Friday, March 31, 2006

Specter of Stupidity

Except it's not just a specter, it's actual stupidity.
From foxnews:
But Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said the court's role in deciding policy makes it a "super-legislature," adding "the public has a right to know, and see, what the Supreme Court is doing."

It's an outrage that someone with this judicial philosophy serves ON the judicial committee. How can the Republican leadership allow him to be committee chairman?!

Hypocrisy of "Support"

I've recently been thinking about the claims that democrats against the war still "support the troops." Democrats seem to think they can criticize the mission, while still supporting those who carry out the mission. And I think they could, if they really meant it. But just what does it mean to "support the troops?"

-Supporting the troops means giving them at least the benefit of the doubt when they are accused by their enemies of wrong doing. From mosque raids, to shooting injured fighters, to using white phosphorous, to targeting journalists, our soldiers have been accused of quite a bit. And this isn't only a recent phenomenon; Veitnam-era soldiers endured taunts of "baby-killer" from the same people protesting the war today. (see the last note at the bottom) John Kerry himself testified soldiers who had "raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."
Liberals and their ilk who are so quick to believe the worst of our servicemen should admit that they suspect the troops, not support them.

-Supporting the troops means honoring their memory, not hijacking their deaths. From the anti-American news media demanding pictures of coffins being unloading from airplanes, to "grieving" mothers whoring their status for a few minutes of fame, claiming to support the troops is a cheap mask for an anti-American agenda.
Ending a newscast by reading the names of the fallen soldiers would be respectful, but not when you portray them as victims. Similarly with media-magnet Ms. Shehan. These men and women were soldiers and often heroes, and went into battle knowing and accepting the risk because it was their accepted duty. I'm reminded of the famous letter that Lincoln sent to a mother who had lost five sons to the civil war:
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
There is a pride and honor that comes from giving their all, and portraying them as victims of an imperialist war robs them of that honor.

-Supporting the troops means aiding them in their job. That can be as simple as not opposing them. Calls for retreat from Iraq, belief in outrageous accusations against soldiers, and constant negative reporting not only hurts our soldiers morale, it emboldens our enemies. Our retreats from Somalia emboldened Osama to continue his attacks on the US, this time within our borders. And this whole idea of "support" is just becoming a shield-word to cover from criticism. Take nut-job congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. She punched a Capitol police officer Wednesday. I'll leave the details to be read in the article (click 'punched'), but that night she came out with this statement on her website:

"I know that Capitol Hill Police are securing our safety, and I appreciate the work that they do. I have demonstrated my support for them in the past and I continue to support them now,"
However, Her lawyer, James W. Myart Jr., said, "Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, like thousands of average Americans across this country, is, too, a victim of the excessive use of force by law enforcement officials because of how she looks and the color of her skin."
So does McKinney support law enforcement officials? She's using two different and contradictory defence tactics here, each aimed at a different audience. First, she sides with the officer(s) and "supports" them. But she's also a repressed black woman being assaulted because of "sex, race and Ms. McKinney's progressiveness." And now her lawyer is talking about suing the officer and the Capitol Police that McKinney supports.
[McKinney lawyer] Myart said McKinney would seek a criminal investigation against the officer, and a civil lawsuit against both the officer and the Capitol Police is being explored.
Thats the problem liberals face when dealing with politics. On the one hand they need to appear normal, and to be on America's side (seeing as how, ya know, they are America's government and all). On the other hand, they either are anti-American and see the military (and the police) as a repressive tool of the imperialist, bigoted American government (union employees excepted), or they depend on the funding and votes of people who do.

From opinionjournal:
Your observation that "Vietnam-style defeatism . . . is an ingrained impulse of aging hippies" is astute. I would go further and speculate on the motivation for their actions. As people get older and near retirement, when their children have grown and they have more free time on their hands, they may take up hobbies to pass the time and make new friends. The hobby they choose is often connected with a past interest, one they stopped pursuing during their active years for lack of time. For example, many men will buy and restore a brand of car that they admired as teenagers.
Here in Seattle, where there is a high concentration of aging hippies and Wobblies, many protesters seem more interested in the social than the political aspect of their gatherings. Every Sunday afternoon, a small group gathers at a local park, ostensibly to wave signs at passing motorists. They mostly chat and share refreshments. Even on weeks when there is an "atrocity" that might stimulate turnout, few more than the core group put in an appearance.
Rarely do I see anyone under 40 at these rallies. I have come to the conclusion that rallying is the hobby of the aging hippie. How better to relive your youth? The country's defeat in Vietnam was their victory. Calling for America's defeat now helps them get a thrill, the same way driving an old Cobra excites the retired hot-rodder.

Tacky in the Big Easy

When I first heard this news story, I couldn't help but think how it was really tacky. But with the sale on ebay comes the opportunity to "ask the seller a question." And there are some really funny responses.
For instance:

Seeing this bus was under only 6 feet of water, If the water got any higher would it float like a house boat? Or could I make it into a submarine?Would you throw in a 45 of the Beatles song; We all live in a yellow Submarine.?
Yours is a far ranging question. Based on viewing the picture in the listing I believe its unlikely the bus would float if the water got any higher. I also think you would have to take into account the door on the side of the bus that runs from floor to ceiling that would let water into the passenger section. Given the marvels of our modern world I would not be surprised if you could convert it into a submarine. I am certain the the bus already has enough ballast to make your submarine submerge. As to the 45, to my knowledge as people have sifted through the wreakage of our destroyed schools no copies of the Beatles hit have been found. If we do find a copy, we will probably put it up on e-bay in a separate auction. If you win this bus and convert it to a yellow submarine, I for one would like to see it.

What does the bus smell like? Can you detail it for me? Thanks -GW
Surprisingly, the bus smells like a standard school bus only stronger. Maybe in the relm of an overused athletic bus on steriods.

Are you sure you are in New Orleans? I thought that us in New Orleans, when life hands us lemons, we make daiquiris! (not lemonade)
Our schools and, by extension, buses are drug, firearm and alcohol free zones. So we are stuck with lemonade.

Will any of the proceeds go to paying for Mayor Nagins Chocolate City?
All proceeds will remain with the Orleans Parish Schools.

Is there any chance that this bus may have been ridden on by any of the famous musical 'graduates' of the NOPS system, such as Juvenile, C-Murder, 504 Boyz, Louis Armstrong, or Delfayo Marsalis? That would certainly increase the value if so. Could it possibly have ever given rides to such other famous NOPS 'alumni' such as B-Stupid or Man Man? Is it possible there may be any leftover drugs or guns or other incriminating evidence left on the bus? Please let us know, it may increase your bids.
Due to the vintage of the bus it is unlikely that Louis Armstrong and Delfayo Marsalis rode on it. The others may have but we have no recorded evidence of it. As to drugs, this bus was flooded and the mold has probably eaten all of the drugs by now. As to firearms, this bus was flooded and any likely metal objects are rusted by now. But given what it is, with all its limitations this bus is a tremendous value.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us!"

Michelle Malkin is all over the immigration protests happening across the U.S. and provides a nice little link to a picture you will not see in the MSM anywhere. This comes to us courtesy of Montebello High School, in Southern California.

The dominant use of the Mexican flag during these rallies is quite telling for it demonstrates the selfish motivations of the protestors. In reality, the protestors don't want laxed immigration or unenforced immigration laws, but only preferential treatment, an ability to leap frog over all the other law abiding persons seeking to enter the country legally.

Those of you might remember former CA attorney general Cruz Bustamonte whose affiliation to a student group raised eyebrows:

As a student at Fresno State College in the 1970s, Bustamante was active in an organization, called Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, more widely known as MEChA.MEChA is a racist Hispanic separatist organization that seeks to "liberate" and "re-conquer" the southwestern United States for Mexico. The organization has received unusual attention recently following Bustmante's refusal to renounce his former membership in it.

So is the Reconquista, really coming?

Monday, March 27, 2006

Immigration, part Deux

Continuing the Immigration debate seems important after the wave of protests that have occurred over the past several days. This this excellent commentary by Glenn Reynolds touches on some important aspects of this increasingly ugly dilemma. A few of the highlights:

Even if we tighten up the border with Mexico immensely, it won't stop terrorists from sneaking through if they want to...

President Bush likes to say that immigrants do the jobs Americans won't do. That's true, of course, but it's really more accurate to say that immigrants do the jobs Americans won't do at the wages businesses want to pay...

The immigration problem is hard because it pits two things we care about -- freedom of opportunity and control of our borders -- against one another. It's also made harder because people fear that immigrants -- without the pressures of earlier eras -- won't try very hard to assimilate.

For me, this paragraph is the key:

Where I hear resentment of illegal immigrants, it's not so much based on the idea of them taking American jobs. At the moment, at least, unemployment is very, very low so people aren't thinking that way as much as they might if there were a recession. Instead, the resentment is based on the idea that people who come here illegally feel entitled to demand that they be treated like Americans. It's the devaluing of citizenship, as much as the loss of jobs, that seems to upset most people at the moment (emphasis added).

I am of Cuban descent on my mother's side. I can trace my lineage back only a few decades to when my mother and her family fled Cuba. I am sympathetic to those that come here in search of freedom and prosperity, but it has to happen the right way. Otherwise our valuable beliefs will be subsumed in an America of mercenaries, loyal to the dollars they earn, but not the ideals that make it possible.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Get tough first

Just a quick post to point out some nice analysis by Kaus on the immigration issue. He pulls from a few sources and explains why the US may need to get really touch on immigration before attempting any kind of guest worker (or more lenient) program.

I agree.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


RedState has an excellent post comparing the number of military dead during the first term of the last four administrations:

George W. Bush . . . . . 5187 (2001-2004)
Bill Clinton . . . . . . . . . 4302 (1993-1996)
George H.W. Bush . . . . 6223 (1989-1992)
Ronald Reagan . . . . . . 9163 (1981-1984)

Given US involvement in Afghanistan AND Iraq, the comparison to previous administrations is really impressive (via Instapundit).

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

...its actual, everything is counterfactual

Most critics of the Iraq war fail to take into account any idea of what the world might be like if we had never invaded Iraq. Michael Barone has a nice roundup on his blog.

While it is true that we can never know what MIGHT have happened. We do know that there have been no successful terror attacks on US soil since 9/11. I am of the opinion that the Bush administration derserves credit for that.

One of my least favorite lefty arguments is that involvement in Iraq has stymied progress in the fight against Al Qaida. In today's WSJ, Christopher Hitchens demonstrates why this is a liberal canard. I like his Beirut-inspired counterfactual as well.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Thank goodness for Feingold!

Senator Russ Feingold gave Republicans a gift when he introduced legislation to censure President Bush for the NSA wiretap program. According to the WSJ editorial board, it reveals the real agenda of the Far Left- Impeach the President:

And not just the loony left either, though it's getting harder to distinguish them from the mainstream variety. Mr. Feingold is hardly some Internet crank. He's a third-term Senator from a swing state who has all but announced his intention to run for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008. He was the first major Democrat to call for the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq, and half his party was soon demanding the same.
As a legal matter, Mr. Feingold's censure proposal is preposterous. The National Security Agency wiretaps were disclosed to Congressional leaders, including Democrats, from the start. The lead FISA court judges were also informed, and the Attorney General and Justice lawyers have monitored the wiretaps all along. Despite a media drumbeat about "illegal domestic eavesdropping," Mr. Bush's spirited defense of the program since news of it leaked has swung public opinion in support.
But as a political matter, the Wisconsin Senator knows exactly what he's doing. He knows that anti-Bush pathology runs so deep among many Democrats that they really do think they're living in some new dictatorship. Liberal journals solemnly debate impeachment, and political-action groups have formed to promote it. One of our leading left-wing newspapers recently compared Mr. Bush to J. Edgar Hoover and Richard Nixon, as if there were even a speck of evidence that this White House is wiretapping its political enemies.

Democrats have not embraced the Senator's plan. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post exposes the effect in the party of Feingold's initiative- as much as they want to embrace it, they know it is politically indefensible:

Many of Feingold's Democratic colleagues agree that Bush abused his authority with the NSA spying program. And they know liberal Democratic activists are eager to see Bush censured, or worse. But they also know Feingold's maneuver could cost them seats in GOP states.
Hence the elaborate efforts to avoid comment. Five Democratic senators called a news conference yesterday to talk about the Bush budget's "dangerously irresponsible priorities" -- but three of them fled the room before allowing questions. The other two were stuck.
"Was it a good idea for Senator Feingold to bring up this resolution?" came the first question, from CNN's Ed Henry.
"He brings up some very important issues," Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) ventured.

Henry was unsatisfied. "So do you support censure, or not?
Stabenow took another stab. "It needs to have hearings," she said.

They lack the will to support anything as overt as Feingold's effort, choosing talk over action. I think it is fantastic.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Pelosi no Gingrich

Michael Barone is an excellent commentator, and his skills are particularly apparent in his analysis of electoral trends. On his blog he reviews the reasons for Democratic electoral improvements in 1974 and Republican electoral improvements in 1994 as a basis for evaluating the Democrat's chances of retaking the House this Fall. Unsurprisingly, the Democrats seem unlikely to succeed, and Barone's reasoning is very sound. An excerpt:

Some comments in conclusion. Examination of the above factors leads me to conclude that 2006 is not another 1994-at least not yet. But Democrats need only 15/40ths of a 1994 to win control. As I mentioned in my column, there has been an eerie, historically unusual continuity in the House vote in the last five elections, from 1996 to 2004: Republicans have won between 49 and 51 percent of the popular vote, Democrats between 46 and 48.5 percent. That's also where you'll find the percentages in the 2004 presidential race. And the regional and demographic political contours underneath them have been remarkably steady too. If those continue to prevail, a House majority is almost surely out of reach for the Democrats.

Barone is clear that all of this could change by November, but the incompetence of the Democratic leadership seems to be the one thing we CAN count on.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Good Point

Saw this quote on instapundit, thought it was worth passing on.
To be honest, I'd trust Dubai with my ports before I trust Congress with my wallet.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Truth about Iraq

Here's an interesting article, talking about some good news during the supposed civil war in Iraq. The key point, the improvement in the Iraqi Military:
The Iraqi army deployed over 100,000 soldiers to maintain public order. U.S. Forces remained available as a backup, but Iraqi soldiers controlled the streets...Building a military from scratch and changing its culture profoundly is incredibly difficult, yet Bolger's impressed that, after some undeniable birth pains (before Bolger's tenure), the Iraqi army's development is accelerating impressively.
"We bail the Iraqis out less and less," he told The Post, observing that the Iraqis want to do things by themselves - although they'll need some U.S. support for the next few years. "They want us to make a long-term commitment," he said, referring not to a heavy U.S. troop presence, but to a mutually beneficial strategic partnership. Sitting behind his desk in a Spartan office in Baghdad, Bolger exploded another myth - that the new Iraqi military's been infiltrated by militia members. "It's actually hard to penetrate the army," he said. "They're not garrisoned locally, but mixed into truly national units and deployed around the country." In the recent flare-up, sectarian issues had not been a problem in a single Iraqi unit.
Not something you hear about too often. Coming from the NYPost, its a breath of fresh air.

Here's more from General George Casey, the head honcho of the multi-national force, and how the MSM is manipulating his quotes to change the nations perspective on the war:
I did want to give you a perspective, my perspective, on really the last 10 days of what's gone on here in the aftermath of the Samarra mosque bombing. As Ambassador Khalilzad and I said in our initial joint statement condemning the bombings, we saw this as a deliberate attempt to foment sectarian strife at a very sensitive time in Iraq's political development. And while it's been a difficult few days, I can tell you that Iraqis have again risen to the occasion.

Law School Professors

From opinionjournal:
Only one law school, George Mason in Arlington, Va., filed a brief on the winning side [of the recent Supreme Court decision allowing the government to withhold funding for law school the deny access to military recruiters]. Given that not a single justice agreed with the views put forward by profs at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, NYU, Chicago, Penn, etc., it seems fair to say that George Mason has the most competent professors of any law school in the nation.

I'd say any lawyer who gets a George Mason education most be a pretty lucky guy.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Bias (again!)

Michael Barone has a very simple example of the mainstream media's effort to discredit the President at every turn. At issue is the tape that gained public attention last week for showing the President Bush being briefed about dangers to New Orleans' levees before Katrina made landfall.

I don't mind it if most reporters are liberal. I just expect them to be honest about it or learn to tell the story objectively.

"I can beat Hillary"

Drudge has posted excerpts from a letter written by KT McFarland, a New Yorker who will challenge for the Republican nomination for US Senator for that state. She seems to be a very strong candidate, with enough liberal views to satisfy New Yorkers, but with solid conservative credentials earned through service under people like Ronald Reagan.

The prospect of Hillary losing her senate seat just 2 years before 2008 is pleasing, though a Rovian viewpoint would prefer a polarizing Hillary to a more centrist Democrat.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Article IIX

From a news story on the Administrations more aggresive stance on fighting leaks, comes this gem of interpretationalist logic from the The Post editor Leo Downie Jr:
"We do not want to inadvertently threaten human life or legitimately harm national security in our reporting," he said. "But it's important . . . in our constitutional system that these final decisions be made by newspaper editors and not the government."
Two Points:
First, what constitutional system does Downie live in that matters of national security should be decided by EDITORS and not elected officials? Is there some ninth article in the constitution outlining the powers of the media?
Second, I see a big problem with MSM idea un-elected, un-accountable elites thinking of themselves both as the protectors of the people and antagonists to the true representatives.

I was thinking this morning about how the PC in this country are more worried about offending the minority, than the majority. The same black leaders who are offended by the use of statistics showing a higher rate of incarceration for blacks offend me by calling me a racist because I'm a republican (near majority). But I'm not just talking about races. You can't celebrate Christmas in public because you'll offend a minority group, but you can use public money for the production of anti-Christian art. The MSM won't publish tame Mohammed cartoons, but lauds praise on edgy films, music, and art. So what would be a good name for these folk? if Democracy is rule by the people (majority), then what do you call rule by the others (minorities)?
Any thoughts?
Xenocracy? Exocracy?