Thursday, December 28, 2006

Medved nails it...

Michael Medved hammers those who feed off paranoia about the "North American Union". This sort of stuff is disgusting, it makes conservatives look like kooks (most of them are not), and there is very little basis in reality to this nonsense.

So, I hope he keeps it up. It takes folks willing to stand up and say, "no more" to this nonsense that will eventually send these con artists packing.

Been on vacation over Christmas...

Still on that vacation, frankly.

But I did want to point people to my post at GOPProgress on the Althouse kerfluffle.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Nonsense making primetime...

Liz Mair discusses the claims of flip-flopping that have now made Chris Matthews' show.

The short version: They are bogus claims. Romney's position on gay rights has not changed. What did change was the prominence of gay marriage as an issue - and it was something Romney had opposed for a long time.

The only issue on which the charge of "flip-flopping" might have any validity is abortion. Yet two of the past three Republican presidents would also be guilty and judged unworthy of being the Republican nominee by the standard used against Romney by these self-appointed commissars.

Keep that in mind when you see these claims, folks.

Increasing the military...

Ed Morrissey discusses the plan to increase the military's size.

In one respect, this was a mistake by Don Rumsfeld. We needed at least four, preferably eight, more Army divisions. That said, we also had problems with a bureaucracy that has become way to slow for the 21st century - and Rummy perceived that to be the bigger problem. It was a problem, but Rumsfeld, in his push for transformation, forgot that quantity is also important.

The real issue will be whether this larger force is just for the Army and Marines, or if it will also go for the Navy and Air Force. If we keep the production lines going, the per-unit price for the F-22 will drop to about $117 million. Increasing the production of the Super Hornet, C-17, C-130J, and F-35 will do the same for the other stuff (you'll note that you always get good bargains at BJ's or Costco), like the Zumwalt-class destroyers.

No sympathy for conservatives...

It seems some conservatives are complaining that Bush might compromise on Social Security.

There's a penalty to be paid for looking like such dolts that you lose Congress, Republicans. Hard-line conservatives need to grow up and take their medicine. There will be a temporary patch for Social Security. Bush will cut a deal on immigration that will be far less appealing than what the House GOP could have gotten if it had negotiated with the Senate and the President in good faith.

I guess we will find out who the real whiners are.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Why Liz Mair is off...

Liz Mair thinks Governor Whitman is off in assuming John McCain cannot win the nomination.

I think Governor Whitman is close to the mark, though. McCain has several big albatrosses around his neck. The biggest is campaign finance reform - and his continuing campaign against free speech (albeit that is not what he intends). Others will include the Gang of 14, his alignment with gun-control advocates on gun shows, and his opposition to the President over detainee treatment. The zampolit wing will also hammer McCain for his public stance in favor of a comprehensive bill (one case where he is correct to buck the base).

McCain is the media's GOP front-runner for 2008. The real front-runner for the GOP nomination is probably Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney. Any of the three would be good Presidents, but I will admit I lean towards Romney at this time.


One al-Qaeda terrorist. James Ujamma pled guilty to conspiring to aid the Talbian, and then fled the country.

Thanks for the assist, Belize.

A great Christmas column...

Eve Fairbanks has done a great column on Christmas. It's dead on target, and well worth the read.

That said, she is a little rough on January. After all, isn't that the month where we get to spend the weekends on a build-up to what is perhaps the biggest non-official holiday in American culture, not to mention a fair chunk of the world? Yeah, I'm talking about Super Bowl Sunday.

Now, February, on the other hand... not much to redeem it. Especially the 14th.


A member of the House of Lords, the upper half of the British Parliament, has called on Senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe to resign over their letter to ExxonMobil.

The letter was inexcusable in a country where freedom of speech is explicitly protected. Particularly when there is controversy over global warming and there is no proof that the Kyoto Treaty will do any good.

That said, this British lord went out of bounds just a little bit. This should be done by media outlets across the country - because if you can force a corporation to shut up because you don't like what they are saying, will media outlets far behind?

Faith and the public commons

Ryan Sager reports that Andrew Sullivan posted a piece about Mormon undergarments, of all things...

First, I do not contest Sullivan's absolute right under the First Amendment to publish that photo.

That said, I have some comments to make on this topic. Sullivan's sole reason for posting that image was to cause embarrassment for Mitt Romney; the reason to cause that embarrassment was Romney's opposition to gay marriage.

Stop. Halt. Whoa. Time Out. Take Five. Cease Buzzer.

As a devout Catholic, I stand in staunch opposition to many elements of LDS theology and liturgical practice. However, that is, ultimately, the business of those of the LDS faith, and not mine. I've had LDS neighbors, co-workers, friends, and brothers and sisters in arms. I have found them to run the same sort of range that everyone runs to; many good-hearted people, a few nasty ones, and each having unique combinations of gifts and weaknesses.

As a Catholic, I have had to endure, with varying degrees of gritted teeth, Protestants mischaracterizing my faith's tenets (from ignorance or malice) and labeling me a "non-Christian" or "pagan" because of my alleged adherence to those freshly-misstated beliefs. This experience has taught me a healthy respect for other people's right to their beliefs, no matter how odd they may seem to me.

In a society such as ours, all of us need to give others enough elbow room--physical and spiritual alike--to live their lives, unless someone is actually harming others. Being opposed to a radical redefinition of marriage doesn't count as harming others, Andy, so put a sock in it. We live, as we are constantly reminded, in a pluralistic society, with a wide range of religious beliefs. The quest--or non-quest, for that matter--for the divine is probably the most intimate part of anyone's life, often inexplicable to those from other religious traditions.

When addressing religious beliefs that aren't yours, it's probably a very good idea to tread very lightly.

I'm not rah-rah for or against Romney at this point. I am always opposed to cheap-shot sensationalist crap.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Duncan Hunter dumped...

Liz Mair at GOPProgress explains why she has dumped Duncan Hunter from her 2008 list.

I tend to agree with her reasoning on this. Hunter would not win the general election at all. He'd be a solid Secretary of Defense, but his approach to issues (not to mention the way he helped stab the UAE in the back) does not make him a viable option in 2008.

If people are looking for reasonable discussion about the issues with no name-calling (unlike other conservative forums), they can't do much better than GOPProgress. I would strongly recommend that site to anyone who wants to talk the issues and problems facing the country with an eye towards actually solving some of the damn things.

Why profiling won't work...

AJ_Strata reports that Al-Qaeda is now trying to train up folks from Western countries as terrorists.

This is exactly why ethnic profiling - or profiling on the basis of religion - will not work. Contrary to the claims of people like Michelle Malkin, an adversary wille ventually adapt to the profiling, and then act accordingly. There may be decoys sent that match the profile, while the real attack will be carried out by those who will not meet the profile at all.

The answer is a stronger intelligence community, allowing them to communicate with law enforcement agencies about any and all threats, and taking proactive measures via Special Operations Command (and other commands). It has never been about building a wall on the southern border or assuming that every Arab (or Moslem) male is a terrorist, or that every Hispanic or Spanish-sounding name is an illegal immigrant.

Such things are not PC among conservatives these days. I'll be discussing that later.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ephedra ban back...

And this time, it looks like it is for good. There are two other aspects that have yet to be tried, but the 10th Circuit seems ready to back a ban that is foolish, and frankly, unwarranted.

With the refusal to re-hear, I guess the 10th Circuit has decided that I have to take the hit for someone else's failure to properly use dietary supplements with ephedra.

I know full well I need to lose some weight. Ephedra-based supplements have helped me do so in the past. At present, I have some stocked up that I can use. When they run out, I suppose I will have to find a new supply, or find a substitute.

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's not whining, Michelle.

Ed Morrissey provides some balanced discussion of the ICE raids. He notes at the end that Michelle Malkin implies that it makes him a whiner. I won't link to Malkin. I don't care for her. The characterization of those who disagree with her as whiners is but a small reason for it.

But those like her who harp on the consequences of not doing something - then try to ignore or shut off debate about the consequences (and costs) of their preferred course of action. It's hypocritical of them.

Impossible to work with...

I'm going to lay some of my cards on the table.

Just reading this blog, one might get the wrong impression that I don't hold with conservatism. That is not entirely true. I voted for the marriage amendment in Virginia. I believe abortion is only justifiable in three cases: Rape, incest, or when the mother faces imminent danger of death or grave bodily harm. I'm opposed to quotas - including those imposed by Title IX and those based on race. I am also very pro-death penalty. I want nothing less than victory in the war on terror.

I'm not orthodox. On spending, I will be very generous in some areas. Defense, for one. Lots of money for planes, tanks, troops, and goodies. Is there any defense spending that is a waste? I think that is pretty hard to find.

I did participate at a couple of conservative forums. At one, discourse dipped into the gutter. It was there I got my distate for hard-liners on immigration. The epithet "Quisling" was quite common. It was as if the racism from places like VDARE and American Renaissance was to be tolerated.

The other forum I migrated to was not much better. Part of it was personality clashes with the editors. Mostly, it was because I got sick of the cheap shots. Julie Myers and Mitt Romney have both been bushwhacked. Its conduct during the Harriet Miers nomination was flat-out abominable. I also objected to the unfair treatment they dished out to Secretary of State Colin Powell over the revelations that Dick Armitage was the source of the Plame "leak". In the Miers case and with regards to Powell, I also got veiled threats of being banned over my objection to that unfair treatment.

What really became the last straw for me was their decision to continue pushing a harder line on conservatism. And yes, the implication that not supporting a hard line on immigration was treason was also made. This second forum has a lot in common with DailyKos - probably a bit more than they would like to admit. It is a shame, since the top person at the site seems like a decent person, but a lot of the front-page contributors have been jerks on more than one occassion.

It needs to be noted that amendments to protect marriage from judicial activists have had a lot of support. It went 27-for-28 in state referendums, and in Arizona, the loss was close. In South Dakota, a referendum almost upheld a law that would have greatly restricted abortion. In Michigan, a ban on racial preferences was passed.

So why, in an election where conservative ideas win, did conservatives and Republicans get their heads handed to them? I think the problem is with conservatives themselves. They sometimes are absofuckinglutely impossible to work with at times. They demand stupid banzai charges or else they threaten to stay home. They take hard-line positions, and sanctimoniously sneer at those who disagree with them, labeling them "unprincipled" or worse.

I do hang out at and At least there I can disagree without the name-calling - or being declared a traitor.

Rush doesn't get it...

Okay, it's obvious that the New York Times is in the tank for the Democrats. But Rush Limbaugh clearly has not learned anything from his Michael J. Fox escapade as he deliberately mangles Senator Obama's name. The point will get lost at some folks decide to hammer on him over this - just as they did over the Michael J. Fox ads.

Like some members of Congress, Limbaugh may have reached the point where he has been around for too long. There is a sense that he has become arrogant - and it doesn't make him look good. It certainly doesn't make me inclined to reconsider my decision to let my subscription to the Limbaugh Letter and Rush 24/7 lapse.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Romney at NRO...

Mitt Romney gives an interview to National Review Online. Given the recent spate of unfair attacks aimed at him, it is worth reading.

I'm convinced.

I will blog more this evening. Lots of stuff to talk about - and the Blogger migration was a pain.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Justice in a Maryland prison...

Richard Spicknall killed his 3-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. That despicable crime caught up to him in a shower in the Jessup Correctional Institution this past Saturday.

The good news is that the taxpayers no longer have to provide this piece of trash three hots and a cot for life. The bad news is that it took a fellow prisoner to take care of Spicknall - as opposed to the state via the gas chamber. What is aggravating is that the State of Maryland is going to spend a lot of money (not to mention time for investigators and crime-scene technicians) to go after someone who made the world a better place.

What a messed-up world.

Good idea, but wrong method...

John McCain is not my favorite presidential candidate. I think he has a disregard for the First Amendment. Now, in an effort to go after people who distribute child pornography, he is going to open up a lot of people to criminal liability for failure to dot an I or cross a T precisely.

We have reporting requirements. Follow them - simply have immunity if one can prove that an e-mail was sent to the FBI or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The other thing missing in this bill is to up the ante for child pornographers. Make the manufacturing and distribution of child pornography something worth the death sentence. Add in people who rape children under 12 and rapists who give their victims HIV/AIDS. Sentence to be carried out via the method used by old-school GRU personnel.

Tehran Holocaust Denial Conference II

Wherever that Holocaust denial conference is being held, a JDAM needs to drop in. Stat. Protests and diplomacy will do nothing. Ahmadinejad is continuing his outright threats to wipe Israel off the map. David Duke is denying the gas chambers existed.

Ahmadienjad's rhetoric is not that of a stable person. If anything, it is a sign that the mullahs may be considering a geopolitical equivalent of "suicide by cop". The theocratic regime in Iran is not popular. The younger generation is looking towards the west - towards the United States and Europe.

For Islamic extremists, it is acceptble to kill a woman if she is acting "too Western" - it is called an "honor killing". The mullahs in Iran are coming up with a sick, twisted version. Unable or unwilling to do it themselves, they will instead provoke the United States and/or Israel into doing so, probably via the geopolitical "suicide by cop" (let's call this "suicide by STRATCOM").

This holocaust denial conference is helping the theocratic dictatorship set the stage to carry it out. David Duke - and others - need to be taken into custody upon their return home and prosecuted.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

One stupid suit down...

It seems that Borat has beaten one lawsuit.

Those college students did not have to let him in. They did not have to choose to get drunk and watch a sex tape. They did not have to make the comments they did.

Now that Borat had deep pockets due to the succes of his film, they wanted a piece of it. They didn't even have the guts to say who they were.

They deserved to lose this one.

Iran's Holocaust Denial Conference Starts...

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has started Iran's Holocaust denial conference.

Their reason for this is clear, if you listen to the foreign minister of Iran:
"If the official version of the Holocaust is thrown into doubt, then the identity and nature of Israel will be thrown into doubt," said Mottaki, whose ministry put together the conference.
Translation: They are looking for an excuse to sponsor additional terrorism by groups with a goal that amounts to nothing less than genocide.

Among the attendees is David Duke, who calls it a triumph for free speech. It isn't. It is a gross misuse of free speech.

You know, one JDAM properly targeted could make the world a much nicer place. Holocaust denial is something that is a strong indicator that a person is a waste of oxygen. Other countries have made it a crime to deny the Holocaust. The United States should follow suit.

The Windy City Flyer...

Devin Hester raced into the record books. Again.

This time it is for most kick returns in a season. Three punts, two kickoff returns, and that 108-yard missed field goal return that tied Nathan Vasher's record.

And to think that all the Bears have left to face are Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Green Bay.

This record could be out of reach by the end of the regular season.

Monday, December 11, 2006

On the conservative movement's zampolit wing...

GOPProgress has the latest on the zampolit wing of the conservative movement.

Never mind Mitt Romney's track record as governor, they are going to dig up stuff from his rookie campaign against Ted Kennedy - as if the possibility that a person might have changed his mind over the past 12 years is unthinkable to them.

This unrealistic attitude by certain folks on the right creates two very big problems for the Republicans:
1. It gets them painted as intolerant bigots, which is largely untrue (there are some, but they are very rare). Most Americans have no desire to vote for intolerant bigots.

2. It makes it harder for the GOP to deal with important issues. When a small group can cause a firestorm of controversy over a solution that does not precisely fit their aesthetics, the result is that usually Republicans will end up tap-dancing around an issue and not doing anything (see the immigration bill as a result), or focus on an issue that is really a sideshow (see the internet gambling ban).

In a way, it is good to see the front-runners are McCain, Giuliani, and Romney. Any of the three will be a good President, although I know that in each case, I will be gritting my teeth over some of their decisions. Good leaders tend to do that, and so, I can live with it.

Iran likes the ISG recommendations...

It seems the Iranians like the Baker-Hamilton recommendations for direct talks. This has to make me nervous. If Ahmadinejad likes something, you can bet there's a reason for it. That reason will have very little good news for the United States or the emerging democracy in Iraq.

That said, I am not completely opposed to the talks. It just depends on what is said to Iran. A briefing on what STRATCOM will do to Iran if we think Ahadinejad is going to lob a missile at Israel (or elsewhere). A reminder of the provisions of Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty (keeping in mind earlier mouthing off by the nutcase in Tehran) would also be a good idea.

France siding with Hezbollah?

If this report from the Jerusalem Post is accurate, then France has decided that it is more important to protect Hezbollah than to carry out the UN resolutions that call for Hezbollah's disarmament. France will be deploying UAVs to stop the Israeli overflights.

Of course, there's nothing said about how France intends to use those UAV flights to establish an operational track record for export customers, some of whom may be less than responsible. In essence, the French are a dirty cop on the international beat. That makes life tougher for everyone.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Not the end of the world...

The U.S Navy suffered only its second failure in nine attempts during testing of a missile-defense system.

77% is not bad, particularly given the fact that the pre-production we have going on now is probably enough to neutralized the PRC's ICBM arsenal. We would not get them all... but how can they tell which missiles would hit, and which would be stopped?

An outrageous lawsuit...

That's all people really have to know about the ACLU's suit against Don Rumsfeld.

Never mind that the perpetrators have been tried and convicted. Never mind that the United States has clearly prohibited torture, the ACLU and Human Rights First have decided to go after Rumsfeld for fighting a war.

With this latest suit, it seems that they have gone beyond hamstringing the DOD and instead towards the personal destruction of prominent people in charge of fighting the war. I get the feeling that the ACLU would be sticking up for the SS guards at Dachau if they had the chance.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

On a scale of 1 to 10...

AJ Strata's connection of the dots rates a "Holy Shit!" It seems Litvinenko had some interesting associates, including a major financial backer of Yushchencko, the Ukranian president who came to power via the Orange Revolution. That backer is now talking of pulling off a coup against Vladimir Putin.

And now, we have a Chechen leader threatening the West. Did he really want to do that? Because if his threats do get carried out, he may not like the consequences.

Smart move by a judge...

This ought to happen more often.

A young creep who broke into an animal shelter and killed several cats got the max. Two to seven years for this sort of thing is a very good start. If you've ever read the non-fiction books by John Douglas, you might understand why it needs to be taken seriously. Virtually every serial killer started out with animals before he went up the food chain.

Hopefully, these three will get the hint.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Secret negotiations with Hamas?

The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Hamas officials may have held a secret meeting with Democratic officials. If this is true, then someone needs to ask Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid some tough questions.

I hope it isn't true. But if it is, then it's not without precedent. See John Kerry's trip to Paris to talk with the North Vietnamese.

Pelosi's problem...

Nancy Pelosi has a problem. Fundamentally, she - and the Democrats in general - have to do two things in order to have a good chance at holding on to Congress in 2008 and getting the White House as well.

First, they need to deliver for their base. Because when one takes a cold, hard, look, the money and the ground troops largely come from the DailyKos and other sites like that. This is in addition to the AFL-CIO, NEA, and other parts of their base.

Second, they also have to show that they have some degree of competence in matters of national security. The Clinton Administration certainly did not do so. And there are many in 2006 who went with them out of frustration with the GOP more than any love for the Dems. But if the Dems start looking like they will cut and run, they could be in serious trouble with the center.

But their base wants them to cut and run. They want withdrawal, sooner rather than later. See the missive by Michael Moore as an example. This base has shown that they can knock people off in the primaries. Just ask Joe Lieberman. And a number of states do not permir primary losers to run as independents.

So, for self-preservation in the primary, their base has to be happy. But if they cater too much to the "anti-war" element of their base, as the GOP did with the social conservatives in 2005-2006, they could lose the center and alienate other parts of their base. But if they are too nice with the Administration - and if they don't pull out of Iraq, the anti-war base will be upset, and could topple several Democrats. Steny Hoyer and Jane Harman could be targets of such an effort.

So far, Pelosi has shown that she tend to lean towards keeping her base happy. She pushed Murtha as majority leader - and lost by roughly 2-to-1. She settled her grudge with Jane Harman, but then had to pass over her choice to chair the House Intelligence Committee because of his past (which included losing his position as a federal judge). That probably did not go over well with the Congressional Black Caucas.

What will probably happen? At first, there will be some cooperation. Comprehensive immigration reform will pass - Democrats will want a major accomplishment, the President will want the same. A fair number of the Republicans will also go along - many eager to show they can solve problems, too. A similar deal may happen with the minimum wage.

After that, Pelosi's headed for a train wreck. Sooner or later, Iraq gets debated. That is when the anti-war base will find out that a number of Democrats don't want to cut-and-run. Any effort to do so will be defeated, and then all hell breaks loose on the left. By this time next year, we could be going into the 2008 Presidential primaries with congressional Democrats engaged in fighting amongst themselves, with the DailyKos/DU wing openly targeting those they deem ideologically impure, and the largely unified Republicans watching the show.

That is a bad position for Pelosi to be in.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Has Townhall dumped Navarrette?

Earlier, I discussed the reaction some commenters at Townhall had for Ruben Navarrette Jr.'s columns. Now, it seems that they have dumped Navarrette after a month. It's a good column - and his thoughts on immigration were thoughtful. It is a remarkable change from the venom and borderline bigotry of Tom Tancredo or the shrillness on the issue shown by Phyllis Schlafly and Michelle Malkin - niether of whom, it seems, could be bothered to take exception to Tancredo's comments about Miami.

If so, it is pretty much an invitation to folks like me to take a hike from the conservative movement. They're not interested in debate - they're interested in ranting and raving about the problem. Conservatives forced the GOP into an abdication of the repsonsbility they had when they had the majoity to solve the problem.

What's worse is that these folks are clearly a minority. In a couple of high-profile Republican primaries, niether hard-line candidate got over 50%. Chris Cannon beat the Tancredoite by a healthy 56-44 margin. Randy Graf only won because two moderates split the field. Both Graf and J.D. Hayworth lost their races. The hard line does not sell, yet it is still demanded. And those who demand it have the loudest voices on talk radio and the blogosphere.

Never mind the polling. Never mind the primary results. The purists have drawn their line. Thankfully, they will not be as well-situated to block the comprehensive reform. The bad news is that means the Democrats will get the credit - and the continued rants of Tancredo and others will do much to drive Hispanics to the Democratic party.

The hard-liners will then claim their predictions that immigrants will be voting for Democrats will be validated. None of their enablers in talk radio or the blogosphere will ever entertain the possibility that their own rhetoric - and their hard-line position - will have had anything to do with that. After all, they were standing on principle.

It's bullshit, but it is bullshit that has always gotten these folks a pass in the past.

To the moon...

NASA is going back to the moon, then Mars, according to AJ-Strata.

It's a worthy goal - one we should have had in the 1960s. Better late than never on that front. That said, we do have a bit of a short-term problem. It's called 99942 Apophos (link is to an earlier post). It's coming in on an approach that could lead it to hit Earth in 2036. We have the technology to make this 300-meter wide problem go away.

I suggest we get moving on it NOW. A modified NEAR-Shoemaker, swapping out the scientific instruments for a USAF/USN physics package, would be able to do the job just fine.

Bolton out...

Democratic obstructionism claims another victim.

It seems the Democrats have a pattern of obstructing Republican foreign policy initiatives - often by intruding upon the powers of the Presidency. They literally try to have it both ways - hamstringing the President, leaking classified information (there's a reason one Senator has been nicknamed "Senator Leaky") but often not willing to take responsibility for their actions.

This is how Ollie North shot to fame/notoriety, folks.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Was Litvinenko building a Chechen bomb?

AJ-Strata uncovers a disturbing piece of evidence. Is seems that Litvinenko was invovled in nuclear smuggling and possibly efforts to build a "dirty nuke" for Chechen terrorists.

If so, then his death is a blessing. If the Russians are responsible, they deserve the credit. Then again, it seems the materials he was smuggling may have killed him.

Chavez wins...

Which means we get to put up with that asshole for another six years.

Iraq and civil wars...

Eve Fairbanks discusses the situation in Iraq as well as Darfur.

I've discussed Darfur before. That is a situation where American intervention is best kept to a small force that trains the people there in the use of small arms and in small-unit tactics - as well as training instructors.

Iraq is another matter. Saddam's regime had to go. Austin Bay largely recaps the reasons for doing so. I will add that I believe that the ivestigative reporting of Stephen F. Hayes at the Weekly Standard has established enough of a connection to al-Qaeda to warrant taking down that regime. I also think the neoconservatives are offering perhaps our best chance - maybe our only chance - to deal with state sponsors of terror before things get to the point where we have to turn to what I call the "Omaha option." The short version is that the war on terror would be turned over to a major joint command headquartered near that city. The war would be over in three days, tops. The bad news is that we would have to deal with the fallout - both figuratively and literally.

With all that said, having taken out the old Iraqi government, we needed to replace it. That government is still trying to get its feet on solid ground. Do we need a change in strategy? Yes, we do - and Don Rumsfeld had some good ideas. Sadly, he was treated like crap by certain people looking to score political points rather than come up with alternatives to what had to be done.

It's a good article, and worth thinking about.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The ACLU is stupid. Again.

This time they object to new screening technology.

The ACLU seems to have no concept that things have changed when we know that terrorists seek to hijack airliners and fly them into buildings.

How many lives are they willing to sacrifice on the altar of privacy? The answer, in my opinion, is, "too many."

Powell on Iran...

Colin Powell's comments on Iran are not going to be as bad as some will have you believe.

At this point, we cannot attack Iran. This is because the anti-war movement and the mainstream media have made preemption a non-starter due to their lies (see the Jemil Hussein controversy for one such example).

We did discover WMD in Iraq (at least 500 shells for chemical weapons, including sarin and mustard gas). Iraq did have ties to al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

As such, we won't be dealing with Iran until Ahmadinejad does something stupid. Then we will be reacting. I only hope that we will not be forced into an over-reaction.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Check Strategypage today...

I discussed the Jemil Hussein situation at Strategypage today.

This is not the first time (see the Strategypage article for more discussion), but it is perhaps the most blatant example of how the mainstream media has been making a royal mess of things. At best, there is extreme sloppiness in the MSM's coverage of the war on terror.

At worst, there has been a deliberate decision by at least some media outlets to mislead the American people about the war. When heroes have been shortchanged by the MSM, and when stories get totally rewritten because they make American troops appear "too heroic", when false claims of Koran desecration and torture are repeated without question - and the record is never corrected outside a small "correction" buried where few will ever read it, something is seriously wrong.

There are two places you can get the straight story.

Central Command's newsroom:
The Department of Defense's website:

The Associated Press, on the other hand, cannot be trusted.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Another consequence of obstructing immigration reform...

Crops rot in the fields.

I am sure that this post will draw the usual claim that the farmers should pay Americans more. That is awfully easy for them to say - they are not the people who have to meet that farmer's payroll.

This generosity with other people's money is the kind of stuff I'd expect from the left, who is always willing to raid somebody's wallet to pass out goodies for votes. I guess the right is willing to do the same. Obviously many of these people have not heard of the commandment that goes, "Thou shalt not steal."

Do our farmers matter? Do we want to grow our own food, or will we see immigration hard-liners do for our food supply what environmentalists did for our energy independence?

Remember Kerry's Joke?

Charlie Rangel goes and says just about the same thing.

Democrats claim they support the troops, then they toss insults at them. You be the judge.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Looks like the Russians got one...

The al-Qaeda commander in Chechnya is toast.

The Russians did good on that one.

Hat tip: Strata-Sphere.

More on Gates...

It seems that the right has gone off half-cocked again. Big Lizards points to Michael Barone's discussion of SECDEF-designate Robert Gates's track record.

It would be comical if it had not already led to problems for the GOP. How much of the 2006 midterms loss was due to what was perceived as the right's unfair treatment of Harriet Miers (after they had demanded straight up-or-down votes on judicial nominees)?

It seems, that based on what Barone has found, Robert Gates is a good choice to fill the shoes of Don Rumsfeld... and Barone's last sentence explains why:
He is very much aware that we have dangerous enemies in the world, and he was willing over many years to confront them and try to check their advance.
I wonder whether Rumsfeld recommended Gates when he made the offer to resign that President Bush ultimately accepted. It would almost be a natural for Rummy to figure out why past resignations were not accepted.

Having an off day...

Eve Fairbanks has been very good when she is on target. That said, everyone has moments where they are off. Her post at the Plank concerning Russian President Vladimir Putin is one of them. Here, she's harsh, but she has forgotten the bigger picture. When one looks at the big picture, the whole anti-Russia kick is one that just does not make sense.

There is a big threat we are presently facing. This is state-sponsored terrorism motivated by an extreme form of Islam that is arguably comparable to Christian Identity in terms of its extremism/hatred. And we need folks to help us out. Perhaps the biggest help is Russia, which has a very good intelligence community - and which also has to deal with terrorism motivated by extremist Islam. We have a common foe.

Furthermore, the nature of this foe is such that we need to deal with it quickly before things get to the ugly stage. Not ugly as in tough fights like we have seen in Fallujah, but ugly in the sense of ICBMs taking out cities in response to a WMD attack (for a good explanation, see the comments by Robert A Hahn at Redstate on this thread). It has long been American policy than an attack with WMD will draw a response in kind. When your adversary view those who die in a war as martyrs, deterrence won't work.

The thing about that which really makes it suck is that many of those killed in the likely retaliation will have had nothing to do with the attack in and of itself. Many of these state sponsors of terrorism are dictatorships, either secular or religious in nature.

Look, is Putin an angel? No. I don't think anyone could have been in KGB and not done something that squeamish people will flinch at. But there are also those who make a big deal out of nothing. That Tor-M1 purchase? False hope for Iran (I wrote that Strategypage piece). Five, maybe seven batteries, tops. So Putin is - for all intents and purposes - ripping off our enemies.

And we'll need Russia even more, no matter what happens with Europe. Western Europe has drifted away from us for a while. And no matter if you believe Mark Steyn or Ralph Peters as to what will happen, either way, we will need Russia to counterbalance a more hostile Western Europe (or at least Spain, France, and Germany). That is why Putin gets a pass. We need the Russians.

It's not a disgrace. It's just doing what we have to do to keep the country secure.

Tancredo removes all doubt...

His comments on Miami are worth noting.

Let's look at the folks who actually came to Miami. A bunch of them happen to be from Cuba, a place that has been run by a Communist dictator for over forty years. His name is Fidel Castro, who has handed over the reins of government to his brother Raul. There have been rumors that there is an indictment just about ready to go naming Raul Castro as a big-time cocaine trafficker.

Many of those who immigrated from Cuba to the U.S. and settled in Miami come with little, and end up doing very well for themselves. But that does not matter to him. Miami is a "Third World country". If there is any doubt that the anti-immigration crowd tolerates downright bigotry, it's been removed in my mind. Whatever happened to "all men are created equal"? What ever happened to the notion of judging by the content of one's character?

Tancredo's not just about the rule of law (a point I have discussed earlier... I may refresh that discussion later). He wants America in his aesthetic image. It is a hidden agenda, and clearly, Tancredo is someone who needs to go away. I really do not care if he decides to run third party. Perhaps, like Buchanan, he will so some good by his departure from the GOP.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Been on vacation...

Had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Normal posting resumes tomorrow.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Pelosi's first loss...

Before she even takes over the House, Nancy Pelosi suffered her first loss.

This is good news on a couple of fronts. It means there will be infighting among the Democrats throughout this Congress. It also means that Steny Hoyer will have some control over the agenda.

Not only that, it means that Nancy Pelosi has shown that she can be defied.

It is still very uncertain, but the troops may yet dodge the knife in the back that the anti-war movement has been hoping for.

Too much movie-watching at NASA?

Given their approach to Apophis, I have to wonder.

I think the latest issue of Popular Mechanics had some good information on this. That said, the answer is really simple. We build a variant of NEAR-Shoemaker. The NEAR-Shoemaker probe successfully landed on an asteroid and remained in contact for 17 days. That is more than enough time for what we need it to do.

You see, in this case, we can modify the baseline NEAR-Shoemaker with a physics package from one of DOD's special stores. Land the probe on the asteroid, activate the physics package, and the problem should be solved. And we have plenty of time. We just need to get off our butts and do it.

Or do we want to get hit?

Hypocrisy, thy name is Edwards...

It seems that when he needs to find a PS3, John Edwards went to Wal-Mart. Then he tried to hide it - before he finally fessed up.

Is he the best the Dems can do in 2008?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

DJ Drummond on 2008...

DJ Drummond discusses the 2008 race. I believe he is correct in some areas on this.

That said, the GOP faces two risks. One is to nominate a complete drone like Lincoln Chafee or Olympia Snowe. The other is if a hard-liner gets elected. As we saw in the mid-terms, the conservatives alone cannot win an election. They need to be competitive among moderates, small-l libertarians, and Hispanics to be able to reliably win a presidential race.

The "big three" frontrunners, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani, all can ensure that to one degree or another - and that will make 2008 a win for all three branches.

Now this is class...

In the 2005 season, Nathan Vasher set an NFL record with a 108-yard returned of a 52-yard field goal that was short. The video is available on Google somewhere - at least for now.

Well, this Sunday night, Devin Hester tied the record. Vasher's response exudes class.
“We’re going to have to just make it bigger,” said Vasher, whose TD return came exactly one year ago today at Soldier Field. “Scoot over a couple things and add his in there because he definitely deserves it.”

Well done, Nathan. Both on that return, and on handling your teammate's feat.

Powerline almost gets it...

Paul at Powerline gets some of the reasoning for the selection of Mel Martinez as Chairman of the RNC correct. Still, he misses one key point that bears repeating:

There were certain people who pushed a hard line on immigration as a means to salvage the Congressional majority in the face of scandals and the inability to address other issues (like Social Security reform). Other social conservatives wanted their agenda advanced on certain issues. On some, it was reasonable. On others, not so reasonable, particularly in the lack of priorities set. Many of these people have significant sway on both talk radio and in the blogosphere.

Well, there was a payoff date for the attention that the Congressional GOP paid to them. It was November 7. And these people proved they could not deliver. Close doesn't cut it. Now, the GOP has to patch things up with those who these social conservatives offended, including moderates, small-l libertarians, the business community, and Hispanics.

That means the social conservatives now have to take their lumps, and learn to play nicely with others.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The punishment didn't fit the crime...

Tossing four kittens into a fire pit deserves much more than time served.

What the hard-liners gave us...

Besides Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha being in a position to stab our troops in the back, what else did hard-line conservatives give the country?

* Charles Schumer will now exercise extra-constitutional power with regards to judicial nominations.

* Barbara Boxer is planning hearings on global warming. Just remember, there's been talk of Nuremburg-style trials for global-warming skeptics.

* Patrick Leahy wants to give those al-Qaeda scumbags we have in custody more rights than they would give their intended victims. Three guesses what happens if other rights, like discovery, get extended.

Thanks for nothing, hard-liners.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


What the Extremists are Saying is a site worth looking at on a daily basis. If more people were to see this, perhaps people like Michael Moore would get the ridicult they deserve instead of big-time speaking fees.

In particular, take a look at what some Palestinian groups have been saying.

Talk about horrible delivery...

It seems a committee of the Missouri House has issued a report blaming illegal immigration on abortion. AJ-Strata believes it is a horrible move.

The sad thing is, it's somewhat true. When I lived on a naval base during part of my time in high school, the base had people with Down Syndrome helping to rake the leaves on the public areas of the base. These days, genetic screening leads to a lot of pressure to terminate a pregnancy if there is a good chance of a baby having this condition.

AJ is right to be pointing out how economic conditions in Central and South America also play a big role. Those with the drive to get here often have the work ethic that has vanished to an extent here. We really need a comprehensive approach to get these people here legally.

That said, this is the kind of hard truth tends to be rejected, largely because this time, it has been delivered in the wrong way.

Martinez for RNC...

Mel Martinez has been selected for RNC Chairman. This is a very good selection.

Not only has Martinez been able to win his Senate race, but his selection is a repudiation of the immigration hard-liners that cost the GOP at least three House seats on their own.

The hard-liners promised the GOP that their approach would secure them the Congressional majorities. They promised that if the House GOP told off George W. Bush, the business community, moderates and small-l libertarians, it would not hurt the GOP. Remember Charlie Norwood telling that staffer from CRS he was "disappointed"?

They misled the GOP, and in the process of doing so, they have forfeited any trust from the GOP. This should have been obvious when Chris Cannon survived his primary in one of the most Republican districts in the country. Yet they persisted, and now, the GOP has to win back those the hard-liners alienated.

Unless they want to be in the minority forever.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Major Loss for the Arts Lost in the Shuffle...

Overshadowed by the election news: Basil Poledouris died of cancer last Wednesday at the age of 61. In many ways, it was far too soon.

I first encountered Poledouris' work, like most folks, when I saw Conan the Barbarian. The music was every bit as magical as the Hyborian Age itself. My Conan CD is in my car, where I can play it during the commute. (Now that I've sworn off of the yammering idiots of talk radio, I have much more time to devote to music; I'm entering more deeply into what has always been one of the great pleasures of my life.) Had Robert Howard (Conan's creator) lived to hear the score, I'm sure he would have approved. I also found his work for Flight of the Intruder, Iron Eagle, and Hunt for Red October to be memorable--in the case of the first two, far more memorable than the movies themselves!

I am, with the usual frustrations, missteps, and screwups of a first-timer, writing a novel. I had hoped that Poledouris would have scored the movie (assuming one was made). His work has inspired me; it has led me to consider and flesh out aspects of my main character that I would not have otherwise; it has given me the feelings of wonder, despair, conflict, and soaring triumph that I seek to work into my plot and charcters.

Sadly, we will hear no more of the Maestro's work.

My prayers go out to his family. Requiescat In Pace, Basil.

Round Three with Germany?

If they decide to push this lawsuit, that could happen.

Let the infighting begin...

Seems Pelosi has not only decided to back Murtha over Steny Hoyer, she is also tossing Jane Harman to the curb.

The question will be whether or not she can muster 218 votes when it comes to cutting off the funds. I don't think she will be able to do so - not without a fearful cost.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

And the Effort to Bug Out of Iraq Begins...

From Reuters via Yahoo:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats, who won majorities in the U.S. Congress in last week's elections, said on Sunday they will push for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq to begin in four to six months.

"The first order of business is to change the direction of Iraq policy," said Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who is expected to be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee in the new Congress.

. . .

"We need to begin a phased redeployment of forces from Iraq in four to six months," Levin said.

Speaking on the same program, Sen. Joseph Biden, a Delaware Democrat who is expected to head the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he supported Levin's proposal for a withdrawal.

And they use the weasel words and hope that we're all too stupid to figure out what he's proposing. I'm going to save a thousand words:

Thank you to the brave Marines and soldiers who tried. As for those who voted to throw them under the train:

If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen. -- Samuel Adams

Not defeated yet...

I, too, have been very nervous about the situation in Congress come January.

Without a doubt, there is going to be a lot more pressure to pull out of Iraq before the job is done. But I do not share the view held by my partner on this blog that things are lost. It is a lot more likely than it would have been had the GOP held control of at least one ouse of Congress, but all is not lost. In the Senate, there is a firewall - Lieberman makes any vote to cut and run 50-50, and there are Democrats who will face tough re-election races (Pryor in Arkansas, Landrieu in Louisiana and Johnson in South Dakota come to mind). Ben Nelson also doesn't strike me as the type of person who can afford being seen as cut-and-run, either.

That means there are Democrats who can be peeled off. The same is true in the House as well. Not all of the Democrats are Pelosi clones - and a fair number of them are in district where "Pelosi-[fill in the blank]" ads could send them into retirement after one term. Already, Pelosi is not going to rock the boat on China. Business groups have been roundly insulted by social conservatives in the immigration debate. Pelosi is going to try not to upset them, lest they decide to oppose the Democrats.

Bush doesn't strike me as someone who will back down. And in this, I will conclude with some comments by William Kristol and Robert Kagan in The Weekly Standard:
There is a lot of easy talk of how a victory strategy in Iraq has been rendered impossible by Tuesday's elections. This is nonsense. First of all, victory in Iraq is a national priority, and to abandon it because of a loss of House and Senate seats would be irresponsible. But it is also the case that the loss of seats was in great measure due to a lack of confidence that Bush had a strategy for victory in Iraq, not a belief that he wasn't exiting fast enough. If the president makes clear that he is serious about victory, and has a strategy for attaining it, he will have the support he needs in order to do what is necessary to turn things around in Iraq.
The next two years will be a hell of a fight for our country's future - it will be a distraction that will mean we fact a higher risk of being hit in the future, but the war has not been lost yet.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A veteran's thoughts on Veteran's Day...

Originally, it was Armistice Day, the anniversary of the day in 1918 that the "War to End All Wars" ended. It was renamed Veteran's Day in 1954. For 52 years, America has taken this day to honor all of its veterans.

On Tuesday, America voted to throw away the sacrifices made by thousands of men and women in Iraq. We will end up pulling out of Iraq. All I personally ask is that we call it what it is--bugging out, retreating, surrendering. Please spare me the "Peace With Honor" crap that was used in Vietnam--let's just admit that we're not any sort of military superpower if we can't sustain a war across three years and 3,000 dead. Every life lost in Iraq now that the end is nigh is a true waste, because the end will be unchanged.

This isn't the first time we've walked away from a national commitment and thrown away everything our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines have bled and died for. We did it in Vietnam. That left a tremendous scar on our military; I was still feeling the effects as a Marine 8-16 years later. Today's NCOs and officers have my sympathy as they try to hold together a military that is feeling as if it's the bastard stepchild nobody wants to acknowledge. There's only so many times that the troops can be thrown under the train like this and then respond to the clarion call of duty. Treat the troops like trash long enough, and you will eventually only have trash for troops.

This year's ceremonies felt empty, and tasted like ashes in my mouth. The usual civic worthies stood up and uttered the usual platitudes about duty, honor, and country. But they were mere words. America has a habit of uttering pretty words to our servicemen and veterans while performing all manner of ugly deeds against them. There are Vietnam veterans who have all manner of tales about their welcome home, and their postwar treatment. Hollywood treated Vietnam veterans shamefully, describing them in numerous films as drug-addicted misfits who could not integrate into American society. No doubt similar treatment will be forthcoming for returning Iraq war veterans as America seeks to forget why we went and what we tried to do.

I have to confess that my own feelings about my service are ambivalent. I am proud to have been associated with some of the finest men and women I've ever met. I am embarrassed to have served on behalf of the many selfish, ungrateful, undisciplined, and supremely ignorant assholes I've encountered in civilian life. Today, I counseled a young man who was thinking of becoming a trigger-puller in the war on terror to not bother; America is simply not willing to commit to a war, and he cannot supply the missing commitment.

So, where to from here?

I propose drastically scaling back the United States Army and Marine Corps. If we are unwilling to stand behind our warriors, we need to quit recruiting them and sending them into battle. We can also decommission the surface and air elements of our Navy, as it will no longer be necessary to support amphibious landings, sustain forces in overseas theaters, maintain sea lines of communication, or engage in most power projection missions.

Take the money saved, abrogate the START, START 2, and SORT agreements, and massively build up our nuclear forces--additional ICBMs, fully MIRVed, additional SSBNs with full loadouts of W88s, and additional bomber forces with a new series of gravity bombs and cruise missiles. Testing, of course, will be required. Reconfigure the attack submarine force with TLAM-N. And, in the future, respond to every national crisis or terrorist attack with a large nuclear strike against the miscreants--or suspected miscreants. If necessary, explain that when the only tool we have is a hammer, every problem's going to look like a nail.

Oh, and tell our allies out there that they're on their own. Of course, they've probably figured it out already.

Many years ago, Jerry Pournelle wrote an excellent novel West of Honor (available here), which includes a lovely little marching ditty attributed to the CoDominium Marines of his dystopian future. I reproduce it in part, because it perfectly mirrors my feelings about my service and about America:

The Fleet is our country, we sleep with a rifle,
No man ever begot a son on his rifle,
They pay us in gin and curse when we sin,
There's not one that can stand us unless we're downwind,
We're shot when we lose and turned out when we win,
But we bury our comrades wherever they fall,
And there's none that can face us, though we've nothing at all.

Kiss my ass, America.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Done with the pundits...

AJ-Strata discusses how some people put conservatism before the country's victory in the war on terror.

Given the way certain people have acted (Limbaugh, Ingraham, Malkin, etc.), it is clear that since at least the fall of 2005, President Bush has been repeatedly kneecapped by conservatives who demanded ideological purity on immigration and other issues.

Limbaugh's recent comments about Bush's decision to allow Rumsfeld to resign (after rejecting at least two previous offers from Rummy) are the final straw. I will not be renewing my subscriptions to the Limbaugh Letter and Rush 24/7. He should be ashamed of himself - particularly given the 3:30 press conference with Rumsfeld and Gates. Rush and these others never got it through their heads that 9/11 required some changes in priorities.

To an extent, this is Bush's fault. At the CPAC convention after the attacks, he should have told conservatives things had changed and that their petty issues had to take a back seat to victory. Perhaps he thought it was something they'd understand. But it is water under the bridge. With the benefit of hindsight it is obvious that he also erred by not going for an increase in forces.

The only place conservatism should come before country is in the dictionary. This country's survival matters more than ideological purity on a host of issues that were little more than chump change compared to this country's victory in time of war.

I'm through with them. It seems that conservatism has not yet decided that the war on terror is something it should take seriously. A large number of conservatives do take it seriously, but there is a faction that hasn't - and that faction contains many influential people, particularly in talk radio and in the blogosphere. And now, rather than focus on preventing the Pelosi Democrats from stabbing our troops in the back, they are more interested in conducting an internal purge of "RINOs" who dare disagree on immigration or other pet issues.

They have placed the war effort at risk. By pushing this purge now, they are risking handing al-Qaeda a victory through action on misplaced priorities. They are wrong to do so, and as a result, they have forfeited their moral authority to lead. As far as I am concerned, they can go to hell - and if they want favors, they can ask the Democrats. President Bush owes them nothing.

Now Pelosi's real problems begin...

Congratulations, Speaker Pelosi, you get to deal with this. A bitter internal battle over Iraq between Steny Hoyer and John Murtha. Murtha wants to cut and run. Hoyer doesn't.

In past votes, Murtha's resolution got defeated soundly. If Murtha loses, then the Bush administration can play divide and conquer. James Dunnigan and Austin Bay wrote in A Quick and Dirty Guide to War (both the 1985 and 1991 editions), "When revolutionaries get rid of the government, they become the government. Then their real problems begin."

Nancy's about to find out.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gates in for Rumsfeld...

President Bush has gone to the bullpen - after a very quality start to the war on terror, including a very heroic performance on 9/11.

Rumsfeld has been one of the best to have ever served as Secretary of Defense. He did so twice. This second time through was one of the more challenging times. On his watch as Secretary of Defense, three state sponsors of terror were taken off the board.

His treatment at the hands of the media and the Democrats is a black mark on both entities. The President's treatment at the hands of conservatives over this is also disgusting.

As for his successor, Robert Gates, I feel good. A lot of it is the complaints from Larry Johnson. I feel good. The war on terror may hit a more covert phase.

Stopping the knife...

At this point, the top priority of Republicans must be to stop the knife. This is a knife that Charlie Rangel and John Murtha have all but promised to aim at the backs of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines through a "cut-and-run" policy with regards to Iraq.

Who are the natural leaders for such a thing? I would submit that it would be the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who will have many members who have felt the knife in the back that came during Vietnam.

This is something that needs to be resisted every step of the way. Presidential vetoes. Demonstrations. Ads on TV. Anything within the law must be considered to stop the betrayal of the people of Iraq that John Murtha and Charlie Rangel have promised.


That's what last night was. Scandals were part of it. Foleygate managed to derail GOP momentum, and they never really recovered. Ney and DeLay also didn't help.

But the House Republicans also managed to tick off people whose support they needed. On immigration, the views of the Chamber of Commerce were ignored at best - and other conservatives labeled their position treason. It's a safe bet that a lot of Hispanics were turned off by the anti-immigration position as well. I cannot be enthusiastic about a movement who regards my disagreement with them on a solution to a problem the country is facing to be proof of treason.

Already at RedState, the talk of a purge seems to be starting. If they really go through with it, they're gonna lose in 2008, and victory in the war on terror will be in doubt.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Another Romney hire...

This time, it is the strategist who beat McCain in South Carolina in 2000.

Romney's getting ready to have devastating return fire to any of McCain's Mormon-baiting (go to Article6Blog for great coverage of the religious issue as it pertains to a Romney candidacy).

Channeling Kos...

When it comes to immigration, a number of conservatives tend to act about as intolerant of competing viewpoints as the posters at Daily Kos do. The reaction to Ruben Navarette's latest column at Townhall is a classic case.

Several of the commenters are deliverately giving him 1 star - with the expressed intention of convincing Townhall that he should be dropped. Many of these name-callers are long on overheated rhetoric and name-calling, but very short on refuting his points. This has been the case on a number of conservative discussion boards that I've been on.

The worst parts are the insinuation by some of these hardliners that those who disagree with them on this issue are Quislings, "agents of Mexico", or traitors - or supporting the "dispossession of America" (without discussing how exactly, America would be dispossessed). Their proof of this "treachery" is merely the fact that people will support different solutions to the issue of illegal immigration.

In other words, if you think it's going way overboard to prosecute a sports agent who helped over two dozen people escape the Communist dictatorship in Cuba (including five who wanted to play professional baseball), you're no better than a traitor.

If Townhall does cave into this sort of mentality, it will lose my support and readership. There are conservatives who favor a comprehensive approach, like Chris Cannon, Linda Chavez, Jack Kemp, and Sam Brownback. Michelle Malkin and Tom Tancredo do not speak for all conservatives on this issue, and Townhall should stand athwart this effort to prevent a debate on this matter.

If not, then it's really no better than Kos.

The best case against judicial activism I've seen...

Laura Vanderkam discusses the referendum on South Dakota's ban on abortion with only an exception to save the life of the mother.

The last paragraph puts it better than anything I have ever seen:
It raises the question: What if all our abortion battles had been fought this way — democratically, with messy compromises — over the past 33 years? We might have reached an answer by now. Maybe. But if South Dakota's any indicator, we'd be a lot less strident. Abortion may be a battleground, but as Unruh says, "We don't have to turn it into a civil war."

Judicial activism - like Roe v. Wade and the gay marriage cases - harms the country, especially when millions of people are suddenly told that their voices will not be heard. Not only does it rob the people of their right to be heard on an issue, it robs them of the chance to reach a compromise that everyone can live with - and the chance to form a consensus on these issues.

Today, I voted for Virginia's constitutional amendment to at least be heard on the issue. I wish there was some other way. I wish I did not have to worry about having my votes nullified after a debate in secret by a small group of judges.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Saddam: Death by Hanging

Saddam Hussein sentenced to death by hanging . . .

With apologies to Dos Gringos . . .

Oh, his name's Saddam Hussein, fuck 'em all!
Oh, his name's Saddam Hussein, fuck 'em all!
Oh, his name's Saddam Hussein,
And he's so fucking insane
He's been such a fucking pain
So fuck 'em all!

Oh, they say he's gonna swing, fuck 'em all!
Oh, they say he's gonna swing, fuck 'em all!
Oh, they say he's gonna swing,
From a piece of fucking string
What a silly fucking thing
So fuck 'em all!

Saddam convicted...

Sentence: Death by hanging.

Personally, I can't wait for the execution.

I hate the Dolphins...

Bad enough that they derail another run for an undefeated season. But this Dolphins team?

And Rex Grossman? I'm not sure he's able to handle the starting job. Better to put Kyle Orton back as starting QB.

Bush still in style?

That is what Eve Fairbanks has pointed out. I'm inclined to agree - and it's also a sign that perhaps approval/disapproval is not the end-all and be-all of this election. There is a segment of those who disapprove of Bush from the right.

Back in 1972, Richard Nixon had an approval rating in the pits. He also won in a landslide despite an approval rating arguably worse than President Bush's. You see, while only 35% approved of his policy in Vietnam, a fair chunk of those who disapproved of hsi performance did so because they felt that Nixon wasn't fighing hard enough.

The same is true here. Bush takes criticism from those right who think he is not fighting hard enough, or doesn't declare Islam the enemy (as opposed to terrorists), or because he's not banning abortion immediately, or because he supports a comprehensive immigration reform bill. But will those disagreements result in votes for Democrats who favor outright anmesty and cutting and running in the war on terror?

Somehow, that's a stretch.

Friday, November 03, 2006

On the documents story...

My partner-in-blogging has discussed the New York Times story. I, too, will add some thoughts - and give out some well-deserved praise.

Blogger jveritas, who has been doing yeoman's work translating a very small fraction of the documents recovered during the liberation of Iraq, has responded to the New York Times article.

At the very least, these documents should lift a huge burden from the shoulders of former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Particularly the New York Times article. The worst you can say about our intelligence on these programs was that it had taken a worst-case scenario in light of discovering how far along Saddam had been in acquiring nukes in 1991 (which they had been pretty far off on).

Secretary Powell is a good man and a great American. In both his Army career and his tenture as Secretary of State, I believe he did the best job he possibly could have. I have had disagreements with him in the past, most notably over his decision to blacklist the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (or AUC) and his position on interrogations and military tribunals for terrorists (also see here for more thoughts on the issue). That said, I believe he is a person dedicated to the United States of America, and that he deserves everyone's respect for his service to this country. I also believe he has taken grossly unfair criticism over his actions during the run-up to the liberation of Iraq and for his actions and conduct in the investigation of the alleged leak of Valerie Plame's name from many conservatives.

Right now, I cannot find the words to provide the proper praise for jveritas and what he has done. His work at has been invaluable to this country. The blogosphere enables one person to make a difference. In this case, jveritas has done just that, and he deserves praise from all for what he has done. The lies of the anti-war movement would have gone unrefuted had it not been for his efforts. That alone has probably done more to win the war on terror than we will ever know.

One other thing... the New York Times earlier held this release in contempt, scoffing at the notion any sort of evidence backing up the rationale for war could be found in these documents. It's a very interesting about-face, don't you think?

Bush Lied--er, Never Mind!

The most pernicious meme of the war in Iraq is "Bush Lied." We are told by various liberal talking heads that Saddam Hussein did not have a nuclear weapons program, blah, blah, blah.

But if that statement is true, why is the New York Times reporting that the Operation Iraqi Freedom document archive included documents that "constitute a basic guide to building an atomic bomb?"

In their haste to do something to reinvigorate the Democrat campaign for Congress, the New York Times had to resort to "Bush helped the Iranians develop nukes." Never mind that Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan seems to be the main culprit here. The momentum was going against Democrats! Something had to be done in the wake of Kerry's gaffe!

I'm sure that I'm not the only member of the Pajamahadeen commenting on this (indeed, I am actually in my pajamas as I write this). I'm sure that the New York Times editorial staff is starting to realize that they're about to get Rathergated this weekend.

And, in the GOP War Room, Karl Rove lights a cigar and says, "I love it when a plan comes together."

When the Mask Slips...

The recent comments by Seymour Hersh and Senator John Kerry were the slippage of a mask that some prominent members of the anti-war movement have had for a while. Often, when the anti-war movement has been protesting, they claim that they support the troops.

Senator Kerry’s comments concerned an alleged lack of intelligence among the troops and the notion that many of the recruits are poor. First of all, the comment was grossly inaccurate. Every year since 1983, over 90 percent of all recruits have at least a high school diploma. Many officers and enlisted personnel tend to get college degrees (both graduate and undergraduate), often paid for by the armed services. The claim that most of the recruits are poor also did not stand up to facts. Most of the recruits come from middle-class families. These recruits also score high on the AVSAB tests (two-thirds of recruits score over 60 percent on the test).

Kerry’s comments, for which a lame “I’m sorry if you were offended” apology was issued, are not the worst concerning the troops. Some scurrilous and very incendiary charges came from Seymour Hersh, a journalist who broke various stories in the Vietnam War. Hersh openly called for American troops to be treated as they were when they returned from Vietnam.

Hersh claimed that the American forces in Iraq were carrying out atrocities. In one instance, he claimed a video of a massacre at a soccer game in the wake of an IED attack existed. Yet Hersh made this claim at a lecture at McGill University in Canada. He apparently had not heard of the Army’s Criminal Investigative Division and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (the latter of which is the subject of a popular prime-time TV series). One just has to ask why Hersh did not try to pass this evidence on to the Department of Defense – or one of the investigative agencies – so it could be investigated.

The history of claims of abuse and torture – not to mention massacres – against American troops has shown that more often than not, there wasn’t much in the way of facts to back up the charges. Claims concerning mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in 2005 were discovered to have been blown out of proportion and lacking context (for instance, an interrogator who was spat on smeared red ink on a detainee she was questioning). In 2002, claims of a massacre by Israeli troops at Jenin were discovered to be unfounded (of the 52 killed, at least 30 had been terrorists with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups). Claims made earlier this year of a cover-up with regards to an alleged massacre at Haditha were proven to be false.

Given this track record of accepting (and making) dubious claims, and insulting the troops while opposing the mission they are on, the anti-war movement's mask has slipped significantly. Underneath it all, when it comes down to it, their support of the troops is little more than lip service to the concept that is belied by their actions.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What the anti-war movement really thinks of the troops...

Seymour Hersh now opens up, in addition to some 1972 gems from John Kerry.

I find it interesting that he seems to think that the liberators of two countries that had previously been ruled by dictatorial regimes that sponsored terrorism (including shooting wheelchair-bound elderly men and flying airliners into buildings) are the murderers. What about the terrorists, Mr. Hersh?

And John Kerry... well, he felt we can't draft people into the military, but he didsn't want a volunteer force, either. I guess he did not want us to have any military at all. His voting record sure reads that way...

Kerry and McCaskill...

Both John Kerry and Claire McCaskill have done some very dumb things. McCaskill should have checked out that soldier's claims before he ran a single ad for her. She didn't, and it was "give Mark Anderson a clean shot at the quarterback so he can get a sack and force a fumble" dumb. John Kerry, by responding in such a Dixie Chicks fashion, then making his apology via a web site after vowing he wouldn't, then finally running off to hide for the rest of the campaign, has been "punt the ball on a line drive to Devin Hester" dumb.

I'm with AJ-Strata.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Beating the Heat...

The NBA is under way, and it looks like the Chicago Bulls have turned things around after about six years of post-Jordan blues.

Is this supporting the troops?

Austin Bay, Hedgehog Central, and a host of other blogs have the details on John Kerry's comments. I guess their idea of supporting the troops is to call them stupid and ignorant, oppose the mission they are on, and to deprive them of the intelligence they need by revealing the efforts of various agencies to track terrorists.

And Kerry's response to being called out on it is soooo Dixie Chicks. For these folks, it seems that freedom of speech means that they should not have to suffer the consequences of that speech.

Right. Sure.

Sorry, but I've been writing for Strategypage for a while. And some of my stuff has ticked people off. I deal with it, Senator Kerry, and you ought to be man enough to deal with the fact that people will have opinions about you running your mouth. I have no respect for people who can't take criticism when they dish out a lot of trash talk.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Food cops on the loose...

This time, it is New York City. It never fails... there are always killjoys and control freaks out there trying to make sure people can't enjoy themselves.

KFC was able to do the job on its own - but they did it right. They made sure that it wouldn't compromise the product. Now, we could have cops pulled from important things - like putting away criminals, to go after chefs who use the wrong oil to fry food in.

A successful raid...

Even if none of the big fish got taken out, the madrassa raid was a success. These places provide the training for eventual terrorists. If you don't have trained troops, you end up on the wrong end of things like the Marianas Turkey Shoot.

Making judicial activism the issue...

The New Jersey Supreme Court probably gave the GOP the Senate in 2006. President Bush is already discussing their imposition of gay marriage in that state. The real problem is when a gay couple gets married in New Jersey, then sues in court to have their marriage recognized in their home state - and that will be when the real crisis hits.

At that point, the judges will have to decide if they will override the elected representatives of the people - or if they will avoid making laws from the bench.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Bears were coasting for a half...

That's the only real downside to the latest Bears game.

And how about Mark Anderson, who seems to be the steal of the NFL draft? 7.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, 1 pass deflected - in seven games. Houston fans must be in agony knowing that the Texans passed on Reggie Bush to get Mario Williams (3.5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery). The Texans could have taken Bush first overall, and grabbed Anderson before the Bears, and they would be in much better shape as a team.

Expect GM/coaching changes for the Texans soon if this keeps up.

He didn't read the proposal...

Michael J. Fox has just blown his credibility and a fair chunk of his fan base - see Strata-Sphere for more details.

This leads me to wonder - how many other famous faces lend the publicity they can generate to causes they do not understand? How many people get misled as a result?

On cell phones and troops...

Strategypage discusses the evolution of cell phones vs. military radios.

This is one place where COTS could really cut down on expenses. My latest cell phone has a camera, plenty of storage with a mini-SD card, and would be almost perfect for virtually any mission. It even fits into a shirt pocket. The traditional radioman (like Luz in Band of Brothers) may be obsolete. now a days, the CO may have his cell phone and a Bluetooth headset.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Bush signs border fence bill...

President Bush signed a border fence bill yesterday. It's disappointing for me - largely for the same rationale that Big Lizards has laid out for opposing a border-fence-only bill. The President still wants to get reforms, but he is running out of time.

Because what will happen in 2007 is that the President will push for other critical components:
We must reduce pressure on our border by creating a temporary worker plan. Willing workers ought to be matched with willing employers to do jobs Americans are not doing for a temporary -- on a temporary basis.

We must face the reality that millions of illegal immigrants are already here. They should not be given an automatic path to citizenship; that is amnesty. I oppose amnesty. There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic pass to citizenship for every illegal immigrant and a program of mass deportation.

But then, Tom Tancredo, Michelle Malkin, and others will immediately begin to claim that what he wants is an amnesty - never mind what the President has actually proposed, or the penalties that would have to be paid. They will falsely claim there is no middle ground, they will insist upon the "rule of law" (albeit on a selective basis as opposed to general principle). And they will probably succeed again - after having done so in the past.

If it weren't for how bad the Democrats are, I'd want to stay home.

Another McCain supporter Mormon-baits...

First it was Cyndi Mosteller confronting Romney over his religion. This time, it is Patrick Hynes of Ankle-Biting Pundits. Hedgehog Central discusses this latest round of Mormon-baiting by McCain supporters, and the disingenuous efforts to claim there is no Mormon-baiting.

OK, let me get this straight, you are defending a guy's by linking to sites that demean that religion. With a defense like that, a person would not need to be attacked.

Does John McCain approve of this? If he doesn't will he act to clean up the acts of his supporters? Because this is not going to go over well with a lot of folks.

Dixie Chicks shunned by networks...

Key parts from the Drudge Report:
Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company stated, “It’s a sad commentary about the level of fear in our society that a movie about a group of courageous entertainers who were blacklisted for exercising their right of free speech is now itself being blacklisted by corporate America. The idea that anyone should be penalized for criticizing the president is sad and profoundly un-American.”

The Weinstein Company is exploring taking legal action.

Harvey, Harvey, Harvey...

The First Amendment only applies to government, not NBC or the CW network. If they do not want to run the ads, that is their decision.

But I guess free speech only goes your way.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I'm grateful...

I am very relieved that Al Gore can only provoke laughs at those who raise questions about the hysteria over global warming, rather than putting them on trial.

The Imperial Judiciary Strikes Again...

This time it is New Jersey that is under the heel of activist judges.

Never mind the fact that the elected representatives of the people had already decided what marriage means - four justices of the New Jersey supreme court decided they knew better and gave the legislature six months to come up with a law that is acceptable to them.

The people? They'll have no say in it at all. How do they vote out the New Jersey Supreme Court?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Youtube and the election...

Eve Fairbanks writes on Youtube and the election on

I have to disagree with her on "the Stakes". The "Daisy" ad and "the Stakes" have somewhat different audiences. "Daisy" was aimed at the general public in 1964. "The Stakes" is aimed at two smaller portions of the general public - undecided voters, and the petulant crybaby conservatives who have thought about sitting 2006 out over immigration/Foleygate/spending/etc.

Dean's rise...

The Weekly Standard discusses the rise of Howard Dean. It's an interesting portrait of a man who has been a gift for the GOP.

Lunch with Rummy...

Austin Bay discusses his press lunch with SECDEF in his column.

Wish I could get a shot at one of those.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Can't feel too bad for the Texans...

They passed on Reggie Bush to draft Mario Williams, who has 2.5 sacks and one fumble recovery on the year (6 games).

In the fifth round of the NFL draft, the Bears drafted Mark Anderson, a player from Alabama. Anderson has 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in six games.

They could have had Reggie Bush and a good defenseive end. Instead, they paid a lot for Mario Williams, and Reggie Bush is on another NFL roster.

Houston is currently 2-4 and on a pace to lose more than they win. Again.

Memo to Houston Texans: Make bad draft-day decisions, and you have a bad football team.

Sudan boots a blogger...

Sudan has booted a blogger. Austin Bay links to Strategypage's report.

This is a sign of just how bad things are. Sudan's commiting genocide - and the UN can only send a blogger?

Send a lot of second-hand guns (AK-47s, SKS carbines, M16s) to Darfur. Teach people to use them - get 40 guys from Blackwater, DynCorp, or Vinnell to do that, and a couple of C-130s to handle the airlift needs - and train additional instructors, to help Darfur defend itself. As Strategypage reports, the NRF is already able to inflict defeats on the Sudanese Army. That is a good base of support.

And to deal with the Sudanese Air Force's bombing raids, well, we handled that before in a place called Afghanistan. The Stingers helped drive the Soviet Union out of that country.

Blacklisting a hawk...

Seeing that purges don't work, it looks like left-wing anti-war Democrats are now trying blacklisting.

Congresswoman Harman's likely replacement? Alcee Hastings, who was impeached for corruption and perjury.

Think this over when you vote...

Check this comment by Dick Morris out... via the Worldwide Standard blog.

Put bad cops away...

Thoughts on the sentences handed down to two former Border Patrol agents:
These guys had to hang - and they had to be hung high. We cannot tolerate cops who try to cover up what is obviously a bad shoot. The bad shoot is bad enough - but the cover-up is unforgiveable.

When they tried to cover up - it was an admission that they never should have fired their guns in the first place. It was an unjustified use of force - and it was as bad as can be imagined. This never was about appeasing Mexico. It was about making sure that those badges don't become hunting licenses.

The misuse of force by police - particularly lethal force (and that is what you are using when you fire a gun) - is something that can never be tolerated in a free society. Because once cops start thinking they can do that, we lose trust. And when people don't trust the cops, there are very big problems coming down the pike.

Yes, the present situation on the southern border is unacceptable. Yes, there are dangers out there. But if we tolerate bad cops of one variety, what other varieties of bad cops will we get? The ones who accept bribes to look the other way when stuff is smuggled in, perhaps? Or maybe they'll decide who did it and then plant the evidence to "help" the case along. How does that sound?

To tell you the truth, I feel pretty sick just thinking about it.

EDIT: I will note that in the past, when it ws the IRS of BATF that was the subject of accusations involving abuses of people, conservatives were all over this. Is there a reason that the Border Patrol should be held to a lower standard?