Sunday, April 30, 2006

"President Bystander"?!?!

Bruce? Goddamnit, man.....

Apr 30, 10:29 PM (ET)
Springsteen Expresses New Orleans' Pain

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - New Jersey's favorite son was adopted by New Orleans on Sunday, as Bruce Springsteen - through speeches and song - vocalized the anger, frustration, pain and resilience of this hurricane-battered city at the annual Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Decrying what he called "criminal ineptitude" in Hurricane Katrina's wake, Springsteen jabbed at the political powers he deemed responsible for New Orleans' slow recovery.

Perhaps the most pointed moment came as he prepared to sing an old song that he had rewritten lyrics to for New Orleans. Noting that he visited the city's ninth ward, perhaps the most devastated area in the city, Springsteen said: "I saw sights I never thought I'd see in an American city," and added: "The criminal ineptitude makes you furious."

With that, he launched into a song titled "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" and dedicated the song to "President Bystander." Its lyrics included the lines: "There's bodies floatin' on Canal and the levees gone to hell ... them who's got out of town, and them who ain't got left to drown, tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live?"

Click onto the link and listen to the song. I think I'm addicted. But for the love of sensibilities, can someone just tell him to shut the frak up, and sing? Here's some background and lyrics to the song:
This song was written by Blind Alfred Reed and recorded a month after the crash of '29 that heralded the Great Depression. I first heard it on Ry Cooder's self - titled debut album (1970). To his arrangement we owe a debt. I kept the "doctor" first verse by Reed then wrote three others with a mind to the great trials the people of New Orleans have faced this year.

Here are the full lyrics:
Well, the doctor comes 'round here with his face all bright
And he says "in a little while you'll be alright"
All he gives is a humbug pill, a dose of dope and a great big bill
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live?
He says "me and my old school pals had some might high times down here
And what happened to you poor black folks, well it just ain't fair"
He took a look around gave a little pep talk, said "I'm with you" then he took a little walk
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live?
There's bodies floatin' on Canal and the levees gone to Hell
Martha, get me my sixteen gauge and some dry shells
Them who's got got out of town
And them who ain't got left to drown
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live?
I got family scattered from Texas all the way to Baltimore
And I ain't got no home in this world no more
Gonna be a judgment that's a fact, a righteous train rollin' down this track
Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live?
But it was Springsteen who may have provided the most poignant moments. Springsteen eschewed the big hits he's most identified with and instead performed classic folk and gospel songs epitomized by Pete Seeger that are featured on Springsteen's new album, "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions." Though they were decades old, many of the songs seemed particularly relevant to New Orleans struggles - "Mary Don't You Weep,""Jacob's Ladder," and particularly "My Oklahoma Home," which depicts a man's loss of his home and family after the devastating dust storms there in the 1930s.

I bought this album the day it came out, last Tuesday. I like it.
But perhaps no song was as bittersweet as "We Shall Overcome." As Springsteen somberly performed the tune, some people embraced each other, others dabbed their eyes. Another emotional moment came as he dedicated one of his old tunes to New Orleans: "My City in Ruins." Though he wrote it for his favorite town of Asbury Park, N.J., its lyrics resonated with the crowd: "Young men on the corner, like scattered leaves, the boarded up windows, the hustlers and thieves, while my brother's down on his knees. My city of ruins."

I remember when the 9/11 televised "Tribute to Heroes" opened with that number. It seemed to apply to New York City as much as anything, at the time. I love that song, as I love most all of Springsteen's songs.

It's great that he has such compassion for people. And a shame that he is a product of 60's liberal-think. I'm sure the people of New Orleans appreciate his support, regardless.
By the time he sang the chorus, "Come on rise up!" the audience spontaneously rose their hands in the air, symbolizing the pain and the hope of the city.

"The Rising" is a great album, if for nothing more than addressing the impact of 9/11, and the pain we all felt. "Into the Fire" and "You're Missing" are my favorites from it.

Not all of Springsteen's two-hour long set was downbeat; his huge band at times sounded like a boisterous New Orleans brass band, with its booming horn system, while he later injected some boogie and swing with another jazzy tune. But he ended his performance on a tender note, sweetly singing, "When The Saints Go Marching In."

He's got a wealth of compassion and has a good heart, but like many liberal do-gooders, he's got a poor man's understanding of the world. In music, he's Boss; but in politics, he ain't the boss o' me.

You can listen to him pontificate before launching into the Alfred Reed song, here.

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"The Enemy of My Enemy...."

Visiting skye's blog, she mentions about how conservative blogs have been the subject of hackers lately, apparently originating in Saudi Arabia. I thought this would be interesting to cover, since Flopping Aces was recently hacked. Skye links to Blonde Sagacity who poses the interesting observation and question for liberals:
Does it bother those of you on the left that NOT ONE left-wing blog has been targeted by Islamofacist terrorists? Doesn't that make you a little uncomfortable --that they feel OK with all that you post?

Seriously, what do liberals think when Osama and Zarqawi spout off what sounds indistinguishable from Democrat talking points? When their goals of anti-war activism parallels the al Qaeda in Iraq goal of driving "America out of Iraq"? The liberals hate Bush; the terrorists hate Bush.

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend", indeed.

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Illegals Sneaking in at an Alarming Rate!

I hadn't watched this show before, nor do I follow Jon Stewart; but I had the station on Comedy Central because of South Park, earlier this month, and Steven Colbert had on a really funny bit. The transcript is below, but much of the humor doesn't translate thoroughly in writing:

The Colbert Report

Steven Colbert: I knew this was a problem, but I had no idea the scope of it until I watched the Sunday shows. Look at what Arlen Specter said at 10:03 on Sunday morning.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.: We have approximately 11 million undocumented aliens here.
Steven Colbert: Now look at what Ted Kennedy said at 10:33.
[videoclip from another Sunday morning news show]
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.: There are 12 million individuals that are here in the United States.
Colbert: One million illegals snuck into this country in half an hour.

Right after this comment, Colbert observed that at this rate, the whole of Mexico would be in the U.S. in 24 hours. I certainly thought it was clever and funny; because the common numbers to peddle around are 11 million and 12 million illegals. And they get cited interchangeably as numbers to be thrown out there.

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Friday, April 28, 2006

No su himno

British music producer Adam Kidron says that when he came up with the idea of a Spanish-language version of the U.S. national anthem, he saw it as an ode to the millions of immigrants seeking a better life.
In that case he should have been all-inclusive and had it sung in multi-languages. But it is still a sucky idea.
Some Internet bloggers and others are infuriated by the thought of "The Star-Spangled Banner" sung in a language other than English.
You're looking at one of them "internet bloggers"; and I've got steam rising out of my head.
A remix to be released in June will contain several lines in English that condemn U.S. immigration laws. Among them: "These kids have no parents, cause all of these mean laws ... let's not start a war with all these hard workers, they can't help where they were born."
Oh, for the love of Mary....
"I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English."-President George Bush
*Phew* Thank you, Mr. President!

In itself, it's not a big deal, to translate into Spanish and give a different rendition than is traditional. But in the context for which it is made, and for the political motives behind it, I am smouldering at the very notion; the only good out of this, is that the pro-illegals are shooting themselves in the foot just as surely as they did when so many were waving around Mexican flags during the first protest marches.


An Angel Sent by God

I found this at DCAT's (my eyes welled up when I read it):

Friday, April 21, 2006

Dispatch from Iraq: A tiny bit of comfort


A soldier sees and feels a wider variety of sights and emotions in a year than most people will experience in a lifetime. ...
In my short time in the military I have experienced more suffering than I could have imagined before joining up. I have held the hand of a dying Marine who had only one last wish: that someone would be with him and hold his hand as he passed on. So I sat there with a strange man, holding his hand, not saying a word, until he died. ...

I have watched grown men cry, and cried with them, as we stood in front of the traditional memorial of a rifle thrust bayonet-first into the ground with the fallen soldier's helmet and dog tags draped on the weapon. His empty boots stand at attention in the fore of this tableau.

My heart broke when I gazed upon a little girl, no older than my own 5-year-old, crying and begging in broken English for food and water. I have awoken from sleep in shock as it finally dawned on me how close I came to death on a recent patrol. I have lived in fear that I would never see my family again, or that my daughter would grow up without her daddy. ...
On one of those days in Iraq where I wasn't sure if I'd see my daughter again, I was working at a checkpoint near a small camp in the desert. ... The locals would gather around our checkpoints to try to sell us things, beg for food or water, or just hang around the soldiers.

On this particular day one of the locals had his little girl with him. She was shyly watching me from behind his legs. When I smiled and waved at her, she brazenly ran up to me with a big smile and held out her arms, expecting to be picked up. At first I was shocked at her sudden bravery, and it took me a second to reach down and pick her up. When I did, she immediately kissed me on my cheek and then nestled in as if she meant to stay a while.

I looked toward her father and he immediately began talking rapidly in Arabic and gesturing at me. Our translator quickly explained that he, the father, had been locked in a prison for most of the child's life. He had been sentenced to death for being a Shiite dissident traitor. The man went on to say that soldiers wearing the same patch on the shoulder as I was (the 101st Airborne Division) had freed him shortly after we began the liberation of Iraq. His daughter from then on believed that the famous Screaming Eagle patch of the 101st meant that we were angels sent to protect her family.

I sat in a little folding chair with that girl in my arms for well over 30 minutes. She trusted me so completely that she had fallen asleep with her head on my shoulder. All of my fears and worries faded as I held that little miracle. It had been so long since I had held my own daughter that this episode was even more healing for me than it was for her.

I have often wondered if, on that day when I missed my family so much, it wasn't a coincidence that she found me, of all soldiers. Maybe it was that innocent girl, and not me, that was the angel sent by God.

Aric Catron, 25, a National Guardsman from Onalaska in Lewis County, wrote this letter from Baghdad, Iraq. Nadine Gulit of Operation Support Our Troops in Issaquah submitted Catron's letter to the Seattle P-I with his permission. Catron is serving his second tour in Iraq.
DCAT also links to a very cool Stars & Stripes war story article.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Number of Armed Conflicts on the Decline

With all the chicken littles running around chirping about how the sky is falling, here's something that is little known about:
The first Human Security Report documents a dramatic, but largely unknown, decline in the number of wars, genocides and human rights abuse over the past decade. The Report argues that the single most compelling explanation for these changes is found in the unprecedented upsurge of international activism, spearheaded by the UN, which took place in the wake of the Cold War.


Patterns of Political Violence Have Changed

The number of armed conflicts has declined by more than 40% since 1992. The deadliest conflicts (those with 1000 or more battle-deaths) dropped even more dramatically—by 80%.

With all the negative, tragedy news reporting, you'd think otherwise. This reminds me of a book I picked up last year, called "The Progress Paradox", where things seem to get worse, when in fact, the opposite is true. Even though people feel worse, life is actually improving.

Here are more nuggets to chew on:
The number of international crises, often harbingers of war, fell by more than 70% between 1981 and 2001.

Wars between countries are more rare than in previous eras and now constitute less than 5% of all armed conflicts.

The number of military coups and attempted coups has declined by some 60% since 1963. In 1963, there were 25 coups or attempted coups; in 2004, there were 10. All failed.
This is also fascinating:
Most armed conflicts now take place in the poorest countries in the world, but as incomes rise the risk of war declines.

The period since the end of World War II is the longest interval without wars between the major powers in hundreds of years.

The UK and France, followed by the US and Russia/USSR have fought most international wars since 1946.

Burma and India have suffered the greatest number of ‘conflict-years’ since 1946. (If a country fights two separate wars in one calendar year this counts as two ‘conflict-years’.) In 2003, India suffered more ‘conflict-years’ than any other country in the world.

Most of the world’s conflicts are now concentrated in Africa. But even here there are signs of hope. A new dataset compiled for the Human Security Report finds that between 2002 and 2003 (the last year for which there is data) the number of armed conflicts in Africa dropped from 41 to 35.

The drop in armed conflicts in the 1990s was associated with a worldwide decline in arms transfers, military spending and troop numbers.

Wars have become dramatically less deadly over the past five decades. The average number of people reported killed per conflict per year in 1950 was 38,000; in 2002 it was just 600––a decline of 98%.

In the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s by far the highest battle-death tolls in the world were in the wars in East and Southeast Asia. In the 1970s and 1980s, most of the killing took place in the Middle East, Central and South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. By the end of the 1990s, more people were being killed in sub-Saharan Africa’s wars than the rest of the world put together.

The new dataset created for the Report finds that between 2002 and 2003 the number of reported deaths from all forms of political violence fell by 62% in the Americas, 32% in Europe, 35% in Asia and 24 % in Africa.

The biggest death tolls do not come from the actual fighting, however, but from war-exacerbated disease and malnutrition. These ‘indirect’ deaths can account for as much as 90% of the total war-related death toll. Currently there are insufficient data to make even rough estimations of global or regional ‘indirect’ death toll trends.

Not withstanding the horrors of Rwanda and Srebrenica, Bosnia, the number of genocides and other mass killings plummeted by 80% between the 1989 high point and 2001.

International terrorism is the only form of political violence that appears to be getting worse. Some datasets have shown an overall decline in international terrorist incidents of all types since the early 1980s, but the most recent statistics suggest a dramatic increase in the number of high-casualty attacks since the September 11 attacks on the US in 2001. The annual death toll from international terrorist attacks is, however, only a tiny fraction of annual war death toll.
Why We Have Fewer Wars
The Human Security Report identifies three major political changes over the past 30 years that, Andrew Mack says, “have radically altered the global security landscape.”

First, was the end of colonialism. From the early 1950s to the early 1980s, colonial wars made up 60-100% of all international conflicts depending on the year. Today there are no such wars.
Hmm...what about the U.S.? Aren't we imperialistically taking over Iraq for oil?
Second, was the end of the Cold War, which had driven approximately one-third of all conflicts in the post-World War II. This removed any residual threat of war between the major powers, and Washington and Moscow stopped fueling “proxy wars” in the developing world.

Third, was the unprecedented upsurge of international activities designed to stop ongoing wars and prevent new ones starting that took place in the wake of the Cold War. Spearheaded by the UN these activities included:
A six-fold increase in UN preventive diplomacy missions (to stop wars starting).

A four-fold increase in UN peacemaking missions (to end ongoing conflicts).

A four-fold increase in UN peace operations (to reduce the risk of wars restarting).

An eleven-fold increase in the number of states subject to UN sanctions (which can help pressure warring parties into peace negotiations).
Ok, enough UN-stroking, please. It makes me ill.
The UN did not act alone, of course. [Thank you!] The World Bank, donor states, regional organizations and thousands of NGOs worked closely with UN agencies––and often played independent roles of their own. But the UN, the only international organization with a global security mandate, has been the leading player.

As this upsurge of international activism grew in scope and intensity through the 1990s, the number of crises, wars and genocides declined, despite the much-publicized failures.

The evidence that these initiatives worked is not just circumstantial. A recent RAND corporation study, for example, found that two thirds of the UN’s peace building missions had succeeded. In addition, the sharp increase in peacemaking efforts led to a significant increase in the number of conflicts that ended in negotiated settlements. Approximately half of all the peace agreements negotiated between 1946 and 2003 have been signed since the end of the Cold War.

The annual cost of these changes to the international community has been modest––well under 1% of world military spending. In fact, the cost of running all of the UN’s 17 peace operations around the world for an entire year is less than the United States spends in Iraq in a single month.
Hey, sometimes you have to invest in the undesirables, to keep the world safer over the long haul. And I consider the mission in Iraq to be a "peace operation". We're trying to end the violence there; what are the terrorists and insurgents doing by blowing up mosques, infrastructures, and Iraqi citizens?
The Report argues that, in the long run, equitable economic development, increased state capacity and the spread of inclusive democracy play a vital role in reducing the risk of political violence. But it also argues that these factors cannot explain the dramatic post-Cold War reduction in armed conflicts.
Rather interesting report, isn't it? But of course, how silly of me talking about armed conflicts and terrorism. We all know the real threat is global warming. If Vanity Fair reports it, you know it must be true. What a load of ecological excrement they have gracing their May issue cover.

Anyway, the world is not going to hell in a handbasket. And George Bush is not the instigator of the violence in the world today. If it weren't the war in Iraq and global terrorism, people would find something else to bitch about. War and violence came to us. George Bush did not create it; he is effectively dealing with it. Blaming George Bush for the times we live in and the difficult challenges facing us is misguided. If you want to blame anyone, it's the terrorists and their psychotic ideology which they are masquerading before the world as a religion.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Is this still even news anymore?

Unbelievable! President Bush's approval rating is at a new all-time low of 32%. *Gasp* He may go down in history as the worst President ever. What?! Me worry?!? Pfft! Pity the thought! Seriously....when hasn't President Bush's poll numbers not been in the tanker in the past year?

Frankly, I'm proud to belong to that 32%. And I have no doubt whatsoever that history will vindicate the good name of George Walker Bush.

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"We've had enough, Beers!"

If you are not familiar with the Mary McCarthy and CIA leak story, you've either been living under a rock or led to believe it's no big deal by paying attention only to MSM television news. But no worries: Flopping Aces has the definitive post to bring you up to speed.

Christopher Hitchens noted the reluctance of the New York Times to report the story in a manner other than damage-control mode on behalf of Mary McCarthy. And today, the defensive "straight news" from the NY Times continues:
Yet friends and former colleagues have strongly challenged that partisan allegiance ever governed Ms. McCarthy's actions.
"That's not the Mary McCarthy that I know," said Rand Beers, a former colleague of Ms. McCarthy's on the National Security Council who has spoken to her several times since her firing.
"I'm glad she was prepared to push back," Mr. Beers said. "I was concerned that we were only hearing one side of the story ."
If Rand Beers is vouching on behalf of Mary McCarthy, well by golly then, you know she's got to be innocent of any criminal misconduct! [/sarcasm]

Uh...Mr. Beers? I'm concerned that we are only hearing one side of the story as well; which is why anyone reading anything you have to say in the New York Times or Newsweek, really should go take a look at Curt's posts on the topic of Mary McCarthy and the CIA leaks (In particular to this post, take a look at update X and XXIII in that post).

Juan Williams has called Mary McCarthy's alleged CIA leak, "an act of honor". As a soldier who is involved in the intelligence field, CJ from A Soldier's Perspective notes that when you join an agency like the CIA or FBI, involving national security and military intelligence, you sign a statement of disclosure.

This statement basically says that in exchange for being granted access to classified information we will not disclose this information to those who are not authorized to be in possession of it. We dont' classify information to hide things from Americans. We classify information to protect American interests. Agreement with a particular aspect or operation that the government is engaged in is not a valid reason for violating this agreement and breaking the law.
Here's part of what else CJ had to say about that:

There is a difference between "leaking" information and committing espionage. The difference is whether that information is damaging to national security. There are processes that McCarthy could have used if she truly felt morally inclined to disagree with CIA policies. The first of which is to report through her chain of command. The second is to demand a congressional investigation if the chain of command fails to thoroughly act on her concerns.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Crippling the Competition

Last Monday, U.S. District Judge (and *cough*Clinton appointee*cough*) Andre Davis granted the request for a preliminary injunction, making it possible for a Howard County athlete to use a wheelchair when competing in track races with those who do have the use of their legs.
The Maryland Disability Law Center filed suit on behalf of Tatyana McFadden, 16, a sophomore at Atholton High School and winner of two medals at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, Greece. McFadden had been denied the chance to race alongside non-wheelchair users and to have her choice of competitive events.

The ruling could provide assurances of equal treatment for disabled students seeking to compete in athletics at schools across the state, said Lauren Young, director of litigation at the law center.

"We're thrilled, not only for her, but the school system got a loud and clear message that kids with disabilities get a chance to participate alongside the kids without disabilities in sports at their schools," Young said. "I think other schools in Maryland will hopefully look at this carefully, that they do have an obligation to include all students in athletics."

I agree that under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 persons with a disability should not be prohibited from participating in a federally funded program. But where in the track rules does it say athletes are allowed something other than Nike footwear?

"The more I hear your argument, the more transparently arbitrary and capricious it becomes," Davis told the lawyers for Howard County schools, according to the Associated Press. "She's not suing for blue ribbons, gold ribbons or money - she just wants to be out there when everyone else is out there."
Ok, I'm sorry but Judge Andre Davis is a feel-good idiot. As Dennis Prager pointed out today, liberals are filled with well-intentioned but destructive acts. They are obsessed with concepts of equality, inclusiveness, and compassion without consideration to the ramifications, and the absence of common sense.

Here's what Sydney L. Cousin, the superintendent of Howard County schools said. You tell me if it sounds "capricious":

"This lawsuit came as a surprise to me because we had been working collaboratively with Tatyana and her family," Cousin said. "I think that in Howard County, we went further than anyone else in the state, to try to encourage the participation of disabled athletes."

And Mark Blom, an attorney for the Howard County school system, said last month when the suit was filed:

that the system had worked with McFadden to allow her to be a part of the team and to incorporate wheelchair events into track competitions, but it is against merging the two types of events.

How is that "capricious"? It sounds well-reasoned out to me. And fair. They went out of their way to be accomodating, without changing, altogether, the rules of the game.

"I was really nervous at first, because I didn't know what to expect. ... But once the case got going, everything was good; the judge understood my side," she said. "This is important to me because I wanted to get the same thrill and the same experience as all the other high school students. There's no competition by myself. It was lonely and embarrassing, and I just didn't like it. Other competitors would come up to me and they would say, 'Good race,' but it wasn't really a good race because I was running by myself." know what the solution is then? You find more competitors for the Paralympics. The answer isn't crashing another sport and changing all the rules, just so YOU can participate to make YOU feel good. Sometimes in life we can't and shouldn't get what we want.

"There's no competition by myself". I found that line rather funny. Because as an athlete, it has always been my belief that the ultimate competition is with your own self. Once you begin to understand that, all the petty feelings of jealousy against other athletes dissolves. All the hurt feelings and bitter egos. I suppose this is more by-product of the self-esteem generation, where 8th place ribbons must be passed out so that there are no sore losers and hurt feelings.

McFadden should be allowed to compete for a spot on the track team; to be allowed to participate, as she so desires. But she should do so without the wheels. Ditch the wheels. If she had no legs, she should be allowed to run on her stumps; not outfitted with a mechanical device that changes the whole point of the race. The competition is about who the fastest human being is on two legs.

If we had a handstand walking contest and you have an amputee who is missing one arm, you're going to...what? Allow him to enter the contest by fast-walking on his good two legs? Or strap himself onto a skateboard and wheel himself across the finish line with his one good arm?

If you don't have the God-given attributes to participate in certain sports, you know what? Tough.

Resource articles (note the "feel good" endings):

Baltimore Sun

Associated Press

Hat tip to The Dennis Prager Show for the story, where I first heard about it.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Champions of Free Speech Strike Again!

Apparently, Flopping Aces was hacked earlier today. It seems Curt's excellent post on the CIA leaker, Mary McCarthy, struck a raw nerve with some childish liberal hacks; since they couldn't hold their own in debating or conceding this one, they decided to show how much they love and respect the concept of free speech by hacking into Curt's blog, trying to shut him up and shut him down. Bastards!

But Curt's already back at the helm. Please pay him a visit of support. He's an outstanding blogger; and he has the most thorough round up of the Mary McCarthy story, bar none.

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I've Got It!

People keep talking about how "Mexicans are crossing the borders to 'steal' jobs that nobody wants." The problem is, the Mexicans are willing to work for cheap labor. Instead of diverting costly resources to do the unrealistic task of rounding up 11 million illegals.....and instead of doing the right thing by making examples of those who are knowingly providing jobs-( the incentives for illegals to come over here in the first place), here is the solution: Americans are a competitive people; therefore, it should be our patriotic duty to drive these Mexicans out of our country of their own accord by" stealing" the jobs away from them! How? By being willing to work harder for even less than they are willing to work for!

Haha....I'm brilliant!

Enjoy the weekend folks; I'm busy attending a Cherry Blossom Festival today and tomorrow, so it's very unlikely I'll be blogging until it's all over (not like I've been blogging much anyway- but that's all due to Festival preparations).

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Aliens vs. Predator

Credit for this find goes to Mike's America:

I hope the Gubernator of Mexifornia sees the video.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006


So White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan is stepping aside....

from the New York Times:

Mr. McClellan made the announcement about his departure on the White House lawn standing side by side with Mr. Bush just before they were to leave on a trip to Alabama.

"I have given it my all, sir, and I have given you my all, sir, and I will continue to do so as we transition to a new press secretary," he told Mr. Bush.

"It's going to be hard to replace Scott," Mr. Bush said, "but nevertheless, he made the decision and I accepted it."

Mr. Bush praised Mr. McClellan, who he said "handled his assignment with class, integrity."

Mr. McClellan became press secretary in June 2003, replacing Ari Fleisher. His relationship with the White House press corps had become increasingly contentious in recent months.

As the administration's point person with the media — and its second most visible figure after Mr. Bush, thanks to televised daily briefings — Mr. McClellan became a lightning rod for complaints by the press corps about the adequacy of information provided by the White House.
Those tensions first boiled over last year when it was revealed that Mr. Rove had been involved in the the disclosure of the identity of Valerie Wilson, an undercover operative for the Central Intelligence Agency, despite earlier public denials by Mr McClellan.
More recently, Mr. McClellan was yelled at, during a briefing, by an NBC correspondent, David Gregory, who was frustrated by how little information was being made available after Vice President Dick Cheney shot a hunting partner. Mr. Gregory later apologized to Mr. McClellan.

"I don't know whether or not the press corps realizes this, but his is a
challenging assignment dealing with you all on a regular basis," Mr. Bush said

I'd love to see Lt. General ("Don't get stuck on stupid, reporters!") Honores in the role of White House Spokesperson. Could you imagine him breaking lances with Helen Thomas or skewering that pansy-weight, David Gregory?

*Sigh* can dream.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Those Stingy, Selfish Republicans!

Vice President Cheney and his wife Lynne donated nearly $7 million in charity for the year 2005. Wow, what a grinch, right? It's one of the largest amounts in charitable donations given by a U.S. public official.

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer Fri Apr 14, 7:05 PM ET

President Bush and the first lady paid about $187,000 in federal taxes this year on income of about $735,000. Vice President
Dick Cheney and his wife made more than 10 times as much, overpaid the tax man and are looking for a $1.9 million refund.

According to the president's tax return released Friday by the White House, the Bushes had adjusted gross income of $735,180 — about $50,000 less than the year before.

The couple paid $187,768 in federal taxes for last year — about $19,500 less than they paid the
Internal Revenue Service for 2004.

Their income included Bush's presidential salary — about $400,000 — and investment income from trusts that hold their assets.

The Bushes contributed $75,560 — about 10 percent of their income — to churches and charitable organizations. Those included the
American Red Cross and the Salvation Army's funds for hurricane relief in the United States and earthquake aid in Pakistan. They also gave to Martha's Table, which provides food and services to the underprivileged in the Washington area, the Archdiocese of New Orleans Catholic Charities and the Mississippi Food Network.

The Bushes paid $26,172 in state property taxes on their ranch near Crawford, Texas, up about $4,000 from the year before.

The Cheneys reported adjusted gross income of nearly $8.82 million, a number largely padded with income they received by exercising stock options that had been set aside in 2001 for charity.

The Cheneys donated about $6.87 million to charity from the stock options and royalties earned on Mrs. Cheney's books: "America: A Patriotic Primer," "A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women" and "When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots."

Recipients of their charitable donations included: George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates for the benefit of the Cardiothoracic Institute, the University of Wyoming Foundation and Capital Partners for Education, to benefit low-income high school students in the Washington area.

After subtracting the charitable contributions, the Cheneys' income was $1.95 million on which they owed $529,636 in taxes, according to a statement released by the vice president's office.

Since the Cheneys paid $2.46 million in withholding and estimated taxes over the year, they were entitled to a refund of about $1.93 million.

The Cheneys' income included the vice president's $205,031 government salary and $211,465 in deferred compensation from Halliburton Co., the Dallas-based energy services firm he headed until Aug. 16, 2000.

Cheney elected in December 1998 to recoup over five years a portion of the money he made in 1999 as chief executive officer of Halliburton. This amount was to be paid in annual installments — with interest — after Cheney's retirement from Halliburton. The 2005 payment is the last.

The White House has said that the amount of deferred compensation received by the vice president is fixed and is not affected by Halliburton's current economic performance or earnings.

The Cheneys' tax return also reports Mrs. Cheney's royalty income from her book, "A Time for Freedom: What Happened When in America," salary income from the American Enterprise Institute and a retirement benefit from Reader's Digest. Mrs. Cheney served on the Reader's Digest board of directors until retiring in 2003.

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Monday, April 17, 2006


If you were a cannibal, what would you wear to dinner?
The skin of last night's main course.-Kevin Underwood to blogger's profile question

Looks like Kevin Underwood kept a blog (actually, two). By accounts, other than being quiet, boring, and rarely smiling, no one seemed to have been able to predict that he could have committed such a grisly act, as he did. It'd be easy just to dismiss him as evil. A monster. But, how is one to ever know? Warning signs? Preventable? Inevitable? Who else among us is capable?
It's just sad, for her family and his.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Supporting the Troops by Supporting the Mission

Troops in Support Of the War
By Wade Zirkle
Thursday, April 13, 2006; Page A21

Earlier this year there was a town hall meeting on the Iraq war, sponsored by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), with the participation of such antiwar organizations as CodePink and The event also featured Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a former Marine who had become an outspoken critic of the war. To this Iraq war veteran, it was a good example of something that's become all too common: People from politics, the media and elsewhere purporting to represent "our" views. With all due respect, most often they don't.

The tenor of the town meeting was mostly what one might expect, but during the question-and-answer period, a veteran injured in Afghanistan stood up to offer his view.

"If I didn't have a herniated disc, I would volunteer to go to Iraq in a second with my troops," said Mark Seavey, a former Army sergeant who had recently returned from Afghanistan. "I know you keep saying how you have talked to the troops and the troops are demoralized, and I really resent that characterization. The morale of the troops I talk to is phenomenal, which is why my troops are volunteering to go back despite the hardships. . . ."

"And, Congressman Moran, 200 of your constituents just arrived back from Afghanistan -- we never got a letter, we never got a visit from you, you didn't come to our homecoming. The only thing we got was a letter from the governor of this state thanking us for our service in Iraq, when we were in Afghanistan. That's reprehensible. I don't know who you two are talking to, but the morale of the troops is very high."

What was the response? Murtha said nothing, while Moran attempted to move on, no pun intended, stating: "That wasn't in the form of a question, it was a statement."

It was indeed a statement; a statement from both a constituent and a veteran that should have elicited something more than silence or a dismissive comment highlighting a supposed breach of protocol. This exchange, captured on video (it was on C-SPAN), has since been forwarded from base to base in military circles. It has not been well received there, and it only raises the already high level of frustration among military personnel that their opinions are not being heard.

In view of his distinguished military career, John Murtha has been the subject of much attention from the media and is a sought-after spokesman for opponents of the Iraq war. He has earned the right to speak. But his comments supposedly expressing the negative views of those who have and are now serving in the Middle East run counter to what I and others know and hear from our own colleagues -- from junior officers to the enlisted backbone of our fighting force.

Murtha undoubtedly knows full well that the greatest single thing that drags on morale in war is the loss of a buddy. But second to that is politicians questioning, in amplified tones, the validity of that loss to our families, colleagues, the nation and the world.

While we don't question his motives, we do question his assumptions. When he called for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, there was a sense of respectful disagreement among most military personnel. But when he subsequently stated that he would not join today's military, he made clear to the majority of us that he is out of touch with the troops. Quite frankly, it was received as a slap in the face.

Like so many others past and present, I proudly volunteered to serve in the military. I served one tour in Iraq and then volunteered to go back. Veterans continue to make clear that they are determined to succeed in Iraq. They are making this clear the best way they can: by volunteering to go back for third and sometimes fourth deployments. This fact is backed up by official Pentagon recruitment reports released as recently as Monday.

The morale of the trigger-pulling class of today's fighting force is strong. Unfortunately, we have not had a microphone or media audience willing to report our comments. Despite this frustration, our military continues to proudly dedicate itself to the mission at hand: a free, democratic and stable Iraq and a more secure America. All citizens have a right to express their views on this important national challenge, and all should be heard. Veterans ask no more, and they deserve no less.

The writer is executive director of Vets for Freedom. He served two tours in Iraq with the Marines before being wounded in action.

Radioblogger has the transcript and audio of Hugh Hewitt's interview with Wade Zirkle.

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Saturday Morning Cartoon: South Park exposes the Idiocy that is MSM hysteria and Junk Science

I know some of my fellow conservatives have a hardtime with the crass humor and vulgarity that is a staple commodity in South Park; but if they can get past that, there is much to appreciate and be thankful for in South Park. Parker and Stone, the creators, are definitely equal-opportunity bashers; nothing gets their panties all in a wad more than religious extremism; and to the delight of conservatives: the liberal love affair with political correctness.

Sometimes the social commentary can be outstanding, as exemplified in the following episode (908), "Two Days After Tomorrow":

They skewer the media-driven hysteria that surrounded Hurricane Katrina; and tackle the eco-apocalyptic imperialism that is global warming. I've been wanting to do a post on global warming for the past couple of weeks, now. Maybe this will make a good prelude.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

So Martyr Him Already!

The defense is expected to call mental health experts to testify about signs that Moussaoui suffers from schizophrenia. -from today's LA Times
Why are we so obsessed with diagnosing human aberrations as "crazy" and needing of medical help and understanding, all the time? We seem to overanalyze everything, wanting to classify hyper, energetic kids as somehow "abnormal" and end up medicating them on ritalin and what-not. In some cases, I'm sure this allows the kid to be "more himself" and function "normal"; but in other instances, I think it is a misdiagnosis, and we medicate perfectly normal people from being who they are, because we find their behavior socially undesireable.

Most of us who are civilized cannot relate to those who are "born killers". We try to project our compassion and our conscience onto these scumbags. But the problem is, I honestly believe that there are some people in this world who are simply born with a meanness inside them, and are without conscience. They are defective. That no matter what kind of nurturing environment is provided, certain human aberrations naturally gravitate toward "hanging out with the wrong crowd"; or for choosing a certain ideology. THEY are responsible for who they are. Not society. They are not the victims of their own choices in life, but the instigators.

I have no problem dehumanizing Zacarias Moussaoui. I believe he's all but accomplished that on his own. I'm also all for capital punishment; but if he doesn't receive it, I would take great delight if he spends a lifetime of torture behind bars at the hands of butt pirates who want to pillage his arse-anal of ass destruction.

...'scuse my French.

Unfortunately, according to one of his defense lawyers (saying it as a reason he should be spared), if Moussaoui lives, he would be isolated not only from the outside world, but from other prisoners as well. That's not my idea of punishment fitting the crime. Of course...neither is an execution where a death row inmate is made to feel as little pain as possible, because we are so civilized. Maybe if we actually made the level of violence in execution fit the level of violence in the criminal act, then capital punishment might actually succeed as a deterrent. Dare to carry out your sick fantasy by raping and setting someone on fire.....well then, the career criminal who is a walking piece of crud without conscience, should be made to feel the pain of his victim. I'd say that might make some lowlifes think twice about carrying out torture and grisly violence if they have the foreknowledge that society is capable of dishing it as well as being on the receiving end. My compassion is for the victims; not for the killers. Cruelty to society is the kindness we show to compassionless killers.

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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Censorship for all the wrong reasons

Last night I watched the 2nd part of a South Park episode that I thought was very well done after seeing last week's first part. The 2nd part, however, lost me a bit when they got to the manatees, and I kind of got distracted and did not pay close attention. Flopping Aces reports that last night's episode hit some controversy, and got reported in the mainstream. I posted the following over at Flopping Aces, and since I haven't posted anything all week, I might as well make a post of my comment:

After reading the Washington Post article, I don't think there is anything wrong on the part of Parker and Stone, with the image of Jesus defecating on an image of Bush. It just illustrates the hypocrisy, that they are able to get away with doing this, yet must be censored when it comes to Muhammed. Basically, the riots and terror-tantrums from many in the Islamic community served to "terrorize" executives at CC. Comedy Central didn't pull the scene depicting Mohammed because of cultural sensitivity: They did it because they gave into the fear of terrorism from those who have a serious anger management problem. Way to kowtow.

Previous posts:
CNN= Coward News Network
Boycotting the Boycott
"Why Can't We All be Super Best Friends?" (featured previous SP episode where Mohammed was depicted- before the Danish cartoon controversy; the video of the cartoon was removed, I suspect because of copyright infringement issues that YouTube has been cracking down on....not because YouTube fears outrage from the Islamic community).

UPDATE: Ok, the "Super Best Friends" video has been restored (I found someone else who uploaded it), but now this one from is removed due to copyright infringement. It's not hard to find excerpts, though, if you look.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Figuring out that waving American flags is politically more advantageous than draping yourself in red, white, and green

Mary and Rebekah make good observations:

That photo was on the frontpage of the online LA Times. I heard on the radio, also, that somewhere in Texas, protestors were now overwhelmingly displaying American flags. Seems they are realizing that politically, it is disadvantageous for them to wave around Mexican flags in an attempt to win over the hearts and minds of American citizens, loyal to this country.

Check out this poll in today's LA Times.:

Notice that the poll question is flawed, in that it asks voters "is immigration good for the U.S.?" It should read, "is illegal immigration good for the U.S.?" Still, as of tonight when I viewed and voted, Americans voted yes-39%, maybe- 7.8%, and no- 53.2%! That's encouraging.

Throughout their entire photo gallery, the LA Times consistently refers to this as an issue of immigration, rather than correctly characterizing it as one of illegal immigration.

I'm not one of the hardliners on this, that says "ship 'em all out". There are many illegals who have rooted themselves here, for a period of years and decades, with complex ties and relationships including having children who are natural born citizens (why can't we amend the Constitution on this?). I am not a supporter of any illegals in our country; but I do think the manner in which we deal with this, along with our frustration and anger, has to be tempered with compassion. We have ourselves to blame for the mess we find our country in and we need to take part of the responsibility for it.

I do think we need to build a wall and take control of our borders; and severely punish those who hire illegals, whether by fine or jail-time. We don't have the logistical means to kick out 11 million illegals; but if we remove the incentive to come here, which is largely to find work, then much of that 11 million should probably remove themselves by their own accord and free will.

I think control of our borders is the first order of business.

My thanks to Curt for the poll screen capture.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Gospel of Judas (according to Wordsmith)

I've always held fascination with alternative scriptures (I have the book, "The Other Bible"), Gnostic Gospels, Apocrypha, and anything not recognized by Canon and the orthodox church. No, I've never read the Da Vinci Code (which I realize is a fictionalized novel), but there is evidence there...the idea that Mary Magdalene's role in history has been diminished and intentionally minimized and marginalized by the Roman Catholic Church; and that Judas may have "taken the fall", and been much wrongly maligned.

Don't forget to tune into the 2 hour documentary tonight on the National Geographic Channel. Googling around, I can already see the "true believers" are already dismissive and up-in-arms. Relax. Personally, I think it's odd that so many base their faith solely on the King James interpretation of the Bible.

PebblePie also blogs on this.

Here is a PDF of the translation.

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"Here's lookin' at you, kid."

Last Thursday, Casablanca topped a list of 101 greatest screenplays of all time. It is my personal favorite movie of all time.

Whoa! I just now remember the first time I ever saw this movie! I had forgotten, until I asked my brain just now, "When did you first see this movie?" I believe it was a year after high school. Midway through high school, I had moved from Austin, Texas, to Redlands, California. I took a year off after graduating, rather than going straight into college. Back in Austin, there was a girl who I still had a deep yearning for. So the year after I graduated (I think), wait.....ok, and sometime after getting accepted to UCLA...(I think)....I took a road trip all by myself from Redlands back to Austin. My high school crush was a year into school at the University of Texas. And we went on campus to catch a showing of "Casablanca". I had no idea what I was in for. I think that night was the beginning of a love affair with this movie. One of my literary heroes from high school was Sydney Carton from Tale of Two Cities; and the Humphrey Bogart character of Rick, redeemed by love into a selfless act- into taking part in something greater than himself- just resonates with my sense of the heroic, and the power and beauty of nonphysical love to ennoble the soul.

There is so much to love about Casablanca: The cast of colorful characters, the dialogue, the taut, tightly drawn script, the tense atmosphere, wartime patriotism (in the best sense), redemption, self-sacrifice, the song, a love triangle, and on and on. Even my political opponents love this film classic. Young people think it's chock full of clichés. Children? This movie is where all of those clichés came from!

And just to make this political (after all, I run a political gin joint, here),
Mistake Factual error: When Rick is talking about the German guns shelling near Paris, he describes them as 77's (non-existent) - likely meant the famous 88's used as anti-aircraft and tanks as well as for wheeled guns. [The line was originally "88s" but was changed at the request of the War Dept. so as to not tip the German's hands that we knew about the 88s.]
Hmm.....think today's NY Times or Hollywood elite would be capable of doing anything at all resembling honest journalism AND pro-American news reporting? The kind of reporting that doesn't undermine the war effort, and give aid and comfort to the enemy?

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Can America's Intestinal Fortitude be Summed Up in the Image of "the Last Helicopter"?

The following article is from a week ago, and I decided to post it in its entirety. I think it is a pretty fascinating analysis. Apparently, some might think that America's faltering resolve- her reputation as a "paper tiger", can all be summed up in the image of the fleeing helicopter. The article came out shortly before the downing of an Apache Longbow helicopter last Saturday, killing two pilots (with a video purporting to show a burning body dragged from the helicopter posted to the web on Wednesday by an al Qaida group; as far as I know, the authenticity of the video linked to this helicopter is still in doubt).

'The Last Helicopter'

By AMIR TAHERI March 29, 2006; Page A18

Hassan Abbasi has a dream -- a helicopter doing an arabesque in cloudy skies to avoid being shot at from the ground. On board are the last of the "fleeing Americans," forced out of the Dar al-Islam (The Abode of Islam) by "the Army of Muhammad." Presented by his friends as "The Dr. Kissinger of Islam," Mr. Abbasi is "professor of strategy" at the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guard Corps University and, according to Tehran sources, the principal foreign policy voice in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new radical administration.

For the past several weeks Mr. Abbasi has been addressing crowds of Guard and Baseej Mustadafin (Mobilization of the Dispossessed) officers in Tehran with a simple theme: The U.S. does not have the stomach for a long conflict and will soon revert to its traditional policy of "running away," leaving Afghanistan and Iraq, indeed the whole of the Middle East, to be reshaped by Iran and its regional allies.

To hear Mr. Abbasi tell it the entire recent history of the U.S. could be narrated with the help of the image of "the last helicopter." It was that image in Saigon that concluded the Vietnam War under Gerald Ford. Jimmy Carter had five helicopters fleeing from the Iranian desert, leaving behind the charred corpses of eight American soldiers. Under Ronald Reagan the helicopters carried the bodies of 241 Marines murdered in their sleep in a Hezbollah suicide attack. Under the first President Bush, the helicopter flew from Safwan, in southern Iraq, with Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf aboard, leaving behind Saddam Hussein's generals, who could not believe why they had been allowed live to fight their domestic foes, and America, another day. Bill Clinton's helicopter was a Black Hawk, downed in Mogadishu and delivering 16 American soldiers into the hands of a murderous crowd.

According to this theory, President George W. Bush is an "aberration," a leader out of sync with his nation's character and no more than a brief nightmare for those who oppose the creation of an "American Middle East." Messrs. Abbasi and Ahmadinejad have concluded that there will be no helicopter as long as George W. Bush is in the White House. But they believe that whoever succeeds him, Democrat or Republican, will revive the helicopter image to extricate the U.S. from a complex situation that few Americans appear to understand.

Mr. Ahmadinejad's defiant rhetoric is based on a strategy known in Middle Eastern capitals as "waiting Bush out." "We are sure the U.S. will return to saner policies," says Manuchehr Motakki, Iran's new Foreign Minister.

Mr. Ahmadinejad believes that the world is heading for a clash of civilizations with the Middle East as the main battlefield. In that clash Iran will lead the Muslim world against the "Crusader-Zionist camp" led by America. Mr. Bush might have led the U.S. into "a brief moment of triumph." But the U.S. is a "sunset" (ofuli) power while Iran is a sunrise (tolu'ee) one and, once Mr. Bush is gone, a future president would admit defeat and order a retreat as all of Mr. Bush's predecessors have done since Jimmy Carter.

Mr. Ahmadinejad also notes that Iran has just "reached the Mediterranean" thanks to its strong presence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. He used that message to convince Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to adopt a defiant position vis-à-vis the U.N. investigation of the murder of Rafiq Hariri, a former prime minister of Lebanon. His argument was that once Mr. Bush is gone, the U.N., too, will revert to its traditional lethargy. "They can pass resolutions until they are blue in the face," Mr. Ahmadinejad told a gathering of Hezbollah, Hamas and other radical Arab leaders in Tehran last month.

According to sources in Tehran and Damascus, Mr. Assad had pondered the option of "doing a Gadhafi" by toning down his regime's anti-American posture. Since last February, however, he has revived Syria's militant rhetoric and dismissed those who advocated a rapprochement with Washington. Iran has rewarded him with a set of cut-price oil, soft loans and grants totaling $1.2 billion. In response Syria has increased its support for terrorists going to fight in Iraq and revived its network of agents in Lebanon, in a bid to frustrate that country's democratic ambitions.

It is not only in Tehran and Damascus that the game of "waiting Bush out" is played with determination. In recent visits to several regional capitals, this writer was struck by the popularity of this new game from Islamabad to Rabat. The general assumption is that Mr. Bush's plan to help democratize the heartland of Islam is fading under an avalanche of partisan attacks inside the U.S. The effect of this assumption can be witnessed everywhere.

In Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf has shelved his plan, forged under pressure from Washington, to foster a popular front to fight terrorism by lifting restrictions against the country's major political parties and allowing their exiled leaders to return. There is every indication that next year's elections will be choreographed to prevent the emergence of an effective opposition. In Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, arguably the most pro-American leader in the region, is cautiously shaping his post-Bush strategy by courting Tehran and playing the Pushtun ethnic card against his rivals.

In Turkey, the "moderate" Islamist government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan is slowly but surely putting the democratization process into reverse gear. With the post-Bush era in mind, Mr. Erdogan has started a purge of the judiciary and a transfer of religious endowments to sections of the private sector controlled by his party's supporters. There are fears that next year's general election would not take place on a level playing field.

Even in Iraq the sentiment that the U.S. will not remain as committed as it has been under Mr. Bush is producing strange results. While Shiite politicians are rushing to Tehran to seek a reinsurance policy, some Sunni leaders are having second thoughts about their decision to join the democratization process. "What happens after Bush?" demands Salih al-Mutlak, a rising star of Iraqi Sunni leaders. The Iraqi Kurds have clearly decided to slow down all measures that would bind them closer to the Iraqi state. Again, they claim that they have to "take precautions in case the Americans run away."

There are more signs that the initial excitement created by Mr. Bush's democratization project may be on the wane. Saudi Arabia has put its national dialogue program on hold and has decided to focus on economic rather than political reform. In Bahrain, too, the political reform machine has been put into rear-gear, while in Qatar all talk of a new democratic constitution to set up a constitutional monarchy has subsided. In Jordan the security services are making a spectacular comeback, putting an end to a brief moment of hopes for reform. As for Egypt, Hosni Mubarak has decided to indefinitely postpone local elections, a clear sign that the Bush-inspired scenario is in trouble. Tunisia and Morocco, too, have joined the game by stopping much-advertised reform projects while Islamist radicals are regrouping and testing the waters at all levels.

But how valid is the assumption that Mr. Bush is an aberration and that his successor will "run away"? It was to find answers that this writer spent several days in the U.S., especially Washington and New York, meeting ordinary Americans and senior leaders, including potential presidential candidates from both parties. While Mr. Bush's approval ratings, now in free fall, and the increasingly bitter American debate on Iraq may lend some credence to the "helicopter" theory, I found no evidence that anyone in the American leadership elite supported a cut-and-run strategy.

The reason was that almost all realized that the 9/11 attacks have changed the way most Americans see the world and their own place in it. Running away from Saigon, the Iranian desert, Beirut, Safwan and Mogadishu was not hard to sell to the average American, because he was sure that the story would end there; the enemies left behind would not pursue their campaign within the U.S. itself. The enemies that America is now facing in the jihadist archipelago, however, are dedicated to the destruction of the U.S. as the world knows it today.

Those who have based their strategy on waiting Mr. Bush out may find to their cost that they have, once again, misread not only American politics but the realities of a world far more complex than it was even a decade ago. Mr. Bush may be a uniquely decisive, some might say reckless, leader. But a visitor to the U.S. soon finds out that he represents the American mood much more than the polls suggest.

The article ends rather optimistically, and I struggle at times to have as much faith in my political leaders and in my fellow citizens, many around me who are fed the constant barrage of negative news reporting, and liberal media anti-Bush, anti-(Iraq)war bias. I sometimes wonder how things would have turned out, thus far, had we shown the enemy and the rest of the world, a unified resolve to succeed in wartime. Would the insurgency in Iraq still be going on, at the level of intensity that it is, seemingly fueled by the excitable attention it receives from the media? If there were no anti-war protests in large media coverage paying them any mind any more than media scare-mongering given over to the latest terrorist acts, would this be over already? MSM defends itself by saying the explosions are the news; not the rebuilding. I agree and disagree with that. It's the manner and to the degree in which the latest bombing is reported that drives me nuts. It is ridiculous to me that people can't see that the media plays a vital role in propaganda and in morale. If we lose in Iraq, it will be because we lost it back here at home.

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Thought I'd toss a little fuel onto the fire:

Anyone remember this?

France...Mexico.....Russia....gotta love our allies!

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All the World's a Stage...MSM Most of All

Check out this story I found at Michelle Malkin's (I also heard about this on the radio): Apparently, NBC is soliciting not to "cover the story", but to "make the story". Malkin writes:

A source who monitors political e-mail lists sent me an intriguing message disseminated last week, which involved an apparent Dateline NBC solicitation to Muslim groups.

Here's the e-mail:

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 13:05:54 -0800 (PST)
From: Subject: Looking for Muslim Males to participate in NBC Dateline Segment



I hope everyone is doing well.

I have been talking with a producer of the NBC Dateline show and he is in the process of filming a piece on anti-Muslim and anti-Arab discrimination in the USA. They are looking for some Muslim male candidates for their show who would be willing to go to non-Muslim gatherings and see if they attract any
discriminatory comments or actions while being filmed.

They recently taped two turbaned Sikh men attending a football game in Arizona to see how people would treat them. They set them up with hidden microphones and cameras, etc.

They want to do the same thing 2 or 3 other times (in various parts of the USA) with one or two Muslim men in each setting. They are looking for men who actually "look Muslim". They want a guy with no foreign accent whatsoever, a good thick beard, an outgoing personality, and someone willing to wear a kufi/skullcap during the filming.

They also want someone who is fairly well accomplished and has contributed to American society at large in some meaningful way.

That said, I'm urgently looking for someone who can be filmed this April 1st weekend at a Nascar event (and other smaller events) in Virginia. NBC is willing to fly in someone and cover their weekend expenses. The filming would take place all day on Saturday and Sunday.

We already have a hijabi sister who will be filmed there but a Muslim is also needed to join her. I also need candidates for the other filming segments which will take place in the following weeks.

A few weeks later, NBC will fly all the filmed participants to New York City to interview them as a group about their experience and thoughts on discrimination they've faced in America, especially in light of the times we live in (war on terror, 9-11, etc.). The show, if approved by NBC (highly likely), is expected to air sometime this summer.

What I need from interested candidates is an email with an attached clear photograph, a resume, and contact information. I also need basic information such as age, ethnic background, accomplishments, etc.

The sooner I can get this the better and please don't make emails too long. I will then submit a group of candidates to NBC so they can choose the people for the show.

Please forward this to all Muslim lists you can. Because of the upcoming filming in Virginia, this is pretty time-sensitive. My contact information is below.


Tarek El-Messidi

Isn't there something a wee bit dishonest about fishing around for evidence of anti-Islamic bigotry, like this? Now, if it's simply a matter of conducting a little experiment, where the results are published regardless of outcome, it would not be so devious. But clearly, there is an agenda being driven here, as they are running an agenda story on anti-Muslim/anti-Arab sentiments among Americans (look again at the job description: "They want a guy with no foreign accent whatsoever, a good thick beard, an outgoing personality....They also want someone who is fairly well accomplished and has contributed to American society at large in some meaningful way.").

So what they'll do is fish around....until finally someone bites; and once they find that one American out of a thousand who "offends" their Muslim-looking race-bait, they'll swarm all over the "racist" Nascar redneck and distort reality to make it appear the rule, rather than the exception. The perception will be that Americans are racist and prejudiced against Americans who look Islamic. Because to report otherwise, is to report a non-story that will garner non-ratings for a soon-to-be Couricless network.

Michelle Malkin also has the update.

The Washington Times has an article today on it.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bush Was Right! - the music video

Ok....if the lyrics were not pro-Bush, but anti-, the song might be very annoying to me. As it stands, I love it because the moonbats are gnashing their teeth over this- and that brings a smile to my heart. I can also see this song in direct competition with Christina Aguilera music when "torturing" enemy combatants at Guantanamo.

Mike's America most certainly will love this:

Everytime a moonbat's ears are ringing from the sound of this played on a conservative blog, a Republican gets his wings! (*groan*...I know).

Hat tip:

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