December 11, 2007

National Review endorses Romney

Romney reels in a big one, and the timing couldn't be better with Huckabee surging. Here's what the editors of National Review had to say -

"Many conservatives are finding it difficult to pick a presidential candidate. Each of the men running for the Republican nomination has strengths, and none has everything — all the traits, all the positions — we are looking for. Equally conservative analysts can reach, and have reached, different judgments in this matter. There are fine conservatives supporting each of these Republicans.

"Our guiding principle has always been to select the most conservative viable candidate. In our judgment, that candidate is Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. Unlike some other candidates in the race, Romney is a full-spectrum conservative: a supporter of free-market economics and limited government, moral causes such as the right to life and the preservation of marriage, and a foreign policy based on the national interest. While he has not talked much about the importance of resisting ethnic balkanization — none of the major candidates has — he supports enforcing the immigration laws and opposes amnesty. Those are important steps in the right direction ..."

Follow this link to read the endorsement in its entirety.

Jacoby keeps it real on Iran

Great column by the Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby on Dec. 9 under the headline, "No reason to relax on Iran" -

Jacoby writes, "Now that the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear intentions has had a few days to cool off, how does it look? A few reflections:

"1. Iran's nuclear program is alive and well. Yes, I know - the very first of the NIE's 'key judgments,' the one that launched a thousand headlines, is that 'Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program' in the fall of 2003. But what that first sentence giveth, a footnote to that sentence taketh away: 'By 'nuclear weapons program,' explains footnote 1, 'we mean Iran's declared civil work related to uranium conversion and enrichment."

"But that's a distinction without a difference, since the accumulation of enriched uranium is by far the most important component in developing nuclear weapons," Jacoby writes (emphasis added. "Iran's 'civil' uranium enrichment - those 3,000 centrifuges spinning at Natanz - continues unabated, in defiance of Security Council resolutions ordering that it stops. Whether the nuclear-fuel program is labeled 'civilian' or 'military' is irrelevant. The more uranium the mullahs enrich, the closer they are to getting the bomb."

December 10, 2007

First recipient of Mike Malloy Golden Moonbat Award

Who better to receive the first such award than its namesake, the unhinged and exceedingly angry radio host Mike Malloy for this timeless rant on Friday that contained no less than four - count 'em - four lies about 9/11:

" ... airplanes crashing into the Pentagon that didn't exist, buildings collapsing that couldn't collapse, a total shutdown of the North American Air Defense Command, nobody doing anything while four, five, six, seven commercial jetliners are hijacked!"
Better yet, Malloy is yelling while making these claims -- way to go, Mike!

Malloy's show, broadcast from Atlanta, is carried by several dozen stations nationwide and XM satellite radio. He was fired last year by Air America, as he's mentioned on the air, for apparently being too unhinged even for the hardcore comrades there.

December 8, 2007

Happiness is a bodyguard with a warm gun

John Lennon retreated to the Dakota in 1975 to raise his newborn son and didn't come out for the next five years.

And when Lennon did, the world had changed, and not for the better.

So observed a writer in Esquire magazine several years ago in an article entitled, "The Case for Guns."I didn't save the article, but something about it stayed with me. The author asked - why didn't Lennon have a bodyguard?

Turns out Lennon had been asked the same thing, the author wrote, and the former Beatle cited the example of Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro.In March 1978 Moro was kidnapped by Red Brigades terrorists, who killed all five of his bodyguards. Two months later, Moro's lifeless body was found in the back of a car.

What's the point of hiring bodyguards if we all end up dead, Lennon asked.Which was completely in character for Lennon, and still painfully naive.

Given the circumstances leading to Lennon's death, any bodyguard worth his or her salt would have been wary of Mark David Chapman, the man who killed Lennon.Even the mere presence of a bodyguard might have been enough to deter a hollow shell like Chapman. That Chapman hung around for hours after Lennon signed an album jacket for him, waiting until Lennon and Yoko Ono returned home around 11 p.m., would have made most any bodyguard suspicious.

If someone was going to die outside the Dakota on the night of Dec. 8, 1980, it should have been Chapman instead of Lennon.

And Ono spared the agony of seeing her husband shot five times from behind.

And the couple's 5-year-old son growing up with his father still alive and hearing a briefly reunited Beatles sing "In My Life" at the young man's wedding.

December 6, 2007

Did Iran suspend its nuclear weapons program because of the invasion of Iraq?

According to the NIE released Monday, Iran suspended its illicit nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003.

About six months after the US-led invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein. And only two months before Libya decided to abandon its pursuit of nuclear arms.

Did the war with Iraq prompt Iran to suspend its nuclear weapons program? Maybe, maybe not. The timing begs the question, but what's odd about the media coverage over the last few days - and I've read a half-dozen stories on the NIE in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and on the CNN website - I have yet to see a single reference to even the possibility of a connection.

But what if the NIE had reported that Iran initiated a covert nuclear weapons program six months after the invasion of Iraq - think we'd hear about a connection then? We'd be hearing of little else.

November 30, 2007

Murtha: 'The surge is working'

A headline I also never thought I'd see, or at least the part that includes Congressman John Murtha. But in fairness to Murtha, an early proponent of US withdrawal from Iraq before the job is done, the man is willing to give credit where credit is due.

Here's the full story as reported today by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

November 26, 2007

Bill Press's Polish joke falls flat

Radio host Bill Press in a promo for his show, as heard Monday afternoon on Sirius Left -

"Who says the level of violence in Iraq is decreasing? Iraq claimed another victim over the weekend and a really big one this time," Press chortled with barely concealed glee, "the prime minister of Australia, just the latest political leader to fall for his support of George Bush's war in Iraq. First, remember, it was Prime Minister Jose-Maria Aznar. Next, Italy's Silvio Berlusconi. And then, the UK's Tony Blair. And now, it's Australia's John Howard, humiliated in defeat after 11 years in power. Why? Because he insisted on keeping Australian troops in Iraq when everybody else - even Poland - had decided to bring their troops home.

"Even Poland," Bill?

Not only are Press's comments insulting to anyone of Polish descent, they are glaringly inaccurate. "Everybody else" have not turned tail and fled from Iraq, as Press would like to see. American troops have turned the tide of this war - and we are winning. And the more the situation improves in Iraq, the more unhinged the Left becomes in America.

I'd suggest they should be ashamed, but that would presume they have any.

November 24, 2007

Discerning terrorists' rights from wrongs

Excerpt from a profile in the Nov. 26 Weekly Standard titled "Rudy Giuliani, Disciplinarian" -

Giuliani, quoted in the article -

"Someone once said to me that what they don't get about the Democrats, and even some Republicans that do this, is they're more concerned about rights for terrorists than the terrorist' wrongs," Giuliani went on. "I mean, this granting of rights to criminals and terrorists, even when they're necessary, come with a price, a price at the other end of it. Even for the ones that are necessary, like, let's say, the Miranda ruling, it's one you agree with - there's a price for that. Maybe it's one worth paying. The exclusionary rule, there's a big price for that: Criminals go free. They walk out of court.

If you say, you know, no aggressive questioning, then we're not going to find out about situations. If you say no wiretapping, well, there'll be conversations going on, planning to bomb New York, or Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and you're not going to find out. And, when we draw these lines, at least let's be honest with people about the consequences of them. Let's not fool them into thinking that there are no consequences to this. People will say that aggressive questioning doesn't work. I, you know, I ... Honest answer to that is, it doesn't work all the time. Sometimes it does."

November 22, 2007

November 20, 2007

Unstated subtext for Hiroshima story - hold your head in shame

"Paper cranes fly for peace 62 years after Hiroshima" reads the headline for a story in today's Boston Globe, one that takes up most of the first page of the City & Region section - "For the fourth-graders at the Joseph P. Tynan Elementary School," writes Globe staffer Tania deLuzuriaga, "Japan is a faraway place, and World War II is something that happened before most of their grandparents were born. But the war has come home to them through the story of a young Japanese girl whose life was cut short by the effects of the atomic bomb dropped on her city 62 years ago."

Something else "cut short" by the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and another three days later on Nagasaki, though you'd never know it from reading this story - an abrupt end to the bloodiest and most destructive war in history, one that claimed 60 million lives.

November 19, 2007

The difference between us and them, in a nutshell

As reported today by the Associated Press -

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber detonated his explosives as American soldiers were handing out toys to children northeast of Baghdad yesterday, killing at least three children and three of the troops, US and Iraqi authorities said ...

November 13, 2007

Thanks again, Ralph

"We remember the last time we had faith that anything good would ever happen again in the world," reads the blurb on page 3 of the Sidekick supplement in today's Boston Globe on a screening of "An Unreasonable Man, a documentary about Ralph Nader. "Just about the time we checked off Ralph Nader's name on the ballot ..." (what's this "we" stuff, paleface?) "All downhill since then. The truth is, he has done some remarkable things over the years, such as revolutionizing consumer safety standards." And preventing Al Gore from winning the presidency - bravo, Ralph!

Weather Channel founder: Global warming 'greatest scam in history'

Granted, John Coleman is not a Nobel laureate or Oscar winner like Al Gore, he's just a mere meteorologist who started something called The Weather Channel 20 years ago (and Coleman is no relation to me, though I like that we share the same name). An op-ed by Coleman that's posted at Icecap is causing quite a stir in the blogosphere -

"It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create an illusion of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the “research” to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus.

"Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them, then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild “scientific” scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda. Now their ridiculous manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmentally conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15 minute documentary segment.

"I do not oppose environmentalism. I do not oppose the political positions of either party. However, Global Warming, i.e. Climate Change, is not about environmentalism or politics. It is not a religion. It is not something you “believe in.” It is science; the science of meteorology. This is my field of life-long expertise. And I am telling you Global Warming is a non-event, a manufactured crisis and a total scam. I say this knowing you probably won’t believe a me, a mere TV weatherman, challenging a Nobel Prize, Academy Award and Emmy Award winning former Vice President of United States. So be it ..."

Follow this link to read the remainder of Coleman's op-ed.

Go figure

"Rally to honor Arafat turns violent" - headline on page A9 in today's Boston Globe.

November 11, 2007

How about 'Ministry of Truth' radio?

"I don't even call it 'liberal radio,' I call it 'truth radio' " - Nova M Radio co-founder Shelly Drobny on angry, angry moonbat Mike Malloy's radio show Friday.

November 6, 2007

Al Qaeda reaches out to children

... which isn't surprising in the least of jihadists for whom nothing is beyond the pale - as reported this morning by the AP -

LONDON - Britain faces an increased threat from al Qaeda-inspired terrorism and is now home to at least 2,000 people who pose a direct threat to the country's security, including children who are being groomed by extremists, the director of the domestic spy agency said yesterday.

November 5, 2007

Truer words never spoken

"History teaches us that underestimating the words of evil, ambitious men is a terrible mistake. Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question is, will we listen? ... Some here in Washington, D.C., dismiss it as a political rhetoric, an attempt to scare people into votes. Given the nature of the enemy and the words of its leaders, politicians who deny that we are at war are either being disingenuous or naive. Either way, it is dangerous for our country. We are at war and we cannot win this war by wishing it away or pretending it does not exist" - President George W. Bush, speaking at the Heritage Foundation on Thursday.

A lazy, simplistic editorial

Yesterday's lead editorial in the Boston Sunday Globe condemning the "intellectually lazy analogy of Islamism to fascism" was difficult to take seriously after reading this whopper of a paragraph -

"Al Qaeda and company cannot be compared with the fascist powers ruled by Hitler, Mussolini and Franco - neither for their ideas nor for their military power. The Nazis scorned religion, wanting to make the state the sole object of worship. Bin Laden and Hitler might share a proclivity for cruelty and killing, but for little else. Hitler cherished the operas of Wagner; bin Laden and his Taliban allies have been known to put musicians to the lash for playing music at a wedding. And bin Laden has no panzer divisions."

"Bin Laden and Hitler might share a proclivity for cruelty and killing, but for little else."

Amazing. Where to begin?

Bin Laden and Hitler share far more than that, unbeknownst to the intellectually lazy editorial writers at the Globe. For example, the main thing they share in common, an elephant-in-the-room parallel that all but the most oblivious can ignore, is in their visceral loathing and wanton pathological cruelty toward Jews. And there's no "might" about it.

How about these for other parallels - Hitler and bin Laden's absolute intolerance of dissent, an unwavering belief in the alleged messianic quality of their respective crusades (yes, crusades) and the utter lack of anything resembling irony, self-deprecation or introspection.

Agreed, "bin Laden has no panzer divisions." Nor did he need them to destroy the World Trade Center, inflict grievous damage to the Pentagon and slaughter 3,000 innocent people in less than two hours.

Most importantly, Hitler and bin Laden share something else in common - a wolf-like grasp of appeasement disguised as well-reasoned argument from their foes.

November 3, 2007

RIP, Paul Tibbets

A link here to an op-ed I wrote last year for the Providence Journal about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, the cruiser that delivered the atom bomb to Tinian, where it was flown to Hiroshima on a B-29 piloted by Paul Tibbets, who died Thursday at 92.

As I pointed out in the op-ed, the loss of the Indianapolis and the deaths of more than 900 sailors in its crew of 1,200 represents the worst-ever loss of life for an American naval vessel at sea - and it occurred less than two weeks before the bombing of Hiroshima.

Only one other American warship ever suffered more casualties in battle - the battleship Arizona, sunk within minutes of the start of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

I wonder how many revisionist historians have asked survivors from both ships if they thought the bombing of Hiroshima was justified.

November 2, 2007

Dept. of Unintentional Humor

"We have to play hardball if we're going to try to end this war" - US Senator Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., speaking today with radio talk show host Ed Schultz.

November 1, 2007

Hey, look at what they did to Papillon

"Rumsfeld flees France, Fearing Arrest" blares the headline over at AlterNet, followed by this:

"Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld fled France today (Oct. 29) fearing arrest over charges of 'ordering and authorizing' torture of detainees at both the American-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the U.S. military's detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, unconfirmed reports coming from Paris suggest.
"U.S. embassy officials whisked Rumsfeld away yesterday from a breakfast meeting in Paris organized by the Foreign Policy magazine after human rights groups filed a criminal complaint against the man who spearheaded President George W. Bush's 'war on terror' for six years ..."

October 28, 2007

Great moments in Escapee history: Khrushchev blinks

On this day in 1962, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, convinced that the resolve shown by American president John F. Kennedy was far more than bluster, agreed to remove Soviet nuclear missiles from Cuba, thereby ending the Cuban Missile Crisis. Before agreeing to do so, Khrushchev extracted two promises from Kennedy - for the US to never invade Cuba and to remove American missiles from Turkey. Both promises were kept, though the existence of the latter part of the agreement was kept secret for decades.

The 13-day Cuban Missile Crisis eventually cost both leaders dearly. Little more than a year later, Kennedy was assassinated by an avowed Marxist who sought and was refused asylum in the alleged workers' paradise of his hero, Fidel Castro, two months earlier. Within a year of Kennedy's death, Khrushchev was deposed in a bloodless coup.

October 27, 2007

Haven't the Jews suffered enough?

As reported Friday by the Associated Press -

NEW YORK -- Halle Berry is the latest celebrity to join the Foot-in-Mouth Club. The 41-year-old actress has apologized for making an inappropriate joke at last Friday's taping of NBC's "The Tonight Show."
Berry, who showed host Jay Leno photos of herself that she had distorted by using computer software, remarked that one snapshot - in which her nose appeared cartoonishly large - made her "look like my Jewish cousin."

October 26, 2007

Chicken Little morphs into Give 'em Heck Harry


"We can't just walk away and no one suggests we can" - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid telling radio host Ed Schultz today why Democrats won't end funding for the war.

Quite a change of tone for the good Senator since his assertion last spring that "this war is lost."

Hair peace, man

A lock of lefty icon and posthumous screen fave Che Guevera sells for $100,00 at auction, according to today's New York Times ...

... which ended when the aliens realized Kucinich could never be our leader

In her new book, Shirley MacLaine claims that Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich had an "extremely moving" encounter with a UFO at her home in Washington state ...

Rudolph the Red Knows Rain, Dear

Russian czar wannabe Vlad "The Impaler" Putin commenting on new US sanctions against Iran, as reported in today's Wall Street Journal - "I think running around like a lunatic - with a razor and waving a red banner - isn't the best way to solve this kind of problem," said Putin, perhaps alluding to his own experience with this sort of thing while running the KGB.

October 24, 2007

Tax policy 101

"It's a product that you're taxing, it's not the people that you're taxing" - prairie populist Ed Schultz on his show today while talking with a listener about tobacco taxes.

Ditto

Director Francis Ford Coppolla in an interview in the November issue of GQ magazine, asked what he thought of The Sopranos -

"I never saw The Sopranos. I was so sick of gangsters."

October 2, 2007

Great moments in Escapee history

Radio Berlin International's final broadcast on this date in 1990; last song "The End" by the Doors.

September 4, 2007

Reassuring its readers worried about American victory in Iraq

From an editorial in today's Boston Globe under the headline, "Iraq's war of the warlords" -

"When the radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada Sadr called last week for a freeze on his Mahdi Army's operations, it might have been tempting to take it as a positive step toward reducing violence and promoting stability in Iraq."

... Yes, especially "tempting" for the sane and rational among us ...

"But even if his directive is heeded by most components of the far-from-unitary Mahdi Army, any such timeout will only be a tactical pause to let Sadr's forces regroup."

... Globe editorialists being privy to an infallible crystal ball allowing them to predict the future ...

"It hardly portends a transformation of the basic situation in Iraq."

... Let me see if I have this straight - even if "most" of Sadr's army lay down their arms, thereby refraining from further mass killings that have already stained their hands with the blood of thousands, this is not a "positive step"?

In other words - not to worry, we might lose this war yet!

September 2, 2007

Seeger's next song - "Why Bush reminds me of Stalin"

From today's New York Times - "This Just in: Pete Seeger Denounced Stalin over a decade ago" - a mere four decades after the tyrant's demise.

The creaky troubadour has even written a song to celebrate his Rip van Winkle-esque denunciation of Stalin, titled - I kid you not - "Big Joe Blues."

Anticipate similarly inclined lefties to denounce radical Islamists sometime around 2050.

August 30, 2007

Pay no attention to his running dog-eared copy of Little Red Book

Exceedingly angry left-wing radio host Mike Malloy, again from last night's rant - in response to a caller quoting Frederick Douglass -

"Well how many people are familiar with the sayings of Frederick Douglass, A, or the sayings of Mao for that matter. They were pretty similar. Not that I'm a Maoist by any means, but when it comes revolutionary statements, you get them where you get them."

" ... you get them where you get them ..."? Yes, especially when they hit close to home.

Yet another example of the love that dares not speak its name.

Yes, it is so 5-year-old, Mike

Unhinged moonbat radio host Mike Malloy on his show last night, of the vastly more intelligent and talented Rush Limbaugh -

"You know sometimes I wish Rush Limbaugh would choke to death on his next plate of crab legs with Oxycontin on the side, I really do. What a vicious, vile, hate-filled man. It's just, he's, he's he's ... (deep breath) ... And I normally don't wish people dead, I mean, that's so 5-year-old, isn't it, huh?

"But when I hear Rush Limbaugh's voice and his point of view, I just wish he'd choke to death."

That'll shut him up!

August 28, 2007

Reminiscent of relentlessly biased coverage

A story published yesterday by the New York Times Service, running under the headline "Bush relentless in making case for his Iraq strategy," and written by Steven Lee Myers:

CRAWFORD, Texas - President Bush's Iraq strategy faces a crisis of faith these days - from the American public. And he is confronting it the way he has previous crises: with a relentless campaign to persuade people to see things his way.
Bush interrupted his annual August retreat here last week for a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars replete with historical references to Vietnam.
Back at his ranch, he recorded a radio address that showed neither doubt nor any intention to reducing the U.S. commitment in Iraq. On Tuesday, he will speak to the American Legion in Reno, Nev., arguing a hasty withdrawal of troops would prove disastrous.

( ... wow, two speeches and a radio address - pretty "relentless" stuff ...)

"We are still in the early stages of our new operations," Bush said in the radio address Saturday as if there were not those who fervently wished the country was in the later stages, preparing to bring the troops home.

(... most of whom are dutifully employed in the mainstream media ...)

In military parlance, the White House's strategy is called preparing the battlefield - in this case for the series of reports and hearings scheduled on Capitol Hill next month to debate the wisdom of struggling on in the midst of Iraq's sectarian chaos and bloodshed. If recent history is a guide, Bush may well prevail, as he did in January when he made a similar blitz ...

(... as Nazis are inclined to do ...)

... to build the case for dispatching more troops to Iraq, despite swelling public opposition to the war and a Democratic rout in last November's elections.


( ... what's this "rout" stuff, paleface ...?)

August 27, 2007

Is there another kind?

From an Associated Press obituary today for Grace Paley, who died last week of breast cancer.

NEW YORK - Poet and short story writer Grace Paley, a literary eminence and old-fashioned eminence who described herself as a "combative pacifist," has died. She was 84.

May 29, 2007

Desperate indeed

Boston Globe columnist H.D.S. Greenway is in rare form today, once again displaying his abiding sympathy for Arab solidarity over Israeli survival. Greenway writes -- "Today there is an offer on the table ..." -- is it ticking, by chance? -- "... from all 22 countries of the Cairo-based Arab League. Return to the 1967 lines and peace with full recognition will follow.

"The Arabs are desperate to just get it done!" Greenway goes on to write (exclamation point in the original!). "Let's forget all the suffocating confidence-building measures and phased withdrawals that in the past have been the death of peace, they say."

Yes, and let's overlook the suicide bombings, the rocket attacks and kidnappings of soldiers, the emboldened aggression in response to Israeli's withdrawal from Gaza and southern Lebanon ...

Annals of hypocrisy: Exhibit A

The AP reports today that Barbra Streisand canceled a concert in Rome next month after "protests by Italian consumer groups angered by what they said were excessively high ticket prices" -- from "just under $200 to more than $1,200."

A tour promoter claimed the cancellation was due to "unexpected production delays" -- code, perhaps, for Streisand's dwindling number of fans in Italy willing to produce sufficient lira to watch the diva perform.

May 28, 2007

No greater love

The letter written by Major Sullivan Ballou of the 2d Rhode Island unit to his wife in Smithfield, R.I., which I first heard during the initial television broadcast of Ken Burns' superb documentary, "The Civil War," in the fall of 1990 --

July 14, 1861
Camp Clark, Washington

My very dear Sarah:
The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American civilization now leans on the triumph of the government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt ...

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on with all these chains to the battlefield.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood around us.

I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me - perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not, my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness ...

But, oh Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights ... always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think that I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

As those who familiar with the documentary and Civil War are aware, Ballou was killed a week later in the first Battle of Bull Run.

May 23, 2007

Going for jugular by way of Achilles heel

From another story in Monday's Boston Globe, this one under the headline, "McCain blasts Romney for immigration stance change" --
"Maybe I should wait a couple weeks and see if it changes," McCain said of Romney's immigration position, according to McCain's campaign. "And maybe his solution will be to get out his small varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his yard," an allusion to illegal immigrant laborers working as landscapers at Romney's home in Belmont, as reported by the Globe last December.

The odds of McCain saying something along these lines in the next GOP debate -- about 100 to 1 in favor.

May 21, 2007

There they go again

A dutiful heads-up about Democrats in Congress by way of the observant editorial page editors of the Wall Street Journal, from an editorial in the May 19-20 weekend edition of the paper --

"With all the other news this week, the media barely noticed that Congressional Democrats passed a budget outline that envisions more than $200 billion in tax increases over five years. Seems worth reporting to us." (emphasis added)

This at a time when the cumulative effect of the Bush tax cuts have federal revenues climbing so rapidly "that this year they may reach 19 percent of GPD -- above the 40-year average of 18.3 percent. Apparently, Democrats think this tax windfall isn't enough."

May 17, 2007

Ron Paul's sliver of truth

First off, what Texas Congressman Ron Paul actually said in last night's debate about 9/11:

"I think the party has lost its way because the conservative wing of the Republican Party always advocated a non-interventionist foreign policy. Sen. Robert Taft didn't even want to be in NATO. George Bush won the election in year 2000 campaigning on a humble foreign policy, no nation building, no policing of the world. Republicans were elected to end the Korean War, Republicans were elected to end the Vietnam War. There's a strong tradition of being anti-war in the Republican Party, it is the constitutional position, it is the advice of the Founders to follow a non-interventionist foreign policy, stay out of entangling alliances, be friends with countries, negotiate and talk with them and trade with them.

"Just think of the tremendous improvement in (our) relationship with Vietnam. We lost 60,000 men, we came home in defeat, now we go over there and invest in Vietnam. So there's a lot of merit to the advice of the Founders and following the Constitution. And my argument is that we shouldn't go to war so carelessly, because when we do, the wars don't end."

Which led to a follow-up question from Fox newsman Wendell Goler -- "Congressman, you don't think that changed with the 9/11 attack, sir?"

Paul: "What changed?"

Goler: "The non-interventionist policies."

Paul: "No, non-intervention was a major contributing factor. Have you ever read about the reasons they attacked us? They attacked us because we'd been over there, we'd been bombing Iraq for 10 years, we've been in the Middle East. I think Ronald Reagan was right, we don't understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics. So right now we're building an embassy in Iraq that's bigger than the Vatican, we're building 14 permanent bases. What would we say here if China was doing this in our country or in the Gulf of Mexico? We would be objecting. We need to look at what we do from the perspective of what would happen if somebody else did it to us."

Golen: "Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attack, sir?"

Paul: "I'm suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reasons they did it, and they are delighted that we're over there because Osama bin Laden has said, I'm glad you're over on our sand because we can target you so much easier. They've already now, since that time, have killed 3,400 of our men and I don't think it was necessary."

To which Rudy Giuliani responded: "That's really an extraordinary statement, an extraordinary statement. As someone who lived through the attack on Sept. 11, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don't think I've ever heard that before, and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for Sept. 11" (followed by the biggest applause of the night, all but sealing the pundits' later verdict that Giuliani won the debate).

But lost amid the gnashing of teeth over Paul's suggestion that al Qaeda was justified in slaughtering 3,000 Americans was the kernel of truth at the heart of his remarks -- the undeniable connection between Iraq and al Qaeda's motivation for the 9/11 attack.

For years now we have heard the singsong of a claim, mainly from the Left but also from conservative isolationists like Paul and Pat Buchanan, that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. To the extent that Iraq was not involved in the planning and execution of the attack, this remains a plausible assertion due to lack of evidence to the contrary (that such a link may eventually be proven, however, would not surprise me).

But this assertion has morphed into something entirely different -- that Iraq had nothing remotely to do with al Qaeda's motivation for attacking the US -- and this claim is not only false, but deceitful. In fact, US and United Nation policies toward Iraq -- yes, United Nations -- constituted two of the three reasons cited by bin Laden for the 9/11 attack when al-Jazeera broadcast its first post-9/11 video of bin Laden on Oct. 7, 2001, the same day US forces began bombing al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Bin Laden's statement, all of a dozen paragraphs, wasted little time in getting to Iraq -- it's in the fourth paragraph, according to the copy I saved from the New York Times.

"A million innocent children are dying at this time as we speak, killed in Iraq without any guilt,"
bin Laden said. What he was referring to were economic sanctions against Saddam's Baathist regime -- sanctions imposed by the UN, not US -- for Saddam's refusal to comply with every single one of 16 UN resolutions for him to disarm after the first Gulf War and renounce his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. A war precipitated by Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, followed by a coalition of 30 nations led by the US ousting Iraq from Kuwait -- but not dishonoring the purpose of that coalition and taking ground forces all the way to Baghdad.

Here is how bin Laden ended his statement:
"Every Muslim must rise to defend his religion. The wind of faith is blowing and the wind of change is blowing to remove evil from the Peninsula of Muhammad, peace be upon him.
"As to America, I say to you and its people a few words: I swear to God that America will not live in peace before peace reigns in Palestine, and before all the armies of infidels depart the land of Muhammad, peace be upon him. God is the greatest and glory be to Islam."


The "evil" that bin Laden refers to on the "Peninsula of Muhammad"? American military forces in Saudi Arabia -- sent there at the invitation of the Saudi government after Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990. Forces that remained in Saudi Arabia, as requested by the Saudi government, for the decade to follow -- due to Saddam's continued defiance to disarm in good faith.

As for Paul's claim that we'd been "bombing Iraq for 10 years," he was conspicuously negligent in elaborating. Allow me to fill in the gaps. Shortly after the first Gulf War, and in a move to prevent Saddam from slaughtering thousands more Kurds and Shiites rising up against him, no-fly zones were imposed over huge swaths of north and south Iraq -- by the US, Great Britain and -- are you sitting down for this? -- France -- without -- still sitting down? -- UN authorization.

Two years after the first Gulf War, then-President Bill Clinton ordered aerial attacks against Saddam's regime after evidence was uncovered of an Iraqi plot to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush during a visit to Kuwait.

In December 1998, Clinton ordered another attack on Saddam's regime one month after UN weapons inspectors were ousted from Iraq -- an absence that remained right through 9/11 and leading up to the months before the second war. The reason many people don't remember the four-day Desert Fox campaign? It neatly coincided with the House vote to impeach Clinton.

I have nothing but respect for the strength of character exhibited by Giuliani on 9/11, and for Giuliani's resolve in the difficult weeks and months followed. And Giuliani's anger toward Paul's suggestion that America had it coming on 9/11 is entirely justified.

But I find it disheartening that Giuliani, of all people, a man nearly murdered by al Qaeda on Sept. 11, 2001 and who may well become our next president, is oblivious to the obvious role that Iraq played in al Qaeda's rationale for attacking us.

May 15, 2007

Reviving the Bubba Doctrine

Revisiting Hillary Clinton's response to the debate question last month on how she would respond to an al-Qaeda attack on American cities -- what Clinton suggested sounded vaguely familiar, as if we'd done this before. In fact, we have, and with disastrous consequences.
First, Clinton's response:

"Well again, having been a senator during 9/11, I understand very well the extraordinary horror of that kind of an attack and the impact that it has, far beyond those who are directly affected. I think a president must move as swiftly as is prudent to retaliate. If we are attacked, and we can determine who was behind that attack, and if there were nations that supported or gave material aid to those who attacked us, I believe we should quickly respond.

"Now that doesn't mean we go looking for other fights," Clinton went on to say. "You know, I supported President Bush when he went after al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. And then when he decided to divert attention to Iraq, it was not a decision that I would have made had I been president because we still haven't found bin Laden. So let's focus on those who have attacked us and do everything we can to destroy them."

In other words, do exactly what Bill Clinton did in response to the bombings of two American embassies in Africa in August 1998. After quickly determining that al Qaeda was responsible, then-President Clinton ordered cruise missile attacks against al Qaeda targets in Sudan and Afghanistan two weeks after the bombings -- followed by withering criticism that Clinton was engaged in "wag the dog" chicanery to divert attention from the Lewinsky scandal.

And what happened after the cruise missile attacks ...? Nothing much, at least for the remainder of Clinton's lame-duck, post-impeachment presidency. Come to think of it, Saddam Hussein booted UN weapons inspectors out of Iraq a few months after the embassy bombings, not that Iraq and al Qaeda had anything remotely to do with one another, as we've heard claimed ad infinitum ad nauseum for years now. Clinton responsed to Hussein's ouster of weapons inspectors by lobbing cruise missiles into Iraq, postponing the congressional vote on his impeachment for a day, before the status quo of American timidity was quickly restored.

Then in October 2000, al Qaeda fanatics struck at the USS Cole in Yemen, killing 17 American sailors, followed by Clinton doing ... nothing. All the while, al Qaeda grew emboldened by the specter of a paper tiger worried about looking like it was looking for a fight.

What was it that line from Trotsky? You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.

May 14, 2007

Of politicians and perfection

From last night's "60 Minutes" segment on Mitt Romney, as reported by Mike Wallace --

Wallace: "The rap on you, of course, is that you are too smooth, too handsome, too polished. Are you really known as 'Matinee Mitt' ...?"
Romney: "That's the rap on you, Mike ..."
Wallace: "No, no, no ..."
Romney: "... Too smooth, too polished ..."

Then, as to be expected, the rapid-fire edit away from the conversation before the inevitable smile from Romney to show he was having a little fun at Wallace's expense. When I first saw the exchange in the previews that open the show, I thought Romney was criticizing the media, as epitomized by Wallace. It wasn't until I watched the actual segment that I realized Romney was being irreverent, just as he'd done when Jay Leno posed a similar question on "The Tonight Show."

The "too smooth, too polished, too handsome" rap could also be leveled at another presidential contender from Massachusetts, albeit one from decades ago -- John F. Kennedy. Difference being, Kennedy was a Democrat, though I doubt he'd be one today.

Smooth, polished and handsome isn't acceptable in actual politicians running for president, only for a long-dead icon who provided the template.

May 12, 2007

Romney on a roll

Cover of Time magazine and an interview with Mike Wallace on tomorrow night's "60 Minutes," both on the heels of Mitt Romney's solid performance in last week's Republican debate.

What we are seeing is belated recognition by the mainstream media that Romney is a candidate to be reckoned with. Eventual recognition to follow that he's the most formidable presidential contender since Clinton in 1992.

May 11, 2007

Somewhere Dan Quayle is smiling

The nation's divorce rate drops to its lowest level since 1970, reports USA Today and numerous other media outlets ...

Unacknowledged birth of punk rock

First encountered this awesome photoshop revisionism of "Sparky" Ruby's decision to off Oswald on national TV in a Missouri poster shop several years ago, but held off due to its steep $10 price tag.

Tip of the hat to fellow Bay State blogger at wavemaker for this one, and for pointing out that the graffiti on the wall behind Oswald was the emblem for the punk band Dead Kennedys.

Still waiting for mainstream media references to "far left"

From a Reuters story out of Paris yesterday on demonstrations and arrests following the victory of conservative presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy --

"Some 300 to 400 demonstrators gathered on the Boulevard St-Michel in the Latin Quarter of Paris," writes Reuters' Gerard Bon, "ostensibly to protest against a march by far-right supporters."For the uninitiated, allow this former left-winger to translate -- "far-right" is code for "Nazi," invariably tossed about in abundant ignorance that the Nazis were national socialists. The demonstrators, Bon writes, shouted slogans like "Sarko fascist! The people will have your hide" and "Police everywhere, justice nowhere."

The French have hardly stopped counting the votes in Sarkozy's impressive victory and his more unhinged critics are already dragging out that smoldy standby of the intellectually barren, "fascist," as if Sarkozy's proposal to lengthen the work week for a stagnant French economy is akin to tossing Jews in ovens.

But it's standing-room only in the "Peace Studies" courses

From an article in the May 7 issue of The New Republic on the dearth of college courses focusing on military history --

"At Harvard this spring, for instance, only two of 85 history courses focus mainly on war," writes David A. Bell, author of "The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Warfare As We Know It."

"This is not surprising, because Harvard does not have a single specialist in military history among the 58 members of its history department," Bell writes. "Neither does my own history department at Johns Hopkins; just two of our 61 spring courses are principally concerned with war."

Not to worry, though. Should liberals succeed in their fervent desire for America to lose the war in Iraq, we'll see lots of collegiate offerings about that in the future.

May 10, 2007

Change in jihadist tactics

Anyone else find it significant that the Fort Dix Six allegedly targeted an American military base -- as opposed to American civilians?

Whether the suspected terrorists would have carried out their plot had the feds not intervened is impossible to know, but it's hardly a stretch to surmise that the plotters would have encountered much less resistance -- and firepower -- had they targeted a shopping mall, commuter rail station (or college campus) than a military base.

Then again, why target civilians when the likely effect would be to unite Americans against the jihad? That's the last thing terrorists want. Far better for them if Americans remain divided on the true nature of the threat we face. For example, a Rasmussen poll released last week found more than one-third of Democrats, 35 percent, believe President Bush knew the 9/11 attacks were coming. Another 26 percent of Democrats "weren't sure" while 39 percent doubt that Bush knew of the onslaught in advance.

What's the point of killing American citizens if jihadists can already count on Democrats acting as useful idiots in losing the hearts and minds?

May 9, 2007

Name that Jihadi!

Time for yet another round of that drearily predictable game that's all the rage in the new millennium .... Name That Jihadi!

The rules are simple and straightforward -- every time I hear of terrorist suspects arrested here or abroad, I guess how many have the name "Muhammad" or any of its innumerable variations.

As for the so-called "Fort Dix Six" allegedly involved in a plot to attack American military personnel at Fort Dix, N.J., I guessed that at least two of the suspects had "Muhammad" as part of their names. Turns out only one did -- Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer -- but he's the alleged ringleader, so that counts as two, at least according to the evolving rules of ... Name That Jihadi!

Mussolini would be pleased

From today's "This Day in History" column published by the Associated Press --

"In 1936, Italy annexed Ethiopia."

"... annexed ..."?

May 8, 2007

Also known as a purge

Not content with Democrats holding all six constitutional offices in Massachusetts, a 5-1 advantage over Republicans in the Legislature and all 10 of the state's seats in Congress, Bay State Governor Deval Patrick wants 50 commissioners and agency leaders appointed by Patrick's Republican predecessors to reapply for their jobs, according to today's Boston Globe.

"The governor has asked each secretariat to build a team that shares this administration's priorities and visions," Patrick spokesman Kyle Sullivan was quoted as saying.

Once the purge is complete -- by the end of the month, Sullivan told the Globe -- political diversity in Massachusetts will rival to that achieved by the late and unlamented (but not on Beacon Hill) Soviet Union.

April 10, 2007

Hey, that's hitting below the belt

A story in today's Washington Post about Britain's Defense Ministry barring military personnel from selling personal stories to the media, in the wake of Iran's release of 15 British sailors and marines held captive by the Islamic Republic, contained this tidbit --

"Arthur Batchelor, 20, youngest of the captives, told the Daily Mirror that he 'cried like a baby' and that his captors tormented him repeatedly by saying he looked like the British comedy character Mr. Bean."

Those unspeakable bastards.

Has anyone contacted Amnesty International about this? Comparing just about any Brit in uniform to Benny Hill is fair game, as long accepted under the Geneva Conventions. But Mr. Bean -- oh the humanity!

"Cried like a baby"? Does the phrase "stiff upper lip" resonate in the least anymore, Mr. Batchelor?

Another pop culture character comes to mind -- Dr. Zachary Smith, the craven coward in TV's "Lost in Space."

Guilty as charged

"Democrats may have nailed down the support of Hollywood, but Republicans love actors. In a period of intense Reagan nostalgia on the right (emphasis added), it makes sense that many would view (former US Senator and actor Fred) Thompson as someone to save them from an uninspiring field of presidential candidates"

-- from the "National Perspectives" column by Peter Canellos in today's Boston Globe, on Thompson possibly running for president.

April 9, 2007

Meet Emmett Till -- sexist pig, former civil rights icon

Still hard to believe this one ... as reported in the Los Angeles Times last month and wending its way through the blogosphere --

"Administrators at a Los Angeles charter school forbade students from reciting a poem about civil rights icon Emmett Till during a Black History Month program recently, saying his story was unsuitable for an assembly of young children."
"Teachers and students said the administration suggested that the Till case -- in which a teenager was beaten to death in Mississippi after allegedly whistling at a white woman -- was not fitting for a program intended to be celebratory ..." (Up from Slavery!) "... and that Till's actions could be viewed as sexual harassment."

... and the actions of these overwrought educators could be viewed as a classic example of politically correct lunacy.

Yes, let's deprive school children of learning about one of the pivotal episodes in the civil rights movement because Till was clearly a Neanderthal in desperate need of re-education. True, what Till's killers did was egregious, but at least they hadn't whistled at a woman. See how it works?


Tip of the hat to Keith Gottschalk at rabble news for this one.

April 5, 2007

Fourteen days instead of 14 months

... the lengths of time for Iran to release British military "detainees" compared to American hostages held in Tehran from November 1979 to January 1981, the earlier crisis initiating modern jihad. The thuggish theocrats in Tehran are surely patting themselves on the backs for appearing so reasonable and compassionate.

Let's see, that's a phony hostage crisis and a phony war provoked against Israel, both within the last year, both transparent attempts to distract the West's attention from Iran's frantic and deceitful efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. What next -- a "War of the Worlds"-type broadcast claiming a Martian invasion?

Romney-Rice in '08

A winning Republican ticket -- here's how and why:

The political pendulum still swings toward the Democrats as the '08 election approaches, favoring the candidacies of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. All three of the top-tier Republican candidates -- Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain -- fall short within the spectrum of conservative voters, to say nothing of the electorate as a whole. Those in the second tier -- Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, etc., are seen as not ready for prime time.

With these dynamics in mind, as well as his own health, Dick Cheney resigns. President Bush appoints Condi Rice to succeed Cheney, which isn't such a stretch because as Secretary of State she's next in the line of succession after Speaker of the House (mental note: check with Al Haig about that). Likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney picks Rice as his running mate, citing the fact she's vice president anyway.

Rice's presence on the Republican ticket undercuts two core Democratic constituencies -- women and blacks -- in a year with a Dem ticket of Clinton-Obama.
Skeptics will counter that Rice doesn't want to be president, nor presumably, vice president. This is true to some extent, at least from what I've read and heard.

But anyone who doubts that Rice is ambitious hasn't been paying attention. And while Rice is not now seeking higher office, something tells me her disdain for that is exceeded by her opposition to Hillary Clinton getting elected president.

April 4, 2007

That's why Bubba calls her 'Sarge'

Great cover story by Michael Crowley in this week's The New Republic titled, "Hillary and the War: The Real Reason She Won't Apologize." An eyebrow raiser of an excerpt:

"Sifting through Hillary's life, a portrait begins to emerge of a woman who's always been more confortable with the military than many of her liberal peers," Crowley writes. "I found that Clinton had aggressively pushed her husband to use force when he was president; that one of her most influential new advisers was a former senior aide to hawkish Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia; and that, although she opposed President Bush's Iraq 'surge,' she has consulted regularly with one of its prime architects. I even found that, in her late twenties, Hillary Rodman Clinton briefly attempted to enlist in the U.S. Marines." (emphasis added)

Then again, is this really such a shock, Clinton's rhetorical contortions on Iraq aside?
The timing of Clinton's attempt to become a grunt is illuminating. The war in Vietnam "apparently didn't imbue Hillary with a loathing for the military," Crowley writes. "In 1975, just months after the last U.S. troops returned home, Hillary was living in Arkansas with Bill, who had mounted a failed bid for Congress the previous year. The young couple, who would marry later that year, were both teaching law at the University of Arkansas, when Hillary, for reasons never made entirely clear, decided to enlist in the Marines.

"When she walked into a recruiting office in Little Rock and inquired about joining, the recruiter on duty was unenthusiastic about the 27-year-old law professor in thick, goggle glasses. 'You're too old, you can't see, and you're a woman',' Clinton recalled him saying. 'Maybe the dogs' - Marine slang for Army - 'would take you.' Deflated, Clinton said she decided to 'look another way to serve my country.' "

Crowley doesn't attribute where Clinton recounted the episode, but my guess is that it appears in Clinton's memoirs, "Living History."

Back in the fray

Other priorities forced me to put this blog aside in recent weeks, but it's time to jump back in the fray. To paraphrase a Chinese proverb, we live in consequential times, and it rubs me the wrong way to sit on the sidelines.

March 7, 2007

We're ready for our close-up, Mr. DeMille


Seeing how she wasn't a covert agent and all

"No one has been charged with leaking (Valerie) Plame Wilson's name to the press" -- last sentence in next to last paragraph of story in today's Boston Globe about the verdict in the Libby trial.

Go figure

"Libby did not speak to reporters" -- from an AP story last night about verdict in Libby trial.

March 6, 2007

Must be that limited DC jury pool

The AP story about the Libby verdict mentioned in the preceding post also contained this eye-opener -- one of the jurors, Denis Collins, is a "former Washington Post reporter." Huh ...?

Allow me to offer an alternative scenario to put this in perspective -- say that James Carville, in his capacity as chief of staff to future Vice President Barack Obama, was on trial for the same charges as Scooter, and one of the jurors was a "former reporter" for Fox News -- think that might raise an eyebrow at Moveon.org?

Verdict in Libby trial

... and with it the first story I've seen coming out of the trial, posted online this afternoon by the AP, to explicitly state that Scooter Libby "was not the source for the original column outing (Valerie) Plame." Yet another story, however, that manages to avoid mentioning the name of said source, former State Department official Richard Armitage.

A distinction making all the difference

Canadian author Irshad Manji, quoted by Bret Stephens' in his "Global View" op-ed column in today's Wall Street Journal, under the headline "Islam's Other Radicals" --

"Moderate Muslims denounce terror that's committed in the name of Islam but they deny that religion has anything to do with it. Reform-minded Muslims denounce terror that's acknowledged in the name of Islam and acknowledge that our religion is used to inspire it."

Reform-minded Muslims, in other words, are willing to acknowledge reality, unlike "moderate Muslims" and their Western apologists.

Great moments in Escapee history

From the AP's "Today in History" column -- "In 1967, the daughter of Josef Stalin, Svetlana Alliluyeva, appeared at the US embassy in India and announced her intention to defect to the West."

March 5, 2007

But of course they hate books too

The headline this hour at the website of the NY Times -- "Explosion kills 20 in Baghdad Book Market" -- that the jihadists would target a bookstore comes as no surprise. From their perspective, patrons of such an establishment are automatically suspect, what with their propensity for curiosity and asking awkward questions. Something else the Islamists have in common with the Nazis, their ideological cohorts of the last century. Then again, the Nazis burned books, they didn't blow them up. So much more efficient to set them ablaze.

Another prime target -- children -- typical of a warped ideology that offers all the future of a death cult while harkening back to an alleged golden age which never existed. Going after children means fewer book store patrons to target in the future.

Memo to McCain: You need to get nominated before you can get elected

What is it with John McCain -- deliberately blowing off a major annual conservative conference --- while he's running for the Republican presidential nomination?

Not sure if using Ralph Nader as your guiding spirit is the way to go, Senator.

James was always the solemn one

"The United States, with its war, racism, sexual restlessness, religious confusion, and economic disparity, is a nest of festering confusion" -- Boston Globe columnist James Carroll, in today's paper.

Odd how Carroll and so many other vociferous critics of this "nest of festering confusion" can rarely bring themselves to live in other -- invariably worse -- "nests."

March 4, 2007

Yeah, and it cost him a PT boat

John F. Kennedy "believed that the use of military force should be a last resort" -- excerpt from a March 2 op-ed in the Boston Globe by Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and author of "Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Disaster."

McClellan influences another war

Transcript of remarks on "Meet the Press" appearance by Michigan Senator George B. McClellan, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, as conveyed by telegraph from NBC's Washington bureau ...

Tim Russert (voiceover intro): our issues this Sunday ... staggering carnage on the battlefield ... rioting in northern cities ... growing resistance to the war among Democrats .... all with no end in sight ... with us today, a man who knows the horrors of war far better than anyone, the former Union general challenging President Abraham Lincoln in next year's election, the Honorable George B. McClellan. Welcome, Senator McClellan, and thank you for taking time from your busy campaign.

McClellan: You are most welcome, sir, but I would appreciate if you would kindly address me as "General."

Russert: By all means, my apologies. General McClellan, you've introduced a resolution in the Senate that would limit the president's ability to wage war. Why?

McClellan: It's obvious to all but the most oblivious that this war is going quite badly - thousands of our soldiers dead, vast devastation and ruin, the military strained beyond its capacity, growing discontent at home - all based on an illegal and dishonest rationale for halting Southern secession. In fact, our revered Constitution makes no mention of secession, as even a backwoods lawyer like Lincoln is surely aware.

Russert: Are you saying, Sena ... sorry, General ... that ending slavery can be achieved without force of arms?

McClellan: What I am saying with crystal clarity is that the Confederacy is a separate, sovereign nation not beholden to the simplistic whims of another nation's autocrat. What the South does within its borders is its business, as with the North. Is there a whit of difference between the so-called slavery of the South and the brutality of child labor in Northern mills? Not that I can see. All Lincoln has succeeded in doing is to put our soldiers in the middle of a civil war.

Russert: But would you not agree that the South provoked the conflict with its attack on the federal military post at Fort Sumter?

McClellan: I strenuously disagree with the premise of your question, sir. It has never been proven that the honorable leaders of the Confederacy -- and they are all honorable men -- had anything to do with that attack. From what I understand, it was undertaken by 19 freedom fighters armed with primitive weaponry and acting at the behest of a renegade leader with no connection to the Confederacy. Lincoln has used this flimsy pretext to wage a massive invasion of the South, conscript thousands against their will, suspend habeus corpus - even toss journalists like you into jail for asking impertinent questions!

Russert (a tad nervously): What about the fate of millions of slaves in the South -- would not a Union retreat from the battlefield consign them to lives of misery?

McClellan: How convenient of Mr. Lincoln that he keeps changing the rationale for the war. First we were told it was needed to maintain the Union, then to counter alleged Southern aggression, then to liberate these so-called slaves. What next, to provide voting rights for women? And how anyone can claim this war has helped the people it was supposed to liberate is beyond me.

Russert: How then would you resolve the issue of slavery, which has haunted us since the Revolution?

McClellan: By the most forceful and strenuous of negotiations, sir, and not just with the Confederacy but with Britain, France, Spain and Mexico, all of whom are inclined to act in our best interests. Once we take this long-overdue strategy, it will clearly signal to the world that the Union is not to be trifled with ...

March 3, 2007

It's all coming back to me

From the AP's "Today in History" column yesterday:

Ten years ago: It was revealed that Vice President (Al) Gore had raised millions of dollars through direct telephone solicitations, and that some of the calls were made on special phones installed in government buildings for that purpose.

Go figure

"Libby did not speak to reporters" -- from AP story last night about verdict in Libby trial.

March 2, 2007

Democrats retreat on war funding

Force of habit, you might say ... news today out of Washington - "Just hours after floating the idea of cutting $20 billion from President Bush's $142 billion request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan next year, Kent Conrad, Senate Budget Committee Chairman, was overruled by fellow Democrats yesterday," writes the AP's Andrew Taylor.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is quoted as telling reporters, "It's nothing that any of us are considering."

Translation: It's nothing any of us are considering any longer after several nose counts found us short on votes.

The last Kennedy willing to fight


... the USS John F. Kennedy arrives in Boston yesterday for its final port call on the hometown of its namesake -- great photo on the front page of today's Boston Globe.

Unable to see past caricature

In that Feb. 25 column of Garrison Keillor's I quoted a few posts back, Keiller claimed that the Republican Party "is the captive of people who believe that most of us are destined to spend eternity in hellfire ..." -- count me among those who believe it is "many," not "most," and not limited to non-Republicans -- " ... and when you believe that, you will inevitably find it hard to persuade the damned to vote for you.

"You take a Republican to lunch and he is obligated to bring out a big black book ..." - uh, the Bible? -- " ... and open it to Revelations ..." -- sure enough -- " ...and tell you that the beast with 10 horns is Hillary Clinton" -- while the multi-horned beast in question is clearly another New Yorker, George Steinbrenner ...

Well yeah, that too

In an AP story earlier this week, Rudy Giuliani explains his Democratic past (I know how you're feeling, gov) and is quoted thus: "I don't think anything separates us more right now between Republicans and Democrats than how we look at taxes. What we understand as Republicans is that, sure, the government is an important player in this, but we are essentially a private economy. What Democrats really believe is that it is essentially a government economy."

Couldn't agree more with the latter part of that statement, nor disagree more with the former. A much biggest difference? Democrats are convinced that George W. Bush is the greatest threat to peace in our time -- Republicans know that the threat comes not from Bush, but from radical Islam, and has since for long before Sept. 11.

March 1, 2007

Who you callin' ho?



From the March 5 issue of Time -- the photo alone makes subscribing worthwhile.

Picture final scene in 'Animal Farm' to put in proper perspective

"Did you know that (Al) Gore's uses more electricity in a month than the average household does in a year?"

Or that Gore's "heated poolhouse" burns "more natural gas - $500 a month worth - than most of us can afford to use while heating houses that shelter people, as opposed to swimming lanes.

As pointed out by an editorial in today's Wall Street Journal. It didn't take long after "An Inconvenient Truth" won an Oscar for best documentary (with all these additional Oscars every year, you'd think they'd get around to one for best propaganda) for news to break of the former VP's rather porcine energy consumption down at the ranch.

Ah, but the ever-clever Gore compensates for this through the convenient purchase of "carbon offsets." As a result, "one might burn up thousands of dollars worth of natural gas to keep one's poolhouse toasty," as the WSJ editorial points out, "then do penance for this carbon sin by paying someone else to put up solar panels."

"Mr. Gore is rich and fortunate enough to be able to afford the 'carbon offset' for his energy indulgences," the WSJ edit states in conclusion. "The middle-class parents who need a gas-guzzling SUV to haul the kids to soccer practice might not be so lucky. They might even settle for an unheated pool."

February 28, 2007

History lesson for Patrick Kennedy

... the headline of an op-ed of mine running in yesterday's Providence Journal and found by following this link ...

In recent remarks on Iraq from the floor of the House, Kennedy quoted his uncle, the late Robert F. Kennedy, in criticizing Lyndon Johnson's handling of the Vietnam War. Fair enough -- until Kennedy claimed that from March 1968, when RFK make the remarks later cited by his nephew, another five years would pass "before an American president" began withdrawing US troops from Vietnam.

But as I point out in the op-ed, Johnson's successor, Richard Nixon, didn't wait five years to start pulling American troops out of Vietnam -- he waited five months.

February 27, 2007

Revisiting an awesome Gore cartoon

... by the ever-timely Henry Payne

Self-esteem suffers from low self-esteem

Not surprising in the least, new research finds that an endless mantra of "You Are Special" to children from parents, teachers, etc., may eventually result in shallow, narcissistic adults with little tolerance for challenges or rejection.

Prediction: school boards around the country will debate whether to allow discussion of the research in their schools, lest it hurt their students' self-esteem.

Come to think of it, when you look at Sharpton in profile ...

Perennially pombadoured race-baiter Al Sharpton wants DNA testing to determine if he is related to late paleo-segregationalist Strom Thurmond - follow this link for the skinny, so to speak -- this is not a parody -- repeat, this is not a parody ...

If true, Reverend, look at the bright side -- those hardy Thurmond genes.

February 26, 2007

Last one leaving the party shuts off the lights

Joe "Last Democrat Standing" Lieberman threatens to bolt to the GOP if Democrats vote to revoke earlier resolution authorizing force against Iraq ...

Timeless wisdom

"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do us harm" -- George Orwell

Send lawyers, guns and money

Michigan Senator and armchair generalissimo Carl Levin describing his proposed Senate resolution on his appearance yesterday on "Meet the Press" --

The new resolution would "modify" the previous resolution in October 2002 that authorized the use of force against Iraq, Levin explained to MTP newsman Tim Russert, "so that we would be in a supporting role rather than a combat role."

A surge in grief counselors comes to mind ...

"Things have changed in Iraq," Levin stated further.

Yes, the Baathists are now slaughtering people right out in the open, instead of in dungeons like they used to ...

"We don't believe it would be possible to remove all our troops," Levin said ...

Such a strategy bearing an awkward resemblance to retreat ...

" ... but there is going to be a purpose that they are going to need to serve," Levin said, "included continued training of the Iraqi army, support for the logistics of the Iraqi army, a counterterrorism purpose, or a mission ..."

Purpose, mission, whatever ...

" ... because there is 3,000 in al-Qaeda in Iraq ..."

Once again refuting the claim that Iraq and al-Qaeda have nothing to do with each other ...

" ... so we want to modify, we want to transform ..."

Micromanage, tie the commander in chief's hands ...

" ... the earlier resolution to a more limited purpose."

Thereby limiting our nation's prospects for success but saddling a huge debacle around Bush's neck for eternity ...

Russert asked, why not just cut funding for the war?

Levin's response -- bad for the troops and would help Bush if rejected by Congress, a likely scenario - "So it's the wrong thing to do and it would also strengthen the president's hand and we don't want to do that, we want to change the president's course. He is on a course that is leading to defeat."

God forbid that Democrats do anything to "strengthen the president's hand" in time of war. This runs the risk of making them appear ... what's the word I'm looking for? ... patriotic?

Hardly a week passes that the Democratic Party does not confirm something I've suspected for years -- that defeating Bush is more important to them than destroying the threat from radical Islam.

Don't take my word for it

From Garrison Keillor's weekly column, "The Old Scout," published yesterday:

"The problem with liberals in our time, even though we'd like to think we're riding high at the moment, is that we're not so much fun to eat lunch with. We carry an air of self-righteous sorrow about hunger, global warming, homelessness, tax inequity, the heartlessness of big corporations, and a list of crises as long as your arm. You eat lunch with a liberal and you are ashamed to order dessert."

February 24, 2007

Wasn't Jayson Blair fired years ago?

Eye-opener of a correction in today's New York Times, invariably my favorite part of the paper --

"An article on Page 50 of The Times Magazine this weekend, about Sam Nunn, head of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, misstates the name of a company on whose board he serves. It is Chevron, not Chevron Texaco. The article also misspells the surname of a former secretary of state with whom Nunn and others wrote a recent op-ed for The Wall Street Journal. He is George P. Shultz, not Schulz. And the article misspells the surname of the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency in several references. He is Mohamed ElBaradei, not ElBaredei."

Thrusting that fist into the 21st century

Bill Clinton's campaign wisdom, as conveyed by John Dickerson this week in Slate -- "Your opponent can't talk when he has your fist in his mouth."

Peggy Noonan's clear-eyed reaction to this, in her column in today's Wall Street Journal -- "Among Democratic political professionals, this kind of talk is considered tough and knowing, as opposed to, say, startingly belligerent and crude."

Any Republican saying the exact same thing is quickly labeled by the libs as -- you got it -- "mean-spirited."

Vilsack drops out of race

... Tom Vilsack was running for president...? Damn! I blinked and missed it ...

Devil costumes remain a perennial favorite

News last night out of Philadelphia -- the family of a 10-year-old boy not allowed to wear a Jesus costume to his school's Halloween activities is suing the school district, alleging the boy's religious and free-speech rights were violated.

First Cat Stevens ... now this

Michael Jackson is likely to convert to Islam, according to his brother, Jermaine, as reported by the AP. What the heck, he's tried everything else.

February 22, 2007

Refreshing intelligence on intelligence

... as stated by former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith last week on "The Charlie Rose Show" -

"One of the things that I think would be useful for your viewers to understand is that intelligence often gets talked about as if it is a matter of objective truth, but intelligence is almost never a matter of objective truth (emphasis in the original). It's sketchy information, it's bits and pieces, it's analysis, it's speculation, and there's an enormous amount of ground for reasonable people to interpret the bits and pieces of intelligence in different ways."

The crucial caveat - "reasonable people" - which rules out Islamic fanatics and their Western liberal apologists.

Wish I'd thought of that

A headline in today's Jerusalem Post - "NASA, Virgin to Collaborate on Space Flights" - and the tongue-in-cheek response - "A Novel Way to Avoid Love Triangles."

Or this headline from yesterday's Denver Post - "Lawsuit Attacks Booze, Frat Life" -- followed by the sly allusion to a John Belushi line in the movie "Animal House" -- "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

Where are they coming from? A great daily email sent out by the Wall Street Journal called "Best of the Web Today." If you look forward to Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievement Awards issue every January, this is right up your alley. Follow this link if you'd like to sign up (and no, I don't get a cut - yet).

You remember, the guy who outed Plame

Yet another story from the Associated Press (excuse me, The Associated Press) about the Scooter Libby trial that once again makes no mention of former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage -- the government official who disclosed Valerie Plame's identity and job description to columnist Robert Novak.

I'm beginning to wonder if AP reporters and editors are running some kind of betting pool on this.

Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger weighed in today with a column today on "prosecutions that wreak ruin on a lifetime." Read the full transcript of theis "mock trail," Henninger suggests, "and one will see that the real subject is not justice, but the humiliation of the defendant."

Libby's trial, in "the national capital of illogic," has been exemplary in this regard, Henninger writes. "In December 2003, the prosecutor purports a crime has been committed by revealing a 'covert' CIA agent's identity to the press -- despite knowing then what the outside world learned nearly three years later -- that the revealer of the agent was a State Department official, Richard Armitage."

Details, details.