Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Since his resounding defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980, Jimmy Carter has chafed under the well-deserved mantle of "Worst President - Ever." And its so unfair! Just because he presided over double-digit inflation, humiliation and loss of American prestige due to his inept bungling of the Iranian hostage crisis, and the precedent-setting appeasement of Islamic radicals (which has served to enbolden jihadists ever since), surely there has been a worse president than he at some point in history, right? ...Right? ...Anyone? ...No?
So Jimmy set himself to the task of proving to the world that he wasn't really the "Worst President - Ever" by sticking his stubby little proboscis into the affairs anyone who lacked the ability to tell him to butt out. Eventually, the good ol' boys in the Tyrants and Despots Society figured out that Jimmy's intrusive littly schnoz had a handy ring attached, by which he could be easily led about for the purpose of advancing their own agendas, such as "certifying" rigged elections and generally oppressing their respective populations. And so Jimmy tightened his grip on his dubious title even more.
One particularly spectacular display of "Jimmy the Tool" was his unsanctioned buttinski mission to North Korea, in which Kim Jung Il "agreed" to the conditions that would become Clinton's "Agreed Framework" policy. Kim told Jimmy, "Hey, I don't really want nukes, I just want a hug (and $5billion in aid, energy, and nuclear reactors)"and Jimmy bought it all like a yokel with a new deed to the Brooklyn Bridge. That Kim proceeded to violate the Agreed Framework from the beginning is undisputed -- the NorKos even admit it. What is disputed (among liberals, that is) is whose fault it is that Kim enjoyed unfettered opportunity and financing to develop nuclear weapons. Its Bush's fault! Jimmy says so!
Liberals have consistently tried and failed to brand every Republican president since Carter as the "Worst President - Ever." They said it about Reagan - the man who won the Cold War and has emerged as one of the finest presidents in our history. They tried to hang the title on Bush Sr., but the fact that he was head and shoulders (and torso and legs) above Carter was obvious even to them. Now they are trying to hang the title on Dubya, and Carter is leading the charge. He knows that George Bush is his last, best chance to lose the WP-E title in what remains of his lifetime, and his desperation to do so would be comical if it weren't so pathetic. And he knows that the most effective way to do so is to utilize the time-honored Democrat tradition of rewriting history.
Just as the Democrats have taken credit for Civil Rights (they opposed it) and winning the Cold War (they opposed that too), and claimed opposition to the war in Iraq (they supported it), they are now trying to gloss over their appeasement of Kim Jung Il by blaming NoKor's acquistion of nuclear weapons on Bush. The most idiotic argument they are making is that, by branding Kim part of the "Axis of Evil" Bush hurt his feelings and caused him to cheat on the Agreed Framework. This is preposterous and disengenuous. But those are the best descriptions for most of the Democrat's attacks on Bush, so what is new?
Jimmy (the one-termer) hears the clock ticking. He knows that his legacy as WP-E is all but assured unless he can pass it on to Dubya (a two-termer). I plan on enjoying his squirming.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
First, a commercial by Airplane and Scary Movie 3 (and 4) director David Zucker, who is a Hollywood rarity for his political views:
Gotta like that guy.
Next, here is a parody website sponsored by the Republican National Committee, which gives you a peek at what a Democrat-controlled congress would look like. It is called America Weakly.
Now, back to slacking...
Update: David Zucker's new Taxman commercial:
Now my advice for those who die,
Declare the pennies on your eyes...
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
...And he brought his damned aura with him again.
You know, when Pinochio's nose grew, at least it wasn't such a gaudy spectacle.
And BTW, does this guy even own a necktie? This is supposed to be a classy joint, after all.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
This was just announced. Most of you probably don't care, but this is really good news for me and I am unable to gloat about it because I'm surrounded by employees of (losing Orion bidder) Boeing Aerospace. At the bottom of the article it lists Lockheed Martin's partners (emphasis mine):
Things may be looking up for the ol' career today! Woohoo!!!!
Lockheed Martin’s major teammates include: shuttle-operator United Space Alliance of Houston; Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va.; Honeywell Defense and Space Electronics Systems, Minneapolis, Minn; and Hamilton Sundstrand of Windsor Locks, Conn.
Update: Here are more "artist's conceptions" of the Orion spacecraft.
Don Feder at FrontpageMag.com penned this (to me, at least) amusing little article in response to one Robyn E. Blumner, who he describes as "...one of those feminist writers who specializes in reducing complex issues to lectures on Mars and Venus." Ms. Blumner recently wrote an article in the St. Petersburg Times entitled "U.S. could use more girlie men" in which she laments George Bush's "swaggering cowboy approach to geopolitics," illustrating her point with references to the fictional western TV series, Deadwood. Such a relevant point of reference, don't you agree?
Feder can barely contain his contempt for Blumner's blather:
Bet you’ll never guess who’s turning the world Deadwood male? That right, it’s that rider of the range, the lone Texan who goes by the handle G.W.
"Yet this dirty, street-fighting paradigm has fit perfectly with George Bush’s swaggering cowboy approach to geopolitics. Bush likes his enemies in black hats and hiding in the brush. For Bush, justice gets meted out when the good guys take matters into their own hands and don’t wait for lawyers with fancy words like ‘due process.’"
Fight terrorists with lawyers? What a novel idea! We can serve them with writs. Better yet, we can put them on notice that they’re violating the constitutional rights of airline passengers (like the right not to have all of their limbs simultaneously severed by explosive devices). Our terrorist-fighting ambulance chasers could demand that Hezbollah file an environmental impact statement before it fires any more rockets at Israel. Osama will be cowering in his cave.
As G.W. might say, "The little lady jes' don't get it." And then he would nail a bullseye in the nearest spittoon. "She's right purty, though. Jes' a little cross-eyed."
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I found a great article by Caroline B. Glick at Jewish World Review about how the West is losing the information war with the terrorists, with the willing aid of most of the Mainstream Media and Non-Government Organizations:
AS IS the case with the Palestinian war against Israel, one of the most notable aspects of Hizbullah's latest campaign against Israel has been the active collaboration of news organizations and international NGO's in Hizbullah's information war against Israel. Like their rogue state sponsors, subversive sub-national groups like Hizbullah, Fatah and Hamas, see information operations as an integral part of their war for the annihilation of Israel and defeat of the West. And their information operations are more advanced than any the world has seen. As becomes more evident with each passing day, they have successfully corrupted both the world media and the community of NGOs that purportedly operate in a neutral manner in war zones.Rightful praise is directed at the blogosphere for exposing the blatant fabrications of Hamas and Hezbollah, and due scorn heaped upon their media sympathizers and enablers. The war is not being televised; television is just another battlefield.
(cartoon courtesy of Cox & Forkum)
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Nearly every living person in the world today has only known a sky with nine planets. With the discovery of Sedna in 2003, it appeared that the age of double-digit planets was here.
Then they found hundreds of smaller objects in Sedna's neighborhood, the Kuiper Belt, including several more objects like Sedna, which itself was practically similar to Pluto. Hmm. How many planets do we really need here, after all?
This week's annual convention of the International Astronomical Union considered that question, and the answer they returned was, "eight." Not "ten," not "five-hundred and nine." Just eight.
Poor benighted Pluto. Its bad enough that there is a Disney cartoon dog named after it (and what the hell is Goofy? Save that for another post) Once riding high as the latest, if not greatest, planet to be discovered, Pluto has now been demoted. The IAU released a new definition of what constitutes a planet, and Pluto no longer fits the bill. The word "planet" originally designated a celestial body which moved against the static stellar background. Now it has been more narrowly defined.
The decision establishes three main categories of objects in our solar system.
Planets: The eight worlds from Mercury to Neptune.
Dwarf Planets: Pluto and any other round object that "has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit, and is not a satellite."
Small Solar System Bodies: All other objects orbiting the Sun.
Another competing definition of "planet" would have inadvertantly included in the largest asteroid Ceres, and so was rejected.
Enjoy our current eight-planet-ness while it lasts, I expect this to be overturned later when the other 99% of astronomers weigh in on this subject.
I'll end with a rare astronomy joke:
Q.How do you find Pluto with your telescope?
A.First look for the big arrow.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
From the AP:
- A federal judge ordered tobacco companies Thursday to admit they lied about the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes and to warn consumers in advertisements and packaging that tobacco is addictive.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled that the industry conspired for decades to deceive the public about the dangers of smoking and now must pay to help smokers kick the habit.
There are now going to be so many lawsuits filed after this, there will be classes made up of more classes. Let the litigation begin!
Arguably the worst president in US history, Jimmy Carter now believes that his views represent the majority of Democrats. The sad part about this is, he is probably right. In an interview with Der Spiegel that is fraught with softball-questions and mutual tch-tching, Carter bemoans:
--Israel's "unjustified attack on Lebanon."
--How the Bush administration "has not attempted at all in the last six years to negotiate or attempt to negotiate a settlement between Israel and any of its neighbors or the Palestinians."
--Blah blah blah.
Short memory you got there, Jimmy.
Touting his own Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt, Carter concludes that negotiation is the only legitimate course of "action" for any crisis. When the interviewer responds with "But negotiations failed to prevent the burning of Beirut and bombardment of Haifa," Carter's reply is "I'm distressed."
Read it if you want. I've got better things to do, myself...
(Carter caricature courtesy of Cox & Forkum)
Monday, August 07, 2006
He has most recently appeared in "news photos" taken in the aftermath of Israel's attack on Hizbollah missile launcher sites in the Lebanese town of Qana, which is a known Hizbollah stronghold. The most widely distributed picture of GHG showed him holding up a dead child so that all the reporters and photogs could get a better shot (widely believed to be an intentional propaganda pose, I refuse to show this picture). Then more pics of GHG were found dating from a similar Israeli strike on Qana in 1996. Who is this mysterious man with the olive-drab skid-lid?
After extensively googling this issue, I have learned agreat deal about the Green Helmet Guy.
For instance, he used to be an actor, but he wound up here.
I discovered that GHG is a "cat person" too... one of those annoying types who like to play Kitty Dress-Up:
As GHG's fame spreads far and wide, the marketing possibilities appear to be endless. Isn't this how Spiderman got his start?
Don't forget the toy market too!
Let me conclude this post making a promise to everyone in the Wambulance Nation that, before I decide to do another post like this in the future, I will first save my nickels and buy PhotoShop, instead of hacking images with MS Paint. Cross my heart.
Update: GHG now has a blog of his own.
Friday, August 04, 2006
First of all, let me state for the record that lying should rarely be the preferred course of action. There are all kinds of drawbacks and pitfalls that await the liar. Your could get caught in a lie, and damage the hard-earned trust that is the foundation of most significant inter-personal relationships. But most importantly, you should avoid lying for these reasons:
- Lying isn't truthful.
- Lying isn't honest.
- Lying requires a very long and accurate memory.
- Do you like being lied to?
- Me neither.
At some point, however, the need to lie will arise. Perhaps you will want to spare the feelings of a friend or loved one, or deflect an uncomfortable, albeit innocent, question from a child. But more than likely, you will lie to save your own miserable hide. You will need to know the 3 Ways to Lie.
1. The Basic Falsehood
This is a lie that is utterly devoid of any truth. The key here is to keep it simple. Don't elaborate at all, because its the details that will trip you up. Can you remember all the particulars of any conversation you have had longer than a month ago? What makes you think you will remember any of that creative fiction you just conjured on the fly to cover your ass? Also, the person you lied to will always remember at least one detail you won't, and nail you with it later. The Basic Falsehood perfectly illustrates the point that, if you have a lousy memory, you are better off not lying at all.
2. Tell The Truth, But Leave Out The Bad Parts
If the lie is a minor part of a larger narrative, then it is best to be completely honest in all details, but just don't mention the parts that will get you in trouble. The advantage here is that you lessen the burden on your already over-taxed memory (especially if you lie a lot), and any detail that is later brought up will be one of the true parts, which are much easier to remember. The key here is that your lie of omission must be about a small detail in order to work. If you are out until 2:00 AM and you tell your spouse that you just went to the corner store for some cigarettes, the timeline will not fit, and your lie will fail. If your spouse thinks you quit smoking, then tell him/her what you were really doing until 2:00 AM but leave out the part about getting the cigarettes. If you were being naughty until 2:00 AM then refer back to The Basic Falsehood or move on to the final Way To Lie.
3. Tell The Truth, But Act Like You Are Lying.
This is the method of last resort. Here is the situation: You have been caught in a lie. They know you did something. Your guilt is evident, but the particulars are still uncertain. You can't escape, but you can mitigate the situation in this way: tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Tell the truth in as much minute detail as you can muster, and omit nothing. They will eventually become convinced that you are lying. They are already predisposed to disbelieving you anyway, so its easy to believe that you are lying again.
The down side is that you will lose some or all of the other party's trust, but that has already been damaged at this point anyway. The upside is, by employing this method of lying you might be able to keep a bad situation from turning into a complete disaster.
To better illustrate the 3rd Way To Lie, here is a short tale:
A married businessman spends the afternoon in a hotel room with his mistress. When he finally looks at his watch, he sees that it is very late and he knows that his wife will be furious. He borrows some of his girlfriend's blue eyeshadow and smears a little on his shirt sleeves and under his fingernails, dusts talcum powder on his hands and pants, then goes home. His wife angrily demands, "Where the hell have you been all this time?" He responds, "Honey, I have been in a hotel room with another woman making wild monkey-love all afternoon." She grabs his wrist, points to the blue smudges and powder residue, and replies, "Bullshit! You've been playing pool with the boys again!"
I hope that this helps any of you in the Wambulance Nation who find that, in spite of your best intentions and contrary to your upstanding personal nature, you must tell a lie.
Not that I ever would, of course.
My memory is shot to hell...
Friday, July 28, 2006
A simple concept: poof, no earth. It has long been a staple of sci-fi B-movies (and A-movies based on B-science), but how hard would it be to actually do it, really? Keep in mind, we aren't talking about wiping out all life from bacteria on up, or merely destroying mankind. The issue here is, how does one go about actually removing the entire planet Earth from existence? Turns out, it ain't gonna be easy.
Sam Hughes has given it a lot of thought, and compiled the essential guide to destroying the Earth. The only prerequisite of the various methods he lists is that they must be theoretically possible. Feasible, however, is quite another matter, as you will see.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Exxon Mobile has reported quarterly profits 36% higher than this time last year. This report coincides with all-time record high gas prices across the country, which the oil companies blame on high oil prices. Now, I am as capitalist a pig as the next guy, but I have some problems with this.
Increased profits of this magnitude cannot be adequately explained by increased sales alone. I believe (and this is just my opinion) that the oil companies are raising their gas prices far more than the increase in oil prices warrant. As the price of oil rises, the oil companies are also expanding their profit margins. It is, of course, good business practice to charge what the market will bear. The oil company shareholders are no doubt thrilled with the dividend checks they are receiving, and the executives are doing a fine job enhancing shareholder value.
Here is the problem: As gas prices rise, so too do the prices of everything else. I'm no socialist, but when the price of a single product or commodity has such a far-reaching impact on the entire economy, it makes me pause. Gasoline appears to have moved from being just another product for consumers to consume, to something more.
Electricity, natural gas, telephone service, all are considered to be utilities. They are recognized as essential, necessary services that our civilization relies upon heavily. Due to this fact, they are regulated by the government to ensure that they don't price-gouge their customers. The price of these utilities directly affects the price of everything else and loss of these utilities, even briefly, can have enormous economic consequences. So I ask, how is the gasoline supply any different?
Gasoline has the same importance and impact on our society as any utility. But the price of gasoline is free from any regulation which might reasonably be applied to electricity, etc. Can the public interest be entrusted to corporations whose only goal is to make the most money possible?
I know that history has shown that government price regulation doesn't work, and attempts to do so invariably fail due to a lack of agility on the part of said regulations to adapt to changing market and economic conditions. The most glaring example is California's price cap on consumer costs which was imposed on electricity providers a few years back. As wholesale energy prices went up, the utilities were powerless to pass the increases on to their customers, resulting in mounting debt and potential insolvency of the electric utilities, rolling blackouts statewide, and ultimately the downfall of governor Gray Davis (and the ascendancy of Ahhnold).
The California mess is an example of an ill-conceived attempt to control prices and the unintended consequences thereof. Prices cannot be artificially set in a market economy, but what about profit margin? Isn't that the basis of utility price regulation? And why can't profit margin control be applied to some extent on oil companies? Some might argue that such controls would stifle exploration and development of additional refining capacity, which this country desperately needs. My response would be that huge dividends paid to shareholders aren't doing much to develop resources or increase capacity either.
So what am I missing here? Isn't it inherently perilous to leave the complete control of a strategically critical resource entirely in the hands of the executives of multi-national conglomerations whose sole interest is enhancing shareholder value and earning multi-hundred-million dollar bonuses? Should there be some kind of control on the exorbitant profit margins that come at the expense of everything else? I don't want to redistribute wealth here, I just want to get Exxon Mobile's pump nozzle out of my pipeline, if you get my drift.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Mr. Morris published a column today that compares and contrasts the Clinton administration's handling of Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1996 with the Bush administrations handling of the current Israeli incursion:
Clinton’s willingness to use American power to force a cease-fire on Israel before it had fully eradicated Hezbollah stands in stark and sharp contrast to George Bush’s insistence on letting Israel proceed with its attacks until the terrorist group is neutralized.
In a nutshell, this illustrates the difference between the Democratic and Republican approaches to Israeli security.
Bush and his administration clearly see the Israeli attack as an opportunity to clean out terrorist cells that have come to be pivotal in Lebanon. With Hezbollah’s power extending into the cabinet in Beirut, it is clear that Israeli military action is necessary to forestall the creation of a terrorist state on its northern border.
While Clinton said he embraced the need for Israeli security, when the going got rough, he bowed to world opinion and called for a cease-fire. When the United States asks Israel to stop fighting, it is like a boxer’s manager throwing in the towel. The bottom line is that true friends of Israel cannot afford to let the Democrats take power in Washington.
Here is the whole thing.
This guy must drive the Clintons nuts, especially Hillary. I can't help but like him for that.
Monday, July 24, 2006
John "Bush must have stolen Ohio" Kerry tried to tell America I Told You So when he was in Detroit on Sunday, slamming Bush on his handling of the conflict in Israel and Lebanon, claiming "If I was president, this wouldn't have happened."
He goes on to blame Bush's preoccupation with Iraq for keeping him from going after Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaida and the Taliban. So, how do you suppose Kerry and the KosKids would have reacted if Bush had invaded Lebanon instead of Iraq? He is such a, a, a liberal!
(caricature courtesy of Cox & Forkum)
Friday, July 21, 2006
DUBAI (Reuters) - Al Arabiya television said on Friday the Israeli army had found the body of an Israeli soldier who had previously been reported missing. It later said the body was found in southern Lebanon, but gave no more details.
There is no indication that this is one of the two soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah, but then one would expect Al Reuters to paraphrase "kidnapped" with "reported missing" so the question remains.
Update: This was not one of the kidnapped soldiers:
Jerusalem - Israel's army has found the body of a soldier who was reported missing in south Lebanon during fighting with Hezbollah guerrillas last week, a spokesperson said on Sunday.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
The authors present several sobering statistics to help illustrate the problems associated with the cultural elite abandoning the military:
- Of the Princeton University Class of 1956, more than half of the graduates went on to serve in the military (400 of 750); in 2004, that number was less than one percent (9 graduates). Sadly, among Ivy League schools,
Princetonis in the lead for ROTC participation.
- During the 1956 school year,
had 1,100 students enrolled in ROTC; today, there are only 29. Stanford University
- In 1969, seventy percent of the members of Congress were veterans; in 2004, only twenty-five percent were, with that representation falling rapidly.
- The percentage of members of Congress with children serving in the military is only slightly above one percent.
- While the old political clans of the Kennedys,
Rooseveltsand the Bushes have had many family members previously serving in combat, none of these privileged families (Democrat and Republican alike) has any relative in the military today.
These statistics paint a bleak portrait of an entire class that has eschewed military service, which is problematic in itself, but particularly since this class comprises
’s opinion makers and cultural leaders. The authors identify several concerns raised by this almost universal trend: America
We believe that the increasing gap between the most privileged classes and those in the military raises three major problems: It hurts our country, particularly our ability to make the best policy possible. It undermines the strength of our civilian leadership, which no longer has significant numbers of members who have the experience and wisdom that comes from national service. Finally, it makes our military less strong in the long run. (pp. 10-11).
What is most troubling is that this military desertion is neither an isolated nor a passive trend. The authors document a mindset amongst the cultural elite that is clearly anti-military. A testament to the outright contempt that many bear to our military is seen in the public response to an op-ed by the authors published a few weeks ago by the Boston Globe, A Call to Serve. The op-ed is a suggested commencement address that could be given by leaders of either political party promoting the virtues of military service.
But the Letters to the Editor to that op-ed demonstrate a virulent, almost rabid, reaction to the mere suggestion that Americans from all walks of life should feel compelled to serve in the military. One reader said that the innocuous op-ed was “sadly reflective of a seemingly ubiquitous primitive mentality”, and another attacked our civilian military leaders, saying “no clear-thinking, loving parents should entrust their child to these cynical ideologues.” These diatribes could easily be entries appearing any day on Daily Kos or the Huffington Post.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
This is one of those days I eagerly await all year. If you have never heard of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest before, it is basically about writing the worst single disjointed, run-on sentence with which to begin a book, and is named after Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, the author of the infamous (the first part, at least) line, "It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.""
Here is this year's grand prize winner (The prize? A pittance.) :
Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you've had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean.
All of the 2006 winners can be viewed here. And here is a list of all the grand prize winners through the years.
I'll end this post with a few of this year's runner-ups:
Sex with Rachel after she turned fifty was like driving the last-place team on the last day of the Iditarod Dog Sled Race, the point no longer the ride but the finish, the difficulty not the speed but keeping all the parts moving in the right direction, not to mention all that irritating barking.
Frank took one look at Tina's moderately shapely legs, her adequate waist, her decent bosom, and her not-unattractive face, and said to himself "Well, hello Miss You'll-Do-Until-Something-Better-Comes-Along!"
Withdrawing his hand from her knee, the English professor stormed, "Ending a sentence with a preposition is the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put," although she had merely looked at his hand and asked, "What are you doing that for?" in a sentence intended to end the proposition.
Yet again Imelda was exacerbated, or at least she assumed she was, as she was never sure exactly what the term meant though when she felt bloated and crampy as she was now, she was pretty sure she was, exacerbated that is.
Monday, July 10, 2006
The Bill of Rights tries to protect our freedom not only from bad people and bad laws but also from the vast nets and gooey webs of rules and regulations that even the best governments produce. The Constitution attempts to leave as much of life as possible to common sense, or at least to local option. The Ninth Amendment states: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." Continues the 10th Amendment, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
It is these suit-yourself, you're-a-big-boy-now, it's-a-free-country powers that conservatism seeks to conserve.
Read it all here.
Monday, June 26, 2006
I ran across a reference to an interesting post by Techniguy, in which he describes the results of his own investigation into Jack Murtha's background. Here are the highlights:
I found a man with a couple of years of active duty, and the rest of his 37-year career spent in the Marine Corps Reserve.Techniguy then posts a letter from Congressman Don Bailey to Murtha, whose disgust with Murtha is loud and clear. Congressman Bailey, apparently duped by Murtha into helping to clear House Ethics Committee charges over Murtha's involvement in the ABSCAM scandle (in which Murtha was not charged but was named as an unindicted co-conspirator), details admissions by Murtha to him that his Purple Heart was thoroughly undeserved, among other things:
I found a man who served in the Marines during Korean War, yes, but somehow never actually made it to
I found a man with one year in
, not 'up front' but in the rear area, as a staff intelligence offer. Vietnam
I found a man who's no more been in combat, or is a war hero, than I am.
JohnKerry has more combat experience than Jack Murtha.
I know flight attendants who have spent more time in
Danang than him.
I'm writing on matters of joint concern. A number of weeks ago I was talking with someone who is a mutual acquaintance and your name came up. It was an unusually frank discussion and I considered it private. I did relate some opinions about you and shared some recollections about experiences with you in Congress. I was, to be honest, critical about how you misled me about ABSCAM where you convinced me you had voluntarily told federal agents about the offer of money to you and I learned later, after I had successfully defeated the ethics charges against you, that you had merely manipulated the system to cooperate with federal agents to avoid prosecution.
I also shared my recollection of when you admitted, back in our corner, that you didn't earn your purple hearts (you indicated you had small scratch on your cheek that wasn't even directly related to an APC that ran over a small anti personnel mine that was behind you). The other purple heart you even declined to explain.
At the time you were feeling particularly vulnerable, because it wasn't too long after you had called me crying and sobbing, thanking me for "saving your life" before the ethics committee. There was no doubt in my mind that you were expressing to me that you did not believe you did anything sufficient to earn the purple heart, and that you didn't want to be active in my efforts to laud Vietnam Veterans that served with us.
Jack Murtha is beneath contempt. He has shown himself to be the archetypal self-centered, self-serving, lying, dishonest, stupid politician. This former REMF should have been booted out of Congress twenty years ago, and now does everything he can to further his own ambitions, and in the process aiding and abetting America's enemies. Shame on him.
Murtha is opposed for re-election by Republican Diana Irey, who says that she has received donations to her campaign from people in 48 states - an amazing fact, considering this is a small congressional district in Pennsylvania. Let's hope that she is successful in relegating Murtha to the same ashheap as Tom Daschle.
Update: Techniguy has this open letter to Murtha from Kurt G. - Gunnery Sergeant, USMC, Retired. It is a thorough and much deserved lambasting by somebody who remembers what it means to be a Marine.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Apparently I am just too clever for my own good. As a result, I find myself banned from posting comments on Hot Air (something that I kinda enjoyed doing, and it added a trickle of traffic to Wambulance too). The sad part is, its all just a misunderstanding. That is, I would prefer to believe that it is a misunderstanding rather than a case of HotAir's AllahPundit being too dense to comprehend nuanced irony when he sees it. Here are the facts...
On June 20, 2006 HotAir's AllahPundit posted this item regarding the tragedy of the 2 US soldiers who had been kidnapped and whose brutally murdered and horribly mutilated bodies were later found. Understandably, the overall reaction in the comment section to this atrocity was heated, to put it mildly. Some commenters expressed their frustration by calling for massive retaliation in the form of carpet bombing the areas of insurgent activity. AllahPundit challenged these assertions, which the commenters then vigorously defended. After following the thread for awhile, I crafted and submitted my own comment:
In the struggle to acquire the hearts and minds of the Iraqis, the only option for success after carpet bombing is to use a sponge and a mop.
inmanjh on June 20, 2006 at 5:04 PM
Is this statement that hard to understand? All I meant was that carpet bombing would kill innocents and eliminate any possibility of support from the Iraqi population. My wife understood what I meant immediately (one of the reasons I married her), as did anyone else with whom I discussed this matter. Hey, I'm obtuse but I'm not that obtuse!
After posting this comment, I went on about my business and didn't give it another thought. The next day I was perusing HotAir and noticed that, instead of a text box for me to enter my comments, it merely stated "You are not allowed to leave comments." Hmm?
I sent an email to AllahPundit inquiring whether my posting privileges had been revoked, and he responded:
"Yes, Jay, it's been revoked. We appreciate your participation but
we're trying to change the tone in the comments section. No hard
No hard feelings? Thats easy for him to say. WTF is this all about? I mull it over while I continue to browse HotAir until I find this comment from AllahPundit in this item (emphasis added):
See-Dubya — Yeah, in quantity. But if you want to kill thousands of Kurds, you could also carpet-bomb them the old-fashioned way. Are the chem shells that much more lethal?
You know, like some of our (ex-)commenters want to do to the Iraqis.
Allahpundit on June 21, 2006 at 6:07 PM
Ok, now that rings a bell. I go back to the post in which I left my "sponge and mop" comment and read further down into the comments section. Patterico weighs in (emphasis added):
I haven’t read all the comments here, but I have read enough to get the idea that some commenters would like the United States to carpet-bomb civilians, or randomly kill civilians.
You should be deeply ashamed of yourselves. We’re there to help the Iraqis — now you want us to randomly slaughter them like the terrorists do to us?
I shouldn’t have to say this, but that is despicable and outrageous.
I think it comes from you seeing all Iraqis as less than human.
Have any of you met Omar and Mohammed, the folks who run Iraq the Model?
Well, I have. They are inspirational people, fighting for freedom in a land that has known far too little of it, for far too long.
The actions you advocate could kill them. Indeed, you suggest *targeting* people exactly like them.
If you had met them, you wouldn’t be saying this.
I hope that the commenters making suggestions like this get banned.
Patterico on June 21, 2006 at 1:07 AM
This is immediately followed by AllahPundit:
A bunch of folks who have commented in this thread will no longer be joining us in the Hot Air comments section. It’s been a long time coming, frankly; Bryan and I have talked with Michelle about the tone of the comments at some length in recent days and none of us are happy with it.
I’m not going to lecture anyone. You’re all entitled to your opinions, but you’re not entitled to use our space as a platform. There are a million other conservative forums out there.
Registration at Free Republic is indeed free, and they seem to have a higher tolerance for this sort of thing.
Thanks all for your contributions, and best of luck in your new digs. To the rest of you guys: I mean what I say about changing the tone here. If you can’t muster anything except “it’s the goddamned media’s fault” or “we need to let our troops off the leash” or “Michelle looks HAWT,” you have two choices: (a) refrain from commenting until you have something substantive to say or (b) sign up for one of those Freeper accounts I mentioned.
Allahpundit on June 21, 2006 at 1:08 AM
Now, I can assure you, gentle reader, that your humble correspondent has never wasted his time posting anything as inane as “it’s the goddamned media’s fault” or “we need to let our troops off the leash” or “Michelle looks HAWT.” I pride myself on my measured, carefully crafted posts. So what gives here? Why have I been lumped in with the type-before-you-think-and-then-don't-even-think-that-much-anyway crowd?
I traced it back to my "sponge and mop" post. The only conclusion I can reach is that AllahPundit cleaned house with a very broad brush and swept away more than perhaps he should. Or maybe I'm just deluding myself regarding the quality and content of my own writing. That is a distinct possibility.
At any rate, I will continue to believe that I was unjustly revoked from posting on HotAir until somebody convinces me otherwise. Any takers?
If you should happen to read this post (and I readily concede that not many will) and you feel that I have a legitimate beef, drop AllahPundit a line and give him what-for in my behalf. He isn't answering my mail any more.
P.S. - Like my graphic, above? Nothing inspires like righteous anger, ya know.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Thomas Sowell tells it like he sees it. "Bordering on Fraud" dissects the stool sample that the US Senate is trying to pass off as an immigration bill. He flays the various buzzphrases such as, "jobs Americans won't do," the impossibility of "finding and deporting 12 million people," and the chaos that would follow "suddenly taking 12 million people out of the workforce." He exposes the black-and-white arguments of the very people who clamor about how immigration is a gray issue. Finally, he exposes the absurdity of unarmed troops on the border, "sanctuary" cities that prohibit their police from taking any action regarding known illegal aliens, and the notion that, since there are so many illegal alien lawbreakers, the only solution is to make them all legal:
"There is probably no category of law-breakers -- from counterfeiters to burglars or from jay-walkers to murderers -- who can all be found and arrested. But no one suggests that we must therefore make what they have done legal.
Such an argument would suggest that there is nothing in between 100 percent effective law enforcement and zero percent effective law enforcement."
Read it here.
Mona Charen takes on the one underlying flaw in American law that dooms any attempt at creating a guest worker program to ultimate failure: Anchor babies:
"Most Americans take it for granted that the 14th Amendment requires birthright citizenship, but a number of scholars deem this to be a misinterpretation. The clause reads "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" are citizens. If the drafters intended to say only that all persons born on U.S. territory would be considered citizens, why did they add the phrase "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof"? Are those words superfluous? If not, what do they mean?"
BTW, I read Mona Charen's book, "Do-Gooders: How Liberals Harm Those They Claim to Help -- and the Rest of Us" a couple of years or so ago, and instantly became an avid fan of her writing. Warning: it will piss you off.
Monday, May 22, 2006
She was the first woman Secretary of State, about whose stewardship of American foreign policy her former mentor Dean Peter Krogh of Georgetown's School of Foreign Service said one cannot "recall a time when our foreign policy was in less competent hands." She believes that, without her ground-breaking appointment as the nation's highest-ranking diplomat, Condoleezza Rice would never have had a similar opportunity. She collects brooches, yet every word out of her mouth is calculated to pin it all on George W. Bush. She is as partisan as it gets, and as dumb as a bag of hammers.
Madeleine "not-at" Albright once served as congressional liason for Carter's SecDef, Zbigniew "Can I Buy A Vowel" Brzezinski, but only because her dad got her the job. She had lots to say about foreign policy even then, but nobody was interested in listening (having heard the quality of her ideas already). If you want some yucks and to know more about her "illustrious" career, read this article by Julia Gorin. It was written in 9/2003, but some things, like Madeleine's intellect, don't change much.
Now Madeleine is concerned about GWB's faith, saying in a story on CNN.com, "President Bush's certitude about what he believes in, and the division between good and evil, is, I think, different." She goes on to lament that, "Some of his language is really quite over the top. When he says 'God is on our side', it's very different from (former U.S. President Abraham) Lincoln saying 'We have to be on God's side.'"
Now, I'm no Bible-thumper by any stretch of the imagination, but I've never personally been uncomfortable with the president's faith. In these modern times when so few passionately believe in anything bigger than themselves, I think that Bush's faith is a good thing in a president. America has an obligation to maintain the moral high ground, and I have no problem with Bush planting the American flag on the summit.
What really strikes me, regarding Albright's blatherings, is how she fails to contrast or even acknowledge the equally fierce but morally vacuous beliefs held by our radical Ilamic jihadist enemies. The Left usually stumble over themselves apologizing to evil in the world for America's audacity to defend what is right (depending, of course, on what your definition of "is" is).
Julia Gorin sums it up: "... when you employ a merit-based system, you get Condoleezza Rice. And when you employ affirmative action, you get Madeleine Albright."
Friday, May 19, 2006
Is Iraq a quagmire, a disaster, a failure? Certainly not; none of the above. Of all the adjectives used by skeptics and critics to describe todays Iraq, the only one that has a ring of truth is messy. Yes, the situation in Iraq today is messy. Births always are. Since when is that a reason to declare a baby unworthy of life?
Read it all here, it is time well spent.
On a separate note, there is a huge furor over reports, apparently attributed to Amir Taheri, that the Iranian government has decided to force all Jews and Christians to wear yellow and blue badges or ribbons, respectively. While it is confirmed that the Iranian parliament has passed a new law imposing an Islamic dress code on all of it's citizens, no news organizations have been able to independantly confirm the yellow/blue badges for Jews/Christians.
Amir Taheri responds to the furor by indicating that his article was "opinion" and its not his fault if others treated it as news. Get the lowdown at HotAir.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
He also invited Bush to become a Muslim. And you would be wise to interpret the word “invite” to have a whiff of the mob inviting you to dinner at the end of a pier.
This guy (I get tired of typing his name) is definitely using a page from Mohammed's (phui) bloody-border playbook. And here is why.
Know thy enemy.
Monday, May 08, 2006
It goes on to describe how AQ realizes that they are becoming marginalized, the populace (including the all-important imams) are turning against them, and what little they have in the way of leadership is incompetent and ineffective. It does note, however, that the media is still being fooled by their actions, but its just a matter of time before even those useful idiots realize that AQ is on it's last legs in Iraq. Of course, this story will receive nada coverage from the MSM, who would have to admit their own (un?)witting complicity with AQ's aims.
CENTCOM announced today that they had captured
al-Qaeda correspondence in Iraq that discusses the state of the insurgency, especially around Baghdad but also around the entire country. Far from optimistic, the documents captured in an April 16th raid reveal frustration and desperation, as the terrorists acknowledge the superior position of American and free Iraqi forces and their ability to quickly adapt to new tactics.
Check it out.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
I thought so...
Update: Welcome to Michelle Malkin readers! My hit counter needed this! :-)
Please take a moment to browse the WAmbulance. The boring political stuff is at the top, the funny stuff toward the bottom. Comments are welcome.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Abdul Rahman, an Afghan citizen who converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago while living in Germany, has been sentenced to death by a court in Afghanistan. His crime is apostasy, or renouncing Islam. After a one-day trial at which Rahman refused the opportunity to revert to Islam (as is required by Sharia) and thus spare his own life, Rahman was convicted and sentenced to death. Sharia law is quite specific and inflexible with regards to his punishment, and only mounting international pressure on Afghan president Hamid Karzai can save Rahman's life.
But a presidential pardon alone won't do it; Abdul Rahman will die if he is released from prison but forced to remain in the country, because his crime was the topic of most Imam's sermons at Friday prayers, with calls for him to be torn apart into little pieces until nothing remains of him, for example. Rahman must be granted political asylum in another country (such as the USA) in order to survive, assuming he can even make it out of Afghanistan alive in the first place.
The most sickening aspect of this whole mess is the fact that Rahman's own parents exposed him as an apostate to the authorities because of a custody battle over his two daughters. Of course, no court in Afghanistan will grant Rahman custody of the children because he is a Christian, so that battle is lost. I would suggest to him that, if he gets out alive, to change his name to Smith, Jones, or even Schwartz.
Afghanistan's much-heralded constitution, which acknowledges human rights and freedom of speech, conscience, and religion, also contains a so-called "repugnancy clause," which states that no law may conflict with Islamic law (Iraq's constitution has this clause as well). Since no system of laws can conceivably be more repressive to human rights than Islamic Sharia, the conflict of interests is all too obvious. Did the USA and other countries expend so much blood, sweat, tears, and money to prop up an Afghanistan that turns out to behave just like the Taliban it replaced? Apparently so.
Sharia law was devised in medieval times by a violent, perverted pedophile who is revered today as a prophet. It has no relevance to the modern age or any society with the most basic set of values. Sharia Law is the antithesis of civilization. And until Sharia law is eliminated, Islam's borders will remain bloody. Wafa Sultan was right.
Update: After immense international pressure, Afghan prosecutors announced that there was insufficient evidence that Rahman was mentally fit to stand trial, and he was released. He was immediately whisked away to a secret, secure location by [shudder] his family. These are the same people who turned him in, remember? Several countries offered Rahman political asylum, with Italy being the first (it should have been the USA at the head of the line, but whatever). As of this writing he has indeed landed safely in Italy.
Meanwhile, the mobs in Afghanistan who didn't get their hands on Rahman are still there, and probably even more pissed off. Look for an assassination attempt on President Karzai very soon.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Wafa Sultan: The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete.
Host: I understand from your words that what is happening today is a clash between the culture of the West, and the backwardness and ignorance of the Muslims?
Wafa Sultan: Yes, that is what I mean.
The other participant in the segment was an Islamic scholar who, shocked by her bold statements, asked if she was a heretic. Her response was, "You can say whatever you like."
Wafa Sultan's message is nothing less than one of the most relevant and important of our time. I hope that she lives long enough to spread it far and wide.
Read excerpts of the english translation of her interview here. And keep her in your prayers.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
So, I suppose the question is...what kind of civil trial will we see, or not see, between Cheney and Whittington? Whittington is certainly no stranger to a court room and to civil litigation. Will Cheney pay him off, preemptively? Will they go to court? I would imagine if a guy with a few beers in him shoots you in the face on a hunting trip, how could you turn down that opportunity?
What would Cheney do about the whole secrecy thing then? I mean, this is the guy that sicced Enron on Gray Davis and the state of California to embarrass Davis, trigger the recall and then watched Arnold Schwarzenegger become governor of California. (To this day, perhaps, still the low point in American political life.) Then Cheney covered it up.
The only instance of which I am aware of Alec Baldwin saying anything remotely intelligent is when it was scripted by Tom Clancy.
I found this little gem linked on Drudge Report. I read. I laughed. Then I decided to read the comments too, and it just got funnier. At first, it was all agreement by leftoids with their typical Halliburton crap, but then it became apparent when the Drudge readers like myself began to show up. Baldwin's pathetic accusations were thoroughly eviscerated, debunked, and refuted. I hope he doesn't read the comments himself, I doubt that his fragile self-image could survive the pummeling. He should just shut up and act.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Read it all here...
Looking back at the history of tragic times often reveals that many -- or most -- of the people of those times were often preoccupied with things that look trivial, or even pathetic, in view of the catastrophe looming over them. Will later generations looking back at our times see a similar blindness, and even frivolousness, in the face of mortal dangers?
Terrorists and terrorist governments are giving us almost daily evidence of their fanatical hatred and violent sadism, as the clock ticks away toward their gaining possession of nuclear weapons. They not only hold a harmless young woman hostage in Iraq, they parade her in tears on television, just as they have paraded not only the terrorizing, but even the beheading, of others on television.
Moreover, there is a large and gleeful audience in the Arab world for these gross brutalities, just as there was glee and cheering among the Palestinians when the televised destruction of the World Trade center was broadcast in the Middle East.
Yet what are we preoccupied with or outraged about? Whether the
American government should intercept the phone calls of these cutthroats to people in the United States.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
There has been intense debate in the blogs and elsewhere on whether newspapers and television networks should republish or not. The quite plausible, expressed argument against re-publishing is that: 1) just because one has the right to speak doesn't mean one must, 2) restraint is often exercised, particularly when being respectful of other religions or cultures, 3) tensions are particularly high amongst Muslims now, 4) only a madman or, if there is a difference, those who want to instigate the "clash of civilizations" would pour gasoline on that already raging fire.
That argument would be not only plausible, but persuasive, if the cause of the violent Muslim reaction to the cartoons was merely a transitory phenomenon -- a brief, spontaneous, bizarre overreaction.
...the reaction to the Danish cartoons is merely the latest predictable, intolerant response of radical Islam to any opposition to their view of man and God...
Those who argue for republication of the Danish cartoons are not "instigating" a clash of civilization. Nor are they pouring gasoline on a fire. Rather, they are defending against the already declared and engaged radical Islamist clash against the Christian, Secular, Jewish, Hindu, Chinese world by expressing solidarity with the firemen.
Here is a cartoon that pretty well sums up the western media's cowardly coverage, courtesy of Cox & Forkum:
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Only radical Muslims would consider rioting a rational rebuttal to descriptions of Islam as violent. What other religious group riots or issues death threats after it is criticized? It is precisely because Christianity is so tame that Western liberals often feel safe to lampoon its history as violent. They wouldn't dare level similarly harsh criticism of Islam.
One of the unstated reasons for hesitating before calling radical Islam violent — the reason the fog of political correctness thickens around it — is that it does contain elements of violence. Western society falls silent lest its criticism of Islam result in an explosion of anger validating the criticism.
This amounts to nothing less than surrendering liberty to a violent minority group, and the beginnings of the tacit imposition of oppressive sharia upon a free society. Why is this tolerated?
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Mark Steyn of the Chicago Sun-Times hits the nail on the head:
Very few societies are genuinely multicultural. Most are bicultural: On the one hand, there are folks who are black, white, gay, straight, pre-op transsexual, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, worshippers of global-warming doom-mongers, and they rub along as best they can. And on the other hand are folks who do not accept the give-and-take, the rough-and-tumble of a "diverse" "tolerant" society, and, when one gently raises the matter of their intolerance, they threaten to kill you, which makes the question somewhat moot.Each attempt to expose the violent intolerance of Islam for what it is succeeds wildly, and yet few in the West can really believe what they see with their own eyes. It is widely assumed that there must be some other underlying motivation at work here, because such virulent reactions to seemingly innocuous provocations are simply too surreal to accept at face value. What the doubters need to realize is that, throughout history, Islamic aggressors have never minced words regarding their objectives. It is time to truly listen to what they say and understand that this is what we will surely get. The war is being televised around the world; will the West realize it time?
Friday, February 03, 2006
Yes, cartoons. Finally, here is my ticket to truly ticking off the Religion of Peace. It seems that portraying the prophet Mohammed is considered blasphemous in Islam. Who knew (not Google Images, who coughs up plenty of examples)? This might be why the Rennaissance bypassed Mecca and it's suburbs. "Lets see, I can't paint Mohammed but I can paint all the Madonnas that I want? Well, an artist has to make a living, you know."
After Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a dozen cartoons depicting Mohammed back in September, a world-wide outpouring of righteous Muslim rage has erupted this week, with protests being staged anywhere an Imam can incite one and a Danish flag is available for burning. All things Danish are being boycotted across the Middle East, and the mobs are behaving with typical Muslim restraint.
Several papers across Europe republished the 'Toons of Blasphemy this week in support of the beleaguered Danish, and to make a point about freedom of expression (which, as you are certainly aware, does not include freedom from being offended). Naturally, this fueled the fire even more, with Muslims mobs denouncing Europe in general and floating suggestions for measured responses such as kidnappings and beheadings, along with the usual killkillkill.
So, just how bad could these cartoons be? From the response, one might think they all portray Mohammed in flagrante delicto with various farm animals (like pigs, for example). This is not, however, the case. By any measure, these are about the tamest political cartoons I've ever seen. For example:
This is an interesting image. I don't know how any honest Muslim can really get too upset with it because, with the eyes blocked out, you can't say for sure that this is really Mohammed. It could be Achmed or freakin' Aqualung for all they know. Or maybe its some kind of Muslim-Virgin-Pinata thing, which could explain the looks of alarm on what little you can see of the women's faces...
This one pretty much covers all the major religions of the world, so I guess we can expect stern letters-to-the-editor from the Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus any day now. Nothing really says "you care" like kidnappings and beheadings, though.
This one is actually kind of funny, a rarity among political cartoons on any subject. But it must be particularly disturbing to homely dweebish Muslim males whose only hope of ever getting laid is to take the Martyr Express to Paradise. Or maybe they are just pissed-off about the depiction of Mohammed in what appears to be Heaven. Tacky.
Of course, this is but a small sample of the "vast collection" of cartoon blasphemy about which the Muslim world has elevated their collective dander. It makes one wonder how they might respond to other "provocations," such as:
- Sock Mohammed. This would be easy to make, just take a "sock monkey," stick a beard and turban on it, and you're done!
- Rock'Em Sock'Em Prophets. Just take a Rock'Em Sock'Em Robots set, stick beards and turbans on them, and you're done!
- Mr. Mohammed Head. Another easy one. Take a Mr. Potato Head, stick a beard and turban on it, and you're done!
- All Purpose Mohammed Beard & Turban Set. Heck, just get this and convert all your dolls, action figures, and stuffed animals into Mohammed!
Ok, that should just about do it. Time to sit back and wait for the fatwa's to start rolling in.
P.S. I also think Salman Rushdie is a swell guy! Just in case...
Update: Your humble blog-host is now part of Michelle Malkin's Blogburst, a compendium of bloggers who have republished the 'Toons of Blasphemy in defiance of Islam's petulance. This is my 15 minutes of blog fame! Thanks, Michelle.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
"Gabriel Schoenfeld, senior editor of Commentary magazine, frames the debate about the NSA terrorist surveillance program in a new piece available online. Excerpt:
What the New York Times has done is nothing less than to compromise the centerpiece of our defensive efforts in the war on terrorism. If information about the NSA program had been quietly conveyed to an al-Qaeda operative on a microdot, or on paper with invisible ink, there can be no doubt that the episode would have been treated by the government as a cut-and-dried case of espionage. . . . . The real question that an intrepid prosecutor in the Justice Department should be asking is whether, in the aftermath of September 11, we as a nation can afford to permit the reporters and editors of a great newspaper to become the unelected authority that determines for all us what is a legitimate secret and what is not."
Read it all here.
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
"I believe that the human animal – the raw material of our physical bodies – is essentially interchangeable. By this I mean that I could take the children of Fallujah and turn them all into Astronauts, convert Jewish babies into fanatical, mass-murdering SS guards, and shake a generation of the poorest Voodoo-worshippers in Haiti into a cadre of top-flight nuclear physicists, chemical engineers and computer scientists.
Race has nothing to do with this – precisely nothing. The mobs of murdering Hutus and swarms of slaughtering Serbs are as different racially as it is possible to be, and they are cut from precisely the same cloth.
I know this is so because there have been murdering scumbags of every stripe and color in the long history of the human race – which is depressing – and that these animals, at any given time, represent only a small percentage of the majority of people, also of every stripe and color – which is not. There is no corner on virtue, and no outpost of depravity. Human hearts are indistinguishable and interchangeable. Anyone who claims otherwise is, without further argument or statements necessary, a complete God-damned idiot.
Now, with that said – have we all heard that loud and clear? – there are light-years of difference in how various Tribes will behave.
Only a few minutes ago, I had the delightful opportunity to read the comment of a fellow who said he wished that white, middle-class, racist, conservative cocksuckers like myself could have been herded into the Superdome Concentration Camp to see how much we like it. Absent, of course, was the fundamental truth of what he plainly does not have the eyes or the imagination to see, namely, that if the Superdome had been filled with white, middle-class, racist, conservative cocksuckers like myself, it would not have been a refinery of horror, but rather a citadel of hope and order and restraint and compassion.
That has nothing to do with me being white. If the blacks and Hispanics and Jews and gays that I work with and associate with were there with me, it would have been that much better. That’s because the people I associate with – my Tribe – consists not of blacks and whites and gays and Hispanics and Asians, but of individuals who do not rape, murder, or steal. My Tribe consists of people who know that sometimes bad things happen, and that these are an opportunity to show ourselves what we are made of. My people go into burning buildings. My Tribe consists of organizers and self-starters, proud and self-reliant people who do not need to be told what to do in a crisis. My Tribe is not fearless; they are something better. They are courageous. My Tribe is honorable, and decent, and kind, and inventive. My Tribe knows how to give orders, and how to follow them. My Tribe knows enough about how the world works to figure out ways to boil water, ration food, repair structures, build and maintain makeshift latrines, and care for the wounded and the dead with respect and compassion.
There are some things my Tribe is not good at at all. My Tribe doesn’t make excuses. My Tribe will analyze failure and assign blame, but that is to make sure that we do better next time, and we never, ever waste valuable energy and time doing so while people are still in danger. My Tribe says, and in their heart completely believes that it’s the other guy that’s the hero. My Tribe does not believe that a single Man can cause, prevent or steer Hurricanes, and my Tribe does not and has never made someone else responsible for their own safety, and that of their loved ones.
My Tribe doesn’t fire on people risking their lives, coming to help us. My Tribe doesn’t curse such people because they arrived on Day Four, when we felt they should have been here before breakfast on Day One. We are grateful, not to say indebted, that they have come at all. My Tribe can’t eat Nike’s and we don’t know how to feed seven by boiling a wide-screen TV. My Tribe doesn’t give a sweet God Damn about what color the looters are, or what color the rescuers are, because we can plainly see before our very eyes that both those Tribes have colors enough to cover everyone in glory or in shame. My Tribe doesn’t see black and white skins. My Tribe only sees black and white hats, and the hat we choose to wear is the most personal decision we can make.
That’s the other thing, too – the most important thing. My Tribe thinks that while you are born into a Tribe, you do not have to stay there. Good people can join bad Tribes, and bad people can choose good ones. My Tribe thinks you choose your Tribe. That, more than anything, is what makes my Tribe unique.
I am so utterly and unabashedly proud of my Tribe, that my words haunt and mock me for their pale weakness and shameful inadequacy.
Membership in my Tribe is not free. "
Read it all (please!) here.
Friday, January 20, 2006
"You've no doubt heard that, today, the ACLU--and assorted other enemies of America--filed a lawsuit against the government for NSA "spying" (interesting that there was no such lawsuit when Bill Clinton was doing the same thing--Remember "Echelon" and "Carnivore"?).
Since the lawsuit was filed in U.S. Federal Court in the Eastern District of Michigan, where I practice, I've already been contacted by concerned U.S. citizens who wish to intervene in the case as interested parties (whose interests and welfare are affected by this case) in support of the government's activities. And we may do so. You may feel free to contact me regarding this if you are interested in adding your name."
Click the post title above or here to find out more. Other links and info can be found at Michelle Malkin and Stop The ACLU. It costs nothing (unless you want to contribute) to join the fight against the treasonous ACLU, other than the time it takes to have your signature notarized on the affidavit Debbie will send you, and the postage to return it to her. I have personally responded, if for no other reason than I want Debbie Schlussel to have my email address! Yowza!
"Wakefield, Mass., mother Sherri Carlson doesn't like the commercials on the Nickelodeon network or the fact that Nickelodeon characters appear on boxes of cereal that she disapproves of. Thus (helped by a couple of nanny-state activist groups), rather than cancelling her cable bill, turning off the tv, or saying "No" to her three children, she's announced plans to sue Viacom and Kellogg for billions of dollars under Massachusetts "consumer fraud" law, sending the required "intent to sue" letter. (Libby Quaid, AP, Jan. 19; Sarah Ellison and Janet Adamy, "Activists Plan to Sue Viacom and Kellogg Over Ads to Children", Wall $treet Journal, Jan. 19; Hit & Run blog Jan. 19 Sullum and Gillespie). As Sullum notes, the reality-satire lag time is now down to a week. "
This adds new meaning to the term, "Serial litigator." (ba-dom BOM!) But seriously...
This suit is doomed to fail, because the cartoon character they are targeting (SpongeBob) is too popular, and even the people who think SpongeBob is gay will rally to his cause. If they want a chance to win, they need to tackle a cereal manufacturer with a real product liability vulnerability, like Cap'n Crunch. Ever eat that stuff dry? After about 4 mouthfuls it abrades the roof of your mouth off.