Thursday, September 29, 2005
The Majority Leader also deserves the presumption of innocence because of Mr. Earle's guilty past. A liberal Democrat, he has a history of indicting political enemies, Democrat and Republican, on flimsy evidence that didn't hold up in court. In the mid-1980s, he indicted Attorney General Jim Mattox, a rival of his ally Ann Richards, on bribery charges. Mr. Mattox was acquitted and won re-election. In 1993, he indicted Kay Bailey Hutchison, who'd just been elected to the U.S. Senate, on charges of misconduct and records tampering. Mr. Earle was forced to drop the case even before it went to trial. Earlier this year, the prosecutor delivered a widely criticized speech at a Democratic fund-raiser in which he compared his prosecutorial targets to "Mussolini and his fascists" and all but declared that he had Mr. DeLay in his sights.As for political motive, Mr. DeLay has earned the wrath of Democrats by beating them time and again at their own game. His re-redistricting of the Texas Congressional delegation before the 2004 election helped turn six House seats over to the GOP. Without his prodding, the House would never have voted to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998. And his fund-raising and arm-twisting have kept the GOP House majority both unified and re-elected for a decade.Partisan hack in the guise of District Attorney. Texas politics writ large.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
The space shuttle and International Space Station — nearly the whole of the U.S. manned space program for the past three decades — were mistakes, NASA chief Michael Griffin said Tuesday.
In a meeting with USA TODAY's editorial board, Griffin said NASA lost its way in the 1970s, when the agency ended the Apollo moon missions in favor of developing the shuttle and space station, which can only orbit Earth.
“It is now commonly accepted that was not the right path,” Griffin said. “We are now trying to change the path while doing as little damage as we can.”
Be still my heart. Could NASA be getting back on track, after over 30 years in a very expensive wilderness? It's possible. Hard to imagine how long Michael Griffin will last as a bureaucrat if he keeps telling the truth, though.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
The scandal that is being revealed just adds one more nail in the coffin of MSM reliability:
The New Orleans Times-Picayune on Monday described inflated body counts, unverified "rapes," and unconfirmed sniper attacks as among examples of "scores of myths about the dome and Convention Center treated as fact by evacuees, the media and even some of New Orleans' top officials."A breakdown of phone service?!?!? How about a breakdown of credibility? How about an agenda driven media, driven by ratings, and, for most, a desire to prove their Bush-hating template true?
Indeed, Mayor C. Ray Nagin told a national television audience on "Oprah" three weeks ago of people "in that frickin' Superdome for five days watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people, raping people."
Journalists and officials who have reviewed the Katrina disaster blamed the inaccurate reporting in large measure on the breakdown of telephone service, which prevented dissemination of accurate reports to those most in need of the information. Race may have also played a factor.
How many gunshot victims were there in Louisiana during Katrina? Don't read the answer yet. How many were you told? Dozens? Hundreds?
Of the 841 recorded hurricane-related deaths in Louisiana, four are identified as gunshot victims, Johannessen said. One victim was found in the Superdome but was believed to have been brought there, and one was found at the Convention Center, he added.Four. Heck, for New Orleans that's a good day for the crime rate. If you want to cut down the murder rate in New Orleans, maybe you should have a few MORE hurricanes!
Read the list in this story of all the rumors you KNEW were true.
Over at Independent Liberal, Joseph is writing a great series on Media Bias. He makes the case that media bias is a good thing. It may be. But media incompetence and agenda driven journalism is a travesty, and a scandal.
And journalists look down on bloggers because we don't have editorial filters?
Give me a break.
cross posted at Gun-Totin' Liberal
Monday, September 26, 2005
After a year of serious illness, I'm finally well enough to begin looking for work again. Like most of us, what I'd love to do is work from home. It would be great to be able to sit in my basement office doing something I love.
Trouble is, very few of the Home Based Businesses out there are real. Most lead to one company, Herbalife. Most of those work from home signs you see littering the roadways lead there. And, if you listen to the radio, you will come across Online Business Systems. Yep, Herbalife. Global Business Systems? Herbalife.
I have no desire to sell Herbalife, or any other Multi-Level Marketing item. We take Shaklee Vitamins, and they seem to help. But that's a far cry from being "in business" with the company. At least Shaklee is up front about what they are selling. Herbalife most assuredly is not.
I've pretty much given up on the idea that I can work from home. My experiences trying to find something that will make money from home has been nothing but negative.
Oh yeah, better include all those "make money on EBay" offers too. Sigh.
If you believe unquestioningly in evolution, I would ask you to examine your belief. Why do you hold that belief? Is it because you were taught it by almost every authority figure in your life, or is it because you have examined the evidence from both sides for yourself? I'm betting it's the first one for most all of us.
Placing a gag order on schools, preventing them from teaching any other theory than evolution is wrong. It's as wrong now as it was in the days of the Scopes Monkey Trial. Both theories should have an equal chance. Why don't the evolutionists want to allow that?
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Here, from Daisy Cutter's site, the resolution:
In launching this campaign to purge the Moderate Party's leader from Republican politics and the public square, I do hereby declare and find the following to be true:And rather you like McCain or not, this one should give you pause:
That John McCain has been a constant source of grief for Republicans;
That John McCain has heaped far more praise upon Democrats than he has Republicans;
That John McCain in fact never has a harsh word for Democrats, and he is chums with Sen. Ted Kennedy, for crying out loud;
That John McCain meanwhile has serially violated Ronald Reagan's "11th Commandment": Do not criticize thy fellow Republicans;
That John McCain has routinely attacked the Republican base, who financed and put McCain and his moderate friends in office;
That John McCain gave cover to Sen. John "sure I'll sign my Form 180, I'll get right on that, honest" Kerry during the presidential election cycle;
That John McCain did not immediately rebuff Kerry when he made repeated VP overtures to McCain;
That John McCain did not publicly say to Sen. Kerry, "Get away from me, you hideous and odious man.";
That John McCain has caused the late, great Ronald Reagan much grief from the other side of the grave by McCain's repeated invocations of the Reagan legacy when McCain's political career resembles nothing of what Pres. Reagan fought for;
That John McCain always has an excuse not to cut taxes;
That John McCain has been in the Senate for many years, and has only McCain-Feingold to show for it;
That McCain-Feingold was a horrible piece of legislation that gave Democrats and their allies a 2-1 funding advantage in the 2004 elections;
That John McCain called those who questioned the constitutionality of McCain-Feingold "radical rightwingers";
That John McCain has now emboldened the FEC to breathe down bloggers' necks;
That John McCain has rejected my compromise to have the FEC shut down/regulate only liberal blogs;
That the most dangerous place in Washington to be is the space between John McCain's face and a television camera;
That John McCain is in love with the MSM and vice-versa;
That John McCain has said negative things about Rush Limbaugh, and these things have been said in public;
That John McCain has consistently and publicly challenged our military leaders in the field on their decisions in Iraq;
That John McCain has to be wooed, consulted, cajoled and stroked for every single thing that happens in Washington, because dangit ... he should have been the president, not Pres. Bush;
That John McCain is loyal to no Republicans and that he and his gang of moderates happily threw Sen. Frist overboard;
That John McCain sells out any one who stands in the way of his poltical ambitions;
That John McCain and his gang of moderates in the name of "comity" actually sold out the Republican base so that their pet projects and donors -- namely, big business -- could get taken care of;
That John McCain still says out loud that the problem in Washington is "money in politics"; and
That John McCain and his ilk are the real problem in Washington.
It is therefore resolved that I will start "Blogs for McCain's Opponent", and that all who join will be linked here and will provide a reciprocal link at their site.
Let me conclude by saying that I have made the statement before, and I will make it again. I respect Sen. McCain for his service to the nation. But, as Hugh Hewitt said, McCain is "a great American, a lousy senator, and a terrible Republican."
So resolved. Or should I say ... I am so resolved.
That John McCain has now emboldened the FEC to breathe down bloggers' necks
He still is, even though he's denying publicly.
He would make a terrible President, in my opinion. And, so I'm a proud member of Blogs for McCain's Opponent.
Why in the world would Israel pull out of the occupied territories, leaving it to terrorist groups, and the masses of Palestinians?!?!? An answer comes from a trip a member of my Saturday morning Bible study took to Israel. Scott met with members of the Israeli cabinet, Israeli Supreme Court Justices, and his meeting included an hour and a half lunch with Benjamin Netanyahu. Here is his email from September 12th, 2005:
As most of you know I am currently in Israel, having arrived in mid-morning, and having already had six hours of meetings with several members of the Israeli government and the Canadian embassy. Largely discussions so far have focused on background context for understanding the current regional political climate.Three choices. Israel has, for now at least, chosen to remain a Jewish state, and a democracy. To maintain control of the occupied territories, Israel could no longer function as a democracy. To be a democracy, and maintain control of the territories, Israel could not remain a Jewish state.
An insight I found interesting came in response to my question about the benefits Israel perceived from exiting Gaza. Following the meeting in which the canned response was echoed, an individual pulled me aside and explained it this way:
"You must choose two, and only two of the following three alternatives. Any two are possible in combination, but any two eliminate the third:
- Israel retains its geographic borders (including the 'occupied territories';
- Israel remains a democracy; and
- Israel remains a Jewish state.
Which two do you choose?"
From my American perspective I posited remaining a democracy was the first priority.
He responded, "The majority in Israel firmly believe remaining a Jewish state is the first priority, and which of the other two items we choose is open to discussion."
The demographics of the population are such that by retaining Gaza and the "West Bank", over a relatively short period, the voting majority would shift from the Jewish population to the Arabs. Abandoning Gaza assurred a continuing Jewish voting majority.
This is an insight I had not garnered from the U.S. press.
Scott just returned from his trip, and is still processing his time there. I hope to have more insights from him over the coming weeks. My thanks to him for providing this email.
Cross posted at Gun-Totin' Liberal
Friday, September 23, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Enough Introductions. Time to get this Shindig rolling, don't you think? And what better topic than the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast, assuming the latest hurricane, Rita, doesn't wipe out what's left.President Bush outlined a huge rebuilding effort, sounding on the surface more like LBJ than Reagan, with promises of billions upon billions of dollars, giving money away as fast as it can be printed. My conservative soul cringed as I heard the speech last week, with echoes of the war on poverty, and untold generations made dependent on the government once again.It was only later, when I got in to the details of The Plan that I began to take heart, and my conservative soul was pulled off the ledge. Here's a couple of conservative nuggets that slipped right passed 'ole Chris Matthews on PMSNBC:
Meeting the Needs of Schools and Students. In recognition of the communities across the nation that have welcomed displaced students in need, the President is proposing to provide funding to school districts enrolling significant numbers of displaced children. This funding would be used to reimburse school districts for the unexpected costs associated with educating additional children for the 2005-06 school year, such as teacher salaries, transportation, materials and equipment, special services for children with disabilities, supplemental educational services, and counseling. To ensure that displaced families have maximum flexibility to meet the education needs of their children, the President's proposal would provide compensation to displaced families for enrollment in private, including parochial, schools.Did you catch the part I put in bold? That's VOUCHERS, baby!!!! The very thing that makes the NEA vomit, and the very thing that will save our education system. But we aren't done:
The GO Zone Will Provide Tax Relief And Loans For Businesses And Entrepreneurs To Invest In The Region And Create Jobs. The GO Zone will double small business expensing from $100,000 to $200,000 for investments in new equipment, provide a 50 percent bonus depreciation for all businesses, and extend tax relief to the building of new structures. The GO Zone will also make available loans and loan guarantees for small businesses, including minority-owned enterprises, to get them up and running again. It is this entrepreneurship that will create jobs and opportunity and help break the cycle of poverty.Now, I don't think the left included that little ditty in their mantra. But Conservatives have been pushing the idea for decades. And now we get a chance to see if it works. That's the point. Federal statutes demand we spend the money on this disaster. But, for the first time, Conservatives have the chance, and the power, to decide how the money is spent, and BY WHOM. We've thrown money at poverty for 40 years now,and the result has been generations of poor, mostly black, inner city citizens chained to monthly government handouts. The President's plan has the potential to change that. If it succeeds, and there is good reason to believe it will, The Plan will be a model for the scenes of disaster around the country commonly known as The Inner City. The Left will work hard to stop The Plan, but at the grave political risk of looking uncaring, and without compassion. And they won't just look that way. The appearance of being uncaring and without compassion will be fact. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. Yep, my conservative soul has not only stepped off the ledge, it's cheering...Loudly.cross posted at The Gun-Toting Liberal
Canada is excited, and apparently proud to be a part of the plan:
Speaking at the International Lunar Conference in Toronto Monday, NASA chief scientist Jim Garvin said the agency will once again need Canada's help in setting up a permanent "Antarctic-like presence" on the Moon -- a "beachhead in deep space" that could eventually serve as a staging ground for missions to Mars.The fact that much of Canada is as cold and barren as the lunar surface, and therefore provides a great practice ground does give one pause, doesn't it? No wonder the Hollywood Left changed its mind about going there after Bush won in 2000...
Sunday, September 18, 2005
"We must also remain on the offensive against new threats to public health, such as the Avian influenza," Bush said in his speech to world leaders. "If left unchallenged, the virus could become the first pandemic of the 21st century."His warning should serve as a reminder of what happened almost a hundred years ago. The Spanish Flu killed millions worldwide, and then simply disappeared. We see the results of that plague in cemeteries across the country. Just look in an old cemetery at the number of death dates ending in 1918 or 1919. You will be surprised.
It is entirely possible that an influenza virus very much like Spanish Flue could sweep the planet, killing an estimated billion people, and bringing the economies of the world crashing. Hopefully, the world can mobilize in time to stop it in time.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
I know, maybe better than anyone, that there are times when it seems that our nation is too divided ever to heal. There are times when we feel so different from each other that we can hardly believe that we are all part of the same family. But we are one nation. We are a family. And this is what we do. When the president asked us to pitch in Thursday night, he wasn't really asking us to do anything spectacular. He was asking us to be Americans, and to do what Americans always do.
The president has set a national goal and defined a national purpose. This is something I believe with all my heart: When we are united, nothing can stop us. We will not waver, we will not tire, and we will not stop until the streets are clean, every last brick has been replaced and every last family has its home back.
Bush talked about how we bury our family and friends. We grieve and mourn. We march to a solemn song and then we rejoice and step out and form the second line. That line is now open to every American to join us in rebuilding a great region of this country. New Orleans will rise again. My hometown is down but not out, and with the help of every American, it will be back on its feet, bigger and brighter than ever.
Mr. President, I am ready for duty. I am ready to stir those old pots again. Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Here's hoping her fellow Democrats follow her example.
Friday, September 16, 2005
The marquee columnists for The New York Times' Op-Ed page including Thomas L. Friedman, Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich generate lots of interest and discussion online. Now, the paper is hoping they'll also generate something else: cash.
Beginning Monday, the Times will begin charging $49.95 a year to people who don't get the paper delivered at home for access to those writers as well as other columnists for the Times' business, metro and sports sections.
ABC News producers probably didn't hear what they expected when they sent Dean Reynolds to the Houston Astrodome's parking lot to get reaction to President Bush's speech from black evacuees from New Orleans. Instead of denouncing Bush and blaming him for their plight, they praised Bush and blamed local officials. Reynolds asked Connie London: "Did you harbor any anger toward the President because of the slow federal response?" She rejected the premise: "No, none whatsoever, because I feel like our city and our state government should have been there before the federal government was called in.” She pointed out: “They had RTA buses, Greyhound buses, school buses, that was just sitting there going under water when they could have been evacuating people."
Not one of the six people interviewed on camera had a bad word for Bush -- despite Reynolds' best efforts. Reynolds goaded: "Was there anything that you found hard to believe that he said, that you thought, well, that's nice rhetoric, but, you know, the proof is in the pudding?" Brenda Marshall answered, "No, I didn't," prompting Reynolds to marvel to anchor Ted Koppel: "Very little skepticism here.”
Reynolds pressed another woman: “Did you feel that the President was sincere tonight?" She affirmed: "Yes, he was." Reynolds soon wondered who they held culpable for the levee breaks. Unlike the national media, London did not blame supposed Bush-mandated budget cuts: "They've been allocated federal funds to fix the levee system, and it never got done. I fault the mayor of our city personally. I really do."
Read the whole thing over at Newsbusters. Great site.
Kyoto is dead. Now maybe we can get on to something more realistic, and more in keeping with science.
Onstage with former president Bill Clinton at a midtown
Manhattanhotel ballroom, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was going to speak with "brutal honesty" about and global warming, and he did. And Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had some blunt talk, too. Kyoto
Blair, a longtime supporter of the
treaty, further prefaced his remarks by noting, "My thinking has changed in the past three or four years." So what does he think now? "No country, he declared, "is going to cut its growth." That is, no country is going to allow the Kyoto treaty, or any other such global-warming treaty, to crimp -- some say cripple -- its economy. Kyoto
Looking ahead to future climate-change negotiations, Blair said of such fast-growing countries as
Indiaand China, "They're not going to start negotiating another treaty like ." Kyoto Indiaand China, of course, weren't covered by in the first place, which was one of the fatal flaws in the treaty. But now Blair is acknowledging the obvious: that after the current Kyoto Kyototreaty -- which the never acceded to -- expires in 2012, there's not going to be another worldwide deal like it. US
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Americans want the Gulf Coast not just to survive, but to thrive; not just to cope, but to overcome. We want evacuees to come home, for the best of reasons -- because they have a real chance at a better life in a place they love.President Bush may have started slow, but he's making up for it now. Dick Morris is correct. Conservatives believe the role of government is to fight wars, and help in times of natural disaster. President Bush was defined by war in his first term. He will be defined by Katrina in his second.
The terrorists know the stakes in Iraq. Below is a direct response to the current push by Allied forces in Iraq:
A translation of the statement follows:
"In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful.
O God, aim our strikes and make our feet firm
Fight them, and God will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you to victory over them, and heal the hearts of Believers. [Koranic verse]
Praised be God, the supporter of virtuous people and conqueror of the apostates and infidel Americans. God's peace and blessing upon the cheerful, dauntless fighter and his family and companions, the true fearless men in battle.
O nation of Islam: We write to you, O the best nation on earth, and bring you good tidings.
Since yesterday, the battles for revenge started all over the land of the two rivers. The raid for avenging the Sunni people in Tall far has started.
Celebrate and sing the praise of God, O nation of Islam. The battalions of monotheism have set out, pledging to die in support of the faith and its people. They were spearheaded by the best of the battalions, the Al-Bara Bin-Malik Battalion.
Approach us, O paradise. O brigade of martyrdom-seeker: Celebrate and sing the praise of God, for tomorrow you will meet the beloved ones, Muhammad and his companions. You have never accepted injustice, O lions of monotheism. This is your day. Go after the heads of the infidels, the Jews, the Crusaders, and the descendants of Ibn al-Alqami [derogatory term for Shia named after Ibn-al-Alqami, a Shia minister who was accused of betraying the last Abbasid caliph Al-Musta'ism during Hulugu's attack on Baghdad in 1258]. Do not show any mercy toward them.
May God accept from you, o protectors of the religion. May God support you with his victory and enable you to perform enduring good deeds. You have followed the footsteps of the prophet and his guidance. You have not shirked your responsibility. All the graces that you have are from God and his mercy. Praise be to God, first and last and in public and secret.
We will bring you more details once we receive reports about operations in
and other cities. We want your prayers, o nation of Islam. Your brothers are fighting with the help, power, and support of God. O God, grant us the victory you had promised; o God grant us the victory you had promised; o God grant us the victory you had promised. O God, you are our supporter; o God, we raid and fight with your help. Baghdad
O God, mover of the clouds, revealer of the book, and conqueror of the Al-Ahzab [coalition of tribes the fought Prophet Muhammad in early Islam], defeat them and grant us victory over them. O God, grant us your help and support; O God, send your soldiers and grant us the victory you had promised.
God is great, God is great; pride is to God, the prophet, and the mujahidin.
[Signed] Abu-Maysrah al-Iraqi, the Media Section of the Al-Qa'ida Organization in the Land of Two Rivers,
[Dated] 10 Sha'ban 1426 Hegira; 14 September 2005."
Peggy Noonan outlines the deep muscle tear in the Republican Party, made apparent by Katrina, and offers the beginnings of physical therapy to heal the wonnd before it gets worse.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
To those in America, in other countries, still ask of war of liberation in Iraq, if it was right -- the right decision. I say, please, please, come to Iraq, to visit the mass graves, to see what happened to the Iraqi people, and to see what now is going on in Iraq. To those who talk of stability, I say, Saddam imposed the stability of the mass graves. To the terrorists, I say, you will never win; freedom will win in Iraq.He's right. And here's a great site that will help spread the news.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
We wake up in the morning, and our evil deeds begin before we have time to curse the alarm. As we slept, our refrigerators were hard at work giving Chileans skin cancer. We turn on the air conditioner, and amphibians grow extra limbs. We breathe and contribute to global warming and killer hurricanes. We put on our clothes and cover the world with sweatshops. We put on our shoes and tie children to workbenches with the laces. We poison the soil by eating breakfast. We drive to work and drown Pacific Islanders. We go to the doctor and kill cuddly, little animals. We devastate countries we have never heard of. We are Ugly Americans, crude, boorish, and brutal, as ashamed of our tastes as we are of our genocide.It gets better from there. Read the whole thing.
How did we become so evil? According to the doctrine of Original Sin, human nature is stained with the sin of our remotest ancestors. According to the doctrine of Original American Sin, we are stained with the sins of our remote ancestors, whether or not they were actually our ancestors. The politically correct instill in us guilt and shame and then offer to cure us of them in exchange for our becoming politically correct ourselves.
We exterminated the Edenic Native Americans; the sin of slavery and segregation belongs to us alone. We are guilty of unconscious racism, forever injuring blacks without realizing it. We don’t know how, but we are starving poor people in the Third World.
But in the midst of Babylon a miracle. Some people do not have the stain! Their opinions have washed them clean. They live on land stolen from the Indians and owe no debts. They have no more intention than we do of giving the land back, but we are the problem, and they are the solution. If their ancestors held slaves, it is not their fault. They wear the same clothes we do, but their clothes cause no sweatshops. They wear the same shoes but do not exploit children. They can eat what we eat, drive as much as they’d like, spend a month in the hospital, and, lo, the soil is fertile, the ocean does not rise, and animals frolic in the sun. They can slander the police and not suffer from crime. They can enjoy peace and belittle the sacrifices necessary to obtain it. They can be against war and share in its spoils. They can condemn Corporate America while they build up their portfolios.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
The media would like you to believe that.
The left is desperately hoping you'll believe that, and remember it in November of 2006.
But the truth is:
Jason van Steenwyk is a Florida Army National Guardsman who has been mobilized six times for hurricane relief. He notes that:
"The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."
For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.
Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the size of England in which power lines are down, telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently have little interest in finding out.
But wait, there's more:
I write this column a week and a day after the main levee protecting New Orleans breached. In the course of that week:
More than 32,000 people have been rescued, many plucked from rooftops by Coast Guard helicopters.
The Army Corps of Engineers has all but repaired the breaches and begun pumping water out of New Orleans.
Shelter, food and medical care have been provided to more than 180,000 refugees.
Journalists complain that it took a whole week to do this. A former Air Force logistics officer had some words of advice for us in the Fourth Estate on his blog, Moltenthought:
"We do not yet have teleporter or replicator technology like you saw on 'Star Trek' in college between hookah hits and waiting to pick up your worthless communications degree while the grown-ups actually engaged in the recovery effort were studying engineering.
"The United States military can wipe out the Taliban and the Iraqi Republican Guard far more swiftly than they can bring 3 million Swanson dinners to an underwater city through an area the size of Great Britain which has no power, no working ports or airports, and a devastated and impassable road network.
"You cannot speed recovery and relief efforts up by prepositioning assets (in the affected areas) since the assets are endangered by the very storm which destroyed the region.
"No amount of yelling, crying and mustering of moral indignation will change any of the facts above."
"You cannot just snap your fingers and make the military appear somewhere," van Steenwyk said.
Ah, but the left wants you to think it could have snapped its fingers and made everything happen. Funny, it didn't work that way for the years of the Clinton Adminstration. But you are't supposed to think about that.
In fact, white America does remain morally culpable — but because white leftists in the late 1960s, in the name of enlightenment and benevolence, encouraged the worst in human nature among blacks and even fostered it in legislation. The hordes of poor blacks stuck in the Superdome last week wound up there not because the White Man barred them from doing better, but because certain tragically influential White Men destroyed the fragile but lasting survival skills poor black communities had maintained since the end of slavery.George Will continues and expands the truth we are discovering post-Katrina:
Liberalism's post-Katrina fearlessness in discovering the obvious — if an inner city is inundated, the victims will be disproportionately minorities — stopped short of indelicately noting how many of the victims were women with children but not husbands. Because it was released during the post-Katrina debacle, scant attention was paid to the National Center for Health Statistics' report that in 2003, 34.6 percent of all American births were to unmarried women. The percentage among African American women was 68.2.
Given that most African Americans are middle class and almost half live outside central cities, and that 76 percent of all births to Louisiana African Americans were to unmarried women, it is a safe surmise that more than 80 percent of African American births in inner-city New Orleans — as in some other inner cities — were to women without husbands. That translates into a large and constantly renewed cohort of lightly parented adolescent males, and that translates into chaos in neighborhoods and schools, come rain or come shine.
Black Americans have every right to be angry at government. They just need to understand why they should be angry, and at who.
Monday, September 12, 2005
This "news report" from Elizabeth Bumiller illustrates as few can the bigotry and bias of The New York Times, and the MSM that echoes it. Here's what she said about T.D. Jakes:
"I said, 'Grab some black people who look like they might be preachers,' " said the supporter, who asked not to be named because he did not want to be identified as criticizing the White House.Three days later, on Mr. Bush's next trip to the region, the president appeared in Baton Rouge at the side of T. D. Jakes, the conservative African-American television evangelist and the founder of a 30,000-member megachurch in southwest Dallas.
Bishop Jakes, a multimillionaire and best-selling author, is to deliver the sermon this Friday at the Washington National Cathedral, his office said, where Mr. Bush will mark a national day of prayer for Hurricane Katrina's victims. The bishop's style of preaching is black Pentecostal - he roars and rumbles in performances that got him on the cover of Time magazine as "America's best preacher" in 2001. More important to Mr. Rove, he has become a vital partner in the White House effort to court the black vote.
Now, if you knew nothing about T.D. Jakes, what would you take from the above paragraphs? He's a mulimillionaire, a Bush supporter, a "Black Pentacostal" (read "snake handler) and quite a performer. Oh, and he's important to the evil Karl Rove.
Funny how the MSM would never dream of writing the above about Rev. Jesse or Rev. Al, both of whom are multimillionaires.
For some info about the ministry of T.D. Jakes, go here.
He's not perfect, and has some significant flaws in his theology, but Rev. Jakes deserves far better than he got from The New York Times.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
A Soldier Remembers: Zaph's Blog.
If you haven't read this yet, do it now.
And, from an ally up north.
A 9/11 Memorial
The September 11th Digital Archive: The place for video and pictures of the day the world stopped turning.
September 11th News
And finally, The Flight That Fought Back. A must see docu-drama on The Discovery Channel tonight at 8pm CST. If you don't have cable, find someone who does.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Something else that gets credit is the Iraqi Army. There truly are signs that this army is starting to have some impact on events here. The terrorists can't simply walk up to a checkpoint, kill everyone in sight, and not take a very strong risk that they might all be killed in return.Sounds like years of dictatorship have made the Iraqi people quite grey. That's a good thing.
What continues to be whispered, and what I have reported here once or twice, is the claim that the Iraqi Army is killing hundreds of the terrorists whom they do arrest. No trials. No niceties. Just a quick shot in the head. I can neither confirm nor refute this persistent report. But, I hear it so often that I do tend to believe something along those lines is happening. The victims of the Army killings (if they are happening) are the former Saddam loyalists who form the core of the terrorist groups.
It's noteworthy that absolutely no one is bothered by this evidence of an army that is perhaps running amok. In many other countries (even in parts of ours) there would be mass hand wringing and hyperventilation. The New York Times editorial board would have a collective case of acid indigestion. Not here. These people have tasted what it is like to live at the hands of a butcher and an assassin. They can't wait for Saddam's trial and execution to be over so they can quickly get on with the more important things in life.
We could have weathered one storm, but four or five natural and human tempests all at once reduced us to abject calamity over New Orleans — bringing "men's characters to a level with their fortunes.Gotta read the rest to get the full impact.
Rob, at Beware the Dark Side provides the contact information to prevent this insanity.
And, if you don't know what the pink tribe is, go here. Required reading, remember?
Thursday, September 08, 2005
In New Orleans, those in peril and those in power have pointed the finger squarely at the federal government for the delayed relief effort. But experts say when natural disasters strike, it is the primary responsibility of state and local governments — not the federal government — to respond.No! How can this be? Don't they know it's Bushitler's fault, all his fault?!?!? Who approved this story? Does Hillary know this story is out there?
This is deeply disturbing:
A Navy pilot shot down over Iraq in January 1991 may have been captured by Iraqi forces, and members of the former Iraqi government "know the whereabouts" of the officer, the Navy has concluded.
A Navy board of inquiry concluded that there is no credible evidence that Capt. Michael "Scott" Speicher is dead, and it reaffirmed his official status as "missing/captured," according to the board's final report.
The board also recommended that the Pentagon work with the State Department, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the Iraqi government to "increase the level of attention and effort inside Iraq" to resolve the question of Speicher's fate.
This needs to get alot of coverage, across the blogosphere. If there's a chance this airman is still alive, and has been held by Saddam and company for all these years...
It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Big Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who ventured outside moved as if they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage to the man who invented air-conditioning as they watched TV "storm teams" warn of a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes in August are as much a part of life in this town as hangovers on Ash Wednesday.It was written in October, 2004. We all knew what was coming. We all knew.
But the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however—the car-less, the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who look for any excuse to throw a party.
The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly 80 percent of New Orleans lies below sea level—more than eight feet below in places—so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward, over the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet (eight meters) over parts of the city, people climbed onto roofs to escape it.
Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later perished from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000 were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.
“The hurricane that struck
yesterday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name was global warming.” So wrote environmental activist Ross Gelbspan in a Boston Globe op-ed that one commentator aptly described as “almost giddy.” The green group Friends of the Earth linked Katrina to global warming, as did Louisiana ’s Green Party Environment Minister. Germany
Time for an ice-water bath, hotheads. If you’d bothered to consult the scientists (remember them?) you’d find they’ve extensively studied the issue and found no evidence that global warming – assuming it’s actually occurring – is causing either an increase in frequency or intensity of hurricanes.Read the whole thing.
Martin Luther wrote this to Philip Melancthon in 1521:
If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world. As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. This life is not the dwelling place of righteousness, but, as Peter says, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. It is enough that by the riches of God's glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Do you think that the purchase price that was paid for the redemption of our sins by so great a Lamb is too small? Pray boldly--you too are a mighty sinner.So, off we go with the following posts!
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
No Apparent Outrage With Government's Response to Hurricane
Despite widespread criticism of the response by Bush and, separately, the federal government, to the problems caused by the hurricane, the public seems on balance only mildly critical. Forty-two percent say Bush did a "bad" (18%) or "terrible" (24%) job, but 35% rate his response as either "great" (10%) or "good" (25%).
Do you think -- [RANDOM ORDER] -- has/have done a -- great, good, neither good nor bad, bad, or terrible job -- in responding to the hurricane and subsequent flooding?
George W. Bush
Federal government agencies responsible for handling emergencies
State and local officials in Louisiana
Federal agencies received a similar rating, with 42% of Americans giving a low rating and 35% a high one. The public was about evenly divided on state and local officials in Louisiana -- 37% giving a high rating and 35% a low one.
The ratings for Bush are highly related to party affiliation.
- By a margin of 69% to 10%, Republicans give Bush a positive rather than negative rating for his response.
- Democrats give almost a mirror opposite -- 66% negative to 10% positive.
- Independents side with the Democrats, giving a more modest margin -- 47% negative to 29% positive.
When asked to identify who was most responsible for the problems in New Orleans after the hurricane, 38% of Americans said no one was really to blame, while 13% cited Bush, 18% the federal agencies, and 25% state and local officials.
Who do you think is MOST responsible for the problems in New Orleans after the hurricane -- [ROTATED: George W. Bush, federal agencies, (or) state and local officials], or is no one really to blame?
2005 Sep 5-6
Few Americans feel that any top official in the agencies responsible for handling emergencies should be dismissed from office -- just 29% say someone should be fired, while 63% disagree.
Do you think that any of the top officials in the federal agencies responsible for handling emergencies should be fired, or don't you think so?
2005 Sep 5-6
The story of Hurricane Katrina is first and foremost a tale of the wrath of Mother Nature and the resulting human misery: thousands of deaths, destroyed homes and businesses, family break-ups, psychological demoralization, and other hardships too painful to recount. But Katrina is also an economic story in terms of its impact on U.S. commerce, trade, energy, shipping, and overall growth. Here the doomsayers and pessimists are once again going to be proven wrong. This is not the 1970s.Thanks Larry. I needed that. And this:
In fact, the economy going into the Katrina shock is very healthy. Last week we had another strong jobs report, with unemployment declining to 4.9 percent. Employment in the U.S. stands at a record 134 million business payrolls and 142 million people working. Unlike the 1970s, when real profits were declining, American business today is highly profitable, registering huge productivity gains with enormous cash on hand. That’s why stock prices actually increased during the Katrina breakout, a market signal of confidence in the economy’s future outlook.And most of all, this:
In a week’s time, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port moved back to 75 percent capacity, as did the Colonial pipeline. Shell’s Capline system and the Plantation pipeline are almost back to capacity. These are remarkable achievements. Our energy companies should be praised by the public, not sullied by cheap-shot politicians. Widely predicted gas shortages never materialized during one of the biggest driving weekends of the year...
Transportation in the Gulf Coast will be rerouted to Jacksonville, Florida, and points north. Energy slack will be picked up by Houston. Shipping and trade will swing over to the Port of Miami. Think market resiliency and flexibility coupled with economic incentives, and glued together by our remarkable information- and communications-technology systems. Even a temporary $100 billion economic loss will not stop American free enterprise from moving forward.
It’s all we can hope for and more. Perhaps our economic success will help relieve the demoralization and misery left in Mother Nature’s wake. But one thing is for sure: Ours is a wealth-creating, opportunity-opening economy that does not teeter on the edge of destruction. We will move to new higher ground before long.
Doom and gloom gets the ratings,but optimism, and free market ecomomies keep America moving, as long as the left can stay out of the way.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
If you read nothing else, please read Nariel's response to this post when it's up on BoP. I could not agree with her more.
I honestly am not ready to do this. It seems somehow...inapropriate...to engage in the blame game over the greatest natural disaster of our time. But those on the left appear to be itching to blame Mr. Bush and the Federal Government for Katrina. A timely example of this blame game is from my friend Joe, in a series of comments from my previous post on this topic. I would ask Joe, and others on the left the following questions from Hugh Hewitt's latest post:
What is the "police power?"
Where does it reside?
Is there a federal "police power?"
Can the federal government order the evacuation of a city when state and local officials have not done so?
Who has first call on a state's national guard?
Who controls a city's police department?
Can a federal official order a police department to deploy in strength to specific points within a city such as the Supredome or the Convention Center?
Can a federal official commandeer a city's supply of school busses, city busses, and city personnel?
I would strongly suggest (that's a therapist's nonjudgmental way of saying, "If you have half a brain in your head you'll do this.") you seek answers to these questions before making any more comments like my friend Joseph's. Hugh gives some remedial help for those of us non-lawyers who need it:
For starters, the police power resides in the states. There is no general federal police power. It is the power to take care of a citizenry's health, safety and morals. It was described by Chief Justice Taney in the Licensee Cases this way:But what are the police powers of a State? They are nothing more or less than the powers of government inherent in every sovereignty to the extent of its dominion. And whether a state passes a quarantine law, as a law to punish offenses, as to establish courts of justice, or requiring certain instruments to be recorded, as to regulate commerce within its own limits, in every case it exercises the same power; that is to say, the power of sovereignty, the power to govern men and things within the limits of its dominion.
"To the extent of its dominion," is the key phrase. For the federal government to act in the face of a natural disaster, it's help must be requested and its guidance accepted by the state and local officials.
"States are accorded wide latitude in the regulation of their local economies under their police powers," the Supreme Court wrote in the 1976 case of New Orleans v. Dukes, and that wide latitude extends to every aspect of disaster planning (or non-planning.)
That sound you hear is the door slamming shut in your face as you try to gin up another attack on President Bush. This time, the door you are trying to open is standing on the thousands of dead across the Gulf Coast. The left should be ashamed of themselves. But they aren't. Nor will most of those on the left even come close to an apology when the truth comes out of how inept, and politically corrupt the Democrat Mayor, and the Democrat Governor, and the Democrat administration of New Orleans really was, and is. Oh, and don't leave the Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu out of this. Her hubby is the Lt. Governor, actively involved in emergency planning and disaster relief.
The hundreds of drowned buses stand as silent testimony to where much of the blame should reside for not getting people out of New Orleans. There will be plenty of blame to go around, and some will reside in the lap of the new, unwieldy bureaucracy (unwieldy and bureaucracy are what's know as an oxymoron) known as the Dept of Homeland Security. We are now seeing that President Bush should have followed his conservative instincts, and not agreed to the Left's wailing for a new government agency. Conservatives stand for limited government. Each time President Bush forgets this maxim, our nation pays the price. And who says I never criticize the President?
To the victims of Hurricane Katrina,
I’ll bet that most of you are probably pretty mad with God about now. If you’re thinking, “Oh great. Another Christian trying to get us to pray and all that crud,” don’t. I am definitely not that kind of person. My name is Alexis of Illinois, and I’m 12. All I want is for you to take my words to heart.
I can be a big nature girl most of the time, so I hate to see anything destroyed. The fact that your entire city was ruined devastated me. Then I remembered something I had seen on T.V awhile back. An entire forest had been destroyed and this boy was upset about it. An older girl came over and showed him an acorn. She said that that means everything will grow back.
I’ve included a small acorn in this care package so you can remember this. I don’t ask that you have to become a Christian, but just think about what I’ve said. If you do choose to become a Christian, just pray this simple prayer:
I know that there is one true God and that you are his one true son. I know that you loved me enough to die on the cross and I believe that you rose from the dead. With that faith I ask you to forgive me of my sins and I put my trust in you. From now on I will live for you. In Jesus name, amen.
I thank you very much for reading this letter. My sincere hope is that you will be able to draw some comfort from this letter.
Any question why I think she's a great kid?
Monday, September 05, 2005
Sunday, September 04, 2005
As always there are the idiots who would use a disaster of this magnitude to promote their personal agendas, no matter how idiotic their statements are.Kevin's right. More should have been done. But the blame game, from both left and right, is not the answer, at least not yet. From the left are the obligatory "blame Bush" comments. From the black shysters Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, come the cries of racism. And from the right comes the blame on the Louisiana Governor and the Mayor of New Orleans. Also from the right come, let's just say it, blame on the poor, mostly black, population that either did not or could not evacuate in time.
However our government will not get through this one unscathed either. Their slow response time and lack of preparedness (even though FEMA used this scenario as a practice model last year) is a tradgedy into itself. How could they have used this as a training excersize and then failed so miserably? There was no reason to not have been airlifting mres and bottled water to the areas hardest hit (or at least to the superdome and other main locations) the day the flooding began. This has nothing to do with right vs left or rep vs dems----it has to do with common sense and/or the lack of it within the agency or agencies responsible. The slow response time is rediculous. One truck driver I saw interviewed was loaded with water ob Monday but was held til Friday to deliver----it is an outrage.
In any crisis oriented profession, rather its the military, or on psychiatric units, there is a time for debriefing, for after action reports. That time is NOT during the fire fight, or when the physical restraint of a dangerous patient is going on. When the situation is under control, when everyone has taken a deep breath, and recovered somewhat from the trauma is the time for that. Not before.
The trauma of New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama continues today, and will for weeks to come. The worst may be still on the way, as the water is brought down, and the thousands of bodies are uncovered.
There will be a time for the debriefing. Hopefully by then, the politics can be removed, and we can come to understand what went wrong, and what went right. Both are important in making sure the next ultra-disaster is handled more effectively.
Saturday, September 03, 2005
Friday, September 02, 2005
Gotta add CNN to the list, and most especially Jack Cafferty, who has distinguished himself over the past three days with his bias and vitriol toward the President. All this at a time when bodies continue to float amongst the survivors of Katrina.
But this story, by Joel Mowbray, is a reminder that sometimes the Bush Administration needs no help in shooting themselves in the foot:
One of President Bush's closest confidants,Karen Hughes, this weekend is scheduled to address the annual conference of an organization whose primary purpose is the promotion of Saudi-sponsored Wahhabist Islam — and whose president has publicly denied that al Qaeda was behind September 11, and whose Web site to this day sells a book that lavishes praise on Osama bin Laden.It's probably too late for Mrs. Hughes to pull out. It would only make the media storm worse at this point. Hope springs eternal.
Not only is Mrs. Hughes publicly endorsing the Islamic Society of North America with her mere presence, but this is the first major public address in her new role leading public diplomacy with the Muslim world.
Asked whether the woman who was instrumental in Mr. Bush winning the White House knew the true nature of the group she is speaking to in Chicago this weekend, State Department spokes-man Noel Clay responded, "Karen Hughes has been briefed on the organization."
Somehow, it just doesn't seem likely that Mrs. Hughes has been fully briefed on ISNA. If she had, she almost certainly wouldn't be headlining its annual conference — let alone as her first major appearance in her new post.
Of all the Muslim groups claiming to be moderate in this country, ISNA is perhaps the easiest to expose as anything but. Spun off of the Saudi-created and funded Muslim Students Association more than 20 years ago, ISNA is likely the largest single provider of Islamic materials to mosques in America.
Here's hoping she gives a speech without compromise.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Just check out the headlines on today's Huffington Post.
At a time when the nation should be coming together, the Left can't overcome it's hatred of Bush and Conservatives. It's truly disgusting.
Update: 12:15 PM
What in the world is Dean and the Democrats thinking?!?!
To: National DeskAt a time when they are a pulling hundreds, if not thousands of bodies from attics across the Gulf, Dean and the Democrats release this. At a time when this nation most needs unity in the midst of a disaster, they choose division and hatred. How can anyone want these people in office?
Contact: Josh Earnest of the Democratic National Committee, 202-863-8148
WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was released today by the Democratic National Committee:
This morning, President Bush told Diane Sawyer on ABC's Good Morning America that to ease skyrocketing gas prices Americans "oughtta conserve more and I would hope Americans conserve if given the choice."(ABC, Good Morning America, 9/1/05)
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean issued the following statement reminding President Bush that in case he hadn't noticed, ordinary Americans have been doing their part. They have been making sacrifices, they have been suffering. Meanwhile President Bush has failed to rein in skyrocketing gas prices. Now, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as Americans pull together to do their part, and gas prices again explode, Chairman Dean suggested that perhaps it's time for President Bush to finally use whatever influence he may have to call on his friends and campaign contributors in the oil and gas industry to bear their fair share of the burden:
"Under the Bush Presidency over the past five years we've seen skyrocketing gas prices and oil companies reaping record profits, while ordinary Americans struggle to pay their bills -- yet the President has seemingly looked the other way. Americans are always willing to shoulder their fair share of the burden, and they have been. Now it's time for the President to step up and put the needs of the American people ahead of profits for his pals in Big Oil. So while he's asking ordinary Americans to do more, he ought to show some real leadership, and call on his friends in Big Oil to join in the sacrifice and stop gouging American families at the gas pump."
Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee, http://www.democrats.org. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
And, let's not forget the Democrat paper of record:
Waiting for a Leader
George W. Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his life yesterday, especially given the level of national distress and the need for words of consolation and wisdom. In what seems to be a ritual in this administration, the president appeared a day later than he was needed. He then read an address of a quality more appropriate for an Arbor Day celebration: a long laundry list of pounds of ice, generators and blankets delivered to the stricken Gulf Coast. He advised the public that anybody who wanted to help should send cash, grinned, and promised that everything would work out in the end.
We will, of course, endure, and the city of New Orleans must come back. But looking at the pictures on television yesterday of a place abandoned to the forces of flood, fire and looting, it was hard not to wonder exactly how that is going to come to pass. Right now, hundreds of thousands of American refugees need our national concern and care. Thousands of people still need to be rescued from imminent peril. Public health threats must be controlled in New Orleans and throughout southern Mississippi. Drivers must be given confidence that gasoline will be available, and profiteering must be brought under control at a moment when television has been showing long lines at some pumps and spot prices approaching $4 a gallon have been reported.
Sacrifices may be necessary to make sure that all these things happen in an orderly, efficient way. But this administration has never been one to counsel sacrifice. And nothing about the president's demeanor yesterday - which seemed casual to the point of carelessness - suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis.
While our attention must now be on the Gulf Coast's most immediate needs, the nation will soon ask why New Orleans's levees remained so inadequate. Publications from the local newspaper to National Geographic have fulminated about the bad state of flood protection in this beloved city, which is below sea level. Why were developers permitted to destroy wetlands and barrier islands that could have held back the hurricane's surge? Why was Congress, before it wandered off to vacation, engaged in slashing the budget for correcting some of the gaping holes in the area's flood protection?
It would be some comfort to think that, as Mr. Bush cheerily announced, America "will be a stronger place" for enduring this crisis. Complacency will no longer suffice, especially if experts are right in warning that global warming may increase the intensity of future hurricanes. But since this administration won't acknowledge that global warming exists, the chances of leadership seem minimal.
The Bush hatred of the Left outweighs any compassion for the suffering in New Orleans, Biloxi, and a thousand smaller towns and villages. Waiting For a Leader, the New York Times says. It's the only true statement in the whole peice., as the Democrat Party waits for a leader with some vestige of morality and love of country. Looks like it may be a long wait.