Sunday, October 22, 2006
Saturday, October 21, 2006
This morning I read an article, posted on the Drudge Report, that Rep. Ducan Hunter (R-El Cajon), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has asked that all CNN reporters embedded with the US Military, lose their embed privileges.
"I think Americans like to think we're all in this together," Hunter said. "The average American Marine or soldier has concluded after seeing that film that CNN is not on their side."
This sounds like a wholly reasonable consequence of CNN's decision. Likewise, it made me want to view the video. And that viewing instantly brought up another consequence that should follow this video.
Boycott the companies whose advertisements are running before that video.
CNN is running the video through their pipeline service. When you open the video window, the first thing that runs is a video advertisement provided by a CNN sponsor. When I viewed the video, the advertisement was for the Chase Freedom Visa credit card. After the ad video completed and the CNN sniper video began, a banner ad remained at the bottom of the video window for Chase Freedom Visa. The banner is still on the window now as I type.
Boycott Chase. Boycott Visa. Boycott CNN.
Drown these companies with letters explaining our decision. Do the same with all other advertisers on CNN. These companies are explicitly attempting to increase their revenues by capitalizing on the horrific death of our soldiers who are sacrificing everything to keep us an the rest of the world safe. This is deplorable.
CNN has made a terrible decision with this video. The advertisers have been inadvertently brought in to the mix, and on the wrong side of the discussion. Let them all earn their just rewards.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Read and enjoy...
Hail to the Chief
I had the opportunity this afternoon to be part of a relatively small group who heard President Bush talk, extemporaneously, for around forty minutes. It was an absolutely riveting experience. It was the best I've ever seen him. Not only that; it may have been the best I've ever seen any politician. If I summarized what he said, it would all sound familiar: the difficult times we live in; the threat from Islamic fascism--the phrase drew an enthusiastic round of applause--the universal yearning for freedom; the need to confront evil now, with all the tools at our disposal, so that our children and grandchildren can live in a better and safer world. As he often does, the President structured his comments loosely around a tour of the Oval Office. But the digressions and interpolations were priceless.
The conventional wisdom is that Bush is not a very good speaker. But up close, he is a great communicator, in a way that, in my opinion, Ronald Reagan was not. He was by turns instructive, persuasive, and funny. His persona is very much that of the big brother. Above all, he was impassioned. I have never seen a politician speak so evidently from the heart, about big issues--freedom, most of all.
I've sometimes worried about how President Bush can withstand the Washington snake pit and deal with a daily barrage of hate from the ignorant left that, in my opinion, dwarfs in both volume and injustice the abuse directed against any prior President. (No one accused Lincoln of planning the attack on Fort Sumter.) Not to worry. He is, of course, miles above his mean-spirited liberal critics. More than that, he clearly derives real joy from the opportunity to serve as President and to participate in the great pageant of American history. And he sees himself as anything but a lame duck, which is why he is stumping for Republican candidates around the country.
It was, in short, the most inspiring forty minutes I've experienced in politics.Posted by John at 08:25 PM
Hail to the chief, take 2
On the heels of John's eyewitness account of President Bush speaking extemporaneously before a friendly group in Minnesota yesterday afternoon comes Kathleen Parker's column with her own eyewitness account of President Bush at an off-the-record luncheon with a hundred or so supporters. Like John, Parker was impressed:
What I witnessed was revealing. Not only was the man fluent in the English language and intellectually agile, he was knowledgeable on a wide range of subjects raised during a 90-minute Q&A. Someone apparently had been slipping intellectual-curiosity tablets into Bush's cola.Why? Parker has a theory:
Toward the end, one of the guests said, "Mr. President, I think if Americans could hear you speak the way you have today, you'd have a 95 percent approval rating."
I think that's almost true. Not 95 percent, obviously, but he'd surely have a higher than 30 percent approval rating were he better able to explain what he's thinking. Bush does know; he just can't seem to say.
My theory dovetails with something one of his most acerbic critics, columnist Molly Ivins, once wrote: "George W. Bush sounds like English is his second language.'' That's because it's true. "Washington English'' is a second language for Bush; "Texas English'' is his first.(I can relate.) During the Reagan administration, occasionally discouraged conservative supporters theorized that Reagan was the victim of misguided advisers and counselled "Let Reagan be Reagan." Taken together, John and Parker make a compelling case to explain the mystery of George Bush: "Let Bush be Bush!"
When he tries to speak Washington English, which is the way Bush thinks presidents are supposed to speak -- over-enunciating and sprinkling his comments with awkward aphorisms -- he fumbles. He forgets what he's saying because the thoughts and words are not his own.
This is also when his annoying sibilance kicks in. The "terroristsssssss," he says when "terrorists" would do. My guess is he over-enunciates to cover his prairie accent, but the effect is, well, sssssstrange.
Tapes of Bush as governor of Texas reveal none of the malapropisms for which he is now infamous. That's because in Texas, he speaks his native tongue -- dropping syllables and esses without fear of criticism or embarrassment. That kind of freedom seems to liberate the man's mind and his mouth.
Anyone who speaks before cameras knows the taste of humility and can relate to the agony of being George Bush.
Posted by Scott at 06:48 AM
Monday, August 21, 2006
They anticipated a broader fight, a bigger attack, and they wanted all the troops at home when it started.
August 22nd, YoniTheBlogger
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
The UN peace agreement is a complete farce. There are numerous reasons, here are a few:
- Russia and China are ascendent in their global ambitions. Economically, politically, militarily, they are eager to be the most meaningful players on the world stage. It is in their best interest to keep America as entagled as possible in world affairs elsewher... i.e.: the Middle East. They love the peace agreement, because it ensures that America will not be able to keep their eye off the ball and gives them a tremendous opportunity to climb to the top of the ladder
- The Arab countries are not interested in peace. They are interested in taking over the world. They don't mind destroying a lot of things and killing a lot of people along the way. They certainly don't mind if the US can't get anything done to prevent them. This peace agreement is an excellent opportunity to keep our hands tied, and they are happy to put French and other troops in between them and the US / Israeli forces.
- Take that thought to it's extension and the UN forces soon to be deployed in the South Lebanon are the ultimate shield from Israeli and American troops. Once the ~15,000 blue helmeted troops are deployed, and once it is clear they will not make progress disarming Hezballah, the good guys will have no way to strike in Lebanon without spilling blue blood. That will be the end of the international goodwill that is the only possible upside of the current agreement.
- The Nazis were a nationalistic movement (kudos to the Rantel listener and Rantel himself for this idea.) This means they could only expand their mission by inspiring the same nationalistic fervor in all the countries they gained influence over, but it also meant that the alliance could split at any time, if the Czechs or Austrians or Poles decided they were in the fight for their own nation instead of the German nation.
- The Nazis (again thanks to the conversation for this idea) fundamentally desired to survive the fight. It was possible to wreak enough havoc on their homes to inspire them to put down their arms and live to see tomorrow.
- The current struggle is based on religious ideology. They do not care if they live. In fact their beliefs tell them death is a great thing, bringing access to the riches of Heaven. This requires us to fight them to the very death. Nothing short of massive casualties to the Islamic forces and their civilian population... massive... will cause them to change their religious philosophy.
- The Muslims are ascendent across Europe, particularly in England, Spain, France and Germany. All of these countries are having some difficulty recognizing the threat and a significant difficulty rallying the nerve to fight back and stop it. The odds are with the Islamist here. At some point they will cause a major Euorpean government to fall, causing tremendous difficulty in restoring the Western ideals and government in that nation. Worse, they might actually become the government, either thru force of arms or by bringing about hte surrender of the Western lifestyle. Either way, once they have removed the established government they have access to a terribly significant quantity of nuclear material. The Jihadis will have, at their fingertips, either the nuclear material from the many power plants in the former nation in question and/or to the actual nuclear arms themselves. They have numerous choices then. They can launch these in attacks against neighboring European states yet to fall. They can simply blow it up in place and cause a massive disaster in their adopted land. The can portage that material to the US or anywhere else in the globe and foment disaster.
- The Israeli government is very likely going to lose a no confidence vote very soon. Maybe this will be for the best in the longterm - a new, more belligerent leader willing to fight could rise. But during the time of transition, while the campaign is happening, Hezballah, Iran, and the other players will declare a significant, and accurate, victory. This is the most likely and strategically perfect time for all of the Arab and Islamic forces to strike out very aggressively at a weakened Israel. They may not win, but hte pain suffered by our allies could be significant, before the Jews get their feet beneath them and fight for their very existence on all sides.
I simply cannot uncover, no matter how much I think it thru, what the possible beneifts are of this peace agreement. The iron was hot. The troops were mobilized. The path was clear. And now Israel is sending their troops home to a fearful life instead of engaging the battle on our terms and winning.
There will be peace in our time, but it will be some time from now, and I fear we will suffer great pain before it arrives.
Monday, August 14, 2006
On Anderson Cooper 360 they have had a graphic in the bottom right corner of a waving flag. The flag fades ever 10 seconds or so between the Lebanese flag is red, white and green, and the Israeli flag, in black and white instead of blue and white. At first I was willing to give CNN the benefit of the doubt... maybe it was just a deep navy and my own TV was making it appear otherwise. But then I thought about, and looked for an actual Israeli flag image, like this one here, and it just can't be explained.
So they have been running this flag every night for 30+ days now. Tonight, during another segment, they ran an American flag in the same graphic. No question, the field with the stars in it was blue, not black.
Do not adjust your tv set, folks.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
“I don’t know what this means, but we just received a report that a small plane has struck the
I looked out the window. I switched on the TV. I watched the second plane fly into the tower.
I stopped thinking.
While I sat frozen I knew I wasn’t alone. I thought of so many other people who must be transfixed at the same moment.
While that happened a third plane hit the Pentagon.
Life changed in those moments. I had the luxury of sitting in shock on my couch. But some people had to keep going. There were people to rescue in
There were citizens who needed to act, to do something, to prevent a fourth plane from wreaking its havoc on one of
Please make the time to see United 93.
Remember the moment you first heard of the attack against
Iran can't keep it's mouth shut. They really don't care about winning. If they did they would be all quiet and sneaky, setting everything up carefully while pretending to be our friend before striking like a snake and taking the western world down.
Instead every day there is a new comment from Iran about eliminating Israel, striking back against the US, sending missiles to Europe, yadda yadda yadda. The latest, which I've learned of through two posts on LittleGreenFootballs today:
We have to cut off the nuclear head of this snake. More than that, though, we need to eliminate the regime in Iran, which so desperately wants to increase their standing in the world by speaking out against America and the West in general.
Question: Does that mean that we need to bomb Iran's nuclear sites to get this started?
The nuclear threat that Iran poses to the world can be eliminated through many means. The most obvious is to blow the sites up. This is difficult and expensive and we might not get all of them. It also leaves the mouthy Iranian figureheads in place to jump on Al Jazeera and explain how evil and mean we are, thus enhancing their status as martyrs and calling more people to the cause.
Iran's overactive mouthpieces have instead given us a much better option. Iran has made it clear their mission is to destroy a sovereign nation, a nation recognized by the UN as legitimate. They have made threats of death and destruction against the US and anyone supporting our cause. They have made threats to bomb our subways or buildings or planes. They have openly supported the flow of weapons and support to the insurgency in Iraq. They are pals with Syria, who is up to no good. They have ties with Hamas, the "democratically elected" leadership of the Palestinian Authority, a group hell-bent on the destruction of that same UN recognized neighboring stae of Israel. They fund and supply Hizbollah in Lebanon, keeping the local Lebanese population in a constant state of fear, regularly shelling Israel, and threatening to do worse. Oh yeah - and they are 3 months to 10 years away from a nuclear warhead, depending on who you listen to.
We have a tremendous set of reasons to eliminate the current government of Iran. It's time to do it. Forget the nuclear sites. The funding and support for that will end immediately if we take Tehran. No country could sustain such a technologically advanced research program while there are foreign soldiers on their land. Send in the Marines, not the Air Force.
But if we go in, as I said, Israel must simultaneously attack its neighbors. It must because they are ready to attack Israel. No sense just standing there taking the punch. Much better to strike first and make it impossible for that punch to be thrown.
If Bush is nervous that now is not the right time (it is!) another possibility would be to neutralize Syria, either by sending in troops or cutting them off from the world community and preventing them from continuing to funnel money and materiel from Iran to everywhere. This is a bad option in the long run becuase it will take so long for any resolution of the situation. But if we're afraid of war outright, it is an option.
All in all, it does not look good right now. I only hope that the Bush Administration is building up its forces and plans as we speak and planning of the invasion and over throw of Iran post haste.
Courtesy of Michelle Malkin:
(The Defense of Fort McHenry)
September 20, 1814
By Francis Scott Key
Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner forever shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Friday, April 28, 2006
- 78% of those enrolled say they are satisfied
- Only 20% of respondents feel they are not saving money
- 63 % say their coverage is better than or equal to their past coverage
- only 17% say their coverage is worse.
- The Iraq War to date - success, challenges, meaning, etc.
- WMD Proliferation - the challenge that presents to the world body
- The humanitarian challenge:
- AIDS treatment & prevention worldwide
- Famine mitigation
- Ending the human sex trade
There's another humanitarian crisis spreading, yet hidden from view. Each year, an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 human beings are bought, sold or forced across the world's borders. Among them are hundreds of thousands of teenage girls, and others as young as five, who fall victim to the sex trade.This last point seemed so incongruous with the rest of the issues he discussed. But I'll save that for another day. Think about how it relates to the Immigration debate.
Many of the people who are brought into our country illegally are brought in a state of debt by coyotes from Mexico or packed into shipping containers from China, etc. This human trade is deplorable. This trade deserves the attention of President Bush. I think he would change his tune if someone reminded him of the moral aspects of this debate.
Trafficking in humans, whether for personal gain, to fill the sex trade or to bring in cheap labor for a US business owner is a disgusting, deplorable act. We should target it aggressively, end illegal border crossing, then figure out how to deal with the 10 - 12 million illegals already in the country.
First things first.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Please note the hightlighted section...
Cheers, women! If you want to tune up those brain cells, then have a drink. A continuing study of more than 3,000 New York City residents found that women who had one or two alcoholic drinks a day scored 20% higher on standard cognitive tests than women who didn't drink or consumed less than one a day. The researchers, from Columbia University, say the difference remained after adjusting for income, marital status, race or other disease factors. the average age of study participants was 65. The correlation was not found in men, but this may have been because there were very few men in the study who never drank. Now if only there was some cheery news about alcoholism.
(From the 4/24 issue of Businessweek, pg 88, "Innovations" column... available online, but need a subscription.)
It has long been a complaint of mine that the White House should be able to defuse the conflict they have with the press more effectively... simply by telling the truth, or by being straight-forward with the White House position on a topic. The Bush administration will not win over the press corps by speaking this way... but they will strengthen their support with the voters, the people of America. The people are very good at recognizing the truth. We know that the MSM is going to apply their spin to every story. What's been missing is a serious alternative for the MSM to compete with.
Tony Snow is connected with the conservative media channels. He knows how to talk to them. And now he will be doing that on behalf of all of us from the podium at the White House. Our story will be told.
The danger is that as a journalist he is used to talking about both sides of a story, and as a commentator Tony is used to speaking his mind on a topic. Now as the WH press secretary he will have to hold the company line on everything. That may prove challenging for Tony the individual. I'm sure he's already thought this part through, let's hope he aces this challenge. If he executes well we will get more of the results we asked for when we cast our votes in 2000 and 2004 and the Bush legacy will be much more secure.
But... execution has been this administration's weak point... stay tuned...
Monday, April 24, 2006
Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs has a post on this today...
Saturday, April 22, 2006
I've been wondering about this since it happened. Apparently, as the liberals on NPR rejoiced in pointing out numerous times this week, she started her heckling just after bush completed a sentence about the benefits freedom of speech would offer the people of China. And according to Joe here, she was able to heckle for a few minutes before the Secret Service whisked her away.
Is it possible that this was a put-up job by the Bush Administration? No state dinner, Cheney sleeping in the corner, no promises to accomplish big things together as nations... and a protester speeks freely, one who held a press pass obtained after the White House approved a dissident and oppressed Chinese reilgious/social organization as a press entity.
There are people who feel the Bush administration is crooked, backhanded and always up to conspiracy. There are time, like this one, where I agree wholeheartedly. Not all battles need be fought with guns.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
In case you didn't see it, the Brits have lost there minds. Robbing a house? Expect only a slap on the wrist... Why this rule is ridiculous:
- The cops now have permission to decide when and against (or for!) whom they'd like to enforce the rules. You better hope you are one of the people they like
- The bad guys have guns. The good guys don't. They are illegal. Now the bad guys can use them to threaten the police so the police will enforce or ignore the laws according to the whims of the armed. Hope you have a gun.
- There is no rule of law if the law is not applied equally across all spectrums. Why should one person respect the law when he knows it only applies to himself? Society cannot survive.
It seems pretty likely at this point that if DeLay himself wasn't involved in fuzzy, criminal behavior, his closest advisors were, which make it exceedingly difficult to deny he knew what was happening. I'm not so naive to think differently.
That doesn't change the fact that he did the right thing, in the end, by stepping down. By voluntarily taking himself off the stage he leaves seat open for the best candidate to step in and move the conversation back to the issues of the day insteda of hte actions of one man.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Like all Americans, I like big thing: big praries, big forests and mountains, big wheat fields, railroads -- and herds of cattle too -- big factories and steamboats and everything else. But we must keep steadily in mind that no people were ever yet benefitted by riches if their prosperity corrupted their virture. It is more important that we should show ourselves honest, brave, truthful, and intelligent than that we should own all the railways and grain elevators in the world. We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received and each of us must do his part if we wish to show that this nation is worthy of its good fortune.
"A History of the American People"
I remember being very frustrated for months while I waited for Delay to step down as Speaker of the House, to take himself out of the limelight, to allow the focus to shift back to the party and the agenda. Gracious move number one was when he did step aside, a move which lead to a remarkable and cleansing debate within the Republican caucus and base as John Boehner was selected as the new Speaker.
This is gracious move number two. Humbly fading into the sunset even though he won his primary last month. And now, looking back, it is plain to see that waiting so long to take both of these steps was a great idea. The Dems were raring for a fight. He simply picked up the ball and walked off the playground.
In their confusion the Dems will crow and cluck for a while they caused his downfall... that he stepped down because of imminent prosecution or the burden of scandal or such. But I won't believe it. He is too shrewd of a political operator for that. He knew it was his time to step down. He had lived out his fifteen minutes of fame, tasted glory, stood upon the mountain top and saw the whole world laid out beneath him. Yet despite the power and influence he held in his hands, he has remained a humble man.
The strategy that Delay has implemented here is brilliant. He didn't stand pat and wait for the attack. He didn't rush headlong into battle. He didn't yearn for glory of victory on a blood-stained battlefield. He simply laid down his weapon, took his wife's hand, and turned aside.
Now the Dems only have Bush to vilify. And you know what's brilliant about that? Bush can't run again in 2008. They are girding themselves for battle... and there will be no enemy. And the Republicans will win again.
It's almost too easy.
Two of my co-workers were ribbing me today about Delay. The conversation will be boisterous tomorrow, I have no doubt. I look forward to it.
I have not yet traveled to Paris... I hope it is a place I still want to visit when that time comes...
Sunday, April 02, 2006
It is gruesome. It is pornographic. It is a frozen scene from a snuff film.
The broken, bloody and bandaged face of a soldier in Iraq stares unseeing out of the center of the page.
Bringing Back the Wounded With Heart, Soul and Surgery
screams the main headline.
The subheadline: "Injured troops are swept up in a lifesaving process unmatched in past wars - reaching hospitals in minutes and the U.S. in days."
That sounds good... but that image... then the rest of the subheadline: But their agony doesn't end on the battlefield."
The paper is clearly confused... do they want to write an historical piece about the conditions for wounded soldiers in the conflicts America participated in? Or is it going to be an anti-war tract attempting to disgust us with the gritty realities of combat hospitals?
I was actually conflicted as I stared at the image. An article comparing the treatment of wounded soldiers in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam... Iraq I and Iraq II (2003)... as a history buff, well, I would love such an article. I've read much in this vein in regards to the Civil War, but never the Revolutionary War. But I know the LA Times better than that. They have a history with me. And despite their past slant against everything Bush and Iraq and War on Terror I am always willing to give the paper the benefit of the doubt.
So I read the article. The bulk of the print shown is telling you about the horrific injuries suffered on going into detail about plucking rocks out of the flesh of the wounded soldiers. Most of the photos match the first for horror.
What this article is not:
- It is not an historical piece. It spends very little time laying out the coditions of battlefield hospitals in previous wars. Not even a casual mention of M*A*S*H
- It is not a description of the passion, committment, sacrifice of the men and women working in these hospitals to try and save lives
- It is not a piece to descirbe the impressive logistics that have been implemented to get the soldiers off the field, treated and back stateside in 4 days. The men, the supplies, the flights, the dedication
...and you have to believe that America should lose this war to the jihadis. Otherwise, you wouldn't go so far... you wouldn't put the broken image of a soldier front and center on the biggest paper in one of the biggest cities on the biggest circulation day...
This is how the jihadis are winning the media battle.