Thursday, December 22, 2005
Friday, December 09, 2005
Dot 2. A portion of the welcoming committee. (h/t INDC-dorkafork)
Note: I am not, in any way an anti-Semite, nor am I suggesting that moving Israel to Europe would generate widespread anti-semitism there (in spite of the increased Islamic immigration there). My point is that thinking of the fringe, nutcase elements who would put up a JUDEN sign at a soccer match is completely present in the thinking of the President of Iran.
BTW, I might have some minor quibbles with their thinking, but these guys make an interesting case that a war with Iran is looming.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Just what do the Democrats think about the War in Iraq?...
John Murtha Pull out to someplace nearby. Do it sooner rather than later. And on a 6 month deadline.
Nancy Pelosi Just get out.
Her deputy, Steny Hoyer Leaving "could lead to disaster, spawning a civil war, fostering a haven for terrorists and damaging our nation's security and credibility." [Which sounds surprisingly like what Bush is saying.]
Hillary Clinton I'm for the war, but Bush has screwed it up royally, and we ought to let the UN do something about WMDs.
John Kerry Huh?
Joe Lieberman Does America have a good plan...for victory in Iraq? Yes we do.
On another forum, I said to a democratic-leaning reader...
Kerry lost because he couldn’t escape the label of being a “flip-flopper”. He made himself famous by being an anti-war activist-turned politician, and then tried to make America believe that these were credentials sufficient for him to become a Wartime President. He “voted for the War before he voted against it.”
The Democratic Party is collectively today doing what Kerry did as a candidate: Flip-flopping. Iraqi regime change became American policy in 1998 on a 97-2 vote in the Senate (as well as signed into law by Clinton). In 2002, the Congress “authorized [the President] to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate...” to pull Saddam out of power and to enforce the UN resolutions [emphasis added]. And, last week the House overwhelmingly voted down the idea that we should withdraw immediately.
Yet we continue to hear the Biden/Pelosi/Reed/Murtha/Sheehan crowd crow over and over that we ought to get out. What Democrats really ought to do is to get down on their knees and beg someone like Zell Miller, Ed Koch, or even Joe Lieberman to be their standard-bearer. Take the foreign policy issue away from the Republicans and force the debate to focus on domestic issues. You guys can win on domestic policy. The Republicans will cream you if you insist (again) on staying out of a war that our enemy has decided we’re in.
Does the above cartoon (lifted from the NY Post) not depict where the Democrats are today? Nowhere.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
| You scored as William Wallace. The great Scottish warrior William Wallace led his people against their English oppressors in a campaign that won independence for Scotland and immortalized him in the hearts of his countrymen. With his warrior's heart, tactician's mind, and poet's soul, Wallace was a brilliant leader. He just wanted to live a simple life on his farm, but he gave it up to help his country in its time of need. |
Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com
So, now that Bob Woodward has said to Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald that he was aware of Plame's CIA employment a month before it was supposedly leaked to the press as a way to punish Joe Wilson for his scathing critique of the reasons for the war, many are saying that these charges may have to be dropped. Fitzgerald has boxed himself in with this statement...
"He was at the beginning of the chain of phone calls, the first official to disclose this information outside the government to a reporter. And then he lied about it afterwards, under oath and repeatedly."
Now, my question is: Why isn't Chris spitting at the camera at the idea that many are saying that these indictments will be dropped? He sure seems to be still wondering who did something wrong.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
President Bush May Send Up To 5 Marines For French Assistance
President Bush has authorized the Joint Chiefs to begin drawing
up a battle plan to pull France's ass out of the fire again. Facing an
apparent overwhelming force of up to 400 pissed off teenagers Mr.
Bush doubts France's ability to hold off the little pissants. "Hell, if
the last two world wars are any indication, I would expect France
to surrender any day now", said Bush.
Joint Chiefs head, Gen. Peter Pace, warned the President that it
might be necessary to send up to 5 Marines to get things under
control. The General admitted that 5 Marines may be overkill but
he wanted to get this thing under control within 24 hours of them
arriving on scene.
He stated he was having a hard time finding even one Marine to
help those ungrateful bastards out for a third time but thought he
could persuade a few women Marines to do the job before they go
on pregnancy leave.
President Bush asked Gen. Pace to get our Marines out of there as
soon as possible after order was restored. He also reminded Gen.
Pace to make sure the Marines did not take soap, deodorant, or
razors with them. The less they stand out the better.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
Saturday, November 05, 2005
However, I think there is another connection. They are from a demographic with a high unemployment rate. As much as I think these nutcases are more of the problem than the solution, they point me to a parallel to the Watts riots of 1965.
In 1965 Black unemployment in the U.S. was 9%, but unemployment in Watts was 31%. Los Angeles joined the ranks of cities all over the country - Newark, New York, Las Vegas, Detroit - where riots had broken out over political and social issues.
The French social state has obviously contributed to their lack of jobs. Anytime the government will guarantee something for little to no work--and tax their public to support this guarantee--is it surprising to anyone that jobs are lost and people are incented to not work? This breeds the hopelessness that is evidenced by the riots. Throwing money at the problem only exacerbates the problem. Getting rid of their socialist form of thinking is their only long-term hope.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Is there not someone out there who can speak these truths today?
So, today I run across this little gem, which exemplifies just where my fears might take us. H/T Sharp as a Marble, via Ace.
Ammo? Oh, yeah. I've got ammo.
[BTW, sorry for the scarcity of posting as of late. I've run into a bankruptcy at work (and the resultant questions of "What will we do if the company goes under?", extra work at home, and a general lack of motivation for this thing. We'll see if I can keep it going.]
Friday, September 09, 2005
So, (via the Puppy Blender) I see that even the NYT is reporting the same. She dithered and delayed until the damages were too much to control.
The article includes a very subtle cutting quote at women executives...
"Can you imagine how it would have been perceived if a president of the United States of one party had pre-emptively taken from the female governor of another party the command and control of her forces, unless the security situation made it completely clear that she was unable to effectively execute her command authority and that lawlessness was the inevitable result?" asked one senior administration official, who spoke anonymously because the talks were confidential. [emphasis mine]
Now I'll accept (without knowing) that Gov. Blanco is a good administrator and that this is important in an Executive, but the message I'm getting here is this: Elect a woman and you risk getting someone not capable of handling an emergency. It is clear that Gov. Blanco did not perform her responsibilites as she should have, and that the suffering and death are partly her fault. [And I won't even begin to speak about that complete idiot, Mayor Nagin.] There are certainly women politicians who would have done better than Gov. Blanco (Hillary! and my midget dyke-governor come to mind), and equally, there are touchy-feely male politicians who one might expect would perform at least as badly as Gov. Blanco. But the differences in character of women who are care-givers and compassionate, verses the character of men who are problem-solvers and leaders cannot be dismissed here.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
And I further have to admit that I think Christopher Hitchens is often full of himself, and can't help but express himself in a hoity-toity manner.
However, I ran across this video of Hitchens' appearance on Stewart's show, and can't help but think that while Hitchens seems to have been holding back, he still sliced Stewart's positions to shreds without Stewart appearing to know it was happening.
As an example, Hitchens asks Stewart why, back in '98, Congress passed, by a near unanimous margin, a resolution making Iraqi regime change the policy of the US, Stewart responds...
It was an obviously symbolic thing to do...Question for Mr. Stewart: Please expand on how we are supposed to know when the actions of our government are just symbolic or when they really, really mean something.
Enquiring minds and all that.
Monday, August 29, 2005
- The incredible bravery of our soldiers just defies words. I'm sure there are tons of paper-pushers and bean-counters for every guy pulling a trigger, but as Casey Sheehan's story exemplifies, regardless of MOS, everyone is a soldier.
- Michael Yon's reporting is far and above the caliber of reporting seen by both the right and left sides of the MSM. Of course, the NYT-WaPo-BroadcastNetwork versions of news would actively avoid such situations, but even the Fox News-style openness in reporting both the good and the bad from Iraq doesn't touch this level of reporting. There's way too much reporting done from hotels safely inside the Green Zone. If Yon doesn't get a Pulitzer or other recognition for his work, there's something seriously wrong in journalism.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
- Via Viking Pundit, I was directed to this article, which includes a mention of my very own Congressman, Jeff Flake. The money quote...
What continues to amaze, however, is the sheer arrogance and hubris with which the Republicans have chosen to govern. As Congressman Jeff Flake — one of the few principled Republicans in Washington — told the Washington Post, "Republicans don't even pretend anymore." [emphasis added]
- Today's Arizona Republic includes this article in the local (Mesa) section. [You may have to semi-register to read this. I did.] It seems McCain is overdoing it for even the loyal Arizonans who have kept re-electing him. Not to worry--I've been voting against him for years.
Although at my last update, it looked like Bob was progressing well, since then the improvement to his health has stopped, if not regressed. He's been back into the ICU twice since then and will have to have a kidney removed this morning.
Will report more as I know it.
As promised--Update to the update: We spent much of the mid-day at the hospital with Diane. If you look closely, you can tell the strain is wearing on her, but otherwise, she's a rock. Bob's trauma surgeon said he had complications that had to be dealt with beyond the loss of the kidney, but seems optomistic otherwise. Now that the source of his troubles (his damaged kidney) is gone, the other troubles should begin to improve. Of course, he won't be able to travel to see his son graduate from Army Basic next week. They're still hopeful that they'll be able to make their trip to Ireland. From my seat however, there is much to focus on right now, and while I hope they can make their trip, I'd rather see Bob healthy now than risk a relapse in Ireland.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Thursday, August 04, 2005
This one is "Shit Happens sometimes to some of the best people who least deserve this sort of thing".
I got word last night that one of my closest friends in this world--a Deputy Federal Marshal--was gut-shot yesterday as he and a Maricopa County Probation Officer attempted to arrest some slimeball.
Bob is this great big Bear of a man, and one of the nicest guys ever. If you didn't know what he did for a living, you'd never guess that he spends his days chasing some of the worst bad guys out there. He's doing OK, but at this moment, I suspect that it'll take some time for him to get back up on his feet.
His wife is a complete Saint of a woman. Like all good wives, she's been a rock throughout this, but I cannot imagine that she's not cracking a bit underneath. She's absolutely livid that the press has found out Bob's name (probably through his boss--idiot that he apparently is).
To respect their privacy, I'll leave out the further details, but they've had to go through quite a bit recently, and if any family deserves a break, it's this one.
I don't know him at all, but the other officer in this incident is much worse off. I understand he was shot in the neck at C-6, and is paralyzed. Prayers for both families are in order.
Update: Bob is not quite out of the woods yet, but is doing much better. He's breathing on his own, has been up sitting, and even taken a few steps. He watched Blackhawk Down today. There are cautionary good feelings about his partner too. He still has much more serious wounds, but perhaps not quite as ominous as we thought yesterday. Prayers still.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
The weather absolutely sucked...
YYZ 022004 SPECI 022004Z 34024G33KT 1 1/4SM PTSRA SCT015 OVC045TCU RMK RA2SF2TCU5 CB ASOCTD
YYZ 022004 SPECI 022004Z CCA 34024G33KT 1 1/4SM PTSRA SCT015 OVC045TCU 23/ RMK RA2SF2TCU5 CB ASOCTD
YYZ 022020 SPECI 022020Z 34024G33KT 3SM PTSRA FEW015 OVC040TCU 23/ RMK SF2TCU6 CB ASOCTD
To help those who need the important parts translated from Aviation Meteorology-talk into English... There are three reports here. The first two are basically the same; YYZ (Toronto) on the second (the date) at 2004 (GMT-which is 4:04pm local and 1 minute after the accident). But here's where it gets interesting--winds 340˚ (from a direction just a bit west of due North) at 24 knots gusting to 33 knots. Visibility 1¼ miles and heavy(P) thundershowers(TS) and rain(R). The third report comes 16 minutes later, and has the visibility lifting to 3 miles, but otherwise is basically the same.
So for their landing on runway 24, they had to assume a crosswind at 33 knots--which, although I don't know what the limits of the A340 are, it has to be quite near the plane's crosswind limit.
Most runways in America are grooved. They diamond cut grooves into the concrete about 2 inches apart, and maybe ½ an inch deep. These grooves act to channel water off the runway and improve traction. For some reason (climate perhaps), most runways in Canada are not grooved, and none of the runways in Toronto are. What I'm getting to here is that, with the heavy rain they were getting at the moment of the accident, it is likely that the runway surface was very slick. [I'm here to tell you it doesn't take much water on a runway to make it feel like you're landing a locomotive on a skating rink.] Given these crosswind conditions, IMO it is admirable that they were able to keep it on the runway at all. [Of course, their best choice would have been to go around and wait for the thunderstorm to clear before attempting to land. However, there's lots more yet to investigate (reports of lightning, possibility of microburst, etc), so I won't Monday-morning Quarterback things quite yet.]
So, although they kept it on the runway despite the rain and crosswind, they were unable to brake sufficiently before they ran off the end of the runway by some 200 yards. Their evacuation went just about as perfectly as you can make it. For those who don't know, most airline captains (or maybe it's just me) assume that an evacuation--for any reason--will result in minor injuries to about 10% of your passengers. This is just about what we see here.
However, related to this, and the real reason why I'm writing this comes from this sentence from this report...
I cannot tell you how many times I cringe inside, especially this time of year, when I see someone board my plane while wearing sandals. Men, kids, but especially women. I understand that everyone wants to be comfortable, and that on flights of more than an hour or so, feet tend to swell. But I sense that much of the trend towards sandals--again, especially for women--seems to be more out of a sense of fashion than of comfort. Ladies will often go out and get a cute pair of sandals or thongs, a nice pedicure, maybe a toe-ring, and you just want to show it all off. Now I like a well-turned ankle as much as the next guy, but I'm here to tell you that, at the moment you jump down that evacuation slide, lose your shoes, and then attempt to get away from the twisted and burning wreckage of an aircraft accident while in your bare feet, you'll wish more than anything that you'd put on that pair of Nikes.
"We were all trying to go up a hill; it was all mud, and we lost our shoes. We were just scrambling, people with children." [emphasis mine]
Moral of my story: Despite how incredibly rare it is to be a passenger in an aircraft accident--Wear sensible shoes.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
- The number of Canadians who are fleeing their country precisely because of their less-than-acceptable standards of healthcare.
- He claims that there will be no effect to Canadian taxpayers because "all Canadians get government-provided health insurance in any case". This is like saying that healthcare is as free as the air. It's just there for anyone to enjoy, and costs nothing. Absurd on it's face.
- If Canadian state healthcare is so superior, and corporations are deciding where to place their new jobs because of this, why are we not hearing of Canadians complaining of the hoards of Americans "voting with their feet" and illegally coming across the Canadian border to take these new jobs?
And, with unintended, yet perfect irony, the editors of the Arizona Republic place this article above the fold on the front page of this very same issue.
Monday, July 25, 2005
With that said, everything he did suggests that the police acted correctly by taking direct and decisive action against him. As it turns out, he wasn't who they had reasonable belief to believe he was, which is unfortunate. However, had he turned out to be one of the loose bombers the police were looking for, and they'd allowed him to set off another bomb, then there would certainly be cries of "Police Incompetence". This case of mistaken identity is an unfortunate byproduct of his behavior's resemblance to that of the "Asians" who have lately taken to blowing up British mass transit.
Of course, as usual, Froggy is right about all this.
Update: Just to remind everyone of the importance of differentiating between this guy's behavior and his skin coloring, I offer three words: John. Walker. Lyndh.
This weekend I accomplished a number of things.
- I was actually home.
- The weekend on which I was actually home coincided with my ranges' monthly IDPA match.
- I was able to secure a Kitchen Pass for said match.
- Additionally, two of the three Spawn-of-Azlibertarian™ expressed an interest in shooting with Dear Old Dad, and we had yet another trip to the range.
As to the details related to this weekend of shooting...
For the IDPA match, although at this writing the results haven't been released yet, I'm sure they will show that I basically sucked. The theme this month was distance, which is my nemesis. There were a couple of targets at 3-5 yards, but the vast majority were in the 25-30 yard range. Humbling to say the least. However, one of the guys in my group had serious problems with his gun. He's usually one of the better scorers, but was cursed this month with bad mag's, and bad ammo (reloads--of course). [Note to self: Perhaps I should rethink that dream of someday procuring a Dillon RL 550B.] He finally switched out his entire setup to a more reliable gun. My stuff worked just the way you'd want it--aside from the operator errors. The guys who do all the legwork for this match (bless their hearts) aren't usually all that creative in their scenarios, but this month they did have one very cool stage--a You're-Michael-Durant-in-Your-Just-Shot-Down-Helicopter Blackhawk Down stage. I imagine lots of ranges with active practical shooting groups have tons of props for use on their stages. However, how many of them have a real helicopter from which to do something like this? Cool. Very cool.
Although I always enjoy IDPA, my Sunday morning outing with the kids was probably more pleasant. Daughter#1 has fallen in love with my Browning Hi-Power, and wanted to shoot this. I also brought along my Glock23C, HK USP Compact, AR-15, and Mossy 590. I had intended to put a few slugs through the Mossy, and brought 2 5-round boxes, but as it turns out, I'd loaded the slugs into the Sidesaddle and Sling and left them at home as part of my "Home Load". The 10 rounds I'd brought consisted of 2 slugs and 8 buckshot rounds. So my son and I each shot off one of the slugs and I shot off 3 of the buckshot rounds. Son-of-Azlibertarian has generally shyed away from pistols, as he's much more proficient with rifles, but did seem to enjoy all three pistols this time. We all did pretty well with the pistols, and with the AR-15 (Iron sights) were each able to stay reasonably on the paper at 100 yards and regularly get hits on the 300-yard metal plate. Good times had by all.
As an aside, Daughter#1 will be an RA at ASU this year. She kept the targets we used, and we joked about her using them as room decorations. We'll see if (a)ASU let's her put these up and (b)she actually goes through with this.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
[Note the similarities in names. Cool. Huh.]
...Unlike any other country, America came into the world with a message for mankind -- that all are created equal, and all are meant to be free. There is no America race; there's only an American creed: We believe in the dignity and rights of every person. We believe in equal justice, limited government, and in the rule of law. We believe in personal responsibility, and tolerance toward others....
I caught a few moments of this speech yesterday as I had it on in the background on FNC. You can read the rest of it here. As much as I have disagreed with the man, it is hard to find much wrong with his foreign policy and anything wrong with his views on the impact of democracy on world peace.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Saturday, July 02, 2005
And here, Joe Katzman at Winds of Change shows that Bush is thinking beyond this War on Terror and perhaps forging an alliance in our potential Next War.
BTW, this level of deep thinking is one reason why the Main Stream Media is failing so badly. They simply miss this sort of thing, or--when they do cover it--offer it up in such shallow coverage as to miss the importance of our moves.
So, I am quite happy to report that I have improved to where I am almost average.
As you can see, I haven't put up much lately, and when I have, there hasn't been much behind it. I have been super-busy in May and June....Went to recurrent and flew nearly a full month in May, and had a giant month in June. I wanted to fly some overtime in late June, but for the first time that I can remember, 100 hours per calendar month became a concern. And, I'm still trying to be a good husband and father, not to mention home-owner, so there's been little time to sit down and ponder about things in the world.
Some items I've been thinking about, but haven't had time to write on...
- The Supreme Court's atrocious Kelo decision.
- Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement, her legacy, her replacement, and the politics surrounding all of it.
- President Bush and how we're doing in Iraq.
- Iran's new President and what we're going to do about Iran.
Anyway, perhaps I'll get to these. However, it is a holiday weekend, I'm at home with the family, I've got a ton of chores to do, and my youngest turns 16 very soon (Yikes!). Off to breakfast and my chores before it gets too hot.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Friday, June 10, 2005
Now, I'll be the first to say that I have some reservations about the Patriot Act. I'm not all Let's-Organize-the-Activists-and-Get-Some-People-Puppets-for-a-Demonstration upset about the PA, but do see the potential for abuse. I give the Bush administration credit for using it carefully and in ways that are not abusive. However, I have no doubts what-so-ever that the PA in the hands of the (or another) Clinton adminstration would yield results that most of us would not like.
But back to Amnesty International. They've done a great job of devolving themselves of any credibility they might had. Last week Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday had William Schulz, the executive director of Amnesty International, USA. I could fisk this transcript inside-out, but here are just a few points.
- Schulz initially says that AI has backed away from the use of "gulag" to describe Gitmo, then goes right back at defending the word. He claims that detainees there are held in "indefinite incommunicado detention without access to lawyers or a judicial system or to their families." However, later he acknowledges that the International Red Cross has been allowed access to these detainees--which is all that is required if they are held under the Geneva Conventions (something they're not entitled to, and we are being quite generous in providing, IMO). In short, access to lawyers, a judicial system, or their families are never accorded to prisoners of war.
- Wallace shows Schulz has a twisted definition of torture. He is unable to produce evidence of systematic torture, and when questioned on the small numbers of documented problems, he then questions the source of the data. When obvious evidence of his pre-concieved notions of what is happening there can't be found, in essence, he says: "Of course, they'd hide the evidence."
- Schulz stands by the ridiculous comparison of Rumsfeld and Gonzales to Pinochet, and that they ought to stand trial for human rights abuses.
- He ends by essentially saying that AI has benefitted from the controversy it has generated because he's there on FNS. Any publicity is good publicity.
So, this is the same Amnesty International that will lecture the Congress on the Patriot Act.
Maybe it's just me, but serious opponents of the Patriot Act ought to cut their losses here and find another mouthpiece.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Update...I guess I have to wonder about my own habits here. My next most recent post shows a very unflattering picture of a young John Kerry aside a bad characture (sp?) of a Hollywood bad guy. Am I being fair to Kerry? I don't know. As would any Presidential candidate, he or his handlers did their best to make him available for photo-ops as a means to enhance his story. As it stands, IMO, these efforts fell flat. He simply isn't a photo-genic guy, and in a Photoshop and internet-savvy world, his campaign should have found a way to add to his "electability" without resorting to his image. I have several other equally unflattering internet photos of Kerry, Dean, and Clinton in my files. I'll have to gaze at my navel some more to decide whether my use of these images is as unfair as the words Noonan attributes to prominent Democrats.
I especially admire the big-time bloggers who are able to make money at this.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Sunday, May 29, 2005
On their Memorial Day show no less, Schieffer ended his show with a commentary linking Memorial Day, John McCain, and Gitmo.
Schieffer, CBS and the rest of the MSM (to include Hollywood) are currently all a-twitter about McCain's Faith of Our Fathers movie. I have the deepest respect for McCain's Vietnam performance. A couple of years ago, a co-worker asked me how I thought I might have done on the ground in Vietnam. My honest answer is that I don't think I'd have lasted more than 15 minutes into my first battle. Maybe I underestimate myself, but I just don't think I have the kind of guts it takes to succeed at a close, personal war. In my opinion, McCain was a hero after what he went through on the Forrestal. His performance while a POW was epic.
However, in his political life, he has been nothing but a self-promoting shill. We saw this most clearly in 2000, when the MSM fell in love with "The Maverick". To name just a few, he slimed his way out of lasting damage from his Keating-5 connections; he's furthered this with his McCain-Feingold abomination; and is now in the middle of doing the same thing by inserting Congress into major-league sports steroids abuse (which I commented on here).
Schieffer noted McCain's use of the Honor Code as a mechanism to cope with the brutality of the North Vietnamese POW camps, and then compares this Honor Code to what we're doing in Guantanamo. His last four paragraphs...
I thought about that as yet another tale of torture and abuse came out about the POW camp we are running at Guantanamo Bay.
Columnist Tom Friedman said the prison ought to be shut down because the stories about it are so inflaming the Arab world they're making the war on terrorism more dangerous for our American soldiers to fight.
But as I watched the McCain movie, I wondered if the greater danger is the impact Guantanamo is having on us. Do we want our children to believe this is how we are? Is this the code of honor we are passing on to the next generation?
As we reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day, let us remember first what it is that separates us from those who would take away our freedom -- what John McCain's dad taught his kid, what we should be teaching ours.
Well, to answer Schieffer, let me clue him in on a couple of things. These "torture and abuse" allegations we're hearing about are coming from the friggin' prisoners. These allegations have been investigated. What we hear described as "torture" is also often seen as nothing more than a fraternity prank here. The vilest "torture" alleged is that a woman interrogator has applied simulated menses on the Muslim prisoner and then kept him from cleaning himself. The "abuse" is said to have been mishandling of the Koran--apparantly a non-believer touched the holy Koran, or dropped it on the floor, or in some other way dis-respected their holy book. [I think even the MSM have dropped their claims that the Koran has been flushed down the toilet.] Let's not forget that these prisoners are the most violent and committed of the Islamofacists. They are strikingly intolerant of non-believers, to the point of believing that all non-believers need to be killed (Anyone else remember the Muslim Palestinians who took refuge from the Israelis in The Church of the Nativity? They desecrated venerated and historic Christian artifacts while there.).
And so Friedman thinks we ought to shut down Gitmo because the Arab Street is being inflamed. Should we shut down prisons because criminals don't like how they're treated inside? The simple fact is that we don't create our enemies...they create themselves. We are a uniquely generous and tolerant people. Shutting down Gitmo will not appease the Arab Street. They'll love (or at least tolerate) us when we win. Appeasement will do nothing.
Finally, Schieffer confuses the Code of Honor. We are not beheading or summarily executing prisoners. Sure, Gitmo isn't a kid's summer camp, but we are being quite generous in treating them as Prisoners of War at all (something they are not entitled to, IMO). Schieffer gazes at his navel and brings a moral equivalence to something that makes him uncomfortable (apparantly he's forgotten Daniel Pearl)--our treatment of Islamofacist prisoners. They're not Sunday School teachers--they're people who would do anything to bring down everything we hold dear. They're being treated appropriately. If we only gain a few nuggets of intelligence, or accomplish nothing more than to remove them from the battlefield, then what we're doing in Gitmo is the right thing.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
However, today's Arizona Republic has a typically unbalanced analysis of what's going on. A few examples needing to be fisked....
Both political parties opened a historic showdown over judicial nominations Wednesday while the public worried that Congress could be distracted from more tangible issues such as gas prices and Social Security.
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that Congress will ever have much influence on gas prices. The market will rule. In this case (as I understand things), the suppliers have tapped out most of the easily-refineable crude sources, refining capability has not grown over the years (there's not much money in refining), and most importantly, demand from China and India has spiked. So yeah--gas prices will go up. From what I remember from Econ 101, this increased demand will either spur action to find more supplies or provide an incentive to develop alternative energy sources. Congress doesn't have much to do here. Oh--and Social Security? A time-bomb that nobody is willing to defuse. Fussing about judicial nominees is exactly what Congress ought to be doing.
So which is it? Is this filibuster debate going to fail to influence voters in 2006, or will antagonism increase and make this debate central to the mid-term elections? And you know what? I'm getting tired of the qualifiers "Few strategists" and "many analysts". Are we talking about someone who gets paid to craft or analyze strategy or are we talking about whomever happened to show up around the water cooler that morning? This paragraph tells me nothing.
Few strategists in either party expect the specific arguments over the GOP's bid to thwart Senate filibusters to sway many voters in the 2006 elections. But many analysts believe the conflict could increase and solidify public antagonism toward Washington surfacing in polls, especially if the dispute deepens Capitol Hill's partisan acrimony and impedes action on issues more tangible to voters.
They've buried the money paragraph...
The key political question is whether the public disenchantment would hurt the parties equally or the GOP more, because it holds the majority and is seeking the rule change on judges.So it will either hurt both parties equally or the GOP more. Those are the two choices. It apparantly isn't possible that the Dem's could be hurt here. The bias from this reporting/analysis is absolutely screaming.
And as icing on the cake...
Both sides step into this fight visibly bruised by recent events. Since last year's election, the news in Washington has been dominated by a Bush drive to restructure Social Security that has generated majority opposition in polls; the congressional intervention in the case of a brain-damaged Florida woman, Terri Schiavo, which provoked a sharp backlash in public opinion surveys; the ethics charges swirling around House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas; and the escalating acrimony over Democratic efforts to block some of Bush's most controversial judicial appointments through the filibuster.Maybe it's just me, but I don't think Bush's attempt at reforming/saving Social Security has failed. Sure, the D's have confused the issues, but I don't think we're done yet. I do agree that Congressional involvement in the Schiavo case was misplaced, but I don't think there will be a lasting effect from it. And please. Tom DeLay? While he's probably not exactly a saint, the D's are engaging in nothing more than a witchhunt here precisely because he's been effective against them. And finally in the last sentence, we get an example of something the D's might be doing which the analysts here think will hurt them. More bias.
I really don't expect fully balanced reporting from the Arizona Republic or other MSM sources, but after the success of alternative news sources--internet, talk-radio, Fox News Channel--you'd think the providers of MSM would begin to wonder why their market share was continuing to decline. That their lefty worldview has so poisoned their product just escapes them.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
I see soldiers in the airport all the time. Usually, they're like everyone else--hustling to get themselves from one gate to another as they make their connections. I've never seen the public applause that has been depicted in the beer commercial, but don't doubt that it happens. I've always said that if I had the opportunity, I'd buy a meal for a soldier, and this was my chance.
It didn't go quite as I had imagined. I would prefer that the soldier be three or four people behind me, and that I'd just leave a reasonable amount of money for his meal and then walk off. I don't want his thanks or his protestations that my act isn't necessary. I don't do this for him. I do it for me. If the purchase of his meal makes his day go just a little bit better--that's fine. But the reason that I do this is to make my day go much better. I feel so inadequate in expressing my thanks to those serving our country. My real inadequacy is that I haven't figured out how to express my thanks to the many anonymous spouses/parents/children who are equally serving our country. They are bearing a burden that I cannot imagine.
Anyway, this soldier was right behind me, and I did not have the opportunity at the anonymity that I had wished for. He did thank me, and went on his way.
I'll do it again the next chance I get.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
This last layover had an Elvis Convention going on. They were advertising 20 impersonators, and I saw half a dozen or so in the lobby. Most were the "Old Fat" Elvii, but there was one 20-something who I saw enter as a "Young Elvis". They even had a 50's Pink Cadillac out front. I have to wonder about someone who would go through life as Elvis. I can't imagine that more than a few impersonators are able to make a living at this fascination of theirs. So what do they do the other 29 days a month?
Related is to wonder about the women who are intrigued enough with Elvis that they will travel and pay money to see these impersonators. It's no skin off my nose one way or the other, but why not drop your teenage fascinations with some guy who's long dead, and get on with your life?
As my kids would say: Whatever.
Friday, April 29, 2005
This is all a long-winded way of saying: For the short-term, posting will be light.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I am not at all surprised that Gov. Napolitano has vetoed this bill. Like every other gun-grabber, she claims to support Second Amendment rights, but--other than these empty words--has very little to show for this support. I'm not so sure she'll even pay much of a political price for this veto, in that those who understand the Second Amendment are probably not that likely to vote for her under any circumstances. She's a crafty politician--sort of a merging of the political attributes of Bill Clinton (although not nearly as engaging), with the personal and professional pedigree of Janet Reno. Without agreeing with her an very much, I do admire the way she found enough Democratic votes to win her election in a fairly Republican state.
I do hope--and will write my state legislators with this hope--that this issue re-emerges next year. That I cannot take my carry-gun into a restaurant where my wife might enjoy a glass of wine is not right.
As is typical of the left, they confuse the issues. Towards the end of the article, a representative of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, Eric Edwards, said, "Guns don't mix with booze any better than driving has." The issue has never been about mixing guns and booze. Question for Mr. Edwards: If guns and booze shouldn't mix in the same way as booze and driving shouldn't mix, how does anybody get their beer home from the liquor store? No one has ever claimed that one ought to drink and carry, anymore than anyone says that drinking and driving is OK. But it ought to be OK to carry in the presence of someone drinking, just as it is OK to drive in the presence of alcohol.
As I said, I will support this issue again when it is resurrected.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Friday, April 15, 2005
However, I did come across a couple of articles which struck me as iconic of the Nutty Left--and perhaps especially relevant as coming right after my post regarding Kos. Today's Arizona Republic has an item discussing the lefty war protesters who are not filing their tax returns to prevent the military from getting anything from their labor. The gist of their belief is that if more money was spent on social programs (foreign and domestic, I presume), then the military would would not be necessary. So they withhold their taxes and take whatever consequences come their way.
Question: If I believed the antithesis of their position--that more military, not less was a good thing, and that what was damaging our economy and society in general was the plethora of social programs--would I too be justified in withholding my financial contribution to our government?
The other item this morning was something I saw on Instapundit. Matthew Yglesias has a post on the "Inheritance/Death Tax" (chose your own descriptor). In this post, Matthew argues in regard to a concern of the effect of the Inheritance Tax on small businessmen--"fuck the small businessman". Nice, Matthew. Nice.
But here's a question for Matthew: If I were a lefty running a socially-conscious small business--perhaps a coffee shop--at what point would my socially aware behavior (profit-sharing, donations to the community, etc) run up against my success as a businessman (business profits)? When do my employees go from appreciating what I'm doing for them and the community, and transition to stealing from me because I've become "The Man"? IOW, where is the line between lefty love, and simply being fucked?
Monday, April 11, 2005
As I got into the hotel room on the same layover mentioned earlier, I somehow stopped again on CSPAN. I used to watch CSPAN quite regularly--especially during the Impeachment Months. I've always enjoyed and often marvel at the balance they present.
Brian Lamb has to be the best at this. There are probably none better at asking fair questions. His questions are not so probing as to betray evidence of some agenda he might have, but just deep enough to elicit some information the audience might otherwise not know. Last night I saw his interview of Markos Moultisas (whom I will call "Kos" here) of Daily Kos.
First, some attribution. I am a libertarian-leaning conservative (or is it a conservative-leaning libertarian--I don't know). I don't often get over to Daily Kos, or any other lefty site. I have checked in occassionally to Democratic Underground, and find that they're generally off-the-deep-end nutty. I expected as much from him on this show.
And I was somewhat pleasantly surprised.
Here's some of what I learned about Kos...
- I had always assumed that "Kos" was prounounced as in the first syllable of "Cosby". It more closely rhymes with "close", with a 'hard O'.
- Kos is a veteran, family man, and quite well-spoken.
- He is a very principled liberal. Not at all likely to spout "Chimpy McHitlerHalliburton".
- He supports our effort in Afghanistan, but not Iraq. [Perhaps had I been more familiar with his site and his views, this might not be such a surprise to me, but it was.] I do wish he was more upfront about this, but again, that may be me, not him.
- I first became aware of Kos after the uproar regarding his comments after the 4 Blackwater "operators" were killed and their bodies desecrated in Fallujah. He did expand on his comments, and while the explanation offered some missing context to his comments, he still ought to have more compassion for these dead Americans.
As I said, I was more than surprised at how reasonable he came off. He makes no apologies for what he believes, but he did make a couple of points that betray him.
- He doesn't feel the need to check in on conservative sites, or explore conservative thought. He happily operates a liberal echo chamber, which he believes will serve as a place for liberals to organize themselves to better battle the conservatives. While I too don't check in often with the opposing schools of thought, were I (even occassionally) employed as a political consultant--and especially as a consultant to a party which is losing much more than they win--I think I'd spend some time wondering why my opponents were winning and I wasn't.
- A couple of times Kos made the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy point. He pointed to the conservative views seen in the WSJ, Fox News, much of the blogosphere, and talk radio were dominating the media to the point where liberals just couldn't get their message out. He is correct that these media organs do lean conservative. And it is also true that these media are enjoying increasing influence in framing today's viewpoints [Again, he ought to wonder why this is.]. What he misses completely is that the NYT, LA Times, network TV, CNN and MSNBC all lean considerably to the left. Personally, I think the cumulative media message does provide balance.
- I appreciated hearing his advice on how to blog. I am aware of the limitations of Blogger, and should I stay with this, I may move elsewhere. My blog's name may be too cumbersome (and certainly it is when you add the ".blogger" to the URL). I am beginning to consider whether I should play with my template (I like the background, but links showing up as purple against the blue background don't jump out as much as I would like.) I also need to make the site look more interesting, but again, I'm just learning all this, and it may change as I learn more.
Anyway, all told, I enjoyed Lamb's interview of Kos. I don't have many political agreements with him, but it was interesting none-the-less.
However, my first thought was to wonder: Does he have an Evil Twin?
[The link to Schoomaker's image above doesn't quite make my point as well as I might like, but I hope you get the idea.]
Friday, April 01, 2005
Let's do a little fiskin'...
Samuel R. Berger, a national security adviser to President Bill Clinton...and
Mr. Berger was a senior policy adviser to Senator John Kerry of MassachusettsNow--Why would anyone begin to question the ethics of someone who cavorts with these two? Hmmmmmm? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
[Berger] was often mentioned as a possible secretary of state in a Kerry presidency.Oh, that would have been just friggin' great now, wouldn't it. A guy at the top who spent decades telling us that he went on some Apocalypse Now mission that never happened being represented by a guy who
When the issue surfaced last year, Mr. Berger insisted that he had removed the classified material inadvertently.Right, Sandy. Those classified papers ended up in your socks accidentally. Sure. Happens to me all the time.
But look, not just in the same paragraph, but in the very next sentence, we get...
But in the plea agreement reached with prosecutors, he is expected to admit that he intentionally removed copies of five classified documents, destroyed three and misled staff members at the National Archives when confronted about it...[emphasis added]
Mr. Berger, 59, was unavailable for comment Thursday. In a statement, his lawyer, Lanny Breuer...Lanny Breuer. Lanny Breuer. Where do I know that name? Oh, yeah. Now I remember. He spent some time in the Clinton White House, where Clinton "repeatedly and unlawfully invoked the Executive Privilege to conceal evidence of his personal misconduct from the grand jury". This attempt at Executive Privilege included shielding Lanny Breuer from testifying before the grand jury. Question: Do all Democrats caught in a scandal hire some
...the plea agreement requires him to give up his secret security clearance for three years...He lost his security clearance for Three Friggin' Years? Is that all? He admitted that he intentionally took classified documents and then DESTROYED them. The least that he ought to get is the chance to make small rocks out of big rocks for Three Years.
But some political analysts said the case against him...may have made him unemployable in government in the short term.Oh. Do ya Think? If the world is fair at all, Sandy's "short term" will last quite some time.
[Berger] is currently chairman of a global business strategy firm.Note to those who might hire Berger's firm for whatever "business strategy" advice they might need: Drop him like a bad habit. Do it now.
And they wonder why the public has a cynical eye for politicians. Geesh.
UPDATE: Powerline has a good synopsis of the likely course of events here.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
One of the crazier ideas is mentioned by John Fund. I had read yesterday that some were proposing that Jeb Bush order his law enforcement guys "take" Terri over the objection of whichever law enforcement agency is enforcing the Court's orders. Crazy, Crazy, Crazy.
We are a Nation of Laws. As bad as many Court decisions are, we still must obey them. I do think the Judiciary has become too powerful. I would like to see more "Balance" in our 'Balance of Power'. I agree with Bork that the Courts have become too concerned with politics. It is horrible that the Supreme Court today is basing their rulings on International Opinion. The Law is very much imperfect. Today, it is failing Terri Schiavo badly.
But with all that said, we simply cannot endorse vigilantism in the taking of Terri--even if it is motivated by those who wish to save her. And we certainly cannot endorse vigilantism by our law enforcement agencies. Just because those on the Right have the purest of motives, and because Clinton and Reno did it (and apparently got away with it), does not mean abducting Terri to save her is right in any way.
What I mean by mentioning this is that I have absolutely no idea of what I'm doing here. My last computer class was in 1976, and I think I got a 'C'. We ran rack upon rack of punch cards through a reader to get the mainframe to do the simplest of tasks. Blogger has conveniently placed some keyboard shortcuts on the "Create Post" window frames, but once I get much beyond that, I don' know nuttin'. I guess I could break down and buy a book or something, but we'll just have to see if I want to go to that extreme.
So, if you're exploring my site, and find that the top two links on my links sidebar work, but the remainder don't--you'll know why. The template came with a "Google News" link, and two "Edit Me" links. I tried to add a number of my favorite sites, but they're coming up as bad links. I'll work on a fix later, but just chalk these up to ignorance and in-experience.
Update: Not two minutes after I put up this post, I found my problem. When I pasted in my new favorite, I left it with two "http's". Eureka! I have found it!
Friday, March 25, 2005
I've been following this issue out there on the blogs and columns, and via Steven Green and one of the local talk-radio guys I listen to, Barry Young, I was directed to this Charles Krauthammer column. Dr. Krauthammer just about sums up my thoughts.
There is so much wrong here, and far too many people are inserting their own agendas into this story for me to believe much good will be achieved out of Terri Schiavo's story. The obvious exception is that her story has inspired many to begin a discussion with their loved ones on what their wishes are with regard to extreme medical care, and more importantly, getting those wishes written down, either formally through a living-will, or informally via another method. Perhaps this will be Terri's legacy.
But, as I said, there are so many who are wrong here. I have partially followed what Rush has been saying here. He's obviously fallen into the trap of believing that if we could only pass a federal law, that the courts would have to defer to the wishes of the Schindlers. Hannity is deep into this hole. This Congressional and Presidential activism is coming from the guys who decry judicial activism. I can still listen to Rush, as he gets beyond this from time to time, but I've largely given up on Hannity. Yesterday he was doing his show from Florida--deeply pandering to those with pro-life sensibilities.
Similarly, Fox News has become "All Terri, All Day". I cannot bring myself to change the channel (as CNN, MSNBC, etc are still unacceptable), but their reporting has become far too repetitious. Today, they are emphasizing the connection to Good Friday, and are furthering the Left's belief that the 'Religious Right' is controlling the media.
The Republicans in Congress and President Bush have, in some ways, had their hands tied here. The right thing for them to have done would have been to complain mightily about how unfairly the State of Florida's courts are treating Terri, and then acknowledge that none of that makes this a federal issue. But instead, they tipped their hats to the Religious Right, and passed that ineffective law. Are the Religious Right that important to the Republicans? Now we know.
Michael Schiavo has been excoriated by most of those on the Right. There are many stories out there about how much money he's made or might make through his wife's death--stories that are undoubtedly lacking in full truth. That he has avoided the media here is both sensible and has lead to what we know of him. I believe he knows that he cannot be fairly treated by the media, so why indulge them at all? But, by not getting his story out there, he allows those who are willing to speak to the media to set the tone of the story. All this said, he is a flawed character in this story. That he has moved onto another relationship, and has fathered two children with this other woman is both admirable, and makes his representation of Terri's wishes suspect.
Barry Young made a point yesterday which bears repeating: The Courts in this issue are Courts of Law, not Courts of Compassion or Courts of "What's Right". They have to answer the central question: Which party--Michael Schiavo or the Schindlers--best represents Terri's wishes. In the absence of written evidence of her wishes, they have to defer to the law. The Courts too, have been excoriated by the media and many on the Right. They want Compassion, which the Courts cannot deliver.
However, the Law should allow some compassion here. That the best the Law might allow is to starve this poor woman is a travesty. I mean, the contents of a Last Meal is one of the few compassions we offer to someone the Law is about to execute. We had to put down one of our beloved dogs last year. The right way to euthanize a pet is to make them as comfortable as possible as you relieve them of their suffering. The Law ought to have similar latitude when dealing with someone like Terri. Not that it would have helped Terri--without written evidence of her wishes, but perhaps Dr. Kervorkian was right.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Instead, I have to again wonder: Why do we insist that schools be gun-free?
One of the striking articles I read after the Columbine tragedy was that police SWAT teams--in my memory, it was Scottsdale's--consider it a success if only 30 kids are killed in a school-shooting event. If the police can evacuate the rest of a school, and contain the shooters, then they've done the best they can do.
Here's the other thing: This event has 9 dead/14 wounded (at the latest count), and Columbine had 15 dead/20 wounded. What these two events have in common--beyond that they were done in gun-free school zones--is that those responsible were complete amateurs. Why we expect that Beslan-style attack on a school would not result in--well--Beslan-scale casualties, is beyond me. Or--do we just bury our heads deeper in the pillow and hope that it will all somehow just go away?
And yet we still insist that banning guns from schools--for the kids, don't cha' know--will enhance school safety.
Now before anyone begins to think that I'm endorsing arming kids on school grounds--don't even go there.
The whole process of raising a child is about slowly adding freedoms so that you end up with a functioning adult somewhere around the age of 21. A child of...
- One-can't decide what to wear today.
- Five-can't decide on what time to go to bed.
- Ten-can't decide what TV or movies are appropriate.
- Fifteen-can't drive.
- Seventeen-can't vote.
- Twenty-can't drink.
I am in no way implying that children ought to have access to guns while at school (other than potentially through supervised gun-training programs). What I am suggesting is that it is time that we consider arming willing and trained teachers and staff.
Waiting for the SWAT team to arrive is too late. Not that I don't want them to come--I do. But I hope we're beginning to understand that having the tools available to do something--before the professionals arrive--might prevent the scale of the tragedy from being as large as it otherwise might be.
Update I guess I should have predicted this, but on the Today Show, they just finished talking about whether they had metal-detectors or cameras at the school. Does anyone else wonder at the futility of protecting yourself with a metal-detector?
Friday, March 18, 2005
There sits some of Baseball's current-day finest--Curt Schilling, and Rafael Palmeiro. I didn't catch him, but I see from this news report that Frank Thomas was there briefly via video-conference. Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa were also there. I separate them because these two are great ball-players who have stained their careers. It was great to watch them a couple of years ago when they were dueling for the homerun title. Since then, Sosa has not helped himself with his corked bat problem, and McGuire took a "Hey--it ain't illegal to use Andro--So what's everybody's problem?" attitude when word leaked of how he got so big.
Oh--Jose Canseco was there too. I could write a bunch on him, but I'll just leave it at: He's a slimeball. He's just about as bad as Pete Rose.
But the biggest losers in the crowd were sitting on the other side of the room. Why--Oh Why--does the Nation's business require that Congress insert itself into how many asterisks might be found in Baseball's record books, I'll never know. I mean we've got a friggin' war to run, democracies all through the Mid-East to stand up, Social Security to save, to decide on whether to drill in ANWR and whether the R's in the Senate ought to go "Nuclear" and get Bush's judges through their house. And we have to stop all this and spend the Nation's Valuable Time to browbeat some baseball jocks about their positions as role models to the Youth of America.
So thank you, John McCain. For inserting yourself into yet another issue that Congress shouldn't deal with.
Friday, March 11, 2005
Thursday, March 10, 2005
I love New Orleans. In the French Quarter, you can find about a thousand great restaurants. If you want to get stupid drunk, Bourbon Street is for you. The French Market is always fun. You can ride the streetcar out to their Historic District and see wonderfully restored Victorian homes. What's not to like about San Diego? Wonderful climate, easy-going people, and seafood. Seattle's nice too. A little too hippy-dippy for my tastes, but great restaurants are bountiful. Oh--and have you heard? They make good coffee there! I have enjoyed more entertainment for free on the streets of New York City than I've paid good money for in many venues. [However, on my last trip it was absolutely freezing. Fifteen degrees or so, and winds gusting to 40mph. Brrrr!] Of course, this is just a partial list, but I think you get the idea. There are lots of places that I enjoy travelling to.
However, the place I really like travelling to is--no surprise--home. This is where the people I love live. Contrary to the image of many of those who've never visited Arizona, our deserts are beautiful...especially this year. We finally got a decent rainfall this winter, and the desert flowers are just about in their prime. Our woodlands--yes we have woodlands--are filled with snow. Spring Training is in full swing.
But best of all is my home. Not that the house is all that great, because it's not. It is of late 70's vintage complete with harvest gold counter-tops. We worry every summer whether our heatpumps will last another year. The pool is nice, but takes work to keep up. However, our best asset is that our home sits in the middle of an acre of orange trees. I have 55 trees now in full bloom. The sweetness of the air outside is something I simply cannot describe. Our fruit is now gone (absent one tree), but fresh fruit like I have in my backyard simply cannot be found in a grocery store. I love it here.