Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sentiment of the Times: Sympathy for the Devil

Interesting dissection of the cues, miscues and sentiments of the New York Times by Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal today.

As to the paper's revelations on how the U.S. intelligence community has been tracking terrorist financial transactions, I can only ask "what were they thinking."

I get the impression that if the current editors of the Times were running the paper in 1944, the headline on June 5 would have been "Allies To Invade Normandy Tomorrow!"

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Hillary: Can't Please 'Em

Stories coming out saying that Madam Candidate Hillary Clinton (for Senate re-election now, and presidential race in 2008) is caught in a serious crack.

Hillary voted for the war in Iraq in 2003 and continues to stick with the logic that we can't just walk away (although she trods the usual wobbly Democratic line that Bush got it wrong, but she's not responsible even though she voted for it.)

This, of course, outrages the maniacally mono-focused antiwar faction in the Democratic party -- otherwise known as the base of the party.

Hence the crack -- by staying close to the center, she enrages (or rather draws unwanted ire of the already enraged) antiwar faction. If she moves in their direction, she looks like a hypocrite, and loses the center.

The first contingency makes it tough for her to get the nomination in 2008, while the second makes it tougher to win even if she does get it.

I think she has a larger problem, frankly, in getting the nomination and winning the election -- I just don't think people like her. Polling shows that less than half of Demcratic women even support her.

So basically, she's screwed.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Time Responds!

I actually received a response to the letter I sent to Time magazine's publisher when I returned the "Dixie Chicks" issue.

Here it is:

Dear TIME Reader,

Thank you for letting us hear from you. The editors appreciate the interest that prompted you to write, and they have made attentive note of your comments. We hope that you will continue to share your thoughts with us.

Best wishes,

TIME Letters.

Did you see that?

ATTENTIVE note of my comments. Hope that I will CONTINUE to share my thoughts.

Boy, you know it's that kind of personal attention, that sort of dedication to the reader that really makes you proud to be a subscriber of such a fine periodical.

Hey, at least it didn't come addressed to "Occupant."

I will be cancelling.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Immigration Reform: Sauce for the Mexican Gander

Many in Mexico have complained about various immigration reform measures under consideration by U.S. lawmakers.

But they might well look to their own immigration policies.

Some were, for example, outraged that the U.S. is deploying National Guard troops to help guard our southern border. But that's exactly what the Mexican government did five years to protect its southern border from Central and South American infiltrators, and the move was applauded by the Mexican public, Newsweek reported earlier this month.

Some other items from the Newsweek story:

-- The penalty for entering Mexico illegal is up to two years in prison;

-- While many in Mexico urge the U.S. to grant amnesty to illegal aliens, over the past five years Mexico has granted such status to only 15,000 illegals in its own country;

-- Illegal immigrants are accosted and robbed not only by thugs and criminals, but also by some corrupt Mexican police officers;

-- Guatamalan field hands working on Mexican coffee plantations perform back-breaking labor for as little as $3.50 a day, and their employers often deduct the cost of room and board for the squalid conditions they provide. Those who complain are booted out.

I love Mexico and my Mexican friends, and I do believe we need to find a rational, workable, humane solution to the problem of illegal immigration here in the U.S.

But if others want to criticize us, they'd best tend to their own behavior first.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Free Speech (Except for you)

Stories making the rounds now about school officials in Las Vegas cutting the mic on a valedictorian's speech because she mentioned -- *shudder* -- GOD!

I like this sentence from one of the early AP stories though: "The Clark County School District and free speech advocates are defending school officials' decision to cut short a high school valedictorian's commencement speech, saying the speech would have amounted to school-sponsored proselytizing."

"Free-speech advocates" -- in this case, the American Civil Liberties Union -- actually endorsing censorship.

You just can't make this stuff up.

The ACLU, apparently, has a problem supporting free speech when it involves topics it doesn't like.

If only she'd used the platform to insult the president, or rattle off a string of profanities. Now THAT would have been okay.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Iraq Human Rights Outrage (or lack thereof)

Two American soldiers abducted in Iraq by terrorists were found dead by Iraqi forces, Reuters reports today.

The two were reportedly tortured and murdered.

Representatives of the UN panel that recently called for the detention center at Guantanamo to be closed issued a statement demanding that members of Al Qaida in Iraq to stop engaging in such "gross violations of human rights."

I made that up.

Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer immediately introduced a resolution calling for the U.S. to petition the International Criminal Court in the Hague to indict Osama bin Laden and his associates in Iraq for the abduction, torture and murder of the two soldiers.

I made that up too.

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a joint statement deploring the killings -- which they described as "bestial" -- and offered their support for allied forces in Iraq.

Okay, I made that up too.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Zogby: Dems Got Nothin'

"They don't have anything to say to anyone aout anything that matters to anyone," said pollster John Zogby on why Democrats can get no traction, action or satisfaction, despite missteps by Republicans, in the Christian Science Monitor last week.

Zogby described the Democrats as the party of liberal causes and special interests -- civil rights, gay rights, women's rights, labor, the environment -- but failing to address the issues and concerns important to Middle America.

"Democrats are going to have to come up with remedies that matter to middle America, and if they don't do that you can have a reprise of '02 and '04 [elections]," he said, describing them as "tongue-tied."

He's right, of course. "Bush sucks" is not a strategy.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Reuters reporting today that the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq has reached 2,500.

This, of course, will drive many who oppose the war into a hysterical frenzy of joy as they mark this "milestone" with rantings about Iraq being a "quagmire" and the requisite comparisons to Vietnam.

Important to note, by this time in the Vietnam conflict there were more than 10 times as many American soldiers killed (roughly 30,000) and more than four times as many civilian deaths (180,000 and that's just for North Vietnam in the years 1965-68 -- I couldn't find figures for civilian deaths in the south).

One more thing: Liberals don't get to lecture other people what a quagmire is, because they invented it. Vietnam was a Liberal adventure.

I pause now to pray thanks for the selfless sacrifice of the 2,500 American servicemen and women who have given their lives to protect us from evil and to defend liberty and freedom.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Wreck of the Patrick Fitzgerald

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald informed lawyers for White House aide Karl Rove that he will file no charges against Rove in the Valerie Plame leak episode, Reuters reports.

Not that he didn't try to find a way, mind you -- Rove has appeared before grand juries in the affair five times over the last three years.

And so the investigation fizzles and the forecasts and assumptions of guilt by key Democrats evaporate.

"You can only imagine my disappointment," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, as he jammed 10- and 20-dollar bills from a lobbyist into his pocket with his left hand while signing his latest denunciation of Republicans for doing the same with his right. "I don't know how we're gonna win the fall elections if we can't come up with any more baseless accusations to throw around."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was unavailable for comment, attending a candlelight memorial service for slain Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. She's called for a congressional investigation into the terrorist's killing by Allied forces last week.

"Really, no idictment? I'll be darned!" said DNC Chairman Howard Dean. "I'm just a big, fat braying ass anyway -- why anyone listens to me is beyond even my own psychotic comprehension."

Okay, I made up everything after the third paragraph.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Zarqawi Dead

Media reporting that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Al Qaida leader in Iraq responsible for most of the civilian deaths there for the last two years, was killed by allied aircraft.

Normally, I wouldn't celebrate the death of another human being, even one who has declared himself my mortal enemy. But in this case I'll make an exception.

Put bluntly, Zarqawi was a fanatic and a butcher who thought nothing of setting off bombs in crowded markets and other public places. He made great sport of tormenting kidnap victims, personally beheading them and broadcasting the whole spectacle on the Internet.

His methods were so barbaric that even senior Al Qaeda leadership began to recoil from them (although less for moral reasons than for utilitarian ones -- slaughtering Iraqi civilians simply wasn't helping their cause.)

This is a man who was not only guilty of original sin, but who chose and embraced evil, putting himself beyond redemption.

The world is better off without him and we're all a little bit safer today.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Al Qaida Atrocities Investigation

Top Al Quaida leaders called for investigation into what they called an ongoing pattern of atrocities against civilians by members of its organization operating in Iraq.

Bombings in crowded civilian markets and public builidings, IEDs targeted at civilians, as well as random shootings, abductions, torture and murder of civilians, all in an attempt to undermine the government of Iraq and increase sectarian tension and conflict, are among the charges being investigated, said top officials.

"It has come to our attention that these despicable tactics are not the actions of a few of our members, but are actually the stated policy of all of them operating in Iraq," said Osama Bin Laden. "It's been charged that even I have directed that these barbarities be committed in the name of Allah worldwide, including the 9/11 attacks on the U.S."

Bin Laden said the investigation would continue until all those responsible were prosecuted, no matter how high it goes.

"The dinar stops here," said Bin Laden. "If it's proven that even I am responsible for such atrocities, I will be held accountable."

Okay, I totally made that up.

Important to remember though, in light of current investigation into allegatations that Marines murdered 24 unarmed civilians in Haditha last year.

Important to remember also that the overwhelming majority of civilian deaths in Iraq in the last two years have been caused by the terrorists, not allied forces.

Atrocities happen in every war and are usually committed by both sides. There is a significant different between the rogue behavior of a few and a stated policy of barbarity.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hevesi: John Wilkes Booth Wannabe

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen -- a high-ranking Democratic public official advocating the assassination of the president of the United States.

Just one day after receiving the nomination for reelection from his party, NY State Comptroller Alan Hevesi suggested during his Queens College commencement address today that fellow Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer is capable of "putting a bullet between the president's eyes."

Nice, really nice.

He apologized several hours later, saying that this was simply a metaphor for Schumer's ability to stand up to the president.

Kind of like "Hevesi is a crap-spewing imbecile who should be physically removed from public office, stripped naked, dragged across rough concrete, and tossed in the Hudson River with an engine block chained around his neck" is a metaphor.

He specifically apologized to Schumer (for what, who knows, since he didn't insult or threaten the senator), but has yet to call the White House -- an indication of how really sorry he is, IMO.

He characterized his comments as "incredibly stupid" and "incredibly moronic."

I would agree -- also incredibly consistent with the hypocrisy of his party.

There you go, folks -- another example of the finest the Democratic party has to offer.