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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)

Saturday, December 25, 2004


Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and gets where they're going safely.

It looks like Santa was able to keep the skis on his sleigh pretty far south this year =).


Thursday, December 23, 2004


Homespun Bloggers Radio

The second edition of Homespun Bloggers Radio is up and running over at Homespun. Doug has the streaming audio of the first two shows running and you can also download a CD-quality file of either (or both) shows at Homespun. Just scroll down to find the links on the sidebar.


Saturday, December 18, 2004



Blogging will be sporadic at best for at least a few days. If you happen to go into withdrawal anytime soon, check out the Best Of Homespun Bloggers that will be posted tomorrow.


Thursday, December 16, 2004


Marines, Children and Toys

Read this. You'll be glad you did.


It's Cold Up There

I suppose that it's just so cold in Canada that they won't mind the soft, warm glow following the impact of nuclear ICBMs.


Fundamental Rights

I was very disturbed to see this story today (via Say Anything):

(12-15) 17:14 PST SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Francisco supervisors want voters to approve a sweeping handgun ban that would prohibit almost everyone except law enforcement officers, security guards and military members from possessing firearms in the city.
Here's why...

There are a few rights that were recognized by our Founders as being fundamental to all people. Jefferson's famous Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness immortalized in the Declaration of Independence sums them up quite nicely. Each of these is recognized and protected (if not by different names) in the Bill of Rights. Although these Rights are certainly the most fundamental, there is another Right that is equally important: The Right of self-defense.

Why? Simply because a piece of paper with some words expressing ideas, no matter how perfect the phrasing, is worth absolutely nothing unless human beings are willing and able to defend it. At the advent of this country, our Founding Fathers recognized that political power should flow from the People to Government and not the other way around. So, they wrote the Constitution in which they delineated exactly the powers they wanted reserved for the Federal Government. Then, they wrote the Bill of Rights to express the most fundamental Rights of the People. All other powers were then reserved for the states and people (and notice that it is "states" and not "States" in the Tenth Amendment).

Since the Founders were far from stupid, it is safe to assume that they said what they meant and in the order in which they meant to say it. This is especially true for the Bill of Rights. Therefore, they recognized the most important Rights held by the People (and therefore the most fundamental restriction on the Government) in the First Amendment:

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.
While these Rights are recognized as the most important, their recognition means nothing without the Second Amendment:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
The Founders understood only too well that without weapons it is impossible for the People to assert their will over an oppressive Government. And, since they were realists, they understood that their own best efforts to create a "more perfect union" notwithstanding, it was a near certainty that the will of the People would eventually falter and allow the Government to become oppressive. At that point, in Jefferson's own words, change would be necessary:

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.
As we know Governments don't like to be "throw[n] off" and so the People must retain basic Right of self defense and the physical ability to assert that Right.

There are those who will argue that the Second Amendment only gives people the right to "keep and bear arms" in the service of a Militia organized by the State. This is an absolutely outrageous argument. Find me one other example in the Bill of Rights that restricts the Rights of the People and endows the "States" (not "states") with any right whatsoever. Or, don't waste your time...there are not such examples. (See this excellent essay for a more complete discussion.)

There are others that will accept that the Second Amendment recognizes the right of the People to "keep and bear arms" individually but only those that have "some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia." While this was a court ruling, I have to disagree. Try asking a soldier, Marine, seaman or airman whether they would go into battle without their sidearm.

Regardless, there is no reason to think that the Second Amendment is a collective right of the People nor a right of the State. The fact is that the Founders saw the Militia as the entire armed citizenry, independent of being part of a permanent military organization and as I've said, the Bill of Rights recognizes preexisting Rights of the People endowed by our Creator.

So please, do what you can to preserve this most basic and fundamental Right of the People lest we become completely subservient to our masters in the Government.


All right, that's the theory. I'll post later on the practical issues relating to why an armed citizenry is a good thing.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Out of Control

Yet another symptom of the PC disease:

Rossford High School officials were considering letting a Christian rock band play during an anti-drug assembly next week, but decided yesterday to cancel the performance because of concerns over having religious music played in a public school.
Yeah, those Christian rockers...what a bunch of bad apples. I know I'd never let them near my daughter (if I had one). This is absolutely ridiculous. Last time I checked the words Separation of Church and State were nowhere to be found in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights (or any Amendment, for that matter). You know what words are found?

Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...
Where are the Courts jumping in to protect these young adults' Freedom of Speech? Humm? You know the Court I'm talking about...the very same one that ruled in favor of protecting Freedom of Speech in the form of virtual child pornography. Thank [reference to the Almighty deleted lest I offend some freaking liberal] that virtual child porn is protected while a Christian rock band is being prohibited from spreading their message of peace, love and joy.


You Pick The Headline

Here's a quote from a story published yesterday:

Marvel, a veteran rural Nevada assemblyman, said he and other electors got letters from Democrats urging them to defect and switch their votes to Kerry. "I filed my letter you know where," he added.

There's no constitutional provision or federal law requiring electors to vote in line with the popular vote in their state. But a state law requires electors to follow the popular vote. (emphasis added)
Now, which headline do you think should have been used:

State Electoral College members vote for Bush


Democrat Operatives Solicit Republican Electors To Break Law

I'll be you can guess which one actually made it to press (via The Command Post). What do you think the headline would have been if the situation were reversed?


Tuesday, December 14, 2004



Now a Clinton buddy is wrapped up in the Oil-for-Corruption scheme?! I wonder...What did Bill know and when did he know it?


The Real America

I certainly hope that every soldier can share even a small amount of what Sergeant Stutzke has experienced upon returning to the country he loves.

Regardless of how things are protrayed by the elits in the Media...

AMERICA LOVES HER TROOPS! I hope that each and every member of our Armed Forces knows that simple, perfect fact.


Liberate or Wait

Yeah, we definitely should have given Saddam 'more time'.


True Racial Reconciliation

This week's Homespun Symposium is from Marc at Hubs and Spokes:

What do you believe is necessarry for true racial reconciliation to take place in American society? Does your solution involve coercive governmental remedies? Do you believe that Churches have an important role to play in this process?
I think that the answer is simple in principle, but extremely difficult to implement in practice. Simply put, in order for there to be true racial reconciliation in this country we must remove the impediments to equality that current exist.

We have come a long way from the days of Martin Luther King Jr. and the heyday of the Civil Rights Movement...although not necessarily in the right direction. In what may be the most well known but least appreciated quote of all time, Dr. King said the following:

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
As our society attempts to level the playing field to allow minorities to excel, are we truly reaching for that lofty goal? In short, no. We (by which I mean the Left and associated good-doers) have set up many systems in this country that have attempted to address some very real disparities in black/white representation in various realms of life. Unfortunately, many of those efforts are either misguided or downright subversive. Probably the most instructive example was recently exposed in a study done by Rick Sander on the subject of racial considerations in law school admissions (the study is here and he blogged about it for the 'rest of us' here). The short story is that many (dare I say, all) of the racial preference programs end up hurting the very group they purport to help in the long run.

The only way to have true racial reconciliation is to address the true underlying problems that lead to disparities among the races. There are two fundamental aspects of life that need to be fixed. Probably the most commonly cited is quality of education. It is a well-known fact that schools in the inner city provide, on average, lower quality education than those elsewhere. However, the blame for this does not rest squarely on the shoulders of school officials, teachers or even The Man.

Although improving education in the inner city would obviously help, there is a more fundamental problem. Namely, the moral fabric of under-represented minorities. While this is not necessarily a popular (and certainly not PC) stance to take, it's hard to argue with. Considering this...

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, unmarried women accounted for 68 percent of black births in 2002 compared to 43.4 percent for Hispanics and 22.9 percent for whites. In 1965, the out-of-wedlock birth rate for blacks stood at 25 percent.
...it's not hard to understand how paying attention and learning might be more difficult for black children than for others.

Only when we have found a way to address the basic, underlying problem, of family structure (or lack thereof) can we truly reach racial reconciliation. Without equal opportunities early in life we end up with individuals who have failed to succeed and are surrounded by people who continue to blame The Man or anyone but themselves. In my opinion, the Chruch certainly has a huge role to play in this process. However, no one (not even the Church) can force anyone to change. As for the government, I would give them the same advice I always do: Get out of our way! Fortunately, I think they're heeding that advice in at least some respects. All we can do is provide what assistance we are capable of and try to encourage people in these tough situations to grab life by the proverbial horns and take responsibility for themselves.

I do not subscribe to The White Man's Burden sort of crap. I am more than willing to accept people based on their abilities and qualities regardless of their skin color. Certainly there are still racists among us who will never give minorities a fair shake...but those racists will be made irrelevant when minorities have the opportunity to excel and actually do so as it is hard to argue with talent and success breeds success. The day that there is equal societal support for members of all races we will finally find proportional numbers of equally qualified candidates of every race, whether it be for law school or anything else. Only then will racial disparities disappear and we will finally realize True Racial Reconciliation.

Other responses:

Dagney's Rant
A Physicist's Perspective
Bunker Mulligan
Weapon of Mass Distraction
Paulie World
Major Dad 1984


Impeach Bush

Rush said it well before the election (although I can't find the link). He predicted that if Bush won a second term that the Democrats would do everything they could to bring charges leading to Impeachment. Is this the beginning?

Washington, DC, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. Senate Democrats Monday signaled they would continue to try and unofficially oversee the Bush administration.

Sen. Byron L. Dorgan, D-N.D., and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced several oversight hearings on a range of subjects next hear.

The minority party in Congress argued the Republican leadership has skirted its responsibility for administration oversight as defined in the Constitution.

But the hearings -- eight this year on subjects ranging from the deficit to U.S. contracting in Iraq -- have had little impact beyond political show because they are highly partisan affairs with no subpoena power.
No subpoena power...yet. Keep an eye on this.


The EU

The Belmont Club has a great post on the nature of the EU and its relationship to the US. Check it out.


Monday, December 13, 2004


Petterson -- Death

Drudge is reporting that Scott Petterson is going to be put to death. I will not shed a single tear over this smug murder.


AP story.



I don't know how I missed this one before =).

 Posted by Hello



Arthur has his 7th installment of Good News From Afghanistan up and ready to go. Give it a read. It's always good to see positive things happening in a part of the world with so much sadness in their past.

He also has a great post commorating the 23rd anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law.


Friday, December 10, 2004


Europe And Radical Islam

Victor Davis Hanson has a great piece on the developing conflict between Europe and Radical Islam. Here's a bit to get you started:

Only now are Europeans discovering the disturbing nature of radical Islamic extremism, which thrives not on real grievance but on perceived hurts — and the appeasement of its purported oppressors. How odd that tens of millions of Muslims flocked to Europe for its material consumption, superior standard of living, and freedom and tolerance — and then chose not merely to remain in enclaves but to romanticize all the old pathologies that they had fled from in the first place. It is almost as if the killers in Amsterdam said, "I want your cell phones, unfettered Internet access, and free-spirited girls, but hate the very system that alone can create them all. So please let me stay here to destroy what I want."
Read the whole thing.


Parents' Rights

They're being eroded every single day. While I think that this story implies some bad chronic parenting, there are fundamental issues here that I find quite bothersome. Here's some of the story:

SEATTLE - In a victory for rebellious teenagers, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a mother violated Washington's privacy law by eavesdropping on her daughter's phone conversation.
The Supreme Court ruled that Dixon's testimony against a friend of her daughter should not have been admitted in court because it was based on the intercepted conversation. The justices unanimously ordered a new trial for Oliver Christensen, who had been convicted of second-degree robbery in part due to the mother's testimony.
Sheriff Bill Cumming asked Dixon, whose daughter was friends with Christensen, to be alert for any possible evidence. When Christensen called the Dixon house later, Lacey Dixon, then 14, took the cordless phone into her bedroom and shut the door. The mother hit the "speakerphone" button and took notes on the conversation — in which Christensen said he knew where the purloined purse was.

The ruling will likely not result in parents being prosecuted for snooping, Cumming said. But it forbids courts and law enforcement from using the fruits of such snooping.
So, the benevolent dictator has decreed that this mother will be let off the hook for listenting to her daughter's phone call in her own home. Oh, how kind. Where, might I ask, does anyone get the idea that the Government can tell me whether or not I can listen to my (future) child's phone conversation? Liberals complain all the time about 'Government in the bedroom'...but they apparently don't mind 'Government in the home.'

Finally, the last line in this story truly bothers me:

Dixon has a 15-year-old son still at home, whose phone conversations she sometimes secretly monitors. She said she'll stop that now.

"If it's illegal, I won't do it," she sighed.
First, my understanding here not that the mother's actions were illegal, but only that they were inadmissible in court (although I could be wrong).

Second, the idea that "If it's illegal, I won't do it," as an (apparently) absolute statement is truly troubling. I am not advocating anarchy, but the idea that an American would be prevented from doing something that is their right because it was ruled by a Court to be illegal is disturbing. Perhaps Ms. Dixon is unaware of these words from James Madison (Federalist 46):

...Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments...
Never forget who is in charge.


Good Linkin'

I just started subscribing to RSS feeds via Bloglines (embarrassingly late, I know) and it's really great. Along those lines, here are three posts that caught my eye this morning.

The Running Conservative (15 year old Kate) posts the text of a speech she gave at school on the UN. If I had her grip of facts and the English language at the age of 15 I would probably be running most of the free world right now.

Chrenkoff also takes on the UN with his usual combination of insightful commentary and blinding orange text (linking alone must take three hours =)).

Blackfive has a first-hand story about the President that, by his own design, you're unlikely to hear about in the media. Why? Because he forbade the media from attending this particular meeting. Read it.


Thursday, December 09, 2004


Wrong Senator...

...wrong place, wrong time. Do you think Kerry is planning to meet with the, as Moore calls them, the Minutemen of the Iraqi insurgency as he did back in '70?


Rummy And Soldier's Question

I'm sure most of you have heard about the soldier asking the SecDef some tough questions about battle armor for Humvees. Well, here's what Drudge has posted right now:


It'll be interesting to see how this turns out.


Here is Drudge's report.

Here is the article from the guy doing the coaching.

Update 2:

Michelle has some thoughts about the reality of the armor shortage.

Also some good thoughts at Jeff the Bapist.


The New Media

A huge advantage of the New Media (blogs, cable TV, etc.) is that people can now get relatively unfiltered information. Definitely an improvement. However, a danger inherent in this new world of widely available information is that people will choose to only pay attention to those who offer opinions (and spin, of course) that fits with their preconceived notions. This is bad and should be avoided.

For the most part Bloggers seem to do a good job pointing to those who disagree with them and providing criticism. Unfortunately, I just ran across a contrary example. I took part in some of this exchange between ISOU and Say Anything here. Although the debate was heated, I thought it had ended relatively well and so I was disappointed to see this post at Say Anything:

Apparently I’m obsessed. That’s what David from ISOU thinks anyway.

Rob, get a [explicative deleted] life! You don’t like what I write, don’t link, kick me off your blogroll and read something you do! If I spent as much time picking selective pieces from your Blog and having a pissy hissy over them, as you do, I would have to rename my [explicative deleted] Blog to “The Anti Rob.”
Apparently, David has had enough and thinks that we should not get on each other’s cases to the extent that Rob apparently has. This is a subjective judgment and David is obviously entitled to his opinion of when enough is enough. I just think that it's unfortunate when someone suggests that you should go read things you agree with and ignore those you don't. In the long run, not terribly constructive.


Eliminating Threats

News Flash: The United States military makes its living by eliminating threats. Keep that in mind as you read this post.

Recently, Naomi Klein of the Guardian has accused the US of (via ISOU):

no longer bothering to conceal attacks on civilian targets and are openly eliminating anyone - doctors, clerics, journalists - who dares to count the bodies.
Whether intentional or not, the connotation of the word eliminating in this context implies something sinister. Specifically, it creates the image of evil US soldiers being ordered by their evil COs to kill anyone who dares question US policy and/or actions. Reading a bit further, Ms. Klein does claim that the US is subjecting those who disagree with us to:

mass arrests, to raids on hospitals, media bans, and overt and unexplained physical attacks.
This piece purports to provide the evidence of this claim, so let's take a look at it.

"Eliminating doctors"

The first major operation by US marines and Iraqi soldiers was to storm Falluja general hospital, arresting doctors and placing the facility under military control.
Right. We saw that there were problems generated by not taking control of the hospital the first time around, so the situation was remedied this time. Our forces also apparently "stole the mobile phones" so that hospital workers couldn't communicate with the outside world. I wonder, would it be wise to let potentially hostile individuals call anyone they want? Humm. And, let's keep in mind that there is not indication that these doctors were injured nor that they were prevented from treating anyone who needed it. So the question is: How, exactly, where these doctors eliminated?

But that's not all. The piece also directs our attention to other elimination events concerning health care workers.

But this was not the worst of the attacks on health workers. Two days earlier, a crucial emergency health clinic was bombed to rubble, as well as a medical supplies dispensary next door.
Whether the clinic was targeted or destroyed accidentally, the effect was the same: to eliminate many of Falluja's doctors from the war zone.
So, the bombing of a medical clinic might have been a mistake? Does anyone honestly believe that we would intentionally bomb such a place (unless we thought it was being used as mosques have been in this conflict)? I think not. If you disagree please feel free to provide me with evidence that we're targeting doctors for elimination

"Eliminating journalists"

The images from last month's siege on Falluja came almost exclusively from reporters embedded with US troops. This is because Arab journalists who had covered April's siege from the civilian perspective had effectively been eliminated. Al-Jazeera had no cameras on the ground because it has been banned from reporting in Iraq indefinitely. Al-Arabiya did have an unembedded reporter, Abdel Kader Al-Saadi, in Falluja, but on November 11 US forces arrested him and held him for the length of the siege. Al-Saadi's detention has been condemned by Reporters Without Borders and the International Federation of Journalists. "We cannot ignore the possibility that he is being intimidated for just trying to do his job," the IFJ stated.
Boohoo. Some insurgent-mouthpiece embeds were thrown out. Who cares? These are the people who broadcast brutal beheadings of Americans and then 'put it into context.' We still got plenty of images of the Fallujah offensive. Anybody remember that Marine who protected the lives of his buddies? Here's some more:

On April 8, a US aircraft bombed al-Jazeera's Baghdad offices, killing reporter Tareq Ayyoub. Al-Jazeera has documentation proving it gave the coordinates of its location to US forces.
Right, eliminating threats. How about this Red Herring:

On the same day, a US tank fired on the Palestine hotel, killing José Couso, of the Spanish network Telecinco, and Taras Protsiuk, of Reuters. Three US soldiers are facing a criminal lawsuit from Couso's family, which alleges that US forces were well aware that journalists were in the Palestine hotel and that they committed a war crime.
This is the best Ms. Klein can do? Taken at face value (as she presents it) this appears to be an isolated incident. Was it a War Crime? I don't know...but it certainly does not indict the entire US military.

"Eliminating clerics"

On November 11, Sheik Mahdi al-Sumaidaei, the head of the Supreme Association for Guidance and Daawa, was arrested. According to Associated Press, "Al-Sumaidaei has called on the country's Sunni minority to launch a civil disobedience campaign if the Iraqi government does not halt the attack on Falluja".
Wow, we just arrested the Iraqi Martin Luther King Jr., right? Wrong:

Sheik Mahdi al-Sumaidaei, the head of the Supreme Association for Guidance and Daawa, was detained after troops uncovered a large weapons cache, explosives and photographs of attacks on U.S. troops.
Humm...might want to check your facts there Naomi.

Here is how she closes her column:

Mr Ambassador, I believe that your government and its Iraqi surrogates are waging two wars in Iraq. One war is against the Iraqi people, and it has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives. The other is a war on witnesses.
Now you understand where she's coming from. We're waging war against the Iraqi people? Amazing, and here I thought were trying to kill the Terrorists. Where ever did I get that crazy idea?


A.M. Siriano

A.M. Siriano is back after a bit of a hiatus with a retooled blog that looks great. Go check him out.


Wednesday, December 08, 2004


JATO And A '67 Impala

This has always been one of my favorite awards.

What do you get when you mix a 1967 Chevy Impala, one unit of Jet Assisted Take-Off and very little frontal lobe input?

Not much. But definitely an entertaining story.

Click here for more morbid hilarity.


Want more useless but funny stuff? Try this t-shirt =).


Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Global Takeover!


Fox to provide news to Clear Channel stations



Here's a quote, see if you can guess what law it's referring to:

He said the plans if implemented would be "profound and wide-reaching, and not necessarily that intended".
Give up? Yeah, that's because this can be applied to every law ever passed. Ever. The truly scary thing is that in this case we're talking about a law that will almost certainly restrict speech. Fortunately, for now, this debate is going on in Britain and not here. But, with certain judges citing foreign laws, this is somewhat worrisome. Without further adieu, this is the issue:

Religious jokes 'won't be crime'

David Blunkett has told MPs a new law targeting "incitement to religious hatred" will not curtail free speech.

He said the measure "will not criminalize material just because it stirs up ridicule, prejudice, dislike, contempt or anger".

The plans have come under fire from comedian Rowan Atkinson who is worried that the powers will stop him telling jokes and satirising people's beliefs.
If you even have to say that "jokes won't be a crime," there is a serious problem. This whole thing is indicative of the general thinning of the proverbial skin of society. There used to be a saying that went something like this: Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me. (Likely some kids aren't even taught this saying because it's so horrible violent.) I guess the new saying could go: Whether you break by bones with sticks and stones or just call me names, I'm suein'. I think that's about right.

This all comes back to personal responsibility. Name-calling can only hurt if the butt of the joke lets it. While it's never fun, there is some advantage of being made fun of. Don't believe me? Does anyone out there honestly think that a person would be better off if he/she had never been picked on...ever? The fact is that everyone needs a little toughness to succeed in the world. This is yet another example of Liberals trying to help (remove all hurtful speech) while they are actually doing harm (making people wusses). Too bad they lack sufficient introspection to figure it out. But if they did, what would I blog about?


International Divisions

This post is in response to this week's Homespun Symposium question from Arthur. Here's the question:

The war on terror and the war in Iraq have caused deep fissures through the international political landscape, but arguably not simply and predictably "left" versus "right"; after all, President Bush is allied with a social democrat Tony Blair and ex-communists of Eastern Europe, while the anti-war coalition is also a motley crew of American and British paleo-conservatives, European right (France) and left (Germany) and many others.

So what does it all mean? What is the new divide in international politics?
And will it last?
The current international divisions resulting from the continuation of our war in Iraq are not drawn down typical political lines. Rather, there are a few fundamental issues that divide the world with respect to Iraq.

Arthur mentions that we are aligned with the "social democrat [Labor, I believe] Tony Blair and ex-communists of Eastern Europe" and yet are opposed by traditional conservatives in Britain as well as both France and Germany. Why?

We are aligned with Tony Blair simply because he is the sort of guy who sees evil in the world and understands that it must be destroyed by force. I would also like to think that he feels some sort of historical kinship with the US considering our many links...but who knows. The ex-communists (or, more correctly, ex-communist countries) have taken our side because, for them, oppression of similar magnitude suffered by the Iraqi people is all to clear in their collective memories. It wasn't all that long ago that the 'Stans' were under the iron fist of Communism. They saw similar conditions in Saddam's Iraq and recognized the right side to join.

As for why France and Germany are against us. Well, I think that Germany is less so, especially these days as they try to make nice. I'm not exactly sure what drove them to oppose us to strongly at the beginning except that they want to be the dominant power of the EU and what better way to assert dominance than to stand up to the big bully of the world? Not to mention that they were in direct competition with France for the title of Giant Killer.

France. Oh France. I think this is probably the easiest one to answer: Oil For Corruption. I think that as the investigation of the UN's dirtbagery ferrets out the guilty many in the French government and private business are going to feel some major heat. From what we know today, at least some government officials were receiving $$ from Saddam in the form of oil vouchers. How deep the corruption goes remains to be seen, but it seems likely that it contributed at least some amount to their opposition to the war. Another slightly more innocent (but only slightly) explanation for France's (as well as Germany and Russia) position is their many oil contracts negotiated with Saddam. With that dirtbag removed, they lose out on all of that.

So, the major opposition to our actions in Iraq has been driven almost completely by dirty money. Whereas, the supporters of the war are in it to remove a major threat to the region and world and to liberate an oppressed people. Which side do you want to be on?

What does it all mean and will it last? I think this all means that we must continue to make the decisions necessary to keep our country and the world safe, regardless of the opposition. I know that many a liberal will label this Cowboyism, reckless or whatever. I would answer with: I don't care. Doing the right thing is rarely popular and never easy.

I think that these divisions will last for a very long time. I also think that they have been around for a long time, just under the radar. So long as France, Germany, Russia and their allies (umm...not too many, are there?) could maintain the status quo, they were happy to make nice noises in our direction. When we decided enough was enough, they made less pleasant noises in our general direction. I don't know when or if these divisions will change. I suppose they will, because nothing remains constant forever. In all honesty, I don't particularly care. The rest of the world can go pound dirt. What I care about is (in this order) the safety of this country and that of people around the world. Whether we are opposed by 1 or 100 countries, we need to keep foremost in our mind the noble goals of keeping ourselves and our children safe and bringing freedom to the oppressed.

Other Responses:

Dagney's Rant
Mad Poets Anonymous
A Physicist's Perspective
Bunker Mulligan
Paulie World


Monday, December 06, 2004



This is in response to a debate currently taking place between David and Rob.


Violent death is never a 'good' thing. However, violent death can serve a 'good' cause. There was plenty of violent death under Saddam. What purpose did it serve? The answer is NOTHING. The violent death in Iraq is in the service of freedom. While this is certainly little comfort to those who lose loved ones, it is some comfort. This has been true throughout modern human existence and especially so during the existence of the United States of America. Freedom is not free and its cost is the blood of brave men and women (I'm sure I'm not the first to say that, my apologies to the original 'author').

As for being able to remove Saddam without invading, you're still living in some alternate universe. Seriously, it wasn't going to happen. And in the process, how many innocents had to be slaughtered by the Butcher of Baghdad? Why don't you bring up those countless innocents who are buried in mass graves? You remember, the ones where were raped, gassed, detongued, decapitated, fed to tigers, thrown off rooftops, fed feet first into plastic shredders? Oh, I know why. You don't remember them because these atrocities were not committed in front of open Western Media. If there aren't pictures, it didn't happen, right?

So David, if you had to choose between the pointless, status quo, under Saddam and the deaths we are seeing in the Liberation (and you had to choose), which would it be?


Hate Crimes

As usual Captain Ed hits the nail on the head:

However, the notion that the state can decide which political speech springs from "hate" and which springs from reasoned debate only derives from the philosophy that the state must remain supreme over the individual -- indeed, that the state has omniscient insight into the mind and soul of an individual.
This is exactly the sort of thing our Founding Fathers worked so hard to prevent by drafting the 1st Amendment! We must not allow the concept of 'hate crime' to become enconsed on our culture lest we doom ourselves to travel down the same road the British seem to be treading.


Two Stories

One true and one not. Here's the madeup one (but entertaining and, if I might say so, right on target):

One Nation, Under God

A college professor, an avowed Atheist, was teaching his class. He shocked several of his students when he flatly stated that there is no God, the expression, "One Nation, Under God", was unconstitutional, and further, he was going to prove there is no God. Addressing the ceiling he shouted: "God, if you are real, I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you 15 minutes!"

The lecture room fell silent. You could have heard a pin fall. Ten minutes went by. Again he taunted God, saying, "Here I am, God. I'm still waiting."

His countdown got down to the last couple of minutes when a Marine, just released from active duty and newly registered in the class, walked up to the professor, hit him full force in the face, and sent him ass over teacups from his lofty platform. The professor was out cold. At first the students were shocked and babbled in confusion. The young Marine took a seat in the front row and sat silent.

The class fell silent...waiting. Eventually, the professor came to, shaken. He looked at the young Marine in the front row. When he regained his senses and could speak he yelled, "What's the matter with you? Why did you do that?"

"God was busy. He sent me." God Bless America!
And here's the true (and amazing) story from a dental email listserve:

The most miraculous event I witnessed showed how a tooth saved a sergeant's life!

Christmas Eve morning a soldier came into our clinic at the Ibn Sina Hospital in downtown Baghdad covered in his own blood. He recounted an incredible story. Early Christmas Eve morning, two squads were assigned to sweep and clear two adjacent homes where Iraq terrorists were holed-up. The patient, SGT C, was leading one of those assault squads. The other squad hit their target first.

SGT C said that he heard a lot of small arms fire and yelling, so he thought he would round the corner and size up the situation before advancing his team. Unfortunately, as he turned the corner, he found himself staring directly into the barrel of a 9mm automatic pistol. SGT C said he never had time to be scared, he just knew he was dead. The terrorist pulled the trigger and, miraculously, SGT C found himself still standing. He figured the bullet had missed. He advanced on the Iraqi, who immediately surrendered. After the enemy was rounded up, SGT C said he started to feel light headed and one of his soldiers insisted that he proceed to the hospital. He realized at this time that he had lost his front tooth in the gun fight. He figured the ballistic shock from the weapon's blast had knocked it loose. He was wrong.

When he presented early that morning Major Kimberly Perkins, our oral surgeon, took a panograph and discovered the incredible truth. The 9mm bullet did NOT miss SGT C. He was hit directly in the face. The bullet entered just below his nose where it impacted the apex of #8. The energy from the bullet was transferred to the tooth, literally ejecting the tooth from its socket, and stopping the bullet in its track. Other than the missing tooth, the majority of SGT C's injuries were confined to soft tissue.

SGT C is a citizen soldier - a reservist. When he returns to the states, the Army will see he has an implant replacement for the missing #8. Meanwhile, the prosthodontist in Baghdad, LTC Richard Druckman, made him an acrylic interim treatment partial. When SGT C came in for the prosthesis, I said "Can you imagine what the enemy thought when he shot you point blank in the face, and you just kept coming at him! Americans are invincible. No wonder he surrendered so fast!"
SGT C smiled and said, "This is why you should always brush your teeth!" (my emphasis)


Baseball, Steroids And Uncle Sam

Could someone please explain to me what business it is of the Federal Government to determine when and how baseball players are tested for steroids? Last time I checked players using steroids didn't pose a direct threat to the public (while actively in their role as players, while acting as private citizens is a different matter), so why does Congress have any interest in this? If it's against the law to use steroids and someone is caught, prosecute them. Amazing blast of insight, I know, but it seems like a reasonable idea.

The whole business stinks of government imposing itself in a place it simply doesn't belong. Not to mention reeking of one huge publicity-seeking, grandstanding bunch of crap.

And, since I'm sure it will come up, I don't buy the 'role model' arguemnt:

"The important aspect of this issue is that high school kids all over America believe that this is the only way they can make it. Ask any high school coach." [McCain]
"They have a responsibility, not only to the sport, but to the children of America who look up to these players," Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said on Fox News Sunday. "Quite frankly, it's overdue."
Ah yes. Doing it for The ChildrenTM.

Are these guys role models? Sure. But how in the world does that give Congress the right to tell a private organization how to test for drugs?


Fear And Loathing In Iraq

This fine solider blog has a great letter written by his Battalion Commander:

The will to be free can only be surrendered by the person that has it - it cannot be murdered, raped, tortured, or stolen. It's not about being a martyr or a saint, it's about being a decent human being. And, the unvarnished truth is that the killing and the horror will continue until those with the will to endure prevail.
Read the whole thing.


Good News From Iraq: Part 16

Arthur has yet another installment of his Good News From Iraq. Here's a bit to get you over there:

It's not just the terrorists who, according to His Eminence, are creating problems for Iraq: "[January] will be a starting point for a new Iraq... [Yet] Western newspapers and broadcasters are simply peddling propaganda and misinformation... Iraqis are happy to be having elections and are looking forward to them because they will be useful for national unity... Perhaps not everything will go exactly to plan, but, with time, things will improve. Finally Iraqis will be given the chance to choose. Why is there so much noise and debate coming out from the West when before, under Saddam, there were no free elections, but no one said a thing?"
Read the rest.


Sunday, December 05, 2004


Homespun Bloggers Radio Debuts!

The first installment of Homespun Bloggers Radio is up and running! Just click here (or on the Homespun Bloggers Radio button on the right sidebar). You will also be able to find archives of the shoes (and downloadable versions) at the Homespun blog below the member blogroll.


Friday, December 03, 2004


Homespun Bloggers Nominated

That's right! Homespun Bloggers has been nominated for the award of Best Online Community! I'm stunned, amazed and otherwise happy =). Go vote for your favorite.

Some members of Homespun Bloggers are also up for awards. Go vote for them!

In Search of Utopia
Louisiana Conservative


Thursday, December 02, 2004


Homespun Symposium

Just a quick comment on this week's Homespun Symposium (my thoughts). There have been some outstanding answers. I am constantly amazed (and humbled) by the depth of thought that some of my fellow Homespuners put into their posts. Go here for a full list of responses.

Unfortunately, tonight I have found the first Symposium answer that has truly disappointed me. David and I rarely agree on anything aside from the direction in which one might look to find the sky, but I have generally found him to be well reasoned and, in fact, quite reasonable. So it was quite shocking to see his post for the Symposium this week. Here it is:

Homespun Question of the Week

The Question

What, in your mind, represents the single greatest long-term threat to the United States of America, and what should be done about it?

My Answer:

George W. Bush
*National Deficit
*Reckless Foreign Policy
*Threats to Civil Liberties and the Judicial System
*Plain Stupidity

Too Late to do anything....
This, my friends, is a terribly telling example of what is wrong with the Left (sorry, David, but it's true). Here we have threats (read: Terror) that endanger us in the most fundamental ways both morally and physically. And...terror does not have an expiration date (until the Marines show up, that is). George Bush, on the other hand, will be in office for another 4 years, period. Whether you see that as a good thing or bad, it is a simple fact. So, apparently David sees George W. Bush's next 4 years in office as the single greatest long-term threat currently facing this country. Amazing.

David, after this response all I can say is that I expect to never see you accuse anyone (Left or Right) of being too partisan.


I was going to put this in the Comments, but it got kind of long so here is my response to David’s comment:


I think you know where I stand, so I'll keep it short.

National Deficit

Not Bush's fault. The 90's saw the tech bubble burst, leading to declining economic numbers that started before Bush took office. Then we lost over 3,000 Americans in NYC, the Pentagon and a field in PA...not to mention two very large buildings that housed many large companies. That will tend to put a dent in productivity and lead to decreased tax revenue --> increased deficit. Oh, and it is not Bush who controls the allocation of tax dollars. Sure he can have an effect, but (as you obviously know) it is in the House that spending bills originate.

Reckless Foreign Policy

That's a perfectly fine opinion to have...but the question we've each got to ask ourselves is which hurt more, Clinton's inactivity against Terror or Bush's activity? Answer however you will but either way I don't see how Bush's FP contributes to the most grave danger to this country. After all, we were attacked many times before Bush took office and before he took any international action against Terror.

Civil Liberties and the Judicial System

I suppose you're referring to the PATRIOT Act? We could go around and around on this and I’m sure you would make some good points. However, let's ask ourselves another question: Which hurt more, the Bush Administration working to remove the "Wall of Separation" between domestic law enforcement and foreign intel or the Clinton Admin's erecting of that wall?

Plain Stupidity

I know you said it was “a little harsh” but I’ll address it quickly nonetheless. Bush went to Yale (as did John Kerry, btw). A lot of people say that his father bought him admission as well as a diploma. But there are a few things that people ignore. 1) Bush flew fighter jets. They don’t let stupid people do that. 2) Bush got an MBA from Harvard. Unless you’re going to question that program's academic integrity, you’ve got to admit that there’s at least the possibility that he earned it. 3) Bush successfully ran a large business and owned a major league baseball team. Do you figure that someone who is plainly stupid would have been successful at all those things?

Anyway, there you have it.

A Bit More:

David also challenged me to counter his answer at his blog.


Lump Of Coal

I love Michelle (although not in that scary, stalking sort of way), she never fails to crack me up. You might want to seriously consider joining her in this new endeavor:

I am hereby launching the Lump of Coal campaign. Later today, I will box up a lump of charcoal, mark the package "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" and send it to the Denver Mayor in protest of his idiotic policy. Please join me in doing the same (and if you take a photo of your creatively designed package, I will link/post).


MoDo Makes A Discovery!

That's right folks, Maureen Dowd has made a startling discovery. It took quite a stumbling effort, but she finally managed to brush up against something resembling Truth. Here's how she starts out her latest column:

It's the End of an Era. A momentous change.

Tonight on NBC, one tall and handsome white male anchor with bespoke clothes will replace another tall and handsome white male anchor with bespoke clothes.
Obviously, somewhere out there are some cranky old (male, obviously) TV execs who simply refuse to remove that pesky old glass ceiling. MoDo goes on and on about how it's still a man's world and women just aren't being given a fair shake in the TV business. Then, without warning and in a seemingly-unconscious stab at a Fundamental Truth, she closes her column with this:

But my pal admits that she watched Mr. Brokaw partly because he was "eye candy," and declares women at fault in this matter: "Women like to read books about men and go to movies about men. But men don't like to read books about women or go to movies about women. The only way this is going to change is if women refuse to watch men. And the problem is, women like watching men."
Maureen! Are you actually admitting that there are differences between men and women? Amazing!

The irony of her position is that it seems she is blaming the 'system' (i.e., evil white male TV execs) for the lack of female talking heads on the nightly (more and more obsolete) broadcast TV news. Then she has the brass to close the column with the assertion that people (men and women) want to watch a distinguished-looking male read from a teleprompter. What's a mindless New York Times reader to do?


More On Killing Babies...And Children

Wizbang has more on plans afoot in Europe to kill more babies and young children (my previous post). Yeah, we should be more like Europe.

You know, this are the 'people' who are so opposed to the death penalty that they won't extradite convicted murders to the US because they're afraid we might kill the SOBs. What kind of messed up values system leads a group of people to be perfectly fine killing innocent little babies and children while being totally opposed to killing murdering scumbags?


Fr. Rob has an even more chilling story from New Zesland. God have mercy on us indeed.

Update 2:

Lot's more discussion over at Say Anything in the comments section.


Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Outstanding Honor

I have not added anything to the Outstanding Honor list on the side bar in quite some time. Certainly, there have been plenty of posts and articles that easily qualify...and here is one in particular.

Bloodletting is a blog run by Marine who decided to take on medical school. He does a great job cutting through BS like only a Marine can. His Thanksgiving day post was absolutely perfect. I've added the link to my sidebar where it will remain until this blog is dust in the wind.

Read the post.


Day By Day Lives Again!

Day By Day has retured! It's great to see Chris back at the controls. His uniquie brand of political comedy has been sorely missed. Welcome back Chris.


PR Or Psy-Ops?

Check out this story:

WASHINGTON — On the evening of Oct. 14, a young Marine spokesman near Fallouja appeared on CNN and made a dramatic announcement.

"Troops crossed the line of departure," 1st Lt. Lyle Gilbert declared, using a common military expression signaling the start of a major campaign. "It's going to be a long night." CNN, which had been alerted to expect a major news development, reported that the long-awaited offensive to retake the Iraqi city of Fallouja had begun.

In fact, the Fallouja offensive would not kick off for another three weeks. Gilbert's carefully worded announcement was an elaborate psychological operation — or "psy-op" — intended to dupe insurgents in Fallouja and allow U.S. commanders to see how guerrillas would react if they believed U.S. troops were entering the city, according to several Pentagon officials.
I am somewhat torn on this matter. In the short term, blending PR and Psy-Ops and using news outlets to dupe the enemy will almost certainly save American lives. Over the long term, however, such actions will almost certainly hurt our government's credibility with respect to the dissemination of factual information.

To me, the question is whether mixing the two will save American lives. I don't particularly care who in the world trusts us, unless distrust leads to Americans (military or civilian) being injured or killed.


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