My family are visiting from Belfast so we took the boat out on Lake Havasu, which we live beside (pictured), and spent the weekend in the water (which felt great considering the 115-degree temperatures)…

Lake Havasu

I came back into work this morning, and saw these stories which interested me:

George W BushJames Kirchick of the New Republic doesn’t believe Bush lied to go to war in Iraq, something I’ve been saying ever since those allegations were first made by liberal people with an axe to grind about the war. I’ve never seen a good defense of the ‘Bush lied’ hypothesis, and it’s always seemed obvious to me that Bush was simply operating upon the best intelligence available at the time, information which later turned out to be inaccurate. We haven’t commented much on the war in Iraq – it’s the most tired subject in politics – but Kirchick’s piece is an excellent response to the notion that ‘Bush lied’:

“…The notion that the Bush administration deceived the American people has become the accepted narrative of how we went to war. Yet in spite of all the accusations of White House ‘manipulation’ — that it pressured intelligence analysts into connecting Hussein and Al Qaeda and concocted evidence about weapons of mass destruction — administration critics continually demonstrate an inability to distinguish making claims based on flawed intelligence from knowingly propagating falsehoods. …. By glossing over history, the Democrats’ lies-led-to-war narrative provides false comfort in a world of significant dangers.”

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Ron PaulRon Paul calls it quits. About time, if you ask me, although this presidential candidate has done more to advance the ideals of true liberty in America than anyone else in decades. As Paul himself says:

“This is actually a racheting up of what were doing before,” Paul said in a Thursday phone conversation. “There are more people who believe in the freedom agenda than voted for us in the primaries. Iíve been saying the same thing since 1974, you know, but something… happened this year. I canít explain what it was, but the young people understand these issues better than anyone thought, and they are not going away.”

Ron Paul as President of the United States may only have been a dream. But a true libertarian movement, appealing particularly to young, net-savvy people as Paul did, is a priceless reality in America by the end of his campaign. Thank you Ron Paul.

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Kevin MartinFCC Chairman Kevin Martin is recommending that the Sirius/XM merger be allowed. A new broadcasting industry was created over a decade ago, one which only now has the chance to come to fruition: satellite radio. The two licensees, Sirius and XM, are still operating in the red after a few years of launching satellites, building studios, manufacturing radios, hiring talent, getting customers. The only way they’ll survive at all is to merge, something which the traditional AM and FM radio industry has been lobbying against ever since it came up (satellite radio is their competition). I work in traditional radio, but I can’t think of anything more un-American than a government agency bowing to pressure to let two struggling corporations sink by denying their right to merge for survival. Finally now, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has today acknowledged that allowing the merger is the right thing:

“The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission now says he is satisfied the $3.8 billion merger of the nation’s only two satellite radio companies is in the public’s interest, but that’s no guarantee the deal will win final approval. … FCC chairman Kevin Martin said Sunday he will recommend that Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.’s buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. be approved by the five-member commission.”

Could there be anything sleazier than sending your lobbyists to Washington to court politicians with cash and support in return for depriving their competition of oxygen? Assholes.

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KozinskiFinally, by way of continuing interest in the Kozinski affair (about which I wrote here), the award for Most Relevant Commentary on this thing goes to Kozinski’s wife, whose lengthy email on the subject to Patterico can be found here. It’s well worth a read through, as it gives much clarity to the nature of the reality of this smear campaign against Kozinski. Example:

“The tiny percentage of the material that was sexual in nature was all of a humorous character. For example, the ‘womenís crotches’ was one of the many ‘camel toe’ series that is widely available on the net. The insidious effect of these misleading descriptions is that even many of those who have come to Alexís defense have expressed the view that judges are entitled to look at ‘porn’ if they choose, as if thatís what was really going on here, when it is not.”

That’s absolutely patently obvious to anyone who uses the internet extensively, and it should never have come to what another blogger, Lessig, calls The Kozinksi Mess. He says:

“The site was not ‘on the web’ in the sense of a site open and inviting anyone to come in. It had a robots.txt file to indicate its contents were not to be indexed. That someone got in is testimony to the fact that security — everywhere — is imperfect. But this was a private file server, like a private room, hacked by a litigant with a vendetta. Decent people — and publications — should say shame on the person violating the privacy here, and not feed the violation by forcing a judge to defend his humor to a nosy world.”

The rest is available here.

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Just another week of news, controversy and opinion!