Saturday, September 02, 2006

It's the Ross Perot voters again.

Rasmussen reports that the number of people calling themselves Republicans has sunk. My intuition tells me the ones who have changed are the same ones who jumped on the Perot wagon in 1992 and 1996. There is a segment of each party who get mad about something and then either stay home or throw their votes away on splinter parties. That seems to be the Republicans bane this year. I wouldn't take too much comfort from this if I were a Democrat. They haven't shown that they understand our problems any better than the Repubs or have any new approaches. The voters always have limited attention spans, sadly. But a swinging pendulum is probably for the best in the long run.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The perils of too much thinking

In ideal of tolerance leads to multiculturalism, which leads to guilt over any criticism of other cultures, which leads to fear of violating political correctness, which leads to intolerance, resentment, superiority, irrationaliatyhatred and hatred.

This has been going on for five years, and the left still doesn't recognize that it's abnormal to be so filled with so much rancor over politics that you forget that you're in a war and that people are trying to kill you. It's as if the armed forces became so involved in their rivalries that they started to fire on each other, forgetting that they're all on the same side. Like Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai, the press seems oblivious to the fact that it's helping the enemies of what it claims to be serving. How much freedom of the press will there be when the Mullahs are in control? How many Jews will be allowed to live?

I hope this is true.

The AP reports that Muslim leaders are beginning to warn their followers against terrorism as a threat to Islam itself. What took them so long?

We are told time and again that Islam is a religion of peace. Fine. But Muslims must learn that it's not enough to be peaceful yourself. You have to stand up against those who would take advantage of your peacefulness by reporting them to authorities.

A man claiming to be a Mormon, although excommunicated, was just arrested in Nevada for multiple charges including bigamy and statutory rape. He also took part in forcing young girls to "marry" middle-aged men. He is damaging the church I belong to, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, despite having been excommunicated, by doing things that are against the church's teachings and confusing others. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to turn this guy in. He's a criminal and an apostate. In fact, he's being returned to Utah to be prosecuted before the Federal Government takes its turn.

People who break the law after it has been upheld as provided in the Constitution must accept the punishments provided. This is particularly true as to crimes of violence. In fact, violence toward other people is one of the prime indications of apostasy. That's why Muslims must be good citizens of whatever nation they live in and help those who enforce the law, or they will become pariahs in the world.

Joe Wilson's Epitaph

In a masterpiece of understatement, The Washinton Post sums up the whole thing:
It's unfortunate that so many people took him seriously.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Rush to be First

As various states try to become more relevant by scheduling earier primaries, who is thinking about the poor voters who get so sick of political ads by election day they want to vote against everybody on the ballot. What we should be doing is limiting campaigning to three months before an election. That would shift emphasis back to grassroots organization.

Are blogs really that powerful?

Well, they do get a lot of attention from the press, but only a limited number of them, and with more journalists becoming bloggers, my guess is that there will be a two-tiered system: Bloggers Who Matter and Bloggers Who Don't. Claudia Rosett definitely matters.

Kofi, President of the World

A few days ago, I saw a report on Anan's visit to Lebanon and meetings with Hezbollah. His manner when speaking about Israel was pretty peremptory. Who does he think he is?

Now it turns out, this attitude is shared by others at the U.N. despite what we've always believed. One comfort is that the U.N. is hardly likely to ever do anything more than talk, but if John Kerry got elected president, whose side would he be on?

Making Movies for the Hate-Bush Demographic

A new British "docudrama" marks a new low for the politicization of the media. I'm sure it'll be big in the Muslim neighborhoods, which are probably big enough in the UK to make it a financial success.

As Instapundit says, they're not against the war; they're on the other side.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"A Parliament of Whores" is right.

Ted Stevens is the one who put a "secret" hold on the bill which would require the publication of details of federal spending, particularly pork projects. He's the one who tried to get the bridge to nowhere passed.

What really should shock all Americans is this: "Senate tradition allows any senator to keep a piece of legislation from reaching the Senate floor by placing a hold on the bill." Say what? Does that sound like a tradition of a body that wants to get things done? It's bad enough that they've effectively increased the votes needed to pass anything from 51 to 60. The world's greatest deliberative body? What good is your vote, if your senator can be denied a chance to represent you by one jerk from another state?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

As NOLA lay dying

Since everybody else is memorializing the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I'll say what I remember, watching it from here on the edge of the desert. First, I saw the warnings that this could be a category three or four storm. Then, I read about New Orleans being below sea level and below the river, and sinking. I learned that this exact scenario had been worrying storm planners for years, and that the levees and flood walls had been built lower than the expected storm surge and a Cat 2 or 4 storm.

The press performed their usual histrionics, showing the heartrending scenes of people who had ignored or been unable to evacuate, and reporting inflammatory rumors. And, of course, wailing "Where's the government?" by which they meant FEMA. Upon consideration, I remembered that FEMA is an advisory and coordinating agency, not a first responder. The first responders are supposed to be the city and state governments, as we had all seen in Florida in other hurricanes. I remembered that we're always being told to have a 72 hour kit for emergencies, with food, blankets, clothing and other necessities, implying that aid from government probably wouldn't make it before then.

Then the worst happened. And the city and state dithered and bungled. The Three Stooges could have handled it better. After all the pathos and relocating of surviors, we heard accusations against Bush and learned that the Coast Guard, which had authority that FEMA didn't, were the heroes of the hour, performing rescues throughout the night and following days. And, then there was Wal-Mart, which was handing out supplies and tools as soon as the storm was over.

Then we heard about rebuilding the city. I thought, why would anybody live in a city below sea level in a hurricane zone without transportation, and whether the nation should really encourage that. I also thought that the Democrats who ruled the city and state should have been run out of Louisiana. Of course, Nagin got re-elected.

Now we hear that many of the residents haven't returned and don't plan to, and that those who did return are predominantly white. If they rebuild, people are being advised to either raise their houses above flood level, or make them float. And "advocates" of the poor are demanding that they be reinstalled in the huge housing projects that they were glad to be out of. The President is trying to make up to the city for not having been advised how really serious this disaster was ahead of time.
The Democrats are blaming him again and hinting that it was racist.

In other words, not much has changed.

For a more thorough and cogent analysis, read this.

Let the wicked kill the wicked.

I think we should tell the sectarian militias that they are free to kill each other, but leave the civilians out of it. And, since the Mullahs won't do it, we should let it be known that we consider people who intentionally murder their own brethren and hide behind women and children to be cowards and apostates from Islam. Call it a fatwa. They don't have to take our word for it, but it is certainly demonstrable that terrorism brings Islam into disrepute and constitutes compulsion in religion.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The New McCarthyism

It was a fiasco all right. No, not this one, this one. Armitage and Powell, regardless of David Corn's spin, look like sniveling cowards and turncoats; the press's shamelessness is undiminished; and Bush, Cheney, Rove and Scooter Libby were innocent of any plot to get Joe Wilson.

Next time reporters asks Bush for an apology, I hope he reminds of this bit of liberal McCarthyism.

Biting my nails with 2 months to go.

Michael Barone writes that renewed awareness of terrorism may improve the GOP's chances this fall. Let's hope so. As annoying as Congress is with Republicans in charge, it could be much worse, because Democrats have become so consumed with Bush hatred that they will spend all their time and energy trying to impeach him, reverse the tax cuts and abandon the Iraqis. No doubt, after two years of that, the Republicans would be back, but the damage they could do is far greater than at any time I can think of in the past 50 years. The worst I can say about the Republicans is that they've overspent, but I don't see anything changing that pattern until we reform or repeal social security. (Defined benefit plans should be outlawed, period. They are little more than Ponzi schemes.) They are undisciplined, making it difficult to accomplish some positivve things that need doing, but we can live with that. What would be disastrous would be to hand the Middle East over to Iran. We're going to have to confront that regime, unless the Iranian people rise up and overthrow it. A success in Iraq would probably encourage the latter outcome, while the former would be made necessary and much more difficult by a retreat.

I wish there were some way to reform our media, but that can only be done by punishing them economically. Advertisers are already moving to online advertising, but not nearly fast enough. The blogosphere is still dependent on the old media, even if it does criticize it liberally. I don't know how long it will take for this liberal bias to change, but it must be soon, because it is the only thing that keeps the liberalism viable.

Free Scooter!

Andrew McCarthy on the Plame Blame Game:
As I've said, I wish there were no indictment. Being as objective as I can be, I think (a) there's grave reason here to be concerned that politics is being criminalized; (b) the White House absolutely should have gotten the truth out about Wilson given the important public policy stakes involved (and I wish they had bragged about doing it rather than allowing the media to cow them into being defensive about it); (c) DOJ should have had the courage to end the investigation at a very preliminary stage — without appointing a special prosecutor and conducting massive interviews — if it was legally clear that the standards for an espionage act or cover agent identity protection act violation could not be met; and (d) there may have been a strong case for exercising prosecutorial discretion in Libby's favor given that Wilson's execrable conduct was apparently unchargeable.
It's about time Fitzgerald figured this out. Where there is no underlying crime, lying about it, especially on a matter that could easily be mere confusion, is not worth the candle.

It's still Bush-Cheney-Rove's Fault

Now that we know that Valerie Plame's "classified identity" was "leaked" by Richard Armitage,the Liberal spin has contorted itself to focus on Armitage's criticism of the war. He turns out to be a "chickenhawk" whiner, decrying Bush-Cheney's not having had actual battle experience. I guess all that time spent at SecDef doesn't qualify Cheney to have an opinion. Only having heard bullets whizzing past your head can give you validity.

Anyway, those who were out for the head of Rove nor Cheney didn't miss a beat in changing the leak from a crime to an act of courage.

Lieberman's coattails may hurt Connecticut Dems

Gee, maybe they should have thought of this eventuality before they kicked him out of the party.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The UNpeacekeepers

I don't think we're getting our moneys' worth from the U.N. Israel should feel free to bomb all weapons convoys from Iran to Syria and from Syria to Lebanon.

There's a flurry of reports over Nasrallah's statement that he wouldn't have approved capturing the two Israeli soldiers if he had known it would lead to such a response. If that's true, perhaps the best response to terrorism is a disproportionate one. Hezbollah is finding out that politics less simple than terrorism. The U.N., with its weak-kneed reactions to acts of aggression, has encouraged terrorism and emboldened radicals everywhere.

I'm sure that Nasrallah's statement will be taken by liberals as evidence that he isn't so bad after all, but I don't beiieve him. He would probably have just made his initial attack much bigger.