The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Friday, November 30, 2007

Suggestion to White House: Can Her Ass

If President Bush respects the office of the Presidency, Helen Thomas should never set foot into that press room again. She has taken advantage of her position to disrespect the Presidency. Sheis an abomination:

Skip CNN's self-inflicted wounds, and save your outrage for the doyenne of the White House press gaggle. Helen Thomas decided to get her feelings about the American military out into the open today:

Q Why should we depend on him?

MS. PERINO: Because he is the commander on the ground, Helen. He's the one who is making sure that the situation is moving —

Q You mean how many more people we kill?

MS. PERINO: Helen, I find it really unfortunate that you use your front row position, bestowed upon you by your colleagues, to make such statements. This is a — it is an honor and a privilege to be in the briefing room, and to suggest that we, at the United States, are killing innocent people is just absurd and very offensive.

Q Do you know how many we have since the start of this war?

MS. PERINO: How many — we are going after the enemy, Helen. To the extent that any innocent Iraqis have been killed, we have expressed regret for it.

Q Oh, regret. It doesn't bring back a life.

MS. PERINO: Helen, we are in a war zone, and our military works extremely hard to make sure that everyone has the opportunity for liberty and freedom and democracy, and that is exactly what they are doing.

I'm going to move on.

So should Thomas' employer -- and should have 30 years ago, when she was last coherent.

DiscerningTexan, 11/30/2007 11:31:00 PM | Permalink | |

Heavy Travel = Light Blogging

I will be in Brazil on business over the next week, beginning tomorrow, therefore my own posting will be very sporadic (at best) until next weekend. Please bear with me and rest assured that I will be back and ready to do whatever it takes to keep the Stalinists from winning next year.

A special note and invitation to retire05, Reliapundit, Chris Muir and to the Two Sisters on the Right (or all of the above): I have appreciated very much the readability and depth of knowledge of your comments (and/or the posts on your own blogs). If you guys are interested--and if you can email me today via the link on this blog of your interest--if you would like to try your hand at posting on DT for the next few days while I am down south, please do feel free to contact me ASAP and I will get you set up as guest posters and give you some more info.

For Cao and The Jackalope's Voice: you already have the appropriate permissions from previous trips, so you are also welcome to join in--please do. Best case scenario would be if all of the above could give my the fruits of your talents. Chris is already a superstar, but just imagine Day by Day at the top of DT all week long--AND the ability to put up real prose there! (Yes I know, it boggles the mind...).

Fakes or stalkers need not apply: For retire05, I have your IP address documented from your comments; for the Two Sisters, Chris and Reliapundit: I have all of your email addresses already--so if you would like to help keep the site going while I am gone, I will be able to distinguish you all from any "posers"... (sorry, ADT--I have your IP too...). Anyway consider this an open invitation to help out; and know that I would be both grateful and humbled to have your take on the issues appear on my humble little blog for the next week or so.

If you can't do it that is fine too. I just wanted to acknowledge you here for your readership and support, and to give you guys a chance to play Discerning Texan, if you are so inclined.

In any case, Be careful out there; I'll see everyone next week, if not before then...
DiscerningTexan, 11/30/2007 02:51:00 PM | Permalink | |
Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wow: Hillary Fundraiser Cancelled - Host Indicted

That Tsunami just keeps getting larger and larger. You know, Limbaugh calls Bill "Don Vito Clinteone", and it does not appear to be too far from the truth:

From the Wall Street Journal:

Host Indicted, Clinton Fund-Raiser Canceled

Mary Jacoby reports on the presidential race.

A Dec. 15 fund-raising event for Hillary Clinton at the home of prominent Mississippi trial lawyer Richard “Dickie” Scruggs is off, now that Scruggs has been indicted for bribery.

Bill Clinton was set to be the star attraction at the event at Scruggs’s Oxford, Miss., home. Hillary Clinton wasn’t scheduled to attend. It was the first event that Scruggs, who made a fortune suing the tobacco industry in the 1990s, had offered to host for Clinton, a campaign spokesman said.

It was canceled on Wednesday, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his home and the federal indictment was announced

Over the years, Scruggs has been a generous donor to Democrats, but he’s also given money to Republican candidates. He gave $4,200 to Clinton’s Senate campaign in 2005 but hadn’t made a donation yet to her presidential bid. Scruggs’s brother-in-law is Sen. Trent Lott (R., Miss.), who just announced his intention to leave the Senate before the end of the year.

Federal prosecutors in Mississippi have alleged that Scruggs tried to pass a $40,000 bribe to a state-court judge who was hearing a dispute between Scruggs and another lawyer over fees related to Hurricane Katrina litigation. Four others were indicted as well, including Scruggs’s son, Zachary, and another lawyer in the Scruggs law firm…

Will there be anyone connected to the Clintons who isn’t in jail by election day?

DiscerningTexan, 11/29/2007 11:35:00 PM | Permalink | |

Coming Soon to a BORDERS near you

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez
DiscerningTexan, 11/29/2007 11:02:00 PM | Permalink | |

"Congressional Democrats pose a bigger threat than al-Qaeda"

Not much I can add to Don Surber's post, particularly the great one-liner (emphasis mine--that may be the line of the year.). Even the seditious Murtha today admitted the surge was working. Not that it matters to these a**wipes:

Congressional Democrats pose a bigger threat than al-Qaeda.

Having done nothing this year on the budget, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi decided to take a 2-week vacation to rest up from doing nothing.

They left Washington without even passing an Iraq funding bill for the president to veto.

Mind you, 5 years ago a Democratic Senate voted to authorize this war. Reid and half of this Democratic colleagues approved. Now, having placed troops in harm’s way, Reid and a Democratic Congress want to cut of the funding for the troops.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is scrambling to reconfigure his budget so that he can send the money to Iraq and Afghanistan that Reid refuses to send.

At Fort Hood on Monday, Gates said: “An immediate challenge the Defense Department faces is the ongoing delay in the Congress over the war funding bill.

“The facts are simple. Without these funds, Army operations and maintenance accounts will be exhausted by mid-February, and similar Marine Corps accounts about a month later.

“We cannot wait until mid-February to figure out how to deal with the consequences of these accounts running dry.

“For example, under certain of our contracts, civilian employees must be notified sixty days in advance of a furlough, and that means mid-December.

“We’re not trying to scare anyone, or play politics. That’s not the way I do business. But I am responsible for prudent management and planning. And that means prior planning just in case we don’t get this funding in a bill that this President will sign.

I cannot put into words how much I detest this despicable group of TRAITORS. Yes I used that word, and yes I mean it in every sense of the definition:

1 : one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty
: one who commits treason

Read the rest here.

DiscerningTexan, 11/29/2007 09:30:00 PM | Permalink | |

"THIS is CNN..." (Includes Updates)

Hugh Hewitt has about the best summary of the CNN Democrat (I mean) Republican debate last night that I have read:
[...] Last night's fiasco was so thorough that it will take a while to settle in just how damaging it was to CNN's reputation as a news organization. From the awful judgment displayed with the opening guitar serenade through the preposterous selection of topics and questions right to the stark reality that CNN either was easily and completely manipulated by the Dems with planted question after planted question or were totally complicit in the hijacking of a Republican debate designed to serve Republican primary voters about who ought to be the Republican nominee. The network is either incompetent in a way no serious news organization should be, or wholly captured by agenda journalists of the left.

No serious anchor would want to be where [Anderson] Cooper is today, at the center of a vast train wreck which cannot be explained away as the inevitable result of the sudden appearance of big news in a difficult setting, as with hysterical Katrina coverage of bodies stacked in freezers and gun fights in the Superdome, or the result of the input of bad data, as with the early call of Florida for Gore in 2000.

No, this [is] premeditated mediocrity. The network had months to prepare and consider and execute. But even with all that time, it lacked the minimal talent necessary to produce a serious debate about important issues using new technology. All it could deliver was a carnival of bad taste, trick questions, and full frontal left wing bias.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has got CNN dead to rights for just how tricked up these questions and questioners really were. I am so glad that this is coming out, because the American people deserve better than the double standard they have been spoon fed by those elites who "know better" than they do. I actually heard Tom Brokaw call out CNN today on the Hewitt show, and Brokaw is no right winger.

My issue with last night is not so much the questions asked; yes many questions were over the top--hell, the guy with the Bible was little more than a sneering heckler. But a President should be expected to know how to handle a hostile questioner.
In a perfect world it wouldn't bother me to see Republicans pose the questions in a Democrat debate and vice versa. After all, the idea is to see how a potential candidate can handle the pressure. I think that sort of debate would be a big improvement over what we have gotten to date, because (on the Democrat side anyway) most of the questions have been layups. Pointed questioning would serve the public good. However the kind of heckling questions we saw last night were nothing more than a lame attempt to brainwash the viewers in to thinking that the vast majority of Americans are partisan Democrats.

The problem in this instance with CNN is that for its Democrat YouTube debate, the questions were from a partisan Democrat perspective. In the CNN Republican debate... the questions were from a partisan Democrat perspective. So we are supposed to believe that a network with the resources like CNN can only find good video questions from the political left of the YouTube generation? Have they not been paying attention to bloggers like Michelle Malkin, Allah, Bryan Preston, and Mary Katherine Ham? Please.

No, this was truly a disgrace; and to pretend that it was not done purposefully is a flat out lie to the people of the United States; every bit as much so as were the Rather lies and The New Republic's lies. CNN has now joined MSNBC and the network of Rather as selling out completely to Soros and the MoveOn left. It was pathetic, and a really sad day for American journalism. William Randolph Hurst would have been proud.

UPDATE: More from Glenn Reynolds.

UPDATE: Meanwhile an NBC reporter covering Sarkozy calls Bush a "monkey." Nice.
DiscerningTexan, 11/29/2007 02:39:00 PM | Permalink | |
Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Scoreboard... (a Home Run)

And history will see it this way too. Insigficant v. Significant. Give me "B".
(Cartoon by Glenn McCoy)
DiscerningTexan, 11/28/2007 11:01:00 PM | Permalink | |

Bush: No apologies, feeling energized

Do not miss this excellent report on Kate O'Bierne and Rich Lowry's recent meeting with the President. I have always found optimism to be contagious, and this is no exception.

There is almost no one in America who doesn't have at least one disagreement with some stand the President has taken. I have several myself. With that said, when I voted for the man, I voted for someone who would always do what he truly believed was the right thing. Sometimes I have not agreed, particularly when it has come to the State Department's "programming" of a Condi Rice who I once upon a time considered to be a really strong National Security Advisor. But either she is Bipolar or some really monumental things are going on behind the scenes at Foggy Bottom that have deprogrammed Condi from her focus on America's security to a myopic focus on America's popularity.

With all of that said, one of the things I am most thankful for over this holiday season is that President Bush has been in place over the last 7 years. If he had not been, if it had been Gore and/or Kerry, the United States would have been in a world of hurt. I think that history will judge President Bush as being a rock in a maelstrom--analagous to Lincoln in the darkest days of the Civil War; a President who had the backbone when public opinion was decidedly against him, to do the right thing to keep America strong and viable. That strength and viability may be sabotaged and bled dry bay a nation under a Democrat Administration. The chances of that are greater than they have ever been. But if it does happen, it will be in no means related to anything the President has done.
DiscerningTexan, 11/28/2007 09:00:00 PM | Permalink | |

Down Goes Matthews! Down Goes Matthews!

Don Surber pulls a "Thrilla in Manilla" on Chris Matthews, sending him straight to the canvas. It's a beautiful thing to behold.
DiscerningTexan, 11/28/2007 08:46:00 PM | Permalink | |

Liveblogging links for the CNN/You Tube Republican Debate

Tom McGuire seems to be riding a nice wave tonight. But you never want to leave out Michelle.

McGuire's not the only lawyer commenting; there are the always astute legal angles from Ann Althouse. And Steven Green is "drunkblogging" as usual. Always a good pick, because from my standpoint the well placed cocktail can loosen the inhibitions an bring out some cutting edge commentary.

But there is other good commentary in the mix out there, not the least from the Fred Thompson team. And this may be the line of the night, from those wacky girls from the Beltway (h/t Glenn, who has a nice list going of his own).
DiscerningTexan, 11/28/2007 08:08:00 PM | Permalink | |
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

January in New England?

Cartoon by Mike Lester
DiscerningTexan, 11/27/2007 11:04:00 PM | Permalink | |

More Violence and Rioting in France and Venezuela

Via Gateway Pundit, two excellent compilations of news links and photographs:
Violence is spreading from Villiers le Bel to a dozen neighboring communities. At least twenty policemen have been injured so far tonight (forty injured last night according to the latest figures), some of them critically. The insurgents are using firebombs, iron rods, baseball bats, and firing buckshot. Journalists are attacked, their cameras are stolen. ...
It's getting ugly out there. One day people will look back at this time with full understanding that all of these things are connected. Atlas is right: this is war. It has been all along. And it's going to continue for probably as long as we live. Welcome to it.
DiscerningTexan, 11/27/2007 09:36:00 PM | Permalink | |

Another Hillary "Funny Money" Man Pops up in Texas

A money bundler for Hillary Clinton in South Texas named Alonzo Cantu has, according to the Washington Post, raised some $640,000 in Hidalgo County, Texas--an area along the Mexican border in which one would be being very kind in describing as 'not exactly the Hamptons'. In the same area, over the same timeframe. Barack Obama has raised $2,086.

Lee Cary looks closely at the Cantu story, and recalls that it evokes the ghosts of LBJ's 1947 stolen election in Duval County, also in South Texas:
Meanwhile, this story reminds those of us who live in Texas of another political campaign here back in 1947. The Senatorial election that year was between a legend in Texas politics and a young congressman from Austin. The legend, Coke Stevenson, had been the Speaker of the Texas House, Lieutenant Governor, and twice elected Governor. The congressman was Lyndon Johnson.

When the Texas Election Bureau closed on Election Day, Stevenson led by 854 votes. But the counting wasn't done, and neither was the voting. Resolution of the contested results would be a precursor of the 2000 Presidential Election drama in Florida, except more crudely complicated. Johnson eventually won by 87 votes in an election where 988,295 votes were allegedly cast. "Allegedly" is the operative word.


Johnson's big vote bundler was George Berham Parr, who solely controlled the Democratic Party machine in Duvall and Jim Hogg Counties, just north of Hidalgo County. Parr also exercised significant influence in other Southeast Texas border counties including Webb, Cameron, Nueces, and Hidalgo. Caro quotes the description of Parr, El Patron, written by a Corpus Christi Caller-Times reporter named James M. Rowe, who knew Rio Grande Valley politics well:
It is not easy for the average person to imagine what it was oppose Boss Parr in his own county. A word from him was sufficient to get a man fired from his job or denied welfare payments or surplus commodities distributed to the needy. Merchants who opposed him faced the sudden loss of most of their trade. Little farmer and ranchers were intimated by the pistoleros. (p.185)
Parr's most ominous pistolero was his six-gun totting enforcer, Luis Salas. Days after the polls closed, Salas added 200 votes for Johnson to Ballot Box 13 in Jim Webb County. The fact that all the votes were recorded in the same handwriting was a clue. But the box was never examined by those who adjudicated the election results; it had disappeared by then.

Revised returns gave Johnson a 3,000 vote margin of victory in Hidalgo County. In the six Southeast Texas border-area counties most heavily influenced by the Boss Parr machine, Johnson tallied 10,323 votes to Stevenson's 1,329. In Parr's home county of Duvall, it was Johnson 2,908 - Stevenson 38. It all makes the chads and dimples show of South Florida look like child's play.

So what does this have to do with Hillary's McAllen bundler?

In 60 years, Election Day practices have changed considerably in Texas. Today, it's not easy anymore to use patronage and intimidation to stuff ballot boxes. But, when that kind of money, $640,000, comes from that many donors in what a Washington Post writer describes as a "border town of stucco bungalows and weed-covered farm lots," it does raise eyebrows from those who know the Democrat political history of Southeast Texas, and who remember the stealth donors from NYC's Chinatown.
Good point, that. Read the whole thing.

It is dizzying how quickly the bad news has piled up against Hillary's candidacy. Is it just me that senses Hillary gasping for air against Obama, yet is tempted to throw her a life line because she is more beatable in a General Election? As blatantly false and dishonest she is, Hillary seems to me to be an opponent who would be much easier for Republicans to defeat than would be Obama, despite his hard-left agenda. Obama would motivate his own "anti" demographic, and not one which I nor most other Republicans would wish to be associated with. But Hillary's negatives seem to run much deeper among Conservatives and even non-Conservative Republicans. She seems to be almost universally despised by non-Democrats. On the other hand it is hard to find many Republicans who dislike Obama personally. He is charismatic and very telegenic. Oprah is about to go on a crusade for him. And Hillary is obviously fighting for her political life.

Don't get me wrong: I agree with almost nothing Obama says he stands for, and his election could usher in one of the the most catastrophic chapters in American history. But he has all of the charisma and character that Hillary lacks. And that is scary in an electorate which seems to care more about how the candidate says something than it does what they are saying.

It makes one wonder who is behind all of these leaks of Hillary's corrupt contributors. The fact that it is the Washington Post publishing this particular story is interesting in itself. Could it be that the sources are coming from within the Democrat party itself? It's not out of the question.
DiscerningTexan, 11/27/2007 07:46:00 PM | Permalink | |

Security Agreement with Iraq May Lead to Dramatic Troop Reductions, Steal Dems' Thunder in Elections

You would think that the news media (outside of Rupert Murdoch's domain) would be thrilled about the prospect of dramatic troop reductions next year. Yet for some reason, this story seems to have largely avoided Elite Media's radar screen. Now there's a head scratcher...

Still, like the surge itself, this announcement and strategy carries with it both great reward (i.e. pulling the rug out for the Democrats' primary issue in an election year), and great risk (if Iraq is not yet fully ready for the withdrawals, and Iraq explodes violently again.).

Fortunately Ed Morrissey has been giving the attention to this "good news" story that the MSM seems not to want to report--at least not before the upcoming primaries. (Go figure.)

Morrissey comments:

Can the Iraqis hold what we have gained? The remaining 50,000 troops obviously will serve as a quick-action reserve and logistics support for the Iraqi Army, and that footprint would allow for re-escalation if absolutely necessary. The IA forces have grown much stronger over the last year, having performed well in firefights and patrols jointly with American forces and increasingly on their own. If General David Petraeus believes that they can handle security with the US strictly in logistical support, then that's tremendous news ... but it's the first we've heard of it.

If the pullout begins in the late spring, it changes the entire tenor of the elections. Both sides can claim some piece of that victory (assuming this works and Iraq does not collapse). Democrats can claim that the Republicans finally capitulated, while the GOP can claim that they remained tenacious until victory was assured. Given the Democrats' inability to affect the war strategy, their argument will be rather weak, and they still will have to explain the rush to surrender in the spring of 2007, led by Harry Reid's declaration of defeat on the Senate floor.

I'm hopeful that we're pursuing the dramatic drawdown for the right reasons. Bush has not caved to political pressure in the past on Iraq when it could have done him much more good than this will do for him. If we can keep al-Qaeda from gaining a toehold again in Iraq and settle into a normal postwar security arrangement similar to those with Germany and Japan, then we have won an important victory -- and we will have more resources and political will to use in Afghanistan to tackle AQ at its source.

DiscerningTexan, 11/27/2007 07:22:00 PM | Permalink | |
Monday, November 26, 2007

American Bane

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez
DiscerningTexan, 11/26/2007 09:58:00 PM | Permalink | |

Doing Work the South Koreans and Chinese Won't Do

Anothter illegal immigration problem sprouts up. And another demonstration of the final result of World Socialism. I heard Dennis Prager ask the other day how one can look at places like North Korea and Cuba (and Cambodia and Albania and...) then turn around and vote for people who want to put Government in charge of everything. His point was about taxation, about how as tax rates got higher there was less prosperity in a society, not more; but it seemed an interesting bridge to take while on the subject of Marx and his wonderful theories.

Isn't it amazing that America prospered--grew like a weed on steroids--for 143 years without taxes--operating with as little government interference as had ever been undertaken by man. It didn't take pure Socialism nearly that long to wreck the economies of Eastern Europe, Cuba, Socialist Africa, and the Korean peninsula. The only reason China hasn't gone under is that they have suddenly discovered Religion (that would be the one founded by Adam Smith...).

Funny also how we bounced right out of that recession after Bush cut taxes, and now the markets seem to be spooked that another Socialist will get elected here and let those tax cuts expire.

They had wonderful theories about planetary movement before Galileo too. The problem is that those theories weren't
DiscerningTexan, 11/26/2007 09:25:00 PM | Permalink | |


As always, the free market speaks louder than any propagandistic film director (or those "playahs" who are led down a primrose path by one.) I heard that Mark Cuban actually tried to sell the film back to De Palma, an offer which was politely declined. Which makes this particularly sweet:

Brian DePalma's award winning anti-war movie earned $25,628.

It was made for $5,000,000.

That is a .5% return.

My first documentary cost $35,000 to make, and thanks to the supporters of the Outside the Wire project, has made $23,464 or 67% return.

When one guy with a camera is beating Hollywood in rate of return and almost beating Hollywood in gross receipts--Hollywood has a problem.

Yep. A big one. (h/t Glenn Reynolds)
DiscerningTexan, 11/26/2007 08:34:00 PM | Permalink | | ject-ed!

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The Sliming Begins

I do not know if all the sleazy rumors are true or not. My guess is that this particular rumor probably isn't. But who cares? There is plenty of corruption associated with Hillary (and her loving husband...) already, without giving undue attention to titillations like this one. My own take is that this particular path is fraught with danger--mostly of pissing off the electorate. Republicans would be wise to steer clear. What is most interesting about this rumor is that the culprit is as likely a Democrat (my guess is someone in Edwards' campaign) as any other alternative.

Unfortunately, it appears that no one is getting out of this election without getting dirty. It's a shame, but after the hyper-partisan hysteria of the left in the last 8 years, it is hardly unexpected that next year will be one of the slimiest and bitterly fought American elections in its history.
DiscerningTexan, 11/26/2007 08:20:00 PM | Permalink | |

Critical Mass in Second Amendment Debate UPDATED

Jed Babbin comments on the upcoming District of Colombia v. Heller, and finds ways that the Second Amendment's guarantee of a citizen's right to bear arms can be leveraged in next year's elections.

UPDATE: Meanwhile Barack Obama seems to have gotten the idea he can snap his fingers and amend the Constitution. This is very troubling--in a Hugo Chavez President for Life kind of way...

I'm going to take a moment to correct a not totally related assumption that Hollywood seems not to understand: being anti-Communist does not make one a "fascist". There. I feel much better now. (Yes, perhaps I have watched one too many Hollywood renditions of Spanish Civil War lately...)
DiscerningTexan, 11/26/2007 08:08:00 PM | Permalink | |

Mike Huckabee: Faux Conservative

When the Prince of Darkness speaks, people listen:

Who would respond to criticism from the Club for Growth by calling the conservative, free-market campaign organization the "Club for Greed"? That sounds like Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich or John Edwards, all Democrats preaching the class struggle. In fact, the rejoinder comes from Mike Huckabee, who has broken out of the pack of second-tier Republican presidential candidates to become a serious contender -- definitely in Iowa and perhaps nationally.

Huckabee is campaigning as a conservative, but serious Republicans know that he is a high-tax, protectionist advocate of big government and a strong hand in the Oval Office directing the lives of Americans. Until now, they did not bother to expose the former governor of Arkansas as a false conservative because he seemed an underfunded, unknown nuisance candidate. Now that he has pulled even with Mitt Romney for the Iowa caucuses and might make more progress, the beleaguered Republican Party has a frightening problem.

Read the whole thing here.

UPDATE: And speaking of bad Republican candidates...

DiscerningTexan, 11/26/2007 07:41:00 PM | Permalink | |
Sunday, November 25, 2007

Breaking News x 3: Paris Burning; Chavez Breaks Ties With Colombia; Pakistan Moves Against Taliban

A lot of breaking news tonight:

From Paris: It has started. Again.

From Caracas: Chavez accuses Colombia of warmongering after split.

From Islamabad: Pervez is still better than the alternative.
DiscerningTexan, 11/25/2007 08:35:00 PM | Permalink | |

More "Bad" News

Cartoon by Chip Bok (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 11/25/2007 08:16:00 PM | Permalink | |

The Clinton-Gupta Connection

Another large log is added to the "camel's back" which is the long list of corrupt activities perpetrated by the Clintons since the Arkansas days. Once again, this one is about funny money. And it stinks to high heaven.
DiscerningTexan, 11/25/2007 04:34:00 PM | Permalink | |

The Long Fall of Bilal Hussein (and the AP)

With so much going on and the Thanksgiving holidays, I regret that I have not given adequate attention to the Bilal Hussein story, because it is very illustrative of the corruption and politicization of today's news media. Bilal is the AP photographer who was part and parcel of the Al Qaeda insurgency in Iraq. Now that he--and the Associated Press who has tried to protect him (and itself)--have been outed, (and now that Hussein has been arrested by Iraqi some of the best locations to go for all the sordid details of this important story are: The Jawa Report, Michelle Malkin, Dan Riehl, and Protein Wisdom.

I have covered many cases of faux photography, falsified news stories, and photoshop manipulation--all designed to paint Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and other anti-American causes in a more positive light and/or the US war effort in more negative terms. So even though I neglected to report on Bilal's arrest--and the AP's canyption fit about it--in a timely manner, it would be a shame not to acknowledge here the efforts of Iraq to rid its soil of the propagandists.

If only the AP, the Networks, the New York Times, the New Republic, and the rest of the discredited and disgraced MSM had the same level of professionalism...
DiscerningTexan, 11/25/2007 03:43:00 PM | Permalink | |

Second Verse, Same as the First

Mark Steyn muses about the stark contrast that Hillary Clinton and the other Democrats present vis a vis the "big tent" Republicans:
Over on the Democratic side, meanwhile, they’ve got a woman, a black, an Hispanic, a preening metrosexual with an angled nape – and they all think exactly the same. They remind me of The Johnny Mathis Christmas Album, which Columbia used to re-release every year in a different sleeve: same old songs, new cover. When your ideas are identical, there’s not a lot to argue about except biography. Last week, asked about his experience in foreign relations, Barack Obama noted that his father was Kenyan and he’d been at grade school in Indonesia. “Probably the strongest experience I have in foreign relations,” he said, “is the fact I spent four years overseas when I was a child in Southeast Asia.” When it comes to foreign relations, he has more of them on his Christmas card list than Hillary or Haircut Boy.

Senator Clinton was gleefully derisive of this argument. “Voters will have to judge if living in a foreign country at the age of ten prepares one to face the big, complex international challenges the next president will face,” she remarked dryly. “I think we need a president with more experience than that, someone the rest of the world knows, looks up to and has confidence in.” As to what “experience” Hillary has, well, she’s certainly visited Africa enough to acquire plenty of venerable African proverbs (“It takes a village”, etc), even if no African has ever been known to use any of them. When I mentioned on the radio how much I was enjoying the Hill/Barack snippiness, I received a lot of huffy e-mails from Democrats saying, oh yeah, well, how much foreign policy experience do Romney or Giuliani have? Sorry, but you’re missing the point. On the GOP side, the debate isn’t being conducted on the basis of who was where in Grade Four.

To be sure, John Edwards is said to have been hammering Hillary on her Iraq vote, but this is an almost surreally post-modern dispute. Five years ago, Senator Clinton’s Iraq vote was exactly the same as Senator Edwards’: They both voted for war. The only difference is that the former stands by her vote while the latter has since ‘fessed up and revealed he was duped, suckered, played for a sap by George W Bush. Bush is famously the world’s all-time biggest moron but that’s apparently no obstacle when you’re seeking to roll the Democratic Senate caucus. Anyway, Senator Edwards is now demanding Senator Clinton repudiate her Iraq vote and concede she’s as big a patsy and pushover as he is. And this is apparently what passes for “toughness” on the Democrat side. Judging from the number of “North Country For Edwards” signs that have sprouted in the first snows throughout the White Mountains in recent weeks, it may even have some traction on Primary Day.

Let me ask a question of my Democrat friends: What does John Edwards really believe on Iraq? I mean, really? To pose the question is to answer it: There’s no there there. In the Dem debates, the only fellow who knows what he believes and says it out loud is Dennis Kucinich. Otherwise, all is pandering and calculation. The Democratic Party could use some seriously fresh thinking on any number of issues - abortion, entitlements, racial preferences - but the base doesn’t want to hear, and no viable candidate is man enough (even Hillary) to stick it to ‘em. I disagree profoundly with McCain and Giuliani, but there’s something admirable about watching them run in explicit opposition to significant chunks of their base and standing their ground. Their message is: This is who I am. Take it or leave it.
As always, you will want to read the whole thing.
DiscerningTexan, 11/25/2007 03:29:00 PM | Permalink | |

Is Israel about to be Sold Down the River?

Of all the states who have stood by the United States through thick and thin, none has been more steadfast than has Israel. What other country would have allowed scud missiles to rain down on its cities without lifting a finger, simply because the United States wanted them not to aggravate a fragile Gulf War alliance of Arab states? If missiles were raining down on our citizens, would we want our government to not defend itself because, say, England or China asked us not to? Hell, no.

Which is why I find this news to be particularly disturbing; it appears that the Baker-Hamilton Realpolitik forces are winning the day in the battle for the President's ear. And if Gateway Pundit's report is accurate, the big loser appears to be Israel:
This was sent to me from Israeli sources this morning:
According to the leading correspondent covering the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, Shimon Shiffer of Yediot Ahronot (Israel's largest newspaper), President Bush's address at Annapolis "will not be easy for Israeli ears." In Friday's magazine, he argues, in an article co-authored by his colleague Nahum Barnea, that Bush will call for "the establsihment of a Palestinian state, the end of 'occupation,' and a return of Israel to the 1967 borders, leaving an opening for land swaps."

The authors explain that Olmert knows that "this text cannot be changed."

If the report is true, and both of these reporters have direct access to Olmert, then Bush is close to abandoning the April 2004 gurantees on settlement blocs and "defensible borders" that he gave in writing to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. That letter was all Israel received for pulling 9,000 Israelis out of their homes in the Gaza Strip. That was the quid pro quo. Back in 1967, President Lyndon Johnson insisted that Israel was not expected to fully withdraw from the territories it captured in the Six Day War (in a war of self-defense) and this US position was enshrined forty years ago in the language of UN Security Council Resolution 242.

It is difficult to believe that Bush, who is known for his consistancy and loyalty, would make this change and demand full withdrawal. In Sunday's Maariv newspaper, Ben Caspit, its chief foreign affairs correspondent, is reporting that there is a struggle in Washington today over the contents of the Bush Annapolis address, with the Saudis, Rice, and Israel all pulling in different directions. Today, Bush's old friend Sharon is in a comma in an Israeli hospital and cannot comment on such a change should it occur.

But it is also difficult to explain the sudden decision of the Saudis to attend Annapolis at the level of foreign minister, unless someone in the administration gave them some guarantees.
Now, check this out...
This morning Syria announced that it is planning on attending the talks this week, after the issue of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights was added to the agenda.
It looks like this tip was accurate.
It could be a devastating week for Israel.
Brit Hume is suggesting on Fox News Sunday that the President's thinking may be that a Palestinian state is a necessary step towards solidifying an alliance of the "moderate" Arab states against Iran. But Syria--reportedly a party to these "talks"--is a close ally of Iran, and Hezbollah operates without impunity in Lebanon because of Syrian support. So: we are backing away from our support of Israel on Jerusalem and the West Bank for... what exactly? Assurances of Syrian support against Iran? Has the President and Olmert not been paying attention to what happened when the Israelis abandoned Gaza? The Palestinians propmtly marched in, elected terrorists to lead the country, and started lobbing missiles into Israel. Yes the Dome of the Rock is important to Muslims; but it is also important to Judaism. To simply hand Jerusalem to the Palestinians would be the height of folly.

Many people think that Israel may one day have to be the country that "pulls the trigger" to keep Iran from going nuclear. I do not necessarily agree, but it
may be the case. So one wonders how Olmert could possibly be a party to the abdication Jerusalem--is it just because Syria or Saudi Arabia might say that they won't interfere if Israel attacks Iran? If so, it is a fool's errand, because Syria will interfere: you can bank on it.

Yes, I can understand that a Palestinian state would be a good thing for peace--at least on paper, according to the thinking of the UN Realpolitik crowd. But what they seem not to grasp is that there is a Palestinian state
today, which has held elections; yet the only thing they seem to be interested in is to kill Jews for more land.

At the very least, any discussion about Jerusalem ought to include a possibility of an "international" peacekeeping presence a la postwar Berlin. I could
possibly get my arms around that. But to simply hand over Jerusalem and the West Bank to the Palestinians in exchange for lame assurances from well-known backstabbers--when much blood has already been shed for these territories in 1967 and 1973--is not something that a President of the United States should be advocating--especially a Republican President, and just as Republicans are beginning to make inroads into the Jewish-American voting demographic.

It is probably too late to suggest that President Bush back off of this ridiculous proposal, if indeed he is about to make a case for it in Annapolis; but it will never work: the sad truth is that it will never be "enough" for the "Palestinian cause" (or more accurately the Western Elites' 'cause celebre') until every last Israeli is killed or deported to other points of the globe. Meanwhile, a President who is walking a precarious tightrope in this Long War is going to lose a lot of credibility with both his conservative base and with Jewish Americans.

From where I sit, the best that can be hoped for it that this ends in a stalemate--as all the other Presidents' attempts to reconcile the irreconcilable have ended. But it is hard to fathom why President Bush would advocate this level of appeasement in the first place. What has Condi been smoking?
DiscerningTexan, 11/25/2007 01:37:00 PM | Permalink | |


Glenn Reynolds notices what not many others seem NOT to be noticing:
IS REDACTED Hollywood's biggest bomb ever? It makes Heaven's Gate look like a hit.

UPDATE: Don Surber has done the research--there is a better chance of your getting hit by lightning than your having seen Redacted. Read the whole thing. Maybe now Mark Cuban will stick to basketball: he's been had.

DiscerningTexan, 11/25/2007 01:27:00 PM | Permalink | |
Saturday, November 24, 2007

Deriliction of Duty

Cartoon by Michael Ramirez (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 11/24/2007 11:20:00 PM | Permalink | |

Marxist Nutroots Keep Impeachment Pressure On: Good for Republicans; Bad for the Country

It is growing increasingly clear that the Marxist Nutroot left is becoming more and more the dominant force in the Democrat party. The increasing heat from the Left to actually try and impeach Bush and Cheney is obviously a sign that the party's leadership is losing control of this runaway train. Is the self-destructiveness of the Democrats a positive development politically for Republicans? Sure it is.

Yet I have to go on record here as not agreeing with Michelle Malkin's apparent inference in the above linked post that we should
hope for impeachment proceedings to gain momentum, whether it would help Republicans or not. To distract a President with trumped up hysterical charges, as he conducts a War and tries to protect our citizens from further horrific attacks--a move which would have no chance whatsoever of succeeding in the Senate--would be perilous both for the country's security and for the electorate's trust in our system of Government... But, of course, for the Marxists on the Democrat Left, this is exactly why they want it to happen...).

I nevertheless
do acknowledge her point that if the Dems were to make such a patently partisan and hysterical move as to attempt to impeach this President, it would definitely help Republicans in next year's elections; after all this President:
  1. Is merely following a long-standing tradition in asserting Executive Privalege for his personal aides;
  2. Is following many other Presidents' precedent of conducting surveillance of the enemy when the nation he was sworn to protect was at War and/or in danger of attack;
  3. Is a President whose wartime actions do not hold a candle to the extra-constitutional wartime actions of Democrat hero FDR during WWII and Lincoln during the Civil War; and
  4. Would easily have enough support to prevent the 2/3 majority needed to impeach.
Sure it might help Republicans if the Democrat leadership is imbecilic enough to push this forward; but would Impeachment now be good for the country? I say no: the means of getting that favorable political outcome are too fraught with risk. The Long War we are in is the most important conflict in our lifetimes; the heightened global tensions we face in places like Iran, Syria, Korea, are nearing critical mass; the precarious nature of the economy right now--all these are far too critical to the future of the country (and indeed, the World) to distract our Commander in Chief for such an outrageous display of blind partisanship.

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows how I feel when Democrats reghave regularly put their party's fortunes ahead of our country's. The Financial Surveillance leaks, the Plame put-up job, Senators like Jay Rockefeller trying to sell their country's security for purely partisan political gain--these are reprehensible, even treasonous actions.

Yes, I understand the Republican political maneuver last week, when they changed their votes to keep the Kucinich resolution alive, simply to embarrass the foolish Democrats who proposed it in the first place. I understand their intent was not to actually move towards impeachment. But with the nutroots pulling the strings to the extent that they are, even
that maneuver was risky. It is difficult for me to imagine a scenario where it would be appropriate to try and impeach an American President in the middle of a War--unpopular or not. And it should not be cavalierly voted upon, by either party. Yes, if the Democrats are dumb enough to push this forward, it could well improve Republicans' chances next year. But I have never argued here that putting the country at risk for purely partisan political gain is appropriate, and I am not going to start now.

Personally I think the nutroots have already begun to dig a deep enough hole for themselves that they might not come out of it unscathed. And impeachment proceedings at this moment in history is a really atrocious idea--not only for any sensible Democrats left out there in the ether who want to win next year, but also for the country as a whole. It should not be encouraged by any responsible citizen.

DiscerningTexan, 11/24/2007 08:18:00 PM | Permalink | |
Friday, November 23, 2007

State of Denial

Charles Krauthammer marvels at the absence of big media in reporting the remarkable turnaround in Iraq. It is worse than irresponsible; it is an abomination:
It does not have the drama of the Inchon landing or the sweep of the Union comeback in the summer of 1864. But the turnabout of American fortunes in Iraq over the past several months is of equal moment -- a war seemingly lost, now winnable. The violence in Iraq has been dramatically reduced. Political allegiances have been radically reversed. The revival of ordinary life in many cities is palpable. Something important is happening.

And what is the reaction of the war critics? Nancy Pelosi stoutly maintains her state of denial, saying this about the war just two weeks ago: "This is not working. . . . We must reverse it." A euphemism for "abandon the field," which is what every Democratic presidential candidate is promising, with variations only in how precipitous to make the retreat.

How do they avoid acknowledging the realities on the ground? By asserting that we have not achieved political benchmarks -- mostly legislative actions by the Baghdad government -- that were set months ago. And that these benchmarks are paramount. And that all the current progress is ultimately vitiated by the absence of centrally legislated national reconciliation.
And exactly what benchmarks has the United States Congress achieved in its own country. Nada. Nothing, except to make the job more difficult for our men and women overseas. Which makes their achievement even more remarkable.

Let's face it, the Democrats went "all in" on an American defeat when they took the majority in January. Back at that time, things did look bleak, and the surge was a huge gamble for Bush. If it had failed it could have resulted in monumental losses for the Republicans next year. But it did not fail. And now the Democrats' intransigence has turned out to be a horrendous miscalculation for them. We are going to win in Iraq; and the Dems can't stand it.

Once upon a time, partisan bickering ended at the water's edge. But to today's Democrat party, America's success abroad is their defeat. And that, quite frankly, is a disgrace.
DiscerningTexan, 11/23/2007 02:27:00 PM | Permalink | |
Thursday, November 22, 2007

Betrayal of America's Finest

If you don't fully comprehend what the Democrats are doing this very moment which threatens all of the success our troops have been enjoying in Iraq, look no further than this broadcast by the Pentagon Channel--edited and broadcast by military professionals. Amy Proctor--the wife of a soldier--was kind enough to provide this. Watch the video, and then try and tell me that the Reid/Pelosi 'Axis of Evil' is not the worst thing that has happened to this country in over 40 years. They must be stopped.

(h/t Don Surber)

DiscerningTexan, 11/22/2007 02:33:00 PM | Permalink | |
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Plymouth Rock Revisited

Cartoon by Scott Stantis (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 11/20/2007 09:33:00 PM | Permalink | |

Thanksgiving and Gratitude

My posting will be sporadic over this holiday weekend. I will be spending time with my family, who are coming to Texas from all over. Before I lost my grandmother this year, I always looked at these gatherings as more or less just going through the motions. After her death--meaning I have now lost my father and all four grandparents--you begin to see how blind you have been to what Thanksgiving is all about. It isn't about getting through the so-called "boring" moments and the quirkiness which makes every family outing challenging at some level; it is about appreciating every moment--especially the quirky ones.

I count myself to be among the very fortunate in that my family has always stayed with it, through thick and thin, joy and sorrow, the good and the bad. So I am really looking forward to this weekend. When I think of how quickly death can come--through illness, through foul play, through sheer accident, or through terrorism and war--suddenly all of the minutia that comes with petty bickering and personalities that clash with your own don't seem to matter much anymore. So I am looking forward to seeing everyone, enjoying some food and some football and a little shopping too, perhaps. Maybe there will be time for a blog post or two, but I wouldn't bet the house on it.

Still, if you think about it we all have so much to be thankful for: we live in the greatest country ever envisioned by man, over the many billions of years of human experience. Even the poorest members of our society have food, running water, and for the most part cars and color televisions, and family and friends of their own to be thankful for. If you don't think so, you should travel to some of the places I have been. The slums of Mexico City and Brazil. Kingston Jamaica. There are more, but suffice it to say that the poorest in our country would be sitting pretty in over 3/4 of the rest of the globe.

So this weekend, you just might think about closing your eyes, and mentally telling God or Krishna or Allah or Gaia or "the Universe"--or whatever other form the awe in which you hold creation takes--and just say: "thank you." A little gratitude goes a long way.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
DiscerningTexan, 11/20/2007 08:35:00 PM | Permalink | |

What Keeps Me Blogging

Last night, as I penned a response one of my readers' nice comments regarding this post, I got off on a tangent about why I have been slugging away at this blog for over 3 1/2 years now. Obviously it is not because I have found fame and fortune out here; there are other factors at play. Anyway, for those of you who missed it, and perhaps may be a bit curious about why I bother to spend so much of my free time in this endeavor, here is a significant and slightly rewritten portion of my response to reader retire05 last night:
It's all true, I really do consider this "going to war" every night. I am nothing--less than nothing--compared to those young people laying their very lives on the line for us every day, but it is the least I can do.

I have no visions of grandiosity for myself. I do not have the time, talent, or resources of the so called "big names". And that's perfectly OK, because that isn't what drives me. I have a small group of daily readers and I am VERY thankful for them.

Every time I even think of folding my tent, I get this fear--a weird feeling in my stomach; and it is this: what if the next post is the one that actually helps the cause, that makes the difference between achieving an important objective and not achieving it?

This difference would not in my mind be due to my own "reach" or popularity, but simply because in that one instance the right person at the right time just happened to see something I posted, and in so doing it somehow unknowingly sets off a chain of events that would not have occurred otherwise. And so every time I decide to keep at this, it is this fear of the "accidental assist" that is a big player--not because I somehow think I could ever be walking around with the fame of a Michelle Malkin or Glenn Reynolds, with flashbulbs popping; that isn't it at all.. rather I envision that it would be synchronicity--chance--which might get an anonymous snowball rolling that really DOES make a difference in this war for the soul of America--whether I know about it in retrospect is mere "icing", but the "cake" is the hope that at some time in the future, because of some thing I may have done or said at a particular moment of time, it starts the snowball rolling. Even if I never know what impact I might have had on this "avalanche" is not as important as having done something good. Even if I never know.

Its just faith, really. Faith that if I keep at it, someday, somewhere, it will help to change something. Maybe it will be something as simple as comforting someone in grief or providing clarity for someone who is feeling confused or on the fence... Or maybe it is introducing that little glimmer of doubt where doubt is appropriate--and someday that doubt becomes action, and that action makes a difference in lives or in the goal or restoring the America I grew up in. That is long winded, but it is the essence of what keeps me going. Fame or oblivion is really not in my hands so I don't worry about it. I try to improve the product, I take more care than I used to take writing. But in the end it is this intuition that I will somehow make a difference at some point if I do keep at it, even if I never fully understand the scope of that contribution. So be it.

Anyway I get out here whatever I can--whenever I have the time and energy. And if while I am here something I do can start a "ripple effect" that makes a difference, it is less important that I know about it--it is only important that I did not give it give up before it happend, which will inadvertantly undo the good which otherwise will have been done as a result of my sticking with it. It is the "fear" of not being there at the proper time which keeps me going. The rest is all gravy.

Who knows, I may even venture out and go to the blog expo in Vegas next year. But not because I am necessarily interested in anyone meeting me--rather it would be because I like the idea of hanging out a few days with the Hamiltons, Adams, and Franklins of my time; with people who really do and will have a profound impact on the world and on winning this war in the years to come. Because that is where my "bliss" lies, to paraphrase Joseph Campbell. And besides, maybe something they say or do will rub off on me and I can improve my "soldiering" as well.

Convoluted? Yes. But it keeps me going. And your letters of encouragement do as well. So thank you. As long as I can I will keep plugging away for that "just in case", I will. That, plus a little faith that it will all ultimately work out for the best... And if things get worse, at least I will have the comfort level that it was not because I dropped the ball.

So it's onward and upward. It is the least I can do for the Greatest Country on Earth, which has done so much for me.
DiscerningTexan, 11/20/2007 08:04:00 PM | Permalink | |

Note to Women: This is what passes for "Gender Equality" in the Islamist World

Prepare to be sickened. And keep in mind that when your fellow Americans and news media criticize our war effort, this is the behavior they are tacitly condoning by urging appeasement of our enemies.
DiscerningTexan, 11/20/2007 02:07:00 PM | Permalink | |
Monday, November 19, 2007

Politically Correct Burning

Cartoon by Gary McCoy (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 11/19/2007 09:53:00 PM | Permalink | |

UPDATED FOR CLARITY Answering the Elites: Cry Havoc and let loose the Dogs of New Media

Don Surber--himself a successful newspaperman--beholds what happens when publishers and writers become so full of themselves that they believe the universe revolves around them. And don't think it is only Seattle where the news media is this far gone; try New York. Try Washington. Try Atlanta. Try LA and Boston and Burbank. The monster that is Elite Media is beyond the point where it be repaired, short of blowing the whole thing up and starting with a new paradigm. A media that no longer cares about truth is a cancer to any democracy. Eventually a misinformed public must necessarily screw up bad enough to kill the entire vision of the Founders. And so, like any cancer, the first step is to find the malignancies and cut them out. Before they get us all killed.

If you think about it, Elite Media has enjoyed its unique position of power since (at least) the end of World War II. Once upon a time most of the big time reporters were larger than life: Murrow comes to mind. Men with great talent, but they also took their responsibility (i.e. to report the truth) seriously. These days truth is the first casualty in the race for if-it-bleeds-it-leads ratings. And men of conscience? Few and far between. Which is what makes Surber's post so spot on. A sampling:

Watching it dawn on some newspaper people that the 21st century is here has been amusing. But it is painful in the case of James Vesely, editorial page editor for the Seattle Times. In a column in the Sunday newspaper, he tried to tie the future of democracy to newspapers.

That sadly reminds me of the car companies that tried to peddle their clunky behemoths to the public in the 1970s because, by golly, they were made in America.

He wrote a couple of silly paragraphs: “We can’t rely on the First Amendment to provide us with a paycheck; the First Amendment is not a financial model. And yet, as newspaper men and women, we return to the articles of democracy to give us a place at the table, and with it the notion that we will find a meal.

“Without democracy — which means not just freedom but the robust life in a democratic state — the free press cannot survive, no matter how rich it gets. Indeed, I can imagine a fat and prosperous press without the freedoms of contradiction and accuracy. It would not be a free press, just a profitable one. Its people might think themselves free, yet would not be.”

I don’t know. Athens seemed to have a pretty good democracy going there 2,500 years or so before the Linotype came along.

Self-importance is an occupational hazard for we editorial writers. But James Vesely really lost it when he wrote: “Reporters know that truth is fleeting, and that it changes in the palm of the hand like mercury. For just a moment, something is true. It is true because it is verifiable by other sources and true because of the checks and counterchecks that look for truth amid the haze of events. It was that verifiable truth that kept newspapers coming to the kitchen table.

Be sure to read the whole thing; you may even want to link therein to Vesely's poorly-constructed monument to his own incompetence. You can then count yourself as one of the lucky ones--lucky that there are still journalists out there like Don Surber and Roger Simon and Ralph Peters and Robert Kaplan and Bill Sammon and a few others--who make it a point to not just crank out content, but also context. The truth has as much to do with connotation as it does denotation. The news media understands this; but it blatantly abuses its power of connotation to spin elaborate lies every day. And what destructive lies they are...

Fortunately there are still these few journalists left who still "get it". But unfortunately they are more and more becoming an endangered species. It will be up to the blogs to pick up the slack, and this is no small undertaking. But what is the alternative? If we don't take our country back, who will? The battle of the blogosphere is every bit as pitched and heated--and as consequential--as are other "real" military battles thousands of miles away. We will not win this war in any real, meaningful sense unless we win it on all fronts: out here in the blogosphere and in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and Iran.

I am but a mere foot soldier in this war for hearts and minds. A buck private in the grand scheme. But I will continue to fight until my last breath. I will continue to come out here and engage the enemy in this target-rich environment as long as I am able, or until I run out of ammunition. The point is not to become famous or get an unrealistic sense of my own individual importance--that is what is sinking Elite Media right now. No the point is that the truth must find a way to get out there and to become known. There are armies of people as we sit here who are trying mightily to prevent that from happening; they are fighting to keep the truth buried every bit as hard as many of us fight to keep the truth alive. Hell Hillary and Harry and Nancy and Chuckie are their standard bearers. And now they are being helped by the mighty "Oz" itself, Elite Media--for the good of the "collective", don't you know... (or perhaps the "commune" would be more appropriate).

In any case, in this new form of warfare, it will become important to hold up for recognition and to look up to great examples of New Journalism: guys like Don Surber and Glenn Reynolds and Ed Morrissey come to mind--as Americans once looked up to Edward R. Murrow. The world is changing under our feet; the media is changing too. New Media is no longer just an idea, it is coming to fruition. And--for now anyway--we still have a voice in how New Media evolves and grows. This much is clear to me: if we are to survive as a society, we need to hold up and follow the examples of the heroes of the New Media; and we must insist on high standards of truth and morality at all times. And then we need to do everything in our power to vanquish the once-powerful Elites before they destroy us all.

Don, Glenn, Ed, Chris, Yaacov, Tom, Charles, Avi, Hugh, Dean, Mark, Rich, Jonah, Ralph, "Rusty", AJ, Michelle... and all the rest of you: Salud! Respect is Due. Let's win this thing. I await your marching orders.
DiscerningTexan, 11/19/2007 07:23:00 PM | Permalink | |
Sunday, November 18, 2007

Leap of Faith II--Planning the Revival

Cartoon by Henry Payne (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 11/18/2007 06:04:00 PM | Permalink | |

ANOTHER Clinton Fundraising Scandal Breaks

Johnny Chiang, the Buddhist temple, Peter Paul, Norman Hsu, big money from Chinatown diswashers and postal workers, military secrets sold to the Chinese... and the list goes on. The latest addition to the Clinton Corruption Greatest Hits compilation is one Mauricio Celis, who has just been indicted in Nueces County (Corpus Christi) Texas for perjury and felony theft, among other charges. Oh, and it just so happened that he's donated more than $415,000 to Democrats since 2002; including large donations to Hillary Clinton and Missouri Senator Claire McCaskell. Via Gateway Pundit:
Maurico Celis is, of course, a major democratic donor to candidates Hillary Clinton and Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.
The AP reported:
A major contributor to Democratic causes and political races was indicted Friday on charges of falsely holding himself out as a lawyer and impersonating a public servant.

Mauricio Celis, a Corpus Christi businessman, has a controlling interest in the CGT Law Group of Corpus Christi even though he is not a lawyer.

Now, he's being accused of practicing law without a license. Texas law prohibits anyone from owning a controlling interest in a law firm unless he is a licensed lawyer.

A Nueces County grand jury on Friday indicted him on seven counts of falsely holding himself out as a lawyer, a third-degree felony. Each count stems from separate incidents in which Celis was listed as an attorney, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported in its online edition. Celis' business cards, letterhead and his firm's Web site identified him as an attorney licensed in Mexico. One business fax sheet stated he was licensed in Washington, D.C., and California. Celis also signed a settlement document as an attorney. He told Police Chief Bryan Smith he was licensed in Mexico, according to the indictment.

Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott also has sued Celis for allegedly practicing law without a license...

Celis also was charged with impersonating a public servant, a third-degree felony, for flashing a Duval County sheriff's badge in an incident near his Corpus Christi home.

In that case, police reported that a naked woman ran from Celis' home to a convenience store, claiming she had been in a hot tub and groped against her will. Celis quickly followed her into the store, wearing a bathrobe. He flashed a sheriff's deputy badge from a nearby county and told police at the store that he would take custody of the woman, police said.
A woman getting groped?
How Clintonesque!

Captain's Quarters has more on his favorite democratic candidates including Claire McCaskill, Hillary Clinton, and Ken and John Salazar.
There is more, which you can read here.

My, my--where the Clintons are concerned the hits just keep on coming, don't they? Imagine that...
DiscerningTexan, 11/18/2007 05:14:00 PM | Permalink | |

Living in a Dream World

Michael Goodwin looks at the Democrat debate and discovers that the War on Terror is over! (Who knew?):

Whew, that was a close one. We suffered a big attack and were in mortal danger for a while, but we are safe now. Thank God, the war on terror is over. There are no Islamic extremists. Homeland security is not an issue. The only problem in Iraq is how to get out.

Wait, this is news to you? Then you didn't watch the Democratic debate Thursday. Or maybe you did watch, but since those unpleasant topics were completely or mostly ignored, you assumed the war was over and went to bed believing peace is at hand and Santa Claus is busy making toys at the North Pole.

It's not your fault. It's the Democratic presidential candidates who are sleepwalking through history.

As befitting a scrum with too many people and too little time, the debate touched on everything and illuminated nothing. Sen. Hillary Clinton made headlines by defending herself and for finally taking a position against driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, but the gaping hole was the absence of any serious reference to the war on terror. It's long been that way on the campaign trail, and now Dem debates reflect the dangerous drift.

A New York Times language tracker tells the tale. Neither "homeland security" nor "war on terror" were mentioned. Osama Bin Laden was a no-show and Al Qaeda got one mention. "Terrorism" got three, two of them by audience members asking questions, as did "extremists," with two of those in a single answer by Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. On the other hand, "health" got 45 mentions and "education" 20.

It is remarkable how far the party and much of the country have strayed from the national unity of 9/11 (three mentions). While Bush's flawed handling of Iraq is a main reason, the unwillingness to separate his failure from the overriding truths of the continuing terror threat will come back to haunt not only Democrats, but the nation.

Consider that what was once called a generational war against an existential threat is now by unanimous consent of the candidates only a misguided Republican war in Iraq that must be ended immediately. What was once a bipartisan concern about the new phenomenon of lethal nonstate actors such as Al Qaeda has been reduced to denunciations of waterboarding and attacks on the Patriot Act. Thursday produced only one reference to Islam — when Sen. Joe Biden complained that Bush acts as though America is at war with the whole religion.

There is more; read the whole thing.
DiscerningTexan, 11/18/2007 04:56:00 PM | Permalink | |

In Upcoming Interview, Fred Comes out Swinging

Via Larry Kudlow at The Corner, some good signs from Fred Thompson.
I just sat down with presidential candidate Fred Thompson, for an interview that will air tonight on Kudlow & Company. The former Tennessee senator was in good form.

He attacked Warren Buffet’s tax-hike proposal on the rich as totally wrong, and Buffett himself as nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Democratic party.

He agreed with Dick Armey that the GOP will lose if it departs from the first principles of limited government and lower tax rates.

He called the farm bill “disgraceful” and would veto it if he were president.

He said Hillary Clinton and the other Democratic candidates are wrong on taxes. He noted that the top 5 percent pay 60 percent of all tax collections now; that the tax code is progressive enough; that there’s plenty of economic mobility in the country; that for those who have fallen behind, the problem is poor education, not tax rates; and that America is the freest, most prosperous, most powerful nation in the history of the world.

Thompson is a staunch free trader. He stood firmly behind his Social Security reform plan that would slow down future benefits and provide for private savings accounts.

On inflation, he said he’s not worried about today’s reported 3.5 percent increase in the consumer price index for October. Nor is he overly concerned about the weak dollar. Ben Bernanke is doing a good job, he said, though he refused to say if he’d reappoint the Fed chair.

On politics, the former Senator made it clear that he will continue to attack former mayor Rudy Giuliani’s support of federal funding for abortion, gun control, and sanctuary cities.

He said you might as well say what you believe is right; that life is too short for the aggravation of not telling the truth.

It was a lively interview, and Fred Thompson is not afraid to mix it up. I went at him. He came right back at me. It was great fun. He’s a serious and impressive man. Much stronger than when I interviewed him back in June.

On deep background, his campaign strategists tell me they are pouring tons of money into Iowa advertising. They see a strong opportunity for a Thompson surge in Iowa that would undermine Romney and inflict damage on Giuliani. Walking off the set, Thompson told me this election will be about peace and prosperity. And he intends to fight hard.
I'll be looking forward to that interview.
DiscerningTexan, 11/18/2007 04:37:00 PM | Permalink | |

Our Aussie Friends call out the Democrats for Sabotaging the War Effort

From today's issue of The Australian, proof that our mates from Down Under see and understand the big picture:

It is far too early to declare victory but you would think that all Americans and Australians, regardless of whether they supported the war in Iraq or not, would want to stick with a strategy that is delivering peace and security to a people who have suffered not just 4 1/2 years of a brutal insurgency but also three decades of tyranny and war. Yet some Democrats in the US, as with some on the Left in Australia, are still determined to lose the war if possible by withdrawing troops, even when success is starting to appear to be within reach. Undaunted by the fact that there has been an improvement in Iraq, Democratic staffers on Congress's Joint Economic Committee are trying to generate more bad headlines by focusing on the cost of the war, which they calculated would reach $US3.5 trillion by 2017. To arrive at such a massive total, the committee threw in everything they could think of, including their best guesses at the Iraq war's impact on oil prices and other economic factors.

The sad fact is that for most of the anti-war Left, the only thing that matters is delivering a defeat to the Bush administration, and in achieving that end the Iraqi people are expendable. John Pilger said in January 2004 that while he didn't like the "terrible civilian atrocities" committed by what he called "the resistance", "the outcome of this resistance is terribly important for the rest of the world" and that only a defeat in Iraq of the US "military machine" and the Bush administration would make our world secure. As Christopher Hitchens wrote despairingly in 2005 of his erstwhile friends on the Left, while there is plenty of support for debt relief and making poverty history in Africa, there isn't a single drop of solidarity and compassion left over for the people of Iraq.

The anti-war, anti-American Left should be ashamed, but precisely for this reason they continue to look away when Iraq doesn't fail in the way they wish. The success of the surge has become their inconvenient truth.

Read the whole thing, and while you are at it throw a couple of shrimps on the barbie and bring me a Foster. Even our fellow English-speaking mates on the other side of the globe can obviously see clearly what our own media continues to deny: we're winning.

I've always loved the Australians. Can-do attitude. Sense of humor. Understanding of right and wrong. Strong preference for capitalism, personal freedom and personal responsibility. My kind of country. Isn't it high time that our own country began to stand up for these time tested principles as well?
DiscerningTexan, 11/18/2007 04:12:00 PM | Permalink | |

Even More Evidence that CNN rigged the debate surfaces

From Good Lt. at The Jawa Report, the evidence that CNN conspired to rig its recent Las Vegas debate--in order to cast Hillary in a positive light--continues to mount:

Four plants made by CNN, who are stepping forward to claim that CNN screened them and made sure they asked what CNN wanted them to. Also, the post-debate analysis had two former Clinton staffers and James Carville praising Hillary's performance as the most flawless thing ever witnessed.

Sorry - all SIX plants were Democrat supporters, former staffers or politicos.

Even the KOSBOTS noticed the failed attempt to portray the plants and analysts as "undecided voters."

CNN - guys, the mask slipped. The jig's up. You're toadies for the Democrat Party, protecting Hillary (the lead Democrat candidate) from the big bad eeeevil questions that may hurt her polling numbers and make her appear to be the ignoramus she obviously was shown to be when Russert (GASP) asked her an unscripted series of questions and follow-up questions.

PATHETIC, and with potentially disturbing implications. Here we have a major, supposedly "objective" news network actively colluding with the Democrat Party to create in the public consciousness a false and staged image of the political candidates in that party to make them look better than they really are.

They told me if George Bush was reelected, that the media would be beholden to certain political parties and that messages of those parties would be mindlessly parroted (in direct cooperation with those networks) as "news" that was "fair and balanced." And they were right!

DiscerningTexan, 11/18/2007 03:39:00 PM | Permalink | |
Saturday, November 17, 2007

Selling Lies

Cartoon by Henry Payne (click to enlarge)
DiscerningTexan, 11/17/2007 09:41:00 PM | Permalink | |

Propaganda alert: the UN's Global Climate Astrologers become positively Hysterical

Steve Gilbert has some timely suggestions for the politicized quacks over at the UN's IPCC panel, which have more in common with a lynch mob or a kangaroo court than with anything resembling real science:

What a laughable attempt to panic the great unwashed.

The IPCC seems to think that the louder they scream the more believable they are. Science doesn’t work like that. Or at least it’s not supposed to. But maybe these days it does, which is the real danger here.

Hey, if global warming is “irreversible,” why get so exercised about it? Oh, wait, it’s almost irreversible. Well, that is convenient, isn’t it?

Mind you, this self-same United Nations doesn’t think that Ahmadinejad developing nuclear weapons is a threat to the world.

Instead, they think that a (highly questionable) increase in world temperature of perhaps a degree or two over the next century will bring about the end of the world. Of course the folks at the UN really don’t think any such thing. Or even care to find out the truth about such matters.

Rather, they see the global warming scam as just the latest way to redistribute some of the wealth in the world in a more just and equitable fashion. And they plan to skim off their cut — just as they always do.

Meanwhile, maybe the UN will do its part to cut carbon emissions by turning off the electricity, the heating and cooling at the UN building. They should also prohibit their members and employees from having cars.

Better still, the UN should simply prohibit anyone from using airplanes or using any other such harmful transportation.

In fact, they should make all of their delegates and their bloated staffs stay home in their mud huts and sit in the dark and the cold.

And to those suggestions I would add this question: why are we still giving these charlatans and anti-American hysteria mongers at the UN billions of our hard-earned tax dollars every single year? It's a moral disgrace to spend so much of our money to support an organization which does far more harm to our world than it does good.
DiscerningTexan, 11/17/2007 09:03:00 PM | Permalink | |

"Bias" from the Nutroots' Perspective

Oliver Kamm calls out the Marxist illusionist Eric Alterman--as well he should. Another great find from Glenn Reynolds:

When taking his leave of The Nation in 2002, its longstanding columnist Christopher Hitchens remarked that the magazine was "becoming the voice and the echo chamber of those who truly believe that John Ashcroft is a greater menace than Osama bin Laden". This was altogether too kind, I feel: the magazine has nothing like so reasoned a message.

Take The Nation's "Liberal Media" columnist, Eric Alterman, a professor of English and of Journalism. Readers of The Guardian's "Comment is Free" site can sometimes find Alterman commenting on American politics, as in his judgement a few months ago that:

Well, I think you have be some combination of crazy, ignorant, dishonest or ideologically obsessed to believe that Islamic fundamentalists want to kill us because of "who we are" rather than "what we do", but on their lists of grievances, the never-ending presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia, coupled with US support for the Israeli occupation of the West Bank would rank one and two.

The never-ending presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia ended (barring a few training personnel) in 2003. The US continues to press for the creation of a sovereign Palestine. Osama bin Laden has hardly kept secret his assurance that "every Muslim, the minute he can start differentiating, carries hate toward Americans, Jew, and Christians: this is part of our ideology" ('Interview with Usama bin Laden’, December 1998, included in Anti-American Terrorism and the Middle East: A Documentary Reader, eds. Barry Rubin & Judith Colp Rubin, Oxford University Press, 2002, p. 156). And, by the way, "fundamentalism" is a term used properly only when discussing movements within Protestantism.

But Alterman outdoes himself when writing for a domestic audience. In his current Nation column he adduces, as an instance of media bias, a subject I fear I need to return to:

When Enola Gay pilot Paul Tibbets died November 1, the New York Times repeated Tibbets's contention that "It would have been morally wrong if we'd have had [the atomic bomb] and not used it and let a million more people die." That virtually no reputable historian would put the casualty figure for a US invasion of Japan anywhere near that high (leaving aside the question of whether an invasion would have been necessary) was not mentioned in the story.

What can you say? The most charitable explanation I can give is that Alterman is (unlike the late General Tibbets) sufficiently ethnocentric not to take into account the deaths of Japanese civilians that would have resulted from a conventional invasion and blockade of the home islands, sufficiently casual not to distinguish between deaths and casualties, and entirely unaware of research by American and Japanese historians published in the last 20 years concerning the conclusion of the Pacific War. I can name off the top of my head at least a dozen leading historians in this field who would concur with Tibbets's judgement, owing to their knowledge of Japanese military preparations on Kyushu, the Americans' experience of battle at Okinawa and Iwo Jima, the casualty estimates used by the Truman administration, the number of American medals struck in anticipation of the appalling costs of a conventional invasion, and other factors.

There is more; read the whole thing. Hell, anyone who watched Ken Burns' The War knows what an utter load of crap Alterman is peddling. But who is buying it?

For the Left to claim "media distortion" here--from the New York Times, no less--takes a level of utter gall and shamelessness which is to any reasonable person almost sociopathic. Alterman is now entering the Pantheon, right up there with Ward Churchill, the 9/11 Truthers and the Holocaust deniers. It becomes quite easy to see why the intellectually honest Hitchens, regardless of his left-leaning world view, would part company with Alterman and his comrades at The Nation. What is more difficult to fathom is how a publication like The Nation (or The New Republic, for that matter) continues to find gullible fools to actually read the drivel they put out.

It's almost an argument for IQ tests (AND citizenship verification...) before you're allowed to vote.

DiscerningTexan, 11/17/2007 08:07:00 PM | Permalink | |