Friday, December 29, 2006


The news is out tonight that Saddam has been executed. I've not read any articles yet, but a few thoughts.

You won't hear any Republicans say "Well, Bush Sr is still alive, but Saddam is dead", although I'm sure a few others will realize it. Why does this strike me? Well, because after '92, one fairly REGULARLY heard Democrats and MSM folks say with some glee; "Bush is out of power, but Saddam is still there". Even though most of them had been TOTALLY against marching to Baghdad and solving the problem at that point, they really enjoyed the fact that Bush had lost the election but Saddam remained in office. Little things like Bush being the leader in a Democracy and Saddam being a dictator were apparently lost on them.

The "Bush lost, Saddam won" kind of thinking and enjoyment gives a glimpse into the soul of the left. They LIKED Saddam, Saddam "stood up to the US", and they LOVE to see the US "put in it's place". They may live here, but they don't like "authority" ... Castro, Hugo Chavez, Saddam, even Osama are folks that don't "show respect for the authority of the US", and they like that. One might think that it would give them pause to be on the same side as bloodthirsty dictators and petty tyrants, all of which would torture, rape, kill, or otherwise ruin the day of the "laughing liberal" at a moments notice if given the chance, but remember, consistency is NOT an issue for a liberal.

The streak typically goes deeper. As I've mentioned before, there is no limit to what they would like to see happen to a white collar criminal, but for Saddam? They are going to question the morality of putting a butcher that has killed 100's of thousands to the awful death penalty. There are tapes of him having people thrown off roofs, put through plastic shredders, and documentation of him having air hoses inserted in peoples rectums and blowing them up from the inside out. The lefty's hearts are full of sadness at the loss of Saddam, they saw him as a great guy. Bush, they would take glee if somehow he could be abused as the worst of Saddam's victims.

It is likely hard to fully plumb the depths of the lefty brain to really comprehend this, but I believe the core is simply "hatred for authority". They see the US as "authority", and Saddam as one who "stood against authority". They want to see the US and it's "symobols" (flag, president, military, etc) "brought down". Ideally, they would see God "brought down", but in this earthly realm, the US is a good stand-in, so they revel in that when they can.

Oh well, "the little guy" didn't do so well against authority this time. Pity.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Kerry In Iraq

For those that only follow the MSM and missed the picture posted above, it is worth a glance. It has been linked from a lot of places, but it appears that it originated from the blog of a soldier in Iraq Kerry Visits
I'm sure many of the "free speech loving left" will wonder why soldiers are allowed to do such things, post to blogs, and say anything negative about great guys like Kerry that just happen to call them ignorant slackers (all in a joke, of course!).

On the other hand, when they can find one or two soldiers to say something negative about Bush or Rumsfeld, such comments are covered with glee, and there are no concerns about such criticism of the President or Secretary of Defense, positions that are in their actual chain of command, rather than just a Senator.

As I've said before, the MSM covers the statements made against Republicans CORRECTLY, they ought to cover the statements made against Democrats as well. If it is factual that Kerry's chopper was "Weasel 61", and Hillary was "Broomstick 11", then that is a HOOT for anybody that is even "moderately unbiased". Based on a lot of polls, well over 50% of Americans would agree that Kerry and Hillary are both very unappealing folks with high negatives. While it is true that were we ACTUALLY going to try to "improve our civility", then we should refrain from such "cheap shots", however the situation we have now is that there is no blow that is too low to be leveled against Bush in the continual attempt to destroy him by the left and the MSM, but people that are every bit as unappealing to a wide range of Americans (Hillary and Kerry) get ignored, even when some focus would obviously "sell papers".

Ignoring stuff like this gives the lie to the "they aren't biased, they just report what will sell papers". Seeing a pompous imbecile like Kerry shunned by the people who likes to insult and then attempt to weasel out of it is the stuff that Americans always enjoy. The media doesn't find it entertaining TO THEMSELVES when one of the folks that they like is put in a bad light, so they simply don't report it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

MSM Remembers Ford / Inflation

The passing of Gerald Ford gives the MSM a good chance to re-write history some more to give the impression that the economy was in deep trouble before Jimmuh Carter, and he "fixed it", with that result happening in the early 80's when some "un-named lucky president" was in the office. Clearly Nixon/Ford were the cause of inflation, and Carter was the cure. It is a tidy lefty world to folks like CNN from which this "respectful" eulogy comes.

WIN proved to be an ineffective step, "both from the public relations aspect and an economic one," said Daniel Mitchell, professor of management and public policy at UCLA.

"Buttons on lapels weren't going to deal with this sort of thing," Mitchell said.

"Up to that time, we'd never had inflation and higher unemployment," Ratkus explained. "It created a stagnant economy and a term that has since entered into textbooks: 'stagflation.'"

President Ford, who inherited many of the nation's economic problems from the previous administration, was defeated in the following presidential election.

Jimmy Carter was sworn in as president in 1976.

Inflation remained a problem throughout the 1970s, finally peaking at an annual rate of 13.5 percent in 1980.

It wasn't until the early 1980s that inflation was brought fully under control.

Many credit the Federal Reserve led by Carter-appointed chairman Paul Volcker with his "tough monetary policy."

Volcker limited the growth of the money supply which resulted in a recession and high lending rates.

Volcker "wrung inflationary psychology out of the economy," said Ratkus, who explained that until then people expected a certain amount of inflation in prices.

The expectation of inflation set the stage for sharp rises in costs and "helped create a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts," said Ratkus.

Since then interest rates and inflation have remained relatively low.

The real world is of course a lot less tidy, and a lot less complimentary of the left. Inflation was the result of a whole long list of things including the US moving off the gold standard, rising competition as the global markets came fully back online with more modern methods/equipment as the devastation of WWII faded, the baby boomers coming of age with a giant demand spike, the US Government policy of using inflation as a "stealth tax increase" (which causes more inflation), and etc etc.

Yes, WIN was equally as ineffective as sitting in a darkened room in the White House and telling people to put on a sweater and shut off their Christmas lights as Jimmuh did, but when he dies I suspect that the MSM won't spend anytime discussing that. They will likely focus on the "historic" Camp David Accords, but without the finish "and Israel and her Arab neighbors continue to live in peace".

The MSM never wants to give Reagan any credit, but even in their silence we get "Since then interest rates and inflation have remained relatively low", and they are forced to admit "early 80's". They attempt to remain quiet, but truth has a way of crying out.

Gerald Ford took office in a now win situation where the MSM and the left in this country were in their historic peak. America had been defeated in Vietnam and Nixon had been removed from office at home. In their minds, things were going very well, but of course in reality they were headed for the disaster that was Jimmuh Carter. Ford was an honorable man that was one of the last of the "me too Republicans". The kind that were "fiscally responsible Democrats", the ones that the media liked in their bumbling role. The Democrats got to be Santa, and the Republicans got to be Dad ... they got to harp about deficits and restraint and the Democrats got to do new programs and buy votes. It was a "great day" for the left and the MSM, and the MSM had a joyous monopoly on the information going out to the waiting public sheep.

From the POV of the MSM, Ford served in "the good old days", and their treatment of him is just right. He was the kind of "opposition" that they liked ... not enough to respect him and give him any credit, but as a President that was in the "proper role for a Republican".

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thanks Jimmuh

I've blogged before that Jimmy Carter was the catalyst that convinced me I couldn't be a Democrat, he continues to show why I made the right choice 30 years ago.

The following is off Powerline:
And Speaking of Free Speech...

One of its most principled defenders and most effective practitioners is Alan Dershowitz. Over the years, I have disagreed with Dershowitz about most things, but his unwavering commitment to free speech--even in an academic environment--and his tireless unraveling of the endlies calumnies thrown at the state of Israel are far more important than those disagreements. Currently, he is taking on the execrable Jimmy Carter, and it is, as you would expect, a mismatch. Dershowitz writes in the Boston Globe:

The next week Carter wrote a series of op-eds bemoaning the reception his book had received. He wrote that his "most troubling experience" had been "the rejection of [his] offers to speak" at "university campuses with high Jewish enrollment." The fact is that Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz had invited Carter to come to Brandeis to debate me, and Carter refused. The reason Carter gave was this: "There is no need to for me to debate somebody who, in my opinion, knows nothing about the situation in Palestine."

As Carter knows, I've been to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, many times -- certainly more times than Carter has been there -- and I've written three books dealing with the subject of Middle Eastern history, politics, and the peace process. The real reason Carter won't debate me is that I would correct his factual errors. It's not that I know too little; it's that I know too much.

Carter's refusal to debate wouldn't be so strange if it weren't for the fact that he claims that he wrote the book precisely so as to start debate over the issue of the Israel-Palestine peace process. If that were really true, Carter would be thrilled to have the opportunity to debate. Authors should be accountable for their ideas and their facts. Books shouldn't be like chapel, delivered from on high and believed on faith.


Jimmy Carter isn't brave for beating up on Israel. He's a bully. And like all school-yard bullies, underneath the tough talk and bravado, there's a nagging insecurity and a fear that one day he'll have to answer for himself in a fair fight.

When Jimmy Carter's ready to speak at Brandeis, or anywhere else, I'll be there. If he refuses to debate, I will still be there -- ready and willing to answer falsity with truth in the court of public opinion.

No doubt it will never happen, but if it does, I want a front-row seat.

The left and MSM like to make old Jimmuh into some kind of a hero because he works on Habitat for Humanity. So does George Bush Sr and a WHOLE lot of other people left and right, but they don't get nearly as much credit. Carter ALSO makes completely idiotic deals with madmen in N Korea with absolutely no authority to do it, and writes a bunch of drivel claiming it is somehow "intellectual", refuses to defend it like an intellectual, then lies about it. Carter did way more damage to this country than Nixon ever did, he is certainly the worst President of my lifetime, but I continue to thank him for being bad enough to show me the error of my ways and allow me to wake up from the spell of the MSM and popular culture.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sandy is a Great Guy

The MSM at least reports a bit here that Sandy Berger took classified documents out of an archive that he was not supposed to during the 9-11 investigation. There is of course no concern about this in the MSM, or curiosity as to "why"? No less an honorable and trustworthy authority than "I didn't have sex with that ..." Slick Willie has stated, laughing; "Oh that is just Sandy, he was always doing something like that". It is enough to warm the cockles of the heart. Just a folksy removal of classified documents, a little "storage" under a construction trailer.

There is no need for curiosity here on the part of the MSM, and of course there isn't any. There is no way that the Clinton administration could POSSIBLY be to blame for anything relative to 9-11, and of course they are all WAY too honorable people to try to do anything like steal some documents that pointed to something embarrassing on their part. It "just wouldn't be done". Only evil Republicans would consider something like that, and the fact that rotten bloggers are out their suggesting that this was anything other than innocent just shows how "corrupt" the conservatives are, and how much they want to create problems for honorable Democrats.

Meanwhile, we know that Bush-Cheney-Rumsfield have the worst of motives and the highest level of incompetence possible, and will stop at NOTHING in order to hide, cover, mislead and constantly LIE about their many and nefarious plans and misdeeds. When it comes to light that a scummy operative like "Scooter" who was CERTAINLY trying to "strong arm" poor Valerie Plame has somehow managed to get Richard Armitage to indicate that he was the ACTUAL source of the leak claiming it was "inadvertent", you know that there is something rotten afoot. Most likely Armitage has been paid off by Chaney / Halliburton to cover the tracks.

We see a number of "slight differences" in the press on these kinds of issues. The "real truth" is most likely somewhere in between, with each of our biases taking us to the side that we most align with as to where the truth is at. At least it is easy to see where the MSM is at, when something like Sandy arouses very close to zero suspicion, but old "Scooter" is just evil incarnate, until it is at least as proven as our legal system can do that the whole idea of him "outing" Plame was a pure fabrication by Wilson and the MSM. Then they simply pretend that the "new news" that proved their previous conjectures utterly false just never happened.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

First Man

Reading has been a little lacking with the level of activity of late, but it started to pick up this past weekend and I suspect that it will be a major activity for the next 2=3 weeks. I just finished "First Man", the life of Neil Armstrong. It was an excellent somewhat scholarly book on the man that said "One small step for (a) man ... one giant leap for mankind". To those of us who lived through it, it is one of those times that you remember, and this is really THE one of national/world significance that is precisely remembered as good. (Kennedy being shot, Challenger disaster, 9-11, those go into the bad bucket)

Armstrong is a hero cut in the Lucky Lindy mode; not flashy, plain spoken, humble and appreciative of all the people that had a hand in the achievement of the the moon landing, very private and very unemotional. Much like the "strong silent type" American male of yore, you get the impression that he didn't "work to be calm and unemotional", he just was. Like all things, this provides upside and downside. In 1962, the Armstrongs lost their 2-year old daughter Karen to an inoperable brain tumor. It appears that Neil may have dealt with the pre and post death tradegy by throwing himself into his work, and it may even be that the event was the catalyst for him making the decision to be an astronaut.

The "mistakes" of the Armstrong flying career are clustered around the death, and it may well be that he was adversely affected (who could blame him?). He had an X-15 incident where the craft "skipped" on the atmosphere causing him to be hundreds of miles off course, and he narrowly made it back to the opposite end of the Edwards dry lake bed from where he was supposed to land. Supposedly he came over the last ridge under 100' above ground, but that may well be legend. Getting stuck on a "dry" lake bed that was wet with Chuck Yaeger in the back seat is more humorous than anything, and the "Nellis debacle" where Neil had a gear failure doing simulated X-15 landings in another plane certainly COULD have been serious, but turned out to be again more humorous than anything. If one is going to be adversely affected by a horrific life experience that destroys many who have to live through it, continuing to be a test pilot flying the highest performance craft of the day with only "incidents" to show as "failures" during the core of it it is the kind of makeup that one expects from the guy that did the first moon landing.

Armstrong was also the first astronaut to dock in space with Gemini VIII. I had never realized how close to disaster that flight came as a thruster on the Gemini became stuck and put the craft into a spin where the crew was on the edge of losing concousness at the point they were able to remedy the situation. Had they blacked out, there would have been the loss of a crew in space, and likely the moon landing would have been long delayed.

The book is highly detailed, early on with geneology that I wasn't particularly interested in, later with issues of simulation and crew dynamics that were more to my liking. I never saw a mountain until I was 20 years old, although I read a lot about them, heard people talk about them, and of course saw plenty of pictures. The experience is radically different. Much in the same way, it is clear that all the astronauts that went to the moon were changed by the experience of seeing the earth as a tiny blue marble in the blackness of space, and apparently even more so the onces that stood on the surface of that desolate world and saw their home hanging in the sky. For a number of years we had the wallpaper picture of "earthrise over the moon" in our family room in a previous home. It is an arresting scene, and I'm sure the effect of being there changes people for the rest of their lives.

For me it was a book well worth reading. It is so hard to believe that we are fast coming up on FORTY years since that landing, and except for the immediate missions in the very early 70's, we have never gone back. Space travel is one of those areas lik e "flying cars" where technology has fallen far short of what those of us alive in the 60's thought. Armstrong predicted that man would go to Mars in his lifetime, and to me, "2001 A Space Oddessy" looked almost "conservative", right down the the smart computer. I never imagined the Internet though. The future has a way of not being exactly what we expect.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cool With Popular Culture

The home theatre system is finally starting to get a bit of use, and the other night we screened the '67 classic "Cool Hand Luke" with Paul Newman. The film is entertaining, well acted, and well filmed. As a younger person seeing it, I was less oriented to thinking of "message" than today.

The simple story for the very rare individual who as never seen it is that Luke (Paul Newman) is caught drunk, cutting the heads off parking meters for no apparent reason ends up on a "chain-gang" southern prison detail working on the roads. Luke can't accept "the system" or "rules". He is presented as "basically good", but the evil system wears him down.

Luke is "punished for being an atheist", he REALLY "wants to believe in God", but God just won't show himself and deal Luke a good hand. In as much as there is a hero, Luke is it, but not really. The message is pretty much that we have a choice to either "give into the corrupt system and be corrupted, but at least on the surface have a marginally better life, or "be true to ourselves", and be hounded, chewed up, and destroyed by "the system".

Interestingly, the "high point" of the movie is where Luke spurs the prison work crew to work like demons to complete the tarring of the road ahead of schedule so they have a few hours of daylight with "nothing to do". Ah yes, the pinnacle of human existence, idleness.

The bottom line message, like a lot of Hollywood is "futility", you "can't win". They do it well though, with a lot of emotional appeal, and it is all rolled out so easily. That is one of keys of the modern world. Music, movies, day to day TV, mass media news and modern education. You are told what to think at so many levels, and given a ton of little opportunities to be a "rebel". Get a tattoo, piercing, grow your hair any way you want, etc etc. The odd part is that there aren't any real sanctions anymore for any of it. **BUT** you are TOLD that there are ... Luke was killed after all, "Bush locks up dissenters", "our rights are under assault". Of course, none of it is true, but it SEEMS that way, it especially FEELS that way if we give into enough media control.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Lonely Leader

Tony Blankley has an excellent little column entitled The Lonely President that points to even greater truths. His topic is how lonely the job of the American President is, and how especially lonely and difficult the current situation is for Bush. Criticism is always easy, solutions almost never are. Some quotes from the article:

For rarely has a president stood more alone at a moment of high crisis than does our president now as he makes his crucial policy decisions on the Iraq War. His political opponents stand triumphant, yet barren of useful guidance. Many -- if not most -- of his fellow party men and women in Washington are rapidly joining his opponents in a desperate effort to save their political skins in 2008. Commentators who urged the president on in 2002-03, having fallen out of love with their ideas, are quick to quibble with and defame the president.

James Baker, being called out of his business dealings by Congress to advise the president, has delivered a cynical document intended to build a political consensus for "honorable" surrender. Richard Haas (head of the Council on Foreign Relations) spoke approvingly of the Baker report on "Meet the Press," saying: " It's incredibly important ... that the principle lesson [of our intervention in Iraq] not be that the United States is unreliable or we lacked staying power ... to me it is essentially important for the future of this country that Iraq be seen, if you will, as Iraq's failure, not as America's failure."

That such transparent sophism from the leader of the American foreign policy establishment is dignified with the title of realism only further exemplifies the loneliness of the president in his quest for a workable solution to the current danger.

The person that recognizes how little they know is rare. The natural human tendency, independent of ability, temperament, or training is to think think ourselves wiser than those in leadership. Note that we typically don't want to step IN to any of those leadership posts, but we LOVE to point out what we see as flaws in leaders, especially those with whom we have an ideological difference. The harder the problem and the more real the danger, the greater the desire of people to avoid facing and dealing with the situation. We like to feel good. Facing and dealing with hard problems always makes us feel "bad", at least in the short run. Avoidance seems much nicer.

I've commented before on the fecklessness of something like half the people or more, whom at the time we went into Iraq supported the action with something like an 80% approval, which is now down to something below 30%, and in some polls nearing 20%. The veneer of an excuse is "we were lied to", but I happened to hear a part of the Robert Gates Senate confirmation hearings, where he CLEARLY stated that he and all the Senators there were privy to the information on the WMD as was every intelligence agency in the world. Given the information that everyone had at the time, there was no choice but to take the action taken. The Senate voted to confirm a NEW Secretary of Defense that said in his CURRENT judgment, he would DO IT AGAIN by a vote of 95-2, with the only 2 dissenters being Republicans. Teddy KENNEDY voted FOR him! (I know that the vote of a man that kills his secretary and is an embarrassment to drunkards everywhere is meaningless, but the effect after all his bluster on the topic is at least more testament to his complete lack of character)

From Moses to Lincoln, to Reagan, to Bush, leadership is always lonely. Having sex in the oval office with an employee is a lot less lonely. You have the employee with you, and at least 50%+ of the population will defend your right to sex at work and lying under oath, even though they don't share that right. Do what even lefty drunken murderer Senators know is the right thing, and find out that "right" is not identical to "easy", and and 50% or more of even the people that supported you will abandon you and often sanctimoniously claim that "leadership has failed", while not having a wisp of an idea of how to deal with the problem.

Leadership does fail, but the rank and file fails way more often, and usually with a whole lot less understanding of "why", and therefore progress in learning. The "nice" thing about the real world is that if often comes back to bite and show that the costs of "the easy way" are very much higher than it looks at the point where that fork in the road is taken. Those that follow the path that looks easy somehow aways see the world as having WAY more problems than those that face the truth and often take the harder road. At some point, it always becomes "random / hopeless / unfair / rigged against / impossible". After making enough choices that were effectively "cut and run" at one level or another, that really becomes the only choice available.

Sadly, not taking the easy choices never becomes easy. Like working out every day, at best it becomes a "habit". A habit that just means that when you follow the natural tendencies that always remain, you realize it, and with the grace of God and forgiveness, hopefully one can return to the path that is more difficult, but toward improvement of ones self and the step by step, the rest of the world.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Force For Peace

James Baker's new ally for peace seems to think that the way to peace is to "wipe out Israel". Interestingly, he compares that with the USSR, which was not "wiped out" (in fact, the Russian Prime Minister is still happlily poisoning adversaries with pelonium the last I heard). The USSR imploded after it was challenged by Ronald Reagan. Israel shows very few signs of implosion, but one would suspect that when a nutcase holocaust denyer that has already indicated that he is bent on creating nukes to destroy says "wipe out", he doesn't mean "implode".

The MSM and apparently a whole bunch of the US wool bearing population think that this guy is going to "help us fix Iraq". I suppose "wipe out" and "fix" could be the same in some quarters.

Oh, Bold prediction. This was up on CNN at 11PM EST, don't expect it to get a lot of coverage. Such things could confuse the sheep ... is denying the holocaust and talking about wiping out Israel a good thing now?

Monday, December 11, 2006

ISG / Holocaust Denial?

The vaunted Iraq Study Group (ISG) thinks that the way to "peace" in Iraq is to bring Iran and Syria in to "help" the US, and to link peace in Iraq with Israel making concessions. The ISG is of course being hailed as "genius", while the MSM wonders if the idiot Bush will be able to take advice.

NPR reported tonight (so it MUST be true), and it is also reported here that one of our prospective "allies" in this diplomatic process is having a major conference sponsored by their President on the subject of "Did the Holocaust Actually Happen?"

I imagine that if the ISG finds Iran to be a credible ally, then this must be considered a credible question that needs to be looked into? Anyone that thinks that the way forward on improving a conflict is to link it with a 4,000 year old conflict would seem to prone to a whole lot of odd thinking, no doubt including holocaust denial. James Baker, your ride is waiting just on the other side of a comet, drink some poison and they will beam you up right away.

Does anyone actually believe that anyone in the MSM, left, Democrat party, Iran, Al Quaeda, Hamas or any other group in favor of "cut and run" has any other objective other than "get US troops out of Iraq NO MATTER WHAT"? When people believe that something is worth "any cost" it is a pretty good indication that the reasoning part of the brain has stopped completely.

North Dakota

This past week was spent traveling to and from North Dakota. The trip on the weekend had been planned for months, a trip to watch the Fighting Sioux play in the Ralph Englestad Arena in Grand Forks North Dakota. That trip came off with only two of us attending rather than three as had been planned due to the events of earlier in the week.

"The Ralph" as they call it was impressive beyond belief. The fact that the little counters where you put the mustard on your hot dog are made of marble was what really impressed me. It is of course full of Fighting Sioux symbols, including inlaid in marble in the floor. The "symbols" are a great example of the liberal doctrine of "consistency is not an issue". PETA has taken action against the Green Bay "Packers" because they feel that the Packer name HONORS the idea of killing animals and the job of meat "Packer". Of course with Indian names, the use of the name is DEROGATORY, and OFFENSIVE! There you have it, on one hand a team name is a point of honor, and on the other side, it is a point of offense. As a true liberal would say, "it is all in how you feel about it", and that is just fine. Individually, we can be "right" all the time even with conflicting internal views, but as a society, we better learn to just number our teams.

The early part of the week was filled with 22 hours of driving in a 42 hour period to attend the funeral of a friends father in Williston ND. The road was long, but once the decision was made to go, it seemed like the right way all the way through. It is just fine to use "emotional reasoning" to decide what funerals to go to, just not to tell everyone else what funerals they ought to go to, what their team ought to be named, or how high their taxes ought to be. "The Peace Garden State" isn't the most scenic in the union by my standards, but at least you can see a lot of many parts of it all at once, and there is certainly not much to get in the way of the wind.

So bogging continues to suffer even though the blogging environment is the best that it as ever been. Hopefully I will be able to make up for lost time soon.