31 December 2006
30 December 2006
And no, I did not say "Hasta la vista, baby," since I have no intention of seeing him again.
The U S Military reports that the Iraqi government may execute Saddam Hussein before 2006 is a done deal. I have no problem with that. I am concerned about two things.
1) It troubles me that certain elements of the progressive movement, and in this case, that includes the Roman Catholic Church, embrace a reflexively anti-death penalty position, even though it is in the best interest of 26 million people that this man be demonstrably removed from the politica stage. And frankly, even if we put him in Supermax in Colorado, we would always be accused of holding his possible release over the heads of Iraqis to sway the attitude of their government (a la the British with Napoleon on St Helena) whether we did so or not.
Look at some of the arguments:
Cardinal Renato Martino, Pope Benedict XVI's top prelate for justice issues and a former Vatican envoy to the U.N., condemned the death sentence in a newspaper interview published Thursday, saying capital punishment goes against the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
After Saddam's death sentence was handed down last month, Louise Arbour, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, urged Iraq to ensure a fair appeals process and to refrain from executing Saddam even if the sentence is upheld.
Some international legal observers and human rights groups have also called Saddam's trial unfair because of alleged interference by the Shiite-dominated government. There has also been internal debate among Iraqis about legal procedures surrounding the timeframe and whether the presidency is required to approve the execution.
Like Saddam ever worried about the niceties of legal procedures.
Besides, have these guys ever read the Bible? capital punishment is all over the place. I guess the peas-n-justise types have their place in the RCC too.2) Of more concern is the possibility that Saddam will be seen as some kind of martyr in some quarters. I had a suggestion about this a couple years ago. Since I was pre-blog, I actually sent an email to POTUS, the VP, Secretary of State Powell, and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. (Yeah. I was one of those.) I suggested that since any verdict in an Iraqi courtroom under U.S. occupation could be viewed as illegitimate, we should allow Saddam to be tried first by an indiputably Islamic government which would certainly find him guilty of capital crimes. I thought we should turn him over to the Kuwaitis.
All water under the bridge now, of course. But some will still see him as a martyr.
May God have mercy on him.
Originally posted on 12/28.
Update: Saddam is dead.
One man interviews from Dearborn, MI on Fox News Channel this morning said that in addition to freeing the Iraqi people of this brutal murderer, he also "felt a little sorry" for Saddam.
I agree. To see the footage of this man, even this evil man, looking befuddled and on his way to his death must, I think, cause us to feel sympathy for another human being. Or else we are at least a few steps down the road to being him.
Which is not to say that this was not the right thing to do, because it was.
28 December 2006
Opinionjournal has a good wrap up of the case to date.
This afternoon, the race-baiting D A, Mike Nifong was charged with ethics violations by the state Bar. I am not sure, but I think that these charges while a case is still extant are relatively rare, and sign that the state bar association does not think the case holds water.
The real loss here is that three realities will be shoved under the rug. First, it is tragic that when the word broke that a major college atheletic team had been so charged, it sounded so believable. Sad comment on the college culture in America today. Second, black people in this nation still are disproportionately represented as victims of crimes,and a false accusation will not help that. Third, rape is a real and life damaging crime for the real victims (ditto).
I hope, for the sake of real victims everywhere, that not only is Nifong disbarred, but that the "exotic dancer" is charged with making false statements to police, publicly shamed and jailed.
And that the idiots who jumped on this improbable bandwagon (including identity politics players like the black "leaders" of Durham and the Duke faculty will pay through the nose as the city of Durham makes good on the false arrest verdict in the lawsuit that they will certainly settle out of court ... or lose.
Hope the extra 2 months of time in office for Nifong was worth it all.
My dad remarked, "Let's hope he's not an Edsel either."
I remember Ford as a nice, relatively ineffective, inactive President. Which is probably just what we needed after Nixon.
27 December 2006
The bad news: Announcing from the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, in spite of his rhetoric this morning about letting people pick themselves up, looks like we are in for more of the old Two Americas: the haves and the have nots garbage.
I was going to leave it at this, but googling Two Americas came up with this paper by the Heritage Foundation. It quotes Edwards in 2004 phrasing it this way:
"two Americas...one privileged, the other burdened...one America that does the work, another that reaps the reward. One America that pays the taxes, another America that gets the tax breaks."
Of course this is simply untrue. The paper goes on to debunk this. As I have quoted elsewhere, the bottom 50% of Americans (by income) pay almost no income taxes at all, so if Edwards point is that the rich get the breaks, he has it exactly backwards!
Finally, the notion that Edwards is "announcing" his run for the presidency is silly. He never stopped running. I think that he was running for '08 while he was still Kerry's 'o4 VP candidate. Scott Ott over at Scrappleface has it about right:
With just 23 months before the next presidential election, former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, announced today that he would seek the Democrat nomination for president in 2008, 2012 and 2016, but refused to comment on his plans for 2020.
23 December 2006
Scooter Libby is going to go on trial for supposedly lying to investigators who were trying to figure out who leaked Valerie Plame's (or is it Plah-may?) name to the press. I have blogged on this and if you do not know what I am talking about, (1) you have obviously been hiding in a cave for three years and (2) you are in many, many ways quite fortunate.
Plame and her husband, gadfly blabbermouth Joe Wilson, have sued most of the registered Republicans in America for shortening her CIA career. From which she resigned. (?)
It seems that in the upcoming criminal trial, where even the Vice President in going to testify, Joe Wilson suddenly, for the first time in three years, does not want any attention. From the Associated Press:
"Mr. Libby should not be permitted to compel Mr. Wilson's testimony at trial either for the purpose of harassing Mr. Wilson or to gain an advantage in the civil case," Wilson's attorneys wrote.Wilson and his attorneys are aware that once the civil trial starts, this sort of motion will not work, right? Or maybe this means he now seeks to fade into the background and vanish, and the civil case - which is apparently almost completely without evidence of a cause of action - will be dropped.
Could it be that Wilson read my blog entry or at least the title? Here's hoping.
On a private listserve I subscribe to, I made reference to this news story. It drew this response from a clever wag:
You could call this a condomnation of Indian manhood.Ugh.
At any rate, David Virtue, a layman who reports on the goings on in North American and worldwide Anglicanism, reports that St Stephen's Church, an historic colonial parish in Heathsville, Virginia has, along with nine other parishes, voted to leave TEC.
This sort of thing is happening quite a lot lately. Members of so-called "conservative" (I would prefer "orthodox" or "traditional") parishes who find themselves unable to remain in a diocese with a "liberal" bishop (I would probably use "revisionist; Virtue like "pansexualist"), align themselves with a conservative African bishop and leave TEC.
A majority of the congregation at St Stephen's voted to disassociate with TEC and align with the Ugandan Anglican Church. The vote was a majority, and I do not have the numbers of the actual vote, but TEC's Episcopal News Service described the 30 folks who voted not to leave TEC as " a Large, Viable Remnant."
Well, since the 2003 figures show that average worship attendance at all protestant churches is 89, that means TEC is in bigger trouble than they know, if 30 is considered large.
Or they are lying ..... I mean "Spinning" through their teeth.
Now I never understood quantum mechanics because I was never could get my mind around this description that I had read about it (paraphrased).
Imagine a particle coming to an intersection, and it can go either left of right. There is an equal chance that it will go either way, and it must go one or the other. In QM, you do not say that a particle has a 50% chance of going left and a 50% chance of going right; you say that the particle is in a state of 50% going right and 50% going left ... until it actually goes one way or the other.For some reason that is important, and I could never get my mind around it.
At the game I saw live, I was seated in the end zone up on the front of the second tier, so I had a view of the side to side action on the field. At one point Sanders was rushing toward a linebacker. Suddenly I understood QM! Sanders was 50% in a state of going left, and 50% in a state of going right ... right up til the moment the linebacker committed one way ... and then Sanders went the other. Awesome.
So, the Federal government passes a law in 2001 which permits the FBI to see the records of what books a terror suspect is checking out from the local library, and it is Totalitarianism.
The Bush Administration refuses to give prisoners of war at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility full US criminal court rights, and suddenly he is Hitler (or is that Rumsfeld?) and American soldiers are Nazis and Soviets.
And now, we have a report that:
A man used flammable liquid to light himself on fire, apparently to protest a San Joaquin Valley school district's decision to change the names of winter and spring breaks to Christmas and Easter vacation.What the school district calls the breaks will appear on the school calender and will matter nowhere!
Folks: get a sense of proportion, will you? Please!
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- A school bus driver made black high school students sit at the front of the bus, triggering charges of segregation from the students, and an investigation by the school district and a civil rights group.About two dozen black students were made to sit at the front by the driver, who said he wanted to keep an eye on the students following a fight between two of them on Oct. 31.It would seem to me that the NAACP should perhaps help the distict improve relations between the black students themselves, since a fight between two of them was what started this.
The driver's name wasn't released by the school district.
The students claimed the driver assumed all of them were troublemakers, and complained.
Seating practices have returned to normal, and the driver was transferred to another route, but the Santa Clara Unified School District and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People are looking into the matter."The fight did occur," said Tabbitha Kappler-Hurley, the district's spokeswoman. "How it was handled and what was said is part of a confidential investigation."
The NAACP has asked the school district to take steps to improve relations between staff and black students, who said they didn't feel comfortable riding the bus anymore.
What ever happened to dealing with the root cause?
21 December 2006
He has spent the last year in Iraq.
From his Blog.
injuredPlease keep JR and his family in your prayers.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
it is hard for me to tell you all this but i was hurt by an ied here. my right arm has been amputated below the elbow, my left has four working fingers. my legs are fine so l can still logroll! i am on my way to the hospital in germany, then back to the states for more care. i am in high spirits. i am going to be ok, but i will have a long road to recovery. please remember me in your prayers, as well as those who were injured with me. i will let you know more as time passes.
~ J.R. SALZMAN
The whole thing was so over the top it could have been written by Mel Brooks.
In fact, it turned out that it was a forum featuring Pulitzer Prize winning fiction author Seymour Hersh and Saddam apologist Scott Ritter.
Now I did not hear the whole program, but I heard no harsh questions. No challenges to the views or credibility of these authors. Just a say anything forum with a fiction-friendly host.
Remind me again: why do my tax dollars go to NPR?
Why do none of the obits that mark the death of Joseph Barbera mention my favorite character? Now perhaps he did not create him personally, but I distinctly recall that Space Ghost was a Hanna-Barbera production. And I cluelessly grew up loving it. Even if 6 buttons could produce 6000 different effects ....
15 December 2006
I know that I ought to be nicer than this, and I do feel badly for the families of these men, but these guys are apparently climbing Mount Hood in December without rescue transponders, and that makes them functionally morons.
It ain't called survival of the dumbest.
13 December 2006
In that vein, I believe that this headline,
You have posted comments wanting us to contact you and we have tried to contact you through the MySpace page you sent us, but I am not sure it worked. Please repost a comment with a direct email address and I promise NOT to post it on here.
Looking forward to hearing more from you.
11 December 2006
I also recall hearing that one of the things that held up Barry Sanders' first contract was a demand by Sanders for a clause that if he scored 1000 yards in the season, all the members of the offensive line would get substantial bonuses. Maybe that sort of thing is common, though you don't hear about it all that much. But it shows an understanding of the team nature of the sport, which seems too rare, especially for a rookie 3rd pick overall. And by the way, they got those bonuses every year that clause was in effect. Barry never ran fewer than 1115 yards in a season.
(I have posted a little piece about watching Barry Sanders play on here.)
LaDainian Tomlinson showed that same kind of class today. He broke the single season touchdown record for the NFL in yesterday's game. When that happened, he called the offensive linemen into the end zone to celebrate with him. Then, well, here are his words from his press conference:
When we're old and can't play this game anymore, them are the moments we are going to remember, that we'll be able to tell our kids, tell our grandchildren. We can talk about something special that we did. We made history today. There's no better feeling than to share it with the group of guys that's in that locker room.Hear that? "We're ... we ... we'll ... our ... our ... We ... we ... We ... share ... group of guys." You never would have known it was he who set the record.
Somebody gets the whole team thing really well.
27 November 2006
I am a Bears fan, and while there are teams I instinctively dislike, there are also other organizations and players in the NFL that I respect. Brett Favre is one of those.
Tonight he is starting his 232 consecutive game as Green Bay's QB. He has played in 36 different NFL stadiums, 13 of which no longer exist.
To put it in a different perspective, in the time Favre has been starting for Green Bay, my Bears have started 20 different QB's!
BTW: Finally, a booth guest on ESPN's Monday Night Football who does not distract from the game. Charles Barkley was a complete distraction, as was Jeff Gordon (?) (or some NASCAR driver), as have been all the other celebs I have endured this season. Jimmy Kimmel though, was pretty funny and did not distract from (at that point) a pretty good game.
26 November 2006
I heard it on the radio yesterday, so I decided to blog this thought that I have had for a very long time. I think that the most irritating rock song ever is "Some Guys Have All the Luck" by Rod Stewart. Now I admit, there are worse songs, musically and even lyrically. But what makes this song so terribly irritating is the combination of lyrics and the realities of Rod Stewart's life. Wikipedia, has this to say about Rod's relationships:
Throughout his career Stewart has been known for his liaisons with attractive women (fathering seven children with five of them; the oldest being born in 1964 and his latest child being born in November 2005):Now I know, he did not write the song. (Robert Palmer did.) And I know it was released in 1984. But for a guy who has been married to some of the most beautiful women in the world, but cannot say faithful to them to sing that
* Art student Susannah Boffey; one daughter Sarah Thubron (born 1964)
* Actress Britt Ekland [first woman pictured]
* First marriage, to Alana Hamilton (ex-wife of actor George Hamilton); one daughter Kimberly (born 1979) and one son Sean (born 1981) [Second woman pictured at right]
* Model Kelly Emberg; one daughter Ruby (born 1987)
* Second marriage, to model Rachel Hunter; one daughter Renee (born 1992) and one son Liam (born 1994). Rod was quoted as saying that he'd rather have his penis cut off than cheat on her. He was later sued for divorce. [Third woman on right]
* With his new fiancée, model Penny Lancaster, he had his seventh child, a boy, Alastair Wallace Stewart, on 27 November 2005. The couple plan to marry in 2006. [Fourth woman on right.]
Some guys have all the luckreally irritates me.
Some guys have all the pain
Some guys get all the breaks
Some guys do nothing but complain
25 November 2006
Please tell me that this is not the first time this has been tried!
21 November 2006
And I was wondering how it is that one of the four stars of the most popular television comedy of the last decade was not famous enough!?!
Daryl Pitts, a Laugh Factory audience member interviewed by CNN, compared the incident to another recent celebrity controversy.
"You think about Mel Gibson and what he said, and put that in the context of this, it's very upsetting," Pitts said, referring to Gibson's anti-Semitic outburst during his arrest for drunken driving.
Scrutiny of Richards' remarks likely will continue but won't match the level prompted by Gibson's behavior because Richards is far less famous, Levine said.
I think that that is just an excuse to allow Richards to skate after a couple weeks while Gibson will continue to be pilloried. Why? Newsbusters explains it well:
My guess would be that "Kramer" will not get near the amount of venom spewed at him. Of course, "Kramer" didn't make a movie about Jesus that made millions despite Hollywood's best efforts to laugh it out of theaters, either!
After all, did Mel Gibson get 7 some minutes of David Letterman's show to apologize?
[Newlywed actor Tom] Cruise is clueless. In a way, he’s become the new Michael Jackson.Ouch!
Well, yes, offerings may well have been up, but Christian stewardship was certainly down. Other things that were up: self-centered-ness, greed, the list goes on and on. Christian stewardship is about selflessness and putting God at the center of your life and relying on him, first, last and always. (Among other things.)
For exactly these same reasons, the Arizona voting lottery is a bad idea. We should all be participating in the electoral process, but if you do not feel obliged, you should not be bribed or otherwise taking part out of some sort of selfish motive. Enlightened self interest is one thing; an appeal to greed is another.
And yes, I know that some politicians make promises that are more or less than exactly that. But that is different than the government doing it.
I used to worry about low voter turnouts. I do not any more. I want an educated, interested electorate showing up to vote. If you will not take the time and interest to educate yourself, it is ok. Just stay home.
10 November 2006
Now, I'm the Grrr! guy, and trust me, I have no love for Britney Spears. I think she had little talent even at the top of her game, and is a despicable influence on our nation's youth. I shudder to think that she's a mother.That sums it up nicely.
But compared to her soon-to-be-ex-husband, she's Mother Teresa.
Upon hearing the news that Britney has filed for divorce from her free-loading "Papozao" rapping loser of a husband (aka, the white Corey Clark), I find myself in her corner. At least until the next time she French kisses an over-aged, worn-out, pop star who goes by the name of Jesus Christ's mother.
CAIRO, Egypt — Al Qaeda in Iraq's purported leader vowed on Friday that his fighters would never rest until they have reached Jerusalem and destroy the White House.
"We will not rest from our Jihad until we are under the olive trees of Rumieh and we have destroyed the dirty black house -- which is called the White House," al-Muhajir said.
They don't hate us, they only hate Bush, we have been told by Donkey after Donkey. And now that we voted for the Democrats, they ought to leave us alone!!!
Our local MSM weekly - a small town paper so liberal they only print on the left side of the page - ran a letter to the editor saying that he was sure that Bush was going to cheat and Diebold is evil so there would still be Republican rule blah blah blah...Blogger JimTreacher asks the following questions of such moonbats:
Questions from a political dilettante
- Does this mean Bush is still Hitler? I'm pretty sure Hitler never let his opponents win an election, did he? Unless... this is all part of Rove's plan.
- A major concern of the last few elections has been that Republicans need to cheat to win, and the problem was going to be even worse with the new Diebold machines. What happened? Did Cheney forget his password again? That darn Cheney, always forgetting his password.
- What happened to Ned? I thought Lieberman was Public Enemy #1. Now Kos must feel like the kid on Christmas morning who's surrounded by toys... except for the one he really wanted.
- Does Nancy Pelosi ever wear a fake flower on her lapel that shoots acid? Because that would really be a surprise for Batman when he's hauling her to Commissioner Gordon's office.
- So the world likes us again, right? No more terrorism? YAY!!!
07 November 2006
As Sen. Kerry began his soon-to-be-reversed "I apologize to no one" rebuttal to a call for an apology, I was driving by the memorial built in honor of Kyle, my son, and the other fallen heroes from my town. As I listened, I tried unsuccessfully to make sense of the meteor shower of thoughts that were streaking through my mind. Then came one remembrance that brought all those other thoughts to an instantaneous halt. Last year I had written an editorial and I received a number of written replies. Among those was one postmarked from San Diego addressed simply to "the father of a hero" and my town of Emerson, N.J.
It started off friendly enough then quickly became argumentative and before the first paragraph was completed this individual had written, "I am glad that your son got killed for he probably was an idiot just like you". My first reaction, and really the only reaction I have ever had, was sadness for an individual who is so consumed with anger that he felt it necessary to lash out at me for my beliefs.
That is exactly how I feel about John Kerry. His anger was in full bloom as he tried desperately to control the damage that his words had caused. He knew full well that he could not defend his remarks, so he attacked President Bush. In doing so he reinforced his now fully revealed condescending attitude towards our troops. He talked over them, as he always does, never even beginning to understand that there might be individuals who were truly and deeply offended by his remarks. The explanation for that is quite simple: He firmly and deeply believes that anyone who would be so stupid as to join the military is beneath the high moral perch on which he thinks he sits.
Even in his so-called apology the next day, Mr. Kerry could not bring himself to admit that he had made a mistake. It was not his fault that I might be offended; it is my fault because I "misinterpreted" what he said.
Over these past 3 1/2 years, whenever I have been asked to be interviewed or speak at a function, I purposely do not write anything down. I do not want my emotions to be confined by the words that I have practiced; rather, I want to share with the people I am speaking with the full range of emotions that I live with each day in order that they might understand me in human terms. On the day that he aggrieved so many individuals by his words, that is what Sen. Kerry was doing. He dropped the pretense and revealed to the world what was in is heart, to his never-ending detriment.
But I commend the whole article to you, so that you, too might know of Kyle Griffin, and not just
that sour faced, retired Navy vet who serves as the junior senator from Mass.
06 November 2006
I would guess that by now everyone has seen this picture.
But a friend of mine sent me this one seen at the Army-Air Force Football game.
Which leads me to my political comment this morning. The tele-pundits are all over the news shows this morning with the news that the number of conservatives and Repubs reporting themselves as likely voters are surging in the last few days. I thank John Kerry for that. Not only for his bone-headed comment, but for his subsequent staunch refusal to issue an apology, and then, the next day, issuing a non-apology apology.
That provided a piece that the MSM could not ignore, and it has reminded the right / center what is at stake in this election.
Don't get me wrong. The Dems are going to have gains. I predict they will take the House, and be very close to taking the Senate. (Clear your schedule, Mr V P. You may have some tie-breaking votes to cast.) But the gains will not be as significant as they would have been sans Messr Kerry's comments.
03 November 2006
"The President has the worst jobs record since the Great Depression, and the economy is slowing due to the housing slump. The budget and trade deficits as well as public debt levels have all climbed to record levels," Pelosi said.1. The new jobs report is really excellent news. Note that this is nearly as good as the pre-9/11 jobs numbers.
2. When a market bubble, the the housing bubble, begins to deflate, that is not a slump. It is the market returning to normal.
3. I do not think that the budget and trade numbers or the public debt are at record levels in constant dollars, though I, too, am concerned about them.
But Speaker-in-waiting Pelosi blows any credibility she might have with:
4. "The President has the worst jobs record since the Great Depression..." Right. Except for Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Bush 41.
Here is the opinion of the new Presiding Bishop of the ECUSA (now called The Episcopal Church as they prepare to break with Canterbury - or get kicked out.)
Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori -- who is to be installed on Saturday as the first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church USA -- stated that Christians should not say that Jesus is the only way to God. "If we insist we know the one way to God," she said, "we've put God in a very small box."
In John 14:6, Jesus -- in responding to a question posed by the disciple Thomas -- said: "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me." But Jefferts-Schori says she disagrees with the idea that salvation comes only through trusting in Jesus Christ. "It's this sense that one person can have the fullness of truth in him or herself, rather than understanding that truth is -- like God -- more than any one person can encompass," stated the soon-to-be ECUSA leader.
Jefferts-Schori says she views salvation as the healing of all Creation through holy living.
In otherwords, it is all about works righteousness.
We are not putting God in a small box when we believe his word; our sin has put us in one, and there is only one way out.
The ECUSA / TEC is not a Christian organization anymore. God help those many fine Chrstians who are stuck in it.
29 October 2006
My friend Lincoln Davis who chairs our campaign says there are, there’s one big difference between us and misfortunate Republicans when it comes to our faith: he said that Republicans fear the Lord; he said Democrats fear AND love the Lord.That via Powerline, who also has video of the comment.
28 October 2006
You enter a (not necessarily your home) polling place. You go up and show them your official state issued voting card. Since all the state systems are compatible, the clerk directs you to a voting booth. You walk into the booth, and insert your card. You are faced with a screen. On it are your local candidates. Whether you are one of we peons who vote in our home precincts all the time, or one of those folks who 'winter' in the sun belt, your home ballot for the precinct of your home address registration is on the screen. (Isn't the internet wonderful?) You touch the screen to pick your choices. When you are done, you touch a spot that says "Done voting."
Before you leave your voting booth, 2 cards print out. Each records your votes. You walk out to the elections official. He/she asks you if your ballot is accurate. You look it over. If it is not, you go in, reinsert the ballot and vote again. If it is, you drop it in a locked box, if it is local, or put it in an envelope, that will have printed out at the official's table, addressed to your home elections office and put it in another locked box for the USPS to pick up.
The preliminary election results are available from the computer printouts within minutes of the closing of polls.
Part of verification would entail the opening of a random selection of locked local precinct boxes to verify the results and hand counting the ballots. Full verification would wait only 4 days for the USPS to deliver any provisional ballots voted outside the local jurisdiction, which would be confirmed.
The one hitch in this? Secrecy of the ballot. There is a possibility of someone compromising the secrecy of the ballot. I know that. But in a nation of 300,000,000, I am less concerned about that than I am in among a smaller electorate.
I am sure someone smarter than I am will see this and say ... no there are additional problems. Please... tell me what they are and how they are any worse than the last 6 years of second guessing?
I have another theory, however.
Since the Democrat's plan seems to consist of:
- letting taxes go up in 2010, and probably raising them sooner.
- spending more money on "social programs" and then calling it Homeland Security than even the spendthrift Republican Congress has done.
- Doing something different in Iraq, which is almost certain to be as unsuccessful as the Bush plan has been.
- not being the Republicans.
And since Presidents rarely get anything constructive done in their 7th & 8th years ...
... maybe the best thing that can happen to Republicans in 2008 is a Democratic Congress (one or both houses in 2006.
Because, frankly, the above Democratic strategy does not sound like much more than a short term winner.
26 October 2006
1. I have sometimes wondered about it when I have seen news coverage, but frankly, I did not even know Harold Ford was black. He is one of the palest black men I have ever seen.
2. I think the format of the ad is hilarious and extremely effective. Ford supporters are probably glad of the controversy because it lets them attack the ad without dealing with the issues raised.
3. I know that there is a lot of residual racism in this country, and the notion of a white woman telling a black man "call me" will, to some people, serve as race-baiting. (To Kill a Mockingbird and all that.) But ...
4. The only people who are most strenuously objecting to this ad in this country (Ford's opponent Bob Corker called it "tacky") are the NAACP and others who ought not be upset by the notion of an interracial relationship. It seems to me that for the members of the black community to object to a Republican ad because it shows the possibility of an interracial dating relationship is for those same forces of integration to be taking a stand against interracial relationships. Is the NAACP really proposing to castigate people for miscegenation?
5. Maybe the best thing about this ad is that the Canadians are upset. According to the Globe and Mail, when a man in the ad says: "Canada can take care of North Korea. They're not busy." the Canadians have taken that to mean that they are freeloaders, lazy, or worse. Not how I read it, but I think it is kind of funny that the Canadians did.
24 October 2006
From Peggy Noonan, and if your doubt her conclusions, read the whole peice here.
It is not only about rage and resentment, and how some have come to see them as virtues, as an emblem of rightness. I feel so much, therefore my views are correct and must prevail. It is about something so obvious it is almost embarrassing to state. Free speech means hearing things you like and agree with, and it means allowing others to speak whose views you do not like or agree with. This--listening to the other person with respect and forbearance, and with an acceptance of human diversity--is the price we pay for living in a great democracy. And it is a really low price for such a great thing.
We all know this, at least in the abstract. Why are so many forgetting it in the particular?
Let us be more pointed. Students, stars, media movers, academics: They are always saying they want debate, but they don't. They want their vision imposed. They want to win. And if the win doesn't come quickly, they'll rush the stage, curse you out, attempt to intimidate.
And they don't always recognize themselves to be bullying. So full of their righteousness are they that they have lost the ability to judge themselves and their manner.
And all this continues to come more from the left than the right in America.
Which is, at least in terms of timing, strange. The left in America--Democrats, liberals, Bush haters, skeptics of many sorts--seems to be poised for a significant electoral victory. Do they understand that if it comes it will be not because of Columbia, Streisand, O'Donnell, et al., but in spite of them?What is most missing from the left in America is an element of grace--of civic grace, democratic grace, the kind that assumes disagreements are part of the fabric, but we can make the fabric hold together. The Democratic Party hasn't had enough of this kind of thing since Bobby Kennedy died. What also seems missing is the courage to ask a question. Conservatives these days are asking themselves very many questions, but I wonder if the left could tolerate asking itself even a few. Such as: Why are we producing so many adherents who defy the old liberal virtues of free and open inquiry, free and open speech? Why are we producing so many bullies?
She goes on to reveal that some of her friends also hold paranoid delusions.
All week I've been reading in disparate sources from Drudge to US News and World Report about Bush, Rove and Cheney being overly confident about the midterm elections. Even Republican strategists are increasingly concerned because the White House doesn't have a plan if they lose. This lack of planning shouldn't surprise anyone, but if you really think about it a creepy, crawly feeling grows in your gut.Here are some questions: Are these guys simply narcissistic idiots Rove-ing around in some never-never land bubble or do they know something we don't? Have they planned a grab bag nose punch of an October/November surprise? Or have Diebold, ES&S, and local state secretaries assured them that they will do "whatever it takes" to get a Republican Congress elected again? Or are they just planning to outspend us?
Maybe Rove et al have really good poll data, as they have had in the past, that indicates that are going to do ok. Or maybe they are simply realists who know that no matter what the outcome on election day, they will have to govern, and whining about it is not going to change anything.
But then, the left could not comprehend that.
22 October 2006
Mrs. Clinton, who will soon go fully national again, shrewdly makes more and more religious references and has taken to wearing a cross on her neck on the campaign trail. Ben Smith of New York's Daily News called it a diamond cross. It looks like one. But diamonds would be an odd thing for a Democratic politician to campaign in. No Democrat or Republican politician has worn expensive jewelry in New York since Mario Cuomo looked at his wealthy opponent in their first debate and purred, "Nice watch, Lou!"
A hunch. Hillary is just waiting for someone to ask her about the diamond cross so she can shyly respond, 'Lord, it's glass, actually.' Her office will elaborate: It was given to her by a little girl in Poughkeepsie, to remind her of what's important. Hillary promised to wear it every day.
But now she can't. And don't even think that she is not regretting it.
Apparently there is a play based on the life and musings of patriotic, peace-loving activist Rachel Corrie, pictured here.
In discussing the "play" Terry Teachout had the following to say about the Left:
It's an ill-crafted piece of goopy give-peace-a-chance agitprop--yet it's being performed to cheers and tears before admiring crowds of theater-savvy New Yorkers who, like Mr. Rickman himself, ought to know better.
So why don't they? Because Palestine is the new Cuba, a political cause whose invocation has the effect of instantaneously anesthetizing the upper brain functions of those who believe in it.
18 October 2006
BUT DA BEARS
Mind you, they deserved to lose Monday night ...
But I am awfully glad they did not.
Some have indicated that my boys got lucky with the missed kick by Rackers. Nope. Not if you believe Hunter Hillenmeyer:
Larry: There was some mention that Hunter Hillenmeyer partially blocked the missed field goal at the end of Monday night’s game. Has that been confirmed?
Newport Beach, California
Nick: There’s no mention of a deflection in the official statistics, but I asked Hunter Hillenmeyer after the game and he told me that Neil Rackers’ errant 40-yard field goal attempt in the final minute of the fourth quarter did in fact graze off his fingertips.
So, not luck, just a good team snatching victory .... oh enough of the cliches.
Thoman Friedman writes:
Although the Vietcong and Hanoi were badly mauled during Tet, they delivered, through the media, such a psychological blow to U.S. hopes of "winning" in Vietnam that Tet is widely credited with eroding support for President Johnson and driving him to withdraw as a candidate for re-election. . . .Tet was a disaster for the VC. In other words, even though every casualty of war is a tragedy, if we have the intestinal fortitude to withstand a few more, we will face a severly weakend jihadist movement in Iraq shortly after the election.
While there may be no single hand coordinating the upsurge in violence in Iraq, enough people seem to be deliberately stoking the fires there before our election that the parallel with Tet is not inappropriate. The jihadists want to sow so much havoc that Bush supporters will be defeated in the midterms and the president will face a revolt from his own party, as well as from Democrats, if he does not begin a pullout from Iraq.
All we have to do is withstand a negative, vitriolic, defeatist disinformation campaign by the left leaning MSM.
Well, heck, unlike 1968, we have 3 1/2 years of experience at that now!
11 October 2006
What I want to know is what did the Donkeys know and when did they know it,
and how much abuse has gone on while they sat on this story for political advantage!?!
After the riot at Columbia University last week, Ross Kaminsky of Real Clear Politics offers this piece of wisdom I picked up at OpinionJournal.com:
It is a remarkable thing about liberals (or, at Columbia, outright leftists) in free societies: They are far more intolerant than conservatives. The protesters hate people who oppose illegal immigration. They accept the use of intimidation and violence to keep such people from speaking, then blame the victim for having been controversial. Conservatives generally don't hate people for their views even if those views are as wrong-headed as those of many (or, in my experience, most) Columbia students.
Can't add much to that.
07 October 2006
One of the better minds on the net is James Taranto. He edits Opinionjournal.com and writes the Best of the Web Today column. Here are his comments on Rep. Mark Foley from October 2.
The most fascinating comment about the scandal comes from Andrew Sullivan:
I don't know Foley, although, like any other gay man in D.C., I was told he was gay, closeted, afraid and therefore also screwed up. What the closet does to people--the hypocrisies it fosters, the pathologies it breeds--is brutal. There are many still-closeted gay men in D.C., many of them working for a Republican party that has sadly deeply hostile to gay dignity. How they live with themselves I do not fully understand. . . .
What I do know is that the closet corrupts. The lies it requires and the compartmentalization it demands can lead people to places they never truly wanted to go, and for which they have to take ultimate responsibility. From what I've read, Foley is another example of this destructive and self-destructive pattern for which the only cure is courage and honesty. While gays were fighting for thir [sic] basic equality, Foley voted for the "Defense of Marriage Act." If his resignation means the end of the closet for him, and if there is no more to this than we now know, then it may even be for the good. Better to find integrity and lose a Congressional seat than never live with integrity at all.
It seems to us that someone who is sexually interested in children had damn well better stay in the closet, and if he can't, he should be put in one with a thick metal door that locks from the outside. It is astonishing, and more than a little disturbing, that Sullivan would seek to make Foley a poster child for gay liberation.
Further, has it occurred to Sullivan that his response to the Foley scandal undermines his own credibility as an advocate of same-sex marriage? Sullivan has long claimed to be advancing traditional values. All he wants, he says, is for society to recognize that gay couples are no less capable of serious, loving, lifelong commitments than ordinary couples are.
But if a middle-aged congressman were caught sending lewd messages to 16-year-old girls, what adherent to traditional values would claim that the congressman's real problem is that he is insufficiently open about his sexuality?
Exploitation Reaction Formation
One of the odder accusations being leveled against Foley is that of hypocrisy. As the Washington Post notes, Foley "built his political career in large measure on legislative proposals meant to halt the sexual predation of children and others":
A well-liked member of the class of conservatives elected to Congress in 1994, Foley was until two days ago a deputy whip for the House Republicans and a co-chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus. A Web site for the bipartisan group states that it was formed to "create a voice within Congress" on that issue and to operate a hotline for tips about "online child sexual exploitation" that could be passed to law enforcement agencies.
At a White House Rose Garden ceremony on July 27, President Bush hailed Foley and some other House and Senate lawmakers as members of a "SWAT team for kids." Bush spoke while signing into law a broad child protection measure that included a Foley-sponsored provision requiring sex offenders to register in every state where they live, work or attend school.
Exploiting children is bad. Does simultaneously decrying the exploitation of children make it worse? This would seem to be a pretty obvious case of hypocrisy being the tribute that vice pays to virtue.
What's more, any armchair psychologist worth his salt will tell you that Foley's activism on behalf of children appears to be a reaction formation--that is, a neurotic defense against his own impulses (a theme we struck, in another context, two weeks ago).
A tangentially related analogy is the antigay activist who turns out to be a closeted homosexual. (Andrew Sullivan notwithstanding, Foley does not seem to fall into this category. He in fact voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004.) This is a standard trope of the gay left, and it is not without a grain of truth.
But the Foley case shows why this trope is not really an argument. Foley's own apparent penchant for exploiting children in no way discredits the idea he was espousing: that society should be vigilant in protecting children from exploitation. Similarly, when a gay-basher turns out to be secretly homosexual, that has no bearing on the question of whether homosexual conduct is moral. Many activists for children are motivated by nothing more complicated than a genuine concern for their well-being. By the same token, many opponents of gay rights are psychologically untroubled and sincere in their beliefs.
We're not making a case against homosexuality here; we tend toward the love-and-let-love view. And it can be useful to understand the psychology behind extreme political views (or behind odd political obsessions, even if they aren't extreme). Our point simply is that a psychoanalysis is different from an argument on the merits.
Where Taranto's logic uncharacteristically fails him is in the assumption that a vote for the Federal Marraige Amendment is, at least in part, anti-gay activism. That is like saying that someone opposing an increase in the minimum wage is therefore anti-worker. There is a significant difference between intent and result. One's intent may be to protect and preserve small businesses which create jobs.
I recall an ad in favor of Oregon's marriage protection amendment, which featured two partnered gay men who said, among other things, that there are good reasons for not wanting to redefine marriage. I agree.
I will try to write something more substantive, but the SCOTUS this week effectively granted injunctive relief to all of us.
I had been unaware of the case, and now I know why.
Silence. Blessed Silence.
Hat Tip: BOWT
26 September 2006
25 September 2006
Now I thought Bush's term expired in 2008. I guess residency requirement for borough president must be even lower than for senator.
And, as further evidence of his confusion, Mr Ellner seems to think that the Fox News viewers here in Wisconsin, as well as elsewhere around the country, care about NYC borough president races. Or maybe he thinks we can vote there. Or maybe he is just getting really bad advice on how to spend his ad-buy.
(Reveal: After going 0/2 in my preseason - too young to vote - presidential elections, I went 0/3 in my first three. Since then I am 4/4 in voting for the winner. Like I said, Veering Right.)
Caught David Gergen this morning on Fox & Friends. Gergen said (this is a very close paraphrase) that Clinton thinks that Democrats get bullied in interviews, including by the MSM, and one way to show that they are tough on terrorists is to get tough against the journalists who bully them. That will deprive the Republicans of the tough-on-terror issue this fall.
Ok. Let me see if I have this right. Using some of those steps of algebra that I no longer remember what they are called, then::
Being tough on journalists = showing you are tough on terrorists = being tough on terrorists
Being tough on journalists = being tough on terrorists
(Being tough on) journalists = (being tough on) terrorists
journalists = terrorists
Or, as Reuters would say, "terrorists."
After the photoshopping of the Lebanon campaign and the unmitigated support Al-Queda in Iraq gets from some of the MSM, I think Clinton may have a point.
23 September 2006
(Ok, there are some things, like abuse, that we used to keep private that we need to know, but we have lost all boundaries as a society.)
So it is so nice to see that American Idol's most successful runner-up told off the MSM this week.
An angry Clay Aiken clashed Thursday with Diane Sawyer for asking him whether he is gay.
"I don't understand why you want to know," Aiken shot back. "I don't understand why it's any of your business.
"At some point, [the question] becomes just really rude, you know?" he said in an interview that aired Thursday on "Good Morning America."...
"This is a waste of my time."
Sawyer's questions were not popular with fans and gay groups.
"Media speculation about people's sexual orientation is not something we support," said Damon Romine, an official of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation."Coming out is a very personal, private decision that needs to be made by the individual."
I wonder if they told John Kerry that ...
On the GMA message boards, this was not a popular topic.
"A person has a right to his or her privacy," one viewer wrote on the "GMA" message board. "Clay is trying to preserve this. I agree with him. What difference does it make?"I agree.
"Mr. Aiken seems tired and beaten down by this issue," wrote another viewer.
"People with no lives buy into the media speculation on his sex life ... Now, Mr. Aiken sees this is a no-win."
Wrote another viewer: "If Clay Aiken wants to be a role model and/or a hero he needs to put all this to rest by coming out or proving his heterosexuality -- not dancing around the subject like he is trying to hide something."How does he do that? Pay per view romp on stage with ... Jessica Simpson? (I saw at the grocery check out line that she's available ...) Like that would prove anything.
How about this: Clay sings, and if I like his singing, that is enough for me to know. And Rosie talks for a living, and if I get a lobotomy, I can enjoy listening to her. And Britney sings, and ... hmmm ... I already used the lobotomy line ... And Kevin stutters and ... ditto.
Ok, I just don't want to know about anybody's sexuality. Just do your jobs, and I pormise not to post picture of my adorable wife and her fat, balding preacher husband doing ... well, you don't want to see me like that.
Or as a favorite talk show host of mine put it, Shut up and sing! And I'll just preach.
22 September 2006
The Democrats have largely stood silent and allowed the trio of Republicans to do the lifting. It’s time for them to either try to fix this bill or delay it until after the election.
Holding up this bill is a no win for the Dems.
Either they will be accused of wanting to leave certain things (sexual assault, mutilation, murder) barred by this bill legal, and therefore in favor of real torture, or they will be accused of being soft on terror. And if we get hit a week before the election, and this bill was held up by Dems, there is no better way to guarantee Republican gains in the House and Senate. Again.
Obviously, the New Orc Times is secretly in league with the Republicans. Or else they are really stupid.
WASHINGTON - President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan says the United States threatened to bomb his country back to the Stone Age after the Sept. 11 attacks if he did not help America's war on terror.
Musharraf says the threat was delivered by Richard Armitage, then the deputy secretary of state, to Musharraf's intelligence director, the Pakistani leader told CBS-TV's 60 Minutes.
Armitage has denied this (though I find him less than trustworthy after recent headlines), but frankly, I don't care.
It is important to remember that it was Pakistani intelligence, the I.S.I., which had sponsored the Taliban and served as their patrons and that there was also a link betweenthe ISI and Al Queda. After 9/11, it was important to tell the Pakistani government that there were two sides in this war, and there would be consequences for backing the terrorists.
So last night, when I saw that Speaker-in-waiting Pelosi and Rep Rangel were defending President Bush against the rants of Hugo Chavez, I immediately assumed that Bush may, in fact, be demonic ... or at least sulfuric.
21 September 2006
On Fox & Friends this morning, Senator Byron Dorgan of ND was discussing immigration reform. He was asked about the number of illegal immigrants from Mexico in ND , and he responded, (this is a very close paraphrase) "In North Dakota, we also have a border - with Canada. We have 4000 miles of border with Canada."
North Dakota has 4000 miles of border with Canada! Wow. According to this site, ND is 70,704 square miles. That means that the state is only 17.6 miles wide, north to south!
19 September 2006
Armitage’s involvement doesn’t disprove the Rove conspiracy. It only proves it was a lot wider than we originally thought.Last night, the History Channel reran one of their silly pieces on USO's. Unidentified Submerged Object. By Press's ttormented logic, the sightings of these not only prove that UFO's exist, but that they have even more amazing capabilities - underwater movement - than we had imagined.
Press goes on to say:
As we soon learned, there wasn’t just one person at the White House going after Valerie Plame, there was a whole team. We knew Dick Cheney himself kicked it off with notes to Scooter Libby, scribbled on a copy of Wilson’s op-ed, to find out who Wilson was and how he got involved in the issue. We knew Scooter Libby, since indicted for lying to Fitzgerald’s grand jury, told Judy Miller about Plame. We knew Karl Rove talked to Matt Cooper and Bob Novak. The only thing we didn’t know was: Who was Novak’s primary source? And who talked to Bob Woodward?
The fact that Cheney asked his staff to get him information on someone does not prove that Cheney instructed anyone to tell anyone else anything. The fact members of the media called Rove and Libby and they answered questions is not unusual; this is how these folks operate. When asked if Plame was a CIA employee who had recommended Wilson and that is how he got the job, Rove's answer to Cooper was, if I recall the leaked testimony correctly, was, "Yeah, I heard that too." Hardly sounds like an intentional leak to me, and does not prove a conspiracy.
All Press, and the left have, are two groups of people who talk to each other and hear the same things. Armitage is chatty. Libby is unknown to me. But Rove is smart enough to give a little and get a lot.
It turns out, of course, that Plame was beyond the statutory definition of being a covert operative (she had been home too long.) And let us not forget that in the 9/11 Commission hearings, Joe Wilson turned out to have lied about just about everything.
18 September 2006
CAIRO, Egypt — Al Qaeda in Iraq warned Pope Benedict XVI on Monday that its war against Christianity and the West will go on until Islam takes over the world, and Iran's supreme leader called for more protests over the pontiff's remarks on Islam. ... Extremists said the pope's comments proved that the West was in a war against Islam.Hmmmm ... well two thoughts:
- This demontrates how very religious these people are; they cannot conceive of the Pope not speaking for all of us, and
- "the pope's comments proved that the West was in a war against Islam." I think they started it.
16 September 2006
On a related note, NBC's David Gregory got into it again yesterday with Tony Snow, prodding the White House Press Secretary over the President's attempt to clarify provisions in the Geneva Convention.
On the Imus In The Morning radio show this morning, the host asked David Gregory about his questions to Snow. Gregory raised concerns that the President is trying to redefine the torture guidelines of the Convention. Imus asked, "So what?"
Gregory responded that if the U.S. did this it might set a precedent for other countries to do the same. "Which countries?" asked Imus.
The White House Corresponded responded (and I'm paraphrasing here) that there is concern about a war with Iran, for example.
Imus (who loves Gregory) asked him point blank: "Do you think that if we got into a war with Iran, and if they captured some of our soldiers that Iran would comply with the provisions of the Geneva Convention? What are you, an idiot?"
"I hope you all received 'A New Direction for America,' " she said, standing at a lectern that bore the same slogan. She called the manifesto "a compilation of many of the initiatives taken by our House Democratic Caucus that encompasses our new direction for all Americans."An election should not be about national security. Hmmmm. Milbank quotes "House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) said Democrats 'are confused about who the enemy actually is.'"
It was a handsome booklet, full of homey photographs and popular proposals, but there was a problem. Democrats have had more "New Directions" recently than MapQuest.
Among the party's campaign slogans this year: "Culture of Corruption," "Culture of Cronyism," "Do-Nothing Congress," "Rubber-Stamp Congress," "Together, We Can Do Better," "Together, America Can Do Better" and, most recently, "Six for '06."For those keeping score at home, Democrats arrived at "New Direction" yesterday by downgrading one of the "Six for '06" issues (health care) and upgrading three others (honesty, civility and fiscal discipline), for a total of eight items on the contents page.
By contrast, Republicans have settled on a single, unofficial slogan, which essentially says: Vote Democrat and Die. And in politics, scary and scurrilous usually trumps elaborate and earnest -- something Pelosi has experienced firsthand in recent days. ...A third questioner pointed out that Republicans have regained the lead on national security. "This is what, I guess, campaigns will be about," Pelosi conceded with some reluctance. "It shouldn't be about national security."
Sounds more like they are confused about what the enemy actually is.