Archive for the ‘Vision for Victory’ Category

Northwest/Delta Flight 253

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

American Thinker may have the best article up about this, and they definitely have the best lead-in I’ve seen so far (hat tip to PalinTwibe‘s twitter feed):

The passengers of Northwest/Delta Airlines Flight 253 are lucky they are still alive. They should be the last passengers in the US exposed to this kind of risk because of political correctness.

Update: I first learned about Jasper Schuringa at Blogger Friend Rick’s page, and it looks like a lot of other folks first learned about him there as well. Congratulations to our friend for the scoop.

Jasper Schuringa, a video director and producer from Amsterdam, told CNN how he helped the cabin crew to subdue Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old who reportedly ignited a small explosive device on board the plane Friday as it prepared to land in Detroit.

Thanks also from Amsterdam’s acting Prime Minister:

According to the Dutch newspaper, NRC Handelsblad, the Acting Dutch Prime Minister Wouter Bos today thanked Dutch video director and producer from Amsterdam, Jasper Schuringa, for his actions aboard the Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Bos thanked Schuringa on behalf of the Dutch Cabinet for the role he played in subduing the alleged terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and possibly preventing a tragedy.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has video:

Just Switch Them Around, Barack

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

I keep hearing that Barack Obama is this awesome and mega-wonderful President. I’ve been skeptical about that, but out of the blue I suddenly realized: Have you ever given some thought to how little it would take for that to be really true? All He really needs to do, is treat people who make money the way He treats terrorists, and treat terrorists the way He treats people who make money.

That would be cool. He’d be all, like, “Hey you terrorists, if you’re killing less than 250,000 people a year you don’t have a thing to worry about.” And then behind closed doors He’d let loose with that maniacal James-Bond-bad-guy laugh that you just know He’s got down cold, and tax the ever loving snot out of ‘em. Instantly, terrorists all over the world would wonder why they ever bothered to get into this line of work in the first place. He’d call up the biggest baddest terrorist and tell him “You know, I think it’s My preference that you should quit,” and the big bad terrorist would have to resign in disgrace. Then the U.S. Government would use TARP funds to take over that terrorist organization and start calling the shots about what kind of terrorist strikes it should make, until the damn thing goes bankrupt anyway.

As far as businessmen go, He’d be counseling the rest of us, leading us, guiding us, and lecturing us like we’re a bunch of paste-eating first-graders…that the businessmen are not our enemies. You know what, we really need to just get over our anger and fear and sit down & talk to them. All you guys with your bad attitudes toward ‘em, you just change your attitudes because you’re the ones messing everything up. That’s precisely what’s needed! He’d sign a bunch of executive orders saying we can’t torture them with ever-increasing corporate taxes because America is a place where that just plain never, ever, ever happens. And when it does, people get angry with us, so if we know what’s good for us we’d better just stop it.

Then He’d point out that terrorism is a leading cause of global warming and He’d lay down a bunch of timetables for the terrorists to cease and desist. Stop polluting our planet, you terrorists!

He’d be talking so tough about them, that if there was a “stock exchange” for terrorists, every time He opened His mouth the average daily index would drop by several hundred points.

What a super-ultra-mega-mega-President He would be. He’d make George Washington look like Millard Fillmore.

Obama Better President Than Carter

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

At least as far as this little adventure is concerned…

An American ship captain was freed unharmed today in a U.S. Navy operation that killed three of the four Somali pirates who had been holding him for days in a lifeboat off the coast of Africa, a senior U.S. intelligence official said.

One of the pirates was wounded and in custody after a swift firefight, the official said.

Capt. Richard Phillips, 53, of Underhill, Vermont, was safely transported to a Navy warship nearby.

Negotiations broke down because the Americans wanted the pirates brought to justice.

“The negotiations between the elders and American officials have broken down. The reason is American officials wanted to arrest the pirates in Puntland and elders refused the arrest of the pirates,” said the commissioner, Abdi Aziz Aw Yusuf. He said he organized initial contacts between the elders and the Americans.

Two other Somalis, one involved in the negotiations and another in contact with the pirates, also said the talks collapsed because of the U.S. insistence that the pirates be arrested and brought to justice.

Phillips’ crew of 19 American sailors reached safe harbor in Kenya’s northeast port of Mombasa on Saturday night under guard of U.S. Navy Seals, exhilarated by their freedom but mourning the absence of Phillips.

Let’s give credit to the current leadership folks, it’s only fair. At least for now, it would appear the “order over chaos” thing was upheld. Perhaps it’s an only-Nixon-can-go-to-China moment…like Clinton signing welfare reform or Bush practicing compassionate-giveaway-conservatism. However it came about, it seems the good guys won on this one.

Good. I’m glad. Wish more pirates got killed, but I’ll take it. Congratulations and a hearty thank-you to the noble warriors involved.

Update: …and in the spirit of that final note, a brief sketch of that brave skipper.

[Richard P.] Phillips, who was the captain of the Maersk Alabama, gave himself up as a prisoner in exchange for the safety of his crew of 19 when the container ship was attacked by pirates armed with AK-47s en route to Kenya. His crew took back their ship, but some of the pirates escaped with Phillips as a hostage in a lifeboat.

The U.S. Navy and FBI followed the pirates and tried to negotiate Phillips’s release, but his captors threatened to kill him if they mounted a rescue attempt. Phillips tried to escape Thursday, but was quickly recaptured.

The 55-year-old Vermont resident and father of two was well aware that pirate activity in the area has reached crisis proportions, with more than 40 ships hijacked last year alone.

Dick Cheney’s Apology

Monday, February 9th, 2009

The Washington Post thinks he should be giving one. But our former Vice President will not oblige, so Don Surber wrote one for him.

“I’m sorry that so many people are unappreciative of the efforts to protect the nation from terrorists. We were so good that people took our efforts for granted to the point where they now portray as a victim the mastermind behind 9/11 — KSM — who beheaded reporter Daniel Pearl. If I could do it all over again, the White House would have been more graphic in telling this tale, instead of relying on the media to be fair, balanced and accurate in its coverage of the war on terrorism.”

Hat tip to Gerard.

We No Longer Need to Kill Osama, Says Obama

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

Another intriguing link we find thanks to Neal.

“My preference obviously would be to capture or kill him,” [President-Elect Obama] said.

“But if we have so tightened his noose that he’s in a cave somewhere and can’t even communicate with his operatives then we will meet our goal of protecting America. I think that we have to so weaken (his) infrastructure that, whether he is technically alive or not, he is so pinned down that he cannot function.”

Some will find it worthy of note that the litmus test for success has just changed…like…now.

Some won’t.

Which camp would you say it’s fair to categorize, as filled to the bursting point with wild-eyed, extremist partisan zealots?

Call It McCroskey Syndrome

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

Looks like I picked the wrong day to declare 2008 the year of thinking flaccidly.

My point stands…problem is, today is Victory in Iraq day. A 24-hour oasis of virility and manly triumph in a 365-day ocean of impotence.

I just picked the wrong day.

Thank you, men AND women who’ve contributed to that crucial triumph, in ways large and small.

Hat tip: Rick.

“The bilious bastards…don’t know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating.” — Gen. George Patton, Jr., May 31, 1944

I’ve Got a Bracelet, Too

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Matthew Sheffield, Newsbusters.

In recent memory, every presidential debate eventually distills down into a few catchphrases. Al Gore became known for his sighs and love of lockboxes. John Kerry actually served in Vietnam. Dan Quayle was no Jack Kennedy.

I've Got A Bracelet, TooBarack Obama has a bracelet, too.

That inartful comeback will likely filter out through the political ether in the days ahead. What might not filter through our partisan press is that shortly after pointing out that, like John McCain, he sports a bracelet given to him by a military family, Barack Obama had to stop and look down find out the name of the soldier he’s honoring.

That soldier is Ryan David Jopek. Barack Obama doesn’t appear to have known that fact.

Here’s his complete line:

“Jim, let me just make a point. I’ve got a bracelet too. From, Sergeant, uh, uh, from the mother of, uh, Sergeant, Ryan David Jopek.”

Had a Republican, say Sarah Palin, made this gaffe, who wants to bet that we wouldn’t hear this clip repeated endlessly during the post-debate spin shows and in the days ahead? How much would the sincerity of our hypothetical Republican politician be called into question.

I didn’t hear it discussed once in the post-debate coverage. Did you?

Let’s be fair, here. Can you imagine how the mother of Sergeant Jopek would have felt, had Obama simply let this go — right while the bracelet was dangling on his own wrist? He had to say something. I hope that’s what motivated him, and I think he does have some human decency, and that that is indeed the case.

Now having said that, this kind of thing strikes me as extraordinarily sad. Because the people who are most enthused about supporting Barack Obama, voting for him, defending him — they don’t understand there’s a problem here. They have their own special definition of caring about someone.

They live in a special world in which nobody actually labors toward getting something done, except in the realm of “CALWWNTY” (Come A Long Way, We’re Not There Yet). Outside of the CALWWNTY vicious cycle of civil-rights-movements “we’re still working on that,” anything that requires effort is a manifestation of someone not caring about someone else. It’s the way they were raised. If you’re working on something, someone else should jump in, do it all for you, and present you with the results, immediately, or else you’re a victim of someone else’s lack of caring. Wherever there’s caring, there has to be a quick fix. Real work, therefore, exists only where people don’t care about each other…unless everyone is working on it, which is why CALWWNTY gets a pass. As does building a post-modern Star Trek utopian universe.

In that utopia they’re trying to build, people simply — exist. Mill about. Order free chocolate treats from food replicators whenever they want. They don’t really labor toward anything…not unless all of them are similarly engaged.

And so, to some of us, Obama having to re-check the name on his bracelet was just natural. The Sergeant had a funny name, after all! To the rest of us, this completely invalidates the point he was trying to make…and it’s not because we had preconceived desires to see his point invalidated. It’s because he really, truly, does not “care” in the way we define caring. He wants to see people alive and healthy and whole, but wants to see them abandon the effort on which they’ve spent their blood, sweat and tears. Once that’s done, in his world, everything will be all okay, because people will be intact, feelin’ good, unscathed, and covered by some fabulous universal medical care. And not really doing much of anything.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

On Ending War

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Some guy named Christian Liberal entered a comment on my son’s blog. I wasn’t familiar with this character, but thought his arguments were interesting. You’ve seen this isolationist/pacifist stance before; it comes down to three words, “end the war.”

So because I’ve seen this asserted so much, and the debate that logically continues from that pursued so little, I thought I’d leave the following nugget as food-fer-thought.

When two sides are at war with each other, how many sides does it take to decide to end it? One side, or both?

The whole issue really comes down to just that. And you know, it’s a little bit silly to imply that when two sides are at war, one side can unilaterally decide to end the war.

Best Sentence XXXIII

Monday, July 14th, 2008

The Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) goes out this morning to Stephen Browne, who is struggling to figure out why so many celebrities and academics seem to worship at the shrine of Che Guevara. He manages to come up with this beauty that I suspect is timeless, although I can’t prove it:

Though I am one myself, I know that intellectuals tend to be more than a bit on the wimpy side. They admire strength, they want to be strong, but they don’t know what strength is — and too damned often they think strength is brutality. [emphasis mine]

Of course this needs to be complexificated somewhat. I’m not a big fan of Che by any means. There are a lot of people who feel the same way about him that I do, and we have it in common that we’re big fans of “brutality” too — which, in turn, is bitterly opposed by the slobbering Che fans Mr. Browne is trying to inspect and critique.

Not so much brutality; but violence when & where it is justified:

vi·o·lence (n.)

1. swift and intense force: the violence of a storm.
2. rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment: to die by violence.
3. an unjust or unwarranted exertion of force or power, as against rights or laws: to take over a government by violence.
4. a violent act or proceeding.
5. rough or immoderate vehemence, as of feeling or language: the violence of his hatred.

bru·tal·i·ty (n.)

1. the quality of being brutal; cruelty; savagery.
2. a brutal act or practice.

There is a difference; brutality is violent, but all violence is not necessarily brutal even though some may errantly call it that. I wonder if justified violence, that was not brutal, would slake the thirst of these wimpy intellectuals who crave some demonstration of strength.

I’m struck by how carefully both sides of this split, while adhering to their most base instincts, manage to keep track of the ultimate effects of this violence. Some consistently champion the violence against that which creates or preserves and abhor the violence against that which destroys; others condemn the violence against that which creates or preserves, and support the violence that destroys what destroys.

I’m also impressed that “brutality” is a good word to use in this situation. We saw in Abu Ghraib how the violence that destroys that which destroys, was mutated into brutality. Those of us who support violence to destroy that which destroys, for the most part, withheld our support from this. We recognized the political ramifications of these acts for what they were, and understood that these were people who had done something terribly stupid that would bring danger to their fellow service members who were already there, or headed there. This is not the kind of violence we want or need.

Those others who support violence to destroy that which preserves, support violence that is already brutal. Saddam Hussein was brutal. Che Guevara was brutal. Osama bin Laden and his “freedom fighters” are brutal. This kind of violence has no line to cross. And so to those who lend their support to it, or delay their condemnation of it, or use the word “minutemen” to refer to those who perpetrate it, this is a meaningless distinction. So they can’t have their Abu Ghraib moments, because it is logically not possible. Such a moment would mark the descent into a layer of savagery, in which this violence already mired.

I wonder what would happen if those “minutemen” who are doing violence against our own troops, and in so doing earn the adulation and apologia from some of the fifth-column types over here — what would happen if those minutemen found sophisticated new ways to disable our servicemen humanely? Or without killing them, or engaging any other lasting effects? Would any of the fifth-column types give a rip about that? It does not seem so.

And so this is why Mr. Browne has earned a BSIHORL award. He has chosen his wording very carefully. The intellectual cowards who crave strength, knowing not what it is, are not impressed with just any ol’ “violence.” They are, and always have been, in search of cold, cruel brutality. Nothing else will do.

George W. Bush, Great Leader

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Not my opinion, it’s the opinion of a Muslim guy over in the UK. Holy cow.

Take the Iraq war for example. OK, so he got us into Iraq in the first place. But for Pete’s sake, he’s the leader of the world’s only superpower. He needs to take decisions, even if sometimes they have nasty consequences – which is far better than we do in Europe, where we enjoy dithering not as a means to an end, but as an end in itself.

Something had to be done about Iraq and our government was all for attacking it too. So let’s not blame G.W. for the war.

And when things did go wrong in Iraq, and there were calls to pull out, Mr Bush just followed his own counsel and doubled his bet with the Surge.

And he was right because Iraq is in a relatively better shape today than it ever was and Al Qa’eda is a shadow of its former self in that country.

This is a man who has the courage of his convictions.

Let’s not forget how Europe does wars.

Usually we wait and wait until the enemy starts attacking, then we let them win a bit, then we fight until we are tired, then we just call the US to come over to clean our mess.

That is what happened in WWI, WWII, and the Balkans.

Bush is just showing us what a bunch of dangerous ditherers we are and we hate him for it. Naturally.

H/T: Ace, who apparently learned of it via Conservative Belle.

Thing I Know #31. He who does a noble, brave, heroic thing, tends to draw a seething hatred from he who could have done the noble, brave, heroic thing — but chose not to.

What I Know About People Minus What I Was Told When I Was A Child #27. People who make a conscious decision not to offer help or defense to someone who needs it, don’t want anyone else to help or defend that person either.

Sacrifice!

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Carl at Simply Left Behind (which is a lefty blog) is opining on what’s wrong with us nowadays and sounding…very conservative

You get hit by a car. You sue the other driver. He hires a lawyer and sues you back to try to prove that, indeed, it was your fault for stepping in front of his car.
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You see a woman in an emergency room collapse. She lays there for 24 hours and dies. No one does a thing. Why? Because someone else should have handled it.

You walk down a street and a piece of newspaper blows across and wraps around your ankle. You stand next to a garbage can, yet rather than reach down, pluck the paper and toss it in the bin, you shake your foot and off it flies to litter again. Serial litter, I like to call this.

We fight a war in a far-off land, and the only sacrifice we’re asked to make is to load up on debt and shop some more. Arguably, given what has happened, this might turn into the ultimate sacrifice for many of us, but that’s a different story.

And I would add to that, the story of Sergio Casian Aguiar curb-stomping his own son to death for a full seven minutes. While bystanders watched.

A spectacle that shocked and horrified conservatives, while liberals made excuses:

“I would not condemn these people,” said John Darley, a professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University who has studied how bystanders react in emergency situations. “Ordinary people aren’t going to tackle a psychotic.

“What we have here,” Darley said, “is a group of family and friends who are not pre-organized to deal with this stuff. They don’t know who should do what. … If you had five volunteer firefighters pull up, you would expect them to have planned responses and a division of labor. But that’s not what we had here.”

Carl’s cognitive dissonance on the virtue of sacrifice is a source of endless fascination to me, in part because he represents so many millions besides himself. And while parts of his thesis make sense, together as a whole it is a baffling tangled mess of contradictions.

When the newspaper attaches itself to your ankle you’re supposed to bend down, pick it up, and throw it away!

Okay, with Saddam Hussein that is exactly what we did. Carl doesn’t like that…

But it makes sense! Because there was no sacrifice!

Yeah, well, we sacrificed plenty. That’s the point of all these war protests…supposedly we’re drafting our innocent doe-eyed children, boxing ‘em up, hauling ‘em to Iraq where they get blown up by the thousands. And that’s wrong! But that’s a sacrifice if ever there was one. So…your point?

It’s only the sacrifice of a few! It doesn’t affect everyone, so it doesn’t count!

We-ell, as I pointed out in my comment, in a lot of other areas a financial sacrifice is supposed to count, and supposedly, the Iraq war is responsible for crude oil that costs $149 a barrel. When we pull in to a gas station and have to part with $50 to fill a twelve-gallon tank, that seems to me to be a sacrifice, especially when by Tuesday of next week we’ll have to do it again.

Unless financial sacrifices don’t count, in which case Carl just nullified every speech made by every tax-and-spend liberal who ever wanted to “roll back the Bush tax cuts” for the virtue of sacrifice.

I think liberals like Carl are confused on the concept of sacrifice. There are two definitions to it: There is the outcome-based sacrifice, in which the “sacrifice” itself is just a negligible and unpleasant side effect in the process of upholding what truly matters. The narrower definition, in which the pain is the point, is what John Galt was talking about in that monstrously long speech of his:

Sacrifice is the surrender of value — of a higher value to a lower one, or of the good to the evil.

The code is impossible to practice because it would lead to death, and thus moral perfection is impossible to man.

The Doctrine of Sacrifice cannot provide man with an interest in being good.

Since man is in fact an indivisible unity of matter and consciousness, the sacrifice of “merely” material values necessarily means the sacrifice of spiritual ones.

The self is the mind, and the most selfish act is the exercise of one’s independent judgment. In attacking selfishness, the Doctrine of Sacrifice seeks to make you surrender your mind.

The Doctrine of Sacrifice commands that you act for the good of others but provides no standard of the good. And it requires only that you intend to benefit others, not that you succeed.

The Doctrine of Sacrifice makes you the servant and others your masters –and adds insult to injury by saying you should find happiness through sacrifice.

Somewhere in there Galt made a mention of the mother who went without eating so that her infant could eat; that would not be a sacrifice, according to Galt who was using the pain-based definition of “sacrifice.” That mother would be upholding an ideal important to her system of values, simply paying a price necessary to acquire it. Sacrifice, Galt said, would have been giving up her child for the sake of something not important to her. (Update: It actually had to do with sacrificing the child for a nice hat. See below. My memory managed to “sacrifice” the finer details to retain the overall picture; cut me some slack, it’s a freakin’ thirty-five thousand word speech.) That is what is meant by surrender “of a higher value to a lower one.” It entails a net loss, because the pain is the point of the exercise.

My thinking is, the people who agree with Carl, also agree with John Galt. Sacrifice is not about principles. Sacrifice is identifying what is important to you, and then getting rid of it.

Our liberals do not feel the conflict of this dissonance when they talk about raising taxes on rich people. Money is supposed to be important to rich people, right? And so we force them to get rid of it through higher taxes. When we talk about meeting the objectives, we already begin the process of losing the interest of our liberals; their eyes glaze over, and they yearn to spend their precious moments on a rerun of The Daily Show or watching another one of Keith Olbermann’s recycled rants. But we complete that process of alienating them when we talk about meeting the objectives through private charities.

This is because in the more specific, liberal-and-Galt definition of “sacrifice,” private charities don’t meet the criteria. They are voluntary. The donors are exchanging an inferior value, which is the cash that is donated, for a greater one which is the beneficial effect of the charity. They choose this. In so doing, they are upholding their own systems of belief and therefore are not “sacrificing.”

I suspect that is the real reason why so many of our liberals can hold their protests about the latest handy round body-count in our “illegal and unjust war,” on the one hand — and on the other, decry the lack of “sacrifice” that has been made in the war. Real people like you and me who have red blood in our veins and are from Planet Earth, look at that and say “how can you protest both?” The answer to that is easy.

Liberals are like the girlfriend who is unhappy with her engagement ring if the prospective groom still has money left after he bought it — the size of the ring isn’t the point, how good it looks isn’t the point, how much did it cost isn’t really the point; the point is, did it cost enough that it hurt him.

This is why their ideas are unfit for implementation in the real world. Out here, if you have a job to do, and you get it done but it didn’t cause you pain, that’s a success. If it was such a painful experience that it injured you, it’s still a failure if you didn’t meet the stated objectives. Reality says it’s all about getting the job done, not what you give up to do it. Our liberals don’t agree. They think, if you’re suitably diminished that you can’t do anything else, and your intentions were noble, then that’s all that matters. Whether the job got done, is just a side bunny-trail to them.

This is provable. Saddam Hussein is that newspaper flying about the ankles if ever there was one. One President kicked him aside to be blown further down the sidewalk, and another President picked him up and stuck him in the trash bin. Our liberals are furious at the President who chucked him in the trash bin. They won’t say why.

Update: John Galt’s comments on sacrifice, whittled down to the bare bone, heavily edited from the state in which they exist starting on p. 940:

The word that has destroyed you is ‘sacrifice.’ Use the last of your strength to understand its meaning. You’re still alive. You have a chance.

‘Sacrifice’ does not mean the rejection of the worthless, but of the precious. ‘Sacrifice’ does not mean the rejection of the evil for the sake of the good, but of the good for the sake of the evil. ‘Sacrifice’ is the surrender of that which you value in favor of that which you don’t.
:
If you give money to help a friend, it is not a sacrifice; if you give it to a worthless stranger, it is. If you give your friend a sum you can afford, it is not a sacrifice; if you give him money at the cost of your own discomfort, it is only a partial virtue, according to this sort of moral standard; if you give him money at the cost of disaster to yourself – that is the virtue of sacrifice in full.
:
A sacrifice is the surrender of a value. Full sacrifice is full surrender of all values. If you start, however, as a passionless blank, as a vegetable seeking to be eaten, with no values to reject and no wishes to renounce, you will not win the crown of sacrifice. It is not a sacrifice to renounce the unwanted
:
If you wish to save the last of your dignity, do not call your best actions a ‘sacrifice’: that term brands you as immoral. If a mother buys food for her hungry child rather than a hat for herself, it is not a sacrifice: she values the child higher than the hat; but it is a sacrifice to the kind of mother whose higher value is the hat, who would prefer her child to starve and feeds him only from a sense of duty.
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Sacrifice could be proper only for those who have nothing to sacrifice – no values, no standards, no judgment – those whose desires are irrational whims, blindly conceived and lightly surrendered. For a man of moral stature, whose desires are born of rational values, sacrifice is the surrender of the right to the wrong, of the good to the evil.

The creed of sacrifice is a morality for the immoral – a morality that declares its won bankruptcy by confessing that it can’t impart to men any personal stake in virtues or values, and that their souls are sewers of depravity, which they must be taught to sacrifice. By its own confession, it is impotent to teach men to be good and can only subject them to constant punishment. [emphasis mine]

Now, I have not heard a single lefty-leaning Bush-bashing blue-blooder — not once! — seek to assert that the war in Iraq, oh dear if only it entailed “sacrifice” from us all the way that noble effort by FDR that was World War II demanded rationing of rubber, steel, wood, et al…why, then the War On Terror would be an equally heroic deed and then they’d be able to get behind it. I have not heard ‘em say that one single time.

But I’ve heard ‘em, many-a-time, throw out some platitudes designed to bully the casual thinker into believing that’s where they were coming from. That glittery, glistening heroic sheen of “sacrifice,” yesiree! That’s what Bush’s unjust and immoral war is missing. We aren’t sacrificing enough!

But John Galt’s words put that into a whole different light, don’t they. ‘Sacrifice’ is the surrender of that which you value in favor of that which you don’t. It is therefore morality for the immoral; it is a moral code for those who cannot appreciate having one.

Not that asphalt rationing would bring any of these nattering nabobs on board. It wouldn’t. If you parse Carl’s words very carefully, and listen to the other nattering nabobs very carefully, you’ll see they are promising no such thing. The universality of our sacrifices has nothing to do with it — the country is engaged in an intensive effort, there’s still a Republican in the White House, and that is all it takes to inspire their impassioned opposition to what we’re doing.

All the bitching about “sacrifice” is just a red herring — and that’s the best part about it.

So Let’s Talk About What’s Good

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Via Obi’s Sister

What’s right about the US of A. You get to both read and write.

Imagine This…

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Thomas Jefferson once said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” On this Fourth, I’m thinking about something a little bit different. Suppose somewhere there is a nation in which each citizen has the precious and inalienable right to be smart, but is wholly deprived of the right to be stupid.

Where I’m going with this, is that I strongly suspect such a nation is something that never was and never will be. For a number of reasons. Starting with, someone would have to sit in judgment of what’s smart and what’s dumb. The truth of the matter is, “smart” people haven’t done a great deal for us because what’s usually thought of as something smart, is thought of that way because it’s orthodox. It’s same-ol’ same-ol’. The car you drive, the light bulb you turn on, the cell phone into which you do your chattering, they were all invented by someone whom someone else thought was doing something abysmally stupid.

And then we have those things that really are stupid, like the mutterings of Matthew Rothschild and Chris Satullo, along with the usual gang of nitwits…M. Moore, K. Olbermann, N. Chomsky…along with the ones who just tone down the anti-USA rhetoric a little bit, because after all they’re competing for a position in which they would run it. Clinton, Kerry, Obama, Dean.

What I think is really great about this country, is that these chuckleheads are running around, advertising by their blatherings what is wonderful about it without even knowing they’re doing it.

Abu Ghraib, you say? Abu Ghraib was a bunch of rotten stuff done to rotten people by ignorant stupid Americans…who were then caught by other Americans, and tried by other Americans and sentenced by other Americans while yet other Americans observed the whole process and reported to the whole world what was going on. Moral of Abu Ghraib: Americans do stupid things just like people all the world over. And then Americans tattle on other Americans. We are not perfect, nor have we ever claimed to be. But where we can be transparent and still defend ourselves, we make ourselves visible to general audiences. Our government is split — the executive, the legislative, the judicial, none of the three beholden to any of the others.

We fall for a lot of bullshit, like that the planet is in danger and if we all just unplug our waffle irons when they’re not in use, maybe we can save it. That’s the price of free speech.

Like I said, if you want to recognize the right people have to come up with smart things, you have to recognize the companion right people to fall for stupid nonsense.

We have a lot of weapons, but it isn’t the stockpile of weapons that makes us great. It is the difference between what we have, and what we use.

When we were attacked, we flew over Afghanistan, the country from which the attack came, and out of the bellies of our airplanes dropped — food and money.

Our worst critics prefer to stay.

Our poor people are fat.

Happy Independence Day.

Update: I see Gerard is also pointing to the “worst critics prefer to stay” slogan that is mutually enjoyed by us both, along with others.

Happy Fourth!Speaking of Gerard, he’s taking apart another America-hating halfwit and his performance in this regard exceeds all expectations, even if you’re accustomed to his wonderful work. He’s pretending it’s some kind of dreary chore but I’m not buying it for a second, as the old boy seems to be enjoying himself immensely…

As is often the case in the envious world today, we encounter — in the commenter’s plaint and elsewhere at home and abroad — a mindset in which “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” This is a mindset that views anything less than some imagined perfect state as somehow failing and worthy of excoriation. It is a mindset in which, if the real world falls short of the imagined perfection, it is the real world that is ill rather than the mind of the imaginer. It is a mindset which finds nothing is impossible as long as others do the work and pay the price. It is a mindset forever doomed to disappointment; a doom in which it takes a strange, almost masochistic, pleasure.

Faced with such a deeply-rooted but deeply wrong mindset, we find ourselves eavesdropping on Macbeth as he discusses his wife’s madness with a doctor:

Macbeth
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff’d bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?

Doctor
Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.

That is a random sample, not creme de la creme. It’s all that good. Head on over.

Also, Locomotive Breath has graciously pointed to our home page as a place you should go if it’s taking awhile for the sun to set and you’re sittin’ there in your lawn chair all bored, wireless laptop in one hand, sparklers in the other, beer in the other. He also has others. I stole his pinup because he probably stole it from somewhere else (most likely here), and there’s many others along with lots of good stuff. So hit both places if you have the time.

True Greatness Inspires Lots of Bitching

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

So let’s not question whether this is a great country ever again, for it certainly has drawn more than its share of bitching.

Rick found something to pair up with our own tongue-in-cheek bitching we were doing yesterday…it’s an aging sourpuss Philadelphia Inquirer baby-boomer who wants us to “put the fireworks in storage” — because he says so.

Same ol’ nonsense. Terrorists cut off the heads of our journalists in front of a camcorder…we drip some water down someone’s nose and we’re supposed to wring our hands in paralyzing guilt for becoming “like them.” Oh, I think if becoming like them is the class assignment, a grade of C-minus would be exceedingly generous.

This year, America doesn’t deserve to celebrate its birthday. This Fourth of July should be a day of quiet and atonement.

For we have sinned.

Blah blah blah. You know the drill.

Blackfive found another internationalist pompous jackass sycophant, this one a Gen-X-er. Actually, I don’t know that. Matthew Rothschild could be ninety, for all I know. But these people are always sycophants. Ever notice that? You can’t just sit quietly and cluck your tongue about how ashamed “America” should be of herself, and keep it to yourself. This stuff always has to be advertised.

They know not what they say about themselves. What kind of person sits and stews about Abu Ghraib while we liberate Iraq? It’s impossible to reasonably conclude that this resentment against the USA is the product of any kind of thinking; it was the point going in. These are people filled with hate because they want to be — and they want the whole world to know.

So it’s rich material. Every time.

It’s July 4th again, a day of near-compulsory flag-waving and nation-worshipping. Count me out.

Spare me the puerile parades.

Don’t play that martial music, white boy.

And don’t befoul nature’s sky with your F-16s.

You see, I don’t believe in patriotism.

It’s not that I’m anti-American, but I am anti-patriotic.

Love of country isn’t natural. It’s not something you’re born with. It’s an inculcated kind of love, something that is foisted upon you in the home, in the school, on TV, at church, during the football game.

Yet most people accept it without inspection.

Why?

Er…an old-fashioned concept called gratitude?

Like this –

I am so thankful to have been born into a country given to such extreme heights of productivity, capable of providing so much opportunity and comfort for those living within it, that people utterly devoid of talent can afford what surely must be the ultimate luxury: Pretending it’s cool to be an ingrate.

And…I don’t give a good God-damn who knows I’m thankful for that, and who doesn’t. It’s something that simply is. This country is truly great. It cannot be denied. We get more than our share of bitching, way more, and like the winner of that six-word slogan contest said: Our worst critics prefer to stay.

Happy birthday, and many more.

Plagiarizing Goebbels

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler thinks George Lakoff, author of “The Political Mind” (Viking, $25.95) is stealing material from Joseph Goebbels. Lakoff’s point is that we’re voting “the wrong way” because our synapses are being unfairly exploited by conservatives, and if “progressives” simply retool their messages to manipulate our frames of references rather than give us these pesky “fact” things, we’ll start voting the right way again. Which is a chuckle and a snort to anyone who’s been paying attention to what kind of material the “progressives” have been selling up ’til now…sure they’ve got problems, but dishing out facts doesn’t seem to be one of ‘em, at least to me.

They think they can win elections by citing facts and offering programs that serve voters’ interests. When they lose, they conclude that they need to move farther to the right, where the voters are.

This is all wrong, Lakoff explains. Neuroscience shows that pure facts are a myth and that self-interest is a conservative idea. In a “New Enlightenment,” progressives will exploit these discoveries. They’ll present frames instead of raw facts. They’ll train the public to think less about self-interest and more about serving others. It’s not the platform that needs to be changed. It’s the voters. [emphasis mine]

As Rottie has pointed out — the idea that liberals offer “programs that serve voters’ interests” is something of a hoot as well. That is, unless you consider the possibility that liberals have now successfully recruited so many illegal aliens and dead people into the voting process that the term “voter” has substantially changed.

And I’m wondering how neuroscience goes about showing that self-interest is a conservative idea. What’re they doing, strapping a guy in a chair, having him make self-interested choices in some creative experiment and then peeking at his “conservative” lobe to see if it lights up? Hmmm, I wonder what the conservative lobe would be. I would guess when you know a stove is hot, the liberal lobe is the one that lights up when you think “I think I’ll put my hand on that” and the conservative one would be the one that lights up next time ’round, when you think “that didn’t turn out so good, I believe this time I will not be doing that.”

From this, Lakoff’s agenda follows. In place of neoliberalism, he offers neuroliberalism. Since voters’ opinions are neither logical nor self-made, they should be altered, not obeyed. Politicians should “not follow polls but use them to see how they can change public opinion to their moral worldview.”

Yeah, I’m reading through all this stuff and you know what I’m seeing?

“I want liberal ideas to prevail and they damn sure aren’t going to prevail if those promoting them continue to muddle around with ‘facts’ and ‘logic,’ so I want them to start selling snake oil instead.”

And I don’t think Goebbels is the only one plagiarized here. I remember seeing it just a short time ago. Ah…here it is — here and here and here.

This column from Robyn Blumner about a psychology professor named Drew Westen telling Democrats to abandon fact-based campaigning and employ emotional tactics instead would be knee-slappingly hilarious, something fit for the pages of The Onion, were she not so gosh-darn serious about it all.

In one exceptionally clear 400-page volume, Drew Westen, a professor of psychology at Emory University, lays out everything that Democrats have been doing wrong. He explains it all in neuroscientific terms according to what regions of the brain control political decisionmaking, but it comes down to this. In election after election, Democrats have been appealing to the dispassionate, rational, fact-sensitive voter. A being, apparently, who doesn’t exist.

According to The Political Brain: The Role of Emotions in Deciding the Fate of the Nation, winning elections is all about influencing feelings and emotions. Westen says bringing more passion into politics requires the use of storytelling narratives and other emotional cues that powerfully engage those circuits of the brain that recruit and reinforce beliefs.

Democrats keep losing presidential campaigns, not because the issues they stand for are unappealing, but because they tend to structure their campaigns to engage the brain’s reasoning centers. And that just doesn’t cut the synaptic mustard.

I actually heard about this guy on Rush Limbaugh the other day. Basically, his strategy for winning elections for Democrats is to have them appeal to the emotions of voters rather than their reason. Which, to me, sounds a bit like “just tell ‘em what they want to hear.” Not to mention more than a little insulting for American voters. Apparently we’re all a bunch of morons who aren’t smart enough to wrap our minds around the brilliance and nuance of liberal policies.

Though I’m curious as to how Professor Westen thinks won Democrats the last election. Did they win because they just told Americans what they wanted to hear? Did the Democrats abandon reason and play on our emotions?

Exactly the question I had with this Lackoff guy. We’re still in the first term of the Marc Foley Congress, in which democrats took charge of everything because we “all” figured out they’re so great and Republicans suck so much. That’s what I keep getting told, anyway…doesn’t that mean our “progressives” are happy with the way things turned out? Westen’s masterpiece popped up during this first term, in fact when the victory was supposedly still fresh. Lackoff’s book, also, is published during this first term.

I’m already familiar with the fact — oops! Sorry guys! — that liberals have a distinct tendency to engage schemes that have failed repeatedly…like universal healthcare, minimum wage, price caps, gun control, the list goes on and on. So it took me by surprise, although I suppose maybe it should have been a foregone conclusion, that they want to change things that have worked well.

Is that what’s going on here? Or should I stick to my original theory, that the way they run their political campaigns is in a manner completely opposite to the way they want to run things once they accumulate more power across the national landscape? I’d like to know which it is, because I like that original theory better and it seems to hold true. You little people should be ashamed of being able to hold on to your money…we can have tax loopholes…you should ride razor scooters to work…we get to ride in limousines…you have to call 911…our bodyguards can carry Smith & Wessons…the world is mad at you for recognizing enemies…we shall prevail over our Republican opponents no matter what it takes…

Either way, I pity the poor democrat strategist who’s been tasked to read Lackoff’s book and look for ways to implement it. How do you shun facts, and embrace phony propaganda, more than the democrats have already been doing it? How do you repeat empty, vapid messages more often than they already have? In 2008 they’re down to just repeating the monosyllabic “hope…change” over and over again.

And, finally, I have to revert back to one of my favorite questions about liberals. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could rustle up just half the acrimony, half the anger, half the resolve and half the determination to prevail against an enemy at any cost — against the terrorists, as they do against Republicans?

Signs

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Big Peace SignThe kollege kids in Ithaca, NY want a Guiness representative to validate their claim to the largest human peace sign.

The previous largest human peace sign was made by 2,500 people at the University of Michigan. Ithaca is now waiting for Guinness to sanction its new record of 5,814 people.

Organizer Trevor Dougherty, a high school sophomore, says the effort was a show of support for world peace, not just an attempt at a record.

Yay. Yes, the world could use some more peace. We could start with our left-wingers pledging to work more closely with our right-wingers. Compromise a bit more often. Heh…funny how that one item seems to be left out.

You know, it occurs to me that “peace” stands alone as having it’s own simplistic, easily-reproduced sign. It is the one intangible noun that defies a solid definition. Next to “greed” and “hate crime.” “Racism” seems to have slipped a few teeth in the cogs as well; it used to mean a personal belief in the inherent superiority of one race over another, and lately I’m seeing a lot of things that don’t incorporate that being called “racist.”

But I digress.

You show people a peace sign…everyone understands it refers to the word “peace” but we have so little collaboration about what that really means. Stop fighting? Ban guns? Sign a non-proliferation treaty, and just hope the other guys are demolishing their munitions when they say they are? Does it mean start inspections, or call a halt to them? Does it have something to do with Marxism? Why or why not?

I can think of a few other things that could use a simple, internationally-recognized pictogram, to make it easier to promote them. These are things much more worthy of such promotion than the same-ol’, tired old war protest.

Graphics artists, your submissions are solicited. Make ‘em simple as possible, and preferably fitting in a circular border. Who knows, maybe one or two of ‘em will have ten thousand able-bodied supporters, and before the summer is out we can break the record.

1. Skepticism about global warming. I doubt you can save the planet by unplugging your toaster.
2. Critical thinking, in general. We used to have some. Let’s bring it back.
3. The Wolfowitz Doctrine.
4. The willingness to provide others who are weaker with a terrible, deadly defense. (The U.S. Marines have a nice logo that says exactly this, to some.)
5. The idea that maybe we should keep putting violent criminals in jail until there’s nobody around to commit violent crime anymore. That’s what the “peace symbol” means to me, but that’s open to individual interpretation.
6. Hooray for capitalism.
7. You can have my gun when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands.
8. Say no to crack: Pull up those pants!
9. Hooters girls, on the other hand, are awesome.
10. So is cold beer.
11. So are buffalo wings.
12. I wish cars were still built so we could tear ‘em apart and put them back together again.
13. Commies leave. This country isn’t for you.
14. Nerds are cool.
15. Any country that is our ally only until we take steps to defend ourselves, is an ally we don’t want or need.
16. Thing I Know #70. Courage has very little to do with being outspoken.
17. Drill here now. Sign Newt’s petition.
18. Peer pressure sucks.
19. Canada, shame on you for your Human Rights Commission!
20. Keith Olbermann, go away.
21. Guilt is a useless and nonsensical human emotion.
22. It’s a futile endeavor to try to be better than everyone else when you’re also trying to be exactly like everyone else.
23. Let’s make it easy for young people to find work. There’s nothing wrong with a seventh-grader mowing lawns for money.
24. Rule For Living With Me #2. Show how mature you are. All things do not necessarily have to be said.
25. Go away, Oprah.
26. Thing I Don’t Get #24. Men shouldn’t get piercings in their junk and I don’t know why they’d want to.
27. Teach your child how to drive a stick-shift!
28. Same-sex marriage: It isn’t a human rights story, it’s a human-interest story.
29. Getting your news out of The Daily Show is a bad, bad idea.
30. Thing I Know #52. Angry people who demand things, don’t stop being angry when their demands are met.

Stan Fields: What is the one most important thing our society needs?
Gracie Hart: That would be… harsher punishment for parole violators, Stan.
[crowd is silent]
Gracie Hart: And world peace!
[crowd cheers ecstatically]

Update 6/24/08: Phil submits the following for #17. One down, twenty-nine to go.

Helping to Highlight JohnJ’s Point

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

…JohnJ being one of my blogger friends trying to persuade me to go toward the light, Carol Anne, and support McCain this fall.

It’s a good thing I never said this point was entirely lacking in merit, for it certainly is not so lacking. Searching around for an editorial I saw last week in Sacramento Bee, I found it under Paul Greenberg’s name and Mr. Greenberg states a powerful case.

Nothing so well illustrates the essential asymmetry of this country’s worldwide struggle against terrorism than last week’s 5-to-4 opinion out of the U.S. Supreme Court. The enemy is fighting a war; we are litigating a plea.

Throughout the sleepy Nineties, we dealt with two – two! – earlier and incomplete attacks on the World Trade Center not as the barbaric acts of war they were, but as isolated matters for the criminal justice system to deal with when and if it could. While we slept, the enemy plotted. We paid the bloody price for our obtuseness – in thousands of innocent lives – on September 11, 2001.

Now we’re proceeding with great deliberation down the same blind alley.

How to describe this latest opinion from the high court? It’s not easy to get a handle on this decision for, against or maybe just vaguely about the exercise (or paralysis) of the president’s wartime powers. Here is how His Honor Anthony M. Kennedy – heir to the equally vacuous Sandra Day O’Connor’s swing vote on the high court – “explained” what his majority opinion means, or rather doesn’t mean: “Our opinion does not undermine the executive’s powers as commander in chief. On the contrary, the exercise of those powers is vindicated, not eroded, when confirmed by the judicial branch.”

This whole issue shouldn’t be an issue, of course. Supreme Court Justices are sworn in with an oath to defend the Constitution. Not to twist it around to make people happy, who in turn don’t even live in this country. They’re supposed to read the Constitution, look at some lesser law, and say “I don’t see any conflict here” or “yeah, that’s messed up, you’re not supposed to do that and it says so right here.”

What Kennedy is doing is ratcheting up the standard of constitutionality in such a way that it has little to nothing to do with the actual Constitution. He’s an authority doing exactly what authorities aren’t supposed to do when they wield authority: Try to use it to make himself popular.

…this is the third time in four years that the high court has left the question of how or if to try enemy combatants up in the cloudy air. What are the other branches of government, or even the lower courts, let alone our troops in the field, now to do with these detainees and future ones? The weightless burden of the court’s confused and confusing guidance on this subject might be summed up as: To be determined.

Each time the Supreme Court has ruled against this system of trying enemy combatants, lawful or unlawful, Congress and the executive – at the court’s explicit behest – have moved to meet its objections, only to be told once again that the tribunals still don’t pass constitutional muster.

In matters of civil and criminal law, you don’t want anything to happen unless all the tumblers are lined up. Outside of the military, government has a way of doing things like that naturally: Everyone has to agree something’s a go, but the lowliest mail clerk has the authority to stop it. Great way to prosecute a case. Lousy way to fight a war.

Greenberg closes by echoing John’s point, almost word-for-word:

The one thing that this latest example of law at its least vigilant does make clear is the importance of this year’s presidential election. Sen. John McCain, who knows something about war and being a prisoner thereof, says he would appoint judges who are committed to judicial restraint; he’s criticized this decision. Sen. Barack Obama has praised it. However confused and confusing this latest decision, it does clarify the decision facing the American voter this November.

It certainly does. What it actually means, I’ll leave to each reader to decide for him- or herself.

I know McCain isn’t speaking from the heart, though; I know this beyond the shadow of any doubt. His schtick is that he understands Guantanamo has to be closed down, that we need to recapture some of our global popularity by gelding ourselves in our treatment of these terrorists. He also clings to the tired old song that if we continue with our harsh interrogation techniques, it just puts the men and women serving on our behalf in danger, in case they are captured by the enemy.

The facts don’t square with this sales pitch. When John McCain was captured by the North Koreans Vietnamese, the United States was a signing party to the Geneva Conventions. That’s just a fact. The VC brutalized him at the Hanoi Hilton, and that, too, is an inconvenient fact. No getting around it.

So if anything, McCain is in a great position to know — beyond any doubt whatsoever — that a nation’s determination to behave in a “civilized” manner either by treaty or by deed, does nothing, zilch, zip, zero, nada, bubkes, as far as ensuring that nation’s troops will be subjected to kinder treatment by an enemy once they are captured.

He knows this. He knows it personally. And he’s playing up propaganda that is meaningful only to those who are too ignorant of the facts to understand what’s really going on here.

So do I think McCain’s rhetoric is right on the money about these nominees to the Supreme Court? Yeah, pretty much. Do I think a President McCain is likely to nominate better judges to the Supreme Court than a President Obama? Mmmm…maybe. There’s the slimmest of chances. Would I put a lot of money on it? No. I’d put very, very little. McCain is the very picture of a Republican nominee for President who’ll screw the conservatives over that way once he gets in.

Do I admire him for his service? Hell yes. Do I admire him for his character? Not one bit. I think he has serious issues in that department. Do I think he’s better than a democrat? Uh…maybe I would, if it weren’t for the history of Bush Pere. Or Nixon. I have my reasons to be jaded.

Am I optimistic about how things are going to turn out this year, if only the Republicans unite on this candidate, and thus reassure the candidate that we’re all with him, and consider the job of team-building to be behind him?

Hell no.

He’s the presumptive nominee. He doesn’t have the track record of sticking with principled positions on things…which means both sides will get a benefit out of him if they lean on him.

And those “moderates” are going to lean on him 24×7 all the way to election day.

Those who understand the wisdom of what Greenberg has had to say, should lean on him too. Which means, necessarily, that he can’t count on us. Not until he’s made some commitments that he hasn’t even bothered to make just yet.

Update: As Buck points out, I got my countries mixed up. It’s tough to keep straight in one’s mind all those wars the democrats started.

George W.’s War

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

No way to tease it without spoiling it. Just read it.

Know The Devil You Know

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

I suppose this weekend we should eventually get around to discussing that subject I try so hard to avoid, which is this decision we all need to make in November.

I have a lot of close friends who beat me up quite regularly over my failure to declare allegiance to Mister Straight Talk. They say our national security is in peril if Obama gets into the White House. And they’re right. They say if I engage in my silliness, e.g., writing in my own name, writing in Fred Thompson’s name, staying home, etc., I will help to make this happen. They are right about that too.

Where they’re wrong, is in offering up Sen. McCain as any sort of remedy to the situation. Not that this is news to them. You can tell they already know this would be a false argument to make, by their careful reluctance to actually make it. They don’t say this word-for-word. It sounds, to the lazy intellect, when you say “we’re up to our shoulders in crap if Obama gets in and McCain’s the only guy who can stop that from happening,” like you’re saying “if McCain gets in maybe we won’t be up to our shoulders in crap.” But those are two different things, they know those are two different things, and that’s why they put so much energy into repeating one of those two things while remaining silent on the other.

The balance of my thoughts has to do with McCain’s penchant for backstabbing, both politically and personally. It is captured well by LindaSOG:

I was somewhat struck by this:

Last January McCain said that the president was “ very badly served by both the vice president and, most of all, the secretary of defense.”

“John said some nasty things about me the other day, and then next time he saw me, ran over to me and apologized,” Cheney said in an ABC News interview in February. “Maybe he’ll apologize to Rumsfeld.”

Aw. Ran over and apologized, did he? Nothing says hypocrite and panderer quite like an apology made in private for an attack made in public. Maybe McCain will apologize to Rumsfield, or… maybe he already has. In private.

Some of McCain’s colleagues in the Senate said they believe Rumsfeld will eventually support the GOP candidate. “He will be for him in due time,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said. … Rumsfeld’s vote will be for McCain, Thune surmised, because “he cares about the country’s national security.”

Close GitmoYeah sure, McCain really really cares about the country’s national security, you can tell by his plan to close GITMO because after all, closing GITMO and bringing terrorists here into the United States prison system will do so much for the country’s national security. Sure, why not give these hardened and experienced terrorists a captive audience made up of angry, violent, hate-filled American citizens and the opportunity to recruit and train and initiate them into Jihad. It will only make us safer, right?

McCain has been remarkably consistent on the closing of Guantanamo, and other issues dealing with the upcoming gelding and defanging of the United States; embracing our new paradigm of advertised harmlessness.

Let’s just call this what it is: A religion. It’s based on mountains of faith, and on not so much as a molehill of anything else. There is no evidence — anywhere in human history! — that this will have a beneficial effect on anything. What happens to the guy who goes trolling for dates, showing off how harmless he is and how he totally respects the object(s) of his affection? He sleeps alone, of course. What happens to the father who shows his children how harmless he is? They disrespect him, disobey him, and grow up to be hoodlums. What happens when he showcases his harmlessness to his wife? He gets divorced and loses everything he owns. What happens when the justice system shows how harmless it is? Crime goes up. What happens to countries with harmless systems of national defense? They get invaded and conquered. And on the list goes…

I’ll simplify Goldwater’s wisdom for today: Harmlessness is not a virtue. Period.

What’s really flawed about this “harmlessness is virtuous if it’s advertised” religion, is that it is lacking a deity. That’s a terminal defect, you know. There needs to be an authority sitting in judgment of us in order to determine what incredibly good people we are, for having closed down Guantanamo. Step One, we close it down…Step Two, ???????? says “look what they did, they’re wonderful people”…Step Three, we get more popular, and in this way our interests are served. Good karma — but — for that to work, you need to fill in the “????????”. There’s no way around it. Now, who’s performing that adjudication? Osama bin Laden? Earth-Mother Gaea? “Most” people around the world? This is where it breaks down…none of those wash.

So over the next four and a half months, I’ll be instructed to believe, many more times, that McCain deserves my vote because it’s better to ally with The Devil You Know than with The Devil You Don’t. And that is my retort: All these people who say so, smart as they may be in other matters, simply don’t know this Devil You Know. As LindaSOG points out with amusing verbal irony, to place a premium value on our national defense is inconsistent and irreconcilable with wanting to close down Guantanamo to score some prop points with some unnamed deity.

Gee, now that I think on it some more, Obama might be the Devil I Know. McCain’s appeal to conservatism, where he has some, is that he’s a crap shoot as opposed to a sure thing. A crappy crap-shoot.

Can’t Have Baby Alex

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Via Don Surber, via Rick, the latest MoveOn has everything. Weird grin, exploitation of children, promulgation of the strange surreal left-wing myth that parents sign their kids up for service, single Mom, no Dad, quote out of context with a desperate hope that none among the recruited take the time or energy to go research it. And, of course, the fallacious Jean-Luc Picard premise that we can banish war (and crime) forever simply by deciding to. Yay!

How do they make sure all these boxes get checked when they make these? Is it carrots, or sticks. Here’s a bonus for you, your new video whacked all the moles — or — you’re the one who gets whacked, because you missed one.

Here’s McCain’s side of the story vis a vis the hundred-years remark. It includes his complete quote, reproduced here:

…a crowd member asked McCain about a Bush statement that troops could stay in Iraq for 50 years.

“Maybe 100,” McCain replied. “As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed, it’s fine with me and I hope it would be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where al Qaeda is training, recruiting, equipping and motivating people every single day.”

It’s about the United States, and those other countries who have the balls to back us up on this, being a monkey on the back of Al Qaeda. Like salt on a slug. And I find it interesting that MoveOnDotOrg is so resolutely against that idea…more than interesting.

We need to dissect some left-wingers for study sometime. This seems to be such a constant with them — things that they are responsible for deciding, they act like they’re not; and things that they are not responsible for deciding, they act like they are. We can’t have Alex? And that’ll stop all the fighting? Really? Wow.

She’s probably not “Alex’s” real mother, but better than even odds she’s as free to vote as you and me, along with all the dimwits who can’t see anything wrong with what she’s saying.

72 Virgins Dating Service

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

H/T: The Sudden Curve.

Ostrich Doctrine

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

salvage‘s ignorance is luminescent. If naivete is a candle, this dude is a flare. He could light up your campsite for your 2 a.m. potty trip during a new moon, like it’s lunchtime.

How? What exactly is Iran going to do? Having a reactor doesn’t = bomb, having a bomb doesn’t = delivery system having a delivery system doesn’t = first strike capability. Considering Israel has a nuclear arsenal that could kill everyone in the ME I don’t think Iran is much of a threat. Even if they could launch their one or two nukes they’d be brought down before they came near Tel Aviv and Iran would be a smooth glass bowl.

Iran is as much a threat as Iraq was, that is not at all.

I love this mix of hubris and cowardliness that is the American wingnut; USA is the most powerful nation in the world BUH! BUH! THAT THIRD WORLD NATION WITH A FRACTION OF OUR MILITARY IS SSSAAACCRRRYY!!

Fear and hate, you just wallow in that crap endlessly.

There ya have it. Recognition of a possible threat == fear and hate.

And bad guys, there’s millions of people crawling all over our continent just like this guy. Say out loud “it’s a for a reactor not a bomb” and they believe it. They are the proponents of the Ostrich Doctrine. The Hakuna Matata foreign policy that has preceded our greatest successes in international relations. Yes…I remember reading that in history. Neville Chamberlain proclaimed “peace in our time,” and within six years we had it. Yeah. Right.

If he was a democrat, I’d say he has this attitude for the reason our democrats have this attitude. Which is, when you recognize a threat, you have to act on it, and when you act on it everyone who votes here is reminded that there are people in the world who want to do us harm…which there are…and when people think of that, they tend to vote for defense. democrats are opposed to defense — you look at their policies on all the issues, across the board, and the one consistency is that the only things worth defending from anything anywhere are things that have to do with democrat foreign and domestic policies. Things like abortion clinics. “Detainees” at Guantanamo. Things that attack other things.

That’s how I’d explain his ignorance if he was a democrat.

But salvage lives in another country, one that is dependent on the United States’ readiness, willingness and ability to defend things — to occasionally ignore what the democrats want us to do — for the defense of salvage‘s own country.

So I would have to chalk this up to plain old self-centeredness. When you say something is, or is not, a threat — you have to have a target in mind. Yeah, well, I think insofar as what salvage has in mind I’m going to have to agree with him a thousand percent. salvage is thinking about salvage. Not a threat? Yeah, if I’m a Mad Mullah and I’m in charge of governing Iran and I’ve got my thumb on a nuclear button that those stupid Yankees in the Evil West know nothing about…and I’m looking for a target…Canada’s going to be pretty far down on my list.

Whatever. Does he really expect people to think “Aw…I’m so glad salvage pointed this out — they may get a nuke, but they don’t have the delivery system! So we have nothing to worry about!” Well, I think he does. That’s the way he thinks. Nothing goes kaboom unless it’s spent the previous few minutes whistling through the air, like Luthor’s rockets in that first Superman movie. Ever.

Remember. This is not a lone wolf. He’s in lots of good company.

Lots.

D’JEver Notice? IV

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

When we show signs of winning, that is when our fifth column types want us to talk to the enemy.

Not just with regard to things that actually have an enemy, either. Wherever there is a ray of hope, as that ray emerges, that is precisely when our “anti-ray” people want us to behave as if no such ray so emerged. Sen. Chuck Schumer offers a sermon of hopelessness about drilling in ANWR, for example. Now, the data say that the oil reserves there could bring down gas prices by 75 cents a gallon by 2025. They don’t know this for sure, and granted 2025 is a way off…seventeen years. But hey, seventeen years ago it was 1991, and we’d already been arguing about ANWR for a few years by then.

That brings me to Polar bears. They’re on the endangered species list now. It wasn’t so long ago that “endangered” meant what people thought it meant…that something was teetering on the brink of extinction…or headed there. This is not the case with polar bears, and cannot be the case with them, as population figures do not exist in adequate strength-of-estimate to conduct meaningful comparisons across time.

The best estimate we can make now, is that the population of polar bears is rising. So we need to take some special steps to keep them from going extinct. The best estimate we can make now, is that drilling in ANWR will have a long-term beneficial effect on gas prices. (Basic Economics 101 says this too). So we must move to act, and preserve the “pristine” environment — and stop any drilling up there.

Why do I have this irrational, sneaking suspicion…call it a “hunch”…that if, tomorrow night, we miraculously found five brand-new verifiable oil deposits stateside scattered throughout the lower 48 states…by next weekend we’d have five brand-new endangered species?

And how come nobody talks about what America is supposed to get out of it when we sit down and talk to the terrorists — whose asses we’re kicking? John Kerry talks of the “Wisdom of Talking” and his piece pretty much reads that way from top to bottom…oh, my way is so smart, and those other guys have “failed miserably” by trying that other way, and “we won’t know until we try.” Why no particulars?

As I pointed out earlier, the tea-drinkers feel SO strongly that they’re in the right. This is probably one of the few times when John Kerry isn’t acting as the vanguard of snottiness and condescension among those who sympathize with his point of view; everyone who thinks as he thinks, promotes what he promotes, seemingly without exception, applies the “John Kerry I’m So Good You’re So Stupid” mantra. The tea-drinkers behave, in every other way, as if they want more tea-drinkers. As if they’re arguing for the purpose of recruiting. Until they open their mouths and words come out…you don’t win too many converts to your side by beginning with “okay look here, you chucklehead, what you’re doing is really stupid.” Are they demonstrating exactly how they think this “negotiating” should be happening? Gosh — it seems to me just once, just once, some among them would throw out a piece of red meat or two about what would be negotiated. Don’t go wading shoulders-deep into the details. Just, y’know, tip a toe or two. Something more substantial than “we won’t know until we try”. Once you’re seated at the table and the tea is served, who says what?

But the timing is what really fascinates me. Our tea-drinkers, if they had America’s interests and well-being at heart — wouldn’t they wait until we got our asses kicked at something? Big, huge bombing that kills twenty guys, and a bigger and more fatal incident the next day. “Wow, we’re getting our butts handed to us over there we’d better start the negotiations.” Or, Abu Ghraib damaging our “reputation” — “We can’t take much more of this, we’d better start talking to the enemy and seeing what we can work out…won’t know until we try.”

My point is, I didn’t hear any of that stuff on those occasions.

It would still have been seditious. But at least it would have been logical. Time and again, what reality brings to me is a chain of events leading with victory — or substantial hope of it. Followed by a bunch of preachy, snotty, Kerry types with some argument they think is so much smarter than anything I or anyone else could say in response…without discussing any details at all. “Let’s begin the surrender talks before we actually win this thing” is what they seem to be saying.

The Three Points

Monday, May 12th, 2008

From I Love Jet Noise

During WWII, the Japanese were searching for a way to demoralize the American forces that they faced. The Japanese psychological warfare experts came up with a message that they thought would work well. They gave the script to their famous broadcaster “Tokyo Rose” and everyday she would broadcast this same message packaged in various ways hoping to have an impact on American GI morale. What was the message? It had three main points:

1. Your President is lying to you.

2. This war is wrong and illegal.

3. You cannot win the war.

Sound familiar? Maybe it’s because the U.S. mainstream media and the Democrat Party has picked up the same message and is broadcasting it to our troops. The only difference is that they claim to support our troops before they demoralize them.

Yes, it does sound familiar.

Ah-Bump, Bump, Bump…Another One Bites the Dust

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

And Misha’s pretty pleased about it.

Aden Hashi Ayro was killed when the airstrike struck his house in the central Somali town of Dusamareeb, about 300 miles north of Mogadishu, said Sheik Muqtar Robow, a spokesman for the Islamic al-Shabab militia.
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Another commander and seven others were also killed, Robow said. Six more people were wounded, two of whom later died, said resident Abdullahi Nor.

Say hello to your buddy Zarqawi, dickhead.

Big Mac Thesis

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

Big MacHeard it on the radio yesterday morning, I knew I’d heard it before, and used my Madd Googel Skilz to hunt it down.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has pointed out what he calls the Big Mac thesis: that no two nations with McDonald’s franchises have ever gone to war. A nation open enough and developed enough to be a profitable home for an established international franchise such as McDonald’s will generally find war an unattractive foreign policy option.

Of course, free trade does not guarantee peace, just as protectionism does not guarantee war. Enduring human vices such as greed, envy, racism and intellectual hubris, combined with the power of government, can overwhelm the beneficial influence of peaceful commerce. But free trade among nations does make war less likely, bringing us a step closer to the promise of peace on earth recorded 2,000 years ago. [emphasis mine]

I found a literal, quotable search string and was able to verify it’s accuracy word-for-word. It seems the original source doesn’t exist on the web; perhaps it was given verbally. I’ll keep looking.

Some of the “Roots Of Terrorism” folks point out problems with it, which exist only in their minds. They see America as an invading force and can’t differentiate between our invasion of Panama and the Iran/Iraq conflicts; and, they argue that Friedman is confusing cause and effect, since war-torn little hellholes aren’t attractive locations for McDonald’s franchisers. Giving the benefit of the doubt to the latter, McDonald’s (or to follow the spirit of the thesis more closely, capitalism) still deserves credit as a preservative agent for peace, if not an inspirational one.

Will Win This Yet

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

An optimistic tone over at the Rottie’s place thanks to Crunchie.

As well as a crystal-clear distillation of what exactly we’re supposed to be doing over in Mesopotamia…and which, it seems, we are indeed doing. So no, we’re not there to steal oil and kill brown people. In fact, if those are indeed the stated purposes then we need some hearings pronto, because we’re doing a pretty lousy job of it.

If you’re a screeching Lunar Chiroptera the only reason we went to war in Iraq was for the oil, or to kill brown people, or yada yada. But anyone who paid attention and had an IQ above explosive diarrhea, knew that Iraq was the first step in the long marathon of actually winning the strategic war against Islamofascism. You see, we had two choices. We could play whack a mole from now until doomsday, killing terrorists wherever we could find them, taking out one cell at a time, at a huge long term cost in lives, or we could go after their “hearts and minds” and eventually kill the ideology that spawns them.

The occasion for this commentary is, of all things, the Gray Lady, linked by Blackfive.

After almost five years of war, many young people in Iraq, exhausted by constant firsthand exposure to the violence of religious extremism, say they have grown disillusioned with religious leaders and skeptical of the faith that they preach.

Abe Greenwald has a prize-winning commentary about this

It is impossible not to infer that the Bush Doctrine and the commitment of the men and women in uniform has facilitated this shift. Far from “creating more terrorists” as the failed cliché goes, the war has helped to nurture an appreciation for liberty among Iraqi youth. A 24-year-old Iraqi college student is quoted as saying she loved Osama bin Laden at the time of 9/11. Now, after seeing the efforts of religious leaders to curtail her daily freedoms, she rejects extremism entirely. While George Bush’s critics can make no useful connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq, this young woman has no problem doing so.

People who oppose the Iraq war, by & large, also oppose conservatism. When they are left to describe in detail the conservatism they want to resist, invariably they give a perfectly functional line-by-line description of the Islamofascism we would go back to tolerating endlessly were these anti-conservatives calling the shots. Something out of the seventh century…bad for freedom…oppressive to women…steamrolling over the will of the people…a theocracy…a moldering patriarchal layer of insulated & isolated martinets imposing draconian punishments, out of touch with the common people.

It’s like something in one half of the world is perfectly alright and ought not be messed with — when you have the same thing, as they see it, closer to home, suddenly it’s time to bear any burden, pay any price, fling any rabid spittle, to overthrow it and bury it. But if something that really does fulfill all their nasty nouns and adjectives, flourishes east of Greenwich…well, that’s all good. Let it be.

Surber Peels Matthews Like an Ape Peeling a Banana

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

As Perino puts Thomas her in place, so too does blogger Don Surber take care of Chris Matthews.

Consider this quote from Chris Matthews on his show last night while he was interviewing David Ignatius:

MATTHEWS: Lots of publicity lately, and maybe it‘s fair, maybe it‘s not, that things may have calmed down over there, less Americans killed in action in the last several of months but before. But my definition of a defeat is you can‘t leave. If we can‘t leave that country in the foreseeable future, we are losing….
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Because if we can‘t ever come home, we can‘t ever say we won.

Interesting way of redefining victory. For thousands of years, you take over a country, you’re the winner. Matthews wants to change that, saying, “As long as we‘re stuck over there, it seems we‘re losing.”

Let’s see. We still have troops in Kuwait, so we must have lost the Gulf War.

But we pulled our troops out of Mogadishu so we beat Somalia.

No American troops in Vietnam. Yeah, we won.

It goes on the same direction from there. I’m just teasing the essence of it, you’ll have to click on the link above to get the full effect. What…you’re still here?

Hey Peaceniks, Can You Be Thankful For This?

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

Aw man, you voters had better not let the the peacenik crowd skate past this one

As violence declines in Baghdad, the leading Democratic presidential candidates are undertaking a new and challenging balancing act on Iraq: acknowledging that success, trying to shift the focus to the lack of political progress there, and highlighting more domestic concerns like health care and the economy.
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“The politics of Iraq are going to change dramatically in the general election, assuming Iraq continues to show some hopefulness,” said Michael E. O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who is a supporter of Mrs. Clinton’s and a proponent of the military buildup. “If Iraq looks at least partly salvageable, it will be important to explain as a candidate how you would salvage it — how you would get our troops out and not lose the war. The Democrats need to be very careful with what they say and not hem themselves in.”
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Lately, as the killing in Baghdad and other areas has declined, the Democratic candidates have been dwelling less on the results of the troop escalation than on the lack of new government accords in Iraq — a tonal shift from last summer and fall when American military commanders were preparing to testify before Congress asking for more time to allow the surge to show results.

This is a delicate matter. By saying the effects of the troop escalation have not led to a healthier political environment, the candidates are tacitly acknowledging that the additional troops have, in fact, made a difference on the ground — a viewpoint many Democratic voters might not embrace.

What have I been telling you. This country, like any free nation, lacks the ability to withstand the existence of a party such as this one. It has gambled on our defeat. It seems to have lost, but it is foolish to think the lesson has been learned. The “hurry up and surrender or we just might win” party is deeply invested in the vision that America should be defeated and humiliated any time she tries to do…anything. Bring down a tyrant, make a profit, defend herself, express an opinion, negotiate a treaty — do anything except give money away.

This has been an amazing feat accomplished by our military. And for the last four and a half years, it has been made unnecessarily difficult for them, and deliberately so, by our flying-toaster-screensaver people and all our limp-wristed politicians and journalists pandering to them.

Those thousands of soldiers who came back home in coffins, weren’t suckered into becoming cannon fodder. They gave their lives toward a noble purpose, and were ultimately successful. Their memories, and their families, are owed a huge apology by everybody who so much as lifted a finger to give this seemingly-unstoppable “give peace a chance” juggernaut a little extra momentum.

That’s millions of people. I’ll be surprised if I see so much as one single apology from anyone. I don’t expect to see it at all. This political faction has made a point of refusing to admit it is ever wrong, while accusing the other side of exactly that. It’s truly a national disgrace.

I just hope during Thanksgiving, whatever peoples’ political biases might be, they managed to spare a thankful thought for these people who did the actual work to get our country’s efforts this far.

Yup, It’s a Quagmire Alright

Friday, November 16th, 2007

H/T: Bullwinkle.