Nin, my brother, and me, are heading to Disneyland where we'll meet up with our friend Roberta, who is flying in from Boston.
Hopefully, Kel and Paul will keep everyone entertained while we're gone [hint]
See y'all Wednesday!
A followup on Kel's post earlier in the week about Janeane Garofalo . This time around, Jonah Goldberg's take on it:
But Ms. Garofalo thinks there's no use for war whatsoever. On Fox News, anchor Brian Kilmeade asked her if she thought there would be inspectors in there if there were not 150,000 troops "breathing down his neck." She responded, "Yes, I do think there would be inspectors in there."
Well, that's funny. Saddam kicked the inspectors out in 1998, and I don't think even Scott Ritter and Tariq Aziz would concede that the inspectors are in Iraq because we are threatening war.
But Ms. Garofalo's 32-million-member-strong movement is called "Win Without War," and it would hardly be convenient if war were helping us win, even slightly. In other words, she comes from the "give peace a chance" school, which is congenitally incapable of seeing that peace is always given a chance right up to the moment war starts.
We've given Saddam more than a decade of chances for peace, with 17 U.N. resolutions. We've tried to win without war. But Ms. Garofalo doesn't see that, because she thinks she's the first person to even suggest such a thing. If people could just see how simple it is to win without war, everything would be fine. One can almost see FDR with his Cabinet. Pearl Harbor in smoking ruins. He's drafting his declaration of war when, all of a sudden, Eleanor bursts in with a brilliant suggestion: "Franklin, darling. Let's win without war!"
"'Win… without…war?' My God, Stimson, what am I paying you for? Ellie, darling, that's gold! Sheer gold. We can win without war!"
It almost sounds like a perfect Saturday Night Live skit. Maybe Garofalo should go back to her old job and try it out.
According to Victor Davis Hanson, the world's gone off the deep end & he thinks we're seeing history come full circle. The whole article is well worth toodling over to read, but here's an excerpt:
Western Europe has almost gone the way of Weimar. Amoral, disarmed, and socialist, it seeks ephemeral peace at all costs, never long-term security, much less justice. Furious that history has not ended in perpetual peace and leisure, it has woken up angry that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair disturbed its fanciful slumber with chatter about germs and genocide.
In recompense, cranky Western elites, terrified of trouble, indict on the cheap the democratically elected Mr. Sharon, while the masses in the millions go to the street to protest a war against a monster like Saddam Hussein and pay fealty to the terrorist Arafat. As in the past we see ideals in the militarily weak but spiritually strong leaders of Eastern Europe, as the Czechs and Poles once more reveal themselves to be far more moral men and women than any in Germany and France — the historic duet that so often either started or lost wars.
Meanwhile an American president and a British prime minister, the target of this domestic vitriol and self-loathing, once again stand nearly alone against fascism. Because they do, we know the ending of this sad spectacle. Saddam will end up like Hitler in his bunker, with a mistress or two and a half-dozen doomed toadies. Postbellum Iraq will yield up the age-old horrors that may even be too sick for the tabloids; Anglo-Americans will once again rebuild a defeated enemy country — and a passive-aggressive France will triangulate, seeking to reclaim glory without power as it looks for profits among the flotsam and jetsam of war.
The image of the French representative Dominique de Villepin — pompadour hair flying at the U.N., thin arms waving as he warns of Anglo-American bullying of dictatorial Iraq, and empty talk of France's grand historic commitment to law and justice — says it all: all this from the author of Les Cents-Jours ou l'esprit de sacrifice, a recent revisionist history that laments not the four million killed in Napoleon's mad ambitions, but the "dream" that was lost at Waterloo, a battlefield 12 miles from Brussels, the current center of the latest undemocratic European utopian fantasy.
The world, not America, has gone off the deep end — just as it did some 70 years ago when faced with similar choices between cheap rhetoric and real sacrifice. And so just as the tragedy of Pearl Harbor for Americans put an end to all the nonsense of the 1930s, let us hope that the memory of September 11 and the looming showdown with Iraq will do the same for the present farce as well.
Two excellent posts from two of my favorite blogs.
First up, Andrea on "human shields" and treason.
Oops: there are things the "human shields" apparently didn't think of, such as the possibility that what they are doing really is treason. Sure, that charge has been thrown around many blogs concerning these folks, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be taken seriously. I can only suppose that to the people running off to Baghdad to "protect" the wimmin 'n' kiddies from Big Bad US Bombs the notion of "treason" was either something quaint, belonging to the days of tri-cornered hats when people were "less sophisticated," or that they are so deluded by their utopian, we-are-the-world fantasies that they actually don't know what the words "foreign country" or "enemy" mean anymore.
And Michele on the same subject: Someone Beat them With A Reality Stick, Pleae.
The men and women that are in Iraq right now, posing as human shields, have no idea what it means to be just that. They are walking around Iraq like tourists, staying in hotels and signing up to guard hospitals, schools and homes of senior citizens; places least likely to be bombed.
Who will be surprised when these naive sympathizers of Saddam are taken by Iraqi guards and forced to stand by oil refineries and army bases? Who will be shocked when the first "human shield" dies at the hands of the Iraqi army?
No one should be shocked or surprised, and the only people who will claim to be horrified at this turn of events will be the human shields themselves, who refused to acknowledge that Saddam is a ruthless human being who cares little about the lives of others, especially westerners.
So, Ith and I are watching Fox News. They just announced a headline that Iraq is going to destroy their missles.
Ith said, "The missles that were found, yes. But, what about the missles the inspectors haven't found?"
My reply, "It's like a candy stash. If people know about it, you have to share. If it's secret, it's all yours!"
Just had to share...
This came down on an email list I belong to:
Shelters Overwhelmed by Animals Left Behind by Soldiers Animal shelters around Fort Campbell, Kentucky are being swamped with animals left behind by soldiers deploying to the Persian Gulf.
Dogs of every breed, shape and size are being abandoned in the Clarksville, Tennessee - Hopkinsville, Kentucky area. Soldiers leaving for the Gulf are not all aware of foster programs that can care for their dogs when they are gone. Many dogs are just showing up as strays, but others are abandoned in the shelters by soldiers who feel like they have no other options.
If you'd like to help foster the dog of a soldier, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject of your email, put "YOUR STATE, Foster Home Application." If you're in the military of other related government organization and need to find a temporary home for your cat, dog, or bird, call NetPets at (843) 249-5262.
I thought this article, on us, the Turks, and the Kurds, was a good example of how complicated the region is.
Apparently, Condi is seriously considering the idea of running for Governor here! If only it's true. I've been hearing speculation for a while, but this seems a little more definite than some of the previous stories.
So, the lawyer of Jesica Santillan's family is lobbying Congress to stop legislation that will cap malpractice lawsuit damages.
"They want to limit pain-and-suffering damages and that really would not be a good thing for the public in general," attorney Kurt Dixon said Thursday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "This case that I'm dealing with now makes that clear."
I'm sorry, but this is pissing me off. Obviously, the lawyer is trying to stop this so that when his clients sue Duke University Medical Center, they don't have to worry about caps.
"As you meet together this week to consider the issue of medical malpractice on the federal level, I urge you to save a seat for Jesica," Dixon wrote to the [House Energy and Commerce] committee. "America deserves to understand how people like Jesica and her family would be affected by the legislation your committee is considering and what is being done to ensure no other family in the future has to suffer as the Santillans have."
But, Jesica doesn't deserve a 'seat'. It was a tragic mistake, and you really can't put a dollar amount on a human life. But, what about the lives that are going to end because a family brought their daughter here illegally? They were smuggled into the US four years ago. She received treatment for four years. I have some questions about that... Was the family paying for the treatment?
Other countries would've given enough medical treatment to send the patient back to their home country. But, not America.
And, now (as callous as it sounds), the family will become very rich because of this tragic mistake that will luckily never see a courtroom, and therefore costing us tax payers even more money.
From the blog:
L.T. Smash is a reserve officer in the United States Military who has been recalled to active duty and deployed overseas in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
Misha has a roundup of contacts and news on the Maine teacher outrage.
Check it out here.
So, there was an interview by Dan Rather with Saddam Hussein.
Well, the White House wants to rebut the interview.
But he [White House spokesman Ari Fleischer] said CBS replied it was interested only if President Bush made the response himself -- which he said the White House would not accept on the grounds that there was no "moral equivalence" between the two leaders. -- Reuters
CBS is denying that they want Bush only...
It was a three-hour interview. And, we all know that the questions had to have been handed to one of Hussein's henchmen so that the questions could be vetted and the pat answers memorized.
(My spell check wanted to change Saddam to Soda... [snorfle])
Via Rod Dreher on The Corner, a few quotes from last night's Leno (I'm long in bed by then!)
"You'd better gas up the dinghy and go fishing with Fredo, because you are dead to me." -- Dennis Miller, on the Tonight Show.
Miller was on fire tonight. He said: "If you're at a peace march, and the guy next to you has a sign saying 'Bush is Hitler,' stop the peace stuff for a second and beat his ass."
And he sent this message to Dubya: "If you're watching, I think you're doing a hell of a job. I'm proud you're my president. ...I think there are a lot more people out here on your side than you may think."
As I suspected, it turns out that the divide in Canada that exists along language lines, is present when the numbers are broken down in regards to support of the United States.
Americans may be tempted to inscribe Canada into the Axis of Weasels, but think again: In yesterday’s Globe and Mail, columnist Lysiane Gagnon reports on a new study of Canadian public opinion that shows that Canada – like the Western Alliance – is divided on war by linguistic lines. Sixty percent of Canadians outside the French-speaking province of Quebec approve of the use of force by the United States in Iraq – only 44% of Quebeckers do. Nearly half of Canadians outside Quebec (48.5%) want Canada to support the U.S. in war. Only 30% of Quebeckers do.
I'm glad to see some sort of information on this. I know I've commented before that I'm not seeing the same rampant anti-Americanism being reported in the "East" with my friends and family in the "West". Figures that Quebec would be the fly in the pie yet again.
“Practically all opinion leaders [in Quebec] are either squarely against the use of force in Iraq or insist on the necessity of United Nations approval. I don’t know a single columnist, radio talk-show host or politician who would argue in favor of a unilateral U.S. military operation against Iraq.”
And this is par for the course in Quebec:
As Gagnon recalls, French-speaking Quebec also opposed Canada’s participation in the two world wars – and that indeed many French-speakers strongly sympathized with the Axis in the second. (A footnote here: Prime Minister Jean Chretien has been hobbled throughout his career by his relative unpopularity in his native province – and one important reason for that unpopularity was his father’s active support for the Allied war effort back in 1939-1945.)
And this is the antitheses of English speaking Canada:
By contrast, the other Canada, English-speaking Canada it bore arms in the English-speaking world’s great battles of the last century and despite four decades of bilingual social engineering, English Canadians cannot avoid feeling an obligation to enter the great battles of the next. That obligation expresses itself not just in the polls, but in the dozens of emails I receive every week from Canadians looking for a sympathetic ear for their rage and shame at the Chretien government’s weak-willed fence-sitting.
When I was a kid, during the time we lived in British Columbia, and all the summers spent at my grandparents, I'm not sure I ever heard a positive word about Quebec. Eastern Canada in general was considered close to a foreign land! My family had a proud tradition of service to King and Country, and I'm sure my great-grandfathers would be horrified at the turn of events in their country since their deaths. I know my parents aren't too happy.
So when the newspapers report on the divide between America and its traditional allies over Iraq, remember: The divide within those allies is at least as wide.
Brian Kilmeade rocks! GO BRIAN! Brian Kilmeade, you kick ass, dude! You so totally rock and you called a spade a spade, sweet pea! More power to you! THANK YOU for not taking that woman's crap. She came across as bitch, an idiot and immature--you kept her in her place and you gave it right back--she is obviously nothing more than a Dim-o-crap who likes to name call, bitch and whine.
Mister Kilmeade, you stood your ground! THANK YOU!
Val Kilmer said it best--'What do I know about it? I'm just an actor.' Thank you for having enough sense to keep your mouth shut. *g*
Kill it and Grill it! Way to go, Mister Ted Nugent! *g*
Listening to FOX News as I get ready for work, and they're talking about North Korea. So we're trying to get a dialogue going with other countries in the region, us, and the NK's. But these other countries, China amongst them, say we should just talk one on one with North Korea. In other words, they want us to be "unilateral".
Ummmmmmmm..... WILL YOU PEOPLE MAKE UP YOUR FRELLING MINDS???? [bangs head against desk]
I feel better now.
Check out this post at LGF, and the accompanying link, on Arab Nazism. Fascinating, if repugnant, stuff.
This was forwarded to me in email today. It may be one of those things everyone has already seen, but I thought it was cute, so I'm passing it on. (Especially as Gary has made me an honorary Texan!)
Here's how to tell if you're a liberal, conservative, or a Texan:
Question: You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small
children. Suddenly, a dangerous looking man with a huge knife comes around
the corner and is running at you while screaming obscenities. In your hand
is a Glock .40 and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he
reaches you and your family. What do you do?
Well, that's not enough information to answer the question! Does the man
look poor or oppressed? Have I ever done anything to him that is inspiring
him to attack? Could we run away? What does my wife think? What about the
kids? Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of
his hand? What does the law say about this situation? Is it possible he'd be
happy with just killing me? Does he definitely want to kill me or would he
just be content to wound me? If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could
my family get away while he was stabbing me? This is all so confusing! I
need to debate this with some friends for a few days to try to come to a
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click... (sounds of clip being ejected and fresh clip installed)
Wife: "Sweetheart, he looks like he's still moving, what do you kids think?"
Son: "Mom's right Dad, I saw it too..."
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
Daughter: "Nice grouping Daddy!"
I was reading through the Grammy winners from last night (I had forgotten it was on!), and after seeing Usher's win, it reminded me of something that's been bugging me off and on.
A generation of Americans (And maybe people worldwide) are going to grow up misspelling basic words because of today's song titles... Just doing a search for songs that use 'U' instead of 'You', I came up with three immediately.
U Don't Have To Call by Usher
Thank U by Alanis Morissette
Damn U by Prince
I know there are others, and other words that are misspelled. I'm just blanking at the moment.
Only in America can a person who entered the country illegally receive an organ transplant.
Only in America can the family of the same person, also in the country illegally, sue the hospital when the young woman tragically dies.
"We just want to make sure we know what the cause of death was," attorney Kurt Dixon said Sunday. "If there's going to be legal action down the road, you want to have a definite cause of death. You don't want to speculate about that." (Article from AP)
Don't get me wrong. I feel for the girl and her family. It's always awful to lose a loved one.
But, now, there are multiple citizens of this country, all most probably children, who will die because the organs needed for them are no longer available.
I took a quick glance at Site Meter, and was astounded to see so much traffic so early in the morning. I then find out Right Wing News has us listed as "Site of the Day". Wow! I'm flattered and on behalf of all of us here, thank you! And welcome to all the visitors we're getting today. I appreciate you stopping by.
Now, I need to get to work!
Peggy Noonan on how times have changed.
In regards to the "Bay of Pigs" aftermath, she writes:
Do you remember or know how Kennedy's partisan and political foes responded to the crisis?
The Republican who'd lost the 1960 presidential election to Kennedy six months before and by less than a percentage point--and who had reason to believe that it may have been stolen--was invited to the White House. He didn't bring his resentments in his briefcase.
From Richard Reeves's "President Kennedy": " 'It was the worst experience of my life,' Kennedy said of the Cuban fiasco . . . to, of all people, Richard Nixon. . . . Kennedy wanted the symbolic presence and public support of both political friends and foes to show the nation and the world that Americans were rallying around the president, right or wrong."
Kennedy asked Nixon's advice. Nixon told him to do what he could to remove Castro and communism from Cuba. The meeting ended with Nixon telling JFK, "I will publicly support you to the hilt."
Kennedy and Nixon that day achieved something like "the kinship of competitors." Mr. Reeves writes. Nixon was good as his word, supporting the president and refusing to attack him.
And then she writes about what former Presidents do today:
But if they cannot offer unity, couldn't they offer discretion? Whatever their views, they should not put them forth in ways that undercut an administration that, right or wrong, is attempting to get a fair hearing from the world in order to take the steps it thinks necessary to make it safer from terror regimes.
Are we getting discretion from our former presidents? No. Mr. Carter is often most critical when outside our country. A few months ago he received the Nobel Peace Prize, and the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Gunnar Berge, announced that the honor "can also be interpreted as a criticism" of the Bush administration. Mr. Carter not only accepted the award under these circumstances; he used his speech to subtly cast doubt on the administration's actions and intentions regarding Iraq. Mr. Carter tours Europe giving help to those who oppose the American government's intentions; at his home in Georgia, he tells a British tabloid he admires its "Not in My Name" campaign to increase world opposition to the U.S. government.
Mr. Clinton, on the other hand, has taken to telling the world that "we should let Blix lead us to come together." Mr. Clinton calls Hans Blix, the chief U.N. weapons inspector, "a tough honest guy who is trying to find the truth." Does Mr. Clinton speak of the American president with such approbation? No. He treats President Bush with equal parts derision and faux sympathy.
He has taken to offering virtually minute-by-minute play-by-play on the administration's decisions, usually on cable. He seems to enjoy putting himself forward as the current president's obvious superior. He is more thoughtful, more experienced. He speaks from a great height.
There's a lot more, so go read the rest here.
Via The Corner, comes this link to a story on the decline of the Church of England. It's pretty scathing, and blames much of the Church's problems on liberal Bishops.
"The only part of the Church of England that has increased has been the number of its bishops and their bureaucracy,...."
....the Prince of Wales now seemed so pro-Islam "that the Church might well wish to disestablish itself in order to keep its distance".
...."those bishops and senior lay people in the Church's government - that is those who have inflicted their tired liberalism on the Church and presided over its continuing decline - should finally take responsibility and resign."
I'm just appalled at these people. Ship their asses back to where they came from. That is a complete insult and proves they didn't deserve to be allowed to stay in this country.
Happy freaking Monday, people. *growl*
fixed link ~ Ith
Wayne at the Tocquevillian gave me the heads up on this post of his. Apparently, some Maine schoolteachers are demeaning the roles of their students' deployed parents. That has to be about the most disgusting thing I've heard in quite awhile.
Just when you think the Left can't sink any lower.
Out of a lot of great stuff, I'm pulling this one lil bit from Steve Den Beste's latest post.
These things are all consistent with my basic liberalism, which is to say my belief in liberty as an ultimate good for myself and my fellow citizens. I know that my liberty is fragile and easily destroyed. That liberty can only exist as long as my nation continues to exist to defend it. Our lives as citizens exist inside an artificial bubble which is constantly under greater or lesser threat and which must be actively maintained. There's nothing natural about our lives. The natural state for humans is barbarism, cruelty, violence and death.
"There's nothing natural about our lives. The natural state for humans is barbarism, cruelty, violence and death. This really resonates with me, especially now. I've long believed that we're only this much [this is me at my desk holding my thumb and finger about an inch apart] away from civilization collapsing. And the more we rely on technology, the easier it becomes. Think about it; every decade we move farther and farther from knowing how to do the most basic things. My mum is seventy, she knows how to can food, including meat, she knows how to cook on a wood stove, how to kill and prepare animals to be eaten. Out of those, I can probably can vegetables and fruits, and cook on a wood stove. But would I know how to plant crops at the right time, or when wheat is ready to harvest? How about taking the wheat from harvest to flour? What about soap? I know they used lye to make it, and that it was hot and smelly, but that about covers my knowledge. How do I make cloth?
Why do I worry about it all? I don't know, I guess it's just me being me. I worry about bioweapons, things like weoponized smallpox. If it doesn't kill all of us, how many deaths it this world away from total collapse of civilization as we know it? How many deaths would it take for our country to collapse? Our food comes from all over the country, all over the world. What if the trains and trucks stop running? No electricity, no running water, no medical services. Scavenging would work for a while, but it's a temporary solution.
There's a Brit TV show from the 70s called "Survivors" that deals with a world after a bioweapon escapes from a lab in China. Only a handful of people survive. In one of the episodes they talk about the simple sewing needle -- what happens when all the needles are gone? Take a needle from its beginning: mining the metal, smelting it, then whatever goes into making the molds, let alone to the point of making the needle itself. How do you do any of it? How do you do any of the millions of things that make our world as we know it work? Just the basics, not even things like computers or telephones or cars. Things like clothing, shelter, heat, light, food and water. We keep losing more and more of that knowledge.
Artificial bubble indeed.
For the full details, you can take a look here, but the short version is that four of the big name male bloggers got labeled "The Four Horseman of the Ablogalypse". All I want to know is if Glenn Reynolds -- Death -- looks good in blue face paint and sounds anything like Methos. Hey, it could happen!
(apologies to our readers who have never seen "Highlander" and have no frelling idea of what I'm babbling about)
Another Update: Andrea does "The Furies" (always had a fondness for those gals. I usually get them when I take on of those 'what kind of mythical creature are you' tests)
I found this link somewhere yesterday, but I can't remember where. Anyway, it's a terrific post about "why Iraq" with all the arguments neatly put together in a way I could never get out of brain and onto the computer screen.
I had to get a new monitor because my old reliable Hitachi was on its last legs after seven years. So I ended up with a Viewsonic 17'' Ultrabrite A70f+. So far so good. There's things I like about it, but even with the brightness down as far is it'll go, the colours still look all faded out to me. So things like this blog, look all bleached out. My boss and my brother think I may need a new video card since my old one may not be playing nicely with the new monitor. It just seems wherever I get something new, I need other new things for them to work! I guess it's just the joys of computer ownership.
Another intersting article from Bat Ye’or on Europe drifting towards dhimmitude.
Today the Iraqi crisis confronts the EU governments with three decades of pusillanimous policy based on oil, markets, short-term economic gains, and an imperialist ambition of domination. It is practically impossible now in Europe to control Islamic terrorism either from within or without. Nor can the EU accept the destruction of the multifarious symbiosis created by all European political parties with the Arab and Muslim world, to the detriment of their own country's security. Europe has undergone a profound structural and demographic change, which is not yet fully perceived by Europeans, even less by Americans. This transformation of a Judeo-Christian based-civilization and culture by strong trends of Islamization is creating social, political and cultural grounds for confrontations that could provoke dangerous social implosions. The drifting away of Europeans from America is not, therefore, due to their superior moral exigencies, as some superficial analysts write. Rather, this drift reveals a traumatic fear of a terrorism that the EU always refused to acknowledge, scapegoating instead Israel and America. It reveals the preservation, at all costs, of Arab and Muslim corrupt dictatorships, including Arafat, with whom the EU has built its economic and international political strategy, power and security. And, more threatening, it indicates a profound transformation, a mutation, whereby a civilization is drifting toward 'dhimmitude.'
Another great VDH article: One Enemy, One War, One Outcome
Just as Italian fascists, Japanese militarists, and German Nazis saw commonalities in their efforts to spread right-wing nationalist rule, so Islamic radicals seek to end Western global influence in similar ways — either through the establishment of Islamic republics in the Gulf and other oil-producing countries or loose alliances of convenience with tyrannies like those in Syria, Libya, or Iraq, which can be cajoled, blackmailed, or openly joined with in ad hoc efforts to destroy a hated West.
Fascist states and radical Islamists, in fact, exhibit affinities that go well beyond sporadic and murky ties between such governments and fundamentalist terrorist groups. For one, in a post-Soviet Union world, they all seek weapons of mass destruction to be used as intercontinental blackmail as a way of weakening Western resolve and curtailing an American presence abroad.
For another, their common ideological enemy is liberal democracy — specifically its global promotion of freedom, individualism, capitalism, gender equity, religious diversity, and secularism that undermines both Islamic fundamentalism in the cultural sense, and politically makes it more difficult for tyrants to rule over complacent and ignorant populations. Third, our various enemies share an eerie modus operandi as well: Al Qaeda terrorists blew themselves up killing Americans; and so do terrorists on the West Bank — and so does Saddam Hussein send bounties to the families of such killers.
And Jonah Goldberg: Cowardice vs. Appeasement
This highlights one of the interesting things about appeasement. For something that is allegedly so bad, it is almost always popular. If public opinion had been against it, the Munich Pact wouldn't have been signed. Which brings me to the last deservedly infamous appeaser: Bill Clinton. During the 1990s Clinton played footsy with terrorists and rogue states. Indeed, he even renamed rogue states, calling them "states of concern." His idea of effective national security was to sweep problems under the rug. In 1996, we declined to take custody of bin Laden because we didn't know what law we could accuse him of breaking. After the African-embassy bombings, rather than unleash the righteous fury of the arsenal of democracy, Clinton delivered a "proportionate response" attacking two of bin Laden's assets, because bin Laden attacked two of ours — doing anything more would be unfair. He paid North Korea to stop producing one kind of nuclear weapon while they started another secret program almost immediately. The Clintonites still defend this as a success — as if getting a man to promise to stop making swords matters much if he immediately switches to battle-axes.
Bill Clinton did this because it was popular. Or, to be more accurate, he played these games because to do otherwise might jeopardize his popularity. Clinton is famously vexed by the fact that he had no opportunity to become a "great president." But the fact is, when you're terrified of rocking the boat, it's difficult to achieve greatness. In fact, when you sweep all the nation's problems under the rug so the next guy has to deal with them, you stack the deck for the next guy to become a great president — if for no other reason than that you've let problems fester into crises and hence greatness will be thrust upon him.
What a total waste for both people who donated ALL these organs. My main complaint about this is that these people are fucking illegals. OUR tax money paid for this.
They weren't illegals until she paid someone to smuggle them here. But once they crossed the line to get here, they were illegals then. I mean golly gee, what if some other child in Bumblefuck, Costa Rica needs the same damn procedure but cuz the parents don't have five grand to pay someone to smuggle them here, kid dies.
I mean this is stupid because there were other people HERE who are legal citizens who could have used the organs. THEN they waste two more major organs that again, someone else could have used? I mean there's people here who get passed by for someone like her? Even someone who's got frapping insurance and STILL can't afford it--it's fucking sad.
Oh yes, let's pay five grand to get smuggled over here and suck up the US people's tax money so we can blame the doctors if something goes wrong. Oh yeah--ain't that a lovely sentiment? It's fucking sad is what it is. They could afford the five grand to get here but they haven't paid for shit after they got here?
And as for that obnoxious juvenile in Michigan, I think it is with the nasty Bush t-shirt--he needs his ass kicked out of school. That child doesn't have rights other than to be taken care of but until someone is a freaking ADULT, they have no right to the freedom of speech.
THEN there's the Black History Month--woo--where's Celtic History Month? Where's Canadian History Month? Where's Russian History Month? Uhm, yes, thank you. At least give me someone useful like Booker T. Washington as opposed to someone like Sniff Doggy Poop.
Kel, probably ranting about Mardi Gras next
fixed the link ~ Ith
John Weidner of Random Jottings has a lovely post on Afghanis rebuilding the garden surrounding the Tomb of Babur, which was destroyed by the Taliban.
The once-splendid garden,surrounding the Tomb of Babur, was formerly a place were the people of Kabul loved to walk. There were large pools for swimming, and shade from many trees. The garden was destroyed by the Taliban, and by their battles with warlords. The trees were all cut down, and gardeners who tried to keep the flowers alive were thrown into prison. (Life imitates Saruman!)
Now the garden is slowly being restored. Some have questioned whether resources should be spent on this while many Afghans are still homeless. Others consider this a symbol of Afghanistan, and a national treasure that must be preserved. I'm with them, just looking at the picture makes me want to stroll there, even though it is tattered and dusty. Life without gardens is hardly life at all. I'm proud that our country is contributing to this. And I'm keenly proud that my country and our allies led in the liberation of Afghanistan.
There's more to his post here, along with a photo of the garden.
I found this thoughtful post from Peeve Farm, on the meaning of peace, over at Insomnomaniac. I've excerpted part of it here, because I found it did a good job expressing some of what I've been thinking these last months.
Peace isn't the absence of war. Peace is the willingness to accept certain risks in the world landscape, on the understanding that other people won't take advantage of us-- because they're taking on those same risks for the same reason. Peace is a mutual understanding reached by a unanimous community of similarly-minded peoples, with an absence of hatred and resentment, with common goals and an inherent incentive toward cooperation and friendship. Peace isn't something you get if you just lie down and cover your head with your hands while the other kids hurl rocks at it. That's called surrender, not peace. And it's what comes about when your vision of "peace" is simply "not fighting anymore", even if that includes self-defense.
"America isn't under attack", some say. But one has only to look at the desires of our enemies, expressed in so many press statements and propaganda videos and sermons, to realize that the only reason we're not suffering more attacks right now is because they lack the means, not because they aren't really our enemies. They are. They say so every week. And sooner or later, 9/11 will happen again, or something worse. To disagree with that possibility is to ascribe to them immense fecklessness and unwillingness to follow through on their own threats. I don't think that's a tenable logical position. these are human beings we're talking about, but human beings deeply and thoroughly convinced that it's their duty to do whatever is in their power to destroy us. They've already declared war on us, and they're dead serious about it. For us to march for peace under such conditions is to proclaim that we can bend spoons with our minds.
The problem still exists; the threat is still real, because the hatred is still real. The hatred is of what we are, not of what we do; and so short of changing fundamentally what we are, there is no solution to that hatred other than to remove the immediate threat by whatever expedient force is necessary, and then work on defusing whatever cultural and religious schisms divide us from that part of the world that currently wants us dead.
This is only part of a much longer post, and I encourage you to go read all of it.
Some sign slogans from a few brave souls who dared attend a "Peace Protest" to present an alternate view.
One depicted a Muslim woman wearing a burqa with a leash around her neck and tied to a pole with the slogan "Protect Islamic Property Rights Against Western Imperialism! Say No to War!"
Other slogans included: "Except for Ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism and Communism, War Has Never Solved Anything," and "Communism has Only Killed 100 Million People. Let's Give it Another Chance."
For pictures and more on the protest, go here.
I haven't had any luck getting this on the blog, but I'm going to try again when I get home. In the meantime, go visit "The Dissident Frogman" and view the movie he created called "The Price of Their Peace".
I meant to post this yesterday, but better late than never! (Link via Cold Fury)
Anyway, the central theme of all protests is, "Look how many of us there are! We've gotta be right!"
So I'm going to be mean now. Here's the sort of "Perspective Buddy" I'd let loose on people who called the newspaper Monday morning, demanding to know why their "Dogs Are People Too" rally at the Glenwood Mall didn't make the front page:
The numbers are always hazy, of course. Organizers say 375,000 protested in New York City. The police say 100,000. Let’s split the difference and say 262,500. In San Francisco, the second-biggest gathering (maybe), organizers say 250,000 and non-organizers say 150,000. Fine: 200,000. Numbers are much smaller for the rest of the country. Some good-sized cities had 500 protesters. Los Angeles had “thousands.” Let’s be generous and say a million people - hell, let’s make it 1.5 million - protested this weekend across the United States. (And maybe 100,000 total marched in favor of action in Iraq, but we’ll leave them out of it for now.)
* Without any publicity at all, about 50 million Americans showed up on Sunday to support the Christian god, Jesus, at church services across the nation.
* An estimated 30 million bought something to eat at McDonald’s. (The global total is 46 million customers per day.)
* Meanwhile, some 6 million showed up to support a blind lawyer superhero - and they paid about $8 each! The Top 12 weekend movies attracted around 15 million paying souls.
* Some 4 million went to the mountains to ski or snowboard.
* More than 200,000 people showed up for the Daytona race on Sunday, despite the rain. (29 million watched it on teevee.)
The car race and the war protest in New York had about the same turnout. I’d say the protest got more news coverage than Daytona, but that’s okay. If nobody went to the car race, that would be big news. If 1.5 million people protest the U.S. position on Iraq, that’s more worthy of coverage than 50 million people going to church, because the latter happens every week. But still, we’re talking about half a percent of the U.S. population - and that’s using the very generous numbers - attending rallies around the country. Impressive, sure, but “Daredevil” beat that by nearly 5 million people.
Or, to be a bit cruel, the protests attracted about as many people this weekend as the movie “Kangaroo Jack.” I’m sorry, but it’s true.
Prime Minister Jean Chrétien says Canada will not be part of the American-led "coalition of the willing" in a war against Iraq unless the United Nations authorizes military action.
After weeks of dodging questions from opposition leaders about Canada's position, Mr. Chrétien ended the fence-sitting and told MPs yesterday that if the Security Council refuses to authorize a war, the United States will have to do without the help of its closest ally and largest trading partner if it decides to pursue a military campaign to remove Saddam Hussein.
"We have not been asked and we do not intend to participate in a group of the willing," he said in reply to a question from Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe.
In all my 38 years, I have never before felt such a sense of personal shock. I am shocked that so many of my friends would rather a brutal dictator remained in power — for that would be the direct consequence if their views won out — than support military action by the United States. I am ashamed that they would rather believe the words of President Saddam Hussein than those of their own Prime Minister. I am nauseated that they would rather give succour to evil than think through the implications of their gut feelings.
It is a shocking experience to realise that your friends are either mindless, deluded or malevolent.
I used to think that 9/11 was the most important day of my life. It was indeed a day which transformed the world; its influence will be felt for decades, if not centuries. But however foul the “America had it coming” refrain, that came mainly from the usual suspects. This is different. This time the words come from friends.
I have many friends with whom I disagree politically; it would be a small-minded person who could not say that. But this goes beyond mere politics. This is about fundamentals. And what makes it truly shocking is how many normal, apolitical, otherwise decent people are so deeply wrong, so stridently misguided.
I know there's a lot of stress these days, and a lot of change. I've read on other blogs that people have lost friends due to their stand on Iraq and supporting the President in this fight for our future and our past. We, and this country, are being remade right before our eyes. What will we remember of these days a decade from now? I'm not sure, to tell the truth. I remember growing up in the sixties and seventies, and feeling sure that nothing could be worse than the constant threat of the USSR and couldn't imagine a world without that threat. Boy, was I wrong!
Here's to the future and in praying that the friends we lose are only to ideas and not death at the hands of madmen and terror.
Three giant cargo ships are being tracked by US and British intelligence on suspicion that they might be carrying Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Each with a deadweight of 35,000 to 40,000 tonnes, the ships have been sailing around the world's oceans for the past three months while maintaining radio silence in clear violation of international maritime law, say authoritative shipping industry sources.
The vessels left port in late November, just a few days after UN weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix began their search for the alleged Iraqi arsenal on their return to the country.
Uncovering such a deadly cargo on board would give George Bush and Tony Blair the much sought-after "smoking gun" needed to justify an attack on Saddam Hussein's regime, in the face of massive public opposition to war.
All are from headlines on My!Yahoo
Granted, they're in the UK... Let's not get me started on yet another rant about Medicare paying for erectial vaccum pumps and not paying for hearing aids... (You can have sex, but you can't hear while doing it...)
I was wondering when we could expect the agents of our "Totalitarian Nazi Police State" to start rounding up those protesters from the weekend? Or are they waiting till the camps are finished?
I found this link through InstaPundit. The sad thing is, I'm not sure if this 'peace blog' is for real, or a joke. I guess that pretty much sums up the effect the looney left has had when the stuff that comes off like satire is really how they think.
From the random thought department comes this post.
After listening to, and reading about, yet more UN machinations, I began to wonder just how do we know we can trust the inspectors? I mean, they have an agenda, right? Or they seem to to me. How do we know they'd actually admit they found anything that could potentially become a "smoking gun"? Everyone has an agenda and I'd like to know who the inspectors are loyal to. Because those loyalties could have everything to do with finding what France, Germany, and their UN cronies want, and absolutely nothing to do with what's right.
I'm just thinking out loud here. Just because your're paranoid doesn't mean they're not really out to get you, you know!
Add me to the list of bloggers telling you to go read Bill Whittle's essay, "Courage".
HazMat Smart Strip May Protect Lives from AP.
But, of course, a coworker reminded me of the fact that, by the time the strip reacts, it may be too late.
Update: you may want to read the comments on this one. Mike Reimer, the CEO of the company that makes these strips has been giving us some great information on how these actually work.
Thanks, Mike! ~ Ith
The hastily arranged Brussels summit may be a defining test of whether the EU can speak with one voice when it counts. The EU leaders meet at 6 p.m.
"The future of Europe lies not only in the euro (currency) but having a European defense policy," Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said.
Germany has stated that they will not participate with any war with Iraq. Chirac states while there are UN weapons inspections, there's no need for other resolutions.
So, I'm wondering if the conflict with Iraq will destroy the European Union...
Damn, there goes my cheap trip to Europe :-)
Several things. That's what. *g*
First off, we have a van. Yes, a VAN. Get over it, you idiots who want to whine about my fuel consumption. Eff you. My purchase of fuel for said vehicle because we have three children--(and screw those of you who want to blame people with more than one child for overpopulation--I know a ton of people who are childless--there is a balance there.)--back to the purchase of fuel for said vehicle--it isn't my problem beyond WHERE I choose to make my purchase. It is a nice thought that since my husband works in the oil related industry that what gets purchased by us way on down the line helps out with the paycheck.
As for the Frenchies--you know what? Maybe they are all paranoid that it'll be made known that certain parties got their bio weapons from their country. What a thought!
Regarding the idiots protesting--go do something useful like figure out how to make bail. I'm all for freedom of speech, but when those people get arrested and stuff--forget it. They've lost their right to have that freedom if they can't be nice about it.
What else? Oh yeah--racism is rampant in New Orleans. Of course it is. It always is. White dude who is qualified to do the job gets the job and is that good enough? No, because he's white. Oh well gee, I guess that isn't discrimination, is it? Bunch of fucking hypocrites. *g* See more about it here if you think I'm exaggerating. It's stupid. It's idiotic. It's racism at its finest.
Oh yeah--have I mentioned how much I frapping HATE Mardi Gras?
Happy Monday, people! *g*
Kel, going back off to lurk in the shadows
That SUV/Terrorism ad had a fundamental flaw beyond its backers’ cultural superiority. That being it’s assertion that we are morally responsible for what people do with the money we give them in exchange for goods and services.
Let’s follow the supposed trail of guilt: 1) Bougie American buys SUV, 2) the same nouveau riche yokel fills said monstrosity with gasoline (maybe even premium, the hedonist!), 3) “big” (i.e., evil; since nothing gets big honestly) oil company buys crude oil from corrupt middle eastern regime, 4) corrupt middle eastern regime (which shouldn’t be opposed militarily, and is no real threat, mind you) passes some of that money along to terrorists, and finally 5) terrorists terrorize.
So, why is the SUV owner responsible for any steps past 1 and 2? Those are the only times they decide what to do with the money. It’s all an expression of perhaps our most disturbing pathology, the one that says we’re all guilty for other people’s sins, while other people are guilty of our sins.
I certainly hope I’m not responsible for how folks four and five steps along the economic ladder use what was my money. If so, I suppose I’m guilty of supporting a horde of musicians’ drug habits. Not to mention what their managers and record execs did with their (lion’s) share. I used to love “Peewee’s Playhouse”. Does that make me a supporter of public masturbation? I really dug that R. Crumb documentary a few years ago. Does that mean I’ve contributed to the fetishization of big-legged women? I’ve enjoyed a few Alan Moore comics, does that make me an occultist? (If so, please don’t tell my priest.) If this moral line holds, then the implications of my diet are frightening. I mean, who knows what nefarious middle eastern radical is taking a cut from all my hummus money?
By now the SUVs-support-terrorists ads trumpeted by Ariana Huffington are old news. We all know (or, at least those of us who listen to Hannity’s show do) that many of the backers of that ad are conspicuous consumers in their own right. So, why would folks who live in mansions, own multiple luxury cars, take private planes, and generally enjoy the best of all material things, be so strongly opposed to SUVs? Because they’re tacky.
I really believe that’s the primary reason. It’s not based on a logical assessment of the SUV’s use of natural resources, or its role in car wrecks. It’s based purely on esthetics, with a handful of discriminately selected scientific and psuedoscientific factoids pasted on to dress it up. These folks don’t like SUVs because they see them as particularly obnoxious expressions of middle class boorishness. Limousines or private jets, on the other hand, while they may use fuel just as inefficiently, are acceptable, because they’re more refined means of transportation.
Now I have to make a confession. I think SUVs are tacky, too. Not for the reasons I’m ascribing to Huffington & Co., but I do. Truth told, there are very few modern cars that I think are worth a second glance. I hate all the rounded corners, weak lines, bloated bumpers, and featureless surfaces. I much prefer the muscle cars of the 60s, or even the whimsical gee-whiz designs of the 50s. Those cars were proud to be machines, metal manifestations of human ingenuity and imagination. Today’s cars are so apologetic. No offending seams or wasteful artistic flourishes, just antiseptic regularity.
That said, I would never turn my distaste of these cars into a political cause. Sure, it bugs me that American designers and consumers have abandoned the Cougar for the Contour (sheesh, “Contour”? why not just call it the 2003 Artistic Apathy?), but that’s their business, not mine. And until I can afford that old Stingray, I’ll be sticking with my esthetically underwhelming Saturn (at least it’s named after a Roman god/spectacular planet). It’s not something to make a federal case out of. Unless, that is, you’re Huffington & Co.
From the outset of this latest heating-up of our decade-long conflict with Iraq, opponents of war have stressed that military action (particularly of the “unilateral” kind) should be avoided because of, or would negatively effect, world opinion. That argument begins with the assumption that the opinion of “the world” (as if five billion wondrously diverse individuals share a single opinion) is of sufficient importance that it should be a guiding force in making serious decisions that will affect the lives of many thousands, if not millions, of people. I believe this assumption to be wrong.
“World opinion” simply isn’t a worthwhile consideration in matters as weighty as the War on Terrorism. The aim of this war (of which the war against Sadaam is a part) is to eliminate or make ineffective the networks of terrorist organizations and their accomplices in governments, thus making the world a good deal safer for not only Americans, but for every person and group on the planet that prefers civilization to crazed destruction. Given that, worrying “what will X think about it” is ridiculous, if not criminally negligent.
Fear of upsetting another’s sensibilities or emotions should never hinder one from doing what is right and beneficial. When lives are at stake, it shouldn’t even be considered. The lives of human beings are worth infinitely more than their opinions.
Going away for the weekend, and running late as it is, but wanted to direct you to a great post with Churchill quotes that relate to our times.
And the commitment to "dissent" in America on the part of these European intellectuals is -- not to put too fine a point on it -- a huge lie. If twenty million Americans had marched to oppose Bill Clinton's proposed national health insurance, these same intellectuals wouldn't have been cheering them on as "dissenters" -- they'd have been denouncing them as "cowboy individualists." It's only admirable "dissent," you see, when it's in conformity with the views of European intellectuals.
As I was saying to a coworker today, I have no problem with disagreement, but I do have a problem with people who can't seem to come up with anything better than "it's all about oil", or "Bush is Hitler" -- the type of people who never let facts get in the way of a trite slogan.
Then there's those that still haven't gotten over the fact Gore isn't President. Those people, I think, would hate Bush even if he solved world hunger, brought an eternal peace to the planet, and gave everyone a puppy. Their hatred has blinded them to anything remotely resembling rational thought. How can you deal with such people? If anyone has that problem solved, let me know.
In a speech likely to be perceived by some in the Bush administration as a lecture, Mr. Chrétien noted that the U.S. was the primary force in the formation of the UN and hinted that much of the world doubts its motives as it barrels towards war with Iraq.
"The price of being the world's only superpower is that its motives are sometimes questioned by others," he said. "Great strength is not always perceived by others as benign. Not everyone around the world is prepared to take the word of the United States on faith."
He immediately clarified that Canada supports the U.S., saying it is "essential that the United States can count on support from around the world."
Will he shake an admonishing finger at us too?
I watched some of Hans Blix's presentation to the UN before I had to shut off the TV to get ready for work, and I don't have any profound insights on it all. But, with all the diplomatic talk, I had the strangest mental vision of Hans and his inspectors sitting around with Saddam and his goons, having tea and little sandwiches while they discussed the finer points of just what "material breach" was.
Told, you no profound here! Just sleepy pre-breakfast delusions.
Thanks to John Hawkins of Right Wing News for putting Gaggle on his vacation blog list. I'm totally blown away by it -- and all the traffic. Wow! So this is how the other half lives! When I told a coworker about it, I said if I weren't already sitting down, I'd have to.
Thanks so much!
Picture via Drudge Report.
I think I'm blind now.
No! It's a miracle! I can see again!
What a great visual to go to bed with.
According to a secret CSIS report, Hezbollah procured equipment for use in its terrorist activities, and trained its operatives, in Canada.
CSIS warned as long as six years ago that Hezbollah had established a base in Canada that can "assist and support terrorists" seeking safe haven in North America.
However, the federal cabinet was divided last year on whether to label the group a terrorist organization because of the charitable works done by its political and social arms.
From Random Jottings comes a link to a fact sheet on "American Assistance to the People of Afghanistan". Now you know where to send your Leftie friends when they tell you we aren't doing anything for Afghanistan.
This headline: Hysteria runs riot
My question: Hysteria? Where? I haven't seen any hysteria yet, but I don't live in a major city. Closest would be San Jose, which is about an hour from here, San Francisco is two hours. Anyone else seeing hysteria in their towns and cities?
Charles Krauthammer on "Bracing For The Apocalypse"
The domestic terror alert jumps to 9/11 levels. Heathrow Airport is ringed by tanks. Duct tape and plastic sheeting disappear from Washington store shelves. Osama resurfaces. North Korea reopens its plutonium processing plant and threatens pre-emptive attack. The Second Gulf War is about to begin. This is not the Apocalypse. But it is excellent preparation for it.
You don't get to a place like this overnight. It takes at least, oh, a decade. We are now paying the wages of the 1990s, our holiday from history. During that decade, every major challenge to America was deferred. The chief aim of the Clinton administration was to make sure that nothing terrible happened on its watch. Accordingly, every can was kicked down the road:
--Iraq: Saddam continued defying the world and building his arsenal, even as the United States acquiesced to the progressive weakening of U.N. sanctions and then to the expulsion of all weapons inspectors.
--North Korea: When it threatened to go nuclear in 1993, Clinton managed to put off the reckoning with an agreement to freeze Pyongyang's program. The agreement--surprise!--was a fraud. All the time, the North Koreans were clandestinely enriching uranium. They are now in full nuclear breakout.
--Terrorism: The first World Trade Center attack occurred in 1993, followed by the blowing up of two embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole. Treating terrorism as a problem of law enforcement, Clinton dispatched the FBI--and the odd cruise missile to ostentatiously kick up some desert sand. Osama was offered up by Sudan in 1996. We turned him away for lack of legal justification.
That is how one acts on holiday: Mortal enemies are dealt with not as combatants, but as defendants. Clinton flattered himself as looking beyond such mundane problems to a grander transnational vision (global warming, migration and the like), while dispatching American military might to quell ``teacup wars'' in places like Bosnia. On June 19, 2000, the Clinton administration solved the rogue-state problem by abolishing the term and replacing it with ``states of concern.'' Unconcerned, the rogues prospered, arming and girding themselves for big wars.
Which are now upon us. On Sept. 11, the cozy illusions and stupid pretensions died. We now recognize the central problem of the 21st century: the conjunction of terrorism, rogue states and weapons of mass destruction.
My friend Mickey has a post on her blog that I wanted to expand on. It was a subject I was going to blog about, and never got around to. So thanks, Mickey for inspiring me!
I read and hear people who think that President Bush isn't qualified to send troops into battle because he didn't serve in the military (though he was in the National Guard), or because no one in his family is in the military. I admit, this is something I don't get. It's the same train of thought that if you haven't been in the military, you don't have the right to an opinion on matters pertaining to the military.
If some people think military service and children in the military is a meaningful criteria for being President, then should we make it so only persons that meet those criteria can be President? Then that would have to extend to Congress as well, since they're the ones that actually have to authorize a war. Do we want to really limit the pool of elected representatives to only those that have served in the military? Or who have children in the military? (and isn't there a law that you can't be Secretary of Defense if you've been in the military within a certain number of years? I thought I read that a few years back.)
And what about other wartime Presidents? George Washington had no children of his own as far as I know. Lincoln had only one son that lived to adulthood, Tad. Did he serve in the military? Did Lincoln, for that matter? How about FDR? Did either he serve, or have children that did?
Then to the matter of not being allowed to have an opinion at all if you hadn't served. Well, that leaves me out. What else haven't I ever experienced? Let's see... I've never had children, so I guess voting on school board issues is out. Never been a lawyer, so there goes my thoughts on torte reform. Never been a police officer or a fireman, so I can't make decisions regarding public safety issues. The list is endless. If all of us were only allowed to vote on, or have an opinion on, things we actually have experience at, we'd be in a pretty poor state.
So no, President Bush has no children in the military, nor has he been to war. But he is the President, and the responsibility, and the burden, are his. It's the burden that ages presidents years and years in only a handful of time. We elect Presidents knowing that they may have to make hard decisions, that they have to send young men and women to die, and we can only hope that when the time comes, they make the right decision.
This time around, our military is comprised of all volunteers, who signed up for a potentially dangerous job. Our police and firefighters also are in dangerous jobs, but like our military, they protect us despite the dangers -- voluntarily. As a country, we should be proud of our men and women in uniform, no matter how and where they serve.
Yet again, I am wowed by the level of education our youth get in America. At the pharmacy I am employed, a clerk; just graduated from high school; asked me where in Texas Columbia was. The reason she was asking?
She thought that the space shuttle Columbia took off from Columbia, TX and was scheduled to land there.
So, we had to explain that the space shuttles launch and land in Florida, but mission control is in Texas.
I had to be stopped from banging my head against the counter.
I heard this on the radio today, while I was listening to Rush. Some guy in an interview (apparently he's a "journalist") said: I hate to say it, but I wish the guy would have gone deaf. I shouldn't say that, but on behalf of the country, it would be better without Rush Limbaugh and his 20 million listeners."
Gee, he wants to take me out because I listen to Rush? Usually, wanting to dispose of twenty million people requires those people doing something a little more than listen to a radio show. Talk about hate speech! Oh, that's right, only Conservatives engage in hate speech, not the warm and fuzzy Liberals. I love how tolerant and loving the Left is, don't you?
What an asshat!! (I've always wanted to use that word!)
I was reading the always nifty "Little Green Footballs", and in the comments discussing this post about the Muslim pilgrims who were trampled to death while they were doing their "pilgrim thing" was this comment:
And as for those in the Middle East who saw the space shuttle Columbia disaster as a "sign from God," what does this mean to you when twice as many believers are killed during an act of piety than the infidels lost going into space?
Excellent question! You know, some blogs have the best comments.
This probably deserves a thorough fisking, but I need to get to work. So I'll just leave it for you to read. Highlights include comparing Sheryl Crow's brain power to the President's, and describing Sean Penn as "earnest".
I was at the mall on Sunday, and then yesterday to exchange the full screen version DVD of XXX for the wide screen that I bought on Sunday's trip. You with me so far? Okay! I noticed more rent-a-cop security guys wandering the place, but chalked it up to it being AT&T Pro-Am week. But there were the same amount of guards last night. Then I had a "duh" moment -- it's the raised terror alert! Now, it's not that I don't appreciate the mall folks trying to instill some sense of security, but I don't think any terrorists are going to be deterred by extra unarmed security guys wandering around. Not to mention, our mall is an outdoor one and at any given time there's like 5 people there! I don't see us being primo terror targets. And if we were, what's the guard going to do? Throw their soda at them?
Observations from boonie America.
(Oh, and polka dots, in black and white, are in this spring, ladies!)
A majority of the German populace thinks we're warmongers. Thing is, they've said similar things before.
There's a post over on Small Victory that deals with the similarities of two assassinations carried out by terrorists. One just before 9/11, and one that just happened.
My friend Ealasaid has a blog, and she recently did a post on this article. I was reading her post, and thought it sounded awfully familiar. I thought back, and realized I'd read a post on the very same article at Michele's place. But a post about the same article is where the similarities end. If you were looking for two totally opposite viewpoints, this is it. I've known Ealasaid for quite a few years and I consider her a friend, but when it comes to our outlooks and beliefs, we're probably polar opposites! And even though I know her, I'm not quite able to wrap my mind around some of what she believes. (that's probably a mutual feeling). Michele, I don't know, other than through her blog, but her POV on war & peace is pretty much the same as mine.
A lot of times. those we disagree with have no real "face". They're guests on TV news shows, or they're in pictures taken at peace protests. You can't really talk to them and try to understand the journey they made to get to where they are today. The opposite is true as well, and it's easy for them to write off people like me as bloodthirsty warmongers, because they don't know me. In RL, you have to deal with people face to face, so maybe it's easier to make allowances for differing opinions. And, a lot of the time, politics -- like religion -- isn't a subject that many of us discuss due to "social conditioning". But on the internet, we get to express things we might not normally express, and it can be to an audience of next to no one, to thousands. I try and remind myself that those "unknowns" may be just like people I know, and that even if they make me insane, if I knew them in RL, we might even be friends. If Ealasaid and I can be friends, anything is possible!
So that's my 'thoughtful' post for the month :)
I got an email ad for this book, and was wondering if anyone had ever read it, or if it seems like something worthwhile.
Found this article while visiting the ever suave bleeding brain. (he said we were delicious, so I can say he's suave!) Anyway, the article, yeah... It's by Dick Morris on the utter hypocrisy of the Clintons when it comes to North Korea and airline security. It's absolutely scathing.
And now, Bill and Hillary are attacking Bush for the twin legacies they left him: inadequate air security and a broken deal with North Korea.
It’s a good thing those two are sociopaths. Otherwise their consciences might bother them when they say things like that.
Mark Steyn on the French and why they're not your average Eurowimp.
In other words, this is the war, this is the real battlefield, not the sands of Mesopotamia. And, on this terrain, Americans always lose. Either they win but get no credit, as in Afghanistan. Or they win a temporary constrained victory to be subverted by subsequent French machinations, as in the last Gulf War. This time round, who knows? But through it all France is admirably upfront in its unilateralism: It reserves the right to treat French Africa as its colonies, Middle Eastern dictators as its clients, the European Union as a Greater France and the UN as a kind of global condom to prevent the spread of Americanization. All this it does shamelessly and relatively effectively. It's time the rest of the West was so clear-sighted.
Secretary of State Powell's presentation to the United Nations Security Council this morning seemed like a slam dunk to me. But then, I guess there must be something wrong with my perception, because what I think is so obvious isn't to a whole lot of other folks. What do I mean? Well, on a variety of email lists I'm on, that have nothing whatsoever to do with current events, I'm seeing posts like this one:
Who (and why) is he trying to convince anyway? The US is going to bomb Iraq, for no other reason than because Bush wants to. He wouldn't be paying any attention to Iraq at all if they exported potatos. This isn't about human attrocities, or weapons of mass destruction. Let's just hope that after Bush gets his testosterone rush taken care of, that he doesn't leave Iraq in the same sad shape he left Afghanistan in.
How's that for head scratching perplexation? Am I in the Twilight Zone? Are they? Is there anything that Saddam could do that would get to these people? I'm beginning to think that there is nothing that could happen, up to and including a WMD attack on our country, that would change their POV. If the worst happened, they'd probably find excuses for the terrorists and blame their own country no matter how many thousands die. (Like that's different)
And don't even get me started on the French! And since I don't want to get started, go and read what Steve Den Beste has to say on that particular subject.
"Useful Fools" has some nightmarish information on Iraq and a "Doomsday" bug.
But something that might help, there's a project, much like SETI, that utilizes home and work PCs to crunch data to identify candidates for developing new drugs that, for the first time, would combat the smallpox virus post-infection.
Both links via "The Tocquevillian"
I'm back in my little corner of the store (I'm on the side of the
pharmacy), biting my tongue. I really don't want to get into a verbal
battle over Iraq. Especially when I've got two days worth of work to do
and I'm the only person in my department today (My coworker is out
volunteering at the AT&T pro-am golf tournament).
ARGH! Must... resist...
Well... I think I'll type a short essay instead and post it here... :)
One Reason Why I'm for action against Iraq.
Plain and simple. They're in direct, and massive, violation of UN
Colin Powell has given large amounts of proof to the United Nations.
One eye witness account is conjecture.
Two is possible proof.
But, when you have multiple eye witness accounts backed up with
intelligence gathered; not just by US intelligence, but by intelligence
gathered by several countries; that is proof.
If we do not follow through with the consequences for the violation of
Resolution 1441, the UN is basically as defunct as the League of Nations.
Jordan’s King Abdullah headed for Riyadh on Tuesday to secure a Saudi offer to supply the Kingdom with oil in the event of a US-lead military campaign on Iraq. The beleaguered Gulf state is currently Jordan’s sole source of oil and oil derivatives.
The King was scheduled to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah during his one-day visit to the capital, to discuss the repercussions of a possible war in the region, reported Reuters. According to Jordanian officials, King Abdullah hoped that the Saudis would live up to their pledge of satisfying Jordan’s oil needs by presenting him with a detailed proposal including quantities and prices.
At the moment, Jordan receives half of its oil from Iraq for free, while the remaining portion is sold to the Kingdom at a concession price, four to five dollars less than the world market price. In the event that Iraqi oil installations are hit by American artillery, the Kingdom’s annual five million tons of crude imports will be in jeopardy. US officials may also order its forces to interrupt Iraqi land traffic, blocking the2 , 500truck fleet that delivers12 , 000tons of crude daily to Jordan.
The US government is examining the possibility of allocating a major aid package to Jordan that would include emergency oil shipments. Although not final, US sources revealed that the nation’s request for American assured oil reserves could be met with over one billion dollars in assistance. — (menareport.com)
The Dutch secret service called a group of the Iraqi opposition leaders residing in Holland and alerted them against assassination operations that might target them by Iraqi regime groups, Al Bawaba.com was told Tuesday.
The name of the Iraqi military council member and secretary general of the Iraqi Center for Democratic Studies, Dr. Musaddaq Al Janabi, comes at the top of the hit list. He told Albawaba.com that the Dutch Intelligence obtained a document from the office of the Iraqi Ambassador to Algeria, Awad Fakhri, with the names of the Iraqi opposition prominent leaders in Europe to be assassinated.
An excellent post on "Winds of Change":
In a remarkable book, Woman in the Muslim Unconscious, the Morroccan scholar Fatna Sabbah writes these daring words:
"I would like to say to the young men formed in our Muslim civilisation that it is highly improbable that they can value liberty - by which I mean, relating to another person as an act of free will, whether it be in bed, in erotic play, or in political debates in party cells or parliament - if they are not conscious of the political import of the hatred and degradation of women in this culture."
I've got a lousy flu bug and just crawled out of bed. What I wanted to post about was space and what we should be doing. But my head hurts, and I'm kinda foggy (more that usual, at least). But here's a great post by Paul aka Sgt. Stryker on that very subject: We Just Decided To Go
I remember watching the Moon landings as a small child and I always just assumed that by the time I was a grownup, we'd have a permanent presence on the Moon, and we'd have been to Mars. Boy, was I wrong.
A follow up on my post from last week on the SALTS program. I sent a bunch of emails, and I've gotten quite a few replies. Some just wanting to thank me, and others looking for pen pals. And on a related note, we sent out a big envelope of Valentines cards to the troops. I'm hoping they'll get where they're going!
Rest In Peace
Almighty Ruler of the all, Whose Power extends to great and small, Who guides the stars with steadfast law, Whose least creation fills with awe, O grant thy mercy and thy grace, To those who venture into space.
~ R A Heinlein
Col. Rick Husband
Commander, 45, was married with two children, making second trip to space.
Lt. Col. Michael Anderson
Payload commander, 43, was married, went into orbit once before.
Cmdr. William McCool
Pilot, 41, was married, making his first journey to space.
Col. Ilan Ramon
First Israeli in space, 48, was a payload specialist with four children.
Pilot Capt. David Brown
U.S. Navy captain, 46, made his first flight into space.
Cmdr. Dr. Laurel Clark
41-year-old physician, of Wisconsin, was married with one child.
Dr. Kalpana Chawla
First India-born woman in space, 41, was an engineer.
Some of the things I've read over the last few hours. I'll save the things that have infuriated me for another time. Right now, I don't want to let the bastards impose themselves on this tragedy.
From President Bush: These men and women assumed great risk in this service to all humanity. In an age when space flight has come to seem almost routine, it is easy to overlook the dangers of travel by rocket and the difficulties of navigating the fierce outer atmosphere of the earth.
These astronauts knew the dangers, and they faced them willingly, knowing they had a high and noble purpose in life. Because of their courage and daring and idealism, we will miss them all the more.
All Americans today are thinking, as well, of the families of these men and women who have been given this sudden shock and grief. You're not alone. Our entire nation grieves with you. And those you loved will always have the respect and gratitude of this country.
The cause in which they died will continue. Mankind is led into the darkness beyond our world by the inspiration of discovery and the longing to understand. Our journey into space will go on.
In the skies today, we saw destruction and tragedy. Yet farther than we can see, there is comfort and hope.
In the words of the prophet Isaiah, "Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing."
The same creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth, yet we can pray that all are safely home.
May God bless the grieving families, and may God continue to bless America.
Rod Dreher on "A Childs Dream Of Space" : I was deeply moved to learn this morning that Ilan Ramon, the Israeli astronaut killed on the Columbia this morning, had taken into space with him a drawing made by a child in a Nazi concentration camp. It was the child's conception of what Earth looks like from the moon. That drawing survived the Holocaust and its aftermath, and was kept in Yad Vashem, Israel's national Holocaust memorial site. Now it has perished, along with Ramon and six others, on its way back from space.
Think about that drawing: that Jewish child lived in a death camp, yet he was still able to dream of space, and these dreams no doubt brought that child some small measure of comfort in a world overwhelmed by tragedy, suffering and loss.
Peggy Noonan: "These are the days of miracle and wonder," sang Paul Simon in the 1980s. It ran through my head all morning, from out of nowhere, and I think I know why. It has to do with the impossibility, the sheer implausibility, of the facts. We are on the verge of war in the Mideast, a war springing in its modern origins from the tensions of the Arab-Israeli conflict; our president, a Texan, believes we must move on Iraq. The space shuttle that broke up today carried, for the first time ever, a Mideastern astronaut, an Israeli who won fame when he led a daring raid on a nuclear reactor in Iraq, 20 years ago. The shuttle broke up over the president's home state, Texas. The center of the debris field appears to be a little town called Palestine.
If Tom Clancy wrote this in one of his novels--heck, if Tim LaHaye wrote this in one of his Left Behind books--his editor would call him and say, "We're thinking this may be too over the top."
Today the tragedy feels less like something that teaches than something that reminds. We were reminded of what we know. President Bush referred to it when he lauded the astronauts' courage. We forget to notice the everyday courage of astronauts. We forget to think about all the Americans doing big and dangerous things in the world--members of the armed forces, cops and firemen, doctors in public hospitals in hard places. And now, famously again, astronauts. With their unremarked-upon valor and cool professionalism. With their desire to make progress and push on.
Buzz Aldrin captured it this morning. He tried to read a poem about astronauts on television. He read these words: "As they passed from us to glory, riding fire in the sky." And tough old Buzz, steely-eyed rocket man and veteran of the moon, began to weep.
He was not alone.
God bless and bless and bless their souls, and rest their souls in the morning.
'Touch the Face of God': The Challenger speech.