Tuesday, August 31, 2004
To those who want to believe that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with terrorism, remember that $25,000 would have been paid out to each of the suicide bombers' families -- maybe the Baathists are paying it anyway. Saddam Hussein encouraged and rewarded terrorism, and lots of it.
That's a fact, folks.
Monday, August 30, 2004
Here is terrorism at its finest, and it's the same thing we've been dealing with for much of the latter half of the 20th century.
A group wants something. They kill some civlilians or threaten to kill civlians if they don't get what they want. If you give in, more of the same is encouraged. If you do not give in, innocent lives are intentionally taken.
If you try to do something about it to deter it -- you're a dumb cowboy war-monger.
Ok all you Michael Moore-loving Frenchies. These people are barbarians. They are morally bankrupt. They don't just want us to leave their countries alone, they are determined to control yours. Yeah. Your domestic policy. They want to dictate it to you, and will kill your civlilans to try to accomplish it.
Go ahead. Lift the ban. It will be used in their propaganda to recruit more terrorists. "See, we are powerful! We affect elections. We blow up buildings in powerful countries. We dictate domestic and foriegn policies. Join us, and together we will deliver the world to Allah!"
"It is time for the international community to stand up for our right to report safely," Aidan White, president of the International Journalists Foundation
And how do we do that? Pass a UN resolution? Who's gonna enforce it?
I know, I know, that word, "Left".
I believe that government might have a little more of a role to play than hard-core staunch Libertarians do. But I'm still way to the right of Democrats and Socialists on this.
- I consider myself an environmentalist
- I believe in equal rights and equal protection by race, gender and creed
- I see a role for some limited, strictly defined government welfare programs
- I believe that homosexuality occurs naturally in most cases, and you've a right to it
Well, for one thing, those are generalizing labels that are put on conservitives -- the kind liberals would never allow you to put on any non-Christian, non-white, or female.
Sure, there are right-wing Christians in the Republican party. There are Republicans who hate gays. They have some greedy people who are willing to abuse the environment. But I am none of those, and neither are most Republicans, nor is George W.
You going to tell me there are no serious Christians in the Democratic party? You going to tell me that lots of those Union Democrats aren't homophobic?
What rational person is anti-environment?
But here's the kind of thing that keeps me awake at night, and these are all products of Leftism run amok. They may seem small, but they're signs of something much bigger going on. They're also all in the news today:
- Red ink is now taboo when grading schoolwork because it's "too agressive".
- Two professors have been fired for refusing to go along with "effort based" grading.
- And in many schools, dodgeball, tag, even pushing other children on swings -- any form of physical contact at recess -- is forbidden.
These are examples of an erosion of ownership, accountability, and excellence in the name of making people "feel good" about themselves.
I don't know. I got red ink on my papers. It motivated me to do better. I turned out ok. And what's this "effort based" grading? I passed my engineering classes because I tried. So who's responsible when the bridge I designed collapses? Hey, I put a lot of work into that bridge! And finally, few people were bullied more than I in grade school. Bullies should be dealt with with discipline by responsible adults, not by keeping children from touching each other and playing games together.
It looks like to me this country's headed in a direction where we don't talk about right and wrong near its roots, we opt for making up second and third generation rules to avoid right and wrong altogether. The rule is right because it's the rule, I guess, nevermind how stupid it is. "This way, nobody gets bullied." Um.... bullsh*t.
These are three small indicators that speak volumes about where the Left is taking us. Which is why I vote Right.
Friday, August 27, 2004
One might say (if one were a Leftist) that it "just goes to show that Bush is all about censoring free speech" or that it shows "just how many people are in a righteous rage over Bush's policies" ... but -- I think it's probably more like "conservatives, in general, have better manners than liberals."
The Democrats are even trying to make the selection of New York City for the RNC an issue. If the Republicans had chosen another city, they'd probably be trying to work in something negative about that. I suppose next time Bush sneezes it will be a political act as well.
I have a hard time believing anyone who insists that EVERYTHING Bush EVER does is wrong. It shows a lack of rationale and balance -- two qualities I'd like to see in a voter.
The shrillness annoys me. I hope it annoys the swing voters as well. Maybe the Dems created a monster by silencing these people at their own convention. The Democratic "Counter Convention" along with the pent-up ... um... "energy" of these folks and what we're about to see outside the RNC will speak volumes about the type of people I don't want in power.
It's predictable. The seeds of the fall of democracy are contained in the combination of it's nature and human nature. Most people will vote for whatever gives them an advatage, and the government is then responsible for enforcing the outcome -- by force if necessary (en-force, see?)
What this leads to is people voting themselves more and more entitlements. The populace eventualy votes itself into Socialism. You can produce less, but you still do okay because the Government will just redistribute wealth from those who produce more. Your incentive to produce goes down. Your c-h-i-l-d-r-e-n are below the poverty line? Tax those evil capitalists more. We owe it to the c-h-i-l-d-r-e-n . Eventually, though, the tax burden becomes too much and squelches anybody's incentive to produce. Why should I produce? You'll just take most of it away from me and give it to someone else. And if I can't make any money, YOU're required to support me anyway.
Economically, we have Capitalist America and Socialist America. Those are the economic lines between the two Americas.
Capitalist America is what we've had basically up to now. Socialist America has grown since the New Deal to the point where we're getting close to a pivotal point, if we're not there already.
Capitalist America is why the poor and huddled masses came here. Capitalist America is why people come across the Mexcican border, or brave the ocean in tiny boats to get here. Capitalist America is why people deserted Socialist and Communist countries to come here by the millions during the last century.
Capitalism gives the individual the most power over his/her own life. It provides the greatest chance that hard work will pay off and better the hard-worker's lot in life. There's no guarantee. But there is hope.
Socialism is a great idea, but it doesn't work. The reason it doesn't work I pretty much described above -- contrary to Capitalism, it suppresses incentive for production. People want more and more, but nobody does the work to support that. Eventually the whole system crumbles.
There's the rub. Humans are (1) naturally lazy, and (2) naturally greedy [they are (3) naturally compassionate, too -- it sets them apart from other species... but it comes in 3rd]
What Capitalism does is use (2) to overcome (1) . There is, of course, a flaw in that -- in that if (2) is allowed to run unchecked, people get exploited/cheated/abused.
On the other hand, any system is exploitable. Over our Capitalist economic system we put laws and courts to suppress it. It still happens, to be sure.
What Socialism does is try to use (3) to overcome (2) and (1). But (1) & (2) are more basic to survival than (3) -- they are more directly hardwired into us.
Let me go on record in stating that (3) is certainly much more noble than (1) & (2). But (1) & (2) simply cannot be overcome by (3).
In fact, if we allow people to use greediness to overcome laziness, it will put more people in a position to practice compassion through charity.
That is why I favor the continuation of our Capitalistic Democracy, and doing whatever we can from having it completely overrun by the Socialists. For those of you who cry that Capitalism is exploitive and abusive... if you don't think Socialism is abusive, you weren't paying attention last century. And if you think it's less abusive, you're deluding yourself.
That is why I am strongly against the Democratic platform, which is the party of American Socialists -- and I'm not name-calling here, I'm going by definition (Merriam-Webster):
\So"cial*ism\, n. [Cf. F. socialisme.] A theory or
system of social reform which contemplates a complete reconstruction of society, with a more just and equitable distribution of property and labor.
This is the "One America" John Kerry's party speaks of.
I'm a Libertarian (Jeffersonian, as in Thomas), not a Republican. But John Kerry's America is too close to becoming a reality for me to risk him getting into office.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Kerry said back in 1971 in numerous interviews and testimony before Congress that all US Soldiers in Vietnam were war criminals. He won't retract this statement or apologize for it.
A lot of veterans are understandably upset about that.
Kerry's controversial past has come up in every campaign he has run. It's nothing new. However, the Bush campaign chose not to question his record. Why? Well, he did serve, he did fight, and he was not discharged in any dishonorable way. Does it have something to do with Bush's relative lack of service? Probably. Bush does not want to make it an issue.
But a whole lot of pissed off veterans do want to make it an issue. And in this country, they can. So they formed an organization, did the legal footwork to get it classified as a 527 or "soft money" group got funding for and created an ad campaing to air their disputes.
Kerry insists that the Bush campaign is behind it, citing that
- there were SBVFT pamphlets passed around at a Bush campaign rally
- one of the SBV's was a volunteer at the Bush campaign
- a lawyer working for the Bush campaign also gave advice to SBVFT
- SBVFT recieved a donation from a Texas Republican
Oooooh! Turn up the "sinister" music. Is it shocking that people who don't want Kerry for President would show up at a Bush rally -- and pass out information to get their message out? Is it shocking that someone who doesn't want Kerry in the White House would volunteer for the Bush campaign? If a lawyer working for the Bush campaign gives legal advice to an anti-Kerry 527 group, does that constitute control or even coordination with the Bush campaign? And finally, who did they expect to be donating money to this organization... the same folks funding MoveOn.Org?
Oh, the double-talk coming out of Kerry. He has pretty flatly accused the Bush campaign of being behind the ads without presenting a case that proves it. Bush could easily challenge the Kerry campaign with similar "evidence" of collusion with the anti-Bush ads that have been running for almost a year now from anti-Bush 527 groups. Kerry wants Bush to apologize for something that it appears he has nothing to do with, and at the same time he will not apologize for things he said that we can roll the tapes and watch him say.
Collusion indeed. Check out this graphic.
How can Bush condemn SBVFT's message? Kerry and a little over a dozen people who served with him say they're lies, over 250 others who, while they didn't serve on his boat, they served on boats next to his; say they're not. Bush doesn't know if they're lies or not. What if they're telling the truth? It's not Bush's message, he doesn't have the evidence necessary to condemn it.
The two people who had associations with both the Bush campaign and SBVFT have resigned from the Bush campaign. This is heralded as "proof" of collusion by Kerry supporters while to me they're going beyond what is called for to avoid even the appearance of wrongdoing. Where I come from, it's called the right thing to do.
Methinks Kerry protesteth too much. I hope he's shooting himself in the foot.
Monday, August 23, 2004
Saturday, August 21, 2004
They would like us to believe they are poor, persecuted men of Iraq valiantly holding off a superior military force. But that is not the case.
First of all, these folks want a Shia Religious Islamic government. They know they won't get this under a liberal democracy that protects other Iraqi's interests equally with theirs. There are indications that Al-Sadr is supported by the neighboring Islamic government in Iran. But that's really beside the point.
The point is, these folks don't want any part of a democratic process. Alawi has been very shrewd in continuing to offer them a political party status in exchange for amnesty -- because it shows just that. Al-Sadr is not interested in being a part of a political process. He wants to force Iraqis to subvert to his religious ideology and he is willing to kill them to make it happen.
No, what's really going on here is they are hiding behind Allah's robes -- and I'm sure Allah is not impressed. They want the US to attack the shrine -- that's why they went there. By hiding there shouting slogans and firing off rounds, they delude themselves and others who are willing to be deluded -- into thinking that they, the Valiant Underdogs, Protected By Allah, are bravely fending off the aggressor.
Never mind that if they themselves hadn't started shooting people, none of this would be going on.
Imagine the roles were reversed -- first of all, our guys would be loath to go into a Christian shrine to hide from our enemies. But suppose we did. Do you think the Islamists would think twice about blowing it up?
Out of respect for good Muslims throughout the world, and to avoid tactical suicide, we will do everything in our power to keep from damaging the shrine.
I imagine with all of this wishy-washy behavior coming out of the group, they are simply buying time. The longer they can portray the situation as infidels besieging brave Muslims in a holy place, the more support they can garner from various Muslims around the world. And the better chance they have of slipping Al-Sadr out of the ring of containment, to fight another day.
"We will fight to the death!" They say -- holed up in their hiding place.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
It's a bunch of over-zealous freaks leading extremely unbalanced lives to compete (win) in a world "sports" arena that's so politicized it's just not funny.
I think there needs to be new rules. You have to have a full-time job NOT doing what you compete in. "Homemaker" can be considered a job.
No flags. No national anthems. When you win, YOU win. Not your country. They play "the Olympic Anthem" while you stand on the podium.
If you're doped up, you're out. Forever.
Then maybe I'd be interested in them again.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
When your employer, supervisor, school principal, or police department gets intelligence -- information leading them to believe there is a threat, they evacuate the building. When no bomb is found and they let you back in, you don't go to them and say "you lied to us!"
Granted, it's not exactly the same, but it illustrates a point. Based on what the people in authority know, they have to make a decision based on a potential danger.
Let's remember most of the world intelligence agencies believed before the war that Saddam had and/or was working on chemical, biological, and possibly nuclear weapons.
That's a fact. It's not something Bush or Rumsfeld or Tenet made up.
So here's what the assesment was at the time:
Here we have a guy who
- thought nothing of invading another country by surprise to take it for his own
- we have a guy who has used chemical weapons on thousands of Iraqis he didn't like
- tried to assasinate an American President
- cheered when 3,000 people were killed by al-Quaeda in the USA on 9/11/2001
- thought nothing of killing his opponents even if they were family
- was publicly flouting conditions of surrender in the 1991 war (for 11 years)
- was publicly flouting various UN resolutions from inspections to embargos
- shooting at our planes practically daily as we and the British tried to enforce what the UN had called for (on our own and at our expense)
And that's what the public knew. Bush and Clinton and Blair knew more. Far more than we even know today.
For years we had intelligence on Bin Laden and knew what his desires were and he even acted some of them out, but we made no serious efforts to stop him. Many years before Bush. What 9/11 did was to point out that some people were willing to do things that were previously unthinkable to harm us. They didn't do it to Bush because they hated Bush. They did it to the US because they hated the US.
Note that I'm not trying to blame Clinton, here. I'm pointing out the absolute ridiculousness of anyone claiming that the world hates us because of Bush.
- the famous "Blackhawk Down" incident under Somalia happened under Clinton (1993)
- the triple bombing of US Embassies in Africa happened under Clinton (1998)
- the bombing of a US Military barracks in Saudi Arabia happened under Clinton (1996)
- The USS Cole happened under Clinton (2000)
- The first bombing of the world Trade Center happened under Clinton (1993)
- The planning for 9/11 happened under Clinton (1999-2001)
One of the big criticisms about 9/11 was that "we should have known", followed by "we should have stopped it". The facts are, we knew he wanted to, but didn't know how he'd try. We knew he wanted to for a very long time, and did basically nothing to stop him.
We also knew Saddam Hussein's nature, and we knew it for a long time. We knew he had chemical and biological weapons, and we knew it for a long time. While trying to ensure that he got rid of them all after the 1991 war, he dragged his feed, obstructed, and finally refused to cooperate with the UN and kicked the inspectors out.
The public knew this. This wasn't top secret information. It was on CNN, in the New York Times, the Chicago Daily Tribune, on the BBC, and in Pravda. Even your local small town newspaper. Even during the Clinton years, so don't go down the "Bush was lying to the press" road.
Intelligence agencies around the world knew more. That's their job. And due to the nature of their job, they can't tell us all they knew. Yes, that secrecy could be used as cover for abuse, but you really can't have it both ways.
Anyway, basically, the US decided that it did not want to wait and see if Saddam had a plan and how he might execute it. Truthfully, we weren't worried about scud missiles. We were worried about him putting his stuff in the hands of people who would sneak it over here, or to Europe, or to our embassies and kill thousands, maybe millions of civillans with it.
Bush decided that 11 years was enough pussyfooting around with this guy. The UN wouldn't deal with him. They left us to do their dirtywork, and we got shot at every day for it. Folks, we could have invaded for that alone.
Bush tried to get some swift and decisive action out of the UN and failed -- because the UN isn't about action. That delay may very well be exactly why no WMD has been found. Saddam had about 4 months to hide, dispose of, export, hand to terrorists --- whatever. He knew he couldn't win the war. The thing he could do to damage the US the most would be to have no WMD to be found after the invasion. Don't get me wrong, he also tried to use the UN to keep us from coming at all. He would have preferred to stay in power and probably hoped against hope that he would. Even if he didn't have any WMD anymore, he was doing his best to obfuscate that fact. What was the world to think?
So Bush did what he, with more knowledge than the public as discussed above, thought he had to do. He had a lot of support from world intelligence agencies, and the governments of many countries.
A few prominent European countries (with economic ties to Iraq and grudges against the United States) held the UN hostage -- but that can happen in the UN. Bush decided to do what he though was right even though he knew there was a huge political risk.
To make his friends rich? Because God told him to? To "get the oil"? Because Saddam tried to kill his dad? Because he's a big meanie? I just don't buy it. The best explanation is that the information he had told him it was the right thing to do.
Some of the information that Bush based the invasion on has not been proven to be true. (Keep in mind it has not been proven to be false, either, it just appears much less likely at the moment). If you make a time-dependent decision on the best information you have, and some of that information turns out not to be true -- it doesn't mean you didn't do the right thing.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
US terror plot intelligence 'old' US officials say new warnings of terror attacks are based on information collected by al-Qaeda up to four years ago.
The US administration admits that new warnings of attacks on American cities were based on information gathered by al-Qaeda up to four years ago.
Using the word 'admits' implies that some sort of deception took place, and the 'information collected by al-Qaeda up to four years ago' in the headline puts on it excactly the spin the Left wants on this story -- that this information is not very relevant, and that the Bush administration purposely blew this this warning out of proportion for political purposes.
Let's not rule out the possibility. But in my experience it's best to go to the most rational explanation first.
What are the facts? The facts are
- al-Qaeda has been collecting information on these sites for at least four years.
- we recently got hold of the details of al-Qaeda's intelligence gathering on these sites
- intelligence suggests that al-Qaeda is planning an attack this summer
- even if intelligence didn't point to that, we know they want to attack sometime, and these are obviously well-researched sites they've been focusing on.
Suppose that Bush and Ridge decided to sit on this information. After all, according to critics, it's 'old', and therefore not very important. What do you suppose the criticism would be if one or more of these targets where hit? "Why didn't you tell us?"
Much is made of the memo that Bush reportedly "ignored" that was titled something like "Bin Laden determined to strike inside the US". Folks, that's some pretty general information, and believe me, it was old news. When I first heard the news of an airplane crashing into the World Trade Center; I, a mere civillian, knew immediately it wasn't an accident and I knew who was behind it because I'd been paying attention for the past few years.
This information is a lot more specific. The fact that al-Qaeda's been working on it for 4 years makes it more relavent. These guys plan for a long time, then do their deeds.
I suppose there are those who want to think that this threat is all made up in the first place, but if you ask me, these people have their heads up a dark hole somewhere.