Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Arkin's insult to the troops...

Bill Arkin has managed to royally insult the troops.

Apparently, he took offense to a NBC Nightly News report this past Friday that has disclosed how the troops are not buying the "support the troops, oppose the mission" line taken by so many in the anti-war movement.

In fact, he wanted them taken aside for re-education:
I'm all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army. But I also hope that military commanders took the soldiers aside after the story and explained to them why it wasn't for them to disapprove of the American people.
Never mind that the troops have freedom of speech, too. Or does Arkin only believe in free speech for those who support his agenda?

But then, Arkin gets worse. See below:
These soldiers should be grateful that the American public, which by all polls overwhelmingly disapproves of the Iraq war and the President's handling of it, do still offer their support to them, and their respect.

Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform, accepting that the incidents were the product of bad apples or even of some administration or command order.

It seems like shades of Seymour Hersh's comments this past November.

Arkin even tries to excuse his present snit over the troops calling out the anti-war movement on its hypocrisy:
Sure it is the junior enlisted men who go to jail, but even at anti-war protests, the focus is firmly on the White House and the policy. We just don't see very man "baby killer" epithets being thrown around these days, no one in uniform is being spit upon.
Really, Mr. Arkin? I guess he did not bother to ask Joshua Sparling about his experiences with the anti-war movement. Seems some saliva got fired off there, Mr. Arkin.

Then again, Arkin seems to enjoy raising the specter of doom at the notion of the anti-war movement being called out:
So, we pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?

I can imagine some post-9/11 moment, when the American people say enough already with the wars against terrorism and those in the national security establishment feel these same frustrations. In my little parable, those in leadership positions shake their heads that the people don't get it, that they don't understand that the threat from terrorism, while difficult to defeat, demands commitment and sacrifice and is very real because it is so shadowy, that the very survival of the United States is at stake. Those Hoover's and Nixon's will use these kids in uniform as their soldiers. If I weren't the United States, I'd say the story end with a military coup where those in the know, and those with fire in their bellies, save the nation from the people.

Seems to me that Mr. Arkin's got some paranoia issues. But that is not excuse for what Arkin fires off next:
But it is the United States and instead this NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary - oops sorry, volunteer - force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.
Mercenaries? Mr. Arkin, this is just too far. The volunteer military we have today is probably the best we have had in the history of this country. In Desert Storm and the war on terror, they have liberated three countries with less than 5,000 dead total. The all-volunteer force has worked. Indeed, they get paid far less than in many civilian jobs and still have to pay federal income taxes, not to mention various state taxes.

Mercenaries? I don't think so, Mr. Arkin. Your mask has slipped, and the truth about your contempt for our defenders is out there for all who wish to see it.

It is sick and disgusting. Before you sanctimoniously lecture our troops about "supporting the people", maybe you need to refresh your memory that American troops have been fighting and dying to make sure you had the right to spew your libelous comments about them.

The Right has no room to complain...

The right wing of the GOP seems to be complaining that there's no candidate who is revving them up. They have no room to complain. To quote Ernst Stavlo Blofeld in You Only Live Twice, "This organization does not tolerate failure."

The right wing failed. They pushed the Congressional GOP into hard-line positions on immigration, forced the withdrawal of the nomination of Harriet Miers, and scuttled Dubai Ports World's purchase of a British company that ran port operations at some American ports. They insinuated that those who opposed them on immigration were traitors. Others who objected were said to be party hacks who sold their souls.

There was only one way for the right wing to get away with it. They had to deliver Congress to the GOP despite having angered Hispanics, moderates/libertarians, and others who disagreed with them on those issues. Especially in the manner they expressed their disagreement. I can handle disagreements on an issue. My partner-in-blogging and I first "met" when we disagreed over reactivating the Iowa-class fast battleships. My brother and I also don't agree on everything, either.

But when you imply that I am a traitor, or that my disagreement with your methods makes me a party hack with a soul that has been sold, I am not going to be favorably inclined towards you. Especially when your approach has failure.

Rush and the folks at Redstate need to accept the fact that failure has a price. Part of the price they must pay is the fact that they may very well have serious disagreements with the GOP nominee for President in 2008. Or they might not like him. Too bad. They need to embrace the suck and win - because they must atone for their failure to deliver Congress in 2006.

This is casus belli stuff...

From the Drudge Report (link is to an archive):
NBC NEWS confirms a secret U.S. military report that says 'Iranian Agents' may be behind a deadly ambush in Karbala, Iraq that left five American soldiers dead. The report also claims the Iranian revolutionary guard is providing intelligence on U.S. and Iraqi military to Shiite extremists, in addition to sophisticated weaponry. Developing...

I kind of suspected that Ahmadinejad was that crazy/stupid.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Embarrassing tech moments of 2006...

DJ Drummond at Stolen Thunder discusses the list.

Barbaro didn't make it...

Barbaro died Monday. The thing is, he had pretty much beaten the initial injury, and now they just had to keep going until they had beaten the other stuff.

The only reason Barbaro is dead is because he was euthanized - never mind the effort of the past eight months or what had been accomplished. In essence, the decision was made to give up on Barbaro. Looking past the words in the press conference.

In a sense, it is much like the Iraq campaign in the war on terror. We've done very well to get to this point, and it has had some complications. But we can still have a viable democracy in Iraq. It's just a matter of deciding we will persevere and not quit.

Because that is the only way we will lose the war. We will have simply quit. And it really does not matter what is said by the Democratic majority in Congress, that is really what will have happened.


The United States will be conducting a series of tests of various missiles designed to take out incoming ballistic missiles. Also getting a test is the new airborne laser.

This is good news. Will Congress let it continue? It's an easy yes under GOP, but the Democrats may be a different story.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Have I become a cynic?

Eve Fairbanks has done an excellent comparison of American and Israeli politics during and after wars that have not gone well.

I have to quibble with her on one detail. We found WMD, to the tune of at least 500 shells with sarin and mustard gas. Before anyone complains about the age, keep in mind that World War I chemical weapons have caused injuries in France and Belgium.

That quibble aside, Eve has a good point. It would be nice to see politicians admit that they have screwed up, or that they don't have any alternative solutions. Or to admit that things have not gone as well as hoped. That said, humility is a critically endangered species once one gets inside the Beltway. Not only that, but there is the fact that those who do show any - or who try to be open - often get torn apart by people who look for the slightets hint of weakness. The DC press corps tends to act like a bunch of piranha at that point. See Rumsfeld's explanation of going to war with the army you have, not the army you wish you had as a classic case.

I guess I'm becoming a bit of a cynic about that sort of thing.

Shut up, John!!

John Kerry has been at Davos. He's made an ass of himself again.

That pictureof him hobnobbing with Khatami - and giving the former Iranian president his autograph - is one worth posting over and over again.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Global warming... NOT!!

It was 15 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. Anchorage, Alaska has twice its annual snowfall. Cold snap in the northeast. And about two-plus months of winter to go.

But that won't keep Al Gore from getting an Oscar, I'll bet.

Feingold doesn't support the troops...

There is no other way to put it after he announced he is going to try to cut off funds for the troops.

The only mistake will be quitting the fight. We are winning when we fight on the battlefields over there. The only way we will lose is if a defeatist Congress and defeatist mainstream media are successful in forcing our troops to quit.

This is ugly...

The state of Nebraska has a problem. Ordinarily, making a video of sexual assults on two 5-year-olds and a 3-year-old is a pretty easy call. You call the GRU and ask if you can borrow their blast furnace.

Perps in this case, though, are juveniles. But juveniles who have done some very adult crimes. I hope those two drop the soap a lot while they're inside.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The decline of civility...

DJ Drummond discusses the collapse of Polipundit. The comments speak much of why I have found myself NOT tuning in to talk radio or on a number of sites. I definitely do not participate - not after I ran into some wanna-be zampolit because I did not go along with them on their pet issue.

Orson Scott Card also discussed this in the afterword to his new novel, Empire. It is a very good, and frightening, read. There is a demand that you conform with them completely, or you are seen as a sellout or worse. The Right does this, and then complains when people view them as scary or extreme. The Left does the same thing, but, as Card notes, they get a pass.

I make no pretensions to perfection in this regard. I have my temper, and I do nto always keep it in check, especially when I see people who pile on others without offering constructive solutions or when they feel they are entitled to their own facts. But as I pointed out at GOPProgress in defending Ann Althouse's comments, there is a difference between someone with deeply-held beliefs occasionally losing their temper and those who imply that their opponents are traitors or have sold their souls.

Kerry's out.

John Kerry's not running. The reason: He want to force us to cut and run.

The real reason: His "botched" joke.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

On the NFC championship...

The following lyrics say it best:
We are the Bears Shufflin' Crew
Shufflin' on down, doin' it for you.
We're so bad we know we're good.
Blowin' your mind like we knew we would.
You know we're just struttin' for fun
Struttin' our stuff for everyone.
We're not here to start no trouble.
We're just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle.

On Webb's response...

AJ-Strata discusses Jim Webb's response to the State of the Union speech. I did not watch it, but the transcript certainly read the way. Webb has cherry-picked his experts to claim that the President was reckless, ignoring the many experts who were supportive of the mission. Note that the big names he cited - a former National Security Advisor (Brent Scowcroft) and two former commanders of CENTCOM - were all retired.

What were the current generals saying? Folks like Tommy Franks, Mike DeLong, Peter Pace, and Richard Myers? What was the National Security Advisor at the time saying? Or the Secretary of State?

There is a reason that James Webb ignores what they said back then, and what they say now. It would not fit into his agenda of defeat.

The upcoming battle inside the Beltway will decide the War on Terror.

Going after Romney...

Liz Mair broke the news about flyers being passed out which attack Mitt Romney over his record on abortion.

It's the same old rehashing of an old issue, one that Mitt Romney has explained several times. RightMarch is trashing him over his old statements because his track record as governor is pro-life.

In fact, his conduct as governor has really shown that he is not a flip-flopper. When he studied the stem-cell issue, he changed his mind based on what he learned - it was new information causing a person to re-evaluate his position. Why should people consider that a horrible thing or a negative for a President?

But what was most impressive was what he did once he had changed his mind. He told the people of Massachusetts he had changed his mind, but he still honored the promise he made when he was running for governor. Again, why is this something to be seen as a bad thing?

With Romney, we have an honest man who is running for the office of President of the United States. One who is not so caught up in ideology that he will ignore new information, and who will change his mind if you convince him. One could do far worse than that for POTUS.

Clinton's quagmire..

Austin Bay discusses the Balkans inhis latest column. In 1995 and 1999, Bill Clinton took us to war in the Balkans because the Serbes were in the process of ethnic cleansing. Oh, and shooting down one F-16. Going after the Serbs was the right thing to do.

Compare that to Saddam Hussein's conduct from 1990-2003. Then ask yourself why those who favored going into the Balkans are so adamant that we should cut and run from Iraq.

The coming battle...

The decisive battle of the War on Terror is coming. It is not going to be fought where you think. Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia... all are important, but none are where the Global War on Terrorism will be won or lost.

No, the decisive battle is going to be fought inside the Beltway, and it will be a vicious battle. We're going to see some changes as a result.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


As a former Marine Corps noncommissioned officer, I read this Los Angeles Times op-ed with a sense of astonishment. Not even the Times, as bad a paper as it is, could publish something this egregious. Whoops, they did. This piece has prompted me to dig out the Top Secret NCO Code Words. If vulgarity and profanity offend you, read no further.

Paul Whitefield wrote the following:

LISTENING TO President Bush's speech on Iraq earlier this month, my first thought was: "Where the heck are we going to get 21,500 more soldiers to send to Iraq?" Our Reserves are depleted, our National Guard is worn out, our Army and Marine Corps are stretched to the limit.
Then it hit me: Re-up our Vietnam War veterans and send them.

They're trained. They're battle-hardened. Many already have post-traumatic stress disorder. Also, some have their own vehicles — Harleys mostly, which are cheap to run, make small targets and are highly mobile. I'll even bet that lots of these guys still have guns (you know, just in case).

Paul, I was mentored by Vietnam veterans as a young enlisted Marine, and I work with many--both those who made the military a career, and single-term enlistees--in both my job and my community. They are decent-minded, honorable men who served their country, raised families, and now spoil their grandchildren. They are truly some of the best and the brightest of America, not those worthless asswipes that loudly proclaim themselves to be such. In short, Paul, they are everything that you aren't. I don't know how tall you are, Paul, but whatever that figure is, I had no idea that they could stack shit that high.

Now, Paul, that guy who sits at the freeway offramp with a sign saying "homeless Vietnam Vet" is not a veteran. Trust me, the military doesn't have panhandling battalions. I imagine, Paul, that you pay lip service to the notion that one should not engage in stereotyping of others--well, unless the target of the stereotype is someone from outside your pre-approved, America-hating, politically-correct world--such as those of us to whom the words "duty," "honor," and "country" are more than mere abstractions or the punchline to a joke that mocks them--whereupon you will simultaneously stereotype away and deny that you are engaged in stereotyping.

Having read your screed, I now eagerly await the rerun of the "24" season opener and the release of this season on DVD, so that I might let out a loud, motivated "OOH-RAH!" as Los Angeles gets vaporized by a nuclear weapon. I think that I can authoritatively say that the best part of you ran down your momma's leg. Indeed, you are the poster child for abortion. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, pal.

Monday, January 22, 2007

More on Jamil...

Flopping Aces and Austin Bay both discuss the case of Jamil Hussein. Austin Bay is promising another column on this.

Short version: The reporting doesn't check out. Not by a long shot. The AP has a lot of explaining to do. Even the alleged source remains open to question, as Confederate Yankee explains. The AP is still dodging, though. The long-term pattern by the AP is not encouraging. There was an air strike that came out of nowhere that MNF-I says never happened.

Austin Bay says:
Some bloggers and at least one AP editor personalized the debate over this story, attributing dark motives. That’s too bad, but it’s also the long term trend line. I think that’s why a news council of some type would be useful.
It's an idea that sounds good in theory, but there are problems with it in the long term. How will this new council operate? Will they have any teeth in terms of what they can do in a situation like this, where the news organization stonewalls?

Worse, how does one maintain objectivity on this sort of thing? There will be pressures on them to see things a certain way - from employers, from the news outlets themselves. Is there anyone who believes that the instant they side against the media in favor of someone who is one of their designated bad guys, that the media will not turn on them? And then, will these folks atnd up and stick to their guns, or will they fold like cheap suits, and the news council will end up a rubber stamp?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Why we need SDI...

Don Surber lays it out about how we let the world down in the 1990s. Bill Clinton's cutbacks on defense, particularly his gutting of Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, were among the worst things with regards to the security of this country. Tiem and time again he fought efforts to put up a national missile defense system - even after a Chinese general indirectly threatened Los Angeles over Taiwan.

Mr. Surber says,

We blew this lead in the name of “peace” — in the hopes of stopping an arms race.
It didn't work, very well. Did it, Democrats? Who among them will admit they were wrong? Nobody among their leadership will - if anything, they will blame Bush and his push for missile defense. And it will say a lot more about the Democrats than it will about the Bush Administration.

China's new anti-satellite weapon is just the latest exhibit of how Democratic negligence in the area of national security had made this country less secure. Granted it takes a rocket, and is more akin to the old Soviet killersats we worried about. We had a nice program called the ASAT. Killed by Democrats in the name of peace.

It would sure be nice to have it now.

Austin Bay's latest...

It is called Embrace the Suck. Ever wonder what all that stuff the troops say means? Well, you can find out here. It costs a little more than a 12-pack at the store.

Pelosi blinks...

Nancy Pelosi will not deny funds to stop the reinforcements going to Iraq.

On the one hand, it is a relief to see that Iraq - as well as the troops - will not be stabbed in the back.

On the other hand, it is typical of the Democrats. They refuse to offer any solutions, just criticism. There's no sense of loyalty to the country from them, just a desire to get power - no matter the cost.

The thing is, she will take fire from the hard-core anti-war activists that want the surge stopped and who want to stab both the Iraqi people and the troops in the back. Not that I'mupset to see her deal with that sort of thing.

After all, as Speaker of the House, and with the Democrats in the majority, she has the responsibility to come up with alternatives.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lock them up.

Some Republican Congressmen are still complaining on behalf of two border patrol agents who shot a suspect and then tried to clean up the scene. Those complaints need to fall on deaf ears, and those Congressmen ought to be ashamed of themselves.

They fired multiple shots at a fleeing suspect. Then, after the shots were fired, they collected the spent casings from the rounds they fired - and never reported it. Collecting the casings and trying to cover up the fact they had fired shots indicates to me that they knew they had messed up at the time they had fired.

They apparently violated use-of-force policies. Given the circumstances, had they admitted they had fired shots, that would probably have netted them a suspension without pay. However, they tried to cover it up.

Ramos and Compean make Mark Fuhrman look good. They did not quite make Lon Horiuchi's league. But that was a matter of luck. When any jurisidction gives a cop a badge and a gun, they're giving out some powers. But those who are cops have the responsibility - the duty, even - to exercise them wisely, and for things like the use of deadly force (that is what firing bullets from a gun at a person is), there needs to be an accounting.

Ramos and Compean tried to thwart that accounting by hiding the evidence and not reporting the shooting. They, not the Bush Administration, betrayed the country and the agency they served. They need to spend every day of their sentence in prison - and take everything that comes with their sentence.

My only regret is that Lon Horiuchi isn't in prison as well.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tancredo called out...

I feel that Leon H. Wolf is one of those who tends to be part of the zampolit wing of the GOP. I doubt he cares much for me or my type of Republican, either. He has, in the past, labeled those who disagreed with his methods party hacks, and implied they had sold their souls. But yesterday, he got it right with regards to Tom Tancredo.

Tancredo's got some very, very, shady backers who have promoted eugenics (for a good takedown of eugenics, read Michael Crichton's site). SJ Reidhead has outlined the very questionable background of some immigration hard-liners at Subway Canaries (most recently, there was a two-part discussion: Part I and Part II).

When we broke away from England, we told the world why. In the document explaining so, Thomas Jefferson wrote the following:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's from the Declaration of Independence. If you will, it lays out some of the first principles that this country is founded on. They're very simple ones, if you ask me. Either you believe in them, or you don't. And I am coming to the conclusion that certain people - Pat Buchanan and Tom Tancredo among them - seem to disagree with those principles. Others, like Michelle Malkin, seem to have no problem citing those folks when they make their arguments.

Eugenics is based on the notion that certain races and people are somehow better than others due to their genetics. How that is compatible with the first principles of this country is something I can't figure out. But in addition to its apparent incompatibility with the first principles of this country, eugenics is morally wrong - and its fruits have included some of the worst of human history.

I will have no part of any movement that finds this acceptable. If conservatism chooses to accept Tancredo as a reasonable "mainstream" voice, then I'll have no part of it, then it has left me.

You get what you pay for...

It seems that somebody messed up an operation on Fidel Castro, according to Reuters.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why I don't like the zampolit wing...

Liz Mair at points out that the infamous Romney YouTube video had over 40,000 hits. The source behind this, as well as most other attacks, have been those on the right who I not-so-affectionately refer to as the zampolit wing of conservatism.

But look at the transcript of his interview with Hugh Hewitt. There's a sharp guy there, especially when you look at his track record.

So it leads to a question: Why is it so-called "real" conservatives have to dig up old issues? Are they too chicken to deal with his record, or do "real conservatives" who back folks like Tancredo and Paul incapable of providing positive reasons to vote for their people, so they have to tear others down?

Unintended consequences...

Remember how certain conservatives were trying to push "indecency" off the airwaves? Well, folks, there were others who were worried about what else might come - that we were just seeing the camel's nose under the tent.

Dennis Kucinich is now showing us the rest of the camel, along with Michael Copps, the favorite FCC commissioner of many social conservatives.

Yeah, you may have chased Howard Stern to satellite radio. But all because a few conservatives could not just leave it at using their friggin' remotes, we now have a serious risk to alternative media outlets that have served to somewhat correct the MSM's biases.

And now, we have to bail them out of this mess they caused - becuase if Kucinich gets the "Fairness Doctrine" passed, we're back to the days when the MSM was all a person had.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Was it policy, or was it PR?

Eve Fairbanks discusses the question in her latest Examiner column.

The article is worth a read, but the answer for 2006, I think comes down to multiple reasons:

1. Some Republicans were, frankly, stupid. John Hostettler and his way of running a campaign was the most inept you could imagine. George Allen's "macaca" comment also falls into that category as well.

2. The Congressional GOP went out of its way to undercut President Bush. They refused to take up Social Security reform. They utterly failed to do anything meaningful on immigration. They also proceeded to join in with labor unions to slap one of our closest Arab allies in the face. Then there was John McCain's antics.

3. Conservatives went beyond disagreement, and into open revolt in such a manner that they managed to tick off Republican women (see the Harriet Miers fiasco), Hispanics (immigration), and labeled those who stood by the President as party hacks and implied they had sold their souls.

4. The media dispensed with any pretense of objectivity, and was in open warfare against the Administration. The biggest part of this was how anythign that went wrong was the Administration's fault. Never mind that FEMA under Michael Brown had handled multiple Hurricanes in Florida well, they were responsible for thousands being trapped in New Orleans (no mention of the fact that Kathleen Blanco and Ray Nagin made Frank Jack Fletcher look like the model of a decisive leader in a crisis was really made). The coverage of Iraq was also misreported.

5. Dirty tricks. It is now known that Rahm Emanuel knew of the Foley e-mails long before they were reported - and didn't do anything about them. We also had a lot of leaks - each generating a media firestorm.

6. Just bad luck. Katrina was an act of god that got politicized.

The 2006 midterm election was the perfect storm in a very real sense. You had, on the one had, the normal "six-year itch". There was also the fact that the war on terror's Iraqi theater was not going as well as hoped despite the progress in 2005. Reverses in war happen. And it is no small thing that in five years, three state sponsors of terrorism are off the board - one voluntarily, the other two taken down.

But Republicans and conservatives did a lot of this to themselves. There was a lot of infighting - and conservatives went out of their way to insult some of those who honestly disagreed with them on issues. Conservatives irritated those who they needed to convince. I don't know much about anyone else, but if someone calls me a party hack, implies I have sold my soul, or insinuates that my support for the President's position on immigration is support for treason, I'm not going to rush to support them right away.

And if conservatives eager to get back to "first principles" persist in such, I can find other things to do with my time after I vote against them in primaries. Oh, I'll vote, but I'll be very vocal about my dissatisfaction in who I vote for.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

An embarrassment to NCOs everywhere...

As a former Marine Corps noncommissioned officer, I'm thoroughly appalled by Staff Sergeant Michelle Manhart, USAF posing in Playboy magazine. (Hat tip to Rob at Say Anything Blog.)

The NCO is a rated link in the chain of command, and is almost always the most important one. The NCO's authority is legally derived from the authority of the chain of command, but that's not the actual source. In reality, an NCO's authority is a product of their subordinates' respect for the NCO's technical knowledge, self-discipline, and overall moral character. Those NCOs entrusted with recruit training (as SSgt Manhart was before the USAF suspended her duty assignment) must be the best of the best in these measures.

Once SSgt Manhart's subordinates have seen her without her clothes on--or, for that matter, even heard that she has posed nude--that respect is going to disappear. The men will look at her as a sex object; the woman will simply view her as a slut. Neither will take her seriously.

It's hard to get respect for your AUTH-OR-I-TAH! when you've willfully flushed it down the toilet.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Checking out the Pink Flamingo...

SJ Reidhead has some good points in her latest post. The cat soap opera has been fun to read about, even if she is a believer in spaying/neutering (I'm sorry, I am just worried something would go wrong in that sort of thing).

She also hits hard on the flat-out anti-Hispanic bigotry that seems to be going on among some of the immigration hard-liners. Note that the GOP won 40-44% of the Hispanic vote in 2004, depending on the survey. It dropped to 28% in 2006 after folks like Tancredo hijacked the GOP on the issue. She also makes a good point about hatred in her post from last night.

That said, I've got to point out that she is being very unfair to Mitt Romney. Yes, he has changed his positions, but he has been honest about the change, but whjen the Massachusetts Supreme Court imposed gay marriage, Romney did everything he could within the law to stop it - and to change the Massachusetts constitution. By her standards, Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. would also be flip-floppers for having changed their position on abortion. So would Henry Hyde. He's explained why he has changed his views, multiple times. What more do some of these people want, ritual seppuku?

I will disclose that I am 85% certain that I will support Romney in the primaries.

Koskie still has his bell rung?

That is the latest from

But across the diamond at third base, the Brewers remain in limbo with third baseman Corey Koskie, who did not play after last July 5 because of post-concussion syndrome. His uncertain status for 2007 has the team "concerned, but not alarmed," according to the club's top medical official, and ultimately unsure who will man the hot corner on Opening Day.

"He is progressing in a positive direction, but no baseball activities yet," said assistant general manager Gord Ash, who got an update on Koskie from head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger on Tuesday. "The information we have is somewhat vague, and I don't know that we'll know anything more until we see him in person."

Gord, have you ever heard of someone by the name of Ryan Braun? Third baseman, kicked a lot of ass this past year, including a great season in the Arizona Fall League, and just swinging the bat very well?

Third base is not a problem, Gord. Just put Koskie on the 60-day DL, write his season off, and let Braun do his thing in Milwaukee. Great offense. Problem solved.

Spineless in Congress...

AJ-Strata has some of the latest on the Congressional spinelessness that seems to have broken out. Sadly, some of this has even hit Republicans - making Chuck Hagel unacceptable, and threatening to push Sam Bronback in that direction. Ron Paul is also unacceptable due to his refusal to do a damn thing about state sponsorship of terrorism.

Don Surber reports that terrorists attacked our embassy in Greece. Do the Democrats really think that their cowardly policy of appeasement is going to do anything but encourage future attacks? Where will it end up? Well, one possible way to get some idea is to read an alternate-history novel called The Big One.

It is a superb read, but it also lays out what would have happened had some people been much less resolute in opposing Nazi Germany way back when. And Islamo-facism draws a lot of influence from that evil regime. Mein Kampf is a big seller in the Palestinian Authority. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denied the Holocaust.

We either fight them now, when it will be relatively easy, or it wil have to be done later - at the point where the only viable option could be something that will change America forever.

Which will it be?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The speech on Iraq...

Overall, it was very good. See the transcript at (don't use .com, you'll get something you'd rather not have seen).

A couple of quibbles, though. One, he should have made it clear the initial decision and the strategy to topple the regime was not a mistake. Given what was believed to be the case, the strategy of a rapid takedown was the right one to use. Remember:

* We did not know just how far along Saddam had gotten with his WMD, and we had underestimated his progress prior to Desert Storm in 1991.

* The Czech government had reported that the ringleader of the 9/11 hijackers had met with an Iraqi intelligence agent in Prague. Several Czech officals have stated so on the record, and I am unaware of any retraction. It has instead been stuck to as late as November 2005.

* There were reports from defectors that the method of operation used in the 9/11 attacks was being taught at a terrorist training facility in Salman Pak.

* There were other terrorists Saddam harbored, including Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas.

* Then there was allowing some guy named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to get medical treatment as he fled Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden only named him the head of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Austin Bay's reasoning only adds to the correctness of that decision. But the WMD and the terrorist ties made taking him down fast essential. Would those who have constantly criticized Bush and Rumsfeld have been happier had they been forced to respond in kind to an attack involving WMD?

My other quibble - Bush should have said that he would not have any part in cutting and running, to the point of threatening that both he and Cheney would tender their resignations. If Nancy Pelosi is so bound and determined to order such a cowardly course, then she ought to give the orders as commander-in-chief herself - and let the voters judge that course.

This is just my opinion. Others may disagree. But those are my thoughts.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

More strikes...

It looks like we're throwing in with the Ethiopians in cleaning up Somalia.

A lot of Al-Qaeda are dying. Good riddance to them. After this, we need to follow up in two big areas. One of them is going to be remembering that Ethiopia stepped up to the plate and helped us out when they did not have to. This means we back them in their border dispute with Eritrea, and we also need to be willing to aid both them and Somalia.

In the past, we've treated some of our allies shamefully. The UAE got a very raw deal from Congressional Republicans over that port deal, despite the help they provided us in the war on terror (and for which they were threatened by Osama bin Laden). Just before 9/11, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell placed the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia on the same list as FARC and ELN despite the fact that the founder of that organization took some big risks to help us take down Pablo Escobar's cartel in 1993.

Being known as someone who shows loyalty to allies who take chances to help us out is in America's interest. The country has fallen short of that in the past, and it's something that needs to be rectified - before it really bites us in the ass.

Bring it on, Ted...

Macsmind reports that the Hero of Chappaquiddick wants to defund the war.

Others want to try to block the surge. But there are a number of Democrats saying, "not so fast" to them.

The Democrats are finding out they actually have to do things, but what do they do? If they placate their left-wing base, they could easily lose the middle as they did in 1994. But if they do try to placate the middle, their base will be upset - and they could easily lose between a combination of the base staying home and the middle getting disgusted with the supporters of the Democrats.

A case for Romney...

Hugh Hewitt had Senator Jim DeMint on his show to discuss the latter's endorsement of Mitt Romney.

It sums up a lot of my feelings as to why I am presently leaning very strongly in Romney's direction. The only real hesitation is two-fold. The primary reason is that Giuliani is a sure winner should he get the nomination (although as VP, he would provide a boost). The secondary reason is that I feel that Senator Sam Brownback has a much better position on immigration.

I have discussed Congressman Cannon's report, which pushes for a comprehensive approach to the issue. I sincerely hope that Romney reads it, and is willing to change his approach to something more akin with that of President Bush and Senator Brownback.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

For immigration hard-liners...

Just something for you to answer:

How do you propose to locate, round up, and detain 12 million people (as a floor figure, keeping in mind the figure is even higher) until you can have them all booted out? How do you tell if someone's here illegally? Do you ask for papers? Issue national ID cards (assuming they cannot be faked)? Do we even have enough prison space? How much to build more (and make sure that is is secure)?

Oh, you need to do this without breaking the bank, getting the wrong people caught up in your enforcement efforts (can't have false arrests now), or doing anything that will look bad on CNN (or any other TV/cable news shows) - this is called acceptability to the American people. That last item is no small issue. If they don't approve, you get your ass voted out of office (just ask the Republicans in Congress).

You not only have to secure the 1,951 miles of border with Mexico, but also the 5,522 miles of border with Canada as well. Not to mention the coasts (East Coast, West Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and Alaskan).

Start running the numbers, and then tell me with a straight face the laws we currently have are enforceable. Put out what you plan to do, and how much it will cost the taxpayers. That means you're going to have to either cut other programs (which have their own lobbies) or you have to raise taxes (note - the last major tax increase cost the Democrats control of Congress in the 1994 elections).

Oh, and there might be other nasty surprises as well. For instance, China has told us they will not accept illegal immigrants we have in custody until we turn over dissidents who we gave given political asylum (in other words, to enforce the law, the United States must betray people whom it has promised safe haven).

Got any answers to those questions?


In the course of two months, the United States has helped run the Islamic Courts out of Somalia. Austin Bay has the latest updates, including reports on an AC-130 strike.

The AC-130 strike is some nice payback for the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Whoever gave us the location of those terrorist creeps, this American thanks you.

Al-Qaeda wanted a jihad in Somalia. Well, they got one. That settles most of the debts there.

Fighting with surrogates is one way to get the job done (see the performance of los Pepes against the Medellin drug cartel as one example). Special Forces troops who can coordinate support, provide intelligence and training, and carry out some missions can help America in the war on terror. Soemthing similar could be done with Darfur. Four Special Forces A-Teams, with some guys from Blackwater as backup, plus weapons. Primarily small arms, although with the known Sudanese Air Force involvement, we'll have to provide Stinger missiles as well.

But intervention would be very doable.

Pelosi has problems...

It seems that her efforts to put the brakes on the troop surge are meeting resistance from other Democrats. AJ-Strata discusses the situation.

Here's the problem. It's going to be easy for Democrats to defy her. The biggest reason is Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who trounced Pelosi's pick for the job by about a 2-to-1 margin. And she did not have much of a majority - only 15 seats need to flip to give it back to the GOP.

It won't take that many Democrats defecting on the war to kill any effort to stab the troops in the back. Then, Pelosi will get it from both sides.

$6.5 million...

If there's any question about whether or not Mitt Romney is a legit contender, it's been answered. Romney pulled in over $6.5 million to kick off his campaign.

That's a lot of donors. Mitt Romney is for real, people, and he's going to be a factor.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Good intentions, but a bad deal...

That's my thought on the immigration compromise some Christian conservatives are pushing.

For me, the deal-killer is the elimination of birthright citizenship. This is a crucial difference that sets us apart from the rest of the world. Eliminating this in favor of some neo-blood and soil approach like Buchanan's would lead to bigger problems (see the situation in Paris) than it would solve.

We've always held that anyone could become an American. Turning our backs on that is not only stupid, it is wrong. Doubly so since no child can pick their parents.

Conservatives deserve credit for at least being willing to discuss a compromise, but this is the wrong one.


The Seahawks face the Bears Sunday.

Here is how the last matchup went.

The Bears aren't there to start some trouble... they just wanna do the Super Bowl Shuffle. :)

Jamil update...

Flopping Aces has more on Jamil. Seems he denies ever speaking to the AP. Oh, and he goes by Jamil Gulaim, not Jamil Hussein.

Add this to the air strike that the AP reported but MNF-I denied happening, it's obvious that there is something going on with their Baghdad bureau that needs to be dealt with.

Every answer leads to more questions.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Don't exonerate the AP yet...

So Jamil Hussein has been found - at least, we have the AP's word for it. That is it, the AP (whose veracity is under scrutiny) saying that the Iraqi MOI had found him and has issued an arrest warrant.

Austin Bay is ready to exonerate the AP. With all due respect, I have to say, "Not so fast." There are still problems with the AP's story that go beyond whether or not Captain Jamil Hussein exists.

Confederate Yankee reports that MNF-I cannot confirm this report. Curt from Flopping Aces also explains why the AP remains on the hook even if Jamil Hussein exists. For one thing, how do we know he isn't on the run? He's turned his cell phone off.

Not only that, we have a new AP story which has a discrepancy that needs to be explained. To wit, the AP claimed an airstrike occured in an incident discussed by MNF-I in a January 1 press release. There's just one problem: MNF-I is reported that six terrorists were killed. AP claims that the dead include four members of a family. Maybe four were in the same family, but there's that minor discrepancy.

The second discrepancy is the big one. I have asked MNF-I about the incident in question, specifically if any air strikes occured. The answer from their press desk was as follows:
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

No, there were no air strikes.
No air strikes. I have the e-mail on file. I have also forwarded it to a couple of people following the Jamil Hussein story.

What does Editor and Publisher have to say about this? I'd like to know how they explain this one away.

Umm... Kathleen Carroll, how do you explain those discrepancies?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

More on Jemil Hussein...

Or is it Jamil or Jamail? It's hard to tell - largely because we still have no proof that this person exists.

And now, there may be more questions about the AP's coverage of Iraq. An AP source is apparently wanted by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior for questioning. Another reporter, interviewed by INDCJournal, seems to have a bias against the United States.

Editor and Publisher is parroting the AP's line that there is no problem, and that is keeping the story from getting too many legs. One just has to look at Greg Mitchell's "Pressing Issues" columns, though, and one has to wonder if Editor and Publisher can cover this dispute fairly. Mitchell has constantly editorialized against the war. He also tried to promote the highly questionable Lancet study that claimed over 650,000 deaths in Iraq. The apparent lack of interest in exposing fraudulent coverage that seems present at Editor and Publisher is not shocking, given Mitchell's opinions of the war. Clearly, he wants America to quit.

This is not a small matter. Hundreds, if not thousands, of news sources use the AP. The questionable reporting is affecting public support for the war. Clearly, the AP's coverage cannot be trusted.

The American people would be better served if they went to the following sites:

Central Command's newsroom:

MNC-Iraq's new releases:

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Brownback and Romney...

Sam Brownback and Mitt Romney are both running for President in 2008. I admit that I am presently leaning towards Romney, but I'm not as worried as others are about Brownback.

Brownback is a social conservative, but he is not the kind of social conservative I tend to dislike. He does have stands that I have disagreements with. I don't like his support of the PTC's approach to TV content regulation. I think his call for prison reform might be useful, but the issue is really small when compared to Social Security and the tax code.

But he has not made his opponents out to be villians, unlike others who have insinuated their opponents are traitors or who have labeled those who disagree with their pet issues as party hacks. That says a lot about him - all of it is good.

His stances on prison reform and on immigration reform seem to be based on the fact that everyone is equal. His general positions are worthy of respect, even if people disagree with them.

The same is largely true of Mitt Romney. He also has not villified his opponents, even though he has plenty of reason to return some fire at some people. He is a decent person, and has a good track record. Again, people could do a lot worse than him.

Contrast that to John McCain, who gave the impression that he viewed opponents to his signature campaign-finance reform bill as corrupt, or that opponents of his views on interrogation were in favor of torture. McCain's approach is not one designed to make friends. He is the media's favorite, but his support among the GOP primary voters is looking very thin.

The 2008 primary is going to be interesting, but all of the people running for that nomination look like people I could live with as President.

The fallout from Jamil Hussein

AJ Strata is asking about the "body count" figures. Now, the tallies they have are actually a little smaller than the totals reported by the Ministry of the Interior.

The AP's stonewalling on the Jamil Hussein situation - as reported by Don Surber, a new addition to my blogroll - is not easing suspicions, even though it seems to be paying off.

These reports seem to be legitimate, for now, but it would be easier if we had a name for the source at the Interior Ministry who we could check on.