Sunday, February 12, 2006
I know that alot of folks have very bad feelings about Blogger. I don't share them. I've enjoyed the ease of use, and the fact that Blogger is FREE. It's been home for over five years, but now it's time to move on.
Matt and I are already posting on the new site, even though there's still a bit of dust on the floor, and we are still in the process of redecorating. So, head on over to:
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Happy Birthday Jay.
Today I turn 29 years old, and Stop the ACLU turns one. We started out on blogsnot. Here is our first post. Enough about that...on with the blogburst.
Top Ten Myths of the ACLU:
10. The ACLU is non-partisan:
The Truth: Not only were they founded on Communism, they are about as liberal an organization in existence. The public saw first hand in 1988 how the ACLU was involved in politics. "The portrayal of the ACLU as a radical liberal lobby reached its climax in the 1988 presidential campaign when George Bush used ACLU membership as a black mark against his opponent Michael Dukakis. The perception had taken root that the ACLU of 1988 has about as much to do with civil liberties as the AT&T of 1988 has to do with telegraphs."
"Social reform, in a liberal direction, is the sine qua non of the ACLU. Its record, far from showing a momentary wavering from impartiality, is replete with attempts to reform American society according to the wisdom of liberalism. The truth of the matter is that the ACLU has always been a highly politicized organization."William Donahue
They may take a token case here and there for the other side to bolster its non-partisan claims, but those cases are far outweighed by their numerous other cases that are clearly intended to further its partisan agenda. They even keep scorecards on Congressmen and Representatives. Their claim of non-partisanship is what gives them their tax-exempt status, and nothing is further from the truth. They have split their organization into two in order to lobby their causes to the legislative branch.
9. The ACLU Cares About Your Privacy Rights:
The Truth: Despite all the rhetoric over the current NSA program, where the ACLU opposes the U.S. listening to traitor's having conversations with terrorists, the ACLU has no room to talk when it comes to violating privacy.
The American Civil Liberties Union is using sophisticated technology to collect a wide variety of information about its members and donors in a fund-raising effort that has ignited a bitter debate over its leaders' commitment to privacy rights.
Some board members say the extensive data collection makes a mockery of the organization's frequent criticism of banks, corporations and government agencies for their practice of accumulating data on people for marketing and other purposes.
Daniel S. Lowman, vice president for analytical services at Grenzebach Glier & Associates, the data firm hired by the A.C.L.U., said the software the organization is using, Prospect Explorer, combs a broad range of publicly available data to compile a file with information like an individual's wealth, holdings in public corporations, other assets and philanthropic interests.
The issue has attracted the attention of the New York attorney general, who is looking into whether the group violated its promises to protect the privacy of its donors and members. NY Times
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Blogging Man 2007, a conference that both Mark and I are involved in, is in jeopardy...
It's one of those business things, the sponsor doesn't want to sponsor a non-event, so they request that we get at least one Big name signed on before they will commit to giving us money...
The big name we have lined up, won't sign up until we give him the deposit...
No other big names will sign on until we have a sponsor...
I hate sales, but our sales guy is hard at it...
The gap here for all of this to come together is very small, about $1000...
But we really could use your help...
You can help by buying Blogger sponsorships, Bronze Sponsorships, or just early registration. All of them are good deals and every little bit helps at this stage. For details on all of this goto www.bloggingman.org.
Please help us make this fun and informational event a reality...
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
No, as a matter of fact, while it was widely advertised that he was making an appearance, he did in fact not speak at all. So why was he there? Well the RGJ reluctantly tells us.
Former President Carter supports son's Senate bid
Saying the Bush Administration and Congress's Republican leadership have abandoned America's core values, former President Jimmy Carter's son, Jack, launched an effort Monday to unseat Nevada's junior U.S. senator.
With his parents cheering at his side, Democrat Jack Carter told a crowd of about 350 people in Carson City that he would be "Nevada's voice to Washington."
Wow, Jack's not wasting any time getting straight to the DNC national talking points (Got anything in your bag to help Nevada there Jack?)Well at least he's being honest and putting his cards on the table for all to see. Unlike our esteemed Sen. Harry Reid who ran on a platform of "Independent Like Nevada" (Talk about voters remorse...geez.)
Well Jack, good luck riding Daddy's coat-tails to office. I don't think it will work, but good luck to you anyway. Well, no not really.
Nevada doesn't need another PUPPET. The only thing keeping this state respectful in the U.S. Senate is our honorable Sen. Ensign, that last thing we need is a peanut farmer’s son acting as the DNC's parrot, and solidifying Nevada as the sell-out laughing stock of the U.S. Senate. We need Senators in office that at the very least are looking out for Nevada, not their respective party's talking points.
Like I said, Nothing in Politics happens in a vacuum.
Washington D.C. – Today, Senator McCain sent the following letter to Senator Obama regarding ongoing Congressional efforts towards bipartisan lobbying reform. The following is the text from that letter:
February 6, 2006
The Honorable Barack Obama
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Obama:
I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere. When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership’s preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable. Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter to me dated February 2, 2006, which explained your decision to withdraw from our bipartisan discussions. I’m embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble. Again, sorry for the confusion, but please be assured I won’t make the same mistake again.
As you know, the Majority Leader has asked Chairman Collins to hold hearings and mark up a bill for floor consideration in early March. I fully support such timely action and I am confident that, together with Senator Lieberman, the Committee on Governmental Affairs will report out a meaningful, bipartisan bill.
You commented in your letter about my “interest in creating a task force to further study” this issue, as if to suggest I support delaying the consideration of much-needed reforms rather than allowing the committees of jurisdiction to hold hearings on the matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. The timely findings of a bipartisan working group could be very helpful to the committee in formulating legislation that will be reported to the full Senate. Since you are new to the Senate, you may not be aware of the fact that I have always supported fully the regular committee and legislative process in the Senate, and routinely urge Committee Chairmen to hold hearings on important issues. In fact, I urged Senator Collins to schedule a hearing upon the Senate’s return in January.
Furthermore, I have consistently maintained that any lobbying reform proposal be bipartisan. The bill Senators Joe Lieberman and Bill Nelson and I have introduced is evidence of that commitment as is my insistence that members of both parties be included in meetings to develop the legislation that will ultimately be considered on the Senate floor. As I explained in a recent letter to Senator Reid, and have publicly said many times, the American people do not see this as just a Republican problem or just a Democratic problem. They see it as yet another run-of-the-mill Washington scandal, and they expect it will generate just another round of partisan gamesmanship and posturing. Senator Lieberman and I, and many other members of this body, hope to exceed the public’s low expectations. We view this as an opportunity to bring transparency and accountability to the Congress, and, most importantly, to show the public that both parties will work together to address our failings.
As I noted, I initially believed you shared that goal. But I understand how important the opportunity to lead your party’s effort to exploit this issue must seem to a freshman Senator, and I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness. Again, I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics the public interest isn’t always a priority for every one of us. Good luck to you, Senator.
United States Senate
I've seldom read a better, more subtle slap-down.
Sorry Senator Dick, there's a new Media in town...
Monday, February 06, 2006
And today is no exception...
Official: Hamas Won't Recognize Israel
Mohammed Cartoons and Drawing are Not New
And yet still...
Protests Over Muhammad Caricatures Continue; Four Killed in Afghanistan
And then of course there is Iran:
Iran Ends Cooperation With U.N., Continues Talks With Moscow
And once again, Surprise!!!...
Russia Warns Against Threatening Iran
Iran to Nuke Watchdog: Remove Surveillance
Sunday, February 05, 2006
I hate to keep harping on this subject, but it is developing much faster than I thought it would.
A defiant Iran on Sunday ended snap UN checks of its nuclear sites and said it was resuming uranium enrichment, a day after being reported to the Security Council over suspicions it is building nuclear weapons.
Diplomats warned the response could heighten the dispute over the nuclear ambitions of the world's fourth biggest oil exporter. ...
Iran's main measure was the suspension of uranium enrichment. If enriched to a low level, uranium can be used in power stations. If enriched further to weapons-grade, it can be used in nuclear warheads.
And we are not talking IF's and COULD HAVE's, we are talking WILL HAVE's and WHEN's. It's as if Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is begging for war. Very unnerving.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel likened Iran's nuclear plans on Saturday to the threat posed by the Nazis in their early days, as top U.S. officials urged a tough line to stop Tehran from making an atomic bomb.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld accused the Islamic republic of being the world's leading sponsor of terrorism, a charge his Iranian counterpart rejected as "ridiculous" and "outrageous".
Addressing the annual Munich security conference, Merkel said countries around the world had underestimated the Nazi threat as Adolf Hitler rose to power.
"Looking back to German history in the early 1930s when National Socialism (Nazism) was on the rise, there were many outside Germany who said 'It's only rhetoric -- don't get excited'," she told the assembled world defense policy makers.
"There were times when people could have reacted differently and, in my view, Germany is obliged to do something at the early stages ... We want to, we must prevent Iran from developing its nuclear program."
It's so nice to have an ally in Germany again.
The United States is a nation engaged in what will be a long war.This is an important document. Look over it, and don't let the MSM summarize it for you. We live in an age where documents like this are readily available to us all. Take advantage of that access.
Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, our Nation has fought a global war against violent extremists who use terrorism as their weapon of choice, and who seek to destroy our free way of life. Our enemies seek weapons of mass destruction and, if they are successful, will likely attempt to use them in their conflict with free people everywhere. Currently, the struggle is centered in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we will need to be prepared and arranged to successfully defend our Nation and its interests around the globe for years to come. This 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review is submitted in the fifth year of this long war.
And, from an August 2005 report, something the QDR does not address well, China's push in to space.
Friday, February 03, 2006
Unemployment Rate Declines in January
Employers stepped up hiring in January, boosting payrolls by 193,000 and lowering the nation's unemployment rate to 4.7 percent, the lowest since July 2001.
Oh but if you listened to the defeatists out there, you would think the economy was going into the dumps...
Lets face it, our economy, and economies world wide have natural fluctuations, and we are on the rise...
Muslims Again Protest Muhammad CaricaturesNow before you get your underwear in a wad, I truthfully would say this about ANY extremist group. Calling for vengeance and the destruction of a country as well as having violent and destructive riots over a cartoon is simply asinine. The same as it is asinine to do the same thing over a sporting event here in the U.S. (or anywhere for that matter).
Tens of thousands of angry Muslims marched through Palestinian cities, burning the Danish flag and calling for vengeance Friday against European countries where caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were published.
So no I am not picking on Muslims... I am admonishing extremist, violent idiots.
Get a grip Palestine. (oops I spoke too soon, more lunacy and it's not just Palestine.)
See what they are whining about...HERE
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Gayle's comment to my post yesterday was well written, sincere, and an excellent example of the thinking of those from the Left side of the aisle. All through her comment, she makes the usual accusations: Bush lied, there isn't much progress in Iraq, the U.S. military is engaging in systematic torture, and she even managed to throw Haliburton in there, though not by name. She even starts by agreeing that we must have victory, yet accuses the military of "attrocities."
If this comment had been written 2 years ago, or even 6 months ago, I would have gone through a lengthy defense, answering each charge separately, citing source after source to back up my arguments. But there is simply so much information countering each and every accusation that its not worth the effort. It's highly unlikely that Gayle will read any of it. If she does, it will be through her ready made filters of "Bush lied, people died." I'm simply tired of refighting the same battles again and again. There comes a point when we must move on to the future, instead of fighting hopeless rearguard actions against folks who will never be persuaded they are wrong.
It seems we live in different worlds, with closed information loops. The fact that Gayle, and those like her, visit a site like Liberty Just in Case is encouraging. It shows they are willing to get out of their own loops, and at least engage with folks like me and Matt, who support both the Iraqi front, and the wider war on Islamo Fascism. But to go back and refight why we got in to Iraq again and again doesn't help win the war. I simply won't do it anymore.
Closed Information Loops produce different worldviews. Lest I be accused of hypocrisy, let me make it clear that I've read widely from those who disagree with me. I can give a list of those books as well, if needed. From Richard Clarke and Bob Graham, right up to the current book by James Risen, I've read them all. Most recycle through pages and pages the arguments and accusations Gayle put in a few paragraphs. Each has been answered, or, in the case of the Risen book, is in the process of being answered. My experience is that those on the Left seldom read those answers. They prefer to stay trapped in their worldview.
If you are interested, two of the best books that do answer the comments from the Left are listed under Liberty Recommends to the right. Disinformation, by Richard Miniter, takes the accusations that Gayle made in her comment and analyzes each one, from the claims of 100,000 civilian deaths in Iraq, to Haliburton. I would strongly recommend it, before making the kinds of unfounded accusations that filled Gayle's comment. I would also recommend Imperial Grunts, by Robert Kaplan. The first in a series of books on the U.S. military in this war, he focuses on Special Forces and the Marine Corps. He does NOT focus on Iraq, but on the wider war in which we are engaged.
Also on the reading list would be The Connection, by Stephen Hayes. He details the links between Saddam and terrorism, up to and including links to Mohammed Atta. His frequent columns in The Weekly Standard continue the work begun with the release of The Connection. Here is one of those, on Saddam's terrorist training camps.
There are many others that answer the questions posed by the Left far better than I can. But like the old saying goes, You can lead a horse to water...
Consider yourself led. The drinking is up to you.
I first met Margene in graduate school at Wheaton College. We were both pursuing our Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology. She and her husband Tom had come home from missionary work in Greece due to Margene's ongoing illness. That was 1992. Even then, Margene knew she was dying, knew it in that deep place of certainty.
In that first year of Grad school, we were in group therapy together, and her illness was a frequent topic. I could not understand why she wasn't angry, why she never showed anything but a deep, abiding peace in the midst of her great suffering. The more at peace she was, the more angry I became. It was not until years later that I came to understand her deep, living faith in Jesus Christ. Even now, fifteen years later, I don't fully understand how she could have had such peace. But she did. One thing that you cannot do in group therapy is hide your true feelings. Margene never tried to hide her suffering, but she never once used it as an excuse to whine either.
Over the years, Margene became a stabilizing force for my wife and I. She made a recieving blanket for our daughter when she was born in 1993, and another one for our son in 1995. Both still view those blankets as prized possessions, and sleep with them every night. Margene's daughter would often babysit for us. We hope and pray our daughter can grow up to be the shining light that Margene's daughter was and is.
Margene and Tom moved to Colorado a few years ago. By that time, Margene had a transplant of multiple organs, all at once. Despite complications, these transplants gave her a few more years of service. Service was Margene's life. She served others as naturally as breathing, as openly and without regard to self as walking. Toward the end, breathing and walking did not come naturally to Margene. But service did, right up to the end.
I've known many Christians over the years. But I've never met a person who so embodied the spirit of Servanthood as Margene. I will miss her. But there is no doubt in my mind or heart that I will see her again, fully restored to health. In the words of Paul from 1 Thessalonians Ch. 4:
13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.Margene was a constant encouragement to all who knew her. She remains so, even though she has "fallen asleep." When that trumpet sounds, one of the first people I'll be looking for is my friend Margene.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
In a speech to thousands of supporters hours after President Bush's State of the Union address, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad derided the United States as a "hollow superpower" that is "tainted with the blood of nations" and said Tehran would continue its nuclear program.
"Nuclear energy is our right, and we will resist until this right is fully realized," Ahmadinejad told the crowd in the southern Iran city of Bushehr, the site of Iran's only nuclear power plant.
Yeah, and it's all about Nuclear Power... RIGHT!!!
"I don't want to live in a country that prohibits any person, whether he/she has paid the ultimate price for that country, from wearing, saying, writing, or telephoning any negative statements about the government," Sheehan wrote.
Then Cindy... Please, I beg of you... LEAVE.
Not even the liberals like you much anymore.
By the way, Cindy was not the only one Ejected...
Beverly Young, wife of Rep. C.W. Bill Young of Florida — chairman of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee — was removed from the gallery because she was wearing a T-shirt that read, "Support the Troops — Defending Our Freedom."
She was sitting about six rows from first lady Laura Bush and asked to leave. She argued with police in the hallway outside the House chamber.
Sorry Bev, rules are rules...Period.
But this philosophy of obstruction will get me killed, and hundreds of thousands of other Americans along with me. I have only to look back at 9/11 to see the consequences of the Defeatocrat philosophy. And I have only to look at Flight 93 to see the first heroes of World War IV.
One of the Defeatocrat leaders, Mother Sheehan, was led out before the State of the Union, as the base of the Defeatocrat Party stood outside, banging pots and pans. They were desperately seeking to drown out how desperately out of touch they are from the rest of America. But truth is hard to shout down, and no amount of leftist whining will change that.
One thing the Left has managed to do is take our eyes off the war we are engaged in. When they say they are protesting "the war," they mean Iraq. Yet the War is far more than one front, and the Iraqi front, while important, is but one front in a greater war against Islamo-Fascism. It's as though they were protesting our invasion of North Africa in WWII because Hitler didn't directly attack us at Pearl Harbor. How foolish. How obstructionist. How dangerous should the Defeatocrats regain power.
Some of my best friends are from the left side of the aisle. They are great people, well meaning and sincere. But, when it comes to the security of this nation, "I don't like you because you're gonna get me killed!" And, after four years of war, my patience with their continued obstructionism has worn thin. The time for argument and debate is past. War has come, and the only way to peace is through victory over the terrorists who threaten us, in Iraq, in Iran, and through out the globe. Victory is not assured until this nation commits to total war, as we did in The Great War, and again in WWII. The President once again issued that call to total war and total victory last night. And the Defeatocrats banged their pots and pans...