Saturday, April 08, 2006

Oh, I hope so!

Sy Hersh is reporting planning for military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nukes.

Wouldn't it be a major nonfeasance in office not to have something like this cooking?

And, yes, I think Mr. Hersh should be prosecuted or at least investigated, along with the NYTimes people who exposed the NSA wiretaps.

Meanwhile, Ralph Peters writes:
We pulled too many punches in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and now we're paying the price. If Tehran drags us into war, we should make the conflict so devastating and painful that even our allies are stunned.
I tend to agree, but I hope we don't have to. If we have to go to war again, we should do so in a manner that will leave no hope among the Islamists that they can regain control. War is hell, as General Sherman noted, and therefore we should wade through it and make it harsh so that it doesn't drag on.
The Russians and Chinese both see Iran as a client state, so this will not be a an easy choice.

The Culture of Corruption is Bipartisan

Now there's a Democrat being investigated for corruption. Of course, neither party is pure. Lord Acton didn't limit his famous dictum to one party. The major reason for opposing big government is that aggregations of power attract every kind of temptation the Devil has invented, and nobody is invincible. Power is can provide an aphrodesiac, an ATM, a lavish lifestyle, friends. No government should accumulate power the way ours has. Once it does, corruption and ineptitude increase, and it won't give it up easily.

Is it a leak if it's authorized?

I'd say no, but Howard Kurtz and the rest of the press seem to think it's Watergate. Their spin is that he released classified information for political reasons, just when Joe Wilson's Big Lie about Niger, yellowcake and Iraq was gaining traction. So telling the truth is now a dirty political trick? Why aren't they jumping on Joe?

What are they so fried about? The president told the world about this in his State of the Union Address in 2002 and liberals have been repeating that it was a lie ever since. When the NIE says otherwise, they act like the White House, not them, was the liar. So much for pursuing the truth.

Bush is first criticized for being too "secretive" and not "transparent" enough, so when he authorizes a leak, he's releasing "classified" information for political purposes. Maybe we should quit listening to the press. They're just too political these days.

Friday, April 07, 2006

IT WOULD BE NICE to see some immigration bill passed just to see these self-righteous popinjays get what's coming to them. The mayor of San Francisco vows that the city will not comply with any federal legislation that criminalizes efforts to help illegal immigrants.

The Sierra Club is against illegal immigration -- well, most immigration, probably. How can Californians be both defenders of their environment and continue to harbor illegals? It has to cause some cognitive dissonance.

The Department of Job Security

When the DHS proposals first came up, I thought that it would be better to have a special small corps of the best officers from FBI, CIA and other law enforcement and counterterrorist agencies reporting to the Attorney General or the president who would have access to all intelligence resources. The idea that shuffling deck chairs and adding new layers of bureaucracy didn't sound like it would work. Michelle Malkin makes that case overwhelmingly.


That term refers to a fact being treated as a scandal when it wasn't one. John Podhoretz discussed our current neo-scandal, the fact that George Bush authorized the leaking of elements of the National Intelligence Estimate. Lefties are swarming over it, which only demonstrates their hypocrisy, especially those who are journalists. It's an interesting story, how Scooter Libby gave information to Judy Miller from the NIE which contradicted Joe Wilson's contention that there was no shopping for Uranium by Iraq in Niger, and was authorized to do so by the President. The president is the one who is allowed to classify and declassify information, but his opponents seem to think that using that power to provide evidence against their scenarios is some kind of corruption.

Congresswoman McKinney & The Admiral

VDH has a precedent for people considering the assault on a Capitol Hill policeman by Rep. McKinney. It not on her side.

First, secure the borders.

Charles Krauthammer echoes Tom Friedman's phrase "High Fence and Broad Gate, sort of. I can't read the Friedman piece because the NYTimes wants to force me to buy the whole editorial page. Krauthammer is aware that amnesty is unpopular, but he says it would be harmful and politically impossible to actually round up 11 million people and dump them at the border.

I've always believed in open borders, and if we didn't have minimum wage laws and a welfare state, I don't think this would be a problem. Being LDS, I believe that this land was given to the descendants Joseph, who was sold into slavery in Egypt. I recognize that my views are non-starters politically, however. Therefore, I think that we should build a fence. We built the Interstate Highway system. How can it be harder than that? Give the money to the states along the border and let them build the wall.

I would also pass a requirement of a national ID using smart cards carrying the users identifying information, and make them as hard as possible to forge. All the countries in Europe require you to carry a passport and show it upon request. Why privacy nuts oppose this is beyond me. There is nothing in the Constitution that entitles anyone to be anonymous. We need a quick, easy way to identify ourselves to others.

As for dealing with those who are already here, I'm not sure what to do. 12 to 20 million is a lot of people. I would rather insist on Mexico getting its act together, so that its people don't see America as their only way to get ahead. If you use an electrical metaphor, there are a whole lot of electrons south of the border and many positive ions on the north. The result is a current of electrons, determined by the resistance between them and the North. We need a better insulator to control this short circuit.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Gospel of Judas

A codex dating to about 300 A.D. has been discovered. It's in Coptic and it's Gnostic, claiming that Jesus told Judas he should sell him out to his enemies and that "you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me."

It's apparently been authenticated as being an ancient document, but that doesn't mean it's true. It's obviously written to provide support to the Gnostic doctrine that Jesus was not a human, but a spirit appearing in the form of a man, or occupying the material body of man. They believed that the body Jesus occupied was crucified, but that Jesus himself was not killed.

There were a bunch of these "secret" documents written and circulated among Christians in the post-apostolic period as people with various philosophies attempted to attract supporters. These were the "grievous wolves" Paul mentions in Acts 20:
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
The New Testament is full of warnings of this sort and admonitions to communities of Christians against the false teachers who have been sowing false ideas among them. Ultimately, the apostates gained control and the church lost leaders who had the gift of prophecy, the apostles who had led them. They knew there would be a falling away, but they also knew that there would be a restoration of the true church in the future before the Second Coming, with the true organization and the true authority from God.

Update: The WaPo has a better report.

Bring it on!

said yesterday that the 2006 midterm elections would be a referendum on President Bush and expressed optimism that Democrats could make substantial gains this November.

Note to weak-kneed Republicans: Stick with the guy who brung you. Stand up and be proud of what the President has accomplished and remind people of the consequences of letting the likes of Jack Murtha decide what to do next.

Mark Steyn: You don't have a real legislature if the legislators don't have to obey the same laws as everybody else.

Cynthia McKinney has "apologized" to the House of Representatives in such a way as to deny that she did anything wrong. It's "I regret that the incident happened," kind of apology. It's the mirror image of racism to claim, as she has, that she was singled out for being black. How she keeps getting elected is a mystery to me. If I were black, I'd hate the image of my people being created by Jesse Jackson, Al "Kingfish" Sharpton and Cynthia McKinney. I'd be disgusted by the radical claims by Harry Belafonte and Julian Bond. How can you expect to ever be respected and accepted when you've always got a chip on your shoulder and see racism at work in every incident.

Governor Bill Owens of Colorado recounted an incident that occurred in Russia when he was leading tours there for legislators. Ms. McKinney was in one group, and told Pravda that she had never felt so free as she did being in the Soviet Union. When the other members of the tour group admonished her, she accused them of racism.

When people seem unfriendly it isn't always because of your race. Maybe it's your personality. Think of black Americans like Shaun Alexander, Tiki Barber or Lynn Swann. I don't know anybody who doesn't like and admire them.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Jonathan Gurwitz is the best columnist I haven't been reading. Go read him. His piece today is about peace activists who slander our military and excuse terrorists in pursuit of a mirage.

Liberal Wishful Thinking

The Carpet Bagger claims "Feingold is helping to redefine the political 'mainstrean'"

Feingold is famous for the McCain-Feingold Bill, his motion to censure Bush for exercising his Constitutional powers and now for saying that "bans on same-sex marriages have no place in the nation's laws."

If those become mainstream, the river must be thirty feet over flood stage.

Elect Mitt Romney in '08

Mitt Romney's health care plan sounds pretty . . . , well, Mormon. As Edmund Haislmaier describes it, it could have come from Mormon Scripture:
Having first proposed the creation of more and better health-insurance choices and more rational and efficient subsidies, Romney essentially says, "You will be free to choose, but your choices will have consequences."

A conference committee of the Massachusetts legislature is now hammering out the details of the final legislation. Given that Massachusetts has a legislature in which Democrats outnumber Republicans by about five to one, the fact that Romney's proposal has gotten this far is itself a testament to the power of good ideas — as well as to the political skills of one particular governor and his team.

Fake Sincerity

If Katie Couric is so sad about leaving her 'family' at NBC, as she emoted this morning, why is she doing it? I didn't watch Rather. I won't watch Katie, and I don't think she's going to help CBS news' ratings.

I'll just say this about Trent Lott

I'm getting damn tired of his porkbarrel spending and whining from the people who chose to live in Hurricane Territory. They have been nothing but trouble ever since Katrina.

We'll save Australia. Don't want to hurt no kangaroo!

The 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist wants human population cut by 90%. It sounds like the scenario in Terry Gilliam's excellent film 12 Monkeys, but he's serious. Dr. Eric Pianka in his acceptance speech, stated that human beings are a threat to all life on earth and advocated a world-wide pandemic of ebola as a solution. He received a standing ovation.

Update: I found this and this about Bianka, but little other comentary in the blogosphere.

The madness is complete

Richard Cohen explains his newfound belief that Bush Lied with a nonsequitur. He claims to have doubted the Bush lied meme until he heard the President, responding to Helen Thomas' accusation, deny that he wanted war when he came into office. With that, says Cohen, the last blue-state skeptic folded.

He cites as evidence Richard Clarke's claim that after 9/11, Bush wanted evidence that Saddam was involved. And Richard Clarke is an honorable man. Bob Woodward claims that Bush was fixated on Iraq.

Whether true or not, these reports assume that Iraq was not a logical target once we had overthrown the Taliban. But they ignore the facts that Saddam had been firing missiles at our plains patrolling the no-fly zones regularly ever since those zones were established to prevent Saddam from killing more of his Kurdish and Marsh Arab populations. If this were going to be a confrontation with terrorist-supporting states, where would we start? I've thought about that, and Iraq was the prime candidate. We believed that Saddam had stockpiles of biological WMD; that he was dangerous, and was supplying people like Zarqawi with weapons like ricin, and we knew he would be easier to defeat quickly. We had allies in the area because we had driven him out of Kuwait 12 years earlier. Would these states have supported an invasion of Syria? Could we have taken Iran? It's a bigger country, much harder to occupy. I think that Iraq was a natural choice because we could deliver an oppressed people and rid the world of a truly evil criminal and threat. Certainly none of his neighbors were likely to come to his rescue. He'd attacked two of them and was about due for a third.

Can you say "base closings"?

Activists are seeking to outlaw military recruiting in Seattle.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Politics and global warming.

Could it be that the left is more interested in using global warming as a club to beat Republicans with than in really taking it seriously? They know that stifling our economy to please the Kyoto crowd is a political non-starter, but if you can use it against Bush, who cares?

Hard to be civil

The discussion at Gay Patriot (via Instapundit) about civility in comments on blogs, was called to mind by Dennis Prager's piece alleging that "Liberals hate conservatives far more than conservatives hate liberals." That in turn reminds me of Charles Krauthammer's maxim that "Conservatives think that liberals are stupid, while liberals think that conservatives are evil."

I began to wonder how ad hominem my commenting is. I post a lot through blogging, letters to the editor and posts on other blog's comments or forums. I guess it's natural to draw conclusions about other people's intellect or mental stability when you see them repeat obvious lies and myths to justify their opinions. But when their version of factual arguments is to call Bush a chimp or a Nazi, it's pretty hard to credit them with critical reasoning skills. Telling them they're crazy is not quite the same as the kind of vicious personal attacks, profanity and accusations we see routinely. Sure, there are conservatives who give as bad as they get, but generally they seem to have reasons to disagree and focus on them, rather than merely spitting venom. I hope that I can keep my arguments civil, but there are some people who just arouse my contempt. I don't swear or curse very often, but I don't suffer fools gladly, either.

The Boob Tube Boobs

This story of a plan by NBC news to bait a racial incident at a NASCAR event sounds like a hoax to me. We'll see, but if it's true it will called off now.

Never forget.

Ed Driscoll has a great post about Hollywood and 9/11. I think the people who aren't ready to revisit the shock they felt seeing those planes hit the towers, are those who have returned to their cocoons and convinced themselves that fighting back is the wrong move. Their religio-politics don't have a scenario for dealing with people who hate us for nothing more than our success. They think we earned this hatred and that all we have to do is show our good faith by not responding to their attacks and everything will be fine and we can go back to trying to make everybody but them equal. It's the liberal blue pill.

When the going gets tough

the The NYTimes goes into denial:
The Mexican-American border is not now and never has been out of control. The rate of undocumented migration, adjusted for population growth, to the United States has not increased in 20 years. That is, from 1980 to 2004 the annual likelihood that a Mexican will make his first illegal trip to the United States has remained at about 1 in 100.
If the Democrats are counting on this point, they're dumber than I thought.


Peter Wehner has a response to Messrs. Buckley, Will and Fukuyama. It's the wrong time to lose our nerve. When Bill Buckley goes wobbly, you have to wonder if conservatism has run its course. If it has, cancel my NR subscription. I'll find somebody I respect.

The people who focus on the deficit and ignore the consequences of bailing out on the Iraqis are willing ot throw away our future as the last best hope of Earth.

Lizza's Beltway Fantasy,

David Sirota:
Dems '06: "We're Out of Touch As Hell, And Not Going To Take It Anymore"
Yep, they're tough and strong and they'll capture bin Laden. Reid and Pelosi said so.

What do they really want?

Efraim Karsh examines the imperial goals of radical Muslims. They're dreaming of the golden age when Arabs ruled the Mediterranean and the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. This has about as much to do with religion as the Soviet Union had with human rights. They want a war, because they think we'll just keep backing down.

Another illegal immigration proposal

Debra Saunders has a proposal for providing illegals a pathway to legal status:
All they have to do is pass a law that allows for that legal pathway only after the number of illegal immigrants shrinks in America from some 12 million today to 8 million, or another number that represents a true reduction in illegal immigrants.
Here's my question. If they can count the illegal aliens, why can't they pick them up and deport them.

Demagoguery beats data -- Dick Armey

Thomas Sowell quotes Mr. Armey as he decries the lack of factual support for liberal proposals. It certainly doesn't take much for many people to accept memes as facts if they fit their politics. Hence, all the lefties who call Bush a dope addict, think there hasn't been any progress in Iraq, or think Bush just made up the WMD.

You run without Bush, You lose.

Just watched the Bush Was Right video. They should pipe that into the campaign headquarters of every Republican running for Congress this fall. Maybe the voters going to their rallies should start chanting it.

Not without honor

Thank the Lord for Bill Cosby. He reminds me of Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, who was a great hero to liberals until he came here and began testifying to their sins. African-Americans in this country would do well to learn at his feet. He's a modern prophet, speaking truth to the powers of their community.

It ain't necessarily so.

Just heard John Eastman on Bill Bennett's radio show. and had my eyes opened about the understanding I've had forever that all persons born in this country are automatically citizens. That may be a false assumption. It's a matter of history and a case of a child of Chinese parents who were in the U.S. legally, where it was held that he was a citizen by reason of being born here. Eastman says that there has never been a case testing the proposition that children born here to illegal aliens are citizens. This is an important question, and one that most Americans don't know exists. This would seem to be a propitious time to test it, either through legislation or litigation.

Julie O. blogs about this. I'm not sure if I agree with her conclusions, but she does a good job of providing the background on the issue.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Right, Right, Right!

Bush was right! should be the Republican anthem this year. Republicans should quit worrying about the polls and stand up and fight for the President's policies. We have been lulled into believing that the war in Iraq is a huge failure, but the facts don't support that. If it did nothing more than rid the world of Saddam and put an end to Libya's nuke program, it would be worth it. But there's much more success than that, but it could all be lost if we bail out at this point because our news media don't support it.

Stay the Course

Instapundit links to this column on StrategyPage. I wish every American could read and understand it. It might make them realize that what Bush has said from the beginning is true--this is going to be a long struggle and it is essential that we have the resolve and determination to stay there until Iraq has a decent government and can defend itself. It took us forty-five years to win the Cold War and we're not all the way there yet. Terrorism could take just as long.

No wonder they're non-profit

From the Boston Globe a series on Charitable foundations:
* A gilded retirement package for the head of The William T. Morris Foundation of New York. The foundation more than tripled its president's compensation to more than $900,000 between 1997 and 2001. An $88,000-a-year foundation employee also doubles as a driver for the president, who is 86 and semiretired.

* The Hocker Foundation of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., which wrote just three grants over four years, a total of $265,000 that all went to one charity, a hospital. During the same four years, the trustee, who lists himself as a full-time employee, was paid $580,000. He also violated rules governing private foundations when he took a personal loan from the foundation for $200,000, which he repaid.

* A San Francisco-area foundation, Franklin Holding Corp., paid its chairman $3.5 million in 1998. That year, its charitable donations amounted to just $1.6 million, all of that donated to a hospital.
And this is how they avoid inheritance tax. If I were a billionaire and wanted to pass my fortune to my kids without the tax, I'd create a 501(c)(3) and make them the officers.

At least they're consistent

Michael Barone:
I remember a conversation I had with a broadcast news executive many years ago.

"Doesn't the fact that 90 percent of your people are Democrats affect your work product?" I asked.

"Oh, no, no," he said. "Our people are professional. They have standards of objectivity and professionalism, so that their own views don't affect the news."

"So what you're saying," I said, "is that your work product would be identical if 90 percent of your people were Republicans."

He quickly replied, "No, then it would be biased."
Earlier I said I didn't know what "professionalism" means to the Monitor. I think I'm beginning to, now.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Local News

I live in Emery County, Utah. Last year our legislature passed a law requiring that all counties use computerized voting machines, but our county clerk, Bruce Funk, is having none of it. The details of his earlier mistrust aren't clear. He may have been reading too much about voting machine problems that are being driven on the internet by groups like Black Box Voting. Anyway, the comissioners made it clear that they have no way to ignore state law and ordered the machines.

When they arrived, Funk took it upon himself to have some outside "experts" come and check out the machines, in consulation with Black Box. He opened the machines and had the county's IT man make some changes and delete some data on the hard drives. Now it's going to cost $40,000 to have them recertified by Diebold.

The story has become a soap-opera, with the clerk resigning and then demanding to withdraw his resignation.

Black Box is portraying Funk as a brave fighter for fair elections, but he more like a conspiracy theorist. But Black Box has promoted the story and it's getting comments from all kinds of activist and lefty websites.

Here's a report from Thursday.

My opinion is that Funk is either paranoid about the machines or he's got some other reason to hang on to the old system. He's made threats against other officials that he could get them out of office. Maybe this explains how he would do it. He likes to portray himself a nothing but a conscientious servant of the people, but he's got a reputation for pulling strings behind the scenes to get things done the way he wants to. His behavior here demonstrates how he seems to think he's entitled to make policy for the county. He's done this by coaching the commissioners, telling them he has more authority than he has, and now by blatantly violating state law. Is it criminal? I don't know, but he certainly doesn't sound like he's likely to work with the machines. If I were a commissioner, I'd want him totally isolated from the voting this year. The other day, he was quoted in the paper as saying, " "They can go through and recertify them. I'm still a person who has access to them the next day."

Ban Jihad

Mark Steyn thinks the sinking support for the war is due to the fawning by politicians toward Islam. Possibly. If I get his point, he's saying that Americans are getting fed up with the idea that most Muslims are peaceful. We haven't really seen very many of them, so how do we know that the Iraqis, who can't seem to form a government, won't turn into jihadis as soon as we're out of the country?

I support the war and I think it's gone quite well, despite the current hold-up. The idea of polticial diversity and regional compromise is obviously foreign to them, and will take some time for them to figure out. Yet, Arabs have a strong affinity for mediation, because Islam gives a lot of emphasis to peacemaking. They may get in bloody feuds, but there is always some Shaykh who will try to enhance his status by negotiating peace between the feuding parties. Mohammed was famed for being a mediator.

I think it would help if Bush and a number of judges were to announce that our respect and tolerance for religious beliefs ends with things like jihad. Any Muslim cleric urging jihad, without making clear that he means inner struggle with one's desires, will be deported. We made the right moves up to now, but giving a pass to creeps like Muqtad al Sadr is a step backward. We have to make a clear statement that
advocating jihad is verboten.

A Ken Doll for the Boys

Here from a Japanese tv trade show in Tokyo.