Tuesday, December 27, 2005
media that it should. It involves the violation of the civil
liberites of American citizens by an out-of-control Presidential
administration. Read it and pass it on. Every American needs to
know about this.
Report implicating Clinton: Will it be hidden for good?
Thursday, December 22, 2005
I went to the Christmas concert at my children's school last
night. It was a CHRISTMAS concert, not a generic "holiday"
or "winter" concert. The kids all sang Christmas carols. Most
of these carols were religiously themed--"We Three Kings", "Silent
Night" and such. The ACLU was nowhere to be seen. Ditto the
Americans United for the Separation of Chrurch and State. I didn't
expect to see them there. That's because my kids go to a Catholic
school. I can send them a Catholic school because I can afford it.
Many people would like to send their children to private schools,
but they can't afford to. It's too bad that so many of our political
"leaders" are too spineless to push for a voucher program.
Apparently, "freedom of choice" extends only so far.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
And while we're on the subject of the law, how about some criminal charges here? NYS Penal Law secion 195.05, Obstructing Governmental Administration in the second degree:
"A person is guilty of obstructing governmental administration when he intentionally obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law or other governmental function or prevents or attempts to prevent a public servant from performing an official function, by means of intimidation, physical force or interference, or by means of any independently unlawful act, or by means of interfering, whether or not physical force is involved, with radio, telephone, television or other telecommunications systems owned or operated by the state, or a county, city, town, village, fire district or emergency medical service or by means of releasing a dangerous animal under circumstances evincing the actor's intent that the animal obstruct governmental administration. Obstructing governmental administration is a class A misdemeanor."
I'd say that this strike meets the criteria spelled out in the law. And I'm sure that there were several people involved in the decision-making process when the union decided to strike. Which brings us to NYS Penal Law section 105.00, Criminal Conspiracy in the sixth degree:
"A person is guilty of conspiracy in the sixth degree when, with intent that conduct constituting a crime be performed, he agrees with one or more persons to engage in or cause the performance of such conduct. Conspiracy in the sixth degree is a class B misdemeanor."
So let's have some union leaders arrested, cuffed, and "frog marched" into central booking on live TV. Mayor Bloomburg and the respective D.A.s of the five boroughs would be heroes, the strike would end in short order, and "labor leaders" would get the message that they're not above the law.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Picture found at Sacred Cow Burgers.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Longer, Tougher Basic Training for Air Force Recruits
by Paul Connors
The Air Force finally seems to have taken notice. After almost a decade of operations using its own Air Expeditionary Force concepts and models, the nation's junior service finally realized that it needs to train the way it will fight. As a result, the Air Force concluded that it must change its basic training and as of the time of this writing, is doing just that.
Gone are the days of learning how to fold t-shirts into six inch squares (an exercise designed to stress attention to detail). Air Force Basic Training, the shortest of all the services at just six weeks had long been viewed as a cakewalk compared to Basic Combat Training for the Army and the legendary boot camps of the Marine Corps. Training cadres in the know even admitted that Coast Guard basic training, held at that service's Training Center in Cape May, N.J. was more difficult and stressful than that experienced by incoming airmen.
Now the focus, curriculum and length of time a trainee spends at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas have all been revamped. The service's newest incoming enlisted trainees will face a basic training program that is seven weeks long, with a curriculum that emphasizes the "warrior ethos," and ground combat skills.
I've never attended AF basic training (my military career started in the Army), but as a member of the Air National Guard for the past nine years, it has become painfully obvious to me that USAF personnel are in serious need of more tactical training. In this era of asymmetric warfare and joint operations, technical proficiency in one's job is no longer enough. This isn't a huge step, but it is a step in the right direction.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
In recent months, I've become concerned that our country is turning into a "delicate wonder", too "evolved" to engage in the dirty, and sometimes brutal, business of surviving as a nation in a violent world. Any bloodshed or suffering are unacceptable. If we can't do it bloodlessly, we won't do it at all. This pie-in-the-sky idealism may sound good in an Ivy League classroom, but it doesn't work in the real world. Pacifists will tell you "it takes two to make war", but violence only requires the effort of one. Stopping violence often requires the decisive use of force. Too many Americans seem to have forgotten this.
Retired Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullu, a special ops veteran of Vietnam, addresses this in his most recent column, appropriately titled "Mythology of Clean War."
Watching the Democrats in Congress -- abetted by some ill-informed, poorly disciplined Republicans -- engage in the politics of betrayal most recently was grim. Seeing so many supposedly intelligent, dedicated, patriotic individuals engage in infantile defeatism was maddening. They are attempting to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and many of us are frustrated and upset.
Part of what drives these individuals -- aside from Beltway poll watching, and unchecked ambition -- also troubles many Americans: our obsession with achieving the impossible. We want to have a clean, crisp, sanitary war in which we suffer few casualties. We want our enemy's pain to be minimal possible to achieve desired results. We want the unfortunate deaths of civilians -- euphemistically called “collateral damage” -- removed from the process completely. Additionally we wish that all deaths inflicted by internal errors -- “friendly fire casualties” -- be prevented. We want a Clean War Pill to cure our foreign policy ills and will accept no hangovers or unpleasant side effects. And, by the way, we want the entire thing from beginning to end wrapped up by next Thursday.
Even though Iraq since July 2003 has been a frustrating experience it has been relatively positive. Regardless, American media conveys much the opposite impression. Compared to previous wars casualty levels are extremely low considering that 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan are free of brutal, mass murdering dictatorships. Elections, that took years to take place in liberated Japan and Germany, have been occurring with reassuring regularity and have included increasingly large numbers of the population. Disaffected Sunni citizens -- who held all the cards during Saddam's vicious reign -- are accepting the reality of living with other Iraqi citizens as equals. The terrorist campaign has shifted focus from American troops to Iraqi civilians and first responders, particularly police. And the terrorists are now mostly foreign fighters imported from Saudi, Yemen, Jordan, Chechnya, and other Arab/Islamic states.
So why are Americans so disconsolate about the state of affairs? The obvious answer is that we receive precious little positive news from the battlefield. We are told that casualty rates are high, though they are not. We are told that the “insurgency” is gaining popularity among Iraqi people while the converse is true: insurgents have declared war on ordinary Iraqis and the civilians recognize the threat. Massive demonstrations in Jordan see the “Arab Street” -- which up till now has been deafening silent -- out chanting “Zarqawi, burn in hell!” Inside Iraq civilians who may have given tacit support to the terrorists are no longer intimidated and are informing to American and Iraqi forces on the hideouts of the Al Qaeda thugs.
Check out the rest of Lt. Col Cucullu's column. He's a guy who has "been there and done that", and knows more about counterinsurgency warfare than Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or anyone at moveon.org.
Rep. Sweeney: GOP should delay vote on statewide candidates
WASHINGTON -- New York U.S. Rep. John Sweeney said Tuesday that GOP leaders should put off a Dec. 12 vote to endorse candidates for governor and U.S. Senate in 2006, saying the party needs more time.
The comments by Sweeney, R-Clifton Park, echo those made Monday by state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno as the beleaguered state party seeks to mount viable campaigns up and down the ticket.
New York's 62 county GOP chairmen are due to meet Dec. 12 to settle on their endorsements for the two top races in the state next year. State GOP Chairman Stephen Minarik has called for the meeting and vote.
"I think it's just too risky right now," said Sweeney. "I respect that it's their choice, but my gut tells me that it's a little premature, that they just need a little more time to establish a clear picture for the committee chairmen to make their choice."
Sweeney, a former executive director of the state party, said that without more time, the party risks alienating key voters who may either back other candidates or simply stay home on Election Day 2006.
"We still have a little bit of time, I believe over the next four or five months we need to develop our candidates," said Sweeney.
Damn right. As it stands right now, Democratic candidates for statewide offices are the only ones with name recognition. AG Eliot Spitzer appears to be running unopposed for Governor. Westchester County DA Janine Pirro appears to pose minimal threat to Madame Hillary's reelection bid for US Senate. On that note:
Bruno: Pirro should quit anti-Clinton race
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The most powerful Republican in the state Legislature called Tuesday for Jeanine Pirro to give up her quest to unseat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2006 and run instead for state attorney general.
Pirro, in a statement, declined to heed the advice.
State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno said the Westchester County district attorney could win the attorney general's race, while in running for Senate, "she's going to have one of the most competitive races in the state."
Independent polls have shown the former first lady well ahead of Pirro.
"I hope that before this procedure gets too much further along that Jeanine Pirro would reconsider and run for AG.," Bruno told a state Capitol news conference.
In a statement issued by her campaign, Pirro said: "Senator Bruno is a respected majority leader and I appreciate his confidence in my abilities. However, I am a candidate for U.S. Senate."
Democrats were quick to pounce on Bruno's statements with state Democratic Chairman Herman Farrell saying, "This is clearly a major blow and an obvious indication of how difficult top Republicans believe it will be to defeat Senator Clinton."
The GOP in NY better get its act together, and soon. Many of us are sick and tired of the also-ran candidacies we've seen from Republicans in this state. I'm thinking specifically of the sorry run against Chucky Scummer for Senate in 2004. Chuckie won with over 70% of the vote. Since then he's been more unbearable than ever. Landslide victories tend to take these arrogant libs to new heights of jackassedness. If Hillary wins one, she'll start believing she's indestructible. Then you'll be seeing her--and her pathetic narcissistic hubby--on the national stage 24/7. They'll be running their mouths incessantly, lecturing us on everything; assuring us that they can solve all our problems. I don't know about you, but the very idea makes me nauseous.
The GOP needs to start playing for keeps in this state before their supporters start staying home in droves. And their party ceases to exist here.
Monday, November 28, 2005
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Rall appears to have a hatred for military personnel that borders on the pathological. But that's OK, Ted has a right to do what he does. The first ammendment guarantees that right. A right he can claim thanks to the efforts the military he despises so. A military made up of better men than Ted Rall. Many of those "better men" are actually women, but most women are better men than Ted Rall anyway.
h/t: Michelle Malkin
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
In war, the game isn't just played by the folks in the field (the military), the entire country is part of the game. The troops can only win the battles. It takes the entire country to win a war. Look at Vietnam. We won all the battles, but we didn't win the war. Our troops kicked ass, but our politicians gave up.
If you think I'm dead wrong about this, consider this story:
The overwhelming assessment by Asian officials, diplomats and analysts is that the U.S. military simply cannot defeat China. It has been an assessment relayed to U.S. government officials over the past few months by countries such as Australia, Japan and South Korea. This comes as President Bush wraps up a visit to Asia, in which he sought to strengthen U.S. ties with key allies in the region.
Most Asian officials have expressed their views privately. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has gone public, warning that the United States would lose any war with China.
"In any case, if tension between the United States and China heightens, if each side pulls the trigger, though it may not be stretched to nuclear weapons, and the wider hostilities expand, I believe America cannot win as it has a civic society that must adhere to the value of respecting lives," Mr. Ishihara said in an address to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Mr. Ishihara said U.S. ground forces, with the exception of the Marines, are "extremely incompetent" and would be unable to stem a Chinese conventional attack. Indeed, he asserted that China would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against Asian and American cities—even at the risk of a massive U.S. retaliation.
The governor said the U.S. military could not counter a wave of millions of Chinese soldiers prepared to die in any onslaught against U.S. forces. After 2,000 casualties, he said, the U.S. military would be forced to withdraw.
Our ground forces are "extremely incompetent?" I guess hearing our antiwar politicos and media talking heads always squawking about how we're losing the war has had an impact on the world's opinion of our military. And withdrawal after "2,000 casualties?" Yeah, I'm sure that number is just coincidental. No connection with the cries of the antiwar crowd. Right?
Officials acknowledge that Mr. Ishihara's views reflect the widespread skepticism of U.S. military capabilities in such countries as Australia, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. They said the U.S.-led war in Iraq has pointed to the American weakness in low-tech warfare.
"When we can't even control parts of Anbar, they get the message loud and clear," an official said, referring to the flashpoint province in western Iraq.
The people of the world are learning from the Kennedys, Deans, and Murthas of America. And what are they being taught? They're being taught that the USA doesn't have the will to wage and win a war. That's a dangerous thing to do. Especially now.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Fortunately, there are some news organizations covering the story. The most recent report comes from The Journal News, of Rockland County, NY.
The widow of Capt. Phillip Esposito of Suffern hopes military authorities will seek the harshest punishment for the soldier accused of killing her husband and another officer in Iraq.
Siobhan Esposito, 31, made the comments a day after returning from Kuwait, where a pretrial hearing for Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez was held last week. He is charged with two counts of premeditated murder in the killings of Esposito, 30, and Lt. Louis Allen, 34, of Milford, Pa., on June 7 in Tikrit, allegedly because he had been reprimanded.
"I hope it is tried as a capital case," Esposito said. "I would be disappointed if it is not."
Col. Patrick Reinert, the officer investigating the slayings, recommended a general court-martial, which carries a maximum sentence of life without parole. But he said enough evidence existed to try it as a capital case, allowing for the death penalty, and left it to higher authorities to make that decision.
Reinert's recommendations are nonbinding. They will be forwarded to Lt. Gen. John H. Vines in Baghdad, who will decide whether to seek the death penalty.
The pretrial investigation under Article 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice was required before any court-martial could take place. The hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, took place at Camp Arifjan in southern Kuwait.
Esposito and Barbara Allen, Allen's widow, spent two days listening to witnesses and criminal investigators who testified before Reinert. Martinez and his wife, Tamara, also were present during the hearing.
Witnesses testified that Martinez, 37, of Troy, was openly antagonistic toward Esposito. He is said to have told at least one officer that he hated Esposito and wanted to "frag" him. He is said to have told another that he wanted Esposito killed.
The above referenced story was filed on November 6, 2005. I understand that there may not be any new developments to report at this time, but that's never stopped the intrepid news-hawks of the "fourth estate" from reporting a story into the ground. I guess they're all waiting to get their marching orders from the New York Times before they feel the story worthy of reporting. Unsurprisingly, the "paper of record", which is published in the home state of the murdered soldiers, doesn't have a single story in the current Google News loop (which goes back about a month) about Martinez. Not one. Disgraceful.
In the meantime, I haven't heard any more news from my back-channel source about the case. I've been told that there is more to it than has been reported, but it would be irresponsible of me to put this info out there with a case pending. I don't want to do anything to endanger the prosecution of this guy. If he's guilty, and I'm inclined to believe he is, he needs to go down.
If you need to get caught up on this story, check out these previous posts:
A SAD DAY FOR THE RAINBOW DIVISION
MORE ON THE 42nd ID "FRAGGING" INCIDENT
DO THE WRONG THING
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
This whole meme is predicated on an extreme level of stupidity. First off, what, exactly, is a lie? From Dictionary.com:
1.A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood .
2.Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.
Note the emphasis on intent. Just saying something that turns out to be untrue isn't lying. Is the weatherman a liar when he gets the forecast wrong? How about the talking head sports guy on ESPN who incorrectly predicts that team A will beat team B; is he a liar? Of course not. Deception and innacuracy are not the same. Anyone over four years old understands this.
The only way one can be certain that President Bush lied is to know what he was briefed in the run-up to the war. To listen to Cindy Sheehan and others of her ilk, you'd think that they all had received intelligence briefings from the CIA. The President receives such briefings daily. It's safe to assume that the editorial staff of the NY Times does not. They might get bits and pieces, but not the whole picture. They can make educated guesses, but in the end it's just pure speculation. Selling speculation as "news" is irresponsible journalism, at best. Treason, at worst.
The best indicator of whether "Bush lied" about Iraq's WMD program is the response of the one man who has been the recipient of a Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) in the recent past: Bill Clinton. Many in the blogosphere have been quoting him of late. They remind us of what he was saying in the late 90s about Iraq's WMD program. I'm not as interested in what he said in 1998 as I am in what he has been saying since the invasion of Iraq. So what has he said? Very little. And he hasn't called President Bush a liar. The one man who is in a position to effectively make that argument, and he hasn't even tried.
So why hasn't Clinton jumped on the Bush-bash bandwagon? And why did Senator Hillary vote in favor of the war? Neither one of them was in a position to be "duped." They had insider knowledge. And both of them have been quick to criticize the President on practically everything else. So why haven't they joined the pile-on? Because they know that the accusation isn't true. And Bill and Hill know that the truth can be like a time bomb. Neither one of them wants to chance that bomb going off when Hillary is gearing up for a Presidential run in '08. So they let others do the dirty work while Team Clinton steers clear. You'd think that other Dems would take note, but they're too insane with BDS, too drunk on Kool-Aid, to figure it out.
There's another point to keep in mind regarding the Clinton response. Bill Clinton is fully cognizant of the fact that his administration bears at least as much blame--if not more--for the "intelligence failures" that occurred in the run-up to the war. After all, Bill Tenet was his boy at CIA before he was W's. And intel databases are built over years, not weeks. Shortfalls in Iraq intel predated the Bush administration by a good chunk of time. The former Prez is way to smart to open up that can of worms. They don't call him Slick Willie for nothing.
So there it is. The answer is as plain, and as obvious, as the nose on Bozo the Clown's face. There are probably some folks on the left who can't see it, but I think most of them just don't want to.
Update: Well, he's at it again. Via Drudge
Clinton says Iraq invasion was a big mistake
The United States made a "big mistake" when it invaded Iraq, former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday, citing the lack of planning for what would happen after dictator Saddam Hussein was overthrown.
"Saddam is gone. It's a good thing, but I don't agree with what was done, " Clinton told students at the American University of Dubai.
"It was a big mistake. The American government made several errors ... one of which is how easy it would be to get rid of Saddam and how hard it would be to unite the country."
Clinton did however say that the United States had done some good things in Iraq: the removal of Saddam, the ratification of a new constitution, and the holding of parliamentary elections.
I took the liberty of pasting the whole article here. Note the lack of reference to lies, intel, and WMD. What does that say about a team whose captain won't use, or even publicly endorse their preferred tactic?
Sunday, November 13, 2005
In the following weeks, I would find myself wondering why I chose to enlist in the military after graduating from college, when most of my peers were starting their civilian careers. Their big worries consisted of stuff like trying to decide whether to buy a Camaro or a Firebird. Or an (UGH!) Pontiac Fiero. I cursed my decision to enlist on more than one occasion, but in the long run, I'm glad I served. In fact, I can't imagine not having been in the military. I didn't join becuase I was poor. I didn't get duped or brainwashed. It was just something I had to do. I guess it's just the way I'm put together. Maybe it was the way I was raised. I can't really explain it. It just is what it is. I can't speak for everyone who has been in the military, but I'm sure I'm not alone in how I feel about it.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
-A KC-135 can get you to your deployment site faster than a C-130. It's a little quieter (only a little) and a lot roomier too.
-MOPP Level 4 can get really uncomfortable.
-Time slows down at MOPP 4. I can't explain why. It just does. I think it's some sort of quantum physics thing.
-Some people worry about having to urinate when at MOPP 4. Once you've been in the gear long enough, you realize that you're sweating too much to have much fluid left to worry about. Unless, of course, you had to go badly just before putting on the gear. In that case, you're shit out of luck. Speaking of which, defecation can be problematic as well.
-And speaking of fluids, "HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE" while at MOPP 4. If you have trouble using the canteen tube on the mask at first, you'll have it figured out after 4-5 hours in that mask. Or you'll pass out.
-You'll get more from the training if you take it seriously and act like it's for real.
-The idea of having nerve agent shot at me scares the shit out of me.
-I need to get into better shape. It'd sure be helpful while trying to get around in that gear. Pretty much all I've done since I got back from Qatar last year is eat junk and watch TV. Not good.
-BDUs can get pretty heavy when every square millimeter of the fabric is soaked with sweat.
-On a four or five day exercise, you are usually just getting used to working the night shift when the exercise ends.
-I was nostalgic for MREs on day one. By day two, I was sick of them already.
-Whoever came up with the idea of putting the little Tabasco Sauce bottles in MREs should get a Meritorius Service Medal, or a Presidential Medal of Freedom, if they're civilian.
-When hydrating, drink water, not Heineken.
-After the exercise ends, drink Heineken, not water.
-When I'm exhausted, it only takes two Heinekens to do me in.
-No matter how fast your flight home is at the end of a deployment, it never seems fast enough.
-When the aircrew breaks out their personal Dunkin' Donuts stash and shares it with the pax (passengers), you know you're going to be landing soon. Fifteen to twenty minutes is a good bet.
-I'm glad I went. I'm glad it's over. I get to do it all again next spring. And thanks to this deployment, I'll do it better next time.
Teresa said the following in the comments section:
Oh and the hot sauce thing - it MUST be something to do with the military... is it from basic??? LOL - I only ask because every single military person I know LOVES hot sauce... Just an observation mind you.
Good question. Since her son is a soldier, it's important for her to understand the importance of the favorite seasoning of American service members.
When I first joined the US Army in 1986 (back when Miami Vice was still on TV), there were no miniature bottles of hot sauce in MREs. Also, there was a more limited variety of MREs available in those days. While MREs weren't bad, they got old in a hurry. After a couple of weeks, you weren't sure whether you should eat the plastic container, or the food inside it. To combat this gastronomical dilemma, I used to carry a bottle of Tabasco sauce with me whenever I went to the field. I always carried it in my left breast pocket. The way I figured it, if some commie bullet was going to take out my hot sauce, it might as well keep going through my heart. After all, who wants to go on living without hot sauce?
At first, my fellow soldiers all laughed at me. After a couple days, the laughing stopped. By the end of the first week in the field, they were asking me if they could have some of my Tabasco. Team player that I was, I shared it with these less fortunate, less prepared troops.
Toward the end of my enlistment, the powers-that-be, in their infinite wisdom, started putting itty-bitty bottles of Tabasco in the accessory packets of MREs. A couple of years later, they started putting chemical heating packets in the MREs as well. I claim no credit for the heaters, but I suspect that they stole the hot sauce idea from me. I think I should have some money coming too. How does a nickel for every bottle of hot sauce placed in an MRE sound? Damn, I'll be on Easy Street.
Actually, the hot sauce craze in the military probably pre-dates me by a generation or two (or three, or four). Military food has a reputation for being bad. This is not always the case (sometimes, it's actually very good), but there is a sameness to it after awhile. Hot sauce can combat that blandness. With enough hot sauce, even the aforementioned MRE plastic wrapper would taste ok--though it would be kinda hard to chew.
At any rate, while we should take some time this Veteran's Day to thank our veterans for their service, on behalf of veterans everywhere, I would like to thank the folks who invented hot sauce. Their creation has made life for American military personnel around the world just a little more bearable.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
VALERIE THE SUPERSPY
OK, this one's been bugging me for a long time. Fist off, I have trouble swallowing the bullsh*t that Val was working undercover. Her neighbors all swear they never suspected she worked for CIA, but as far as I'm concerned, that's proof positive that she wasn't working covert ops. CIA covert ops go on overseas. Why weren't her neighbors suspicious when she was away for months on end? Because she wasn't away for months on end. I'm a lowly reservist, and I've been away for extended periods on two separate occasions since 9/11. I've missed birthdays, soccer seasons (including my youngest daughter's first soccer season), concerts, and recitals. I'm not around for months on end, and friends and neighbors take note of that. But not Agent Val. Hot damn, she must have her one o' them Star Trek transporters in her basement. Either that, or she's not working undercover.
JOE WILSON: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY
This guy is a total idiot, and I don't just say that beacuse we disagree politically. First off, he and the media lapdogs cry foul because the administration "smeared" him. So, am I to understand that discrediting ones political opponents and critics was invented by the Bush administration? Or that such things aren't tolerated in Washington? Where was all this concern when the Clinton administration went after its opponents? And don't try to sell me the BS that Clinton never did such things. Who do you think Terry Lenzner's most famous client was in the '90s? Billy-boy wasn't paying Lenzner all that money to shine Hillary's shoes (that was Matt Lauer's job).
On the issue of Wilson's concern about his wife's safety and career in the wake of her "outing", what'd he expect? When you work in a sensitive job, there are certain things you don't do. One of the biggest no-no's is maintaining a high profile. With this point in mind, you do not want your spouse writing op-eds in the NY Times and going on cable news shows attacking the administration over the war. Sure, he has first ammendment rights, just like the rest of us. But you can't be on TV and in the papers and expect to keep something like your wife's employment at the CIA a secret. That's kind of like eating 40 Big Macs a day and expecting to be skinny. It ain't gonna work out that way. Valerie Wilson should have known better. Even her media whore husband should have known better. Freakin' clowns.
I wish our Republican Congress-folks (especially the Senators) would stop pussy-footing around. Confirm Alito. Nuke the filibuster if you have to. Do what you think needs to be done, and stop worrying about what the Dems and the media say about you. The MSM doesn't have a stranglehold on the flow of information anymore. The truth will get out. But you have to have the courage to speak it and the tenacity to hammer the message home. Besides, the Dems are close to a meltdown. There is no measure to how far off the deep end they'll go if they don't get their way. Then they can rant in the media all they want. When you see Howard Dean on TV accusing George W. Bush of doing abortions in the White House basment with a salad fork, you'll know that you're seeing the end of the left wing's influence on American politics.
BILL CLINTON=ROSA PARKS (AND THEN SOME)
Our esteemed former Prez is perhaps the most narcissistic man on the face of the earth. In a speech honoring civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, he said:
I remember as if it were yesterday that fateful day 50 years ago. I was a nine-year-old Southern white boy who rode a segregated bus every single day of my life. I sat in the front. Black folk sat in the back. When Rosa showed us that black folks didn't have to sit in the back anymore, two of my friends and I who strongly approved of what she had done decided we didn't have to sit in the front anymore.
Yeah, that's right. It's always about you.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
The image above found at Sacred Cow Burgers.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Khobar Towers is not unique. The 1993 WTC bombing, the Cole bombing, the embassy bombings in Africa. All responded to with a non-response. Some would even argue (and I tend to agree) that the Oklahoma City bombing was another area where Clinton failed.
And lest we forget, it was during the Clinton reign that China experienced it's "great leap forward" in rocket and missile technology. All thanks to illegal transfers of technology that -- just coincidentally -- coincided with illegal campaign contributions made to you-know-who. I wonder if these guys sent him a post card from space. Or at least a thank you note. Nobody likes an ingrate.
I'd be remiss in my responsibilities if I failed to mention North Korea. Remember them? Remember that treaty President Clinton told us solved the problem of nuclear proliferation in that backward, paranoid, Stalinist workers paradise? It worked. Didn't it? Otherwise, we'd have former Secretary of State Madeline Albright telling us "I find the situation in North Korea the most dangerous in the world."
The world was going to hell in a handbasket, and President Clinton was whittling away our military in order to cut the budget, and pissing away our credibility as a military power (Somalia? Oh yeah. Didn't they make a movie about that?). Oh, and let's not forget that giggly girl he was chasing around the oval office.
For all that, Bill Clinton still manages to land toward the top of many greatest Presidents lists. I just don't get it. It really makes me wonder how historians hundreds of years in the future will explain this era. Or whether they'll even try.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Froggy has an excellent post on the subject. His take is that Lagouranis is a malcontent. I tend to agree with that assessment. Unfortunately the media -- like they always do -- just lap it up.
Check it out. And don't miss the discussion in the comments section either. Well worth the read.
Update: Mr. Lagouranis, or someone claiming to be him (I tend to believe that it probably is him) has joined the debate in Froggy's comments section.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
When it comes to Iraq, one of the most boring and philistine habits of our media is the insistence on using partitionist and segregationist language that most journalists would (I hope) scorn to employ if they were discussing a society they actually knew. It is the same mistake that disfigured the coverage of the Bosnian war, where every consumer of news was made to understand that there was fighting between Serbs, Croats, and "Muslims." There are two apples and one orange in that basket, as any fool should be able to see. Serbian and Croatian are national differences, which track very closely with the distinction between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic beliefs. Many Muslims are Bosnian, but not all Bosnians are Muslim. And in fact, the Bosnian forces in the late war were those which most repudiated any confessional definition. (And when did you ever hear the media saying that, "Today the Orthodox shelled Sarajevo," or, "Yesterday the Catholics bombarded Mostar"?)
In Iraq there are also two apples and one orange in the media-coverage basket (as well as many important fruits that, as I mentioned above, are never specified). To be a Sunni or a Shiite is to follow one or another Muslim obedience, but to be a Kurd is to be a member of a large non-Arab ethnicity as well as to be, in the vast majority of cases, a Sunni. Thus, by any measure of accuracy, the "Sunni" turnout in the weekend's referendum on the constitution was impressively large, very well-organized, and quite strongly in favor of a "yes" vote. Is that the way you remember it being reported? I thought not. Well, then, learn to think for yourself.
You can read the rest of his column here.
I have long believed that the "fourth estate" has been failing the American public miserably. I have often attributed this to their blatant partisanship. But as Hitchens points out, much of it is due to plain old ignorance.
Monday, October 17, 2005
THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.
The above is from a short story titled "Harrison Bergeron." It was written by Kurt Vonnegut in 1961. If you haven't read it, by all means check it out. It's not too long and it's well worth the time spent reading it. The whole story is available here.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Freedom fighter. Fiery revoluntionary. Architect of the worker's revolution in Cuba. Whatever you call him, there's no denying that Che is an icon of the left. College students have been wearing T-shirts emblazened with his image for years. A recent movie called The Motorcycle Diaries chronicles Che's early years as he sought his life's calling. If you want to know the real story of Che, check out this piece by Humberto Fontova in todays' Frontpage Mag. After reading this, you'll likely call Che "dead murdering commie bastard."
Alert the media!!! Um...nevermind.
The latest "scandal" that has caught the attention of the MSM is a supposedly "staged" Q&A session President Bush had with troops in Iraq. I don't know if it was staged or not, but I do know (from personal experience) that pretty much everything the Army does is staged. And I think it's common knowledge that most of what politicians do is staged. Remember these?
-Bill Clinton's sudden expression change at Ron Brown's funeral.
-His impromptu cross-making with rocks in Normandy (does the ACLU know about that?)
-His run with Navy SEALs for the cameras. As I recall, some White House hack commented that the SEALs could barely keep up with him (cough, cough. Bullshit! cough).
-Hillary's cookie recipe (yeah right, she buys 'em at the Winn Dixie in the bakery aisle).
-Hell, Bill and Hill's whole marriage is practically a staged event.
And while we're on the subject of staging things, the MSM is in no position to cast the first stone:
-Exploding trucks at NBC.
-Forged documents at CBS.
-Dan Rather's big report in the 80s on disturbed Vietnam vets that featured "veterans" who weren't even in the war.
Gimme freakin' a break.
I still don't know what to say about this. I'm not really thrilled with the President's choice. I wish he'd have chosen someone better. The problem is the Senate. There is no way Bush could ever get a Thomas or a Scalia through the nomination process. The week kneed sissies that pass for Republicans in the Senate are of no help at all. Like Donald Rumsfeld says, "you go to war with the army you have." Arlen Specter. Olympia Snow. John McCain. Susan Collins. Lincoln Chafee. Yup, with an army like that, you better remember to bring the white flag with you into battle. Pathetic.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
The murderous ideology of the Islamic radicals is the great challenge of our new century. Yet in many ways, this fight resembles the struggle against communism in the last century.
Like the ideology of communism, Islamic radicalism is elitist, led by a self-appointed vanguard that presumes to speak for the Muslim masses.
Osama bin Laden says his own role is to tell Muslims, quote, "what is good for them and what is not." And what this man who grew up in wealth and privilege considers good for poor Muslims is that they become killers and suicide bombers.
He assures them that this is the road to paradise, though he never offers to go along for the ride.
Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy teaches that innocent individuals can be sacrificed to serve a political vision. And this explains their cold-blooded contempt for human life.
We've seen it in the murders of Daniel Pearl, Nicholas Berg and Margaret Hassan and many others.
In a courtroom in the Netherlands, the killer of Theo Van Gogh turned to the victim's grieving mother and said, "I do not feel your pain because I believe you are an infidel."
And in spite of this veneer of religious rhetoric, most of the victims claimed by the militants are fellow Muslims.
When 25 Iraqi children are killed in a bombing or Iraqi teachers are executed at their school or hospital workers are killed caring for the wounded, this is murder, pure and simple; the total rejection of justice and honor and moral and religion.
These militants are not just the enemies of America or the enemies of Iraq, they are the enemies of Islam and the enemies of humanity.
If you read nothing else today, read the rest of this speech. This is the kind of speech that the President should be giving regularly. This is how a President should sound. No "nuance." No "I voted for it, before I voted against it." No "it depends on what the definition of is is." Totally unequivocal.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
I'm not going to take the position that Delay has done no wrong. Shady dealings in raising campaign money have become the norm. Increasingly restrictive campaign finance laws have created a situation whereby politicians have to be extremely creative in raising funds. I'd be surprised if there was even one member of Congress who hadn't received at least some money that may have violated one or more laws.
As to the indictment, my initial reaction was that Delay would be acquitted at trial. Then I read the indictment today at the Smoking Gun website. Here's the case against Delay as laid out in the indictment:
-Delay is indicted as a co-conspirator.
-Delay co-founded Texans for a Republican Majority PAC with his two co-conspirators.
-Delay waived the statute of limitations so he could be indicted beyond the three year mark.
That's it folks. There are no other specific allegations against Delay in the indictment. There are several against his alleged co-conspirators, but none against Delay. No specific allegation that he even knew what the other two were up to. Don't believe me? Go read it for yourself. It's only four pages long. Kinda short for a conspiracy indictment.
My prediction now is that Delay will not only not be convicted, he will not even be tried on this charge. Earle had nothing specific about Delay's criminal conduct in the indictment because he has no evidence. Look for this thing to evaporate before it goes to trial. Earle won't want to embarrass himself in a courtroom trying to sell his evidence-free case to a jury. Besides, he's already achieved his goal. He forced Delay to step down and gave the Democrats several weeks of anti-GOP sound bites.
Legally speaking, this whole case is B.S. The real question is this: how much political impact will it have?
Sunday, September 25, 2005
I went to the Google News search engine and typed in the terms "Schumer" and "credit report." The results (sorted by date): twenty (20) stories.
Next I typed in the search terms "Frist", "HCA", and "stock." The results (sorted by date): five hundred forty-eight (548) stories.
Based on the dates of the stories, they broke about one day apart. Yet the media is all over the Frist stock sale story, while there is little interest in the invasion of privacy committed by Schumer staffers. Media bias? What media bias?
Update: A few of the Schumer stories I found had nothing to do with his staffers illegally running a credit report on Maryland's Lt. Governor Steele, so I refined my search criteria. By adding the term "Steele" to my Google News search on the Schumer story, I wound up with seventeen (17) stories as of 8:30 p.m. EST.
As of 8:30 EST, Google News listed five hundred fifty-three (553) stories on Frist.
Update 2: As of 12:30 p.m. EST on 9/25/05, the results of the modified Schumer search is down to 13 stories. Apparently, what little interest there was in the Schumer story is waning. On the other hand, interest in the Frist story is growing. As of 12:30 p.m., there are now 581 stories about the Senate majority leader's stock sale.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
On the subject of Hillary '08, check out the Dick Morris column in yesterday's New York Post. Interesting.
BALTIMORE -- Federal prosecutors have opened an inquiry into allegations that two Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee employees illegally tapped into Lt. Gov. Michael Steele's credit history.
WBAL-TV 11 News reporter David Collins reported the workers obtained the report in July while executing opposition research on the lieutenant governor.
In June, the Republican lieutenant governor announced he had established an exploratory committee to explore a candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
Paul D. Ellington, Steele's chief of staff, issued a statement late Wednesday afternoon in reaction to the allegations.
"Lt. Gov. Steele was extremely disturbed to learn about the alleged criminal identity theft of his personal finance records by (a staff member of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.,) at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
"He was notified by the FBI that a federal criminal investigation is under way and has been asked not to comment on the specifics of the case.
"He intends to honor this request and expects that those responsible for these actions will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law? Don't hold your breath. Ever fearful of looking "partisan", Republicans are afraid to prosecute prominent Dems for wrong-doing. Ever since a certain ex-president beat a perjury rap in the Senate, being a high profile Dem is almost a license to steal. Hell, I'm surprised they even had the guts to slap Sandy Berger on the wrist for the serious felony (not to mention a breach of national security) he committed.
That Chuckie Scummer is involved in this is probably the least surprising thing of all. Mr. "Right to Privacy" himself. Maximum hypocrisy.
Update: Apparently, the NY Times -- "The Old Gray (area) Lady" -- hasn't found space in it's pages for this story. Michelle Malkin has some info on how the paper's "ombudsman" responded to a question about this omission. You can read all about it here. I'm wondering how many articles the paper has printed about Tom Delay's supposed scandal. More hypocrisy, but not surprising. Let's not forget, the Times worked on the Air National Guard memos story with Dan Rather. It may not be too many years before the paper follows Rather into irrelevance.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Honore: And Mr. Mayor, let's go back, because I can see right now, we're setting this up as he said, he said, we said. All right? We are not going to go, by order of the mayor and the governor, and open the convention center for people to come in. There are buses there. Is that clear to you? Buses parked. There are 4,000 troops there. People come, they get on a bus, they get on a truck, they move on. Is that clear? Is that clear to the public?
Female reporter: Where do they move on...
Honore: That's not your business.
Male reporter: But General, that didn't work the first time...
Honore: Wait a minute. It didn't work the first time. This ain't the first time. Okay? If...we don't control Rita, you understand? So there are a lot of pieces of it that's going to be worked out. You got good public servants working through it. Let's get a little trust here, because you're starting to act like this is your problem. You are carrying the message, okay? What we're going to do is have the buses staged. The initial place is at the convention center. We're not going to announce other places at this time, until we get a plan set, and we'll let people know where those locations are, through the government, and through public announcements. Right now, to handle the number of people that want to leave, we've got the capacity. You will come to the convention center. There are soldiers there from the 82nd Airborne, and from the Louisiana National Guard. People will be told to get on the bus, and we will take care of them. And where they go will be dependent on the capacity in this state. We've got our communications up. And we'll tell them where to go. And when they get there, they'll be able to get a chance, an opportunity to get registered, and so they can let their families know where they are. But don't start panic here. Okay? We've got a location. It is in the front of the convention center, and that's where we will use to migrate people from it, into the system.
Male reporter: General Honore, we were told that Berman Stadium on the west bank would be another staging area...
Honore: Not to my knowledge. Again, the current place, I just told you one time, is the convention center. Once we complete the plan with the mayor, and is approved by the governor, then we'll start that in the next 12-24 hours. And we understand that there's a problem in getting communications out. That's where we need your help. But let's not confuse the questions with the answers. Buses at the convention center will move our citizens, for whom we have sworn that we will support and defend...and we'll move them on. Let's not get stuck on the last storm. You're asking last storm questions for people who are concerned about the future storm. Don't get stuck on stupid, reporters. We are moving forward. And don't confuse the people please. You are part of the public message. So help us get the message straight. And if you don't understand, maybe you'll confuse it to the people. That's why we like follow-up questions. But right now, it's the convention center, and move on.
Male reporter: General, a little bit more about why that's happening this time, though, and did not have that last time...
Honore: You are stuck on stupid. I'm not going to answer that question. We are going to deal with Rita. This is public information that people are depending on the government to put out. This is the way we've got to do it. So please. I apologize to you, but let's talk about the future. Rita is happening. And right now, we need to get good, clean information out to the people that they can use. And we can have a conversation on the side about the past, in a couple of months.
Now that's leadership. I wish more of our political leaders in Washington could show that kind of leadership.
Check out the rest of Radio Blogger's commentary and his transcript of Glenn Reynolds' radio interview about the press conference. Good stuff.
h/t: Michelle Malkin
Thursday, September 15, 2005
I was surprised and disappointed that no mention was made of the anniversary of 9/11 by the powers that be on my base. Last year 9/11 fell on a drill weekend as well. An announcement was made on the PA system to coincide with the time that the first plane hit the WTC and a moment of silence was observed across the base. This year, as far as I could tell, there was no such announcement.
Equally dismaying was the media's tepid treatment of the occasion. Oh, there were news reports on the anniversary and a few specials on some of the channels, but nothing fitting the importance of the anniversary of the deadliest attack by a foreign power on American soil in history.
I'm concerned that the enormity of what happened -- and the seriousness of the threat we still face -- has been forgotten by many of us. Have we broken our promise to never forget? I hope not. But this eerily prophetic quote from the 1993 video Red Cell keeps reverberating in my head:
I was just up in New York right after the World Trade Center got hit, and two blocks away it's like it's just...as if they didn't pick up garbage last week. You know, "if you weren't involved, don't worry about it." So they forgot about it. That's just part of our American way.
-Cdr. Dick Marcinko, founder of SEAL Team 6
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
You and the others gather around the superintendant and wait for instructions. The first words out of his mouth are "if this place had a better sprinkler system, this fire would've been put out right after it started." You're getting nervous about the impending roof collapse, so you ask him how to get out of the building. He responds "if they put better fire route maps in the halls, it'd be easier to find our way out." You generally agree with his statement, but the fire is raging on and he isn't moving. "What do we do?" one of the other people asks the superintendant. "If the fire department had better response time, they could've rescued us already. They were probably just sitting around playing cards for awhile after the alarm sounded" he replies.
The fire rages on, the super isn't moving, and he isn't giving you any useful guidance. Your best course of action is:
a) Draft a strongly worded letter to the company that manufactured the sprinkler system.
b) Form a committee to investigate the fire department's response time.
c) Contact you attorney and inquire about the possibility of suing the building's owner.
d) Find a way out of that building fast and lead the others to safety.
The correct answer is "d". If you had any trouble arriving at this answer, don't feel too badly. You're in good company. Many of our politicians apparently wouldn't know the answer either.
Like the burning building in my example, hurricane Katrina (and its aftermath) is a crisis situation. Solve the problem first, point fingers later. Anyone who is pointing fingers now should be pushed aside immediately. They are not only not helping, they are hindering efforts. Remember the golden rule of crisis situations:
LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY!
Unfortunately, many of our politcos are incapable of leading, won't follow, and flat out refuse to get out of the way.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
First off, the fact that it proves that the Clinton administration dropped the ball on dealing with terrorism is a moot point. They aren't alone in failing to do all that realistically could have been done, but if failing to deal with a growing terrorist threat was an Olympic sport, Team Clinton would win the gold medal hands down. More proof of that won't change my opinion on the subject.
Secondly, the whole story on Able Danger isn't in yet. Let's say they did identify Atta and several of his accomplices. And let's say they did have information that pointed to an aviation-oriented threat. We still need context. For every terrorist or terrorist threat an analysis team accurately identifies, there are usually hundreds, even thousands that appear equally credible, but turn out to be wild goose chases. At this point, there is not enough info available to the public to paint a complete picture. We can only hope that there will be in the near future.
So far, three AD team members have come forward to blow the whistle about this breakdown in national security caused by the now-infamous "Wall". That's a good start, but I have a feeling there's even more to the story than what has been told so far. Like this little tidbit from a recent column by former USMC intel officer H. Thomas Hayden:
Critics of the Commission contend that the problems created by “The Wall” were never fully investigated by the 9/11 Commission, and no one involved in the process was ever called as a witness.
Some have reported that there may be other information in Able Danger that could
have significant ramifications in regard to the war in Iraq. Specifically, there was speculation that Able Danger links the 9/11 hijackers and Osama bin Laden to Iraq. Reportedly, Able Danger supports information from the Czech Republic's intelligence service that Atta met with the Iraqi ambassador at the Prague airport on April 9, 2001. Of course, the CIA of George Tenant disputes the Czech intelligence report.
Regardless, Czech intelligence informed the U.S. about this meeting shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Also, other intelligence documents indicate that two of the four terrorists that piloted the hijacked airliners were in Germany from late 2000 to early 2001. It was during that time that German authorities arrested two Iraqi agents on charges of spying against Germany. One of the hijacker pilots, Ziad Jarrah, left Germany the same week that the Germans arrested the two Iraqi agents.
At the same time, the Paris-based Islamic newspaper Al-Watan Al-Arabi linked Iraq to radical Islamic groups and Osama bin Laden. The paper reported that the Iraqi agents were part of an Iraqi operation to form a network of terrorist alliances to strike U.S. targets.
Would it surprise anyone to know that this information is also not in the Commission report?
I'm not ready to get all worked up about this just yet, but I'm certain we haven't heard the end of this story.
Monday, August 29, 2005
CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton joined hundreds of war protesters camping near President Bush's ranch for an interfaith service Sunday, saying he felt compelled to meet Cindy Sheehan, the grieving mother who started the rally three weeks earlier.
Felt compelled to get some face time in front of the cameras is more like it. Apparently, the day didn't go entirely as planned. From FOXNews:
CRAWFORD, Texas — A driver for the Rev. Al Sharpton led Ellis County Sheriff's deputies on a nine-mile chase at speeds up to 110 mph before state troopers stopped the car, authorities said.
The driver was rushing Sharpton to the airport after his visit anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan on Sunday at her camp outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford.
The car carrying Sharpton and two other passengers was clocked doing 110 mph in a 65 mph zone on Interstate 35 in Ellis County in North Texas, said Lt. Danny Williams.
The car ignored deputies' attempts to stop it and continued speeding and weaving in and out of traffic before it was stopped, Williams said.
One hundred and ten mph? Damn, it looks like Big Al was in a hurry to get away from Cindy. Maybe she's even creepier in person than she comes across on TV. Scary thought.
One thing's for sure, the arrival of Big Al at Camp Casey is a sure sign that Cindy Sheehan has Jumped the Shark. Or is it Jumped the Sharpton?
Thursday, August 25, 2005
It costs money to join Stratfor and read all their best stuff, but I found the entire article posted here.
A spate of attacks have occurred recently that we attribute to al Qaeda. In addition to the two rounds of attacks in London this month and the bombings at Sharm el Sheikh, we have seen ongoing suicide bombings in Afghanistan and Iraq that targeted government officials, the bombing of a Sufi shrine in Islamabad, the abduction and murder of an Iranian security official and other killings in the Muslim world. In addition, we have seen an intensification of attacks in Iraq by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda-linked faction. We are not great believers in coincidence and therefore regard these incidents as being coordinated. The degree of coordination and the method whereby coordination is achieved is murky, and not really material. But that we are experiencing an offensive by al Qaeda is clear.
At issue is the nature of the offensive. To put the matter simply, do these attacks indicate the ongoing, undiminished strength of al Qaeda, or do they represent a final, desperate counterattack -- both within Iraq and globally -- to attempt to reverse al Qaeda's fortunes? In our view, the latter is the case. Al Qaeda, having been hammered over the past four years, and al-Zarqawi, facing the defection of large segments of his Sunni base of support, are engaged in a desperate attempt to reverse the course of the war. It is not clear that they will fail; such counter-offensives have succeeded in recent years. The question is whether this is a Tet offensive or a Battle of the Bulge.
If you haven't read it yet, check it out. It is a well reasoned and dispassionate analysis of the global war on terrorism. George Friedman seems to have a keen understanding of the psychological aspects of war. Public opinion is as much a factor in war as troop levels, training, and munitions. Unfortunatley, the terrorists seem to understand this too.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Back in the early 1970's, I lived in Syracuse, NY. A couple kids I hung out with who lived down the street had a cousin visiting them for a week. Their cousin was a couple years older than I was and was from Canada. This kid seemed to do nothing the whole time he was there but criticize the US. We're war mongers, our economy was f'ed up, we had an energy crisis. Even our highways sucked compared to Canadian highways--which were apparently paved in gold, to listen to this jackass bray.
This kid really pissed me off, but I had a tough time countering his arguments. He was older and confident in his "facts", which I later learned were standard leftwing bullshit talking points. I had never even been to Canada, so I was in no position to judge whether it was a better country that the US. I only knew what I had always been taught by my family: the US is a great country and I am fortunate to have been born here.
A few weeks later, I was out of town visiting my cousin when I related the whole story of the braying jackass to my aunt and uncle. They could see that it was still bothering me. My uncle told me he had something he wanted me to hear. He foraged around through his record collection until he found a .45 (anyone remember vinyl records?) he wanted me to listen to. The record was of a broadcast done by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian broadcaster. It was titled The Americans:
The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French, and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in West Germany. It has declined there by 41% since 1971, and this Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous, and possibly the least-appreciated, people in all the earth.
As long as sixty years ago, when I first started to read newspapers, I read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtse. Well who rushed in with men and money to help? The Americans did, that's who.
They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganges, and the Niger. Today, the rich bottom land of the Mississippi is under water and no foreign land has sent a dollar to help. Germany, Japan, and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy, were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of those countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.
When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. And I was there -- I saw that. When distant cities are hit by earthquake, it is the United States that hurries into help, Managua, Nicaragua, is one of the most recent examples.
So far this spring, fifty-nine American communities have been flattened by tornadoes. Nobody has helped.
The Marshall Plan, the Truman Policy, all pumped billions upon billions of dollars into discouraged countries. And now, newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, war-mongering Americans.
Now, I'd like to see one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplanes.
Come on now, you, let's hear it! Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar, or the Douglas 10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all international lines except Russia fly American planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or a women on the moon?
You talk about Japanese technocracy and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy and you find men on the moon, not once, but several times, and, safely home again. You talk about scandals and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everyone to look at. Even the draft dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They're right here on our streets in Toronto. Most of them, unless they're breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from Ma and Pa at home to spend up here.
When the Americans get out of this bind -- as they will -- who could blame them if they said "the hell with the rest of the world." Let somebody else buy the Israel bonds. Let somebody else build or repair foreign dams, or design foreign buildings that won't shake apart in earthquakes." When the railways of France, and Germany, and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both of 'em are still broke.
I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name to me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.
Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They'll come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they're entitled to thumb their noses at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are many smug, self-righteous Canadians.
And finally, the American Red Cross was told at its 48th Annual meeting in New Orleans this morning that it was broke.
This year's disasters -- with the year less than half-over -- has taken it all. And nobody, but nobody, has helped.
It's a sad state of affairs that there are many US citizens today who don't appreciate their own country the way Gordon Sinclair did.
You can hear Sinclair's original broadcast and read the text here. The story behind the piece can be found here.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
If this story is so important that it must be covered continuously, then please tell me where was the wall-to-wall coverage of Herb Shugart. Shugart is the father of SFC Randy Shugart, one of two soldiers posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in Somalia in 1993. Herb Shugart refused to shake President Clinton's hand at the award ceremony and told Clinton that he was unfit to be commander-in-chief. Had it been President Bush that he had criticized, Herb Shugart would be on the cable news channels 24/7. They could find Natalee Holloway and no one would hear it because the media would be too busy interviewing a grieving parent about how bad George W. Bush is. But Shugart criticized a Democratic President. And he did it before the advent of FoxNews and the blogs. Consequently, most people have never heard of him or heard what he had to say about President Clinton. But there's a new media in town, and they're not all in the bag for the left. I hope they keep us informed about what's really going on in Crawford, TX.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
I unfortunately wasted an a few minutes of my life to watch "Over There." A new series on FX about US Army Soldiers serving a tour in Iraq. There are a few bad war movies and tv shows, but this one takes the cake. If the inaccuracies they made in this new show was to keep the real enemy from watching and knowing our real tactics, then they did a SUPERB job.
Since Kevin has logged in a fair amount of time on the ground in Iraq, I have to figure that he knows what's what. If you didn't think an infantryman could drop a MOAB, you'll see how wrong you were when you see what Kevin does to this show.
The Hollyweird crowd ought to consult with some folks who have been there and done that before they try to do a show about a war that is currently underway. I'm totally unsurprised that they screwed this one up. Most of the time, they can't even get uniforms right, and most actors can't even pull off a believable salute. Maybe they should stick to "reality" TV.
You can read the rest of Kevin's post here.
Clinton: I Would Have Attacked Bin Laden
Ex-president Bill Clinton now says he would have taken out Osama bin Laden before the 9/11 attacks – if only the FBI and CIA had been able to prove the al-Qaida mastermind was behind the attack on the U.S.S. Cole.
"I desperately wish that I had been president when the FBI and CIA finally confirmed, officially, that bin Laden was responsible for the attack on the U.S.S. Cole," Clinton tells New York magazine this week. "Then we could have launched an attack on Afghanistan early."
Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Talk is cheap, and this kind of talk is the cheapest of all. "Yeah, I coulda kicked Bruce Lee's ass. If only he hadn't died before I got the chance." Sure you could.
I'll admit that I've never liked Bill Clinton, but this kind of talk makes him seem even more pathetic. It also makes me happy that the 9/11 attacks happened on Bush's watch and not on the watch of a man who obsesses over his image.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Editors Ponder How to Present a Broad Picture of Iraq
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
Rosemary Goudreau, the editorial page editor of The Tampa Tribune, has received the same e-mail message a dozen times over the last year.
"Did you know that 47 countries have re-established their embassies in Iraq?" the anonymous polemic asks, in part. "Did you know that 3,100 schools have been renovated?"
"Of course we didn't know!" the message concludes. "Our media doesn't tell us!"
Ms. Goudreau's newspaper, like most dailies in America, relies largely on The Associated Press for its coverage of the Iraq war. So she finally forwarded the e-mail message to Mike Silverman, managing editor of The A.P., asking if there was a way to check these assertions and to put them into context. Like many other journalists, Mr. Silverman had also received a copy of the message.
Ms. Goudreau's query prompted an unusual discussion last month in New York at a regular meeting of editors whose newspapers are members of The Associated Press. Some editors expressed concern that a kind of bunker mentality was preventing reporters in Iraq from getting out and explaining the bigger picture beyond the daily death tolls.
"The bottom-line question was, people wanted to know if we're making progress in Iraq," Ms. Goudreau said, and the A.P. articles were not helping to answer that question.
Not helping to answer the question? Ya think? It'll be interesting to see how much traction this story gets. I'm surprised it came from the NY Times.
Hat tip to Drudge.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
September 11, 2001: Terrorists hijack four commercial airliners simultaneously and crash three of theM into buildings in NYC and DC. Death toll: approximately 3000.
October 12, 2002: Terrorists set off two bombs -- a backpack bomb, and a more powerful car bomb -- at a resort on Bali in Indonesia. Many Australians and Britons were at the resort. Death toll: 202.
March 11, 2004: Terrorists set off multiple bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, Spain. Death toll: 191.
July 7, 2005: Terrorists set off four bombs in London's mass transit system. Death toll: 52.
Let's look at the numbers again: 3000, 202, 191, 52. Am I wrong, or are they going down? I don't mean to minimize the pain and suffering caused by these attacks, but there is no denying that the attacks are becoming less destructive. According to the people who taught me about how wars are fought, you're in trouble when you lose your ability to do damage to the enemy. But what do I know, I'm not an "expert."
For a look at what a real expert has to say about the Global War on Terrorism, check out Lt. Col (Ret) Gordon Cucullu's column in Frontpage Magazine.
Before the dust had settled in the London subways and the wounded evacuated much was already being made by breathless commentators about the "increasing sophistication" and technical expertise of the terrorist killers. These kind of coordinated attacks, we were assured, presuppose a highly intelligent, highly skilled group of terrorists. The implication is that we are losing ground and are increasingly helpless in the face of such professional competence. We have been forced into a reactive mode to an invincible terrorist threat. Well, that's simply not the case.
In fact, to judge by the sophistication levels of terrorist attacks they reached the pinnacle with the simultaneous hijacking of airliners and converting them into homicide missiles on September 11, 2001. The terrorists have been unable to equal that attack and since then the degree and sophistication of terrorist offensives have declined. Frankly, it is no great shakes for a jihadist revolutionary movement with the kind of funding al Qaeda receives from sheiks in Saudi Arabia and mullahs in Iran to blow up a few bombs individually or simultaneously. It does not take loads of sophistication to pack a car with explosives, drive it to a target, and close an electrical circuit. Nor can it be anything other than sheer desperation to rely on terrorists who kill themselves along with their victims. Use of suicide bombers is a strategy of self-imposed attrition that can only result in organizational self destruction. Horrific, yes; advanced, no.
Check out the rest of Lt. Col. Cucullu's column. With years of military experience, including time in Vietnam fighting real-live insurgents, I'd dare say that he knows more about unconventional warfare than the entire editorial board of the New York Times combined.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
WASHINGTON — President Bush has picked Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Roberts, 50, is a conservative who currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. A former clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, his name has been floated for months as a possible Bush selection for the high court.
Bush announced the nomination to the American public at 9 p.m. EDT — with Roberts appearing alongside the president.
Senators Leahy and Schumer responded immediately after. It's tough to say how hard the battle over this nomination is going to be. One thing is certain, Chuckie Scummer will lead the charge against. He couldn't even wait for Leahy to finish his introduction before he went into his spiel.
If I was a bettin' man, I'd bet that it'll get nasty. Having the Scum-meister out front is a virtual guarantee of that. I really dislike that guy. He's actually gotten more obnoxious since he was reelected. I guess that's what carrying 71% of the popular vote will do to an already arrogant politician (is that redundant?). Of course he did run practically unopposed. But that's a whole different post.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Check out this site for a little background on the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. This law was passed in response to the actions of former CIA Officer Philip Agee. Agee is believed to have blown the cover of CIA station chief in Athens Richard Welch, which resulted in Welch's assassination in 1975. Agee fled to Cuba, where he has lived under the protection of Fidel Castro. Ironically, Agee has been a darling of the left for decades for doing what the media has accused Karl Rove of. If you can stomach it, do a Google web search for Philip Agee. You'll find many of the sites about him to be of a positive nature. Nice double standard. Further proof that you have to be a hypocrite to be a lefty.