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Whatever Happened to Cheeta?


He’s still around – and flourishing. Sadly he has been stopped from drinking beer, a habit that reportedly reached ten pints a day, after killjoy Brigitte Bardot complained that it could damage his health. Despite that setback, Cheeta still ‘likes to go to the drive-through and get a hamburger and a Coke’.

Don’t tell the Center for ‘Science’ in the Public Interest.

Ignorance Is Lethal


R.J. Reynolds announced last week that it will reduce its workforce by 40 percent as it tries to deal with the competitive threat posed by a significant increase in demand for low-cost brands. Demand for cheap smokes has been boosted by tax hikes, and their makers’ ability to keep prices (relatively) low is helped by the fact that they are often not burdened by the tobacco ’settlement’ costs that burden more established manufacturers.

So what’s the big deal? Well, no cigarette is safe, but generics generally have far, far more of the bad stuff than the brand names. You’d think that is something that the health watchdogs would want publicized, but they don’t, lest it detract from their misleading – and dangerous – mantra that all cigarettes are equally lethal. They are not. And the cigarette companies should be allowed to say so.


Bosnia/Al Qaeda


There’s an interesting piece from the same issue of the Spectator on the role that the Bosnian conflict may have played in the development of Al Qaeda. Here’s an extract:

“According to a report in the Los Angeles Times in October 2001, from 1992 as many as 4,000 volunteers from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, ‘known as the mujahedin’, arrived in Bosnia to fight with the Muslims. Richard Holbrooke, America’s former chief Balkans peace negotiator, has said that the Bosnian Muslims ‘wouldn’t have survived’ without the help of the mujahedin, though he later admitted that the arrival of the mujahedin was a ‘pact with the devil’ from which Bosnia is still recovering.

By the end of the 1990s State Department officials were increasingly worried about the consequences of this pact. Under the terms of the 1995 Dayton peace accord, the foreign mujahedin units were required to disband and leave the Balkans. Yet in 2000, the State Department raised concerns about the ‘hundreds of foreign Islamic extremists’ who became Bosnian citizens after fighting against the Serbs, and who pose a potential terror threat to Europe and the United States. US officials claimed that one of bin Laden’s top lieutenants had sent operatives to Bosnia, and that during the 1990s Bosnia had served as a ’staging area and safe haven’ for al-Qa’eda and others. The Clinton administration had discovered that it is one thing to permit the movement of Islamic groups across territories; it is quite another to rein them back in again.

Indeed, for all the Clinton officials’ concern about Islamic extremists in the Balkans, they continued to allow the growth and movement of mujahedin forces in Europe through the 1990s. In the late 1990s, in the run-up to Clinton’s and Blair’s Kosovo war of 1999, the USA
backed the Kosovo Liberation Army against Serbia. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post in 1998, KLA members, like the Bosnian Muslims before them, had been ‘provided with financial and military support from Islamic countries’, and had been ‘bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters or mujahedin …[some of whom] were trained in Osama bin Laden’s terrorist camps in Afghanistan’. It seems that, for all its handwringing, the USA just couldn’t break the pact with the devil.”


Web Briefing: October 1, 2014

Happy Thoughts


There’s something about the prose of the great Theodore Dalrymple that is, well, bracing. Here he is in the September 13th edition of the London Spectator (article not available on the web):

Why the British want to reproduce themselves is a question which is as puzzling in its own way as that of the origin of life. Their existence is so wretched, so utterly lacking in anything reasonably resembling a purpose, so devoid of those things that make human life worthwhile (I am merely paraphrasing what thousands have told me) that it is a marvel that they should go in for children. I suppose the nearest I can come to an explanation is that they hope a child will supply the want that they feel: the triumph of hope over experience, for they soon discover that a British child merely adds chores to emptiness.”



More Salmon Madness


Distressing developments over at Stephen Pollard’s usually reliable blog, now featuring ridiculous comments about the best way to eat smoked salmon. Rye bread sandwiches make no sense at all: that’s too much bread, and, mixed with salmon, any rye flavor is too much rye flavor. One bit of advice from Stephen that’s worth noting. He’s recommending ‘pickled cucumber on the side’. Well, whatever. Just make sure that the, ugh, pickled cucumber remains safely on the side….

En Banc Set?


Howard Bashman reports on the judges who will serve on the en banc panel reviewing the California recall decision. Of note, none of the judges from the original three-judge panel are slated to hear the case en banc. If Howard’s “reliable source” is correct, it seems quite likely Californians will get to vote for a new governor next month.

For Shame


I just spent a few minutes on Nexis reviewing coverage of the recent Oath of Allegiance controversy, drummed up in part by NRO. In an Associated Press story (sorry, no link–Nexis ain’t free), Tim Edgar of the ACLU had this to say: “I think some are confused about this new oath, maybe trying to invent controversy for the purpose of casting doubt on the loyalty of new Americans and on the dedication of the immigration service, and I think that’s a shame.” What a despicable comment–a gross ad hominem attack on people like Lamar Alexander, who have expressed a sincere concern about a bureaucratic revision to an important statement. The shame is all yours, Mr. Edgar.

More Offers Congress 10 Commandments


Drinks With Gray Davis @ Mos Eisley Cantina



LOS ANGELES Gov. Gray Davis has officially validated the view in parts of the USA that the Golden State is far-out.

Meeting Sacramento voters late Wednesday, Davis praised California’s diversity: “We have people from every planet on Earth in this state. We have the sons and daughters of every of people from every planet of every country on Earth.”

The San Francisco Chronicle called this a “stumbling” remark, but it reflects Davis’ background. He started in state government in 1975 as chief of staff to Jerry Brown, whose proposal for a state-owned satellite earned him the title “Gov. Moonbeam.”

By Martin Kasindorf



John J. has so overdosed on the Digital Kool Aid. The Millers can have water!! Let there be water!! Of course, how long they have water is up to you. SUBSCRIBE to NR Digital today.

One Day, One Thing...


So, what do you believe, Gen. Clark?



So I post the item below mentioning that at least my power’s still on. Guess what happens a few minutes later. Yep, power outage. Thankfully, we were only off for ten minutes or so. But I lost about a paragraph of text that I had just written! Now I’m saving my Word doc every three minutes or so, like an obsessive. And I’m begging you people, one more time, please get NRD.

Judge Pregerson


Hugh Hewitt dissects the record of Ninth Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson, one of the three judges who enjoined the California recall.

Recall Recall Recalled?


Perhaps. The Ninth Circuit will rehear the California recall case en banc. The order is here.

Ru-486 Death?


A teen dies. Father points to RU-486. One almost hesitates telling such stories because it will be seen as trying to “politicize” a death or “taking advantage” of a death. Of course, it would be wrong not to tell such stories. It’s not the first. It’s not too widely used, mercifully, so it is hard to say how dangerous it is. But no drug that sends a woman off to bleed and expell her baby at home can be too safe–and surely isn’t a panacea to abortion debates.

Oh No, No H2o!


Just noticed that the water pressure here in Prince William County is suddenly way down–which means my neighborhood is affected by the Fairfax Count Water Authority problem. “Water, water, everywhere nor any drop to drink,” went through my head (a line I first heard in an Iron Maiden song, and only later in a Coleridge poem). At least we still have power. Next came a threatening note from NR world headquarters in NYC: “Tell the people to subscribe to NR Digital, or we’ll cut off your water!” “Too late!” I said. Their reply: “Bush doctrine! Preemptive strike!” So please, sign up now: here, here, or here.

Recall Review


The 9th circuit is officially going to rehear the recall case….so more waiting.

Canada May Go For Civil Unions


This story suggests that the next prime minister of Canada is likely to pull back from the government’s attempt to impose gay marriage on the country as a whole. Paul Martin, the man in line to be the new prime minister, is hinting that he may propose civil unions instead. Of course, Vermont-style civil unions–which are marriage in all but name–would still represent a serious setback for institutional marriage. But in light of the seeming inevitability of national, court-imposed gay marriage in Canada, a shift to civil unions would be very meaningful. In general, the intense negative reaction to Canada’s court decisions has sent a warning sign to legislators in Canada–and in the United States.

Bloomberg Vs. Bloomberg


Even NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg doesn’t like Mike Bloomberg–or at least his tax hikes.

Why You Should Subscribe to Nr Digital


NRO Digital–because the Internet should be more than just porn and stock quotes. (Dave Lynch, Colorado Springs, CO)


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