Thursday, November 30, 2006

Check Strategypage today...

I discussed the Jemil Hussein situation at Strategypage today.

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

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

There are two places you can get the straight story.

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

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Another consequence of obstructing immigration reform...

Crops rot in the fields.

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

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

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

Remember Kerry's Joke?

Charlie Rangel goes and says just about the same thing.

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

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Looks like the Russians got one...

The al-Qaeda commander in Chechnya is toast.

The Russians did good on that one.

Hat tip: Strata-Sphere.

More on Gates...

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

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

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

Having an off day...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tancredo removes all doubt...

His comments on Miami are worth noting.

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

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

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

Monday, November 27, 2006

Been on vacation...

Had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Normal posting resumes tomorrow.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Pelosi's first loss...

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

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

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

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

Too much movie-watching at NASA?

Given their approach to Apophis, I have to wonder.

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

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

Or do we want to get hit?

Hypocrisy, thy name is Edwards...

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

Is he the best the Dems can do in 2008?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

DJ Drummond on 2008...

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

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

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

Now this is class...

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

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

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

Powerline almost gets it...

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The punishment didn't fit the crime...

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

What the hard-liners gave us...

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

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

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

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

Thanks for nothing, hard-liners.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


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

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

Talk about horrible delivery...

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

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

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

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

Martinez for RNC...

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

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

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

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

Unless they want to be in the minority forever.

Monday, November 13, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

Round Three with Germany?

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

Let the infighting begin...

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

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

Sunday, November 12, 2006

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

From Reuters via Yahoo:

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

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

. . .

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

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

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

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

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

Not defeated yet...

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 11, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, where to from here?

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

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

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

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

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

Kiss my ass, America.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Done with the pundits...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now Pelosi's real problems begin...

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

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

Nancy's about to find out.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gates in for Rumsfeld...

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

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

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

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

Stopping the knife...

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

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

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


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

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

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

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Another Romney hire...

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

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

Channeling Kos...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 06, 2006

Saddam: Death by Hanging

Saddam Hussein sentenced to death by hanging . . .

With apologies to Dos Gringos . . .

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

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

Saddam convicted...

Sentence: Death by hanging.

Personally, I can't wait for the execution.

I hate the Dolphins...

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

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

Bush still in style?

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

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

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

Somehow, that's a stretch.

Friday, November 03, 2006

On the documents story...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bush Lied--er, Never Mind!

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

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

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

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

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

When the Mask Slips...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 02, 2006

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

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

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

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

Kerry and McCaskill...

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

I'm with AJ-Strata.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Beating the Heat...

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

Is this supporting the troops?

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

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

Right. Sure.

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