Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Awful. Just Awful.

I think I can arguably top the Hedgehog in terms of outrage. Grandparents reportedly planning to kill their grandchildren at the behest of their son, who is in jail awaiting trial for charges involving sexual molestation.

This is just... outrageous is probably the best word that comes to mind. If they are convicted of this crime, Old Sparky is just too good for the grandparents and the person awaiting trial. The State of Florida needs to see if the GRU would be willing to rent out a blast furnace and conveyor belt, and sell three gurneys.

In this case, the old-school approach is probably the best approach to this.

Forgetting something, Powerline?

Powerline attempts to dismiss the Dowd analysis, but they ignore an inconvenient poll that corroborates Dowd's memo.

That poll is the USA Today report from yesterday. A close look at the figures shows that the "enforcement only" approach chosen by the House of Representatives (which they prefer) is not as popular as they would like to believe.

Take a look at the breakdown:
  1. The hard-liners (25%). 70% favor a wall. 56% feel removing illegal immigrants helps the economy.
  2. The unconcerned (23%). Only 21% favor a wall. Only 5% feel removing illegal immigrants would help the economy. 84% favor allowing them to stay and work towards becoming citizens.
  3. The ambivalent (27%). Only 44% favor a wall. 59% feel removing illegal immigrants would help the economy. 81% favor letting them stay and work toward citizenship.
  4. The welcoming (27%). Only 33% favor a wall. 76% support allowing illegal immigrants a chance at becoming citizens.
A wall doesn't get support from a majority of anyone except the hard-liners, and even then, it's only 70%. Outside of the hard-liners, all three groups support a path to citizenship by very strong margins (at least 3-1).

This would seem to confirm Dowd's analysis, yet Powerline has decided to ignore this inconvenient data. Why? Is it because that if Dowd's reading is correct, then the "base" has pushed the GOP into a huge political blunder that could alienate Hispanics over the long term? Or is it due to the fact that their views on illegal immigrants and addressing the problem are clearly in the minority among the general public?

Powerline has managed to do little more than insult the intelligence of anyone who read the USA Today article - like me.

Poisoning the well

On immigration, it seems that the RNC poll, as well as the recent USA Today article, shows that the hard-liners are not in the majority, but instead a minority. The USA Today article shows four groups: Hard-liners, unconcerned, the ambivalent, and the welcoming.

Only among the hard-liners - and then, only 70% of them - want the fence built. The fence cannot get a majority in any of the other groups discussed.

Deep down, the hard-liners know they are a minority, but there is constant denial of this. They cloak their arguments in "rule of law" - but they are so caught up in enforcing the law that they do not stop to ask if the law they are demanding strict enforcement of is a good law.

And now, facing the real possibility of defeat, they have ratcheted up the rhetoric. On some places, there are claims that those who support the President's approach are Quislings, or they support the gradual overthrow of America. Others call for impeachment. Others make claims that the law is being subverted. They even threaten to stay home if they do not get their way. There is an increasing shrillness from their side of the discussion - the same sort of shrillness seen from the anti-war movement that knows its desires for American defeat are not shared by the bulk of the American people.

If this isn't scorched-earth tactics, I don't know what is. The sore-loser aspect of the scorched-earth approach of Tancredo and Sensenbrenner is bad enough, but many of these people are going to leave a lot of legal immigrants with the impression that conservatives (who tend to be Republicans) never wanted them to come here in the first place, and who will vote accordingly. The hard-liners, unable to get their bill, have managed to poison the well for the near future.

It's a form of blackmail - and it's reprehensible. The Republicans need to break this cycle in order to focus on the war on terror, entitlement reform, and other issues that are far more pressing than immigration.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

About Darfur...

A lot of people on the left have discovered Darfur, and are calling for intervention by the UN or US. It's even affected some in the USA. Intervention is theoretically possible, albeit it would be difficult (a look at the map will show a lot of the difficulties. Darfur is in the western part of Sudan, and that area of the world isn't exactly blessed with infrastructure). And the Janjaweed militias are now reportedly crossing into the eastern part of Chad, leading to discussions about a force to protect refugee camps there. This is a situation could become a much uglier version of Bosnia, particularly if the "defense" of the camps is no better than that given to Srebrenica in the 1990s.

Also, getting the UN's okay is going to be very difficult. China, for instance, will probably veto any resolution with teeth. To a lesser extent, Russia could also be a problem. Sudan is an export market for both of those countries.

So, what sort of intervention is possible? Well, first, the question is, who would be interested? With the raids now crossing into Chad, this could be a chance for France to shine, particularly the Foreign Legion. In the 1980s, when Libya was trying to push into Chad, France sent elements of the Foreign Legion and helped Chad send Qaddafi running back with his tail between his legs as part of Operation "Epervier". And Libya had a lot of firepower involved (Tu-22 Blinders, T-72 and T-55 main battle tanks, and other systems).

The Janjaweed is much less armed. Mostly, it's mounted raiders using camels and horses as transportation, and armed with small arms (AK-47s, RPGs, etc.). In other words, this is a force even less well-equipped to deal with something akin to "Epervier" than the Libyan military.

In the 1980s, "Epervier" involved the deplyoment of 1,400 Foreign Legion troops, twenty combat aircraft, and $10 million worth of military aid to Chadian forces, mostly in the form of anti-tank missiles mounted on 4x4 vehicles (Land Rovers and Toyota pickup trucks). Transferring a bunch of used HMMWVs and machine guns (a mix of M60s and M2s, plus the ammunition) wouldn't be too difficult. Perhaps some second-hand AH-1S Cobras and UH-1 Hueys (which are currently sitting around at Davis-Monthan) would also help the Chadian military out in that regard (although maintaining the helicopters would be difficult for Chad).

The real issue, of course, is finding the will to do so. The Bush Administration is rightfully hesitant to plunge into intervention in this case - not because the cause isn't worthwhile, but because many proponents of intervening in Darfur have been opposed to the liberation of Iraq (see George Clooney as a prime example, as Austin Bay pointed out earlier this month). Teh logistical challenges are also immense. And to be very honest, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - and the Iranian theocracy - is a much bigger fish to fry at this point.

Still, the ability is there to indirectly intervene. That said, we now need to consider the comment that Ian Malcolm (played by Jeff Goldblum) made in the movie adaptation of Jurrasic Park, when he pointed out that people trying to clone dinosaurs "were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." The same is true of intervening in foreign conflicts.

In this case, it's a tough call. On the one hand, we do make a mockery of "never again" each time a genocide occurs and we do nothing. It only makes other tyrants and maniacs think they will get away with it. That's a good way to start wars. But on the other hand, the ability to intervene everywhere does not exist. Seeing it through is also another matter. As the 1993 intervention in Somalia and the liberation of Iraq have shown, there is a sizable contingent of people in the Western world who do get ready to throw in the towel when things get tough, and a smaller contingent who would side with the tyrants (see Ramsey Clark as an example).

The level of commitment would be low, though. But right now, the fact is that Darfur is not the pressing threat that Iran is, and there is still a lot of work to be done in the Afghan and Iraqi campaigns in the war on terror. Right now, with bigger fish to fry, America should simply be ready to provide some backup to the African Union peacekeepers in the form of weapons - much as the French did for Chad in the 1980s. If al-Qaeda does decide to make Darfur another front in the war on terror, as Austin Bay discussed in April, then we should be ready to help the African Union shift from peacekeeping to a full-scale takedown of the Janjaweed militia and any al-Qaeda presence. If necessary, America should not shy away from adjusting the Sudanese government's attitude towards Darfur.

But we're not at that point yet.

Conservative chaos?

It looks more and more likely.

Congressman Sensenbrenner is determined to take a hard-line on this process, and compromise will be impossible if Congressman Chris Cannon is purged for daring to support the President's approach over the "rule of law" as defined by Tom Tancredo and other hardliners.

The result will be chaos. It seems that RNC polling shows that most Republicans do favor a comprehensive solution to the problem, and that the folks trying to oust Cannon are a vocal minority that has been all-too-successful in shouting down opponents, often with epithets like "Quisling".

I'm probably going to scrape together another donation to Congressman Cannon before his primary on June 27. I certainly hope that others will do so as well by going to his web site. Maybe if the majority of Republicans and conservatives speak up, the purge can be stopped, and chaos averted. If not, then I do not see any solution forming, as the emboldened purists will dig in and hold out for nothing short of their "enforcement only" agenda (I have no illusions that they will ever consider needed increases in legal immigration or a guest-worker program).

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A new CD in my collection.

Perhaps the only network TV drama I make time to watch during primetime is Ghost Whisperer. The show is a very good one, and it's generally finished first (or a very close second) in its timeslot. The star of that show, Jennifer Love Hewitt, though, first came to my attention with her singing, which is probably one of the most underappreciated things out there.

Hew newest CD is a compilation of songs from two of her past CDs. It's good, but they left Avenue of the Stars, her best song, off it. Oh, well, it's an imperfect world...

Friday, May 26, 2006

Losing patience with conservatives...

The immigration debate has been quite enlightening for me, in more ways than one. And in some ways, it has been a somewhat saddening enlightenment.

It is often harder to see a problem with those who you feel you have a lot of common ground with. Among the left, we see an eagerness to sell America short, to tax from those who have earned a lot of money - and managed to pass it on to their heirs - and give it to others, and an inability to forcefully deal with serious problems (Iran, Saddam Hussein, al-Qaeda, and the Soviet Union all spring to mind). It's bad enough that I have never voted for a Democrat, and do not see myself doing so at any point in time in the near future.

The immigration debate, though, has made the conservative movement's problems impossible for me to ignore. More of a demand to conform ideologically had crept into this movement. Twelve years ago, ideas and attempts to solve the problems facing this country were not just accepted, they were encouraged. Yet on immigration, the door for new ideas is not just slammed shut, it is barred, and anyone trying to present an idea outside a limited field of politically correct options get accused of supporting "the emasculation and gradual overthrow of the America we know" or "subversion of law" - and it's fair game to refer to those who support anything other than mindless enforcement of the letter of the law as "quislings", "traitors", or "agents of Mexico".

I have not taken so much as a dime from the Mexican government. Nor have I allegiance to any country but the United States of America, where I was born. Even the "open borders" claim is a lie. I am for a secure border, but I fail to see how a fence will do any good when people are already digging tunnels - or when they can simply go around it in boats. The only beneficiaries of building a fence will be the companies who win the contracts - and maybe the Congressmen who can boat about bringing jobs to their districts. I guess there is some pork that conservatives don't object to.

What is doubly irritating about these comments is that those who make them often ignore the slime on their side of the issue. The Steve Sailers, the Laurence Austers, the Jared Taylors, and other bigots who are cited are out there. But when we point this out, and call a Sailer, Auster, or Taylor by the proper name, the cry of "misrepresentation" is quick to come.

Ultimately, though, this narrow-minded approach has led to some bigger problems. It has already put the war on terror in some jeopardy - through the trashing of an important ally in the war on terror. And now, because they are not likely to get their way on immigration, many conservatives are planning to sit out - to teach the Republicans a lesson. This is petulance bordering on gross irresponsibility.

So, it seems that I will have little chance of avoiding a decision between this country winning the war on terror or the conservative agenda. Winning the war on terror will win that one every time.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hastert has a point...

In all of the complaining about Dennis Hastert's reaction to the FBI's execution of a search warrant for Congressman William Jefferson's office, there is one fact to consider in all of this: Hastert has a point. Let's get one thing out of the way: Congressman Jefferson is on videotape accepting $100K. They found $90K in his freezer. The guy who gave him the money plead guilty to charges of bribing a public official. It looks very bad, although in this country, innocent until proven guilty in a court of law is how things work.

Article 1, Section 6 says:
They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
OK, bribery is technically a felony, so the DOJ is in the clear here, at least to my untrained eye. However, did they need to do things the way they did?

This provision was not put into the Constitution for kicks - or for Robert Byrd to get out of traffic tickets. The Founders had good reason to put what looks like blanket protection while engaged in the course of their duties. How hard would it be for a President to use the FBI or other government agencies to intimidate Congress into passing controversial legislation or to not look into things that ought to be looked into? Not very, and in this day and age of complicated "reform" laws, it could be easy to trip up a Congressman on a technical violation of the law... which would be overlooked in exchange for consideration on certain things.

I don't ever recall a need to search a Congressman's office. Ever. Congressman Jefferson has pushed us to a situation that is very difficult for all involved. We cannot tolerate elected officials selling favors. But the protections for Congressmen and Senators from potential intimidation need to be preserved as well. This is what has Hastert worried, and his concern for this should not be treated the way it has been elsewhere.

It's just a T-shirt!

The latest T-shirt that is kicking up a fuss portray Bert and Ernie, along with other Sesame Street characters, as gangsters.

There's not much crime in Brockton according to their police department's web page, and its population was around 94,000 according to the last census.

And what does Brockton High School do about the T-shirts, when they began showing up? They ban them.

One thing is going to happen. These T-shirts will become more popular among the students. If the folks who made these T-shirts have any sense of gratitude, they'll send the principal a thank-you card.

Absolutism and denial...

Over at RedHot, it looks like the absolutism is getting thicker from Tancredo. Note that Mike Pence's plan is far, far tougher than President Bush's. I guess some people won't be satisfied with anything other than mindless enforcement of the present law - no questions asked. Sorry, but that is not "rule of law" in my book. If anything, it's a sign of denial on Tancredo's part.

Looking over at HedgehogCentral, a commentator on this post shows that there is a serious sense of denial along different lines among some people that this absolutism will have negative consequences.

The commentator not only cites Steve Sailer, but Sam Francis, both of whom had stuff run at VDARE. Francis, in particular should be noted for this quote referenced by David Frum in March, 2003:
"The civilization that we as whites created in Europe and America could not have developed apart from the genetic endowments of the creating people." — SAMUEL FRANCIS, SPEECH AT THE AMERICAN RENAISSANCE CONFERENCE, MAY 1994

When these comments came to light, Sam Francis was fired from the Washington Times, not exactly a bastion of political correctness. American Renaissance, which hosted the conference he made the quoted comments at, is run by Jared Taylor, whose friends include the webmaster of It also goes into some other slimy stuff, which has its roots in the same eugenics movement that gave us Planned Parenthood. Michael Crichton discussed this to a degree in his novel State of Fear.

Is this what conservatives want to be associated with? And how do we square this with what Thomas Jefferson wrote as we stated our reasons to break away from England? Maybe it's time for the absolutists to give us some straight answers.

Guys, reread your law C-A-R-E-F-U-L-L-Y . . .

An umarried couple in Missouri found were denied a residency permit by the town of Black Jack.

Now, here are the facts about the law:

A Black Jack ordinance prohibits more than three people from living together in a single family home unless they are related by 'blood, marriage or adoption.'

Here are the facts about the couple in Missouri:

Local officials told the couple that the fact they were not married and had three children, one from Shelltrack's previous relationship, did not fit the town's definition of 'family.'

OK, I'm scratching my head here. All three of the children are related by blood to Ms. Shelltrack, and two of them are related by blood to the father. Therefore, there seems to be zero grounds for denying a residency permit, unless there is a clause that I'm missing.

This is all aside from the notion that one needs an "occupancy permit" to live in one's own house (which is rather chilling).

However, Black Jack must be one heckuva place to live--no crime, everything in the infrastructure works perfectly, taxes must be perfect, et cetera--for the city council to be worrying about this issue.

Monday, May 22, 2006

How not to defend yourself...

Congressman William Jefferson is in a huge bind. He got videotaped taking $100,000 in cash. He then hid the bulk of it in a freezer (talk about a guy who literally prefers cold hard cash...), and the guy who gave him the bribes has already copped a plea.

His defense... well, read for yourself.

All I will say is that a good press conference makes someone look innocent. Jefferson did not have a good one. Why he even called it is beyond me. He's all but admitted he is guilty by hiding behind "separation of powers". I just hope he decides to make a real show out of it.

Making a change...

Powerline Blog is off the blogroll for now. Instead, BigLizards will be on.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

How conservatives get it wrong... and hurt the GOP at the polls...

If you wonder whether "strict enforcement" and "rule of law" is a winner, read this from Joe Klein in Time:
There was some hope among Republican strategists, especially Karl Rove, that this formula might also work with the rapidly growing Latino vote and guarantee a g.o.p. majority in perpetuity. "Rove had a point. My people are very conservative on social values," says Congressman Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat. "We're family oriented, a lot of small-business owners. But the Republicans have blown that opportunity now. Even the Pentecostals are sending busloads to the protests. Spanish-language radio is announcing the vote on every amendment to the Senate immigration bill. You've got a generation of young Latino citizens whose first political impression is that Republicans are people who want to deport their parents."
If this is the impression they have of Republicans, are they likely to vote that way? Keep in mind that this is a voting block that went 44% for President Bush in 2004, and is largely up for grabs still. But now, the rhetoric of people like Tom Tancredo, James Sensenbrenner, Michelle Malkin, and others has placed that in jeopardy.

As Shakespeare once put it:
[W]hen lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, the gentler gamester is the soonest winner.
Republicans have almost blown a chance to show they could handle a major crisis involving people - and do so by considering people. Instead, they seem determined to enforce the letter of the current law, without any consideration as to whether the current law was working. As such they are going to end up hated. Sooner or later, it will hurt the GOP at polls. Not just only with Hispanic voters, but it will also hurt them with moderates, who now wonder just who they can trust now that both Democrats and Republicans are showing themselves to have some serious inadequacies.

Breaking it down.

The recent inter-Republican debates over immigration lead to discussions of a split in the GOP over this issue.

Okay... let's assume there is a split, and the hard-liners on immigration decide to break off. How might this affect the relative dominance of the parties? The answer could be interesting, if one looks at the conservative-moderate-liberal split in the US. I'm going to use CNN's exit polling data from the 2004 election, and a rough explanation from Rasmussen Reports on its HillaryMeter.

The CNN breakdown is as follows: Conservative 34%, Moderate 45%, Liberal 21%.
The Rasmussen breakdown was: Conservative 35%, Liberal 18%, and I will assume 47% moderate.
The 2004 Presidential race results were as follows: Bush won 50.7%, Kerry 48.3%, and 1% for minor parties. The 1% for the minor parties split about evenly between the left (Nader and Green Party candidate David Cobb) and the right (Libertarian and Constitution Party candidates, plus other minor candidates). I'll take a half-percent off each candidate.

Let's assume that Bush didn't pick up a significant number of liberal votes, and Kerry didn't get much from the right, either. So, Bush started with a base of 33.5 or 34.5%, and Kerry started with 17.5 or 20.5%, depending on which breakdown we use. This means that the moderates went for Kerry by 27.8-17.2 if one accepts the CNN numbers (based on Gallup). The Rasmussen numbers indicate a 31.8-15.2 split for Kerry (and remember that Rasmussen was largely on target in 2004), or the GOP loses two out of three moderate votes.

How might a GOP shift towards a posture akin to Kadima (or Shinui) change things? If the Rasmussen numbers are correct, should the GOP's push outrage enough hard-line conservatives into staying home or visibly bolting (as some are inclined to do). But this is going to pass to a degree. Tempers fade over time. But even if the GOP loses 3% of the hard-core conservatives, it does not follow that they will necessarily lose elections as a result.

You see, many of the moderates might otherwise vote GOP if it were not for hard-liners, particularly when said hardliners have used a lot of extremely harsh rhetoric, like labeling those who disagree with them on immigration as Quislings, or prove themselves to be willing to tolerate pretty slimy stuff. They might not support illegal immigration, but they disapprove of things like bigotry as well, or do not want to see a mindless enforcement of the letter of the law cloaked behind the phrase "rule of law". They have many of the same objectives as conservatives, but might be worried about the methods.

In other words, taking Rasmussen's two-to-one rule, the GOP stands to make more gains among the moderates. That 31.8 to 15.2 margin for Kerry in 2004 could shift to 25.8 to 21.2. That would mean that the Democrats and far-left would get 42.3%, the far left gets .5%, a far right party would get 3.5%, and the GOP would pick up a larger percentage, or 53.7% of the vote. That turns into a landslide for the Republicans.

If the Senate stands firm, they could help theRepublicans down the road.

Friday, May 19, 2006

"Amnesty" - The Right's Equivalent to "Medicare Cuts"

I'm going to use the claim by that Mel Martinez is supporting amnesty to explore into one of my biggest complaints about the opponents of the Martinez-Hagel compromise immigration bill. To wit, that it is an "amnesty" that rewards lawbreakers.

That has about as much veracity as claims that the Republicans in Congress, by reducing the rate of Medicare growth from three times the rate of inflation to twice the rate of inflation, were "cutting Medicare to pay for tax cuts for the rich". It was called "Mediscare", because the Democrats, led by Bill Clinton, resorted to the tactics of fear. And it was all a lie.

The Martinez-Hagel bill also has been the subject of a fear-mongering campaign, that has included the Heritage Foundation. Let's take a good look at the provisions for illegal immigrants to come clean in the McCain-Kennedy bill also derided as amnesty - and keep in mind that Senators Martinez and Hagel came up with a bill that was tougher than McCain-Kennedy (I am using the Google cache for those who may have trouble with Senator Martinez's web site):
  • Illegal immigrants must pay a fine to remain here for up to six years.
  • If they wish to apply for citizenship, there is an additional fine. They also have to pay their back taxes.
  • An amendment to the Martinez-Hagel bill sets a standard that one felony conviction or three misdemeanor convictions, is sufficient for a person to be kicked out. Call this probation/a suspended sentence.

In other words, there is punishment in this bill - in the form of fines, restitution, and probation. It is not the punishment (deportation) that hard-liners like Michelle Malkin, LaShawn Barber, Polipundit, Tom Tancredo, Jeff Sessions, and others demand, but it is still punishment. As Big Lizards points out (with examples), an amnesty is something completely different than what is being proposed. What is being offered here is a plea-bargain, in which people admit guilt for a lesser sentence.

Yet the hard-liners persist in calling it what it is not, and use terms like Quisling and agents of Mexico to describe those who disagree with their hard-line views. Others accuse President Bush of being a dictator, and describe those who disagree with their proposed solutions as supporters of open borders (I want the border secure - I just don't think a 21st-Century equivalent of the Maginot Line is the best way to secure the border).

In other words, President Bush, Senator Martinez, and others trying to pass this comprehensive bill are being attacked with scurrilous statements that have no more truth in them than Bill Clinton's claims of Medicare cuts had in 1995. There is a word for this type of conduct. It's called lying.

Decoding DaVinci Silliness

Well, The DaVinci Code has opened in Cannes, France. The same people who squawked loudly about the book are now squawking about the movie. I found myself in agreement with Tom Hanks' take on the central controversy:

The screen adaptation, like the novel, suggests that Jesus Christ was married to Mary Magdalene and fathered a child. One reporter asked the cast if they believed Christ was married.

Star Tom Hanks quipped, “Well, I wasn’t around.”

For the record, I am a devout Catholic; I believe that Christ lived, preached the Gospel, and redeemed us from our sins through His Passion, death, and Resurrection. But, like Tom Hanks, I wasn't around for the details.

Would it change anything for me if Jesus had been married and had children?

No. The central point of the Gospel is Jesus' salvific work, not whether or not He was married. His marital status is irrelevant to His divine mission. And I know that He has healed many people from His days on Earth to the present; indeed, He has healed me in mind and spirit. In the end, I know that my Savior lives and reigns, and that, like Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi in The Blues Brothers, we're all on a mission from God, whether or not we choose to accept it.

("Good morning, Ken. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to preach the Gospel by word and deed. If caught, the Father will not disavow knowledge of your actions, and shall be with you unto the end of time. Good luck, Ken! This message will not self-destruct in five seconds, unlike Tom Cruise's career after he took on South Park.")

I read The DaVinci Code a couple of years ago. It's a formulaic thriller that is moderately entertaining. It may be more entertaining if you haven't read anything else by Dan Brown (he has written four novels, all with the same plot; only the details change). But it's based on a forgery that had been debunked a decade before the book was published.

Twenty years from now, the DaVinci Kerfluffle will be largely forgotten, except for gazillions of copies of Dan Brown's book quietly decomposing in used bookstores, attics, and library stacks, and another gazillion or so DVDs of the movie will be in video stores, libraries, and home theater cabinets. They will be seldom read or viewed, and the world will have moved on many times over.

Twenty years from now, the Church will be continuing onward in her glorious mission.

"Second star from the right, and straight on till morning."

He has a reason to not like the base, Peggy...

Peggy Noonan seems to be a little confused:
I continue to believe the administration's problem is not that the base lately doesn't like it, but that the White House has decided it actually doesn't like the base.

Gee, why might that be the case? Remember the article that Time ran last month on Harriet Miers?
Back at Bush's side, Miers is one of the dwindling number of longtime Texas confidants still at the White House at this time of upheaval. The loyalty is reciprocal--Bush was still hot months later about how she was treated, viewing her as a victim of snobby elitists. To White House officials, Miers is a quiet workaholic who got an inexcusably raw deal.

I have emphasized the important points, and think that with Time's report, we are seeing one of the reasons the White House might be a little displeased with the base. That displeasure is probably not helped when there is still constant sniping at Miers from, according to Hugh Hewitt.

This is of a piece with the grumblers elsewhere. Hardly a post goes by at where someone doesn't denounce the president for the Miers nomination, though every time they do they buy again into the left's vision of the Court and its members as high priests with vast duties undoable except by the select.

What is very odd is that many of those denouncing the administration and insisting on some electoral slap downs in the fall are also those who denounce Counsel Miers as regularly as they sip orange juice.

That sniping only reminds the White House staffers who lurk at those sites of how their colleague was given a raw deal. So, not only did they proceed to trash one of the closest and most loyal aides of a President known to value loyalty, they are proceeded to remind the Administration of it on virtually every post at some sites. They forgot something... George W. Bush is prohibited by the 22nd Amendment from seeking a third term. His Vice-President has no interest in replacing him. In other words, he does not have to lift a finger to help them out - and he has the freedom to tell the base to kiss his butt if they tick him off enough. And trashing one of his most loyal aides was something that could get him predisposed to do so.

But it wasn't just a loyal aide that got trashed. Earlier this year, a valuable ally in the war on terror got the same treatment from the base, despite the facts. Now the base - fuelled by misreported facts - had threatened what President Bush considered to be the most important issue facing the country.

Given all of this, if I were the Bush White House, I'd have a couple of rather large bones to pick with the base. I'd be looking for a way to send a message that I am my own person - and I would not be dictated to. Immigration is a natural issue for Bush to do this on, due to his long-standing position in favor of higher legal immigration and a guest-worker program.

And he is now engaging in this battle with all the effort he put into liberating Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention getting Justices Alito and Roberts confirmed. He is in this fight to win. When George W. Bush intends to win a political battle, he usually does so. This one just happens to be with his base.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Decide for yourself...

It seems the NAACP is claiming that an IRS audit intended to determine whether or not they have veered into partisan politics is a smear.

Take a look at the following quotes from Julian Bond, the chairman of that organization, and decide for yourself.

From July, 2001: "He has selected nominees from the Taliban wing of American politics, appeased the wretched appetites of the extreme right wing and chosen Cabinet officials whose devotion to the Confederacy is nearly canine in its uncritical affection."

From June, 2004: "Their idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side by side," Bond told a cheering audience. "They've written a new constitution for Iraq and ignore the Constitution here at home. They draw their most rabid supporters from the Taliban wing of American politics. Now they want to write bigotry back into the Constitution."

From this past January
He punctuated his assessment with numerous attacks on the policies of the Bush administration, many of which were affirmed by the audience, which applauded statements such as “They want to redraw the constitution of Iraq and rewrite the constitution at home” and they have turned a “war on poverty” into a “war against the poor.” However, when Bond suggested that the current administration “drew [its] rabid supporters from the Taliban wing of American Republicans,” there was a gasp of disapproval.

Is this anyone's idea of non-partisan?

Still nothing from Malkin...

And it's been over three days since Vox Day's column ran. Oh, there's been a lot of protestations from some of his fans - which shows that somehow, I struck a nerve. I guess the criticism got to WorldNetDaily. They edited the comparison out. I will not pretend to know why, but I am content with the results that someone over there belatedly decided to deal with the situation. As far as I'm concerned, the matter is closed.

Now, for those who could not understand English - and with the way the NEA and American public schools have performed, there are times I am not surprised - here is the deal.

When Vox Day said this to back up his claim that President Bush was lying:
Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society.
He was offering what, in my eyes, was a tacit endorsement of what the Nazis did. Why else did he phrase it the way he did? Folks, as Rush Limbaugh has famously said, "Words mean things." Why do you think dictionaries exist?

I have no regrets at all about calling Mr. Day out. He is free to think of me as an illiterate, if he cannot deal with the fact that he deservedly received a lot of heat for his comment. Oh, well, small price to pay.

EDIT: Before anyone thinks I wanted the column edited, I will say up front I did not. My objection was to what I viewed as a tacit endorsement of the methods used by Nazi Germany. How it was dealt with was up to WorldNetDaily to decide - and it's between Joe Farah and Vox Day. They are free to write or publish what they wish. I just claim an equal level of freedom to say what I think about what they write or publish.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Why I look forward to July 4, 2007... has the big reason here, via Galley Slaves.

Michael Bay is bringing Transformers to the big screen - and using CGI to do it. If the end result looks like what this is... and if it is largely like Generation 1... it's going to be awesome.

Was this a rebuttal or a joke?

I'm having a hard time deciding.

Vox Day simply has nothing more in his repetiore than to scream "Bush Lied!" (much as the imploding Polipundit has - or the DailyKos, for that matter), and then again illustrate his point by describing the methods the Nazis used. It is, for all intents and purposes, saying that we could solve the problem by using those methods, but Mr. Day lacks the courage to say so in precisely those words.

I'm not going to pretend that I am a great and wise philosopher. All I can do is say that something doesn't look right to me, and explain why it doesn't, and let people decide for themselves. Let's just say that Mr. Day's column was called as it was seen.

Stupidity in the Senate...

Two Democrats have managed to get the bulk of the Senate to reduce the number of low-skilled workers from 325,000 a year to 200,000. The real problem is killing the "escalator provision" that would occur if the quota was met - increasing the quota for the next year.

This is a logical thing to do. If you find out that you have underestimated demand for a product, you increase the production run. The same thing applies here. At a minimum, the escalator should be reinstated at some point.

It is interesting to note that the opposition is coming not just from the hard-liners on the far right, but the far left as well, including Barbara Boxer. I guess when people go far enough to an extreme, they find themselves in interesting company.

On Chavez's latest threat...

A more detailed version of my earlier blog post on this is at Strategypage.

Silence that speaks volumes...

We have seen several bloggers post condemnation of a piece of filth by Vox Day. One, Captain's Quarters, is a relatively big name.

Yet Michelle Malkin has yet to say a word about his disgusting column. Never mind the fact that her stuff has also run on WorldNetDaily. She certainly found the time to complain about 18 Republicans who decided to stand with the President in support of a comprehensive solution, and the other four who didn't vote. She has tangled with Mr. Day before. It is hard to believe she doesn't know he exists.

But taking Mr. Day to task for comments like the one below?

And he will be lying, again, just as he lied when he said: "Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic – it's just not going to work."

Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society.

*crickets chirping*

Nothing as of this time. In fact, her latest column ran on WorldNetDaily today, and it is nothing more than a smear of her opponents on the immigration issue. Which leads me to (again) explain why I think Michelle Malkin has a problem. It isn't just the silence about things like Mr. Day's column. that bothers me. It is her claim that somehow, there is no way she is in the wrong, and that her opponents are little more than mean, vicious race-baiters who do not care at all for this country, whose arguments consists of little more than shouting "Racist!", "Xenophobe!", or "Nativist!", and she has routinely claimed that opponents mischaracterize her as a bigot (for two such posts, look here and here).

Yet how are people supposed to interpret your silence on comments like Mr. Day's, Michelle? You can't even be bothered to condemn him for those comments, any more than you seem to be bothered by the fact that a person you have described as a friend, Peter Brimelow, seems to have no problem posting stuff on VDARE from Jared Taylor, who is buddies with David Duke and Don Black, not to mention a host of other slimy characters? And why is Michelle Malkin unwilling to address the concerns that two founders of Redstate have about people she has cited, Lawrence Auster and Steve Sailer? Claims of racism from Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton over opposing racial quotas or other forms of preferential treatment are one thing. But when two founders of a leading site for conservative Republicans are expressing concerns or saying there is a problem, that is a different thing - something is very wrong here.

And then she has the nerve to claim that because I disagree with her on immigration, I am betraying the memory of those who died in the unprovoked sneak attack on September 11, 2001? This is as low as the NAACP's James Byrd ads from 2000 or some of Bill Clinton's comments about his political opponents in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

In the two days since Vox Day's column, Michelle has to have known that there was a controversy. She has not found the time to say a single word about Mr. Day's odious column, but did find time to write an insulting column filled with hyperbole, to complain about 22 Senators who didn't vote the way she would have had them vote, and to live-blog a speech she'd made her mind up on before even listening to.

I guess I will have to see about scraping together another contribution for Congressman Chris Cannon or some of the Republican Senators who stood for a comprehensive immigration bill. I cannot speak for anybody but myself, but right now the Republican Main Street Partnership is starting to look very good to me.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Chavez made an offer...

Hugo Chavez wants to sell the 21 F-16s in the Venezuelan Air Force to Iran in response to the arms embargo imposed for his lack of cooperation in the war on terror.

These are older F-16s. With versions of the AIM-9 Sidewinder that can only really handle rear-aspect engagements (Chavez did acquire some AIM-9Ls, which are all-aspect, but missiles have expiration dates). Not only that, Iran doesn't even have the logistical base to take care of these planes. No Iranian planes use the engines or radars involved.

One dictator ripping another dictator off. Can't get much sweeter than that.

A response to Vox Day...

It seems Vox Populi, the blog Vox Day has, is taking me up on the offer. He has already misread my contempt and refusal to tolerate defense of his indefensible column as me being a "Chickenboy". To do so... well, that says more about you than me, Mr. Day.

My anger and disgust with your column comes due to the fact that I think the first principles that this country was founded on mean something. Particularly, when we laid out the reasons for breaking away from England:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Now, let's lay some cards down on the table. If we, as Americans, are to believe what Thomas Jefferson wrote, then the following statement in the President's speech is non-controversial:
We must always remember that real lives will be affected by our debates and decisions, and that every human being has dignity and value no matter what their citizenship papers say.
Then how are we to react when someone writes the following statement?

And he will be lying, again, just as he lied when he said: "Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic – it's just not going to work."

Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society.

Let's be honest about the Nazis. They felt that there was a super-race - they called it Aryans. Other races were to be subjected - to be slaves, or second-class citizens. They targeted Jews, gypsies, and others for extermination, also known as the Holocaust. And you, Mr. Day, were at the very least, using it as a way to rebut the President of the United States. You might call yourself a libertarian, but your column came across as something far different from that, and extremely odious. It's not quite the worst that I have seen.

That's what this comes down to. You are either with Thomas Jefferson and President Bush, or you are with the perpetrators of one of the most evil acts in recorded history. I do not think that any sort of middle ground is possible in this - nor can such a blanket endorsement be explained away as merely "drawing upon the lessons of history". Because if it can be done to 12 million illegals, who else can it be done to?

Slopes can get very slippery, as we have seen on other issues. We've gone from debates over whether or not a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy or whether someone has the right to have a living will to seeing a Western European country practice out-and-out euthanasia, and debate over whether it should be legalized here.

In the same vein, we also see that from those who wish to practice gun control. It starts with just a few things - bans on guns that have "no legitimate sporting purposes", as the gun-control advocates claim. But then they demand more and more. Soon, they want to tell you how many you will be allowed to have in a month. Then they want to make you demonstrate to someone else that you need a given gun.

The reason I'm calling you a Nazi, Mr. Day, is because your column seems to have a lot more in common with them than it did with what this country is founded on. So you don't like Michelle Malkin. Big deal.

When it comes to the principles espoused by Jefferson vs. the actions of Hitler, there is no middle ground, Mr. Day. You're with one or the other, as is the case in the war on terror. I'm going to follow the President's lead and err on the side of Thomas Jefferson's principles. You are free to say or do otherwise, but complaining when you get called out on it looks bad. A pitcher who complains about a batter charging the mound after getting plunked by a pitch looks better.

You sent some of your fans to come on over and talk trash. But I see that none of them even tried to defend what you wrote. If you can reconcile citing what Nazi Germany did to Jews with the notion that even illegal immigrants - as human beings - have dignity and value, then do so. If you find that it is impossible, then have the courage - and honesty - to come out and say so.

If you lack the ability to do either, then say so. Are you too chicken to do so?

Pushback? Maybe there is hope...

It seems that there has been a fair bit of pushback against the hostile reaction to the President's speech on immigration. A lot of it focuses on the inexcusable commentary by Vox Day, which has even drawn the condemnation of Captain's Quarters. Notable for her silence is Michelle Malkin (as of 12:56 PM on May 16), whose column also runs at WorldNetDaily.

Now, for the rundown:
  1. The Anchoress starts with her take on this. See also her discussion of the Polipundit split.
  2. The Hedgehog Blog has pointed readers to my posts on immigration.
  3. Strata-Sphere fires off thank-yous. Then AJ-Strata takes on Mr. Day.
  4. DJ Drummond comments as well.
  5. Karl Maher adds some thoughts, and fires at the all-or-nothing crowd.
  6. Dafydd at Big Lizards also comments on the fever swamp on the right.
  7. MacRanger fires his own shots as well.

It seems that there is a determination among some on the right to say very clearly that there is a base of support for the President's position - and they are determined to take a stand against the digital storm that is coming.

New links...

I'm linking to Lorie Byrd, DJ Drummond, and The Anchoress from today on. These are three people who have stood for civil discussion of the issues - and all have particularly made these stands on immigration. Lorie is one of those who has been told by Polipundit to toe the line on immigration or else - and she has left that blog, purged for disagreeing with the hard line.

Speaking of purges, I again urge people to send a donation to Congressman Chris Cannon, who is one of those who is seeking a comprehensive solution - and facing a primary challenge backed by Tom Tancredo for his refusal to shut up and toe the line.

Take a stand, and support those who do so as well.

EDIT: In response to the comment by Icarus, I will point out that DJ Drummond has done far less than PoliPundit ever did. In the past few weeks, I have seen PoliPundit scream "Bush LIED!" with a shrillness that matches Howard Dean. I have seen him refer the the President as "El Presidente Jorge Arbusto" numerous times. He even went so far as to call President Bush a traitor.

I have not seen such conduct from DJ Drummond. I saw some straight talk. I did not see the level of venom that came from PoliPundit. My comment stands.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Threats against the government?

It seems some in the Minuteman Project (EDIT: Actually, comments to their blog - it was my mistake) have made threats against the government over the immigration issue. Ace in the Hole has the details.

I wonder if Michelle Malkin will be willing to discuss this little escapade... or is this another one of those things that doesn't get talked about?

EDIT: Allow me to add that Ace in the Hole and I probably disagree profoundly on immigration. But he is to be commended for calling out something that was clearly indefensible.

EDIT 2: These were comments made by the posters to the blog. That said, the fact that they were allowed to stand while the moderator argued with the poster, and TexasFred got banned speaks volumes about the moderation of that blog, and none of it very good, in my opinion.

On the speech...

I think President Bush gave up a lot more than he should, particularly on the wall part of this.

A real wall does no good when people tunnel under it.

Some of the key points:

The issue of immigration stirs intense emotions, and in recent weeks, Americans have seen those emotions on display.
Both the good and the bad have been on display. The good includes statesmen like George W. Bush. Sadly, the bad have largely outnumbered Bush, from International ANSWER's attampt to hijack the pro-immigrant side of the debate, to the hard-liners on the right who have made all sorts of threats.

We must begin by recognizing the problems with our immigration system. For decades, the United States has not been in complete control of its borders. As a result, many who want to work in our economy have been able to sneak across our border, and millions have stayed.

Here, he is discussing the symptoms of the problem more than the actual causes of the problem. But the symptoms are what most people see.

Once here, illegal immigrants live in the shadows of our society. Many use forged documents to get jobs, and that makes it difficult for employers to verify that the workers they hire are legal. Illegal immigration puts pressure on public schools and hospitals, it strains state and local budgets, and brings crime to our communities. These are real problems. Yet we must remember that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are decent people who work hard, support their families, practice their faith, and lead responsible lives. They are a part of American life, but they are beyond the reach and protection of American law.

Let's be honest. Not all of those who have come here over the southern border are MS-13 or al-Qaeda terrorists. Any solution to the problem has to recognize that fact. And to be honest, America could do far worse in this regard. Just ask France.

Second, to secure our border, we must create a temporary worker program. The reality is that there are many people on the other side of our border who will do anything to come to America to work and build a better life. They walk across miles of desert in the summer heat, or hide in the back of 18-wheelers to reach our country. This creates enormous pressure on our border that walls and patrols alone will not stop. To secure the border effectively, we must reduce the numbers of people trying to sneak across.

Therefore, I support a temporary worker program that would create a legal path for foreign workers to enter our country in an orderly way, for a limited period of time. This program would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing. Every worker who applies for the program would be required to pass criminal background checks. And temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay.

A temporary worker program would meet the needs of our economy, and it would give honest immigrants a way to provide for their families while respecting the law. A temporary worker program would reduce the appeal of human smugglers, and make it less likely that people would risk their lives to cross the border. It would ease the financial burden on state and local governments, by replacing illegal workers with lawful taxpayers. And above all, a temporary worker program would add to our security by making certain we know who is in our country and why they are here.

The concept of signal-to-noise ratio is important here. Right now, we apprehend about 1.2 million people a year coming over the border (roughly 350,000-500,000 make it). All these folks are not hardened criminals. Most would gladly jump for a chance to enter legally.

Why not create that program and thus be able to focus on the real threat to national security, specifically, the coyotes?

Fourth, we must face the reality that millions of illegal immigrants are here already. They should not be given an automatic path to citizenship. This is amnesty, and I oppose it. Amnesty would be unfair to those who are here lawfully, and it would invite further waves of illegal immigration.

Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal immigrant, and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty. I disagree. It is neither wise, nor realistic to round up millions of people, many with deep roots in the United States, and send them across the border. There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant, and a program of mass deportation. That middle ground recognizes there are differences between an illegal immigrant who crossed the border recently, and someone who has worked here for many years, and has a home, a family, and an otherwise clean record.

I believe that illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law, to pay their taxes, to learn English, and to work in a job for a number of years. People who meet these conditions should be able to apply for citizenship, but approval would not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law. What I've just described is not amnesty, it is a way for those who have broken the law to pay their debt to society, and demonstrate the character that makes a good citizen.

The President wants people to pay a penalty. And they also have to make restitution (in the form of back taxes). In other words, this is not an amnesty. There is punishment. It is just not the punishment demanded by Michelle Malkin, Tom Tancredo and others.

An immigration reform bill needs to be comprehensive, because all elements of this problem must be addressed together, or none of them will be solved at all. The House has passed an immigration bill. The Senate should act by the end of this month so we can work out the differences between the two bills, and Congress can pass a comprehensive bill for me to sign into law.

America needs to conduct this debate on immigration in a reasoned and respectful tone. Feelings run deep on this issue, and as we work it out, all of us need to keep some things in mind. We cannot build a unified country by inciting people to anger, or playing on anyone's fears, or exploiting the issue of immigration for political gain. We must always remember that real lives will be affected by our debates and decisions, and that every human being has dignity and value no matter what their citizenship papers say.

I'll explain this in plain English. Nobody is going to get to try "their way" first. If the pro-immigration side gets what they want, they have no incentive to help secure the border. If the hard-liners get the enforcement/border security they want, they will keep demanding more and more - and will never consent to a guest-worker program. Either everyone gets part of the deal, or nobody will.

Second, his last sentence should be repeated for those, like Vox Day: We must always remember that real lives will be affected by our debates and decisions, and that every human being has dignity and value no matter what their citizenship papers say. Anyone who has a problem with that sentence is someone who I have little respect for.

Finally, this paragraph:

As President, I've had the opportunity to meet people of many backgrounds, and hear what America means to them. On a visit to Bethesda Naval Hospital, Laura and I met a wounded Marine named Guadalupe Denogean. Master Gunnery Sergeant Denogean came to the United States from Mexico when he was a boy. He spent his summers picking crops with his family, and then he volunteered for the United States Marine Corps as soon as he was able. During the liberation of Iraq, Master Gunnery Sergeant Denogean was seriously injured. And when asked if he had any requests, he made two: a promotion for the corporal who helped rescue him, and the chance to become an American citizen. And when this brave Marine raised his right hand, and swore an oath to become a citizen of the country he had defended for more than 26 years, I was honored to stand at his side.

As far as I am concerned, Master Gunnery Sergeant Denogean is far more American than Vox Day could ever hope to be. The same goes for Tom Tancredo and Peter King. Master Gunnery Sergeant Denogean risked everything for this country, including his life. Can Tancredo or King say the same thing? Can Mr. Day?

Finally, a word to Hugh Hewitt, who seems to distrust this speech. You haven't read my blog, so I'll just remind you that people are already digging tunnels under the border. How is a wall supposed to stop that? The only folks benefiting from a wall will the the government contractors who build it, and the politicians who get photo-ops. Those who don't tunnel under will just make makeshift boats and sail around the wall to the US. Are you going to suggest walling off the coastline, too?

I don't object to more technology. I don't object to additional manpower. But a wall is a useless waste of taxpayer dollars. It's just politically-correct pork. And I can think of better ways to spend that money. Like reactivating the Iowa and Wisconsin, for starters...

Sorry, Hugh, but this is just a pretext that will be seized by many to claim President Bush is not serious. Far too many bloggers on the right made up their minds before the first word of the practice session was aired. Maybe you need to think about that.

With stuff like this...

In his latest column at WorldNetDaily, Vox Day said the following:
If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society.

Let me lay this out front - this is the type of talk that leads people to ask questions about the opponents to the President's plan. Questions about just what, exactly, it is they want. Questions about whether they went off their anti-psychotic medications - or need to be on them. Questions about just what the hell it is the really want. And the answer never come. They cry "race-baiting" and then claim that nobody wishes to debate them honestly.

I'm sorry, but this is the type of talk - and conduct - that has royally turned me off. What is just as bad is the fact that too many conservatives turn a blind eye to all of this. Other tacitly embrace it. Michelle Malkin, for instance, gives VDARE a one-day head start on her columns (as opposed to She has also approvingly cited Lawrence Auster and Steve Sailer. She recommends VDARE, despite the fact that it runs stuff from Jared Taylor, who happens to be buddy-buddy with the likes of David Duke and Don Black - the webmaster of Stormfront. See what founders of the site (no bastion of political correctness) had to say about Auster and Sailer. Decide for yourself if her claims that those who question these connections are engaged in mischaracterization, as she claimed during the controversy over the UAE's ports deal, or if she has been turning a blind eye to some serious slime.

Do you even give a damn that he's drawing upon Nazi Germany? Or do you not care as long as the checks clear? Do you really stand with all of this? Do you consider that sort of stuff acceptable? Michelle, do you believe in this stuff?

As far as I am concerned, Michelle, Master Gunnery Sergeant Guadalupe Denogean is far more of an American than Taylor, Auster, and Sailer combined. He has certainly risked a lot more for this country and gave far more than Tom Tancredo ever has.

If it sounds like I'm in the mood for a fight, it's because I am. I'm sick of being told that somehow, I believe in "post-America" and that my level of commitment to this country is no more than shacking up. I've had enough of the abuse that Malkin and others heap on me for not being quiet about the thoughts I have on this issue - all because I have disagreed with them.

I'm not running away. I'm in the mood for a fight. Bring it on.

The Anchoress NAILS IT

The Anchoress stands up to the so-called "base" - and calls it like she sees it.

Do people like Michelle Malkin, Tom Tancredo, Polipundit, Mark Krikorian, and others really think they can get away with this constant abuse? I've got a message for them: I don't live on your ideological plantation.

As Anchoress said:
I will not belong to a party -or a movement - that will not allow me to think for myself or express my dissent without castigating me, denigrating my faith or calling me names.

I've had enough of this. If the conservative movement will not respect me because I have thought through an issue, and come to conclusions they do not like, then are they any different from the MoveOn/DailyKos/DU types? In my mind, the answer is no.

I wouldn't trust MoveOn, DailyKos, or DU with the country. Why should I trust a right-wing equivalent?

A voice of responsibility...

Jim Geraghty speaks out about some of the consequences unsatisfied conservatives will bring about.

In the Senate, a bad year for the Republicans would mean the loss of Rick Santorum (who has lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 88 out of a possible 100, and a 92 in 2005) in Pennsylvania, Jim Talent (93 rating lifetime, and a 96 in 2005) in Missouri, Conrad Burns (91, and a perfect 100 in 2005) in Montana and Mike DeWine (80 lifetime, only 56 in 2005) in Ohio.

Of course, Ohio voters who sit this one out will replace DeWine with Sherrod Brown, who has a lifetime rating of 8 and 4 for 2005. And they won’t get to revisit that decision until 2012.

If the GOP base doesn’t show up in Minnesota, you get Amy Klobuchar instead of Mark Kennedy (90 rating lifetime, 84 in 2005).

If the GOP base doesn’t show in Maryland, you get Ben Cardin (lifetime rating of 6, 2005 rating of 0!) or Kweise Mfume (lifetime ACU rating of 4) instead of Michael Steele.

If the GOP base doesn’t show in Tennessee, you get Harold Ford (19 lifetime, 21 in 2005) instead of Ed Bryant (lifetime ACU score of 98!) Van Hilleary (lifetime score of 97!). Another GOP candidate is Bob Corker, Chattanooga mayor.

If the GOP base doesn't show in West Virginia, you get Robert Byrd (lifetime rating of 30, 20 in 2005) as Appropriations Committee Chairman, instead of businessman John Raese.

If the GOP base doesn't show in Washington, you keep Maria Cantwell (11 lifetime, 8 in 2005) instead of businessman Mike McGavick.

Let's not forget what Nancy Pelosi promised in terms of investigations. If anyone thinks that Pelosi and John Conyers haven't made up their minds on these, they are kidding themselves.

At this point, it is time to ask conservatives like Mark Tapscott and Ed Morrissey if their pet issues are more important than their country winning a war for its survival. No equivocating, no hiding behind the word "principle", just a simple decision on what is more important to them.

Do they have the courage to do that, or are they just going to backpedal?

Stop the purge...

Once again, Congressman Chris Cannon is the target of a primary challenge. Some have labeled him a "RINO" - how someone who voted 100% in line with the American Conservative Union can somehow be hit with that label boggles the mind. Or should.

The answer, of course, is immigration. You see, Congressman Cannon's views on this issue mirror President Bush's. Cannon is a target due to his 97% lifetime ACU rating. This is an affront to those like Tom Tancredo, Michelle Malkin, and Mark Krikorian. How can a conservative hold such a view? And so, Cannon must be purged. And to do so, they have come up with the smear that he believes in a "post-America", accused of "shacking up" with America as opposed to being committed.

And they claim that they are the victims of smears? Particularly when their slimy associates (like VDARE, Lawrence Auster, Steve Sailer and Jared Taylor) are discussed and called for what they are.

I just sent Cannon's campaign $50. If you'd like to do so, head here, and contribute via Paypal. Or, you can do so directly via Paypal via his e-mail address on the contact page.

Let's send a message to Tom Tancredo: The purge stops now.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Hello, GRU? Can you loan Tennessee a blast furnace?

I think the GRU came up with the only appropriate punishment for this unspeakable crime in Jackson, Tennessee. The old-school GRU.

Why a wall?

I'm sorry, I just don't get it. Contrary to Hugh Hewitt's post, I think it is possible to be seriously in support of border security yet oppose a fence.

Why? Well first, there is the inconvenient fact that people are already digging tunnels. Maybe it's not popular among the right to agree with the Governator, but kindly explain who besides the contractors to build the fence will benefit if the coyotes just dig underneath it? And take a look at a map and note the blue stuff. That's ocean. Fences don't work there. They'll build makeshift boats the way Cubans or Haitians have.

All a border fence along Mexico is going to do is to make America look stupid and anti-Mexican. You don't hear much about a border fence with Canada, do you? Are some people on the right trying to pick a fight with Mexico (well, when they aren't trying to pick a fight with Russia or China)?

Let's be honest about the real problem. We have, since 1973, created an artificial labor shortage thanks to Roe v. Wade. As a result, there have become jobs that Americans are unwilling to do unless they are paid way too much.

That said, there is a way to secure the border without a fence. Use technology like Unmanned aerial vehicles and remote sensors. Back it up with a larger Border Patrol. Increase the legal immigration quotas and create a guest-worker program so the coyotes no longer have a market. Fix the present system so that it is no longer a joke among its own bureaucrats, or a system that has gone wrong. Make it something that will provide clear standards for entry into the US for students, guest workers, those seeking asylum, and those seeking to come here on a permanent basis. Provide clear standards for citizenship (which would include mastering the English language and having a high-school level understanding of American history and civics, and require allegiance to this country).

It might not please the hard-liners on either side of this issue, but it will solve the problem. Isn't that what everybody wants?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Ever hear of mitigating circumstances?

It seems that Captain's Quarters is taking umbrage at a British court decision involving some people who took desperate measures to flee the Taliban regime. Would these people send a woman back to the People's Republic of China, where she would face that country's brutal forced abortion practices, just because she wants to have a second child?

This is one of the reasons that I take offense when supporting the McCain-Kennedy plea-bargain legislation is derided as amnesty or undermining the rule of law. It seems that unless the letter of the law is strictly followed, then somehow, the rule of law has been compromised. There is no allowance for mitigating circumstances, the doctrine of competing harms, or even the notion that the law has gone wrong. "The law is the law" is all the justification they require.

I don't buy that. For instance, how does one define an "unreasonable" search, which is forbidden by the 4th Amendment? It's a judgement call. What was unreasonable on 9/10/01 became very reasonable on 9/12/01 based on new facts and information - and a new way of looking at the facts that were already present.

That is why we have lawyers, juries, and judges - all of whom are human beings. If things were as simple as Captain's Quarters pretends they are, then we'd just need computers to make those calls.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Good news...

It looks as if Congress will declare the Iowa and Wisconsin as potential mobilization assets.

This is not perfect (modernization and reactivation as proposed by the United States Naval Fire Support Association would be better), but it will do.

Irresponsible Conservatives

It seems that some people are trying to prove that the MoveOn/DailyKos Democrats are not the only ones who can display a sense of irresponsibility.

To wit, two major conservatives, blogger La Shawn Barber and columnist Peggy Noonan, are displaying examples of gross irresponsibility.

In the case of La Shawn Barber, her suggestion that President Bush be subjected to impeachment proceedings simply because he does not agree with her on immigration is beyond my ability to comprehend. Particularly when there is a question as to whether or not the law has gone wrong. Thankfully, Bush's impeachment over this issue is highly unlikely.

Peggy Noonan, on the other hand, should know better. A defeat for the GOP in 2006 means Speaker Pelosi. She has vowed investigations into the energy task force, the liberation of Iraq, and the NSA's efforts to find terrorists. If you like the leaks in the press now, you will just love what emerges from the kangaroo investigations that will come from the Democrats. The Dean-Pelosi Democrats - as well as their MoveOn/DailyKos netroots - have already reached their verdict on these subjects. All they need is the opportunity to impeach President Bush and Vice-President Cheney.

I think AJ-Strata is correct with his prediction that an American version of Kadima will arise, but it will be in 2008, not 2006. A 1992-type dynamic is regrettably possible, but unlike the aftermath of 1992, the 2006 "dissenters" (more accurately described as deserters) will not be forgiven for putting their pet issues over the war on terror.

This time, the desertion is coming in the middle of a war for this country's survival, and as such, there is not going to be as much forgiveness from the Republicans - particularly if they want to retain their national security credentials. Instead, the Republicans will capitalize on the disgust that the Democrats will generate in the center with their kangaroo investigations and efforts to undermine the war on terror. A combination of the Democratic incompetence and the visible defection of hardliners will allow the GOP to pick up not just centrist votes, but to also increase their efforts to reach out to black and Hispanic voters. Conservatives will become the junior partners in this American Kadima, and deservedly so.

Given the Democratic incompetence, the Republicans need to stay in power to ensure the safety of our country. Pelosi's comments on their agenda, and Howard Dean's comments indicate they are completely off their rocker. I don't care if Bush has to give a full-on amnesty (never mind the fact that McCain-Kennedy is not an amnesty, but more akin to a plea-bargain requiring fines and restitution) to illegal immigrants. I don't care of there are earmarks from DC to Anchorage to Honolulu and back. If it takes George W. Bush appearing on Howard Stern's show and getting lap dances from strippers for an hour, I'll chip in some money for Marine One's gas, and tell him to get that chopper on the way to New York City.

If conservatives cannot bring themselves to sacrifice purity on their pet issues to ensure this country's victory in the war on terror, then they no longer deserve public support or to hold any level of political power. The survival of this country trumps the conservative agenda in my book.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A cheap shot...

Mary Cheney is going to take a lot of fire from all sides. In a very real sense, she already has - particularly the way John Kerry and John Edwards dragged her into the 2004 race when she was trying to keep a low profile. But she's taken a cheap shot by claiming that those who support the marriage amendment are an effort to "write discrimination into the Constitution" in the Washington Post profile in today's Style section.

I'm sorry, but I am not voting to "write discrimination into the Constitution". I'm trying to have some sort of say on this issue, after an activist court in Massachusetts first short-circuited, and how some in Massachusetts are trying to prevent an effort to give the people a say in this controversial matter.

Why I'm not so worried about the PRC...

The Australian has an excellent article showing one of the reasons why the PRC is really not a threat. I knew the Chicoms had money problems - and in fact, wrote about it in one of the first pieces I did for Strategypage, way back in 2003.

China's problem, now estimated to be in the range of $911 billion (with prior estimates showing that anythere from 62-75% of that figure has already gone to previous bailouts), is going to really limit their options.

The proper response...

Condi Rice has said that the letter from Mahmoud Ahadinejad is not helping to resolve the situation.

I can think of a better response to Mr. Ahmadinejad: Yob tvoyu maht.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A good article by Fred Barnes...

Fred Barnes is someone who gets it. His latest article in the Weekly Standard is a good read for all conservatives and Republicans. In particular, it makes some excellent points about Reagan while he was in the White House.

I've read Reagan's memoirs. One of the things that he had - as do I - was a strong distaste for nuclear weapons. These things are the ultimate in blunt instruments - and even the smallest suitcase nukes will create a lot of collateral damage. But this is not about discussing this. It is to point out that even Reagan had his heresies. Two big quotes from Barnes are in order.

The first one:

"The president works at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, not 214 Massachusetts Avenue N.E.," a Bush administration official says. The Massachusetts Avenue location is the site of the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank.
This is a reminder that is all too often needed for conservatives. What might fly in a think tank doesn't fly when one has to fight on a political battlefield. No plan survives first contact. None ever have, and it's a very safe bet that none ever will.

The second point, a two-parter:
One, conservative presidents--indeed, conservative elected officials at all levels of government--will always wander from conservative tenets. The test is whether there's a flip side, a strengthening in the fight for conservative aims. And second, even the most sainted conservatives--Reagan, for instance--harbor nonconservative thoughts. If this is an insurmountable problem for conservatives, my advice is, get over it.
The first part is not quite accurate. There is no monopoly of truth held by conservatives. I happen to agree with them more often than the left, but they are not the end-all and be-all of truth. But the second part is dead on target - and his advice is something that some people need to take in mind.

Certain people on the right - and I will name, Polipundit and Michelle Malkin in particular - have gone close to a conservative variation of Bush Derangement Syndrome - this derangement is particularly visible over immigration. But for what? Since 2000, Bush has been quite clear about where he stood on immigration. There has been no lies about where he has stood (contrary to one rant by Polipundit, which sounds more like an argument from DailyKos than reasonable debate). To a lesser extent, while Ed Morrissey seems to have some difficulty getting over it, as Barnes suggests, he does raise a valid point.

The current Democrats are not worthy candidates. Some want a censure resolution or impeachement proceedings over programs like the NSA's effort to listen in on terrorist communications. I can also easily imagine the Democrats cutting off funds for this as well. We can expect that they will also pull the rug out from under the democracy in Iraq in the process - tantamount to the same actions toward South Vietnam in the wake of Watergate. We can expect them to return to the failed process of treating al-Qaeda as a law-enforcement problem and giving state sponsors of terrorism like Iran a pass (and selling Israel down the river as well).

In this case, the Republicans need to stay in power - and they have to do so even to the point of what some might label "pandering" or with the pork barrel. It is because the Democrats have proven, both during the Clinton administration and by their conduct to date, that they are dangerously incompetent in the area of national security. And if conservatives can't get over disagreements on immigation or spending, then they are placing the country at risk on issues that can only be described as small potatoes when compared to national survival.

I'm probably going to have to swallow a very big disagreement with George Allen on immigration in order to keep out a Democrat who is likely to be very soft in the war on terror. It is very doubtful that I will support him for President in the primaries, largely due to Mitt Romney's emergence as a solutions-oriented governor. But Senator Allen is better than Senator Webb (Webb in particular, since he was opposed to taking out the terrorist-sponsoring regime in Iraq) or Senator Miller.

Will conservatives see that a Republican is better than the current crop of Democrats?