Qntal - Sine Nomine
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Victor Davis Hanson comments on the seizure of the British sailors and Marines.
‘It’s completely outrageous for any nation to go out and arrest the servicemen of another nation in waters that don’t belong to them.” So spoke Admiral Sir Alan West, former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy, concerning the present Anglo-Iranian crisis over captured British soldiers. But if the attack was “outrageous,” it was apparently not quite outrageous enough for anything to have been done about it yet.
Sir Alan elaborated on British rules of engagement by stressing they are “very much de-escalatory, because we don’t want wars starting ... Rather than roaring into action and sinking everything in sight we try to step back and that, of course, is why our chaps were, in effect, able to be captured and taken away.”
One might suggest, not necessarily “sinking everything in sight,” but at least shooting back at a few of the people trying to kidnap Britain’s uniformed soldiers. But the view, apparently, is that stepping back and allowing some chaps to be “captured and taken away” is to be preferred to “roaring into action and sinking everything in sight.” The latter is more or less what Nelson did at the battle of the Nile, when he nearly destroyed the Napoleonic fleet.
The attack coincides roughly with Iran’s announcement that it will end its cooperation with U.N. non-proliferation efforts. That announcement was in reaction to a unanimous vote to begin embargoing some trade with Teheran of critical nuclear-related substances. With that move, Ahmadinejad is essentially notifying the world that Iran will go ahead and get the bomb — and let no one dare try to stop them.
If a non-nuclear Iran kidnaps foreign nationals in international waters, we can imagine what a nuclear theocracy will do. The Iranian thugocracy rightly understands that NATO will not declare the seizure of a member’s personnel an affront to the entire alliance.
Nor will the European Union send its “rapid” defense forces to insist on a return of the hostages. There is simply too much global worry about the price and availability of oil, too much regional concern over stability after Iraq, and too much national anxiety over the cost in lives and treasure that a possible confrontation would bring. Confrontation can be avoided through capitulation, and no Western nation is willing to insist that Iran adhere to any norms of behavior.
[. . .]
The latest Iranian kidnapping of British sailors came after British promises to leave Iraq, and after the British humiliation of 2004, when eight hostages were begged back. Apparently the Iranians have figured either that London would do little if they captured more British subjects or that the navy of Lord Nelson and Admiral Jellico couldn’t stop them if it wanted to.
[. . .]
Europe is just one major terrorist operation away from a disgrace that will not merely discredit the EU, but will do so to such a degree as to endanger its citizenry and interests worldwide and their very safety at home. Islamists must assume that an attack on a European icon — Big Ben, the Vatican, or the Eiffel Tower — could be pulled off with relative impunity and ipso facto shatter European confidence and influence. Each day that the Iranians renege on their promises to release the hostages, and then proceed to parade their captives, earning another “unacceptable” from embarrassed British officials, a little bit more of the prestige of the United Kingdom is chipped away.
[. . .]
Quite simply, there is now no NATO, no EU, no U.N. that can or will do anything in anyone’s hour of need.
After the end of World War Two the United States and the European powers took the decision that a disarmed Europe would not go to war with itself again. So they reduced their military spending, demobilized their armed forces and depended upon the United States for their security.
Even after the Soviet Union became a nuclear power and established hegemony over Eastern Europe the Western European nations kept their military expenditures to a bare minimum. The Western European militaries occupied niches in NATO's overall force structure; for example, the UK specialized in anti-submarine warfare.
While each nation had a part to play in a general war against the USSR they were essentially supplementing the US military. After the fall of the Berlin Wall the nations of Europe lowered their military spending even more. The UK is set to mothball half of its already reduced fleet soon. When this happens the UK will have a smaller fleet than any time since the reign of Elizabeth I in the 1500's.
Old Europe has used the money which it has saved by hiding behind the United States to build comfortable welfare states which provide cradle to grave services for their populations. As the need to defend themselves was taken out of their hands and the major needs of life were guaranteed to them by their governments and the big decisions were made for them by bureaucrats the populations fell into a type of perpetual adolescence.
This explains their demographic collapse and the death of heterosexual marriage in Europe. After all why get married to one person and tie yourself down having kids when you can flit from relationship to relationship and if you find someone you want to stay with for the long term why ruin things with children. After all life is too short and there are too many fun things to do to spend more than a decade changing diapers and answering an endless series of "why, why, why" questions.
Raising kids is work for adults. Screwing around is for teenagers, even ones in their 20s, 30s or 40s. Why does a woman need a husband when the state will provide for her and her child and why does a man need a wife when women no longer hold out for a wedding ring before providing the comfort of a domestic life.
The trouble with an arrangement like this is that sooner or later the bill comes due. The storm clouds are already gathering on the horizon for Europe. Their birthrate has already fallen to around half the replacement rate. The populations are aging as advances in medical science, which have mostly come from America, are granting longer lifespans. Older people drawing pensions and needing more, and more expensive, medical care consume ever larger chunks of European national budgets and the ever larger numbers of immigrants from North Africa and the Near and Middle East are not making up the shortfall because nearly 40% of them, and their children down to the third and forth generation, wind up drawing the state's generous welfare benefits.
The Muslim immigrants have been taught by their imams to view welfare as a form of the jizra, the poll tax which non-believers owe to their Muslim masters for the right to live in Muslim countries, and they now view the nations of Europe as Muslim territory.
Europe has become non-sustainable. They have given up their "hard" power (military force) and their "soft" power (diplomatic and economic leverage) is a joke. They depend too heavily upon their business relationships with Islamic nations to prop up their economies for just a little while longer and even if they could muster the courage to respond forcefully to Iran's latest provocation they would fear to kick the hornet's nest of their own Muslim populations.
European elites realize that the only hope Europe has for a future is as part of the larger Islamic world. To this end they will more and more side with nations like Iran, Syria and organizations like Hamas against American and Israeli interests.
NATO is dead and the UN will lose even the occasional ability to be anything but an anti-American dictator's club. It might be possible to hold on to Canada and Australia as allies for some time but the same demographic collapse which is deviling Europe is also haunting them. So even if they stay out of the new Eurabian Caliphate's orbit they will still be facing economic collapse before the middle of the century.
America cannot survive alone against the entire world. We will need new allies in the new century and we need to start cultivating them now. Africa is a disease ridden basket case being torn between unreconstructed socialist governments as in Zimbabwe and Islamofascist thugs like those taking over Niger.
Asia has some possibilities. Taiwan can be a powerful ally if we can keep them from being swallowed by the communist mainland. South Korea has been a friend, but is now so preoccupied with appeasing the North in the hopes of reunification that we probably can't count on them. Japan is a wealthy nation with a great industrial capability, but it is suffering from the same catastrophic fall in birthrate as Europe.
All in all India is the great hope. A population of over a billion people with a surging economy an excellent educational system and Western governmental traditions thanks to their years as a British colony. As they modernize their military with American equipment instead of their current Russian/Soviet junk they will become a formidable modern nuclear power fully able to check China's regional ambitions and assume their share of the coming world war against Islam.
The world order that people like myself were born into in the second half of the twentieth century is all but dead and cannot be brought back. Whether the world which our children and grandchildren grow up in has its roots in Rome, Athens and Jerusalem or in Mecca and Medina is very much an open question. The shape of the world to come will be determined by which side is the most resolute.
The question is are we willing to say "no" one more time than Islam is willing to say "yes" and are willing to back our "no" up with blood and fire and steel?
Friday, March 30, 2007
Anuna : The Wild song
Anúna is an Irish choral group that came to world prominence through its involvement with the Riverdance phenomenon in the mid 1990s. In 1987 Dublin composer Michael McGlynn founded An Uaithne, a name which describes the three ancient types of Celtic music, Suantraí (lullaby), Geantraí (happy song) and Goltraí (lament). One of the group's primary aims was to explore and redefine this music, and also to perform McGlynn's own original works and his arrangements of medieval and traditional Irish music.
From The American Spectator:
Mitt Romney's most-heralded achievement as governor of Massachusetts was his overhaul of the Bay State's health care system. However, as I've noted on the AmSpec blog, "RomneyCare" began running into problems pretty quickly. After much initial self-promotion, Romney now is slowly backing away from his health care plan, hinting that the Democrats now in charge should be blamed if it flops. "I was a little concerned at the signing ceremony when Ted Kennedy showed up," Romney recently quipped. But the fact is that RomneyCare was a pretty liberal health care plan right from the start.
In 2006, then-governor Romney promoted his plan with enthusiasm and aplomb. He also did his best to mollify conservatives he sought to court for his presidential campaign who were concerned that his plan was little more than big government in disguise. Regarding the individual mandate that required all citizens of Massachusetts to purchase health insurance, Romney defended it in conservative terms -- even if doing so seemed a bit Orwellian. He referred to the mandate as "a personal responsibility principle." Yet if the government is forcing people to buy insurance, how can that be described as "personal"? Romney has never bothered to explain.
Romney is now avoiding responsibility for RomneyCare. In a recent newspaper article, his spokesman Kevin Madden claims the current state of the health care reform "is different from the approach the governor submitted" and is in the hands of "a state government that he is no longer in charge of." But the problems RomneyCare now faces can be traced back to the legislation that Romney signed back in 2006.
One problem stems from the fact that whenever a government mandates that people must buy health insurance, it has to decide what constitutes "health insurance." RomneyCare gave this responsibility to the "Commonwealth Connector," a public entity created by the new law meant to serve as a clearinghouse for individuals and small businesses to purchase private insurance. The Connector was charged with deciding exactly what type of policies could be sold to individuals and small businesses.
Of course, when government bureaucrats are given this type of power, they seldom let individuals decide such matters for themselves. Earlier this month, the Connector published regulations dictating what would constitute minimum coverage. Among other things, all plans sold under the Connector must have prescription drug coverage, no limitations on benefits per year or per sickness, and cannot have annual deductibles higher than $2,000 for an individual and $4,000 for a family. The Connector marvels that "No other state in the nation has set such a high standard," and that the regulations are "a landmark in raising the floor for coverage." However, the Connector concedes that this will require about 250,000 Bay State residents who are already insured to buy even more coverage because the health insurance they currently have doesn't meet the Connector's minimum standards. Yet the Connector clearly knows what is best for those folks. Purchasing more coverage "will help secure them access to preventive care and protection from medical bankruptcy, should they become seriously ill," states this appendage of the nanny state.
The Connector is also charged with setting minimum standards for the coverage that would be offered (and partly subsidized by the state) to low-income residents. The regulations that the Connector established all but ensure that such coverage will likely become very expensive very quickly. For starters, the regulations prevent low-income folks from purchasing more frugal health savings account (HSA) policies. All HSA policies must come with a deductible of at least $1,050 -- that is, the insurance company cannot start paying for health care services until the policyholder meets that deductible. Under IRS regulations, the only exceptions to that rule are preventive care services. Yet the Connector required all low-income plans to cover a host of non-preventive services below any such deductible, thereby preventing HSAs from being included in those policies.
Not only has the Connector driven HSAs from the low-income market, a look at the benefits sheet (PDF) for low income policies shows that the policies will result in greater demand for health care. For example, there is no co-pay at all for lab work, eyeglasses, maternity care, or calling an ambulance. Co-pays for a visit to a primary-care physician are not more than $10 and co-pays to see a specialist are not more than $20. Emergency room care, which is very expensive, requires co-pays of only $50 or $75. With such pitiful demand restraints on health care, such policies are sure to result in higher health care prices through increased use. Higher health care prices naturally lead to higher health insurance prices. In theory, it could be argued that as health insurance prices increase, Massachusetts will have to pay more to help subsidize low-income people.
In fact, that has already happened. In April 2006, Romney claimed that his plan would "need no new taxes." By November, as he was leaving office, it was clear that the plan would cost $150 million more in 2007 than Romney had initially claimed. Government programs almost always cost more than advertised, and Romney had little excuse for not realizing this. At the time, he was pursuing an investigation in Boston's "Big Dig" highway project, a government boondoggle that was initially projected to cost $2.8 billion but ended up costing over $14 billion.
The fact is that then-governor Romney was all too eager to promote and sign RomneyCare into law last year despite its shortcomings. He did it because, up to that point, he had no notable achievements as governor -- not a record one could use to run for president. Now, he is trying to deflect blame for the law's problems onto his successors.
Personal responsibility, indeed.
If you have seen Romney's commercials he is doing his best to sound like Ronald Reagan, but it is clear from his record that his conservatism is a very thin veneer.
I'm sure that he would be a better president than "Crazy John" McCain, but then so would just about anyone chosen at random from a rural telephone book.
Evan Sayet, a former writer for Bill Maher, details his journey from liberalism to conservatism in a talk at the Heritage Foundation.
This is a great explanation of the left. Everyone should listen to it.
One thing I disagree with him about, though. I think that they really are evil.
Hat Tip: Born Again Redneck Yogi
From Front Page Magazine:
To put it in the barest terms: The misinterpretation of the Second Amendment rests on the semantic misconceptions 1) that the stated "Militia" is purely a government body, and 2) that "the people" refers – not to U.S. citizens, "the people" of this country (as it does everywhere else in the Bill of Rights) - but to that body. Robert J. Cottrol offers one of the best responses to these fallacies:
Little in the way of historical evidence or even the rulings of the Supreme Court supports the view that the framers of the Second Amendment simply meant to protect state militias without also securing the right of the people at large to have arms. Certainly an organization like the modern [i.e., established-in-1903] National Guard, whose members are recruited, trained, paid, armed and otherwise equipped and deployed around the world by the federal government, is not the militia-of-the-whole envisioned by [James] Madison.... It is instead a super-select militia. To claim, as some have, that the Second Amendment was meant to protect a body like the National Guard, is to severely misread the historical record in ways so fundamental as to warrant almost instant dismissal.
But an even better one comes from Madison himself, who, in a discussion of "the militia," spoke of "the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation" - and contrasted that with "the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe," whose "governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." If "the people" denotes merely government soldiers, what does any of this mean? Similarly, Hamilton, in an explicit consideration of armed resistance, projected that "the people," if "their rights are invaded by either" the state governments or the "General Government," could ally with one against the other. Again, what does that mean if "the people" - or the only "Militia" - is just a state army? Lexicographer Noah Webster, in his 1787 "An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution," wrote:
Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.
And as the Federal Farmer concluded: "A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves...."
The rest of the essay is worth a look.
Its good to see another of the big conservative internet sites addressing the Second Amendment.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
From John Lott's website:
My initial reaction is that this is impossible, but it would split the Democrats and possibly lead to massive Republican wins on many levels. On the other hand, including essentially two Democrats in the race could tilt the debates and the campaign even much further to the left. In any case, it is clear that the Democrats would never forgive Gore.
Sources close to Gore said Ralph Nader has sought to recruit the former vice president to run as the candidate for the Green Party. They said Gore has not rejected the offer and was consulting with family and friends to determine the feasibility of such a candidacy.
My reaction? Please let this be true. This would take political theater to the Comedy Club.
China has been pushing ahead with construction of a mega-sized nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to be completed in 2020, according to a Chinese Communist Party's dossier.
A source close to Chinese military affairs said on March 27 that China has been promoting the construction of a 93,000-ton atomic-powered carrier under a plan titled the "085 Project." The nation also has a plan to build a 48,000-ton non-nuclear-powered carrier under the so-called "089 Project," added the source.
The source made such remarks based on government a dossier that reveals that China’s Central Military Commision recently approved the two projects. The dossier also contained specifications of the aircraft carriers.
[. . .]
Once the proposed Chinese carriers are deployed, the radius of the Chinese Navy’s range is expected to reach Guam, where a U.S. base is located. Thus, military experts are worried about China’s moves prompting an arms race in Northeast Asia.
The dossier said the construction of the nuclear-powered carrier will be completed in 2020. China State Shipbuiling Corp’s Jiangnan shipyard located on Changxing Island near Shanghai, will be responsible for its design and construction. The size is similar to former Soviet’s unfinished atomic-powered carrier Ulyanovsk, the dossier states. China reportedly secretly purchased the design of Ulyanovsk from Russia. When the nuclear-powered carrier is finished, China will own an aircraft carrier which is on par with the U.S.’s newest of such vessels, the 97,000-ton atomic-powered USS Ronald Reagan, which recently docked at Busan Port to participate in a joint exercise between the South Korean and U.S. militaries.
The Chinese may build a carrier which is "on par" with the Ronald Reagan and her sisters as far as size, but it will definitely not be their equivalent in capability, either the ship or the aircraft it will carry.
And when you factor in the soon to be deployed new generation of carriers (starting with the USS Gerald Ford) and the F-35 Lightening II fighters which it will carry the gap will open even more.
I'm afraid that the Chinese are just going to spend several tens of billions of dollars building great big floating targets for our gunners and naval aviators.
I can hardly wait for the show.
From The American Spectator:
There are two aspects to Mitt Romney that should make conservatives uneasy about his candidacy for the White House. Combined, they are too much for a single column. I'll tackle one issue now, and the other in my next installment. Right now, my focus is Romney's miraculous -- and recent -- shift from social liberal to social conservative.
As any informed conservative now knows, when he ran for governor in 2002, Mitt Romney proclaimed, "I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose." Barely two years later, he had changed his mind. The seminal moment allegedly came on November 9, 2004, when Romney met with a stem cell researcher. According to Romney, the researcher said, "Look, you don't have to think about this stem cell research as a moral issue, because we kill the embryos after 14 days." "That struck me as he said it," claims the now rigidly pro-life Romney.
Many observers have, quite reasonably, accused Romney of flip-flopping -- of quickly changing his belief to drum up political support. While that is surely a concern, I think it is less important than if Romney's change of heart is actually genuine. Romney's shift on abortion could be called "issue position by epiphany." He appears to have experienced a sudden revelation that persuaded him to change his mind.
There is nothing wrong with an epiphany per se. Many people have one at some point in their lives. But this is just one of several for Romney. For a supposedly seasoned pol, he seems particularly susceptible to them. His position on gay marriage appears to have followed a similar pattern. When he ran for governor in 2002, he opposed a defense-of-marriage amendment to the state constitution as "too extreme." By 2006, he had done an about-face and was asking Congress to support the Federal Marriage Amendment. In a letter to U.S. senators, he seemed heavily influenced by the changes his state was undergoing after the Massachusetts Supreme Court redefined marriage.
[. . .]
Anyone considering supporting Romney has to be concerned about what other epiphanies he might have should he become President. After consultation with economic advisors, will he have a "moment" where he realizes that reducing the deficit is more important than keeping taxes down? Or will he suddenly conclude that big government welfare not seen since the Great Society era is the only way to take care of the poor? Conservatives of all stripes would be more at ease knowing that their standard-bearer in the White House had values that could more readily withstand moments of intense confrontation.
Romney supporters might respond that all of their candidate's epiphanies have moved him from left to right. Fair enough. But it cannot be discounted that an epiphany moving Romney in the other direction is not in his future. In one big instance while governor, he got behind an initiative that dragged his state heavily to the left. And that, which is the subject of my next column, was health care.
The article raises interesting questions, but I do not think that there is anything to worry about. Romney's changes of position are too precisely timed to be anything but calculated flip-flops.
This is why I don't trust him and will not vote for him.
Imagine, for a moment, it's 1939.
A prominent Jewish actor makes the following statement.
"Let me tell you something about Germany, because I've been there and you haven't. Germany is a great country. A great country. Does it have its haters? You bet. Just like the United States has its haters. Does it have a corrupt regime? You bet. Just like the United States has a corrupt regime."
What would you think of such a person? How would history judge him?
I don't know that anyone made exactly that statement in 1939. But I do know that Sean Penn made a very similar statement a few days ago. The only difference was the name of the country. Instead of Germany, substitute Iran.
Is there really any moral difference between the statements?
Iran is led today by a president who has repeatedly threatened to eradicate the state of Israel. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is building weapons that can get the job done quicker and more efficiently than Adolf Hitler with his formidable war machine. He is every bit the Jew hater that Hitler was. And he hates America even more.
In 1939, Adolf Hitler had made clear his intentions for the Jews. He had made clear his intentions for all of Europe. He had made clear his intentions for Nazi Germany to dominate the world.
Nevertheless, there were some people in Hollywood who were making statements like that. There were people in Hollywood who were marching against war with Germany. There were people in Hollywood who, like Sean Penn, wanted to appease this evil on the horizon.
No, there was no active Nazi Party in Hollywood at that time. But there was a party under the active control of a foreign totalitarian dictator. It was the Communist Party USA and the foreign tyrant was Josef Stalin.
Why were communists in Hollywood – even Jews – saying nice things about Hitler in 1939 – and even as late as 1941? They were doing so because of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact – also known as the Hitler-Stalin Pact.
It was signed in 1939 and broken June 22, 1941, when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union.
From 1939 right up until June 22, 1941, the communists in Hollywood had nothing but praise for Hitler. They held rallies against aiding Britain in its life-and-death struggle with Nazism. They gave speeches saying Hitler was no threat. They wrote anti-war scripts.
All that changed June 22, 1941. One day the Hollywood communists were pro-Hitler. The next day they wanted to go to war. Why? Because they took their orders directly from masters in the Soviet Union.
Would it surprise you to learn that one of those prominent Hollywood communist Jews who sided with Germany until the breaking of that Hitler-Stalin Pact was none other than Leo Penn, the late father of Sean Penn.
Amazing? Yes, but true.
You don't believe history repeats itself?
Now it's Sean Penn's turn to relive and recommit the sins of his father, who never repented of his Communist Party activities – activities that included support for and appeasement of Hitler's Germany at the very time the concentration camps were incinerating his Jewish brothers and sisters in Europe.
Penn spoke at a town hall meeting in Oakland last weekend. What he said about his country was shameful. What he said about our country's enemies – and the enemies of freedom throughout the entire world – was even more despicable.
What can you say about a man who embraces and defends Iran, the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world today? What can one say about a man who embraces dictators around the world while openly loathing the elected leaders of his own nation? What can one say about such a prominent self-hating Jew?
I think I've said enough.
It's just history repeating itself.
This is true. The communists in America supported Hitler right up until he invaded the USSR. I'm trying to think of something to add to this, but I'm coming up blank. I mean how could I, or anyone else, say anything about Penn that would make him look any worse than he has already made himself look.
I wonder if he is able to understand how small and stupid he looks.
I doubt it. I honestly don't think he is smart enough.
From The Washington Post:
In his most combative comments yet, President Bush mocked Democratic lawmakers yesterday for including a deadline for troop withdrawals and "pork" projects in an Iraq spending bill, declaring that "the American people will know who to hold responsible" if funding for the war stalls.
It is good to see him get his back up, at last. If he had done this 5 years ago he would be higher in the polls today and it is possible that Republicans would still hold the legislature.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) shot back that Bush's vow to veto the spending bill carries its own cost. In a joint letter, they warned him against following "a political strategy that would needlessly delay funding for our troops."
This is rich. They pass a bill which is nothing more than an instrument of surrender and then claim that vetoing it would hurt the troops.
The lessons of history teach us that standing firm against evil is the only way to defeat it. When Hitler ordered his army to march into the Sudetenland he told the commanders to withdraw at the first sign that the French were crossing the border to confront them. When Stalin ordered the Red Army into Hungry he told them to stop advancing at the first sign of NATO forces. They were to attempt to hold firm, but to withdraw if pressed. They were under no circumstances to get into a shooting war with the West.
Mr. Bush should take these lessons to heart and stand firm against the Democrats. If he meets them with iron they will back down, but if he shows the kind of weakness that Chamberlain displayed before Hitler or that the West showed Stalin then the results will be tragic for the people of Iraq and the people of the United States as the kind of terrorism which Israel has been living with comes to our shores.
The Democrat Party is gone. They have proven themselves to be irredeemable. Even the so-called "Blue Dogs" revealed themselves to be as traitorous as Pelosi and Reid by voting for this shameful bill. It is time to write Ichabod on the entire party and leave it to stand as the mausoleum at the center of the unmarked graveyard of forgotten lies.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
That's right. I'm going Medieval on you again. This is the first part of a two part video of a Corvus Corax set at a Medieval festival in Wertheim. Part two will be posted tomorrow night.
PS - The guy with horns sound kind of like the Fuhrer.
Scott Ott at Scrappleface posts what the President's speech when he vetoes the Iraq Surrender Bill should be:
(2007-03-28) — President George Bush will issue a rare veto in a nationally-televised speech within the next week according to the text of the address leaked to reporters today.
The following are excerpts from a draft of the president’s TV script.
PRESIDENT BUSH: My fellow Americans, in this folder on my desk is legislation that would pull our troops out of Iraq by March 2008, leaving that budding democracy to be ruled under Sharia law which treats goats better than it treats women, leaving this cradle of freedom in the care of men who have made slaughtering civilians an article of faith, and putting the credibility of the United States on a par with the reputation of the United Nations.
I have interrupted your favorite sitcoms tonight so that you could see me do this. I hold in my hand a veto stamp.
(OPEN FOLDER. STAMP BILL.)Now, I hold in my hand a Zippo lighter.(IGNITE PAPER. DROP IN TRASH CAN. CAMERA ON FLAMING PAPER, THEN BACK TO PRESIDENT.)
My fellow Americans, you are not cowards. You are not losers. You are not stupid. You are not the people portrayed in the legislation now smoldering in this trashcan. Neither are you the kind of craven misfits that some of your representatives have become, who have traded votes for dollars, the lives of our fighting men for special interest projects in their home districts. That bill was so full of pork, it squealed. As it burns now, it smells like bacon.
I hope my actions tonight make clear to Congress and to our enemies around the world how I view the prospects of surrendering even an inch of ground to the kind of butchers who brought disaster to the streets of New York and the halls of the Pentagon in September 2001.
I pray that the people who thought they could terrify and paralyze us into shrinking from this battle for civilization will understand that, as long as I draw breath, they have an enemy who fears no one but God. I can say this not only because Divine Providence rules in the affairs of men, but also because this same God has raised up a generation of men and women who refuse to bow down to anyone else. Our troops are brave, bold, determined, disciplined and ready to sacrifice even their own lives for their children, their families, their country and the security of even the people who criticize them, or vote for legislation like this. They’re not seeking to be pulled out of harm’s way. They’re the kind of people who throw themselves into harm’s way to protect others.
I know that the terrorists are tuned in to modern media and are watching this broadcast. Let me speak to you now, you brainwashed tool of the devil. When you blow yourself up to kill women, children and noncombatants you will find no doe-eyed virgins waiting to feed you grapes as you recline on a couch in heaven. On the contrary, the way you leave this world is the way you will spend eternity. The burning, flesh-ripping agony you imposed on others will never stop searing your own soul. You will find that the god that you have worshiped is the father of lies, the deceiver. You will then know that the power-hungry monsters in clerical cloaks, who sent you to your death, cared nothing for you or anyone but themselves.
Because you hear my voice tonight, there’s still time for you to redeem yourself. The next time you see one of these slaughter merchants who has become your slave master, turn your blade on him and set yourself free. You will find safe haven with us.
And to Osama, Ayman, Muqtada and the rest of you, I say this: Sleep lightly boys. Even now, deadly men move silently through the darkness toward you. They will overtake you in a moment. The eyes and ears of those who will ultimately bring you down are everywhere. Your closest associates will trade your life for a pittance, because they can see you have no future. They will move against you to save themselves.
To my fellow Americans who, with good intentions, have joined the cry to bring our troops home, I don’t blame you. But a president cannot be controlled by the polls, the pundits or even Congress. Our founding fathers realized that the representatives of the people in the House and Senate could make mistakes when swayed by popular passions fanned by partisans. That’s why the president is the commander in chief. He must, from time to time, make unpopular decisions in order to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Now is such a time.
The easiest thing in the world would be for me to sign the retreat bill and join the popular chorus. But I have seen the face of evil, and I know that the United States of America has been chosen to stand in the breech at this historic moment. We’re not only standing against wickedness, but we’re marching toward a better future. We can clearly see the day when an area of the world cloaked for centuries in ignorance and hatred will finally breathe the quickening air of freedom, liberty and hope.
Whether you question my motives or understand them completely, I must do what I know to be right. God is my witness and the One to whom I must ultimately answer.
We seek no conflict. We relish no war. We despise the suffering it brings. We harbor no ill will against any but those who, for whatever motive, seek to bring conflict and suffering upon us and our allies.
To our friends and enemies alike we remain steadfast.
I call on Congress tonight to get back to work and provide funding for the troops. Stop crafting sound bites and talking points. Stop giving interviews for a week or two. Send me a bill that smells like victory, without trying to micromanage the war or boost your own reelection prospects. Set aside your own desires and career, and simply do the right thing. History will celebrate your courage.
God bless you, God bless the free people of Iraq, and God bless the United States of America.
From The New York Times:
LONDON, March 27 — Tensions escalated between Iran and the West on Tuesday over 15 Britons held by the Iranians, with Prime Minister Tony Blair warning that Britain’s campaign to free them would move into a “different phase” if they were not released.
[. . .]
Mr. Blair told GMTV television on Tuesday that Britain was trying “to make the Iranian government understand these people have to be released and that there is absolutely no justification for holding them.”
“I hope we manage to get them to realize they have to release them,” he said. “If not, then this will move into a different phase, but at the moment what we’re trying to do is make sure that that diplomatic initiative works.”
Officials in his office and at the Foreign Office insisted that he was referring specifically to a tougher diplomatic posture, not to military or other more confrontational means. The American naval exercises in the Persian Gulf were scheduled long before the British soldiers were seized, so the timing is coincidental.
Margaret Beckett, Britain’s foreign secretary, who is visiting Turkey, phoned her counterpart in Tehran on Tuesday and “spoke in very robust terms reiterating the U.K.’s concern about the continued detention of our personnel,” a Foreign Office spokesman in London said, speaking in return for anonymity.
I think that we can see here what the outlines of the "different phase" will be. I fully expect the British to move from "robust terms" to the full deployment of "harsh language" very soon if these servicemen aren't returned.
It wasn't always like this. In the old days of the British Empire a full military expedition would already be assembling to give the Iranians a spanking that they would never forget. Even as recently as the Thatcher era this kind of provocation would have been met with overwhelming force. But now the British have neither the will nor the ability.
I know that the timing of this is centered on the UN's vote to place some mostly hollow sanctions on the Iranians over their nuclear weapons program, but the choice of British sailors and Marines rather than American is due largely to the British government's decision to draw down its forces in Iraq.
There is an old saying in the Middle East, "a falling camel attracts many knives". Blair's decision to get out of Iraq was seen as weakness by the Tehran regime and to a culture which believes that the best possible time to kick someone is when they are already down that made British forces an irresistible target.
From The Washington Post:
Senate Democrats scored a surprise victory yesterday in their bid to force President Bush to end the Iraq war, turning back a Republican amendment that would have struck a troop withdrawal plan from emergency military funding legislation.
The defection of a prominent Republican war critic, Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, sealed the Democrats' win. Hagel, who opposed identical withdrawal language two weeks ago, walked onto the Senate floor an hour before the late-afternoon vote and announced that he would "not support sustaining a flawed and failing policy," adding: "It's now time for the Congress to step forward and establish responsible boundaries and conditions for our continued military involvement in Iraq."
The only thing that surprises me is that the average American seems to understand that setting a withdrawal date is the same thing as surrendering.
The Republican strategy here was to let everyone go on record. The Democrats had to do this to quell the growing rebellion among the moonbat wing of their party, which is the largest and best funded part of the new Democrat coalition. However this leaves them with a major problem with the "Reagan Democrats" and independents who abandoned the Republican Party last November largely over disgust with the way that elected Republicans had abandoned their core conservative principals.
What The Democrats have been forced to do here is remind everyone that they are still the party of McGovern, a fact that was proven when the Party sent faxes and emails to local anti-war groups begging them not to spit on soldiers returning from Iraq. This reminder will be remembered in 2008.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Check out the results of the latest GOP straw poll:
F. Thompson 2377 (40.1%)
Giuliani 954 (16.1%)
Gingrich 712 (12%)
Romney 701 (11.8%)
Hunter 332 (5.6%)
Tancredo 267 (4.5%)
(none) 206 (3.5%)
McCain 138 (2.3%)
Brownback 121 (2%)
Huckabee 66 (1.1%)
T. Thompson 39 (0.7%)
Gilmore 11 (0.2%)
Pataki 7 (0.1%)
Note that McCain scored lower than "None" and Romney placed behind both Newt and Thompson, who haven't even officially entered the race.
Is for America to lose.
Thomas Sowell has the Democrats nailed.
One of the dangers in being a demagogue is that some of your own supporters — those who take you literally — can turn against you when you start letting your actions be influenced by realities, instead of following the logic of your ringing rhetoric.
That is what seems to be happening to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other liberal Democrats in Congress.
Antiwar protesters in Washington and outside her home in San Francisco are denouncing Pelosi and other congressional Democrats for not cutting off the money to fight the war in Iraq.
If the war in Iraq is such an unnecessary and futile expenditure of blood and treasure as Pelosi et al. have been saying, why not put an end to it?
But to do that would mean taking responsibility for the consequences — and those consequences would be disastrous and lasting. They would probably still be lasting when the 2008 elections come around.
The Democrats cannot risk that. They have taken over Congress by a very clever and very disciplined strategy of constantly criticizing the Republicans, without taking the risk of presenting an alternative for whose results they can be held responsible.
There is no sign that they want to change that politically winning strategy now. Their non-binding resolutions against the war are a perfect expression of that strategy.
These resolutions put them on record as being against the war without taking the responsibility for ending it.
[. . .]
It is not just congressional politicians who are so preoccupied with scoring points against the administration that they show no sign of concern for what the actual consequences of their words or actions will be for troops in the field, nations in the Middle East, or the global war on terror.
Much of the media is similarly caught up in scoring points on Iraq. For example, the cover of the March 18th issue of the New York Times magazine section featured a story about women in the military who said that they had been raped in Iraq.
A week later, they had to print a correction, after discovering that one of these women had not even been to Iraq. But any unsubstantiated charge against the American military rates headline coverage, even if there is no space for anything positive in Iraq.
There is apparently no space even to assess the extent to which the increase of American troop strength in Iraq has reduced the deaths of our troops from terrorist attacks. Nor is there apparently much space to discuss the implications of the return of Iraqis from the less violent provinces to their homes in Baghdad.
[. . .]
The demagoguery of the Democrats has already put them in the position where a successful conclusion of the Iraq war before the 2008 elections can be a political disaster for them.
If the recent increase in the number of troops in Iraq, and their freer hand in dealing with the terrorists there, reduces the level of violence enough to stabilize Iraq enough for American troops to start coming home before the 2008 elections, the Democrats will have lost their gamble.
Only an American defeat in Iraq can ensure the Democrats' political victory next year. Their only strategy is to sabotage the chances for a military victory in Iraq without being held responsible for a defeat.
That is the corner that they have painted themselves into with their demagoguery that even their own supporters see through.
And if someone in the low IQ Cindy Sheehan, Sean Penn camp can see what you are doing you must be obvious.
Tell me again how the Democrats are patriots and how it is improper to call them traitors.
From The New York Sun:
The latest USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted Friday through Sunday, on the presidential race is out, and it's a humdinger. It's hard to say what the headline even is. Here are a few tries, though:
* Romney's support drops to within the margin of error of not existing (that's 3% support in a poll where the margin of error is 3%).
* Giuliani's support drops 13 percentage points since the last USA Today/Gallup poll, March 2-4 (that's gotta hurt).
* Fred Thompson (not running, by the way) is now the No. 3 in the GOP field, at 12%.
Ultimately, however, I'll go with the headline I've chosen above: "Thompson Takes Bites Out of Giuliani, Romney." . . .
It is time for Mitt Romney and John McCain to read the handwriting on the wall and withdraw from the race.
Neither one of them has a chance in hell of winning the nomination and if they can't even get the people in their own party to vote for them then how do they expect to get the general public to support them?
Every penny of cash they collect from this point on is money which will be wasted. It will be money which is taken away from a Republican who could win. Every square inch of the spotlight they hog will only be a distraction from a candidate who could win.
I know that it is difficult to give up a life's ambition, but the time comes when one simply face the facts.
From The New York Times:
ATLANTA — When the Rev. Dennis Meredith of Tabernacle Baptist Church here began preaching acceptance of gay men and lesbians a few years ago, he attracted some gay people who were on the brink of suicide and some who had left the Baptist faith of their childhoods but wanted badly to return.
At the same time, Tabernacle Baptist, an African-American congregation, lost many of its most loyal, generous parishioners, who could not accept a message that contradicted what they saw as the Bible’s condemnation of same-sex relations. Over the last three years, Tabernacle’s Sunday attendance shrank to 800, from 1,100.
The debate about homosexuality that has roiled predominantly white mainline churches for years has gradually seeped into African-American congregations, threatening their unity, finances and, in some cases, their existence.
In St. Paul, the Rev. Oliver White, senior minister of Grace Community Church, lost nearly all his 70 congregants after he voted in 2005 to support the blessing of same-sex unions in his denomination, the United Church of Christ.
In the Atlanta area, a hub of African-American life, only a few black churches have preached acceptance of gay men and lesbians, Mr. Meredith said. At one of those congregations, Victory Church in Stone Mountain, attendance on Sundays has fallen to 3,000 people, from about 6,000 four or five years ago, said the Rev. Kenneth L. Samuel, the senior pastor.
This should not be difficult. The state of finding oneself sexually attracted to persons of the same sex is not in and of itself sinful. Not any more than being attracted to persons of the opposite sex to whom you are not married. The sin comes in what you do with the temptation.
For a church to turn someone away because of the kind of temptation he or she is struggling with is wrong. It is a negation of the purpose for which the Lord created the Church in the first place. He came to seek and to save sinners.
When criticized by the self-righteous religious leaders of his day Jesus told them that he was the physician coming to treat the sick, not the healthy, to call sinners to repentance not the righteous. Since the leaders thought that they were spiritually healthy and righteous they refused the Lord's help.
Many homosexuals today are like the chief priests and Pharisees of Jesus' day. They are sinners in need of salvation, but they will not admit it. They demand that the Lord accept them on their terms, not his. They elevate their own judgment above the divine will and substitute their own desire for God's express commandments.
These pastors who are opening their church's membership rolls to unrepentant practicing homosexuals have substituted their own word for God's Word and are preaching another gospel. The people of God are rightly fleeing from them.
Monday, March 26, 2007
SondraK looks in on Sean Penn:
Academy-Award winning actor Sean Penn bluntly told President Bush to take his Iraq war and shove it during a packed anti-war town hall meeting Saturday morning at the Grand Lake Theater, convened by Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Oakland City Council member Jean Quan.
“You have broken our country; you have broken our hearts. The needless blood on your hands ... is drowning the freedom, the security and the dream that America might have been, once healed up from Sept. 11, 2001,” Penn said.
“But now we are encouraged to self-censor any words that might be perceived as inflammatory, if our belief is that we should stop this war today. We cower as you point your fingers telling us to support our troops—well, you and the smarmy pundits in your pocket—those who bathe in the moisture of your blood-soaked underwear can take that noise and shove it, because we will be snowed no more.”
Penn, who lives in Marin County, told the audience, “Let’s fight this president and put him in (expletive) jail.”
The meeting, which drew a crowd of more than 600 who filled the theater, was the largest anti-Iraq war event in Oakland in years. The morning ended with a march, led by Lee and Quan, of about 300 from the theater at the edge of Lake Merritt to City Hall in downtown Oakland.
The first thing that comes to mind is that Penn is stupid. Not just that he believes some stupid things, but that he is a person of very minimal intelligence. I really can't believe that he clocks any higher than 90 on the IQ scale. And 90 is probably being generous.
From Front Page Magazine:
Last week Morgan Tsvangarai, the head of Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was beaten to near-death after taking part in a demonstration against the tyranny of Robert Mugabe. In what was falsely described as a police detention, Tsvangarai and his colleagues, including two prominent female officials, were brutalized and left for dead.
There are other tragic cases. Mourners at the funeral of another anti-Mugabe activist, shot dead by the regime, came under fire from government police. One corpse was taken miles away and buried by the authorities to avoid a further demonstration. Last weekend Tsvangarai’s spokesman, Nelson Chamisa, was stopped at Harare airport and brutally beaten as he was preparing to leave for a conference in Belgium; it is feared he has a cracked skull. Arthur Mutambara, leader of one of the factions of the MDC, was re-arrested last Saturday, and is now being held at Harare's central police station. MDC members Frail Grace Kwinje and 64-year-old Sekai Holland, who also suffered beatings in the police roundup, were recently detained just before boarding flight because officials claimed the women needed a supplemental “clearance letter from the ministry of health” in order to leave the country.
For many on the political Left, the fate of these opposition activists does not bear thinking about. One reason, it appears, is that the United States has taken up the cause of Zimbabwe’s opposition. Indeed, it was the U.S. envoy to Zimbabwe who protested and was reported to have been instrumental in getting the wounded activists to a hospital. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also intervened. President Mugabe reacted by threatening to expel any Western envoys who interfered in the running of the country.
In stark contrast to America’s response is the reaction that has come from the anti-war, anti-Bush campaigners and hangers-on. I recently called a colleague who is active in the anti-war movement and she very nearly deafened me with a screaming rebuke that went something like this: “There are plenty of people dying in the Congo and Rwanda and nobody is making headlines about that.” I tried to explain that Zimbabwe, once the agricultural orchard of Africa, was now suffering 80 percent unemployment and 1700 percent inflation. Both white farmers and black opposition leaders have suffered under Mugabe’s savage rule. Yet this activist informed me that she “did not care” about the plight of Morgan Tsvangarai and others who risked their lives to challenge Mugabe‘s dictatorship.
[. . .]
This is a sorry state of affairs. The same Left that rails against Israel and the United States and organizes marches for the “liberation” of Palestine will not acknowledge the political crisis in Zimbabwe because it would mean siding with America.
Someone finds this a surprise? Radical left-wing feminists in the US side with the Taliban against the US. They prefer those who treat women as slaves to the man who liberated the woman of two nations. Giving the women of both the first chance they had ever had to vote and the women of one (Afghanistan) the first chance they had ever had to walk outside without a husband or male relative to escort them.
Another reason that the left is silent on the suffering of Zimbabwe is that to admit that they were wrong all those years ago when they were working to remove Rhodesia's white government. It their world view the ultimate evil was a minority white government ruling over people of color.
To protest Mugabe's criminally insane policies would be to admit that those who warned that the black population of Rhodesia were better off with the white government than they would be under "one man one vote" were right.
So in Zimbabwe things will never get so bad that the left will raise its voice, let alone its hand, in protest.
Smarmy Dick takes on Dubai:
The past few years have seen a concerted international PR campaign to promote Dubai as a tolerant new Mecca of Middle East moderation and amazing economic growth.
And it's working. Corporate giant Halliburton is moving its headquarters there; the famed Louvre is opening a branch in the emirate. Tourists are flocking to Dubai's luxury hotels.
But don't be fooled. Dubai, which is one of the seven princedoms of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is anything but tolerant and progressive. .
To put it bluntly: They don't like Jews.
In fact, Dubai, like the rest of the UAE, is blatantly anti-Semitic. It bars all Israeli citizens from ever setting foot in the country. People from other nations whose passport have stamps indicating they've even visited Israel must notify Dubai immigration authorities of the stamp before entering.
Dubai is also actively involved in the Arab boycott of Israel: It bans all products made in Israel and even ones with parts made in Israel.
But the emir of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, understands the value of using prominent Americans to legitimize his country and burnish its image in the American media.
That's why former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have been the objects of Dubai largesse. Their Dubai friends have given millions to each of their presidential libraries. And Bill Clinton has raked in more than $1 million for speeches he's given in Dubai and the UAE.
Dubai's PR machine went into high gear after 9/11 - in part to distract attention from the extensive use the terrorists made of the emirate. More than half of the hijackers traveled to the United States via Dubai. The 9/11 Commission noted that $234,500 of the $300,000 wired to the hijackers and plot leaders in America came via Dubai banks.
Several months after 9/11, Dubai's newest best friend began his public association with the country. In January 2002, Bill Clinton gave his first Dubai speech (for $300,000). He's been legitimizing the country ever since.
Clinton was the rainmaker who introduced the emir to his friend and employer, Ron Berkle, the owner of Yucaipa companies and a major fund-raiser for Bill and Hillary.
Last year, Yucaipa and the emir formed a new company, DIGL, for their joint ventures. So Bill Clinton is now an adviser and member of the board of directors of a company that is in partnership with the anti-Israeli government of Dubai.
The Clintons won't reveal how much the former president pocketed for setting up this deal, except to report on Hillary's Senate disclosure form: "more than $1,000."
A lot more. According to San Francisco Examiner columnist P.J. Corkery, Clinton makes $10 million a year from Yucaipa.
Bill isn't alone in legitimizing Dubai. Other Clinton pals - including disgraced former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, ex-Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Al and Tipper Gore - have attended highly publicized events there.
So have some Republicans - including former Bush Sr. Chief of Staff John Sununu, presidential brother Neal Bush and Rudy Guiliani.
Republican ex-Sen. Bob Dole and Democratic ex-Rep. Tom Downey lobby for Dubai; so does The Glover Park Group, home of Hillary Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson and former President Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart.
Major U.S. business leaders populate the many conferences sponsored by Dubai and its industries.
All of this helps legitimize Dubai. And no one mentions the problem with Israel.
Bill Clinton even created a Dubai Scholars Program at the American University in Dubai under the sponsorship of the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation. Laura Tyson, Clinton's chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, created a similar Dubai study program at the University of London.
But not everyone is blind.
Last month, the University of Connecticut correctly abandoned plans to open up a campus in Dubai after serious complaints about Dubai's state-imposed discrimination of people based on their national origin and religion and its documented violations of human rights. (For example, Human Rights Watch has said Dubai abuses tens of thousands of migrant workers from India and Pakistan.)
The Clinton Foundation certainly wouldn't sponsor a program in America that banned Israeli students. It shouldn't sponsor one in Dubai, either.
It's time to stop legitimizing an anti-Semitic state.
On this Dick and I agree completely.
Dubai laundered the money that paid for 9/11 and allowed some of the hijackers to pass through its territory. It also allowed itself to be used as the transhipment point for the nuclear hardware which Iran is using in its nuclear weapons program.
The Emir is a good friend of Osama bin Laden and at one time served as a human shield to save bin Laden's life from a US strike.
Dubai subscribes to the malignant strain of Islam which believes that Jews are "pigs and dogs" and that Israel is "occupying Arab lands". Their "friendship" with the United States is purely a matter of their own conveinence and their true contempt for us can be seen in their support of Bill Clinton.
I've just heard from Liz, the White Trash Republican and Dowager Viscountess of the Hillbilly Ecosystem that she is back online and open for business.
Go over and welcome her back. I'm sure she has a great story to tell about her time wandering in the wilderness.
From The Washington Post:
New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a self-made billionaire, has told friends more than once that his definition of good financial planning is making sure the check to the undertaker bounces when it's finally time to go.
So how does a billionaire spend all his money before he dies? In Bloomberg's case, he just might drop a cool half-billion on a long-shot bid to become the nation's first modern president from outside the two major political parties.
As fellow New Yorkers Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) campaign vigorously across the country to become their parties' nominees and prepare for what would be an electric general-election clash, Bloomberg is governing the "ungovernable city" -- and patiently waiting in the wings.
Publicly, the Democrat-turned-Republican professes no interest in the top job at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. But the founder of the Bloomberg financial news empire has dropped enough hints and has had enough tantalizing discussions with potential supporters that people who observe the city's politics for a living are convinced he is at least thinking about it.
Lemuel pauses to let the hysterical laughter subside.
I hope he does it for two reasons.
1. It would improve Republican chances to have a candidate running to Mrs. Bill Clinton's left. Bloomberg would split the moonbat vote down the middle. To that end I urge him to order the NYPD to close down all the City's military recruitment offices. That way he can show the world what he thinks about ChimpyMcHalliburtonChenystein's illegal war. He could also attempt to have the Israeli mission to the UN expelled from the city. This should show the modern Democrat Party that he is "their guy".
2. If he spends $500,000,000.00 of his own money on a vanity presidential campaign with absolutely no hope of success that will be half a billion that he can't spend on other left-wing causes. Think of the harm that eco-Nazis could do with that kind of cash. Think of all the evil uses that the big leftist foundations like Ford or MacArthur could put that money to. Think of how many children's futures could be destroyed if that money were given to the educationist establishment. Far better that it be used to buy media across the nation where most of it will wind up being pumped into local economies.
Bloomberg is a fool. If he wishes to squander his money and humiliate himself I say bring it on.
Update: About point one. The Clinton's know this as well which is why all New Yorkers who visit Central Park should be on the lookout for Bloomberg's cadaver resting in some easy to find place one morning. Expect to find a handgun which the Mayor had never seen before somewhere near his hand and for the blood stains on his body to appear to have run in gravity defying ways. In order to protect your own lives do not notice this. Also do not notice that the bottoms of his shoes are clean even though he would have had to walk across more than a hundred yards of wet grass to get to where you found him. In fact it would be better if you just left the area and phoned in an anonymous tip to the cops from a pay phone somewhere distant from your home or workplace.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
City Journal describes itself this way:
City Journal is the nation’s premier urban-policy magazine, “the Bible of the new urbanism,” as London’s Daily Telegraph puts it. During the Giuliani Administration, the magazine served as an idea factory as the then-mayor revivified New York City, quickly becoming, in the words of the New York Post, “the place where Rudy gets his ideas.” The Public Interest goes further, calling City Journal “the magazine that saved the city.”
I have no beef with that description, but it is obvious that they feel as though they were really "put on the map" by their association with the Giuliani administration. That sense of kinship with Rudy has led them to start a campaign to present Giuliani as a "true conservative" who is the most electable Republican in the race. In the Winter issue of CJ Steven Malanga pens an article called Yes, Rudy Giuliani Is a Conservative in which he attempts to make that case. Here is a sample:
Not since Teddy Roosevelt took on Tammany Hall a century ago has a New York politician closely linked to urban reform looked like presidential timber. But today ex–New York mayor Rudy Giuliani sits at or near the top of virtually every poll of potential 2008 presidential candidates. Already, Giuliani’s popularity has set off a “stop Rudy” movement among cultural conservatives, who object to his three marriages and his support for abortion rights, gay unions, and curbs on gun ownership. Some social conservatives even dismiss his achievement in reviving New York before 9/11. An August story on the website Right Wing News, for instance, claims that Giuliani governed Gotham from “left of center.” Similarly, conservatives have been feeding the press a misleading collection of quotations by and about Giuliani, on tax policy and school choice issues, assembled to make him look like a liberal.
He spends the rest of the article laying out Giuliani's conservative credentials, although he never even attempts to rebut the charges that Rudy supports abortion, gay unions and gun control. Instead we are led on a journey through Giuliani's crime fighting, tax cutting and union busting (or at least union resisting).
All of this is true, but it does nothing to cancel out the fact that Rudy only satisfies half the definition of a genuine conservative. He still supports abortion on demand, the destruction of marriage through legalized gay unions and the disarming of the population (which will lead inevitable to the enslavement of the population).
Also Malanga does not even touch on Giuliani's support for amnesty for the alien criminals who have invaded that nation and his desire to bring in tens of millions more through a "guest worker" program. I suppose he realizes that his "Rudy really is a conservative" case will utterly collapse if he draws our attention to that.
I would like to ask the City Jorunal crowd, and all the other Julie Annie supporters, to answer this question. If Rudy had raised taxes in New York City over 20 times and caved in to every single demand of the City's public employee unions and if there were six times as many people on various kinds of public assistance after his tenure as mayor than there were before he came to office and he had turned the City's law enforcement over to the ACLU with the result that crime had tripled during his time as mayor, BUT he was dead set against abortion, believed that the Second Amendment recognized an absolute right to own crew served machine guns and had flown down to Boston to chain himself to the doors of the courthouse in an attempt to stop gay wedding ceremonies would you still be saying that he was a "true conservative"?
You say that we should accept him even though he is wrong about half of the conservative equation because he is right about the other half, but would you still accept him if his rights and wrongs were reversed? Or is it just that you consider the social conservative issues to be dispensable, or even an embarrassment?
After all being seen as anti-gay, pro-gun and anti-abortion doesn't help you get invited to Manhattan cocktail parties.
If you think that Giuliani is the best we can do this time around then say so. But please stop insulting our intelligence. If you attempt to buy something in a store with a twenty dollar bill that is perfect on one side, but blank on the other you will be arrested for counterfeiting. Trying to pass off a 50 percenter as a "true conservative" is just as bad.
People are voting with their wallets:
GRAFTON CO., NH -- Sen. John McCain said his presidential campaign would not meet its fundraising goals this quarter, and his campaign advisers acknowledged that ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney may wind up raising more.
It couldn't be happening to a more deserving candidate. At least not on the Republican side.
John Lewis talks some sense:
Americans, and all lovers of civilization, must realize something: We can do this. This is not some Platonic ideal, good in theory but unattainable in practice. We Americans can—and must—re-establish our integrity by re-uniting our ideals and our actions. History is on our side here. In relative terms, the physical forces facing America and her allies in 1941 were far more formidable than those we face today, and America then was far weaker militarily. In our own day, the technological and industrial superiority of the U.S. over the Middle East is staggering. Islamic warriors can shoot an AK-47, but they cannot build one; all of the arms possessed by Islamic countries come from outside those countries. They are pathetically weak; the American army ended the regime of Saddam Hussein in three weeks, after Iran could not beat him in eight years. Our overwhelming material advantage, however, will be of no help if we lack the will to drop a bomb—or if we use our forces to strengthen our enemies. As it was for Germany and Japan in the 1930s, so it is today: The power of the Islamic Totalitarians grows every day that we wait. The strategic balance will shift—the Islamic Totalitarians will have the capacity as well as the will to bring about the nuclear Armageddon that they so deeply crave—if Iran acquires nuclear bombs. It is not a kindness to wait, knowing that our response will have to be even more lethal after a mushroom cloud rises over American soil. To wait, in light of that knowledge, is irrational—criminally irrational.
[. . .]
Our military capacities are not in doubt today. It is our moral self-confidence that is in question. What was it that stopped us from confronting Iran in 1979, except a lack of confidence in our own rightness, and an unwillingness to defend ourselves for our own sakes? Had we removed the Iranian regime in 1979, thousands of Americans would have been saved, and children across the world would not have grown up with sword verses rising in their minds as they give their lives to jihad. Consider the Japanese—and ask whether it would have been in our interest to have left the regime of 1945 in power, to continue preaching religious militarism and training kamikaze. The best thing Americans did for themselves (and, incidentally, the kindest thing for the Japanese) was to burn that regime to the ground. So it is today. The Islamic State—Totalitarian Islam—must go. And it is the moral responsibility of every American to demand it.
When will we learn that failing to take resolute action in the face of tyrants serves no good puropse and a multitude of evil ones. The failure of Jimmy Carter, the worst president in the history of the Republic, to deal with the Iranian regime (in fact it was his failure to act which allowed it to come to power in the first place) in 1979 was the beginning of the rise of the new jihad.
It is too late for Europe and it will soon be too late for us. Is anybody out there awake?
In the debate over gay marriage a commonly expressed opinion is that a constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between a man and a woman is a poor idea. The usual reasons given are first that the Constitution is the source, or recognizer, of our liberty. The Constitution tells the government what it can and cannot do, not the people - so the reasoning goes. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
I hate to disappoint all those people but the Constitution contains within its body the definition of the crime of treason. Article III, Section 3 reads as follows:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life f the Person attainted.
So there's one thing that the Constitution tells us we can't do (I wish San Fran Nan and the congressional Democrats would read this).
The other principal reason for opposing a "gay marriage" amendment is based in the idea of federalism. Each state is supposed to set its own laws within a broadly defined matrix. This makes each state a "laboratory of freedom" in which new ideas can be tried out and the results compared with other states. This is supposed to give the people the needed information about what works and what doesn't.
Now this is a fine idea, usually. However there is one reason that the federalist approach will not work in this case. Article IV, Section One of the Constitution reads this way:
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
The same exact thing should hold true for marriages between homosexuals. I know that a great many states are passing laws or amendments to their state constitutions banning gay marriage. I know that the federal legislature has passed the Defense of Marriage Act. However the Act has not been tested before the Supreme Court and is certainly unconstitutional.
Sorry but I apply the same unbending absolutism to every other part of the Constitution that I do to the Second Amendment. I do not care that I would not like the outcome of a strict constructionist or originalist verdict on a challenge to DOMA I would hope and expect the court to uphold the constitution as written.
To sum up there are only four ways to prevent one state from legalizing homosexual marriages which would need to be honored in every other state.
1. Pass an amendment to the United States Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
2. Pass an amendment to the United States Constitution creating an exception to Article IV, Section 1 (the full faith and credit clause) for homosexual marriages so that states do not have to recognize gay marriages performed in other states.
3. Get every single state to amend its state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman and somehow magically guarantee that they will never change their mind and resend the amendment.
4. Pray that when the DOMA comes before the Supreme Court that there are a majority of conservative justices who are detestable enough to engage in the same kind of loathsome judicial activism which marks the corrupt character of liberal justices. And while you are at it pray that that activism will confine itself to upholding DOMA and not manifest itself in ways that you will find hateful.
To summarize, in order to prevent gay marriages from becoming legal in the entire nation we must either get the states to unanimously agree to ban them and ensure that no state changes its mind. Or we must amend the federal constitution on one of two ways. Or we must sell our souls and support judicial activism.
Since the 50 states will never agree permanently about gay marriage and I will enter a gay marriage myself before I support judicial activism I vote for a constitutional amendment. If you want all gay marriage banned everywhere go with option one. If you are willing to see it in some places as long as everybody doesn't have to put up with it then go with option two.
Full text of the Constitution here.