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The New Digs

Welcome to the new site.

As you can see, I now have a Comments section so you can flail me in public instead of only by email.

The site is brand-new so let me know if you see any kinks that need to be ironed out.

I spent all evening building this sucker so I don’t have time for any new postings just yet. But I transferred the past few days worth of posts from the old site in case you missed them.

I know it’s annoying, but you’ll need to reset your bookmarks and blog links. Sorry about that. But hey, the Web address is easier to remember now. It’s just michaeltotten.com. (I did not include my middle initial. Just my first and last name.)

Regular posting will resume as soon as possible.

Thanks, everyone, for reading. Cheers.

(Who’s going to be the first to leave a comment? Come on, folks. Don’t start me off with a troll here…)

Why the Hitch Beats the Rest

Here’s a snip from an interview with Christopher Hitchens, just back from Iraq.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, VANITY FAIR: Well, I had been there earlier this year in late March, in fact, on the southern border, briefly. And I remember then that the whole mind set of the press, you may remember it, was that it was a quagmire. It is a better story. Remember that week when Donald Rumsfeld seemed to have lost the plot? Most of my colleagues thought, “Well, that reads better.” And I remember that mentality when I was there recently. I was in north and south and central Iraq. The press is still investing itself, it seems to me, in a sort of cynicism. It comes out better for them if they can predict hard times, bogging down, sniping, attrition.

And so if no one is willing to take the gamble, as they see it, of saying actually that it’s going a lot better than it is, but it is. It’s quite extraordinary to see the way that American soldiers are welcomed. To see the work that they’re doing and not just rolling up these filthy networks of Baathists and Jihaddists, but building schools, opening soccer stadiums, helping people connect to the Internet, there is a really intelligent political program as well as a very tough military one.

GIBSON: You know, Christopher, we never hear about that.

HITCHENS: No.

GIBSON: Are they really rebuilding the schools, and rebuilding hospitals and rebuilding soccer …

HITCHENS: I’m serious. I don’t consider myself to be that credulous. I’m very sales resistant, in fact. In Mosul where I was, I left too early. I left on Monday early. If I waited 12 hours, I could have been there [when Uday and Qusay were killed]. But they weren’t just very confident about the amount of information they were being given and the number of informers and tips that were coming to them. They had more, they told me, than they could sift about that. But one of the palaces, for example, that Saddam built, he’d stolen the land for from Mosul University.

Mosul is the site of a very famous old Iraqi university. The American forces were refurbishing the place. They were going to tear down some of the outer walls, give this palace to the university. They’d also connected the university to the Internet and to the Web. Helped people contact scholars on the outside world. That was all the job of these very good- humored, very thoughtful officers who were really helping to rebuild the place.

GIBSON: You know, Christopher …

HITCHENS: I felt a sense of annoyance that I had to go there myself to find any of that out.

Read the rest.

Egypt Loves Sharon?

I wonder what backroom pressure led to this.

CAIRO – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on Saturday Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was the only Israeli politician capable of forging peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“If he has the desire for a solution, I think he is the only one, and I don’t think there is anybody else apparent on the Israeli political scene,” said Mubarak, whose country has played a major role in Israeli-Palestinian peace making.

Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. I doubt it, but I don’t know. It’s not very likely that Hosni Mubarak believes it. But he said so to a group of Egyptian students in Alexandria.

Did somebody have a nice little chat about the 2 billion dollars in aid money we give Egypt every year?

The Two Faces of American Liberalism

Bill Whittle:

Two of the most malignant and cruel mass murderers, rapists and torturers to ever walk the earth have departed the planet — and the left sneers. [I added this link. -MT]

There was a time — I can remember it clearly, though it seems a lifetime ago — when “liberals” were people who fought for humanity and human rights, people who despised murder and torture. Now, wherever we look, the people who call themselves the most “liberal” seem to be the sole remaining defenders of murder, rape and torture.

Joe Katzman:

The results of our contest to find liberals who were actually happy about Uday and Qusay Hussein’s death are in, and I’m pleased to report that many self-identified liberals did indeed have worthy things to say.

They’re both right. Some sneered, others cheered.

Joe has a list of links to those who know who the bad guys are, including yours truly.

Thanks, Joe. And thanks to the rest who know who and what to cheer for.

UPDATE: Some people are more defensive than necessary. Hesiod Theogony writes:

Hey Mike,

I’d appreciate it if you publicly apologizing for, essentially, calling me a “defender[] of murder, rape and torture.”

If you had taken more than three seconds to read my blog [and many posts on it] you’d know that was absolutely untrue. Especially the particular post you link to.

I am assumming you are completely ignorant about what I posted, and what I stand for, so am just asking you politely to stop mischaracterizing that link to me you have on your blog, and to apologize for unfairly labelling me a “defender of murder, rape and torture.”

Not only that, for the sake of your own credibility, it makes sense. When people click on that link, and read what I actually wrote, they will not think very highly of your powers of description or honesty.

So, if you don’t want to do it out of common courtesy, do it out of your own self-interest.

Thanks.

–Hesiod

Hesiod: I added that link because you sneered, not because I think you defended murderers. (You did not defend Uday and Qusay.) The link text says “the left sneers,” which is exactly what you did.

Enemy Propaganda

During the Iraq war I raised the eyebrows of some of my friends when I bluntly described the Arabic language TV station Al Jazeera as “enemy propaganda.”

Here’s what Iraqi blogger Salam Pax says about Al Jazeera today.

I still have hopes for the day they catch Saddam. Maybe we will have our street party then.

And I would like to add that Jazeera is the worst ever. They should be banned under Mullah Bremer’s Fatwa banning all pro-saddam/pro-ba’ath propaganda. That political analyst they have, something al-ani, is a fucking saddamite.

Thank you.

The Globalization of Gaza

I have a new Tech Central Station article up today: The Globalization of Gaza.

Quote of the Day

From Merde in France who blogs from, well, France of course.

Remember Americans, you are hated here. Hated more than the worst terrorists and murderers.

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