Press Bias, Press Freedom

For years, the Terrapin Gazette and, to a lesser extent, The Penguin Post have stuck their knives into AP. The “news” organization is morally bankrupt. Recent evidence is provided by this opening paragraph crafted by AP’s propagandists:

WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. Jon Kyl is hosting a film screening at the Capitol building on Thursday for a far-right Dutch lawmaker who claims that Islam inspires terrorism.

The implication that Islam does not inspire terrorism is a falsehood, but AP evades that charge by hiding behind lawyerly phrasing. (A weblogger notes that AP’s opening sentence seems to come from an alternate reality that is stuck on September 10, 2001.)

What’s wrong with that? Hah! One night as well say, “A Democratic academic at the University of Alabama claims that the Thirty Years War was touched off in 1618 by some kind of brawl called — get this — the defenestration of Prague.” Is there any doubt? No, but to those who are the least bit unclear on the subject, the hint that the professor does not know his European history is neither unimportant nor unfair.

AP’s rendition of events is sleight of word. The deceit is paradoxical — for the AP is distorting the facts of a story that has to do with freedom of speech and press. Painting this “far-right Dutch lawmaker” as a bigoted liar counters the position of those who uphold the right of AP and all other news outlets to say whatever they will. AP is not intelligent enough to see that.

Once again, the press, eager to advance an ideological inanity, works against its own best interests.

Well. The far-right Dutchman is one Geert Wilders, about whom you should know a great deal.

Wilders, like most humans, holds views this newsletter does not find totally congenial. His importance lies not so much in his proposals as in how he and his work have been received. Do not make the error of assuming that a man with whom you disagree in part should therefore be deprived of the exercise of free speech and the resort to a free press. You must uphold the neutrality of the law with regard to all — yes, all — speech, and you must condemn censorship. Those imperatives are what makes Wilders so quintessentially important.

First, view his film, and realize that it has put his life at risk. This in spite of the fact that Wilders has juxtaposed truths, created no fiction, and libeled no one. He has shown us what is, and some decry that as incitement of hatred.

Fact: if you, a non-Muslim, simply quote the Koran, you may be killed for it.

Then consider the meaning of Wilders’s persecution by the United Kingdom, by his native land, and by the multiculturalist, postmodern, Jew-hating left. Also ranged against Wilders are those who blame not the murderers and rioters who protested Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses (at least one person linked to the publication of that book was assassinated, and other attempts failed) and the publication of mild cartoons of the charlatan Mohammed, but the writer, artists and editors who offended lunatic Muslims. The criminals are pardoned automatically while the victims are condemned. The ethos created by Enlightenment values is stood on its head by cowardly cretins.

Wilders is discussed in a number of posts to be found on the internet. Reliable recent sources include a report on his main proposal, aspeech in Italy, and a discussion of his views of the Koran and Islam. Finally, here’s a thoughtful piece on the equity of causes.

Wilders has his enemies among the Western elite, of course. For a slick and slippery denunciation of the man and his ideas, consult this trite, supercilious sophistry.

Remember that, like virtually all religious tomes, the Koran is self-contradictory in spots. It is, after all, a hoax generated ad hoc by a physically sick man whose ethical impulses were below the level of a hyena’s. He did the best he could, and he produced an abomination. The text is anything but architectonic, so no genuine exegesis is possible.

If someone quotes the Koran to refute what the Koran says, you know his contentions have deteriorated to an irrational, unfalsifiable and therefore irrefutable sermon. In fact he has been deceived by his own dishonesty.

Once you have done your homework, have a look at this petition, and consider how important freedom of speech is to you.

For some, that aspect of Liberty should be extended only to those who exercise a politically correct prudence. For others, the counter to obnoxious views and hate speech is a mix of facts, logic, and ethical clarity. For Wilders, who has been falsely accused of promoting hate and censorship, Liberty matters a lot more than he does.

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Last-minute addendum: the link for Wilders’s film might not work for you; if so, Google “fitna film” and try the URLs suggested.

Let’s Make Sure We Understand This Now….

There are reports that Mexican drug cartels are fighting each other and the (few remaining) uncorrupted authorities with grenades and automatic weapons. Therefore, according to Attorney General Holder, what the USA needs is a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban. How does that make sense?

The weapons the cartels like are already illegal in the USA, and have been for decades. That means it’s necessary to prohibit US sales of rifles that, years ago, were proved by well-studied experience to be insignificant as regards crime in the USA.

Oh, sure, that’s easy to understand.

Well, it’s easy to understand if and only if you posit the existence of a deceitful administration that cares nothing for inconvenient facts, fully intends to circumvent the implications of the second amendment, and panders to believers in the Utopian mythology of hard-left collectivism. Fundamental to that authoritarian dream is the disarming of the electorate.

Recall now that Obama has proposed the formation of a purely domestic military that is as well funded as the Pentagon’s establishment. (Yes, it’s true. This was reported in PenPo 39; here’s the link again. Watch and listen as the man says it. Like any fascist worthy of the name, he refers to “the national security objectives we have set.” Notice that he does not list those objectives, and that the press has never asked him to do that.) The only use for this new armed force would be to keep the residents of the nation under control.

Apologists for Obama can insist that The One just tossed that breathtaking inanity off as an idea for us to think about during the campaign. “Sure, he said it, but he did not mean it,” in other words. If that meets your standards of rationality, or if you are not concerned about the direction this administration is taking, then good for you….

…for you will be quite content in the embrace of the Organized Community.

Others may be less comfortable. Is it empty hyperbole if one extrapolates a bit and considers the probability of the outbreak of serious violence between groups of citizens and the enforcers of the Obamanation?

Addendum. — Here are two web pages with information on assault rifles: the first has basic facts and definitions, and the second, written by an academic who has studied firearms legislation and crime rates for many years, provides a clarification of the issues and statistics.

Caution — logic can easily flee when firearms legislation is the topic. Remember that if, hypothetically, 7% of firearms homicides are committed with shotguns, that does not mean that magically causing all shotguns to wink out of existence before anyone was hit with buckshot would have saved a single life. People use what is available; if you can’t get an assault rifle, you will get the virtually identical (but legal) equivalent, or use a deer rifle, or a length of pipe.

We know that imposing the assault rifle ban did not reduce firearms violence, and letting it lapse did not increase our misery. We know that many models of rifles were virtually identical to assault rifles, and were legal under the ban. We know that there are millions of assault rifles in civilian hands in the USA, and that a new ban will not reduce that number — which means that the few criminals using these weapons in pitched battles with police (which are rare) won’t be affected by the legislation Holder wants.

The idea that things will be a lot better if we just extend the ban out to the limits of the imagination is an insane fantasy — a dream that would, if realized, leave the decent person weaponless and facing armed criminals. The best anti-crime measure possible would involve training citizens how to use firearms, and licensing some of them to carry concealed pistols. The genie got out of the lamp over two centuries ago….

Models Don’t Walk Realistically And Are Neither Natural Nor Safe

First there is the phenomenon, real or imagined, that you wish to study — and eventually control. Then comes the model, which is a way of understanding it. You “run” the model, watching as its implications play themselves out. Then everything blows up in your face. Why?? Because models are not reality — they are our hubris, our illusions and delusions realized. They do not mirror reality; they mock it. They are the Frankenstein’s monsters of science, and they are stupefyingly dangerous. AGW believers, note well the lessons here.

Notes On Climate Change, The Eternal Non-Question

Now some people are talking sagely about “climate-driven migration.” It’s as if they never heard of the trilogy of a working life spent coping with snow, retirement, and Florida! The obvious is discussed in high-falootin’ lingo, in case you care.

Moving right along…Gore has vamped up his presentation yet again. The NY Times tries to report objectively on the makeover, but can’t — because it has never dealt with the basics, namely, the solid proof that carbon dioxide levels lag temperature levels. Never mind; Gore’s AGW cult has a slipshod and unscientific relationship with facts that makes evidence almost irrelevant. In fact, when Saint Al is proved wrong, rather than candidly admit his error, he just shuts up. That happened recently when he stopped talking about one of his loony claims. Slippery, deceitful rascal, he is.

Credibility can often be measured by how one deals with unknowns. For example, it’s a fact that the earth is cooling, not warming. But some observers say arctic ice is melting. That could be true, and if it is, it tells us that there is a mechanism at work that we do not understand. It probably involves ocean currents. Instead of realizing and admitting that the multiple subsystems of climate and energy flow on the earth are far too complex for the biggest supercomputer to model accurately, the AGW crowd leaps hysterically from unwarranted conclusion to invalid assumption. “The ice is melting therefore the entire earth is warming therefore mankind is causing the warming.”

That’s a literally insane cascade of assertions, and there is a great deal of evidence disproving them all. Note the illogic in AGW dogma, however: anything notable about the weather, from a hurricane to a cold snap, is taken as proof that man is fouling his nest by driving SUVs. In this madcap mindset, all evidence points to the same politically correct conclusion, and, as AGW High Priest Jim Hansen has demanded, those who point that out should be arrested and convicted of a crime (see PenPo 14, dated June 23, 2008). Too, there’s the resort of the AGW faithful to hoaxes like the hockey-stick graph, a blatant fraud reported here on the 18th of August, 2008 (PenPo 24).

Whew! The return to the sane world is rewarded by the discovery of this helpful report on the reality of climate change, as seen in glaciers, sea levels, and the causes of warming and cooling. The article is a bit technical, so rather than try to grasp each and every concept, begin your perusal by looking for mention of the impact of human activity on climate. For most folks, that’s the primary importance of this post. Then go back and work on the parts of the article that interest you.

Wrapping up…remember that climate change is one thing, and AGW is entirely another. A good analogy: there is the fact that disease exists, and there is also a belief that illness is caused by curses and can be countered by white magic.

Huge Mistake, Huge

Tilting at windmills: proving that Obama is not a natural born citizen won’t be possible. Still, there is a cogent case against this birth certificate he allowed onto the internet; certainly he chose the wrong weblog on which to do it, very unwisely surrounded the revelation with secrecy, and provided a document that does look fake. See the anti-Obama evidence on this page — it’s voluminous and, in the absence of further studies and more information, convincing. (This was all reported in PenPo Number 16.) Conspiracy theorists: take notes and discuss.

The PenPo predicts that no court in the land will come within shouting distance of this case. That is very bad news. Why? Consider the circumstances surrounding the attempt to drag the Hawaiian document out of the iron grip of the state, where the president wants it to remain….

First, Obama could put an end to the paranoia at a stroke but does not (“I won!”). That’s lousy strategy, because to some folks, it looks like a tacit admission of guilt. Second, the courts are cowardly, which is bad enough in itself, but Obama is responsible for putting them in a position that exposes their cowardice. The jurisprudential system has enough trouble (Kelo, just for openers).

As a consequence of Obama’s unrealistic and short-sighted decision to ignore the issue, the fables regarding his birth will assume a permanent position in the mythology of US politics. This is not good for the nation.

The longer the conspiracy theories remain unrefuted and above ground, the louder and more divisive the issue will become. More plaintiffs will file more suits. Every time one of those suits is rejected, doubts will grow and suspicions will expand. For increasing numbers of citizens, a gigantic conspiracy will appear to exist.

Obama should act definitively, and soon. Simply mentioning the problem in a press conference or speech will be nowhere near adequate. He must tell Hawaii to release that birth certificate for authentication by experts, and he must assist unreservedly in the total disclosure of the facts surrounding his birth. He must set the issue to rest with the demonstrable, unequivocal and complete truth.

Even if he does all of that, some die-hard conspiracists will remain unconvinced and noisy. That could have been avoided if Obama had acted months ago.

Links — The Gateways To Knowledge, Wisdom And Trenchant Mockery Of The Asses Who Have Too Much Power

Here’s the latest on Bill Moyers, who was the object of an old TG item reprinted with a new post script in PenPo Number 64.

What’s a “Kulak”? Maybe the the ultimate tax protestor. “There is nothing Obama can do about people who would rather not work than have the fruits of their labors confiscated, or who structure their lives to avoid taxation.”

Boy, what an expensive mistake! And it’s such a fine aircraft. GI, GO.

What happened, anyway? Why was the economic structure of the world a house of cards? An excellent analogy, available at this location, explains the mechanics of imprudent lending, derivatives, and the domino effect in banking. It’s supposed to be a parody, but it is accurate as to the basics. Hat tip to JY. — Want more? This guy says there are two documents you need to read if you want to understand what touched off the current economic mess.

Regarding the Oscars: remember this “rescue attempt“??

Watching Obama talk. What fun the cabinet is having.

You need a translation of what Obama said. Caution: this is not for the True Believers whose faith in The One will survive any possible critique.

More translation of The One’s message. Yes, he means what he says, and he’s sort of saying what he means. Now what do you intend to do about it?

This little gem of an appointment may be an excellent test of Obama’s power. If he can make this stick, that will just about prove he has the brass, intestinal fortitude and strength to do anything he wants. Either that or he owns the press.

This newsletter still says it’s the booze talking. Yep; more evidence here; click on “VP Biden forgets…”.

Tea parties: Tennessee, Houston, The District, St. Louis, San Diego, Atlanta, Orlando, Cleveland. Tsk, tsk.

Wow, here’s a surprise! “Palestinians” are still shooting rockets into Israel from the Gaza strip. Who could have predicted that?? And who could have predicted that press reports of the rocket attacks would dwindle to near zero, unless Israel retaliated and flattened some “Palestinian” real estate? Gosh, the world is totally unpredictable, isn’t it….

Do we need a response to the Attorney General’s rant about racism and cowardice? Probably not, because nobody cares what he said — except the folks who like to write incensed rejoinders to the howling of morons. You know, rejoinders like this. But Holder is probably not considered particularly relevant by most people. Why is that? Because the press has given him a pass…but you have heard all that before.

How bad is it? Here’s the list.

This is really going to set some people off: Sarah Palin talks about the press. Palin will be savaged and sneered at for saying these things. The PenPo believes no figure in US politics is hated more intensely, not even Carl Rove or George W. Bush. The culture war is still on….

Call it unfair, call it a shockingly callous policy to espouse, denounce it as inhumane — but this newsletter’s position is that this gift to a despicable political entity is inappropriate. End of report.

You won’t believe this report. Why the major media have not picked it up and made a big deal of it is the question people should be asking. Of course they can’t ask, because they don’t have the facts, so they don’t know what to ask about. Why don’t they have the facts? Because the press does not want them to. Notice, please, that the press is doing exactly the opposite of what the press is supposed to do — and it is doing the opposite of what the press often claims it does do. How powerful is ACORN, anyway, now that they have their man in the White House? Is ACORN above the law, above criticism, above comment? Is everybody afraid of taking ACORN on, and what do the cowards in the police departments and prosecutor’s offices and newspapers think will happen to them if they do? Who, exactly, will be sent to take care of the dissenters who believe in the rule of law? Or is there nothing to be afraid of? It would be appropriate — in a democracy — to have some answers, and only the various local, state and federal government agencies and offices can provide them.

What? Those two clowns again? Well, yes, but they aren’t funny, they are dangerous, and some people still read the magazine that figures in this wretched story, so there is probably some way to justify including this link here. Maybe.

Sure enough, it’s a demographic fact: there are zillions of unmarried females out there, pining for husbands. And because of homosexuality, marriage, crime, alcoholism, drug addiction, wasting diseases, the priesthood, mental illness, the NFL and death, there are not enough eligible men for those pathetic women. The PenPo would really, really like to help. So if you know a nice female who is no longer 18 and wants a man, send her this URL. Well, yeah, there’s only one candidate up at the moment, but that will change, ‘cuz now we gots The One. The worthies that will be appearing on this website have been thoroughly vetted by some of the sharpest minds in public service, and declared fit and proper to wander about freely and socialize. Ain’t that just hunky-dory?? You are welcome!

From The Archive

From The Terrapin Gazette, April 19, 2005, comes this nasty attack on poor old Kofi Annan and the sacred United Nations….

There Was A Time When Claudia Rosett Could Not Get Anyone To Read, Let Alone Pass On, Her Stories. Now Look How Many Wanna-Bes There Are!

Our man Kofi, the brass-bound liar/incompetent whose corrupt and unethical ways perfectly express the uncivilized sentiments of the majority of the UN General Assembly, is steamed. And who do you suppose has upset him? Why, the USA and the UK, of course! Here are a couple of teasers from a recent report:

According to Mr. Annan’s latest account, most of the money pocketed by Saddam “came out of smuggling outside the oil-for-food program, and it was on the American and British watch.”

Britain took particular umbrage at Mr. Annan’s remarks, noting that a preliminary report by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker blamed the United Nations for the debacle.

While this story looks OK, we have to issue our Standard Moonie Alert: the Washington Times is owned and run by religious nuts, etc etc, you know the rest. Exercise your judgment.

Wait, there’s more! Claudia provided what turns out to be a popular example. Here is an article that is behind registration, so we grabbed it and present it in full:

A Swiss judge is investigating possible bribery charges involving a $50 million contract to renovate the headquarters of a Geneva-based United Nations agency, according to government documents and Swiss and American officials.

Jean-Bernard Schmid, the Geneva-based judge who has led the criminal inquiry, said in a telephone interview on Friday that his investigation was focusing on Michael Wilson, who was a consultant to the company that won the renovation contract at the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Mr. Wilson, a Ghanaian businessman, has been identified by investigators as a business associate of Kojo Annan, the son of Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general. The judge said Kojo Annan was not a target of the investigation.

Investigators said the judge was trying to determine if Mr. Wilson had bribed a senior official at the United Nations agency to win the renovation contract. Edward Kwakwa, the agency’s legal counsel, said Khamis Suedi, a top official at the intellectual property agency, acknowledged having received 325,000 Swiss francs, about $270,000, from Mr. Wilson, but said the money was from a private business venture that had no connection to the agency’s construction contract. In an interview, Mr. Suedi said he had had nothing to do with the awarding of the contract.

Mr. Kwakwa said the agency’s internal regulations, which are under review, permitted agency employees to have outside business interests as long as they were reported to the agency, approved by the agency’s director and did not involve intellectual property. Mr. Suedi recently informed the agency that he was leaving in late April to pursue other activities, Mr. Kwakwa said, adding that he was not aware that Mr. Suedi had violated any rules of the agency, which registers and protects intellectual property.

Mr. Wilson did not return repeated phone messages seeking comment.

The criminal investigation was first reported Friday by Le Temps, a Geneva-based newspaper. Judge Schmid confirmed information published in the article, but declined to elaborate on details of his inquiry.

Mr. Wilson’s relationship with Kojo Annan was cited in a recent report issued by the United Nations commission investigating its oil-for-food program in Iraq. According to the commission, Mr. Wilson was a vice president at Cotecna Inspection S.A., a company that worked for the oil-for-food program, and Mr. Wilson helped get Mr. Annan a job at the company.

After both men left Cotecna, they became partners in a consulting business in Africa, according to investigators in the United States and Europe. Kojo Annan’s lawyer, Clarissa Amato, declined comment for publication.

The Swiss investigation concerns Mr. Wilson’s activities in Geneva. Mr. Kwakwa said Mr. Wilson had been an intern at the intellectual property agency “decades ago” when his father was posted in Geneva as an ambassador from Ghana. Mr. Kwakwa said that more recently Mr. Suedi told officials there that he and Mr. Wilson had been doing work that involved “benevolent, nongovernmental organizations.” Mr. Kwakwa said the outside work had been approved by the agency.

In a March interview, Mr. Suedi said that he and Mr. Wilson had done some consulting work in connection with the prospective purchase and management of hotels in Tanzania, but that it “hadn’t worked out.”

Officials said that after opening the investigation last year, Judge Schmid ordered Mr. Wilson jailed for nine days, during which investigators reviewed his computer files and bank records. Investigators said he was released after he agreed to cooperate with the inquiry and acknowledged having received a large consulting fee from the BPS construction consortium – comprising Eric S.A., Perret and Seydoux-DMB, – that renovated the headquarters. He also acknowledged having made a payment to Mr. Suedi.

The agency is one of several United Nations agencies and affiliated organizations whose management practices have recently been criticized by internal and outside reviews. A review published in February by United Nations officials in New York recommended substantial changes in the agency’s budgeting and personnel policies.

“The inspectors believe a headquarters review and needs assessment should be undertaken urgently,” says the review, a copy of which is posted on the agency’s Web site.

What’s next? We do not know, but we are certain that if the truth were known, the UN might well be destroyed. No, we shall never know the full story; in fact, we’ll be lucky to get thirty percent of it. Just our paranoid view.

We should be less cynical if it were not for the sheer number of stories that are appearing. Here’s another, found here:

Corruption in Plain View

What the latest Oil for Food indictments say about the U.N.

Saturday, April 16, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT

U.N. officials and their allies have been telling the world that the investigation into the Oil for Food scandal is all over, now that Paul Volcker has filed his second interim report. Well, on Thursday a pair of new indictments revealed that we’re only getting started.

The indictments announced by U.S. Attorney David Kelley support what the critics have long been saying: Oil for Food was designed from the beginning, and virtually in plain sight, in a way that allowed skimming and kickback operations to help Saddam Hussein circumvent U.N. sanctions.

One indictment named Texas oil trader David Chalmers, the second American indicted so far, along with Bulgarian and British business associates. The three are alleged to have paid millions of dollars in kickbacks on deliberately underpriced oil, giving Saddam access to unmonitored revenues and thereby depriving Oil for Food of humanitarian funds. (Mr. Chalmers says he’s innocent.)

In another complaint, Korean Tongsun Park was charged with acting as an unregistered agent of influence for the Iraqi government in connection with mid-1990s meetings to help design Oil for Food. Mr. Park is alleged to have received millions in payment from the Saddam regime, and the complaint suggests that he funneled that money to U.N. officials. “Park told” a cooperating witness that Park “needed money from the Government of Iraq to ‘take care’ of his expenses and his people,” which the cooperating witness “understood to mean U.N. Official #1,” says the complaint. It cites a second U.N official, whose name we also look forward to learning.

The Chalmers indictment offers a bracingly simple explanation of how the scam worked: “From at least in or about 2000, up to and including in or about March 2003, officials of the Iraqi Government conditioned the distribution of allocations of oil under the Oil-for-Food program on the recipients’ willingness to pay a secret surcharge to the Government of Iraq. . . . Iraq directed that these surcharges–representing a percentage of the total amount of each oil contract and totaling at least several hundred million dollars–be paid to front companies and/or bank accounts under the control of the Iraqi Government in various countries.”

One point to keep in mind is that much of this was known by 2001 if not before, yet the U.N. did nothing to stop it. “Every man and his dog is buying Iraqi oil,” said one oil trader quoted by the Times of London in early 2001. The same story described “total anarchy” and “flagrant disregard of U.N. Security Council resolutions” in Oil for Food. A myriad of shady middlemen had moved in after the world’s major oil companies shunned Iraq in response to Saddam’s widely publicized demand the previous year for illegal kickbacks on oil contracts.

This open and flagrant corruption–the Times story was one of many–is the best evidence of Kofi Annan’s unfitness to continue to lead the U.N. It’s not merely that it all happened on his watch, but that it was allowed to happen in plain view. A year ago (“Saddam’s U.N. Financiers,” April 7, 2004), we offered a partial timeline gathered from contemporaneous news reports of the scheme.

Highlights included the introduction of the Saddam surcharge in late 2000. In March 2001, the U.S. and Britain asked the U.N. sanctions committee to cut down the list of more than 600 operators approved to purchase Iraqi oil in order to eliminate companies paying the kickbacks. France and Russia objected. In November 2001, the U.S. and Britain made another attempt to stop the kickbacks–this time by forcing the sanctions committee to retroactively price Iraqi oil, thus making it harder for Iraq and its buyers to calculate the margin for the surcharge. In February 2002, Mr. Annan’s Oil for Food director, Benon Sevan, criticized the retroactive pricing policy, blaming it for a “financial crisis.” And so it went.

Had Messrs. Annan and Sevan spent even a tenth of the political capital on getting Saddam to run an honest relief program that they spent criticizing U.S.-British sanctions policy, much of the trouble might have been avoided.

Mr. Kelley said Thursday that he is conducting a “broad and large investigation. . . . We’re going to wring the towel dry.” By the time he finishes, we suspect the need for a thoroughgoing U.N. reform, not to mention a new Secretary General, will be demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Yes, it’s a stinking mess. What’s a nation to do? Well, perhaps the USA should name an ambassador to the UN who can take care of himself in a dark alley. That would give the Utopian one-world loons conniptions, as well as alienate all the fundamentally corrupt nations who consider the UN their passport to respectability. That’s why it is exactly the principled, civilized thing to do.

Mark Steyn has some thoughts on the current flap over Bolton’s nomination, and as always, Steyn’s thoughts are well worth reading. Pick upthe full column here. Do click on the URL, because Steyn is saying things like this…

Sen. Barbara Boxer, the Democratic Party’s comely obstructionist, has charged that Bolton needs ”anger management lessons.”

I was interested to hear about the kind of violent Boltonian eruptions that had led Boxer to her diagnosis. Well, here it comes.

From the shockingly brutal testimony of Thomas Fingar, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Intelligence Research:

Q: Could you characterize your meeting with Bolton? Was he calm?

Fingar: No, he was angry. He was standing up.

Q: Did he raise his voice to you? Did he point his finger in your face?

Fingar: I don’t remember if he pointed. John speaks in such a low voice normally. Was it louder than normal? Probably. I wouldn’t characterize it as screaming at me or anything like that. It was more, hands on hips, the body language as I recall it, I knew he was mad.

He was ”standing up” with ”hands on hips”! Who’s he think he is — Carmen Miranda? Fortunately, before Bolton could let rip with a ”pursed lip” or escalate to the lethal ”tsk-ing” maneuver, Fingar was able to back cautiously out of the room and call the FBI anger management team, ….