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Saturday, December 31, 2005
End of the Year Review, Part 2.
My favorite posts from the last six months of 2005.
1. My favorite line, bar none: LSC's homage to Thanksgiving: So, this Thanksgiving, remember the brave and hardy Pilgrims - but never forget the crafty, treacherous and violent Indians.
2. JPC's list of dozens of remade movies reveals he has way too much time on his hands. And you guys wonder why energy prices are higher?
3. Skip wins the football pool. Someone tell Sip to stop submitting his pick -- he lost in week 2 but has continued to declare something like 8 mulligans.
4. TIBS gives us an early look at the show topic for the entire month of December on every conservative talk show in America.
5. LSC predicts that Scalia, Alito, Roberts and Thomas will be known as "The Fantastic Four."
6. Braveheart gives us an early look at the Democrats cut and run strategy.
7. Jason encourages Dick Cheney to enter the 2008 race in order to make Helen Thomas fulfill her promise to kill herself if that happens: "For the love of God and all that's decent, RUN DICK RUN."
8. Read the comments on this one closely. It's an inside joke, but still funny.
9. I really enjoyed commenting on the GITMO interrogation techniques.
13 December 2002.
1115:Interrogators began telling detainee how ungrateful and grumpy he was. In order to escalate the detainee's emotions, a mask was made from an MRE box with a smily face on it and placed on the detainee's head for a few moments. A latex glove was inflated and labeled the "sissy slap" glove. The glove was touched to the detainee's face periodically after explaining the terminology to him. The mask was placed back on the detainee's head. While wearing the mask, the team began dance instruction with the detainee. The detainee became agitated and began shouting.
There is no mention of music here. How can there be dancing without music? Also, I am going to make one of these "sissy slap" gloves and next time Sip orders a swirlee -- look out!
20 December 2002.
1115:Detainee offered water—refused. Corpsman changed ankle bandages to prevent chafing. Interrogater began by reminding the detainee about the lessons in respect and how the detainee had disrespected the interrogators. Told detainee that a dog is held in higher esteem because dogs know right from wrong and know how to protect innocent people from bad people. Began teaching the detainee lessons such as stay, come, and bark to elevate his social status up to that of a dog. Detainee became very agitated.
Are the liberals in the audience good and agitated? Good. This is exactly how I want the murderers of September 11th treated. Like vermin. How would you want Mohammed Atta treated? Now.... STAY. Before I hit you with the sissy slap glove...
10. This post by Sip turned out to be the understatement of the year.
For those who believe we move in lockstep, there were several disagreements between the SCG's that made it to these pages (and others, I am sure that didn't). Among those I noticed in perusing this year's postings:
1. TJ endorses civil unions, others accuse him of spending too much time watching musicals
2. JPC supports Meiers, Sip and others oppose...
3. TJ thinks Tancredo didn't help the war effort by calling on US forces to bomb mecca...
4. LSC thinks Duke cunningham should get a pass, others think he should rot in prison.
5. LSC thinks prosocutors are out of control in Libby case, others argue that perjury is perjury
There are others, I'm sure, but I have to go to bed. Happy New Year to one and all.
Friday, December 30, 2005
VDH ends the year on a powerful note...
What explains this paradox of public disappointment over things that turn out better than anticipated? Why are we like children who damn their parents for not providing yet another new toy when the present one is neither paid for nor yet out of the wrapper?
One cause is the demise of history. The past is either not taught enough, or presented wrongly as a therapeutic exercise to excise our purported sins.
Either way the result is the same: a historically ignorant populace who knows nothing about past American wars and their disappointments — and has absolutely no frame of reference to make sense of the present other than its own mercurial emotional state in any given news cycle.
Read it here.
SCG: Favorite Posts of the year, part 1
Here are some of my favorite moments from the first six months of 2005. No particular order:
1. "Remember that pinhead" - One of the longest threads on the site - 28 comments... a slugfest between me, Braveheart, LSC and some others...
2. Condi's boots. "I hate to say it, but W's Secretary of State is WAY better looking than Clinton's secretary of state. There is no way Warren Christopher could have pulled off those boots."
3. Jason imagines a jury of Michael Jackson's peers...
4. TIBS on oil exploration: "Drill. Drill in the ocean. Drill in the plains. Drill in the Mountains. Drill in the lakes. Drill in my freakin' back yard. And for Pete's sake, drill in the tundra (I mean, Arctic Wildlife Refuge). Just drill."
5. TIBS predicts immigration will be top issue in 2008. Looking good so far.
6. TIBS on how to handle Chavez: "How's your economy going to do then punk? Oh yeah, Monroe Doctrine no longer applies to Venezuala. Let me make the introductions: "Chicoms, Chavez; Chavez, your new daddy."
7. LSC's ex-girlfriend criticizes U of R's College Republican "safe zone" campaign.
8. LSC's response to the death of the founder of gonzo journalism: "Hunter S. Thompson is a Sissy. There, I said it." My response merits an honorable mention.
9. My favorite Question and Answer guy column, prompted by Sip.
Key graph: "Americans on the other hand, love tradition, are the most religious people on earth, are family oriented, work hard, drink hard, and like to wrestle WOMEN in the nude. We generally don't steal, but we will fight like hell for what is ours and stand strong with those who do the same."
10. JPC's announces that he wants to form his own island nation.
As far as I can tell, Skip had one post during this six months, but it was particularly interesting.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
I'd like to thank everyone for the cyber-silence with regard to the Johnny Damon fiasco. It is much appreciated.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Some of you know Mike Adams. I stumbled on one of his articles about two years ago, and have been keeping up since. He is a very conservative guy in a very liberal profession...higher education.
He is a university professor who, with articles like this, will never, EVER get tenure. Give it a quick read.
Bloomberg's Reagan moment?
Why not? Fire these jerks right now - they're breaking the law. This is both a public safety and national security issue now. Bloomy should give them until tomorrow morning to report to work - if they don't, they're fired - period. Back fill with supervisors, management, auxiliary police, port authority personnel and National Guard if you have to. Start hiring and training tomorrow. The current situation is unacceptable and you cannot reward this kind of BS tactic.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Is Skip an Ape Warrior?
I've always wondered how it is that Skip can claim to be Greek (and heterosexual!). Yet, he has thus far refused to open a restaurant and can't correctly pronounce the word "gyro." I've always taken his word for it, as the full body shave that he does every morning (with Tracy's help) was always used as evidence of his ancestry.
This story about Stalin's effort to create a hybrid race of human/ape warriors raises new questions, however.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Great Minds Think Alike
In Best of the Web Today on opinionjournal.com, James Taranto also suggests that the debate on terrorism and Iraq are becoming not entirely unlike a game of political rope-a-dope, with the President (ironically) playing the role of the guy named Muhammed.
Dopes Get Roped
Watching President Bush's political recovery on Iraq, one is tempted to think that this has all been part of a rope-a-dope strategy. In recent weeks Democrats have taken a host of outrageous positions on Iraq: John Kerry* accuses our troops of "terrorizing kids and children." Howard Dean says victory is "just plain wrong." On Friday the House voted 279-109 in favor of a resolution "expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to achieving victory in Iraq," which means that 108 Democrats and socialist Bernie Sanders are now on record opposing victory. (Fifty-nine Dems voted for victory, and 32 of them, along with two Republicans, voted "present.")
Most of the pro-surrender Dems--including last month's media darling, Jack Murtha--also voted against Murtha's proposal for immediate withdrawal, so it seems they want to turn tail and run, but not before taking some more casualties--a position they seem to have calibrated carefully with an eye toward completely discrediting themselves.
Meanwhile, Iraq held a successful election (or a "surprisingly successful election," as a New York Times news article calls it), and London's Daily Telegraph reports from Tal Afar, a Sunni area that was until recently a center of the terrorist insurgency, that "the approach of an American military convoy brings people out to wave and even clap."
The president last night addressed the nation, and he crystallized the issue:
We will continue to listen to honest criticism, and make every change that will help us complete the mission. Yet there is a difference between honest critics who recognize what is wrong, and defeatists who refuse to see that anything is right.
Defeatism may have its partisan uses, but it is not justified by the facts. . . .
I also want to speak to those of you who did not support my decision to send troops to Iraq: I have heard your disagreement, and I know how deeply it is felt. Yet now there are only two options before our country--victory or defeat. And the need for victory is larger than any president or political party, because the security of our people is in the balance.
All of which places Democrats in an untenable position. Do they continue insisting on defeat, or do they flip-flop and embrace victory? Either way they look silly, though less so in the latter case.
Was this the result of a brilliant administration strategy? Given the administration's genuine stumbles of late--the Harriet Miers nomination, abdicating control of the Valerie Plame kerfuffle--we're inclined to be a little stingy with the credit. But the Democrats are such extreme dopes, they can't help but get roped.
But they support the troops!
* Did we mention he's French-looking?
My earlier post is here.
Is Al Queda Eligible for the Family Share Plan?
What kind of country is this becoming where you can't even have a private conversation on your cell phone with a member of Al Queda stationed in Yemen or Pakistan? What about my rights!? How am I supposed to wish my cousin Ahjeb Happy Ramadan now? For the record, Ahjeb is no America hater, he joined for the tuition money and, if things go well, 72 virgins.
Defense Tech raises some questions about whether the NSA program is traditional wiretapping or something new (and more sinister!?...cue scary music). Hat tip: Instapundit.
My guess is that it has something to do with this -- the ability for authorities to use cell phones as receivers ALL THE TIME, whether or not the person being watched is on the phone or not.
I am definitely going to suggest that Ahjeb sign up on this new "do not wiretap" list that the feds are putting together.
"Guilty as sin and twice as ugly"
Check out Bill Hennessy's comments on the left's reaction to Bush's speech:
I think back to the period 9/12/2001 through about 2/14/2002. Remember how liberals pretended to be Americans? They tried to say patriotic things. They mimicked us. They said “thank you” when they found out I was in the Navy (stealing Michael Crook’s money) for 11 years. They probably felt really good about themselves–like they were part of something bigger than themselves.
But then politics seduced them. They couldn’t be pro-American if that meant being pro-Bush or even Bush-neutral. If W = anti-terrorism, then they were determined to be NOT anti-terrorist. Otherwise, what would their friends think? What would the folks at the radical, rude bar say? So they started inventing reasons to be against America while pretending not to be FOR terrorism.
But that’s a difficult slope to stand on...
Their great hope was the 2004 election. The dream was to replace W with Kerry who would announce an immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq. I’ll pretend, now, to know what many on the left were thinking based solely on my personal friendships with some lefties: They didn’t give a lick about Iraqis dying or Americans getting wounded and killed in battle. They wanted America to get a big black eye and lose credibility around the world. They wanted to be able stand on their roofs and shout, “I am GUILTY because I am American!”
They would have been wrong. Very wrong. They are guilty because they are un-American. Guilty as sin and twice as ugly. They seek not peace but war on the enemy’s terms. They seek not life but death wroght by The Other. They seek not nobility but scorn. They honor the traitor who lives by surrendering his fellows over the hero who dies defending an innocent stranger. Their view of the life is as foreign to me as palm trees to Antarctica. They live like bats in a Sunday school, benefiting from their environment while rotting it out from inside with their caustic droppings.
Posted mostly for our lefty readers -- who I love dearly as they are apparently our only ones! I was thinking he was a bit unfair in his comments, but then I realized he has the moral authority to say this because he served in the Navy! It must be true!
Hat tip: Malkin.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
The Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail...
We do not create terrorism by fighting the terrorists. We invite terrorism by ignoring them. And we will defeat the terrorists by capturing and killing them abroad ... removing their safe havens ... and strengthening new allies like Iraq and Afghanistan in the fight we share.
If you missed the President's speech, NRO has it posted here.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
What Freedom on the March Looks Like
The Belmont Club has a great picture of voters in line in Barwana, Iraq last week. The awesome power of democracy is the future of the middle east.
It is great to see the Iraqi people assuming their separate and equal station among the nations of the earth as the laws of nature and nature's God intended...
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 to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Friday, December 16, 2005
More Profiles in Courage...
Gotta love Nancy Pelosi, redefining "leadership" on the biggest issue facing our nation:
Pelosi said Democrats will produce an issue agenda for the 2006 elections but it will not include a position on Iraq. There is consensus within the party that President Bush has mismanaged the war and that a new course is needed, but House Democrats should be free to take individual positions, she [said].
Is Tookie's execution a win-win?
Before we get too far away from Tookie's execution, I wanted to point out that one of the best arguments against the death penalty is that it is the 'easy way out' for murderers. The guilty, the argument goes, should suffer the pain of a life in prison, which is far worse than death. But Tookie was innocent, right? As a result, even if we can all agree the death penalty is bad, we should rejoice that Tookie was spared a much worse fate of life in prison.
Thank god he was spared the living hell that serial killer Richard Speck faced in his prison:
In 1996, five years after Speck's death, television journalist Bill Kurtis uncovered a bizarre 1980s home video of Speck, which was shot in his prison cell at Statesville Correctional Institute. On the video, Speck is donning a pair of woman’s breasts -- apparently a result of hormone treatments -- wearing panties and having sex with another inmate. Some segments also showed Speck indulging in drugs and bragging of his crimes. The tape was later shown on the television program "American Justice," causing a major scandal within the Illinois Department of Corrections. Officials at the prison later claimed that Speck and two other inmates obtained the video camera from the prison's educational building.
If you get a chance, take a look at Americanham every once in a while. It is a new blog and doesn't have much up yet, but I expect the site will be entertaining, with a lot of good discussion about cool stuff like movies, videogames, japanese porn, and politics. I'm trying to goad him into giving us a review of Brokeback mountain... OK I made up the stuff about japanese porn, but a man can dream.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Statistics Suggest Race Not a Factor in Katrina Deaths
By Nathan Burchfiel CNSNews.com Correspondent
December 14, 2005(CNSNews.com) - Statistics released by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals suggest that fewer than half of the victims of Hurricane Katrina were black, and that whites died at the highest rate of all races in New Orleans. Article here .
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
The War on Christmas
There has always been frustration on the part of many Christians/Catholics (and others) that Christmas has been too commercialized, and there is resentment too that we seem to have room in the public square for all kinds of speech -- yet religious speech and expression is unwelcome.
"Happy Holidays" is a good example -- I have no problem with it, say it often. It is nice and inclusive. Yet, you see examples of Christmas trees being renamed holiday trees, Christmas songs banned in school, nativity scenes forbidden on public property, that many religious people have decided enough is enough and they aren't going to quietly sit through another "winter pageant" at school without speaking out.
Christians and Catholics are left with the impression that there is no room for Christmas in America -- please check your religion at the door, thank you. Why does that anger Christians/Catholics and people of other faiths? After all, it is argued, some people might be offended by religious expression in the public square!
Well, the public square seems big enough for lots of things many people find offensive. Like this:
If all of those things belong in the public square, many Christians and Catholics have a hard time believing that we can't find room for this:
Creating a democracy in places like Iraq and Afghanistan is important - and tomorrow/today's elections in Iraq are a great step forward. But democracy here at home is important too -- which is why confirming Alito (and hopefully two other conservative justices) is so very important.
Rep. Tom Feeney has a great piece in NRO today on Stephen Breyer and the desire for philosopher kings to set the ignorant masses straight.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Where have you gone Dolph Lungren?
The new Hollywood political darling is "Brokeback Mountain" - apologies to George Clooney's pseudo-intellectual screeds "Syriana" and "Good Night and Good Luck".
With box office returns in a free fall Hollywood has apparently turned further inward in its death spiral towards irrelevance.
Why are Americans not going to the movies? It's simple - they don't make movies people like me want to see. Today I made my Christmas list - for movies I chose three Frank Capra films and "On the Waterfront." Hollywood is simply no longer capable of making a straight-forward (no pun intended) shoot-em-up where the bad guys aren't Americans and the good guys are.
The question must be asked - if there is money to be made in these movies (and there always has been) - why aren't they being made? Has Hollywood become so paralyzed by liberal softminded fuzzyness that they would rather be toasted by the elites than entertain the rest of us?
When Gone With the Wind came out during the depression - it was an escape. People crammed together into massive theaters to relive the glory of a bygone age and escape the reality of their lives. When The Sands of Iwo Jima came out Americans got to relive the bravery of our World War II heroes through John Wayne.
Today we no longer see these celebrations of bravery and the American spirit. Today we see gay porn with a hint of plot and they call it art. No wonder they don't call them Motion Pictures anymore. High Noon was a Motion Picture -Brokeback Mountain is just a movie.
This movie will win Oscars - maybe not Best Picture - but it will be nominated for a whole bunch as well. Critics will, and already have, claimed it as the best movie of the century. However, if you've read the reviews and seen the movie - you may find one thing missing. Hidden amongst the "Gorgeous pacing", "Masterful cinematography" and luscious emoting the one thing no one wants to tell you is this movie really isn't about anything.
Boy meets boy, boy loves boy, boy loses boy, boy settles for girl. Switch boy with girl and I will bet you money (and I'm sure there's a film studies major at Vassar writing his thesis on this very topic) that at any time on my TV 24 hours a day I can find a movie with that exact same warmed-over heterosexual theme. In fact - all I need to do is keep my TV on jump between the Hallmark and Lifetime networks (although the only reason I'd need to actually jump is when Lifetime shows one of their "boy beats girl" movies) to see these movies 24 hours a day.
This movie will make money - no doubt about it - not Terminator 2 money, but a decent box. But would you rather sell wine and cheese or 'popularly priced' beer? Sadly, Hollywood is now a wine and cheese zone and beer drinkers like us need no longer apply.
But that's ok - The makers of these sensitive and slightly profitable movies can condescend to the rest of us - try to "wake us" from out intollerant bourgeois lives with their "eye opening" work. They can wear their ribbons and make their discombobulated acceptance speeches with a smug superiority.
Their box office recepts will continue to fall and the crowds will continue to stay home.
But eventually someone will make the next Rambo II or Under Siege.
And when they do, I, and the rest of my beer drinking, America loving friends will turn off our DVD players, get into our massive SUVs and head down to the googleplex to see a movie.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Somehow I missed this. Damn that Roosevelt, lying us into war. I'm positive eastern banking interests are behind this.
You can always count on the Dems to overplay their hand. When they start to get confident, they reveal who they really are... and it is not a pretty sight. The Democrats have realized this, which is why the new word in the Democrat caucus is to stop talking about Iraq until they come up with an actual policy they agree on! Don't hold your breath waiting for it.
The new Republican ad, which hammers home the defeatocrats cut and run strategy is brilliant. If Democrats respond (which they will), we will have a debate on whether or not the Democrats are surrender monkeys. This is the equivalent of a debate that centers on whether or not you beat your wife. Democrats can't win on that ground, so Republicans are goading them with this ad into keeping the story -- and the focus on the Democrats own over the top defeatist rhetoric -- alive.
If you get a chance, watch the video.
Hat tip to Captain Ed for coining the term, Defeatoctrats.
Six Conservative Guys
Barry's picture gave me an idea. I think we should consider adding five other conservative guys to join Barry at the top of the page. Who would you add?
All time six conservative guys: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, Goldwater, Reagan.
20th-21st century version: Reagan, Goldwater, Buckley, Hayek, Scalia, and Milton Friedman.
And, yes, I'm looking forward to seeing the suggestions offered by our friends on the left.
Things That Couldn't Happen Today
I've long argued that the Dukes of Hazzard could never be approved as a television show today. Can you imaging a network executive saying, sure, we'll green light the show about the southerners who drive around in a car with a confederate flag across the top of it. The fact that the car was named the "General Lee" and the horn played "Dixie," would have made the decison to send this show into the trash bin a slam dunk.
Similarly, can you imagine a television network executive approving a script for an animated special that quotes directly from the Bible? The Charlie Brown Christmas is special because it is like a small glimpse of our almost forgotten past.
"And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid ... And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord."
"And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men."
"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." - Linus Van Pelt
You can listen to Linus' quote, right here.
Yes, I know that executives even then were wary of the religious language -- but they didn't stop the project because of it. I don't think this show would see the light of day on network television today.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
A Modest Propsal
Ed Koch is about the only thing my mom (60's liberal) and I (90's conservative) agree on and he has a new proposal on Iraq. I don't think it has a snowball's chance in Hell of being adopted but I am curious what folks, on the right - and left, think of it: (It makes a lot of sense it me)
I believe we should state formally before the UN Security Council that it is our intention to totally withdraw our military forces in Iraq within the next six months, with orders to withdraw to be announced as soon as possible. The withdrawal would take place unless our NATO allies and our allies in the Gulf region -- Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt and others -- immediately commit combat troops to Iraq in proportion to the size of their military and agree to pay their fair share of the cost of the war.
Our representative to the UN, John Bolton, should state that while the UN Security Council was divided on whether to enforce by military means the unanimously-adopted Resolution 1441, it was unanimous in supporting Security Council resolutions authorizing our remaining in Iraq to stabilize it.
Bolton should state we have tried to stabilize Iraq and are willing to continue to try, but not alone. U.S. forces have suffered 2,125 deaths and 15,881 injuries since hostilities began. The deaths, casualties and costs are too much for the U.S. to bear unaided. We have 160,000 troops there. Our closest ally, Great Britain, has around 8,500, and other coalition forces have as few as several hundred. Some coalition forces have already entirely withdrawn their troops, e.g., Spain. Others have stated they are reducing their number or totally withdrawing their troops, e.g., Italy and Bulgaria.
Unless our allies and the UN Security Council are willing to participate and sacrifice proportionately by providing troops and money, we should leave. If our allies and the UN Security Council are not prepared to join us in seeking to create an atmosphere where a democratically-elected Iraqi government can function and prevent a civil war among the three major factions -- Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis -- we should not remain in Iraq.
Many have told me that this proposal sounds good, but it won't fly. Other nations simply won't provide troops at this time. I disagree. The reason I believe they will come in is that they have as much or more to lose as a result of our leaving. In the event of civil war, Iraq’s regional neighbors will be sucked in with Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other Sunni-dominated countries, afraid of Iran taking over the Shiite-dominated areas on Iran's border, and Turkey seeking to dominate the Kurdish areas to squelch any idea of an independent Kurdistan. The pressure to prevent the consequences of a civil war would compel many of these countries, including Russia, to enter the fray at this time to prevent one from starting. It would be far less burdensome for them to come in while the U.S. is still in Iraq, then to have to do so after we've left. When we leave, there is no assurance that we will come back. That is why I believe our allies, who should have stood with us originally even if they disagreed with us -- and certainly since the UN Security Council and the newly-elected Iraqi government have asked us to remain -- will join us now rather than see us leave. Let's give it a shot. The U.S. deaths and casualties are simply too great to bear alone.
If the rest of the world doesn't think it is in their interests to join us, then it is still right for us to leave. We've more than paid our dues in blood and money.
To paraphrase the great man himself - How's he doin'?
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Murtha v. Johnson
Boy, you can't turn on the TV these days without seeing John Murtha being fawned over my some MSM talking head. Congressman Murtha is a dream come true - a military man and perceived "hawk," blasting the President and the war and calling for the immediate withdrawal of our troops. Never mind the lack of actual thought behind such a preposterous proposal, never mind the 403-3 vote failure of just such a proposal in the house, no - with these words, a media star was born. Congressman Murtha is now everywhere - the Today Show, Larry King, NPR, all the Sunday Morning shows - he's probably lined up through the New Year.
Now Congressman Sam Johnson on the other hand, a 29 year veteran of three conflicts who spent 7 years in a Hanoi prison, well he warrants slightly less attention.
Has anyone heard his resounding rebuke of Congressman Murtha's call to withdraw the troops on the House floor? Has anyone read about him the Times? Have you seen him on the Today Show or Larry King? Gee, I wonder why. What exactly does Congressman Johnson have to say? He says "withdrawal is not an option."
"Any talk - even so much as a murmur - of leaving now- just emboldens the enemy and weakens the resolve of our of troops in the field. That's dangerous! If you don't believe me - check out Al Jazeera. This story is on the front page. We can't do that to our fellow Americans over there."
"I have to ask - What would Iraq be like if the United States pulled out -- allowing dangerous people like the head of al-Qaida, Zarqawi, to run the country? What would that mean for the region? The world?
Al Qaida rules with death, fear, terror and blood. Al Qaida takes innocent people hostage - then beheads them - and then brags about it on the internet.
Al Qaida has no respect for human life. They prey on innocent people to do their dirty work - because they know we don't target schools and hospitals and mosques - yet those are the exact places that they're using for safe cover.
Al Qaida will kidnap loved ones - especially very young children - of people trying to build democracy - like local leaders - to scare them out of helping out the new country. They're taking kids hostage - because parents want a new life and a better future for their children. Why is that such a crime?
What part of Al Qaida do you want operating here in America?
Al Qaida is a world-wide organization and world-wide threat. I don't want any part of this. Americans don't want, need or deserve al Qaida. Our troops are over in Iraq fighting not just for our freedom and protection - but freedom for the world.
We must fight the bad guys over there - not over here. WE must support our troops to the hilt so they don't go to bed at night - covered in talcum-powder thin white sand wondering - “Does America really support me."
These are just a few excerpts. Read the full text of his floor address here.
What you won't find in that text is that house Democrats called out against giving Sam Johnson a three-minute extension, but declined to stand and identify themselves.
A few thoughts on Tookie…
Are you really reformed if you still refuse to admit responsibility for the crime you were convicted of in the first place?
Let's say he is “reformed,” and has devoted some portion of his recent years towards trying to persuade children not to follow the miserable path in life that he chose for himself. Presumably, one of the lessons in this teaching is that there are consequences for such a way of life, no? Seems to me that there is one final lesson to be taught in that curriculum, and that is that while you may be able to put off the inevitable final consequence of the “gangsta” lifestyle, you cannot prevent it. Live that life, and you will die. If not at the hands of a fellow thug criminal on the street, than at the metered hands of justice.
Perhaps the real lesson in this whole sorry tale, is that the system of carrying out capital punishment is inadequate. If we assume that this guy is truly “reformed” - a gigantic and perhaps even largely implausible assumption mind you - than we're really executing the wrong guy. The guy we convicted of these brutally heinous acts is the one who deserved this penalty and he may no longer exist. Now this is not an argument to spare his life. The guy we convicted did indeed deserve his sentence, and the guy sitting on death row - even if he is truly “reformed,” is the only one left to pay that debt. The lesson is that it should not take 26 years to carry out a sentence. If the evidence is substantial enough not just for a conviction, but a death sentence, than the guilty party should be allowed but one appeal in a timely fashion, and then the sentence should be carried out swiftly.
Monday, December 05, 2005
"In next week's election, the Iraqi people will shame them yet again..."
Steyn eviscerates the anti-war left, once again.
You have to read the whole thing, but here are two small samples:
"It must be awful lonely being Joe Lieberman in the Democratic Party these days. Every time he switches on the news there's John Kerry sonorously droning out his latest pretzel of a position: Insofar as I understand it, he's not calling for a firm 100 percent fixed date of withdrawal -- like, say, Feb. 4, 2 p.m.; meet at Baghdad bus station with two pieces of carry-on. Don't worry, it's not like flying coach on TWA, you'd be able to change the date without paying a surcharge. But Kerry drones that we need to "set benchmarks" for the "transfer of authority." Actually, the administration's been doing that for two years -- setting dates for the return of sovereignty, for electing a national assembly, for approving a constitution, etc, and meeting all of them. And all during those same two years Kerry and his fellow Democrats have huffed that these dates are far too premature, the Iraqis aren't in a position to take over, hold an election, whatever. The Defeaticrats were against the benchmarks before they were for them."
"...Bush has chosen to embark on a project every other great power of the last half-millennium has shrunk from: the transformation of the Middle East. You can argue the merits of that, but once it's underway it's preposterous to suggest we need to have it all wrapped up by Jan. 24. The Defeaticrats' loss of proportion is unworthy of a serious political party in the world's only superpower. In next week's election, the Iraqi people will shame them yet again."
Read. The. Whole. Thing.
The Iraqi people are two for two in elections so far. Steyn predicts that they will be three for three next week. I'm certainly hoping for success, though I know there are others (the 'patriotic' among us) who will be much happier the day after the election if things go poorly.
Of course, the terrorists know the stakes, so they may attempt to raise the ante next week. But I think the Iraqi people, with our help, will prevail again over the nutjobs. These people have demonstrated that they are willing to walk over the dead bodies of suicide bombers (and spit on them!) on the way to vote. They've earned our respect in that regard.
The Bush administration has set pretty clear benchmarks for success -- interim elections, constitution, and soon, elections for a permanent Iraqi government. Of course, it would have been so much easier to just hand the keys over to an intact Iraqi army and let the generals keep order the old fashioned way.
That just shows you how short-sighted Bush is -- freedom this and freedom that. If he were a bit more, well, nuanced -- then maybe he would understand that the most important thing is stability, not this outdated, culturally insenstive idea of "freedom".
Friday, December 02, 2005
While I am a supporter of the death penalty, I would not consider myself overzealous. I firmly believe there should be an automatic appeals process (there is), and that court oversight should ensure the legal process was properly followed.
Today there is a lot of (negative) press about the 1,000th inmate put to death since 1976 when the death penalty has been reestablished. Of course, the articles really don’t display any outrage about the small number of inmates put to death in the last 29 years, but instead focus on the “large” number.
Couple of random musings:
1. 1,000 executions. I’m sure this is disproportionately small when asking how many others are on death row? What is the average time on death row? How many death row inmates die from natural causes while the appeals process slowly grinds?
2. Most death penalties are handed down by states. Chris can probably help here, but this means that a convict’s appeal can go through the state court, state supreme court, state court of appeals, federal court, federal circuit court of appeals, and US Supreme Court. As federal death penalty cases are tried in federal court, they only have to go through the federal court of appeals and the supreme court (think Tim McVeigh – fast-tracked to execution…and it still took a long time).
3. We’ve all heard the argument that executions aren’t a deterrent. This never fazes me. It’s a punishment, and permanently deters a convict from killing anyone else. If it does in fact deter other people from heinous crimes, that’s just gravy.
4. I wonder how many people were killed by these 1,000 executed inmates. We’ll never know how many people were prevented from being killed by these convicts, but I’m sure some innocent people are still walking around because these convicts were executed.
5. It’s time to stop making quasi-celebrities out of the likes of Mumia Abu-Jamal and Stanley “Tookie” Williams, but execute them and inform the public exactly all the details of what they were convicted of doing.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Now I get it
I'm sitting here watching Chris Matthews comparing our Defense Department to Tokyo Rose and it finally hits me. The liberals don't 'want' us to lose. What they want is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Take away our troops. They of course don't oppose the war - but they don't want recruiters to have the same tools about students that Verizon has about its customers or be able to enter our high schools. They 'support' the troops - but just in the abstract.
Take away our ability to hold terrorists. The rhetoric is as usual silly and self serving - but its circular logic deserves to be held up to well deserved ridicule. The argument goes as follows: We should release the terrorists. We should release them because we are fighting a war that may take decades to win. Because the war may be indefinite we shouldn't hold them indefinitely. I just wonder what would have happened if this argument had been advanced for German POWs in World War II.
Take away our ability to interrogate prisoners. Of course, it's not an opposition to the war, they just don't want us to become like 'them' - how very kind. We are forced to honor their mysogynist requests to the point of absurdity and it's a wonder that Laura Bush isn't forced to wear a burka - but we can hold our heads just a little bit higher. How pathetic.
Take away our weapons. Apparently the self-appointed moral dictators of liberal public opinion have decreed that Thou Shalt not use White Phosphorous. There was no rhyme or reason - but the decree came forth and thus our troops may henceforth be put in greater danger to help some mealymouthed Air America talk show host can claim that it makes us somehow 'better' than our enemy. Personally I thought that not lopping the heads off terrorists showed remarkable restraint on our part.
Don't let us demonize the enemy. Can you imagine being years deep into World War II without a single major motion picture or TV show that didn't show the Nazis as - bloodthirsty monsters? But today we live in bizzare universe where we can't 'demonize' the Islamo-Fascist enemy but if you're a Republican politician or a Wall-Mart executive, watch out!
Its defeat by a thousand critiques and now they want to control the information we share with the Iraqis and the world.
Today this 'scandal' has been 'exposed' - think of the consternation that would have occurred if anyone had found out that Ike had been lying to the world about Patton's plans to "Invade" Callais. Of course the press did - but they had a code of honor then. They cared more about freeing the world from tyranny than they did about getting on Meet the Press.
Its time for the liberals to come clean - winning this war would destroy every pre-concieved notion they have held about America and they are fighting tooth and nail to make sure this doesn't happen. Every mistake we make his been distorted beyond belief and every success has been marginalized and knowingly mocked.
Now I understand - they don't want us to lose this war - they just don't want us to have the means to fight it. (Of course if we do lose I'm sure they'll be kind enough to say 'I told you so')