Saturday, April 05, 2003

Don't Miss It, Head for Toronto

Artists Against War

Posted by rannie at 01:23 PM

I thought this might interest some people here.

For Immediate Release
Wednesday April 2nd, 2003


A major anti-war festival is set to take over Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday, April 12, from 1pm till 11pm. Big name Canadian acts, including Sarah Harmer, Cowboy Junkies, Andy Stochansky, the Rheostatics, King Cobb Steelie, Danny Michel, Jian Ghomeshi, the Lowest of the Low and many, many more will be performing at the One Big No Peace Festival, an Artists Against War/Coalition to Stop the War Event, sponsored by NOW Magazine.

Who the fuck are all these Big Name artists? Is it bad that I don't know any of them? Couldn't they get Sheryl Crow and Barbra Streisand? Hit my paypal so I can fly to Toronto.

The Anti-American Protesters Have a New Target

These guys are truly fruity, and we get their dire prediction:

"President Bush Wants to Go It Alone In Post-War Iraq"
Tell Congress to Properly Fund the Healing of Iraq
and Have the United Nations Manage Reconstruction

Here's the closing paragraph of the letter they will fax to your congressman:

The coming months and years will test the strength of our nation's spirit. It's essential that America be there for the Iraqi people - with the world community at our side.

When did this whacky movement start to care about the Iraqi people? A couple of weeks ago, all the concern was about saving Saddam's regime.

The War on TV - III

This morning I saw an interview with a Sergeant in the field who had just returned from his tour of part of Baghdad.

Two things stood out: Asked about the one-sided nature of the war so far, he asked that we remember that the bad guys had plenty of ammo, plenty of equipment, and way-outmanned our guys, so it is not a one-sided war, but it is an incredibly strong performance by the US forces. He said that the people in his division had been performing "Way beyond everyone's wildest expectations." I will say that I think those Iraqi Toyotas are no match for a Bradley, and if I had a Toyota given to me by an Iraqi general, I'd be in Turkey.

It really has been amazing to date, but I have a lot of concern about what is yet to come. We have great people over there and I hope they continue to kick ass so that they can come home soon.

The Earth Stopped Spinning for a Moment

The Kansas City Royals are in unfamiliar territory.

Michael Tucker's two-run single capped a four-run second inning and the Royals won their fourth straight game to match the best start in franchise history, beating the Cleveland Indians 5-1 Friday night.

The 1977 Royals were the only other Kansas City club to stay unbeaten in the first four games, and they went on to win a team-record 102 games.

``I didn't know how long it had been since the Royals won their first four,'' said left-hander Chris George (1-0), who got his first major league win since 2001. ``I just knew I didn't want to be the first guy here to get a loss.''

And as we speak, they've won their first 5. I don't care if it's early in the season, it's really nice to see - This is the first time I've seen that cliche, "They believe they can win everytime they take the field" actually mean something other than, "Our team really sucks but we try hard."

Who Will Be Vindicated?

MRC Does it again:

With "U.S. intelligence sources" saying "that some of Saddam Hussein's toughest security forces are now apparently digging in, apparently willing to defend" Baghdad "block by block," ABC's John McWethy warned Peter Jennings on Friday night: "This could be, Peter, a long war." Jennings expressed vindication: "As many
people had anticipated." In contrast, CBS's David Martin declared that Hussein's "military situation is disastrous" and so "there's every reason to believe it's only a matter of time before all of Saddam's divisions are gone."

And then there is this piece from the Times Watch:

Bring Out Your Dead

In her Friday story, “Images of Victory Obscure Reality,” Times TV reporter Alessandra Stanley is distressed with the lack of dead soldiers and civilians on television:

“Despite all the sobering lessons learned over the past week, there were few images of civilian casualties or dead American soldiers during yesterday's high….It was not a day to dredge up the risk of suicide bombings or American soldiers accidentally opening fire on a bus filled with women and children. Nor was television in any mood to dwell on the possibility of dangerous urban warfare still ahead.”

The Increasing Thunder of the Warm Welcome

Cheering Iraqis handed out soft drinks and offered cigarettes to U.S. Marines on Saturday, warmly welcoming the troops and making throat-slitting gestures at pictures of President Saddam Hussein...

..."People are very happy now. We couldn't speak before because the Baath Party would kill them. Now everything is OK," Ali said. He said the first thing he wanted any new government to change was the banknotes.

Big Fat Pork in War Budget

As soon as we stop this type of spending, then let's talk about how Americans are undeserving of further tax cuts. You have to cut taxes so that you can fend off this kind of crap. Even if it is worthy crap, it should not be in a supplental war budget. It should be in the regular budget process:

- $1 million for the Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) school-to-work program
- $6.8 million from the Air Force operations and maintenance accounts to be spent on building and installing fiber optics and power upgrades at the 11th Air Force range in Elmandorf, Alaska
- $3 million earmarked in the operations and maintenance accounts directing the Army to build a rifle range for the South Carolina National Guard
- $98 million for an agricultural research facility in Ames, Iowa
- $50 million for the Maritime Administration's Title XI loan guarantees for ship builders and shipyards
- $500,000 for sea lamprey control in Lake Champlain
- $225,000 for the Mental Health Association of Tarrant County, Fort Worth, Texas
- $200,000 for the AIDS Research Institute at the University of California in San Francisco
- $11,000,000 for the Geisinger Health System in Harrisburg, Pa., to establish "centers of excellence" for the treatment of autism

McCain fought valiantly, but check out the opponents. Note carefully that the Senators that are voting in favor of this kind of spending by voting against the McCain amendment are the same ones that rail against tax cuts. Doctors in Pennsylvania cannot afford malpractice premiums, but we're sending $11MM in our tax dollars to finance an autism center. I am sure that autism is a worthy cause in some ways, but that center will not help us fight the war, that is for sure.

Bleak Picture: Time Is Running Out for Bush

As a general rule, administration officials and private economists say, the economy needs to be growing by more than 3 percent -- and possibly well above -- for jobs to be added. Economists and political strategists also assume that such growth must be firmly in place by the second quarter of an election year for voters to feel the effects by Election Day. And, Bush aides say, because it takes nine months for the full benefit of a new economic stimulus plan to be felt, policymakers have little time to spare.

"The rule of thumb is second-quarter GDP [gross domestic product] growth in the presidential election year has to be above 3 percent," said Kenneth M. Duberstein, who was a chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan. "That's why everything this year is driven toward next year's second-quarter GDP."

If Bush's $726 billion tax cut is enacted in June, it will come just in time for the all-important 2004 second quarter.

"Given where the economy is and where it looks like the economy is going to be in the near future, our instructions are to get this growing as soon as possible," a senior administration official said yesterday.

Some believe the time has passed to influence the 2004 economy. "If you're talking about boosting the economy in a year, it's too late for that," said the Urban Institute's Rudolph G. Penner, director of the Congressional Budget Office during the Reagan administration. By historical measures, it takes two quarters of growth of about 3 percent to produce a large increase in jobs. That means Bush would need the economy to be humming by the fourth quarter of this year.

We could be looking at a 1-term president, especially knowing how the Dims will gleefully obstruct any packages designed to help the economy. They will gladly criticize the Bush Administration's economic strategies, but listen carefully and you will hear no alternatives, no positive ideas for solutions. The Dims will pound this drum through '04, and we will see how smart the voting public will be with all of this.

UPDATE: Powerline made me feel a bit better about this - It's not just the econmoy, stupid:

Nonetheless, I think that most Americans realize that these are not normal times. Thus, it may be that the normal benchmarks used to determine whether the economy is doing well enough to sustain the re-election of a president do not apply. If Americans continue to believe that President Bush is doing well in the war on terrorism, they are likely to cut him some slack on the economy.

NASCAR Sticks with Jesse Jackson

NASCAR officials Friday defended their financial support of Jesse Jackson despite Jackson's opposition to the war in Iraq and frequent attacks on the Bush administration. NASCAR, which sanctions stock car racing, will continue supporting Jackson to promote diversity in auto racing, according to NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter.

Here's a link to the earlier article on the topic. I continue to be amazed that no one is talking about all of the fraud and abuse that is associated with the Rainbow/PUSH coalition. It seems there are far better organizations to be working with to establish diversity than Jackson's. I think he is probably holding NASCAR hostage, just like all of the other businesses and groups he terrorizes and Jackson's anti-Americanism should be punished by those with the purses. Oh well.

The War on TV - II

I really like the embedding idea and I think it has been successful, but I am fully in the Rumsfeld court on this now. It is only a vignette - You are not seeing the big picture.

That's what I experienced between last night and this afternoon. Last night there was the dramatic, huge event of the good guys taking Saddam International Puddle Jumper Airport. When you watched the video, you had two views: One was a line of US tanks coming towards the airport, the other of 3 Iraqi armored vehicles and a dead Iraqi soldier, which Aaron Brown pounced on with his liberal talents.

My conclusion last night: We kicked some serious ass, and it was way too easy.

Today, I saw Fox video from last night's events and it was incredible - They had awesome footage of some Marines who were working their butts off to win the battle. After watching today, I am amazed that we didn't have 100's of casualties.

Last night looked like a cakewalk marching band show during the high school halftime. This afternoon's instant replay showed the incredibly well-trained Marines under incredible stress to win a battle and despite the stress of near-death situations for these guys, it looked like a well-orchestrated ballet.

Remember, it's not indiscrimanate killing, it is a battle to remove the Saddam regime, and we've pleaded with the guys who are fighting to surrender, but they have chosen their path, and we are taking them out. Seeing this, I am stunned by the reall heroes.

Friday, April 04, 2003

Kerry Digs His Grave

I posted on the original Kerry remarks and then I saw him trying to defend himself today, and his defense simply buried him deeper.

OK, I'm a Republican/Libertarian or something like that, but not a Democrat, and I couldn't write a speech if you held a gun to my head, but I could have done a lot better than Kerry's writers did.

Kerry said that we need a regime change in the same way that Baghdad does, equating the Bush administration with a dictatorship , but then, absurdly, he stated that the Supreme Court arrived at the wrong decision in Bush v. Gore, despite the historical recounts that all handed Bush the victory. This guy is smoking the same crack that the Beastie Boys are.

Here's what he could have said to maintain his position as a legitimate contender for the presidency:

'Now that we have elected to use force to solve the terrible problem of Saddam's regime, I am here to state that I fully support our commander in chief and our troops in their efforts to protect our country and others in the world, including Iraqi citizens, from the despicable actions of this dictator.

After saying this, I must state that I feel that I could do a far better job at arriving at compromises with our allies such as France and Germany.'

Even though I'd think the criticism was not valid, at least I wouldn't think that he is destroying the fabric of freedom. His statements make him out to be a foolish asswipe, so it looks like Bush may be facing Gephardt in 04. Edwards is the only one who seems to be able to give Bush a run in 04, but he is too lightweight for the American left and I do not think he will prevail in the primaries...

Acidman has a wonderful post on this topic. There's a bit of dirty name-calling, but it well-deserved.

Do They Want Freedom?

An excellent piece from the Times on the problem of "liberating" the Iraqis by Ethan Bronner who bases this on 8 years in the Middle East.

In 1995, Mr. Hussein held his first popular "referendum" and "won" more than 99 percent of the vote. Everybody abroad dismissed it, but my sense was that an honest poll would still have given him a victory ? with 55 or 60 percent.

Part of the explanation is the nature of totalitarianism: millions of Soviets wept when Stalin died. Part of it is the nature of being held hostage. Iraq is a nation of Elizabeth Smarts. But part of it seems to have to do with the current state of the Arab world ? and here we face the "they are like us; they are different" conundrum. Regardless of how any of us feel about our political leaders, we do not worship them, nor do we consider it appropriate to do so. Iraq, on the other hand, is immersed in a cult of personality, and it is not the only Arab country where that is true.

Nearly every state in the region develops what is to us a bizarre and harmful devotion to its ruler, hanging his portrait on every corner and considering criticism of him an insult to the entire nation. And this extends beyond the state's own borders. One can understand why Iraqis are afraid to criticize Mr. Hussein, but how to explain why Egyptians, Bahrainis and Palestinians have not made him the special target of contempt? Who has killed more Muslims in the modern world than Mr. Hussein? Yet there is no Arab literature devoted to his misdeeds.

All of this suggests that when the war is won, engaging the Iraqi nation in the project of building an open society could prove extremely challenging. Public service has no meaning in Iraq. Each layer of bureaucracy lords its power over the one below it.

Read the whole thing. It's the NY Crimes, but it's quite balanced. I have heard that even in the 21st century, a strong percentage of Russians still long for Stalin's regime, which is extremely difficult to understand

After Baghdad, Here's the Enemy

Bruce Watson - It's lame, but that's why I am putting it out here:

Wednesday, March 12, 2003 -- You might expect that controlling the White House, the Supreme Court, Congress and talk radio would be enough for conservatives but some people are never satisfied. So there's a new villain in the crosshairs - liberals.

Years ago, liberals were "tax and spend" liberals, "bleeding hearts" who crushed your freedom with big government. But such talk is, like, so '90s. Today's liberal bashers rarely mention politics. It's all about lifestyle.

This just in. Right wing Special Forces are massing along the borders of the "liberal media." To quote their recent comments, liberals are "latte sipping," "Volvo loving," "humorless," "treasonous," "wimpy," "Godless," "partisan idiots." Any day now I expect to hear that liberals a) eat their young; b) sleep with barnyard animals; c) made up all 20 9/11 hijackers; and d) know exactly where Osama bin Laden is but aren't telling.

Why has the usual liberal-bashing gotten so ugly? Why has the "conversation of democracy" become the type of talk that ends with "Yo' mama"?

With America standing so tall it's top-heavy - on the verge of war, the economy in the toilet, shedding allies right and left - Americans need a traitor in their midst. All these problems! We can't blame the Commies anymore, nor ethnic groups, nor the Devil and, of course, not the president. So, Ms. Liberal Smarty Pants Volvo-driving Humorless Hillary Clinton-worshipping Treasonous Godless America Hater, you're elected.

Indeed, you are elected, you are part of the problem.

Baghdad Strategies

This article on Slate presents a fairly clear list of seven strategic options prepared by senior Pentagon officials for the battle for Baghdad.

Beastie Boys Are Awfully Shady

Here is just a part of the lunacy from the Beastie Boys anti-war, anti-American (despite what they say) song -

Mirrors, smokescreens and lies
It’s not the politicians but their actions I despise
You and Saddam should kick it like back in the day
With the cocaine and Courvoisier
But you build more bombs as you get more bold
As your mid-life crisis war unfolds
All you want to do is take control
Now put that axis of evil bullshit on hold
Citizen rule number 2080
Politicians are shady
So people watch your back 'cause I think they smoke crack
I don’t doubt it look at how they act

In a world gone mad it’s hard to think right
So much violence hate and spite
Murder going on all day and night
Due time we fight the non-violent fight...

...Now how many people must get killed?
For oil families pockets to get filled?
How many oil families get killed?
Not a damn one so what’s the deal?

One must presume that they are satisfied with Saddam's brutal reign of terror and all of the death related to that. And what is that crap about mid-life crises and smoking crack. These guys finally try to get serious about life and they fucked it up badly.

The Psy-Ops Continue

I'll bet the BBC will promote this "story":

Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf promised an "unconventional" response to the U.S.-led attacks and warned of more suicide attacks against foreign troops.

"Tonight we will do something unconventional, not by the military," al-Sahhaf said. We will do something which I believe is very beautiful. Those remaining soldiers who did not surrender I don't believe they have a great chance of surviving."

Right Wing News has an awesome useful idiot poster,

It is a Great Story

Iraqi Lawyer Helps Save Lynch

I am with others who think this guy should get a medal of honor. Check out Powerline's post on the subject. Here is the WaPo article.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

NASCAR Supporting Jesse Jackson

"NASCAR's support for our troops is undercut by your support for Jackson, which includes substantial monetary contributions, at a time when Jackson is leading anti-war protests, even in foreign countries," Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), wrote in an open letter to the head of NASCAR.


"Because American troops are currently engaged in combat in Iraq, we ask that NASCAR cease and desist from further support for Jesse Jackson and/or his nonprofit organizations..."

Right on. Why didn't he mention the incredible level of fraud with the Jackson organization?

The War on TV

I took a break from my break and watched Aaron Brown on CNN and Shep Smith on Fox for a while. I hated the experience. Shep is acting like the war is over with this taking of the Baghdad airport - "An incredible development!" But we only had to kill 4 or 5 tanks at the airport. I would never disparage the amount of success that the troops have had, but Shep is a drama queen.

Aaron Brown had his opportunity to say, I mean ask, one of his guests, 'Now that see how bad war is (through a very foggy videophone), does it change your feelings about what war is all about?' {paraphrased.} There was a dead Iraqi soldier looking like a 2 by 4 in the scene, and Aaron was trying to ensure that we felt sorry for this guy who was fighting for the most brutal dictator since Stalin.

The money quote I can't do word-for-word, but one of the talking heads food stamp generals said, 'Based on what I'm seeing, the Iraqi's don't really know what they're doing.' {that's a paraphrase.} No shit. Additionally, to this point, their leadership has not been what we would call inspirational?

Kerry Did Cross the Line

The word regime is a difficult one. I use it quite a bit at work when talking about systems designs and governmental regulatory designs, but I think I may lose it from my vocabulary.

"[E]quating regime change in Iraq with regime change in the United States is not what we need at this time," Hastert said. "What we need is for this nation to pull together, to support our troops and to support our commander-in-chief."

When I heard about Kerry's regime change language, I was frustrated, but then I heard about this:

"Just because the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision in its selection - and an error in its decision - in the year 2000 doesn't mean we have to live with it for six more years," Kerry charged. The Massachusetts Democrat hopes to unseat Bush in the 2004 presidential elections, but he faces primary competition from a number of fellow Democrats.

I thought Kerry would have been a reasonable opponent in 04, but I was wrong. This guy is toast. I think Gephardt might be able to come out on top. If you like Bush, I don't see that any of them have enough strength, but any of them could win in 04 if the war goes badly or the economy does not improve.

Bush needs to start hammering on the Dims with their obstruction on our judicial system - These people who are ruining our system, you want to elect them?

You Love Him or You Hate Him

Slate has an article on the "poetry of Rumsfeld." I think it was a bashing attempt, but I rather felt good about it. There are a lot of good ones, including the one on the "unknowns," but I liked this one in particular:

You're going to be told lots of things.
You get told things every day that don't happen.

It doesn't seem to bother people, they don't?
It's printed in the press.
The world thinks all these things happen.
They never happened.

Everyone's so eager to get the story
Before in fact the story's there
That the world is constantly being fed
Things that haven't happened.

All I can tell you is,
It hasn't happened.
It's going to happen.

Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing

The Hardest Job

Coops sent this missive, and it is a bit long, but I thought I should share. It goes to show that liberals can spin a good story...

Some people think being president of the United States is the hardest job in the world. Maybe it carries the most responsibility. I always thought, regardless of who is president, being the president's press secretary is harder.

Being a coal miner in Pennsylvania or Kentucky or West Virginia would be a hard job. Working in the shoe factory in Tipton, Missouri, getting paid by the "piece" wasn't a picnic. (Two summers I worked in the Sole Department.) Being pastor of a church when part of the congregation says "Stop" and the other half says "Go" is hard. There are a lot of hard jobs. Every day jobs. Maybe harder than being president.

I once worked with a guy at Jack Henry named John Leach. John died a few years ago of cancer. He was my brother's age, and like my brother, he was in the Army during the Vietnam War. I don't know what John's title was, but his job in the Army was to notify parents and wives that their sons and husbands had been killed. He was one of the guys that would ring the doorbell any time, day or night.

My best friend in high school and all through college was Paulette. Paulette had two older sisters, twins; two older brothers; a twin brother; a younger sister; and a younger brother. And every, single kid in that family was extremely polite and extremely nice. It must have been because of their parents. Their dad was a Republican, and their mother was a Democrat. Gene, an older brother, was elected to the Missouri House from the district around Warrensburg in 1972. He ran as a Republican because he liked Kit Bond. I worked for Gene and Kit--and George McGovern--that year. (Those were the days, my friends.) Gene finally got kicked out of the Missouri House when the Democrats swept Missouri in 1992.

But I digress. Paulette's oldest brother, Jim, was a captain and pilot during the Vietnam War. He was on a reconnaissance mission when his plane was shot down. I guess that was about 1966 or 1967. Paulette and I were in high school. Jim was listed as missing in action.

Luckily for Paulette and her family, Jim wasn't missing long. One afternoon after school, Paulette was home with her twin brother, Paul. Just the two of them. And a military car pulled up in front of the house, and two guys in uniforms and funny hats walked up to the front door. Because Paulette's parents weren't home, they didn't say anything; they walked back to their car and waited.

Paulette said later that she and her brother, obviously, knew why the military car was parked out front, though they said nothing to each other. And they waited too. And waited.

Their parents came home.

That might have been the first time my dad, who was pastor of the First Baptist Church, was ever in St. Andrew's Catholic Church. For the funeral.

Telling parents and brothers and sisters and wives about the reality of war
has to be the hardest job. Harder than being president.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Navy Recruiting, on Fire

Check out this poster via Winds of Change and others.

Operation Grab Your Ankles

and Prepare for Our Tiger

Hat tip to Dave Barry for catching this site. Random military operation name generator.

My Monkey Can't Do Crap

is a
Grass-Eating Sniper Monkey

...with a Battle Rating of 3.6

To see if your Food-Eating Battle Monkey can
defeat Carl, enter your name:


At least there are a few rational Dims in the Senate, not enough, but some:

Senate Republicans on Wednesday failed for a fourth time to break a Democratic filibuster thwarting a vote on President Bush's nomination of Miguel Estrada for a federal appeals court...

...Every Republican voted to end the filibuster. They were joined by Democratic Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, John Breaux of Louisiana and Zell Miller of Georgia.

God bless the rational Democrats in the Senate, and someone please wake up the others.

This gets me furious. It is time for the people who have elected people like Daschle to get going and ask their Senators why it is that they are wrecking our judicial system. I don't know why, but other than Daschle's asshead remarks on Bush Administration diplomacy, this is the one issue that fires me up more than any other.

The Disinformation Strategy

Mark pointed to this excellent piece from the MOSCOW TIMES!

In his famed book "The Art of War," Chinese general Sun Tzu wrote 2,500 years ago: "War is all deceit. If you can do something, make the enemy believe you cannot; if you are close, pretend you are far away." Last week in Iraq both sides were playing Sun Tzu to the limit: The allies faked weakness and disarray, the Iraqis faked strength and confidence...

...The U.S. and British allies also had a good reason to cheat. By faking weakness and portraying an inability to make a decisive push for overall victory without weeks of preparation and reinforcement, the U.S. military command apparently hoped to trick the Iraqis into keeping their best units in the field rather than withdrawing immediately to Baghdad, where defeating the Republican Guard would come at a higher cost.

All last week, the authorities deliberately fed the press and pundits with fake stories of the campaign plan gone wrong, of Iraqi resistance having "bogged down" the troops. There were constant reports that the allies had too few solders to win the coming battle for Baghdad and that crucial reinforcements would arrive only in three to four weeks.

The most outrageous piece of strategic disinformation released last week was that U.S. forward units were out of food and that restocking would take more than a week. Perhaps the intelligence officer who invented that yarn was reading some account of the American Civil War, when food rations arrived by mule.

The rest of the piece is quite interesting. I don't know how valid it is, but it seems like rational analysis.
A good letter on the American Century Investments site:
Here's a portion:

On behalf of all of us at American Century, I would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who are currently engaged in the military action in the Middle East. This includes members of our own American Century family who have been called to serve their country.

While times such as these can foster uncertainty and doubt, the United States, its financial markets and economic system have demonstrated their resiliency to history's greatest challenges. Our nation has faced periods of significant turmoil in the past, only to come through them stronger and more resolute than before.

Deeply-rooted values of courage, perseverance and innovation will keep our country strong and productive...

The Enduring Contradictions of the War Pundits

MRC reported on McCaffrey's contradictory remarks. I guess judging how the war is going depends upon who is in the audience:

Barry McCaffrey versus Barry McCaffrey. In an op-ed in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal the former Army General turned NBC News military analyst praised the successful military strategy against Iraq: “Gen. Tommy Franks's superb air-land-sea forces have achieved total air dominance, sunk the remainder of the Iraqi navy, and achieved a blitzkrieg success in plunging an Army-Marine three-division task force 300 miles into Iraq up to the gates of Baghdad.”

But a New York Times news story the same day quoted McCaffrey denouncing the military strategy as a failure. “Their assumptions were wrong," McCaffrey told the Times, complaining: “They went into battle with a plan that put a huge air and sea force into action with an unbalanced ground combat force."

These folks just aren't reliable and as Rumsfeld points out, they haven't seen the plan.


I heard Anne-I-Love-Dictatorships-Garells on NPR this AM interviewing a human shield. I think a point she was trying to make when providing
background was that this war was the greatest atrocity this guy had seen in 41 years because she said he had never protested anything in his lifetime, had never had any political views, and, get this, had never voted in his lifetime. I'm thinking this guy might as well be a citizen of Iraq - He
doesn't appreciate or need freedom.

As it turns out, his IQ is probably not too far below 40 because he said he was leaving Baghdad on April 15th {tax day} or when he sees his first Apache, whichever comes first. I hope the Apache comes first and puts him out of his miserable existence.

Hard Power Is The Only Thing That Works

I received the email about the diplomatic shakedown Powell gave to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and found this piece debunking the story, but the Powell quotation that inspired the hoax is quite a powerful statement:

"We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we've done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own, you know, to seek our own lives in peace, to live in our own lives in peace. But there comes a time when soft power or talking with evil will not work where, unfortunately, hard power is the only thing that works."

What Is a Quota?

What Is the Compelling Interest?

I enjoyed these two excerpts from the University of Michigan quotas oral arguments hearing.

I believe the first one is Justice Kennedy:

MS. MAHONEY: Well, they track -- they track residency, they track gender, they don't track, for instance, socioeconomic status which is a plus or, in fact, the evidence is uncontradicted the University takes any racial background, any ethnic background, any unusual characteristic that would add to the diversity of the class into account, but it doesn't find a need to track that, because of the nature of the applicant pool.

QUESTION: Is 2 percent a critical mass, Ms. Mahoney?

MS. MAHONEY: I don't think so, Your Honor.

QUESTION: Okay. 4 percent?

MS. MAHONEY: No, Your Honor, what --

QUESTION: You have to pick some number, don't you?

MS. MAHONEY: Well, actually what --

QUESTION: Like 8, is 8 percent?

MS. MAHONEY: Now, Your Honor.

QUESTION: Now, does it stop being a quota because it's somewhere between 8 and 12, but it is a quota if it's 10? I don't understand that reasoning. Once you use the term critical mass and -- you're -- you're into quota land?

MS. MAHONEY: Your Honor, what a quota is under this Court's cases is a fixed number. And there is no fixed number here.
The testimony was that it depends on the characteristics of the applicant pool.

QUESTION: As long as you say between 8 and 12, you're okay? Is that it? If you said 10 it's bad you but between 8 and 12 it's okay, because it's not a fixed number? Is that -- that's what you think the Constitution is?

And I am not certain, but I believe this was Scalia, but as you can see, the transcripts don't identify the judge.

QUESTION: Ms. Mahoney, I -- I find it hard to take seriously the State of Michigan's contention that racial diversity is a compelling State interest, compelling enough to warrant ignoring the Constitution's prohibition of distribution on the basis of race.

The reason I say that is that the problem is a problem of Michigan's own creation, that is to say, it has decided to create an elite law school, it is one of the best law schools in the country. And there are few State law schools that -- that get to that level.

Now, it's done this by taking only the best students with the best grades and the best SATs or LSATs knowing that the result of this will be to exclude to a large degree minorities.

It is -- it's not unconstitutional to do that, because it's -- that's not -- not the purpose of what Michigan did, but it is the predictable result. Nonetheless, Michigan says we want an elite law school.

Now, considering created this situation by making that decision, it then turns around and says, oh, we have a compelling State interest in eliminating this racial imbalance that ourselves have created.

Now, if Michigan really cares enough about that racial imbalance, why doesn't it do as many other State law schools do, lower the standards, not have a flagship elite law school, it solves the problem.

The opinion that I see out there seems to be indicating that O'Connor is the 5th vote and that she will probably go in favor of the Michigan quotas, or "critical mass requirement," if you don't like the Q-word.

UPDATE: I should admit that I am a U of M alumnus. No matter how the case comes out, I hope they keep athletic quotas - GO BLUE! It's about time for another national championship, and not the kind they seem to think matters here in the heartland, basketball - No, we need another football championship.

Can someone give me the English?

What is this saying?

The British Have Been Watching Rumsfeld Speak

"We had two suicide bombers turn themselves in yesterday because they didn't want to be suicide bombers any more," Col. Steve Cox, commander of
the Royal Marine Commandos running Umm Qasr, told reporters. "We are accommodating them."

I wonder what career path the bombers will choose.
Great coverage of my alma mater's discrimination case which was argued at the Supreme Court today - Hat tip Instapundit.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Nasiriya Interactive Map - Very Cool.

Hat tip - Winds of War

And another via Winds of War - Awesome map of Basra.

Goodbye, NPR!

Today, I established new "rules of engagement." I had been listening to NPR and watching the net incessantly and I wasn't getting my work done, so today, the radio dial went over to a local rock station. I also dramatically reduced my scanning the internet for the latest.

Good results: I got a lot more done and I was a lot more happy listening to Queens of the Stone Age than I was listening to Talk of the Nation, absorbing latest NPR anti-American freak who wants to move to France.

Interestingly, an article by Paul Weyrich supported my strategy and he explains the issue clearly. As he says, during the Vietnam war, they weren't sure whether or not we could tolerate a 1 hour news cast instead of 1/2 hour, and now we have 24/7.

The one solution to this addictive wall-to-wall war coverage lies with us. We must learn to turn it off. We ought to watch the coverage at most once a day and that for only an hour. It would be better if we could even skip a day before we watch again. Usually these networks summarize what has been happening over the last day or two anyway.

If we have the self-discipline to turn the coverage off, we can keep our perspective about this war. If we insist on knowing every latest detail, we can't help but be emotionally affected by it all and we will lose all perspective. The choice is clearly up to us.

Turn it off, turn it off. I sure felt a lot more happy with my day, and when I got home, I watched an hour of Brit Hume and got more than I needed. We shouldn't ignore the tough aspects of the war, but we must ignore the depressing psychosis of the media.

Next, I need to figure out how to turn off the 90% of the work email that adds no value.

Holy Birdie, It's a Game

I honestly don't have a definitive position on the Augusta issue, but it sure does not call for Congressional involvement.

"Just because it's not morally correct to some people or politically correct to some people does not mean that our congress-people or our senators or whoever should be spending taxpayers' money to pass a stupid resolution that says government employees cannot play at golf courses like Augusta National," Pontiff said.

The non-binding resolution, titled "Fair Play: Equal Access in Club Membership," urges congressmen and others not to belong to a "club that discriminates on the basis of sex or race." U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and John Lewis (D-Ga.) are sponsoring the resolution. It has 13 co-sponsors, including Rep. Richard Gephardt, a Democrat presidential candidate.

It's a private club. If they wanted to only invite people who are over 6'5" tall, why would congress need to come in and stop them? It's one thing to say that perhaps the club should not benefit from a huge public tournament because it does not allow the entire public to join, but it is an entirely different thing to say that public officials cannot belong to the club because it is an exclusive club.

It really pisses me of that good people have to give up their life to serve the public:

The potential real-life impact of the resolution is greatly unknown, its supporters acknowledged. Burk cited only two people to whom it would apply - Rep. Amory Houghton (R-N.Y.) and William S. Farish, ambassador to the United Kingdom. Both are members of Augusta National. Treasury Secretary John Snow resigned his membership prior to his appointment...

..."The purpose of this resolution is that if members of Congress belong [to these clubs], they should resign, just as Secretary Snow did when he was put forward as a cabinet member," Maloney said.

It's OK to have a black-only club on Capital Hill, the Black Caucus, but it's not OK for another person to join a male-only golf club that freely allows females to play? This is crap and it is one more exhibit on why our taxes are too high. They should be running our government like an efficient business rather than some club for the philosophical reconstruction of a better society for anyone who whines loud enough.

Rachel Did a Great Job on Algore

Here's the story:

According to the Tennessean, Gore used recent attacks on the Dixie Chicks that followed anti-war comments by Natalie Maines as an example. Gore told the audience, "They were made to feel un-American and risked economic retaliation because of what was said. Our democracy has taken a hit," Gore said. "Our best protection is free and open debate."

Here's Rachel:

"The Dixie Chicks don't like George Bush. Neither do I, so I support the Dixie Chicks.

"Now, I'm all for economic retaliation when it involves Jesse Jackson calling for a boycott of any corporation he sees fit to slander, and really, I'm all for economic retaliation of any sort as long as it falls in line with my own personal beliefs.

"After all, every American knows that one of the best, most effective, and least hateful ways to make your feelings known is to refuse to financially support someone you don't agree with. Using this technique, you will be avoiding violence or personal nastiness, and you'll talk with your pocketbook, which is one of the most American things you can do. Like I said, I completely support this type of activity when it's aimed at any group that I have political disagreements or dissatisfaction with. My own wife, Tipper, called for boycotts of various musicians back in the 1980s because she didn't like the language they used. Good, Tipper, good!

There's a lot more - Rachel is on fire and you should check it out...

There Must Be a Lot of Hicks in the World

What's up with this - NASCAR is the 4th most popular search term in MSN???

Hot Searches

I guess if you can't beat the rednecks, join them. I don't know if this means anything, but the #1 place you can go to avoid war protesters is a NASCAR race. It's also the only place in the U.S. where you can still have a public prayer without getting sued by the ACLU. I guess the protesters would just say that those rednecks don't understand the world, but even though it seems like a simple matter of turning left for 500 miles, it's a ton more entertaining than laying your body down in the street and blocking traffic.

No Longer So Simple As French Fries

One in three French wants Saddam to win

Relations will be further rent by a second poll, in Le Monde, showing that only a third of the French felt that they were on the same side as the Americans and British, and that another third desired outright Iraqi victory over ?les anglo-saxons?.

I had been smiling about this boycott of the weasels, but this wipes away the smile, and then there is this:

Eleven thousand Allied soldiers lie buried in well-tended peace at Etaples, on the Channel coast near Le Touquet, victims of the struggle by Anglo-Saxons to liberate the French from the German invaders during the First World War.

Last week the obelisk raised in their memory was defiled by red-painted insults such as ?Rosbeefs go home?; ?May Saddam prevail and spill your blood?; and, in a reference to the long-dead casualties beneath the manicured turf, ?They are soiling our land?.

Americans had been linking the disloyalty to those earlier wars, but now the idiotic protesters have crossed a line that they cannot back away from. This is completely ridiculous. I say that France has lost its ability to serve on the UNSC, but maybe it is that the UNSC is indeed irrelevant at this point.

UPDATE: via Instapundit: Jeff Jarvis has 2 good posts on this as well as pictures - attributing the Nazi sign to Blair and Bush.

Monday, March 31, 2003

Ammo for the Protestors

Unbelievable tragedy, but the good guys were doing their best. How do you fight a country full of terrorists and suicide bombers?

As an unidentified four-wheel drive vehicle came barreling toward an intersection held by troops of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, Capt. Ronny Johnson grew increasingly alarmed. From his position at the intersection, he was heard radioing to one of his forward platoons of M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles to alert it to what he described as a potential threat.

"Fire a warning shot," he ordered as the vehicle kept coming. Then, with increasing urgency, he told the platoon to shoot a 7.62mm machine-gun round into its radiator. "Stop [messing] around!" Johnson yelled into the company radio network when he still saw no action being taken. Finally, he shouted at the top of his voice, "Stop him, Red 1, stop him!"

That order was immediately followed by the loud reports of 25mm cannon fire from one or more of the platoon's Bradleys. About half a dozen shots were heard in all.

"Cease fire!" Johnson yelled over the radio. Then, as he peered into his binoculars from the intersection on Highway 9, he roared at the platoon leader, "You just [expletive] killed a family because you didn't fire a warning shot soon enough!"

So it was that on a warm, hazy day in central Iraq, the fog of war descended on Bravo Company.

Fifteen Iraqi civilians were packed inside the Toyota, officers said, along with as many of their possessions as the jammed vehicle could hold. Ten of them, including five children who appeared to be under 5 years old, were killed on the spot when the high-explosive rounds slammed into their target, Johnson's company reported. Of the five others, one man was so severely injured that medics said he was not expected to live.

"It was the most horrible thing I've ever seen, and I hope I never see it again," Sgt. Mario Manzano, 26, an Army medic with Bravo Company of the division's 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, said later in an interview. He said one of the wounded women sat in the vehicle holding the mangled bodies of two of her children. "She didn't want to get out of the car," he said.

The tragedy cast a pall over the company as it sat in positions it had occupied Sunday on this key stretch of Highway 9 at the intersection of a road leading to the town of Hilla, about 14 miles to the east, near the Euphrates River. The Toyota was coming from that direction when it was fired on.

I understand that the warning shots probably inspired the driver to get the Hell out of Dodge, but there is absolute support for our military to do all that they can to prevent the radical islamofascist martyrs from taking more lives.
OK, again, not to make a habbit of posting those nebulous emails with stories, but I got this one at work from someone who knew the person who knew the person...

Grand Old Lady

To nobody's surprise there were protesters today in DC. They attempted todisrupt the metro system and block the Key Bridge, a leading artery into DC from Northern Virginia. I got hosed twice because I come in from NoVA on the metro and it is raining hard which makes traffic worse anyway. My commute was long and arduous and only caused further resentment for protesters (but that isn't the point of this thread).

Anyway, I'll get to the point. I got off the train in Rosslyn because I had to use the bathroom and the train was moving quite slowly. When I was getting back on the train, there were protesters on the train platform handing out pamphlets on the evils of America. I politely declined to take one.

An elderly woman was behind me getting off the escalator and a young (20ish) female protester offered her a pamphlet, which she politely declined. The young protester put her hand on the old woman's shoulder as a gesture of friendship and in a very soft voice said, "Ma'am, don't you care about the children of Iraq?"

The old woman looked up at her and said, "Honey, my first husband died in France during World War II so you could have the right to stand here and bad mouth your country. And if you touch me again, I'll stick this umbrella up your a-- and open it."

I'm glad to report that loud applause broke out among the onlookers and theyoung protester was at a total loss for words.

Retired Bartley Is On Fire

While we're on the tax issue, check out Bartley's take on the Daschle crew: "The Loyal Opposition Digs a Hole - democrats are in trouble--and not only because of the war."

The size and shape of tax cuts is of a course a longstanding and legitimate difference between parties. But the Congress in general and Democrats in particular resist "spending" money on tax cuts while freely spending money on a bigger highway bill, a bigger farm bill and other vote-buying goodies, not to mention a huge new drug entitlement.

This means that Democratic professions of concerns about tax cuts swelling the deficit are, well, bad faith. From an economic standpoint, in fact, the national debt as a percentage of GDP is an unworrisome 36%, and the yearly deficit a modest 2.7%. Borrowing capacity is ample, and the historical and logical justifications for borrowing are war and recession. We are threatened by both.

The legitimate issue is how to encourage economic growth, and the president's tax cuts are the only serious proposal on the table. No doubt Democrats hope to blame the incumbent president if the economy fails to bounce back after the war, but kneecapping his solution opens a path for counterattack. After all, the ability to wage war without wrecking the home economy is part and parcel of the national security mission.

Incessant battlefield reports currently obscure Senate antics, but this will not last forever. My reading of history is that the public will turn against war only if leaders blink, which seems unlikely judging by President Bush's performance so far and his comments with Tony Blair last week. When the dust settles, Senate Democrats are likely to find that their current obstructionism has put them on the wrong side of a defining event.

Bartley is just as sharp as he ever was...Eat shit, Krugman!

Your Tax Dollars,

Send them to Pelosi's Radical District

Heck, send them to the Airline Billionaires

I saw this one at The Greatest Jeneration:

San Francisco officials want to bill the federal government to help pay for policing the war protests, a cost that Mayor Willie Brown said could end up exceeding $5 million.

City officials hope to tap federal Homeland Security funding -- money the White House wants set aside to help state and local governments pay for new equipment, training, emergency planning and improved protection of buildings, roadways, bridges, water systems and other government facilities.

I agree that the protestors are a threat to homeland security, but I'll be damned if my tax dollars will go to pay for policing these people. 2000 people arrested at a peace protest??? Beyond irony.

How about this one:

ATLANTA — Georgia lawmakers and others said Friday they are concerned that Delta Air Lines and other major carriers have given million-dollar bonuses to executives, even though they are cutting jobs and asking for federal aid.

Atlanta-based Delta shelled out $32.4 million last year in bonuses, restricted stock awards and pension protections for its top executives, according to a filing this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Northwest, based in Eagan, Minn., paid chief executive Richard Anderson and president Douglas Steenland more than $2.5 million in bonuses and stock awards.

At Delta, millions more were paid out to executives in the form of base salary, stock options and through a long-term incentive program. During the same time, Delta lost $1.3 billion and laid off thousands of workers. Northwest recently announced 4,900 workers would be laid off.

The news comes as Congress weighs a request by the struggling airlines for $4 billion in federal assistance.

‘‘It is discouraging, if not outrageous, that airline executives are lining their pockets while employees are subsidizing these bonuses and bankruptcy protected retirement plans,’’ said Duane Woerth, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, the nation’s largest pilots’ union.

Sen. Zell Miller, a Georgia Democrat, said he is a strong supporter of Delta, but is wary of the aid request in light of the bonuses. Delta’s chief, Leo Mullin, received the company’s largest bonus last year, a little more than $1.4 million. He also received a restricted stock award of $2,025,000.

‘‘This is going to be very hard to defend, and I believe it will hurt when they come before Congress asking for more help,’’ Miller said.

I know the airlines are having tough times because of an unprecedented era, but they should not get one penny of taxpayer funds until they are able to justify these outrageous bonuses, especially when they are cutting other peoples' salaries. I am all for heavy duty capitalism and the all-stars demanding huge salaries, but I do not see any intelligent management tactics that are helping these airlines. Cut the management salaries to reasonable, then we'll talk about my tax dollars.

Arab Press Resisting the Liberation

EGYPT: “Words”

Aggressive pro-government Al Akhbar columnist Mahmoud Abdel Moneim Mourad maintained (3/27): “Iraq has seven million strong fighters who are ready to continue the fighting for thirteen years continuously. God be with them.”

I feel sorry for the people at the State Department that have to compile this stuff, and it is too bad that we are not a bit more convincing.

...All above people, who were the real force behind going to war, said that the Iraqis will meet the U.S. 'freedom' Army with roses.... They thought that they can remove the Arab identity of Iraq and transform it into a base to launch attacks on Iran, Syria, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia. They thought that the war will be a promenade and that it will be easy to reformulate the world.... This cultural/political atmosphere had a real impact on U.S. plans. People like Secretary Powell did their best to modify this plan but did not succeed.... The military plan which is being implemented in Iraq is indeed facing difficulties because it was influenced by the above cultural-political plan which was originally based on bad political judgments.... The first conclusion we have reached is that not withstanding the results of the war, Iraq will never be a friendly territory to American occupation..."

...The second main reason that the invading troops did not achieve any progress in Iraq, is the lack of international support.... If the unjust forces win, this will be temporary; but the greater political aim that the evil power [the U.S.] seeks will never be achieved...because the will of nations remains unchanged and is always victorious..."

Scary times. This is the press, not letters to the editor. I hope the real unjust forces do not win.

Destroying the Fiction

Thanks to Command-post for this highlight from the Stephanopoulos interview with Secretary Rumsfeld:

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, it's already happening. A fair amount of criticism is starting to crop up in the press. A report in this morning's "New Yorker" magazine by Seymour Hersh, highly critical piece. And he says that on six separate occasions you were presented with operational plans from Central Command and you sent them back saying I want to see far fewer forces in these plans. Is that true?

SEC. RUMSFELD: That's false. Tom Franks -- absolutely false -- Tom Franks and the chairman and I, when the president asked us to prepare a plan, looked at the plan that was on the shelf and to a person agreed it was inappropriate. It wasn't me or the chairman or Tom Franks, anyone who looked at it would have known it was not an appropriate plan.

Franks then sat down and began planning. The plan we have is his. I would be delighted to take credit for it. It's a good plan. It's a creative and an innovative plan. And it's going to work. And it is his plan and it has been approved by the chiefs. Every one of the chiefs has said it's executable and they support it. It's been looked at by all the combatant commanders. It's gone through the National Security Council process. And what you're seeing is fiction. You're seeing
second-guessers out there.

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But you know, Seymour Hersh isn't alone then in writing this fiction. There is also an article in the Washington Post this morning by Vernon Loeb and he said -- he goes on to say that there were "More than a dozen officers interviewed, including a senior officer in Iraq, said Rumsfeld took significant risks by leaving key units in the United States and Germany at the start of the war. That resulted in an invasion force that is too small, strung-out,
underprotected, under-supplied, and awaiting tens of thousands of reinforcements who will not get there for weeks." Your response?

SEC. RUMSFELD: The people who are commenting on the war plan, I think, are probably people who have never seen it. And therefore, one has to ask that question.

I am still trusting the management team. Hearsh doesn't trust anything, and maybe that is his job, but maybe he could make his work a bit more trustworthy.
Surgeons Discussion

Mark sent this gem to a few of us. Not that I'm into posting email jokes, but this was too good.

Five surgeons are discussing who makes the best patients to operate on.

The first surgeon says, "I like to see accountants on my operating table,
because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered,"

The second responds, "Yeah, but you should try electricians. Everything
inside them is color-coded,"

The third surgeon says, "No, I really think librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

The fourth surgeon chimes in: "You know, I like construction workers. They always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end and when
the job takes longer than you said it would."

But the fifth surgeon, Dr. Morris Fishbein, shuts them all up when he observes: "The French are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, no balls and no spine. Plus the head and ass are interchangeable."

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Arnett is not THAT Whacked Out

Let's see now, most journalists have been kicked out of Baghdad, a few others are missing, and then Arnett gives this interview?

``Clearly, the American war plans misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces,'' Arnett said during the interview broadcast by Iraq's satellite television station and monitored by The Associated Press in Egypt.

Arnett said it is clear that within the United States there is growing opposition to the war and a growing challenge to President Bush about the war's conduct.

``Our reports about civilian casualties here, about the resistance of the Iraqi forces, are going back to the United States,'' he said. ``It helps those who oppose the war when you challenge the policy to develop their arguments.''

The interview was broadcast in English and translated by a green military uniform-wearing Iraqi anchor. NBC said Arnett gave the interview when asked shortly after he attended an Iraqi government briefing.

``His impromptu interview with Iraqi TV was done as a professional courtesy and was similar to other interviews he has done with media outlets from around the world,'' NBC News spokeswoman Allison Gollust said. ``His remarks were analytical in nature and were not intended to be anything more. His outstanding reporting on the war speaks for itself.''

Uniform-wearing Iraqi anchor? What on Earth is that about? I think there may be reasons behind the interview, but the defense of the interview by the spokeswoman is absolutely screwed. They don't have to be patriots, but they should not be excused for incredulous misrepresentations of facts.
Acidman posted the winners from his 10 MOST LYING, PHONEY-BALONEY, HYPOCRITAL ASSWIPES OF THE LAST 50 YEARS poll.

Top Dog, not even close:

1. William Jefferson Clinton This wasn't even close. He won in a runaway, with 90% of respondents including him on their list. There's your legacy, Bill.

I didn't vote, but my results would have been close. Why didn't Stalin make it?

I received over 100 responses to my poll and it took a lot of work that I didn't feel like doing today to put all the votes together and rank these assholes. All you people who voted for Joe Stalin are SOL, because he died on march 5, 1953 which puts him out of the 50-year range by a couple of weeks. If he had died later, he would have made the top ten. If he had died sooner, millions of people might still BE alive. So it goes.

It seems were working on another Joe right now so that he won't be eligible for the 2053 list.