Friday, September 28, 2007

Reflexive Anti-Americanism No More

From France:

... whereas traditional Gaullism tended to define French grandeur as establishing a counterweight to American power, Sarkozy is not adverse to seeing French assertiveness exercised in conjunction with the United States. As Kouchner put it, "permanent anti-Americanism" is "a tradition we are working to overcome."
Would that our own home grown traitors follow a similar path.

Que Soros, Soros

This might open a few eyes.

Hat tip to Bob Parks.
How many people, for instance, know that James Hansen, a man billed as a lonely "NASA whistleblower" standing up to the mighty U.S. government, was really funded by Soros' Open Society Institute , which gave him "legal and media advice"?

That's right, Hansen was packaged for the media by Soros' flagship "philanthropy," by as much as $720,000, most likely under the OSI's "politicization of science" program.

[weren't] 2006's vast immigration rallies across the country began as a spontaneous uprising of 2 million angry Mexican-flag waving illegal immigrants demanding U.S. citizenship in Los Angeles, egged on only by a local Spanish-language radio announcer?

Turns out that wasn't what happened, either. Soros' OSI had money-muscle there, too, through its $17 million Justice Fund. The fund lists 19 projects in 2006. One was vaguely described involvement in the immigration rallies. Another project funded illegal immigrant activist groups for subsequent court cases.

So what looked like a wildfire grassroots movement really was a manipulation from OSI's glassy Manhattan offices. The public had no way of knowing until the release of OSI's 2006 annual report.

OSI also gave cash to other radicals who pressured the Transportation Security Administration to scrap a program called "Secure Flight," which matched flight passenger lists with terrorist names. It gave more cash to other left-wing lawyers who persuaded a Texas judge to block cell phone tracking of terrorists.

They trumpeted this as a victory for civil liberties. Feel safer?

It's all part of the $74 million OSI spent on "U.S. Programs" in 2006 to "shape policy." Who knows what revelations 2007's report will bring around events now in the news?

Not surprised. But still ...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Failed Strategy

I keep reading hearing that the Bush Administration is "persuing the same failed strategy" in Iraq. Over and over, ad nauseum.

I would like to ask these perenial critics just what that failed strategy is? Not what is failed about it, but about what "it" is in the first place? They keep insisting that it's been the same one all along.

I would like to ask them because I don't think they'd know "strategy" if it bit them on the nose.

I think, in the end, the only way you could interpret the answer you'd get from them would be:


Any strategy that involves fighting is, well .... fighting, and that's the resolution of their measuring devices (this from the keepers of the Holy Book of Nuance).

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I have a brother who will be performing in a G.K. Chesterton play "The Surprise", that I will be going soon to see.

This is more out of love for my brother than any affinity, or even much knowledge of Chesterton, though due to my brother's fancy I've read a blurb or two.

I went in search of a little more on what the play might be about... and of course, Google continues to work well for such things. I found a basic plot introduction. But I also ran across a Chesterton quote from a 2005 post on the Anchoress' blog that just ... really ... sticks out. Primarily to the "dissent is patriotic" crowd, or those who feel their worth only in the act of protest.

Why do these fools fancy that the soul is only free when it disagrees with the common command? Even the mobs who rise to burn and destroy owe all their granduer and terror, and a sort of authority, not to their anger, but to their agreement. Why should mere disagreement make us feel free?

GK Chesterton - The Surprise

Not bad.


The Rev Jesse Jackson has accused Barack Obama of "acting like he's white", exposing the resentment among some members of the black community towards the presidential hopeful.

What, are we suggesting that there's something wrong with "White"?

Wouldn't that be ... racist?

Nebraska Senator Sues God

I abhor frivolous lawsuits.

So, says he, does Nebraska Senator Ernie Chambers. So to prove his point, he says, he is suing God.

Oddly, the case that triggered this was a case an alleged rape victim filed against a judge because he ruled that she could not use words like "rape" or "sexual assault" in the trial. Oddly, I think the woman has a point and, judging by the Senator's apparent political leanings, I would think he would think the same. It's an odd case to call 'frivolous' when there are so many cases to choose from that many more would agree were frivlous.

Chambers himself said his main objection is that the constitution requires that the doors to the courthouse be open to all. Well that begs the question to whom would he like access restricted?

I think our Constitution have served us pretty well.

Now I'm not saying whether the judge was right or wrong to ban those terms from her testimony. See, that's what we have judges for. They are to use their judgement. He may have had a good reason to do this.

I can see an argument that when you are trying to determine whether an encounter was, in fact, a rape, and both sides are presenting evidence .... facts, if you will, to have one side constantly to state that the encounter was, in fact, "rape" when establishing whether or not it was a rape is the entire reason for the trial to begin with -- you can see where that is pretty much allowing as "evidence" the "fact" that there was a rape. It's a circular argument. In that case why are they even having a trial?

Let's not forget that people can be falsely accused of rape and sexual assault (Duke LaCrosse, anyone?) The fact that you say you are a victim doesn't mean you are a victim. That's ... why ... they're ... having ... a ... trial. And I'll be the first to say, let the truth come out. If he raped her, throw the book at him.

On the other hand, she may have had a point with the suit. Perhaps juries should be expected to filter out accusatory language from the facts. They are, after all, supposed to be adults. But modern society seems to be expecting less and less maturity from adults.

At any rate, I think these are good questions and with that in mind perhaps her lawsuit is not frivolous at all. We have judges to decide these things, and on judge can check another judges actions. It's a part of the system that works.

That being said, frivolous lawsuits are a problem, and if you ask me Sen. Chambers is showing a questionable interpretation of what constitutes one. He's saying that anybody can sue anyone, so why not sue God?

Now... can I sue Noriega? The answer really is, unfortunately, yes -- I can if I have a grievance I can specify. Should I be able to sue Noriega? Well he isn't subject to our laws, so what's the point?

Similarly, given God's existence in the first place, God isn't subject to our laws, either. He wasn't born here, he hasn't immigrated, he's not a citizen.

Chambers says God is under the court's jursidiction because "God is Everywhere". Well if you want to split hairs, our founding fathers wrote into our Declaration of Independence that our basic rights themselves come from God. I'd think that'd put him outside of the jurisdiction of His subordinates.

He's not even a living person (that is, a breathing carbon-based humanoid). And you can't sue His estate because there's so much disagreement on just who represents His estate.

Now to file a lawsuit against God to show how silly it is to file a suit against Noriega, see, that would be a more appropriate use of irony.

I have to wonder, given Chambers alleged (I haven't checked up on it which is why I'm saying "alleged") prior railings against Christianity, there may be another motive here.

He may be trying to get the Court to say that God doesn't exist.

Good luck. People have been arguing that for millenia, and as far as I can tell, there's no way for the living to prove it one way ... or the other.


Dang, I've had a potential post lolling about in my head on Liberty and Democracy for quite some time and here Sowell goes and distills it very succintly.

Democracy means voting. It does not mean freedom. When we lump the two ideas together, we confuse ourselves and others.

Britain was a free country long before it became democratic. In Germany, Hitler was elected democratically. In much of Africa, democracy in practice has meant, "One man, one vote -- one time," as elected leaders put an end to both elections and freedom.
I probably have stuff to add, though, and this just may get me thinking about it a bit more.

Before people on the right and the left get all lathered up from their respective perspectives about the title and his rejection of nation building (for which he makes a great case), he sums up by saying what I keep saying:

This is not a plea for withdrawal. Whatever the situation when we went in, international terrorists have chosen to make this the place for a showdown battle. We can win or lose that battle but we cannot unilaterally end the war.

It is the terrorists' war, regardless of where it is fought.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sectarian Violence measures: Sunni-on-Sunni, Shiite-on-Shiite?

The leftist web is all abuzz over an article written by Paul Krugman in the New York Times on 09/07 called "Time to Take a Stand". (I know this because while trying to find the source of Krugman's claim via Google all I was overwhelmed by references to the column by lefty blogs. I've yet to locate the source.)

What they're mostly abuzz about is this particular sentence:

Here’s what will definitely happen when Gen. David Petraeus testifies before Congress next week: he’ll assert that the surge has reduced violence in Iraq - as long as you don’t count Sunnis killed by Sunnis, Shiites killed by Shiites, Iraqis killed by car bombs and people shot in the front of the head.
Now since I can't find the source of Krugman's assertation, I can't be sure of this. But smell something rotten, and I have a sneaking hunch that there's at least as much bait and switch going on here as he claims Petraeus used.

See, it all boils down to context, as usual. Paul says that Petraeus will "assert that the surge has reduced violence." But what Petraeus asserted that the surge has reduced sectarian violence, which is a specific goal in counterinsurgency -- where his expertise lies.

Al Queda violence, contrary to the MSM & Democrats' (but I largely repeat myself) constant efforts at blurring or erasing the line between the two, is not sectarian violence. AQ is forigners trying to start sectarian violence, or keep it going. And no, we don't want that, either. But that's not what Petraeus is addressing here.

If your mission is to reduce sectarian violence, you first of all will want to try to measure what violence is sectarian and which is not. And since most murderers don't leave a little card or note on the scene specifying their motives, the military had to come up with some way to figure out what "sectarian" violence looked like.

It looks to me like they decided that Sunni-on-Sunni violence or Shiite-on-Shiite violence is not sectarian. Seems like a pretty reasonable assumption to me.

They further decided that car bombs are not a signature tactic of sect-A vs sect-B.... it's more a signature of Al Queda, perhaps. I don't know. I'm not an expert on it and I doubt Mr. Krugman is. Apparently they also decided that most sectarian killings were carried out execution style -- ie, shots through the back of the head. Not the front. I don't have trouble buying this. Is it always true? Maybe not. But when you're trying to get a general idea, I can see it being a good indicator.

The implication being spread all over the web is that the Military is not telling the truth about "the violence" because they are excluding some of it from their statistics. I seriously doubt this is true. It's in the overall numbers, and all of that was presented.

When the military talks about drops in sectarian violence, they are talking about certain kinds of killings. When they talk about overall violence, the numbers are different. What the left is cleverly doing here is taking the General's words out of context and putting them in a context where they would not be true, and then claiming it is he that is lying.

Here's the deal. As long as the same formula is used for all the periods being compared, we're comparing apples to apples. And if the fruit you want to look at is apples, then excluding oranges makes no difference as to how many fewer apples rotted. It doesn't matter that just as many or more oranges and overall fruit rotted. Not when your priority is apples. Part of Petraeus' mission was to reduce sectarian violence to foster better trust between the two major Iraqi Muslim groups. Petraeus didn't say that "violence" had been reduced. He said sectarian violence had been reduced. That was a specific mission goal.

Would we like it if all violence had been reduced? Of course we would have. And hopefully as Al Queda fades and the government gets stronger, it will. But Petraeus is reporting on his mission, not on the headlines.

To say the man is lying because you assert that he is saying something he is not, in fact, saying at all -- is disingeneous.

Sunnis, who used to support Al Queda before the surge, now have a better idea who the real enemy is, and Al Queda is being run out. Might a major drop in Shiite-Sunni killings possibly have something to do with this?

The truth is no amount of progress in Iraq would be enough for the Left. As a matter of fact, it has become very clear that they don't want progress in Iraq at all. What they want is vindication. They want to be able to point at Bush and say "he failed. Bad. Bad Bush! Bad Voters! You should have elected our guy." Well they say it every day, but until "everyone" agrees with them they will not stop. What that failure would mean to the country is not important. As a matter of fact, success would be disaster for them, and a few of them have said as much. They claim they're all about peace, but while peace can be patriotic (to paraphrase a leftist slogan to bring it more into line with the truth), vindictiveness is not.

Hence, Krugman et. al are constantly looking for "lies" to catch anyone related to the Bush administration in. When you're looking that hard, you're liable to see things that aren't there because that's what you want to see.

Quote of the day

Hat tip to Morgan:

" I’m losing my tolerance for the amount of tolerance I’m supposed to tolerate. "

-- Parent from a school in New Jersey

Greenspan says it: Blood for Oil

Or does he?

Greenspan favored the war on the grounds that it would stabilize the flow of oil, even though that wasn't the war's political underpinning. "I was not saying that that's the administration's motive," Greenspan told Woodward, "I'm just saying that if somebody asked me, 'Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?' I would say it was essential."

(emphasis mine)

Another excerpt from the article -- very observant:

Perhaps the answer is that when it comes to bashing Bush about the war, no accusation is inaccurate -- even if it contradicts all the accusations that came before. Some say it's all about the Israel lobby. Others claim that Bush was trying to avenge his dad. Still others say Bush went to war because God told him to.

Which is it? All of those? Any? It doesn't seem to matter. It's disturbing how many people are willing to look for motives beyond the ones debated and voted on by our elected leaders.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Polar Ice Cap Smaller Than EVER!!!!

A little light reading for you.

Thirty Five Years! Ever!

It's best when someone says "in history" or "ever" that you find out just excactly what "ever" or "history" their data really covers.

Democrats on the Surge over time

This is something worth a good looking over. It jives with my memory pretty well.

Republicans on Democrats' position(s) over time on the surge.

The Dems' rhetoric and timing are all pretty telling.

Nice Summary

From a comment by Pat Hickey

The Progressive demands that all things skew and with their argument at the moment.

Stalin is a great guy; Catholic Church is fascist; Jews are Neo-Nazis; al Queda is freedom fighters; Police abuse minorites; Gun Manufacturers go over to black neighborhoods kill black children and blame ‘victimized’ gang members - read community activists; Iraq is war of occupation; soldiers are rapists and serial tortureers; the ACLU protects religion.

But Pat, it's not the perfect country song. Not yet.

Thomas Miller adds:


You forgot a couple 1). All conservatives are racists 2). Rich people don’t pay their fair share of taxes.

I could go on but this wears me out Rosie.

Betray Us?

Saw MO Representative Russ Carnahan interviewed on a local St. Louis Sunday Morning TV show, and he was asked directly about the Betray Us comment being over the top, what's his opinion.

He replied that it was "unhelpful" and that "people are frustrated."

Good. No judgement of the action. Just apologetics. So... if I ever get frustrated, then, I can be forgiven for anything I say? Right? Is that the precedent we are setting here? Because if it is, let us remember that the next time someone says something the Left finds "offensive". Hey, we're just frustrated.

Taxes and idiots

So not that I follow baseball much, really, but I did hear about Barry Bonds' record breaking home run a while back. And of course I knew some guy caught the ball, and I knew that he could probably sell the ball for a lot of money.

I also knew he would be taxed on that transaction if it did take place.

What I didn't know was that some tax experts suggested that he would be subject to a tax on the estimated worth of the ball even if he didn't sell it.

Now I'm no huge fan of taxes. I do believe, of course, that we need some. But this kind of money grubbing is nuts. So the government can tax monetary transactions -- great. But what the hell? Taxing on potential income? Or would it be property tax? This should shine a big light on how we do taxes in this country and what should be considered out of bounds (no pun intended).

Now here's the real kicker. In the comments section of some internet discussion I was reading there was this comment:
I just want a bullshit reason to hate capitalism more.
Huh? Goverment tax policy is capitalism? Idiots.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Well Put

From Charles Krauthammer:

Having poisoned one country and been expelled from it (Afghanistan), al-Qaeda seized upon post-Hussein instability to establish itself in the very heart of the Arab Middle East -- Sunni Iraq. Yet now, in front of all the world, Iraq's Sunnis are, to use the biblical phrase, vomiting out al-Qaeda. This is a defeat and humiliation in the extreme -- an Arab Muslim population rejecting al-Qaeda so violently that it allies itself in battle with the infidel, the foreigner, the occupier.

Just carrying this battle to its successful conclusion -- independent of its larger effect of helping stabilize Iraq -- is justification enough for the surge. The turning of Sunni Iraq against al-Qaeda is a signal event in the war on terrorism. Petraeus's plan is to be allowed to see it through.

Sums it up pretty well.

Leave Brittany Patreus Alone

Got an IM from Morgan this morning, pointing me to a video on Tammy Bruce's blog.

Incidentally, Tammy, I like the shot with the mic and the pistol. The mighty mic and the mighty sword. Plus there's the whole "chick's 'n guns" thing. Works for me.

Anyway, the video is a spoof someone made of the "Leave Brittany Alone" video on YouTube, which, in itself, (I hope) was meant to make fun of Brittany and the Brittanyites.

At first, I really didn't want to say anything about it on my blog, and I went to reply to him in an email.

By the time I was done with the email I decided there was something worthwhile to say in there.... so here it is, as its own post:

Yeah, I'm not so sure about that one, either. My guess is that it was done by some lefty to make fun of those of us who think the "Betray Us" ad was tasteless and indicative of the mindset of that 21% that keeps showing up in polls that opposes anything related to Bush no matter what. It's calling us whiners, which I don't think we are by any reasonable stretch of the imagination. Key word here being "reasonable".

I'd hate to draw any unwarranted attention to it.

Brittany -- well you can probably guess I can't stand Brittany. I will say that those who say she is "out of shape" are wrong. So many women would kill to look like
that. But that's not what I can't stand about Brittany and the Brittanyites. What I can't stand is their blatant self-absorbtion and their narcissistic pride in that same blatant self-absorbtion.

It ain't right. And anyone who gives a rot about what Brittany Spears is doing is, in my book, just feeding the monster. Incidentally, that monster is a whole lot bigger than Brittany. The fact that so many Americans buy into this mindset is disturbing and has a lot to do with what's wrong in this country today. IMHO.

I did, finally, after a few days and after seeing this drag queen video finally go out to see what everyone was talking about and I saw about half of the Brittany MTV Awards video.

My guess is that she's too immature to be a professional, too self-absorbed to be serious about giving her audience (and employer, in this case, MTV) a good performance (of her trashy "art", even) -- and had been partying way too much. She was probably on some depressant drug other than alcohol, and didn't have the energy to put in to her performance. She looked lazy, disinterested, not there at all.

Frankly I don't care if she does drugs or whatever. She can do whatever the heck she wants. She just shouldn't expect to stay in business if she doesn't give her work the priority it needs to keep her in the game.

But she lost me before the performance started with the "lyric" from her "song" "Give Me More"

"It's Brittany, Bitch!"
Click. Buh-bye.

More Patraeus'. Fewer Brittanys.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Too Young to Vote

There's this AARP ad out that I wish someone would make a response video (using the same format ... kids saying what they would vote for if they could).

Yup. They're too young to vote. But you'd think, listening to this tripe, that voting age is just an unfortnate technicality. The subliminal message here, of course, is that we are letting our children (The Children!™ ) down if we don't vote for people who not only think government is here to solve all of our problems for us and protect us from illness, and strife, amen. Of course, maybe they're too young to vote because they're not yet mature enough to think things through in light of the complexities of the world and especially of human nature.

How about a video that shows children saying "I'd vote for the candidate who sticks closest to First Principles." "I'd vote for the candidate who is for Liberty and Justice for All". "I'd vote for the candidate who isn't pandering to Socialists for power." Yeah, something along those lines.


This morning on NPR I heard Steve Inskeep comment that Patreus' critics say that while violence in Iraq may have decreased, it has only decreased from "unbelievable" to "intolerable".

Of course, Patreus' critics want us to leave.

What they don't want to say is that if we do, the violence will go from "intolerable", shoot right past "unbelievable" and straight to "monumentally and tragically horrific".

Don't let them kid you. It's not about violence and lives. It's about seething hatred for Bush.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Quote of the day

From Thomas Sowell:

Life's choices are seldom as easy as they may seem to people writing in the safety and comfort of an editorial office.

Monday, September 10, 2007


I saw a T-Shirt today.

Picture of George Bush. Caption: "George Bush doesn't care about Black People."

It's one thing to spontaneously blurt that out in a display of emotional ignorance on national television.

It's another thing to make and sell a t-shirt.

It's yet another to buy it and wear it in public.

Yet there are people who fervently believe this is true, just as many believe that Allah considers infidels fodder for slavery and Muslim booty, and their blood as so much nitrogen for desert vegetation.

Refering you to a reference about the Second Amendment

Hey, the internet's all about efficiency, right?

Consider me a part of the wide portion of the funnel.

Go read this post by Morgan.

Whom do you trust?

So I'm looking at these poll results (New York Times article). They look awful for president Bush at first glance. But they're really not. I think they show the reality of the spectrum of support for the war.

It's been sold to us through the media that the american public is Against The War™. And I think that has a lot to do with the way poll questions are worded and the answers interpreted.

Do you want the troops to come home? Do you want the war to end? Well, of course we do, even those of us who support the effort. Are we unhappy with the way the war has gone? In hindsight, yes. Since it was the Bush Administration handling the war, are we unhappy with the way the Bush Administration handled the war?

Is there a "B" choice?


We have one administration at a time, and that's the one we had. So yeah. We're unhappy. I expect Bush is, too. Which is why last spring -- and really since the last election, he's changed the way he's handled the war by changing the people handling the war.

Now.... do we think Mr. Kerry or Mr. Gore would've done a better job? Anybody ever ask that question?

Here's the answer I expect you'd get: Something close to 21% would say "yes".

Your 3% there are your Alex Jones fans. Your 21% is your hard-left core Democratic base, and people who would vote for Hitler if he were running as a democrat (yeah, there are people almost that bad. In both of the major parties, I might add -- but I'd venture to say it's more prevalent in the "D" category. The ones in the "R" category are probably represented somewhere in that 5% number.)

The 68% number represents mainstream America. The ones that don't have binary brains. The ones who can hold two opposing concepts in their heads and retain the ability to function. The ones who understand nuance as something other than a vehicle to justify their own very non-nuanced biases.

68% trust the military to resolve the war. Does that sound like a mandate for a pullout to you?

Now here's the kicker. Knowing that Bush's style is to delegate -- one could argue he's in that 68% himself. Think about it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Hiatus, and Fred Thompson

I've taken a break from politics and such for a while. I imagine I'll be back soon. Sometimes you have to put stuff down for a while and go out and live life and do things you need to do and just spend a little less time on ... well, things you've been spending too much time on.

I will say that I was impressed by what Fred Thompson had to say on the Tonight Show. You can criticize him for not being at the debates, but as he points out, what are the debates, really? Best way to put it is to hope for an Aha! soundbyte to either beat your opponent(s) with or hope that some really profound soundbyte slips out of your mouth in 40 seconds or less. He's right.

I think he's dead on about waiting until after Labor Day to "announce" for several reasons, one being tradition, and another being it did let all the early starters beat up on each other a bit. It also puts a little extra focus on him. They've been blathering over each other for months and we all know what they have to say. It makes his voice stand out a little better and that can only help him, especially with his message as clear as it is.

Now at this time, I would say that in the general election, no matter who the Republicans put up against which Democrat, I like any of the Republican candidates more than any of the Democrat candidates. I am not a Republican or a Democrat, I am an American and I just call them as I see them.

Right now the Republicans seem to have a set of ideas that is closest to my own of the two, and the Democrats right now seem to have a set of ideas that is uncomfortably far, on the whole, from my own. So uncomfortably far that defeating them is more important to me than my guy winning.

Right now, I'm going to throw behind Fred. I hope he wins. If he doesn't, I hope that none of the Democrat candidates win the general election. And I'll do whatever I can to do my part.