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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Prediction '06: The Blogosphere

I think we'll begin to see a stabilization of the blogosphere in '06. Folks who were in it for the fad will begin to fade out. Others, who have been great bloggers, will simply decide to do something else. The blogs that remain at this time next year are the ones that will last. These bloggers are in it for the long haul. With a history of going on four years, Liberty Just in Case will be one of those blogs.

Year in Review... Those We Lost

JANUARY:

Shirley Chisholm, 80. First black woman elected to Congress; first black person to seek a major party's presidential nomination. Jan. 1.

Will Eisner, 87. Artist who revolutionized comic books ("The Spirit"), helped pioneer the graphic novel. Jan. 3.

Rosemary Kennedy, 86. Mentally handicapped sister of President Kennedy; inspiration for the Special Olympics. Jan. 7.

Walter B. Wriston, 85. Citicorp chairman; oversaw development of ATMs, growth of credit card lending. Jan. 19. (So he's who I blame for all my portable debt.)

Johnny Carson, 79. Quick-witted "Tonight Show" host who became a national institution. Jan. 23.(Comedy ledgend… launched several comics careers including Jay Leno, and Jerry Seinfeld.)

Philip Johnson, 98. Architect who promoted the "glass box" skyscraper, then smashed the mold with daring postmodernist designs. Jan. 25.

Nick McDonald, 76. Officer who subdued Lee Harvey Oswald after Kennedy assassination. Jan. 27.

FEBRUARY:

Stephen Gregg Sr., 90. Won Medal of Honor for helping rescue seven wounded comrades in World War II. Feb. 4.

Robert Kearns, 77. Inventor of intermittent windshield wipers; won big judgments against automakers. Feb. 9. (Saving us from that irritating squeaky sound… god bless this man.)

Samuel W. Alderson, 90. Invented crash test dummies. Feb. 11.

Uli Derickson, 60. Flight attendant who helped save passengers during the 1985 TWA hijacking. Feb. 18. Cancer. (True bravery)

S. Ernest Vandiver, 86. Georgia governor; won office as segregationist but presided over peaceful desegregation. Feb. 21.

Jef Raskin, 61. Conceived Apple's Macintosh computer. Feb. 26.

MARCH:

Hans Bethe, 98. Won Nobel for figuring out how stars generate energy. March 6.

George O'Brien Jr., 78. Won Medal of Honor for gallantry in Korea combat. March 11.

John DeLorean, 80. Automotive innovator. March 19.

Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., 67. Became legal superstar during O.J. Simpson trial; "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." March 29.

Fred Korematsu, 86. Challenged World War II internment of Japanese-Americans. March 30.

APRIL:

Pope John Paul II, 84. Helped topple communism in Europe and left a deeply conservative stamp on the church he led for 26 years. April 2. (The very reason I saw hope in Catholicism…he will be missed.)

Kalman Ferenczfalvi, 84. Hungarian credited with saving 2,000 Jews during Holocaust. April 8.

Archbishop Iakovos, 93. Transformed Greek Orthodox Church in the Americas, championing religious unity, human rights. April 10.

Maurice Hilleman, 85. Microbiologist; helped save millions of lives with vaccines for chickenpox and other maladies. April 11. (So he's who I blame for all those shots in basic training)

Robert Granville, 89. FBI agent, headed team that arrested Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. April 12.

MAY:

Kenneth B. Clark, 90. Psychologist who influenced Supreme Court decision banning school segregation. May 1

Jose Lopez, 94. Awarded Medal of Honor for killing more than 100 Germans in skirmish in World War II. May 16.

Thurl Ravenscroft, 91. Voice of Tony the Tiger. May 22. ("They're grrrrreeeat!")

JUNE:

Kenneth Taylor, 88. Founded Christian publishing house that created The Living Bible. June 10.

Percy Arrowsmith, 105. He and wife Florence, 100, held world record for longest marriage, 80 years. June 15.

Jack Kilby, 81. Nobel laureate whose 1958 invention of the integrated circuit opened the way for microchips, the brains of computers, electronic gadgets. June 20. (You wouldn't be reading this today without him.)

Retired Gen. Louis H. Wilson, 85. Medal of Honor winner; Marine Corps commandant. June 21.

John Walton, 58. Billionaire Wal-Mart heir; philanthropist. June 27. Plane crash.

JULY:

Luther Vandross, 54. Grammy winner with lush voice on such hits as "Here and Now," the bittersweet "Dance With My Father." July 1. Stroke.

James Stockdale, 81. Ross Perot's 1992 running mate; retired vice admiral who received Medal of Honor after enduring 7 1/2 years in a North Vietnamese prison. July 5.

Frances Langford, 92. Actress-singer who captivated soldiers on USO tours during World War II. July 11.

Retired Gen. William Westmoreland, 91. Commanded American troops in Vietnam. July 18.

James Doohan, 85. As "Star Trek" chief engineer, he responded to the command "Beam me up, Scotty." July 20. (I'm giving her all she's got Cap'n)

Jack Stephens, 81. Arkansas financier, philanthropist; firm underwrote Wal-Mart's IPO. July 23.

AUGUST:

Saudi Arabia's King Fahd, 84. He sought to modernize his kingdom while balancing change against orthodox Islam. Aug. 1.

Peter Jennings, 67. Longtime ABC News anchor, part of a triumvirate that dominated network news for two decades. Aug. 7.

Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe, 103. Negro Leagues star given nickname by Damon Runyon. Aug. 11.

Mo Mowlam, 55. British politician; helped forge Northern Ireland peace accord. Aug. 19.

Robert A. Moog, 71. His synthesizers revolutionized music in the 1960s. Aug. 21. (Without his music… many of us would not be here today. – Think about it.)

Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper, age 115 years, 2 months and 1 day. Dutchwoman listed as world's oldest person. Aug. 30. (She had a full life)

SEPTEMBER:

Bob Denver, 70. Bumbling namesake of "Gilligan's Island" who delighted generations of TV fans. Sept. 2.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, 80. In 33 years on the high court, he oversaw the high court's conservative shift and presided over President Clinton's impeachment trial. Sept. 3.

Jack Real, 90. Aviation pioneer who helped develop the Apache helicopter. Sept. 6. (Still the most dominant attack helicopter in the world.)

Robert Wise, 91. Won four Oscars as producer and director of "West Side Story," "The Sound of Music." Sept. 14.

Gordon Gould, 85. He coined the word "laser," won legal battle to secure patent rights. Sept. 16. ("LASER"…)

Don Adams, 82. The fumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart in TV's Bond spoof "Get Smart." Sept. 25.

OCTOBER:

Nipsey Russell, 80. Witty actor-comedian who was a staple of TV game shows; Tin Man in "The Wiz." Oct. 2. (My first comedy record…well I stole it from my mother, but you get the idea)

Vivian Malone Jones, 63. One of two blacks whose enrollment at the University of Alabama led to George Wallace's infamous "stand in the schoolhouse door." Oct. 13.

Elmer "Len" Dresslar Jr., 80. The booming voice of the Jolly Green Giant. Oct. 16.

Alexander Yakovlev, 81. He helped spearhead former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's political reforms. Oct. 18.

Rosa Parks, 92. Her refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man sparked the modern civil rights movement. Oct. 24. (An uncommonly brave woman…She proved that one person can make a difference.)

Richard Smalley, 62. Nobel winner who helped discover unusual molecules called buckyballs; championed nanotechnology. Oct. 28. (Pioneer for our future)

Al Lopez, 97. Hall of Fame catcher; managed pennant-winning teams in 1954 (Indians) and 1959 (White Sox). Oct. 30.

NOVEMBER:

Robert Eugene Bush, 79. Received Medal of Honor while in his teens for bravery at Okinawa. Nov. 8.

Peter F. Drucker, 95. His books stressing innovation, entrepreneurship deeply influenced world of business. Nov. 11.

Vine Deloria Jr., 72. Author, advocate of Indian rights ("Custer Died for Your Sins"). Nov. 13.

Alfred Anderson, 109. British World War I veteran; last survivor to have witnessed the spontaneous "Christmas Truce" of 1914. Nov. 21.

Dr. Thomas Royle Dawber, 92. Directed Framingham Heart Study that transformed the understanding of heart disease. Nov. 23.

DECEMBER:

Frederick Ashworth, 93. Weaponeer aboard the B-29 that dropped atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945. Dec. 3.

Richard Pryor, 65. Actor-comedian whose profanely personal insights into race relations made him one of Hollywood's biggest stars. Dec. 10. (My first exposure to "Blue" comedy)

William Proxmire, 90: Wisconsin senator who made his mark in Congress by taking on government waste with his mocking "Golden Fleece" awards. Dec. 15.

Jack Anderson, 83: Pulitzer Prize-winning muckraking columnist who struck fear into the hearts of corrupt or secretive politicians. Dec. 17.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Criticizing President Bush

Camp Katrina has a get short snippet about a recent debate...
At a recent debate on treatment of terrorists at the University of Cincinnati law school, the military panelists shook their heads and said the same: "A lot of what you are describing is no different than what recruits go through in basic training"-(source)

It's a good short read with some great insight.

Stepping Up.

More good investigations into things we actually need investigated.
The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the leak of classified information about President Bush's secret domestic spying program, Justice officials said Friday. The officials, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the probe, said the inquiry will focus on disclosures to The New York Times about warrantless surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

A actual crime has actually been committed here, not by the president, and we need to find out by whom.

What a waste...

of our money.

Things like this are the very reason I want a smaller more accountable federal government. Big, bureaucratic governments do this type of thing.

Nevada tanning salon gets 9/11 loan

A Texas golf course, a Nevada tanning salon and an Illinois candy shop were among small businesses that may have improperly received U.S. subsidized loans intended for firms hurt by the September 11 attacks, an internal government watchdog has found.

The Small Business Administration's inspector general said in a report made public on Wednesday that in 85 percent of the sample of loans it reviewed, a company's eligibility to receive the money through the program could not be verified.

A leading Senate Republican called for further investigation, but the Small Business Administration said the program was properly implemented. - (source)

Now this IS the type of stuff that need to be investigated, a pure and simple waste of our money, contrary to both the spirit and the wording of the law.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Holiday Bowl: OU vs The Ducks

A disappointing 7-4 season lands The Sooners in this bowl no one has heard of. After last year's thrashing at the hands of a professional football team called the Trojans, its taken this long for OU to recover. Let's hope we have Duck soup for our Holiday dinner.

The Stem Cell Hoax

This story has been bubbling along out there throughout the Christmas break.
Intriguing though the mystery may be, the frustration of patients who pinned their hopes on a stem cell cure must be unbearable. A 12-year-old boy suffering from spinal paralysis who offered his cells to Hwang's team is said to have asked his father Kim Je-eon, "Will I never be able to stand up again?" Our country has 100,000 diabetic children and 130,000 spinal paralysis patients. It was they and their families who spread azaleas in front of Prof. Hwang's laboratory when it seemed he was the victim of a slanderous campaign, pleading with him to come back and continue the work that had galvanized their hopes. The government, which poured more than W65 billion (US$65 million) into the project and touted Hwang’s research as if a cure for incurable diseases was just around the corner, owes these patients at least an explanation.
I find eerie echoes here to a former vice-presidential candidate saying that had President Bush "allowed" stem cell research on the unborn, Christopher Reeves would be alive today. Wonder if Mr. Edwards is keeping up with this story?

A Dissent From Darwinism

There's a mini-debate raging below this post. I am a firm adherent to the theory of Intelligent Design. Evolution, the theory that has been taught to all of us since the middle of the last century, has some huge flaws. Yet it has become the dominant orthodoxy of our time.

Whenever I hear or read the phrase, "everyone knows this is true," I tend to question whatever "this" may be. Evolution is one such "this" that deserves questioning. In the link are some of the questioners, and you won't find a "preacher" among them.

"We are skeptical of the claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."
When was the last time you saw this statement anywhere? I'm betting you haven't. Have you ever wondered why? It certainly isn't because the credentials of the men and women making the statement don't hold up, is it?

Predictions: The GWOT

Here's a prediction for ya.

We will see enough stability in Iraq that we will be able to draw down our troop levels. The anti-war sect will still not be happy with it however as it will not occur fast enough.

More locations of actual stockpiles of WMD's will be discovered(yes I said MORE).
In Iraq.
In Syria.

Iran will accidentally, on purpose, make a giant leap forward in their "Civil Nuclear Power" capability. The U.N. will sanction them. We won't intervene until 2007.

Iran will continue to attempt to undermine and destabilize Iraq's newly elected government.

We will find or kill Osama Bin Laden with little to no effect on the over-all GWOT.

Afghanistan will stabilize and also require a drawdown, Pakistan however may implode under it's own pressure.

The President will continue to be blamed, (with increasing ferocity(1) as the 2006 elections approach) for every small problem or perceived misstep, regardless of the progress in the GWOT.

Note: (1) This post has been changed by the writer, I mistakenly used the word veracity instead of ferocity... That will teach me to read my own work before I post it.

Predictions: Bobby Byrd Has Named His Last Highway

Robert Byrd, former KKK member, and current Senator from West Virginia, will be defeated in a close election in November. West Virginia has been trending Republican for a long time, and I think the time has come to oust the Senior Senator. His oratory will be missed. His partisanship won't.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

It must be ...

a slow news day when something like this makes the national news.

Airport security uses talk as tactic

The Transportation Security Administration plans to train screeners at 40 major airports next year to pick out possible terrorists by engaging travelers in a casual conversation to detect whether a person appears nervous or evasive and needs extra scrutiny.



I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I thought this was a given in security situations? Even the most basic of Security training tells you that you should look out for those people who act strange. Behavior is the number one key to determining someone's intent in any given situation.

Why is this surprising?

The Biggest Non-News Story of the Year...

Well, it's at least in the top ten.

It's a shame that 2005 will be marked as a year of the non-news stories...
This year has been plagued with a lack of "real" news. Too many stories this year have been overly sensationalized and even made up entirely.(i.e. Newsweak, & See-BS)

And then there are the ones that make you say...DUH!

Secret surveillance up sharply since 9/11

Looking Back and Forth, My First Prediction...

There were allot of big stories this year, or at least stories we made a big deal over. There is one shadow story however that I think will be of great significance. So here is both my big story of the year and my prediction.

The Independents became vocal this year. Several factions of what can only be deemed as moderates, or centrists, have begun to become very agitated with the polarization of the current ruling parties, and have in fact begun to sway the moderates of both parties, and in some occasions are forming their own parties. I predict that 2006 will see the seeds being sewn for a new third party in the U.S. (If not a true emergence) as the majority of Americans get fed up with the catfights and dirty politics that hold both our freedoms and our security hostage, all for political advantage. That is of course if neither of the current parties pulls their head out… More to come.

What Is The Main Story of 2005? And What Will Come in 2006?

So I've been thinking of times past and times future. Until New Year's Eve, Matt and I will be posting our favorite stories of 2005, and predictions for 2006. Feel free to add your own, or vehemently disagree with ours.

I think the big story of 2005 is the active, planned move to appeasement by the Democrat Party. They have sold American security for the hope of regaining power in 2006. And, I predict that the November 2006 elections will be far closer to 2002 than 1994.

I also predict that the Democrats suicidal strategy will kill the Patriot Act in late January. They won't stop Alito, but they'll give it a grand try.

More predictions to come, as the mood strikes us...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A Good One, or a Burn: How Troops View Journalists in Iraq

Great story. Worth reading a couple of times.

Orthodoxy and Evolution

Another must read, this one on forbidding teachers from teaching...

The Only Thing Outrageous is the Outrage

A must-read opinion peice, in The New York Times, of all places.
SHORTLY after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush ordered surveillance of international telephone communications by suspected members of Al Qaeda overseas, even if such calls also involved individuals within the United States. This program was adopted by direct presidential order and was subject to review every 45 days. Judicial warrants for this surveillance were neither sought nor obtained, although key members of Congress were evidently informed. The program's existence has now become public, and howls of outrage have ensued. But in fact, the only thing outrageous about this policy is the outrage itself.

The president has the constitutional authority to acquire foreign intelligence without a warrant or any other type of judicial blessing. The courts have acknowledged this authority, and numerous administrations, both Republican and Democrat, have espoused the same view. The purpose here is not to detect crime, or to build criminal prosecutions - areas where the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirements are applicable - but to identify and prevent armed attacks on American interests at home and abroad. The attempt, by Democrats and Republicans alike, to dismantle the president's core constitutional power in wartime is wrongheaded and should be vigorously resisted by the administration.

Wisdom from the pages of The New York Times. Who would have thought...?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Finally...

we have Iraq War heroes. Sort of.

Well Action Figures actually.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

by Clement Clarke Moore



'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;



The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;


The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,


But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.


And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.


But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

The Incarnation

From the Book of Common Prayer:
Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon
him, and to be born [this day] of a pure virgin: Grant that we, who have been
born again and made your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

God made man, the Hope of Glory.
Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Camp Katrina: A Blog About the Great Things Our Military is Doing

Great site! Our Armed Forces are spreading Christmas cheer to the poor all year long. This blog works hard to document those efforts.

TRUE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT:

This was stolen from my "This is True" newsletter ( by Randy Cassingham), but it's too good not to publish...

Jurors at a criminal trial in Denver, Colo., were repulsed by the crime -- a man had molested his 10-year-old stepdaughter -- but were even more distressed that the trial concluded just before Christmas. Jury forewoman Jennifer Volk had noticed how hard it was for the little girl to testify, and thought "it was heartbreaking to think [she] wouldn't have a Christmas." So after finding the unidentified man guilty on enough charges to send him to prison for eight years to life, she asked the judge if she could buy gifts for the girl and her family. He said yes. Volk raised $500 from co-workers "to provide the family with a little holiday happiness." The detective in the case said he has never seen anything like it. "This family was traumatized," said Detective Ken Klaus. "And they went and did something about it." (Denver Post) ...Think about it: it's that easy to make a huge difference for a kid who needs it.

COPYRIGHT 2005 by Randy Cassingham, http://www.thisistrue.com

Victory Cheer


Many of you that read my previous blog know that I am a big Sacred Cow fan, and once again the butcher has done it again...

Contrary to the claims of my rabid detractors, I don't agree with everything that President Bush does. Even so, that doesn't keep me from supporting him most heartily when he does the right thing.

Bush's latest address to the nation is a very good example of doing right. First off, I was delighted that he finally took on the defeatists in our nation who think that the cowardice of cutting and running is the way of the future. Secondly, Bush stuck to his guns over his decision to liberate Iraq from the tyranny and terror of Saddam Hussein. In doing so, President Bush echoed some of my personal sentiments that, though the premise for engaging in the action turned out to be flawed, we still did the right thing...and there is never any shame in that.

I couldn't agree more.

Tracking Santa

The fastest man alive still lives, at least in our hearts anyway, and NORAD has the proof.

Have a Merry Christmas Everyone.
May it be a joyous day for one and all.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Monitoring for Radiation at Mosques: Isn't This a GOOD THING?!?!?

Apparently not, if you are from the Left and looking for anything to lay on President Bush. Hugh Hewitt has a great analysis of the non-story. What is a huge, huge story is finding out who the leakers are on both this and the NSA story. Gee, where's Valerie Plame when you need her?

Tracking Santa

Sadly, we've outgrown Santa in our house. But this is still a fun site to look at as you finish wrapping the presents, and just before you put out the Oreos and milk.

The Story of the Nativity - Part 3


The Visit of the Wise Men
Matthew 2:1 Now after
Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise
men [1] from the
east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the
Jews? For we saw his star when it rose [2] and have
come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all
Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the
people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him,
“In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And
you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the
rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my
people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and
ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to
Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have
found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After
listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they
had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place
where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with
great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother,
and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they
offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a
dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Nearly the saddest time in History (With Herod's attempt to snuff out the Messiah), and the very reason we give gifts to one another on Christmas. The story of the nativity is my favorite part of the Bible, as well Christmas is my favorite time of year.

Narnia Topples Kong: Are the Defeatocrats in Hollywood Listening?

So, a movie about children visiting a magical land, a movie with very heavy Christian undertones, beats out the "blockbuster" going in to the big Christmas weekend. Brokeback Mountain, a movie many on the Left are raving about, is a distant tenth.

Parents make choices with their money, their time, and most especially what they let their children watch on a 90 foot screen in surround sound. It's past time for Hollywood to honor those choices with movies that are worth paying nine dollars to see.

Saddam and the Defeatocrats: The Same Losing Strategy

Nice to see Saddam is watching American television. Don't you find it sad that Saddam has more in common with the Left than the Left has in common with America?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Roots of Evil

A very disturbing video, especially if you have children. Yet this video gets at the heart of the evil within radical Islam in a far more accurate way than any George Clooney or Steven Spielberg movie.

The Story of the Nativity - Part 2



The Birth of Jesus Christ
Matthew1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ [5] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed [6] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

College Professors Tilt Decidedly Left

Okay, so its not news to anyone who has been on a college campus. But this study adds hard data to what we all knew to be true. And it echoes an important question:
Americans are asking themselves why they pay so much money to professors
whose work is often purely “academic” and whose political ideas typically are left-wing.
A good question. Many Americans are choosing not to pay the money to leftist indoctrination courses. They are choosing to send their sons and daughters to schools that are more in the middle. Hopefully, this trend will continue. The only way to change the the ideological bent of universities is to hit them in the pocketbook with lower enrollments.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Despite the Caterwauling, It's Legal, and Is the Right Thing to Do

Despite the whining, and gnashing of teeth from the Defeatocrats, the detect and intercept program is legal. John Schmidt, associate attorney general under Clinton, makes the case for all to see.

Now, to answer Jason's question: Just because Clinton did it does not make it right. That statement has more truth with Clinton than any other President of this great nation. But precedent does mean something, and the fact that Clinton, Reagan, and even Carter administration officials are onboard with this should tell you something. If you are interested in the truth. And if you can take off the Bush hater goggles long enough to see it.

The Story of the Nativity - Part One


Birth of Jesus Foretold
Luke 1:26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed
[2] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” [3] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
[4]

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born
[5] will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant [6] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

The Birth of Jesus Christ

Luke 2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when [1] Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, [2] who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” [3]

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Angels played a huge part in the entire Nativity, especially Gabriel. Gabriel was the entire reason Joseph did leave Mary due to her apparent infidelity. Gabriel was the one that foretold and later announced the messiahs coming. I find the Angels to be the most intriguing of the biblical characters and beyond Jesus, the most dynamic. They tend to lend to the credence on my Unity belief, as every religion has had some form of the angels described in their writings.



ANGEL FACTS

The Christian View of Angels

The following are several of the basic beliefs that have been held by Christians throughout the centuries.

God created angels as angels (Colossians 1:16). They have never been anything else. People do not become angels when they die.
For when the dead rise, they won't be married. They will be like the angels in heaven. (Mark 12:25). We do not know how many angels there are, but the Bible refers to them as an innumerable company (Hebrews 12:22).

God created the angels as spirit beings (Psalm 104:4). Because they are spirits, they are unseen by human eyes. An angel takes on a form that can be seen temporarily if this will help an angel do his assigned task on earth. In the Bible, angels are highly diverse in appearance. They are usually so awesome when they appear that their first words are, "Fear not." Angelic appearances in the Scriptures include being seen as a bright light, fire, having wings (but never a halo), or like an ordinary person. As spirit beings, angels are not only invisible but also immortal. They never get sick or die. They are without gender as we know it, being neither male nor female, and they do not marry (Matthew 22:28-30).

A major characteristic of the angels is their strength. Angels are extremely powerful beings. In the Bible, they are described as "mighty ones" (Psalm 103:20) and God’s powerful angels. One angel was able to destroy the entire Assyrian army or destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. But they are not all powerful; only God is omnipotent. Angels sometimes require assistance from the Lord in their conflict with evil (Jude 9). - (Find Out More)

The Wile E. Coyote Defeatocrats

This is EXACTLY what I've been wanting to say about the left, but couldn't figure out how to say it. HT to Best of the Web. Leave it to the boys from Powerline to say it for us:

UPDATE: Reader Stephen Fossati writes:

For the better part of ten years I had the privilege of working closely with Wile's creator Chuck Jones and in fact produced and co-wrote Chuck's final Roadrunner cartoon in 1994, so I would humbly offer that I am a fair authority on said erstwhile coyote.

Having spoken with Chuck about Wile more times than I can count, I can say with great conviction that your suggestion that the Murtha, Dean, Kerry, Boxer et al, position with regards to the GWOT and the war in Iraq, is appropriately analogous to Wile and to his inumerable, ill-considered and near fatally-flawed plans to catch the Roadrunner -- a good many of which resulted in him falling off of a cliff.

Chuck defined Wile in the words of George Santayana who said: "A fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim." Assuming that the Dems' aims are to regain control of the House, the Senate and the White House and based upon their seemingly fevered attempts to discredit President Bush by mis-representing the success of the war, advocating for our withdrawal/surrender, and purposefully undermining our efforts/abilities to wage war on an enemy unlike any we have faced before, I think it's fair to say that the Democrats clearly meet Santayana's definition of a fanatic. And since it is Santayana's definition of a fanatic with which Wile's own creator described him, I would conclude that your comparison of our luckless, over-zealous and too-clever-by-half coyote to the leaders of the Democratic party, is not only correct but painfully (for the Dems), astute.

It's interesting that Wile E. Coyote's creator viewed him in such philosophical terms. Meanwhile, another point of similarity between Wile and the Democrats occurs to me. Remember how Wile viewed even his misadventures as evidence of his superior intellect?

And for a full explanation of the Left's "genius" you need only read the commentary from Real Clear Politics:

With the resounding success of last week’s election, it will become harder for the press and the Democrats to frame Iraq as an unmitigated disaster. You could see the mainstream media walking back the negativity in their coverage of Iraq this past week and, while I have no doubt the negative reporting will return, at some point the facts start to win out – just as has happened with the economy. Ironically, one benefit to the Bush administration from the consistently negative reporting on Iraq is that expectations have now been set so low the odds are better than 50-50 that 2006 will be viewed by the public as having seen significant progress in Iraq.

The media may be writing stories about Bush “in a bubble” but they are two months late to that theme. Just like the spring and summer of 2004 when the conventional beltway wisdom said that Bush’s sub-50% job approval made him a political goner, there is a distinct sense this president is being misunderestimated again.

Misunderestimating the President appears to be the Defeatocrats favorite hobby. Perhaps they should find a more productive past time, like finding a way to win elections.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Narnia: An Excellent Review

R. Andrew Newman presents a marvelous review of a truly wonderful movie. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is no children's movie, just as the books are not "children's literature" either. This review presents the secret things of the movie, that only became apparent after much thought, or after reading this piece.

A War Without Heroes?

Never has a major news/op-ed source said something so true.

The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes, hits this one directly on the head.


A War Without Heroes?
Only if you're reading the mainstream media.

Do you know who Paul Ray Smith is? If not, don't feel bad. Most Americans aren't familiar with Paul Ray Smith. He is the first and only soldier awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary courage in the war in Iraq. Five days before Baghdad fell in April 2003, Sergeant Smith and his men were building a makeshift jail for captured Iraqi troops.

Surprised by 100 of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guards, Smith and his men, some of them wounded, were pinned down and in danger of being overrun. Smith manned a 50-caliber machine gun atop a damaged armored vehicle. Exposed to enemy fire, he singlehandedly repelled the attack, allowing his men to scramble to safety. He killed as many as 50 of Saddam's elite soldiers and saved more than 100 American troops. Paul Ray Smith, 33, was killed by a shot to the head.

The war in Iraq is a war without heroes. There are no men--or women, for that matter--known to most Americans for their bravery in combat. There are no household names like Audie Murphy or Sgt. York or Arthur MacArthur or even Don Holleder, the West Point football star killed in Vietnam. When President Bush held a White House ceremony to award the Medal of Honor to Smith, posthumously, the TV networks and big newspapers reported the story. The coverage lasted one day. The story didn't have legs.

Instead of heroes, there are victims. The two most famous soldiers in the war are Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman (in Afghanistan). Lynch was captured by Saddam's troops after her truck crashed. Stories of her heroism in a gun battle with Iraqis turned out to be false. She was rescued later from an Iraqi hospital. Tillman, who gave up a pro football career to join the Army, was killed by friendly fire. "The press made that a negative story, a scandal almost," says a Pentagon official.

It gets worse. In a study of over 1,300 reports broadcast on network news programs from January to September of this year, Rich Noyes of the Media Research Center found only eight stories of heroism or valor by American troops and nine of soldiers helping the Iraqi people. But there were 79 stories, Noyes said, "focused on allegations of combat mistakes or outright misconduct on the part of U.S. military personnel."

And there are still people out there that say the MSM bias is having little to no effect... Sure...

Syria Agrees to Hide Iran's Nukes

Now, does anyone wonder what agreements Syria may have made with their fellow Baathist Saddam before that little conflict began? Hmmmm.

Sununu's Response

There were four Republican Senators who sided with the Defeatocrats on the Patriot Act. John Sununu is one of them. Here is his response to being blasted by conservatives for his actions.

The Value of Saying...Nothing

This is one of those days when every peice in OpinionJournal is worth reading. But the last one, the value of RealPolitick, is a keeper:
In the end, I realized, you can't save every relationship that totters because of politics. The best you can do is ditch the friends who can't see beyond left and right, and hang onto the ones who are prepared to stick with you no matter what.Consider another pal, one who hung in there even though he doesn't see eye to eye with me in the least.

A voluble Deaniac, he sent me a string of notes during last year's campaign asking pointed questions about the war effort and the president's moral authority. If anything, he was an even more dangerous sparring partner than my former friend: He started every argument with disarming caveats about his own side, and when he went in for the kill he had much better facts at his command. I couldn't dismiss what he said as a fever dream.


In one sense, it was everything I didn't want in a friendship. For long, exhausting stretches all we talked about was politics, and I hardly ever held my own. But ideology never affected our friendship. He didn't trust the right, but he trusted me--and he was genuinely curious to know how I squared my personal ethics with those of the supposedly compromised hawkish establishment.We didn't convert each other, by any means, but I like to think we both ended up wiser for the experience--even if I'm still ducking some of his better questions.

Which brings me to one last big lesson from the past three years: Pick your fights. Don't jump at every chance to defend your side in a debate. Wait for arguments that you can answer with elegance and good humor, and take the rest in stride.
Good rules. Important rules for the dinner table, and for the blogosphere.

Intelligent Design v Evolution: The Trial Ends, The Debate Continues

I'm waiting for the decision to download, but in the meantime, it appears the Judge ruled on the motivations of the school board, not on the truth or falsehood of Intelligent Design. If that's the case, I would be inclined to agree with the ruling. We'll see what the actual decision says in a few minutes.
Update: You can find the complete ruling here. Obviously, I've not read the whole thing yet. Hugh Hewitt has an interesting take on the ruling.

The Sands of Christmas

O.K., December 20th, it's time for my annual Christmas Run-up.

Merry Christmas Everyone.


I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh,
and looked across the table where the bills were piled high.
The laundry wasn't finished and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point, the Dolphins lost
by six.

And so with only minutes till my son got home from school
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take,
and so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break.

I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh,
eight hummers ran a column right behind an M1A.

A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens,
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight,
their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.

Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again.
There wasn't much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MREs.

They didn't have a garland or a stocking I could see,
They didn't need an ornament--they lacked a Christmas Tree.
They didn't have a present even though it was tradition,
the only boxes I could see were labeled "ammunition."

I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side,
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear.

There's nothing wrong my little son, for safe we sleep tonight,
our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right,
to worry on the things in life that mean nothing at all,
instead of wondering if we will be the next to fall.

He looked at me as children do and said its always right,
to thank the ones who help us and perhaps that we should write.
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note,
to thank the many far from home, and this is what we wrote:

God Bless You all and keep you safe, and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so, and that you're not alone.
The gift you give you share with all, a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty and that we can't repay.

Author Unknown

Welcome to Democracy, Folks

Over the next few months, we will hear alot of stories like this one from Omar at Iraq the Model. And, sadly, the MSM and the Defeatocrats will work hard to fan these sparks into full-blown hysteria here at home.

Democracy is messy by its very nature. And it doesn't get better over time, as evidenced by Bush v. Gore, Bush v. Kerry, the Clinton Impeachment, etc, etc, etc. So, as stories like this come out, keep in mind that no one story will lead to the Defeatocrats' hoped for Civil war. Iraq is on the way to Liberty. And Liberty means conflict, heated argument, and compromise. Welcome to the party, Iraq!

The President Claimed Ability to do No Warrant Searches

Nope, not President Bush. The impeached former occupant of the office.

In a little-remembered debate from 1994, the Clinton administration argued that the president has "inherent authority" to order physical searches — including break-ins at the homes of U.S. citizens — for foreign intelligence purposes without any warrant or permission from any outside body. Even after the administration ultimately agreed with Congress's decision to place the authority to pre-approve such searches in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, President Clinton still maintained that he had sufficient authority to order such searches on his own.

"The Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes," Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 14, 1994, "and that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General."

"It is important to understand," Gorelick continued, "that the rules and methodology for criminal searches are inconsistent with the collection of foreign intelligence and would unduly frustrate the president in carrying out his foreign intelligence responsibilities."

Executive Order 12333, signed by Ronald Reagan in 1981, provides for such warrantless searches directed against "a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power."

And, yes. That would be 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick, of "The Wall" fame.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A View of Intelligence Oversight...

From the Inside.

There has been a fracas lately about certain types of Intelligence gathering and it's applied use and legality as of late. This disturbance comes from a law in the 1970's and Reagan Presidential Orders collectively known as Intelligence Oversight.

Back in the late seventies and early eighties it became apparent to our government that there were no safeguards in place against an extreme government elected by the people from spying on their domestic enemies. So they enacted a series of laws and executive orders that culminated in these rules. Everyone on the intelligence field is taught these rules almost from day one, and we are well versed in them.

These rules are *:
Federal Intelligence Agencies may collect domestic intelligence for training and informational purposes. They however cannot, act on that intelligence without a court order or release that intelligence to other agencies without a warrant if either permission is not granted by the subject or there is no warrant and the subject is a U.S. Person.

That last part is clear and the most important. We may not collect and then disseminate intelligence against a U.S. Person (defined as a Citizen, or Legal Permanent U.S. Resident). Intelligence collection restrictions only apply to U.S. Persons. Period.
Anything else is legally and, for the most part, morally fair game.

Anything that is collected incidentally that does not fit these parameters can be held for up to three months, again for training purposes, and then must be destroyed.

So what does this all mean? Well for one, collecting the information that the President authorized is not illegal. U.S. Persons were not the subject, it required an offshore connection, so it was not subject to oversight anyway, and it was done in the defense of our nation during war.

Could, or even should the President have done it differently? Hindsight is always 20/20 and I am sure there may be better ways brought up over the next few days, but I do believe the President acted well within his powers when he authorized what ever he authorized. I get a feeling that many members of congress agree, given that they were briefed 12 times at least, and no one voiced an objection until now, when it is politically advantageous in their minds. They know that political advantage does not require facts, but only conjecture. Partisan politics playing with our welfare once again.

(* the condensed version as the real version is filled with legal speak and too long to reproduce here.)

Well, We Asked For Mr. Bush to Get Out Front on Iraq

Last night a speech from the Oval Office, after multiple speeches since 11/11. Now a press conference, beginning at 9:30 AM. Not quite a political version of Shock and Awe, but close, very close.
Update: 10:30 AM CST
A dozen times Democrats in Congress were consulted on the Detect and Intercept program. Twelve times! And not a peep from them until The New York Times dropped the story in front of us on the day The Patriot Act went down in defeat.

As the President said, I want the Senators from New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles to go home and tell those people why they are safer with the Patriot Act no longer in effect. Go tell the folks in the World Trade Towers why they're safer now...oh wait. Guess the Senators can't do that last one, now can they?

Update II 5:00 PM CST
If you'd like to see the President's press conference, go here.
And, for the President's speech last night, go here.

Great, great stuff. And its about time too.
My favorite part of last night's speech was this:
I also want to speak to those of you who did not support my decision to send troops to Iraq: I have heard your disagreement, and I know how deeply it is felt. Yet now there are only two options before our country -- victory or defeat. And the need for victory is larger than any president or political party, because the security of our people is in the balance. I don't expect you to support everything I do, but tonight I have a request: Do not give in to despair, and do not give up on this fight for freedom.
So far, no one from the Defeatocrat party or their willing allies in the MSM appear to have heard that last paragraph. Maybe they heard this one, from his news conference this morning:
The terrorists want to strike America again, and they hope to inflict even greater damage than they did on September the 11th. Congress has a responsibility to give our law enforcement and intelligence officials the tools they need to protect the American people. The senators who are filibustering the Patriot Act must stop their delaying tactics, and the Senate must vote to reauthorize the Patriot Act. In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment.
Probably not. Guess its time for the President to turn up the volume yet again. Looks like he's about to.

The Leftward Tilt of Media in the United States

It's highly unlikely this study will get much play in the MSM. Considering its findings, that should come as no surprise.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A Review of the President's Speech.

crossposted at Battle Born News

The President told the Nation from the Oval Office exactly what I have felt he needed to tell us for quite a while. We are winning the war in Iraq, and premature withdrawal will only lead to defeat.

He touched on many things that I want to touch on myself.

Regardless of what we thought when we invaded, it ultimately was Saddam's choice. He had an ultimatum, and instead of complying, he played a shell game. Given the information we had at the time, that was concurrently being stoked my Saddam himself, we had to act. The war now however has transcended its original purpose. We are at war with terrorists, as we are in Afghanistan, and all over the world.

Terrorists have shown us time and again that they will not simply leave us alone if we leave them alone, no matter how badly we wish it to be true. Sticking our heads in the sand will not work. Terrorists don't need to be provoked, and we only embolden them and strengthen them by ignoring them. Iraq, now, is part of the large Global War on Terror, and we fight the terrorists there, and elsewhere, so we do not have to fight them here. If we pullout before we have achieved victory, we only invite them to attack us at home.

This war has been difficult. Is any war easy? Just because something is difficult does not mean it is not worthy, nor does it mean we are failing at it. We must keep our sights on victory.

The President did a good job defining Victory, in terms that we all can understand. Iraq must become Secure, Democratic, and Stable. All of these things we are making great headway towards. Can a better job be done? There is always room for improvement in all we do, but being a defeatist does not help us through these difficult situations. We are winning. Early pullout would only undo all we have accomplished over the last three years, and in the end Terrorism would only be stronger and more effective. We must move on from where we are now, and I am glad the President finally said so.

Victory or Defeat, Patience, An End to Defeatism

Did I miss anything? I don't think so. Now, about a dozen more of these kinds of speeches over the next year and maybe, just maybe the Defeatocrats will shut up.

People of the Year: The Iraqi People, The Lebanese People, The Ukrainian People

Freedom was on the march in 2005, and Time magazine gave person of the year to Bono, and Bill and Melinda Gates?!?!? The Ukraine threw off dictatorship, the Lebanese people stood up to the evil of Syria, and the Iraqi people voted in mass for freedom three times this year, despite terrorists and Defeatocrats. Seems these great people are far more deserving of kudos than those chosen by Time. Of course, if the people of Iraq, Lebanon and Ukraine were chosen, Time may have to give some credit where its due, to Mr. Bush and company. Can't have that, now can we?

Looks like Michelle Malkin agrees. I would have given her a hat tip except I put up my post before I saw her post here. Of course, she had the bright idea to include pictures...darn, I wish I had thought of that!

Wikipedia: What's all the fuss about?

I've been wondering about the motivations behind the recent brouhaha in the mainstream media regarding errors in Wikipedia. The error was corrected over time, as usually happens with this amazing open source reference guide. But the smear was made,and repeated over and over again. I wonder if Wikipedia represents the blogosphere for the MSM? You could sort of here the charge, "See! See! That wikipedia was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Just like those evil bloggers are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! " Yet, the scandals within the MSM over the past two years continue to fester, as readership of MSM papers continue to decline, and as ratings for MSM networks continue to disintegrate. Could the fuss over Wikipedia be a straw man for the wider anger in the MSM about the increasing power of blogs, talk radio, and other forms of alternative media? Just wondering...

Bush (Gasp!) Defends Wiretaps

How dare he defend himself against the attacks of the Defeatocrats. Why, even such stalwart RINOs as Arlen Specter and Lindsay Graham are apalled that the President would actively prosecute the war, up to and including looking for terrorists here in the United States! Harumph.

Now the thing that fascinates me is that the funeral director of the Senate, Harry Reid, admitted he knew about the spying months ago. He apparently chose to withhold his outrage until politically appropriate.

And, just so there are no further questions about the legality of the President's actions, here is an analysis from Hugh Hewitt. But, what does legality mean to Defeatocrats when they have a political card to play.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Flaw - A discussion of the Patriot Act

I don't mind what happened yesterday, and here's why.

The Patriot Act as it stands is flawed…

I warned everyone here that I am the more moderate of this two-man team here. But that doesn't tell the whole story. The Patriot Act as a whole is a good (not great) piece of legislation that we desperately needed in the internal security / defense community. It enables us to share information that we previously were not allowed to share. It unbinds our hands more often when working in joint environments. Those are great things. But what it also does is give us powers we absolutely don't need.

Before I proceed here, I want to make clear that I make very clear and great distinctions between Citizens of the United States, and all others, here legally or illegally, home or abroad. Citizens, in my book, are a special class of people, who have either been lucky enough, or hard working enough to have attained citizenship through either birth, or by hard work and naturalization. I believe also that the U.S. Constitution applies exclusively to it's citizen's. ALL other rights granted to other peoples within our borders are granted solely at the whim of our citizenry. That being said…

I am disturbed that the Patriot Act allows for no warrant searches to be conducted on citizens of the United States. We have three branches of government for a reason; each meant to crosscheck the other. No warrant searches take away one of our critical crosschecks. That is all, I don't have a problem with more discussion and some compromise on this bill simply because it is, in fact, flawed. Think of how this bill, if made permanent, could and would be used by the hands of a less scrupulous liberal or socialist administration should one come to power…

Sen. John Sununu mimicked Benjamin Franklin with his quote.
"We need to be more vigilant," said Sen. John Sununu, a Republican from New Hampshire, where the state motto is "Live Free or Die." "Those that would give up essential liberty in pursuit of a little temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security."

That all being said, I do wish for all of the powers of the Patriot Act to apply wholeheartedly to non-citizen's within and outside this great land we call home. May noone be allowed to threaten our security again.

How to Lose a War: A Primer for Defeatocrats

Rather than a full reply to Matt's post about the failure to renew the Patriot Act, I thought Sandman's post on How to Lose a War would be more appropriate. While the Patriot Act wasn't perfect (no bill is) the Senate's failure to renew it puts us back at September 10th, 2001 in our efforts to combat terrorism in this nation.

Appropriately entitled SHEEPDUNG, this peice clearly elaborates where the Left stands as 2005 comes to a close.

And, if you would like to let the 4 Republicrats who stood with the Defeatocrats in the Senate last night know how you feel, you can find contact information here.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Politics Above National Security, Power Above Patriotism

I think my link to Al Jazeera's report of the failure of the Patriot Act should give you an indication of how I feel about it's failure. But I could have just as easily linked the New York Times. There really is no difference between the two.

MSM Responsibility

Reader: I have a question Mark. It may not seem to have any relevance to today but it does as you will see.

What do you think about the MSM broadcasting and publishing images of the blood, gore, death and destruction perpetrated by and against US Forces in Vietnam during the war? After thinking about that and the results that occurred as a result of that broadcasting and publishing, do you believe the media did the right thing?

I know this question was intended for Mark, but with his permission, I would like to answer...

Dear Reader,
What the MSM did then is just as wrong as it is now. In my opinion they are (consciously or unconsciously) having a similar effect and furthering a similar agenda today. It goes along with (assuming the MSM is liberally biased) a liberal NEED to micromanage. You see it every day in liberal policies. You can't possibly take care of yourself, so we will impose healthcare on all of you, even if you don’t want it...It's not good enough to tell you about danger, we must "evacuate" you from it...etc...et al.

When it comes to war, let the warriors do their job, they know what they are doing. Sit back and enjoy the benefits, they are given freely. But don't, above all else, try to tell them how to do their job. They are very well trained, and don't require outside input. It is the policy maker's job to set the policy, and the public's job to scrutinize that policy, but neither is qualified to carry it out as it applies to war (or defense).

Nothing is worse, from a warrior's point of view, than being told what to do by people who do not know either all of the information, or how to apply it, or both. It’s like that annoying guy in the office that works in say accounting, that comes to your office to tell you, you need to use woodworking tools, when you're a welder, because it will cost less. It just doesn't make sense.

This current political push to TELL the military how to be military, and to tell them how best to do THEIR job best, is absolutely ridiculous, as is the associated public relations campaign to tell the American people how bad things are going, especially given that it is absolutely not true.

While the MSM may believe that they are trying to bring the truth to people, their own bias prevents that from happening. It may be appear to be artistic or even humanitarian, to cover the blood and guts, and the ugliness of war. It is however, unconscionable to do so in order to undermine the efforts of your own military. The same military, I may remind you, which provides your RIGHT to a free press.

A Bold Move...

House Republicans Force Vote on Iraq Resolution

This is a very bold move by Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., and other Republicans to try to end this divisive debate.
Republicans sought political advantage Friday by forcing a vote to put the House on record once again rejecting calls for a timetable for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq.

Just weeks ago, the Republican-controlled chamber voted against an immediate pullout.

Of course this very well may be more divisive at first, but I do think it needs to be said.

I did however find one thing in this article rather funny...
Some Democrats objected to the frequent use of the word victory. "What is victory? Nobody has defined what victory is," Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said.

This would be the very foundation of the debate; Democrats don't know how to win, so they don't know what Victory is... However ask any military man what victory is and they will tell you "When we achieve our stated goals" in this case "A Stable, Free, and Relatively Secure Iraq" - A very achievable goal.

Now Here's a Way to Get Iraq Off the Front Page

Let's see. The New York Times has been sitting on this story, until today. So what happens today? The Patriot Act is voted on in the Senate. And that election thing happened in Iraq. Can't have the turnout of millions on the front page now can we?
The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted.
The New York Times and Washington Post is continuing a fine tradition of undermining the war effort in this country. This one is right up there with Robert McCormick and the Chicago Tribune revealing we had the Japanese military codes in WWII. FDR wanted to bring him up on treason charges, but was persuaded by the State Department not to.

I think its time we had a real discussion of journalistic responsibility in war time. I'm not sure the Founding Fathers pictured a time when our MSM would be actively rooting for terrorists.

Update:
Michelle Malkin takes the story apart, including the fact that the "journalist" Risen has a book coming out in ten days.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

CarePages: A Wonderful Use of the Internet

We have a critically ill friend in Colorado. CarePages allows us to keep in touch with her and her family during this difficult period. Sites like this are a reminder of what wondrous times we live in.

Volunteer encyclopedia as accurate as Britannica, journal says

Well, this is encouraging. I've found Wikipedia quite helpful, as long as you understand that its open source, and errors can creep in. I've found it more exhaustive than Brittania over the years as well.

The Defeatocrats Headache: Howard Dean

What a great first paragraph:
Democrats are voicing concern that Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Howard Dean is compromising his party’s political prospects by straying on to controversial policy turf such as the Iraq war and Social Security reform.
Ya think?

Our Enemies Get Rights...

And still the fringe elements of the Far left Defeatocrats are not happy. They continue to try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I guess they can't find anymore bad news in Iraq, so they have to create some somewhere else.

H/T: Stop the ACLU

A Bill of Rights...For Terrorists. Thanks Sen. McCain

A great piece by Andrew McCarthy on why McCain's amendment on torture is incredibly wrong-headed.

Spunky Blue Hair with a Purple Finger

Please pardon my vernacular with the title, but I think it fits. I found a video that sums up what I, and allot of other people feel about the Iraq quagmire issue.
Anybody who doesn’t appreciate what America has done and President Bush, let them go to hell
– Iraqi Citizen, voter Betty Dawisha

Betty, you are woman of great wisdom, and now you are a woman that counts.
H/T Political Teen

Hope, Freedom, Victory: The Iraqi Front

The success of the Iraqi elections appear to be beyond expectations. The terrorists couldn't stop people from voting. Neither could the Defeatocrats. The prebuttal led by Harry Reid yesterday looks even more foolish following today's success. And Carl Levin's threats of a coming Civil War have been dipped in purple ink, and hung out to dry.

I searched for pictures of Senator Reid from yesterday's travesty. I found very few. I think I know why. The man looked like someone had just killed his firstborn. Griefstricken Democrat Senators don't play well on television, and the loss of the Iraq issue has left them heart broken.

The Democrats have invested much in the defeat of U.S. policy in Iraq, and yet the policy is succeeding. I know that sounds harsh, and leaves my friends on the left screaming that I'm attacking their patriotism. But how else do you explain the Defeatocrat offensive of the past few weeks? The success of President Bush's policies in Iraq hurts Democrats. President Bush's success on the ecomomy hurts Democrats. In fact, any success that the United States has, foreign or domestic, is a defeat for the Democrat Party, and the left. The Democrats have arranged it so. And now the Left is recieving the fruits of their policy. The President's poll numbers are on their way up, and the Democrats are on the way down...again.

Election Day in Iraq

PajamasMedia will be live blogging the whole thing, through Iraq the Model, and several other onsite blogs. A great alternative to the gloom and doom of the Defeatocrats and their willing accomplices in the MSM.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Twas the Night Before Christmas in Iraq

heh, heh, heh.
Great fun!

I've Had Quite Enough of Lindsay Graham, and John McCain.

I thought Lindsay Graham was just great when he was a Congressman. He gave by far the best presentations at Clinton's Impeachment Trial, and I cheered when he was elected Senator. But something happened to Senator Graham on the way to the Senate. He became enamored by that RINO of RINOs, Senator John McCain. This piece, by Andrew McCarthy, explains some, and only some, of the reasons I've had it up to HERE with Senator Graham, and his mentor, Senator McCain.

The President's Speech Today

The MSM wants to focus on President Bush saying intelligence was faulty. But this represents the heart of the speech:
One of these men was a Marine lieutenant named Ryan McGlothlin, from Lebanon, Virginia. Ryan was a bright young man who had everything going for him and he always wanted to serve our nation. He was a valedictorian of his high school class. He graduated from William & Mary with near-perfect grade averages, and he was on a full scholarship at Stanford, where he was working toward a doctorate in chemistry.

Two years after the attacks of September the 11th, the young man who had the world at his feet came home from Stanford for a visit. He told his dad, "I just don't feel like I'm doing something that matters. I want to serve my country. I want to protect our lands from terrorists, so I joined the Marines." When his father asked him if there was some other way to serve, Ryan replied that he felt a special obligation to step up because he had been given so much. Ryan didn't support me in the last election, but he supported our mission in Iraq. And he supported his fellow Marines.

Ryan was killed last month fighting the terrorists near the -- Iraq's Syrian border. In his pocket was a poem that Ryan had read at his high school graduation, and it represented the spirit of this fine Marine. The poem was called "Don't Quit." In our fight to keep America free, we'll never quit. We've lost wonderful Americans like Ryan McGlothlin. We cherish the memory of each one. We pray the loved ones -- pray for the loved ones they've left behind, and we count it a privilege to be citizens of a country they served. We also honor them by acknowledging that their sacrifice has brought us to this moment: the birth of a free and sovereign Iraqi nation that will be a friend of the United States, and a force for good in a troubled region of the world.

The story of freedom has just begun in the Middle East. And when the history of these days is written, it will tell how America once again defended its own freedom by using liberty to transform nations from bitter foes to strong allies. And history will say that this generation, like generations before, laid the foundation of peace for generations to come.
Tomorrow the Iraqis go to the polls. The spread of freedom continues throughout the Middle East.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stratego for Democrats

Read the whole thing. Laughed so hard I almost pulled out the stitches from my wisdom teeth removal!

War in Australia: The Sydney Riots

HT to PajamasMedia for the link to 2gb.
The talk radio station I'm listening to from Sydney seems to suggest the end of multi-culturalism in Australia. It's fascinating listening, and very frightening. Send the station an email, letting them know that our ally down under is in our prayers.

Not only PajamasMedia is covering the story, but also the Australian.

Tookie and the Death Penalty

I am a proponent of the Death Penalty. I think it is a necessary evil and should be used in a more effective manner. Sitting on death row for 28 years is by no means a deterrent.

However, we would be misguided not to consider the individual being executed. Stanley “Tookie” Williams was convicted in 1981 for gunning down convenience store clerk Albert Owens, 26, at a 7-Eleven in Whittier, Calif., and killing Yen-I Yang, 76, Tsai-Shai Chen Yang, 63, as well as the couple's daughter Yu-Chin Yang Lin, 43, at the Los Angeles motel they owned. While Tookie consistently claimed his innocence in court, witnesses at the trial said he boasted about the killings, saying, "You should have heard the way he sounded when I shot him."

Tookie was a founding member of the Crips street gang, and cause more havoc in his day than had been seen up to that point, not to mention the untold terror and chaos the gang he helped create has reeked upon society.

Given all of that there have been claims as of late that he was truly and innocent man, and besides, even if he was guilty, he redeemed himself in prison, by eventually speaking out against gang violence and by writing a few children’s books aimed at deterring them from gangs. What wasn’t mentioned, were the countless prison riots he participated in, or his continued chaotic behavior behind bars.

I am a man of forgiveness and I truly hope he did turn himself around as he had claimed. I truly do hope he had redeemed himself, and I personally will pray for his soul. Tookie is dead, may he and his victims rest in peace.

May God’s will be done.

Adam Housley wrote a great closing for his article on FoxNews.com...
My closing thoughts are simple: I was nervous at first, unsure what to expect. I now understand this process is choreographed down to the number of surgical gloves in the execution chamber. The lethal injection execution is clinical, it is sterile and in the minds of a great majority of California voters, it is a just process. I leave with an understanding and with an experience I will never forget. My thoughts as I sit here outside the damp cold gates of San Quentin are with the victims and the incredible hurt their families have endured and will endure throughout their lifetimes. Stanley Tookie Williams has paid the ultimate price. And as the governor stated, he never seemed to show any remorse. -source

For a longer discussion of the death penalty, check out The Balance of Power.

Murtha For the Blogosphere

December 12th, 2005

From the desk of Congressman John Murtha, proudly serving Pennsylvania's 12th District:

It would appear that conservatives have invaded Gun-Totin' Liberal. In fact, based on the complaints of those on the Left, who I've heard from each and every day, there appears to be little difference between those on the Right and the Zarqawi terrorists of Iraq. They have apparently "taken over" the site, leaving poor 'ole GTL with a very conservative site upon his return, despite the best efforts of those on the Left to fight back.

It would appear the Leftward contributors to GTL have become targets for conservative bloggers and readers, to such an extent that it is increasingly impossible for the Left contributors to complete their mission. In fact, according to one of the leaders on the Left, " The idea that we can actually win at GTL is just plain wrong." He went on to compare Gun-Totin' Liberal to a bloggish quaqmire, repeating the word Vietnam many times throughout his statement.

Since those contributors on the Left, and their readers, feel threatened, indeed terrorized, by the evil conservative insurgents in their midst, I would recommend the following strategy:

That all liberal bloggers leave immediately, in an orderly fashion, but as quickly as possible. This would decrease the chances of taking hits from well known conservative insurgents like Republican Vet.

That a quick reaction force of elite leftward bloggers be established to maintain a token "presence on GTL.

That an "over the horizon" force of leftward bloggers be established on friendly blogs, like Daily Kos, or Wonkette . This elite force could monitor the situation on GTL, and be ready to HALOscan in to make surgical comments on key posts, while still maintaining enough distance to keep from actually having to confront the Conservative insurgents.

And finally, that a group of leftward bloggers open diplomatic negotiations with the conservative insurgents of Gun-Totin' Liberal, seeking a solution to the ongoing rightward tilt of the site.

Hope this strategy helps the brave bloggers of the Left on GTL. It's the best strategy we of the Democrat Party have been able to come up with.

Sincerely,
John "Jack" Murtha (who served in Vietnam)
With input from Chairman Howard Dean, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and former Presidential John Kerry (who served in Vietnam).

---cross posted at Gun-Totin' Liberal

Monday, December 12, 2005

Shadows of the Future?

Does Ariel Sharon's formation of a new centrist party in Israel offer important lessons in American politics? Should we stand up and take notice? I think so.

The news went off like a bombshell in Middle East politics: Israeli Prime
Minster Ariel Sharon quit the right-wing Likud party he helped found three
decades ago to form a centrist party called “Kadima” (in English, the term means
"forward").

Its impact may reverberate in unexpected ways across the
ocean — Sharon’s action provides a powerful example of how centrist politics
might evolve in the U.S. if the moderate majority in this country continues to
be held hostage by professional partisans on the left and right. -source

There is change on the horizon, and America would be remise to ignore it.

A Conversation About Iraq

Now, I don't have many conversations about Iraq outside LJiC. Most of my interactions about politics and war occur here in the blogosphere. Folks know me here, and if I don't like the way the conversation is going, I just turn off the computer.

But today I was talking to a group of people after church. One of them saw that I was reading Hunting Down Saddam, by Robin Moore. He asked what I thought of the book, and I said it was a great look at the push in to Baghdad, and the hunt for Saddam.

He sort of made a face, and said, "What a mess we've gotten ourselves in to there."

Now, normally I sit back when I hear comments like that, breathe deeply, and ask very quietly, in my best therapist tone, "Now, what makes you say that?" It provides a breather for both of us, and a chance for me to get my thoughts together before landing on the uninformed victim with both feet.

But this time, I couldn't help myself. Maybe its the pain from the wisdom teeth removal. maybe its just that I'm tired of hearing how awful things are there. Whatever. I just said, clearly and concisely, "Iraq is NOT a mess. How can you say that about a country where millions are going to vote on Thursday?"

We then had an excellent discussion, with the man making the comment finally agreeing to take a look at sites like Michael Yon and Iraq the Model before saying something like that again.

Voicing optimism about Iraq, and the forces of Democracy at play there is not fashionable today. The constant drip, drip drip of pessimism most people are exposed to makes it difficult to present the reality in a coherent way. Things simply aren't that bad in most of Iraq, and a whole lot better than they were under the butcher Saddam. Despite the media and the Defeatocrats constant harping on what's wrong there.

But its time to start voicing optimism about Iraq, past time. And not just in the closed system of the blogosphere. The truth is out there, and the truth about Iraq is positive. It's time we started telling folks that truth.

Update:
One of the topics we discussed was a comparison between post-war Germany and the current situation in Iraq. Here's a look at some of those parallels.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Is Defeat Inevitable?


The Weekly Standard's article Fighting to Win by Frederick W. Kagan makes a great point that I have been harping on for quite a while.
IS RETREAT FROM--or withdrawal from--or defeat in--Iraq inevitable? Almost all opponents of the Bush administration say it is. As Rep. Jack Murtha put it in mid-November, when demanding the "immediate redeployment of U.S. troops" consistent with their safety, "The United States cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring the troops home." This was echoed more recently by Democratic chief Howard Dean: "The idea that we're going to win this war is an idea that, unfortunately, is just plain wrong." Advocates of withdrawal point to continuing attacks on coalition and Iraqi targets and to the steady, somber flow of U.S. casualties, as well as the increasing fear that our Army will break under the strain of prolonged occupation. -source

Iraq today, only resembles VietNam in any way, because we have factions within our own government who desperately wish it to be so. They have tried, with the collusion of a sympathetic media, to portray this war as already lost. It simply is not true.
The irony is that demands for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces do not spring from any particular recent bad news from Iraq (there has been little) or justified alarm about the Army's ability to sustain itself (high levels of retention continue to make up for problems with recruitment). On the contrary, the most recent news from Iraq is promising. American strategy has improved, and prospects for success are better than they have ever been. -source

If you listen to the left however, you would think these things weren't true. You would think that Moral was at an all time low, and that casualties were at their highest level ever.

Interesting Fact:
As of today the total U.S. Troop Death Count stands at 2142(source), by comparison, we lost nearly 9500 in one day in Normandy (source),and Vietnam's total of 58,226(source), averaging about 5 times the casualty rate. We are far from a quagmire, but we do run the danger of proceeding into one. It is solely in our own hands.
THE URGENCY of an American withdrawal from Iraq is no greater now than it has been for some time, and those most loudly demanding immediate withdrawal have no convincing evidence to support their demands. In his passionate speech, Murtha quoted selectively from the statements of CENTCOM officials to present a picture of Iraq in which resentment of U.S. forces appeared to be growing and to be deepening the insurgency. "I have concluded," said Murtha, "the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress. Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces, and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, the Saddamists, and the foreign jihadists." In response to questions, he repeated: "It's time to bring [U.S. troops] home. . . . They're the targets. They have become the enemy! . . . We're uniting the enemy against us!"

Mr. Kagan goes on to say...
MURTHA AND HIS ALLIES, then, ignore the fact that, while the Americans are a common enemy of the insurgents, the Iraqi government is also a common enemy--and a much more threatening one for most of the rebel groups. The presence of U.S. forces in Iraq is simply not the primary problem in that country, and the removal of those forces would therefore not end the insurgency.

Data about insurgent attacks in Iraq do not support any sense of urgency about withdrawing either. The October constitutional referendum saw significantly fewer attacks than the January 2005 elections: 299 attacks on January 30 generating 213 casualties, versus 89 attacks and 49 casualties on October 15. Insurgents attacked only 19 election sites in October; in January they struck 88. Although the significance of such data is not clear, and other trend lines are less promising than this, there is certainly no case to be made that the situation is worsening enough to support urgent demands for immediate withdrawal. On the contrary, it appears that significant progress is being made.

Enough is enough, we need to stand by our soldiers, and let them finish what we have tasked them to do, and let the Generals, not the Politicians, run the war this time, lest we repeat the mistakes of Vietnam.