Exactly What "Stronger Controls" Would Those Be?
A New York Times editorial about the Virginia Tech mass murder states, "What is needed, urgently, is stronger controls over the lethal weapons that cause such wasteful carnage and such unbearable loss." My question, now that we have a little more information about the criminal (though I stress far from complete information): What stronger controls over weapons would likely have stopped him from committing the murders, or even led him to kill fewer people?
Note that I'm not asking what controls would have prohibited him from doing something. Murder law, and for that matter the gun control law that banned firearms from campus, already prohibited him from committing mass murder. That didn't seem to help. I'm curious what "stronger controls" would likely have stopped a would-be mass murderer from killing, or at least killing as many.
The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Monday, April 30, 2007
The Wages of Micromanagement
A question to ponder
Think about it: History had to wait at least 8000 years for mankind to come to the point where people murdered their own women and children--not as collateral damage, but rather as an example of how barbaric or inhuman they can continue to be if we try to impose...PEACE.
A: The three dynamics which had to be in place were: a cowardly Democrat Congress had to be in power, a seditious American press had to be fanning the flames for a Republican President under unceasing attack, and an American public that will believe anything that any dishonest but articulate person on a blue screen tells them.
After the Democrats forced us from Vietnam, between 2-4 million souls were exterminated in the Vietnamese and Cambodian killing fields--by Communist regimes that the left intelligensia in the US had come to coddle. How many will die in the killing fields of Iraq if we abandon them to the monsters who devour their own on our TV screens every day? The Democrats can talk about Darfur and Rwanda all day--but they ain't seen nothing yet. And they won't be able to blame this one on Bush.
Steyn on Congressional Betrayal
Everything's difficult, isn't it? In the Democratic presidential candidates' debate, Sen. Barack Obama was asked what he personally was doing to save the environment, and replied that his family was "working on" changing their light bulbs.
Is this the new version of the old joke? How many senators does it take to "work on" changing a light bulb? One to propose a bipartisan commission. One to threaten to de-fund the light bulbs. One to demand the impeachment of Bush and Cheney for keeping us all in the dark. One to vote to pull out the first of the light bulbs by fall of this year with a view to getting them all pulled out by the end of 2008.
In 1914, on the eve of the Great War, British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey observed, "The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime." Whether he was proposing a solution to global warming is unclear. But he would be impressed to hear that nine decades later the lights are going out all over Washington.
This week, both the House and the Senate voted for defeat in Iraq. That's to say, Congress got tired of waiting for deadbeat insurgents to get their act together and inflict devastating military humiliation on U.S. forces. So America's legislators have voted to mandate the certainty of defeat. They want the withdrawal of American forces to begin this October, which is a faintly surreal concept: Watching CNN International around the world, many viewers unversed in America's constitutional arrangements will have been puzzled by the spectacle of a nation giving six months' notice of surrender. But the cannier types in the presidential palaces will have drawn their own conclusions.
Now you can click and read the rest.
....same as the Old Boss
Why can't WE have John Howard?
Tenet on Plame (to paraphrase): LAME
Iran/AQ fight for the Credit for the Great Satan's retreat
This is the most egregious example of the undermining of American National Security for partisan political advantage that I have ever seen in this country in my life; and I am no spring chicken.
I'm sorry, but the Kondrakes and Mara Liason's who spin this as not really "treason" are just flat wrong in my opinion. Maybe in the strict "Constitutional" sense, but who cares? These people may be ideologically nuts, but they are not stupid: they know exactly what the end results of their actions mean to American prestige: we walk away now and what country in their right mind will trust us with their National Security interests? Who will believe that when America gives its word, we mean it by God. Answer: NO one. Our credibility will be damaged for decades. But, hey we might get a couuple of more blue Senators!
Sometimes I am so angry and depressed about all this that I wonder just how precariously close to a Tipping Point of no return this Republic is. Benjamin Franklin's famous answer: "A Republic...if you can keep it..." has never been truer.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Pay now...or Really PAY later?
Day by Day Sunday Comics by Chris Muir (click to enlarge)
GREAT News: Bill Whittle is donning his Body Armor
So I roll the dice and how do the numbers come up. Big Seven, baby! It looks like a voice we really need in this fight is back in it for the long haul. Bill (tongue in cheek) put a cartoon at the top of his Under Old Management post today with Bart Simpson's legend: "Good News Everyone!"
You're damn right it is.
Whittle is also republishing a second edition of Silent America with additional essays and some other edits. Count me in.
Time IS Running Out UPDATED
I think the public severely underestimated the import of the last election, and if there were ever a time for Lieberman to jump ship, it is this year.
Is it 2008 yet?
Scheuer Calls Out Tenet
Have we not seen this same dance over and over and over again virtually since the day Bush was inaugurated? Do we not see a bit of a pattern here? Is there no one on the left side of the fence (besides maybe Christopher Hitchens) who is authentic enough to even begin to admit what a rigged game this whole charade really is?
This time around, fortunately, Michael Scheuer--who was probably the most vocal voice about the danger of Al Qaeda inside the CIA when nobody else in the Clinton Administration would listen--is stepping forward to expose the self-serving Tenet screed for what it is. Captain Ed provides the details. Not that it will make the top fold of the Times; but at least the truth is out there now for those with the intellectual honesty to want to see it. Unfortunately, these days that number seems to diminish more on a daily basis.
UPDATED/BUMPED The Barbarity of our Enemies in Iraq--and the Importance of this moment
Michael E. O'Hanlon has a terrific piece up at the Brookings Institution on the depraved nature of our enemies and the importance to the US of not blowing it now. To desert Iraq to inhuman barbarians like this would be unconscionable. Yet the party of "we are the world" wants to do just that.
Why is it that whenever there is little to no US economic or strategic interest at stake (Haiti, Bosnia, Darfur, Sudan...), the Democrats are the first out of the box to want to send our troops to die--and to kill; but when the interest we are fighting for has far reaching consequences--both to the US and to Western Civilization--we are supposed to ignore that in favor of hunkering down in a ficticious "Fortress America" and pretend that if we just kiss the "boo-boo" all the evil will just go away on its own. It's something I've never quite been able to grasp...
It is truly mind-blowing to me.
UPDATE: Victor Davis Hanson believes that the situation--and what we must do now--could not possibly be more critical than it is right now. Read it all.
STOP THE PRESSES! NY Times Admits Progess in Anbar Province
I wonder how Harry is going to try and spin that one.
John al-Murtha suggests Impeachment if Bush does not compromise on Iraq
Rep. John Murtha suggested the possibility of impeachment to “influence” the President to “compromise” over funding for Iraq. Is it just me or does John Murtha sound like Vito Corleone? Does Murtha not know he is talking about impeaching the President of the United States because he is not compromising with the will of the far-left of Congress? That’s neither a high crime nor even a misdemeanor, which are the behaviors that are supposed to trigger impeachment. Murtha’s suggestion is outside the bounds of what Congress is supposed to do to influence the behavior of a sitting president, to say the least.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Cartoon by Scott Stantis (click to enlarge)
Global Warming...a Sin???
In a couple of hundred years, historians will be comparing the frenzies over our supposed human contribution to global warming to the tumults at the latter end of the tenth century as the Christian millennium approached. Then, as now, the doomsters identified human sinfulness as the propulsive factor in the planet's rapid downward slide.
Then as now, a buoyant market throve on fear. The Roman Catholic Church was a bank whose capital was secured by the infinite mercy of Christ, Mary and the Saints, and so the Pope could sell indulgences, like checks. The sinners established a line of credit against bad behavior and could go on sinning. Today a world market in "carbon credits" is in formation. Those whose "carbon footprint" is small can sell their surplus carbon credits to others, less virtuous than themselves.
The modern trade is as fantastical as the medieval one. There is still zero empirical evidence that anthropogenic production of CO2 is making any measurable contribution to the world's present warming trend. The greenhouse fearmongers rely entirely on unverified, crudely oversimplified computer models to finger mankind's sinful contribution. Devoid of any sustaining scientific basis, carbon trafficking is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism and greed, just like the old indulgences, though at least the latter produced beautiful monuments. By the sixteenth century, long after the world had sailed safely through the end of the first millennium, Pope Leo X financed the reconstruction of St. Peter's Basilica by offering a "plenary" indulgence, guaranteed to release a soul from purgatory.Further down, a couple more fun facts from the same article that I keep seeing more and more these days. Remember "Back to the Future"? This whole business makes me wish I could give a good thump to the collective heads of these head-in-the-sand hysterics--n one big "Hello...McFly??? ...":
We're warmer now, because today's world is in the thaw following the last Ice Age. Ice ages correlate with changes in the solar heat we receive, all due to predictable changes in the earth's elliptic orbit round the sun, and in the earth's tilt. As Hertzberg explains, the cyclical heat effect of all of these variables was worked out in great detail between 1915 and 1940 by the Serbian physicist, Milutin Milankovitch, one of the giants of 20th-century astrophysics. In past postglacial cycles, as now, the earth's orbit and tilt gives us more and longer summer days between the equinoxes.
Water covers 71 per cent of the surface of the planet. As compared to the atmosphere, there's at least a hundred times more CO2 in the oceans, dissolved as carbonate. As the postglacial thaw progresses the oceans warm up, and some of the dissolved carbon emits into the atmosphere, just like fizz in soda water taken out of the fridge. "So the greenhouse global warming theory has it ass backwards," Hertzberg concludes. "It is the warming of the earth that is causing the increase of carbon dioxide and not the reverse." He has recently had vivid confirmation of that conclusion. Several new papers show that for the last three quarter million years CO2 changes always lag global temperatures by 800 to 2,600 years.This is not rocket science--the history of this temprature appears to be scientific fact; the past is not something you can change to make it other than it was, no matter how many bureaucrats, Climate Change Alarmist Grants, and Socialists these facts "inconvenience". And the FACTS are that CO2 concentrations are the result of Global Warming, not the other way around. Could it be that the airing of these facts--and the likelihood that it could cause the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars to the big business of Global Warming is motivating all these Chicken Littles? Nah... I guess not... Forgive me Father, for I have sinned....
Yet ANOTHER Big Fish Landed in Iraq, and another one
Friday, April 27, 2007
Taliban capture of Afghan province underscores CRITICAL Strategic Importance of prevailing in Iraq
Don't Mess with the Discerning Texan (well, hopefully soon anyway...)
Tomorrow comes the State Course, the mandatory testing, and a thorough background check. But hey... in this crazy world, where any nutjob can walk into a mall (or anywhere else) and start killing innocents--or where a terror strike could knock out electricity for days or weeks--it is incumbent upon all responsible citizens to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our country from those who would kill indiscriminately, or from those who would take advantage of a paralyzed society to try and impose gang rule or anarchy.
I am as kind and lovable as a teddy bear--but don't try messing with the lives of me or those dear to me... And no, this is not a reaction to Virginia Tech; it was planned long before. VT just put a punctuation mark on what I had already undertaken. Actually I have been reading up on the laws and practicing weekly at the range for a couple of months now. So hopefully tomorrow will go smoothly.
I was wrestling with whether or not to post on this subject, but--especially in light of recent events and what I have had to say on that topic, I am posting about my personal journey to punctuate my belief on the importance of taking personal responsibility for your safety. Every American should take whatever steps necessary to protect his/her family from those for whom life is not so precious. Call it practicing what I preach; yesterday I linked to one of the most eloquent posts on this topic I have read in quite some time. If you missed it, be sure and check it out here.
Hopefully I will be able to get a couple of posts in tomorrow night after the Training. See you then.
Wish me luck--and let this be a lesson: Don't mess with Texas!
HUGE: Saudis Foil "Enormous" AQ Plot--Just In Time
If this attack had been successful it would have been devastating to World Oil Markets and could have potentially sent the American and other Western economies into a huge tailspin. This would have been really, really bad. Reports also indicate the AQ plot may have connections to Iran.
Captain Ed has much more on this breaking news.
Together with the capture of one of the most senior Al Qaeda leaders today--and the possible death of more--this has been a bountiful day for our military, indeed.
But I guess we still need to surrender to AQ, right Harry?
HUGE: Al Qaeda "Big Fish" Captured; UPDATED--And Possibly Another Killed?
Bill Roggio has much more detail about this key player in Al Qaeda; here is the lede:
The United States has scored a major victory against al Qaeda's global network. Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, one of Osama bin Laden's senior deputies who was "personally chosen by bin Laden to monitor al Qaeda operations in Iraq," has been captured and transfered to the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. government put a $1 million bounty out for Al-Hadi's capture.There is a lot more interesting detail where that came from...
UPDATE: AJ Strata has a link to what (cautiously) may be more AQ big shots who got what was coming to them (hint: read the comments too...)
"Laugh about it, shout about it, when you've got to choose, any way you look at it you lose..."
The reason this idea resonates so much for me is that it would turn our current yawners into real dialogue, which would not allow for the same tired scripted answers which never seem to actually answer the question asked. Why not just have the moderator say: "OK, 90-minutes, the topic is 'the War', GO..." and then let the dialogue begin?
Gingrich, in fact, has issued a broad proposal to the current crop of presidential candidates, Republicans and Democrats alike, to engage in a series of one-on-one faceoffs that would be lengthier and more challenging than the “cattle call” candidate forums generally staged on the campaign trail.
He has challenged each presidential candidate to participate in a total of nine 90-minute debates. The debates would take place over nine weeks before party nominations and involve only two candidates at a time.
Russert said he will ask “each and every” presidential candidate to participate in the nine debates.At the 1996, 2000 and 2004 presidential debates, candidates agreed to 53 pages of debating rules, Gingrich said. The campaign process “is decaying at a level that is bizarre,” he added, blaming the candidates, their consultants and the media.
The eight Democratic candidates who participated in the 2008 campaign’s first televised forum in Carson City, Nev., Feb 21, spoke for a lot less time than Gingrich envisions. Democrats appeared on stage separately, each giving a two-minute opening statement, followed by three questions, then a one-minute closing statement. They interacted with their host and the audience but not with each other.
Gingrich’s proposed debates “would change the entire tenor” of the elections, he said.The length of the debates would force in-depth discussion rather than soundbites, he said. He also said, “Nothing will take more poison out of the system than requiring the candidates to be in the same room,” because they will be less likely to verbally attack each other.
This makes so much sense: It would give the electorate a dramatically better sense of who can lead and who are the pretenders; of and who can really think for themselves--using actual ideas rather than in sound bytes--and of who we would not want within a hundred miles of the Oval Office.
The Presidency is the most high-pressure job on Earth: and if a candidate can't handle the pressure of articulating his/her ideas in a REAL 90-minute discussion of issues--rather than in scripted sound-bytes--why in the world would I want them to be my President?
These are serious and consequential times, and our Presidency deserves a serious and consequential debate of what really matters. It appears that we have a long way to go.
The Duty to Fight Back: A Must Read
Thursday, April 26, 2007
"Uh no thanks...I have a Cold..."
All is not well in Damascus...
American Airlines bans World Net Daily for "Hate Speech"
It's Official: Condi Rice has gone to the Dark Side UPDATED
Condi Rice started out the Bush Administration as a tough-as-nails National Security Advisor who knew the difference between our friends and our enemies. Then came the highly-touted "deal" with North Korea; one which has already fallen apart. But if that wasn't enough, now she appears to have completely gone over the edge; if you listen to what Michael Ledeen has to say, Condi is now wanting to cut another "deal" with Iran. Fool me once, shame on me?
This is a tough quandary for President Bush--he has always shown extreme loyalty to those who have remained loyal to him (witness Gonzales...), and Rice has been nothing if not loyal. But obviously her stance of not negotiating with the #1 State-sponsor of Islamist terror on Planet Earth--a group that has shown since repeatedly since 1979 that it cannot be trusted to act within international norms--has now been compromised. President Bush cannot dump Rice, but she needs to be marginalized now a la Colin Powell. The ghost of Madeline Albright continues to haunt the State Department.
UPDATE: Meanwhile an Iranian traitor tells all about just what the Iranians have been up to--and it is eye-opening to say the least.
Lieberman Fires a Shot across the Bow
Joe--whenever you are ready--in your heart of hearts there are people who would treat you like the true statesman you really are. I can understand loyalty, and it is admirable. In fact it is precisely why you belong with us. Face it: your old friends have deserted you--they deserted you during the election and now they are deserting both you and the future of the United States...and Israel. They want you for one reason and one reason only--because losing your vote would deny them power. The very power that is catastrophically hindering our war effort. On the other hand, if you caucus with the Republicans, you would be much more than a vote. Your input would actually be listened to again. And heard. What is that worth?
"Carbon Credits" = Fraud
Carbon Credits=Fraud. Al Gore=Fraud. Man-made Global Warming? You make the call.
Defeat: The Democrats' One Trick Pony
Pelosi’s gaffe is mind boggling. Being able to find time to meet and drink tea with the Syrian thug President Assad but brushing off a briefing with America’s own Iraq Commander General Petraeus is a juxtaposition of priorities that is too delicious not to use. The idea that the defeatists are living a variation of the Three Wise Monkeys by "seeing no progress, hearing no progress, and speaking no progress” when it comes to Iraq reveals a nervousness about some of the news that is breaking through all the stories about car bombings and suicide attacks, which are down in number but not much in the casualties; the fact that some of the indicators regarding the violence are improving less than 3 months into the surge.Exactly. And, as I alluded to yesterday, when the blogs are the only place you can actually get the truth about Iraq, we as a country are in serious trouble. Because a large portion of the country still is getting their news from places other than the blogosphere.
In truth, the Democrats and the left have already left the surge for dead. No matter what news comes out of Iraq, the Democrats will spin it to prove that the strategy is not working. Unfortunately, this will be relatively easy to do since the insurgents and terrorists are very obliging in working hand in hand with the defeatists in Congress to undermine the President’s strategy by getting as big a bang for their buck with each brutal attack on innocent civilians as they can.
Of course, other elements of the new strategy not totally dependent on the military are showing signs of success. The reconstruction teams whose numbers have doubled and who have already begun working with tribal leaders to turn the tide in Anbar Province have met with many small but significant successes. This is reflected in a growing realization by Sunnis that they are likely to get a better political deal if the Americans stay rather than if our troops are withdrawn, leaving them in the lurch:
Meanwhile, opponents of the Iraqi operations back in the United States are getting nervous about the success of the security operations in Baghdad and its suburbs. The fact that nearly all the Sunni Arab tribes have joined the government is seen as a political disaster by many U.S. politicians who have declared Iraq a failed venture for the United States. It’s a bizarre situation, and long has been. You only have to visit web sites frequented by Iraqis or American troops, to see that what is reported in most of the media about Iraq is invented, or distorted beyond all reason into an alternate reality.
This “alternate reality” lived in by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi is aided and abetted by a compliant news media who appears to be too lazy to balance coverage of bloody body counts with other aspects of the surge that show some signs of progress. ...
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Buh-Bye! (She Won't be Missed)
Cartoon by Michael Ramirez (click to enlarge)
The trouble with Harry --two views of the same Betrayal
A few months ago, Reid joined a unanimous Senate in voting to confirm Gen. David Petraeus as the new commander in Iraq, charged with a new mission and strategy. Although all the forces to conduct the new security operations won’t be in place until mid-June, General Petraeus reports early signs of progress on the ground. What does the Democrats’ armchair general make of the veteran commander’s assessment? “I don’t believe him,” Reid said on CNN, the latest in a series of gaffes. Unfortunately for Democrats, you go to war with the political commander you have.Not to be outdone, the Wall Street Journal's editors were equally pointed:
In a dispute between Petraeus and Reid over military strategy and the state of the war, we know whose judgment we trust. When Reid is arguing that there is no purely military solution in Iraq, he loves to cite Petraeus. But Petraeus also — and repeatedly — says that improved security is a precondition of political progress. Appearing before the Senate in January, Petraeus said, “Military action to improve security, while not wholly sufficient to solve Iraq’s problems, is certainly necessary.” Reid is resolved — at least he’s resolute about something — to ignore this.
Instead, he apparently uses a car-bomb barometer to measure the success of the troop surge, and has hoisted the white flag in response to the recent spate of such deadly attacks. Our enemies thus get exactly the response they seek. They want their cowardly tactics to blind Washington policymakers to the demonstrably improved security conditions in Baghdad that recent congressional visitors (and not just John McCain) have witnessed. Victory is far from certain — but defeat is, if Reid prevails.
We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war. Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding.Read both Op-Eds in their entirety; but take an air-bag with you...
--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, April 12.
Gen. David Petraeus is in Washington this week, where on Monday he briefed President Bush on the progress of the new military strategy in Iraq. Today he will give similar briefings on Capitol Hill, but maybe he should save his breath. As fellow four-star Harry Reid recently informed America, the war Gen. Petraeus is fighting and trying to win is already "lost."
Mr. Reid has since tried to "clarify" that remark, and in a speech Monday he laid out his own strategy for Iraq. But perhaps we ought to be grateful for his earlier candor in laying out the strategic judgment--and nakedly political rationale--that underlies the latest Congressional bid to force a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq starting this fall. By doing so, he and the Democrats are taking ownership of whatever ugly outcome follows a U.S. defeat in Iraq.
Somebody give Moyers his Meds...
Lawrence Wright on the State of Al Qaeda UPDATED
Wright is pretty much hands-down the Western expert on Al Qaeda and this interview with Hewitt is deeply disturbing on many levels. But nevertheless the truth must be faced head-on and understood for what it is before it can be remedied. And in a Democratic Republic, we are the only ones who can remedy this situation (hint: it involves turning the map bright red in 2008...). All this to say: this is your homework assignment for tonight--truly a must read interview.
The Nutroots Wet Dream
Iraq's Alternative Reality
Welcome to Alice's Looking Glass, where the "news networks" feed you information that is so heavily edited against any American war success, it serves to present precisely the picture the Democrats want you to see; and where the real truth on the ground only gets out via web portals like this one. It is only a small step from there to censorship of the Web and talk radio. And voila: Joseph Stalin lives!
If we leave, two things happen. First, the Kurds and Shia Arabs take care of the Sunni Arab terrorists the traditional Middle Eastern way. That gets very ugly, with massive civilian casualties and most of the Sunni Arab population turning into refugees. Any criticism is deflected by insisting its all about self-defense and justice for Saddams victims.
There's also the risk of a civil war between Shia Arab factions (backed by Iran and the Arab Gulf states, respectively.) The Turks will keep the Kurds in check, no matter what, although if we leave the Turks will be tempted to annex northern Iraq (and its oil fields), which used to be part of Turkey (not an imperial province), until 1919.
The Shia Arabs are now about two-thirds of the population, and they are gearing up for a real civil war. The factions backed Iran (especially the Sadr and Badr groups) are trying to take control by force. The majority of Shia Arabs want power, but they don't want a religious dictatorship. These "democratic" Shia Arabs are arming and getting more violent in their resistance to Iran-sponsored militants. More of the terrorism in Shia areas (which is a small fraction of what the Sunni Arab terrorists are creating) is directed against other Shia political groups, not foreign troops.
There's always the threat that Iran would simply invade Iraq, and install an "Islamic Republic" (religious dictatorship similar to the one in Iran). With no American troops there, what's to prevent this? The Arab Gulf States cannot stop the Iranians, although the Turks might be persuaded to. The Iranians could avoid that by making a side deal with the Turks, involving how to handle the Kurds, before going in. The Iranian government sees democratic Iraq as a threat, because most Iranians want a real democracy, and they are not getting it because of the religious dictatorship they are stuck with. The Iranian radical groups, in the form of the Quds Force, keeps the pot boiling in Shia Iraq so that Iraq does not become a base for Iranian democrats.
Meanwhile, opponents of the Iraqi operations back in the United States are getting nervous about the success of the security operations in Baghdad and its suburbs. The fact that nearly all the Sunni Arab tribes have joined the government is seen as a political disaster by many U.S. politicians who have declared Iraq a failed venture for the United States. It's a bizarre situation, and long has been. You only have to visit web sites frequented by Iraqis or American troops, to see that what is reported in most of the media about Iraq is invented, or distorted beyond all reason into an alternate reality.
It sounds like a novel from an Aldous Huxley nightmare, but it is the reality of 2006.
Are we having fun yet?
Welcome to Subpoenaville
What did you expect--leadership??
Here Comes da Prez
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
On the Marriage of The Left and Islam--READ THIS
Just go read it. Now.
Judge, Jury....and Executioner?
Cartoon by Jeff Koterba (click to enlarge)
More words for Harry Reid...from Iraq
The Left's Big Lie
Read the whole thing (h/t Dinocrat).
The thing I like best about being a conservative is that I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to pretend that men and women are the same. I don’t have to declare that failed or oppressive cultures are as good as mine. I don’t have to say that everyone’s special or that the rich cause poverty or that all religions are a path to God. I don’t have to claim that a bad writer like Alice Walker is a good one or that a good writer like Toni Morrison is a great one. I don’t have to pretend that Islam means peace.
Of course, like everything, this candor has its price. A politics that depends on honesty will be, by nature, often impolite. Good manners and hypocrisy are intimately intertwined, and so conservatives, with their gimlet-eyed view of the world, are always susceptible to charges of incivility. It’s not really nice, you know, to describe things as they are.
This is leftism’s great strength: it’s all white lies. That’s its only advantage, as far as I can tell. None of its programs actually works, after all. From statism and income redistribution to liberalized criminal laws and multiculturalism, from its assault on religion to its redefinition of family, leftist policies have made the common life worse wherever they’re installed. But because it depends on—indeed is defined by—describing the human condition inaccurately, leftism is nothing if not polite. With its tortuous attempts to rename unpleasant facts out of existence—he’s not crippled, dear, he’s handicapped; it’s not a slum, it’s an inner city; it’s not surrender, it’s redeployment—leftism has outlived its own failure by hiding itself within the most labyrinthine construct of social delicacy since Victoria was queen.
What is REALLY Happening in Iraq
Roll Up for the Mystery Tour
British Muslims Arrested for Incitement to Terrorism
As it should be.
In Which a member of the Nutroots Left asserts that Bush/CIA responsible for Va. Tech shootings...
Is it 2008 yet?
Harry Reid Disgrace(s) of the Day UPDATE
UPDATE: "General" Reid isn't interested in what the Commander on the ground has to say. This may be the most irresponsible four months of political posturing by a United States Congress in my lifetime. The Dems are playing Russian Roulette with our lives and our children's lives.
UPDATE: If you didn't hear the Cheney press clip which got Reid so defensive, you have got to see this. A thing of beauty. We need much more of Dick Cheney--personally I can't get enough of straight talk and honesty in a climate where so little of it makes the network airwaves.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Not Wild About Harry
Daily Kos: Platform to Praise Mass Murderers
Daily Kos Diarist Eulogizes Psy-Choad: "I Mourn Your Life and Loss," Calls Him "Scholar," "Writer"It is all so sad to me. We separate ourselves from each other. We create stress. Then instead of coming together we try harder to take control. Emotions cannot be regulated; in truth, we cannot mandate behaviors. If we are to be truly safe, we must ensure that every individual feels cared for to his or her core. I believe we must interact, not react.
Those that passed can no longer physically help teach us to be kind, aware, active, and giving. However, through them, I hope we all learn. Every moment of life is fragile, fleeting, and a foundation for the future.
This is not the time to teach fear. It is an occasion, an opportunity to reflect. Perhaps, we might learn to love every being, even those that appear to be different or distant.
Seung-Hui Cho My Sadness for Yours . . .
S/he is talking about Cho is that bit about "teaching us to be kind, aware, etc."
I'm getting into an Old Testament kind of mood here.
Daily Kos, the most popular website on the left, is now being used to praise mass-murderers and justify their slaughters. As well as to recruit new killers into the cult of death.
Al Qaeda reportedly planning Large Western Attack
Meanwhile Harry Reid wants to hand Iraq over TO Al Qaeda--to the very monsters who brought down the Twin Towers and who have been decapitating Westerners for your evening entertainment for four years plus now...
A lot of people are asking: what is wrong with this picture? ... How about what in the hell is RIGHT with this picture?
We are being sold down the river, my friends.
Thank God Lance Armstrong got away... UPDATED
UPDATE: Don Surber has some new lyrical suggestions for a well-known Crow hit...
Dems Skipping Petreaus Briefings on Iraq
UPDATE: Harry Reid unwittingly speaks truth:
Be patient…we’re losing this war just as fast as we can!
Marines Tape a Video Response to Reid's Disgraceful Statement; UPDATE Noteworthy quote: "I Got a Message for that Douche Harry Reid..."
But then I found out about this headline in Al Jazeera: Iraq war 'lost' says top Democrat, and thought about how that headline was playing to our fanatical Islamist enemies and their state sponsors Iran and Syria. Then I heard about the headline at Iran Press Television: US has Lost War in Iraq: US Democrat and another at the widely circulated Arab daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: The Democrats Believe The War Is Lost and Bush Refuses a Deadline For Withdrawal... and it dawned on me that Harry Reid is not merely opposing America's foreign policy and making horribly irresponsible statements--he is actively encouraging our enemies, and probably resulting directly in the deaths of American servicemen and women. In earlier days of America's history, Reid could have faced a firing squad for such a statement.
So, yes, please do put me on the record: Harry Reid should either resign or else be impeached as the Majority Leader of the Senate. He is a disgrace to the country he calls home and a traitor to its Constitution he has sworn to uphold. And some Marines in Ramadi have a message for Senator Surrender.
UPDATE: Via Glenn, Bill Kristol wants Reid gone too.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Day by Day Triple Play
Chris Muir has been on FIRE since I've been away... For those who have not already seen them: enjoy! Click to enlarge.
Has the FBI made ANY Advances since 9/11?
Iraqis to American Media: How About Telling the TRUTH
Sarkozy Looking Good
This is a big election, and not only for France. The May 8 runoff could mean a new revival in European support for America...or in the case of a Royal win, a left turn for what has already been a disaster for both France and the World..
Even at Home, Harry has Lost it...
The Buzz: Gore is going to Run
Steyn on Virginia Tech and Vulnerability: Reality vs. Illusion
... at Yale, the dean of student affairs, Betty Trachtenberg, reacted to the Virginia Tech murders by taking decisive action: She banned all stage weapons from plays performed on campus. After protests from the drama department, she modified her decisive action to "permit the use of obviously fake weapons" such as plastic swords.Read the whole thing here. While it is a near certainty that I will never be able to write with the style and wit as Mark Steyn; at least I do know is where to look every Sunday for the most hard-hitting take on the hottest news from best columnist in the English language. Give me that on any Sunday over listening to Tim Russert attempt to defend the indefensible with the same self-important talking heads.
But it's not just the danger of overly realistic plastic swords in college plays that we face today. In yet another of his not-ready-for-prime-time speeches, Barack Obama started out deploring the violence of Virginia Tech as yet another example of the pervasive violence of our society: the violence of Iraq, the violence of Darfur, the violence of . . . er, hang on, give him a minute. Ah, yes, outsourcing: ''the violence of men and women who . . . suddenly have the rug pulled out from under them because their job has moved to another country." And let's not forget the violence of radio hosts: ''There's also another kind of violence, though, that we're going to have to think about. It's not necessarily physical violence, but violence that we perpetrate on each other in other ways. Last week the big news, obviously, had to do with Imus and the verbal violence that was directed at young women who were role models for all of us, role models for my daughters.''
I've had some mail in recent days from people who claimed I'd insulted the dead of Virginia Tech. Obviously, I regret I didn't show the exquisite taste and sensitivity of Sen. Obama and compare getting shot in the head to an Imus one-liner. Does he mean it? I doubt whether even he knows. When something savage and unexpected happens, it's easiest to retreat to our tropes and bugbears or, in the senator's case, a speech on the previous week's "big news." Perhaps I'm guilty of the same. But then Yale University, one of the most prestigious institutes of learning on the planet, announces that it's no longer safe to expose twentysomething men and women to ''Henry V'' unless you cry God for Harry, England and St. George while brandishing a bright pink and purple plastic sword from the local kindergarten. Except, of course, that the local kindergarten long since banned plastic swords under its own "zero tolerance" policy.
I think we have a problem in our culture not with "realistic weapons" but with being realistic about reality. After all, we already "fear guns," at least in the hands of NRA members. Otherwise, why would we ban them from so many areas of life? Virginia Tech, remember, was a "gun-free zone," formally and proudly designated as such by the college administration. Yet the killer kept his guns and ammo on the campus. It was a "gun-free zone" except for those belonging to the guy who wanted to kill everybody. Had the Second Amendment not been in effect repealed by VT, someone might have been able to do as two students did five years ago at the Appalachian Law School: When a would-be mass murderer showed up, they rushed for their vehicles, grabbed their guns and pinned him down until the cops arrived.
But you can't do that at Virginia Tech. Instead, the administration has created a "Gun-Free School Zone." Or, to be more accurate, they've created a sign that says "Gun-Free School Zone." And, like a loopy medieval sultan, they thought that simply declaring it to be so would make it so. The "gun-free zone" turned out to be a fraud -- not just because there were at least two guns on the campus last Monday, but in the more important sense that the college was promoting to its students a profoundly deluded view of the world.
While I was out...
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Signing Off Until Sunday...
In the meantime I want to thank everyone who has dropped in lately, and also to those readers who have offered their kind words. Shoot, I truly appreciate the fact that even one person is interested in what one Texas contrarian has to say. But the fact that so many of you continue to come back for more really does mean more to me than I can possibly express. I hope some of it resonates, because I obviously believe it passionately.
Unfortunately I am also pessimistic enough to think that a large portion of our public is similar to those kids who were shot execution style, (apparently..) without resisting at Virginia Tech: only in this case the "massacre" in progress is of the very idea of the United States that our brilliant Founders conceived, and of Western Civilization itself. The hour for our country and the West is late and our enemies are at the gates. But we can--and we must--still win this dual-front war: the one for the soul of our Nation and the other for keeping our World from plunging head first into a Dark Age that could make the previous Dark Ages pale in comparison...
There are evil, but intelligent and highly dedicated people out there who are determined to send most or all of us to a hell on earth that would make Dante cringe. Too, there are power-hungry hypocritical sociopaths in the halls of power in our Congress that would--in an instant--send us collectively down the same "toilet" in which Europe is presently being flushed unceremoniously as a bankrupt cultural experiment--yes, we too can go bankrupt: as did the Soviet Union; and as the welfare state in Europe is about to do.
And then there is the much larger group of well-meaning people out there who in their naive and Utopian dream world are in the process of unwittingly destroying the very foundations of the United States of America and all it stands for. The Generals in this War against all that is good about this nation have names like Pelosi and Reid and Sharpton and Jackson and Leahy and Murtha and Kucinich. Names destined to go down in history as "the destroyers", that is if we cannot win enough hearts and minds to turn this tide. But the foot soldiers are friends of ours, only they for whatever reason are not seeing the world as it IS. They are seeing an illusory dream. I am convinced that if we do not turn these people around--so that these "Generals" who would destroy us no longer have any support from any reasonable American--our country and the World as we know it will cease to exist.
So yes, it is not even in question: losing is not an option. We MUST win; there can be nothing more important for the future of this planet (and that definitely includes Global Warming...).
I could go on and on but it is late: I could plagiarize a great man and talk about fighting them in the hills and on the beaches and about this being "their finest hour", but unfortunately I am neither English enough nor articulate enough to fit into that man's shoes; however I will evoke the words of Lombardi: because--over the next 2-10 years in the United States--winning isn't merely everything--it must be the only thing in the minds of each one of us--if we are to prevail.
The good news: it is not impossible--we can do it. We've overcome greater odds before. Read David McCullough's 1776. An amazing book about amazing men. And think about how far we have come since that bleakest of winters.
Read The Federalist Papers and The Wealth of Nations--and ponder the unbridled, sheer genius of Hamilton, Jay, and Smith. Read about Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg (and Lincoln's address about it). Read about Bastogne and the answer of the besieged American troops to the incredulous Nazis demanding their surrender. And then sit there and try and tell me we can't do it. Bullshit; we HAVE to do it; we have traveled to damn far and it is way too late to turn back now.
Anyway, God willing, I will see everyone again on Sunday evening. But now it is time for me to go say goodbye to a special lady.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Is NBC Hiding Something on those Cho Videos?
They could certainly put questions like these to bed if they would only cough up the entire set of videotape and other documents that this sicko sent to NBC between shootings. Dave Winer (via Glenn Reynolds ) weighs in--I've condensed his format for space considerations:
NBC should release all of the videos in Quicktime form as downloads. It's wrong to withhold them. They're sifting through them and deciding what to release and what not to release. It's 2007, and it's a decentralized world. We should all get a chance to see what's on those videos. GIven enough time the focus will go on their process, much better to just let it all out now, with no editorial judgement. If you have contacts in the blogging world or MSM that could influence NBC's decision, please pass this on.So let me get this straight--these networks can show us a repeated loop footage of Islamist snipers murdering our troops in Iraq (because we have a "need to know"), but when the whole country wants to know detail about this psychopath who perpetrated the worst campus massacre in US history, NBC decides we can't handle the truth? The irony of this is--if you haven't been on a remote island for the last 2 weeks--the most pressing problem with NBC is... Don Imus?
What am I missing here? Is this my beautiful home? Is this my beautiful wife? (Why can't is just be the same as it ever was?)
Steyn shines his penetrating light on "the Culture of Passivity"
Point one: They’re not “children.” The students at Virginia Tech were grown women and — if you’ll forgive the expression — men. They would be regarded as adults by any other society in the history of our planet. Granted, we live in a selectively infantilized culture where twentysomethings are “children” if they’re serving in the Third Infantry Division in Ramadi but grown-ups making rational choices if they drop to the broadloom in President Clinton’s Oval Office. Nonetheless, it’s deeply damaging to portray fit fully formed adults as children who need to be protected. We should be raising them to understand that there will be moments in life when you need to protect yourself — and, in a “horrible” world, there may come moments when you have to choose between protecting yourself or others. It is a poor reflection on us that, in those first critical seconds where one has to make a decision, only an elderly Holocaust survivor, Professor Librescu, understood instinctively the obligation to act.
Point two: The cost of a “protected” society of eternal “children” is too high. Every December 6th, my own unmanned Dominion lowers its flags to half-mast and tries to saddle Canadian manhood in general with the blame for the “Montreal massacre,” the 14 female students of the Ecole Polytechnique murdered by Marc Lepine (born Gamil Gharbi, the son of an Algerian Muslim wife-beater, though you’d never know that from the press coverage). As I wrote up north a few years ago:
Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lepine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate — an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The “men” stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.
I have always believed America is different. Certainly on September 11th we understood. The only good news of the day came from the passengers who didn’t meekly follow the obsolescent 1970s hijack procedures but who used their wits and acted as free-born individuals. And a few months later as Richard Reid bent down and tried to light his shoe in that critical split-second even the French guys leapt up and pounded the bejasus out of him.
We do our children a disservice to raise them to entrust all to officialdom’s security blanket. Geraldo-like “protection” is a delusion: when something goes awry — whether on a September morning flight out of Logan or on a peaceful college campus — the state won’t be there to protect you. You’ll be the fellow on the scene who has to make the decision. As my distinguished compatriot Kathy Shaidle says:
When we say “we don’t know what we’d do under the same circumstances”, we make cowardice the default position.
I’d prefer to say that the default position is a terrible enervating passivity. Murderous misfit loners are mercifully rare. But this awful corrosive passivity is far more pervasive, and, unlike the psycho killer, is an existential threat to a functioning society.You can say that again. Read the whole thing.
The Futility of Anti-Gun Laws
Let's face it, though: isn't the left always hysterical about something? The only question that need be asked of any Democrat on a daily basis is: which soap-opera is playing today?
Don't believe me? Try clicking here any day of the week. And prepare to be stunned as you read in amazement at what some of your fellow "citizens" (a term used only in the strictest legal sense) actually believe.
UPDATE: Bill O'Reilly scores a "bulls eye" on the opportunistic gun control hypocrites.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Cartoon by Mike Lester (click to enlarge)
UPDATED Out of the Agony, Memories of a Hero--and Signs of an Academic and Moral crisis in our Education system
Glenn Reynolds is all over the VT tragedy from multiple angles, and he gets the hat/tip for finding this one too: at least one story of true heroism came out of yesterday's events. Go read it now, then come back and let's wrestle with some questions about that dark day I can't quite let go of...
Finished? Good, let's talk:
Obviously, the valor and sacrifice of Professor Librescu--a Holocaust survivor--is a great, heroic story of sacrifice. And one thing that popped out as slightly ironic is that the most notable heroic act we know about from yesterday was performed by an engineering professor of Israeli descent.
Allow me to explain what I mean: once upon a time not so many years ago (or so we are told by Hollywood), most of the Jews of Europe were led to their slaughter with little or no resistance, like sheep--victims who did not even resist when they could have. Hollywood especially portrays these lost souls as the archetypal "victims"--rather than historical ones (witness films like Schindler's List); still I doubt that the folks in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising or the prisoners who led successful revolts at the Sobribor and Treblinka death camps would completely agree with this post-modern assessment of the unwillingness of Europe's Jews to fight back. So now, we fast forward to sixty plus years later: we are told that American college kids--the same age as those fighting for us abroad--are killed, allowing one shooter to systematically shoot them (and reload)--one by one, execution style-- while meanwhile it is an elderly Jewish professor who fights back. Is it only me who finds this juxtaposition ironic?
Obviously Professor Librescu deserves great honor and accolades for his bravery under fire. And those kids certainly do not deserve our derision in this awful moment--their loss is a tragedy beyond words. So I really want to take care not to be insensitive here--what I have to say is not about them except in a theoretical sense, and I do not want to dishonor the dead; they don't deserve it--still I just can't help myself from asking why didn't more of them try to fight back? It has been a burning question in my mind--and having not been in that terrible room that answer will never be known. But nevertheless I cannot help but wonder, what if some of them had?
In any case it is clear now that this one professor, anyway, did chose another path to frozen, impotent surrender to madness. He made the decision not to go gently into that good night--and sacrificed his life for his students, knowing full well it might come to that. And lives were saved because of him. That, my friends, is honor. That is taking responsibility for one's own life and the lives of others, rather than handing over his fate to a psychopath. And what that is not--Ladies and Gentlemen--is the act of a "victim". Then or now.
But what of the students who either could not or did not fight back? What can explain this? Is it the case now that gradually, American generations in their protective bubbles have slowly but surely been taught to un-learn these concepts which made the counrty great in favor of concepts like: it's all relative; one man's terrorist is just a misunderstood freeedom fighter; that America, what it stands for, and everything we have here--is the result of imperialistic plunder; that our country is NOT worth fighting for; that America is the primary source of of evil, as opposed to being the last line of defense against it? We have taught our young people to believe we are the cause of monsters wanting to extinguish us in the name of their God?? That we are all "guilty" because of our country's success, and thus somehow deserve punishment? I would be remiss if I did not point out that this same guilt goes a long way towards explaining how easily people have been swayed by a false Global Warming "consensus".
I think it is high time to ask whether the incessant "pacifism"--which our Leftist teacher unions are indoctrinating our kids' to believe from birth--is a "good" thing. Is it? What about responsibility? What about the notion that there is something greater and more noble and more worthy than the almighty and all-powerful self.
And what of the false idol of "self esteem"--which comes very often at the cost of dumbing down reward and achievement to a least common denominator, just so the non-achieving kids don't "feel bad". As an example, my neice ran in a cross country meet and got a Medal for finishing in the top 15. I ran track, and to me a medal for 15th is not something that encourages excellence--it encourages and condones mediocrity. It demeans the accomplishment of those who work hard enough and excel enough to finish in the top 3. While this self-esteem-uber-alles mindset may work in the short term in preventing "hurt feelings", in the long term it teaches our kids that not "hurting feelings" is a more important and worthy goal than is succeeding--and that failure is not a bad thing either.
This is not to discount the value of decency. But the result serves to squelch the competitive drive--which is the one advantage which has kept America as the leader of the world when it comes to can-do innovation. And making sure we all "feel good" definitely does not teach the inherent value of the individual, and teach kids to scratch and claw and fight to achieve for themselves. And so, how we then expect these kids to compete in a cutthroat global economy?
Character comes from taking your lumps and getting back up again. Lather, rinse, repeat cycle multiple times. And every time you stagger again back to your feet after having been knocked down, you do not give up; you know to your core that you can DO this thing--with enough patience, persistence, and effort. It is "The Little Engine that Could." Today's Academia would have written a book that would have been titled something like "The Victimized Oppressed-Group Member who Cannot be Expected To--so give them Your job". We now seem to treat failure as a result equally as "worthy" as achievement, and teachers teach that the American Dream is an "illusion". This is unconscionable to me. But it clearly is the end result of a society that values the RESULT of "equality" for all (the least common denominator) over giving each individual an equal opportunity to succeeed--but teaching that individual that doing so is their responsibility. In other words: we no longer teach our children about the real world. But I digress from my original point...
As I said, the purpose of this is not to criticize any of those unfortunate kids who did not fight back in Blacksburg--they were after all only reflecting the fatally flawed mindset of their 60's-generation teachers: "All you need is Love", "Everything is relative", "Imagine there's no countries...", "ALL people are good at heart"... etc. But clearly we live in times (and yesterday was a stark example) when this paradigm is completely inadequate to equip someone to handle a life or death situation without freezing into terrified submission or surrender. As I mentioned earlier, Forensic psychologist Dr. Helen Smith addressed this phenomenon yesterday, and it definitely is worth a click (if you haven't gone there already).
So part of the tragedy of 4/16/07 is that many of those kids in Blacksburg may not have had the emotional or ideological wherewithal to resist in that situation, because they simply did not have the world view or strength of character that would have come from a strong belief in self, duty, country. But I do not blame these innocent kids for this: I blame a broken Leftist "seniority over competence" educational system which has helped to transform scores of our kids into pacifist, relativist automatons. Again, I wasn't there and we will never really know for sure exactly how it happened. But the very sound of reports of the "execution style" killings really disturb me.
What is the solution? Well how about starting by insisting our educators teach our children things that we were taught which our kids are not being taught: about the greatness and goodness of their country and the rightness of the American dream and of our form of government; about Adam Smith, and Capitalism being the foundation upon which all successful societies are built--and that in this competitive age Capitalism is not a dirty word, but rather the greatest force for good for the planet; about the Founders, and the brilliant and heroic pioneers who made what we have possible; about the blood which has been shed by so many hundreds of thousands before them--just so that their lives could be so comfortable and easy today; about honor, and duty, and sacrifice for your fellow man; about doing whatever is necessary to protect the innocent and to keep this magnificent experiment we have going strong; about the kinds of things those frightened adults on Flight 93 did spontaneously--and also under no illusions--and which other brave American men and women do every day in far away places like Anbar province and Afghanistan and Sudan and Baghdad.
In the end, the seeming contrast yesterday of students allowing their own murder without resistance--weighed against the heroic deeds of an Israeli-immigrant Professor--appears to make some disturbing suggestions of how far we have fallen in our teaching our children the values and character they will desparately need for a self-sufficient and noble adult life; and it speaks to the drastic shift in priorities needed in our educational system to get us there.
As Tom Petty so aptly put it: "It's wake up time..." Let's get started.