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Saturday, March 12, 2005
Public Snub

Not quite the same as keeping him out of the country, but I'd call this significant and blunt and dead on the money.

President Bush has personally ordered that Gerry Adams is refused entry to official engagements during his visit to the US, a senior presidential adviser said last night. The snub emerged as the Orange Order announced yesterday it was to sever its 100-year-old links with the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).

The US President apparently decided to give Mr Adams the cold shoulder for this year's St Patrick's Day celebrations after Mr Bush learnt that the Sinn Fein leader betrayed his efforts last year to help to restart the Northern Ireland peace process.

Mr Bush has also denied Mr Adams the chance to raise cash for his party while in the US by refusing him the category of visa which permits fundraising.

According to the Bush aide, Mr Adams has lost favour. "At the White House, Adams is now regarded with the same sort of disdain as Arafat. The President no longer considers Mr Adams a reliable partner for peace. He doesn't want to meet him," the Bush aide told The Sunday Telegraph.
Maybe Shame Will Disarm The Mafia

The WaPo waddles in very late with a silly and naive article.

Adams chose a dramatic gambit to suggest what choice he himself favored. He invited McCartney's sisters to attend the conference and hear his impassioned denunciation of their 33-year-old brother's killers. The sisters had embarrassed and shamed the party by naming names, so when they entered the hall, an uneasy silence fell over the delegates. Then, one person began to applaud. Others joined in, without much enthusiasm, as the room grudgingly acknowledged the power and importance of the outsiders in their midst.

No recognition that the IRA is a criminal band that is basically out of control. Richard Delevan and Slugger O'Toole have convinced me that Gerry Adams is Yasser Arafat in a business suit; a man powerless to control the thugs that he nominally leads.
More Details on McCartney's Killers

You gotta read deep into this article to get fresh meat:

The past records of the gang thought to be responsible for the killing go some way to explaining why these men can still prevent 72 people who were in Magennis's bar on the night of the murder from telling the truth.

Take the leading figure the IRA banished from its ranks last week. He is the former 'officer commanding' of the IRA's Belfast brigade and until a few days ago held a senior position in the terror group's 'northern command'. This man, whom the McCartney sisters claim gave the order for the assault on their brother and Devine, has been a front-line 'soldier' for more than 20 years.

He has killed for the organisation even when the IRA was supposed to be on ceasefire. In 1995 he played a leading role in the IRA's violent purge of petty drug dealers from nationalist areas of the city. The first murder carried out by the IRA's cover name 'direct action against drugs' was the drug dealer Mickey 'Moneybags' Mooney and the former IRA officer commanding was said to have pulled the trigger.

The main suspect in the McCartney murder, the man who is said to have plunged a knife into him and severed an artery to his heart, has a long history of violent assaults. He has also mutilated and assaulted women. Four years ago during a domestic dispute he lifted a scalding hot iron and burned the breast of a middle-aged woman. She never made a statement to the police about the attack.

Of the other dozen 'Untouchables' there is a former Sinn Fein election worker along with a bodyguard to Gerry Adams.

Bad bunch indeed. I have a sick feeling they're going to get away with it.

More here, with names to fit the killers:

Gerard "Jock" Davison, said to have ordered the killing following a brawl in a Belfast pub, Jim "Dim" McCormack, reported to have administered the fatal knife blow, and Gerard Montgomery, alleged to have orchestrated the clean-up operation afterwards, have remained defiant despite widespread disgust among the nationalist community.

Davison, McCormack and Montgomery are among the Belfast IRA's most powerful and ruthless "volunteers".

Davison, 37, lives in Short Strand -- an island of nationalists surrounded by loyalists in East Belfast -- a few hundred yards from the house where Mr McCartney lived with his fiance, Bridgeen Hagans, and their two children.

He is frequently seen driving around Short Strand in an expensive four-wheel-drive car and his comfortable home, where he lives with his wife and son, 18, is guarded by burly young men.

Davison remains a member of the Northern Command, regarded as the real powerbase of the IRA. He is the undisputed leader of the IRA in Short Strand.

His defiance of Gerry Adams' orders to submit to a trial, and his sneering contempt for the dignified campaign for justice being waged by Mr McCartney's sisters, is an indication of Davison's belief in his own impregnability.

"Jock Davison is not going to end his liberty over a bar fight just to make Gerry Adams look good," said one republican source.

Hat Tip: Slugger O'Toole
NY Times Gets It Right

Note perfect for the first three paragraphs:

After 30 years in the paramilitary trenches, the Irish Republican Army is still capable of shocking thuggery, this time a wave of crimes culminating in a brutal murder outside a Belfast pub in January. That caused Sinn Fein, its political wing, to be disinvited from the White House celebration of St. Patrick's Day and sent its leader, Gerry Adams, scrambling for cover.

This is the least of the I.R.A.'s just deserts for brazenly covering up the homicidal behavior of some ranking members in the beating and slashing of the murder victim, Robert McCartney, over a petty dispute. It dispatched a team to wipe the pub clean of evidence and terrorize some 70 witnesses into silence. But the victim's sisters would not be silenced in their outcry for justice.

The White House was wise to make the McCartney sisters honored guests next week, leaving the I.R.A. stewing after its boneheaded attempt at expiation: it made a gruesome offer to atone for the murder by shooting those it knows were responsible. Mr. Adams made a belated show of denouncing criminality in the republican movement. But he hurt his cause by adding a defense of "those who break the law in pursuit of legitimate political objectives."

The only thing I would correct there is the reason for the White House uninviting Adams to the St. Patrick's Day party. The original cause was the Northern Bank robbery.

Although they miss the beat on this part:

The Bush administration has called on Sinn Fein to see to the disbanding of the I.R.A. That's not likely anytime soon. But the I.R.A. needs to take some strong initial steps, starting with shedding its activities as a criminal enterprise. Its leaders should return to a more honorable agenda and stop dancing around the promise to begin formal disarmament. The fact that Mr. Adams is left squirming may be an opportunity to force progress in the standoff. Mr. Adams has a personal obligation, too, to repair the growing fear and despair in his own community by forthrightly guaranteeing the safety of any witness in the McCartney slaying.

Still, the paper of record almost never publishes an editorial that I agree with this much. Remember, their editorial page editor is Gail Collins (of Irish descent).

Hat Tip: Slugger O'Toole.
Gerry Adams Arrives in US Today

So much for keeping terrorists out of the country.
Sinn Fein Candidate In Bar on Night of McCartney Murder

This is going to make it tougher for Sinn Fein to claim that they're cooperating fully.

Cora Groogan, who ran for Sinn Fein in the November 2003 Assembly elections in Martin McGuinness`s Mid Ulster constituency, admitted to the Press Association she was in Magennis`s bar on January 30 when a fight erupted resulting in the murder of Mr McCartney.

During the attack, Mr McCartney`s friend Brendan Devine also sustained serious stab wounds.

However, she insisted she saw nothing inside the bar and confirmed she had given a full statement to her solicitor.

The Sinn Fein member said: "I got to the bar about 10.00pm
that Sunday. I was there for a short while.

"There was a commotion in the bar but I witnessed nothing and left shortly after 11.00pm.

Let me guess, she was in the TARDIS, errr, bathroom.
You Want Fries With That?

Here's one young Dutchman who won't be happy to hear that question.

A Dutch cafeteria owner used piping hot french fries to fend off a gun-wielding would-be robber, police in the southern city of Helmond said Friday.
Friday, March 11, 2005
No, Her Reelection Was An Accident

Danegerus catches Barbara Boxer (the dumbest woman in the Senate) in a stupid comment.
Can I Get a Tiny Violin?

Want to play a sad song for this guy:

Mr Qatada, a 44-year-old Palestinian, is the only one of the foreign terror suspects whose picture has been widely published in the media, which could make his future uncertain. There are also concerns about his mental health. Doctors who examined him last year said he was being slowly driven mad by his detention.

Stop it, before I cry! Now, why is this wonderful man in jail in Great Britain?

Mr Qatada was granted asylum in Britain 10 years ago but arrested in 2002 after being accused of being al-Qa'ida's main representative in Europe.

MI5 witnesses toldSiac that the Muslim cleric played a "vitally important" role in "radicalising young UK Muslims" and recruiting them for al-Qa'ida

Mr Qatada has been sentenced to life in his absence in Jordan for alleged involvement in a series of explosions.

Get the headline, too: Hate campaign awaits Bin Laden's 'spiritual ambassador in Europe'
Lost in Translation

Tim Worstall wants to be known as "an English disgusting". Works for me.
New Poll Gets Bit

By the Ankle-Biting Pundits. Trying to slip a phony poll past these guys is like trying to slip a cheeseburger past Oliver Willis.
Lawyer Sues Himself?

Our buddy John Ruberry, the Marathon Pundit, who broke the story of Kerry's phony Boston Marathon, has the details.
Right Wing News Eases Up On UN In Return for Ad Revenue

Capitalism corrupts us all. ;)
McPaper Covers McCartney

The pressure continues to build as USA Today waddles in on the story.

In 1970, when she was only 2, Irish Republican Army (news - web sites) volunteers defended Catherine McCartney's Catholic neighborhood in East Belfast from Protestants bent on burning it.

"They were heroes then," she says.

Next week, McCartney will go to Washington to meet President Bush (news - web sites) and deliver a very different message: that the modern IRA includes lowlifes who thrive on petty crime and intimidation, then hide behind the organization's aura to avoid accountability, even for murder.

Even Congressman Peter King, who has carried the IRA's water enthusiastically for years, is sounding the right notes:

[Gerry] Adams was not invited to the annual St. Patrick's Day celebration at the White House. Instead, he is expected to meet with members of Congress who are longtime Sinn Fein supporters. A leader of that group, Rep. Peter King (news, bio, voting record), R-N.Y., says they'll tell Adams that "the time has really come for the IRA to cease operations and go out of business."
Thursday, March 10, 2005
McCartney Sisters Unafraid

Gotta admire their pluck:

And she knows, they all know, as does Sinn Fein and the IRA, that eventually the interna tional media will tire of the story and move on from the labyrinth of bricked streets of Short Strand, where Robert McCartney's eldest son, Conlaed, four, hangs over a garden fence squealing at the TV cameras that temporarily distract him from his own confusion. In their "subconscious", says one sister, they wonder if one day they will made to pay for this. Donna insists: "We are not afraid. We know who they are."

This bravery is what has turned the five McCartneys and Robert's fiancee, Bridgeen Hagans, into sudden folk-heroes. Despite all the insidious pressures applied, the whispering campaign by the IRA to stir doubts in people's minds, these six women with 19 children between them could force the IRA to do what the British have failed to do for decades: put away their guns and disband. All underground groups rely on tacit community support for their survival. When that support is withdrawn, they cannot survive long.

Some excellent background in this piece on the Short Strand, the area where the family lived. Just to remind us that at one time the IRA had some claim to legitimacy, read this story of the events of June 27, 1970:

With the streets around the area thronged with a huge Protestant mob intent on burning the Catholics out, and the British Army and the old RUC apparently content to stand by, a handful of IRA men led by Billy McKee made a stand in the grounds of St Matthew's Church, which has gone down in republican history as the Provo Alamo.

McKee was badly wounded and another IRA volunteer killed in the gun battle, in which three loyalists also died. The battle finally put paid to the bitter Catholic taunt that IRA stood for "I Ran Away".

That fight for its very survival welded the Short Strand and its people to the republican movement. Former IRA man Anthony McIntyre, who hid out there while he was on the run in the 1970s, remembers a community that "was tough, resilient and generous... The owner of one of the homes I stayed in was later murdered by loyalists as he went about providing for his young family. The son of another couple met a similar fate. These people were outstanding; their hospitality always something to be remembered. They were a people worthy of nothing less than the highest regard."

But by the time Robert McCartney's coffin was carried from St Matthew's Church six weeks ago, that seemingly unbreakable bond with the IRA was beginning to shatter. Hundreds of people joined a street vigil in protest at his murder by the IRA, and many talked of its volunteers as thugs, sadists and paedophiles who they now needed protection from. Even the hero McKee has long since left Sinn Fein and the IRA in disgust.
No Congressional Lunch with Adams

Looks like the ostracism is proceeding apace.

Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams and other Northern Ireland political leaders will not be invited to a St. Patrick's Day luncheon with congressional leaders, another sign that the United States is unhappy over the stalled peace process.

Adams will not be attending the annual St. Patrick's Day luncheon held by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, the lawmaker's spokesman Ron Bonjean said Monday.

Even the chairman of the congressional Friends of Ireland group agrees it's appropriate:

Rep. James Walsh (news, bio, voting record), R-N.Y., chairman of the Friends of Ireland congressional group, said the decision by Hastert shows U.S. elected officials agree on the need to push both sides back to the bargaining table.

"The president made the call not to invite them to the White House, and I think the speaker is right in step with the president. It's disappointing but it shows unanimity," Walsh said.

"I would love to see them at the speaker's luncheon, it's been a grand tradition, but it would be ignoring the fact that there's been a major breakdown in the process," he said.
Here's to Buckhead!

The man who laid Rather low:

Amid the wafting smells of spicy meatballs and wine, in front of a Sony projection TV in Sandy Springs, Harry MacDougald clutched a Samuel Adams in his left hand Wednesday night as Dan Rather bid adieu after 24 years at the anchor of the "CBS Evening News."

MacDougald is better known to Web aficionados as "Buckhead," the conservative blogger who first noticed that Rather used forged documents in a Sept. 8 "60 Minutes" story that questioned President Bush's Air National Guard service during the Vietnam War.
The Reality-Based Community? Part XXI

John Hawkins pointed us to this somewhat funny, somewhat frightening story:

This week, though, a Tampa woman learned that simple Bush-Cheney bumper sticker can bring trouble, if not danger, from a total stranger.

Police say Michelle Fernandez, 35, was chased for miles Tuesday by an irate 31-year-old Tampa man who cursed at her as he held up an anti-Bush sign and tried to run her off the road.

Prior Entry in this series
A Very Useful Service


John Hawkins has put up a set of quotes to answer your liberal friends who claim that spreading democracy was just a happy result of a bad war. John shows that many conservatives were talking about the salutary effects of a legitimate regime in the middle of such tyranny before the war. Great work by one of the best bloggers in the business.
Good Column on the IRA & Tony Blair

Found at Around the World via Richard Delevan:

The IRA sent operatives to Colombia to train narco-terrorists in return for drugs money and faced no sanction from the British Government. The IRA organised an illegal gun running operation from Florida but paid no political price for its involvement. Indeed, the FBI was explicitly told during its inquiry not to state that the operation had in anyway been sanctioned by the IRA leadership. Throughout the past 11 years the IRA has been running extortion rackets and smuggling rings, it has robbed cigarette warehouses and laundered cash through a chain of front businesses, it has driven innocents into exile and killed dozens of individuals who have crossed its path. And the price exacted by the Blair Government for this massive, lethal, organised criminality? Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Zero.
Arafat Spam

I actually started a post like this a few months ago as a joke, but this is "real". In my mailbox this morning:

Dear Friend,

I am Mrs. Suha Arafat, the wife of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian Leader who died recently in Paris. Since his death and even prior To the announcement, I have been thrown into a state of antagonism, confusion, humiliation, Frustration and hopelessness by the present leadership of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the new Prime Minister. I have even been subjected to physical and psychological torture. As a widow that is so traumatized, I have lost confidence with everybody In the country at the moment. You must have heard over the media reports on the discovery of some Fund in my husband secret bank account and companies and the Allegations Of some huge sums of money deposited by my husband in my Name of which I have refuses to disclose or give up to the corrupt Palestine Government.

In fact the total sum allegedly discovered by the Government so far is in The tune of about $6.5 Billion Dollars. And they are not relenting on there Effort to make me poor for life. As the Moslem community has no regards For women, that is my desire for a foreign assistance. I have deposited the sum of 20 million dollars with a security firm abroad Whose name is withheld for now until we open communication? I shall be Grateful if you could receive this fund into your bank account for safekeeping and any Investment opportunity.

This arrangement is known to you and my personal Attorney. He might be Dealing with you directly for security reasons as the case may be. In view of the above, if you are willing to assist for our mutual benefits, we Will have to negotiate on your Percentage share of he $20,000,000 that will be Kept in your position for a while and invested in your name for my trust In case you don't accept please do not let me out to the security and international media As I am giving you this information in total trust and confidence I will greatly Appreciate if you accept my proposal in good

Yours sincerely,

Mrs.Suha Arafat
IRA Stories Popping Up All Over

Check Slugger O'Toole and Richard Delevan, who've got lots of coverage.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Minor Fill for CQ

Captain Ed's been doing a bang-up job of pounding on John McCain. I can't stand the little admiral (see note) myself, despite my recognition of his service in Vietnam and especially in the Hanoi Hilton. I have nothing but respect for McCain up till about 1988; since then he has started to wear on me increasingly through the years.

I disagreed with Ed's take on the relationship between McCain and Charles Keating. I lived through that era and worked in Phoenix in commercial real estate finance, while one of my close friends was a major lobbyist at the statehouse. So I had good contacts in both the real estate and politics, plus I read the Arizona Republic (generally sympathetic to McCain) and the Phoenix New Times (generally opposed to McCain). The Keating Five scandal is a big nothing, and any notion that it's going to rise up and slay McCain is misguided.

But the Captain seems to be on a more promising tack with this post.

Why would a close political advisor to John McCain go to these sources almost exclusively for the major funding of the non-profit that seeks to support McCain, a supposedly conservative Republican?

* The Tides Foundation, which heavily promotes "reproductive justice", giving over $500,000 to pro-abortion efforts. They also actively oppose the death penalty (so do I, FYI). John McCain opposes abortion and supports the death penalty, so why is his chief political advisor getting so much support from those who ostensibly oppose him?

Oddly, Ed misses a detail here. The Tides Foundation is tied in with Teresa Heinz Kerry. We blogged about this at Kerry Haters last year:

Money may explain some of Kerry’s support among Muslim-American activists. The Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR), for example, has pocketed grant money from the leftwing Tides Foundation. The Tides Foundation, wrote FrontPage Magazine’s Ben Johnson, has been generously supported with fungible money from the Heinz Endowments controlled by John Kerry’s wife Teresa.

And here:

The Ketchup Queen financed the shadowy Tides Foundation to the tune of $4 million to date. The Tides Foundation funds the Ruckus Society, a notorious group of anarchists who rioted and looted Seattle during the 1999 World Trade Organization riots.

And way back in the second week of Kerry Haters:

The NY Post highlights the suspicious funding for Peaceful Tomorrows, an anti-war group with some members who are relatives of 9-11 victims. Money point:

Little surprise there - because Peaceful Tomorrows' parent group, the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation, has received millions from foundations controlled by Kerry's heiress wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.

(Note: After I wrote this I realized that Captain Ed sometimes refers to his son as "The Little Admiral". My jibe is pointed at McCain, who is short of stature and the son of an admiral.)
Some Speculation on the IRA Murder Offer

There are two schools of thought on this story:

1. They've completely gone mad. Most commenters assumed this right off the bat because the offer seemed so incredible. And not just the offer, which can be imagined being made in private with the sisters, but the fact that they admitted they made the offer in a written statement.

2. This is a warning to the killers that Adams and others are stone cold serious when they say that whoever did this should turn themselves in. I mean, put yourself in the killers' shoes; you read that the IRA offered to snuff you, wouldn't you turn yourself in posthaste? Especially when you consider that:

a.) By all accounts the murder wasn't premeditated, at least not for any period of time. The killing happened as a result of a bar brawl, and while there is some indication that it was an ordered murder, it was ordered on the spot in the heat of anger.

b.) They are not looking at anything like what we in America would consider a serious sentence. James McGinley was murdered in a similar incident; his killer got 3 years for manslaughter. If that's what you're facing, it sure sounds better than a bullet in the brain by another IRA thug. Double it to six years, and it still sounds better than a bullet in the knee.
Discredited Media Matters

But I repeat myself. Check out this moronic post at David Brock's site:

In fact, only one Swift Boat Vet member actually served on a boat that Kerry commanded; none were present for the incidents in which Kerry's earned any of his medals or his three Purple Hearts; Kerry did release his medical records; and Kerry did not accuse soldiers of committing atrocities.

Untrue. Larry Thurlow and Van O'Dell were both present at the incident where Kerry earned his Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart.

Hat Tip: A Small Victory
Multi-Culti Nonsense

Grant in Australia has a great email from a Swedish fan on the multicultural stew in that Scandinavian country, plus superb comments of his own.
Big Guns Bearing Down on the McCartney Story

Captain's Quarters, the #9 blog in links and #17 in traffic, turns its awesome gaze on the McCartney murder. Great post as usual by Captain Ed, and he even caught a detail that I had missed. Martin McGuinness, a major Sinn Fein leader (and reported member of the IRA ruling council) declined to condemn the IRA's offer to shoot the killers:

"I totally and absolutely disagree with any punishment shootings whatsoever.

"But I think we shouldn't lose sight of the other messages that are clearly in this because I think it dispels absolutely any notion whatsoever that the IRA would cover up for or protect the perpetrators of the murder of Robert McCartney."
McCartney Family Responds, Superbly

I withdraw any implied criticism of the McCartney sisters for attending the Sinn Fein convention. Here's their response to the offer from the IRA to shoot those responsible for their brother's murder:

"For this family it would only be in court, where
transparency and accountability prevail, that justice will be done.

"It is the family`s position that up to 12 volunteers were involved in the cover-up, not the offence in Market Street where up to three were involved.

"However it was that cover-up which prevented those who murdered Robert from being brought to justice.

That is ratcheting up the pressure!

Hat Tip: Slugger O'Toole. I've added him to the blogroll because his site is invaluable for news of Northern Ireland.

Lorie Byrd says goodbye to Rather.

It is a bit tragic, too, though. Even with Rather’s well-documented history of biased reporting, he could have gone out on a somewhat respectable note if he had only admitted what was so incredibly clear to all but the most seriously deluded – the documents were obviously fake.

Yep. The old aphorism is to be careful whom you make enemies with, for you will come to resemble them. Rather was an old antagonist of Richard Nixon, and in the end what sunk them both was the coverup.

BTW, if you haven't checked out Lorie's personal blog, Byrd Droppings, stop in and say hello.
Swarming the Strib: Post #2

Actually I don't want to swarm this article, just recommend that you read it. It's a fine article on blogs and quite balanced.

Rainie, of the Pew Internet project, said that the possibility that blogs will make it easier for people to "retreat into their own info bubbles, screen out conflicting arguments and become ever more extreme in their views is absolutely one of the major concerns" of those who study the blogosphere.

But so far, it doesn't seem to be happening, Rainie said. When Pew studied the question during the 2004 election, it found that Internet users were more likely than other Americans to be aware of a variety of facts and arguments, including those that challenged their preferred candidates or issue positions.
IRA Murder Offer May Be Nail in Its Coffin

Well, that certainly didn't work out as planned.

Outraged by an IRA offer to shoot a group of suspected murderers, Britain and the United States demanded Wednesday that the guerrillas disband and take the gun out of Northern Irish politics.

Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites) said the offer defied description while a U.S. envoy added: "it's time for the IRA to go out of business."

I hope this doesn't sound naive, but is it possible that Gerry Adams has lost control of the IRA? I can't imagine him being dumb enough to approve this language in an offical IRA statement:

The IRA representatives detailed the outcome of the internal disciplinary proceedings thus far and stated in clear terms that the IRA was prepared to shoot the people directly involved in the killing of Robert McCartney.

Meanwhile, Slugger O'Toole links to this BBC article which says one man has turned himself in the killing.

Detectives investigating the killing of Belfast man Robert McCartney are questioning a man.

He went to a police station with a solicitor and was arrested.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Old Lefties Never Die

They just go off to the Old Radicals' Home.

"Did I tell you that Cesar Chavez came to my house?" she asks. Her heavy brows furrow as she tries to recall. But a wall stands between her and that moment. She sighs, happily admitting that she just cannot remember why he was there, only that she shook his hand and that she assured him — "strongly, and with great conviction" — that she supported his efforts to organize farmworkers.

She sits at a table, in front of a slice of apple pie. She looks at photos taken of her four years ago, protesting during a transit strike, and another of Sunset Hall residents rallying two years ago at an antiwar protest.

"Hey, wait a minute, that's me," she says, pointing. "I guess I was there. There were so many protests in my lifetime. You know what? I can't remember all of them. Oh, well."

Hat Tip: Lucianne
McCartney Story In More US Blogs

Crooked Timber had blogged about McCartney and the Northern Bank Robbery last month, and suggested that Bush not invite Gerry Adams to the White House, a call which Winds of Change echoed. You won't see me praising Crooked Timber often, but they deserve it here. Winds of Change links to the story that the McCartney sisters will be visiting with President Bush.

Slugger O'Toole (a major Irish blog) was kind enough to link our coverage of the McCartney killings. His post linked to a couple more US bloggers covering the story. Upper Left is one I wouldn't ordinarily visit as it's solid Democrat, but he's also solid on this story. Sierra Sanity and New Sisyphus look a little more like our kind of blogs, and are equally good on McCartney.

And Ciaran, another Irish blogger links to this incredible story, that shows that the IRA needs to be whacked with the cluebat:

The IRA has said it told the family of the Belfast murder victim Robert McCartney that it was prepared to shoot the men directly involved in his death.

Kudos to the sisters:

A lengthy statement said the McCartney family met the IRA and made it clear they did not want physical action taken against those involved.

The family insist those responsible should be punished through the courts.

Can we say the obvious? The 'Rafia is trying to handle this just the way the mob would.

Update: Slugger has the text of the IRA statement, which is less clear on the offer of killing than the BBC indicates.

The McCartney family raised their concerns with the IRA representatives.

These included: Firstly, the family made it clear that they did not want physical action taken against those involved. They stated that they wanted those individuals to give a full account of their actions in court.

Secondly, they raised concerns about the intimidation of witnesses.

The IRA's position on this was set out in unambiguous and categoric terms on February 15 and February 25. Before and after this meeting with the family, the IRA gave direct assurances on their safety to three named individuals who the family believe were the targets of intimidation.

Update again: Doh! Missed this part of the IRA statement:

The IRA representatives detailed the outcome of the internal disciplinary proceedings thus far and stated in clear terms that the IRA was prepared to shoot the people directly involved in the killing of Robert McCartney.
Hot Links!

Kitty combines some good Hillary articles with a pair of photos of the famous "air kiss" she gave to Suha Arafat.

Blogger Queen La Shawn Barber doesn't care what people write about her, as long as they link. She'll be blogging over at Vodka Pundit next week.

Right Wing Sparkle notes a very interesting cartoon on abortion in Mad Magazine.

Marine Corps Moms has a request from the front.
Hey Let Me Jump Out In Front of This Parade

I am pleased to see Patrick Hynes getting so many well-deserved accolades for his work during the 2004 campaign and since. He and his partner, the former mystery partner now revealed as the Bulldog Pundit over at Ankle-Biting Pundits did a tremendous job with Crush Kerry, their amazing website that was a must check daily for all Kerry Haters. I suspect that BDP is also reaping the benefits of that alliance as well, just not as obviously. :)

One thing I noticed during the 2004 campaign. One might think that Crush Kerry and Kerry Haters would have been rivals. But in fact we were partners, because neither of us could satisfy the desire of people for anti-Kerry stories, pictures, jokes, etc. We recognized that all of us (including many other blogs/websites) were on the same page, all with the same goal.

But CK did have guts. They dared to criticise the Bush campaign ads (from a creative standpoint), and sometimes that drew attacks from other bloggers on our side. But not KH. We may not have always agreed with CK's take on the ads, but we appreciated honest criticism of President Bush's campaign from folks who were always on his side. Vindication is sweeter than revenge, right Patrick?
Two Great Presidents and a Gigolo

Monday, March 07, 2005
The Red-Hot Republicans?--Updated!

The editor of Playgirl magazine comes out: Republican

“The Democrats of the Sixties were all about making love and not war while a war-loving Republican is a man who would fight, bleed, sacrifice, and die for his country. Could you imagine what that very same man would do for his wife in the bedroom?” asks Zipp.

Heheh! Anybody remember the sexual bumper stickers in the 1980s--"Doctors do it with patience", etc? (Some of which would no doubt get them arrested today, like "Teachers do it with class"?). So what's the Republican version? I expect a lot of big trunk talk here. :)

Update: Polipundit commenter jimg came up with this one: Republicans do it Right! Good one!
Adams Tries a Little Diversion

Well, now Robert McCartney's murder's just a bar brawl:

The political effects have been huge, and the republican message is that there will be no hiding place in the movement for anyone involved. "I'm trying to be a bit understanding about all of this," Mr Adams told The Independent. "These were a group of people who were out drinking, who sparked off each other. It wasn't an IRA attack, it wasn't a republican plan, it wasn't an operation.

Sorry, Gerry. It starts out as a bar brawl, I will grant you. But two things move it beyond that. First the fact that Robert McCartney was murdered, and his companion, whom he was trying to save, was the subject of an attempted murder. Those are the acts of thugs who feel protected by their IRA status.

And second, the coverup, where IRA techs swept the bar clean of evidence, including tape from a closed-circuit camera, and senior IRA men warned the people in the bar not to talk about the murder (to the point where most of the 72 patrons in the bar claim to have been in the bathroom at the time the fight began).

You don't get out of that aspect. As with Nixon, it's not the crime (savage though it is in this case); it's the coverup. Adams seems to be stressing the need for the killers to turn themselves in; what he should be stressing is the need for witnesses to come forward and offering them express protection from the IRA.

Background on the McCartney Murder
Pinball Memories, Part III

This is Flip-a-Card.

Flip-a-Card was one of the classic Gottlieb games. It was the oldest game in the UC when I started college and for some reason (probably because it kept sucking down quarters) it stayed there for a couple years, where most games went in and out in the course of a semester or two.

The object of the game was to get all the cards in the clubs suit from deuce to ace. Once that happened, the ace and the right flipper ramp would light up for the special (a free game). The tough cards to get were the 7 and 8, which could not be shot directly from the flippers but required you to bounce the ball off the right and center bumpers, respectively.

The savior was the kick-out hole, which would spin a random card from the five to the ace. If the ace was the last card and it spun it, the game would give you a special, too.

Here's the cool story about this game. My friends Doug & Christine were big fans of the game back in college, and would almost only play that machine after dinner. A few years college, they married (I was an usher at the wedding). A couple years after that they got a hankering to play Flip-a-Card again.

But there was one problem. It was an old machine, and difficult to find. So they kept looking in the classifieds and even recruited me in Phoenix to try to find a copy, but they could never locate one. Even after I became internet-savvy, I'd post requests, and never get a response.

Then one day about 4 years ago, Doug was reading the paper. There had been some floods in Central New Jersey, and the story on the front page was about how business was coming back to the towns that had been flooded. In the background of the picture was a store advertising pinball machines for sale, and he could just make out the phone number. So he called and asked if they had a copy of Flip-a-Card and the guy said yes. Doug and Chris went down that night to check out the machine, and quickly made the purchase.

But the story doesn't end there. When they got the machine home there was a sticker with a price on the glass, so they peeled it off. And underneath was a license from the town of Madison, NJ, the town where we had gone to college. Yep, in an amazing coincidence, they had come across the exact same machine we used to pump quarters into for several years.

One minor note: The picture at the top is from a Virtual Pinball recreation of the game. Whoever did the table messed up on the flippers which were the older, small kind as you can see here:

Prior entry in this series.
White House Invitation for McCartney Sisters Confirmed

But Gerry's still not invited.
Caption Contest Winner

Some good entries here, but I'm choosing the "bad" one because it made me laugh:

Here we see Kerry receiving the only head he's gotten since marrying Thereasa Heinz.

Congrats to Wilderness Fox, who wins a spot on the blogroll! Thanks to all the others who entered.
Jeff Gannon Update

Glenn Reynolds has the following to say in response to a particularly twitty comment by the Nashua Advocate:

But boy, you can't read that explosion of bile without realizing that to the folks on the left, the gay angle really was the big angle on Gannon, and all the talk about other issues was just window dressing. Not that it wasn't obvious before.

Right Wing News Scores a Big "Get"

John Hawkins interviews Michelle Malkin.

John Hawkins: Has Chris Matthews or anyone from his show ever gotten back to you and apologized for his despicable behavior when you were on his show?

Michelle Malkin: No. If he were a man, he would publicly apologize to John O'Neill, Larry Thurlow, and all the Swift Boat Vets for continuing to malign them without having bothered to read their book.

Nothing but net!
Stuck In the Clawback

Our buddy Pat Hynes of Ankle-Biting Pundits has a good piece in the Am Spec up today about the NY Times' and Washington Post's dishonest takes on Social Security reform. Over at the ABP site, he calls for a letter-writing campaign to the editors of those newspapers demanding that they come clean.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
Italian Journo Hostage Hoax?

My Pet Jawa has the details. Great post, Rusty!

Hat Tip: Reader GD
McCartney Updates

As I predicted, this story is starting to draw attention in the US media as St. Patrick's Day approaches.

Time Magazine hits the story:

The unprecedented protests from the McGinleys and McCartneys have tipped Sinn Fein into what Irish historian Eamon Phoenix calls its "greatest crisis since the Irish Civil War in 1922." Party leaders were already under pressure to distance themselves from the I.R.A. after a $50 million robbery at a Belfast bank in December, which the British and Irish governments blamed on the terrorist organization.

Note: James McGinley was a 23-year-old man stabbed to death in 2003 by an IRA member.

The NY Times covers the Sinn Fein convention:

The thrust of his remarks, though, seemed intended to convince the Irish public that Sinn Fein had distanced itself enough from crime and paramilitary violence to warrant trust and political support.

Mr. Adams also tried to assuage fears that the I.R.A. might return to the violent and explosive campaign against Britain's rule in Northern Ireland.

But what should we make of this comment:

"We know that breaking the law is a crime," he said, but in a nod to his hard-line supporters and to the party's history, he added, "But we refuse to criminalize those who break the law in pursuit of legitimate political objectives."

The Guardian has some good comments on the sisters' reaction to Adams' speech:

The sisters did not applaud Adams' speech but afterwards Catherine McCartney said: 'We are appreciative of what Gerry Adams has done.'

She added: 'Our bottom line is that nobody has been brought to justice. We are not going to be satisfied until we see people in court.'
Gerry Adams' Water Carrier?

Kitty pointed out this little notice in a voter's guide on Peter King, Republican congressman from Long Island:

King is intimately involved in Irish causes and is viewed as one of the strongest U.S. supporters of the Irish Republican Army. When Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams comes to the United States, he frequently uses King's office as a home base. King has penned two novels revolving around the political upheaval in Ireland.


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Brainster in the Media

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Slate Today's Blogs:

March 16, 2005

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Cited for Breaking the Christmas in Cambodia story (at Kerry Haters):

Hugh Hewitt: KerryHaters was on this story a long time ago. How could the elite media not have asked these questions before now?

Ankle-Biting Pundits: Our friends Pat and Kitty at Kerry Haters deserve the blog equivalent of a Pulitzer for their coverage of Kerry's intricate web of lies regarding Vietnam.

The Weekly Standard

Les Kinsolving

Greatest Hits

What If the Rest of the Fantastic Four Were Peaceniks?

Lefty Bloggers on Gay Witchhunt (linked by 16 blogs including Instapundit)

Kitty Myers Breaks Christmas in Cambodia

Brainster Shows Brinkley Says No Christmas in Cambodia

Explanation of the Blog's Name

Power Ratings Explained

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