Thursday, August 31, 2006


Those of you who've been reading this blog may have read my post about Ann Coulter a couple months back.

Oops, she did it again.

Yeah, joking about assassinating Lincoln Chafee is a real thigh-slapper. Then again, she's also joked about assassinating a Supreme Court Justice and soldiers fragging a duly elected member of Congress.

Ann's schtick seems to involve being blonde and outrageous. Ann, here's some free advice: if you're going to be blonde and outrageous, you need to buy yourself a bigger rack. And while you're at it, take two cheeseburgers and call me in the morning, OK? I've seen more meat on buffalo wings! Jeez!

Yes, Ann, I'm telling you to upgrade the boobs, upgrade the brain, or just shut the fuck up, I don't give an airborne fornication at a rolling doughnut which one you do, just pick one and do it.

I am sorely disappointed with the editorial staff at for publishing this one, especially since I am a Hugh Hewitt fan.

I mean, fercryinoutloud, do we have to raise the Homeland Security warning condition from Bert to Ernie, or even--God forbid--Elmo, every time this bimbo publishes a new column? What's next? Is she going to start calling her columns fatwas?

From Rummy's own mouth...

I like Don Rumsfeld. He won me over on 9/11 when his first reaction was to head to the scene and start assisting the people injured by the terrorist attack that day. This week, he gave two speeches and attended a town hall event.

Transcript of his speech at VFW.

Transcript of his speech at the Town Hall meeting.

Transcript of his American Legion speech.

The UN sides with Hezbollah... again.

Israeli use of cluster bombs is seen as a Very Bad Thing. The UN has yet to say anything about Hezbollah firing thousands of rockets indiscriminately into northern Israel.

Why do we waste our time and money with that useless organization?

The story of the 2006 Brewers...

Good pitching, no hitting, and that means losing on a wild play.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Norwood: Tell me what I want to hear OR ELSE...

This comes via Pondering American. It seems that Congressman Charlie Norwood threatened a Congressional Research Service employee because she provided him with accurate testimony that he did not want to hear.

"The studies are all over the place," she said. "There are not studies that have shown rampant abuse."

Norwood told Siskin he was "disappointed" in her testimony, and that he planned to complain to her superiors.

Aside from information he didn't like, Norwood said he didn't hear any new revelations during the two days of hearings in North Georgia.

The CRS has the mission to tell Congress what is going on. In other words, to tell them how it is, not to shade reports to tell Senators and Congressmen what they want to hear. This is outrageous.

We have seen Tom Tancredo spout big lies about President Bush and others wanting what he labels "amnesty" - and now, inconvenient facts are to be ignored and lead to threats to someone who just did her job by Congressman Charlie Norwood. Is he going to be given a pass for this outrageous demand for "fake but accurate" testimony because he is allied with Tom Tancredo and the other hard-liners?

I thought truth mattered to conservatives. Congressman Norwood seems to think otherwise.

On Lebanon and handwringing.

There has been a lot of handwringing over the fighting in Lebanon. Over at Strategypage, I explain why the handwringing and second-guessing from bloggers like Kosher Hedgehog and Powerline, among others, is way off base.

A brief excerpt from my piece there:

Hizbollah, Syria, and Iran have been hurt, too. The damage to them is not as apparent due to much tighter controls on the media in their countries than there are in the west, but damage has occurred.

Through the Looking Glass...

During the Cold War, Defense Secretaries McNamara and Laird made public statements about the US nuclear posture that went into considerable detail--number of weapons deployed, where they were based, and so on. These statements were made to support two ends. The first end was to support the logic of nuclear deterrence; in order for deterrence to work, some public discussion of deployed forces is necessary, so that the deterree understands the potential consequences of getting on the deterrer's bad side. (A tasteless paraphrase of Kennedy's inaugural speech sums it up: "Ask not what the United States can do for you, but instead ask what the United States can do to you.")

The second goal--and the more important one--was to allow the public to be informed of how their taxes were being spent. We've always had a difficult balance between legitimate secrecy (things like details of military plans, intelligence collection methods, or specific vulnerabilities of specific weapon systems, that can and should be kept secret) and the public's legitimate right to know about their country's policies (I have seen examples of using security classification as a weapon in interdepartmental political battles; I suppose that security classification can be misused for external political reasons as well).

This time, however, the security classification weenies have gone too far.

One of the best sources for historical information on the Cold War is the National Security Archive at George Washington University, and they found that material based on public testimony had been redacted from documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Don't believe me? Read it and weep, folks.

I hold a security clearance. Because I do, I can no longer comment on certain historical aspects of the Cold War--such as how many intercontinental ballistic missiles or submarine-launched ballistic missiles we had deployed. Never mind that I have books, printed on real paper, that have that information from unclassified testimony to Congress; it's now officially classified.

I'm wondering how long it will be before my 1987 edition of Soviet Military Power gets taken away from me and stamped "SECRET NOFORN."

Orwell once wrote that freedom was the right to say "Two plus two equals four," without the government saying that it was actually equal to five.

He had it wrong. Freedom is the right to say "Two plus two equals four," and not have a classification stamp slapped over the answer.

The United Press International piece on this has a quote that is astonishing:

However, Bryan Wilkes, a spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration, defended the reclassification.

"There's no question that current classified nuclear weapons data was out there that we had to take back," Wilkes said. "And in today's environment, where there is a great deal of concern about rogue nations or terrorist groups getting access to nuclear weapons, this makes a lot of sense." (Emphasis added by your humble scribe)

Yes, we have to classify numbers of weapons deployed during the 1960s and 1970s--weapons that are, for the most part, long retired and scrapped--to keep some goat-fornicating terrorist from getting nukes.

If there are any villages who are missing their idiots, they should check over at the NNSA.

Rummy opens fire...

Boy, did Rummy open fire. Target: The appeasers who want to cut and run from Iraq. Rummy's got it right.

Money quotes:

"I recount this history because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism," he said.

"Can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?" he asked.

"Can we truly afford to return to the destructive view that America -- not the enemy -- is the real source of the world's troubles?"

Can we get some answers? Secretary Webb, are you willing to answer the questions? Congresswoman Pelosi? Mr. Buchanan? Congressman Murtha?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Warren Jeffs captured

Warren Jeffs has been arrested near Las Vegas. Here's a good summary of what he allegedly did.

If he is convicted, I wish I could be the one to escort Mr. Jeffs to his cell. Hopefully, his cellmate would sit up, pop a couple of Altoids (or Tic-Tacs), bat his eyelashes at Mr. Jeffs, and say, "My name is Spike, honey."

On Pence, Cannon, Bush, immigration, and reality...

Just One Minute discusses a New York Times article on Mike Pence.

While this is unrelated to what he was discussing, I think it is instructive to note the reaction of the self-appointed zampolits that have labeled Pence's plan amnesty, much as they have with the comprehensive plan offered by Congressman Chris Cannon, and the President's proposals on immigration. I'm not quite sold on Pence's plan. It relies too much on the notion of "self-deportation", and it calls for a fence that is really no good, considering people are already digging tunnels. Still, it is preferable to any enforcement-only bill. The Cannon and Bush proposals are much better, but sadly stand little chance in the House.

But since Congressmen Pence and Cannon do not go on a strict enforcement-only basis, they are deemed to support "amnesty" - which has been re-defined by their critics for the purposes of distorting good-faith efforts to find a compromise on this issue. Neither Pence, Cannon, nor President Bush have proposed anything that allows a person to evade punishment. The punishment, though, often is not what the hard-liners like Tom Tancredo want. Thus, their problem. If they were saying, "We don't think they are being punished enough," then they would have to explain just what punishment is appropriate for a given situation (particularly when they are otherwise decent people whose only legal problem is stuff akin to a traffic ticket or non-violent misdemeanor).

Bill Clinton faced somewhat of the same problem in 1995 over Medicare spending. The Republicans wanted to prevent the bankruptcy of Medicare by reducing the rate of growth. However, saying, "I don't think the Republicans are increasing Medicare spending enough," wasn't a winning message in the face of a budget deficit and reports of a potential bankruptcy. So he claimed that the Republicans wanted "Medicare cuts" to pay for "tax cuts for the rich". It was a lie, and it worked well enough for Clinton to get a second term.

In the same way, hard-liners on immigration, by claiming the Pence, Cannon, and Bush proposals are "amnesty", are telling a lie to preserve their political fortunes. They have no desire to deal with the underlying issues, including a badly broken system (which Big Lizards Blog has covered in detail). They just want to demagogue the issue and enact even more draconian laws that will not solve the problem. Much of this comes from the paleo-conservative movement, which seems to be a hospitable place for bigots like Jared Taylor, the late (and unlamented) Sam Francis, and others. Many of them hide behind warmed-over theories of eugenics to justify their proposals. Others, like Pat Buchanan, claim that America is defined by "blood, soil, history, and heroes" - and seek a restrictive policy that rules out others, many of whom are only guilty of not being from Europe.

I reject all of those arguments. Our country was founded on certain principles - which were outlined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. The arguments of the paleo-conservatives and the methods they espouse are, at least in my opinion, in direct opposition to some of these principles. They are as un-American as the KKK, the Communist Party, and the Nazi party were.

And it's time that other Republicans who feel the same way speak out.

Can the 2006 baseball season end soon?

The Brewers have just fallen apart under the weight of a ton of injuries. I just have to wonder what might have been had Sheets, Ohka, Helling, Weeks, and Hardy been healthy all year...

But I wouldn't root for any other team.

Karr is still slime...

It seems DNA has cleared John Mark Karr of killing Jon Benet Ramsey. That said, he still has a child-porn rap to deal with.

Quite frankly, I think Mr. Karr is still worthy of death. Just take a look at the man's confession. He admits he is attracted to children - female children. He's just too dangerous to have out there free as a bird, and I really resent the thought of having to give this kind of creep three hots and a cot for the rest of his natural life.

What is it going to take for legislatures inthis country to enact the death penalty for these monsters?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Being overly harsh, aren't we?

Kosher Hedgehog slams Prime Minister Olmert hard over at Hedgehog Central. This is being overly harsh, if you ask me.

Yes, there were shortcomings - Strategypage has discussed this a bit. Yes, the tactical results were closer to a draw than a smashing victory. But battles are far more than just the tactical level.

What did Hezbollah accomplish? Not too much. They fired a few thousand rockets - and managed to become much less popular than it was. The Israeli response, while it clearly pulled its punches (particularly after the staged photos from Qana), was still good enough to inflict some severe strategic blows to Hezbollah, Syria, and Iraq. Hezbollah's staging of photos is now wide open, thanks to a combintion of bloggers and YouTube. And Syria and Iran have been caught shipping stuff to Hezbollah - giving us harder evidence about their support of terrorists than we had against Saddam Hussein at the start of the liberation of Iraq.

(As an aside, the liberation of Iraq will go down as the US primarily looking for WMD - and we have found 500 shells full of chemical weapons - but discovering, via memos, that Saddam had a relationship with al-Qaeda).

Does the fact that America and Israel have hard evidence of Syrian and Iran support for terrorism help Bashir Assad and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? I doubt it. What did Syria and Iran gain? The knowledge that even when Israel pulls it spunches, it can still badly hurt Hezbollah. Also, Hezbollah looks a bit like a loose cannon - and that sort of thing is also not good for them.

It doesn't look like they won anything to me.

On the DC housing market...

Eve Fairbanks has a very illuminating look at hunting for a place to rent in the DC housing market. Read it over - it's a very good piece, and kinda puts my writing to shame.

Sunday, August 27, 2006 interview...

Lt. Colonel Buzz Patterson is interviewed by Mark Eichenlaub at This is worth listening to, particularly the discussions about visits by Zawahiri and Zarqawi.

The HARMONY database could make the anti-war movement look very foolish. Stephen F. Hayes of the Weekly Standard deserves a lot of credit for making this happen, and for telling us of HARMONY in the first place.

Austin Bay on Israel-Hezbollah...

See his blog.

In general, I concur with him and Amir Taheri. Israel scored a huge strategic victory, despite the less-than-complete tactical victory, and despite the mistakes.

I wrote about the winners and losers of the Israel-Hezbollah war earlier this month at Strategypage. Particualry this part comes to mind:
Iran's also been caught supplying weapons (including anti-ship missiles) to Hizbollah. This will make the United States even touchier about Iran's nuclear weapons program than it already is. The last time the United States got very touchy about a dictator pursuing weapons of mass destruction who was also known to assist terrorists was in 2003.
Why do I compare what we have seen now to the concerns we had in 2003? My piece last month on what the implications of Hezbollah's tactically-successful C-802 attack might be is worth a look.
Iran's transfer of C-802 missiles (along with the training to use them) is not the only such threat that has been worried about. One of the reasons that the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq was the possibility of the transference of chemical or biological weapons. The amount of these weapons needed to cause mass casualties are small – and artillery shells full of sarin nerve gas or mustard gas are much smaller than a C-802. Vials of anthrax, ricin, or smallpox are even smaller. The thought of weapons of mass destruction possibly getting into the hands of terrorists who are willing to die to complete their mission warranted removal of Saddam Hussein's regime, which had not shown the ability to transfer weaponry to terrorists (although Saddam Hussein was willing to cut $25,000 checks to the families of murder-suicide bombers).
In 2003, we took down Saddam Hussein's regime - and we had proof of lesser support for terrorists (remember those checks to the families of murder-suicide bombers?), while since the war, recovered memos have indicated a relationship with al-Qaeda.

Israel fought a limited war, and while Hezbollah has the claim of fighting the IDF to a draw, it needs to be noted that the IDF pulled its punches. Even then, the strategic victory is Israel's, because hard evidence of Syrian and Iranian support support for Hezbollah has been exposed and in an "open" manner (to wit, the IDF captured it on the battlefield).

And in return for all of that, Hezbollah got a brief "public-relations victory". That's not a good trade, although I have the feeling Nasrallah won't realize it until it is too late for him. I think a line from Vic Deakins (the villain of the movie Broken Arrow that was played so well by John Travolta) seems appropriate here... if only I could decide which one.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Time to re-think asylum policy with regards to China?

Look how China has treated a man who exposed that country's policy of forced abotions and forced sterilization. The man was blind, and blew the whistle on some very disgusting policy.

The fact that Chen Guangcheng is going to be in prison for four years and three months rather than commended speaks volumes about the nature of the People's Republic of China. Maybe we need to give all illegal immigrants from that country who have not commited any crimes that are outside the realm of paperwork violations asylum automatically, as we give to Cubans who make it to dry land in the US.

Planet no more...

Pluto gets the boot at the hands of the IAU. So now, instead of being the only planet discovered by an American, it is now merely the first identified dwarf planet.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sterned again...

Twice in two days, I find myself linking to Lowdown.

This time, it's about CNN getting Sterned again. That would have to be perhaps the only reason to watch that network. Between Ted Turner's comments on one hand, and the rantings of Lou Dobbs on the other, it has been unwatchable (yes, I watch Fox News when I'm watching cable news).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What is the real issue?

It seems the American Family Association of Michigan is on a vendetta against Mitt Romney - constantly hammering him over abortion, gays, and other issues near and dear to the hearts of traditional conservatives. It is even claiming his recent conversion should not be believed (although it ignores the track record of other converts like Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush).

Yet, Rudy Giuliani, arguably running stronger, and far more liberal, doesn't generate any criticism at all.

I have to wonder what the real issue is. It clearly does not seem to be Mitt Romney's recent conversion, his track record as Governor of Massachusetts, or principled opposition to politicians with less-than-perfect records on the issue (as defined by the AFA). Could it be that the real problem the AFA of Michigan has with Governor Romney is how he has exercised his First Amendment rights regarding freedom of religion?

Pondering American hammers Tancredo...

Take a good look at his post on Tancredo. It needs to be said, once again, that Tom Tancredo does not speak for all conservatives or Republicans (either that, or people like Sam Brownback and Chris Cannon, both of whom are nowhere near squishes are not real conservatives/Republicans).

As for his anti-Tancredo blog: Sign me up.

Today's Lowdown:

Lloyd Grove's gossip column had an interesting article today. Read the article.

My only comment: Having seen the picture, I'm perfectly willing to volunteer.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Why Steele has a chance...

Russell Simmons, one of the big names in hip-hop, is hosting a fundraiser for the Republican candidate for the Senate seat in Maryland, Michael Steele. Democrats usually win in Maryland by dominating the black vote - often getting over 90%. If Steele can get 20% of the black vote, he's the next U.S. Senator.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Another reason why it's not so simple...

Via the Wild Turkeys forum:
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review discusses why we are unable to deport 40,000 illegal immigrants from the People's Republic of China. You see, the ChiComs insist we hand over all of the dissidents who we have granted political asylum.

We could deport 40,000 illegal immigrants, but to do so, we have to break a promise of protection we gave to people fleeing persecution.

So, do we let these 40,000 people stay, or do we go back on a promise? Do the hard-liners have an answer to that question?

A great article at TCSDaily...

Jerry Bowyer does a great article at on immigration.

Here is a long money quote:
Immigration hard-liners seem to be taking the position that, although Congress can make immigration laws more draconian, they cannot legitimately make them less draconian without somehow threatening the rule of law. They don't seem to take this tack on other issues however. For example, I was once called in to turn around a financially troubled business entity. The company was mired in debt, particularly back taxes. Upon taking the helm, I contacted the IRS and worked out a deal in which they would lift liens on assets so that I could sell them to pay the taxes. The penalties were waived. The agent explained to me that Congress had wanted to create a "kinder and gentler" IRS, and gave it the flexibility to waive penalties in its negotiations with taxpayers who have fallen hopelessly behind.

Republican politicians have, often, sponsored initiatives which instruct bureaucracies to take a lighter touch with factories threatened by environmental regulations, for instance. One technique is to create a shield which would protect "brownfield" development sites from litigation pertaining to previous violations of pollution laws in exchange for redeveloping the parcel. Shields have been created for airline companies, as well as companies threatened by asbestos lawyers.

The hard right never denounces any of this as "amnesty." As if this is always and everywhere a bad word. It isn't. Amnesty is a long-standing and perfectly legitimate tactic. It is used when very large numbers of people violate a law which is either unenforceable or in cases in which enforcing the law would create more harm than good.
Do these conditions apply to the present immigration debate? Let's see, the latest estimate we have received is that there are 10.5 to 11 million illegal immigrants. The total prison population is 2,226,787, at least according to the latest info I was able to locate. In other words, we could devote every single prison cell at the federal, state, and local level to housing illegal immigrants - and we'd still have over 8 million on the loose. That's starting to get into "unenforcable" territory there.

The next question is whether enforcing the law will do more harm than good. We already have reports of crops rotting in the fields. We also have potential black eyes like the standoff in Chicago - over a cleaning lady. We have terrorists, gang members, drug smugglers, and murders on the loose - most of them American citizens. Are we to cut back on our efforts to take down the truly dangerous in favor of arresting and deporting all of the fruit-pickers and cleaning ladies who are doing an honest day's work for an honest day's pay?

Both conditions have been met for an amnesty, but is that what Bush even has on the table?

Let's look at what he has to say for himself, not what people like Pat Buchanan, Tom Tancredo, and Michelle Malkin say he is saying.:
I thought the Senate had an interesting approach by saying that if you've been here for five years or less, you're treated one way, and five years or more, you're treated another. It's just an interesting concept that people need to think through about what to do with people that have been here for quite a period of time.

Now, my attitude is this: I think that people ought to be, obviously, here to work on a temporary basis. The definition of temporary will be decided in the halls of Congress.

Secondly, I believe that a person should never be granted automatic citizenship. And let me tell you why I believe that, that if you've been here -- broken the law and have been here working, that it doesn't seem fair to me to say you're automatically a citizen when somebody who has been here legally working is standing in line trying to become a citizen, as well. In other words, there's the line for people. (Applause.)

But what I do think makes sense is that a person ought to be allowed to get in line. In other words, pay a penalty for being here illegally, commit him or herself to learn English, which is part of the American system -- (applause) -- and get in the back of the line. In other words, there is a -- there is a line of people waiting to become legal through the green card process. And it's by nationality. And if you're a citizen here who has been here illegally, you pay a penalty, you learn English, and you get in line, but at the back -- not the front.

Doesn't sound like a free pass to me. Sounds like there is a penalty for breaking the law. It is just not the penalty the hard-liners want. It might be allowing ICE and the Border Patrol to waive the harshest penalties, but it is not an amnesty. Anyone who is calling it an amnesty is being about as honest as Citizens Against Government Waste was when they called the C-130J pork. Bill Clinton's "honesty" when he claimed Republicans wanted to cut Medicare to pay for tax cuts also comes to mind.

So, I don't buy the arguments of the hard-liners. Americans shouldn't, either.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Coming Soon: The Right's "Earth in the Balance"

In the early 1990s, Al Gore released a book that became one of the biggest pieces of scare-mongering in history. It was Earth in the Balance, which later became the film An Inconvenient Truth. A dire threat to the world was presented, with the answer also given: The Kyoto Accord. It was to be accepted immediately, with no questions asked.

In the intervening 14 years, anyone who has dared suggest that things were not so bad or that the data was insufficient, as Bjorn Lomborg did with The Skeptical Environmentalist, was not only disagreed with, there were efforts to force their arguments off the market and to destroy the man's reputation. Michael Crichton outlined this very well in the appendix to his book, State of Fear, and came under attack for his novel. A novel!

Indeed, anyone who dares suggest that things are overblown gets treated as if they are defending Public Enemy Number One - or worse, that their mere expression of skepticism is somehow aiding and abbetting the destruction of the world.

Well, the Right is about to come up with its equivalent in Pat Buchanan's State of Emergency. Once again a dire threat is presented - this time, to America. This "threat" is said to be the immigration of people from non-European countries. A solution to this dire threat is presented: Mass deportations (as was the case during the Eisenhower Administration), a $10 billion wall, and a moratorium on legal immigration.

Those who question this narrative get treated horribly. Indeed, Buchanan has proceeded to claim that those in the GOP who do not accept his arguments are all about money. Others have claimed that those GOP who support a comprehensive system (like Rudy Giuliani, Chris Cannon, or President Bush) are selling out the country to a reconquista, wholly bought and paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, or not serious about the rule of law.

I reject that notion. And while Tony Blankley and other conservatives are going to lap Buchanan's crap up, I won't be. At least, no more than I lapped up Al Gore's nonsense. But that's gonna leave me much like Lomborg, I suppose. But I have some decent company in this one.

Friday, August 18, 2006

CAGW misleads on the C-130J

Citizens Against Government Waste has mislead the American people on the C-130J. I explain how at Strategypage.

To see a discussion of the fact that Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld reversed course and requested the C-130J not be cancelled, look at this May, 2005 Armed Forces Press Service article. To see the request for the FY2007 defense budget, click here (a Google cache of a CRS report archived at To see a discussion of the FY 2007 defense supplemental, go to this article at

CAGW's misleading assertions about the C-130J are bad enough. Denying the Air Force a badly needed transport plane is even worse.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Judge sides with terrorists...

The above headline really says it all. A federal judge has decided that the National Security Agency must ask one of her colleagues for permission to listen in on terrorists having conversations if one of them in the United States.

Why is it that scumbags like terrorists and drug lords seem to attract the fawning attention of groups like the ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International?

A manhunt ends...

Jon Benet Ramsey's killer has been caught.

He has reportedly confessed. If it holds up, and if he is convicted, I suggest Colorado give the GRU a call and ask about borrowing a blast furnace. If he is the culprit, then this guy deserves death.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The fruits of "enforcement-only"

It looks like a situation in Chicago has arisen. Sounds like in one of the many sweeps, immigration officials have arrested a cleaning lady who was working at O'Hare International Airport. Her seven-year-old son is an American citizen. Now, she's taken sanctuary in a church.

So, we now face the specter of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents going into a church to make an arrest. Does anyone on the right remember the Elian Gonzalez raid? Do we want to see the same sort of thing done across the country, not just once, but hundreds or thousands of times? Of course, this is all being done in the name of "rule of law" - which was the same soundbite Janet Reno used to justify the early-morning SWAT-team raid that condemned Elian to life in Fidel Castro's Cuba six years ago. That was supposed to be the rationalization that we use to make the sick feeling we felt any decent person should have felt about the Elian Gonzalez raid. And it is what is now used to make us feel better about this, too.

Don't get me wrong, I'm for a secure border, but this is going too far. We have al-Qaeda terrorists and MS-13 gang members who seek to create havoc in our streets on the loose. There are drug smugglers and criminals in the US we need to chase that have done far, far worse than this lady - and some are American citizens.

Take a good look at the situation in Chicago. That is what the Tom Tancredo/James Sensenbrenner/Michelle Malkin/Sean Hannity/Laura Ingraham/National Review/Human Events hard-line, enforcement-only approach will create. Is sending SWAT teams or ICE agents into churches to root out cleaning ladies the sort of thing America should do? What sort of precedent are we setting if ICE goes in?

Take a look, America. This is the "principled" enforcement-only solution in all of its purported glory. Take a good, long, look at the fruits of the vision of the hard-liners.

Go ahead, Dems. Make Karl's Day.

It seems some Democrats in the Senate want to strip Joe Lieberman of his seniority if he wins the general election over Ned Lamont.

From The Hill:
“At this point Lieberman cannot expect to just keep his seniority,” said the aide. “He can’t run against a Democrat and expect to waltz back to the caucus with the same seniority as before. It would give the view that the Senate is a country club rather than representative of a political party and political movement.”

Go ahead Dems. Talk about how you will strip Lieberman of his seniority. Make Karl Rove's day.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

More on life vs. liberty...

Yesterday, Pink Flamingo and I discussed Romney's comments during a speech. It was picked up on by Article 6 Blog (thanks for the plug!).

I am not trying to minimize liberty. Nor do I think dying for liberty is stupid. However, I am reminded a little of the scene at the start of the TV movie Legend of the Rangers, part of the Babylon 5 saga (and a great movie, by the way). A Ranger vessel is badly hit - and the main hero of that TV movie, David Martel, says, "We live for the One, we die for the One, but we don't die stupidly."
(OK, I added the italics for emphasis)

This is something a lot of conservatives need to learn. All too often, they seek a fight - and they don't stop to think whether or not a fight is a good idea. When you can get a lot of the goals (say 70%) with little effort, why not take that 70%, and save the political capital for when it is needed. The other 30% can always come later.

Instead, there are those who will insist upon going to all of it - and anyone who doesn't quite leap is somehow less principled or a RINO. Most of that heat comes from talk show hosts and bloggers far removed from the actual scene of the debate itself, and who often do not have the complete picture.

This is the danger of the alternative media. It can turn into an echo chamber that can stampede officials. We saw just that happen with the treatment of the UAE during the DPW controversy. We clearly see the dangers of the DailyKos and other "netroots" on the left. But on the right, we sometimes pretend it can't happen here... even when what happened to Harriet Miers and the UAE prove otherwise.

Sometimes, you can't win - the best you can do is to limit the damage. Other times, you may have to give the other side something they want go get what you want. Sometimes, you may have to give up something in one area to make gains elsewhere. That is how our system of government works.


Two Fox News reporters have been kidnapped. Prayers for their safe return.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Charge for the side, give away the foie gras...

The Center for Consumer Freedom discusses the foie gras ban in Chicago, and the way it will be circumvented. I have to admit, this is a brilliant move by the chefs, who will make a ton of money thanks to the ban. You'd think Chicago would have more pressing concerns...

I'm a Bears fan, but between this nonsense, and other things Chicago has done, it's going to be very easy to put off a visit to the Windy City.

Have to respectfully disagree with Pink Flamingo...

Pink Flamingo goes after Mitt Romney, once for a good reason (wrongly attributing "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" to the Constitution), but once for a bad reason (treating life as more important than liberty).

Do not get me wrong, freedom and liberty are important. But, at the same time, I need to point out one thing: One cannot use liberty if one is dead. To paraphrase what one friend told me when explaining his position on another issue, recovery of liberty is very difficult, but it can be done; recovery from death is impossible.

Raul and Fidel Castro, drug lords?

Check out ABC's report on the rumored 1993 near-indictment that was cut off by the Clinton Administration.

I've seen similar reports on this, and known about them for a while. It seems that when it came down to cocaine smuggling, the CIA took the fall for the actions of Fidel and Raul.

Trying to fight something with nothing but complaints...

Eve Fairbanks has written a superb commentary in the Washington Examiner about the Democratic purge.

Defeating Lieberman is going to hurt the Democrats through at least 2008. Their presidential nominee is going to do nothing to displase Michael Moore, the DailyKos, or other parts of the Democratic base, which brooks no disagreement when it comes to the war on terror.

The three top contenders for the Republican nomination are Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, all of whom have had their fights with the base. Giuliani is quite liberal on social issues. McCain's had several fights with the Republican base over immigration and campaign-finance reform. Romney's got two strikes against him: He's a recent convert to most social conservative issues, and the "Mormon question" may very well be raised against him. None will be mistaken for sock puppets of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, or Laura Ingraham.

It looks like the Republicans will be in better shape going into the 2008 general election.

In a hostile media environment, jiujitsu is something you MUST know...

Kosher Hedgehog has been very critical of Olmert's decision to accept the cease-fire.

While I'm not happy with giving Hezbollah any breather, I think it was necessary to at least appear conciliatory in the wake of Qana. Yes, it's out there that Hezbollah was staging photos and that news agencies were also being fooled by Photoshopped pictures, but the original pictures had their effect.

We now have two UN resolutions calling for Hezbollah to disarm. Furthermore, the latest UN resolution allows Israel to defend itself. As I point out at Strategypage, only two countries need to decide what constitutes "defensive action": the USA (which has a Security Council veto) and Israel.

The resolution is not perfect, but it's not the disaster some portray it as. Instead, Israel's recognized a hostile media - and is supplementing the hard blows of the IDF with political and media jiujitsu to defeat Hezbollah.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Why SWIFT was needed...

AJ-Strata reports on one of the reasons for the timing of the arrests.

In other words, we knew that they were ready to rehearse their plan through wire transfers. The New York Times endangered this vital intelligence asset - and for what? Circulation numbers? The left's long-running animosity towards the intelligence community (unless it was politically convenient - as was the case with Valerie Plame)? Or just to hamstring the Bush Administration?

Thankfully, this attack was stopped because some of the terrorists have not been reading the New York Times. But are there terror cells that have read that paper, and are, as a result, using other methods of moving money?

A great band to check out

Earlier this week, I got both CDs from a band called Dos Gringos.

This band is awesome!!!

The sogns are hilarious, if a little rough around the edges. But head on over to - and get two of the best CDs you'll ever own.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A great post...

From DJ Drummond, called The Word and The Gunny.

Something worth saying here...

From a post I made at the History, Politics, and Current Affairs board at EZBOARD:
The Republicans have their own splits to deal with - albeit, the center there seems to have held. That test was when Chris Cannon, a Republican much like Lieberman (reliably with the party on all but one issue, albeit it is a big issue among a portion of the base), survived a primary on that issue by a pretty decent margin (56-44). At least for now, Republican primary voters do not seem interested in purges over a single issue.

The Republicans had an incumbent lose by a 53-47 margin in Michigan, albeit the situation there was far different (the previous year, there was a 7-way primary for an open seat, which he won with 28% - as the only moderate candidate) - and there are moderates who are upset about it.

The Republicans have a chance here, but a lot will depend on how they deal with their internal splits. There is a portion of the GOP that is just as adamant and unyielding on their issue(s) as the DailyKos/MoveOn wing of the Democrats. I've even been re-thinking my association with conservatism over some of this. Had Cannon lost his primary, I would have divorced the GOP over it, as Brendan Loy has divorced the Democrats over Lieberman - it would have been the last straw for me after the neo-Borking of Harriet Miers and the treatment of the UAE at the hands of House Republicans (who were spurred on by irresponsible pundits and talk-show hosts).

If the Republicans are smart enough to nominate Giuliani, McCain, or Romney, all of whom have been on the receiving end of flak from "the base", yet all of whom are very strong leaders, they can clean house in 2008 by drawing a portion of the "Lieberman Democrats" who have been told by the Democratic primary voters they are not really wanted unless they know their place.

DJ Drummond has also discussed this a little:
But the Right has gone wrong, as well. Lately, the extremists in the Conservative Media, especially the Blogosphere, have produced a series of litmus tests for political reliability, a la the old Political Officers of the KGB – now there’s a model for you! – so that only the people saying the right things, and in the approved way, are deemed worthy of support. So it is that many who can talk the talk but never show any results, are lionized as some kind of ‘Champion of the Right’, even when their tactics and brittle ideology shuts down any chance for constructive dialog. And so it is, that many who do serious work, whose hearts and minds are devoted not to their ego but to the work they promised their constituents, are attacked and demeaned, even by their self-proclaimed “base”, for the sin of not playing puppet.

DJ's hit on something that is forming on the right. There is some pushback coming, and it is being aimed at the alternative media that largely rose up in reaction to the left-of-center bias in the mainstream. Face it, in a real sense, talk radio and the conservative blogosphere have become a bit of an echo chamber. They also can behave badly, as was the case with the neo-Borking of Harriet Miers, the treatment of the UAE during the DPW controversy, and the immigration issue.

In all three issues, many a self-appointed zampolit on the right has often targeted those who disagree. One blogger has gone so far as to persistently label those who disagree with him on immigration as traitors or agents of Mexico. Similarly, many of those who objected to the treatment the UAE or Harriet Miers received were often viewed as unprincipled or worse.

I am nobody's puppet. I'm not going to let a Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, or even Rush Limbaugh speak for me. Nor do I think that having elected officials who are their sock puppets would be good for the country. Give me leaders in political office, please.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Someone's in for an unpleasant time...

It seems a retired Russian colonel has been convicted of espionage. Apparently, he was able to reveal the identities of dozens of Russian agents. This would make him an officer in the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service (equivalent to the Defense Intelligence Agency).

His life is going to be very unpleasant - especially if the GRU leadership comes from the old school.

A purge succeeds...

The events of the last seven weeks have shown a significant contrast between the Democrats and the Republicans. The Republicans faced a very similar situation to this back in June, when Tom Tancredo tried to purge Chris Cannon from the GOP for favoring a comprehensive immigration bill that would have picked up significant support across party lines. That purge failed, and Cannon won.

The Democratic primary was a similar situation. The MoveOn/DailyKos/DU crowd was after Lieberman because he felt that partisanship stoppd at the water's edge. For that, he was purged.

If the Republicans are smart, they'd dump the candidacy of Alan Schelsinger, and instead endrose Lieberman. Lieberman gets the big issue right - and it's time to make it clear that the GOP is not the party of cut and run.

A vendetta continues...

It seems that one person's vendetta against Eve Fairbanks over a New Republic article her editors assigned her is continuing way past a reasonable point (he's even trying to create a verb).

But the shots now extend to me, by extension, simply because I stepped up, and said that the shots taken at her were, in my opinion, unfair. Now, it seems, that because I did so, he's saving some for me:
The one guy who took a subscription, and has the same view of ethics as Fairbanks, did respond and say he was happy.
I have added the italics for emphasis.

I have written for since November, 2003. I do not have the final decision on what items get published or what doesn't. The editor does - and if the editor tells me to write something, I have two options: Write the article, or refuse - and if I do the latter, the editor has every right to tell me to seek employment elsewhere.

As an example, I'll point to a recent article I wrote on some of the newer fighters coming out of Asia. When I submitted it, I included what I figured was a humorous way to describe the Mitsubishi F-2. I wrote:
Japan's F-16 variant, though, clearly took either steroids of VGH (Viper Growth Hormone). The Mitsubishi F-2 carries 17,800 pounds of bombs on thirteen hardpoints, has a top speed of 2145 kilometers per hour, and a combat radius of 1,000 kilometers. This plane is expensive, but it carries an active electronically scanned array radar, and is capable of carrying four anti-ship missiles, four air-to-air missiles, and extra fuel tanks
Here's what appeared on the website:
Japan's F-16 variant, though, is clearly the most capable aircraft to come out of East Asia in a long time. The Mitsubishi F-2 carries nearly nine tons of bombs on thirteen hardpoints, has a top speed of 2,145 kilometers per hour, and a combat radius of 1,000 kilometers. This plane is expensive, but it carries an active electronically scanned array radar, and is capable of carrying four anti-ship missiles, four air-to-air missiles, and extra fuel tanks.
The editor was well within his rights to make the edits he made. He runs the site - I work for him. It's not about not having ethical standards. I simply know who makes these kind of calls in this sort of thing (or any matter of employment) - and anyone who works for someone else (not just in writing, but anywhere) should know this as well.

It is way past time for this vendetta to end. The person who has carried it out has tried to allude to her cell phone in a comment on my blog (which I removed). He seems to think that simply because he claims to be a "victim", his actions and behavior are somehow immune from comment. They aren't. And, quite frankly, his conduct has been very short of exemplary (in my opinion). I guess this is just one of many people who can dish out all sort of criticism, but have no ability to take it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Shut up, Tom Tancredo explains

Looking at Tom Tancredo's press release, one gets the impression that he doesn't want to debate the immigration issue - he wants to dictate terms on the immigration issue, including how it is discussed, which solutions may be considered, and he claims the right to call any solution that he doesn't like amnesty, and will trot out accusations that his opponents favor open borders (including the broad-brush tarring of Mormons and Catholics), whether or not it actually fits the accepted definition from the dictionary. Furthermore, as Pondering American has shown, his agenda does not end with illegal immgiration.

That said, it is not so much Tancredo's agenda that makes me see red. I have my disagreements with other people, like Internet Esquire (over Iraq). My partner on this blog and I first came across each other in a disagreement over reactivation of the Iowa-class battleships. But these disagreements have had a quality that has been in very short supply from the Tancredo-Malkin crowd: Respect.

I'm sorry, but when your response to a person's disagreement with you is to tell them to shut up, it means you do not have much of an argument. Why does Tancredo fear the Administration making its case for a comprehensive bill? Is it because recent events (and polling) have shown that the President's approach might be passed into law if it is explained?

Tancredo has not only revealed that he lacks class or respect for those who disagree with him and wants to be able to freely demagouge a serious issue, he's also revealed that he doesn't have the guts to have a fair debate with the President of the United States. That says a lot more about Tancredo than it does President Bush.

Lies that spread - and stick...

Take a good look at this article from Strategypage on the Hajj scandal. But there's more to this than the writer there has mentioned.

There seems to be a pattern of conduct by the media with the torture at Gitmo claims, the constant blowing of intelligence operations by the New York Times and Washington Post, the way H.R. McMaster's 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment had their achievements at Tal Afar vanish in the newsroom of Time Magazine, and the constant burying of stories that would have at least partially vindicated the Bush Administration's decision to liberate Iraq. This goes beyond a few mistakes. This is attempting to hobble our country's efforts to win a war.

Why? What could be so important to the mainstream media that it justifies aiding enemies of the United States of America?

Monday, August 07, 2006

Why there will be no "Cronkite moment"...

Take a look at Hedgehog, MacsMind, AJ-Strata, and EU Referendum.

These are some of the blogs that not only outed a doctored Reuters photo, but also have dug deep into the truth about Qana - and discovered a Hezbollah setup.

Twenty years ago, the mainstream media was the only game in town. That meant Walter Cronkite could steal a victory won on the battlefield with a few words on a TV screen. That is no longer the case.

Well done, to all concerned.

Friday, August 04, 2006

WTO to US: Can't have it both ways...

It seems the World Trade Organization has told the U.S. that we cannot have it both ways on internet gambling. This is going to be good for a lot of companies - and it's going to raise hell among the killjoys on the "control-freak" right.

Quite frankly, I really do not see the big deal about going online to place a bet. Is it really a dire threat to the future of the United States of America if I decide to place $20 on the Milwaukee Brewers or the Chicago Bears to win their next game?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Saddam's WMDs and his terrorism connections..

I have to again, respectfully disagree with Internet Esquire's comments on Iraq. On economics and in the immigration debate, he's making good arguments. But with Iraq and its connection to the war on terror, he's bought the MSM's BS hook, line, and sinker.

We've found over 500 shells loaded with chemical weapons. Not all of what we were looking for, but there is significant evidence coming from a variety of sources (from Centcom's deputy commander to a former Iraqi general to the Israelis) saying that Saddam moved the WMD to Syria. We also know Saddam was smuggling oil out of Iraq via Syria and getting weapons via the same route (those AT-14 Kornets didn't show out out of nowhere).

And don't take the notion that it was improperly stored to indicate it wouldn't cause harm, Farmers in France are still at risk from World War I mustard gas. The sarin used in the Tokyo subway attack was also not military-quality (due to being homemade and stored in jury-rigged weapons), but it could still kill and maim for life.

Why else was Johnston Atoll used as a major site for the disposal of our chemical weapons stocks? So the argument that "the chemical weapons were old" doesn't hold water. They could still kill.

Now, let's discuss the terrorism connections. Not just the memo discovered by Mitch Potter, but other memos that are available at, including an order to treat foreign Arab Fedayeen as equals to Iraqi soldiers. There is also the matter of the documents that broke in 2004 (the actual memos were published here), showing Saddam's regime was opening a relationship with various groups, including one that had an Ayman al-Zawahiri among its leadership. We also have numerous terrorists who found refuge in Iraq, which has detailed. Then there are the cases of Ahmed Hikmat Shakir and Ahmed al-Ani, individuals with connections to Iraqi intelligence who met with some of the 9/11 hijackers. There is also the question of Salman Pak, and the method of hijacking airlines taught there.

Taking down Saddam's regime was the right call. As Senator Norm Coleman has shown, the UN was compromised due to the widespread corruption in the Oil-for-Food program. Trust the UN's inspectors to do the job? Thanks, but no thanks.

The true agenda leaks out...

Pondering American has got the goods on the real agenda that at least some hard-liners on immigration have. You see, Tom Tancredo has signed on to a piece of direct mail that puts the lie to the hard-line claim that they only are upset about illegal immigration.

I'll wait and see if Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, and others decide to distance themselves from this. But somehow, I think I'm in for a long wait.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

On Qana...

Given what has been known about Hezbollah, I'm already suspicious about the claims leveled against Israel. But EU Referendum has provided evidence that raises reasonable questions about what exactly went down.

There is incoming fire from some of the media outlets whose pictures have been question - but after all, we know from CNN's experience in Iraq that no media outlet would cover things up to have access to areas controlled by those who do not value freedom of the press.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

On Mel Gibson...

I do feel somewhat compelled to comment on the recent events involving Mel Gibson. Simply put, he has no excuse - not for the DUI, nor for the alcolhol-fuelled comments he made. It certainly will make it hard for me to view the superb film We Were Soldiers in exactly the same light as I once did.

Mel Gibson clearly has to do a lot of thinking - and he ought to get help.

Annoying on the right...

Well, I'd go a little further than annoying, but this list from John Hawkins's site, which I found out thanks to DJ Drummond, is worth noting.

Can't say more than DJ did, though, nnly that a lot of the "annoying" people are reasons I feel much less comfortable with staying firmly on the right than I once did.