Saturday, April 29, 2006

Turn and fight!

David Gelernter puts it perfectly:
Not many nations get a second chance to show the world and themselves that they are serious after all, that their friends can trust them and their enemies ought to fear them. There is no way we can atone for the blood and death we inflicted (indirectly) on South Vietnam by abandoning it to Communist tyranny. That failure can never be put right. But we can make clear that "No More Vietnams" is a Republican slogan. It means that we will never again go back on our word and betray our friends, our soldiers, and ourselves.
The anti-war crowd doesn't think anything is worth dying or sacrificing for, certainly not when you could be putting the money into more social entitlements. I find that kind of thinking extremely shallow and narcissistic. Nations and cultures should be more than what Pre-Thatcher Britain had become or what Germany and France are today. America is too important an idea to be piddled away like that.

I hate how we let down the South Vietnamese, both in the way we fought without trying to win freedom for their brethren in the North, and in the way we abandoned them when the North broke the peace. We will be even more dishonorable if we do the same to Iraq, after building their hopes, or abandoning Israel because we've become too self-absorbed to remember the lessons of 1938. We have a noble and inspiring history that we seem to be allowing to slip down the memory hole. Our childish reactions to gasoline prices is typical of what shames us. We live lives so far above those of 90% of humanity and we act like we're being picked on because we have to pay half of what Europeans do for fuel.

I wish President Bush and the Republicans would cry shame on those whining about Big Oil profits and bitching about having to pay more. What a bunch of pansies! Why do Americans think we have more of a right to live like we do than Europeans or Chinese, or Indians? Why do we think we're all entitled to get straight A's without effort, or to be free without defending it?

Are you listening, Tony? Hugh? Glenn?

I'm all for porkbusters, but right now I think that's only a miniscule part of our problems. We need to wake up and look at our pampered lives and remember how we got here, not because of FDR and the New Deal, but because our parents and grandparents heard his call to shun fear and stand up against the enemies of their time.

We think we want our children to have it better than we did, but when it comes to our Social Security COLAs and Medical Insurance, how much are we leaving them for their own families? Past generations gave all they had so that their children could have better. What have we given, really?

Our troops are volunteers, but instead of honoring their courange and valiance, people who aren't sacrificing anything are acting like each loss is worthless, and tarring them all with the excesses of a few, just as we did during Vietnam.

At the opening of his show, Hugh Hewitt, plays clips of Churchill's greatest oratory, along with that of FDR, JFK, Ronald Reagan and George Bush's best speeches, and even Aragorn's heroic speech to his men before the gates of Mordor. He ought to add some clips from United 93, and Mark Whittington's review:
It was Thermopylae. It was the Alamo. It was like nothing that has happened before in human history.

Much of the power of United 93 is the knowledge that while people cannot realisticly imagine themselves with the Spartans at Thermopylae or the Texans at the Alamo, just about everyone has flown in an air liner. Everyone seeing this film can imagine themselves among those brave but doomed passengers, fighting with the courage of desperation for the right to get home alive.. . .

Every human being should see this film. It is a testiment to the human spirit, of an indomitable desire, even in the face of death, to not go quietly into that good night.
Those people knew they were doomed, but they also knew that if they didn't do something the horror of that day could be so much greater. They had a slim chance of winning back control from the terrorists, but even if they couldn't, they determined that their lives would not be lost in vain. None of us has to face that stark choice, but we're facing a challenge from Iran that will test our resolve and we still have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we have been worthy of being called the countrymen of the passengers United 93. Or are we just too upset over the price of gas?

Is this the shakeout?

Donald Sensing seems to think that consolidation of blogs is the future. I guess that's true, if you're doing it for the ad revenue. It certainly relieves the pressure to come up with polished posts several times a day or week.

I don't read WOC all that often, though, because its posts are so long, and I usually don't need the degree of argument they contain. This is probably a good thing for Sensing, whose style has always fit this kind of thing. People who put a lot of time into their posts do well in group blogs.

I'm always amazed at the amount of output from Instapundit, considering all of Glenn's other interests, but that's what makes him popular, his breadth and brevity.

The quality and amount of stuff one can learn on Powerline is impressive, too; and I don't know how Ed Morrissey does it.

I do know how James Lileks does it, and also why, but there aren't many who have the talent to match his output and quality. He's not likely to be signing on any co-bleaters, however, until Gnat is old enough to post.

I'm arthritic and arterially challenged, so I'll just putter along with the knowledge that this blog will be the only kind of journal I'll ever write. The format keeps me from writing about depression, which is not what I want to leave behind.

I've thought about writing more about religion, but I realize that I'm a bore on that as much as I am on politics. I hope that I can at least preserve a little wit and humor about life, even if it often reads like incipient senility. Thank goodness for Blogger. If I had to depend on advertising, I be stuck with paper and pencil and I'd probably burn everything.

Stop the profanity!

I dislike Bill O'Reilly, too, but I don't let him ruin my day. Chuck Schumer, is another case, however. If O'Reilly were a senator, I'd have to review my position.

Weird Radio

Driving home today, I heard Paul Von Ward being interviewed on a talk show about his book, Gods, Genes and Consciousness which sounds more moronic than Erich von Däniken. I was suprised that the book has a 4.5 reader rating on Amazon. I wonder if Mr. Ward will be founding a church next.

The gasoline panic

I have contempt for the Democrats' response to the high oil prices, but I'm not surprised. I'm dismayed and disgusted with the Republicans, though. They know better, and they have a very good case for blaming this on the resistance to building new refinery capacity and developing more domestic capacity. Bush could have done more, sure, but he's also had a war to run. Somebody on the right, besides talk radio and bloggers, needs to come out as an honest voice for economic reality. I want somebody to say, "How is adding taxes on oil companies going to increase the supply of oil?" and to point out the realities of the alternatives right now. It's apparent that Republicans have surrendered on most of the issues already and are trying to pretend they're just liberal light.

Feeling old.

My younger son graduated with a degree in Nutrition yesterday, and moves to Illinois next month to start on a PhD/MD program. My older son is at Harvard working on his own PhD after making his fortune working for a few years at Yahoo!. He's directing at choral group performing a piece with 24 parts. He's big in Baroque choral music, and really good at nearly everything else. It's amazing to see your children soaring like this, and humbling, too. It's made me appreciate their mother a lot more.

Son 2 and wife are having a baby in August or September. I've been going through Grandpa envy for about 10 years, so it will be pretty neat, but frustrating that they'll be living six states away.

Still, I have a lot to be thankful for, my family has turned out far better than I had any right to expect.

Rush's arrest

Unlike Hugh Hewitt, I don't see anything all that sinister in Limbaugh's having to do the perp walk. I'm sure he's repentant, and I don't judge him, but I also believe that real repentance entails willingness to suffer the consequences. I think better of him for enduring it with dignity.

NBC trying to cash in on losing Katie

How many "Today" viewers are there who can't find the CBS evening news?

I never found Couric very "perky." The first thing I noticed was her tobacco soaked vocal cords. So much for the girl-next-door image. Then I saw the clip repeatedly of her wink-wink-nudge-nudge interview with Hillary!® about what she was really thinking when she saw Bill's "long fingers." Gravitas, indeed.

Did the chimps have a stripper pole?

Pamela Anderson, columnist.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Will Schumer support a break up of Ted Kennedy?

This story is an old favorite of mine. Environmentalists always promote alternate energy that hasn't been developed on a large scale, until it begins to be developed and they find it's a blight on the landscape. Wind turbines are not cost effective but they're being subsidized all over the country. What I realized from the ones I've seen is that they really harm wilderness values. They have to have service roads and powerlines to connect them to the grid, and they're often located on skylines because that's where the wind is.

When they get their way, the greens will find that the reality isn't as rosy as their predictions. Whatever we do, it's going to effect the planet somehow. Wind turbines slow down wind by taking energy from it. If we had enough of them to really take over from coal and oil, would it affect the climate patterns? The early adopter wind farms have killed a lot of birds, but I don't know how the giant ones would effect wildlife or migration patterns.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The gas pains are overrated.

Daniel Drezner shows how silly we're being about gas prices. We don't squawk nearly as much when other commodities spike, so why do we expect the government to rush in and derail the market when it comes to gasoline.

Get us out. Now.

George Russell and Claudia Rosett report yet another reason for getting out of the U.N. and investigating and prosecuting whoever sold "the U.N.’s rare and much-admired collection of materials that belong to the United Nations Postal Administration" without authorization and without public bidding for $3,000,000 plus, but probably worth many times that much.

Crime, by any other name, is still crime

Bill Keller again illustrates the basic cluelessness of the MSM:
Whatever the reason, I worry that we're not as worried as we should be. No president likes reporters sniffing after his secrets, but most come to realize that accountability is the price of power in our democracy. Some officials in this administration, and their more vociferous cheerleaders, seem to have a special animus towards reporters doing their jobs. There's sometimes a vindictive tone in way they talk about dragging reporters before grand juries and in the hints that reporters who look too hard into the public's business risk being branded traitors. I don't know how far action will follow rhetoric, but some days it sounds like the administration is declaring war at home on the values they profess to be promoting abroad. [Emphasis added]
What about the vindictive tone in the press who declare themselves adversaries of power? We elect people and trust them to make decisions, secretly if needed. We don't elect journalists to violate secrecy when it has nothing to do with political corruption, as in Watergate or the Pentagon Papers. Only the brain-damaged media fail to see why keeping the secrecy of the wiretaps of Al Qaeda phone calls is important for National Security. They have the right to comment, but not the right to do acts which would be illegal for anyone else.

President Bush respects the press, but they don't return the favor. He knows that a free press is necessary to a democracy, but they don't seem to understand that freedom entails responsibility, and when you are irresponsible, consequences follow. I think it's time that someone taught them.

We're not talking about ordinary crime here. We don't apply the same rules to war and spying on our national enemies. If journalists can't understand that, they should be given a long time in prison to try to figure it out. I would argue that the NYTimes ought to be put out of business and those involved in publishing the NSA wiretap story imprisoned. Let the employees find other jobs.

The Pain that Nobody Sees

The NYTimes editorializes that the method of lethal injections used by Florida is cruel and painful and therefore unconstitutional:
In a "friend of the court" brief, Physicians for Human Rights warned that if the chemicals weren't used correctly, they could "cause an inmate to suffocate, while consciously experiencing the blinding pain of" a coronary arrest. Meanwhile, it said, "onlookers believe him to be unconscious and insensitive to any pain."
The problem with all this is that the people making the argument believe that the death penalty is itself unconstitutional. So what difference does their opinion make about how it's administered? The pain they discuss is hypothetical, since there are no signs to the witnesses that it's happening. It could be argued that just the prospect of death is too horrifying to be considered constitutional, but that is obviously not what the drafters of the Constitution had in mind. They were talking about torture and grisly procedures like drawing and quartering, prolonging the suffering of the prisoner, etc.

Furthermore, the Constitution prohibits "cruel and unusual" punishment, not all cruel punishment. How would it be punishment without some kind of suffering? The whole idea of punishment requires some unpleasantness, such as denial of free movement, and the sense of justice that everybody is born with dictates that the punishment should approach the seriousness of the crime. The fact that we bend over backward to avoid mistakes and that murderers can drag out their punishment by so many years offends that sense of justice, which is the primary reason for having criminal courts in the first place. The procedure was devised to be painless, but if it isn't, tough. That's why it's call punishment.

A Cabal

The Wall Street Journal:
[The Mary McCarthy scandal] would appear to be only the latest example of the unseemly symbiosis between elements of the press corps and a cabal of partisan bureaucrats at the CIA and elsewhere in the "intelligence community" who have been trying to undermine the Bush Presidency.
Lest you think that's a good thing, remember J. Edgar Hoover. A rogue agency works against democracy.

All the attacks on Bush and the war are based on the fact that he relied on bad intelligence supplied by the people who are now working to undermine him. It was the same intel that Clinton had. Now that it's shown to be wrong, they want to blame him for believing them.

For the CIA to become a fire hydrant of leaks is some of the worst corruption we can have after 9/11. Iran isn't going away, just because we have a bunch of jealous partisans who don't want to fight unless they're giving the orders. Some of these people seem more interested in shifting blame and setting policy than in doing their jobs.

And the media come in for their share of blame, as well:
As for some of our media colleagues, when they stop being honest chroniclers of events and start getting into bed with bureaucrats looking to take down elected political leaders, they shouldn't be surprised if those leaders treat them like the partisans they have become.
I've always thought the media had a liberal bias, but the past 6 or 7 years it has become more than that. It's an open hostility and arrogance that will speed their financial decline as people find other sources they can trust.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Yes, it's true.

Washington is run by idiots and knaves. What else is new? If we had the government we deserve, we'd have Kelly Clarkson as president.

That's really the only comfort I have watching the news these days. We get what we elect.

News Flash!

Tony Snow, who's been talking about the offer on his radio show for the past week, will replace The Sta-Puft Marshmallow man as White House Press Secretary.

I first wondered if he wasn't too nice for this job. That seemed to be Scott McClellan's problem. He just stood there and took the punches while repeating the same things over and over. I'd have pulled David Gregory's credentials a long time ago.

I do think that Snow looks good and has presence that none of the reporters can match. And I know he's smart and able to present and argue for the president's positions. I don't think he'll satisfy the hounds in the press corps, but he might be able to shut them up, if he's good with a whip and chair. Personally, I'd quit doing press briefing altogether and let them whine.

Pray for Bush

Tom Maquire posts about the "Blame Bush" syndrome. I wrote in the comments:
For supposedly the most powerful man on the planet, the president doesn't seem to have very much real power. He can't fire anybody except the people he doesn't want to. He can't keep anything secret. The media all despise and abuse him, and now our allies don't trust him. The Congress are running around like scared chickens, and he can't get any bills passed even when everyone agrees they're needed. He goes out of his way to avoid personal conflicts and all he gets is abuse and criticism for not responding in kind.

Why does anybody expect him to be able to prevent stuff like this? When has he ever said that he approved of shocking people through their testicles? And, if he did, why should we think anybody would listen to him.

Like he said yesterday when somebody asked him if he knew any illegal aliens, "I don't think so. I don't think I've hired any, or you would have read about it in the news."

It's really true. He's blamed for high gas prices, for damaging the environment, for Enron and Jack Abramoff, for illegal immigration and so on. I look at him and see a guy who has values pretty much like mine, who tries to live his religion and fulfill his oath of office, who's efficient and hardworking, and who has a leaden tongue. I ask what he's done to deserve all this, and all I can see is that he won a close election.

We are living in a very dangerous time, but we seem more interested in playing gotcha and investigating who leaked Valerie Plame's name than in confronting real danger.

Damned either way

I don't think Bush's talk about alternative fuels is honest, but our media almost force polticians to be disingenuous. They've driven Bush's political support so low that he'd be a fool to be candid. The press don't interview the people who understand the economics, nor apparently do newspapers publish their letters.

I know that Cheney and Bush both understand what's really going on, but to say it is to invite a lynch mob. They're both being pressured by the cowards in the Congress who think that the way to win votes is to tell people what they want to hear.

I don't like it, but I understand it. It's pretty discouraging.

Do we still need Freedom of the Press?

Leaking is bad for national security and those who do it and those who publish leaks of classified info should be prosecuted.

But what does the practice tell you about the honesty of the press, who proclaim that they are "speaking truth to power," when the "truth" comes from disgruntled government employees? Here are the nine core principles of journalists:
1. Journalism's first obligation is to the truth

2. Its first loyalty is to citizens.

3. Its essence is a discipline of verification.

4. Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover

5. It must serve as an independent monitor of power.

6. It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.

7. It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.

8. It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.

9. Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.
Every journalist must have a personal sense of ethics and responsibility--a moral compass. Each of us must be willing, if fairness and accuracy require, to voice differences with our colleagues, whether in the newsroom or the executive suite. News organizations do well to nurture this independence by encouraging individuals to speak their minds. This stimulates the intellectual diversity necessary to understand and accurately cover an increasingly diverse society. It is this diversity of minds and voices, not just numbers, that matters.
Now consider the case of Dana Priest's protection of Mary McCarthy by granting her confidentiality while also claiming that she's not a source.

How do you verify or check the truth of a leak about black-site prisons in Eastern Europe? How is reporting classified information serving the citizenry? It basically substitutes the judgement of an editor and reporters for that of the elected representatives of the people. And how does reporting only for liberals show loyalty to the citizens? It ignores and insults a huge market, which is not even good business.

How is it independent when 90% of those delivering news belong to the same opinion group?

And when the media have become powers unto themselves, who will monitor them? When they're criticised or challenged, they get haughtly and dismissive. They talk about truth and providing "context," which usually means spin, but they ignore facts they don't like, which is why they hate talk radio hosts, conservative papers and Fox News.

The only reasonable conclusions is that the press doesn't believe or obey its own principles and has become a rogue rival to government.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A pox on both your parties!

Mark Steyn talks tough to the GOP Congress, recounting the lame excuse that they're not used to being in the majority.
Newt said, well, you must remember Republicans are still pretty new at this, we're not used to being in the majority.

That's it? The Iraqis are expected to pick up the ins and outs of this governing business instantly, but the Republican party can't get the hang of it after eleven years? Don't worry, I'm not predicting electoral disaster this November. It would be nice to think that the GOP might get to enjoy a Geena Davis-style "hiatus" while they "retune" their winning formula. But I doubt it will happen: Even losers need someone to lose to, and the Democrats have failed to fulfill even that minimal requirement for the last decade.

And the Democrats do not escape:
The Democrats have been the most contemptible opportunists in the years since 9/11: If they've got nothing useful to contribute to the great challenge of the age they could at least have the decency not to waste our time waving around three-year-old Abu Ghraib pictures and chanting "exit strategy" every ten minutes.
Harry Reid's "leadership" seems to consist of killing important legislation on the theory that it won't give the Republicans an accomplishment to run on. It's as though it's never entered his head to put the nation's interests ahead of his party's.

I'll trudge to the polls this year and vote, although I doubt it will change anything, because President Bush doesn't need even more problems, but it's been a long time since I really respected or admired anybody on the national ballot.

The lesser of two evils.

Rich Lowry says that if the GOP loses Congress, it will have been richly deserved.
On top of all this, they are running pell-mell from Bush with no or little purpose beyond pure panic, when Bush is more actually more popular than they are (Bush's approval is at 33%, Congress' at 25%; Bush's approval rating is 66% among Republicans, Congress' is at 28%). So tell me: Which end of Pennsylvania Avenue is most in need of a shake-up?
The only reason Republicans have for going to the polls this year is to prevent a bunch of impeachment Democrats from taking over.

What happens when you elect terrorists.

You get more terror.

Got fear?

David Warren takes on the liberal myth that we rushed to war and that we should wait and see with Iran.
One of the common, or "plausible" fallacies of the post-modern mind is that we should never act immediately on a provocation. We should instead wait until we have calmed down, for that is when we will have a clearer view. This fallacy was expressed even in the first days after the terror strikes of Sept. 11th, 2001. Our Left argued that, before thinking about a response, we must first get answers to such essay questions as, "Why do they hate us?" We must "address the root causes of terrorism," and so forth.
Actually, the war in Iraq was an affirmative effort to "address the root causes of terrorism" by giving Arabs hope for democracy and a modern economy.

The point of Warren's piece, however, is that 9/11 occurred because the Clinton administration dithered, and failed to do anything serious about Al Qaeda's increasingly lethal attacks. He says that we're not facing a larger threat from Iran:
But if Iran can continue to exploit American diplomatic weaknesses, by keeping the confrontation in the diplomatic arena, the ayatollahs can raise the stakes much higher. They could, in an easily foreseeable future, use nuclear blackmail in combination with an oil embargo -- and with the cooperation, subtle or overt, of Russia, China, a post-Saudi Arabia, perhaps a client Iraq, and Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.

Such a challenge could bring about the sort of "new world order", compared to which a few million casualties might seem a lucky break. It would create an order in which North America, Western Europe, and Japan, were deprived of the use of high technology, by the loss of the fuel to move goods around; and likewise deprived of the food supplies that require oil at every stage of production and distribution. All the cards of power would be suddenly transferred from the bourgeois democracies to the planet's most ruthless dictatorships.

Look into the eyes of an Ahmadinejad, or a President Hu Jintao (currently tightening controls at all levels of Chinese society, in direct response to the perceived weakness of the West), and ask yourself whether you wouldn't prefer to be ruled by men like Bush, Blair, Harper. The reader who is tempted to answer, "What's the difference?" may live to find out.

Dr. Feel-good

Tom Friedman get the prize for the most fatuous column of the day. It's a rah-rah piece for "do it in the dark," a new movement among college students to reduce CO2 emissions, initiated for Earth Day. All this is a way to raise one's sense of self-righteousness, without really doing anything to change anything.

George Bush, dissident

He certainly seems to be one as far as most of Washington is concerned, with all his talk of good and evil.

Natan Sharansky:
In a democracy, a leader's lifeline is the electorate's pulse. Failure to be in tune with public sentiment can cripple any administration and undermine any political agenda. Moreover, democratic leaders, for whom compromise is critical to effective governance, hardly ever see any issue in Manichaean terms. In their world, nearly everything is colored in shades of gray.

That is why President George W. Bush is such an exception. He is a man fired by a deep belief in the universal appeal of freedom, its transformative power, and its critical connection to international peace and stability. Even the fiercest critics of these ideas would surely admit that Mr. Bush has championed them both before and after his re-election, both when he was riding high in the polls and now that his popularity has plummeted, when criticism has come from longstanding opponents and from erstwhile supporters.


Best of the Web has excellent analysis today pointing out the egregious state of the media penetration of the government. For example, The AP reports:
A law enforcement official confirmed there was a criminal investigation under way and said the CIA officer had provided information that contributed to a Washington Post story last year saying there were secret U.S. prisons in Eastern Europe. The law enforcement official spoke only on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the matter. . . .

On Friday, another government official, also speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, said the fired officer had failed a polygraph test.
What should one do with "sensitive information?" Why leak it to the press on condition of anonymity!

When the press speaks of its adversary relationship with government, it isn't kidding. It uses the tactics of intelligence operations to undermine its enemy, with a huge "leak network" of government officials who seem to be as jaded and careless about their responsibilities as Aldrich Ames or Robert Hanssen.

What makes it "sensitive" anyway? "Sensitive" is the euphemism for "Secret." There no longer seems to be a concept of necessary secrecy, or confidentiality. If the release of some information would hurt the country or individuals, who cares, as long as it hurts the current administration? If nobody in Washington can be trusted anymore, we no longer have a democracy.

Michael Medved's first hour this afternoon is about the concept of good vs. evil. It's shocking how many people have adopted the postmodern view that everybody has his own truth, and that one person's good may be another's evil. Not only that, but it is now considered evil to call someone else "evil," and people say so without the slightest sense of irony. They demand peace but their emotions are not peaceful. They're full of hatred, anger and bitterness.

As Daniel Henniger has written,
Conservatives do believe in evil, and liberals either no longer do or they don't wish to allow the idea of evil to be explicit in our politics. I would guess that . . . most of the people working on John Kerry's campaign . . . would never ask Mr. Kerry to say in public that the beheadings are "evil." Or if he did, it would be merely as a tactical concession for the moment to the "moral vocabulary" of the world inhabited by the sort of people who support George Bush.

Consider the words of John Kerry:
Thirty-five years later, in another war gone off course, I see history repeating itself. It is both a right and an obligation for Americans today to disagree with a president who is wrong, a policy that is wrong, and a course in Iraq that weakens the nation. Again, we must refuse to sit quietly and watch our troops sacrificed for a policy that isn't working while Americans who dissent and ask tough questions are branded unpatriotic.

Just as it was in 1971, it is again right to make clear that the best way to support the troops is to oppose a course that squanders their lives, dishonors their sacrifice, and disserves the American people and our principles.
It seems that Mr. Kerry has a sense of wrong and right, but it seems to be based on a political model rather than one of morality.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Send her to a black prison.

Mary McCarthy may not have been purely motivated by politics. She may have been motivated by humanitarianism, by the belief that holding enemy "soldiers" in secret prisons and subjecting them to harsh, even torturous, interrogations is wrong and illegal and therefore she was justified in leaking that information to the press.

She should still go to prison.

We're in a war. That means our troops can kill people like these. So how is it more humane to hold them, even waterboard them, than to just blow their heads off? The Democrats seem to have this fixation on making war a humane thing. That's why they fought the Vietnam by giving sanctuary to the enemy any place outside of South Vietnam's borders, and ended up getting far more of our allies and our troops killed than was necessary.

There is no humane war. The idea that we should be bound by rules that don't apply to our enemies is disloyal to the people who fight for us. I'm not suggesting beheadings or grinding people up in shredders. But none of the claims against our soldiers, even those shown in the photos from Abu Ghraib, was anything like the things the terrorists would do to us if they could.

A new name to learn

Imad Mugniyeh,
the Lebanese commander of Hezbollah’s overseas operations, has taken charge of plotting Iran’s retaliation against western targets should President George W Bush order a strike on Iranian nuclear sites.

Mugniyeh is on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list for his role in a series of high-profile attacks against the West, including the 1985 hijacking of a TWA jet and murder of one of its passengers, a US navy diver.
With half of our own society practically in rebellion, this isn't good news.

This fool was Powell's Chief of Staff?

Lawrence Wilkerson in the Baltimore Sun:
As Alexis de Tocqueville once said: "America is great because she is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

In January 2001, with the inauguration of George W. Bush as president, America set on a path to cease being good; America became a revolutionary nation, a radical republic. If our country continues on this path, it will cease to be great - as happened to all great powers before it, without exception.

From the Kyoto accords to the International Criminal Court, from torture and cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners to rendition of innocent civilians, from illegal domestic surveillance to lies about leaking, from energy ineptitude to denial of global warming, from cherry-picking intelligence to appointing a martinet and a tyrant to run the Defense Department, the Bush administration, in the name of fighting terrorism, has put America on the radical path to ruin.

Unprecedented interpretations of the Constitution that holds the president as commander in chief to be all-powerful and without checks and balances marks the hubris and unparalleled radicalism of this administration.
First, that quote from Alexis de Toqueville is bogus. He never wrote it.

Secondly, his examples of our drift away from "goodness", surrendering our sovereignty to the European bien pensants and a bunch of unproven allegations accepted uncritically as fact, are highly debatable. I would say that the efforts of the ACLU have done more to cause America to cease to be a good people than anything else. Acceptance of moral equivalence in legal theory and legal protection for evil practices like sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion have hurt our soul more than any of the politcally correct pronouncements of people like this.

And by the way, his legal pronouncements are wrong and stupid at the same time.

How did this guy become a Colonel?

Lawrence Wilkerson in the Baltimore Sun:
As Alexis de Tocqueville once said: "America is great because she is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

In January 2001, with the inauguration of George W. Bush as president, America set on a path to cease being good; America became a revolutionary nation, a radical republic. If our country continues on this path, it will cease to be great - as happened to all great powers before it, without exception.

From the Kyoto accords to the International Criminal Court, from torture and cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners to rendition of innocent civilians, from illegal domestic surveillance to lies about leaking, from energy ineptitude to denial of global warming, from cherry-picking intelligence to appointing a martinet and a tyrant to run the Defense Department, the Bush administration, in the name of fighting terrorism, has put America on the radical path to ruin.

Unprecedented interpretations of the Constitution that holds the president as commander in chief to be all-powerful and without checks and balances marks the hubris and unparalleled radicalism of this administration.
First, that quote from Alexis de Toqueville is bogus. He never wrote it.

Secondly, his examples of our drift away from "goodness", surrendering our sovereignty to the European bien pensants and a bunch of unproven allegations accepted uncritically as fact, are highly debatable. I would say that the efforts of the ACLU have done more to cause America to cease to be a good people than anything else. Acceptance of moral equivalence in legal theory and legal protection for evil practices like sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion have hurt our soul more than any of the politcally correct pronouncements of people like this.

And by the way, his legal pronouncements are wrong and stupid at the same time.

The Environmental Religion

I thought it was clever when I first began to notice the vocabulary of religion being used so pervasively by Environmentalists. And who could dispute the genius of the Global Warming claims, if the earth heats up or goes into another ice age, they can claim it's the fault of humans and keep the money flowing.

Michael Crichton wrote State of Fear about it. Mark Steyn targets it as well.
The editor of the New Yorker, David Remnick, says the Earth will "likely be an uninhabitable planet."
Considering what the earth has been through in the past from fire to ice, that's a pretty big claim. People like Al Gore compete with each other to compose the most dire warnings.

It would be comic, but for the "remedies" these people are pushing. We need to do away with freedom, energy use, except the ones that haven't been proven, and the whole industrial revolution have to be abandoned. No matter that billions would die--it's the new "final solution." We just have to face it. Nature is benevolent, true, but in evolving mankind she just screwed up, and we have to correct the situation, by letting people starve, or releasing new plagues. It's for our own good, after all. This makes worshipping Moloch by burning infants as offerings, look quaint and inefficient.

When politics trumps duty.

Group Intel discusses the damage political loyalty is doing to the CIA. You'd think that the number one sancrosanct rule for an intelligence agency whould be to protect classified information. When the workers start befriended by reporters, you've got a massive problem.

Jumping the Shark again!

60 Minutes is reprising the "Bush Lied!" story, this time with a recently retired CIA agent. It seems that they might have rethought the story if they'd realized what Mary McCarthy has done to the CIA's image.

Their writing even sounds hackneyed:
When no weapons of mass destruction surfaced in Iraq, President Bush insisted that all those WMD claims before the war were the result of faulty intelligence. But a former top CIA official, Tyler Drumheller — a 26-year veteran of the agency — has decided to do something CIA officials at his level almost never do: Speak out.
Basically the whole report is a rehash of Joe Wilson's allegations with Drumheller adding his bit, but it's already been debunked over and over and over.