Monday, April 07, 2003

Hate Yourself Excursion from the Anti-American Crowd


Here's a Portion of a Gem from Poets Against War:

Why some hate the U.S. is not hard to understand.
We simply won't share.
Because of this we must prepare.
For war. Another battle.
The enemy hasn't changed in all human history.
It is internal.
No war is right.
Some will disagree with me.
But if we never try peace, how can we see?
The other side of pride is humility.
We must give up the hate and let it be.


The Iraqi people are going to LOVE the peace we will be trying now - It's a lot better than the old oppression. There are a lot of people who still hate us, but most of the Iraqi citizens sure seem to love the progress of their liberation, despite the press underestimating the reaction. James Taranto tries to counter that underestimation today:

See if you can read this, from an Associated Press Nasiriyah dispatch, without choking up:

Lance Cpl. Brian Cole, 20, of Kansas City, Kan., was bowled over by the 7-year-old girl who handed him a Christmas card with this painstakingly written text: "Thank you for liberate us. And thank you for help us. You are a great army."

"That made my day, after sitting out in the heat all day. It made it seem worthwhile," said Cole.

The Guardian reports from Basra on another letter of liberation:

As one British tank approached the centre of the city, a young Iraqi handed a letter to the crew written in red ink on the pages of an exercise book. In broken English, it read: "I cannot describe how great and human the action you are achieving is. Since we are the inhabitants of this city, we may know better than you about the progress you have achieved."


Achieving great and human action. Indeed.

Time Travelling - The Way to Riches



NEW YORK -- Federal investigators have arrested an enigmatic Wall Street wiz on insider-trading charges -- and incredibly, he claims to be a time-traveler from the year 2256!

Sources at the Security and Exchange Commission confirm that 44-year-old Andrew Carlssin offered the bizarre explanation for his uncanny success in the stock market after being led off in handcuffs on January 28.

"We don't believe this guy's story -- he's either a lunatic or a pathological liar," says an SEC insider.

"But the fact is, with an initial investment of only $800, in two weeks' time he had a portfolio valued at over $350 million. Every trade he made capitalized on unexpected business developments, which simply can't be pure luck.

"The only way he could pull it off is with illegal inside information. He's going to sit in a jail cell on Rikers Island until he agrees to give up his sources..."

In a bid for leniency, Carlssin has reportedly offered to divulge "historical facts" such as the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden and a cure for AIDS.

All he wants is to be allowed to return to the future in his "time craft."

However, he refuses to reveal the location of the machine or discuss how it works, supposedly out of fear the technology could "fall into the wrong hands."

Officials are quite confident the "time-traveler's" claims are bogus. Yet the SEC source admits, "No one can find any record of any Andrew Carlssin existing anywhere before December 2002."


I would like to ask him about what happened in the battle of Baghdad.

Somehow the Pilot Got it Wrong


Not all is going so smoothly. A journalist's description of errant US strike.

It was Tom Giles's 38th birthday, and his mother had just called him from England on his satellite phone to wish him many happy returns. He held the phone over his head to let her hear the sound of the circling F14s. "Listen," he told her, "that's the sound of freedom."

The next instant the bomb landed and she listened for the next few minutes to the sounds of people shouting and screaming, uncertain whether her son was alive or dead.

We started a headcount and realised that one of our number was missing: Kamran Abdul Razak, our Kurdish translator. He had been close to me when the bomb struck.

Our BBC security man, Craig Summers, searched the area at great risk and found him close to the wrecked and burning cars, many of which contained ammunition which was starting to explode. Kamran's foot was almost blown off by a huge piece of shrapnel.


It's unbelievable that this does not happen quite a bit more, and I hope it doesn't happen much more...

Sunday, April 06, 2003

The Best Peace "Protest" of All


About 10,000 people gathered in Karbala's public square today and pulled down a six-metre-high bronze statue of Saddam Hussein, a move symbolising for many the end of a tyrannical regime and the start of new freedoms...

"We have been living in fear for so many years, and we have been taught in the schools that Saddam would never die," said Hassan Muhammad, 20, as he helped pull on the rope. "This is a historic day, and we will celebrate this day always..."

"I don't care about all the problems here," said Ahmed Saheb, 35, who has lived in Karbala all his life. "I remember being ordered to stand ... here to celebrate Saddam coming to Karbala in 1997. I didn't want to do it, but it was either celebrate or be put in jail."

Colonel Jeff Ingram said the difficult part - securing Karbala - is over. Now troops must win hearts and minds.

"They have to know we don't want Iraq; we just want the regime to change," he said.

Saheb said he was pleased that US soldiers did not damage the Shrine of Imam Hussein in the battle with Iraq's Republican Guard.

"All we have ever wanted is the ability to practise our religion and to earn a living," Saheb, a sheepherder said. "We have not been allowed to do this for a long time. I have faith this will now change."

No matter what happens with the UN, the French, the terrorists, let freedom reign for these people.

No politics. No bulls**t. No glory.


Drudge scoops the heat that Brill is taking for his new book - Brill defends himself:

Brill explains: "I've had a kind of cultural revelation, and it centers on Tom Ridge, whom all my friends think is a bumpkin because he doesn't look and sound like them. Janitor's son wins scholarship to Harvard, gets elected governor. Yet my friends think he's a dummy. The reason: because he's utterly without guile. To me he is emblematic of what's great about the country - a guy who leaves his cushy governorship and therefore his wife has to go get a job to pay the bills because they have new rent to pay, and goes to Washington to help. And his staff is the same way.

"Sure they don't do everything right, but they work their asses off and take all kinds of s**t from the press and the pundits and just keep their heads down and do the job they said they would do. The book is full of poignant scenes of these decent people just plain working hard and making sacrifices. No politics. No bulls**t. No glory. No scouring the papers for news clips about themselves."


The next attack will bring all sorts of accusations, but results so far are strong. Also, I haven't noticed the civil rights that I have been deprived of due to the Patriot Act - A lot of sky-is-falling rhetoric.

Algore's 'Earth in the Balance' Moves to

Science Fiction Shelves


So says TK, and I can sympathize with that point of view.

The review, carried out by a team from Harvard University, examined the findings of studies of so-called "temperature proxies" such as tree rings, ice cores and historical accounts which allow scientists to estimate temperatures prevailing at sites around the world.

The findings prove that the world experienced a Medieval Warm Period between the ninth and 14th centuries with global temperatures significantly higher even than today.

They also confirm claims that a Little Ice Age set in around 1300, during which the world cooled dramatically. Since 1900, the world has begun to warm up again - but has still to reach the balmy temperatures of the Middle Ages.

If the race at Talladega today didn't cause global warming, we're in for an ice age...

Junior Takes 4th Straight at Talladega


Awesome race. There were some incredible racing moves, and Junior looks more like his father all of the time, especially as he removed Kenseth's rear bumper with some constant bashing.

About the only thing that went right for Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Sunday was winning the Aaron's 499.

Crew chief Tony Eury Sr. had to beat on the doors of a couple of his crewmen who overslept their 5 a.m. wake-up call after forgetting to reset their clocks.

When the crew of the No. 8 Chevrolet warmed up the engine after arriving at Talladega Superspeedway, the oil cooler filled up with water, requiring an engine change and forcing Earnhardt to start from the rear of the 43-car field.

Four laps into the 188-lap event, Earnhardt drove through the infield grass to avoid a wild 27-car crash. The bumpy ride tore up his front air dam, messing up the car's aerodynamics and forcing a series of pit stops for repairs.

Earnhardt charged back to become the first driver to win four straight Winston Cup events on the 2.66-mile Talladega oval, but afterward he spent more time explaining a disputed pass than talking about his eighth career victory.

I don't know how Newman walked away from THE BIG ONE, and while you look at that, doesn't the ORANGE 88 on top of DJ's car look like shit? The 88 was 12th. Some people say Geritol should be his sponsor, but I am holding out hope.

For sure, this was the best race for InCar, watching the action from inside various cars. Unbelievable how much the drivers count on their spotters in this race.

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

ONE BIG NO PEACE FESTIVAL HITS NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE
ON APRIL 12th

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.


Amen.

"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:

Happenings
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


Carl
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:

55-44


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.

APRIL 15 OR APACHE, WHICHEVER IS FIRST


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

1-www.aljazeera.net
2-Iraq
3-NCAA
4-NASCAR
5-Easter


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.