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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Jarhead Journal

I just ran into a very new blog called Jarhead Journal by a Marine in Iraq. I am honored that he saw fit to include me on his blogroll and I am returning the favor. Check him out and don't forget to see the post on Care Packages.



I expect that the hoopla surrounding Saddam and his impending trial will only climb the decibel scale over the next few months. Here's the thing, criminal trials are meant to determine whether or not someone committed a criminal act. These work pretty well in civilized countries where witnesses are willing and able to come forward and testify in open court and evidence can be obtained by the proper methods. Serious problems arise, however, when attempting to apply the standards of criminal court proceedings to the trial of a despot that we already know is guilty (say what you will about innocent until proven guilty...that just doesn't fly for Saddam, sorry). Just check out the fiasco that Slobodan Milosevic's trial turned into.

Enter Saddam and his 1,500 closest lawyer friends. From these scum we get such perfectly rational statements as:

"This is a mockery of justice. We are facing clear legal violations. ... The allegations that this is going to be a fair trial is baseless," said Mohammad Rashdan, one of a 20-member legal team appointed by Saddam's wife to represent him.


"Any trial of the president is illegal and unjust and it follows from the aggression that took place against Iraq. The trial is a farce and the guilty verdict had been issued even before the trial has begun," he added.
Right. I'm sure that all of the allegations against this monster are baseless. Also, someone should inform this nut that all of this is merely a formality. We know Saddam is guilty as sin, that will be proven and shortly thereafter he will assume 6-foot-under temperature.

With any luck the vast majority of Humanity will see such claims for what they are. More troubling, it would seem, are the issues raised by Robert Alt at NRO:

The attorneys will of course use every argument at their disposal, but one line of argument is already taking shape. Ziad al-Khasawneh, one of Saddam's harem of lawyers, told AP that the United States has no legal basis to keep prisoners, including Saddam, now that it has transferred authority to an interim Iraqi government.

This argument would appear to be moot after today's transfer of legal custody. But not necessarily — not after Monday's Gitmo decision by the United States Supreme Court. As I explained here, the Supreme Court established a new rule permitting anyone in the custody of the United States to seek a writ of habeas corpus in a U.S. federal court. While the decision does not parse the line between legal and physical custody, a claim filed on the basis of physical custody is within the confines of the Court's reasoning.
Sound ridiculous? I'm not so sure. This argument seems to make technical sense to this layperson, but I guess I still wonder if such a thing would be allowed (maybe there's an inverse loophole).

Regardless, Saddam does not deserve even 0.0001% of the niceties shown him while in our hands. Nor does he deserve to continue to consume oxygen that would be put to much better use elsewhere. Whatever the Iraqis decide, no punishment could possibly be sufficient to account for the horror he subjected the people of Iraq to during his despotic rein.

In the end the critics (and the 1,500 plus lawyers on the wrong side of this one) will be overruled by common sense and justice. I just hope this is all taken care of expediently so the Iraqi people can get down to the serious work of rebuilding their country and shaping their new government.


After War

The things that so many people have lately lamented following the official End of Hostilities in Iraq pale in comparison to post WWII woes. Due to limited personal time I have not gone back to find accounts of what life was like in Europe after WWII. My generation (20-somethings) know of the period following WWII mostly from the black and white footage on the History Channel. Mostly it's tickertape parades in NYC with young GIs kissing every girl in sight.

Unfortunately for the World, there is a general amnesia about what actually happened following the capitulation of Germany on May 8th 1945. The Command Post has posted a great collection of articles from that time period. I highly suggest reading all of them. I'd say we stack up pretty well in Iraq, all things considered.

Here's a bit:

At first the Germans seemed too stunned and, as the summer wore on, too preoccupied with day-to-day existence to think about the future. When the harvest was in and the daily ration barely above 1,200 calories, when the weather turned cold and there was no coal, when the farmers and other producers became increasingly unwilling to part with their products for money, the people, as the Wuerttemberg-Baden Office of Military Government reported, sank “deeper and deeper into despair as they saw a cruel, cold, hungry winter ahead.” 3 The harvest, all things considered, had been a good one but could not under any circumstances have been good enough to feed the zone population throughout the winter. Coal output in the British and French zones had increased, but the rail and water transport systems were only able to move about 60 percent of the coal away from the mines. The US zone received half a million tons in August but only 150,000 tons more in December, just enough to run the railroads and essential public utilities. When cold weather came, military government in Stuttgart and other places requisitioned all coal supplies over a quarter ton, and throughout the zone children were required to bring a piece of firewood with them to school each day to heat the classrooms.
Doesn't sound much like the resounding victory followed by happy tickertape parades that we all think of, does it? Maybe a little history lesson for anyone out there expecting perfection in Iraq might be in order.


fahrenheit fact

I just ran across this self-described fact blog fahrenheit fact thanks to Bill's Big Bloviating Blog. I have only just started to get into the posts, but from what I have read so far I'm a big fan. This site should prove interesting regardless of your political persuasion. Check 'em out.


William F. Buckley Jr.

Mr. Buckley has handed over the reins at Nation Review. NRO has posted his Publisher’s Statement included in the first issue of National Review back in 1955 (hat tip Powerline).

This is an amazing piece. Reading it, I find myself almost unable to believe that it was written in 1955. For example:

"I happen to prefer champagne to ditchwater," said the benign old wrecker of the ordered society, Oliver Wendell Holmes, "but there is no reason to suppose that the cosmos does." We have come around to Mr. Holmes' view, so much that we feel gentlemanly doubts when asserting the superiority of capitalism to socialism, of republicanism to centralism, of champagne to ditchwater — of anything to anything.
I am encouraged by the possibility that perhaps relativism has not made as much headway as I often think it has. After all, if the state of the world in 1955 is accurately reflected in this piece (and I have no reason to believe it is not), then maybe, just maybe, we on the Right have a fighting chance to succeed against the forces of liberalism and multiculturalism. I only hope that I can contribute some small part to that fight and that we all keep up the struggle. We may never win unconditional surrender from the opposition, but then I suppose the world would be a rather boring place without invigorated discussion.

Read the whole thing. The man is a genius.


Brain Terminal Video Is Up

Evan has just posted yet another great video at Brain Terminal.

The setting is outside the Bill Clinton book signing in NYC. As usual, Evan does an outstanding job of asking the right questions and just letting people talk. I think the most striking aspect to this particular video is the absolute lack of knowledge these people seem to have of economics. That, and the apparent intellectual dishonesty about assigning credit when things go well and blame when things go badly.

Definitely take the time to watch the video. I'd love to hear what you all think.


Tuesday, June 29, 2004


Supreme BS

I love the Nine Dictators In Black. They'd be so cute and mixed up if they weren't so dangerous. They say that so-called Campaign Finance Reform (aka the Shut Up You Stupid Citizen Bill) is ok and then turn around and refuse to restrict pornographer's Freedom of Speech, by which they mean:

...a law meant to punish pornographers who peddle dirty pictures to Web-surfing kids is probably an unconstitutional muzzle on free speech.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for protecting the Freedom of Speech for everyone. But the idea that a pornographer has a greater right to that Freedom that I have to present my political views is absurd. They should be ashamed of themselves for being so brazenly contradictory that a lowly blogger as myself can see it coming a mile away.

When will people stand up for their God-Given Right to Speak Freely?! Untold thousands upon thousands have died over these past 200+ years to insure that I have the right to speak my mind, regardless of how close we are to an election.

How DARE those Nine Dictators in Black (not to mention our Congresspeople and even the President) say that I cannot express myself in the Media?!

And how DARE we not stand up to them?!


Hillary The Socialist

If there was ever any question before, there should be none now. Here's was Hillary had to say to a bunch of reporters today:

Headlining an appearance with other Democratic women senators on behalf of Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is up for re-election this year, Hillary Clinton told several hundred supporters -- some of whom had ponied up as much as $10,000 to attend -- to expect to lose some of the tax cuts passed by President Bush if Democrats win the White House and control of Congress.

"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." (emphesis added)
She's a hardcore Socialist.

Any Questions?


A Few Lefty Busters

From time to time I find myself engaged in a 'discussion' with a liberal friend and unable to recall exactly where it was that I saw a particular piece that backs up my claims. Since I require that those who argue with me adhere to the highest standards of documentation, I hold myself to the same.

Here are a few articles that I've run across lately (and not so lately) that might come in handy during your next 'discussion'.

Iraq and al Qaida: Friends or Enemies of Enemies?

Fact Check.org has a great analysis of the current debate over links, contacts, collaborative relationships, etc.

For original articles check out Reuters, Slick Willy Himself, the NYT, the AP, the UK Telegraph, PBS (that's right PBS!), Andrew Sullivan, The Weekly Standard, and NRO.

For some interesting things the 9/11 Commission apparently missed check out the NY Post.

Iraqi WMD's?

Clinton thought so (his own words), CNS News, UN Inspections, maybe Saddam himself was fooled

Ronald Reagan: Did Liberals Really Love Him Way Back When?

Humm...no. And they don't love him now. Proof?

Back then: Andrew Sullivan, Ann Coulter.

Now: Working For Change, Slate, Ted Rall.

Global Warming...Or...Global Cooling?

It's so hard to keep it all straight. Here are few from both sides.

Warming: Reuters, Al Gore (funny for so many reasons), Indian Cities To Be Submerged

Cooling: CS Monitor, Newsweek, The new ice age

Along a slightly differ vein:

'Prehistoric man began global warming'

Aliens Cause Global Warming (A really good article...seriously).

Oil For Corruption...I Mean Food...or something

The List!

And Another The List!

The stories: Overview, UK MP's involvement, Saddam, the French, cover-up?

Bunch 'o' Denials: UN Denials, everybody denies it


Enjoy and use this power wisely =).


New On The Blogroll

I've recently found yet another blog to my liking. The Unmentionables is written by a blogger known only as CJ. CJ seems have a good head-shoulders connection and I strongly suggest you check 'em out.


Monday, June 28, 2004


I'd Vote Democrat...

...if Zell Miller ran. I love this guy and I truly hope that this story is true and he gets to speak at the GOP Convention. His book A National Party No More was absolutely great. It's filled with good 'ol fashioned wisdom and commonsense. If only more people (both Republicans and Democrats) shared his conviction for family and national values, this world would be a better place.


Abortion And Elections

For starters, I find this analysis quite stomach-turning for reasons that should become obvious shortly. Personal feelings aside, the cold, hard facts presented with this analysis raise some intriguing issues.

Larry Eastland, writing for Opinion Journal, makes the claim that abortion is robbing Liberals (and Democrats) of voters. What's happening? The voters are being aborted. This analysis has some potential to carry serious consequences for Dems/Libs now and in the future. However...

The one caveat I would add to this analysis has to do with the initial data collection. All of this is based on presenting the following question to people:

As far as you know, has anyone close to you had an abortion?" The emphasis here was on "close to you"
The question was framed in this manner...

...in order to bring to mind only those people inside the respondents' circle of socio-demographically homogeneous family and friends.
Given this methodology, it is actually correct to conclude that:

Democrats/Liberals tend to know of more people having abortions 'close to them' than do Republicans/Conservatives.

This is not the same thing as:

More Democrats/Liberals have abortions than do Republicans/Conservatives.

Why do I make this distinction? It seems possible that a woman having an abortion would be more likely to tell someone the truth if she thought that person would be receptive to (and even agree with) the decision. And, conversely, she might be less willing to fess up to a person who would not agree with her decision. This introduces a serious potential for bias (albeit honest bias) into the collected data.

While not perfect, the premise behind the methodology does make sense to me...it's just that the scientist in me can't let them slide by too easily.

With that caveat in mind, check out the complete analysis. Here's a bit:

In the actual popular vote for president in the 2000 general election in Florida, George W. Bush was declared the winner by 537 votes. But if the 260,962 Missing Voters of Florida had been present to vote, Al Gore would have won by 45,366 votes. Missing Voters--through decisions made in the 1970s and early 1980s, encouraged and emboldened by the feminist movement at the height of its power--altered the outcome of the U.S. presidency a generation later, in a way proponents of legal abortion could not have imagined.

Examining these results through a partisan political lens, the Democrats have given the Republicans a decided advantage in electoral politics, one that grows with each election. Moreover, it is an advantage that they can never regain. Even if abortion were declared illegal today, and every single person complied with the decision, the advantage would continue to grow until the 2020 election, and would stay at that level throughout the voting lifetime of most Americans living today.
Interesting (again, in a sick sort of way), wouldn't you say?

Give the whole thing a read.


Opinion Journal has posted responses to this article here. In their infinite wisdom they have elected to not use my response. But lucky for you, you've got my analysis right here!

The responses they did post range from serious to actually pretty entertaining. Here's one on the serious side:

First Words--the Real Loss
Keith Russell - Spring, Texas

I had never thought of abortion from a statistical side.

To me it still has to be measured in how many giggles were lost or how many first steps not taken. It is a matter of first words, lost teeth (baby teeth), best friends, first bike rides, or games of t-ball. Its about paper hearts on father's day that say I love you daddy in a way that a typewriter or greeting card never can.

A child is God's greatest gift and I truly feel for all of those people who have denied themselves the experience. The measurement of lost lives in the terms of votes changed or dollars saved is truly baffling to me. Thank you for reminding me of how important my son is to me , perhaps you should get over the bloodsport of politics and think about what a life is really about.
And here's my, admittedly irreverent, favorite:

They Make Up for It
Michael Singer - Troy, Mich.

Yes, but think of all the "extra" votes routinely added by the Democratic Party. There are dead people, felons, illegal aliens, twice registered voters, etc. to pad those voter roles in Democratic favor.

Update 2:

CJ (of The Unmentionables) pointes out a post on an article on a similar topic from the Calagry Sun. Check 'em out.


Power Handed Over In Iraq

Congratulations are in order for the Iraqi People, the Coalition and President Bush. The Iraqis have taken the first step to being in full control of their own destiny (the next big step will be the elections scheduled in January).

I say Congratulations! History will look back on this day as a very significant one in the creation of the first Arab Democracy in the Middle East.


For the stories check out Sky News and The Australian.


Hindrocket over at Powerline has a slightly different take on the early handover of power today.

I think it was a great move to trump the Terrorists and not give them a chance to build a sustained and coordinated attack leading up to July 1. I suppose that the presence of that consideration could be taken to mean that we're not in complete control...but I think that's pretty obvious anyway.

The reason we're not in control? Simple, we have decided that we'd rather watch our soliders die than kill innocent Iraqis along with the guilty. We could easily 'put down' the Terrorists, but we'd probably end up alienating most Iraqis, the world and even our own citizens. Not an easy decision, and not one I necessarily agree with, but one I do understand.

In any case, check out what Powerline has to say and make up your own mind.


Friday, June 25, 2004


Dying Gasps Of An Ideology

As I have said before, the violence in Iraq (horrible though it may be) is the dying gasp of a doomed Ideology. The Belmont agrees in a recent post. Give it a read. Here's a bit:

The week leading up to the formal transfer of power to the Iraqi interim government will be punctuated by heavy yet pointless violence. The event is as unstoppable as the Overlord invasion, Zarqawi or no. The enemy had better prepare his fallback position and prepare for the next phase of the campaign.
The next phase is going to involve growing peace, freedom and prosperity in Iraq. The forces of evil cannot win in the face of Freedom. When people have a shot at living happy and comfortable lives the vast majority will not be willing to condone (let alone take part in) Terrorism and similar evil.

Those three factors (Peace, Freedom and Prosperity) are going to signal the next death knell of the old bell for Islamofacism. So stay strong and don't give in to the pessimism of the Left.


I'm Sure The Red Cross Wouldn't Mind

Check it out:

Saddam Hussein Freed On Technicality

BAGHDAD—The U.S. was forced to free accused war criminal Saddam Hussein Monday following the revelation that the former Iraqi dictator had been arrested in an illegal search. "American special forces neglected to obtain proper warrants before dragging Mr. Hussein from his hiding place outside of Adwar," Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi said in a morning press conference. "In accordance with international law, the Americans had no choice but to free him." Hussein, who is still named as the defendant in hundreds of outstanding civil cases, said his release was proof that the system works.
Funny, and close to true. Not worry, it's from the Onion =).


Pilot Rules

I like this list. Just the sort of attitude that keeps our Armed Forces the best the world. They also apply, to one degree or another, to life in general. Check 'em out:

5. There are Rules and there are Laws. The rules are made by men who think that they know better how to fly your airplane than you. The Laws (of Physics) were made by the Great One. You can, and sometimes should, suspend the Rules but you can never suspend the Laws.

6. More about Rules:
a. The rules are a good place to hide if you don't have a better idea and the talent to execute it.
b. If you deviate from a rule, it must be a flawless performance. (e.g., If you fly under a bridge, don't hit the bridge.)


27. The aircraft G-limits are only there in case there is another flight by that particular airplane. If subsequent flights do not appear likely, there are no G-limits.


Bill's Big Bloviating Blog

I just got wind of Bill's Big Bloviating Blog (via email) and so far I like what I see. Bill's been added to the New On The Blog Roll.


Why Do I Bother?

I don't know, but here's an article in the latest issue of Science:

Kerry Blasts Bush Over U.S. Science

Andrew Lawler

Science has never been a major issue in U.S. presidential campaigns. But this week John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee, made the state of America's research enterprise a part of his effort to unseat President George W. Bush.

Speaking in Denver, Colorado, on 21 June, Kerry harshly criticized the president for leading "one of the most antiscience Administrations in history." The Massachusetts senator also pledged to lift the ban on stem cell research and remove ideology from scientific decisionmaking if he wins in November.

Kerry's talk during a Colorado campaign swing came the same day that four dozen Nobel Prize winners released a letter supporting his candidacy. The laureates, including biologist and California Institute of Technology President David Baltimore, Harvard University chemist Walter Gilbert, and retired Department of Energy lab chief Burton Richter, accused Bush of "undermining the foundation of America's future" by reducing research funding, scaring away foreign talent, and ignoring scientific consensus on the dangers of global warming.

In a fact sheet put out the same day, Kerry's campaign blasted the Bush Administration for putting "politics over science to please their right-wing constituency." Kerry, who supports overturning the ban on federal funding for stem cell lines developed after 9 August 2001, said, "If we pursue the limitless potential of our science and ... use it wisely, we will save millions of lives and earn the gratitude of future generations."

The Bush campaign wasted no time responding to the attacks. "Only John Kerry would declare the country to be in scientific decline on a day when the country's first privately funded space trip is successfully completed," says spokesperson Steve Schmidt. "America is the world leader in patents, research and development, and Nobel prizes, and the president's 2005 budget [would] raise federal research and development funding to $132 billion, a 44% increase since taking office."
Anybody notice where the quote from the Bush people is? Anybody else notice that Bush's claim is backed up by exactly as much documentation as any made by Kerry? So why is it that you have read right till the very end of the article before you see anything could be even construed as the other side of the argument? The answer is obvious.


Thursday, June 24, 2004


The Babe Ruth of Catholicism

Well, except that he probably doesn't party and all that. Fr. Rob does, however, nail it out of the park each and every time he steps to the plate. Check out his most recent post on pro-abortion "Catholics". Here's a bit:

Apart from the utter mendacity of politicians who parrot their lines about being "personally opposed" to abortion, a mendacity which I expose here, here,and here, the fatuity of the "personally opposed, but..." position is demonstrated by simply using the Nazi comparison Father van Beeck provides. Imagine a Nazi official saying:

"I'm personally opposed to rounding up Jews, enslaving and gassing them, but I won't impose my religious faith on others."


"I'm personally opposed to the mass execution of Jews, Slavs, and Gypsies, but I have to represent the views of all the Nazis, the majority of whom support execution-on-demand."

We would rightly regard somone who uttered such things to be either a lunatic or a moral monster. At the very least we'd conclude there was something truncated about his moral vision.
Truly great stuff. Check it out.


Algore And Reuters Team Up

As I've mentioned before, I think Algore is an absolute nut...but at least he provides some entertainment from time to time. Fortunately, just when I had started to really miss him, he's back at it. This time in Georgetown prattling on and on about various lines of BS (complete text via Drudge). His claim this time? He says the...

...recent report by the Sept. 11 commission saying no credible evidence existed of a link between the Iraqi leader and bin Laden.
Really? That's interesting because I'm pretty sure that the 9/11 Commission's report said that contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida...

“do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship,"


“We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al-Qaida cooperated on attacks against the United States.”
What does that mean to you? I'd say (and I'm not alone) that this statement says more about what it does not address that by what it does. For anyone a little slow in the audience* these two statements do not rule out communication between al-Qaida and Saddam nor are they mutally exclusive with a mutual understanding between these very bad people (see next quote).

For the love God! That last link is an indictment against Osama himself from the Clinton Administration that states:

4. Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States. In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq. (emphasis mine)
So which is it boys, girls and Algores? Connection or no connection? Link or no link? Collaborative relationship or no collaborative relationship?

Get the point? Tired of my copious linking? When will people start to see the truth? How much evidence can people be convinced to overlook?



The NYT is running a story about Iraq contacting bin Laden. No connection, huh? (hat tip Powerline)


It's almost enough to make you want to throw up my truth-seeking hands and stop blogging. Almost...but then a little paragraph (probably overlooked by nearly everyone) pops up that makes me want to hang around and keep up the fight:

Gore, a Democrat who lost to Bush in a White House race ultimately decided by the Supreme Court...
There are two points in this short little excerpt that make me crazy. First, I guess I hadn't realized that that the 2000 election was "ultimately decided by the Supreme Court". What actually happened was that the US Supreme Court decided that the Florida Supreme Court was not following election laws by allowing endless recounts (which would have stopped as soon as they found a result they liked).

Second, the snide little remark:

despite winning the popular vote
really gets under my skin. Have these people ever heard of the Electoral College?! Hum? Check out the Constitution, it's all right there. I happen to disagree with the EC in the strongest terms, but the rules are the rules (unless you're a Democrat and you really, really want to win).

*Actually, it is a well proven fact that there are no 'slow' readers of MuD&PHuD. However, if a regular reader happened to point someone in this direction, you never know.


More of the Liberal lies about the nature of the 2000 election decision by the Supreme Court.


Dude, Where's My Freedom?

Well, well, well. It looks like the unconstitutional Campaign Finance Reform law (aka 'Shut Up, You Stupid Citizens law') might just boomerang around and hit the broad side of the barn...by which I mean Michael Moore's butt. The Hill is running a story about the FEC potentially banning commercials for Moore's movie under the CFR. Interesting:

Michael Moore may be prevented from advertising his controversial new movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” on television or radio after July 30 if the Federal Election Commission (FEC) today accepts the legal advice of its general counsel.

At the same time, a Republican-allied 527 soft-money group is preparing to file a complaint against Moore’s film with the FEC for violating campaign-finance law.

In a draft advisory opinion placed on the FEC’s agenda for today’s meeting, the agency’s general counsel states that political documentary filmmakers may not air television or radio ads referring to federal candidates within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election.


Since the FEC considers the Republican presidential convention scheduled to begin Aug. 30 a national political primary in which Bush is a candidate, Moore and other politically oriented filmmakers could not air any ad mentioning Bush after July 30.

That could make advertising for the film after July difficult since it is all about the Bush administration and what Moore regards as its mishandling of the war on terrorism and the decision to invade Iraq.

After the convention, ads for political films that mention Bush or any other federal candidate would be subject to the restrictions on all corporate communications within 60 days of the Nov. 2 general election.
How to put this? An old standby comes to mind: Although I agree with not a single word you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it.

I find Michael Moore, his opinions and his general way of doing business to be revolting and 100% contradictory to everything I believe and hold dear. But not for even a single second would I support a law shutting him up! (Unless he was proven to be guilty of libel and/or slander.)

This CFR crap makes me absolutely sick and scared out of my mind. Congress has made a law abridging the freedom of speech! Am I the only one who sees this as a direct and obvious contradiction to the 1st Amendment?! Let's review:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. (my emphasis, obviously)
Does anyone see where this could be interpreted to mean that Congress can say:

political documentary filmmakers [or any citizen] may not air television or radio ads referring to federal candidates within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election.
Huh? Anyone out there confused on this subject? No, I didn't think so. Unfortunately, our Congresspeople, Supreme Court and (yes, even) our President are completely and unforgivably 'confused' on this very simple and straightforward Constitutional issue.

On the other hand, maybe they know exactly what they've done and just want to shut us up.

For our own good, of course.


The Command Post has now picked up the story.


Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Gun Store Sued For Selling Guns Legally

I just caught a story posted at Free Republic about a settlement of $1 million paid by a store that sold a gun that ended up being used to grievously wound two police officers. The story goes something like this:

Store sells 12 guns (legally) for around $4,000 to a woman with no criminal record.

Woman turns around and sells those guns (illegally) to people with criminal records and who, therefore, were unable to buy the guns themselves.

The day after the woman buys the guns, the store gets suspicious and reports the sale to the ATF.

The store agrees to cooperate with the ATF in a sting and the next time the woman tries to buy guns for another straw sale she is arrested.

At least one of the guns in question are used to wound two police officers, forcing them to retire.

The store is sued (along with Ruger and the gun distributor, Acusport).

Obviously something bad has happened here. Two police officers were shot. That is always a particularly serious situation and must be dealt with severely and completely. However...

On the bright side the person making these illegal straw sales possible was apprehended thanks to the active cooperation of the store where the first sale occurred. You’d almost think that the store would get a thank you card for recognizing the possibility that something fishy was going on. Instead, they get sued and end up settling for a million bucks. Does anyone else see anything inherently wrong with this scenario?

I’ll tell you what it teaches me, if I were selling guns (legally) and suspected that straw sales were being conducted, it might just be better to ‘not notice’ and be ‘completely surprised’ later if there’s ever an investigation.

What was this store supposed to do?

The only answer is to not have made the first straw sale. That’s a serious problem, however, because the woman who bought the guns had every right to do so. Are we going to start setting a de facto limit on the number of guns I can buy in a given day? Humm?

I know all the gun control nuts would just love that, it would be the perfect foot-in-the-door-that-opens-onto-the-slippery-slope, now wouldn't it?

So I’ll ask again: How could the store have avoided litigation?

I, for one, have absolutely no idea.


(Hot) Air America

Seeing as how I have doubted Air America's staying power previously (and been contradicted in the Comments), I thought an update was in order.

Hog on Ice has a great post on Air America and their internal (not to mention external) contractions (hat tip Marcland):

I guess I need to go back to school, because I thought liberalism was all about sharing the wealth and helping the worker. Turns out I was totally wrong, as the situation at Air Amerika Radio shows. According to an AP article, the folks who started the "network" misrepresented their assets to investors and new executives, and then they threw a $70,000 opening bash, which they are now paying for by withholding salaries from their employees.

Kind of sounds like they're into Castro's brand of socialism. The big dogs get the meat, and the workers get the bone. Well, really, isn't that the ONLY kind of socialism? From labor unions to the former USSR, socialism has always been a way to funnel wealth to the bosses.

Here's a telling quote:

"When you believe you're doing work for the greater good, you don't question as much," says Javier Saade, a former Air America executive vice president.
Hey, how shocking, coming from a liberal. "We started a business and didn't think about whether it would actually make money (i.e. "work"), and now we're amazed that it's in trouble."
Ayn Rand should rise from her grave and kick that guy right in the balls.
I love it. And, I think Ayn Rand might just come through too, regardless of the normal Laws of Nature.

In the end they're going to fail and blame it on 1) the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, 2) the 'fact' that Liberals are just to dang sophisticated for talk radio and 3) anyone and anything else they can think of.


Fact Checking

Factcheck.org is a site I generally trust to be fair. They tend to rip into both sides equally by simply presenting facts that are omitted in campaign speeches, ads, etc.

There's a good one up right now about Moveon's contention that Halliburton was given contracts "on a silver platter." Give it a read and check out all their research, they're a great resource.


Clinton's Book To Rot On Shelves?

Might Bill's book not only be a critical bomb but also a commercial kaput? Based on Drudge's 21 links (19 of which appear to be bad news for el Slickster) one might start to think so. Only time will tell, but I will shed very few to zero tears if the wheels fall of this piece of adult fiction (filed right next to Fahrenheit 9/11 in your local library's dusty section).


Are You Really Funny?

How can you tell? One way might be to become a good judge of people's smiles. There is a test available at BBC online that will assess your ability to distinguish between fake and genuine smiles (hat tip AE Brain). I honestly know nothing of the 'science' behind any of this, but at the very least it's an amusing exercise. For the record I got 17 or 20 right. How 'bout you?


Operation Tiger Claw

Bryan Henderson is a high school student who has taken on the PC left and earned Featured Chapter at Protestwarrior.com. The short story is that he insisted that he has the right to hang up pro-War and pro-Israeli signs in school and, not surprisingly, he was met with fierce resistance from students, faculty and the administration. Definitely give this a read. It's hard to believe this kid is in high school. Very impressive all the way around.

(Hat tip Cold Fury (via Instapundit))


More Good News From Iraq

Arthur over at Chrenkoff has the forth installment of Good news from Iraq. As usual it is in-depth, wide-ranging and exhaustive (I'm a little tired just thinking about doing all that research). Support him by following the link and let him know that you appreciate his efforts.


Tuesday, June 22, 2004


Torture Update

It looks like the Bush Admin. is going to release its internal documents concerning torture (and the lack thereof). I hope they turn out to be informative and put this issue to rest once and for all.


What's That Pesky 9/11 Commission Up To?

Powerline has some thoughts:

Which makes me wonder about the commission's motives for opining about the presence or absence of an al Qaeda-Saddam connection. As I understand it, the purposes of the commission are to figure out what went wrong prior to 9/11 and to recommend changes that will prevent future terrorist attacks. I fail to see how the relationship (or lack thereof) between al Qaeda and Iraq bears on either purpose. It is possible that the commission nonetheless decided to address this issue in the name of historical completeness. But, in the current climate, it strikes me as gratuitous for the commission, for example, to have expressed its "belief" on the essentially unknowable question of whether Mohammad Atta met with Iraqi officials in the Czech Republic or, for that matter, to now undertake an inquiry regarding Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, the lieutenant colonel to whom Lehman referred.
The whole thing just strikes me as disingenuous from the get-go. Between the obvious fingerpointing (where we were told only 'fact finding' would occur) and potential 'witnesses' being on the panel I just have a hard time putting any faith the Commission at all.

Deacon makes some other great points in the post that you're not going to find anywhere else. Give it a read.


Evolution In Progress!

I just noticed that I have been upgraded from Flippery Fish to Crawly Amphibian in the Blog Ecosystem. Keep up the linking and reading and let's see if we can hit Slithering Reptile by next month!


Terrorists Kill Again

Terrorists have killed yet another hostage in Iraq. This time the hostage was a South Korean by the name of Kim Sun-Il. Here's some of the story (hat tip The Command Post):

SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- Iraqi insurgents have killed the South Korean civilian they were holding hostage, according to South Korean Foreign Ministry officials.

A spokesman said the U.S. military informed the South Korean Embassy in Iraq that they had found a body that appeared to be that of an Asian male, the officials said.

They sent a photograph of the body, and the embassy identified Kim Sun-Il, who was kidnapped on June 17 in Fallujah, west of Baghdad.


Overnight, hundreds of South Koreans gathered in central Seoul on to condemn the dispatch of South Korean troops to Iraq, but the government is so far not backing away from its decision.

Police said protesters holding candles and placards that read "I don't want to die. South Korean troops must get out" gathered in a downtown street, chanting "We are against the dispatch of troops!"
So, a bunch of South Korean protesters want their troops out of Iraq, huh? You know, we all sit around lambasting France for being a bunch of spineless you-know-whats (or at least I do...and, by the way, they are) even after we bailed them out in WWI, WWII and during the cold war (remember that whole Nuclear Umbrella thing?).

Now it seems that at least some South Koreans want to forget what the US did, and continues to do, for their country. Do any of these feeble-minded protesters think, for even a single second, that they would have the right to protest anything if it had not been for the US sacrificing thousands of our young men a few decades ago? And for that matter, how about all the expense we have accrued since then keeping troops stationed there to ensure that the South Korean people live free (and even have the right to be stupid and selfish).

I'm sorry, but this sort of thing is really starting to piss me off. I've had just about enough of these protests. Does anyone really think Iraq was better off with Saddam? How about the rest of the world? How about even just a small sign of gratitude from countries that our young men have died to keep free? Jeeze.


New Blogs

Michelle Malkin and In Search of Utopia have been moved to the permanent roll.

I have made three additions to the New To The Blog Roll:

Liberal Utopia
Right Voices
Weekend Pundit

Each of these blogs has intrigued me of late and I would like to thank them for their efforts and insight. Go check them out.


Bill Bombs

No, Clinton has not ordered another bombing of an Aspirin factory. The bombs, this time, are aimed at his new so-called book. Both the New York Times and the AP have taken turns flogging Bill's literary flop.


Unfortunately for the reader, Mr. Clinton's much awaited new autobiography "My Life" more closely resembles the Atlanta speech, which was so long-winded and tedious that the crowd cheered when he finally reached the words "In closing . . ."
The book, which weighs in at more than 950 pages, is sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull — the sound of one man prattling away, not for the reader, but for himself and some distant recording angel of history.
In many ways, the book is a mirror of Mr. Clinton's presidency: lack of discipline leading to squandered opportunities; high expectations, undermined by self-indulgence and scattered concentration. This memoir underscores many strengths of Mr. Clinton's eight years in the White House and his understanding that he was governing during a transitional and highly polarized period. But the very lack of focus and order that mars these pages also prevented him from summoning his energies in a sustained manner to bring his insights about the growing terror threat and an Israeli-Palestinian settlement to fruition.

Part of the problem is that "My Life" is relentlessly chronological, especially the second half of the book, which is devoted to his presidency. Almost every paragraph describes another meeting with a foreign leader or the signing of another bill or delivery of another speech.

The effect is mind-numbing. It's like being locked in a small room with a very gregarious man who insists on reading his entire appointment book, day by day, beginning in 1946.


You dig and you dig. And in the end, it just isn't worth it.
All I can say is: Wow. I read the words and still I find it hard to believe. And don't go saying, "Well, at least now you have to admit that the whole Media Bias thing is way overblown." Nope, my guess is that this book is so bad that not even the liberal NYT can swallow what little journalistic pride they have and give it a good review. Just goes to show you, everyone has limits =).

I'd love to hear what the Unwashed Masses out there have to say about this (those of you who have otherwise-useless disposable income and some serious free time...and a whole lot of caffeine). I'm not really holding out any hope to get a response though, I just can't imagine anyone who's not getting paid to do it actually reading the whole thing.


Jeeze, I completely forgot to include this article:

Bill Clinton loses his temper with David Dimbleby during a BBC television interview to be broadcast this week when he is repeatedly quizzed about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

The former American president, famed for his amiable disposition, becomes visibly angry and rattled, particularly when Dimbleby asks him whether his publicly declared contrition over the affair is genuine.
His outrage at the line of questioning during the 50-minute interview, to be broadcast on Panorama on Tuesday night, lasts several minutes. It is the first time that the former President has been seen to lose his temper publicly over the issue of his sexual liaisons with Ms Lewinsky.
Poor baby. Somebody actually asks tough questions (on a topic about which Clinton lied under oath) and he gets all worked up. How telling. Anyone remember this touching moment from the Clinton Years:

Along those same lines, another source reports that two Secret
Service agents heard Hillary's daughter Chelsea refer to them as
"personal trained pigs" to some of her friends. When the friends
had gone, the senior agent on detail tried to scold Chelsea for
such disrespect. He told her that he was willing to put his life
on the line to save hers, and he believed that her father would
be shocked if he heard what she had just said to her friends.
Chelsea's response?

"I don't think so. That's what my parents call you."
Class acts all the way around.


Monday, June 21, 2004


Iraq War Not Worth Fighting?!

The Washington (com)Post has released the results of their latest to-make-your-own-news-just-ask-questions (i.e., poll) (hat tip The Command Post). Their findings?...

The joint survey by America's ABC News and the Washington Post found seven in 10 Americans thought US casualties were "unacceptable".

And the number of those confident the war had enhanced long-term US security was down 11 points since the beginning of the year, to 51 per cent.


Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry was slightly ahead of him in terms of who was trusted to handle terrorism - 48 per cent to 47 per cent.

Mr Bush had a 13-point lead over Mr Kerry on the same issue a month ago and a 21-point lead in April.

Evaluating Mr Bush's overall job performance, 47 per cent of Americans polled approved and 51 per cent disapproved.

If the election was held today, Mr Kerry would have a four-point lead over Mr Bush in the three-way race including independent candidate Ralph Nader, according to the survey.
What does this prove? Well, as many have pointed out previously, even as Bush loses points on any number of topics Kerry generally fails to gain proportionally. Perhaps this is stretching the Silver Lining just a bit, but it does seem to reason that if people actively supported/liked a candidate, his numbers would skyrocket while his opponent's fell. Well, even with the Media hyping bad news like there's no tomorrow, Bush and Kerry are still in a statistical dead heat.

Outside the Beltway has some good, specific, analysis on this topic.

The basic thing I take away from this is that the people of this country are (once again) allowing themselves to be lead around like sheep. Apparently, the responders to this poll have swallowed, hook, line and sinker the Media's distortions and outright lies about what the Bush Admin did and did not say leading up to the war. If you don't kow what I'm talking about, try reading the Outside the Beltway post and doing what you can to conjure up mental images of what 'life' under Saddam (hat tip Right Voices) must have been like. Then tell me that our sacrifices weren't worth it.


UN Ambulances Used As Armed Terrorist Transports

On June 1 of this year I linked to a post at AE Brain about how armed Palestinian Terrorists had been caught on tape being transported by a UN ambulance in the middle of a firefight (a clear violation of the UN's purported role in armed conflicts). Well, it would appear that we have a similar situation on our hands here (via The Command Post):

IDF troops arrested three Palestinian suspects in the West Bank on Monday night, including a senior Tanzim official, who the army said tried to escape from authorities by traveling in an ambulance.


Faraj said he needed the ambulance because he was suffering from appendicitis, but according to the intelligence information that led to Faraj's arrest, he was using the ambulance as a way to escape from Israeli security forces.

Faraj was brought to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem (Jerusalem), for a medical check. He was then transferred to the Shin Bet security service for questioning.
Interesting. It seems that a pattern is developing. Why is this not splattered all over the evening news? If a UN ambulance were being used as a troop transport or an escape pod for Israeli troops or military leader you could bet the farm CNN would be running a 14-minute story ever quarter hour.

Just another example in a very long line of 1) UN dirtbag-ness and 2) Media bias.


Fighting Terror, Israeli Style

I picked this story from the Jerusalem Post via The Command Post. And they say taking the fight to the Terrorists doesn't work:

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon has defended the destruction of terrorists' houses, saying Sunday that neighbors and family members of Palestinian would-be suicide bombers have often come forward with information to prevent the pending attacks, in an effort to spare their homes from demolition.
Amazing. People see that bad things happen to Terrorists (even after the Terrorists themselves are dead) and decide it would be better to cooperate than be bulldozed. Whoda-thunk-it?

This take-the-fight-to-the-enemy tactic works in the case of other Terrorists as well. Whatever the number of people out there willing to die while trying to kill us is, their number is finite. If they're busy fighting us somewhere else in the world (Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.) then they're not busy trying to kill us in our homes while we sleep.

In the vein I would like to extend my very personal and heartfelt thanks to our men and women in the Armed Forces for making the world, and particularly the United States, a far better and safer place by taking the fight to the enemy. Each and every one of you deserves our undying gratitude and, perhaps more importantly, our undying and unflinching support as you go about your dangerous business. So again, Thank You.


Insults Unpunished Closing Up Shop

I am sad to report that one of my absolute favorite blogs is no more. Robert Prather has announced that Insults Unpunished will be going inactive. The site will remain accessible, but the insightful and often entertaining blogging is apparently over (in terms of impact per word, this is my absolute favorite post of all time). I, for one, would like to extend my thanks to Robert for all of his efforts and wish him luck in all his future endeavors.


A Real Man

Often when a person is put in a set of horrible and totally unfair circumstances his or her true colors show, for better or for worse. In the case of this Italian taken hostage in Iraq, he proved to be a Real Man to the end:

"This boy, as the assassins were pointing the gun at him, tried to take off his hood and shouted: 'Now I'll show you how an Italian dies' ... he died as a hero."
Here's a guy who went down fighting. This man understood what the South Korean hostage does (did) not: These animals are going to kill you whether you beg for you life or not. They have no compassion for fellow human beings for the very simple reason that they have given up all claim to the title 'Human Being'.

I can only hope that brave actions like those of Fabrizio Quattrocchi and all those who would fight evil eventually result in dissuading or killing all of these animals.


Upon further consideration I think that Fabrizio Quattrocchi deserves inclusion under "Ideas That Stand The Test Of Time" [renamed "Outstanding Honor"]. His words will forever ring in my ear whenever I hear some limp-wristed appeaser whining: Let's just stop making the Terrorists mad and maybe they'll leave us alone.


Well? Which Will It Be?

My Dad sent me this and I just couldn't resist sharing =).

 Posted by Hello


9/11 Commission Missed Something?!


The Fedayeen were a special unit of volunteers given basic training in irregular warfare. The lieutenant colonel, Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, has the same name as an Iraqi thought to have attended a planning meeting for the Sept. 11 attacks in January 2000, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting was also attended by two of the hijackers, Khalid al Midhar and Nawaf al Hamzi and senior al-Qaida leaders.


Sunday, Lehman acknowledged that, "the vice president was right when he said he may have things that we don't yet have. And we are now in the process of getting this latest intelligence."

Democratic panel member Richard Ben-Veniste agreed that the panel should study any more recent intelligence, "If there is additional information, we're happy to look at it, and we think we should get it."

They're trying to make me believe that the 9/11 Commission did not have access to "this latest intelligence"? Really. That's amazing because as recently as May 27, 2004 Junk Yard Blog commented on a Wall Street Journal report:

Newly uncovered files examined by U.S. military investigators in Baghdad show what is being described as "a direct link" between Saddam Hussein's elite Fedayeen military unit and the terrorist attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001.
Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, who attended a January 2000 al Qaida summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where the 9/11 attacks were planned, is listed among the officers on three Fedayeen rosters reviewed by U.S. probers, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

"Our government sources, who have seen translations of the documents, say Shakir is listed with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel," the paper said.

Though the Journal doesn't mention it, Saddam's Fedayeen has been identified in previous reports as the group that conducted 9/11-style hijack training drills on a parked Boeing 707 airliner at the south Baghdad terrorist camp Salman Pak.

When Shakir was arrested in Qatar on Sept. 17, 2001, he was carrying phone numbers of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers' safe houses and contacts, as well as information relating to Operation Bojinka, a plot devised by trade center bomber Ramzi Yousef that became the blueprint for the 9/11 attacks.

The Qataris released Shakir after a brief detention and he fled to Jordan, where he was re-arrested. Inexplicably, however, the CIA signed off on his release after Amnesty International complained.

"He was last seen heading home to Baghdad," the Journal says.

How was it that the 9/11 Commission missed this again? Maybe they're looking to miss things. Makes you wonder about their motivation, although that's sort of moot considering they've already blown their credibility.


Sunday, June 20, 2004


Paul Johnson

May God Rest His Soul.

Here is the AFP story about Mr. Johnson's hometown.

Drudge is running graphic pictures of Mr. Johnson's decapitated corpse (warning: they truly are graphic).


CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - The purported leader of al-Qaida in Saudi Arabia was killed in a raid in the capital Friday, Saudi security officials said. Abdulaziz al-Moqrin, 31, was killed by security forces who had surrounded militants in a downtown neighborhood shortly after the discovery of the body of an American killed earlier in the evening, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Update 2:

For those of you who question whether or not such images should be made public (as with the Nick Berg video and the more recent photos) I refer you here (me) and here (Rush).

I know I've harped on this before, but I honestly believe that actually seeing what these animals are capable of is the only way to truly appreciate just how depraved they really are. As Rush put it:

Andrew, I know you're probably still out there. His point was what went in Saddam's torture chambers and prisons is "not news." We know it's bad, and that's the kind of things those people do and we don't need to see it. But what we do is news because that's not who we are, he said, and I think thinking like that is going to render us a bunch of softies. If we are unwilling to face what it is we are fighting, and if we are unwilling to take a look at what it is we are fighting and what will be done to us if we don't defeat these people, then we may as well cash in the chips and build a wall around the country. Maybe build a big bubble around the country, let enough sunlight in so the plants will grow, but we just retreat from the world so the terrorists can't attack us and can't get to us.

The American people have never seen these photos and movies of Saddam torture. That in itself is news. Let's share the evidence with the American people. Why censor this information? Media knows from the Abu Ghraib photos that pictures are far more effective in telling a story than the spoken word is. We know what Adolph Hitler did, too, but the media showed the concentration camps and the atrocities and the evidence of genocide after the war and they should have, and we have never been allowed to forget it -- and we never should forget it. We didn't have a full understanding of what we were faced with in World War II, even though we had a pretty good idea. When we found out what was going on in those concentration camps and we found out mass murder was taking place and how, not only did we show it and not only were there films and not only did the media and the army go in and take pictures of the evidence, we get movies about it to this day so we do not forget.
If we allow the Media to continue to censor what we see, we run the risk of committing the unforgivable: We risk forgetting.


Thursday, June 17, 2004


9/11 Commission Farce Draws To A Close

If there is any justice in the world, history will remember the 9/11 Commission as a complete and total farce, doing far more damage than just being useless. They have apparently concluded that there was no cooperation between al Qaida and Iraq. Umm...right. NE Republican has a good summary of some of the things the Commission apparently dismissed. Now, I will admit that I do not have access to all the documents that these fine people did. However, you must also admit that I do not have Jamie Gorlick's past, either. In any case, check out NE Republican's post and make up your own mind.


Andrew McCarthy wrote a great critique of at least part of the 9/11 Commission's report for NRO. He presents some interesting challenges and raises questions that far too many people seem to be overlooking. Give it a read.


Enemies, Then And Now

My dad and I carry on pretty extensive correspondence by email on a daily basis. Every now and then one of us hits on something that seems to cut through the BS more than usual. For him, today was one of those days. Here's part of what he wrote this morning:

Our contemporary enemies in the War on Terror are far more dangerous than the mortal enemies we faced in WW II. The reason I say this is because in WW II the Japanese certainly and the Germans possibly wanted only to control a larger sphere of influence with it's concomint raw materials including rubber, oil, cropland and manpower. Their goal was to have a more powerful economy capable of producing the products required to be a world dominating power. Our current enemies desire none of that. They want our very lives. They want to kill us, our children and prevent future generations of infidels. To them, if we refuse to convert, our lives not only have no value but have, in fact, a negative worth because we don't worship Islam. The Axis powers of WW II needed their conquered enemies to continue to live in order to make them slave laborers, they killed them for two reasons only. First, in Europe, because of religion (Judaism, of course) and second to terrorize the living to stay in line and not resist. Consider Vichy France. The French people WERE NOT systematically killed for refusing to convert to another religion. In fact, they were not only encouraged but REQUIRED to work to make the economy function. The opposite is, in fact, what our
current adversaries desire. Ooops, did I say "desire"? I should have said "require" because they want ONLY our lives, nothing else. Their goal, as opposed to that of the Axis powers of WW II, is to destroy our economy and return the world to the 15th century where there is no advanced civilization and thus no need for a modern economy with the technological requirements thereof. Combine that with their tactics of fighting without uniforms, a visible chain of command, a propensity to murder unarmed civilians and their ultimate desire to die in the attempt makes them, I believe, a much more dangerous enemy that the pikers of the 1940's. Not only because it makes them hard to locate but, more importantly, it makes it easier for liberals to justify NOT fighting back because they seem disorganized and inept and thus not worth getting too excited about. What think you?

I think he's right on. To me, there are two things that scare the living bejebbers out of me concerning the War on Terror (both of which are alluded to in the email: 1) Terrorists want to kill all of us and cannot be convinced to change their minds and 2) there are people in my country who are dumb enough to think we can reason with these animals.


JYB has some thoughts on the moral equlivance argument that so many spineless (and brainless) so-called 'human rights groups' unthinkingly resort to. Makes you wonder who's side they're on.


A Doomed Ideology

A car bomb exploded today in Baghdad:

AT least 32 people were killed and 120 wounded when a powerful car bomb exploded at the gates of a recruitment centre for the new Iraqi army in Baghdad today as volunteers queued to sign up.

Bloodied and battered bodies lay tangled in the street outside the recruitment centre, as ambulances struggled to deal with the chaos, an AFP correspondent on the scene said.

Rescue workers heaped badly mutilated casualties into ambulances and police trucks, while dazed Iraqi army men in uniform stood watching the carnage.

"They attacked the Iraqi army recruiting centre with a car bomb, we are trying to rescue people," first lieutenant Saad Idan said.

"It is an attack on the Iraqi army."

Two things. First, this really is an attack on the Iraqi army, and on the Iraqi people (as all of these car bombings have been). Eventually, the full implications of that action, attacking the Iraqi people, will truly hit home. At that point, I believe that the 'insurgency' will be officially dead.

Second, all of these horrible attacks are the last dying gasp of a doomed ideology. Totalitarianism cannot hold on forever in the face of people with a real hope of freedom. We and our allies have given the Iraqi people a gift: The hope of freedom. Further, we are and will continue to provide them with the means of realizing the dream of freedom. With those two forces working there is no hope for these evildoers who would drag the Iraqi people back into the 14th century.

When we look back in 10, 20, 50 years we will see a 'rough spot' and be eternally grateful (just as most of us are now) for the sacrifices made during that time. Following that 'rough spot,' however, I believe that we will see a country trying out its freedom-legs for the first time in many, many years. Those legs will not always support them fully, and there will certainly be some stumbling, but they will be helped to stand for as long as necessary. Then, once they've gotten their balance, we will see a new ally in a region of the world where once we had none.

So please, keep heart, pray for our men and women in uniform and do what you can to support this difficult but worthy effort to bring freedom and prosperity to Iraq.


Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Ann's Latest Column's Up

Ann Coulter's latest column, Let's Rewrite One For The Gipper! is up. She touches on something that I had commented on previously (along with many others (Sullivan, for one)) and I thank her for the additional evidence. Here's a bit:

The chattering classes weren't so copacetic about Reagan's religious beliefs when he was in office. In 1984, Newsweek breathlessly reported that "Reagan is known to have read and discussed with fundamentalist friends like (Jerry) Falwell and singer Pat Boone such pulp versions of biblical prophecies as Hal Lindsey's best-selling 'The Late Great Planet Earth,' which strongly hints of a nuclear Armageddon." One hundred Christian and Jewish "leaders" signed a letter warning that Reagan's nuclear policy had been unduly influenced by a "theology of nuclear Armageddon." In the second presidential debate that year, President Reagan was actually asked to clarify his position on "nuclear Armageddon."

As usual, she is superb. Read the whole thing.


Red Cross Says Charge 'im Or Release 'im

I find this story absolutely amazing. The Red Cross says:

Saddam Hussein must either be released from custody by June 30 or charged if the US and the new Iraqi government are to conform to international law, the International Committee of the Red Cross said last night.

I see. So we're supposed to treat Saddam like any old, run-of-the-mill POW, right? Now, I've got no particular problem with charging him with multiples of hundreds of thousands of deaths, he obviously deserves it. The problem I have with this attitude is that the ICRC is essentially equating Saddam Hussein with a common criminal. Thank God they haven't gotten around to worrying about whether or not our boys read him his Miranda Rights while digging him out of that nasty little hole.

I guess what the real issue, for me, boils down to this: the workings of the judicial process where Saddam is concerned look very much like those when big-time mobsters are tried. In that case, we have a witness protection program...and even here in America it is far from perfect. Think of what potential witnesses must be thinking in Iraq right now. There are still plenty of Saddam sympathizers out there. Any witness against that evil dictator will be taking on a huge risk to life and limb not only for him/herself, but also for his/her family.

You know, people are constantly trying to convince us all that Iraqis are just not ready for Democracy. I happen to think that they are more than ready for freedom and will learn to handle the attached responsibilities...with time. Likewise, in the case of judicial proceedings I have supreme confidence that the Iraqi People will develop into masters of the trade. However, this will take time and the IRCR is pressing for charges today. Tomorrow, they will be pressing for a speedy trial with plenty of taxpayer funded public defense of the Butcher of Baghdad. After all (ready the tears), he lost everything when the big, bad, 800-pound gorilla sat on him and his cowardly little generals (sniff).

Just watch. It will happen. There will be people out there whining that Saddam wasn't given a fair trial. I have only one question for them: Could you sleep at night knowing that you did you best to see a mass murder set free?


Reid Found Guilty

Richard Reid has been found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Junk Yard Blog has some of what the judge had to say as he handed down the sentence. The speech literally gave me chills and...well, read it for yourself:

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or that happens to be your view, you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not treat with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice. So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I know warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were, and he said you're no big deal. You're no big deal.

What your counsel, what your able counsel and what
the equally able United States attorneys have
grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know
how tried to grapple with, is why you did something
so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to
say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask
yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to
do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of
doing. And I have an answer for you. It may not
satisfy you. But as I search this entire record, it
comes as close to understanding as I know.
It seems to me you hate the one thing that is most
precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual
freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we
choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or
not believe as we individually choose. Here, in
this society, the very winds carry freedom. They
carry it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is
because we prize individual freedom so much that you
are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that
everyone can see, truly see that justice is
administered fairly, individually, and discretely.
It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are
striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed
appeals, will go on in their representation of you
before other judges.

We are about it. Because we all know that the way we
treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own
liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true
that we will bare any burden; pay any price, to
preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom.
Mark it well. The world is not going to long
remember what you or I say here. Day after tomorrow
it will be forgotten. But this, however, will long
endure Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all
across America, the American people will gather to
see that justice, individual justice, justice,not
war, individual justice is in fact being done. The
very President of the United States through his
officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay
out evidence on which specific matters can be
judged, and juries of citizens will gather to sit
and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and
shape and refine our sense of justice.
See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the
United States of America. That flag will fly there
long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands
for freedom. You know it always will.
Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.

Yes, JYB...Amen!


Are Bloggers The 'Useful Idiots' of Terrorists?

In Search of Utopia seems to think so; at least of those bloggers who host Nick Berg-like video feeds. Here's the gist of what ISOU has to say:

The terrorist post these videos hoping to get exposure. They post the videos on some obscure site, and few people are able to find the video. As soon as one of the major bloggers gets it, the videos are available and searchable on a host of high bandwidth internet sites within days. In effect, the terrorist are able to expand their distribution network for their propaganda with no investment, and no fear that the message will be negated by their ISP shutting them down.

This sounds very much like the oft-used argument against even reporting incidents of children bringing guns to school. The reasoning is that reporting the incident will only put the idea into other young heads and cause further problems.

I'm not sure, however, that this argument holds here. I agree completely that bloggers (myself included) have given the Terrorists a stage of sorts for the Nick Berg execution video. Obviously far fewer would have seen it had the video only ever been available on the original site. Let me try to make clear why I offered a link to the Nick Berg video. (Bear in mind, of course, that the internet and the blogosphere are here to stay and that, being the most free and far-reaching form of communication in existence today, this sort of information will continue to be made available regardless of anyone's attempt to stop it.)

So, when the footage of Nick Berg being beheaded in cold blood was posted we could have all decided to boycott it by not linking or hosting. Had the boycott been successful (which it could not have been) then very few would ever have seen the video. This would mean that the Terrorists would have been denied their platform for wider viewing of their cowardly act. Good, right?

On the other hand, had the general public (myself included, of course) never seen the Nick Berg video I think we would all have been worse off. Let me rephrase that: Had the general public (myself included) never been given the choice to see the Nick Berg video we would have all been worse off. The fact is, Terrorists want to kill us all. I mean each and every one of us, regardless of age, gender and walk of life. They want to absolutely destroy our society and will do so by killing us one at a time or wholesale.

Do you understand this? Most likely you would answer "yes". Let me say it again: Do you understand that the Terrorists would walk up to you in broad daylight, look you in the eye and put a knife to your, personal, throat and cut the life out of you? Has any of this sunk in? No? Go watch the Nick Berg video and it most certainly will. That ISOU, is the reason that not only should we make such terribly disturbing images available, but we must do so. Otherwise it is all too easy to forget the personal nature of this battle and fall back into that bubble that so many lived in before 9/11.


I knew I'd forget something if I rushed through this during lunch. Here's the final point I wanted to make.

The fact that Terrorists are given a wide stage for their propoganda is billed as a bad thing by ISOU. I disagree. I think that this assumption relies on a certain view of Americans, and not a positive one. Those who sudder to think of the possibilities resulting from Americans seeing one of our own killed in cold blood view us as weak. These individuals seem to think that if Americans are pushed too far that we will just fold, turn tail and run. Three words: They are wrong! When Americans are pushed we often ignore the pusher for a while. But when pushed too far, we don't just shove back, we pull out the 500-pound bombs and make bad guys disappear from the face of the earth.

I am of the opinion that Americans need to see the truth, because that is the only way we can make an informed decision about how to handle our enemies. If we are not allowed to see him for what and whom he really is, then we run the risk of assuming that he can be reasoned with. That way lies destruction and doom. Our only hope is to be honest with ourselves not only about what we are...but also about what our enemy is.


How about these videos (hat tip Instapundit)? Maybe they should be shown, you know, just for the sake of...umm...what do you call it. Oh right! Fairness!


Oh Al

Where would we be without Algore? The Union Leader reports on Al's most recent NH appearance where he (and this is the unexpected part) blasted Bush about Iraq. It's always nice to hear something new from the Left, isn't it?

Now, I have to admit that I agree with at least one thing he said:

“This [the liberation of Iraq] was done in our name. This changes for many in the world the meaning of America, the image of America,”

Yep. It sure was done in our name and it most certainly changes "the image of America." We are no long viewed as the limp-wristed namby-pamby paper tigers of the Clinton/Gore years. Now our enemies see us for what we really are: A People who will always fight reluctantly, but will always fight when necessary.

One more thought on this article. This next quote illustrates at least one of two things. Either Algore really said something to this effect, or the author of the article is to 'blame.' Here's what I'm talking about:

The speech was in direct contrast to Gore’s opening remarks, which saw light humor, as the former vice president poked fun at getting used to being just a citizen and the closeness of the 2000 Presidential election. (emphasis added)

Either Algore (or the reporter) seems to be condescending towards being just a citizen. That is possibly the most insulting thing I have seen written or heard spoken in quite some time. The idea that being just a citizen of this great country is something 'less' than being an elected official is absolutely bassackwards. How dare ANYONE take such a low opinion of all us, common, unwashed, just citizens?! Perhaps there is some misunderstanding of from whence power is derived under our form of government. If there's any doubt, try reading the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, Gettysburg Address, or any of the personal writings of our Founding Fathers.

I think that this shows just exactly how the elite in this country (whether Algore himself, the reporter or both) view the Rulers (a.k.a. People) of the United States of America. Something everyone might want to bear in mind come November.


Tuesday, June 15, 2004


Not Another One...

It looks like there is another American being held hostage by a group claiming to be al-Qaida. God, I hope this poor guy makes it out all right and escapes the fate of Nick Berg, Daniel Pearl and far too many other young men and women who have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. And while I at it, I most sincerely hope that we find these animals and put them out of commission one way or another. I guess all we can do for now is wait and pray that this guy gets to go home and see his family again.


Down The Rabbit Hole

As of this post Drudge has one of his signature teasers posted on his front page about a potential Washington (com)Post bombshell of sorts:

Now WASH POST Looking At Israeli tactics dealing with prisoners... Developing Wednesday in Page One Splash, Say Newsroom Sources...

If true it would seem that, in keeping with the tradition of scandal --> investigation --> investigation of other potential scandals, the Israelis might be under the harsh light of the (anti)Western Media in the near future.

Is this a good or a bad thing? That's a question to which I don't yet have the answer. However, in the case of Israel and its treatment of prisoners we should keep something very clearly in mind: The Israelis are fighting for their very lives (and have been since the UN established Israel as a country) against all comers (read: Arabs). This is not some metaphorical, or even real, 'battle' for freedom that we have seen countless times in our short history. Rather, they are fighting for the literal survival of their individual families. If Israel loses, there will be no second chance.

I happen to think that we (particularly the Bush Admin.) will not let Israel lose, even if it came to direct military action on our part to save her. However, the consequences of such a conflict would be terrible both in terms of immediate loss of life and the potential (or perhaps certainty) of the loss of any pretense of civility with any Arab countries whatsoever.

So, with respect to how they treat their prisoners bear in mind that Israel absolutely cannot lose. If that means not treating terrorists like prodigal sons would you stop them and risk losing the only democratically-minded country in the entire Middle East (at least until Iraq gets there)?


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