Saturday, December 10, 2005

Boutique Psychiatry?

Some psychiatrists/psychologists now want to create an official diagnosis of extreme homophobia as an official diagnosis.

So when homosexuality was unpopular, it was a mental disorder. Now that it's popular, not liking it is a mental disorder. Evidence for either position? Not much. My diagnosis: How about we recognize a disorder consisting of turning intellectual fashions into pseudoscience? Seems like this is a case of "mental health" consisting largely of agreeing with whatever political opinions psychiatrists hold at a particular moment in time. Psychiatry, heal thyself.

Dr. Sanity:
Can "Republicanism" be far behind as a new diagnosis . . .?

One of my pet peeves is people using "Orwellian" to describe changes in law or technology they don't like, but this kind of revising manuals to make certain thinking abnormal or diseased really is the sort of thing Big Brother's regime might have done. "War is peace." "The mainstream is radical."

We already have descriptions that apply to the case of a man who thinks that society is filled with gays who are out to get him. Does the new DSM include believing in God and praying, too?

A group of atheists is suing Utah to force it to remove some cross-shaped markers around the state to commemorate the places where highway patrol troopers were killed.
These were placed by a private organization. I don't know whether they are all within the state's right-of-way or not. Maybe Dr. Newdow will want to add religion as to DSM-V also.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The revolution is reactionary.

China's "Security forces" have begun killing demonstrators. 20 are known killed, up to fifty are missing. The story doesn't really explain how this came about until the 6th graf. The government is definitely getting jumpy as the populace is getting fed up with the pollution from the countries rapid industrialization.
The use of live ammunition to put down a protest is almost unheard of in China, where the authorities have come to rely on rapid deployment of huge numbers of security forces, tear gas, water cannons and other non-lethal measures. But Chinese authorities have become increasingly nervous in recent months over the proliferation of demonstrations across the countryside, particularly in heavily industrialized eastern provinces like Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiansu.

The villagers in Dongzhou said their dispute with the authorities had begun with a conflict over plans by a power company to build a coal-fired generator in their area, which they feared would cause heavy pollution. Farmers said they had not been compensated for the use of the land for the plant. Others said plans to reclaim land by filling in a local bay as part of the power plant project were unacceptable because people have made their livelihoods there as fishermen for generations. Already, villagers complained, work crews have been blasting a nearby mountainside for rubble for the landfill.
74,000 riots!

Could this affect the Beijing Olympics? This would make them resemble the Berlin Olympics empresarioed by the Nazis. It also raises questions about what price the Chinese people are paying in order to sell us all those cheap goods. I'm sure Walmart will get some blame for this, the idiotarian attitude toward it being what it is.

The end of the line for Tookie?

Tookie Williams--this guys wants clemency because he's reformed, but he still doesn't admit that he's guilty. What is it about people in prison that seems to stir the sympathy of the leftie elites?

You know the story about the guy who kills his parents and then pleads for leniency in court because he's an orphan? That's how I see Tookie Williams.

What are the options?

Homan Jenkins, Jr. speculates what current events would be had we not deposed Saddam.

Funny. I watched part of an hour this morning with Fred Kagan on C-Span's Washington Journal where one of the callers asked the same question. Kagan gave a number of the same answers.

Perhaps a more pertinent question would be what would happen if we pull out too soon, as Democrats keep saying we must? Would be the current government there survive or would we soon have a new regime headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi? Would there be a civil war with the Kurds in the North proclaiming a Kurdish state, and would Turkey allow that to happen? What if Saddam just hid his WMD and they fall into the hands of terrorists?

Here's another analysis the question.

This is why Dean and Pelosi and Kerry are so irresponsible. They haven't thought it through. I've tried, and I can't see any way things would be improved there by pulling out our troops before the Iraqi Army is ready to deal with the terrorists and we can see that they're getting the idea of politics rather than assassination.

And how long would it be before we'd have to go back and overthrow another dictator or a second Taliban?

I blame global warming.

Carnivorous squirre1s. Now giant jellyfish.

Ya Think?


Saw John Seigenthaler, Sr. on C-Span's Washington Journal discussing allegations in his biography on Wikipedia, to-wit: "For a brief time, he was thought to have been directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations of both John, and his brother, Bobby. Nothing was ever proven." He considered the remarks slanderous and contacted the founder of Wikipedia and got the offending material taken down, but the biography kept being edited to include insults and scurrilous allegations.

I've never really understood what Wikipedia was supposed to be. To allow anybody using the internet to edit biographies and history, and to do so anonymously, seems reckless in the extreme, because once you understand how material gets posted on this site, you have to consider Wikipedia a suspect source. Why would this be a better source of accurate information than someone's blog?

Several callers admonished him that he's a public figure and as a founder of USA Today is in a better position to get this material to be removed and have his biography locked. He acknowledged that and generally seemed to support freedom of the internet, and I got the impression that his main concern was to warn people about the unreliability of much that is posted on the internet.

Several callers chided him for his own newspaper's slant and publication of biased reports about President Bush and other issues. I don't read USA Today very often so I can't really say how it compares to the NYTimes and the WaPo, but it seems to be a typical MSM paper.

I think that most conservative callers felt that the media in general are pretty hypocritical about the internet, criticizing it and belittling blogs while refusing to admit their own bias.

I see the internet today as being much more like the press at the time the Constitution was drafted--a wide range of opinion and points of view, which was the intent of the First Amendment, but with the rise of journalism schools the media have become homogenized to the point of that most news organizations are superfluous. There is little difference among them, which defeats the intent of having a free press, which is debate and argument and disparate opinion. You'll only see that in a few fairly conservative newspapers and magazines. I don't know of any libertarian newspapers. The blogosphere, on the other hand is opinionated, partisan, etc. but it doesn't profess to be professional, objective and fair, but it does debate and argue vigorously. Too bad newspapers have lost that.

The fine art of debate.

You're doing well when you get a link and and "Indeed" from the Instapundit. But you know you're hitting the bigtime when Brit Hume cites your reporting on his show. Hugh's cross examination of Stephen Henderson yesterday elicited some damaging admissions about Henderson's reporting about Judge Alito's record.

Hugh's a pretty easy-going guy, but when he gets into a debate you'd better be ready for trouble. I don't like dissension and contention normally, but Hugh does it the way that lets you know he's practicing the art of debate.

One thing that drives me nuts, though, is when he gets a caller who wants to challenge him, he starts asking the guy about what he does for a living and what his qualifications are. That kind of prelininary sparring is pretty boring radio. Fortunately, he doesn't get that many of those calls.

Michael Medved invites people who disagree with him to call in and then says "work with me here." If they wanted to work with him, they wouldn't be calling in to argue with him! Most of them are regular callers with the same old accusations and namecalling. I much prefer to hear some facts, which Medved is very good at marshalling and citing, and some reasoned argument, but when people won't even agree on the facts, there's little point in wasting time on them. Except that just letting them talk usually makes all the points he wants about their positions.

Racist Ipsa Loquitur

I'm usually a little cautious about cases that sound as outrageous and blatantly illegal as this, just as I'm a little cautious about the Al Arian acquittals being unjustified. Maybe it's because of Terri Schiavo, which at first looked like a helpless woman being killed after her money ran out. I've also represented people who looked plainly guilty and then found that, while my client was probably guilty 99% of the time when accused of something, he/she was innocent on this one. I learned the hard way about why we need the presumption of innocence, and from appearances right now, Mr. Maye wasn't given much of that.

This Maye case could be what it looks like, a thinly veiled "due process" lynching, or there may be something we haven't heard yet. But if the facts are as Radley Balko states them, Mississippis hasn't made as much progress as we have been led to believe. This looks like a case of "when a black man shoots a white man, the thing speaks for itself," racist ipsa loquitur. And why this hasn't been a cause celebre long before this, I can't figure out. I think that Balko's reporting will certainly get some attention though, especially with Glenn Reynolds asking questions too.

I'm not a libertarian on illegal drugs, but I don't trust cases built on "traces" of drugs especially when they're based on illegal searches and CYA charges filed after the cops have totally messed up.

And where's Bob Dylan when someone needs him?

No surprise here

The shooting death of the passenger in Miami when air marshals shot and killed him is now being spun as an overreaction by the cops. What took the media so long?

I'm not saying they were justified, but it certainly looks like it. These guys aren't rent-a-cops and with things like shoe bomber and bombs in baggage going off in subways, it's kind of hard to tell them not to make sure the guy's really got a bomb first. I wouldn't give much credence to an "eye-witness" who probably didn't notice what was going on before he heard shots. I know I wouldn't have been. People have a tendency to build memories after the fact, and with a reporter pressing you for a statement that could make you famous, the power of suggestion can lead to miscarriages of justice.

Remember, as the press reports come in, all the stories about innocent men sitting on death row until DNA proved them innocent.

The death of a secular saint.

John Lennon's murder was senseless. He was killed for no other reason than that he was famous.

But this public mourning of him strikes me as undeserved, especially when what so many people remember him for was more the result of his being used as a ventriloquist's dummy by Yoko Ono. "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine" are two of the most fatuous lyrics I can remember ever hearing. "Revolution" is more logical and realistic, which is what made his switch to activists so ironic. He seems to have had a neurotic hangup over his mother, Julia, which may have been intensified or brought to the surface by his drug use. What I thought was sad about his death was that he seemed to have been coming out of his enthrallment and growing up when he was killed.

Had he lived, I hope he would have been embarrassed by that period of his life. Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr all seem to have been more rational and well-balanced throughout their lives. My favorite of their albums was Rubber Soul, but they went downhill pretty quickly after that. I liked him alot better as a cynic than as a messiah.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pearl Harbor

As I've been reading my uncle's account of his time at Corregidor and following prison of war experience, December 7 has a new meaning to me. I always expected to be drafte and thought it was a good thing. Then LBJ screwed it up, by treating draftees as cannon fodder without a goal of defeating the enemy.

Iraq is different. We know what we're trying to do, whether the Democrats get it or not. Our troops are volunteers, and their morale is high, and I believe they are making a difference. What other nation would respond to something like 9/11 by liberating people?


Feedback to the Al-Arian verdict. Not having heard the evidence, I can't give a valid opinion, but if this guy is really what they charged, we should all be very concerned.


I watched a program about fractals on the Salt Lake City PBS station broken up by pledge drive pitchs. The reinforced my feelings about PBS and NPR. They're successful enough that they could charge for their services and do all right, but, of course, they have to support the myth that relying on "underwriters" and donations instead of advertising is somehow morally purer than selling time to advertisers, and that seeing programs uninterrupted by people selling things is so much better than the alternative that we should gladly contribute.


Of course they were asking for pledges of 120 buck to get a book based on the program. Nothing commercial there. Nosiree bob! The fact is that they do have advertisers and they do run commercials. Last night they had a clip of Leonard Nimoy who cited the suspect claim that Edmund Burke made the statement that "all that is necessary for the triumph of evil if for good men to do nothing."

What?! If we don't support PBS and the local "education" channel eeee-vil will triumph? Of course if we do, Bill Moyers might be given even more air time, and that would be evil, too. He's a bitter and paranoid old man, infected with the Democrat swamp fever, who can't see how the republic can endure without at least one branch in the firm control of his party, which is the semi-official party of PBS. But not the blue-collar working man Democrat party. This is the snooty Academia Democrat party, which these days is the bastion of anti-patriotism in America. PBS aspires to be the US's version of the BBC. They revolted when the Wall Street Journal was allowed to present a program similar to Washington Week in Review, but apparently drove the leftie supporters

I sent PBS and NPR money for years, until I woke up to the fact that neither could exist without the prosperity of this nation which is based on private enterprise. Where do they think the money comes from that they're always dunning us for? Last night the phones were being answered by volunteers from Starbucks. How appropriate. The winetasters of coffeedom, making money hand over fist off one of the three major drugs that drive this country. I wonder if they'd allow volunteers from some tobacco company to take their calls for them. Or the local chapter of the NRA?

Hugh Hewitt is an alumnus from PBS and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Last night he was pounding PBS for wasting our money to make documentaries like Breaking the Silence, Children's Storiesabout liberal causes, such as feminism, the life of Alfred Kinsey and so forth.

Giving Christianity a Bad Name

The WaPo reports on some bible-thumpers complaining that the President sent out a "holiday" card instead of a "Christmas" card. You can always go find some jerk who takes an extreme position that offends just about everybody els. I suspect this is why the WaPo published this. It's supposed to counter all the complaints about the war on Christmas.

Once again we see the media driving us toward the poles rather than seeking common ground.

Should you send your Jewish or HIndu friends a Christmas Card? I hope not. On the other hand it's pretty silly to call a Christmas tree anything else, because it's a Christian tradition. True, it was once a pagan symbol, but it has become a symbol of the commemoration of Jesus' birth. If we put up a Menorah, we don't call it just a Holiday Candlestick. That's not what it is. There is room for holiday cards, but there is no reason for everybody to fear the word Christmas, nor Chanukah, nor Ramadan.

We should appreciate what we all have in common, and respect each other's traditions. But tolerance is a two-way street. The main message of Christmas to the world is "Peace on Earth and Good Will to Mankind." Use some sense and quit looking for reasons to condemn others. Christ himself would tell us to cease contending with one another. He would also tell us that governments are for the people not the other way round. Let people be people, but stop the squabbling.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

This is worrisome and not a little firightening.

Debbie Schlussel has been tracking the Sami Al-Arian case. She doesn't seem to think he's an innocent victim. Rather, she says the prosecution was inept:
we can say that the "prosecution" team was a Marcia Clark/Christopher Darden-style set of incompetent Assistant U.S. Attorneys and the judge was definitely Dancing Itoh material.


A common comment is that this case was a major test for the Patriot Act. I'd say the HSA and the Justice Dept. had better get their acts together if we want to put a stop to this kind of activity. And as always, we need more judges who understand that the right not to be murdered by terrorists is more important than those "rights" of more recent vintage found lurking in the penumbrae. We can't expect the government to protect us if we don't trust it. And if we can't trust it, then we'd better start electing some different people to Congress. Start with the major RINOS in the Senate. I'd hate to see another 9/11 happen, but I don't see Congress has ever really taken it seriously and the Democrats have lost it. We've been protected since 9/11 but the ACLU and its ilk are making a comeback.

Season's Grinches

Prof. Bainbridge jousts at Walmart. Sure, it's the only business in the U.S. that plays local governments for tax breaks. NOT! It's not Walmart's fault for pulling this, it's the eagerness of local governments to sell out their local taxpayers to bring in more sale tax revenues. I don't like this practice, either, particularly when it takes over as in the Kelo case.

Sure, Mom and Pop local businesses can't compete with that, but is K-Mart going to be any less grasping?

And his "aesthetic/humanistic" element is not conservative. It's elitist and reeks of the kind of central planning mentality that Hayek warned about. Furthermore, Walmart didn't create the move away from the old downtown main streets. The City of Price in Central Utah is the closest case I have to look at, but it was well on its way before Walmart moved in. It had two strip malls on the east and west ends of the city and its mainstreet was in decline well before that.

If we're going to start attacking business bully-boys, why don't we hear this whining about Microsoft. It destroyed WordPerfect which was employed a lot of workers in Utah, and then targeted Novell, which has survived, but only on the basis of building on Linux. Yet Bill Gates is the most admired man in America. He's praised for the number of millionaires created by his stock option programs, but nobody notes the others put out of work by his business tactics.

The Super-Walmart in this area is bright, clean and well-stocked. It's thirty miles from us. In the same city, Price, there's a Super K-Mart, which is older, dirtier, with half the lighting removed and employees scarce as hen's teeth. The last time I bought anything there, I had to use the paging system myself to get a clerk at the sporting goods desk. The nearest Target is 120 miles away, and the main difference I can see is the color scheme and Target's yuppie appeal to style and design. More power to it, but I doubt that it's any more virtuous than Walmart. It competes below Walmart's radar, but I doubt that it would turn down any local tax incentives.

I believe in the free market, and I haven't seen Walmart doing anything that any other big company doesn't do to stay ahead of the competition. IBM used to be the big bully that everybody complained about, until it failed to spot the Next Big Thing. Someday that'll happen to Walmart, Toyota and Microsoft, just as it happened to GM. American workers have to compete with the workers who produced the stuff they buy cheap. That's the way markets work. We should demand fair competition, but it seems kind of hypocritical to accuse places like China of violating human rights and then refuse to let its people have better jobs and economic development like that which made us prosperous. It's only when people have economic choices that they can stand up and demand more from their governments.

The U.S. has had a good run, but too many of us forget how we got here. We were born on third base and think we hit a triple. We shouldn't forget, though, that like IBM and GM, our fortunes can dive quickly. The best guard against it is low taxes and willingness to compete with anybody. I don't believe that we can deal with the poorer nations in this hemisphere by shutting them out. We need to engage their governments and press for improved property rights and legal reforms that will help their people to build on economic principles of free enterprise.

The Party of Surrender

Reaction to Howard Dean's determination to lose in Iraq, was immediate this time. He's old enough to remember 1972. I mean they lost all states but Massachusetts to Richard Nixon, who was never very likeable, by picking the one candidate that could make him look like the cool kid on the block, George McGovern.

In his interview on WOAI radio, Dean says "We need a force in the Middle East, not in Iraq, but in a friendly neighboring country to fight Zarqawi, who came to Iraq after this invasion." How many of our troops do you think would endorse that plan? What 'friendly neighboring country' does he have in mind, and what makes him think the terrorists wouldn't follow our forces there? Iraq's borders are quite porous, but there's nothing to show that they're any better in the other direction.

This is the most assinine remark yet, and that's saying something after what Kerry, Reid, Murtha, et al. have been spouting. Remember, one of their complaints is that we haven't controlled Iraq's borders. Does he think it would work better in the other direction?

Code Pinko--er,--Pink has announced plans to 'bird dog' Hillary! to prevent her from campaigning from the middle in 2008. Can't have any sane politics in the party! I used to think that it was conservatives who would rather be right than in power, but the Republicans have been behaving like an Alzheimer's marching band and the Dems still seem determined to reject anything that might win them swing votes.

Joe Lieberman, who seems to speak with a chronic down-in-the-mouth tone, sounds suddenly statesmanlike. He and Barak Obama are the only ones who have kept their heads.

Update: It appears that a few other Democrats have wakened to the disastrous effect this anti-war pro-defeat rhetoric could have on the upcoming elections. The Republicans are sure to use clips of Kerry, Dean, Murtha, Boxer and the rest.

Christmas multiculturalism

John Gibson and Michael Medved have been discussing the efforts of atheists and leftists to suppress Christmas in America. I hope the Supreme Court will see how its decisions on the Establishment Clause have been twisted to deny the majority of Americans their heritage.

I'm not endorsing any suppression of valid minority rights. Everybody has the right to be a Scrooge, but they don't have the right to keep others from making merry and wishing them peace and good will.

Semper "Worn Out" Murtha?

Great line from Mark Steyn about John Murtha's defeatism:
Also, the United States Army is "broken," "worn out" and "living hand to mouth." If the reaction to Murtha's remarks by my military readers is anything to go by, he ought to be grateful they're still bogged down in Iraq and not in the congressional parking lot.
A congresswoman from Ohio has been pilloried by the left for quoting one of her soldier constituents calling Murtha a "coward." But she didn't make that accusation. The soldiers he claims to care so much about made it. Do the Democrats want to suppress the free speech of those men and women to cover for one of their own who has called them "Worn out?"

Murtha did serve in Vietnam. He's a former Marine. That's fine and honorable, but it doesn't give him a pass for stupid utterances or for supporting porkbarrel spending, anymore than John Kerry's service made all of his dumb pronouncements valid.

Update: Today, Murtha put his foot further down his gullet by clarifying his plan for deploying our troops "over the horizon" as meaning Kuwait and Okinawa. I suppose the terrorists aren't likely to follow them to Okinawa, but in Kuwait they will.

For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

Fred Barnes
WE NOW KNOW WHAT WAS behind President Bush's mysterious refusal for so many months to respond to Democratic attacks on his Iraq policy--a refusal that came at great political cost to himself and to the American effort in Iraq. It wasn't that Bush was too focused on Social Security reform to bother. Nor did he believe Iraq was a drag on his presidency and should be downplayed. Rather, Bush had made a conscious decision after his reelection to be "nonpolitical" on the subject of Iraq. It is a decision he now regrets. And has reversed.
Didn't I say something like this back on November 14? I think I did.

I believe that the Sermon on the Mount sets out how Christians should live. But note that Jesus didn't allow the Pharisees, scribes and priestly class to accuse him falsely without responding. He called them hypocrites and vipers. Jesus later said
Now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
I think that Bush is sincerely trying to follow Christ. He has turned the other cheek repeatedly and given those smacking him around plenty of chances to apologize. Now it's time to answer and point out that his critics have been lying about him and misleading the people about the war for the liberation of Iraq. It's Beltway rules. A charge that isn't answered is deemed admitted. These days even when you do dispute such charges, the news media will mute your message. So you have to be out there repeating your points over and over, because, as negative as they are, the media can't ignore what the President and Vice-President are saying.

History repeats itself.

The Democrats haved failed to learn from the past and are likely to pay the price of 1972 over again.

Then there's the live coverage of a madman for murder and conspiracy who keeps disrupting the proceedings. No, not Charles Manson, Saddam Hussein and his cronies. Which one is "Squeaky"?

In what bizarro world

is it a jailing offense to reveal the Valerie Plame works at the CIA, but leaking the existence of secret CIA detention centers doesn't raise a peep from the people who demanded a special prosecutor in the Plame case?

The Party of Surrender

Reaction to Howard Dean's determination to lose in Iraq, was immediate this time. He's old enough to remember 1972. I mean they lost all states but Massachusetts to Richard Nixon, who was never very likeable, by picking the one candidate that could make him look like the cool kid on the block, George McGovern.

In his interview on WOAI radio, Dean says "We need a force in the Middle East, not in Iraq, but in a frienly neighboring country to fight Zarqawi, who came to Iraq after this invasion." How many of our troops do you think would endorse that plan? What 'friendly neighboring country' does he have in mind, and what makes him think the terrorists wouldn't follow our forces there? Iraq's borders are quite porous, but there's nothing to show that they're any better in the other direction.

This is the most assinine remark yet, and that's saying something after what Kerry, Reid, Murtha, et al. have been spouting. Remember, one of their complaints is that we haven't controlled Iraq's borders. Does he think it would work better in the other direction?

Code Pinko--er,--Pink has announced plans to 'bird dog' Hillary! to prevent her from campaigning from the middle in 2008. Can't have any sane politics in the party! I used to think that it was conservatives who would rather be right than in power, but the Republicans have been behaving like an Alzheimer's marching band and the Dems still seem determined to reject anything that might win them swing votes.

Joe Lieberman, who seems to speak with a chronic down-in-the-mouth tone, sounds suddenly statesmanlike. He and Barak Obama are the only ones who have kept their heads.

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these,. . .

Bless these men! Deeds transcend language and religious differences. The longer we stay and the more times this incident is repeated, the more we weaken terrorism.

This story is why we need the blogosphere. Not for the partisan arguing, but for the stories like this that we'd never see otherwise.

Commercial interests trump national security. What else is new?

Univision, I can understand (not literally), but who watches PAX?

The Art of the Slant

Get a load of these headers listed on Memeorandum:
DeLay's hopes dashed for quick end to case Judge dismisses one felony indictment but upholds another

DeLay's Money Laundering Charges Upheld

DeLay Finished

Judge Upholds Most Serious Charges Against DeLay

Cheney and DeLay: A Scandal-Plagued Reunion, Says DNC
You get the drift. Nope, no bias here!

Following this pattern, here's my headline for this story:
Dean Endorses Defeat in Iraq

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's child abuse!

Some anti-american parent or teacher is encouraging children to send heinous messages to our wounded soldiers telling them to die. I wouldn't put it past these people to send cards purporting to be from children. I've heard of school teachers having their pupils compose letters to soldiers opposing the war, which I consider a firing offense, but this is really sick. This shouldn't be protected speech. Anybody who'd teach a kid to do this ought to be deported to Iran. (Note that I didn't wish them to die, since they are basically supporting the regime there.)

The Democrats should make this a big deal and condemn it categorically. Will they? Will they even tone down their own rhetoric? Don't hold your breath.

Update: Not in response to this, but Dean's latest soundbite fits right in.

On the other hand, a cruelty can bring about an outpouring of good. You can add to the flood by sending a card, letter, or some long distance calling cards to:
Joshua Sparling
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20307-5001
or calling (202)782-3501 (Walter Reed Medical Center) for some other soldiers who could use some cheering up.

More suggestions here.

Thanks, Toby

Hugh Hewitt has made Toby Keith's Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue the intro to his radio show,
Hey, Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list,
And the Statue of Liberty started shaking her fist.
And the eagle will fly and it's gonna be hell,
When you hear Mother Freedom start ringing her bell.
And it'll feel like the whole wide world is raining down on you
Brought to you courtesy of the red, white and blue.
It's rousing and Jacksonian, and I love it. Call me an old fart, but I still get a lump in my throat when I think about our men and women standing up for liberty throughout the world. I was taught patriotism at home, in grade school and Sunday School. I know how many have died defending our country and the flag that represents it. I'm for teaching the duties of service and sacrifice to our children, even in Law School.

Keep the Internet free.

PJM hosts a discussion on who should control the internet. While I favor a zoning ordinance model to let users know what neighborhood they're entering, and I recognize that there are administrative and technical function that must be done, I think that whoever does them should have no control over content. The worst thing that could happen would be to require some kind of credentials to post on the internet. Generally, I don't believe in the "right to be anonymous," because it protects a lot of criminals, but I do recognize the need in cases of whistleblowers and dissidents in countries which suppress human rights. That's basically why I find nothing wrong with the current system. Those who want to control, or what ever synonym you like, the internet, generally are interested in suppressing parts of it. No way should the U.N. or E.U be involved.

In the end each government will impose its own rules, so international laws and treaties will probably end up governing, in some cases rightfully (URL hoarding should be outlawed if the name involves an established brand or tradmark), but in most cases in violation of someone's human rights.


I'm not a particular fan of Ralph Peters, but he's right on this issue:
In place of the old healthy skepticism, we have arrogant cynicism. The highest echelons of the media and government became preserves for America's most-privileged. An Ivy League degree was the ticket to a reporting job on a major daily. And incest produced the usual ugly results.

"Mainstream" newspapers lost touch with American workers because the new breed of journalists didn't know any workers.

After journalists became matinee idols, every bright young reporter had a new career goal. Forget honest, get-at-the-facts reporting. Henceforth the crowning ambition in the field was to bring down a president — especially one who wasn't "our kind." Failing that, turning the tide of a foreign conflict against Washington would do.
The left-leaning media have helped keep the Democrat Party afloat, but at a cost of alienating most independents.

Read the Whole Thing.

Mirabile Dictu

Time's Joel Klein has a positive column about Mitt Romney's healthcare proposal in Massachusetts.

The Real John Murtha

Not only is he a major log roller, he funnels a lot of his porkbarrel spending to firms who hire his brother's lobbying firm. Heard this on Tony Snow's show and found it verfied at Riehl World View.

Murtha has gotten more than enough mileage out of his "Friend of the Troops" stance. I'm grateful that he served, but I have little respect for someone who tries to silence his critics with the Chickenhawk argument, especially when he calls our present troops broken down and worn out.

Go away. I'm tired.

The top story right now on Technorati is Dana Priest's report that the CIA held a suspected terrorist for five months without sufficient evidence.
The Masri case, with new details gleaned from interviews with current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials, offers a rare study of how pressure on the CIA to apprehend al Qaeda members after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has led in some instances to detention based on thin or speculative evidence. The case also shows how complicated it can be to correct errors in a system built and operated in secret.
Funny how it's always pressure from outside the agency that makes the CIA do terrible things, and then leak the story to somebody at the Washington Post.

OK, Dana, let's just dissolve the CIA and give all those spooks their walking papers. It doesn't sound like they've been doing us much good anyway, if their reports on Saddam's WMD are any indication. Where would reporters get all their stories about Bush's latest attack on human rights?

Who cares anymore? Let them hound Scooter Libby to hell. Valerie Plame has retired. She hasn't suffered any from having her position at the CIA compromised. She's still saddled with Joe Wilson, but she can't blame that on anybody but herself. She didn't get hammered for her nepotism. The people who have driven this whole investigation are the same ones who complained long and loud over how much money Ken Starr's investigation of the Clintons had cost. They never learn, those big city newsies.

Nothing seems to be as predictable as a scandal in a president's second term. One almost expects an investigation for the next administration that doesn't have one.

And just as predictable is the extrapolation of a single case of corruption into a condemnation of all conservatives/liberals in Washington. Here's an idea: let's cut the federal government back to the size it was in 1900. What would Ms. Priest, Mr. Kinsley and their friends do for a living? Don't their careers depend on people like Bill Clinton, Duke Cunningham and their screw ups?

Who let the crow in?

Does anybody know who Polly Toynbee is? She sounds like a prune--a sort of liberal version of the Church Lady. If she thinks anybody is going to take her word for whether to see Disney's new Narnia movie, she probably thinks a lot of other stupid things too.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The withering Democrats

Mark Steyn Nuff said.

Picture John Kerry as the Ghost of Wars Past, like Marley, returning to the modern world to warn us about Iraq. I'd say the Democrats need an exorcism.

Joe Lieberman talks sense about Iraq, but he's hardly Scoop Jackson. FDR and Truman wouldn't be welcome in this party.

When I was your age . . .

I tried to look up the term "withering fire." It is used so often, I thought it might have a technical meaning in warfare. Apparently not. I did find a poem that fails to explain it.

I had the same experience with "stumbling block." I thought it might have some archaic meaning, like "stiff necked" which I think comes from the behavior of animals resisting the yoke or harness, or kicking against the pricks.

There are so many terms I've heard all my life, that I keep wondering about now. I guess I'm getting old. Or maybe it's that I just listened to Andy Rooney.

More excerpts from my uncle's memoirs of his war service.

These are the last few days on Corregidor:
All activity of the battery was carried on under exposure to sudden attacks by the enemy. The Height Finder was put out of action twice, once repaired at the position and once taken to the Ordnance Shop for repairs. We missed no action due to this, but obtained our altitude readings from other batteries.

Heavy bombers, dive bombers, Zero fighters and enemy artillery wer besieging Corregidor during this period. Three Naval seaplanes operated at dive bombing during the period May 1 to May 6. Planes dive bombed AA three inch and 50 calibre machine gun positions daily.

Heavy bombers and dive bombers extensively bombed the small navy and army ships anchored in Caballo Bay, the majority of the craft being either sunk or severely damaged by their action before the surrender of Corregidor.. . .
Corregidor was ringed by older coast artillery batteries used to defend against Naval bombardment before the advent of
air power. My uncle's battery was set above one of these, Battery Ramsey, with anti-aircraft guns. He mentions that he was uncomfortable with the layout because one part of it was on top of the powder magazine. My uncle reports that Battery Geary's magazine was hit, but the site states that Ramsey was hit. I don't know whether this in addition to Geary or just a mistake. If Ramsey had been destroyed, it would have come later, because such an explosion would probably have killed my uncle.
On May 2, [1942,] Battery Geary, a 12 inch seacoast mortar battery was blown up by enemy artillery fire pentetrating the powder magazines. This was a tremendous explosion, which moved the heavy guns from their positions and through walls into other positions, on to up above on the golf course. The roof of the magzine was 3 feet of reinforced concrete, earthen covered. Section of this ceiling were blown great distances. One five hundred pound block of this concrete came three quarters of a mile and landed in our position, landing on a Private, a telephone operator, who was on duty in his foxhole at a gun position. He died on the way to the hospital. Another large block of this concrete, with 2 inch rod [of] reinforcing steel sticking out like spider legs, came the same distance and buried itself in the ground between our M-4 Director and Height Finder. This was a horrendous thing to watch such large heavy objects being thrown around by the blast of the magazine exploding. It gave us some idea of what would happen if Battery Ramsey magazine [immediately below his battery] were blown.

The night of May 2, 1942, three men deserted the battery--two privates and a sergeant. One year later, in prison camp, I was to learn of their fate.

One night we were in the fire control system, making repairs, when the area was suddenly and intensely shelled with an intense barrage of 240 mm guns from the enemy in Bataan. We all sought cover as best we could. One enlisted man and myself were huddled behind a concrete wall of the Quartermaster Stables. This barrage lasted about 30 to 40 minutes and was like 4th of July fireworks. Shells were landing in among us. Some shells, apparently tumbling in flight, made weird, hideous whistling noises as they passed or came in.

This was the most nerve wracking experience of the war for me, being pinned down unable to move and just waiting for the next shell to come in.. . . We stayed put and eventually endured the barrage.

On May 4th, a Private First Class was killed in a machine gun pit which he was manning, firing at dive bombers. Apparently the dive bomber at which he was firing placed a bomb directly in the machine gun pit with him. He was killed instantly. It was surprising to see a man killed by concussion, with almost all bones broken in the body and no spot of blood on him.. . .
A few days later, up early in the morning ahead of his men, he recounts,
On this morning I had been on active duty with the military one year to the day. This was the morning of the surrender of Corregidor although I did not know this yet. That morning I did not expect to see home and loved ones again. I was alone on the parapet of Ramsey making my own peace with myself and my maker and saying goodbye to loved ones at home. Later that day I did not believe there would be time for this reflection.

Immediately below, scattered through the low brush, lay the AA guns with crews sleeping on the gun platforms, fully clothed, blankets wrapped loosely around them to keep out the tropical dampness of night. At each position a soldier kept lonely watch. At the Battery Commander's station the Lieutenant was on duty, as were two men at the controls of the M-4 Director.

The still, tropical morning was broken by intermittent bursts of light cannon from the Bataan shoreline. Occasional flares of light silhouetted the towering rubber trees overhead. At the extremity of Monkey Point, sporadic rattling of machine gun and rifle fire brought back grim reality that the Japanese were on Corregidor, coming in droves from hundreds of small landing barges escheloned back into dark Manila Bay. The had built up their landing force at Cabe Cabe, 5 miles away in Bataan.

It had been five months of siege on the "rock." Bataan had fallen a month ago. Food supplies were short and ammunition low. At 4,000 yards point blank range on the Bataan shoreline, Japanese had located hundreds of field cannon. Corregidor for days had been subjected to withering artillery barrage and heavy bombing. Now there was little doubbt that the enemy had sufficient men and equipment to overwhelm the smaller, underfed, worn out defenders.

I was thinking of home, seven thousand miles away; of a wife, of a son or daughter who was probably two months old now, of a red-haired girl of six and a blond son of seven. A cablegram five months before was the last communication, when Manila fell.. . . There was no thought of surrender. Indications were that Corregidor would be a second Alamo. The relief so long awaited was not possible. Yet every day on the "rock" was held meant diversion of enemy effort away from the drive against Australia. It was imperative that Allied formce beat the Japanese to the Indies and Australia.
The last paragraph may sound trite to our postmodern age, but it is still affecting, because it's just how I would be feeling under such circumstances. This was long before we became used to blaming our leaders and seeing ourselves as victims. These men had plenty to feel bitter about. MacArthur and Roosevelt had left them and the Filipinos an impossible task of defending the islands against the Japanese as sacrifices to delay their sweep of the Pacific. We read these stories and call them "the Greatest Generation," but I doubt that my uncle would like that phrase. He would have said, like others of during those years, "We just did what we had to. The whole nation was part of that war." That spirit is still alive today in our volunteer military, but it only receives scorn from those who consider themselves intellectuals today.

I've always thought that Vietnam was lost because it was run by people who didn't believe in victory. But how can you ask a man to put himself at risk, live like a primitive and kill others for a "holding action" if you don't intend to win in the end?

Why you should quit watching CNN,

and start getting your news from people who know what they're talking about. I suppose journalists would say that Greyhawk is biased. Possibly, but he lets us know what his biases are. Matt Cooper, et al., keep trying to tell us they have none.