful” means. “Peaceful solution,” as in all South Koreans joining hands and singing “Kum Ba Yah” to their Northern cousins?

Korean “students” protesting all things American at a July 27 demonstration in Seoul. Demonstrating the risks they’re willing to take for their strong beliefs Korean protesters cover their faces with masks to avoid identification, which might prevent them from obtaining a visa to get a graduate degree from an American university.

First question: Why is North Korean nuclear proliferation America’s concern? Answer: It isn’t. What do we care if they lob nukes into China? So what? We “care” about South Korea and Japan, why I don’t know. All Japan’s ever done for us is bomb Pearl Harbor and make money off of exporting to America via government-subsidized production. The reason the Japanese government can afford to subsidize Japanese business, of course, is that we pay for their national defense instead of expecting the Japanese to do it themselves.

But I’m really stumped when it comes to why we should give a damn about South Korea. If anything they’re more aggressive now about undercutting American products with government-subsidized exports, but anti-Americanism is much more pronounced in South Korea.

Take the World Cup. The American players were booed everytime they touched the ball, which didn’t happen to the opponents in Korea’s other matches. Stadium officials confiscated dozens of banners with death threats and 9/11 insults. American fans at the match were kept under tight police protection.

Then there was the little affair on February 19, days after a top lieutenant of President Kim Dae-jung called George W. Bush “the embodiment of evil” when a group of 20 anti-American terrorists wielding steel pipes seized control of the offices of the American Chamber of Commerce in Seoul.

The attackers were so brazen that they videotaped the event and posted it on the Internet at ohmynews.com. The video shows them threatening AmCham’s executive director Tammy Overby hostage and her staff with metal pipes and marching them out of the office.

Then the students got down to work. The tossed computers into a pile against the door and smashed a huge plate glass window. In the words of International Herald-Tribune reporter Don Kirk, the office was “trashed.”

However, the Korean courts and press did not see the act as anything to raise a fuss about. The vandals were not given two years of probation and no criminal records and were not required to pay damages. The Korea Herald blamed Bush’s policies for the attack and called the U.S. embassy’s request for the names of the perpetrators an “overreaction.”

One of a slew of Korean anti-American bestsellers post-9/11. This one, titled Gangster America, follows the standard line in blaming the attacks on America itself.

Why South Koreans Hate Americans.

Anti-Americanism has been rising in South Korea, reports The New York Times, especially among the young – precisely those who have benefited the most from America’s protection and largesse lo these past 40 years.

Angry demonstrations against the American military here are revealing a broader strain of anti-American feelings, especially among young people, the Times reports:

Many South Koreans resent what they see as American condescension, from an era that younger people here do not even remember. These days, South Korea has Asia’s second-most-dynamic economy, after China’s. Half the people here in their 20’s are in college or have degrees, and the country has such large foreign currency reserves that it doles out foreign aid.

South Koreans can rattle off a string of American slights and insults: a Winter Olympics medal taken away from a South Korean skater, a joke in poor taste on an American television show, a lukewarm reception given their president in Washington last spring and the daily friction of 37,000 American troops in one of the world’s most densely populated nations.

If that isn’t the most inane, childish, immature, self-obsessed, ignorantly petulant set of things over which to be protesting the country footing the bill for 37,000 soldiers allowing you to maintain your affluent lifestyle, I don’t know what is. A non-American referee’s decision at some obscure sport everybody only hears about at the Olympics? A “lukewarm” reception given to yet one more minor country’s president coming to Washington to rattle his tin cup in our faces? Then there’s this load of crap:

“It is absolutely necessary to eradicate the toadyism toward the United States,” Chun Chu Song, an economics professor with an American doctorate, wrote last week in the daily JoonAng Ilbo (Korean for “Anti-American Tripe Written By American-Educated Koreans”). “A conference in Korea is considered enlightening if a famous American scholar attends, no matter what he says.”

Given that South Koreans contribute a tiny fraction of what Americans contribute to world culture, science and intellectual development, and do so under the umbrella of American protection and usually with – as in Mr. Chun’s case – the benefit of American educations, I’d say Mr. Chun’s on the money here. I sure can’t imagine any reason for a famous American scholar to attend any conference in Korea except to get a free vacation out of it. Note also that Mr. Chun was careful to get in his own personally-beneficial stint toadying to America’s superior education before he starts slamming all things American, as someone might find him an ignorant, hypocritical little asswipe for spouting this drivel in Cambridge or New Haven.

Korean vandals trashing the offices of the American Chamber of Commerce in Seoul. Korean officials refused to punish the criminals, labeling American requests for justice an “overreaction.”

“Tonight, Tuesday night, New Year’s Eve, organizers hope to convert Seoul’s traditionally festive downtown New Year’s Eve into a vigil and an anti-American protest attended by one million people,” the Times reports. “Earlier this month, similar mass vigils helped elect Roh Moo Hyun as president. Mr. Roh, a liberal labor lawyer who will take office on Feb. 25, won a much higher percentage of the vote from people under age 40 than from older people.”

Now here comes the kicker:

“Now, though, recognizing that the country’s security and economy depend in large measure on the American ties, he is asking protesters to use ‘self restraint:’ ‘To take care of the North Korean nuclear problem is a matter of national survival.’”

Eerily reminiscent of another virtually worthless American “ally,” Germany: Get elected by bashing America, all the while knowing that without America you’re toast. But don’t try to tell the people that, oh no, bash away until the day after elections when you can safely start talking about the need for constructive dialogue and improved relations, which usually involve demanding more protection, money, concessions, whatever from America.

For an enlightening pictoral gallery of South Koreans burning American flags, spray-painting American flags on walkways at universities, celebrating anti-American rap songs and bestselling books, praising Osama bin-Laden and other expressions of friendship from our South Korean “ally” click here.

Be sure to read about the Hate U.S.A. festivals, family affairs with an American flag shooting gallery for the Korean leaders of tomorrow, balloons with ridiculous anti-American slogans and rappers singing the ever-popular “Fuck U.S.A.” song. Bring the wife and kids.

The Times interviewed a certain Kim Hyo Jin, a 26-year-old university student, was seeking participants for the New Year’s Eve anti-America rally. “When we ask whether these people are protecting us or not, the answer would be no,” she said, displaying photos of two girls killed by an American military vehicle earlier in the year. Ms. Kim did not display the photos of hundreds of other innocent bystanders killed in Seoul traffic accidents, however. Can you imagine that? A whole country of Korean drivers? I’ve got any amount of money to say that statistically American military drivers are the safest drivers on the road there.

“Many young South Koreans do not understand why American troops are stationed here,” the Times says, which shows how responsibly Korean schools teach Korean history if they don’t explain that without tens of thousands of Americans dying in the Korean War the whole place is one big North Korea.

But if it’s any consolation to them Clubbeaux is wondering the exact same thing. Pull all the troops out, make ‘em pay for their own defense like a responsible country would, strip ties to the diplomatic minimum and let the ingrates find a peaceful solution with North Korea themselves. Let Tweety Bird negotiate with Sylvester on his own.

Happy Holidays from your local Muslim terrorist.

Merry Christmas…

Two assailants covered in traditional women’s garb tossed a grenade at a small church during Christmas services in a Pakistani village, killing three people - one of them a girl - and wounding 11 others, police said. All of the dead and most of the wounded were women or girls, police said. The attack occurred in the village of Chianwala, in Daska township about 65 kilometres northwest of Lahore.

Security also was heightened in Indonesia where police seized almost 250kg of a fertiliser - able to be used in explosives - that they said was to be delivered to a fugitive bomber.

They said the cache of ammonium nitrate seized in Palu, about 1500km northeast of Jakarta, was much bigger than the amount detonated in devastating blasts in Bali’s nightlife district on October 12.

… and a happy New Year:

A New Year’s Eve bomb blast at a market in the southern Philippines killed at least four people and injured 26 others, police and the military said.

The explosion was triggered either by a 60 mm mortar shell equipped with timer or a grenade place next to a stall selling fireworks in the town of Tacurong in Sultan Kudarat province on southern Mindanao island, chief police inspector Jaime Guiballa said.

It went off shortly before 8 p.m. and most of the casualties were New Year’s revelers, he said.

No one has claimed responsibility, but authorities have blamed the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front for a series of bomb attacks and an ambush that killed 30 people and injured dozens in the last two weeks in the southern Philippines.

Allah be praised. Muhammad must be so proud.

December 30, 2002

Islamic appreciation of Christian mercy missions.

Clubbeaux’s readers will remember the late November murder of Bonnie Penner Witherall, a 31-year old American woman providing free prenatal care to Islamic women in Lebanon, by Muslims. Today in Yemen the Muslim world again thanked Americans providing medical care to underserved populations by murdering an American doctor and two of her American colleagues at a Baptist mission hospital.

According to Reuters Abed Abdel Razzak Kamel, 30, was arrested and named as the killer by the Interior Ministry. Officials said he had posed as a patient and hoped the killings would bring him closer to God.

This seems to be a fairly widely-held belief in the Islamic world, that killing people brings you closer to God. It seems to be held beyond what could reasonably be called a fringe element of Islam.

The Southern Baptist International Mission Board named the victims as physician Martha Myers, 57, of Montgomery, Alabama, hospital administrator William Koehn, 60, of Arlington, Texas, and Kathleen Gariety, 53, from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, a purchasing agent. Wounded pharmacist Donald Caswell, 49, of Levelland, Texas, was recovering after an operation to remove two bullets.

A Yemeni official said Kamel told police he shot them because he believed they were Christian missionaries and he wanted to “cleanse his religion and get closer to God.”

“The gunman confessed to being a member of the Islamic Jihad group and said he shot the Americans because they were preaching Christianity,” the official said, referring to a Yemeni group unrelated to the Palestinian movement also called Islamic Jihad.

Witnesses said Kamel entered the clinic posing as a patient. When his turn came to be treated, he opened fire.

“We feel as if we were all assassinated today, especially since Martha had close ties with everyone who frequented the hospital,” said Ahmed al-Sabahi, a local Red Crescent official. “They had a humanitarian touch with the poor,” he added.

The irony, of course, is that Kamel sent three people, three genuine martyrs to heaven. Clubbeaux’s money says when Kamel himself dies there won’t be any reunion with the three due to different eternal addresses.