Monthly Archives: March 2007

My Good Fortune

Found today, in the Agricoli mailbox, the way into Economic Nirvana. All we have to do is put our trust, and ATM card, in the hands of the Chief of some Nigerian tribe (along with some important personal finanacial details). We have long been on the receiving end of such windfall e-mails, and have snorted with righteous glee at the news reports of yet more Americans being swindled by this kind of stuff. And really, how gullible are people. And yet the stories of the flim-flam man continue, removed from the small towns and two-lane highways of our great country and past times, and interjected into the great miasma of the Blogosphere.

Read and enjoy, and wonder at the boldness of the swindle and the stupidity found in the quest for easy money (Spelling and grammar as received):

Attention: (Beneficiary)

RE: Notification of Your Inheritance Fund

This is to officially inform you that we have verified your inheritance file presently on my desk, and I found out that you have not received your payment till date, due to some stringent bureaucracies.

Secondly, you are hereby adviced to stop dealing with some non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal act and will have to stoop if you so wish to receive your payment immediately.

After the board meeting held at our headquarters, we have resolved in finding a solution to your problem. As you may know, that the presidency has implemented a new policy with regards to payments to be made through an ATM Swift Card Centre in Europe, America, and Asia Pacific, which is the instruction given by our president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR) Federal Republic of Nigeria. This mode of payment has been ongoing for over a period of time which will soon come to an end, as his tenure expires at the end of May, 2007.

This ATM Swift Card Centre will send you an ATM card which you will use to withdraw your money in an ATM machine in any part of the world, but the maximum is ($10,000.00) Ten Thousand Dollars per day. So, if you would like to receive your fund this way, please do let us know by forwarding the below details to the Swift Card Payment Centre on this eamil: – swiftcard paymentcentre@yahoo.com

(1) Your full name

(2) Address where you want the payment centre to send your ATM card via DHL or Fedex.

(3) Phone and Fax number

(4) Your total fund to be received.

Instead of loosing your fund, please indicate to the Card Centre the total sum you are expecting and for your information you have to stop any further communication with anybody or office. In this regards, do not hesitate to contact me for more details and direction, and also please do update me with any new development.

Thanks for your co-operation.

Yours Faithfully,

Chief Uffort Akaette

Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Can this really work?

Continue reading

Advertisements

Democracy Hard At Work

This story in today’s Washington Post ought to serve as a useful lesson in the exercise of leadership in the Halls of Congress. As if we did not know already, some of our elected officials seem to have abandoned any notion of voting on principle on matters of national security. Apparently the House Leadership, under the capable control of Speaker Pelosi, believes that money is more important to citizens than the fate of our country:

House Democratic leaders are offering billions in federal funds for
lawmakers’ pet projects large and small to secure enough votes this
week to pass an Iraq funding bill that would end the war next year.

So
far, the projects — which range from the reconstruction of New Orleans
levees to the building of peanut storehouses in Georgia — have had
little impact on the tally. For a funding bill that establishes tough
new readiness standards for deploying combat forces and sets an Aug.
31, 2008, deadline to bring the troops home, votes do not come cheap.

And setting the standard for this kind of behavior is none other than South Carolina’s top democrat, Mr. Clyburn, who, in cracking his whip over the head of a reluctant republican, led the charge in venal politicking with this…

But votes against home-state interests will not go unnoticed. When Appropriations Committee member Rodney Alexander (R-La.) voted against the bill in committee last week, Democratic Whip James E. Clyburn
(S.C.) shot off a statement to the New Orleans Times-Picayune
declaring, "When [Gulf Coast] assistance is on the fast track, Rep.
Alexander chose to stand with his party rather than with the people of
his region."

Who said politics was supposed to stop at the water’s edge?

VIA Instapundit

Continue reading

Terrible News!

Coffee
This is bad news. I am well and truly addicted to coffee, and will suffer the headache to end all headaches if caffeine is withheld. This news sounds as if the lift I seek early each morning is merely the suppression of withdrawal symptoms. This is worse than rebound congestion, another monkey I carry around. Stop the merry-go round…..I want to get off!

Continue reading

The Information War

In a recent post I wrote about the trial of Scooter Libby, Xark wrote a nice, long comment arguing against some of the points made in my post. In my response, I commented that, among other things, the Bush administration has long since lost the information battle in both the war against the Jihadists, and the war against the Democrats (okay, war may be too strong in the case of the Dems, but Geoff may disagree). If I may quote myself:

I have, I believe, long maintained that the correctness of the Bush
Administration’s positions has been severely hamstrung by their
frustratingly inept inability to respond to criticism or attacks. The
list of missteps on virtually every policy dispute is a dreary
collection of fumbling efforts too long to recite. As we are losing the
information war on the Jihadic front, so too is the Bush administration
losing the war of ideas on the home front. AND IT’S A SHAME! Opponents
have been allowed to develop their own theses about important issues,
have spread their opinions far and wide, and the great American public
has embraced the tenets of the opposition position as TRUTH, in the
absence of a reasoned rebuttal or counter-proposal.

I mean what I write, however poorly, and along comes an article from National Review Online, courtesy of Michael Barone, that illustrates my point. He says, in part:

Most of us still see the events of the first two-thirds of the 20th
century through the words of gifted New Deal historians like the late
Arthur Schlesinger Jr., who told the story as Franklin Roosevelt hoped
and expected it to be told. And, to judge from the response to two
recent criminal proceedings, Democrats are doing it better in this
century, too.

Barone points to the prosecutions of two men entrusted with the secrets of high office in the recent past: Scooter Libby and Sandy Berger. He points out their crimes and the resultant punishment, and asks the question: Why is one crime so prominent and the other so obscure? Could it be, he asks, that the Democrats have done a better job of controlling the publicity of events?

Of Berger’s malfeasance, he writes:

The first of these criminal proceedings, not much noticed, was the plea
bargain of former national security adviser Sandy Berger for removing
classified documents from the National Archives, where he had been
reviewing them under the authorization of Bill Clinton in preparation
for testimony about 9/11.

What he admitted to doing, after first
denying it, is extraordinary. On multiple occasions he removed
documents from the room where he was reading them, concealed them in
his pants and socks, hid them at a construction site outside the
building, took them home, and, in some cases, destroyed them.

Some
of these documents may have been unique and may have contained
handwritten comments that could have looked bad in light of what
happened on September 11. I have known Berger more than 30 years and
find it unlikely that he would have done something like this on his own.

Of Libby’s criminality, Barone says:

Berger’s treatment was light compared with that of Dick Cheney’s former
chief of staff, Scooter Libby. Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald
prosecuted him for perjury and obstruction of justice for making
statements contradicted by journalists Tim Russert and Matt Cooper, and
last week, the 11-member jury found him guilty on four counts. He could
face years in jail. The case arose out of attempts by Libby and others
to refute the charges of retired diplomat Joseph Wilson that the
administration had manipulated intelligence before the Iraq war.

Wilson
is the Titus Oates of our time, a liar whose lies served the needs of a
political faction. Oates’s lie was that there was a “popish plot” to
murder King Charles II; Wilson’s lie was part of the “Bush lied and
people died” mantra that has become the canonical version of history to
much of the mainstream media and the Democratic party.

Wilson’s story, retailed to journalists and then presented in a column in the New York Times,
was that he had debunked evidence that Iraq was seeking uranium from
Niger and that his report had circulated in the highest levels of the
administration; he suggested that he had been sent to Niger in response
to a request by Cheney.

In fact, as a 2004 bipartisan report of
the Senate Intelligence Committee found, all those claims were false,
as well as his denial that his wife had recommended him for the Niger
trip.

Still, the “Bush lied and people died” mantra resonates.
Yet there was no lie. Given Saddam Hussein’s previous use of weapons of
mass destruction and his refusal to cooperate with weapons inspectors,
George W. Bush had to assume he had WMDs, just as Bill Clinton had
before him — as we were reminded by Hillary Rodham Clinton’s speech in
favor of the Iraq war resolution.

The Libby verdict in no way undercuts that. But the Republicans are running behind in the battle to write history.

If both men are guilty, and if each acted to protect their superior, which must be the only motive, is one crime worse than the other, or deserving of a different punishment? Does the punishment fit the crime in each case?

I’m just asking…..

UPDATE: TigerHawk has more…

Continue reading

The People Speak

Nancy and Harry never tire of reminding us that "the people" spoke, loudly and clearly, last November in repudiating the goals of the Bush administration. With the support of "the people", they would steer our ship of state away from the reefs of disaster that the Bush ship was about to hit. We, the electorate, would have our voices heard by the responsible element of government.

So, courtesy of Real Clear Politics, some polling data. Let’s see what the voters think, thus far:

President Bush Job Approval
Poll Date Approve Disapprove Spread
RCP Average 02/27 – 03/07 34.0% 60.0% -26.0%
Rasmussen 03/05 – 03/07 37% 59% -22%
NBC/WSJ 03/02 – 03/05 35% 60% -25%
USA Today/Gallup 03/02 – 03/04 33% 63% -30%
Newsweek 02/28 – 03/01 31% 61% -30%
FOX News 02/27 – 02/28 34% 57% -23%
Congressional Job Approval
Poll Date Approve Disapprove Spread
RCP Average 02/21 – 02/28 34.0% 52.3% -18.3%
FOX News 02/27 – 02/28 32% 49% -17%
CBS News/NY Times 02/23 – 02/27 33% 50% -17%
ABC News/Wash Post 02/22 – 02/25 41% 54% -13%
Hotline/FD 02/21 – 02/24 30% 56% -26%

Not much for either side to crow about.

Continue reading

Hmmmmm…

Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame, Lord Butler, the media…all names central to the recent controversy over the criminalization of politics in Washington. Well, let’s add Fortunat Lumu’s name to the list….for this.  An excerpt:

The International Atomic Energy Agency and foreign governments have
expressed concern about lax security at the plant, which the US has
tried to get closed for a number of years. Two years ago the Congolese
government denied reports that uranium was shipped to Iran.

In
2000, Newsweek reported that a Kenyan middleman attempted to sell
Congolese uranium to Saddam Hussein but the Iraqi leader was under too
much international scrutiny to buy it.

The IAEA has criticised
standards at the site, which is often left unguarded and is protected
only by a low fence and rickety gate. Although the reactor has been on
standby for nine years, there are 98 bars of enriched uranium stored at
the site, submerged in a pool underneath a padlocked metal grate or in
the reactor.

Two uranium rods disappeared from the facility in
the late 1970s, one of which is believed to have been found in 1998 on
its way to the Middle East via the mafia. The other was never recovered.

Say what?

H/T Captains Quarters

Continue reading

Moving On Up!

Coliseum
  Having been a contributing member of the blogosphere for about 12 months, your humble scribe has finally achieved the measure of success that comes from being noted in another blog. Apparently, the number of faithful readers has doubled, not counting yours truly, and we have been noticed by American Entropy, a fellow member of the Lowcountry Blog Roll. We were kind of hoping to be linked by, say, Instapundit, or maybe National Review Online, or my ultimate hero, The Belmont Club, but it is not, yet, to be. I guess everybody has to start somewhere, so we’ll take the attention of AE as it  comes our way with a measure of gratitude.

Apparently, some pearls of wisdom emanating from this blog caught the eye of our fellow blogger, who, according to his preferred method of debate, chose to respond by first sending out some withering words intended to insult the Agricoli, followed by linking to his side’s talking points. Fair enough. We’re big boys here in the land of Agricola, and we can take a little deconstruction of our opinions and linkage. But we’re still kind of stuck as to why debate from our associate has to first belittle before refuting. It’s not as if anything he writes is going to hurt my feelings, and gratuitous insults don’t really carry the weight of, say, parental approbation. Oh well, he’ll, hopefully, grow out of it, and we’ll look forward to a more reasoned exchange of ideas, opinions, and yes, facts. 

Meanwhile, we will continue to search the blogosphere for information to present at our place, in the sincere hope that the sweet light of reason might eventually seep into the subconscious of our enthusiastic mate. To quote our state motto: Dum Spiro, Spero.

Continue reading