August 24, 2007

August 16, 2007

Mussolini Chavez Tries For "President for Life" In Venezuela


musso.jpg......................Father and Son?......


musso2.jpg


He stood at the edge of the balcony, jaw out-thrust, glaring at the crowds, looking like the pugnacious tyrant that he was. Raising his hand in a fascist like salute he roared out to the crowd that he was the leader, that the legislature had granted him, or soon would if they knew what was good for them, the leadership of the country for as long as he wanted. Or at any rate, long after the current law allowed. This was to make sure that all of the people, all of the businesses had a chance to change from a formerly fairly backwards society to the modern imperial democracy that the people deserved and wanted. Benito Mussolini? No, Hugo Chavez, dictator of Venezuela, not that there is a whole lot of difference between them.

CARACAS, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez called for changes to Venezuela's constitution Wednesday night, delivering a key address pitching reforms that are expected to allow him to be re-elected indefinitely. [emphasis added]

Source

The National Assembly, completely under the thumb of Chavez's supporters and sycophants, is expected to give Chavez what he wants. Chavez stated:
They accuse me of making plans to be in power forever or to concentrate power. We know it isn't like that. It's power of the people," Chavez said. "So many lies in the world. I doubt there is any country on this planet with a democracy more alive than the one we enjoy in Venezuela today."
What really amazes me, not that this petty tyrant is trying to grab power (hell, he already has) is that there is not a bigger outcry in this country.

To be sure, I'm not advocating invasion or wresting control of Venezuela via a US sponsored coup (we screwed up in a similar situation with Allende in the 70's) but no outcry at all? Where are the democracy supporters in this country? I hear bloggers on the right decrying this thug. I hear a few on the left doing the same, but overall? I'm surprised that as far as I can tell, Jimmy Carter (who oh so sickeningly proclaimed Chavez's last election fair and above-board) hasn't said a word.

It will be interesting to watch and see if the MSM picks up on this. Oh sure, the WSJ has, so has The Guardian and USA Today. But where are the others? The New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, LA Times? As of this posting, they haven't even picked up the AP wire-story as far as I can tell. Perhaps they aren't interested or perhaps they secretly want to see this thug sticking it to Bush directly and the United States indirectly

The State Department wants to wait to see what the "proposals" are before commenting.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Wednesday that the U.S. would wait for details of Chvez's proposal before commenting on it. He added that Chvez in the past "has taken a number of different stepsthat have really eroded some of the underpinnings of democracy in Venezuela."

Source - The AP

Why wait, if the folk in the State Department don't know what is going down in Venezuela by now, they need to be fired! Nuts, even a 12 year old with a modicum amount of interest in South and Central America should be able to see what is going on down there.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:13 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

August 03, 2007

What Could Be Worse Than Bush?

When polls don't count to the Left:

Zogby Poll: August 01, 2007 - Just 24% give the president favorable ratings of his performance in handling the war in Iraq, but confidence in Congress is significantly worse only 3% give Congress positive marks for how it has handled the war.

Posted by Woody M. at 09:10 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

July 18, 2007

Pitiful, Just Pitiful!

After an all night debate, Senate Republicans have successfully blocked an effort by the Democratic leadership from removing U.S. Troops from Iraq by the end of April 2008. The final vote on the cloture issue was 52 TO 47 with only 4 Republicans supporting the measure: Sens. Gordon Smith of Oregon, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and joining these three was Sen. Susan Collins also of Maine who is up for re-election next year.

The Republicans in the Senate (and elsewhere) have stated that this was a useless political stunt by the Democrats who continue to harp on an issue that they do not have the power to change. But, I disagree, the move by the Democrats has two purposes, one of which is not intended, but more about that later. The primary purpose of this "useless" debate is to sway public opinion for a period of time long enough so that the Republicans will eventually "give up" and support the Dems in their efforts to be the de facto "Commander in Chief." And, if the Republicans are as spineless as they have been in the past, it might just work.

The other purpose that I alluded to above is that this really does show how the Democrats are less interested in solving this issue (pull out vs. come up with a real plan to win the war against the Islamofascist elements of Islam) than in giving in to a mistaken interpretation of the mandate of the last election. The Democrats truly believe that they were elected to get us out of Iraq, but the reality is that it was more a vote against entrenched Republican spend-a-holics who had the taint (real and imagined) of corruption. That the Democrats in congress are equally corrupt, if not decidedly more so, does not seem to have entered the minds of the electorate. And, I have to hand it to the Dems, they did a masterful job of painting the Republicans as do nothing but spend, hand money over to corrupt lobbyist like Jack Abramoff and pseudo-pedophiles like the congressman from Florida.

Be that as it may, Republicans voted Dem in a fairly large number of places electing an awful lot of Blue Dog Democrats to replace Republicans, but the truth of the matter is that those individuals are going to be "at risk" come the next election and if the Democrats continue to play their silly little games they will loose out in the Senate as well. And, don't think America doesn't remember and think about comments from idiots like Harry Reid (D. Nevada) stating that the war will equal votes for Democrats.

In fact, I think I just may encourage Democrats to keep on doing what they are doing. It will just prove how insane the current Democrat leadership is; the definition of insanity being "To keep doing the same thing expecting a different result."

Score card: Reps = 1; Dems = 0

Pitiful, just pitiful!

Update: Fausta sees it the way I do, but she has photographic evidence of Harry Reid reaching for Nirvana. Go and read the whole thing.

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July 17, 2007

Democrats Trim Budget Buster

Congressional Democrats have taken a magnifying glass to the federal budget and found the one, yes, the one agency that represents government waste and needs its funding cut. Any guesses as to what that agency does?

Democrats Eliminate Budget Buster

The new Democratic Congress has finally found a government agency whose budget It wants to cut: an obscure Labor Department office that monitors the compliance of unions with federal law.

In the past six years, the Office of Labor Management Standards, or OLMS, has helped secure the convictions of 775 corrupt union officials and court-ordered restitution to union members of over $70 million in dues. The House is set to vote Thursday on a proposal to chop 20% from the OLMS budget. Every other Labor Department enforcement agency is due for a budget increase, and overall the Congress has added $935 million to the Bush administration's budget request for Labor. The only office the Democrats want to cut back is the one engaged in union oversight.

...OLMS, the Labor office that watches over union disclosure forms, says that last year 93% of unions met its reporting requirements. But the other 7% deserve scrutiny. Union members deserve to know how their dues are spent. They might want to know that in 2005, the National Education Association gave more than $65 million to Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and dozens of other liberal advocacy groups that have nothing to do with the interests of teachers. In 2006, 49 individuals employed at the national AFL-CIO headquarters were paid more than $130,000. "Union members are also discovering the extent to which their dues money is funding lavish trips for union officials to luxury resorts and other expensive perks unrelated to collective bargaining," says Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. ....

What else can we expect from this "most open, honest, and ethical Congress in history?" Next on the Democrats' list...the Department of Defense.

Posted by Woody M. at 09:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 02, 2007

Reidie Rage BoyTM


The President has commuted Scooter Libby's prison sentence. And already the howls are coming up from our own homegrown Reidie Rage Boy. Reid began howling and pontificating within seconds of the announcement that Libbys 30 month prison sentence was commuted leaving intact the fine and two years probation. Bush noted:

I respect the jury's verdict," Bush said in a statement. "But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison."
Reidie Rage Boy of course decried the Presidents constitutional perogative calling it disgraceful. Bush also stated:
Others point out that a jury of citizens weighed all the evidence and listened to all the testimony and found Mr. Libby guilty of perjury and obstructing justice. They argue, correctly, that our entire system of justice relies on people telling the truth. And if a person does not tell the truth, particularly if he serves in government and holds the public trust, he must be held accountable."
I will give this to Harry Reid. When Clinton got off with nothing more than impeachment but no conviction, Harry Reid announced that it was also disgraceful and that Clinton deserved conviction and a prison sentence for committing perjury. He also excoriated Clinton for the massive number of pardons at the end of Clinton's term including pardon's for financer Marc Rich and Hillary's brother, calling those two pardons, among others, a disgusting exhibit of power that the president has, but should never have used. Oh, wait, he didn't say either one of those things - my bad!

Update: For Moose's information, The Blah Blah Blog has a list of those pardoned by Clinton

Update 2: Oh, and let's not forget one of the more famous pardons:

Susan H. McDougal, Mail fraud, 18 U.S.C. 1341; aiding and abetting in misapplication of Small Business Investment Corporation funds, 18 U.S.C. 657 and 2; aiding and abetting in making false entries, 18 U.S.C. 1006 and 2; aiding and abetting in making false statements, 18 U.S.C. 1014 and 2 convicted in 1996, pardoned on December 22, 2000 - 30 days before he left office.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:27 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

June 27, 2007

Move Over Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq, You've Got Company

My very first Dodo Award went to Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq for a truly dimwitted remark on the Knighting of Sir Salman Rushdie. This second award is somewhat different, and although I initially intended this award for truly stupid statements, at the time the possibility of utilizing it for other purposes should have entered my mind, but didn't. This second award is awarded to the United States Senate, to John McCain (Idiot, Az), Ted Kennedy (Drunk, Ma) and George W. Bush, RINO Prez. Why, you may ask? Simple, for trying to shove down our throats Amnesty Bill II (the first being passed in 1986). Oh, they'll tell us that it isn't, but it is, and it is because we were flooded with illegal aliens following the Amnesty I just as those of us who understood human behavior said we would be. And so, to those named I present the 2nd Dodo Award and the first for Conspicuous Stupidity!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

June 20, 2007

Michael Bloomberg: King Maker or Spoiler?

Is Michael Bloomberg (here-in-after known as Bloomy) the Big Bad Wolf with his billion dollar treasure chest? And, if he is, who's afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Not me, and I'm pretty sure not any of the Republican candidates. Here's why. First, Bloomy was never a Republican in any sense of the word except for running under that banner to get elected. Bloomy figured, rightly as it turned out, that he could fool a lot of republicans by "turning in" his Democratic loyalty and becoming a Republican. Now, Bloomy had been a liberal Democrat all his adult life, so why the sudden switch? Well, pretty simple, he thought (rightly again) that he would have a difficult time getting the Democrat nomination for the Mayor's job with the fairly large field running. So, in 2001 he turned in his liberal Democrat credentials and ran as a Republican winning some 50% of the vote to Mark Green's 48%.

As you will recall, the Primary's were set for September 11, 2001 but because of the jihadist attack killing some 3000 people and bringing down the Twin Towers, the primary was re scheduled. Bloomy had Giuliani's endorsement against Giuliani's foe Mark Green. Bloomy was elected again in 2005 and is prohibited from running for a third term.

Because he had no compunctions about running as a Republican when he had been a life-long Democrat, he likewise figured that since he can't run for Mayor again, he no longer needs the Republican party in New York as a backer and so once again he switches this time to being an "Independent." This of course allows him to finance his own presidential run should he decide to run.

What kind of Mayor he has been may indicate what kind of President he would be should he win an election. Mr. Bloomgerg is pro-abortion, anti-gun, anti-smoking and willing to tell restraunts what kinds of fat they can use in their various recipes. He has angered the US Federal Attorney for running sting operations looking for gun dealers who "don't follow the law" all the while breaking the law in doing so. He has police officers issue citations to citizens smoking; the activity being legal, the place where you do the activity being tightly scrutinized by police officers whose time might be better spent in pursuit of other, say higher profile criminals. In short, Mr. Bloomberg just might issue in the nanny state in spades. Oh, and he is pro gay marriage as well.

I have a hard time believing that Bloomy, in spite of his wealth (he is the 142nd wealthiest billionaire according to Forbes) will be able to attract enough right, center right and center votes to win any election in a three way race. He may however be a spoiler for the Democrat running much as is Ralph Nader if you believe that Nader took sufficient votes from Al Gore in 2000 or that Ross Perot took sufficient votes from George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Doubtless, Bloomy will be perceived to run well to the left regardless of how he attempts to run if the Republicans have anything to say about it. And, if Hillary gets the Democrat Nomination for President, Bloomy will be up against the fearsome Clinton machine, not something to sneeze at despite his wealth.

And, since we are on the topic of his wealth, note that spending his own money won't have the same constraints on him that the Democrats and Republicans will have. Bloomy can afford a massive, effective and widespread media buy and have his name on every two bit journalist's notebook as they pursue the story of the rich maverick. And, the MSM do indeed love a maverick; look at the ink that flowed when John McCain ran in 2000 with his "Straight Talk Express."

In fact, being liberal, and a proponent of the nanny state (and he really doesn't care if you have to pay for it with your taxes, after all, he's already made his. I can see it now, the Federal Department of Fats, The Food, Drug and Cigarettes Administration and even perhaps the United States Gun Confiscation Commission. I know, I'm being a little facetious but there may be some hidden truths here in that Bloomy has already tested those waters in New York and the slavish population has gone along without serious revolt.

All kidding aside, a Bloomberg candidacy may well throw the presidential race into the house of representatives if he gets enough states to deny 270 electoral votes to the leading candidate. Then you also have the factor of how many candidates there are at present. Both the Republicans and the Democrats are running a lot of people in the primaries. Those that lose, and that will be all of them save one from each party, may be stiffed and angry, much as McCain supporters were in 2000. Should enough stay home or vote for Bloomy out of spite, that could possibly change the complexion of the election. A fractured party is not unusual for Democrats ("I don't belong to any organized political party, I'm a Democrat" said Will Rogers - and things haven't changed that much) and sometimes, not that unusual for the Republicans (remember the tiff between Goldwater and Rockefeller in 1964 and between Reagan and Ford in 1976, let alone Bush and McCain in 2000). And, in each case concerning both Democrats and Republicans, the tiffs hurt their focused campaigns.

Currently, the Democrats are all running to the left as fast as they can to satisfy the netroots, that mishmash of hard leftists who are nothing if not anti-war and that seems to be all that drives them (where oh where are the classical liberals in the Democrat party besides Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman?) Then, when the race is decided and the winning Democrat moves back to the center as they will no doubt do because that's where the winning votes are the radical left will be without a champion. Now, all of this is of course speculation, but the possibility is definitely there and Bloomy could conceivably take votes from the Democrat nominee more so than from the Republican nominee. And that would drive the Democrats totally bonkers. Truth be told, enough leftish folk voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 that it probably, nay, likely cost Gore the election. It is very doubtful that anyone voting for Nader would have voted for Bush, though I could be wrong about that. But the fact remains that Nader took 97,488 votes in Florida and had Nader not run, the vast majority of those votes would have gone to Gore and thus Florida's 25 electoral votes and the election. This could happen again with a Bloomberg candidacy.

So, will Michael Bloomberg be a Kingmaker for the Republicans, A Spoiler for the Democrats or vice versa? You decide.

Will Michael Bloomberg hurt the Republicans, the Democrats or will he have no effect at all?
Help the Republicans
Help the Democrats
Spend a lot of money and have no discernable effect
Michel Bloomberg will WIN the election
Who Is Michael Bloomburg
Man O' War in the Fifth at Hialeah
  
pollcode.com free polls

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Posted by GM Roper at 07:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

May 21, 2007

Thompson For President?



I can't say I'm supporting Thompson yet, but I think I'm leaning that way!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:16 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

April 30, 2007

Tax Freedom Day

The Tax Foundation has determined that today, April 30, 2007, is Tax Freedom Day in the U.S., which signifies when Americans stop working for the government and can start working to support themselves. Click HERE to see the report and links to the complete study.

Four months out of the year the average person in this country works for the government. Just think about that when pork spending comes up and they are using your money to fund it. The following chart gives you another perspective.

Days Americans Work to Pay Taxes
Compared to Other Expenses, 2007

While Tax Freedom Day is computed using averages of all states, the report goes further and breaks it down by individual states. It shows that people in "blue states" have a later Tax Freedom Day and work longer for the government than those in "red states." Doesn't that make you want to live in Massachusetts or California?

Congratulations on making it to this point! Go buy something for yourself. Now, it's your money and you've earned it.

Via TaxProf Blog

Posted by Woody M. at 10:40 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

April 27, 2007

Those Bush Tax Cuts

Whenever some liberal talks about "those Bush tax cuts," three things may come up, and all of them are wrong: (1) it's only for the rich, (2) it will drive the federal deficit up, and (3) it won't help the economy. Maybe there's a (4)...it hurts the children, which we'll ignore. What has actually happened since the cuts became law?

The Dow and the Bush Tax Cuts
by James Pethokoukis, senior writer at U.S. News & World Report

With the Dow industrials making new records every day of lateeven cracking the 13,000 barrier to fascinate all the Wall Street numerologists out thereI thought it would be a real kick to see how the stock market has performed since Congress passed the 2003 Bush tax cuts on May 23, 2003. (The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act accelerated the 2001 tax cuts and cut taxes on capital gains and dividends.) Since then, the Dow is up 52 percent, the S&P 500 60 percent, and the Nasdaq 69 percent. (Overall, the stock market has created some $6.8 trillion in new wealth since then as the size of the economy has grown by some $2.8 trillion, not adjusted for inflation.)

Also note that the federal budget deficit was $378 billion, or 3.5 percent of gross domestic product, in 2003. But by 2006, the deficit had shrunk to $248 billion, or 1.9 percent of GDP. And it sure looks as if those numbers are headed even lower as tax revenues continue to flood Uncle Sam's coffers at an amazing pace. In fact, the U.S. Treasury said that it took in $48.7 billion on Tuesday alone, a new record.

But, the Democrats intend to let the tax cuts automatically expire at the end of 2010, effectively raising taxes again (even though they won't say they are being raised.) They tend to think that the money a person earns belongs to the government and that the government only allows you to keep some, and they believe that the government knows how to better spend your money than do you. (Well, I've never purchased obscene and insulting art work with my money.)

Having been stung on this before in a presidential race, the Democrats are not going to admit that they will force a huge tax hike on the people, but the Republicans and many of us need to remind the voters that is exactly what they intend to do.

If the tax cut is working, don't mess with it.

Posted by Woody M. at 02:20 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

April 26, 2007

Relative Tax Burdens of Countries

Europe has everything better than the U.S. and they don't have to pay as much for it.

Ever hear that from some lefty, who just loves to put down the U.S.? Sure, everything's free if you only were socialist. Well, someone has to pay the bill, as backed up by this table from Citizens for Tax Justice via TaxProf Blog.

Citizens for Tax Justice today released United States Remains One of the Least Taxed Industrial Countries:

Taxes continue to take up a relatively small part of American economic output, according to data compiled by Citizens for Tax Justice from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Census. For example, in all but two OECD countries, taxes make up a larger percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) than in the United States.

(Of course, this chart was made before the Democrats have had a chance to implement their tax plans, so now we may be climbing fast.)

The table shows that our government still lets us decide how to spend most of our own money rather than taking half from us and telling us how it will be used. Who knows best how to provide for you and your family...you or some government worker?

Share this chart the next time someone tells you what's "free and better" in Europe. Also, point out that we're also spending more on military so that they don't have to.

Posted by Woody M. at 10:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

March 31, 2007

Early voting

The majority of my readers are likely to be conservative, though I cherish my liberal readers also. So, here is your chance to vote for the politician of your choice. You are limited to one vote per day for one week and, you may vote for one Democrat & one Republican. I'll post the final results next Saturday.

If The Election Were Held Today, Who Would You Vote For?
Rudy Giuliani (R)
Hillary Clinton (D)
John McCain (R)
Barack Obama (D)
Fred Thompson (R)
John Edwards (D)
Tom Tancredo (R)
Joe Biden (D)
Mitt Romney (R)
Bill Richardson (D)
Newt Gingrich (R)
Chris Dodd (D)
Sam Brownback (R)
Dennis Kucinich (D)
Mike Huckabee (R)
Mike Gravel (D)
George Pataki (R)
Tommy Thompson (R)
  
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March 26, 2007

Be Careful Of Who You Step On On The Way Up

Senator John McCain
Senate Office Building
Washington, District of Columbia

Dear Senator McCain:

I understand that you are having difficulty raising money for your presidential campaign.

"We're going to pay a price for it because we got a late start," McCain told reporters in New Hampshire. "We're not going to meet the goals we had."
Don Surber also notes:
What is doing him in financially is karma. McCain-Feingold was supposed to limit money in political campaigns. That is why McCain is having trouble raising money. McCain-Feingold made him a political pariah. Republicans love him and respect his wartime heroism, but they would rather see Hillary get elected.

"Well, maybe not Hillary.

"What is ironic is McCain-Feingold failed to limit Big Money in campaigns. Democrats exploited the 527 loophole with the top 5 or 6 all being big liberal-labor spending machines. If it were not for the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, Republicans would have been shut out last time.

"The other irony is technology is making McCain-Feingold obsolete."

This of course is not the result you had intended with the abomination called McCain-Feingold; you wanted "big money" out of politics. I don't suppose you anticipated George Soros and the like. In fact, though you were the media darling in '00 and '04, what with your being called a "maverick" and touted by the mainstream media as the new republican, I doubt that you anticipated such a blowback from the folk on your side of the aisle. When you toyed with the "news" that maybe your buddy John "Do You Know Who I Am" Kerry might pick you for his vice presidential candidate you must have known that the Republicans would recoil in horror at the thought. But you wanted that controversy, you delighted in the media coverage:
Lauer then raised the question of whether McCain would accept an offer from Kerry to run as VP. He gave a classic Washington non-denial denial. He "wasn't running for VP." Yeah, not yet, you haven't been asked. He stopped far short of saying he wouldn't accept Kerry's invitation. "Have you had serious discussions with the Kerry campaign? "Not serious ones." Not serious? Has McCain had un-serious discussions with the Kerry people?

"McCain went on to describe his GOP affiliation in this most curious way. "I'm a member of the party of Lincoln, of the party of Teddy Roosevelt." It seemed that he was about to add someone else. The obvious name would have been Ronald Reagan. But no, the most recent Republican with whom McCain was willing to associate himself was in office 100 years ago."

Now, your chickens have come home to roost. You are being vilified by your base:
While many people are making a sudden discovery of the Republican Partys ill-feelings for the Arizona senator, the hostility is nothing new."
And:
John McCain's voting record could have helped him in the outreach to pro-life voters. But his denseness, arrogance and lack of discipline have all but done in him in the election before the election."
Senator, we conservatives (whether Democrat or Republican) have long memories and we remember who steps on us on the way up. Don't expect any of us to grab onto you as you tumble on your way down. Enjoy the trip, but be careful of that sudden stop at the bottom, its a Doozy!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:57 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

March 12, 2007

Towards A Different Governmental Rationale

Robert James Bidinotto makes me think, damn him all to hell anyway! I've known Robert for a couple of years now, first coming across his name in a link of a blog long forgotten. At any rate, I clicked on the link and came to Robert's blog The Bidinotto Blog and quickly became a fan and occasional commenter. I've met some terrific people there, Oyster who is a regular commenter here and who authors Soy Como Soy (I am who I am) and Robert Jones, a talented photographer from my old stomping grounds in San Antonio but now out of Philadelphia and New York (and now a movie critic). But, I digress, this is about Robert's ideas and writings.

In the most recent copy of The New Individualist (and if you are capable of rational thought, I highly recommend trying a free copy or even better, subscribing) contains a remarkable treatise on conservatism and individualism. Bidinotto is an "individualist" and active in the movement. He writes with clarity and puts forth a pretty well crafted argument about what is wrong with modern conservatism. While not buying the full brunt of the argument, much of what he has written is inarguable and a feast for intelligent thought. A tidbit:

...conservaism arose as an anti-statist intellectual movement incorporating two elements: anticommunism and opposition to the burgeoning welfare state. That intellectual movement transformed itself into a political coalition with the 1964 presidential candidacy of Barry Goldwater. It achieved its political ascendancy with the election of Ronald Reagan.

But as an anti-statist coalition, conservatism always defined itself in negative terms - and remained united in terms of what it opposed. Members of that coalition did not share a single, overacrhing, philosophical frame of reference or agenda. ?There were a number of competing intellectual forces within that coalition, and as long as they confronted common enemies, they could remain in an uneasy alliance.

However, with the 1989 collapse of communism and the 1994 Democratic electoral debacle, conservatives found themselves in the political dirvers seat - and suddenly in need of a positive agenda on economic and cultural issues. But which competing set of views and valuses within the coalition would define that agenda?" [emphasis in the original]


Bidinotto's prose should excite and cause any truly intelligent person to think, and think hard about the future of the conservative movement. Perhaps, if sufficient numbers of individuals put their collective intelligences together, we might just actually come up with a governmental rationale that will do away with the traditional limits of progressivism and conservatism. Carpe Diem!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 04, 2007

Beware The Political-Apology Complex

I'm sick and tired of the "faux pas" ---> Blame ---> Demand an Apology ---> Apologize industry that passes for politics these days. I don't know about you, but I sure am sick and tired of it.

Kerry botches a joke badly but won't apologize because he didn't mean to botch the joke. Obama and McCain both botch a statement using the term "wasted" and both apologize for it. Hillary refuses to apologize for her vote, Edwards apologizes for his. Clinton apologizes to Africa, Virginia apologizes to African Americans. Hillary demands Obama apologize for something someone else said, Dean won't apologize for what Geffin said, but demands that conservatives, and Republican aspirants to the throne apologize for the comment of an acknowledged bomb thrower.

Everyone demands that their opposite in the political spectrum take responsibility for something that you may or may not agree with; may or may not have said and which may or may not reflect your beliefs. In other words, some of my political friends on the left expect me to take responsibility for, and no doubt apologize for the rantings of Ms. Coulter, only because I too am a conservative. Not too long ago, a commenter on my site demanded that I publicaly disassociate myself from a blog entry by another blogger who belongs to a group of bloggers that I belong to. How very dumb this has gotten.

Liberals, Democrats and progressives on Daily "Screw 'Em!" Kos say the nastiest things about Republicans and Republicans return the favor in far right wing blogs.

George Carlin used to do a riff on the 7 words you can't say on TV or Radio, and it was very, very funny, if somewhat ribald considering it was more than 30 years ago (no, I won't tell you what they are... this is a family blog - but you can Google them). But, today, you can use the foulest words and get a huge laugh and then immediate outrage from everyone that the word is applied to, but not from those that laughed... they thought it was funny. Coulters "Faggot" remark was laughed at, her political opponents demanded heads roll. Whoppie Goldberg told the President to keep his hands "...off of my bush" and the Republicans were outraged.

I'm beginning to think its a time to put a curse on both of their houses, both for being thin skinned and for demanding apologies. As if demanding, not asking for, not requesting but demanding an apology makes a dimes worth of difference. Had Mr. Dean demanded that Ann Coulter make the apology he would have still been wrong. It is John Edwards' job to demand an apology if he wants to, and I doubt very much if he wants an apology as he is using this to the max to raise funds..

Just as the Republicans got extra milage from the foul-mouthed antics of Whoopie Goldberg, so to are the Democrats getting milage from the foul-mouthed antics of Ann Coulter.

Of course, the funniest part of this whole thing (I'll be darned if I call it a controversy) is that Republicans are split over whether using the word Faggot a bad thing vs. those that want to take the high road. Those that believe homosexuality is a "choice" and an immoral one at that are saying "Bravo Ms. Coulter." those that don't think that this name calling has a place in the public arena regardless of their feelings about homosexuality are saying "Hey Coulter, shut up already." Much the same can be said for the Democrats. Some for demanding an apology, some for saying "Oh please!"

I'm not sure there was ever a day when politics was more gentle, but for darn sure it could be more appropriate than it is today. What are your thoughts?

Posted by GM Roper at 05:56 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

March 01, 2007

Rats In the United Nations!

Rats stalk UN corridors of power

I thought so. Most of them were involved in the Food for Oil scam.

On an unrelated matter, the U.N. also has a pest infestaton. Maybe the U.N. should sanction them to leave. While that didn't work on the rats in Iraq and Iran, maybe the third time is a charm.

Posted by Woody M. at 03:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 25, 2007

Dear Mexico, Excuuuuse U.S.

Talk about unnecessary apologies. Mexico is upset about our workers, who are building a fence between our countries, stepping on their grass.

Mexican anger over US 'trespass' (selections)


Mexico's Congress has condemned what it says is a border violation by US workers building a controversial barrier between the two countries. Legislators say workers and equipment building a section of the barrier have gone 10 metres (yards) into Mexico.

Mexican legislators said they had photographs and video, taken on Monday, of the workers and heavy-duty construction equipment that showed them about 10 metres inside Mexico near the border city of Agua Prieta and the town of Douglas, Arizona.

In a statement, the US Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza said: "The US is sensitive to Mexican concerns... [and] has the deepest respect for the integrity of the sovereignty of Mexican soil".

The US says it is building 700 miles (1,125km) of fencing along its border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration.

So, let's see. We have a handful of construction workers building a border fence who stray ten yards into Mexico and that upsets the Mexican government enough to condemn the U.S. Maybe Mexico didn't notice their handful of construction workers, something like six million, who have gone ten yards or more into the U.S. And, we have pictures, too.

Why did we even respond? And, did anyone check to see if the U.S. construction workers building the fence weren't Mexicans themselves?

Posted by Woody M. at 04:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

January 23, 2007

State of the Union Address & Democratic Response

Comments?

(Underlined emphasis mine)

FULL STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH
Tue Jan 23 2007

Madam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

This rite of custom brings us together at a defining hour when decisions are hard and courage is tested. We enter the year 2007 with large endeavors underway, and others that are ours to begin. In all of this, much is asked of us. We must have the will to face difficult challenges and determined enemies and the wisdom to face them together.

Continue reading "State of the Union Address & Democratic Response"
Posted by Woody M. at 08:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

January 18, 2007

How to Reduce the Federal Deficit

Get these people to pay....

Federal Workers Owe Billions in Unpaid Taxes

As the 2006 tax season approaches, the federal government is still trying to recover nearly $3 billion from its own employees who failed to file income tax returns for 2005. More than 450,000 active and retired federal employees did not voluntarily comply with federal income tax requirements for the 2005 tax year. (An) IRS spokesperson tells WTOP it's no easier to collect from federal employees than it is to collect from the general public. The federal agency with the highest number of delinquent taxpayers is the United States Postal Service.

Posted by Woody M. at 05:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

January 09, 2007

The New American Tribes

I cannot do this justice in a short post, but the Assistant Village Idiot has a series of entries identifying "tribes" (not Indian) in the U.S., which break the population down by areas such as political & philosophical divisions. Let me encourage you to scroll through his site for specifics, as he is a much better and deeper writer and thinker on this than am I.

He has tentatively identified the following "tribes:" Arts & Humanities, Science & Technology, God & Country, Diversity, Government & Union, Military, Criminal Underclass, and Business. He is looking for input, and we all have opinions, which can help to refine these.

I tend to classify people by how they think, as how they think determines what fields they study rather than the other way around. Examples: Right brained (emotional) people go into arts and academics while left brained (logical) people go into business, as those fields fit their comfort zones. But, that's just my opinion.

Check out AVI's site to help him and come back to let us know your views on the tribe classifications. It makes for interesting discussion.

Posted by Woody M. at 08:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

December 14, 2006

Tony Snow; One Class Act!

Tony Snow is one of my Heroes. He sent me a very long email when I when I was diagnosed with cancer and followed it up later. This is typical of Mr. Snow.

From today's WH Press Briefing (emph. added):


DAVID GREGORY QUESTION: From a security point of view, does the president believe that it is the primary role of the U.S. military to be responsible for reducing the sectarian violence?

And if that's the case, or if it's not the case, how does that inform his decision about what the U.S. troop posture should be: heavier on combat than on training?

TONY SNOW: OK, before I get to that, I want to address something else. Because you and I had a conversation last week that got a whole lot of play in a lot of places, where I used the term "partisan" in describing one of your questions.

And I've thought a lot about that, and that I was wrong. So I want to apologize and tell you I'm sorry for it.

DAVID GREGORY: Thank you.

TONY SNOW: And the reason I do that is not only because it's the right thing, but because I want people in this room and also people who watch these to understand that the relations in this room are professional and collegial.

And if I expect you to do right by us, you have every right to expect that I'll do right by you.

So, at any event, I just want to say I'm sorry for that.

Now, let's -- now on the issue, because I know that this plays off some of the stories today, when it comes to what U.S. force strategies and postures are going to be, again, I'll leave that to the president to announce when he describes the way forward.

But let me, again, and I want to discourage people from taking too much, because there are going to be a lot of -- a lot of people are going to talk about a lot of options.

And many people are working on investigating options. And a lot will say, "Ah-ha, I'm working on this with the clear thought that that is the president's view of the way forward." Some are going to be right and some won't. But the president has not made up his mind.

It is important to understand that a vital part of having an Iraq that can sustain, govern and defend itself is an end to sectarian violence and also clear efforts to force insurgent groups, militias and criminal bands to make a clear choice. They have to face a choice: Either join civil society or be shut down.

So you find out the most effective way to do that. And, again, I'm not going to prejudge, because that's for the president to announce and not for me to announce.

Class, pure class!

Posted by GM Roper at 08:20 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

December 11, 2006

The Carnival of German American Relations


blogcarnival.gifOnce again dear readers, it is time for CARNIVAL!!! This is the 5th edition of the Carnival of German American Relations, a carnival started last year at this time from an idea born of Joerg Wolf who, along with two other Fullbright scholars writes Atlantic Review. Joerg and I hosted the first carnival one year ago today. I opened with:

On this date in 1941 Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich declared war on the United States and thus signed it's death warrant. Relationships between our two countries between then and now have had more ups and downs than a roller coaster; the ride has been at times exhilarating, at times terrifying, at times maddening but it has never been boring.

Welcome to the first Carnival of German-American Relations. Willkommen zum ersten Karneval der Deutsch-Amerikanischen Relationen.

And what a ride it has been. This is the, if we are to count exactly, the first edition of the second volume and what is really nice, is this is a carnival that celebrates the two countries with all of their ups and downs in the relationships.

I was born in Germany in 1946 and was there during the Hungarian Revolution as well as in Berlin on 9/11. My ties to Germany are deep and broad. But I'm also a realist. There are as many things that divide these two great democracies as there are things that join them together in a quest for freedom. So, without further ado, let's take a look at some of what the blogosphere is saying about Germany and America. This issue of the Carnival of German American Relations is brought to you by yours truly GM Roper (a nefarious, right-wing, knuckle dragging, Neandertholithic conservative) and the good folk at Too Much Cookies Network who will be writing the Carnival in German.

Our first entry is by my very good friend and fellow Psych Blogger The Assistant Village Idiot. AVI writes about The German American Economic Collapse a post regarding governmental intervention is what may be called by some social welfare by others fostering social dependence. Do people appreciate what they are given, or more what they earn. The old Chinese proverb "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eat's for a lifetime," would seem to apply.

Oddly enough, or maybe not so, our next entry is an entry from Ralf Goergens writing in Chicago Boyz with an entry stating that Mark Steyn is wrong, that The future doesn't belong to Islam, thank you very much and goes on to explain that demographics are not the whole story. I'm hoping that Ralf is right.

Next up, an entry from our own Joerg Wolf writing in Atlantic Review. Joerg notes that the US and Germany have not done as good a job at training Afghanistanian Police as we would like, and after expenditures of millions of dollars, we cannot say how many police are actually on the job, and where all the equipment has gone. Joerg also has a short piece on Americans being the Friendliest Nation

Next up; George A. Pieler & Jens F. Laurson writing in the International Affairs Forum tell a tale of Merkel's Geopolitical Menage Trois and describe Merkel's problems dealing with both Russia and Poland over energy supplies. This is really a good read.

Terrific reading so far, and I'm not even a third of the way done. Whew!!!

The folk at World Wide Success (Dedicated to your success anywhere in the world) have written a two part post (here is part 1 and here is part 2) and takes a hard look at the successes in the German economy. They note in particular, decisions made by BMW in the 70's are one of the many driving forces (no pun intended) that make this such a great company today.

My good friend and commenter Shah Alexander writing in Global American Discourse has written an excellent article on the NATO Summit at Riga, Latvia. Shah looks at the globalization of NATO no less. Very interesting article with some links that might make you sit up and read further.

Over at Observing Hermann we find Are you riding the Wohlstandwelle yet? What is Wohlstandwelle you ask? Read and discover because Hermann is looking at the uptick in the German economy and asks if the German consumer will finally beging consuming and thus keep the boom going. OH also submitted Lame Duck in which he looks at the comparisons between the Bush Administration and the Merkel Administration while noting the Pelosi has shot herself in the foot. Lastly, OH submitted Remembrance of Things Past regarding the People's Day of Remembrance noting its similarity to our own Veteran's day here in the US and Armistice Day in Great Britain. OH also submitted When Is The Next Wall Coming Down? concerning the walls that provide security but at the same time seperate us. Lastly, OH submits Confusing Symbols a look at the stupidity of a German Court for outlawing a sign crossing out a swastika because

"Swastikas are constitutionally banned symbols in Germany, you see, and according to the judge, when it comes to a crossed-out swastika, in this case anyway, It is not always so easy to recognize that these symbols are being used against Nazis, especially for foreigners.

2020 writing at Peace and (explicative deleted) entered "Hey Joe." and states up front that "America has to catch up on human rights and social welfare or they will never be fully accepted as the lead nation of the free world." I'm not sure I agree with that statement, but it proves to be an interesting opening into political discussion.

Omar, writing at my co-host Too Much Cookies Network has an interesting article (in German and his blog appears much better in FireFox 2) on the issue of the newly elected Democratic Representative Keith Ellison taking the oath of office swearing on the Koran. Omar wonders if the Country that espouses freedom of Religion really means that. I wonder if our openness to others too often invites bigotry among our own, and if others do or do not take advantage of that very fact. At any rate, if you read German, this is an interesting and thought provoking post, regardless of which side you think is right.

Next up David Vickery who writes Dialog International (German-American Opinion: Politics and Culture) and whom I don't read anywhere often enough, has a great piece on Dorothy Thompson: Fearless Friend of Free Germany. Thompson was an absolutely amazing woman and David has written a great article on this great woman. Good Job David!

We also have the German Blog written by an American Scot W. Stevenson, USA Erklrt (Explaining the USA) with a submission that takes a look at slogans used by some of the worlds armed forces "Army Strong und die germanischen Pltzchen" and wonders if the German Federal Forces will be forced to use the same recruiting devices. Scot's blog attempts to explain to Germans the hows and whys of being an American. Perhaps through his efforts, we won't come across as the bad guys we are frequently protrayed as.

Next up: A Singer's Life Blog writes about the pulling of Mozart's Idomeneo opera from the stage due to fears it might upset the Muslim community. Idomeneo Censorship in Berlin. This bowing to the sensibility of the Muslim world, because they might "riot" is the height of hypocracy in my view. The reason? Simple, if it shows the head of Muhammad the Muslim's might be offended, but it doesn't seem to matter that the opera also ends with the heads of Jesus and Buddha. Political Correctness gone amuck! A great read in my opinion. Again, this blog appears much better in Firefox!

A German Blog "Che's Warlog" posts "Der Weg Nach Hause" (The Way Home) gives a very moving portrait of his father being a young man in the Hitler Youth and surrendering to the American Forces at the end of World War II and how that memory contrasts with images fostered by the left. If you read German, this one is not to be missed, and if my poor German has not done well by this post, please forgive me.

And last, but far from least Hokeys Blog posts Amerikafeindlichkeit (American Hostility) takes a look at the German-American relationship in a different way than you may think.

Thus endith the 5th edition of the Carnival of German American Relations. I'm proud to have been its host once again and brought to you all the thought provoking articles. And once again, if my poor German has misrendered the German entries, please accept my apology. This is GM Roper, signing off.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 17, 2006

A Portent Of Things To Come? - UPDATED

This post is filed under Liberals And Democrats because it is about Liberals and Democrats. So, what else would I blog in a blogsite devoted to the POV of a right wing, knuckle dragging, neandertholic, conservative? But, I digress.

Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) is the presumptive Speaker of the United States House of Representatives when the next congress convenes in January, 2007. The newly elected Majority Leader is Jack Murtha Steny Hoyer. Hoyer IS is NOT a friend of Pelosi, and in fact, lost to Pelosi in the race for minority leader two years ago. This setback for Pelosi brings to mind a question as to her competence to be the Speaker (not that Denny Hastert was any shining example). Too, Pelosi has proposed a number of folk for leadership positions that absolutely call into question her fitness for the job. She has proposed, as a sop to the Congressional Black Caucus the elevation of Alcee Hastings to the chair of the House Intelligence Committee over Jane Harmon. The CBC wants Hastings because of the (gasp) ethics problems of William Jefferson (D-La). This is compounded by the fact that Pelosi doesn't like her fellow Californian Jane Harmon. Ruth Marcus, commenting in the afore linked Washington Post article a week prior to the election notes:

Pelosi is in a box of her own devising. The panel's ranking Democrat is her fellow Californian Jane Harman -- smart and hardworking but also abrasive, ambitious and, in Pelosi's estimation, insufficiently partisan on the committee. So Pelosi, once the intelligence panel's ranking Democrat herself, has made clear that she doesn't intend to name Harman to the chairmanship." [emphasis added]
Insufficiently partisan? For the Intelligence Committee? Isn't that what Pelosi and her fellow Democrats have railed against? What happened to the Democrats cry's for bipartisanship when they lost an election?

In fact, there is some evidence that a Pelosi "speakership" will be frought with multiple problems in getting her liberal agenda through. There are the so called "Blue-Dog" Democrats, 44 by last count, who represent a little less than 1/5th(19.3832599% to be a little more precise) of the incoming "ruling" Democrats. What are "Blue-Dog" Democrats you ask? Simple, they are moderate to conservative Democrats who ran and were elected as Democrats in spite of (because of?) not running as Liberals. The website Capital Questions states that Blue-Dog Democrats are

The Blue Dogs, [,,,] are less fiercely partisan, and they do not all hail from the South. They seek to build ideological bridges to the Republican side of the aisle, are known for their independence from the leadership of their own party, and tend to be more pragmatic than partisan.
This alone presents an interesting connundrum for Pelosi and the other liberals in the Democratic House Heirarchy. Will her hyperpartisanship (despite her photo-ops with George W. Bush and pronouncements to the contrary) cause her to run up against the Blue-Dogs as often as she will the Republicans? Note also, that many of the "defeated" Republicans were what many conservatives called RINOs (Republican In Name Only).

As I have stated in a previous post, the coming battles may well prove to be a target rich inverionment for this and other bloggers. In fact, my blog-father, a big time "progressive" (he dosen't like the term liberal applied to himself) Marc Cooper, alluding to the missteps by Pelosi regarding her selections and appoitments saying:

In the end, it's a stupid, pointless fight and regardless of its outcome a dumb first move by Pelosi that focuses the debate on flawed ethics rather than on bold leadership.
Cooper also noted that his friend (and fellow liberal progressive Doug Ireland had this to say about Pelosi: "...she just ain't all that smart"
Just who is Nancy Pelosi, the lawmaker from San Francisco with an exagerrated reputation for liberalism? She's an opportunist and a trimmer, who -- just two days after the Democrats re-took both houses of Congress and her Speakership was assured -- proclaimed, "We must govern from the center." When she was first elected to lead the House Democrats six years ago, I investigated Pelosi's background for the L.A. WEEKLY. And one of the things I found out in my digging was that she just ain't all that smart.

Pelosi is catching it from the right as well. Lorie Byrd said (in an article titled "From Moderate To Moonbat In Less Than A Week":

Nancy Pelosi said, the American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history.

In spite of those words, she backed John Murtha over Steny Hoyer for the position of majority leader, even as conservative talk radio hosts played over and over again a decades old tape of Murthas involvement in the Abscam scandal.

Byrd was not the only one on the right (as can well be imagined) who picked up on the faux moderate => to moonbat transformation, Neo-Neo Con notes:
We expected her stand to offend Republicans; that's not news. But it offended Democrats as well, not to mention Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, previously labeled "...probably the most anti-Bush reporter currently assigned to the White House by a major news organization" by John J. Miller of National Review.

And there you have it beloved readers, Nancy Pelosi (DIMocrat - California), incoming Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is an airhead and catching it (and well deservedly so I'm sure) from both the right (which is expected) and the left (which is icing on the cake). I'm sure that this is a portent of things to come and I just can't wait!

Cross Posted At The Real Ugly American.

Posted by GM Roper at 10:31 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

November 07, 2006

Take The Poll, Check Your Guess On Election Day

How Will The Republicans Do?
They Will Lose Both Houses
They Will Lose Only The House of Representatives
They Will Lose Only The Senate
They Will Maintain Both Houses But By Smaller Margins
They Will Maintain Both Houses And Increase Their Senate Margins
They Will Retain Both Houses and Increase Their House Margin
They Will Pull Even
The Redsox Will Win in '07 (OK, This Is Just For Fun)
  
Free polls from pollhost.com


Filed Under: Politics

Posted by GM Roper at 06:01 AM | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0)

October 25, 2006

Mexico: "Don't Fence Me In"

A frequent reader of this blog, fellow Texan, all around good guy and a friend sent me the following email:

The Secure Fence Act is something I support because I believe we need to get better control over our borders. I think this is important for our country and it's also a local issue for me as a West Texan.

There is something that interests me about one small aspect of this subject that I want to share with you and see what you think. Let me start with some background. As you probably know, President Bush claims Midland and West Texas as his home although he hasn't lived there in over 20 years. Nevertheless, I think he has kept in touch with many Midland friends over the years including a former accounting employee, Michael Conaway. Conaway's web page here.

Mr. Conaway is currently Congressman Conaway representing 36 Texas counties (including Midland) in Texas-11 in the U.S. House of Representatives. This is his district here The district was specially created to benefit Midland during Tom Craddick's redistricting a few years ago and it was generally accepted that Conaway was the front-runner since he came in second to Randy Neugebauer of Lubbock in the prior election for Texas-19, the district that Midland was in prior to redistricting..

Now to the point of this email, the Secure Fence Act (HR 6061). President Bush will apparently sign the Secure Fence Act on Thursday in what Mickey Kaus says will be a subdued ceremony. Kaus previously speculated that President Bush might even exercise a pocket veto on this legislation. We know President Bush was originally reluctant to support a fence without some sort of amnesty or amnesty-like provisions, so it's probably safe to say that he's not a big supporter of this legislation.

Nor, apparently, is Michael Conaway. If find that surprising, to say the least, since Midlanders and most of West Texans are known for their conservative views. Why, then, did Congressman Conaway join Nancy Pelosi, Charles Rangel, Jack Murtha, Barney Frank, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Cynthia McKinney, and approximately 130 other Democrats to vote against the Secure Fence Act? In fact, Conaway was one of only 5 Republicans to vote against the Secure Fence Act, and 3 of those were from Alaska and Puerto Rico - not exactly hotbeds of illegal immigration. Here's a link that shows the House vote on HR 6061, the Secure Fence Act.

If not for Conaway's ties to President Bush, this would be of interest only to Texas-11 residents. However, I can't help but wonder if Conaway's opposition is related to or reflects President Bush's antipathy to this legislation. Perhaps it was simply Conaway's attempt to support his old boss, the President. It's true that Conaway has consistently supported President Bush's views on immigration as evidenced by this op-ed from April 2006, and this op-ed from late 2005. Conaway also wrote about visiting the border with President Bush here: http://www.conawayblog.com/?p=22. Interestingly enough, I can't find any reference to or explanation of his vote on the Secure Fence Act at Conaway's website or on his blog.

Frankly, I'm not sure if it matters but it intrigues me and I wondered what you thought.

Frankly I'd like to see a good fence from Brownsville, Tx to San Diego, Ca. though I'm not sure it would do as much good as supporters think it will. As the Russians found out with the Berlin Wall, maintaining a fence of any length and keeping it secure is a very difficult and expensive job. That said, Mexico is not willing to police it's own borders so we must. It is interesting too, I think, that the Mexican Govt is planning to protest the fence at the UN, not mentioning the groundswell movement among their own people to build a fence on their southern border to keep out Central and South American "riff-raff."

I'm not sure what the answer is, but I doubt if the PC police with their charges of racism, etc. have any better answer than a fence. I am concerned, as an American National, about the children born in this country to illegals. Those children are in fact, and due to our own laws, citizens of this country. I do believe that we need to change that law as soon as possible. In the mean time, how do we handle deporting parent's and not deporting citizens (the children) who through no fault of their own are now pawns in this game? This is an issue that no one wants to talk about, and I can see why, it is fraught with difficulty and the angst of the familys involved is both real and palpable.

What do you think dear readers?

Posted by GM Roper at 06:06 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

October 24, 2006

And The Left Thinks We're Paranoid?

From the "puffington host" Norman Lear's wife opines:

When I asked Gore Vidal at dinner why the White House seemed so serene and at ease about the vote, he replied that, this time around, the Bush-Cheney henchmen could simply call on martial law. He glumly noted that we are so far down the road toward totalitarianism that, even if Democrats do win back the Congress, it would take at least two generations before the last six years of damage to the nation could be reversed. Gore frankly despaired that any amount of time could ever return the country to where and what it previously was. This prediction left me reaching for some Fernet Branca.

We all know the neocons won't cede power easily. They have to be aware that if the tide of Congress turns, Bush's last two years will be mired in gridlock and perhaps even be punctuated by several embarrassing congressional investigations. Of course, Cheney did say last week that everything in Iraq is hunky dory, which leads one to believe that after James Baker's devastating report and the escalating mass destruction of the war, Dickey-boy has simply lost it. But whether it is hubris, loony tunes, or both, the White House's freakish calm about the elections makes me as nervous as the hell we seem to be headed for. Therefore we should all be on alert. If for whatever reason we don't win back Congress in November the only real answer will be to take to the streets.

And there are truly those on the left that think WE are paranoid. Physician, heal thyself!

A tip 'O The GM Derby to Six Meat Buffet!

Posted by GM Roper at 06:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

October 23, 2006

Alabama Governor's Cup Up for Grabs

As someone who has lived and was educated in Alabama, I have to hold my breath that the press, whenever it covers a tornado or hurricane in the state, will find someone to interview who isn't a complete idiot. Same with its politicians. But, they find the worst and run with it. Today's embarrassment (or pride to some) comes in the form of Loretta Nall, the Libertarian candidate for governor, who is running her campaign on her cleavage. Yes, you read that correctly.

From AP: Her campaign is offering T-shirts and marijuana stash boxes adorned with a photo of her with a plunging neckline and the words: "More of these boobs." Below that are pictures of other candidates for governor - including Republican incumbent Bob Riley and Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley - and the words: "And less of these boobs."

Her Web site has a cartoon of someone stuffing bills down the front of her low-cut top. And for $50 donation she apparently offers to show a cartoon of herself flashing her breasts.

Yes, I already know that you want to go to her web site with pictures and links, so here it is along with her blog (yes, she has a blog, too.):

Nall Campaign Site and Blog Site

At least, she gives the term "Governor's Cup" a unique meaning. The election straps that are pulled may not be boot straps. And, suddenly, a lot of men have renewed interest in the fall election, and doesn't Nall look a lot better than Polosi?

Posted by Woody M. at 07:30 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

October 06, 2006

Ephebophilia In Congress

Begin Rant.JPG

Ephebophilia is the diagnosis for people like Mark Foley (Ex R. Fl), not pedophilia. A pedophile is someone with a sexual attraction for pre-pubescent children, whereas an ephebophile is someone with a sexual attraction for pubescent adolescents, i.e., those who have some degree of sexual maturation. "Why does this matter Roper," I can hear some of you asking. Well, it seems to me that if I'm going to rant, at least I can be accurate about what I'm ranting about.

Mark Foley has certainly made a name for himself, and probably not one he wanted to make unless one accepts the pseudo-Freudian concept that he must have wanted to get caught. Perhaps he did, he is now claiming that he has a drinking problem and that he has lived with the "shame" of having been molested when he was 13 up through the age of 15 by a priest. Well, that really is just an excuse, he lacked power in his early teens and it is difficult for an adolescent to resist the "power" of an older adult who may be very, very skilled at making it seem "fun" to have a little "romp." But, that is where it should have ended, his own victimization does not excuse his victimizing others and he is the predator here, the guilty party, the bad guy. No doubt, while he was busy seducing young male pages he didn't see himself as such, but that is the case whether or not Foley likes it.

I'm not surprised at the episode, nor am I surprised that it was a Republican that perpetrated the "dirty deed." I've been a counselor for to long and have dealt with too many pedophiles and ephebophiles over a 35 year career, with too many substance abusers etc. It can be said, and probably has been said that if you have 100 pedophiles (or ephebophiles, or alcoholics, or substance abusers, or pederasts, or _______ [you can fill in the blank here] you will probably have 300 "reasons" why they are the way they are.

But I digress, let us get to the meat of the issue. Many on the left are having mental orgasims regarding the Foley brouhaha! In fact, it has all but replaced the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the NIE, and the "tax breaks for the rich" as election day topics. As Roger L. Simon says:

Meanwhile, does anyone think it is ironic that so-called progressives who excoriated eavesdropping on terrorists are feasting on the publication of supposedly confidential email and IMs? You can forget about privacy. It no longer exists, if it ever did.”
Too, those very same Democrats who expressed astonishment and dismay at censuring Gerry Studds who, turned his back on the reading of the censure and was re-elected time and again despite having actual sex (vice internet sex) with a page. Following which
[...] at a press conference with the former page standing beside him, the two stated that what had happened between them was nobody's business but their own."
But of course, Studds was a Democrat and so while it may have been newsworthy, it wasn't worth a feeding-frenzy such as found with Mark Foley's behavior [Author's Note: A Google search of Gerry Studds yields some 133,000 cites whereas a Google search of Mark Foley yields some 20,500,000 cites; and this "scandal" is only a few days old]

In a previous post Sex, Lies and E-Mails I noted the "dispicable" predatory behavior of Mark Foley and was taken to task by a commenter "Why did I know that you could never acknowledge a bad actor in the Republican parth, without justifying it by bringing up Clinton? You know what? Clinton lusted after a FEMALE!" (full disclosure, the commenter is my beloved, charming, witty but oh-so-very liberal Uncle who I both admire and cherish and will note that he and I agree on many things, politics not, however, being one of them). It seems that Clinton's predatory behavior is still a sorespot with the left. It doesn't seem to matter that he used his power over an underling (fully agreeable to the relationship though she was) only that he lusted after a (shudder) FEMALE! As though that makes it right. Of course, my point that the Democrats are having a joyful time with this scandal while at the same time don't want any mention of Studds or Clinton, because after all, this is a Republican scandal, not a Democrat one. It doesn't seem to bother the left or their adherents that the majority of the right are excoriating Foley. When I noted that the commenter may be homophobic, he rightly responded with a quote from Bernard Chapin

In America today, a powerful case can, and will, be made that heterosexuals all too readily defer to homosexuals regarding claims of oppression or that we suffer some kind of psychological malady due to our refusal to celebrate them to the full extent they desire. Most “straights” seem to silently accept the validity of bogus concepts like “homophobia” which maintains that many of us harbor hate for those who happen to be physically attracted to members of the same sex. I hold that the concept of homophobia is fallacious, and that, in fact, the opposite of homophobia, “heterophobia” is a more pressing concern." [see Jimmy, that is one of the areas you and I agree on]

Of course, drudge is reporting that the whole thing may be an ABC misrepresentation of the facts, and that wouldn't surprise me at all. The Foley "scandal" is beginning to sound like another Democrat attempt at dirty politics (not that the Republicans - damn them all) haven't been capable of the same kind of thing.

Again, I digress, the whole point of this exercise is to condem congress-critters who take advantage of their positions to exercise their power over the rest of us. It doesn't matter whether they are Democrat or Republican, it only matters that power unchecked is power tending towards tyranny, and that is the problem.

Democrats this time, who next?

end rant.JPG

Posted by GM Roper at 06:51 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

October 03, 2006

Sex, Lies and E-Mails

I've waited to post on the Foley scandle to see if anyone would pick up on the scandle behind the scandle. If, as it seems fairly clear, that there is a difference between the IM's and the E-mails, at least in terms of graphicness, then shouldn't there be some outrage directed at the person or persons who held back info on the Instant Messages until election time? Didn't they allow a dispicable behavior to continue in order to score political points?

While what Foley did was indeed dispicable, he isn't the only one here. I for one am glad he is gone, and would like to see others following.

The Republicans on the Hill seem to have trouble dealing with the sexual predation of Foley, just as the Democrats had in dealing with the sexual predation of Clinton.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:13 AM | Comments (28) | TrackBack (0)

September 18, 2006

He's Baaaa-aaack!

One of my all time favorites, Blogging Caesar is BACK, bringing all the best projections for the upcoming races. You may not like his prognostications, but you can rely on his data. In 2004, he called it almost exactly on the button. Bookmark his site.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

September 05, 2006

Time To Get The Old Jalopy Overhauled


A Review of the efforts of Pork Busters, policy and who is doing what to whom in congress and a few other imponderables

She's smokin', she rattles, she couldn't pass an arthritic snail. Yep, time for an overhaul. No, not my car, my congress! The latest is that the majority Republicans can't find the huevos to stop the practice of Secret Holds or even allow some transparancy in the process of passing out our money! No sooner does Pork Busters ferret out Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Robert Byrd (Octogenarian-W. Virginia) than some other slimy senator puts a Secret Hold on the Coburn-Obama bill (Senate Bill 2590) introduced back in April and reportedly Stevens put his hold back in place. Interesting that the democrats have all, but Byrd, denied having a hold in place. Don't know if they have "reneged" on that but it wouldn't surprise me in the least. But I digress, the Republicans, who are in the majority (do I need to say that again?) should be in control of the Senate and should be able to force through a bill despite entrenched opposition. Oh, wait, Stevens is a Republican and we don't want to hurt his feelings do we? After all, he may gasp...shudder resign from the Senate.

I don't get it, each senator takes an oath of office and each was elected on the premise (that they admittedly put forth) that they could do the best for their state and for the country. So, what's with secret holds? Anti-democratic crap if you ask me.

Then too, no one is working on reforming Social Security, no one is inclined to tackle immigration reform, indeed all some good Senators do is announce that they hate Bush, or love the republic, will ernestly work on this or that or plan on doing something (shades of John "Do You Know Who I Am" Kerry) and the rest of us are left holding the bag.

What will it take for members of Congress to realize that their first responsibility is to appropriately manage the Legislative branch of government? Perhaps its time to crank out that old idea of mine and form a "Vote The Bastards Out" Party with the premise being that everyone vote for someone of a different party than the one that currently represents them. Then, to keep the Democrats from getting swelled heads and thinking the voters love them (they don't, the Democrats have shown that they are no longer the party of ideas) repeat the process two years away in 2008. Then maybe, the members of congress will get the idea that they work for us.

The only thing that keeps me from that is that the Democrats would be a disaster if they controled the congress for two years. If you think spending is bad now, just wait till the Democrats get in - oh, they say they woud be better stewards, but they've always said that and have always been just the opposite!
Too, the Democrats would more than likely botch the war on terror worse than Bush is botching it now; multi-culti apologists would be rampant with no cognizance of who the enemy is (hint, it's not Southern Baptists, little old ladies from Peoria, or Congressional Medal of Honor awardees from Arizona) and taxes would go through the roof.

Nope, the only thing I can think of is to hold my nose, vote Republican (or conservative at the very least) and start a campaign to get these idjits to understand who they really work for.

Come to think of it, overhauling the old jalopy would be simpler, cheaper and prove far more satisfying.

Update: Welcome Instapundit Readers, Thanks Glenn.... now, where did I put that extra bandwidth?

Posted by GM Roper at 09:19 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

August 31, 2006

Leftist Loser Loathes Laws and Lets Loose

When candidates on the left lose an election, they can't believe it because they are certain that candidates on the right are stupid and crooked and that there is no way that a majority of voters couldn't see that. Therefore, the elections in which the Left loses must not be legitimate.

Witness Al Gore, who to this day maintains that he won Florida and, thereby, the election against President Bush. John Kerry today claims that Ohio's electoral votes were stolen causing him to lose the Presidency. Jimmy Carter is just a loser. So, it shouldn't surprise anyone when a leftist in another country loses the Presidential election and lives in denial.

However, now, it has gone to an extreme with the Left in Mexico. The losing leftist candidate, undaunted by the election results and courts, is creating his own parallel government and is calling for anarchy on the part of citizens.

Mexico Leftist to Create Parallel Gov't

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador...has vowed to create a parallel leftist government and is urging Mexicans not to recognize the apparent victory of the ruling party's Felipe Calderon. Some predict his parallel initiative — which Lopez Obrador's supporters call the "legitimate government" — could turn those protest camps into the core of a violent revolt, especially if the government tries to shut it down.

Of course, after violent revolt, the first item of business is to collect taxes. Hey, they're from the Left. It figures.

"Everything we do, from property taxes to permits to natural resources, will go through the 'legitimate government,'" said Severina Martinez, a school teacher from Oaxaca camped out in a tent.... Some supporters took out a newspaper ad Tuesday, calling on Lopez Obrador to set up his own treasury department and said all Mexicans "should channel federal revenues to the new treasury department."

Next, the loser is a little pertubed about private ownership and a free press. Stop the presses and kill the journalists!

Lopez Obrador's plan is to have his government help the poor, oppose privatizations and make the news media — which he has accused of ignoring him — more "truthful and objective."

What about a plan "for the children?" Doesn't he want to help the children?

How will the Left in Mexico take over? Will it be peaceful? Again, they're from the Left.

People close to Lopez Obrador say he is assuming the role of his hero, 18th century President Benito Juarez, who led a roving, "unofficial" presidency...before driving out the invaders and executing the French-installed Emperor Maximilian. Rosario Ibarra, a human rights activist who frequently shares the stage with Lopez Obrador at his rallies: "We just hope there won't be any need to shoot anyone." (emphasis added)

Hope? Well, why hope? Just don't go around assassinating national leaders.

I have an idea. If Obrador wants to set up a government that rules over Mexican criminals, maybe he would want to govern the illegal Mexicans here and take them back to Mexico.

If the Left worked as hard to honestly win an election as they do to protest those who do, maybe they would actually have a chance.

Now, I'm waiting for Jimmy Carter to proclaim this rogue government as the rightful one. As far as Gore and Kerry are concerned, they are probably mumbling, "We should have thought of this." Losers....

Posted by Woody M. at 06:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

July 26, 2006

On Iraq, Democrats Less Trusted than Bush

The Democrats have made Iraq a central theme for the upcoming mid-term elections. Look at the contrast between what the Democrats say and do and what the American people think, according to this article: A message for Democrats

Here's what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says:

Part of the (Democratic) message...has to include Iraq. The Bush administration, Pelosi said, was "wrong on the premise going in, wrong on the reception we would receive, wrong on the reconstruction and how soon Iraq could pay for it, and wrong on an exit strategy of mission accomplished. Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong, and they say 'stay the course.'"

Here's what the American people say:

While 59 percent of Americans told an Associated Press poll this month that they disapproved of President Bush's handling of Iraq, 64 percent disapproved of the Democrats' handling of it. While 62 percent of Americans told a Washington Post/ABC News poll last month that they disapproved of Bush's handling of the war, an even higher percentage of respondents, 71 percent, said the Democrats do not offer clear alternatives.

It seems to me that if a political party is going to focus on an issue, its leaders should first determine if they have any better alternatives and if they have the approval of the voters. But, we're talking logic and Democrats here--two words that do not go together.

But, there is a lesson here for the Republicans, too. If the Bush administration is sure of its course in Iraq, then it needs to do a better job explaining it. If the administration is not sure that we are on the correct course, then the American people are right and adjustments need to be made--just not to the Democrats who are less trusted.

Posted by Woody M. at 03:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 17, 2006

Your Vote on My Ballot [Updated]

My primary ballot for Tuesday's vote has the questions below. How would you vote on the following Yes/No questions and why?

[Update] The election results are now shown after each question. Question 2A, directing Congress to enforce our immigration laws and to protect our borders, seems to show a decidedly different view on this issue between this group of voters and Congress.

1. Do you support the Fair Tax, which establishes a national retail sales tax on all new goods and services, and which would eliminate all federal income taxes? [Yes-85% No-15%]

2. How should be federal government deal with the problem of illegal immigration now facing the nation? (Vote Yes/No on both A & B)

- A. The U.S. Government should actively enforce current immigration laws, secure our country's borders and permit only those lawfully entering the United States legal status? [Yes 95% No 5%]

- B. The U.S. Government should establish a guest worker program for those illegal residents in this country, thus establishing a path to legal residency? [Yes 49% No 51%]

3. Do you favor naming a public building, road, and/or landmark in the county to honor President Ronald Reagan? [Yes 71% No 29%]

These questions are found on the Republican ballot and not on the Democratic one. Big surprise. I also bet that you will not find these questions on ballots in Massachusetts, New York, or California. One of my votes might surprise you.

Posted by Woody M. at 09:00 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

July 14, 2006

What Does A Living Wage Look Like?

UNDER THE SPREADING CHESTNUT TREE THE VILLAGE SMITHY SNOOZES,
NO HORSE SINCE 1933 HAS COME TO HIM FOR SHOESES.

The Democratic Party and the left (not always the same thing) have been agitating for a substantial raise, to a "living wage" the federal minimum wage law. Currently, and for many years, the federal minimum wage has been $5.15 an hour and the generic left (in which this time I'm including the Democrats) would like to see that raised. I've seen suggestions ranging from $6.00 an hour up to $12.00 an hour. When anyone suggests that price increases passed on by businesses and or job loss from small firms may result, the outcry typically is that Republicans and Conservatives (again, not necessarily the same thing) hate the poor and don't want the rich to have to pay anything out of their pockets. And, depending on the blog you go to, the language to describe generic conservatives (this time I'm including Republicans) is a whole lot worse.

Well, the fact of the matter is that there will be a tradeoff. Companies, large and small will either have to raise prices and/or lay folk off in order to keep profit margins within the realm of feasibility. What's that you say? No they won't? How silly, of course they will. No politician is going to pass a law limiting profit (unless it's big oil and a windfall profits tax - and you see how well the last one worked) because they know that the funds for re-election come essentially from the pockets of investors and owners of small and large businesses. So, ask for the moon, you have as much a chance of getting that.

But, I digress, back to the issue of the minimum wage. Many states and localities have already passed minimum wages for residents in their respective political subdivisisons, so why aren't the generic leftists prodding them for increases and the rest of the country to catch up? Simple really, again politics. To effectively "buy" votes for the Democratic Party, there needs to be a national stage for Democratic politicians to run from.

It just won't do to have a bunch of Democrats touting a higher minimum wage as a local issue (although they are doing so for state wide initiatives). Ahhhh, but "The Democratic Party forced the administration to raise the minimum wage can be a national cry and be much more effective. But, that is still not the whole answer.

The rest of the answer lies in the amount of the raise. If $9.00 an hour is "OK" but not where it should be, why stop at $9.00, or $10.00 or even $15.00? Let us go all the way to $30.00 an hour for all entry level jobs, regardless of skills, education, or experience. Those don't matter anyway, because a minimum wage is just that... the minimum that you can pay someone for work received. But, you know, I've never had a generic lefty say "OK, you bet, let's do it." They all say something along the lines of "Don't be ridiculous." But, I'm not being ridiculous! If that, or some other figure exceeding a figure of say $18.00 an hour is what it takes to reach the "livable wage" criteria, why heck, lets do it.

If we did however, while the Democrats could claim victory for that election's pandering, it wouldn't hold up over the long term. No, not even close, in fact the resulting economic displacement and chaos would be horrendous. You see, the Democratic party really doesn't give a damn my dear, about the "little guy" they only want policies that insure his vote. Look at all the "grand coalition" of special interest groups called the Democratic Party and where they are today. The Democrats ruled congress and the senate from 1954 through 1994, with a single exception of the U.S. Senate on the coattails of Ronald Reagan's landslide, and that only lasted a couple of years. Are those groups substantially any better off now than they were then? Blacks? The Poor? The Hungry? The Homeless? Labor? Or, as it seems to me the Dems are running on the same issues that they have always run on? Except of course when a Democrat is in the White House. Whole different ballgame then friends.

So, why not raise the minimum wage all the way at one time? Because they want to use that issue again, and again, and again. $7.00 an hour now, in a couple of years, another $0.75 then another a dozen years after that. Each time decrying the lack of a livable wage. Yeppers dearly beloved readers, a platform they can run on forever, and never be held accountable for. No wonder the horses haven't been to the smithy since '33, same old tired platform, same old tired policy.

Thoughtful comments from generic lefties requested. No vitriol please or I'll take your comment down.

More on the Minimum Wage and other egregious fibs from my good friend Donald Luskin on my blogroll, who writes "The Conspiracy To Keep You Poor And Stupid." By the Bye, if Luskin isn't on your favorites list, he ought to be.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:08 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

July 07, 2006

Republican Answer to NY Times on Illegal Immigration

The New York Times wrote the following about illegal immigration from Mexico. You may want to read it twice.

"The rise in illegal border-crossing by Mexican 'wetbacks' to a current rate of more than 1,000,000 cases a year has been accompanied by a curious relaxation in ethical standards extending all the way from the farmer-exploiters of this contraband labor to the highest levels of the Federal Government."

Don't believe it? Well, read in this article, How Eisenhower solved illegal border crossings from Mexico, about Dwight D. Eisenhower's answer to that NY Times 1951 statement, and how he succeeded in stopping illegal immigration and deporting illegals after he became President--while being opposed by Democrats including Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, who "favored open borders" and was "against strong border eforcement."

Now you know the rest of the story. But, keep reading to see what President Eisenhower actually did about the problem.

Then on June 17, 1954, what was called "Operation Wetback" began. Because political resistance was lower in California and Arizona, the roundup of aliens began there. Some 750 agents swept northward through agricultural areas with a goal of 1,000 apprehensions a day. By the end of July, over 50,000 aliens were caught in the two states. Another 488,000, fearing arrest, had fled the country.

By mid-July, the crackdown extended northward into Utah, Nevada, and Idaho, and eastward to Texas.

By September, 80,000 had been taken into custody in Texas, and an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 illegals had left the Lone Star State voluntarily.

Unlike today, Mexicans caught in the roundup were not simply released at the border, where they could easily reenter the US. To discourage their return, Swing arranged for buses and trains to take many aliens deep within Mexico before being set free.

Do you think that the U.S. is not capable of doing this again? Oh, I think that we are capable--but, do our politicians have the will and integrity to do it?

Something else interesting is this tidbit offered by the Border Patrol veterans who worked during the Eisenhower crackdown and enforcement:

The Patrol veterans say enforcement could also be aided by a legalized guest-worker program that permits Mexicans to register in their country for temporary jobs in the US. Eisenhower's team ran such a program. It permitted up to 400,000 Mexicans a year to enter the US for various agriculture jobs that lasted for 12 to 52 weeks.

This sounds similar to recent proposals but read closer. Note that the immigrants had to register in their own country and that the work permits expired in one year or less. The problem with doing this today is that the politicians want to give these permits to millions who are already here illegally and then make them eligible to vote--the next step right behind that.

This is a brief but interesting look-back at illegal immigration issues from over fifty years ago. What's amazing is that this Republican president, President Eisenhower, was the last one, to my knowledge, to do anything seriously about the problem. You can't let you house go fifty years without replacing some broken windows and some doors--otherwise anything could blow in, and it has.

Now, it's going to be hard to undue fifty years of neglect. But, it can be done. The question is, who will have the integrity and resolve to do it. I'm afraid that we already know the answer, amigos.

Posted by Woody M. at 04:40 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

June 19, 2006

Real Problem Story Book Lesson [LINK UPDATE]

Do you see this unstable dictator.....and his ICBM?

.

Continue reading "Real Problem Story Book Lesson [LINK UPDATE]"
Posted by Woody M. at 07:10 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

June 17, 2006

Rice in 2008?

Coni Rice:

America will lead…America will lead the cause of freedom in our world, not because we think ourselves perfect. To the contrary, we cherish democracy and champion its ideals because we know ourselves to be imperfect. "
The rest of her speech and videos is here.

I wonder if I can manage to attend her inauguration as the next President on January 20, 2009?

A tip 'O The GM Derby to Mike's America


Posted by GM Roper at 11:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

June 14, 2006

If the Bush - Kerry Election Was Re-Held

I want to ask a simple question. But, I'm not going to provide links, polls, blue-red maps, opinions, ...nothing. You've read them and so have I. Knowing what you know NOW and if we could hold another election between President Bush and Senator Kerry for the Office of the President, who would get your vote today? I'm not thrilled with the performance of Bush, but I would still have to vote for him over Kerry. I just wondered how some of you would vote and why.

Posted by Woody M. at 10:00 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack (0)

May 05, 2006

Now, About That Interest and Late Fees

Thanks, Britain. I was only kidding about the late fees.

United Kingdom Making Final Payments on U.S. Lend-Lease Debt

Between March 1941 and September 1945, the United States' lend-lease programme transferred some $48bn worth of war material to other nations, the largest part of it (worth some $21bn) to Britain. This was an enormous sum, nearly equal to an entire year's UK gross national product.

Britain has been paying off our lend-lease bill in annual instalments ever since 1950. This week the Treasury confirmed that the last payment of £45m will be made by the end of this year. Lend-lease was an extraordinarily far-sighted American move - hardly "the most unsordid act in the history of any nation", as Churchill described it. But it was also the price of our survival. Repayment of debt may be unfashionable these days. But if ever a debt deserved paying it was lend-lease.

Nice words. How soon many other people in Europe forget the generosity of Americans. This should be a simple reminder to them...and, I'm sure that we would do it again if called.

Posted by Woody M. at 09:20 AM | Comments (3)

March 23, 2006

Fraud audit cuts 105,000 from voter roll / Democrats expect to lose 105,000 loyal voters

After major reports of vote fraud in Milwaukee, an audit was conducted, which led to a cut in the voter roll by 105,000 names. Just which party do you think this might hurt? Keep reading.

This review was long overdue and really needs to be expanded to the entire state because of past voting irregularities in Wisconsin, as noted by others.

Voting: "You believe me, don't you?”

Well, it turns out “till death do you part” may be true in marriage, but not when voting for Democrats. The dead are very loyal Democrats.

Racine, Kenosha voter application fraud alleged

Project Vote, a national non-profit group headed by the former head of the Ohio Democratic Party, is among several non-profit groups that have run large-scale voter registration drives in southeastern Wisconsin. ...Last week, the Journal Sentinel reported that two of Project Vote's workers in Milwaukee are felons on probation, which makes it illegal for them to register voters. ...The workers also told the investigator that Jones had pressured them to meet a quota of completing at least 25 voter registration applications per day. The workers were paid $49 per day plus $1.50 for each application beyond the quota. Blakely also told the investigator that, to meet the quota, he completed voter registration applications by taking names from a phone book.

Wis. Gov. Vows Veto on Voter ID Bill

Wisconsin lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would require voters to provide a driver's license or other government-issued photo identification before casting a ballot. Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle said he would veto the measure.

Liberal Vote Fraud Must Be Stopped!

Democrat Party voter fraud is nothing new. In 2000 it was widespread. In at least two states, Wisconsin and Missouri, it tipped the electoral vote to Gore.

Fraud File: Poll Challengers OK'd

After battling over as many as 37,000 votes, the Wisconsin Republican Party and the city of Milwaukee have agreed that a list of 5,512 prospective voters with questionable addresses will be sent to poll workers to flag those people when they come to vote.

How Democrats Steal Elections - Top 10 Methods of Liberal Vote Fraud


Vote-buying. Purchasing votes has long been a traditional scheme by Democrats, and not just with money. In the 2000 election in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Democratic workers initiate a "smokes-for-votes" campaign in which they paid dozens of homeless men with cigarettes if they cast ballots for Al Gore (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 11/14/00).

Vote Fraud And Illegal Voting In Wisconsin

Shortly after the November 2 vote in which John Kerry carried Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes by 11,384 votes, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel began an investigation into vote fraud and irregularities in the city. The Journal Sentinel soon revealed that thousands more ballots were cast than people identified as voting and thousands of ballots were cast from invalid addresses around the city.

In 2002, Democrat Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle’s campaign held a bingo party at a home for the mentally ill and reportedly used quarters as bingo prizes and kringle and soft drinks to induce residents of the facility to cast absentee ballots.

But, if the Democrats lose 105,000 voters, they can turn it around and implement their new plan for success--slashing the tires of Republicans going to vote. That's one method that they found works and with no chances of being convicted.

Should anyone wonder why I don't trust Democrats?

Posted by Woody at 03:10 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

March 11, 2006

Milosevic is Dead!

Slobodan Milosevic was found dead in his cell this morning. According to the Wall Street Journal he apparantly died of natural causes. Milosevic was on trial in the Hague for crimes against humanity by leading his country to slaughter tens of thousands from a would be break-away provence. Milosevic frequently and vociferously denied guilt. One would suspect that Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao and others would claim the same.

I don't know whether to be happy that the world is better off without one more madman or to mourn the fact that justice is denied. Perhaps the only justice meted out here was when his immortal soul found itself condemed to hellfire.

According to the WSJ:

A figure of beguiling charm and cunning ruthlessness, Mr. Milosevic was a master tactician who turned his country's defeats into personal victories and held onto power for 13 years despite losing four wars that shattered his nation and impoverished his people.

Mr. Milosevic led Serbia, the dominant Yugoslav republic, into four Balkan wars, but always managed to emerge politically stronger. The secret of his survival was his uncanny ability to exploit what less adroit figures would consider a fatal blow.

Each time he would bounce back, skillfully reinventing himself in a series of political transformations -- as a devout communist, a reform-minded nationalist, and again as a communist at a time when most of the world had abandoned Marxist ideology.

He once described himself as the "Ayatollah Khomeini of Serbia," assuring his prime minister, Mr. Panic, that "the Serbs will follow me no matter what." For years, they did -- through wars which dismembered Yugoslavia and plunged what was left of the country into social, political, moral and economic ruin.

But in the end, his people abandoned him: first in October 2000, when he was unable to convince the majority of Yugoslavs that he had staved off electoral defeat by his successor, Vojislav Kostunica, and again on April 1, 2001, when he surrendered after a 26-hour standoff to face criminal charges stemming from his ruinous rule.

Few will mourn his passing, and certainly not this blogger!

Insta-Update: Austin Bey has more, and it is well worth reading

Posted by GM Roper at 09:52 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

February 16, 2006

Is The Fox In The Chicken Coop?

A friendly mole in the Washington DC area just

...tipped me off to a meeting today at 4pm in S-128 in the Capitol of the "Appropriations Committee Task Force on Earmark Reform".

I haven't confirmed yet whether or not it will be open to the public, but my assumption is that it will most certainly not.

Either way, this is like letting a bunch of convicts decide how their prison is run. Meeting in secret is no way to reform an already secretive process. What’s next? The Jack Abramoff Task Force on Lobbying Reform?"

Or perhaps the Kennedy Commission on Watersafety, perhaps the Biden Task Force on Plagerism. This is anathema, and while it is only "tentative news" the fact that the meeting is not being well publicized is scary. Real Scary!!!

Posted by GM Roper at 10:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 07, 2006

John Kerry Sightings

So what's the good Senator from MA been up to lately? Not that anyone cares, but it's a good idea to keep an eye on him so we remember just what a flop he is.

Continue reading "John Kerry Sightings"
Posted by Raven at 02:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

February 03, 2006

Well, Excuuuuuse Me!!!! - Updated

New reports indicate that Washington is siding with Muslims over the depiction of Mohammad.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington on Friday condemned caricatures in European newspapers of the Prophet Mohammad, siding with Muslims who are outraged that the publications put press freedom over respect for religion."

I'd be more inclined if I saw concrete evidence that the majority of Middle East Muslims or those in Europe respected other's religions, allowed others freedom of religion, didn't condem other Muslims for converting to a different faith.

Politics, pure stinkin' politics and a lot of Balderdash!!!!

UPDATE: Commenter DJR notes that the press may well have "slanted this" and I fell for it. That doesn't happen often and as is customary on this site, corrections made as soon as possible.... (Are you listening NY Times? LOL) at any rate, my good friend Rick Moran at Right Wing Nuthouse has the full story... Go and read.

GM Stands Corrected... Thanks DJR... you are good people!!!!

Posted by GM Roper at 09:54 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

January 23, 2006

The Press - Hoist On Its Own Petard

Scooter Libby is planning to subopena a number of journalists in his defense trial. This poses a series of tough decisions for the press for a number of reasons. Timothy Phelps has a lengthy (but worth the time) article in the Columbia Journalism Review regarding the background of the Plame case, including his own actions and the actions of others.

Of course, as a member of the press, Phelps is not happy about the possibility of two things. One, that Libby may call journalists for testamony, and two, that the press doesn't seem to have the "protections" under the first amendment that it did in the past. Phelps does acknowledge that there are indeed limits on the ability of journalists to protect sources, but decries the lessening of that.

It should be noted that much of the current brouhaha is of the making of the journalism profession. They were less concerned about the "leak" than about (in general) being able to hammer the Bush Administration for wrongs (real or perceived). In fact, two journalists, David Corn (The Nation) and Paul Krugman (The New York Times) raised a big stink about the illegality of "outing" Plame.

Even Phelps says she was in a role "undercover." However, nothing could be further from the truth. Undercover typically means assignment in the field, pretending you are something you are not in order to gather information necessary for our national security. Plame worked in a "secret" department of the Directorate of Operations, but was not "under cover" as she drove to work daily, was doublessly photographed many, many times by our adversaries (who ever they may have been) and even people in her neighborhood knew where she worked. Too, her "cover" had been blown years before and that is why she was pulled from the field.

The press demanded an investigation until finaly, someone in the CIA asked for an investigation. Usually, these requests don't go very far as Phelps acknowledges. This time, however, with the reporters and Democrats up in arms, Gutless Ashcroft recused himself and recused his deputy from looking into the matter and appointed a Special Prosecuter to look into the "outing" of Valarie Plame.

As we know, that investigation went nowhere, despite calls for Karl Rove to be frogmarched out of the White House. Libby in what must have been a non-compos-mentos moment lied about who he talked to or when or under what circumstances and as a result he is up on perjury charges. If found guilty, I hope they throw the book at him. What could he have been thinking?

But, I digress. The issue is that the press, so rabid in their attempts to nail the Bush Administration (and denying that is ludicrous on it's face) is now going to have to testify in the Libby trial. Too damn bad. The old saw that you need to be careful what you ask for, because you may not like what you get couldn't be more apt.

Libby's right to a fair trial trumps, it seems to me, any 1st amendment protection the predatory press has. Phelps may have said it best:

The prosecutor seems to have had the last word about the First Amendment, at least for now. “Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality — no one in America is,” he told Thomas F. Hogan, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Hogan agreed. Of course, we never did have the right to offer complete confidentiality in every circumstance. But as a result of this case and others in the pipeline, the question now is, Can we honestly promise our sources anything?"

A tip of the GM Chapeaux to James Taranto

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January 20, 2006

The City Shining On The Hill - Still!

reagan7.jpg


January 20, 1980 Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40th president of the United States Of America. In his address to the nation he stated:

So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government--not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.
Words that should be well listened to today. President Reagan, we are still "The City Shining on the Hill" and we pledge to keep that City there, growing and a beacon to freedom everywhere. A longer, more complete tribute can be found at Mike's America. Mike has done one hell of a bang up job of celebrating this moment. Go and read all of his many entrys on Reagan and the return of solid government. Mr. President, we sure could use your leadership now!

Linked to Stop the ACLU

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January 14, 2006

Senate Democrats ≠Rational Thinking

The Circus is over, the Big Top has been struck. The Ringmaster has put away his top hat and whip, the clowns have removed their makeup. Bits of popcorn and other detritus litter the floor of the once formidable Greatest Show On Earth, but now, the lights are dimmed, and sadly we walk away from the circus.

The analogy between a circus and the Alito hearings is an apt one I think, given the clown like performances of certain members of the Judiciary Committee. I won't mention their names, but their initials are Ted (Chappaquiddick) Kennedy:

In an era when the White House is abusing power, is excusing and authorizing torture and is spying on American citizens, I find Judge Alito's support for an all-powerful executive branch to be genuinely troubling..."
Joseph (Who thinks the Constitution requires two female members) Biden:
And it's also important to note that you're slated to replace the first woman ever nominated to the Supreme Court. We can pretend that's not the fact but it is. And through no fault of your own [though I'm holding you responsible - snark added], we're cutting the number of women in half on the court."
Charles (Please Don't Indict Me) Schumer:
This controversial nominee, who would make the court less diverse and far more conservative, will get very careful scrutiny from the Senate and from the American people."
Patrick (Damn it, I want a liberal judge) Leahy:
The American people deserve a Supreme Court Justice who inspires confidence that he, or she, will not be beholden to the President but will be immune to pressures from the Government or from partisan interests [emphasis added as a snark]."
Diane (I don't care what Ginsberg said, how will YOU answer) Feinstine:
However, in 1985 you clearly stated that you believed Roe should be overturned and that the Constitution does not protect a woman’s right to choose. Despite voting to sustain Roe while on the Third Circuit, your opinions also raise questions about how you would rule if not bound by precedent. I will be interested to learn about your legal and personal views on Roe and the Constitutional right to privacy as you see it today."
and Dick (Damn Those Nazis) Durban:
Your record raises troubling questions about whether you appreciate the checks and balances in our Constitution — the careful efforts of our Founding Fathers to protect us from a government or a president determined to seize too much power over our lives..."
In room 216, the Senate Judiciary Committee in the guise of it's Democrat members participated in what could be termed illegal torture of a United States citizen. Alito was in a room, hot via overcrowding, blazing lights aimed at the responder, torturous and repetitious meanderings from the bloviatings of said Democrats [equal to, for sure of blaring rap "music"], sitting in an uncomfortable position for hours and hours and hours with no relief - not able to get up and walk around, not able to relax and having to pay attention to those who do not have his best interests at heart (let alone the best interests of the country).

Perhaps, the denouement of this whole Democratic engineered farce will be the final vote. I'm predicting that the committee vote will be along party lines and the final vote in the Senate will be something like 78-22 with precisely the same idjits voting against Alito as voted against Roberts. These guys just don't learn. There are consequences folks for elections and this last election put a Republican in the Whitehouse with the ability to appoint judges and (finally) the willingness to appoint conservative judges. Cry all you want, the people see through you and know that your grasp of reality is tenuous at best. Carol Dean Thomas, a strongly liberal attorney probably said it best (in the NY Times no less):

The president took the high road on this nomination. He juggled his politics and his public relations, and while I don't like either, I have to be grateful for the quality of lawyer, and individual, who emerged as the nominee.

We have to decide whether the unfortunate tradition begun with Robert Bork's nomination should be continued indefinitely or whether, with the wisdom of hindsight, we exhume it only when absolutely warranted. Liberals among us have got to get real - to press for the finest jurists a conservative administration is willing to offer, and to spend our capital in that pursuit." [emphasis added]

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January 09, 2006

Government to the Rescue - Only Friends Can Annoy

If this law is interpreted literally...and enforced, then our "Troll List" can be eliminated and we'll never hear from Meatbrain again.

Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.

It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.

What's annoying? Read the article and tell me. Maybe, it's just any comment from a liberal...but, then that's how we get our laughs, too. This could be difficult.

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January 06, 2006

Republicans - Republicrats, Jack Abramoff and Sleeze

Reader Josh Legere takes me to task in the previous entry for a variety of issues. I'm glad Josh dropped by. He is a very bright, intelligent commenter, usually found in the comment section of Marc Cooper's blog First Josh, you need to know that I'm not the author of End-Time Panic and The Liberal Ghost Dance, Gaghdad Bob from One Cosmos is. I merely reported it, and no, it is not a violation of APA rules to make political statements which is what Gaghdad Bob has done. The fact that he is a practicing psychologist doesn't take away from him the freedom to use his training and expertise to decry the silliness of the left in their caterwauling. I support his position. Too, I'm in the corporate marketplace and have been for the last 18 years (the mental health side of course) though I also teach at the university.

Josh asks, justifiably, why I'm not reporting on the "Jack Abramoff Scandal" and asks if I'm not repressing. So, I think Josh, as an intelligent commenter, deserves an answer. Lets get the psychological terminology out of the way however. The Freudian term "repression" usually is taken to mean an unconscious drive to remove from active memory a traumatic event. Thus, if the Abramoff issue were truly repressed, I would say to you "What Abramoff issue?" Perhaps I would just look at you with curiosity on my countanence as if I didn't understand.

This is not the case however. I haven't reported on Abramoff because it really doesn't interest me that much. However, now that you bring it up, I'd be more than happy to tell you what I think. I can sum it up in a very few words: "Put his butt in jail where he belongs." But, Josh, if you know me at all, you know then that a few words won't do if I can opine at length.

Abramoff has been the absolute delight of the Democratic Party. "Gotcha Politics" in action, in headlines, in everything but reality. And, no, I'm not going to defend any Republican that took bribes for votes or influence in a "quid pro quo" trade. Anyone in congress who actively took bribes from someone and changed their vote, or even insured their vote, or anyone in government who took bribes to perform an action or to not perform an action also belongs in jail. I don't care what their party is. But, obviously, the Democrats do care and they are milking this for all they are worth. OK, that is the nature of political battles, but don't expect anyone/everyone to stand by while they do it.

The real issue underlying the Abramoff scandal is money. Access to it and the desire for it. What Abramoff has done and primarily what brought him to the attention of the BUSH JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, is essentially rob a number of tribes by various means, but ultimately by taking their money and not doing their work, but forging documents to indicate that he had done the work. There are of course other issues, but to think that this is a "republican scandal" is to be wrong.

True, Abramoff is nominally a Republican but he made his mark as a lobbyist and that is a protected class of citizens, protected by the constitution that guarantees the right of the people to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Michael Barone has an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal and their online OpinionJournal (subscription required) outlining the so called depredations of the residents of "K" Street. Barone notes that the history of "K" Street goes back to the 1940s when a number of Roosevelts brighter aides left the government employ and "set up their own law firms and lobbying shops."

The WSJ goes on to note that Ohio's Bob Ney (R) took money to enter specific wordage into the Congressional Record:

It's also notable how few Members of Congress so far have truly been implicated, beyond accepting entirely legal campaign contributions. The most culpable is Ohio's Bob Ney, who has been cited in a "criminal information" for receiving trips and other favors in return for statements entered into the Congressional Record. Mr. Ney says that he too was duped, but there's no question he was willing to tap dance on cue for Mr. Scanlon, and that alone is sleaze-by-willing-association. If the House Ethics Committee serves any useful purpose, sanctioning Mr. Ney ought to be it."
I can't disagree with that. Better yet, toss his fanny out of Congress by refusing to seat him when the next congress begins. But, again, as the WSJ notes, the vast majority of Abramoff's crimes have to do nothing with bribery of members of congress, if making "campaign donations" to congress critters is evidence of tainted money, lets also decry each and every Republican who accepts campaign donations and each and every Democrat who does the same. Look, sleeze is sleeze, but this is no more Republican sleeze than it is Democrat sleeze. The Democrats are jumping for joy, the MSM is supporting them precisely because it has occurred on Bush's watch. But please note: The Justice Department that indicted and brought about a confession/plea bargan is the BUSH Justice Department. Contrast that, as did X Fixer with the lackadaisical efforts of the Clinton Justice Department under one Ms. Janet Reno to investigate and push for convictions of "Johnny Chung, Yogesh Gandhi, Ted Sioeng, John Huang, The Hsi Lai Temple Fundraiser, Charlie Trie, Ng Lap Seng, Warren Meddoff? And who can forget the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes." (H/T X Fixer) Oh, wait, that didn't happen did it. Well, score Bush 1, Clinton 0.

X Fixer also notes a 1996 Senate report: From the Senate Report:

The key to understanding why these officials found the idea of endorsing Tamraz’s pipeline to be so attractive five months before the presidential election may lie in Simpson’s communications to Carter and in Carter’s own subsequent communication with Heslin. By this point, after all, Heslin was the principal obstacle that remained for Tamraz. Buying access to U.S. Government officials had been comparatively easy, but the interagency working group headed by Heslin remained opposed to offering the official support Tamraz “desperately need[ed].'’ 140 After receiving his instructions from Simpson, therefore, it was not surprising that Carter should continue to “follow-up'’ on the Tamraz issue by contacting her at the NSC. What is particularly significant about this contact, however, is the degree to which the two Energy officials apparently understood this “follow-up'’ to revolve around Tamraz’s campaign contributions.”
Lastly, there is this from the Washington Post:
By early 1995, the U.S. oil companies operating in Azerbaijan had set up a Foreign Oil Companies group in Washington. It met with National Security Council energy expert Sheila Heslin and later with an interagency committee headed by her boss, Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger.

Government documents show that the NSC and oil companies worked together in June 1995 to forestall an attempt by Lebanese-American oil financier Roger Tamraz to promote his own pipeline from Baku to Turkey, via Armenia. Pennzoil’s Hamilton alerted NSC officials of oil company opposition to the Tamraz initiative, effectively killing any White House support for the project.”

One final comment and I'm done. This is also from today's Wall Street Journal:
This week's plea agreement by "super-lobbyist" Jack Abramoff has Republicans either rushing to return his campaign contributions in an act of cosmetic distancing, accuse Democrats of being equally corrupt, or embrace some new "lobbying reform" that would further insulate Members of Congress from political accountability.

Here's a better strategy: Banish the Abramoff crowd from polite Republican society, and start remembering why you were elected in the first place.

This isn't to say we agree with the media hype that the Abramoff scandal is of "historic proportions." That's true only if your "history" starts around 1994, after Jim Wright sold his "book" in bulk to the Teamsters, after Tony Coelho of "Honest Graft" fame, after Abscam, the Keating Five, Clark Clifford and BCCI, and any number of other famous episodes of Capitol Hill sleaze. Mr. Abramoff and his pals are stock Beltway characters. [emphasis added]

What's notable so far about this scandal is the wretchedness of the excess on display, as well as the fact that it involves self-styled "conservatives," who claimed to want to clean up Washington instead of cleaning up themselves. That some Republicans are just as corruptible as some Democrats won't surprise students of human nature. But it is an insult to the conservative voters who elected this class of Republicans and expected better.

Can't disagree with that either. If corrupt, throw them out but don't presume that this is a Republican Sleeze issue... toss them out on their butts: Democrat, Republican, Independent, whatever. They have no business in my United States Congress.

Espella Humanzee has more, including the embarassment of Hillary Clinton. No, Really!!

Linked to STACLU

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December 16, 2005

In Praise of a Democrat

A true political GIANT, William Proxmire died today at the age of 90. I for one was sorry to see him retire in '89 because he was one democrat that I really liked. Liberal in some areas, but a fierce conservative when it came to government spending and encroachment into ordinary life.

Proxmire was called once, so independent that he was often considered a party of one. He almost always got elected by huge margins, seldom took any money from anyone and often had election expenses of less than $1000.00.

His Golden Fleece awards were absolutely priceless in terms of humor, grace, and caustic wit and absolute correctness. For example, in 1975, Proxmire awarded the Golden Fleece to the Selective Service System and Army Corps of Engineers For a $98,029 contract awarded to Kenneth Coffey to study the all-volunteer army concept in foreign countries two years after the all-volunteer army had already been put into effect in the U.S.

On one occasion, he decried a study of how do humans fall in love and he quipped "I don't want to know the answer."

Other Proxmire gems:

The last few years have been my happiest. I'm happy in the years that most people are blue and sad and waiting to die. I don't feel that a bit. Smiling has a lot to do with it. You can just lift your spirits by smiling a little bit."

"The biggest danger for a politician is to shake hands with a man who is physically stronger, has been drinking and is voting for the other guy."

"I have spent my career trying to get Congressmen to spend the people's money as if it were their own. But I have failed."

"Power always has to be kept in check; power exercised in secret, especially under the cloak of national security, is doubly dangerous"

Proxmire was so anti-spending, he often earned top marks from the National Taxpayers Union, an admittedly conservative organization aimed at reducing taxes and government spending. After retirement, Proxmire served on the board of the NTU. Not bad for a "liberal."

William Proxmire , 1915-2005. Requiescat In Pace

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November 28, 2005

A Poll Rarely Mentioned - Democrats Hurt Troop Morale

While we are bombarded by the dominant media about low poll numbers on President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq, we never hear what the people think about the Democrats on this matter. Just because people may give low approval numbers to Bush doesn't translate into support for Democrats. As an example, when I've expressed criticism about Bush, I mentioned that at least he isn't Al Gore or John Kerry. So, it was interesting to see what a recent Cook poll had to say about public perceptions of Democrats, as reported in the Washington Post.

Seventy percent of people surveyed said that criticism of the war by Democratic senators hurts troop morale -- with 44 percent saying morale is hurt "a lot," according to a poll taken by RT Strategies. Even self-identified Democrats agree: 55 percent believe criticism hurts morale, while 21 percent say it helps morale.

...Their poll also indicates many Americans are skeptical of Democratic complaints about the war. Just three of 10 adults accept that Democrats are leveling criticism because they believe this will help U.S. efforts in Iraq. A majority believes the motive is really to "gain a partisan political advantage."

The Cook poll was conducted by RT Strategies, a new polling firm headed by both Democratic and Republican pollsters. This polling service is now included in the commentaries and analyses of Real Clear Politics.

Found at Eu Rota

(Unrelated Poll of Interest on 2008: A different poll by the same firm covers the chances of John McCain and Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential election. You may go to this currently linked commentary covering the results of these questions. One finding of the poll is that forty-two percent believe that Hillary Clinton would be a good candidate for president while fifty-two percent say that she would not. Put me in that last category.)

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November 12, 2005

Do Flame Wars Contribute To Global Warming, Are Paul and York Environmentally Sound? Tune In Beloved Readers

Flame War! Wikipedia defines flaming as: "The motive for flaming is often not dialectic, but rather social or psychological. Sometimes, flamers are attempting to assert their authority, or establish a position of superiority.?" And so it is. On the other hand, we at GM's Corner are not about to let challenges go unanswered because to do so merely encourages the scoundrels (was that necessary?... ed... Probably not, but when I have an itch I scratch it... GM)

Yes, by all means let's talk about Mark A. York's qualifications. First, he is as narcissistic as John "Do you know who I am?" Kerry. Mark brags about "endangered fisheries." This of course he means to imply that he is fighting to save, as he once published in the "DailySundial" wild salmon. But fisheries is defined as:

The industry or occupation devoted to the catching, processing, or selling of fish, shellfish, or other aquatic animals.
A place where fish or other aquatic animals are caught.
A fishing business.
A hatchery for fish.
The legal right to fish in specified waters or areas.
Hah, this guy has a bachelors degree in journalism Not biology, if he has any biology at all, it is as a minor and that requirement is only 18 hours. Furthermore, according to his book, he was a GS-4 Technician.... The lowest of the low, the least qualified of the qualified, so low that a degreed person with NO experience was placed over him in his sojourn to the ANWR and that his work was seasonal. Oh, and his lifetime of environmental work... hmmm, according to his own words (he published this remember): he spent 17 years as a construction worker going from "the kid who always got beat up to the terminator." as he protected the others in his fisheries crew from having to deal with the "tough" oil field hands.

Oh, by the way, that's from his book "Against A Strong Current and you can find an excerpt here: Chapter 7. Interesting book by all accounts... NOT!

Actually, this book is sent to an electronic publisher, not accepted for mass publication by an “accepted publisher”, but printed on order by Xlibris Corp a vanity type press and he rails against Woody and me for unsourced material but where we weren’t being humorous, we sourced just fine. Oh, and by the way, Mark has a screed against the vanity press here: July, 07 which when you read it is hilarious; this guy has more bathos than the Marx Brothers. But I digress, here is a "review" of York's Against A Strong Current:

Refreshingly objective and candid nonfiction concerning an issue at the core of our very existence-the environment.

While others turn a blind eye or are swayed by the powers that be seeking to exploit the
planet, the author is a fearless champion for the planet as evidenced also by the conditions he braves on his quest. [emphasis added, but I couldn’t help myself my gawd, this guy is overweening]

At the core of our very existence. Lion's and Tigers and Bears Oh My!!

That review is a little over the top and I have absolutely no doubt that York himself wrote it using a fake ID for the purpose. However there are two other reviews which kind of put York in his place:

Sorry Mark, but this book needs some first aid. I decided to read it after reading the author's comments in a Rick Bass review. It reads like a stump-filled hillside, slipping, tripping, and falling all over the place. There is no sense that it was edited; there are misspellings, frags, story lines smashed to bits. Descriptions of the beautiful areas are adjective-free. There is also a lot of what I sense as " doesn't play well with others." I'll stop here.............
and
this book lacked any sort of editing on the author's part. seeing as the book was published with Print On Demand technology, he had no editor. It seems like he wrote this in a week -- maybe two -- tops, then just handed it in. Couldn't believe the horrible editing.

Editing makes a book hard to read, skimming over all those errors. Sigh.

Hey, i tried to read it. But... it was just so bland and awful - and that's editing aside.

Atta boy York, slammed twice for your hubris. However, our intrepid enviro-warrior doesn't quit, I'll give him that. Take a look at the sites he has been banned at beginning with mine (yet, he continues to come around). Also here (Roger Simon) and here (Done Deal) here (Press Think - 2 times no less). He claimed to be a "pen pal of sorts" with Bill Clinton He was kicked out of Yahoo Groups. Lastly, and then I'll quit because I really hate having a battle of wits with York when it is so obvious that he is half armed; York was banned from my blog for the use of foul language. He claims he didn't use anything stronger than "ass" and, unfortunately I deleted all the really vile language and York knows it. Unfortnately for York, the net is full of his postings and he typically and usually gets frustrated (low frustration tolerance is a hallmark of lefty trolls) and posts something like this [WARNING - strong language follows]

How pathetic do you have to to (sic) fixate on one website to get control for your sick ideas you ignorant shithead. I’ll tell you what Timo if I could get a hold [of] your sick neck it would be broken. Now that’s a promise you fvcking (sic) ad hom (sic) machine. Is it true because the credential-less tim-troll says it? LOL! What a dickhead. You scared little twit.
with all those misspellings this guy purports to have a degree in journalism? "Ass" indeed! "... doesn't play well with others." I couldn't have said it any better myself.

Which brings us to Randy Paul’s entry in the flame wars. Paul advertises his blog as “A Proud Member Of The Reality Based Community.” Oh my! He congratulates York here:

I thought that I would comment on this bizarre post attempting - with the aid of a right-wing think tank no less - (talk about aiming low and still missing your target) to refute claims that global warming is real, but someone beat me to it and did it well.
Paul goes on to say “here’s a little something about their source” and references a coal baron (one would assume) by the name of S. Fred Singer. Only one problem Paul, I didn’t reference Singer in a realistic post or any other post that I could find so I have no idea where you came up with it. And your reference of York’s post was in reference to my post. Paul, you really need to get a real life. Further, if you were really going to debunk the articles I posted on, then by all means do so, but be sure to cite your sources, not your fevered imagination.

OK, let’s go on to Paul’s qualifications in this little bit of byte-drama. Paul has a … are you ready… degree in F….I….L….M! There you have it boys and girls. A degree in film and a good deal of knowledge about south and central America. That’s it. OK, not quite it. In his next sentence he “proves” that Woody is all wet regarding the cost of removing CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels with that paragon of scientific journals (you know, the one that York always champions) THE … again… ready… here it comes…. a NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL…. Well, I’m sure castigated. Gawrsh as Goofy would say!

Well, the editorial does in fact say that removing CO2 would only be “$1.00 per ton” Only one problem, and that is the number of tons produced worldwide in a ten year period from 1994 through 2003 (and we are using those figures because that is what we will have to pay over the next 10 years if we start on Jan. 1, 2006… let’s see… it’s about 465,528.69 MILLION METRIC TONNES at one dollar per ton (and remember, a metric tonne weighs 2, 200 pounds whereas a ton weighs only 2000 pounds, so a metric ton is about 10% larger. Having said that, and even converting metric tones to standard tons we are talking about $512,081,559,000.00 we are talking about 512 billion dollars; you don't think you will feel that in your pocketbook?. Oh, and Paul, York, that figure is from YOUR guys… the ones that you say BELIEVE in GW.

Paul’s parting comment is “If you can't get the truth behind them they just make things up.” Paul, I propose that reducing the cost to only one ton and hiding the total number of tons is making things up.

But you see, radical out in left field lefties like Paul and Mark are all about that; scare, fear mongering and popular pablum; about purporting theory as fact (actually, to the amusement of all and sundry, that fellow York actually said "A theory in science is indeed fact." I'm surprised he graduated with that kind of thinking... all of my professors would have flunked me if I held that view. Then again, I went to a real university. and have more than 60 graduate hours with a 3.75 GPA, I'm a member of a national honor society as well. York on the other hand, maintained that grades of well, mediocre at best ) and their proposed solutions are the only hope of mankind. Well, remember global winter, the next ice age, how silicone implants caused all kinds of medical problems, how electric transmission lines caused cancer and other dire threats from magnetic currents (which is all the rage now, wearing magnets that is), how cell phones would give you brain tumors in a relatively short time… all debunked, but all part of the fear mongering and the cost of finding out that it was fear mongering was staggering. Dow Corning went bankrupt and spent over 3 billion dollars for the privilege, we spent well over 25 billion on powerline research, money that could have helped an awful lot of kids who were hungry, or a lot of treatment for aids victims in Africa or even on honest climate research. Reality based community indeed.

Update: Some of my readers have gone to leave comments at York's site. He banned them! Bwahahahaha!!! Oh Mark, you are such a dweeb!

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November 11, 2005

Dr. Sanity - A Post Worth Reading

I have a friend. She has been my friend for almost a full year now and she is a blogger like myself. Her name is Pat Santy and she writes the blog Dr. Sanity. Dr. Pat is a practicing psychiatrist and is, like me, conservative. She authors a weekly post called the Carnival of the Insanities and has featured a post or two of mine over the last year.

But that is not the reason for this post. The reason for this post is that she won the Watcher's Council weekly "post of the week" with this post: "The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today's Left" and what a post it is. If my readers don't immediately click on the link and read it, then they aren't as smart as I think they are.

Dr. Sanity (her nom de plume or nom de pixel as it may be) also nominated this post of mine for the non-council post of the week but I didn't win. Who won was Stephen Green's Brilliant essay "The Arm of Decision", and folks, I gotta tell ya, I would have voted for the VodkaPundit myself on this weeks essays and if you don't go read that one, again you are not as smart as I think you are.

So, my deepest thanks to Dr. Sanity for the nomination, but more importantly my deepest congratulations too both authors for absolutely brilliant posts.

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November 01, 2005

A Deal for You! Don't miss this train!

Suppose I offered you an investment deal to get on board with a company that has lost a billion dollars a year since 1971 and has no prospects of making a profit in the future. It has overpaid workers, its equipment is run down, most of what it sells is at a loss, and the company is in debt up to its eyeballs. Would you take this great offer? Not likely, unless you were a fool. Well, why does the United States Congress keep appropriating billions of dollars to this company--billions that belong to the taxpayers? This company is your national railroad--Amtrak. You did know that you already owned it, didn't you--or does it own you?

What's going on? You see, the left likes to tell the rest of us how to live, and the left insists that we take trains instead of more convenient and cost-effective methods of transportation. Why? Well, when the left wants something in this country, there are three things that you can count on. First, it will help them to feel good. Second, it won't make any sense. Third, it will cost a lot of money. Amtrak fits that bill.

If you would like to know more, read this: CFO Magazine - Is This Any Way to Run a Railroad?

Here are some excerpts from the article:

Last February, for example, the White House announced it intended to cut off Amtrak's billion-dollar-plus annual subsidy — which covers about half the railroad's total budget — unless the carrier agreed to a radical restructuring. Both the House and the Senate defied the Administration, calling for subsidies ranging from $1.17 billion to $1.45 billion for 2006....

Whatever the scale, Amtrak employees appear to be doing just fine. Based on the carrier's most recent figures, the average worker at the railroad receives $70,000 in annual compensation. Moreover, certain work rules — some call them featherbedding — pump up the number of employees required to perform specific tasks. ...Cutting worker-related costs won't be easy, though. Smith must deal with 14 different unions and 26 bargaining units.

The on-time performance on many of Amtrak's overland lines hasn't helped matters. Overall, Amtrak's 13 long-distance lines (excluding the Northeast Corridor) recorded a 43.5 percent on-time rate for the first nine months of the railroad's 2005 fiscal year.

In May, Standard & Poor's placed the railroad's BBB- rating on CreditWatch, with negative implications. "Without the [government] subsidy, the numbers wouldn't support the current credit rating," notes S&P analyst Lisa Jenkins. A drop of just two notches would reduce Amtrak's debt rating to non-investment-grade, driving up the cost on future borrowings. That's worrisome, considering the railroad paid $203 million last year just to cover the interest expense on the mountain of debt taken on during the previous administration.

"We can do a reasonable rate of return, but it's not going to be a rate of return that most people understand," (CFO David Smith) insists. "A large component of the return is going to be the social good we do."

Smith shakes his head. "I tell you, it's a hell of a way to run a railroad."

Well, with that last statement, we can agree on something.

But, from our friends on the left, linked above, comes this:

What’s next? President Bush wants to push Amtrak into bankruptcy, and end its rail services. He proposes to set aside $360 million for a new train system to someday run only in the country’s northeast corridor. Bush wants to “privatize” the rest of Amtrak by selling its assets, and let multiple corporations make profits as they see fit.

The leading House Democrat on transportation, Minnesota Rep. Jim Oberstar, predicts a “test of wills.” “This is serious” he said. “They really intend to eliminate Amtrak.” Said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ),” They’re about to run Amtrak off a cliff…. We’re gonna fight it, and we’ll see who blinks first.”

What makes sense to you? Taxpayers are being railroaded as Amtrak proponents steam along. The company jumped the tracks long ago and it's time to stop the train. Privatize Amtrak or close it. The experiment has gone on long enough.

Posted by GM Roper at 04:00 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

October 29, 2005

Our Friends, Allies, Adversaries, The Saudis!

Once Upon A time, In A Land Far Away... A regional panjandrum by the improbable name of Muhammad bin Saud met a fellow panjandrum cum mystic, then a radical islamist, by the equally improbable name of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab and decided together that the Arabian Peninsula had just too much freedom in the way Islam was practiced. Deciding that their fellow Islamic Arabs had just gotten too far off the beaten path to true salvation (can you see a cult beginning?) a plan to conquer everyone was put-together. The year? Around 1750 AD (the AD is Anno Domini, an Un PC designation meaning After Christ, for those raised in the PC version C.E. meaning Common Era). The TM's (Two Muhammads) put their plan into action and for the next 150 years, the family of Saud waxed and waned until the advent of another Saud, Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud who in that year captured Riyadh from the rival Al Rashid clan. Indeed, some of the worst trepidations visited on Muslims were visited at the hands of the Wahhabists Riyadh was the Al Saud ancestral capital, Saud was able to finalize his conquests by 1927, and the kingdom became Saudi Arabia.

The religious movement founded by Muhammad ibn abd al Wahhab is known today as the radical-islamofascistic sect Wahhabism, although the practitioners of that sect would disagree with that definition. They (and the Kingdom) prefer to call it Salafism and its members Salafists:

The term "Wahhab" (Wahhābīya) refers to the movement's founder Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab. It is rarely used by members of this group today, although the Saudis did use it in the past.

The Wahhabis claim to hold to the way of the "Salaf as-Salih", the 'rightly guided or pious predecessors' as earlier propagated mainly by Ibn Taymiyya, his students Ibn Al Qayyim and later by Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab and his followers.

The term is considered offensive by some members who prefer to call themselves al-Muwahhidun (the monotheists) or the movement Salafism.

Saudi Arabia and its people are quite backwards in terms of social progress. They still practice beheading, amputation of feet and hands for theft, lashing, sometimes for months depending on the number of lashes prescribed by the "judge" who is really just a religious figure appointed by the King on the advice of the Supreme Judicial Council. All law is compatible with Shari'a (Islamic law) and is enforced by religious police ("mutaween" police) from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. In fact, these animals (one hesitates to call them police) prevented a number of school children from escaping from a burning dormitory because the girls weren't clad in headscarves and black robes as prescribed by religious law. Nor would these animals allow men to approach the girls to rescue them from certain death because they were unclad. As a result, 15 children died in the fire.

In 1938, oil was discovered on the Arabian Peninsula and the power to grow Wahhabism as envisioned by the TM's was closer and closer to fruition. In 1945, one of our most sophisticated Presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt deigned to meet with Saud following the allied conference at Yalta. Oil revenue made the Kingdom rich beyond belief and allowed the expansion via funding construction of mosques and Qur'an schools around the world. Including schools in all of the western countries.

This growing of Islam via building of mosques, and the establishment of madrassas an Islamic religious school. A simple GoogleTM search will yield over 10,900,000 internet sites mentioning "Islamic Schools."

What is taught in these schools is not the 3 Rs to be sure. The Islamic Schools League of America lists as it's vision:

The Islamic Schools' League of America envisions and works towards the day when Islamic schools will be the preferred centers for learning and leadership that nurture and encourage America's youth to develop their innate creativity and inquisitive nature in the pursuance of academic excellence while anchoring their hearts and souls in a moral framework of a God-centered life.
Really? Subjugating women, executing gays, cutting hands and feet off of thieves? That kind of "moral framework?" How about the dreaded religious police that allowed the 15 children to die? That kind of moral framework?

This is the problem with the Saudi's. I probably need not mention that the Saudi's have been the largest contingent by far of terrorists striking the WTC and Pentagon, of terrorists caught/killed in Iraq, and captured here in the United States as proponents of terrorism, money laundering in support of terrorism and the trashing of banking laws to support terrorists. Indeed, while the Kingdom purports to support the United States, and the WOT, the fact of the matter is that the scoundrels have actively supported the very institutions behind the terrorists. A survey last year showed that almost half of all Saudis support Osama Bin Laden

A good blog friend Joerg Wolf who writes for Atlantic Review has penned an excellent piece on the Saudis, their support of terrorism and how the United States is, one must assume through sheer stupidity and indifference, turning a blind eye to the practices of the Salifists. Joerg makes an excellent point:

According to the State Department, religious freedom is non-existent in Saudi Arabia. While Eritrea was punished for lack of religious freedom under the Religious Freedom of Information Act, Saudi Arabia got another waiver for half a year.
This cannot continue unless we are willing (and I for one am not) to submit to Islam in dhimmitude.

It is said that no one is as blind as those that will not see and this certainly applies to the apologists for the Saudi royal family and the practice of Wahhabism. It is an absolute fact that we are totally dependent, as a people and as an economy, on oil. Yet, we are more dependent on foreign oil (read Saudi and our non-friends the Venezuelans) than we were even in the long gas lines of the Carter years. Because the Saudi's own fully 25 percent of the known supplies of oil in the world, it is felt that we must cater to this socially, economically and politically backward government. Enough, perhaps, with a major drive towards energy independence, much as we did at Oak Ridge during WWII to develop nuclear power, we could wean ourselves from Saudi influence.

I also believe we should shut down every Islamic school in America (so should the English and the Europeans) as an absolute threat to western civilization, not because of the religious teachings of Islamic schools, but because Wahhbism preaches hate, overthrow of other forms of government and the establishment of the Wahhabi sect. It will be argued of course, that we are a free society with full freedom of religion. However, freedom of religion is not allowed in Saudi Arabia and 100 percent of the population is Islamic. Further, if you have so much as a stamp in your passport from Israel, you will not be allowed into Saudi Arabia. The belief in freedom of religion does not extend to making a suicide pact with ourselves. It is rapidly reaching a moral imperative that we do something about this pernicious sect, while we still can. I wonder if the The Islamic Schools' League of America envisions and works towards the day when Islamic schools will be the preferred centers for learning and leadership that nurture and encourage America's youth to develop their innate creativity and inquisitive nature in the pursuance of academic excellence includes their innate inquisitive nature when it comes to learning about God from a non-Wahhabi instructor? Somehow, I think not!

Other sites on a theme: Frank Gaffney, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer all at Front Page Mag. Jason Pappas at Liberty and Culture, Elenor at 6th Column, Martin Walker writing in Walker's World, The American Congress for Truth (HT to Always On Watch with a great entry here) & others.


Linked at Euphoric Reality, at Mudville Gazette, at The Political Teen, Don Surber
Choose Life


Updated

Posted by GM Roper at 09:49 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (3)

October 26, 2005

The Evil Condi Controversy: A RATHER GATE TYPE EXPOSE'

condi.jpg
Michele Malkin, God Bless Her Soul, noticed a photograph (on the left here) of Condoleezza Rice that was published in USA today. The photo really looks evil with those eyes glaring out from under that classic forehead. Malkin, always alert, thought there was something fishy and went in search of perhaps a different photo and came up with this one:


realcondi unretouched.jpgAnd I'd say that this is a big difference (and no, I'm not referring to the size of the photo.)



As she blogged about the obvious "editing" of the photograph, the blogosphere picked up on the story and lo and behold USA withdrew the "doctored" photo and said:

Editor's note: The photo of Condoleezza Rice that originally accompanied this story was altered in a manner that did not meet USA TODAY's editorial standards. The photo has been replaced by a properly adjusted copy. Photos published online are routinely cropped for size and adjusted for brightness and sharpness to optimize their appearance. In this case, after sharpening the photo for clarity, the editor brightened a portion of Rice's face, giving her eyes an unnatural appearance. This resulted in a distortion of the original not in keeping with our editorial standards."
Brightness huh? Sharpness huh? Well, being the type of fellow I am, and enjoying working with Photoshop Elements 2.0 as I do (and I'm testing 4.0 for the fun of it who knows, I may even buy it) I decided to see if my meager skills with photoshop could "sharpen and brighten" Ms. Rice and get the same evil-eyed effect. Here is the second photo "brightened" with a technique called fillflash, what USA said they did.


realcondi.jpgIt does have them 'ole evil eyes don't it... NOT!!!! This photo was retouched using fill flash of about +10 on the scale of the fillflash technique. Much better than the original above, but still no evil eyes. So, now we have to try and "sharpen" the same photo with fillflash to produce them 'ole evil eyes.


condi sharp and fillflash.jpgWell, with the edges sharpened and a little fill flash, she looks a mite angrier, but she for sure doesn't look like the photo at the top.


pixelated.png This is my last submission, it looks MUCH more like the initial photo. It was done by changing the pixels in the photos at the eyes. I'm not really good at the skill needed for half tones, but given time, I'm pretty sure I could have almost exactly reproduced the very top photo, or one damn near like it.

I have no expectations that this will prove a "smoking gun" like they did with the non-memos of RatherGate but I think it does prove that the MSM is full of crap and they think they can get away with all kinds of things (and, before blogs, they could to be honest.) But, not this time folks, not this time.

Tip of the GM Chapeaux to Sissy Willis

UPDATE: Discussed this photo with a friend this morning (10/27/05) and he commented, "Hey George, and you are an amateur at photoshop." Yeah, I am, and if I could do this, a pro ought to be able to do much better. But the USAToday pro got caught because of us pajama-clad amateurs.

Posted by GM Roper at 10:24 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (2)

October 25, 2005

George Galloway on Food for Oil Scam: "Oh, you mean THAT $600,000."

Do you remember Iraqi war critic George Galloway testifying to a U.S. Senate committee on the U.N. / Saddam Hussein Food for Oil scheme and the huge hissy fit that he threw in the hearing when questioned about illegally profiting from it? Well, consider these new allegations of his lying as revealed in the Drudge Report.

Galloway lied over Iraqi oil payments, says Congress report
The Independent, October 25, 2005
By Rupert Cornwell in Washington

George Galloway, the British MP, was last night accused of lying by a US Congressional committee when he testified earlier this year that he had not received any United Nation food-for-oil allocations from the deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

In a report issued here, Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman and his colleagues on the Senate Subcommittee for Investigations claim to have evidence showing that Mr Galloway's political organisation and his wife received vouchers worth almost $600,000 (£338,000) from the then Iraqi government.

"We have what we call the smoking gun," said Mr Coleman, who will send the report to the US Department of Justice and the British authorities. The MP could face charges of perjury, making false statements and obstructing a Congressional investigation. Each charge carries a possible jail term of five years and a fine of $250,000.

Of course, Galloway denies it. Let's hope that he can clear his name before Christopher Hitchens finds out that the man who accused him of being dishonest in the war debates might just be dishonest himself. It might take a major snit from Galloway to get out of this one, or one day he could face the truth and the consequences. If Galloway's wife did get the money as accused, that might explain why he opposed the war in Iraq so vehemently--she got cut off from money to spend at the mall, so she cut him off.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:10 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

October 18, 2005

Texas Justice for Tom Delay: Here Comes da' Judge [UPDATED]

Those Democratic prosecutors sure know how to pick them....

DeLay judge supports MoveOn.org

When Rep. Tom DeLay is booked this Friday on charges of money laundering, the presiding judge will be a Democrat Party activist who has contributed money to the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic National Committee and the George Soros-backed MoveOn.org.

So, what's the problem? He's a judge isn't he? He's supposed to decide cases based on the law and not his political affiliations. Right? Right!?

Posted by GM Roper at 03:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

But...Who's Going to do Our Work?

Well, there goes next year's harvest.

US security chief strives to expel all illegal immigrants

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department aims without exception to expel all those who enter the United States illegally.

"Our goal at DHS (Homeland Security) is to completely eliminate the 'catch and release' enforcement problem, and return every single illegal entrant, no exceptions.

"It should be possible to achieve significant and measurable progress to this end in less than a year," Chertoff told a Senate hearing.

Haven't we heard this before?

Posted by GM Roper at 02:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

October 17, 2005

Man Bites Dog - Kennedy in Water Rescue

Well, at least Kennedy tried, even if he repeated his history of giving up.

Sen. Edward Kennedy Helps Rescue Fishermen (AP Monday, October 17, 2005)

HYANNIS, Mass. -- U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy attempted to rescue six men who had become trapped by high tide on a jetty off Hyannisport on Sunday. The Massachusetts Democrat eventually left the rescue to Hyannis firefighters, The Cape Cod Times reported Monday.

It's amazing what you can do if you're not drunk. It's too bad that he didn't try to get help in 1969. At least he's learning.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:50 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

October 14, 2005

A Pox On All Their Houses!

I have been a conservative for the most part of my 59 years on this earth. I would like to think also that I am a person of principle and that I vote for the man rather than the party. In fact, I usually shock both my Republican and Democrat friends when I tell them I have voted for a lot of conservative Democrats over the last 38 years of voting (you had to be 21 to vote when I started voting).

However, I am about ready to start a new political movement, not one that I think has any chance of winning a dogcatcher’s job, the mayor ship of my city, a House Seat, Senate Seat or even the Presidency. Not one with a national "Committee" of fat cats such as the DNC or the RNC. Not one with certified wackos such as Lyndon La'Rouche. Nope, that is not for me. My movement will be called "The National Vote The Bastards Out Movement" Or NVBOM for short.

The central idea for the NVBOM is simple. If you live in a district with a Republican representative or Republican senator, vote for the Democrat. If you live in a district with a Democratic representative or Democratic senator, vote Republican. This will result in a Democrat Majority in the Senate and the House. Now, knowing exactly how people think, this will cause the current minority party (the Democrats) to think "America has come home to good governance.” In the following election however, vote the other way around. If you voted for a Democrat and elected him, now vote for a Republican and elect him. (editors note: being sick of PC, the author uses him and he as the universals and are inclusive of both sexes as they were intended to be.)

This will result in a complete turnover in the house (Republican to Democrat to Republican) and a 2/3 turnover in the Senate in two short election cycles. The end result? Maybe the elected representatives and senators will get the idea that they work for us, not the other way around and maybe they will start governing and not legislating for their personal re-election and to hell with the rest of the country.

"OK GM," you may think, "you've finally lost your mind." You could well be right, but think a little further. Over the last 50 years or so, the Democratic Party (rightly or wrongly - but more rightly it seems) has become known as the "Tax and Spend" party. In part, because of this and because of the moral trepidations and wishy-washiness of the Clinton Administration, to say nothing of the Contract with America the Republicans became ascendant in the House and Senate and with only an exception have "ruled" ever since.

However, the Republicans have lost their way, they have become a new Tax and Spend party with a slight difference, and that is doing the right thing (tax cuts) but also not caring how the federal government is run by spending far more than any self respecting Republican, let alone any conservative should do.

And all this while, George Walker Bush, 43rd President of the United States of America has wielded his veto pen exactly ZERO times. This is not what America thought it was getting. It is not what America deserves.

This is not to say that some things have not gone right. We are engaged in a global war on islamofascist terrorists. We responded to natural Disasters in Southeast Asia, in Pakistan and in our own Gulf Coast. We are learning to quit caring what others think of us and start doing what is right in the world. Is that enough? Of course not, but they are all individually and collectively movements in the right direction.

Europe in general and France and Germany in particular have been stumbling blocks, both because of some inherent anti-Americanism, and because of short term corruption (and some long term corruption) in the UN and the "Oil for Food" programs which were really "bribes for votes and obstructionism" programs. America is waking up to the idea that you can't run a government based on polls of what other countries think, nor can you govern within based on popularity polls. (Note: Democrats are dancing in the street with Bush's low poll numbers... but guess what America? Bush is not running again. He doesn't really care about polls anyway.) Be that as it may, much of America is concerned about spending, the direction we are heading, and the attendant consequences on very real problems in this country.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not calling for, nor would I be in favor of, a return to the Clinton way of doing things. Clinton was worried about only one or two things, his legacy, and his personal pleasures/predilections. Louis Freeh has laid it all out in his book on his years as head of the FBI. I tend to believe LF over BC anyway, LF never stood in front of a national audience and said "I did not have sex with that woman, Miss Lewenski." and he didn't ask the Saudi's for a donation to his library instead of pressuring them to cooperate in apprehending the culprits and prosecuting them for the Khobar Towers bombing. Nor did Freeh promise to apprehend the perpetrators of the bombing of the USS Cole but do nothing of merit or substance. At least Bush gives the impression of, and a history of doing pretty much what he said he would do (except for that tax and spend thing.)

Nor am I calling for continued programs as they are. When the Senate and House can vote for a huge chunk of change for a "Bridge to Nowhere" it's time to get serious about governance. Pork spending must be eliminated. Perhaps we need a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting "ear marked funds" and spending not related to the bill at hand. Boondoggles such as our current spending plans ought to be anathema to all America. But they aren't!

Reasons for this go back probably into antiquity. It has been said that democracy will survive only until the "public" realizes it can vote its self largesse from public coffers. Isn't that what is happening now? When ninety plus percent of the incumbents are re-elected often on the basis of what they can "bring home" to the district/state rather what they can do for the country as a whole representing the wisdom of their district/state one has to wonder if the Republic is doomed in the very near future.

That is a pessimistic point of view I know. My blogging bud Woody thinks that the idea of a NVBOP will backfire. He opines that Republicans would do so, but democrats would lie about it and vote Democratic producing a Democratic control of the House and Senate. But that is the idea, then in the very next election take it away from the Democrats and vote in Republicans. By the second go round, the various representatives may realize that they only hold office because of our forbearance. Then, we do away with the ridiculous retirement plans, the failure to utilize Social Security for Federal Workers, pork-barrel spending, and the perks that make wanting to be a full time politician all the time the job rather than doing a job for the American people.

John F. Kennedy in his Inaugural Address stated "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Yet we seem to have forgotten this. We have become a country of “What's in it for me?" not a country of "How can I help."

Maybe its not time to vote the bastards out, maybe there is a way to send a message to all of our governing bodies, where-ever they may hold office that we, as a people, are fed up with special interests, with out of control spending, with unsafe borders, with politics as usual and indeed with politics as local (despite what Tip O'Neil said) maybe we need a new paradigm of what this country really is all about. Not the failed policies and works of the left, not the pie in the sky promises of the pseudo-conservatives, but a real honest look at what are laws are and where they are going. It is said that the Lord's Prayer contains only 69 words and the laws on the prices of milk runs thousands of words over hundreds of pages and there has to be something wrong with that.

It's time for a change, a big change, a change that involves self reliance, responsibility, honesty in dealing with each other, and movement away from special interests and into the very real need of the public interest. (End Rant)

Linked at STACLU and Cafe Oregano and Outside The Beltway and The Political Teen

Posted by GM Roper at 07:00 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

October 08, 2005

The Death Of The Democratic Party - "As We Know It"

In the Washington Post yesterday was an article hidden on page A-07. The Title? "Report Warns Democrats Not to Tilt Too Far Left" and it underscores the "quagmire" the Democrats find themselves in. And a real quagmire it is too as opposed to what Democrats call the Iraq war or any other conflict that they didn't start (wonder how many of the supporters of Clintons Bosnia intervention are calling that a quagmire?).

Since 1994 when the Republicans in general, and Newt Gingrich in particular pushed the "Contract With America" the Democrats have been a shrinking minority with a couple of very tiny exceptions that didn't last any longer than a snowball in a blast furnace so to speak. The Republicans have taken the US House of Representatives, The US Senate, The White House, The vast majority of governorships and an increasing influence in state legislatures. In fact, the so called redstate/bluestate division only underscores the increasing Republican majority.

None of this is occurring in a vacuum. The Democratic Party is now made up of two parts. The "base" and everyone else in the party. The so-called base is inhabited by folk that are typically regulars of The Daily Kos, MoveOn.org, the Democratic Underground and the fans of George Soros and others of a similar mindset. This has caused a profound effect on the Democratic Party, that the party hasn't yet come to grips with; namely that in order to get a presidential nomination from the party, the potential candidate has to run to the left, precisely what the above mentioned article warns against.

In fact, running to the left to secure the nomination then to the right for elect-ability is precisely the problem for the democrats. What is remembered by the electorate is how far to the left the party was and the "excitement" caused by the vying candidates. Remember Dr. Dean? He "excited" the base with his anti-war rhetoric, they climbed aboard but they couldn't sustain the momentum against a party determined to nominate someone "elect-able." In their collective wisdom that meant ABD (Anyone But Dean). But they also went with John F. ("Do You Know Who I am?") Kerry who proved to be a worse candidate than Al Gore (hard to believe at the time). Kerry's attempt was probably doomed to failure from the start because his handlers had no real winning strategy other than "keep him away from the press" and the proof of that will be the upcoming film "Inside The Bubble." Said Steve Rosenbaum, director of the film

I'm a lifelong Democrat and I supported Kerry. I think people will see the film as fair, and maybe searing."
Yep, seared, as was the trip to Cambodia in the Winter of '68.

Democrats have a long and proud history of leadership (Kennedy, Truman, Roosevelt) and governance. But the far left was never a significant part of that until recent decades. Since "The Great Society" and "A national Malaise”, the left has misread and misled the American People. The exception to that was the triangulation tactics of Bill Clinton who famously signed the death warrant for a "so called mentally retarded man, Ricky Ray Rector" and having a Sista Soulja moment. Clinton was elected twice (perhaps America had a brain burp?) via the same triangulation tactics... Talking left to Democrats but talking right to the electorate and adopting Republican programs. (hence the "As We Know It" part of the title of this post)

Is this really the pending death of the Democratic Party? Probably not, but when mainstream media begin publishing (even if they did try to hide it on page A-7) "physicians" warnings, can the death certificate be far behind?

I sincerely hope not. I'd love to see the left shown the door by the Democrats. Surely they (the Democrats) have to know that the left, as currently constituted, has run out of ideas. The anger and hostility that the left spews in the above mentioned internet sites is vexing to read, but it has to be more vexing to live.

According to the article:

Democrats must "admit that they cannot simply grow themselves out of their electoral dilemmas," wrote William A. Galston and Elaine C. Kamarck, in a report released yesterday. "The groups that were supposed to constitute the new Democratic majority in 2004 simply failed to materialize in sufficient number to overcome the right-center coalition of the Republican Party."

Since Kerry's defeat, some Democrats have urged that the party adopt a political strategy more like one pursued by Bush and his senior adviser, Karl Rove -- which emphasized robust turnout of the party base rather than relentless, Clinton-style tending to "swing voters."

But Galston and Kamarck, both of whom served in the Clinton White House, said there are simply not enough left-leaning voters to make this a workable strategy. In one of their more potentially controversial findings, the authors argue that the rising numbers and influence of well-educated, socially liberal voters in the Democratic Party are pulling the party further from most Americans.

On defense and social issues, "liberals espouse views diverging not only from those of other Democrats, but from Americans as a whole. To the extent that liberals now constitute both the largest bloc within the Democratic coalition and the public face of the party, Democratic candidates for national office will be running uphill."

Surely the Democrats realize this; surely! But I doubt that they do. Listening to the left, the progressives, the radical democrats we can be sure of only a few things: Bush is evil, Karl Rove is going to be frog-marched out of the White House, DeLay is headed for prison, and all the rich got huge tax breaks while taxes were heaped on the poor and the lower middle class. The only problem is that this is all leftish fantasy.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:16 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 07, 2005

Democrats Give Me Gas - Just Not the Kind My Car Needs

This is smart....

Democrats Attack Bill to Boost Refineries

A new Republican-crafted energy bill, prompted by the hurricane devastation and high fuel prices, came under sharp attack Friday from Democrats who called it a sop to rich oil companies that would do little to curb gasoline or natural gas costs, while hurting the environment.

"The bill weakens state and federal environmental standards ... and gives a break to wealthy oil companies while doing little or nothing to affect oil prices," Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y., said in a letter Thursday to colleagues. With prices soaring, "oil companies now have all the profits and incentives they need to build new refineries" without government help, he maintained.

In 1981, the United States had 325 refineries capable of producing 18.6 million barrels a day. Today there are fewer than half that number, producing 16.9 million barrels daily. Still, refining capacity has been increasing, though not dramatically, for the last decade. Imports have made up the difference as demand has continued to increase.

Pardon me, but right now I'm more concerned about having gasoline to get to work than I am in minor environmental concerns that have more to do with politics of socialists than with improving life. Also, I'm ready to start drilling up all of Alaska if it takes that to get us independent of foreign sources of oil and to reduce conflicts in the mideast. Alaskans would appreciate the jobs and money, too.

If the Democrats continue to block realistic energy efforts and force two more years of no increases in our domestic oil and energy production, then expect long gas lines and even more expensive gas. The Democrats would love that, because they would blame Bush (they always do) hoping that would help them win back the White House--at a tremendous price to the public. So, if you find us running out of gasoline or having to pay up to $5 a gallon, then thank a Democrat; and, if you are a Democrat, rip those "Hillary for President" stickers off of your car bumper.

For once, the Democrats should put the nation ahead of their own misguided political interests.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:00 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

And, to Think that This Man Was Almost President

- Text of Al Gore Speech at Media Conference in NY, Oct 06, 2005

Excerpted with Emphasis Added:

I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse. I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.

How many of you, I wonder, have heard a friend or a family member in the last few years remark that it's almost as if America has entered "an alternate universe"?

(Ramblings at this point, primarily attacking television to set up his pitch for the Al Gore network.)

And here is my point: it is the destruction of that marketplace of ideas that accounts for the "strangeness" that now continually haunts our efforts to reason together about the choices we must make as a nation.

...in 1987, ...Rush Limbaugh and other hate-mongers began to fill the airwaves.

As recently stated by Dan Rather - who was, of course, forced out of his anchor job after angering the White House - television news has been "dumbed down and tarted up."

...it is television delivered over cable and satellite that will continue for the remainder of this decade and probably the next to be the dominant medium of communication in America's democracy. And so long as that is the case, I truly believe that America's democracy is at grave risk.

You got that? Makes you want to go, "hmmmmmmmmmmmmm." You should have heard the audio of this. Weird. This man is from another planet and makes me feel as if I'm in an "alternate universe."

Posted by GM Roper at 08:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

October 06, 2005

Louis Freeh: "Bill Clinton Did Not Stain Me"

Louis Freeh, appointed as FBI Director by President Clinton, is releasing his new book next week titled "My FBI : Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror." According to information from the Drudge Report, Freeh didn't have a good relationship with Clinton. Here's what part of that report says:

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh says publicly for the first time that his relationship with President Bill Clinton – the man who appointed him – was a terrible one because Clinton’s scandals made him a constant target of FBI investigations.

In another revelation, Freeh says the former president let down the American people and the families of victims of the Khobar Towers terror attack in Saudi Arabia. After promising to bring to justice those responsible for the bombing that killed 19 and injured hundreds, Freeh says Clinton refused to personally ask Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah to allow the FBI to question bombing suspects the kingdom had in custody – the only way the bureau could secure the interviews, according to Freeh. Freeh writes in the book, “Bill Clinton raised the subject only to tell the crown prince that he understood the Saudis’ reluctance to cooperate and then he hit Abdullah up for a contribution to the Clinton Presidential Library.” Says Freeh, “That’s a fact that I am reporting.”

Freeh says he was determined to stay on as FBI director until President Clinton left office so that Clinton could not appoint his successor. “I was concerned about who he would put in there as FBI director because he had expressed antipathy for the FBI, for the director,” he tells (Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes). “[So] I was going to stay there and make sure he couldn’t replace me,” Freeh tells Wallace.

This revelation is not really a surprise. However, the book and discussions about it should be interesting.

Clinton's "fight" against terror is upsetting. It makes one wonder how many other people died so that he could get money for his library. Also, I wonder if this will have any impact on the campaign of the next Democratic presidential nominee, who is still rumored to be married to the former president.

Maybe Bush can be blamed.

Posted by GM Roper at 04:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Don't Play Golf with Ronnie Earle

If you're playing golf with someone and he hits his first drive far left and out-of-bounds, he might take a mulligan or another shot without counting the first. That's what Ronnie Earle did when his first indictment of Tom Delay turned out to be so flawed that it would not even go to trial. Mulligans are not allowed in serious golf, but Earle is an amateur. But, Earle claimed that, after two years, he didn't have all the information and this shouldn't count.

His second shot was a complete miss--over which Earle lost his temper. In addition, Earle didn't record this on his scorecard at the time, because no one was looking.

Then, he took a third shot that he liked and wants to play that ball. Are we going to have to go through this on every hole?

Mr. Earle won the initial indictment on the last day of the first grand jury, failed to win the second indictment on the last day of the second grand jury, then won two more indictments on the first day of the third grand jury.

Now, there's even more. It's about the foreman of the grand jury that indicted Delay (think of him as a course official who interprets the rules.) The foreman, or rules official, admitted that he didn't vote to indict Delay based on any evidence presented but he did so because he didn't like Delay's campaign ads. I kid you not. This is from the foreman!

Enough is enough from Ronnie Earle. This guy cheats, he tries to improve his lies, he takes strokes that he doesn't record, he throws his golf clubs if he doesn't get his ruling, he uses officials who have never read the rules book, and he's plays from the white tees when the others play from the blue ones. Don't play golf with him.

Since Ronnie Earle is from Texas, he should know something about "Texas Rules." Those familiar with golf will know that "Texas Rules" state that if your drive fails to get past the red tees, then you're supposed to (how to delicately put this) "pull out" for the rest of the hole. His first drive went no where, he completely missed with the second one, and his third one was so weak that it barely rolled off the tee and is short of the red tees--and, he may pick that one up, yet. In fairness, Mr. Earle, maybe you should "pull out."

Posted by GM Roper at 02:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

Bottom of the Ninth: Bush Signals for Rookie Over Experienced Closers

The Supreme Team needs a strong closer to seal a victory over activists who use the bench to legislate. We've gone through eight with mixed results, and this is the ninth position in the decisive inning. In this situation, would you pick someone who can slam the door on the opponent or bring in someone whom no one has seen outside of the minors? How does political analyst and baseball expert George Will call this?

If 100 such people had been asked to list 100 individuals who have given evidence of the reflectiveness and excellence requisite in a justice, Miers's name probably would not have appeared in any of the 10,000 places on those lists.

Uh, oh. Bush picked the rookie--a suspect righty, even though there were strong closers warmed up. The other side has a line up of heavy hitters who bat from the left. We might be overmatched. And, to think that Bush used to be a managing partner of the Texas Rangers ball club.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Bono to Tour with Jimmy Carter?

Nothing takes the prize like sharing the stage with Jimmy Carter.

U2 frontman Bono and singer/activist Bob Geldof are among the favorites to win the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. ...The two musicians are nominated for their work to relieve poverty and hunger in Africa, including the organization of this year's massive series of Live 8 concerts.

Good luck to these musicians. Because of their efforts, hunger and poverty in Africa have been eliminated for all time. Does this mean that Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF funds can be kept in the U.S. to help Katrina victims?

Posted by GM Roper at 01:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

U.N. Wants Control of Internet: You Think AOL Is Bad

This is some appreciation for you. Al Gore, an American (he claims) invents the internet, and now countries of the world want to take control of the internet away from the U.S.

A number of countries represented in Geneva, including Brazil, China, Cuba, Iran and several African states, insisted the US give up control, but it refused. The meeting "was going nowhere", Hendon says, and so the EU took a bold step and proposed two stark changes: a new forum that would decide public policy, and a "cooperation model" comprising governments that would be in overall charge.

(N)ow the world's governments are expected to agree a deal to award themselves ultimate control. It will be officially raised at a UN summit of world leaders next month and, faced with international consensus, there is little the US government can do but acquiesce.

If you think that the U.N. does a good job in most everything, is efficient, won't find a way to tax the internet, and won't allow China to censor it--then you'll be happy with this news. For those of us who like the U.S running it the way it is, this could be bad news.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 05, 2005

Who Is This Man and Should We Be Worried?


lbjbush.jpg

"My fellow Americans. I come to you with a heavy heart."

Brings back bad memories for some of us who remember the 1960's.

In the last post I made reference to the similarities between two Texans who became president and whose budget skills seem similar. Now, I have found this recent picture of President Bush, which shows that he might be metamorphosing into LBJ--unless we can do something about it. Maybe if you believe in Republicans and everyone claps his hands really loud, the President will come to life again as the conservative that we knew him to be. On the other hand, if you don't believe in fairies and fairy tales, then let the Republican Party know of your concern to help hold the party together.

Original Source for Credit Unknown
Found at Whisky Bar

Posted by GM Roper at 01:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"Lyndon Baines" Bush Upsets Conservatives and Threatens Party Prospects

I have potential bad news. Conservatives and Republicans are beginning to act like liberals and Democrats. No, they're not smoking dope and fixing elections. Rather, philosophical differences could divide the Republican Party, like differences of the left divided the Democrats and cost them political influence.

Many conservative Republicans who donated their time and money to elect President Bush are not pleased at his departures from typical conservative goals. Conservatives in general like smaller government and less government spending. Conservatives tend to be pro-life and want to know that Supreme Court nominees have expressed clear support for that issue. Yet, President Bush continues to disappoint them. In addition, many compare Bush to LBJ, who turned up the treasury printing press for "guns and butter"--in his case, the Viet Nam war and the Great Society. If there is any valid comparison of the war in Iraq with Viet Nam, it may be on this point of thinking we can have it all. But, I don't want a return of inflation and increasing government debt that can result. Essentially, what we've seen is that President Bush ran on a conservative platform but only pays it lip service, and this has been causing cracks in his party since he was re-elected.

This, of course, will likely have the result of dampening enthusiasm of conservatives, who would give up on their efforts to re-elect Republicans and just go back to working, raising kids, and other things for which there are greater rewards and less frustration. The party would be divided and become the minority party again. That's a real and serious danger.

For several days I was thinking about an article in The Economist, which first addresses the Delay indictments, but goes on to explain the tensions and realignments of conservatives, which is the point of this entry. After the latest Supreme Court nomination, the divisions reported by this article become more real.

This is something that conservatives and the Republicans really need to address to avoid a similar fate of the Democrats, where those in the mainstream were replaced by the Move-On radicals. Here are some excerpts from that article, but you need to read the entire story for more explanation of each point.

Today the conservative movement is in turmoil. Different types of conservatives are at each other’s throats. Everybody is hurling opprobrium at the president. David Brooks, a conservative columnist on the New York Times, recently declared that he sometimes wonders whether Mr Bush is a Manchurian candidate—sent to discredit conservatism.

The loudest howls are coming from small-government conservatives who are furious with Mr Bush’s loose spending. But business conservatives are furious about his love-affair with the religious right and traditional conservatives are furious about his commitment of blood and treasure to the Iraq war.

These rows are particularly dangerous because they reflect long-standing tensions within the conservative movement:
• Small-government conservatives v big-government conservatives.
• Conservatives of faith v conservatives of doubt.
• Insurgent conservatives v establishment conservatives.
• Business conservatives v religious conservatives.
• Neo-conservatives v traditional conservatives.

Predictions of the demise of American conservatism are almost as old as the movement. It survived both Watergate and Bill Clinton. Emmett Tyrell, the editor of the American Spectator, published “The Conservative Crack-up” in 1992. So much of the right’s power lies outside the administration and Congress—in its domination of the intellectual agenda for instance—that it is seldom down for long.

The Democrats show few signs that they have the wind in their sails. Their handling of John Roberts’s nomination to the Supreme Court has been dismal. Neither Harry Reid, the minority leader in the Senate, nor Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader in the House, is likely to set the world on fire. Moveon.org types want to drag the party to the left; Clintonistas want to pull it to the centre. America has two dysfunctional parties.

But Mr Bush’s recent problems do raise one important possibility: that of a realignment on the right. The fact that the Bush machine is running out of steam makes it much less likely that he will be able to determine his successor. This creates opportunities for very different sorts of conservatives who are waiting in the wings.

Will Bush continue on his path of appeasing the left and ignoring his conservative base, and what effect will that have in the next election? Why is he doing this? I don't know if he lacks commitment or doesn't have the fight in him to stand up for his base. But, if something isn't done to mend the cracks within the party, look for the Democrats to regain control of Congress and, possibly, the presidency. It may not matter, though, because with the White House over-spending and increasing the size of government, there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between the parties. Who, if anyone, will step up to save the party and its movement?

Posted by GM Roper at 12:20 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

October 03, 2005

Cool Off on Global Warming: Separate Science and Politics

Every day we hear some politician, some activist, and some so-called scientist claiming that the Earth is warming because of human activity and that we better do something about it fast--like blame the U.S. and destroy its economy. Now, I enjoy science and I enjoy politics, but they are better enjoyed separately than together, because politics has a way of tainting real science. This is the case of combining global warming studies with the Kyoto Protocol and with government grants. Isn't it better to understand Earth's climate changes and cycles than to jump to false conclusions and waste billions of dollars and destroy jobs?

I'm not going to take the space to address both sides of the argument. There is plenty of information on the internet if you want to research it. However, I will suggest that everyone who wants the truth about global warming and its causes should be skeptical of alarmists and of scientists with an agenda and who depend upon government grants. They might be right, but they might not be. If they're not, the costs are very, very high.

Hang with me, but let's have a brief science lesson. Consider that the Earth has had four major ice ages and within those ice ages we have cycles of cooling and warming every 40,000 to 100,000 years. Ice ages are affected by atmospheric composition, changes in the Earth's orbit around the Sun, and the arrangement of the continents. Short-term changes can be influenced by cycles of the Sun.

The last glacial period, where a major ice sheet covered northern North American and most of Europe, was 11,000 years ago. In addition, there was "The Little Ice Age" from the 14th to 19th centuries, which was characterized by very cold winters, cool summers, severe storms, and crop failures. In fact, in 1780 New York Harbor froze and you could walk from Manhattan to Staten Island. So, where are we going?

Well, it appears to me that the warming and cooling of the planet are influenced by greater factors than just man, and that what we're experiencing in climate changes can be explained by laws of nature more than misdeeds of mankind. The following map of North America shows the extent of the last glacial age and the retreat of the ice sheet over the last 11,000 years. If it wasn't for that retreat, then the Chicago Bulls would have to play in Mississippi. But, seriously, study the map and determine how man affected this climate change. Could he have?

N.A. Ice Sheet Shrinks.gif

Retreat of North American Ice Sheet

Source: Illinois State Museum

In addition to this small map above, you may want to view a larger animated map of the glacial retreat at this site of The University of Oregon. It is interesting to pay additional attention to the changes in the coastlines and lakes as the ice sheet melted.

Bottom line. It takes a giant leap of faith or a giant political agenda to ignore that warming trends are part of the normal cycles that the Earth has experienced for millenniums. So, before you jump on the Kyoto bandwagon, consider all the evidence and consider the consequences of a bad decision--either way. We need government leaders to continue to oppose dragging the U.S. into a bad treaty, and the rest of the world should wake up. The money being wasted to insignificantly affect Earth's temperatures can be better used in ways to really help the Earth and mankind.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:10 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

September 30, 2005

Ronnie Earle Casts God as Democrat. Mel Gibson Stunned.

Prosecutor Ronnie Earle, who will go to any lengths to smear his opponents, is apparently doing it for God, as revealed in his upcoming movie. In an article by Byron York who has seen clips from this soon to be hit attacking Republican Tom Delay, Earle is filmed saying:

The root of the evil of the corporate and large-monied interest domination of politics is money. This is in the Bible. This isn't rocket science. The root of all evil truly is money, especially in politics. People talk about how money is the mother's milk of politics. Well, it's the devil's brew. And what we've got to do, we've got to turn off the tap. It's important that we forgive those who come to us in a spirit of contrition and the desire for forgiveness. That's important. But if they don't, then God help them.

Well, it's the devil's brew and it's right here in Travis County. Hey, I feel a song coming on (with apologies to "The Music Man"!)

Friends, money is the devil's play tool, trouble!

Ya got trouble

Oh, we got trouble

Right here in Travis County

With a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'D' and that stands for 'Delay'

That stands for 'Delay'

We've surely got trouble

Right here in Travis County

We're in terrible, terrible trouble

That Hammer with the money is the devil's tool

Devil's tool

Remember my friends, listen to Earle,

because I pass this way but once.

Wow, I need to rest after singing that. I tell you, this Earle is one guy who can make Mel Gibson and Michael Moore both envious at the same time. Use God and attack Republicans--a great formula and what a switch! But, I didn't think that Democrats believed in God, but maybe I'm wrong since they use his name with the best swear words.

To go on and to add balance to the production, the article adds:

The film features commentary from a number of DeLay critics, including Lou Dubose, author of The Hammer: Tom DeLay: God, Money, and the Rise of the Republican Congress, columnist Molly Ivins, defeated political rival Martin Frost, Craig McDonald of Texans for Public Justice, and others.

Some people, though, seem less excited and throw water on the parade with logical comments like this:

"The problem that Ronnie has is that he sees something that he believes is wrong," says Roy Minton, an attorney for one of the organizations investigated by Earle. "If you ask him, when he says, 'They're doing this' and 'They're doing that,' you say, 'Alright, let's assume they're doing that, Ronnie, is that against the law?' He will say it's wrong. You say, 'Well, OK, let's assume that it's wrong. Where is it that it is against the law?'"

Just wait. I'm sure that Earle can find some activist judge or locate some international law to interpret the law however he wants--for God. Hallelujah! Oh, we have trouble...with a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'E' and that stands for Earle. But, just like in "The Music Man," what the Democrats think they see and what's reality are not the same. And, Democrats begin with 'D' and that rhymes with 'T'....

Posted by GM Roper at 09:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 29, 2005

Prosecuter Ronnie Earle Goes Hollywood! Filmmakers Get Inside Access on Delay Case

It can now be told that Texas District Attorney Ronnie Earle will star in a new movie covering his work to discredit House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. What film crew couldn't resist his good looks, charm, sex appeal, and his determination to indict every Republican that he can--using his wile and leaks to the press.

Ronnie Earle.jpg

Hollywood Heartthrob Ronnie Earle (Right)

Here are excerpts of from Byron York's article in the "National Review":

The DeLay prosecutor has let a film crew follow him through the whole case. For the last two years, as he pursued the investigation that led to Wednesday's indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Travis County, Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle has given a film crew "extraordinary access" to make a motion picture about his work on the case.

"We approached him [Earle], and he offered us extraordinary access to him and, to an extent, to his staff," (filmmaker) Birnbaum told National Review Online Thursday. "We've been shooting for about two years."

Earle "allowed us behind the scenes when the indictments came down last year, the first wave of indictments," (co-filmmaker) Schermbeck says. "We got to follow him back to his home a couple of times, which I understand he doesn't allow anybody to do."

"We're pretty low on everybody's radar," Schermbeck says. "We kind of took a gamble three years ago. We didn't know what was going to happen. We feel like, as documentary filmmakers, we gambled and it paid off."

Wow! What unexpected luck for them! And, don't let anyone convince you that Earle is violating Sections 3.07 and 3.09 of the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Conduct governing lawyers, which “strictly prohibits prosecutors from attempting to influence prospective jury members through pretrial publicity."

And, there is more great news! You can communicate directly with actor Earle, who would like to hear from you! Be sure to go to Earle's feedback site and share your enthusiam and views with him.

For previews of this blockbuster film, watch CBS and CNN every night, as they cover the real life heroics of up-and-coming film star Ronnie Earle over and over and over and over and over.... Move over Tom Cruise!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:20 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Federal Response to Louisiana Governor on Katrina

bushblanco.jpg

Pres. Bush forwards Gen. Honore's inquiry to Gov. Blanco

From Sondrak via Denny

Posted by GM Roper at 12:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Gov. Blanco Sticks Up Senators: "No Questions. Hand Over Your Wallets"

Marriage and politics and crime have some common threads.
.
.
Husband...Did I see that your car has been wrecked?!
Wife.........I don't want to talk about it.
Husband...Don't you think I deserve an explanation?
Wife.........No, and that's not why I came to you.
Husband...Well, what do you want?
Wife.........I want money for a new car.
Husband...Who do you think I am...a Republican senator?
Wife.........Give me the money or I'll accuse you of abuse and desertion.
Husband...How much should I write the check for?

That pretty much sums up the exchange between Louisiana's Democratic Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and the Senate Finance Committee, which asked her to appear and respond to former FEMA Director Michael D. Brown's charge that Louisiana officials were "dysfunctional" in handling the Hurricane Katrina disaster. She said that she wouldn't answer any questions, they said okay, and she asked for $40 Billion for job creation in her state. No questions, but where's my check?

Let me make a suggestion. Rather than giving her $40 Billion, cut it in half, give it to all of Louisiana's residents, and let them retire in luxury. But, the rest of us can work the rest of our lives to pay for this--without even knowing what happened...and, we didn't even get kissed, and there's the crime.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

September 28, 2005

Democrats on Tom Delay: End Justifies the Means [UPDATED]

You've likely heard that Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay has been indicted (not convicted!) on one count of criminal conspiracy after extensive efforts by Democratic District Attorney Ronnie Earle--much to the delight of liberals, whose blogs are all aglow. If Delay is as corrupt and evil as the left portrays him, then why couldn't this partisan D.A. find something more serious than a charge of no substance? But, we know what's really going on and that the people behind the smear are misusing our legal system for political gains, and they don't care what it costs the taxpayers to prosecute. Why, getting the taxpayers to pay for the investigation, prosecution, and trial is just like extorting campaign contributions for the Democrats.

Isn't it ironic that the Democrats act dishonorably to bring down someone whom they accuse of being dishonorable? To many, that makes them worse than the person they accuse.

From Michelle Malkin comes this excerpted information on the D.A. by former DOJ official Barbara Comstock:

Ronnie Earle argues that Tom DeLay conspired to make a contribution to a political party in violation of the Texas Election Code. There was no contribution to a political party in violation of the Texas Election Code. There was no conspiracy. Ronnie Earle is wrong on the facts. Ronnie Earle is wrong on the law.

Ronnie Earle has a history of using his office for attacks on his political and personal enemies. Earle has demonstrated a past zeal for indicting conservative figures and even liberals with whom he has personal or professional disagreements. Earle's partisan prosecutions - which have frequently failed - are designed for political harm, not legal harm.

Ronnie Earle's three year political vendetta against Rep. DeLay has been marked by:
Illegal grand jury leaks,
A fundraising speech by Earle for the Texas Democrat party that inappropriately focused on the investigation,
Misuse of his office for partisan purposes, and
Extortion of money for Earle's pet projects from corporations in exchange for dismissing indictments he brought against them.

It's pretty obvious that the Democrats are willing to go to any lengths, or should I say depths, to attack their opponents because, to them, the end justifies the means. Is that how justice is meant to work?

UPDATE: More on the chicanery of Ronnie Earl here, and here, AND in an eerily prescient post by our own GM titled No Delay In The War On Delay noted "Stay tuned folks, this is going to get nasty." And so it is.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:40 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

September 23, 2005

Ginsberg Usurps The Role of President and is stuck on stupid.

I always thought Ruth Bader Ginsberg was a flake. She advocated lowering the age of consent for sexual relations to a sex neutral age 12 and her votes on the USSC indicate to me that she is firmly on the lefty plantation with no hope of escaping, nor do I think she has any desire to escape.

Now she is telling the President WHO he must appoint to the vacancy caused by the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor.

Ginsberg has stated "...any woman will not do..." and this of course gives rise to more than one question. First, who says it has to be a woman, just because a woman is retiring? For that matter, why does it have to be any person of a given race, creed, national origin, or sex? Why not a black male or a black female or a hispanic female or ...? There is a pernicious belief, growing, that future nominees for the courts must meet some kind of quota. How stupid can we get. The next qualified nominee must be a good jurist first and foremost. Given that Bush was the victor, it should be someone who meets his political belief system and that says generally conservative. Other than that, and to be totally honest not even that, is all that Bush has to do.

Ms. Ginsberg, it is the PRESIDENT who makes the choice, who decides on the qualifications he is looking for and who is bound to make the best choice possible. Get that? Don't be stuck on stupid! (Gadzooks I love that phrase.)

Ginsberg says that "...some women who might be appointed who would not advance human rights or women's rights..." Uh, excuse me?

Since when does the constitution dicate that Federal Judges, including Justices on the United States Supreme Court are required to advance human rights or women's rights? I thought that the requirement is that they intrepret what the law says. Now, granted that many interpretations have stuck in my craw, and many have been overturned by higher courts, but that doesn't mean that the principle is not correct. If a court decision has the advantage of advancing "human rights" or "women's rights" or "men's rights" or the "right's of victims of crimes" or any other legally sanctioned "right" fine and dandy. But that is a side issue and not the issue itself. The issue at hand is deciding the law. That is all, that is it, that is what is required.

Seemingly, Justice Ginsberg then would decide in favor of a woman if the issue was a male vs. a female even if the law stated clearly that the male was protected under the law. How dumb can she be?

President Bush, please feel free to ignore the ravings of that particular Justice. She doesn't know what she is talking about whether it is about sexually active 12 year olds or about who the next Justice should be. She is "STUCK ON STUPID."

Others reporting on this issue: Ankle Biting Pundits, Shooting The Messenger, The Uncooperative Blogger, A Man Over Thirty, Conservative Thinking, The Not So Silent Majority, and many many others.


Info Theory

Posted by GM Roper at 07:11 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (1)

September 16, 2005

Will $200 Billion for N.O. Cover Slave Reparations? Ask the Brotherhood. Who?

Sometimes another person can say something that I can't because they have better standing or authority to address an issue. That is the case with slave reparations, which were proposed after the War Between the States and are still on the agenda for many. A blogger who is black and conservative addresses the issue of reparations and suggests that those who demand them can thank Hurricane Katrina, which will direct over a now estimated $200 billion for residents in a town that is over two-thirds black. He can say it--and has. You can imagine the comments if I said the same things.

Another connected point is that many people assume that blacks have to be liberal and Democrat or must be water boys for the Republicans. The author of the subject doesn't fit those descriptions and is part of a group of black, conservative bloggers called The Conservative Brotherhood, which describes itself as follows:

The Conservative Brotherhood is a group of African American writers whose politics are on the right hand side of the political spectrum. Expanding the dialog beyond traditional boundaries, they seek to contribute to a greater understanding of African Americans and America itself through advocacy and commentary.

It's refreshing to read the points of view that this group provides, and I admire their determination to say what they believe rather than say what is expected simply because of their race.

Back to the first point, that of reparations and the hurricane, Michael D. Cobb Bowen expresses his views as follows:

Say Thank You, Dammit

Now is the time for all good Reparationists to thank God for Katrina and thank George W. Bush for 60 Billion dollars.

Over at Booker Rising, an interesting angle cropped up on the matter of Reparations and Republicans. But my angle is this: Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana are basically the heart of Dixie. Anybody and everybody knows that most of the blackfolks who live there represent those too unfortunate to migrate. I'll state it plainly. If you didn't get out in the Civil War and you didn't get out after the failure of Reconstruction, and you didn't get out during the Great Migration of the 1920s and you didn't get out in the Civil Rights Movement and you are still stuck in the South and poor and black...DAMN!

Now let's say you didn't get out in Katrina either. Symbolically, is there anyone more oppressed and downtrodden and left behind than poor blackfolks who have, since Slavery, missed five generational opportunities to leave Dixie? I mean, DAMN!

Now I'm going to jump on the rhetorical bandwagon of one of my idiot commenters for a moment to make a point:

70 percent of New Orleans is African American. ...These are the people who are going to reap the benefits of SIXTY BILLION DOLLARS OF FEDERAL AID, FREE!. Those blackfolks from New Orleans typify the beneficiaries of those dollars that America just can't seem to give away fast enough. Unless Osama bin Laden drops a nuke on Harlem there is never going to be another opportunity for poor black people to get free Federal Aid on this scale for 100 years. THIS is Reparations.

...Anyway, this is what I'm thinking. Reparations is now. As they used to say around the way, if you're slow, you blow. You better recognize. And say thank you to your president, the Compassionate Conservative who cares about 60 Billion dollars worth.

The entire post can be found here at Cobb's site. While you are there, you might want to check out some of Cobb's other entries and cartoons, or those by some other members of the brotherhood.

By being their own persons, and smart, these bloggers can help enhance communication not only between races, but for something perhaps harder--understandings and changes within the black culture.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:10 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

September 14, 2005

Democratic N.O. Congressman Redirects Rescue Efforts - Saves Laptop!

Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., who represents New Orleans, led a daring mission at the height of the flood crisis to help an African-American resident of New Orleans to salvage his possessions and to be evacuated. The complex mission involved a five-ton military truck, six National Guard military police, a Coast Guard rescue helicopter, the pilots, a rescue swimmer, then an additional truck with soldiers, and hours of time--but, it accomplished what this Democratic congressman wanted: to get to HIS OWN house to save HIS OWN possessions and to return HIMSELF safely. Oh, he cares! He wasn't sitting around like George Bush and FEMA--no sir!

Here are excerpts along with a link to the ABC News report:
Amid Katrina Chaos, Congressman Used National Guard to Visit Home (Excerpted)
By JAKE TAPPER (Sarah H. Rosenberg, Chris Isham and Ted Gerstein contributed)
ABCNEWS.com, 09/13/2005

Amid the chaos and confusion that engulfed New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck, a congressman used National Guard troops to check on his property and rescue his personal belongings — even while New Orleans residents were trying to get rescued from rooftops, ABC News has learned.

Military sources tells ABC News that Jefferson, an eight-term Democratic congressman, asked the National Guard that night to take him on a tour of the flooded portions of his congressional district. (D)uring the tour, Jefferson asked that the truck take him to his home on Marengo Street, in the affluent uptown neighborhood in his congressional district. According to Schneider, this was not part of Jefferson's initial request.

Jefferson went into the house alone, the source says, while the soldiers waited on the porch for about an hour. Finally, according to the source, Jefferson emerged with a laptop computer, three suitcases, and a box about the size of a small refrigerator, which the enlisted men loaded up into the truck.

'I don't think there is any explanation for an elected official using resources for their own personal use, when those resources should be doing search and rescue, or they should be helping with law enforcement in the city,' said Jerry Hauer, a homeland security expert and ABC News consultant.

Jefferson said the trip was entirely appropriate. 'This wasn't about me going to my house. It was about me going to my district,' he said.

The Louisiana National Guard tells ABC News the truck became stuck as it waited for Jefferson to retrieve his belongings. The soldiers signaled to helicopters in the air for aid. Military sources say a Coast Guard helicopter pilot saw the signal and flew to Jefferson's home. The chopper was already carrying four rescued New Orleans residents at the time. A rescue diver descended from the helicopter, but the congressman decided against going up in the helicopter, sources say. The pilot sent the diver down again, but Jefferson again declined to go up the helicopter.

After spending approximately 45 minutes with Jefferson, the helicopter went on to rescue three additional New Orleans residents before it ran low on fuel and was forced to end its mission. 'Forty-five minutes can be an eternity to somebody that is drowning, to somebody that is sitting in a roof, and it needs to be used its primary purpose during an emergency,' said Hauer.

The Louisiana National Guard then sent a second 5-ton truck to rescue the first truck, and Jefferson and his personal items were returned to the Superdome.

(Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard) said he could not comment on whether the excursion was appropriate. 'We're in no position to comment on an order given to a soldier. You're not going to get a statement from the Louisiana National Guard saying whether it was right or wrong. That was the mission we were assigned.'

In an unrelated matter, authorities recently searched Jefferson's property as part of a federal investigation into the finances of a high-tech firm. Last month FBI officials raided Jefferson's house as well as his home in Washington, D.C., his car and his accountant's house. Jefferson has not commented on that matter, except to say he is cooperating with the investigation. But he has emerged as a major voice in the post-Katrina political debate.

It's interesting that the congressman's name is William Jefferson. Don't we know someone else whose name begins with that? Read the complete article for the congressman's side of the story; and, I guess that we can trust any story from a Democrat named William Jefferson--as long as he doesn't wag his finger at us when he tells it.

Anyway, now that the Democrat congressman has ventured into the flood and the mud, let's hope that he won't be flinging any more of it at Republicans and the federal response.

(Note: Don't look for this story on CNN or CBS.)

Posted by GM Roper at 11:10 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

September 12, 2005

Guns and Butter; Partie Deux (Part Two)

I have a confession to make; I read the Wall Street Journal both the dead tree version and the online version. I guess that makes me a capitalist toadie. Or maybe a Capitalist Running Dog! Or perhaps a member of the bourgeois with pretensions of becoming rich someday.

Well, OK, I am all of the above. What is more, I'd love to see all of the world equal or exceed that. Of Course, I know that that won't happen, but I can dream can't I. Well, for the nonce at any rate. Next week I'll be 59, perhaps a little late for riches, unless I win the Texas Lotto.

But all that aside, I'm upset with my president. I'm upset with congress, I'm upset with the whole idea of the way the federal dollar is being spent. Misspent perhaps.

I've been having a series of conversations with my beloved Uncle. In a recent e-mail, he noted that he used to be a Republican; back when the Republicans stood for fiscal restraint, good business principles etc. Can't fault him for that. I choose to stay in the Republican Party and work for change within, I'm NOT one happy camper at this moment.

Congress is spending money like a bunch of drunken sailors - in fact, I think maybe the afore mentioned sailors do better. The President seems disinclined to reign them in, and has yet to veto a single spending bill. NOT ONE!!!! And that scares the hell out of me. The recent transportation bill is a good example. As I told my Uncle, it was so loaded with Pork that I understand the Armour Company was thinking of purchasing it.


congressional Pork.png Can't you just see it, Canned Congressional Pork [Note, no Armour Star Products were harmed in the making of this photograph.] But, I digress. The transportation bill contains funding for a bridge in Alaska, essentially going to somewhere where no one except a few local inhabitants want to go. Yet, it is spending, jobs, etc. But, good lord people!

John Fund writing in the Wall Street Journal wonders if President Bush has the huevos to do what FDR and Truman did; Cut spending when a national crisis occurs. Now, some of you may be offended by my use of the word uevos meaning testicles or balls, but I'm from Texas and that gives mhe a certain amount of freedom, plus, being an author of this blog I claim a little artistic license AND, I'm ticked off.

Fund states:

With almost no debate and with precious few provisions for oversight, Congress has passed President Bush's mammoth $62 billion request for emergency Katrina relief. House Speaker Denny Hastert says the final total will "probably [be] under the cost of the highway bill" that Congress passed last month with a pricetag of $286.4 billion.

Despite such sums, there are few calls for offsetting cuts in other programs, apart from antiwar opportunists who see in Katrina a chance to undermine the Iraq effort."

Moreover, he is absolutely correct. The majority of those who are calling for spending cuts have also voted in the large pork measures that we have been seeing over the Bush presidency and the last years of the Clinton presidency and are only now calling for cuts because they think it will score political points in the fight against the fight as it were. Actually, these folk don't give a damn about spending, they just want to torpedo the war fighting in Iraq and, as a result, the people of Iraq and perhaps the whole middle east.

Fund goes on to say:

Neither the White House nor Congress appears to be in any mood, for example, to revisit the highway bill's 6,373 "earmarks," or individual projects for members, worth $24.2 billion. Alaska's Rep. Don Young, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has bragged that the bill is "stuffed like a turkey" with goodies for his state. It includes $721 million for Alaska, including a $2.2 million "bridge to nowhere" connecting the town of Ketchikan (population 8,900) to an airport on Gravina Island (population 50). Another bridge, in Anchorage, has a $200 million price tag and is considered such a marginal project that even the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce opposes it.

Families hit by any disaster realize they have to reassess their situation and change their circumstances. There was a time when the nation acted the same way. After Pearl Harbor, the country sprang into action to win the war against Japan and Germany. But it realized that the old way of doing things wouldn't do. Dramatic changes in government policy resulted."

Did you get that, FDR a Democrat changed government policy to face a new reality. Here's what he did according to Fund: He cut spending.

Wow, did that resonate with anyone, he CUT SPENDING. According to Fund:

Less well known is FDR's decision to slash non-defense spending by over 20% between 1942 and 1944. Among the programs that were eliminated entirely were FDR's own prized creations. By 1944, such pillars of the New Deal as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the National Youth Administration and the Work Projects Administration had been abolished. In 1939 those three programs had represented one-eighth of the federal budget. Roosevelt and the Congress of his day knew what to do in an emergency."
Fund states that Truman did the same thing during the Korean war.

I've noted in past posts here and made some "modest" suggestions as to how to remedy the situation.

1. Cut Taxes on Corporations, because when you increase corporate taxes, the corporations only pass along those taxes to the consumers who do not need any more outgo of their own pocketbooks.

2. Tax Wealth, not Income. I would be willing to bet that the Soros and Kennedy types would squeal like stuck pigs then.

3. Perhaps cut the tax rate on income to a flat tax, but tax all personal income. For those below an agreed on poverty level, they will get a refund.

4. Abolish federal withholding. When each taxpayer has to make a monthly “tax deposit” to cover their income taxes, the outcry will go up demanding fiscal responsibility.

5. Abolish deficit spending and any congressional trick used to pass a spending resolution without having to do the work necessary for a real budget, tie specific deficit authorizations to national emergencies such as natural disasters (Florida Hurricanes, Terrorist Attacks, War, etc., etc.)

6. Abolish all federal spending on anything that is not in the national interest (this alone would eliminate 90% of the pork methinks, though I’m not sure of that).

7. Set time limits on entitlements and require a “sunset review” one year before the limit arrives. Only if the entitlement is truly needed may it be continued.

Now, I have no idea at all if these steps will work, but they are based on fairly sound principles, and the laughter of the tax and spend-a-holics at the Laffer curve be damned. EVERY TIME taxes have been cut, revenues have gone UP.

Mr. President, I'm really ticked off at you for not vetoing some of these crap spending bills. It's time to not just mimic some famous democrats (remember your support of JFK's tax cuts), but to incorporate some principles of FDR and HT and cut spending so that we can afford what we really need. Oh, and do it now!

/rant!

Technorati Tags: politics, Current Events

Posted by GM Roper at 08:33 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

Bush Exploits New Orleans Flood - A View from the Left

In the sense of fairness, we're presenting the truth about George W. Bush and his hurricane response through the eyes of the left--and, the picture isn't pretty and just got worse. To recap so far, we have learned that Bush caused the hurricane because he ignored global warming, that he directed the storm to strike New Orleans which is under a Democratic mayor and governor, that he took money needed to upgrade the levees so that he could reduce taxes for the rich, that he sent the National Guard to Iraq making them unavailable for rescues, that he made no preparations for the disaster and appointed incompetent friends to FEMA, that he (and this is terrible) bombed the levees to flood the city and wouldn't save those washed out because they were black and Bush is a racist, that he blamed everyone else for his problems, that he conveniently hired Halliburton two months before the storm for the clean-up, that he won't recover bodies, and that, in general, he is totally clueless. Wow! I guess that covers it all. But, wait. Now, there's something else. You just have to see the picture below to believe it. It is horrible and speaks for itself. This guy should be impeached.

Caution. Don't go further if you support Bush.
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Okay I warned you.
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bushvacation.jpg


See. Bush's personal exploitation shows his insensitivity to the plight of those looters dying and homeless behind him. But, on the other hand, that is a pretty good looking fish. Good job, Mr. President!

via Denny in Atlanta

Posted by GM Roper at 10:50 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

September 09, 2005

After Hurricane, New Orleans Faces Worse Disaster - Jimmy Carter

Haven't the people of New Orleans suffered enough? Shouldn't we be showing them compassion and giving them hope? Wouldn't it be best if they had someone competent in charge of restoring their city? Well, if the answer to all of those is "yes," then why in the world would a former 9/11 commissioner recommend Jimmy Carter to be in charge of rebuilding New Orleans?

From the Drudge Report:

This morning on Fox's 'Fox and Friends,' former Indiana Democrat congressman and 9/11 commissioner Tim Roemer called on President Bush to name former President Jimmy Carter to the head of efforts to rebuild New Orleans.

Roemer told the stunned hosts: 'The second thing we should do is put somebody like former President Jimmy Carter in charge of rebuilding New Orleans.'

Carter Hammering.jpg
Carter Aims for Thumb

How can Carter rebuild a city when he spends his time hammering at a White House? He might let the United Nations determine the future use of New Orleans for the "world community." On the other hand, if Kerry were President, he might want to donate the Louisiana Purchase back to France while he apologizes for messing it up. At least we should be glad that no one suggested Al Gore, who could declare New Orleans as "wetlands" and make it a nationally protected wilderness.

The left never ceases to amaze.

Posted by GM Roper at 04:40 PM | Comments (10)

September 08, 2005

Ted Kennedy Blows Harder Than Hurricane Katrina

Sometimes no comment is best. Let the remarks speak for themselves.

"What the American people have seen is this incredible disparity in which those people who had cars and money got out and those people who were impoverished died." --Ted Kennedy on Hurricane Katrina


"______" --Mary Jo Kopechne on Hurricane Katrina

From Opinion Journal from the WSJ via Atlas Shrugs (Thank you!)

Posted by GM Roper at 08:40 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

Democrats Help Themselves to Hurricane Donations

Hopefully, you have seen lists of charities accepting donations for the Hurricane Katrina victims and have given. Now, there is a new Katrina donation site courtesy of the Democratic Party. That's right! Our friends from the left decided that the best way to help victims is to capitalize on the tragedy by asking for hurricane money to elect Democrats rather than to help charities provide relief.

Here's pieces from the story:
Democrats' anti-Bush petition also seeks political contributions
By Devlin Barrett, Associated Press Writer, September 8, 2005

A new Democratic effort to whip up indignation about the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina also tried to raise money for Democratic candidates. Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued an appeal Thursday urging people to sign an online petition to fire the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency over his handling of the Katrina response. When recipients clicked on a link to the petition, the top center of the screen _ above the call to 'Fire the FEMA director' _ had asked for a donation to the DSCC (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee). In recent days, Republicans hit back by accusing Democrats of trying to use the human tragedy for political gain. The letter, the GOP said Thursday, was proof. 'It's a disgrace to exploit Hurricane Katrina to raise political funds,' said Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

There you have it. The Democrats put themselves ahead of the hurricane victims--unless, of course, they thought that all the homeless want a Democrat elected before having a place to live. When the Associated Press asked the campaign committee about this, the Democrats pulled the solicitation and said that they would donate the money to charity instead. Caught! It sure is embarrassing when that happens. Now, someone better make sure that the money ends up at a charity rather than in the underwear and socks of Sandy Berger.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 30, 2005

The Earthquake That Is Germany: Teil Zwei (Part II)

Way back in February of this year, I penned a post called The Earth Quake That Is Germany, a takeoff on Taylor Cowen's fine work here..

In today's Wall Street Journal George Melloan pens "With Luck, Japan and Germany Will Get Reforms" (subscription only) noting that Ms. Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union has a better than even chance (if the opinion polls are correct) of taking over as Chancellor of Germany. That will be a welcome change from that Schröder buffoon. Melloan writes:

Under Ms. Merkel's leadership the CDU has captured all of Germany's 16 state governments. What persuaded Mr. Schröder that it was time for a new election was teh CDU's sweeping final conquest of North Rhine-Whestphalia, Germany's most populous state."

Melloan continues:

"Ms. Merkel wants to move closer to the U.S. than Germany has been under Yankee-baiter Schröder. If a Merkel-led Germany teams up with Britain, the EU might become a more useful ally in the U.S. effort to bring democracy to the Middle East. Jacques Chirac would begin to feel lonely."

Let us hope so!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 23, 2005

Global Warming: Will the Religion of Politics Silence Science? [UPDATED]

The New York Times reports today that a scientist has resigned in dispute from the panel that will issue a report on global warming for the Bush administration. This concerns me because it is an indication that the report might be slanted and inconclusive, and such a report may be used wrongly by people demanding money and resources for a problem that requires additional and honest research. This global warming stampede is being driven by politics rather than science, and a bad decision would be very costly and lead to cheating worthwhile medical research, education, and social programs. Shouldn't we step back and be sure about what we're planning based on real science?

I'm not going to attempt to make a conclusion about the causes of global warming or even make a conclusion about whether or not it is real, except to say that I'm skeptical about the claims, I'm suspicious about the motives of people who back the theory, I'm worried about the economic consequences of a bad decision, and I don't see where taking even another decade for study will make a difference. That's right...a decade. That seems long in our lives, but it is no time in the climate cycles of Earth. Also, there don't appear to be short-term solutions--just short-term consequences. So what are a few years to be sure that we have our facts right? There's a lot at stake.

Let me state it simply. For now, I'm more concerned with the process to determine the cause and extent of global warming than then conclusions. I want a process that leads to the truth--not opinions or manipulated facts.

You and others may have a similar concern. If so, consider the particular samples of sources and references that are provided and concentrate on the accuracy of their information rather than any biases that you might have with the sources. I don't want to hear that a factual statement must be false simply because the group providing it is conservative. If I say that water is wet, then it's still true no matter how I voted. Any emphasis to the articles has been added by me to highlight points. Feel free to find and share your own resources.

View this as your assignment to answer: Are you satisfied with the completeness, accuracy, and objectivity of the claims about causes of global warming, or do you feel that more time should be taken to be sure of our facts? This is not asking you if you accept global warming claims. It's asking if you accept the process to this point for which actions are being planned. Construct your own well-thought out opinion, rather than accept what someone else tells you, and share it if you like.

As a start, here's the statement from the article about the views of the scientist who quit the panel.

The scientist, Roger A. Pielke Sr., a climatologist at Colorado State University, said most of the other scientists working on the report were too deeply wedded to particular views and were discounting minority opinions on the quality of climate records and possible causes of warming. 'When you appoint people to a committee who are experts in an area but evaluating their own work,' he said in an interview, 'it's very difficult for them to think outside the box of their research.'

I have to agree that a conflict of interests might affect the conclusions of the report and absolutely affects its credibility

From the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal about the science involved:

The issue of climate change urgently needs to be brought down from the level of theology to what we actually know. It is, of course, quite likely that the greenhouse effect has to some extent contributed to global warming--but we simply do not know to what extent. The insistence that global warming is primarily the consequence of human activity leaves scant room for variation in solar intensity or cyclical phenomena generally.

We must always bear in mind that the earth's atmosphere remains a highly complex thermodynamic machine. Given its complexities, we need to be modest in asserting what we know. Knowledge is more than speculation.

...science is not a matter of consensus, as the histories of Galileo, Copernicus, Pasteur, Einstein and others will attest. Science depends not on speculation but on conclusions verified through experiment. Verification is more than computer simulations--whose conclusions mirror the assumptions built in the model. Irrespective of the repeated assertions regarding a 'scientific consensus,' there is neither a consensus nor is consensus science.

This reminds me of polls taken about national and world affairs, which are opinions and not facts. I prefer the facts rather than the polls, and I prefer science over a consensus. Do you remember the scientific method that you learned in school? Stay with me here. Don't put your head on your desk and start drooling. Sure, you remember it. It is Observation, Questions and Hypothesis, Prediction, Testing, and Modification of Hypothesis and Re-testing until the theory and experiment agree. Why is that important? It provides proof of a theory. A guide from a college physics department explains the process and benefits of this approach.

The great advantage of the scientific method is that it is unprejudiced: one does not have to believe a given researcher, one can redo the experiment and determine whether his/her results are true or false. The conclusions will hold irrespective of the state of mind, or the religious persuasion, or the state of consciousness of the investigator and/or the subject of the investigation. Faith, defined as belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence, does not determine whether a scientific theory is adopted or discarded.

A theory is accepted not based on the prestige or convincing powers of the proponent, but on the results obtained through observations and/or experiments which anyone can reproduce: the results obtained using the scientific method are repeatable.

Wake back up! I like that. I've heard the theories. Give me proof that I can believe.

Then, there is this from the Brookes News about the motivations and politics of the scientists:

In 1989 the organisation (Union of Concerned Scientists or UCS) circulated a petition urging action against 'global warming'. Most of those who did not initially sign were generally approached two times or more. This tactic finally netted them 700 scientists, including some Nobel Laureates. However, it seems only four of the signatories at the most were involved in climatology.

At one stage (the UCS) had Chris Riddiough running its so-called global warming project. Her qualifications consisted of having worked for the leftwing National Organisation of Women, after which she became a full-time activist for the Democratic Socialists of America.

(Regarding) the UCS's 38-page report purporting to detail an assault on science by President Bush...An outraged Dr Allan Bromley, a Yale physicist and former science adviser to President Bush Sr., attacked the report as being a 'very clearly a politically motivated statement.'

Nevertheless, the report received the unqualified support of Dr Kurt Gottfried, a Cornell University emeritus professor of physics, and fellow scientists David Baltimore, Steven Weinberg, Leon Lederman and Harold Varmus. No doubt that it's pure chance that Dr Gottfried and his wife are staunch Democrats and Bush-haters who donate to the Democratic Party, as do David Baltimore, Steven Weinberg, Leon Lederman and Harold Varmus.

It's truly sad to be able to say that this is not the first time, and it certainly won't be the last, that scientists have abandoned scientific integrity to advance a political cause.

I don't reject their conclusions of "concerned scientists" because they are Democrats, but I would need some proof beyond what they say simply because of their other motivations.

The Boston Globe carried an article about the Buenos Aires conference on global warming as a follow-up to that sponsored by the U.N. in Kyoto, Japan.

The organizers of the Buenos Aires conference take it for granted, of course, that global warming is real. The 'consensus' among scientists, it is said, is that the planet's temperature is rising, .... So if the scientists are all in agreement, who said this?

'We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto. ... There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing (or will in the foreseeable future cause) catastrophic heating of the earth's atmosphere and disruption of the earth's climate.'

It is a petition signed by nearly 17,000 US scientists, half of whom are trained in the fields of physics, geophysics, climate science, meteorology, oceanography, chemistry, biology, or biochemistry.

We've been down this 'consensus' road before. Remember when the Chicken Littles were warning that the earth was getting colder? 'The evidence in support of predictions [of global cooling] has now begun to accumulate so massively,' Newsweek claimed in 1975, 'that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it.' Except that there was no global cooling. The alarmists were wrong then. They're wrong now.

I have more confidence in the views of scientists who work in fields related to global warming than the views of scientists and laymen who are outside of that realm.

Now, if you want to get an idea of what trying to "cure" global warming is costing now, which is only a fraction of what it will cost in the future, then check out Junk Science, which has constantly updated counters for costs versus temperature changes.

I know that many people accept global warming as fact and believe that human activity is the main cause of it--and, this belief has almost become a religion with them. They should learn from history and not make the mistakes that the church made in its conflict with Galileo about the place of Earth in the universe. The resignation and protest of a scientist from the global warming study should send up red flags that science is being silenced. But, if the global warming activists aren't afraid, let science decide the issue.

The costs are too high for a wrong decision either way, so let's make sure we know which way to go. Let's not rush into into this without more information. Do you agree?

UPDATE:

The New York Times is accused of false reporting about the scientist who resigned from the global warming study.

A Colorado State University professor who quit a Bush admission science advisory team researching the causes of global warming said his reasons for leaving the committee were 'mischaracterized' in an article published Tuesday in the New York Times. Roger Pielke Sr., a respected atmospheric science professor and also Colorado's state climatologist, on Wednesday issued a retort to a Times article in the form of an open letter to reporter Andrew Revkin. Pielke, in his post, also disputed (another) line in the Times article...saying: 'This is a completely bogus statement of my conclusions on climate.'

I'm shocked. This might be the first time that the NYT has mischaracterized a position of someone connected with President Bush. Do you think that maybe the NYT reports bad information about global warming, too?

Posted by GM Roper at 01:40 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)

August 19, 2005

UN-doing the U.N. - Why America Must Act Alone

Every once in a when I'm doing research, I'll discover a commentary that expresses a view and condenses arguments so well that it is worth sharing, even if it is a few weeks old. This happened yesterday when I found a recent analysis on the United Nations, in which the author pulled no punches about the problems of the U.N. and states that the United States must set its own course without U.N. approval.

Bruce S. Thornton wrote this paper on the U.N. that I found on the site of Victor Hanson. To get the full thrust of the author's position, be sure to read the entire article titled "Lo, the U.N. By What Name Do We Call Thee? Failed, useless, dubious, impotent, pernicious, morally exhausted. . ." Just to give you a glimpse, here are some of the things he had to say...along with my comments, of course.

....the United Nations has outlived whatever use it may have had as an institution for defusing crises and managing conflict.

The U.N.'s failures just in the last twenty years are legion — in Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, Bosnia, and currently in Sudan, hundreds of thousands have been brutalized, mutilated, raped, and slaughtered, often right under the noses of U.N. forces and observers.

Yes, he left off Iraq, but he's getting there.

Like its earlier incarnation, the League of Nations, the U.N. was the fruit of an old Enlightenment dream: that negotiation, diplomacy, and rational discussion could manage crises and avoid the use of force in settling conflict.

...But that dream is itself based on a questionable assumption: that rational negotiation, discussion, and appeals to self-interest and material benefits can trump force. In fact, rational discussion and negotiation work only when everybody at the table respects them, bargains in good faith, and sincerely desires peaceful coexistence. ...(N)egotiated settlements and resolutions are only as good as the credible threat of force backing them

Demands with no teeth or not demands...they are weak appeals, and appeals don't work with tyrants. (I think we're getting close to Iraq, now.)

The U.N.'s failure as a force for order and justice in the world was clearly manifest in its indulgence of Saddam Hussein and its paralysis in dealing with his obvious ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction. For more than a decade, Hussein violated UN resolution after U.N. resolution, sixteen in all. He demonstrated his scorn and contempt for the U.N. and its ideals, booting out the weapons inspectors after years of harassing and deceiving them. And he corrupted the U.N.'s Food-for-Oil program, which attempted to ease the suffering of the Iraqi people caused by Hussein's intransigence and brutal disregard for his own people, whom he watched suffer and starve as he spent billions on vulgar palaces, gaudy mosques, weapons, and bribes to U.N. officials.

See. I told you. Yet, you'll hear the left cry that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, that Bush only gave the U.N. just three months to deal with Saddam Hussein, and the United States had no business invading Iraq and putting Hussein out of business. They ignore facts, but Thornton just gave us the facts--not opinions. Well, the U.S. put some teeth behind the resolutions, and what happened?

You would think, then, that the U.N. would have been eager and grateful for action that would show its resolutions really mean something and are to be ignored only at great cost, particularly since the United States would be carrying most of the military and financial load. Instead, the U.N. worked against such a demonstration, even though its own credibility was at stake. The U.N.'s alternative? Pass yet another toothless resolution....

The U.N., in short, did everything in its power to help Hussein create a face-saving illusion of 'compliance.' ...The President's tortuous attempts to work through the U.N. accomplished nothing except to give Hussein several months in which to destroy or transport to other countries his WMD's and facilities before the war began in March 2003

.

Okayyyy. So, why do people put up with useless resolutions and other nonsense from the U.N.?

One answer can be found in the assumption frequently lurking beneath such demands: that the United States and its power are untrustworthy and prone to abuse, that America's record of racist, colonialist, and imperialist interventions and adventures abroad demands that it be carefully watched by international monitors and limited by various international agreements and protocols.

Shocked? If you are, then you don't know America's enemies over whom the left becomes duped and joins their chorus. We even have a former president that buys into this.

What all this behavior demonstrates is that the U.N. does not function on principle but rather on politics and the interests of the members. This truth renders even more disgusting the assumption that America needs some international body to watch over US behavior, as though foreigners are more principled than Americans. But America does not need to be monitored by unelected European functionaries or United Nations bureaucrats. The greatest danger to the world today does not come from American power.... In actual fact, America's power represents the best hope the world has for creating stable political, social, and economic orders that will benefit the greatest number of people and liberate them from oppression by thugs and gangs disguised as governments.

Our power, made possible by our people and systems, offers hope for the world--but, one that doesn't appreciate the help and interferes with our efforts. So-called leaders of other nations choose politics and corruption over the hopes of freedom and progress for their people. Looking at ourselves, do we have hope from the U.N.? Do you have to ask? If not from there, where do we get our hope for the future and for our freedoms?

So instead of seeking the approval and sanction of a weak and morally exhausted U.N., we should be confident that our own political virtues and institutions will rightly guide America in the pursuit of our principles, security, and interests.

What makes America unique is...is America's political principles and institutions.... These and the good sense of America's citizens will provide the best restraint on the arrogance and abuse of power, certainly one better than the self-interested machinations of unelected U.N. delegates....

So, there it is. The U.S. can only count on itself. Fortunately, we have what it takes and do what it takes when others ignore us or wish us harm.

To extend this, these comments don't even begin to address the financial waste at the United Nations and whether it is worth the cost to U.S. taxpayers, who bear a disproportionate share of the dues and costs of military operations. Many people want the costs of the U.N. spread fairly to other nations. Going further, many in the U.S. fear the U.N.'s efforts to apply international laws and taxes to our citizens--becoming supreme over our consitution and laws. Others complain about its ineffectiveness in foreign disputes. You hear cries to get the U.N. out of the U.S. period. And, yet others say that the U.N. should be abolished all together. Where do we go?

As a starting point, I would be glad if the United Nations simply recognized the financial and human sacrifices of the United States to serve the best interests and needs of the world. Those interests include the end of tyranny and the growth of freedom. After recognition, the U.N. can do what is right by supporting our efforts. A responsible U.N. would have many more countries joining us. So, when can we start?

Until then, I'm proud of this nation and our leaders, and we will succeed even if we have to do it without them.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:20 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (2)

August 11, 2005

Hey, Dems, Your Hypocrisy Is Showing!

In the election of 1960, some Republicans and Southern Baptists in particlular, but others as well argued that the election of John F. Kennedy would put the United States in the position of having to bow down to the wishes of the Roman Catholic Pontiff; that if Kennedy were elected he would "owe" more aligence to the Pope, than to upholding the Constitution. The creepoids making that argument were absurd then, and it hasn't gotten any better. Only now, the creepoids are (and have been for some time) members of the Democratic party.

In 1994, Mitt Romney had the gall to run against Teddy Kennedy (Whale, Mass) who promptly raised questions about Romney's Mormon Faith (The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints). Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe noted in a Town Hall.com article:

When Romney first ran for office in 1994 against US Senator Ted Kennedy, then-congressman Joe Kennedy -- the senator's nephew -- derided him as a member of a ''white boys' club" whose church treated women and blacks as ''second-class citizens." Kennedy later apologized, and said he didn't know the Mormon priesthood had been opened to blacks 16 years earlier. ''But the attack may have had the desired effect," Eastland notes. ''Ted Kennedy's poll numbers went up and stayed up."
Today, Adam Reilly says similar things in a lengthy article on Romney's faith (and little other than the impact of his faith on his politics) in the Boston Phoenix. Specifically Reilly states:
If there’s a moment that marks the beginning of the LDS ascendancy, it came in 1979, when right-wing Christian fundamentalist Jerry Falwell announced the formation of the Moral Majority, the anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-gay, pro-school-prayer group that reshaped American politics. In Falwell’s coalition, individual Mormons joined forces with Christian fundamentalists and conservative Catholics in an attempt to make American politics more godly. The oft-isolated LDS Church had finally found willing partners."
How's that for guilt by association?

When I first heard of Romney as a possible canidate for the Presidency, I thought "Ok, here come the anti-Mormon forces out of the darkness." I was right.

But, this isn't about Romney, I'll save that for sometime in 2007 (see, you have something to look forward to~). This is about Judge John Roberts' nomination to be a Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. And the anti-Catholic vultures are circling.

Christopher Hitchens, that irrascible tippler from the left whom I always enjoy reading, even when he is an ass (especially when he is an ass?) writes a decidedly anti-Catholic (as applied to Judge Robert's nomination) screed in Slate. Hitchen's states:

If Roberts is confirmed there will be quite a bloc of Catholics on the court. Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas are strong in the faith. Is it kosher to mention these things? The Constitution rightly forbids any religious test for public office, but what happens when a religious affiliation conflicts with a judge's oath to uphold the Constitution? Some religious organizations are also explicitly political and vice versa—the Ku Klux Klan was founded partly to defend Protestantism—and if it is true that Scalia is a member of Opus Dei then even many Catholics would consider him to have made a political rather than a theological choice. Are we ready for a Scientologist on the court rather than having him or her subjected to the equivalent of a religious test? I merely ask."
Now, why would Hitchens bring up Scientologists here? More guilt by association? Damn, those Dems are really good at this ain't they?

A simple Google search of "John Roberts and Roman Catholic Church" brings up over 360,000 articles/sites in less than 1/4 of a second. Amy Sullivan of Beliefnet states that the Republican defense of Robert's Catholic faith is libelous:

Not 24 hours had passed after Bush introduced Roberts to the world before conservatives played the Catholic card. In a move that could charitably be called a preemptive strike and more accurately called a political maneuver, Catholic League president Bill Donohue told Religion News Service that "Any scratching around this area would suggest that there's a veiled religious test by asking questions about his deeply held views." "Our antennaes will be up on that," he warned. In the same story, longtime Roberts associate and Washington attorney Shannen Coffin said he was concerned about "an anti-Catholic witch hunt."
A "pre-emptive" strike Amy? Why am I not surprised? A good offense the best sort of defense? Of course it is, and any argument to the contrary is hypocritical in the extreme.

The reality is that Roberts, like ALL CATHOLICS does not belong to a monolithic group that owes it's allegiance to the Pope. Catholics of all stripes have various ideas as to how their faith interacts with their public as opposed to their religious life. But the Dems aren't satisfied with this. They will attempt to belittle Roberts on his faith just as they are doing to Romney.

But note, the Constitution specifically prohibits a "religious test" for office and that would seem to include baring from office someone because of his faith. What don't the dems understand about these words:

Article VI of the Constitution of the United States:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. [emphasis added]

Not satisified with the wording of the Constitution, Christopher D. Morris of the Boston Globe opines:
Asking the bishops to testify would be healthy. If they rescinded the threats made against Kerry, then Roberts would feel free to make his decision without the appearance of a conflict of interest, and Catholic politicians who support Roe v. Wade would gain renewed confidence in their advocacy. If the bishops repeated or confirmed their threats, the Senate Judiciary Committee should draft legislation calling for the automatic recusal of Catholic judges from cases citing Roe v. Wade as a precedent.

Of course, such a new law should cover anyone whose religion makes it impossible for them to decide on their own whether abortion should be legal; therefore, testimony should be taken from the leaders of Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths as well. It is clear that several mainline Protestant denominations separate the issue of abortion from church membership and personal salvation; judges from these faiths would face no conflict of interest.

Draft legislation for what amounts to a religious test? What part of the Constitution don't you understand Mr. Morris?

Mario Cuomo, the former Governor of New York, once considered a leading possibility for the Democratic nomination for President stated this last Sunday on Meet the Press:

The law today, we all know, is Roe against Wade. That was made my judges and it can be overturned by judges. To say that the rules that apply to legislators shouldn't apply to judges is, it seems to me, wrong.

Finally, Judge Scalia: Now, there's a Republican conservative, if there ever was one, on the bench. Judge Scalia dealt with this--tangentially, but he dealt with it--on the subject of the death penalty. He said judges, Catholic judges, may be bothered in their conscience in voting for the death penalty because the pope has said that it is evil. He said under those circumstances, the Catholic judge should resign. There is no question it's relevant. Everybody takes an oath to support the Constitution, including especially judges. So why not ask them: "Will you, Judge, apply a religious test to the Constitution? Will you start by saying, `I'm not going to support the Constitution if my pope tells me not to'?" [emphasis added]

Uh, Mario, what part of the Constitution don't YOU understand?

Attacking John Kennedy for his faith was wrong 45 years ago, it is wrong now to attack Roberts for his faith.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:14 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

August 08, 2005

Who knows what best for you? You or Big Government Boobs?

Think big government knows what is best for everyone? Well, consider what the European Union was trying to do until faced down by opposition.

EU tells Bavarian barmaids to cover-up:

Under the EU's Optical Radiation Directive, employers of staff who work outdoors, including those in Bavaria's beer gardens, must ensure they cover up against the risk of sunburn.

Bavarian bar keepers have been told that the dirndl, generally rather revealing, will have to be replaced as it offers no protection against what the directive calls "natural sources of radiation", meaning sunlight.

Employers now face heavy fines if they fail to protect their workers from the threat of sunburn or skin cancer.

Oktoberfest.jpg

Okay, these locals didn't like this any more than the folks of Hazzard County would like to see Daisy Duke covered up. So, they mounted a protest and their thoughts were expressed as such:

Citizens Tell EU Regulators to Back Off:

Frank-Ulrich John, a spokesman for a Bavarian innkeeper's association, told Deutsche Welle that the dirndl is an integral part of Bavarian culture and joy of living.

I have spoken with many servers, and I have never heard that a sunburn in the cleavage area has been a problem, John said.

Well, once it was explained that the barmaids' cleavage was an integral part of Bavarian "joy of living," the regulators did back off. Was this any of their business anyway?

This illustrates how intrusive government can get into the business of individuals; and, the bigger the government and more removed from the people that it gets, the more intrusive it can get. Is this "knowing what's best for you" style of government more to the liking of liberals or conservatives? ...I thought you knew.

Now, let them try to require cover-ups for topless beaches in France.

Found at Ravenwood's Universe.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 29, 2005

Wasted Energy on Energy - Congress and President Are a Quart Low

Congress has wasted four years and a lot of energy on a bill that does little for our nation's energy. Today the Senate passed a 1,724 page bill that easily sailed through the House yesterday. President Bush has stated that he will sign the bill into law. As stated in the article below, the bill "does nothing to reduce the high cost of energy, especially at the gasoline pumps, and will not reduce the country's heavy reliance on oil imports. Its supporters maintained that in the long-term it will refocus the country's energy priorities and promote cleaner energy and more conservation."

Great! Is that what Congress was supposed to be solving--no help at the pumps but more conservation! Why did they waste time on that? Is this what we need?

Congress should deal with tough decisions and expand our domestic production of oil and feasible energy sources. Unbelievably, the bill didn't even mention drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, which contains billions of barrels of oil. Instead, we're held hostage to supplies from the Mideast, and we continue to have military and political conflicts there to protect our interests. Just wait until China starts sucking up even more of that oil that we have been buying. Congress wasted time on wind power!!, which makes people feel good and has no potential. We need nuclear energy, but so-called environmentalists keep energy companies so tied up in regulations and lawsuits that the projects stall as soon as they start. Has anyone considered that fighting in the Mideast could be reduced if radical environmentalists stepped out of the way of domestic oil production and nuclear energy? Why doesn't Congress stand up to people who seem more concerned about crippling our economy than saving lives?

Read the highlights of the article below or click on the title for the full article. What do you think should be in our nation's energy plan? In this case, I have to agree with one of the Democrats. Yes, it has come to that. I am agreeing with a Democrat. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore) said, "This bill is literally a series of missed opportunities." No kidding.

Congress Passes Far-Reaching Energy Bill
By H. JOSEF HEBERT
Jul 29, 4:31 PM (ET)

Below, the article is condensed to show the highlights.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Four years after President Bush called for an overhaul of the nation's energy agenda, Congress presented him with a mammoth plan he said he was eager to sign - even though it costs twice as much as he wanted and won't open an Alaska wildlife refuge to oil drilling.

Some senators said the bill, despite its broad sweep, does nothing to reduce the high cost of energy, especially at the gasoline pumps, and will not reduce the country's heavy reliance on oil imports. Its supporters maintained that in the long-term it will refocus the country's energy priorities and promote cleaner energy and more conservation.

"I look forward to signing it into law," Bush said in a statement, calling the legislation "critically important to our long-term national and economic security."

Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., the chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee who led Senate negotiations on the bill with the House, acknowledged that it will not lower gas prices or even affect oil imports in the short term.

The bill's price tag - $12.3 billion over 10 years - is twice what the White House originally had put forward and raised caution among some senators.

During two presidential campaigns and repeatedly over the last five years, Bush has talked of the need to tap the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for the billions of barrels of oil that it holds. He views it as key to reducing the country's reliance on foreign oil. It is not mentioned in the energy bill.

"This bill is literally a series of missed opportunities," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore

.

There it is. This is not leadership and our nation is going to suffer severely for not having a credible energy plan. Soon, it's going to come to the point that the banks will install gas pumps at the drive-up tellers. You hand over your paycheck and they cash it to fill up your tank. It's just a matter of time until we experience gas shortages like the country did in the mid-1970s. Congress and the President can and should do better. What they have done is avoid short-term responsibility, which will result in long-term problems.

Well, I'll see you at the pumps--but, only while they still have something in them.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Day 180 with no 180, or as John Kerry calls it - Friday

We are now at Day 180 of John Kerry doing a 180 on his promise to sign Form 180. This is mentioned because it is somewhat of an ironic numerical milestone.

Earlier this week, we suggested that you consider doing something helpful and meaningful to mark this day. (Others might as well, if the Senator won't. But, this way, he indirectly is creating good.) Here's the earlier reminder with suggestions - Give 180 for Kerry's 180 on 180 for 180 this Friday (You'll have to read it.) If you choose, you can express yourself positively however you want--perhaps with your time, your money, or your prayers in your faith.

Myself, I will be praying for our nation's people and its leaders. You can express yourself in many ways, but if this is how you might be led today, then you may want to visit the sites of The Presidential Prayer Team and Prayers for Nations & Leaders.

However, when it comes to John Kerry keeping his promise, I don't know if we have a prayer--but, I'll keep trying.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 27, 2005

Open Letter To John "Do you know who I am?" Kerry: Volume 3

Dear Senator Kerry:

You are probably ignoring my previous letters regarding your promise to sign the Standard Form 180, and I understand that; I'm not one of your fans, nor am I one of your constituents. I'm not a Democrat, I'm not a liberal, I'm not a member of the faux "reality based community."

But I am a veteran, I know that this coming Friday it will be 180 days since you promised to sign the SF 180. I do remember your Senate Testimony, I do remember reports of your meeting with the North Vietnamese in Paris, I do remember the quotes of you claiming falsely that you were in Cambodia in 1968 - sent by President Nixon no less, a month before he was sworn in as president (neat trick that, unique in the annals of political machinations.)

I also remember you telling Mr. Russert that you would sign the SF180 so that the world could "see" your service career.

I remember other things too Senator. I remember reports of you being disgusted when you found the "safe" swift boat assignment you finagled was ordered in-country where someone might actually shoot at you. I remember you "reinacting" your heroism for your Super 8 scrap book. I remember the worlds sloppiest salute when you "reported for duty" as you accepted your Party's nomination for President. I remember you parading a slew of folk that served with you saying how terrific you were under fire, how brave, how wonderful how stupid selfless you were. I also remember that navy records proved that one of the members of that parade had been severely wounded in the head a couple of days before you joined that boat so he could not possibly have served with you and I also remember that when that came out, he ceased showing up to sing your praises.

I remember reports of you claiming to have run your swiftboat through a gauntlet of fire so fierce that no damage was received on your boat at all (amazing how poorly those folks could shoot isn't it?). I remember that there is serious question as to how you received at least one of your much vaunted, but possibly fraudulent THREE PURPLE HEARTS did not come from "enemy fire" but from wounds in the butt when you didn't duck out of the way while you blew up a rice cache.

I remember how you said nothing as the MSM and other liberal sycophants denigrated some of the very bravest who came out against you. Men that had earned their purple hearts, bronze stars and silver stars. I remember the hullabaloo about your silver star, unfortunately, that same silver star had three, count em THREE different citations issued over the years... needed time to get the story straight right did you?

I remember your superciliousness and haughty remarks when President Bush had a tumble on his bike and you asked if he forgot his training wheels. This from a guy who rides a bike that costs several thousands of dollars and wears outlandish costumes while doing so. This from a guy that takes a tumble on a snowboard and then claims "I don't fall, that son-of-a-bitch pushed me." Well Senator, that S-O-B was your secret service protector and you sir were a cad. I remember also reports of you going to the head of a line of folks waiting patiently for tickets for a show and when someone objected to your cutting in, you remarking "Do you know who I am?" Well, guess what Senator, I know who you are, and I know that you think yours doesn't stink.

All this is well and good Senator, because in spite of your efforts, and the efforts of the super-rich George Soros and Tah-Ray-Zuh Heinz (you do marry up don't you Senator?), in spite of the efforts of the MSM, in spite of the efforts of Dan Rather, in spite of the efforts of MoveOn.org and the Democratic Underground, you LOST the election. Thank God!

Senator, if I can remember all of the above, how come you can't remember to sign or be honest enough to sign a SF 180 and release everything to anyone that wants to see it? Not just a few liberal members of the MSM who will probably give you as much cover as you think you need.

In reflection Senator, this Friday will mark 180 days since you promised to "do a 180" and sign the SF 180. I'm still waiting Senator. Stilll....w.a..i...t.....zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:27 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (2)

Give 180 for Kerry's 180 on 180 for 180 this Friday (You'll have to read it.)

For Sen. John Kerry, this Friday, July 29, 2005, represents 180 days of maintaining a 180 reversal of his promise to sign Form 180 releasing his military records to the public. What's the problem?

Let's recap. During the 2004 election, Presidential candidate Kerry "reported for duty" and made great political capital out of his Viet Nam service for which he was lauded as a hero. (Forget that protest business with Jane Fonda.) Some people expressed skepticism and wanted to see the records for themselves. If Kerry was telling the full truth, he had nothing to hide. Wouldn't most heroes want their records displayed to inspire others? Well, most would, but Kerry didn't--and, many suspect that his reason was not modesty.



kerry_salute.jpg

Well, after the election was stolen from him (he claims); Kerry went on the air to continue pushing his message, which had something to do with flip-flops. On January 30th as a guest on "Meet the Press," Senator Kerry gave into the questioning of Tim Russert and agreed to sign Form 180 to open his military records. This story is explained in greater detail and with links by Judicial Watch.

Now, how long does it take to sign and submit that form? Well, in John Kerry's case it takes at least 180 days or more--much longer than the short 48 days it took for him to get into and out of combat duty. Kerry continues to ignore requests again and again and again, and he ignored pressures to keep this simple promise. Oh, and giving selected releases to a "friendly" newspaper is not the same as your promise.

So, what's to be done when people want the full truth but see that Senator Kerry wants to conceal it? Well, first, you can forget it, because he's never going to do what he said. You can bank on that. Or, you could form protest groups like liberal activists and chant anti-Kerry slogans and march with misspelled signs. Or, you could do something productive and make it meaningful--but, do it with a symbolic 180 for that day.

What can 180 be? It can be time: 180 minutes, or 3 hours, helping a child learn or visiting with the elderly. It could be 180 seconds of prayer for our nation and its leaders. It could be money: $180 to a charity or a political contribution or $1.80 that you stick in the contribution cup for kids at the gas station. It could be 180 (more or less) words in a letter to the media expressing your position on Kerry's inaction. Try to find something meaningful in your life on Friday, and give it the 180 to acknowledge the day, but in a way that it does some good.

So, this Friday, when we recognize day 180 of Kerry's broken promise with our expressions of good and if someone asks you why you did that, simply say, "I'm giving 180 because someone else didn't." Oh, and pass it around.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 24, 2005

Short Attention Span Update

For our ADD readers and our ADD writer, the types who like to wear out remotes cruising channels, the following brief posts from the week are offered for you to quickly scan--with no commercial interruptions.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 20, 2005

Words Mean Things: Why Is That A Hard Concept To Grasp?

In current political parlance, there seems to be a major disconnect between the terms "debate," "free exchange of ideas" and the left. So often in the last years, the left has been particularly nasty in it's interaction with the right. Now, I'm not foolish enough to believe that there is not ANY nasty, snarky, mean-spirited, stuff coming from the right, both now and in the DOC (Day's of Clinton), but it seems to be worse now on the part of my unfavorite leftoids.

I have cut loose with a four letter word or two in my time, but I usually disdain the use of foul language (now, don't get me wrong, I love FOWL language - fried chicken, cock-au-vin, roasted turkey, pheasant under glass, etc.) but cursing to me seems to detract from any argument.

Let's take a look at some recent exchanges: From Marc Cooper's site and some lefty type commenters:

We've been lying down, getting anally raped by your kind for years GM. There will be no more sitting down anymore, only standing up."

"PS Fuck you"

"I would add that Democrats need to keep telling their 2006 election narrative: Republicans are an out-of-control, corrupt, and highly partisan majority party that without fail heads for the most right wing, confrontational position."

"Go to hell GM. You're a heartless, lying right-wing troglodyyte and total fucking idiot who doesn't give a shit about what this president is doing to future generations. You'll spin and lie and say anything just to buy time to see your backward agenda enacted. I'm sure you and your red state comrades will be pleased when the Bush court legalizes sexual intercourse with all non feral barnyard animals. Perhaps they'll do so on the inauguration of Jefferson Davis."

[Note: emphasis added in all the above]

And that is just from a single post that Marc has up. Now, I will explain that Marc does not necessarily endorse that kind of language and is quite welcoming of rightist points of view though he almost never agrees with it.

From another source, the infamous Democratic Underground to be specific:

This is the best the RETARDICANS can do?

"...it doesn't appear as if Mr. Roberts has *any* experience as a judge. He's a mob lawyer, plain and simple and the mob is George Orwell's party.[note, referring to Judge Roberts]"

"Bush and his GOP goon squad are going to start bringing out the rubber truncheons and whacking the liberals on the elbow in retaliation for "partisan politics."

"I'm trying to get as much as I can on this guy. So far, it seems that just over half of the people on Daily Kos are saying that we should be relieved that this guy isn't a raving lunatic and that the Dems should save their firepower for "extraordinary circumstances." Fuck that. The SCOTUS *is* extraordinary."

this was added on one post: nuke.gif
[Note: emphasis added in all the above]

Nifty huh? Nuke the Republicans? Who the heck knows. But I digress, more samples here from that Arbiter of Class, that paragon of sayings including "Screw them" The Daily Kos:
If you want to attack Roberts, start researching his opinions, his law review articles, and any other relevant materials. But to say that he's inexperienced is simply an incorrect and frankly laugh-inducing argument. Let's stick to arguments that make sense and have a chance of outlining differences between right-wing legal jurisprudence and what the general public deems acceptable -- [Note: wow, that one actually made sense.]

"Let the Republicans defend incest and rape, as they push the police state nominee and defend treason in cases where they do it. [Note: Ahhh, that's more of what I expected]

"Who gives a hoot about "extensive, unprecedented prior consultations" with the Senate if you ignore what they say? Why waste everyone's time with this dog and pony show if you're not going to consider other's views?" [Does it occur to this commenter that consultations means listening to what the Dems have to say, not necessarily AGREEING with what they had to say? Nah, I thought not!]
[Note: emphasis added in all the above]

But, I digress. This essay is about words meaning things, we have an excellent discussion (separate and apart from the use of foul language above) on intrepretation of the Constitution from Justice Antonin Scalia regarding original intent vs. actual meaning. Example, Protien Wisdom's entry "In which I discuss hermeneutics with a leftover steamed dumpling from last night's dim sum meal." How's that for a delightful blending of words? Jeff Goldstein has excellent fun taking on Stanly Fish's Op-Ed in the New York Times and does a bang up job (you really need to read the whole thing as GR the Instapundit would say.) Fish's argument is that one needs to "interpret" the meaning of the constitution, not take the words used as what they mean. Wow, how thick is that? OK, I say to you "I'm gonna punch you in the nose" but I actually mean "I'm really upset with you and it almost drives me to the point of violence and I really wish you wouldn't do what you did that angers me so." Fish really has it wrong her folks, his argument is that since words only convey intent, we must look for the intent. To heck with that. If you threaten to punch me in the nose, I'm going to take you at your word.

In the lexicon of the Islamo-fascist we understand that we have two choices, death or dihimitude. Well, Fish would argue, and I know that I'm being glib, I know the meaning of my words here, that their intent is to remove the crusader from their midst and let them have their Muslim state as Allah intended it. Well, no, they are saying submit or die. Their actions say submit or die with dying being their preference. Stanley, Stanley, Stanley, please tell me what it is that you don't understand? Scalia cannot ask the authors of the Constitution what they meant, he can only go on what they said. These people (the authors that is) were educated, passionate men, they knew which words to use.

The left has choices of "intent" in their interpretation of the Constitution, to wit, Congress shall make no law..... What is difficult about that? The left LOVES the first amendment, especially the separation clause. Of course, there is no "separation clause" per se, according to the left, it as the authors "intent." No it wasn't, they didn't say NO ONE could pass a law, they said CONGRESS shall make no law respecting the establishment of a [state] religion, or prohibiting the free expression of religion. The exact words are:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Now, folks this isn't rocket science. You can argue all day long that this means that schools can't open with a non-sectarian prayer and you can't display a Menorah, or the Ten Commandments or any of the other "stuff" that the ACLU demands of modern society. It means what it says: Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

The vast majority of the people endorsing the constitution were religious men. They had a state religion, the Church of England and they wanted no part of having the state shove another one down their throats. They said nothing about display, nothing about prayer in school, nothing. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Got that?

Too, I've often wondered why the Left, the ACLU, and others of that way of thought have decided that the amendments all mean what they say except for the 2nd, 9th and 10th. When was the last time the ACLU stood up for those rights that "are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people." Can't answer that readily can you?

Well, enough for today. Just remember, if you want to have courteous discourse with someone and they cuss you out because of your political beliefs, you must be a conservative and they must be a liberal. Yes, I'm kidding, I know it goes both ways. Unfortunately, usually, today, it doesn't.

Update: Welcome Mudville Gazette Readers, stick around, I'm sure you will find some other interesting stuff.

Another Update: More Good Reading at the TRAFFIC JAM at Outside the Beltway

Posted by GM Roper at 10:55 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

July 17, 2005

Rove Found Guilty By Dems

Washington (AP)
Following a lengthy trial over the last 12 years, and at a cost of $154,000,000 including $39.47 for defense expenses; the testimony of at least 94,491 reporters and 304,322 Democratic Party operatives, a jury of his peers pronounced Karl Rove guilty of outing someone.

The jury has declined to say who was outed for fear of becoming objects of additional investigations. On juror, who declined to be named stated that the overwhelming evidence produced by the witnesses "had to mean something, surely it did, didn't it?" Asked if he believed any republican witnesses, the juror stated that he hadn't heard any.

Following her election to the Presidencey in 2008 again in 2012 and declairing herself Queen in 2013, Her Royal Majesty Hillary I had outlawed republicans.

Rove was captured trying to escape to raft to Cuba after hiding out for 6 years in Dade County Florida. He attempted to escape to Cuba, the last democracy in the Western Hemisphere, but was captured 6 miles off the Florida Keys in a raft made of papers stolen from the National Archives, Rove said on his capture "Damn leaks did me in."

His conviction included all lesser included charges including an episode of Jay Walking in 1953.

Judge Harry Reid, called the "Executing Judge" by his detractors (both of them surviving by fleeing the country,) is expected to announce the Death Penalty for Rove.

A pro-forma appeal of the conviction will be filed tomorrow and is expected to take the full 15 minutes assigned to it by the appeals courts. Following which, execution by being stoned with old Korans will take place at the federal detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

July 03, 2005

Single Issue Politics - Time For The Nuclear Option Gets Closer!

John Bambenek holds forth on the retirement of Sandra Day O'Conner. He posits that this is going to be one of the nastiest confirmation hearings since Robert Bork's Nomination, and, regretably, I agree. Sayeth Bambenek:

O'Connor is the 5th vote for legal abortion, which means the hearings will be all about one issue, and one issue alone. Abortion. The Democrats will not compromise or yield on that issue which means filibusters and character assasination. It means no replacement will be forthcoming anytime soon.

If you thought the Bork treatment is bad... you ain't seen nothing yet. This will be the ugliest fight to take place in the Senate for a long long time.

Are the Democrats so wedded to that ideology that they will filibuster? That they will "Bork" anyone but a confirmed pro-abortion liberal/moderate? That they will force the nuclear option? If so, well let them. They will lose this one for sure if the Republicans have any backbone at all (which is of course the real question).

Perhaps President Bush will make a recess appointment as a means of bypassing the effort of the Dems. If so, watch for all hell to break lose. Personally, I hope that the Dems try to filibuster, regardless of the reason. I would LOVE to see the filibuster destroyed in the so called nuclear option and I've written about it here, here, here and here also with a semi-totally tongue in cheek offering just yesterday

QandO make the single issue argument against the Dems that Ted Kenndey (Whale - Mass) made back in 1981 during the confirmation of Sandra Day O'Conner:

It is offensive to suggest that a potential justice of the Supreme Court must pass some presumed test of judicial philosophy. It is even more offensive to suggest that a potential justice must pass the litmus test of any single-issue interest group. The disturbing tactics of division and distortion and discrimination practiced by the extremists of the new right have no place in these hearings and no place in the nation's democracy."
This time, Mr. Kenndey, substitute "...extremists of the new left..." above, and you will be on target, not that you intended to be. After all, we all know that Democrats do not have a single issue of "hate Bush" at all. Qand0 wraps up with this:
All that stuff Senator Kennedy used to say about the "disturbing tactics of division and distortion and discrimination practiced by the extremists of the new right", which "have no place in these hearings and no place in the nation's democracy"?

He was just kidding. Apparently."

Make no mistake, regardless of who Bush nominates, the Democrats will not back down from their standard villification tactics until and unless Bush capitulates to their desires regarding this appointment.

I guarantee you that the Democrats and their ally Jim Jeffords will wrap their oratory in the most high falutin' terms. The Dems will go all out to portray any Bush appointment as fullfilling that "extraordinary circumstance" clause in the extra-constitutional agreement of the so called "Fourteen Senators." I can hear it now:

Mr. President, I stand before this august body today in defiance of the attempt of President Bush to ... "
Fill in your own blanks. Because this is NOT about left/right, this is NOT about Republican/Democrat, this is NOT about right vs. wrong from the Democrats point of view, this is about a single idea that the Democrats are absolutely wedded to, the right to kill the unborn on demand and only that. No matter what they wrap this "present" in, it ain't 'bout nottin' else.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:33 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

July 01, 2005

The Declaration of Independence has room for your signature.

Will this weekend be just another "Fourth of July" with a day off from work and maybe a cookout with the family...or, will you take a moment to remember why we celebrate this day and to honor our founders and this nation? I hope you do both. You know how to do the first. Let me suggest something to help you with the second.

First, why do you think we celebrate Independence Day or the Fourth of July, as many refer to it? Is it to show our patriotism? Is to honor our soldiers? Is it to remember our fight for independence? What about this? The History Channel in its Classroom Study Guide says, "It provides Americans with a day to reflect upon and to honor the diversities of the American people that are united in a common heritage." Well, that's not how I would explain it, but I guess it could be that and all of the above, too. In my simple view, Independence Day is the special time that we set aside once a year to honor and recognize the courage and sacrifices of our nation's founders and what that means to our freedoms today.

To understand the full meaning of Independence Day, you might have to put yourself in the place of the men who founded this nation and the revolution. The signers of the Declaration of Independence faced arrest and the loss of everything they owned. Many patriots suffered and gave their lives in the war and with inadequate provisions. Yet, all of them had the courage and determination to act and prevail. Maybe they have a lesson for us today? If you were in our fight for freedom, could you have done the same as our founders and patriots?

And, what is the document that they signed to initiate our independence--the Declaration of Independence? Maybe it's something that we should read from time-to-time. Here's part of what it says with my emphasis added:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed....

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States.... And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

It took a lot of courage to sign that didn't it? Read the last line again..."we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." That was no minor risk or sacrifice, and they did maintain their honor. Would you have signed the declaration of our separation from England if you were in their positions? Think about it and keep reading.

We don't have a time machine, but at The National Archives you have a chance to place your signature on an exact duplicate of the original Declaration itself and to print that out, and maybe you could use that as a symbol of your commitment to freedom and liberty. Join the signers of the Declaration by clicking here.

Also, consider including your family and use this as a fun teaching opportunity for younger people. After all, we want them to know that Independence Day is more than just about diversity. Print out the document of our freedom with their names and give it to them as a souvenir. Besides the sites linked above, which I hope you will check, here are other useful and educational sites to help you and others learn more about our founding and fight for freedom.
Revolutionary War Virtual School
Colonial Hall
A Users Guide to the Declaration of Independence

So, what does Independence Day mean to you? Did you sign the "Declaration of Independence" and print out a copy? I did. How are you going to celebrate this weekend? In any and all events, have a safe, happy, and memorable holiday, and thanks for taking the time to appreciate our nation and honor the people who made it and our freedoms possible.
__________

Update: The History Channel just sent out an email about their weekend special titled "Force of July." The series starts today with the American Revolution, which is followed by other military themed shows. Their Fourth of July Exhibit provides additional information, and you can go to a nice clip about the National Archives and the Declaration of Independence--which beats me, as I have never even figured out how to put a picture on our site. Why don't you tape the shows so that you don't waste the weekend in front of the television. (I just thought that I would say that before the wives did.) Have a safe one, and look for me at the fireworks show if you're in Peachtree City.

Posted by GM Roper at 03:30 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

June 28, 2005

What I Learned Last Week

To catch up on my thoughts while I was away and to share them....

Shark Attacks: We were at the Gulf at the same time as the tragic shark attacks, with a young girl dying and a young man in critical condition. From what I learned, last year Hurricane Ivan destroyed some of the sandbar which acted as a natural barrier between the sharks going after their normal prey versus people in shallow waters. Fortunately for me, I only taste good to mosquitoes.

Democrats Can Save Social Security: Early last week I learned that the Democratic Party in Florida had its bank account levied by the IRS for unpaid payroll taxes, which includes the monies withheld from employees' checks and the matching social security funds. In total, the Florida Democrats owe over $200,000 to the IRS and cannot account for another $900,000 in contributions that are "missing." These are the same people who want to be in charge of social security and tell the nation how to run its finances!? If they want to save social security, they can start by paying their taxes.

Drivers Wanted: Should people who learned to drive in 1935 learn not to drive in 2005? Last week I wasted ten minutes watching a Florida retiree get out of a parking space at a shopping center. Amazing.

Supreme Court Needs Me: Yes, I am making myself available for the next opening on the Supreme Court. If appointed (and surely confirmed), I will commit to attending law school to get up to speed quickly. I will have another advantage over the majority of judges. I will have read the Constitution and know its intent. On the eminent domain issue, the justices perverted the Fifth Amendment allowing corrupt politicians and real estate developers to seize private property from individuals for a really twisted "public use"--the bigger guy promises to pay more taxes than the smaller guy (or, should I say "working families"?). Then the justices ended, once-and-for-all, any confusion about the posting of the Ten Commandments on government property. They said that you can and that you cannot. Each side claims victory. I think it would have been easier just to pick out the top five they liked and to allow those anywhere.

Terri Schiavo--Last insult by husband: I drove right by the cemetery with Terri Schiavo's grave and thought about her and the marker that her husband chose--saying "I kept my promise. It's enough to make you sick and makes one want to pull the plug on him. However, if you want to be touched and know what real love is when it comes to taking care of someone, then read Tom McMahon's "Love Acts the Part." Then, for the sick like me, you can go to another picture of the grave marker on his site.

I love parades!: ...but, no one invited me to this one. I prefer to take my kids to parades for Veterans Day and the like, where men look like men rather than the Village People. May I have the word "gay" back to use as originally intended? (I must admit that some of the costumes were festive and had many gay colors.)

The new Democratic voting bloc--Felons!: Yeah, like you are surprised. Now, that the Democrats have exhausted getting as many voters as they can from graveyards, universities, and across the borders: they reach to the next group which might be their biggest bloc--felons. Now, these guys can fill voting blocs and cell blocks at the same time. Gotta love the shamelessness of Democrats.

Watch something important on television: Tonight the President addresses the nation to give an update on the Iraq situation and present a side that the media might have overlooked--there is a lot of good news. If you're open minded, then listen to President Bush at 8:00 PM EDT. If you're not, then you can join Ted Kennedy and his like in continuing to believe and spread all the false and negative claims about our mission in Iraq. The Democrats view patriotism is very strange ways.

I learned more last week, but that's all I have time to relate at the moment, and you wouldn't want to hear about my great tennis shot here--would you? Have a good evening and be sure to watch the President. There might be a pop quiz in the morning.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:10 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

June 24, 2005

Bring Out The Nukes

One of my pet peaves is the filibuster. It has been used time and time again to thwart what should have been a very logical step forward for America. It was used to stop laws against lynching, against the civil rights bill and myriad other opportunities to move this country forward. Now, it's being used against Bush's judicial appointments and the appointment of John Bolton to the UN Ambassadorship. "We have to have it to prevent the tyranny of the majority" yelp the hapless Democrats (they used that excuse against the lynching and civil rights bills too).

Then 14 senators joined in lockstep to agree to continue the filibuster for appointments they didn't like under "extraordinary circumstances" which of course aren't defined, leaving it up to each member of the Senate to define for themselves. Well, anyone can tell you that in a criminal action 10 witnesses will give you 12 different stories. Ten psychiatrists or psychologists looking at the same set of symptoms might give 30 different diagnoses, depending on the symptoms and the shrinks ability to correctly use the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. So I hold out no hope that there will be a dearth of "extraordinary circumstances" for the next nomination Bush makes.

Soon, perhaps at the end of this term of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) Chief Justice Rehnquist may retire for health reasons and the possibility that the filibuster will rear its damnably ugly head is quite real.

Having said that, John Fund writing in the Wall Street Journal's Political Diary (today printed in the "Best of the Web Today") notes:

"With at least six legitimate targets for the Democrats, the Senate is officially in play for the first time this cycle," concludes Chuck Todd of Hotline, the political tip sheet. While the GOP has several opportunities to target Democrats, he points out that two Northeastern Republicans, Rick Santorum and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, face stiff challenges, as does Montana Senator Conrad Burns, who represents a state that has been trending Democratic. In addition, the GOP can't be confident it will hold the Tennessee seat being vacated by Majority Leader Bill Frist, who is honoring a pledge to leave office after two terms. "I'd feel a whole lot better if we had a confirmation vote this year when we have 55 Senators than waiting and rolling the dice," one GOP Senator told me.

Well heck, why not call a spade a spade brother John? The Democrats are absolutely fearful that the Republicans have the votes to trounce the filibuster for any of the Senate's Advise and Consent role. This is the so called Nuclear Option. Where by one Senator objects to the filibuster and asks the President of the Senate for a ruling as to the constitutionality of the filibuster in the Senate's Advise and Consent duties, it goes to a vote (no filibuster allowed on this one) and the Republicans win because they have the votes. Hell's bells, I've got a better idea... Let's change the Senate rules and outlaw the filibuster all together. It is useless, in fact, more than useless, it's downright hindering. Republicans are scared that they may need the filibuster in the future? Scared that the roles will change in the future and the Democrats will take back the Senate? So what! It's a bad rule, regardless of who controls the Senate.

This is supposed (note the word supposed is emphasized) to be the "Worlds Greatest Deliberative Body" and that debate will clear the way to a good vote. That is what is supposed to happen... too bad that all 100 rascals in the Senate haven't got the guts to rule democratically and have to use the subterfuge of the Fill-E-Buster to prevent any work from being done.

Hell, pull out the nuclear button, push the damn thing and let us get on with the peoples business. Git 'Er Done!!!

Posted by GM Roper at 02:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

June 23, 2005

Another Dandy Dick Durbanism.... Another Gift That Keeps On Giving!!!

"I call on those who question the motives of the president and his national security advisers to join with the rest of America in presenting a united front to our enemies abroad."


Dick Durban (D. Ill)

Continue reading "Another Dandy Dick Durbanism.... Another Gift That Keeps On Giving!!!"
Posted by GM Roper at 05:28 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Slow to Anger - Usually

It usually takes a lot to tick me off. Hypocrisy does it usually, from the left or from the right. Partisan bickering is good for a slow burn, especially when it comes to not dissing America and leaving criticism at the water's edge so to speak. Dick Durban and John Kerry are good for an occasional "fuming" and every once in a while, some of our commenters can get me going. But, my number one button is freedom of speech.

I have a commenter on this site who is pedantic, and can't seem to understand anyone's point of view but those that mimic his own. Do I "flush" that person and ban him from my site? Hell no! This is a site for discussion, argument and poking fun at each other as well as taking a light hearted look at life on occasion. I do draw the line at cussing, generally, unless it's me of course grin.png.

But hearing that the United States House of Representatives have passed another attempt to ban the "desicration of the flag", has flat out ticked me off. Quashing free speech in this country is the route to chaos.

Already the FEC is looking to regulate blogs, the Supreme Court has allowed controls on political speech, Liberals shout down Conservatives, Conservatives shout down Liberals and a Special Counsel is threatening to jail reporters to find out who outed Valerie Palme when she wasn't "outed" under the law and no law was broken.

Where does this crap end? America, you better get a grip and put an end to this flag burning nonsense. I served in the Armed Forces and a lot of my fellow citizens are now serving precisely to protect any idiot that wants to burn the flag as a form of political protest. People, it's just a symbol. It STANDS for freedom, it is not freedom itself and one of the freedoms it stands for is the freedom to make an ass out of yourself.

Confronted with a flag burner, my inclination would be to punch them in the nose - and then suffer the consequences of my actions. I cannot stand the political thinking that goes behind someone wanting to burn our flag. It is stupid, it is trodding on the graves of many brave and courageous individuals who died to protect that flag and the right to use it in political expression.

If we turn away from this, if we give in to this little bit of political psychodrama (my ideals are better than your ideals) than we deserve the government we are going to get. It's inevitable and it can be predicted as sure as night following day.

There are many on my side of the political fence that will violently disagree with what I think, that there "ought" to be an amendment to make sacred a symbol. But think this through, if that form of political speech can be controlled and banned, what is next. A strongly liberal attempt to quash conservative speech as unconstitutional? A strongly conservative attempt to quash liberal speech? The loss of a free exchange of ideas?

This is something to be excited about. This is something that is so foreign to our way of life, that I don't want any part of it.

There are other things that the House and Senate need to attend to, the budget, the environment, the war on terror, security for our people, immigration, illegal immigration, social security disaster, and many other items that our congress has a moral responsibility to look after.

We can't keep a invalid woman from being dehydrated to death, we can't keep idiots from burning our flag, but we have time to make one illegal, but not the other. What kind of republic is this anyway?

I'm slow to anger, but I'm hacked off now! I love our flag and all that it stands for, but it doesn't stand for stupid bills like the one passed by the House. Perhaps the Senate will once again drop kick the whole idea. Too bad it has to take the time to do it.

Update: Fargus (from the left) agrees...

Posted by GM Roper at 01:04 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Conyer's Obviously Innocent of Turkey Misappropriation.

John Conyers, (Moonbat, Mi) has been in the news for a while. In November, 2004 Conyer's staff picked up some 60 Turkeys (720 pounds of frozen turkey meat) from Gleaner's Community Food Bank. This was extensively investigated and reported in the Detroit Free Press in January of this year.

According to GCFB, Conyer's had promised an accounting of where the birds went but as of the time of the DFP article, no accounting had been received by the food bank staff.

There are/were allegations that perhaps the staff in Conyer's office had used the birds as "gifts" to various political operatives. In fact, a federal court employee stated that one of Conyer's staff offered him "free turkeys."

A Google search using "John Conyers, Turkeys" produced 27,000 hits and a brief search of the first couple of pages of hits produce no evidence of any accounting for those birds.

Well, being an intrepid reporter who wants to bring you all the news that is exciting and has a conservative bent, I hereby notify you that I have solved the riddle. Here is a photograph of Conyer's AND the turkeys.
DSM hearings.jpg
All turkey's now accounted for but for some reason a lot more seem to be present.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

June 22, 2005

What is YOUR affiliation?

Something new. I'm asking all readers of this blog to vote in this poll. If you know of other friends who usually do not come to this site, please ask them to come and vote on this link. Feel free to e-mail this link to friends. I'm trying to find out the extent of political leanings of a fairly large number of people. This will not record your name or anything, I'm just asking for a vote and the vote of your friends. Read all statements carefully as I tried to include a lot of choices... And now, on to the poll.






















What do you consider to be your political affiliation
I am conservative and always vote Republican
I am moderate and usually vote republican and for some democrats
I am moderate and usually vote democrat and for some republicans
I am liberal and usually vote for democrats and some republicans
I am liberal and usually vote for republicans and some democrats
I am liberal and always vote Democrat
I am liberal but seldom vote
I am conservative but seldom vote
I am Socialist and seldom vote
I am Socialist and usually vote democrat or independent
I am conservative and usually vote democrat
I am an avowed communist and only vote socialist or communist
I am conservative but not from the United States
I am liberal but not from the United States
I am unregistered to vote and have no plans on registering


  

Free polls from Pollhost.com

Posted by GM Roper at 07:31 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Dandy Dick Durban Becomes Dick Durban (D. Ill) - Nah!

Gosh folks, I've had many arguments in my time with what I characterize as the looney left, the barking moonbats, etc. I've recently been castigating Durban for his comments and everyone who disagrees with me says either Dick didn't say what Dick obviously said, or that he didn't mean what he obviously meant. I've been linked to by that terrific lefty type site Preemtive Karma (a well written site despite their politics) I've been castigated for questioning the conservatism of Andrew Sullivan and I've been accused of being a wingnut. Gee! All of that because I think that Dick Durban was over the top.

Well, guess what, Considering he spent almost a week saying he wasn't going to apologize, the suckah apologized for his remarks.

Now, if you didn't say any thing wrong, if you have been on record defending what you said as right and courageous and on the mark, why would you say:

"I made reference to Nazis, to Soviets, and other repressive regimes. Mr. President, I've come to understand that's a very poor choice of words."
Or, why would you say:
"I'm sorry if anything that I said caused any offense or pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time. Nothing, nothing should ever be said to demean or diminish that moral tragedy."
Or why would you say:
"Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line," the Illinois Democrat said. "To them I extend my heartfelt apologies."
Let alone:
His voice quaking and tears welling in his eyes, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate also apologized to any soldiers who felt insulted by his remarks. [emphasis added]

"They're the best. I never, ever intended any disrespect for them," he said. [emphasis added]

Maybe even Dandy Dick recognized he had committed a major faux pas!

Unfortunately, by apologizing, those that truly believe the crap that Durban uttered are now pissed at him. He was their hero for making the remarks, now he is a wimp (according to Kevin at Preemptive Karma) for backing down and apologizing.

Nah, that can't be it, all my lefty friends and acquaintences say I'm the one who is wrong.

Hah! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Update: Many others are on this story too. Here are a few and many others that I've missed... go find them. Apology not Accepted, The Left's Word Deficit, Dick Durban and Our Post-Patriotic Elite,
Soldiers of Allah, Dick Dean Apologizes... So can't we all just get along?

Continue reading "Dandy Dick Durban Becomes Dick Durban (D. Ill) - Nah!"
Posted by GM Roper at 08:13 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)

June 21, 2005

Disgusting, Just Disgusting!

Dandy Dick Durban (who I recently wrote about here) is innocent, claims the looney left. "He didn't say it." "You are reading into his comments things that weren't said."

From a commenter on this blog:

"DURBIN SAID NOTHING WRONG: I've now read and re-read Senator Dick Durbin's comments on interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay. They are completely, perfectly respectable."
How bizzarre is this? Has the looney left, the moonbats of political hate taken full leave of their senses? (Oh, wait, silly question.)

Another commenter noted:

"They're lucky they're still ALIVE, for crying out loud! To complain about playing Christina Aguilar music and calling that torture...is a bit of a stretch and I don't consider that respectable in the least."

Now, obviously there are two different opinions expressed on the same posting and there should be no doubt as to which side I lean toward. It should be obvious to even the most partisan hack on the looney left that Durban's speech was not only offensive, but completely over the top. Evidence of this is expressed in the following Cartoon: irony.gif

Given this bit of cartoon trash, do you really think that Mr. Durban wasn't comparing American Soldiers and their Commander In Chief to Hitler/Pol Pot or even Stalin? If you still think he didn't, then perhaps your ability to reason is totally lacking. Durban's comments were disgusting, just disgusting.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:56 AM | Comments (19) | TrackBack (3)

June 19, 2005

Scary, Scary Stuff

The blogosphere is full of writing. Some of it is quite good, mine for instance. Some is very bad, Daily Kos and Democratic Underground for example (very large grin inserted here...ed.).

Some of it is puzzling, some perplexing, some is thought provoking, some is nauseating, some is repugnant and some is just downright nasty.

But, dear and beloved friends, almost none of it matches this for sheer obtuseness:

"...now we're counting chickens before the eggs have even been laid... And when the chickens that didn't hatch come home to roost, we will rue the days when, misled by sloppy accounting and rosy scenarios, we gave away the national nest egg."

Did you get that? If you did, than you are either addled in the brain, or, you are Paul Krugman who wrote this amazing piece of garbage.

A tip of the GM Chapeaux to Donald Luskin of The Conspiracy To Keep You Poor And Stupid and to his reader Joe Lombardi who nominated Krugman for Luskin's Jason Awards

Posted by GM Roper at 01:08 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

June 18, 2005

Damn You Dandy Dick Durban, Damn You!

There are few things in life more maddning than an itch you can't scratch, a mild case of nausea when setting down to Thanksgiving dinner with beloved friends and dear family and a politician who isn't aware of the impact of his words. Specifically these words:

"The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.

If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners."

Republicans and conservatives rose up and demanded a retraction or an apology. Which of course, Dandy Dick Durban refused. When asked to apologize, Dandy Dick had this to say:
"This administration should apologize to the American people for abandoning the Geneva Conventions and authorizing torture techniques that put our troops at risk and make Americans less secure."
Liberals, leftists and other assorted supporters of the politics of hate stood shoulder to shoulder and defended Dandy Dick for telling the truth. When defending Dandy Dick they noted that he didn't say what everyone with two cents worth of brains knows he said. In fact, if Dandy Dan didn't say what he obviously did say, why is Dandy Dick apologizing now?
From Dick Durban's website:
“More than 1700 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq and our country’s standing in the world community has been badly damaged by the prison abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. My statement in the Senate was critical of the policies of this Administration which add to the risk our soldiers face.”

“I will continue to speak out when I disagree with this Administration.”

“I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood. I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support.”

So, what is he "regreting?"

Dandy Dick (or from the apology perhaps that ought to be Dandy Dickless - if my readers will forgive the phrase) carries on the tradition in politics of making the most outreageous statements and having them become the mantra of the left. Need proof? John Conyers holds a mock hearing to indict Bush and impeach him. Shades of Bertrand Russell. Teddy Kennedy and the ilk that follow this 'liberal' jump into the fray at times too.

I guess we really can't blame Dandy Dick for his comments, he has the Democratic Underground at his ear wispering ravings. MoveOn.org is in on the conspiracy of hate as well.

The politics used by Dandy Dick are nothing new. The Democratic Party is attempting to mimic (poorly at that) the backbench tactics of Newt Gingrich in the early 90's that led to the Republican Revolution of '94. What they are overlooking (or perhaps too stupid to understand) is that not only did Gingrich and company attack the leftist line, but they offered America a plan, one not fully realized over the last decade, but a plan none-the-less. This was called the Contract with America, and that is something the Democrats can't do, offer new ideas because they haven't any.

The blogosphere is alive with condemnation of Dandy Dick; political cartoon after political cartoon blasts and/or carricatures Dandy Dick. Blogs rip him apart with a delicious frequency. Cao's Blog (prounounced Key's Blog) shreds the 'good' Senator. American Warmonger has a post noting that Dandy Dick is bad for America. Flight Pundit scores one on Dandy Dick's pointy little head. In all, Richard J. Durbin (AKA Dandy Dick) (D. Ill.) has done two things. One, he has proven that the Democratic Leadership (he is number two in the dem senate) has no ideas other than hate and obstructionism and two, he has energized American's who know bull crap when they hear it. I wonder if Illinois will send him back to the Senate, I hope not!

So Dandy Dick, my hat is off to you, you make my job so easy.

Update: In my haste to get this up, I neglected to include The Mary Hunter's exhaustive fisking and link-fest up at TMH's Baconbits. In my defense, I claim that Woody distracted me with Morris the Flying Cat.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:14 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (4)

June 17, 2005

Dick Durban, Fool Extraordinaire

I was going to write a broadside on Mr. Durban's tendency to vomit in the public place. This guy is such a fool! Why haven't a whole bunch of Democrats jumped up and said that he doesn't represent their thinking or their party? Because he DOES represent their thinking and their party.

At any rate, I'm working on my laptop at the moment and it has a few glitches, so while I do that, go here and read this delightful bit on Dick Durban from my friend Tish Sharp. She's from TEXAS and that is reason enough to read her.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:58 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

June 16, 2005

Apology? For What For Pete's Sake?

a·pol·o·gy, n. pl. a·pol·o·gies: An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense.

The Washington Post article by Avis Thomas-Lester begins:

The U.S. Senate last night approved a resolution apologizing for its failure to enact federal anti-lynching legislation decades ago, marking the first time the body has apologized for the nation's treatment of African Americans.

One-hundred and five years after the first anti-lynching bill was proposed by a black congressman, senators approved by a voice vote Resolution 39, which called for the lawmakers to apologize to lynching victims, survivors and their descendants, several of whom watched from the gallery.

What is wrong with this picture? An apology, to be sincere must be accompanied by at least a couple of things. One, it must be for an offense that you have committed. Two, it must be accompanied by an honest and sincere effort not to repeat the offense. Last, but not by any means least the person you apologize to has to be the person you offended. Anything else is an exercise in self flagelation that serves no useful purpose.

This United States Senate, has not failed to enact anti-lynching laws, past senates did, but no living, serving member of this Senate has done so. So apologizing is Clintonesque at best, and bad theater at any rate.

Do some senators have cause to apologize for real acts that they committed? Robert Byrd (D, W.Va) could apologize for attempting to derail the Civil Rights laws for one, where is the demand for that?

The fact remains that this apology is an exercise in futility, a 'look how kind I am'or a 'see how sensitive I can be' exercise. How disgusting. How Clintonesque!

If you really must apologize, use this form.

Update, two days prior to this post, LaShawn Barber posted on the 14th a terrific rant against this stupid item. She's Black, Conservative, Female and ...... oh, wait, her opinon doesn't count because she's "conservative."

Cross posted at the Wide Awakes

Posted by GM Roper at 09:50 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

June 08, 2005

Uhh, Senator Kerry? About that Form 180

My Dear, Dear Senator Kerry: By now, you have received some two or so open letters from me and I strongly suspect that you are becoming somewhat tired of reading my missives, especially since you know that I am not a constituent of your because I do not live in Massachusetts, although, since you are a United States Senator and I am an American Citizen, you could say I am by extension.

Senator, the reason I'm writing today is because of the articles contained in your favorite newspaper, The Boston Globe. As we all know Senator, you did sign the SF 180 as you said you would, you had your staff "go over it," and it was sent to the U.S.Navy. But there is my dear Senator, a slight problem.

You see, you indicated by oh so many ways, although you didn't flat out say it, that you would sign so that anyone could see those records; so that they would be publically available sir. You are familiar with the phrase "publically available" aren't you? Of course you are, you wouldn't deliberately deceive the American people Senator. Now would you? Well, guess what happened Senator. Some flunky on your staff must have changed the SF 180 to allow it to only be released to a newspaper that fully supports you in every way and that has an editorial and news staff that is as liberal as any in the country (well, with the possible exception of that conservative gadfly Jeff Jacoby). What sir? You didn't know that?

Oh my, this places us in a most awful prediciment sir. You see, if you had released your FFR then we would know about your discharge in 1978 or perhaps it was in '71. You understand, Senator that this was a significant part of the issue; whether or not you got a less than honorable discharge for meeting with an enemy not once, NOT TWICE, BUT THREE TIMES while you were still in the service of the United States Navy.

You see Senator, if those discharge papers HAD been in the FFR when it was released, then surely the Globe would have mentioned it. After all, though they like you, support you, carry water for you and otherwise idolize you, they would damn sure want that story, why, it would be the scoop of the year (Dan Rather, are you reading this?) but since they didn't, we can only presume that the discharge was not in the FFR.

Too, my dear Senator, had your flunky not asked for a redacted report to be sent out, then we would also have the information about your grevious wounds. You know, the ones you got and asked for a Purple Heart. Senator, that first one, the one you got in December, 1968, the one that the doc pulled out with a tweezer and dressed with a bandaid? That one. Sir, your superior officer, Rear Admiral Hoffman stated:

Another troubling sequence involves Kerry's first Purple Heart. Exactly two weeks after arrival in Vietnam, Kerry was involved in a scenario in which he was "wounded" by a small fragment, about the size of a rose thorn - a self-inflicted wound resulting from the careless use of his own M-79 grenade launcher. According to the testimony of the attending physician, Dr. Louis Letson, the fragment barely penetrated the skin of his right arm and was easily removed with tweezers and dressed with a Band-Aid. Despite the minor nature of the injury, Kerry still requested a Purple Heart from Division Commander Grant Hibbard. Commander Hibbard denied, noting that there was no hostile fire involved in the incident, no casualty report, and no after-action report - all requisites for a Purple Heart medal. [emphasis added]

Still, somehow Kerry circumvented the system and somehow was awarded the Purple Heart some three months after Lt. Commander Hibbard denied the award. Who initiated the award remains a mystery and will remain so until Kerry authorizes the full release of his military and medical records, complete and unaltered. Although Kerry continues to imply that he was the officer in charge of this "Boston Whaler" operation, he fails to mention that he was under the training supervision of Lt. William Schachte, the actual officer in charge and aboard the small craft with Kerry.

Why sir, when so very many good, good men bled a lot of blood on the battle fields of Vietnam would you want an award for a damned scratch. Sir, I've had worse wounds injuries cuts boo-boos making a book case.

Senator, Matt Margolis has some serious questions for you as well. in fact, he said "So, the mystery has been far from solved. In fact, now we still have the same questions... if not more..."

On his web site Senator, you will find many many more bloggers that are asking the same kinds of questions. Including Michelle Malkin, Kit Jarrell at Euphoric Reality, and oh so many others. I'd take the time to list them all Senator, but since I know you or one of your staff can use an internet browser and know how to click links, you can start with the ones in this letter, then move on to all of the others.

Oh, and Senator Kerry, in the above letter, I used the term FFR a number of times. Sir, to help you out, it means the FULL FRIGGIN RECORD. Now, why don't you release the FFR like you promised 130 days ago.

Sincerely

GM Roper -
Blogger
Veteran
gadfly about town.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:28 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack (2)

COUNTERINTUITIVE RANT

BEGIN RANT

Full disclosure: I am not an attorney, I do not practice law, I have not been trained in the practice of law and though I think lawyers have a place in our country, that place is the bottom of Lake Erie. Having (jokingly) said that, it is now time for a rant. If you do not like rant's, please do not read any further. If you do not like rants, but you want to read what I have to say, please continue. If you like rants, welcome to my world.

I am about to shock (shock I say) most if not all of my conservative friends. I'm going out on a limb to support the MSM in the Palme case. No, not their constant harping about who is the evil, wicked, most benighted creepoid who "outed" Valorie Palme. In fact, I don't think any law was broken at all. I'm not protesting about Joe Wilson's paranoid ravings about outing his wife as a "secret" CIA undercover operative; nor am I in the least bit in agreement with those who demanded an investigation as a method of proving that "Bush Lied" which of course he didn't.

I'm talking about the threat to put Matt Cooper of Time magazine and Judith Miller of the New York Times in jail for not releasing the names of their "confidential sources." Now, please, please don't get me wrong. I think for the most part the folk at the NYTimes and Time magazine are a bunch of idiots with a particular, partisan, pro-liberal axe to grind and that axe is not "pro" American or "pro" America. I think the liberal cant (1.Monotonous talk filled with platitudes; (2.Hypocritically pious language - definitions provided for graduates of liberal universities) that pervades the pages of the NYT and Time is the stuff of whining medioctrities destined to wrap fish entrils in or to line the bottom of bird cages. However, having said all of that, neither of these people should be jailed for not revealing their sources.

"Wait just one damn minute Roper," I can hear some of you thinking (see how talented I am) "that liberal scum made their bed, now let them lie in it." That is from some of my conservative friends. "Wait just one damn minute Roper," I can hear others thinking (see, my talents stretch far and wide) "there is no such thing as a liberal media, those corporate whores are conservative by nature and support the great international rip off of the poor and those left behind by Bush and his tax-cuts for the rich."

Ahh yes, I can hear it all now. Well, that is all so much BS. As an educator and therapist, I teach students and clients that behavior has consequences. Sometimes those consequences are positive, sometimes negative, sometimes neutral, but there are always consequences for what we do.

For my conservative friends, Joe Wilson already shot himself in the foot and has proven himself a serial liar of the funniest kind. The media find themselves hoist on a petard of their own making. But the principle needs to stand and needs to be supported by any thinking individual. "What principle," you ask? Why, simple, the 1st amendment.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Unlike the ACLU I believe that each amendments enumerated in the "Bill of Rights" means exactly what it says. The ACLU of course interprets the 1st Amendment to mean what the ACLU wants it to mean.

"Congress (and by extention - any branch of government - City, State or National) shall make no law respecting...abridging the freedom...of the press..." Rather than a narrow interpretation of that, we need a b-r-o-a-d interpretation.

"Roper, just where are you going with this?" Well, I admit it's kind of convoluted, but you see, the Supreme Court of the United States of America in their collective idiocy just ruled that the Federal Government can overturn established state law in the regulation of "medical marijuana" under the Commerce Clause of the constitution. Now, it doesn't occur to the learned Justices (you can sense the sarcasm here can't you?...ed.) that the use of the marijuana in question was locally grown, locally used, did not involve interstate commerce, didn't travel over any state boundry and was legal under the laws of the state of California, Oregon and quite a number of other states. In Gonzales v. Raich SCOTUS ruled that despite 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.") which has always been interpreted to include the application of criminal law to the states. Now, if you kill someone on main street, the state will prosecute you. If you kill someone on federal property, the feds will prosecute you. That is as it should be. But Marijuana? Sheesh folks. Please, please do not get the idea that I am pro-medical marijuana, or even pro marijuana at all. We need another legal intoxicant like we need a hole in the head, our friends in other conservative venues not-with-standing (NRO for one). But the spiel for "medical marijuana" is specious at best. The active ingredient in marijuana is Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannibinol (C21H30O2) and that can be taken in pill form. The push for so called medical marijuana is an attempt by NARAL and it's allies to get the smoking of marijuana on the table, the nose of the camel under the tent if you will.

Be-that-as-it-may, the 10th amendment really does mean what it says, and that issue should be left up to the states.

So what to Palme and Gonzales v. Raich have to do with each other? Simple, if the federal government can regulate what sources the press uses, and the SCOTUS says that the power of the feds under the Commerce Clause is all inclusive and,in an editorial contained in the WSJ,

non-economic activities can be regulated so long as they are part of a "comprehensive scheme of regulation," there would appear to be no federal power the Commerce Clause couldn't theoretically justify.
then the federal government can, under current attempts by the FEC regulate blogs.

"That's pretty tenuous Roper," I can hear some say. Well, yeah, right this second it is. But tomorrow? I don't know about you or other bloggers, but I will be damned if I let the FEC regulate what I can say in my own publication. Remember that 1st Amendment issue? Now do you get it?

END RANT

Update: June 28, 205. Fargus, a liberalish friend from The Fargus Report has a slightly different take wanting to know why Novak isn't in jail. Essentially we agree, this decision by SCOTUS is out in left field. (no offense to my leftish friends of course)

Posted by GM Roper at 07:04 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

June 07, 2005

John Kerry's Grades: Recount Demanded / Where was Bush?

Remember during the presidential campaign that the press and liberals portrayed Bush as stupid and Kerry as cerebral (and, still do)? Now, they have something to back up their claims--or, do they?

John Kerry had refused to release his college transcripts and military files. Now, because of pressures, Kerry released part of his military files, and (oops) that part contained his college grades!

So, how did he do? Let's see.

Freshman Year:
Geology................61
History I..............63
History II.............68
Political Science...69
French.................77

Wouldn't you know it? Kerry's best efforts were in French. Now, if he had gotten three F's instead of only four low D's, Kerry could have obtained an early release from his college duty. Learning his lesson is college, Kerry didn't make a similar mistake in Viet Nam--as, he was able to get out early there.

To his credit, Kerry buckled down and raised his average up to 76 by the time he graduated. What did Bush get under the same grading system? Why a 77--which beats Kerry! I understand that Kerry is launching a bid, assisted by Al Gore, to demand a re-count. Every term paper counts, and what about that drawing he did for extra credit?

From an article (link at bottom), here are recollections of a professor who taught both of them (underlines mine):

Gaddis Smith, a retired Yale history professor who taught both Kerry and Bush, said in a telephone interview that he vividly remembers Kerry as a student during the 1964-1965 school year, when Kerry would have been a junior. However, Smith said he doesn't have a specific memory about Bush.

Do you know what this means?! It means that Bush was getting credit for college courses when one of his professors doesn't remember him being there! This is clear, although unverifiable evidence, that Bush was not where he claimed to be and received credit for something he did not do! Where's Dan Rather when you need him?

Well, if the only thing that you got out of this entry is that Bush did something bad and that Kerry is good, then please call the Democratic Party. They have a spin job for you. But, if you want more of the story, here it is:

Yale grades portray Kerry as a lackluster student

Posted by GM Roper at 08:30 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

June 06, 2005

Who Said It?

Can you identify (a) the speaker and (b) the President whose administration is referenced?

I can tell you this: It's very hard to stop people who have no shame about what they're doing. ...It is very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth.

Think about it for all of 15 seconds and continue to the answer.

Continue reading "Who Said It?"
Posted by GM Roper at 04:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

President Reagan - History Remembers

reagan43.jpgRonald W. Reagan February 6, 1911 - June 5, 2004

Yesterday marked one year since he passed away. We still wanted to take a moment to remember the person whom most consider the greatest president in our lifetimes...Ronald Reagan.

For any revisionists or anyone who doesn't remember, consider this quote from a 1994 speech by President Reagan:


Our friends in the other party will never forgive us for our success, and are doing everything in their power to rewrite history. Listening to the liberals, you'd think that the 1980's were the worst period since the Great Depression, filled with suffering and despair. I don't know about you, but I'm getting awfully tired of the whining voices from the White House these days. They're claiming there was a decade of greed and neglect, but you and I know better than that. We were there.

Yes...we were there, and that period gave Americans new pride, new hope, prosperity, and strengthened freedoms. Thank you, President Reagan.

For further information, here's a nice site with quotes from the President:
Great Quotes from President Reagan
Also, Jackson's Junction has a special tribute with some clips.
Romeocat at Cathouse Chat has a great memorial up at The Wide Awakes

Thanks to Nonsequiter Rantings

Posted by GM Roper at 01:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 25, 2005

Daisy Cutter Launches A "New" Blog Alliance

Always on the forefront of the political arena, Daisy Cutter has decided to launch a new blog alliance for something as opposed to against something. He doesn't really like the "Blogs Against

Posted by GM Roper at 05:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 24, 2005

Caveat Emperor

The word is "Caveat;" the definition is "A qualification or explanation." Everyone understands "Emperor" so the title of this entry "Caveat Emperor" refers to the emperor of explanations, qualifications, obfuscations; to beard, becloud, befog, cloak, conceal, cover, cover up, deceive, dim, dissemble, dissimulate, dress up, hide, mask; or as he is better known Senator John "Do you know who I am?" Kerry (D-Mass.)

Kerry has, according to some signed the Form 180, and he did it on May 20th of this year. Joan Vennochi, columnist of The Boston Globe (from whom I stole the title of this entry) writes:

"At this point it comes as no surprise. John Kerry is releasing all his military records -- but then again, he isn't.

During an interview yesterday with Globe editorial writers and columnists, the former Democratic presidential nominee was asked if had signed Form SF 180, authorizing the Department of Defense to grant access to all his military records.

''I have signed it," Kerry said. Then, he added that his staff was ''still going through it" and ''very, very shortly, you will have a chance to see it."

Why is his staff "going through it?" It's a fairly simple document to fill out, it doesn't leave any doubt as to what needs to be filled out, it is quite straight forward. Don't believe me? Here it is: Form SF-180 Instructions, blanks, information, signature. What could be more clear? Oh, wait, that's the point isn't it. "Staff, I want you to see what I can fill in to keep as much of my record hidden and still be able to say I signed the SF-180."

Hey Senator, release ALL of the records, then your staff won't have to "go through it," and you can keep your promise.

Which makes me wonder of course, other than Mr. Vennochi, who in the MSM is going to make an issue of this?

A Tip of the GM Chapeaux to Woody!

Posted by GM Roper at 11:11 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (1)

Compromise?

The Dems and Reps have settled, some court appointees will be voted on, other's remain in limbo, but probably won't get a vote anytime soon.

The Dems claim victory - the filibuster remains in place. The Reps claim victory, several "controversial" judges get an up-or-down vote. The American people get the shaft while the pompous Senators get the gold mine.

(GM, are you being a little hostile?...ed. - Youdamnbetcha; if you look at the history of the Phil-e-buster it has been used most often by ignorant and unprincipled congress-critters to block needed and important legislation. The civil rights bill comes to mind.)

While I recognize that the Senate (and the House for that matter) has the constitutional right to set their own rules, this rule allows a single member to block action on what may be an important and life-changing process, passing of legislation.

Now, there can be an argument made that blocking legislation can be a good thing, in fact, I have iterated that argument myself a time or two. Overall, the filibuster stinks. I would rather the Senate discard that rule altogether.

Come to think of it, I would rather the Senate and the House adopt a rule prohibiting the adding of pork-barrel spending amendments unrelated to the bill being passed. The "Transportation Bill" recently passed comes to mind. Not only is it a budget buster, but a large hunk of the spending is unrelated to transportation but allows some of the congress-critters to claim to their constituents that they brought home some bacon.

Maybe we need a third way. I'm for starting a "Vote The Bastards Out" party. Here is how it would work: If a Democrat represents you, vote in a Republican. If a Republican represents you, vote in a Democrat. A couple of elections down the road and these folk will get the idea that they work for us, and not for themselves. Then maybe, just maybe votes in the House and Senate would be for the benefit of America, and not for the benefit of the congress-critter. However, I am not going to hold my breath!

Others reporting on the compromise: The Pirates Cove, Absinthe and Cookies, One Billion Red Chinese and a Dog Named Liberty, Rambling's Journal, Mark Levin Fan, La Shawn Barber's Corner and The Smarter Cop

Posted by GM Roper at 08:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

May 23, 2005

Filibuster Settled - Democrats Blinked First

It appears that a truce has been reached between the Republicans and the Democrats over the abuse of the filibuster in blocking judicial approval--and, it looks as if the Democrats blinked first. Well, at least that's my take. My initial conclusion is that the Senate will return to the manner of approving judges as in the past and that the Democrats will stop with their games--giving the President the votes on his judges, who should be approved.

Here's part of the AP report:

Under the terms, Democrats agreed to allow final confirmation votes for Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor, named to appeals court seats. There is "no commitment to vote for or against" the filibuster against two other conservatives named to the appeals court, Henry Saad and William Myers.

The agreement said future nominees to the appeals court and Supreme Court should "only be filibustered under extraordinary circumstances," with each Democrat senator holding the discretion to decide when those conditions had been met.

"In light of the spirit and continuing commitments made in this agreement," Republicans said they would oppose any attempt to make changes in the application of filibuster rules.

Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., swiftly noted he had not been a party to the deal, which fell short of his stated goal of winning yes-or-no votes on each of Bush's nominees. "It has some good news and it has some disappointing news and it will require careful monitoring," he said,

Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada seemed more receptive - although he hastened to say he remains opposed to some of the nominees who will now likely take seats on federal appeals courts.

"We have sent President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the radical right of the Republican party an undeniable message ... the abuse of power will not be tolerated."

So, my quick take is that the Democrats knew that the Republicans were serious about forcing the Democrats to honor the historical precedence for the use of the filibuster unless the Democrats did it voluntarily. Also, the talk about making the President withdraw some names for the purpose of approving others did not materialize.

However, I don't see this as a permanent solution, as rarely occurs in these negotiations, but it is more of a temporary truce to restore the debate to what existed before--thus, allowing President Bush's judicial nominations to receive the up-or-down vote that they deserve and which the Senate is supposed to provide according to the Constitution.

Because this agreement was just completed, it will develop further as each side claims victory and more information is made available in the next few hours. Already, we are seeing claims from both sides, but the claims of victory from the Democrats seem to have less substance. Of course, the Republicans still need to get the names to the floor for a vote, and Bill Frist is right that it will take careful monitoring.

What I presented was my quick analysis on this. How do you see the agreement? Who won or who lost? Do you think that it will last long or was this just a temporay delaying tactic? Will President Bush get the votes and have his judges approved?

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode!

Posted by GM Roper at 08:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

May 22, 2005

Short Survey on Presidents - Part II

Thanks to those who participated in the short survey on presidents from Wednesday. While my government grant for free prizes is still pending, I have looked into the gift bag and see that we have a tape on how to dance the Macarena (Trekkies, be sure to click on the link. Sorry, nothing from Star Wars.), a Zippo lighter with a Confederate flag on it that says "Get 'er done!" when you open it, a tape of the episode of Gilligan's Island where Gilligan did something really stupid and caused problems for the castaways (You may have seen it.), and, finally, some leftover onion rings from Cracker Barrel. If you participated, be sure to let me know which valuable prize you would like!

Your choices and reasons were well thought out. Thank you. I know that you're dying to know my selections. These are my opinions, only, and aren't necessarily better than anyone else's.

On the first quiz where we had to select the best president from a short list of exactly two--Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton....America has voted. Bill Clinton, tonight you are (long pause) gong home. Ronald Reagan is my American Idol President!! (As if you didn't know.)

Neither man was perfect and each had some good points, but here are my reasons. Reagan forced an end to the cold war, he gave Americans pride in their country again after years of malaise after Viet Nam and the Iranian hostage crisis, he reduced taxes (and indexed the tables to inflation!) and helped the country recover from the economic problems, he was able to overcome the spins of Congressional Democrats and win the support of most Americans (even California was a red state then), and he took action when needed rather than avoiding action and forcing the problems on the next administration. Clinton was in office during an economic rise, but his best claim for that was that he got out of the way. The lying and perjury and related impeachment far outweighed the positive points that he had. Clinton, in a nutshell, disgraced the office of the President.

Now, the best president in our nation's history...in a walk, George Washington. Our country was very fragile in the beginning, but Washington was probably the only one who could have guided us through those early days. Furthermore, he refused to allow the Presidency to be turned into a kingship. By refusing full and permanent power, Washington proved not to be a Democrat. Lincoln is my runner-up for maintaining the union and attempting to transition the southern states back into the union before he was assassinated. I'm not as impressed with FDR as some of you, because he implemented many socialist programs--many of which were found to be unconstitutional, he tried to pack the Supreme Court, it took a war rather than his policies to end the depression, he appointed communists to key administration positions, he broke with tradition and ran for the presidency more than two terms--plus, my grandfather couldn't stand him and I trusted my grandfather.

If you're interested, here are two related polls:

The Greatest Presidents - This is a randomly selected site, and the site is maintained by a Democrat, but I think it represents more scholarly conclusions than current polls.
Gallup Poll of Greatest Presidents - This represents people's opinions, which tend to concentrate on more recent presidents

Now, if we had a contest for most overrated president, I would have to think about Kennedy or Wilson.

I did a google search for the "Worst President," and I see that the liberal computer geeks have loaded their sites so as to produce this result as the worst president - George W. Bush's biography. Okay, so that's not a valid conclusion. It is difficult to evaluate a president until many years have passed and you can look at his performance from a historical context. I saw a link that says that historians (academia) ranks "W" as the worst. Here is a discussion thread from a liberal historian that shows a condescending attitude towards the public, which tends to give more credit to the President. Here's one section of that: "What I've really learned from this article is not that historians think Bush is a failure (I already suspected that), but that many, if not most, American citizens think Bush is an okay president. The conclusion: the anti-Bush historians have failed to "enlighten" the public."

What do you think? Do you accept what this historian says? Who do you believe is the most overrated or worst president? (Keep in mind that we might have some more prizes for responses.) Give your reasons.

For an easy contest for the liberals...if George H. W. Bush was the 41st president, what number is George W. Bush (and, don't say he's number two.)

Posted by GM Roper at 01:00 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (1)

May 20, 2005

Democrats Throw Spitballs - Cry Foul on Ban

Okay. Everyone else is talking about the filibuster dispute, so let's clutter up the internet a little more, but do something different by adding reason and honesty. It's great that Al Gore designed the internet to handle this load.

First, I'm going to need some help. I was hoping to find an intelligent, honest, and logical argument from the side of the left--but it has been slim pickings. Part of my problem was that I tried to find the Democratic Underground and accidentally typed "DemocraticUnderground.CON," for which the extension is quite accurate but fails to take me to the site. Let's proceed while I continue my search.

As you are aware, the Democrats have been abusing the filibuster rule by blocking the Senate in its role to provide consent for judges nominated by the President. The Republicans have tried to compromise with the Democrats, but it is expected that they will have to seek a change in Senate rules barring this unique and unintended use of the filibuster. As expected, the Democrats are in a snit and have activated their minions to do what they do best--have a symbolic demonstration that makes all participating feel as if they are important.

I've thought about this in terms of baseball--naturally. Baseball rules develop because someone or some team abuses the spirit of the game and forces a change. We have the political equivalent of the Democrats tossing the spitball to each batter, and it's getting a little messy with their slime flying around. Here's what one sports writer had to say about that pitch:


“The spitball is a freak delivery that was adopted by old pitchers who had gone stale on legitimate deliveries. It is not natural and a mistake was made in allowing its use in the first place. Its use is unsanitary and has an unsavory atmosphere from every angle to both spectators and the players.

Sam Crane, New York Sportswriter
New York Evening Journal
September 16, 1916

Can you relate that to the Democrats of today? So, the Republicans have to say, “Well, if you’re going to play dirty, then we’re going to have to change the rules to force you play fair. The spitball will be illegal.” Now, the Democrats are charging out of the dugout, swinging wildly, bumping the umpires, and kicking dirt on home plate. Got the image?

First, I think it is important to resolve this now, as we are a nation of laws and our laws cannot be made as long as there is a break in the system. For instance, does it take 51 or 60 votes to approve judges? Also, I feel as if the Democrats have abused the gentlemen's agreement that existed concerning the use of the filibuster through this extension of its use. Lastly, I don't think a compromise is likely. To the Democrats, a compromise means giving them everything that they want. I'm predicting that the Republicans will grow a spine and will repeal the filibuster's use for approving judges.

Okay, so let's see how you feel about these questions:

1. Is it important to spend time on this or do we table the debate to address pressing problems like Iraq, social security, schools, etc.?
2. Which side is correct on the issue?
3. How can the impasse be broken?

There is no material or reading assignments for you. I think everyone has gotten the idea and can proceed. However, if you like, this is an open book quiz, so feel free to refer to other resources.

Now, I have to watch the Braves at Red Sox game. I'm a little worried about the Braves pitching staff--especially Tim Hudson who is pitching tonight. Anyway, that is one thing, for now, that is more important than the filibuster issue.

Good luck on your assignment.

Posted by GM Roper at 03:40 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

May 18, 2005

Short Survey on Presidents

Okay, it' going to be light today because I spent some time with my youngest son.

Now, let's do a short survey. I'm going to give you a short list of presidents and you rank them in order of best to worst. I promise that this will be easy. Okay, here's the list:

Ronald Reagan
Bill Clinton

Okay, start. (I said it was short.)

..........................

Got that? Now, one more. Considering all the presidents in the history of country, whom do you consider the best? I've seen lists like this and knew that they were made by history professors in our liberal academia. I think we can do better. Think it over and give your choice and reasons.

This will help you:
The best president of the United States was __________________________ because __________________________________ (and, perhaps the fact that he wasn't a Democrat.)

I'll give my answers later, after you have had a chance.

Got your pencils? You may begin.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:30 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

May 17, 2005

Kinky Friedman to Bush--"Burn Cuba's fields!"

California could have a run for its money for the goofiest governor if Kinky Friedman is successful in his bid to be elected governor of Texas in 2006. I think that we need to examine this person who could follow in George W. Bush's footsteps if elected Texas governor.

First, an overview of Friedman may be in order. His father was a professor at the University of Texas, where Kinky studied psychology in the 1960s. His real first name is Richard but his college buddies nicknamed him Kinky for his hair--which seems to have traumatized him ever since.

After college, he formed a band. The band played both kinds of music--country and western. He named it (HE named it--not me!)The Texas Jewboys, whose repertoire included such classics as "They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore" and "Get your biscuits in the oven and your buns in bed." You may have heard these offered on the PBS fund raisers for the $500 level. His music career included a stint touring with Bob Dylan.

He moved to a writing career that took off in the mid 1980s. He has authored seventeen mystery novels in which he is the main character, a private detective. He has written for Rolling Stone and Texas Monthly magazines. In the Texas Monthly, his anti-hunting piece (in Texas of all places!) resulted in the most hate mail and canceled subscriptions in the magazine's history. The publisher didn’t fire him saying that the publicity was worth it.

In an early fray into politics, Friedman ran for justice of the peace with the slogan, "If you elect me the first Jewish justice of the peace, I'll reduce the speed limits to 54.95!" Even with that platform, he lost the election.

Throughout his career he has expressed his views on life:

• But if you're paranoid long enough, sooner or later you're gonna be right.
• Every time you see a beautiful woman, just remember, somebody got tired of her.
• I even went so far as to become a Southern Baptist for a while, until I realized that they didn't hold 'em under long enough.
• I'd be a Buddhist if it weren't for Richard Gere.
• On the whole, I preferred cats to women because cats seldom if ever used the word "relationship".
• If you have the choice between humble and cocky, go with cocky. There's always time to be humble later, once you've been proven horrendously, irrevocably wrong.
• Golf is the only opportunity that middle-aged Wasps have to dress up like a pimp.
• Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

President Bush invited Friedman to spend the night at the White House. Before going Friedman emailed the president: "I have four women, four editors, and four dogs. Can I bring them all?" Bush replied, "Just the dogs." After the visit, Friedman said, "I didn’t sleep in the Lincoln bedroom, but I did give George W. a Cuban cigar. He looked shocked, but I told him that we weren’t supporting the Cuban economy, we were burning their fields. George W. smoked the cigar."

Friedman is dead serious in his bid to be governor. He hired the campaign manager that helped Jesse Ventura win the governor's seat in Minnesota. His slogan is "Why the Hell Not?" Considering alternatives, it's hard to argue with that.

Education is the biggest part of his platform, and he would pay for it by legalizing casino gambling. He's not against the death penalty but is against innocent people being executed, which spoils half the fun in Texas. On outlawing gay marriage he says, "I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us."

Kinky Friedman is neither a Republican nor a Democrat, but the Republicans are pushing him to join the Democrats.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:40 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

May 14, 2005

Mexican President Fox Slips Past Minutemen

Can you believe the following statement by Mexican President Fox from yesterday?!
_______________________________

May 13, 11:29 PM (ET)
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Vicente Fox called recent U.S. measures to stem illegal immigration a step back for bilateral relations on Friday and said Mexican migrants do jobs "that not even blacks want to do."

See Article
_______________________________

How did the Minuteman border patrol let Fox get over the border to make these remarks?

I don't remember any group coming out and saying that they didn't want certain jobs, so let illegal immigrants have them. Maybe what isn't said but implied is that Americans want reasonable compensation, which is harder to obtain when the job market is flooded with people crossing the border and willing to work for lower wages.

Of course, lower wages are easier to accept and justify when someone is paid in cash and doesn't have social security or income taxes withheld and the wages are not reported. It is a multi-billion dollar underground economy. Look at your pay stub and think what you could do if you had all those withheld taxes back.

Unrestricted immigration costs jobs to our citizens and money to the treasury and social security. Now, President Fox adds to our costs by harming the goodwill between our nations and insulting our people.

As a conservative, I have little sympathy for jobless who refuse work, but I don't think that is the case with the jobs that Fox discusses. Rather, as a compassionate conservative, I do sympathize with people who want to work but are having their jobs cut out from under them because we're not enforcing our laws.

It's time to enforce our laws and our borders. It's the fair and right thing for those who are here legally and who are able and willing to contribute to our productivity.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:40 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

May 13, 2005

Voting: "You believe me, don't you?”

Well, it turns out “till death do you part” may be true in marriage, but not when voting for Democrats.
The dead are very loyal Democrats.

A recent newspaper investigation into voter fraud in Wisconsin found this.

• 200 felons voted illegally
• more than 100 voted twice or used fake names and addresses
• there were 4,600 more ballots than registered voters in Milwaukee alone (giving it the prize for the highest percentage of voter participation.)
• ballots were cast using the names of dead people
• 1,200 people voted from invalid addresses
• thousands of ballots were cast from people who registered the same day with no required proof of who they are.
• an activist and admitted illegal alien was named a deputy registrar of voters in Racine and worked with a Hispanic organization to meet a goal of 20,000 new voters for their interests--no proof of citizenship required.

Just which party do you think benefited the most from this?

Let’s see, John Kerry won Wisconsin’s ten electoral votes by 11,000 votes—an improvement over Al Gore’s winning margin of only 850 votes. In the Milwaukee area, there were 277,000 ballots with Kerry receiving 71% of those. There were a minimum of 36,000 votes in that city for which no voters could be produced. I suspect that Bush had the majority of the honest votes in that state, and it would have been another stolen election by the Democrats if Wisconsin had tipped the presidential election in their favor.

When the Democrats say that we don't need to fix the election process, what they really mean is that they want to fix the elections.

But, the task force looking into this blamed the problems on “sloppy record-keeping and poor training for poll workers, who were overwhelmed by thousands of absentee ballots.” So, there will be no criminal investigations or arrests. That reminds me of the scene in “National Lampoon’s Vacation” when Clark Griswold gives his son, Rusy, an incredulous reason for being caught naked in the pool with Christy Brinkley. (Any reason is good enough for me.) Clark asked, “You believe me, don’t you, Rusty?” Rusty replied with something like, “I believe you, Dad. (Then pauses.) Do you think Mom will buy it!?” Well, I feel as if the voter task force is standing there dripping wet and asking me to buy it. Only in the movies should that work.

How serious is this Wisconsin vote problem (can we call it fraud, yet)? Well, I did a google search with the words “Wisconsin,” “vote,” and “fraud.” Since that turned up 291,000 results, I can’t post this under breaking news. Fraud was predicted before the race because of loose elections laws. The dire predictions became true. Here’s a site that has a chronological series of posts on this -- “Pull on Superman’s Cape.”

How can this be corrected? Well, the Republicans in the state legislature passed bills this year requiring identification to vote, but the Democratic governor, not wanting to lose a large voter base (felons, illegals, the dead, etc.), vetoed that. The Republicans will try again, just as Congress should be trying to insure a correct voting process.

This is important for another reason. When the Democrats pretend to care when they say, "Count every vote and every vote counts," they forget that when you count illegal votes, then that makes yours and my legal ones worth less.

If this isn’t corrected soon, after 2008 you might be hearing the term “Madame President.”

Posted by GM Roper at 10:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (2)

May 10, 2005

Open Letter to John "Of Course I'll Sign the 180" Kerry

DO A 180.jpgDear Senator Kerry: I know that you are probably getting other letters, I know that you read the first one from me, after all, you ARE a United States Senator and a letter from a citizen would be important to you even if I'm not one of your constituents. Senator, it has been 100 days now since you agreed to sign the Standard Form 180 and I'm having trouble understanding what is taking so long for you to fulfill your promise. "What promise" you ask? Why the promise you made on Meet The Press on January 30, 2005 and the follow up promise you made on the Don Imus show on February 7, 2005 as Romeocat over at Cathouse Chat has noted.

Senator, I recognize that the Meet the Press site states rather clearly "Accuracy is not guaranteed. In case of doubt, please check with: MEET THE PRESS - NBC NEWS" but, sir, you wouldn't try state that you didn't say it would you? I have the utmost faith that you will fulfill your promise to sign the Standard Form 180 so that America will have the knowledge of you that you promised; so that America will come to believe in you as I do.

Oh, and Senator, during the campaign for President of the United States you iterated, and re-iterated that you had a "plan" to end the war in Iraq, to save Social Security, to expand health care, to clean up the polution, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Sir, could you also share those plans now? You did lose the election sir, though a fairly substantial number of the American people voted for you. There really is no reason to keep those plans in a nixonian style "secrecy" is there? After all, I have no doubt that you do want what is best for all Americans. So, sir, right after you sign the 180, would you have your staff distribute copies of all those plans so that we can get right on "saving the world?"

Sincerely:

GM Roper
Inhabitor of the Blogosphere

Posted by GM Roper at 10:32 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (4)

May 09, 2005

Let’s Play Jeopardy!

Thank you, GM! Thank you, Don Pardo! Let’s play Jeopardy!
Today’s categories are Liars, Hypocrites, Crooks, JFK, and Other Democrats. Please select.

Uh, I’ll take “JFK for $500,” Alex. (Readers may play along.)

"Did a '180' on the 180."

(Pretend you have a buzzer and respond.)
Did you get it? Here's another clue.

“100 days ago today.”

Getting close? Okay, try humming the “think music” to help your concentrate. (da da da da da da daaaaa, da da da da dah', dada da da da....) Here's the last hint.

“Awarded Claimed three Purple Hearts.”

That’s enough hints. How did you do!? Okay, did you get it on your own or did you get some help by looking at the update in the upper right? Oh yes, I hope you remembered to word your response in the form of a question. We’re very picky on sticking to the rules, even if certain politicians don’t.

Yes, a milestone of one-hundred days has passed since John F. Kerry (after reporting for duty with one of the worst salutes I’ve ever seen) agreed on national television to sign Form SF-180 to release his military records.

Are you waiting for the follow-up and outrage from the media? Keep dreaming. There’s no pressure for Kerry to release his military records. The media doesn’t seem to care. As a result, Kerry’s follow-through hasn’t been swift (as in swift boat veterans.) But, we’ll help you remember and keep counting.

Now, let’s go to "Hypocrites for $200." There are a lot of Democrats left to cover before they put us in Final Jeopardy.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

May 05, 2005

Democracy And The Left

Unlike some on my side of the political landscape, I'm not going to denegrate the patriotism of the left. Though of course their judgement seems to be sorely lacking. I will say this however, when the left gets it wrong, they really get it wrong.

James Taranto writing in today's Best of the Web Today in the WSJ's Opinion Journal notes the "grudging" acknowledgement from Kevin Drum writing in the Washington Monthly that Bush & Co. may, repeat may have had something, how ever trivial it might have been, with the spread of Democracy in the Middle East. Taranto notes a quote from Drum:

"Elections in Iraq and Egypt. Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon. Voluntary disarmament in Libya. New progress between Israel and the Palestinians. A lot has happened in the Middle East since the invasion of Iraq two years ago."
Then Taranto comments
"Drum grudgingly acknowledges that the president may deserve some credit for all this, but other Monthly writers are at pains to deny it."
"At Pains" Mr. Taranto? How about twisted in agnoy in their effort to deny that Bush & Co. had anything at all to do with it? As Wesley Clarke was quoted
"Democracy can't be imposed—it has to be homegrown. In the Middle East, democracy has begun to capture the imagination of the people. For Washington to take credit is not only to disparage courageous leaders throughout the region, but also to undercut their influence at the time it most needs to be augmented. Let's give credit where credit is due—and leave the political spin at the water's edge."
Is this the same General Clarke who bragged about bringing a chance for a functioning democracy in the Balkans by bombing Milosevic and being the "only candidate" who had prosecuted a war? That General Clarke?

I recall the lead up to the war, as does Mr. Taranto:

"As far as we remember, the people now saying that Arab democratization was bound to happen anyway are the same ones who were arguing beforehand not only that Bush's policies would have disastrous consequences but that status quo "stability" was the best we could hope for. Likewise, who on the left predicted the collapse of the Soviet system? (Daniel Patrick Moynihan, yes, but he was by some definitions a "neocon.")

Even if we assume for the sake of argument that Bush just "got lucky"--and boy, that's some lucky streak we right-wing war mongers have racked up--his critics were still wrong, and they cannot be taken seriously now.

Mr. Taranto is too kind. Lets add to the left's litany of charges then. "For democracy, read fantasy," from Robert Fisk. Or perhaps this "When the U.S. unfurls the democracy banner to justify its designs on Iraq, it is no surprise that few in the region stand and salute," from Gregory Weiher. To this we can add the charges before the war that "the Arab Street" would rise up against the U.S.; that 10,000 bodybags would be needed for US troops in Baghdad alone just to take the city in street fighting. That the awful Afghanistan winter would slay millions because of mass starvation. You remember, don't you?

The left has consistently and persistently refused to acknowledge that Arab peoples love freedom as much as anyone, but they needed someone to give a push, or someone to lead the way or both. Bush & Co. supplied that push and that leadership.

Marc Lynch writing also in Washington Monthly states (as noted by Taranto):

One of the most misleading ideas out there has to do with the supposed novelty of Arab demands for democratic reforms. The conventional wisdom that the invasion of Iraq triggered the first public Arab conversations about democracy is just flat wrong. Arabs have been talking about the need for reform and protesting against the status quo since long before the Iraqi war. . . . Iraq, and Bush, may have helped to open up some political opportunities (and to foreclose others), but credit for the so-called Arab spring should go to the Arab intellectuals and activists who have long been pushing for change for their own reasons.
Oh please Mr. Lynch. How much progress had they made until some of the despots of the ME became "concerned" about the fall of Iraq and began backing away from terror? Not that there are welcome matts out for hte intellectuals and activists yet. But they were making no headway at all before.

Has it been a bed of roses? No, obviously not! But it has not been impossible either. Elections in Afghanistan and Iraq; Promised multi-party elections in Egypt; the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon; even miniscule elections (though without universal sufferage) in Saudi Arabia; demonstrations in Iran; demonstrations even in Syria for Pete's sake. Does anyone really think this would have come to pass anyway? Taranto is absolutely correct, those that said it couldn't be done, that it wasn't worth doing, that the Arab Street wouldn't accept any democracy, that Arabs never had democracy and couldn't even understand its basic tenets were wrong then, and don't deserve to be listened to, cannot be taken seriously now.

I don't predict what the future will hold, but the present is mighty promising for the middle east. Though much strife and heartbreak is still to come, in the end, freedom and democracy will be worth the price paid.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 02, 2005

Axis Of The Illogical Logic

Bill Rogio over at The Fourth Rail has a terrific post up regarding Mike Whitney writing at the Axis of The Illogical Logic in which said Mr. Whitney extols the virtues of the Iraqi "insurgency" and destroys Whitney's arguments with REAL LOGIC, something that seems to escape the Axis of Illogic. A sample:

"It should be noted that al Qaeda is a foreign presence in Iraq that is attempting to influence the internal affairs of Iraqis. This simple fact should be obvious to Mr. Whitney or anyone that writes for a web site that presumptuously calls itself the “Axis of Logic”. No doubt Mr. Whitney believes the final line of Abu Asaid Al-Iraqi's rant excludes him and members of the antiwar movement. As useful idiots to al Qaeda their blood would be exempt from the sword. Perhaps he is not aware of the death of Marla Ruzicka at the hands of a suicide bomber or the fate of Margaret Hassan, the antiwar aid worker murdered and dismembered by the “freedom fighters” of Iraq."
Read the whole thing, it is absolutely priceless. No wonder Bill is in my top 20

Posted by GM Roper at 11:55 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

May 01, 2005

20 Political Sites: My Picks

John Hawkins of Right Wing News (and on my blogroll) has his list of 20 sites that he would read (including their links)if he was limited to reading ONLY those sites. Other bloggers have joined in with their lists and here is mine, PLUS why I like the site.

20. Marc Cooper (Marc is an Uber Progressive, but you have to know how the other side thinks. And while I disagree with him MOST of the time, he always usually encourages debate.)
19. Captain's Quarters (The Captain is always thoughtful and current. Besides, he has a terrific masthead)
18. Ramblings Journal (An early read of mine and one of the first to add me to his bloggroll - Marc Cooper was the first. As if that weren't enough, anyone that can end his posts with a "Just Damn!" has gotta be good).
17. Victor Davis Hanson (Hanson's ability to destroy the left with well chosen ideas and words is legendary)
16. One Billion Red Chinese and a Dog Named Liberty (As if the name alone weren't enough, the writing is crisp, conservative, cogent and creative)
15. Pejmanesque (Clear thinking and a way with words)
14. Real Clear Politics (A compendium of political thought from the left-right-and center. All politics, all the time and good reading to boot!)
13. Michael Totten (one of the first blogs I read, still read and will always read. Michael's series on Lebanon alone is worth the time and effort)
12. Powerline (Ask Dan Rather why Powerline is on this list.)
11. Polipundit (Lorie Byrd is reason enough to read this blog)
10. Roger L. Simon (Also one of the earlier blogs I read and someone who never objected to my theft of his muse "...ed." (That's because he probably doesn't know you stole me you thief...ed. - Oh hush!)
9. The Conspiracy To Keep You Poor & Stupid (Donald Luskin is not only an economist, but he has an ability to rip Krugman's arguments to shreds without seeming to even break a sweat.)
8. The Fourth Rail (Bill Roggio is articulate and bang on in his analysis of politics and the war on terror)
7. LaShawn Baber's Corner (Black, Conservative and Unabashedly Christian, need I say more?)
6. Right Wing News (Good commentary, ideas expressed well.)
5. Patterico's Pontifications (Excellent ability to hold the left's (especially the LATimes) feet to the fire on their obstructions and obfuscations)
4. Jackson's Junction (Good conservative thought PLUS video ... pretty unique)
3. Iraq The Model (Insight into the world that is now a free Iraq - bravery in the face of islamo-fascism)
2. The Mudville Gazette (The premier milblog - if you REALLY want to know what is happening in the world of the military, read this blog)
And the NUMBER ONE site in my opinion and my main reason for reading it:
1. GM's Corner (a terrific read, I usually can't wait to see what I'm going to post next. Insightful, yet unpretentious.)

UPDATE: 20 aint enough. So since this is MY blog, and Since Liberals Get To Count Votes Twice I'm adding two to this "20" and still maintaining the total is 20.
A.) Dr. Sanity (Pan Santy is one hell of a psychiatrist, grounded in reality and always on the mark)
B.) neo-neocon (Another therapist mugged by reality and 9/11. Bright, Articulate and a mind that just doesn't quit thinking)

Posted by GM Roper at 10:09 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (3)

April 27, 2005

Open Letter to John "Do You Know Who I Am?" Kerry

Dear Senator Kerry, I know you probably have a few things on your mind that are, for you, weighty matters. Things like "How do I torpedo Hillary's run for what should be my office?" and "Damn, who put that promise to sign a 180 in my talk?"

I know that you are doubtlessly bitter about the recent election in which your spouse, you know, what's her name, oh yes, TERR-AY-ZUH griped because some church folk felt like not voting for you because of your stand on abortion.

I'm also sure that you probably believe that all those rotten folk who ridiculed you for "flip-flopping" all over the political landscape had a hand in your recent defeat. After all, they couldn't know that you are steadfast in your convictions, rock solid in your beliefs and determined that you are destined to be President.

However, Senator Kerry, this letter is not about that, this letter is about your promise to sign the Standard Form 180 - Request Pertaining To Military Records which, for your convenience, you can find here.

Now, Senator Kerry, please don't be upset with me for reminding you. I'm only doing this as a public service because I really, really, really want to see you capture the nomination in '08. All that stuff to the right about me being pro-bush, pro-life, pro-evangelical, pro-republican is really only a smoke screen to hide my true allegiance to you sir! After all, I know that you, despite all the evidence really did spend Christmas in Cambodia taking a super-secret CIA agent into the fray and delivering weapons to the Khmer-Rouge - after all, you said on the Senate floor that that memory was "Seared, Seared" in your memory didn't you? You wouldn't lie to the Senate about something like that would you? I know that you, despite all the evidence, really didn't fall while snow-boarding and that you were pushed by that damned Secret Service guy. After all, the Secret Service is "controlled" by the White House and that nasty "W." I know too, that you really did try to keep your "magic hat" secret in your briefcase that you just happened to have when a reporter just happened to ask about it. I mean, after all, don't most people carry around an almost 40 year old war "souvenir" in their briefcases?

I'm in your corner Senator, no, really I am. I just want you to autograph that Form 180 for me. I'll handle everything else, really, I promise!

Oh, and Senator Kerry, if anyone tells you not to trust me, that I'm really a conservative Republican and that I'm trying to make fun of you, well, just don't believe them. OK? Please? I really do want to see you in the White House. No, really! Just think what TERR-AY-ZUH could do with the curtains and china. Just think, hot pink damask on the walls of the Oval Office, her telling reporters who ask her embarrassing questions to "shut up" and all that. Why, it'll be more fun having you in the White House than it was having Bill what’s-his-name... you know, the one that married that Senator friend of yours from New York... Hillary, yeah, her!

Well, I have to close now Senator, I've got a few papers to grade and some averages to calculate so that my students at the university will know where they stand.

Oh, one more thing before I close. Will you go here, here and here on the net and check out what other people are saying about you? Thanks Senator, I know when you say that you'll do something you will. You are known as a man who keeps his word. No, really, you truly are. Just ask your first wife!

UPDATE: Decision '08 has an update on the efforts for a signed 180:

  • a pen has been procured from a Walmart on the outskirts of Little Rock "for substantially less than the $12,000 budgeted";
  • a special committee has been formed to discuss the best way to remove the cap from the pen;
  • a copy of the notoriously difficult to obtain form has been located on eBay and bidding is underway; and
  • a "Dinner With John" fundraising extravaganza is in the works to obtain the necessary postage to mail the signed form, should such a step be required.
  • John told me to tell you guys to keep up the good work, he appreciates all your efforts to help him get that pesky 180 signed.

    HT to Powerline and a special Thanks to "Too Many Steves" for the pointer.

    Posted by GM Roper at 04:38 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (3)

    April 26, 2005

    What A Bunch Of Cowards You Are!

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The best of times? Easy, Republicans have the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The worst of times? Again, easy! The Republicans are too stupid to capitalize on their gains.

    The Democrats threaten to shut down the Senate if the Republicans change the Rules of the Senate to end the "Gentleman's Filibuster." The Dems cry out how "dare" you end the constitutional protection of the minority. They argue that it is a "power-grab." They yell about their Danish. Whoops, wrong argument!

    How then, about this argument from Kevin Drum?

    "I shot my wad on the narrower question of judicial filibusters a couple of months ago in the Washington Post, arguing that the real issue was Republican hypocrisy in systematically dismantling Senate rules that they themselves had used with eager abandon back when Bill Clinton was president:

    There are powerful arguments that these arcane Senate rules are fundamentally undemocratic — arguments to which I am sympathetic. But it's harder to see any good argument for allowing the rules to be cynically changed based solely on who's in power. If one blue slip is the rule when your opponents hold the presidency, then that should be the rule when your own party holds the presidency. Ditto for the rules on reporting nominees out of committee.

    Read the whole thing if you're interested in the entire glorious panorama of Republican hypocrisy on this issue."

    Now, I like reading Drum from time to time, he's somewhat of a fruitcake about liberal politics, but this time he is not only a fruitcake, he's so far out in left field, he's dropped off of the continental shelf. Hypocrisy? Whom is Drum kidding? The Democrats griped (well, the most appropriate word here would start with a 'B' but this IS a family site) when Clinton was in office and the Republicans wanted to use the filibuster and threatened to do so. Then it was Byrd, Ried, Boxer, Schumer, Leahy and a whole panoply of Democrats saying "Change the rules, give us an up or down vote" and equally "disingenuous" comments; though I acknowledge the Republicans tended to hold up the nominations in committee.

    Yeah Drum, hypocrisy rules.

    Now the Democrats want to "compromise." Gee Fellow Senators... if you will promise NEVER to use the constitutionally approved recess appointment we "promise" (yeah, that's the word and they are sticking to it!) to allow a vote after a lengthy debate, and more debate, and more debate, and more debate, ad infinitum, ad nauseum, and eventually, eventually (yeah, that's another word and they are sticking to that one too.) it will come up for a vote ... Say around December, 2008?

    If anyone believes that "compromise" agreements by EITHER party when they are attempting to gain a political advantage, is going to be kept... well, I have a delightful ocean front property in Manitoba to sell you.

    The only reason the Democrats are willing to compromise is that they are deathly afraid that Frist and Co. will push the button on the dreaded "nuclear option." Then, if that happens they will be forced to "shut down" the Senate (assuming they really can) and the country will see them for the obstructionists they truly are.

    The Republicans on the other hand have all the intestinal fortitude of an earthworm (That much? ... ed.). They are deathly afraid that if they call for the "nuclear option." they will lose the vote because of a few namby pamby, panty waisted, girlie men by the name of McCain, Voinovich, Chafee, Snow and perhaps a few others. They are also worried about having to abide by the "new" rule when they are out of power as they will sooner or later be (unless the Democrats continue to act like the children they are in which case the Republicans may be there a very long time.)

    What courage the Republicans have. What stalwarts they are! What ... ahhh, NUTS!!!

    Look folks, the “gentlemen’s” form of filibuster is a sham enacted by lazy senators to give the illusion of filibuster. But it’s BS. I mean that in the kindest way of course. You want the filibuster? Fine, then by gosh have a real, honest-to-goodness filibuster. Get some clown (Byrd will do just fine - even Hillary would suffice) and filibuster away. Read the Readers Digest condensed books into the record, quote from the New York Phone Directory, stay stuck to the floor till you give out and make everyone else stay there and listen to you drone on and on and on. Then vote for cloture.

    But this chicken flavored gentlemen’s filibuster? What a bunch of cowards you all are. Yes, you, all 100 of you for not having the courage of your convictions.

    I'm sick of the bunch of you and I'm sick of the whining that changing rules made by the senate is a disaster when the other guy wants to do it but a good thing when your side wants to do it. You were all elected to serve the people of this country. Ladies and Gentlemen, you have failed miserably.

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    April 24, 2005

    MoDo Strikes Again - And As Usual Misses Widely!

    Skimming through some of my very most favorite bloggers I came across this entry by Dr.Sanity regarding the ultimate (and hopefully soon) demise of Fidel Castro. I read the comments and came across this entry from Maxed Out Mama with a really good article on Maureen Dowd. Go read it. It's really good.

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Ter-ay-zuh Speaks, The Rest Of Us Yawn!

    Eric Heyl writing in Pittsburgh Live notes that Teresa Heinz believes that were it not for the Catholic Church, she would be hanging new curtains in the White House.

    Heyl quoting Heinz noted:

    "You cannot have bishops in the pulpit -- long before or the Sunday before the election, as they did in Catholic churches -- saying it was a mortal sin to vote for John Kerry," she said. "The church has a right and obligation to teach values. They don't have a right to restrict freedom of expression, which they did."
    Uh, Ter-ay-zuh, isn't that what they were doing, teaching the core values of their faith? Lets see now...
    "Last summer, American bishops received a letter from the Vatican advising that Catholics who condone abortion are committing "a grave sin." ... "The letter was written by the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. At the time, that was a fellow named Ratzinger -- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, named Tuesday by the College of Cardinals to succeed the late Pope John Paul II."
    OK, I have it now Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) said that condoning abortion was against the rules of the church and Roman Catholics who listened and voted their conscience violated voting rules by not voting for Kerry?

    Gee Ter-ay-zuh, you don't suppose it had anything to do with your hubby's penchant for flip-floping do you? You don't suppose it had anything to do with his inability to connect with people do you? You don't suppose it had anything to do with him being noted for his initials JFK which many that knew him said stood for the phrase Just For Kerry do you? You don't think it had anything to do with "I don't fall down, that son-ov-a-b**** pushed me." do you? Lastly, you don't think it may have had anything to do with your foul mouth, condescending attitude and use of your money to lord it over "the little guy" that you purported to be for do you?

    Nah, it couldn't have been any of those things, it had to be the church. Just had to be.

    A tip of the Roper Chapeaux to Smarter Cop

    Posted by GM Roper at 11:51 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    April 23, 2005

    The Bolton Witch Hunt


    Dredging up
    someone's prom date, or a co-worker from ten years ago - come on!


    The Washinton Dispatch carries a solid post on the "John Bolton Witch Hunt." Yet, many denizens of the left do not see it as such, much as the residents of Salem did not, and truly innocent people were hounded, sometimes to death.

    Bolton's persecutors on the Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations include Boxer, Hagel and Voinovich. Voinovich? Yeppers, he of the lion heart (kitty heart is more like it...ed.) waited 'til he saw which way the wind blew before he voiced reservations. Brave man that Senator.

    Boxer, well, what can I say about anyone who dredges up the kind of calumny that she is famous for.

    Good people on the left (what, there are good people on the left?...ed) are salivating at the prospect of damaging Bush through the process of attacking Bolton. A real circus folks, a real circus.

    In a previous post (immediately below) Tish of The World According To Tish took a light hearted look at this sad state of affairs and noted:

    "Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, Libertarian or Green Party, the direction of these proceedings has taken a ridiculous turn, wouldn't you agree? Dredging up someone's prom date, or a co-worker from ten years ago - come on! Who doesn't have those types of skeletons in their closet? Mother Teresa, maybe, but I am sure someone would bash her for the whole 'poverty' thing."

    Those attacking Bolton on anything besides policy or interpretation of policy are no better than poodles to the left. If you don't like Bolton's policies fine, argue that. Arguing something said (or not...ed.) from ten years ago is infantile. But that is what the Senate has devolved into.

    Posted by GM Roper at 03:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

    Capital Hill Hearings

    Tish Sharp of The World According To Tish is up for 3rd Grade PTA. The only problem is her past as Boxer, Hagle and Voinovich are way to quick to point out. Tish endures the "politics of personal destruction" pretty well though. On the other hand, Senator Hillary hasn't been heard from yet. Tish, prepair for the deluge!

    Posted by GM Roper at 01:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    April 11, 2005

    Sy Hersh: Truth Teller Or Serial Liar?

    IIn the summer of '04 Ed Cone noted that in a speech Seymour Hersh described:

    "...videotapes of boys being sodomized at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

    "The worst is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking," the reporter told an ACLU convention last week. Hersh says there was "a massive amount of criminal wrongdoing that was covered up at the highest command out there, and higher."

    Cone has the speech on livestream here and notes that Hersh begins at about 1:07:50. I listened to the whole thing just to make sure my reporting was accurate. Cone nailed it.

    The only problem is is that the story isn't true. Hersh "pulled" at the truth so to speak. Cone then points to Chris Suellentrop's article in the New York Magazine Cone says that Suellentrop's article is a "not-very-flattering look" at Hersh. I'd say that is an understatement.

    The lede passage from Suellentrop's article: "

    Since the Abu Ghraib story broke eleven months ago, The New Yorker’s national-security correspondent, Seymour Hersh, has followed it up with a series of spectacular scoops. Videotape of young boys being raped at Abu Ghraib. Evidence that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may be a “composite figure” and a propaganda creation of either Iraq’s Baathist insurgency or the U.S. government. The active involvement of Karl Rove and the president in “prisoner-interrogation issues.” The mysterious disappearance of $1 billion, in cash, in Iraq. A threat by the administration to a TV network to cut off access to briefings in retaliation for asking Laura Bush “a very tough question about abortion.” The Iraqi insurgency’s access to short-range FROG missiles that “can do grievous damage to American troops.” The murder, by an American platoon, of 36 Iraqi guards.

    Not one of these exclusives appeared in the pages of The New Yorker, however. Instead, Hersh delivered them in speeches on college campuses and in front of organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and on public-radio shows like “Democracy Now!” In most cases, Hersh attaches a caveat—such as “I’m just talking now, I’m not writing”—before unloading one of his blockbusters, which can send bloggers and reporters scurrying for confirmation."

    "I'm just talking..." In other words; "If I'm writing I'll always to try to tell the truth, but if I'm TALKING, welllll........."

    Read the whole article. If that doesn't set you back on your haunches, I don't know what will. I've never particularly liked Hersh, looks as if my gut instinct was right all along.

    Tip of the Chapeaux to Instapundit

    Posted by GM Roper at 12:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

    No Delay In The War On DeLay!

    The Main Stream Media (and assorted lefties) are at war. The object of their war is the defeat of one Tom Delay (R-Texas) currently (but for how long?) Majority Leader in the United States House of Representatives.

    DeLay had the unmitigated gall to play politics just as the Democrats have played politics for years. How dare he? Just "who in tarnation" does he think he is? Harry Reid? The current batch of "ethics" charges against DeLay include having relatives on the payroll and taking junkets paid for by someone else. This is, according to the MSM, unacceptable, totally unacceptable. After all, those acts taken by a Republican are absolute proof of corruption. Whereas those same acts taken by a Democrat really don't mean anything.

    Proof? OK, let us try this on for size (from The Beltway Buzz):

    The Los Angeles Times correctly notes that numerous members of Congress have family members on the payroll. But Harry Reid truly leads by example. In the words of the LAT:

    “Harry Reid is in a class by himself. One of his sons and his son-in-law lobby in Washington for companies, trade groups and municipalities seeking Reid's help in the Senate. A second son has lobbied in Nevada for some of those same interests, and a third has represented a couple of them as a litigator.”

    “In the last four years alone, their firms have collected more than $2 million in lobbying fees from special interests that were represented by the kids and helped by the senator in Washington.”

    “So pervasive are the ties among Reid, members of his family and Nevada's leading industries and institutions that it's difficult to find a significant field in which such a relationship does not exist.”

    Note the numerous children's vocational choices, note the "...more than $2 million in lobbying fees..." Does that sound like a reason to "convict" DeLay? Or does it sound like a reason to take an equally close look at Senator Reid?

    Of course, the MSM can't do this alone, they must have "Republican" allies or it won't seem to be a bi-partisan effort. And sure enough, they will find them among Republicans who are more interested in "being liked" than in standing up to the MSM or who are more interested in keeping their Democratic Votes in their races than in backing their own Party. Witness one Christopher Shays (R-Conneticut) piles on with:

    "Do I think Tom DeLay will be the majority leader by the end of this term? No," Shays said. "I don't think Tom DeLay is going to survive. He goes to the edge and he goes beyond . . . Even knowing there's a microscope on him, he continues to do these things."
    Way to go Shays, keep your seat in a Democrat Leaning District by piling on a fellow Republican. In fact, The Moderate Voice has this and more. Thoughts Online also calls for DeLay's head (and the Moderate Voice is sure to point out that TO is a "conservative blogger." On the other side however, is PoliPundit's Jason who notes:
    "I’d call Rep. Shays a “media whore,” but, quite frankly, that would be an insult to whores."

    Shays, MV and TO aren't the only ones either, the MSM is doing everything it can to find other centrist or left leaning RINO's to pile on as well. Robert Novak writing in Real Clear Politics has the goods on the MSM also The NYTimes, greylady, newspaper of record and all that stuff tried to get a fellow Republican Bob Livingston to castigate DeLay:

    "On March 24, former Congressman Bob Livingston was sent an e-mail by a New York Times editorial page staffer suggesting he write an op-ed essay. Would Livingston, who in 1998 gave up certain elevation to be House speaker because of a sexual affair, write about how Majority Leader Tom DeLay should now act under fire? In a subsequent conversation, it was made clear the Times wanted the prominent Republican to say DeLay should step aside for the good of the party.

    Livingston in effect declined by responding that if he wrote anything for the Times, it would be pro-DeLay. But this remarkable case of that august newspaper fishing for an op-ed piece makes it appear part of a calculated campaign to bring down the single most powerful Republican in Congress. The Democratic establishment and left-wing activists have targeted DeLay as the way to end a decade of Republican control of the House."

    Stay tuned folks, this is going to get nasty.

    Tip of the Chapeaux to Dr. Pat at Dr. Sanity

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:52 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

    April 08, 2005

    Iraqi Thoughts On The Last Two Years.

    Under most circumstances bloggers like me quote paragraphs and bit's and pieces of other items in the news or on the web. But this time I'm going to do something different, I'm posting the entire lede from Democracy In Iraq (Is Here!) After you read below, come back here click on the link and read the whole thing, read all of the comments too and the next time you hear one of the Nay-Sayers, send them Here

    "Sunday, March 20, 2005 2 Years It has been now two years since the United States, UK and other countries invaded our nation. It has been two years since Iraqis have had to live with daily violent attacks and rampant terrorism. It has been two years since our nation began being turned upside down. It has been two years since the road to democracy began.

    It has been a very hard two years. So many people have died, so much has been destroyed, so many drops of tears and blood have been shed, so many have been robbed of loved ones, and so many words have been spoken about Iraq, it's future, and this war.

    Two years...seems like yesterday that I was awoken by bombs going off in Baghdad, and the realisation that my life and that of my country was going to change. That very day I remember being scared that my house might be destroyed by a bomb, or that my relatives who were forcibly put into the Iraqi army might be killed.

    Two years since Saddam came on TV, and pledged that Iraq would never fall. Little did he know, he surrendered like a rat in a whole only months later. Two years since my father had a heart."

    A Tip of the Chapeaux to SmarterCop and with gratitude for the efforts of The Watchers Council

    Posted by GM Roper at 11:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    April 07, 2005

    THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE - PART II

    Yes friends, the Democrats MSM have once again flipped "TRUTH" But I was wrong, I should have said that the MSM flipped honest reporting.

    Honest Reporting
    Honest Reporting
    The motto of this website is "This Is The Place Where Truth, Honesty and Integrity Are Honored Above All Else!" I meant that when I put it up, and I mean it now.

    OK, the memo did in fact exist, it was apparently written by a Republican Staffer and it was not as portrayed in the MSM as a memo distributed to Repubs by the GOP leadership.

    Joshua Claybourn writing IN THE AGORA blog notes:

    The Raw Story claims to have obtained a leaked AP story about the controversial "Talking Points Memo" alleged to have circulated among Republican leadership.

    Martinez told the AP's Matt Yancey and other news organizations in a written statement "he discovered Wednesday that the memo had been written by an aide in his office."

    "It is with profound disappointment and regret that I learned today that a senior member of my staff was unilaterally responsible for this document," Martinez said.

    According to the story, Sen. Harkin asked Sen. Martinez for information about the Schiavo bill. Martinez then "pulled a one-page document from his coat pocket and handed to Harkin." The Senator explains: "Unbeknownst to me, I had given him a copy of the now infamous memo." Martinez has supposedly asked for the staffer's resignation. It remains unclear why Sen. Martinez would hand a document to another Senator on the floor without first ensuring what it says.

    If this story is true, ABC News, the Washington Post, and virtually every news outlet that ran the infamous story should now publish a retraction. Unlike what ABC and the Post reported, the memo did not originate from Senate Republican leadership. At most it came from one Senator, Martinez, and if we are to believe Martinez it was simply a foolish, sloppy aide. Either way the real turn of events appears to be much different than the one portrayed by most media outlets.

    So, the mystery memo (MM from now on) did exist except that it wasn't from the GOP leadership it was from one aide. It wasn't generally distributed, it was distributed to only one, (not 55 GOP Senators) and it was inadvertently given to Senator Harkin (who is no doubt the source to the news since he is the only Democrat to receive it) by mistake.

    Still, the MSM jumped all over the story and it has gone on now for almost 3 weeks. To the MSM, it seems to me, this was more important than Sandy Berger "fessing up" to the "accidental" theft and destruction of archive documents. But then, Sandykins is a Dem and Martinez is a Repub.

    To the extent that I mislead my readers I apologize. I hope this sets the story a right. I'm waiting for the MSM to correct the MM story, but I won't hold my breath.

    Thanks to Joshua Claybourn for the e-mail to shed more light on this topic.

    Powerline has a great update too, and another one here

    Michele Malkin also has a good take.

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    March 31, 2005

    Cluth Attacks Henthoff - In Turn Is Drubbed By SmarterCop

    Nat Henthoff writing in the Village Voice wrote Terri Schiavo: Judicial Murder in which he, as only Henthoff can at times, demolishes the left's arguments regarding the killing of Terri Schiavo. Henthoff ends with: "And keep in mind from the Ralph Nader-Wesley Smith report:

    "The courts . . . have [also] ordered that no attempts be made to provide her water or food by mouth. Terri swallows her own saliva. Spoon feeding is not medical treatment. This outrageous order proves that the courts are not merely permitting medical treatment to be withheld, they have ordered her to be made dead."

    In this country, even condemned serial killers are not executed in this way."

    Now, I don't know about you, but I find Henthoff (with whom I frequently disagree, him being a card carrying liberal and all) to be quite persuasive and he reiterates many of the arguments that we on the "Err on the side of protecting life" side have made.

    Then, along comes Jack Cluth writing in Open Source Politics a rather self-serving treatise bashing Henthoff and taking him to task. Cluth could justifiably be described as being "Err on the side of taking life of the disabled whenever you get the opportunity" side. Cluth writes:

    "Gee, thank [sic], Nat; I can hardly wait to be blessed with another of your paper-thin arguments that more closely resemble Swiss cheese for all of the holes than a coherent ideological whole. If you can come back with something different and better constructed than this sorry excuse for a case, I'm listening. Otherwise, you're wasting your time and (more importantly) mine. For someone who has such an impressive reputation as an ideologue and an intellectual, you've sure managed to put together one sorry-@$$ argument here." (Emphasis added by GMR)
    Oh really Mr. Cluth, then why did you take the "time" to write a more than 2300 word diatribe?

    At any rate, SmarterCop took the "time" from his schedule to not only take Cluth to task, but to demolish his arguments point by point by point and does it in a way that if there were any justice in this universe, Cluth would be lying on the floor, battered, bruised and bleeding (figuratively speaking of course). Way to go SmarterCop!

    Posted by GM Roper at 06:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    March 27, 2005

    Iraq: Year 2 - Part IV

    A little over two years ago, I had not discovered blogs and hung out on the comment pages of the Washington Post. With all the lefties there for me to argue with, I must have been a real glutton for punishment.

    But, I digress; looking up a poem I had written last year, I came across a bet from a European lefty type that she had sent in response to one of my pro-invasion posts. I'll reproduce her exact posting; I left the spelling, grammar and punctuation as it was and please understand, she is European so any deriding comments won't be appreciated and you can bet that most American's couldn't do as well in her native language (German).

    At any rate, she said: "i offer a bet to you: within the next three months you will be at war either with syria or iran or korea. within the next three months there will be a revolutionary uprise either in egypt or in pakistan or in saudi arabia. within the next three months your casualties of war will be so high that congress will stop any further military expansion. we´ll meet again in three months to see what has happened."

    Well, its been something like 25 months. I wonder what I won? These were the same or similar comments that most of the liberal/leftist/progressive/anti-American European pundits (and not a few of our own) were saying. Only now after an election and indications that the "insurgents" are looking for an exit strategy are many of those same people saying "Glad things are going OK."

    You know what though? They have yet to admit that they were totally wrong, that millions didn't starve in a harsh winter in Afghanistan, that Iraq didn't unleash WMD's on our troops (you know, the ones that Saddam didn't have) that Afghans and Iraqis are capable of wanting and using democratic principles and that the vaunted "Arab Street" seems more inclined to demand democracy for themselves.

    Interesting what a few months can do. (do you suppose my bettor is shipping me a Mercedes?)

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:19 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

    March 11, 2005

    FEC And The Regulation Of Blogs

    I've signed on to this BLOGOSPHERE LETTER to the F.E.C. on regulation of political blogs.

    Hopefully, this is not going to be necessary, but since when have bureaucrats EVER not wanted more power? Not only do they want to tell you what you can, as an amateur journalist (or even a professional journalist) write about, they will soon tell you what you are REQUIRED to write about. Dinging the First Amendment is a slippery slope and McCain-Feingold is the grease on that slope.
    say no to the FEC.PNG
    If you are a blogger, sign, if you are a reader of bloggs, write to them and let them know how you feel about this. If you don't have a dog in this hunt, write them anyway. It is your freedom after-all.

    Posted by GM Roper at 11:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

    March 10, 2005

    Celebrate Diversity? How About Celebrating UNITY?

    The following email was sent to me by an acquaintence. I thought you would be interested in what it has to say.

    We all know Dick Lamm as the liberal, Democratic former Governor of Colorado. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant. Last week there was an immigration-overpopulation conference in Washington, DC, filled to capacity by many of American's finest minds and leaders.

    A brilliant college professor named Victor Hansen Davis talked about his latest book, "Mexifornia," explaining how immigration - both legal and illegal was destroying the entire state of California. He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream.

    Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America. The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States. He said, "If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let's destroy America. It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time.

    Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that 'An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.'"

    "Here is how they do it," Lamm said: First to destroy America, "Turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual.

    "The historical scholar Seymour Lipset put it this way: 'The histories of bilingual and bi-cultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy.' Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans."

    Lamm went on: Second, to destroy America, "Invent 'multiculturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences. I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds.

    Third, "We could make the United States an 'Hispanic Quebec' without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: 'The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentrically and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.'"

    Lamm said, "I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America reinforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities."

    "Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school."

    "My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.' I would get all minorities to think their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population."

    "My sixth plan for America's downfall would include dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other - that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent.

    People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games. A common enemy Persia threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to over come two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. "E. Pluribus Unum" --- From many, one.

    In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the 'pluribus' instead of the 'unum,' we can balkanize America as surely as Kosovo."

    "Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits ~ make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' I would find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like 'racist' or 'xenophobe' halt discussion and debate."

    "Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of 'Victimology,' I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them."

    In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound silence followed. Finally he said, "Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis's book Mexifornia. His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel
    America deserves to be destroyed, don't read that book." There was no applause. A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above every attendee at the conference.

    Every American in that room knew that everything Lamm enumerated was proceeding methodically, quietly, darkly, yet pervasively across the United States today. Every discussion is being suppressed. Over 100 languages are ripping the foundation of our educational system and national cohesiveness. Barbaric cultures that practice female genital mutilation are growing as we celebrate 'diversity.' American jobs are vanishing into the Third World as corporations create a Third World in America - take note of California and other states to date, ten million illegal aliens and growing fast. It is reminiscent of George Orwell's book "1984." In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: "War is peace," "Freedom is slavery," and "Ignorance is strength."

    Governor Lamm, walked back to his seat. It dawned on everyone at the conference that our nation and the future of this great democracy is deeply in trouble and worsening fast. If we don't get this immigration monster stopped within three years, it will rage like a California wildfire and destroy everything in its path, especially The American Dream.

    Every great society in all of history destroyed themselves and fell within because of a lack of moral and ethical values, greed, and internal strife. Does the following sound familiar?

    Happy holiday replaces Merry Christmas

    Diversity replaces excellence in education

    Ethnic history becomes more important than American History

    Historical fact is replaced by revisionist idealism

    Founding christianity is replaced by political correctness, which becomes the new religion

    Posted by GM Roper at 05:31 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

    Courage!

    couragemedal.gif
    Icouldn't help myself last night, I was trying hard, really hard not to fall in front of that moving train called "Dan's Last Night As Anchor." But, I was unsuccessful. Like most addicts, like most that are afflicted with Schaden-FRAUD, I had to watch Dan's last broadcast (video here) as Anchor of CBS News.

    I wasn't disappointed Dan performed with all the smarm that I and many others have come to expect. I did not remember his use of the word "Courage" on his first broadcast and I'm surprised at the number of bloggers who did. Although I watched his first broadcast as anchor (remember, 20+ years ago the three networks -ABC, NBC and CBS were about all that were available in terms of "news") on the boob-tube.

    Today, we can get news from a variety of sources, the internet, BLOGS (for rather/blog appearal look here at "IHeartBloggers. Com), CNN, Fox, other cable outlets etc. But back then, if you watched Uncle Walter sign off with "And that's the way it is..." you naturally wanted to watch Dan when he took over Uncle Walt's gig.

    What I got out of the last-cast was a load of smarm and Dan's poor attempts to tie himself to something memorable by his reportage of 9/11's aftermath. Interviews with survivors, members of Ladder 6, the fear generated by the crashing of the Twin Towers into rubble.

    Dan's last act was one more example of the "lack of courage" he has exhibited during much of his reportage over the years. His obvious attempts to sway public opinion are well documented. The collections of "Ratherisms" is astounding. You can find many of the collected "wit and wisdom" of the ratherism here, here, and here

    The only think I could think of when Dan signed off (and no, I DID NOT watch his retrospective - I had to take something for nausea and it took a while to work) was this (with apologies to Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion in the Wizzard of Oz):

    Life is sad, believe me Missy,
    When you're born to be a sissy
    Without the vim and verve.

    But I could change my habits,
    Nevermore be scared of rabbits
    If I only had the nerve.

    I'm afraid there's no denyin'
    I'm just a dandylion
    A fate I don't deserve.

    But I could show my prowess,
    Be a lion not a mowess
    If I only had the nerve
    On the other hand, Dan probably was thinking:
    If I were King of the Forest, Not queen, not duke, not prince.
    My regal robes of the forest, would be satin, not cotton, not chintz.
    I'd command each thing, be it fish or fowl.
    With a woof and a woof and a royal growl - woof.

    As I'd click my heel, all the trees would kneel.
    And the mountains bow and the bulls kowtow.
    And the sparrow would take wing - If I - If I - were King!

    Each rabbit would show respect to me. The chipmunks genuflect to me.
    Though my tail would lash, I would show compash
    For every underling!

    If I - If I - were King!
    The vast majority of us however, are singing something else (with advance apologies to the Great Roy Clark)
    Thank God and BLOGGERS you're gone,
    I didn't know how much longer TRUTH could go on,
    Watching you take the respect AND TRUTH OUT OF US,
    Watching you make a total wreck out of US,
    That big BLOG0SPHERE is playing OUR song,
    Thank God and BLOGGERS you're gone!

    AND THAT'S THE WAY IT IS, TODAY, MARCH 10TH, 2005

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

    March 08, 2005

    Daniel Patrick Moinahan, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, And Now John Bolton

    When I heard the news that President Bush had nominated John Bolton to be the new Ambassador to the United Nations, my first thought was "Good, time to take names and kick ass in the tradition of Moinahan and Kirkpatrick." My second thought was "The Dems are going to go nuts on this." I was right on both counts.

    James Taranto in the "Best of the Web Today" in yesterday's column noted "...it will be interesting to see how many democrats take the side of the U.N. and complain about "harsh criticism" from Bolton to the U.N. in the past.

    Indeed, the Dems voted against Bolton in 2001 when he was up for confirmation as Undersecretary of State in early 2001. The vote then was 57-43 in favor with all but 7 Democrats voting no. (You didn't hear Democrat complaints then about a lack of bipartisanship did you?) Bolton has been harsh, but also accurate in his assessment of some U.N. activities, responsibility as a world body and some treaties.

    Each time, however in my opinion he has been right, spending good "time on target" as the Artillery folk might say. But being right goes against the grain of many so called diplomats. Those diplomats want to "talk" without taking any action, they want dialogue, they want to make nice and kissy face, while some of the major despots in the world such as Korea and Iran and China prepare for war and/or repress their own citizens in ways most Americans cannot even come close to imagining.

    The Wall Street Journal in today's Opinion Journal notes:

    "Right now, the U.N. is beset by two great crises. The first is of efficacy. Over the past few years, the world has seen a depressing series of demonstrations of everything the U.N. can't do. It cannot prevent mass killing in Rwanda, Bosnia and now Darfur. It cannot competently (never mind ethically) administer an Oil for Food program. It cannot speedily deliver assistance to the victims of natural catastrophes. It cannot enforce its own Security Council resolutions. It cannot stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It cannot even define terrorism.

    Up to a point, these failures can be blamed on inadequate resources--although so far that hasn't prevented the U.N. from spending more lavishly on its staff than the average American corporation. Up to a point, too, the failures are the fault of U.N. member states and not the organization itself."

    No self respecting observer however can honestly say that the inefficient and corrupt practices of the U.N. haven't been aired. They have, usually by conservatives, both Republican and Democrat alike. Wilson's dream of the League of Nations died when the US saw that it was likely to be a boondoggle (and the isolationism we moved toward following WWI) and refused to ratify the treaty. The U.N. was formed following WWII as an attempt to lend strength to the idea that nations, united in common cause, could monitor other nations to prevent an outbreak of another major catastrophic war.

    To some extent it has, but at the cost of increasing corruption, scandal, and moving from true statesmen such as Dag Hammarskjôld or even (to many) U Thant to such obviously incompetent and perhaps thoroughly corrupt Secretary’s General such as Kofi Atta Annan. Indeed, Annan has a history of incompetence that goes back at least to 1994 when in charge of U.N. operations in Rwanda.

    According to Wikipedia

    "In his book Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, ex-General Roméo Dallaire claims that Annan was overly passive in his response to the 1994 in the Tutsi Genocide in Rwanda. Dallaire claims that Annan, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations at that time, held back UN troops from intervening to settle the conflict and from providing more logistic and material support."
    Others put the blame on the Security Council influenced by Bill Clinton.
    "The UN Security Council refused, several journalists laying blame on a gun-shy Clinton administration which refused to provide requested material aid after the failed US efforts in Mogadishu, Somalia. The Security Council further voted to reduce UNAMIR down to 260 men."

    [Note: For those interested, in the movie Hotel Rwanda, General (then Col.)Roméo Dallaire (with a fictitious name of Col. Oliver) was played by none other than Nick Nolte.]

    Back to Bolton. Bolton will not be popular in the U.N. in many quarters because of his willingness to call a spade a spade. He "violated" diplo-speak by uttering such egregious truths as calling North Korea "a hellish nightmare" ruled by a "tyrannical dictator." This just won't stand in the eyes of some.
    Pillage Idiot (with a HT to Polipundit for the pointer) has instituted the "Bolty Awards for the best comments regarding Mr. Bolton. My Favorite:

    "My problem with you over the years is that you've been too competent," Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) told Bolton four years ago. "I would rather you be stupid and not very effective."

    Indeed, for some folk the possibility that Bolton will be "too competent" and may reflect well on President Bush is just too much. It will be quite interesting to see what Biden has to say when the Senate meets on the Bolton nomination. As the WSJ goes on to note:

    "Of course, it would not do if Mr. Bolton's nomination wasn't greeted by the usual bellyaching of our supposed multilateralists. Sure enough, John Kerry obliged, calling the appointment "baggage we cannot afford" and reminding us why Americans prefer to call him Senator."
    and
    "...we can think of no better candidate than Mr. Bolton... During his most recent State Department tour, he engineered the Proliferation Security Initiative, the most successful and meaningful multilateral effort undertaken by this Administration--or the previous one, for that matter. He negotiated the 2001 Treaty of Moscow, the most comprehensive nuclear disarmament treaty in history. In the real world, this is called "getting stuff done," something the U.N. could learn more about."

    Bolton will undoubtedly raise a lot of lefty and international hackles. Good, damn good!

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    March 07, 2005

    Truth In Politics &, Of Course, In Commenting

    Pat Santy M.D. over at Dr. Sanity has been "plagued" with trolls recently, and oddly enough, they all seem to have the same IP address:

    "Well, Well, Well. A gaggle of Trolls has hit this blog and accuse me of all sorts of things. One thing I can now accuse them of is that THEY HAVE BEEN ALL ONE PERSON. Jerome, Lila, Peter, Jenna, and Chere all seem to share the same IP address! Isn't that amazing?"
    Amazing indeed doc, just amazing. But, why should we be surprised? The quality of political discourse has coursened over the last decade, much to the dismay of many genteel men and women.

    Not that I can't cuss like a real soldier if I choose to (a tour in the USARMY with Sgt. Martinez my Basic Combat Training Senior D.I. included a number of significant NEW vocabulary words; and that was 35 years ago... just imagine what I've added since.) But, as has been said in the past, profanity is the last refuge of the inarticulate (and in too many cases, the ignorant and those who choose to act ignorant.)

    One result of Dr. Pat's trial by troll, was that she inalterably altered her comment rules:

    "Consequently, I am REVISING MY COMMENT POLICY. Heretofor, I have given people a second chance to clean up their language and to refrain from calling me or other commenters names.

    I am not going to give a second chance anymore. From this point on, ANY use of casual foul language, or foul language name calling, analogies etc. etc. will result in the comment being DELETED and the person making the comment BANNED.

    I will be the sole arbitor of when language goes over the top, since this is my blog and my threshold."

    As the Aussies might say (though I've never actually HEARD an Aussie say it): "Good on ya!"

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    Patriot Art

    Priceless, absolutely priceless! Hey, Democrats! Yeah, you guys, the ones with the shamed expressions. Keep this guy, PLEASE!!!!

    Posted by GM Roper at 10:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    March 04, 2005

    Paul Krugman Revisited - Or Is That Re-Revisited?

    Regular readers of this blog will recall a couple of postings (here and here - go ahead, click and read - you know you want to) I did on Krugman and his prognostications regarding social security. I think, as an economist he is a good columnist and as a columnist, he'd make a great dogcatcher.

    Tom Maguire of Just One Minute has up an "Anniversary" post in honor of the great dogcatcher whoops - I really meant Economist, well, OK, I meant dogcatcher!

    Telling grafs?

    Almost exclusively because we have a Dark Heart, we want to get a head start on preparations for the second anniversary of Paul Krugman's bold interest forecast. Roll the tape from March 11, 2003, please; his lead:

    With war looming, it's time to be prepared. So last week I switched to a fixed-rate mortgage. It means higher monthly payments, but I'm terrified about what will happen to interest rates once financial markets wake up to the implications of skyrocketing budget deficits.

    Well. Per the Federal Reserve, I see that mortgage rates were 5.67% on March 7, and 5.61% on March 14, 2003.

    Today, despite the war, financial markets continue to slumber - as of March 3, 2005, the Federal Reserve tells me that fixed rate mortgages were at 5.79%.

    And it only gets worse from that point on. Here's a bit more:

    Perhaps the Earnest Prof is a bit stronger when forecasting equities? Let's check his stock market call of June 20, 2003; with the S&P 500 closing at 994.7 on June 19, 2003, Krugman wrote this:

    The big rise in the stock market is definitely telling us something. Bulls think it says the economy is about to take off. But I think it's a sign that America is still blowing bubbles — that a three-year bear market and the biggest corporate scandals in history haven't cured investors of irrational exuberance yet.


    Or, to put it another way: it's hard to find any real news to justify the market's leap. Instead, investors seem to be buying stocks because they are rising — which is pretty much the definition of a bubble.

    As of this writing on March 4, 2005, the S&P is at 1221, up 11 on a good jobs report.

    WELL!!!

    isn't that special? Krugman is wrong so frequently that he makes Wrong Way Corrigan look perfectly on target flying west, as he thought he was.

    So, joining Mr. Maquire, I lift my voice in song and sing

    Happy Anniversary to you!
    Happy Anniversary to you!
    Happy Anniversary PAUL "WRONG WAY" KRUG-MANNNNNNNN
    Happy Anniversary to you!

    UPDATE: Fastidious, furious, featured commenter "reg" (he of Marc Cooper fame) takes issue with this post... good, lively debate never hurt anyone. But, methinks brother reg doesn't really like conservatives in general or republicans in particular, so, I'm putting up a link to someone who knows money (a CPA) vs. someone who is theoretical by training (economist). So, Read this entire posting and marvel at how terribly wrong the left can be in choosing their shibboleths. I present: (Ta, Da, Drum roll please professor) Dennis The Peasant
    And at tip of the Chapeau to Glen Reynolds, the Instapundit

    Posted by GM Roper at 04:33 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

    March 02, 2005

    Michael Totten - On Target

    Michael Totten has an entry up regarding the upheavel in Lebanon that is exactly on track. He notes:

    I wouldn’t say the Berlin Wall has fallen. I won’t say that until it looks like the Terror War has come to an end. But perhaps this is the end of the beginning. At least it’s the beginning of a new and interesting chapter. The Brett Scowcrofts and Henry Kissingers of the world think it’s a lousy idea to destabilize tyrannical parts of the globe. This week reminds me – in spades – why I just can’t subscribe to their worldview.
    Michael was the First blog I happened on, I don't remember where I learned about his blog, but I do remember thinking "This guys got it."

    I knew next to nothing about blogs at the time except for occasional viewing at Instapundit. But, though Glen Reynolds is the "grand-daddy" (in terms of longevity on the web, not age) of blogging, mostly he presents snippits and seldom lengthy thoughts (but, when he does, or when he posts at Tech Central Station - Wow!). Michael on the other hand, presented material that grabbed and held from the first paragraph... and Michael ALSO posts at TCS.

    Michael also introduced me to Marc Coopers blog and Marc has become my pal, and ultimately, the one who encouraged me to start this blog. So, in a way, this blog is Michael's fault because he grabbed my awareness, sent me to Cooper and got me thinking. And, in the long run, isn't that what blogs are supposed to do? Get you thinking? Michael Totten's blog does just that.

    Michael, thanks for the many hours of fine reading.

    Now, back to the subject at hand. As Michael noted, "...this may not be the end of the beginning, but it IS the beginning of something new." Watching, reading and listening to those who from the first "millions will starve in Afghanistan during the first winter." to "Democracy can't spread to the middle east, these people are just not ready for it" I have thought that far too many folk are underestimating the power of the smell of freedom and democracy. Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Palistine, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia (though women don't have, yet, the right to vote) is absolutely something new. Syria turns over Saddam Hussein's half brother, pulls back in Lebanon (but not out), Mubarak agreeing to allow opposition candidates after him being "president" since 1981 and grooming his son to take over a heretofore assumed hereditary presidency. Kofi Annan admitting that perhaps there is too much corruption in the UN and even, if you can believe it, Nancy Soderburg admitting she want's Republicans to fail though as an American, she want's us to win. What is equally if not more amazing Jon Stewart was unrelenting in attacking her positon and noting the increasingly liklihood of Bush having been right all along.

    As MJT said "...this may not be the end of the beginning, but it IS the beginning of something new."

    On Target Michael, On Target!

    Posted by GM Roper at 04:14 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

    March 01, 2005

    Marc Cooper Chides The Left - Once Again Into The Breach

    Marc Cooper once again goes against the grain in the world of the left, knocking down the Leftist Shibboleths as fast as they are set up. As a conservative, and I think a patriot, I'm glad that someone of the "progressive" persuasion is taking on this task, for I think it will eventually make for a better Democratic Party, and thus offer more to America.

    His lastest post, titled "Dreaming of Elephants -- Thinking of Jackasses" (here) takes on the left, in particular George Lakoff who wrote Don't Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate

    In his missive "Thinking of Jackasses: The grand delusions of the Democratic Party"(here if you subscribe to Atlantic Monthly - here if you don't)Cooper states

    "In his best-selling manual of progressive political advice, Don't Think of an Elephant!, Lakoff asserts that political consciousness, and therefore voter choice, is determined by deeply wired mental structures—"frames"—that reflect more-general views and values. "The frames," Lakoff writes, "are in the synapses of our brains, physically present in the form of neural circuitry." Notwithstanding this neuroscientific hooey, Lakoff suggests that reframing American politics according to liberal values—in essence rewiring our collective circuitry—is but a matter of simple wordplay. When conservatives invoke "strong defense," liberals, Lakoff says, must reframe the concept by referring to a "stronger America." Instead of "free markets," liberals should speak of "broad prosperity." Likewise, "smaller government" must be recast as "effective government," and "family values" as "mutual responsibility." Those greedy "trial lawyers" excoriated by the right should be reframed and praised as brave and selfless "public-protection attorneys." And perhaps most important, when conservatives start promoting more Bushian "tax relief," liberals should respond by defending taxes as "membership fees" or "investments" in America."
    Cooper gets it right, the Democratic Party in particular and those who inhabit the left in general tend to have "in psychological parlance" an External Locus of Control. That is to say that the. Individual believes that his/her behavior is guided by fate, luck, or other external circumstances.

    In this case, the external circumstances are all of the stupid red-staters who got sucked in by the nefarious rantings and lies of George Walker Bush and Karl Rove. In addition, Cooper believes, as we all should, that the left as Democrat needs to become more effective in getting the message of the left to the American People. To date, they have not.

    In fact, the message the left has put out has been thouroughly looked at by the majority of voting Americans and soundly rejected. Typically, in the new political paradigm of not listening to the other side, casting the other side in the role of the evil one and other inane, though probably quite sincere (and totally inaccurate), terms (and by the way, those of you on the right, you have done it too, in spades).

    The left has a hard time understanding that red staters are not stupid sheeple. They heard the arguments of the left and discarded them as being insincere: Kerry's "I have a plan to end the war in Iraq." or, as being ridiculous "My name is John Kerry and I'm reporting for duty," delivered with a salute that no serviceman could possibly use and only Gilligan could match.

    To deliver a progressive message, the left needs to develop an "Internal Locus of Control" one in which the individual believes that his/her behavior is guided by his/her personal decisions and efforts. That, dear readers, is the message, essentially, of the Republicans - internally motivated towards being self sufficient, responsible, and honest (even if some people in the Republican party are not.)

    Now, don't go crying "Bush lied" because you know that dog won't hunt. Mistakes, likely. Using inaccurate intelligence, absolutely. But no plan outlasts the first contact with an enemy and the intelligence was believed by the majority of the western powers, russia and quite a number of Middle Eastern nations. It was believed and touted by the Democrats when Clinton was President. When America began hearing "Liar, Liar" around the clock, they looked around, read, listened to what others had said in the past and currently and pulled that lever for Bush. It's that simple (on this issue that is).

    I'm saluting Cooper for a job well done. I hope (and pray) that he keeps it up long enough for cooler heads in the Democratic Party take their party back - as opposed to someone like Howard Dean who recently said "... a fight between good and evil and we're the good guys." He also said "I hate Republicans."

    With Friends like Dean, Kerry and Lakoff, the Democrats really don't need any enemys.

    UPDATE: Robert Byrd, pugnacious pronouncer of punditry in the US Senate has continued to use "hate speech" on the sentate floor. From his latest, a screed against President Bush as "Hitler."

    Hitler’s originality lay in his realization that effective revolutions, in modern conditions, are carried out with, and not against, the power of the State: the correct order of events was first to secure access to that power and then begin his revolution. Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal.
    Byrd is an embarrassment to the Democrats, but, apparantly their so called big tent allows for hate-filled yo-yo's like Byrd. Yeppers, with friends like this, they don't need enemys (HT to PoliPundit)

    Posted by GM Roper at 10:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    February 26, 2005

    Zero Tolerance = Zero Intelligence

    From "The Drug War Chronicles" comes this striking and earth shaking bit of news:

    "One of the noxious side-effects of prohibition is the unthinking application of its edicts. In the name of "drug-free schools," administrators, school boards, and law enforcement routinely subject students to "lock-downs" where drug-sniffing dogs roam the halls and classrooms. They increasingly resort to urine testing of students without cause. And they create policies designed to punish students who would bring banned substances to school.

    Even when implemented thoughtfully and flexibly, anti-drug measures that treat students as de facto "suspects" are dehumanizing, not to mention ineffective. But when implemented robotically by overzealous police and school officials entranced by the doctrine of "zero tolerance," drug prohibition's totalitarian tendencies produce results that would be laughable if they were not such a sad reflection on the society that produced them.

    A case in point comes from Sikeston, MO, where 6-year-old Michaela Boyd is now enshrined in school district records -- and the mind of at least one local police officer -- as a drug offender. According to KFVS-TV "Heartland News" in the southeast Missouri town, young Boyd found an empty baggie on the ground during recess, filled it with dirt and debris, tied a ribbon around it, and gave it to a friend. But this was no harmless childish exchange in the eyes of school officials, who decided the bag of dirt looked like a bag of marijuana, and gave the child a punishment of two-days in detention for her alleged pseudo-pot peddling.

    Young Michaela protested her innocence. "There was nothing in the bag. I just found it on the ground," the first grader explained. So she decided to make her friend a bag of goodies. "They said what did you make this out of? I said out of dirt. And what else? I made it with rocks, clover and dirt." Sticking with her story, Michaela said she then tied the bag shut with a purple ponytail holder and gave it to her friend, saying "here's a bag of dirt."

    According to the child's mother, Michele Boyd, the trouble started when the recipient of the gift bag gave it to a teacher when recess when over. The teacher consulted the principal, and mom got a call. At a meeting with the teacher and principal, Boyd said, she was told the bag of dirt "looked like a bag of weed."

    "They said it was kind of a drug," Michaela said. "I don't know what those are. I only see cigarettes. That's all I say."

    Michele Boyd fears her daughter will be labeled a doper. "They said it would be on her school record as far as disciplinary that she made a look-alike drug, but I don't feel like that's right. Because she didn't do anything wrong."

    While most people would probably roll their eyes at this ludicrous tale, Sikeston Police Sgt. Shirley Porter is not one of them. In a follow-up story on "Heartland News" a few days after the big bust, Porter said the case needs to be taken seriously. In Porter's eyes, 6-year-old Michaela Boyd was dealing fake drugs, and that's a crime. "If she would have been 14, we would have been arrested her and taken her to jail," Porter said."


    Now, I'll admit that possession with intent to distribute is a crime, I'll even go so far as to agree that de-criminalization of small amounts of probably 90% of the illegal/illicit drugs is probably a good thing. I'm even libertarian enough to agree that more time needs to be spent on education and treatment rather than interdiction and prison. And I'll admit that as a counselor, I also see how much harm can be done by drugs and alcohol. However, I also have a God given brain and God expects me to use it. So, here is the big question, the $64,000 Question (Whoops, you just dated yourself. -ed.) Why the heck didn't the folks at this school and Officer Krupke (with apologies to the cast, crew and author of West Side Story....) (Whoops, you did it again. -ed.) use THEIR brains?

    HT to Discarded Lies

    Posted by GM Roper at 03:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    February 22, 2005

    This German Also Gets It.... Could Europe Be Waking Up?

    David Kaspar at David's Mediankritik is also showing some guts in the never ending "feud" between the thinking Europeans and the "Old" Europeans. 2 down, millions to go.... Go Get'em David, Go Get'em!!!!

    Tip 'o the Chapeau to Glen Reynolds

    Posted by GM Roper at 02:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Not All Europeans "Don't Get It." This One Does, Big Time!

    I normally wouldn't publish this, and it has been published in a couple of blogs (here, here and here). What made me think about this is that you would think given the subject, the source, the country, et cetera, our MSM would have picked up on it, and yet, and yet - they didn't. Curious no? Actually, it isn't curious. Many on the right think of Europe as a bastion of leftists, many on the left think of Europe as an ally against the trepidations of the neo-cons. But, in point of fact, it's neither. Europe, Old or New is a conglomeration of thoughts and ideas. This one thought has been going through my mind again, and again after my kid brother sent me a heads-up. This one really does "get it." why don't others? The article in question was written by one Matthias Dapfner, Chief Executive of the huge German publisher Axel Springer AG, publishers of Die Welt (The World), the largest newspaper in Europe. This was printed first in November of '04 but has been updated with info about Saddam's victims and the "Oil For Food" scam promulgated by Koffi and Company.

    EUROPE - THY NAME IS COWARDICE (Commentary by Mathias Dapfner CEO, Axel Springer, AG)

    A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe - your family name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true.

    Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements.

    Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe where for decades, inhuman, suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.

    Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and even though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our work for us.

    Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.

    Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly 500,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush... even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U.N. Oil-for-Food program.

    And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement... How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a "Muslim Holiday" in Germany.

    I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our (German)Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists.

    One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolf Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in our time".

    What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies,and intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction.

    It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of the great military conflicts of the last century - a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed by "tolerance" and "accommodation" but is actually spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness.

    Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush.

    His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery.

    And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.

    In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China.

    On the contrary - we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those "arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even (Germany's Interior Minister) Otto Schily justifiably criticizes. Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic, so devoid of a moral compass.

    For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy - because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes
    what is at stake - literally everything.

    While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation... Or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "reach out to terrorists. To understand and forgive".

    These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breaking into a neighbor's house.

    Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice.

    Now, I'm going to take a nap while I try to figure out why the MSM didn't publish this piece when they don't mind printing articles that negatively portray the US.

    hat tip to Doug Roper

    Posted by GM Roper at 11:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    Happy Birthday Mr. President, Happy Birthday!

    gw.jpg

    Our first President and his contemporaries left us with a magnificent gift. Hope we can hold on to it.

    Posted by GM Roper at 11:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    February 21, 2005

    A Rhetorical Question

    Reading today a piece on the impasse between North Korea and the United States regarding the NK position on nuclear arms, a thought occurred to me. How many of the folk (left, right or center leaning) who are demanding a different approach to NK, would feel comfortable critizing the effort of their government if they were citizens of North Korea standing in the square in Pyongyang?

    As I said, this is a rhetorical question.

    If you devoutly disagree with the current US approach, please use the comment section to answer.

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    February 19, 2005

    Who Said It?

    Here are a number of quotes from the last century. Can you figure out who said what. Write down your answers, Don't google the answers and click on "read more to find the answers.

    1. "Here's my strategy on the... War: We win, they lose."

    2. "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

    3. "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant: It's just that they know so much that isn't so."

    4. "Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong."

    5. "I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment's would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."

    6. "The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination."

    7. "Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."

    8. "If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."

    9. "The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program."

    10. "I've laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake me, even if it's in the middle of a Cabinet meeting."

    11. "It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."

    12. "Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

    13. "Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book."

    14. "No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."

    15. "Mr. Gorbechov, tear down this wall."

    16. "Ich bin ein Berliner."

    Continue reading "Who Said It?"
    Posted by GM Roper at 05:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    February 15, 2005

    Leftish Munchausens

    Jeremy Brown at Who Knew? has a terrific question on his blog and asked question of a "troll" on Michael Totten's blog where he has been guest hosting (and doing an excellent job by the way). The question is this:

    How is it that people can claim that the newly elected Shiite Majority in Iraq is a surrogate for the Iranian Mullahs while at the same time claiming that Iraq is now governed by a puppet democracy installed by the U.S.? Why would the U.S. want to install an anti-American Iranian theocracy in Iraq? Is this supposed to be some sort of geopolitical Munchausen syndrome? I'd really like to understand that better.
    If you click on the Munchausen link above, you will get an entry from Wikipedia. That's fine as far as it goes, but let's take it just a tad farther. Munchausen's Syndrome is a mental disorder in which the individual "fakes" or "feigns" illnesses or symptoms because being attended to for an illness is quite comforting for some. Some have even demanded surgery for their illnesses. Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy is similar, but is usually a parent inducing or complaining about symptoms of their child. The DSM IV diagnosis is Factitious Disorder.

    But the fun part is where the "diagnosis" came from. And here goes.

    Hieronymus Karl Friedrich, Baron (Freiherr) von Münchhausen (the English title Baron comes from the German "Freiherr") was born in 1720 and died at the age of 77 in 1797.

    From Books And Writers comes this little bit of history:

    "Hieronymus Karl Friedrich, Freiherr v. Münchhausen (also known in England as Baron Muchausen) was born in Bodenwerder, Hanover. He was sent as a page to the court of the Duke of Braunschweig. At the age of seventeen he joined the army. He served in a Russian regiment and gained in 1739 the rank of Lieutenant and later he became cavalry captain. It is possible that he fought in two Turkish wars in 1737-39, although there are not much documents about his military career from this period. After resigning in 1752 he retired to his country estate. Münchhausen loved the company of his old friends, and storytelling, although he was not happy about his sudden fame as a liar, Lügerbaron. His straight-faced narrations of his supposed adventures as a soldier, hunter, and sportsman were based on his skillful improvisations..."
    Indeed, the good Baron's tales were so fanciful and impossible, they were comedy. A sample:
    "I made a balloon of such extensive dimensions, that an account of the silk it contained would exceed all credibility; every mercer's shop and weaver's stock in London, Westminster, and Spitalfields contributed to it: with this balloon and my sling I played many tricks, such as taking one house from its station, and placing another in its stead, without disturbing the inhabitants, who were generally asleep, or too much employed to observe the peregrinations of their habitations. When the sentinel at Windsor Castle heard St. Paul's clock strike thirteen, it was through my dexterity; I brought the buildings nearly together that night, by placing the castle in St. mGeorge's Fields, and carried it back again before daylight, without waking any of the inhabitants; notwithstanding these exploits, I should have kept my balloon, and its properties a secret, if Montgolfier had not made the art of flying so public." (from The Surprising Adventures of Baron Muchausen, 1895 by R.E. Raspe)


    untitled 3.png
    One of his more "outlandish" tales, that of riding "half a horse."

    Well, now that doesn't sound like what Jeremy Brown was saying, and yet, it does. Oh it does indeed. Because Jeremy is absolutely right - oh, not that the troll he was talking about is feigning illness, but that there is an element of "liar" in the question he asks: Specifically "How is it that people can claim that the newly elected Shiite Majority in Iraq is a surrogate for the Iranian Mullahs while at the same time claiming that Iraq is now governed by a puppet democracy installed by the U.S.?" The claim that the many on the left, especially the leftist trolls that inhabit some blogs make is that Bush is the liar, about everything, yet, if the President can be discredited by making claims, even when those claims are contradictory ("The sun so hot I froze to death, Suzanna don't you cry" see what I mean) then they accomplish what they want. But, there is a consequence for that type of argument, and the consequence is this. They begin to look foolish, just as the good Baron did. JUST as the good Baron did!

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    February 13, 2005

    Krugman Revisited: The Evidence

    In the immediate previous post, I noted an unfortunate tendency on the part of Paul Krugman to write in Type M arguments. This whole brouhaha started when I called Krugman a Hack when a more liberal commenter on Marc Cooper's blog said he was knowledgeable. I should not have said that, I should have written why I thought he was a hack in clear and no uncertain terms without resort to his motivations and only reference to his ideas and the consequences of his ideas.

    In the comments section "reg" disagreed with me and stated that I turned the argument from one about Krugman's ability vs his style of argument. That's not what I intended, but, given the law of unintended consequences, that is what I shall have to address so that "reg" can see the light, cease being so angry at anything republican or conservative and join the rest of the USA on it's way to SS solvency if we take charge and make repairs now. (Of course, I won't hold my breath, we are dealing with a bright, intelligent but emphatically liberal fellow.)

    "reg" states that Krugman used the Congressional Budget Office's speculations regarding SS and the so called looming SS deficit. And, he further stated that the CBO was "bi-partisan." Now, it seems to me that when ever a liberal talks about "bi-partisan" it means "you can't argue with this because both parties agree on the issue (I know, I know, that is a Type M argument - but in this case, motivation is an integral part of the issue). Nothing of course could be further from the truth. Clinton's impeachment was bi-partisan, passing the Gulf of Tonkin was bi-partisan and so was the decision to vote down the Civil Rights act a number of times prior to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. You see how all of those "bi-partisan" efforts worked out don't you?

    OK, let's examine the so called CBO projections of SS revenue vice SS expenditures. Both, it will be noted include Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI)figures. According to Krugman, there is no "crisis" the system is not insolvent in 2018 or beyond and that it will continue to be able to pay retiree's and the disabled far into the future. Get that, CBO projects, according to Krugman, no problem. So, let's turn to the actual Graphs put out by CBO.

    cbo vs trusties.gif

    The Light Blue Line (LBL) is the projected revenue vice expendature made by the Social Security Administration Board of Trustees, the Dark Blue Line (DBL) is the projections of the CBO. If you look closely, in both cases, the lines intersect and then diverge in a negative direction (income vice expendatures) around 2018 the same year that Krugman says that Bush and Company are lying about the system being insolvent.
    The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines insolvent as:

    in·sol·vent,adj. 1.) Unable to meet debts or discharge liabilities; bankrupt. 2.)Insufficient to meet all debts, as an estate or fund. Of or relating to bankrupt persons or entities. <> n.
    1.)A bankrupt.
    Well, it would seem that the CBO says that SS will be bankrupt in about 2018. Krugman says no and says he used CBO info to back that statement up.

    Continue reading "Krugman Revisited: The Evidence"
    Posted by GM Roper at 10:38 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)

    February 12, 2005

    PAUL KRUGMAN: FOSTERER OF ARGUMENTS BETWEEN THE ANGRY LEFT AND ANGRY RIGHT

    I got into an argument with “reg” over at Marc Cooper’s blog today, and I learned something about myself & about the “angry left” and I didn’t exactly like what I learned about either.

    The argument started in Marc’s posting about the good Dr. Dean. A topic I've written about as well here. and, like most arguments, it was fairly senseless. Considering how Marc's column was about Dean, it's sometimes hard to imagine how we "commenters" could get so far afield, but that is often the nature of arguments.

    At any rate, back to my present topic. I'm not a big fan of Paul Krugman, in fact, I find him to be primarily a partisan hack who uses his understanding of economics to bolster the anti-republican pro-democrat side of any argument. I believe that he engages in ad hominim attacks with a significant consequence in that others mimic his style and think that that is sufficient to carry the day for the left and the right thinks it must respond in kind.

    The paragraph above contains only three sentences, the introductory sentence of 8 words followed by a Type M argument and then a Type C argument. This is the subject of todays entry. Now, as to the Type M argument, it should be obvious to me that I have made a bunch of them over the years, sometimes with humor, sometimes with biting sarcasm, sometimes well done, sometimes poorly done. And I've usually made them with more than a tad bit of anger after either hearing or reading someone else's Type M argument. Not that I'm not owning my own behavior, I am - though I am embarrassed to do so. So embarassed, in fact, that I thought that I needed to write this post. A Web Log (Blog) is of course, not only a means of discussion about what is going on in the world of politics, economics, business, humor, etc., but an on line journal in which people can sort out thier thoughts and come to some sort of balance.

    Continue reading "PAUL KRUGMAN: FOSTERER OF ARGUMENTS BETWEEN THE ANGRY LEFT AND ANGRY RIGHT"
    Posted by GM Roper at 10:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    February 06, 2005

    Culture, Counter Culture and Consternation

    Victor Davis Hanson writing in National Review Online explains "Why the world’s elites gnash their teeth." Lede paragraph:

    "Do we even remember "all that" now? The lunacy that appeared after 9/11 that asked us to look for the "root causes" to explain why America may have "provoked" spoiled mama's boys like bin Laden and Mohammed Atta to murder Americans at work? Do we recall the successive litany of "you cannot win in Afghanistan/you cannot reconstruct such a mess/you cannot jumpstart democracy there"? And do we have memory still of "Sharon the war criminal," and "the apartheid wall," and, of course, "Jeningrad," the supposed Israeli-engineered Stalingrad — or was it really Leningrad? Or try to remember Arafat in his Ramallah bunker talking to international groupies who flew in to hear the old killer's jumbled mishmash about George Bush, the meanie who had ostracized him."
    This is an interesting concept from the left, a meme that our freely elected leader, in spite of the efforts to demonize him, was re-elected by a larger vote margin than his predicessor who had a healthy economy, no war to speak of, and was a glib, narcissist who had the unique ability to "feel the pain" of someone whom he had never met before but who asked a question in an open debate.

    In the late 60's and early 70's, America was the evil one, shouts such as "Hey, Hey, LBJ. How many kids did you kill today?" or "Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh" while waving North Vietnamese flags and listening to such wights as John Kerry (a haughty, French looking Senator who, by the way served in Vietnam - to steal a phrase from James Taranto)as he confessed to war crimes, but worse, accused others of committing war crimes regularly with the consent of all levels of command. I'm still wondering how he could see so many war crimes in 4 months when others I have heard from hadn't seen any in 12 months (13 months if you were in the Marine Corps).

    In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, we were told many things.

    1. There will be 10,000 American deaths just in the street fighting in Baghdad.
    2. We will indescriminately kill millions of Iraqi's.
    3. There are no WMD's (this one has so far proven true - so far)
    4. America will find a way to postpone the elections.
    5. The elections will prove to be a bloodbath as the "insurgents" slaughter people going to vote.
    6. Iraqi's will be too afraid to vote.

    I could go on and on, but, I think a bit more Hanson would be appropriate here:

    "And give the old minotaur Senator Kennedy his due, as he lumbered out on the eve of the Iraqi voting to hector about its failure and call for withdrawal — one last hurrah that might yet rescue the cherished myth that the United States had created another Vietnam and needed his sort of deliverance."
    Ah yes, Senator Kennedy that paragon of sobriety. Kennedy called for 12,000 troops to be withdrawn "immediately" knowing full well that the troop levels had been increased by some 12,000 for security prior to the election and the plan was to bring them home shortly thereafter. When Kennedy brags how Bush heeded his advice and saw the wisdom of his words remember that.

    There is an honor to anti-war protesting. Some of the finest people I know were against the war in the 60's and early 70's and of course against the Iraq war. But I also noticed that many of them were silent when Clinton ordered the bombing of Belgrade without UN Sanction or without an authorization from congress. I know some anti-war folk that I would protect at all costs because their disagreement is principaled. Wrong headed, but principaled!

    To quote John Stewart Mill (and I like this quote so much, it's near the top of my sidebar to the right)

    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse."
    There have been errors to be sure in this war, sometimes collossal errors. But no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. This war is part of the strategic war against terrorism and as such, there will be changes in tactics from time to time. Such is the nature of war and war fighting.

    When my dad was alive, I remember him saying something to the effect that many on the left had better hope the communists don't win the cold war, as they will be some of the first lined up and shot. In similar fashion, if we do not win this war against the Islamo-fascists, the slaughter of those who fail to bow down to their perversion of Islam will be fierce indeed.

    And now, a word from George W. Bush:

    "Our policy has been one of patience and restraint, as befits a peaceful and powerful nation which leads a worldwide alliance. We have been determined not to be diverted from our central concerns by mere irritants and fanatics. But now further action is required, and it is under way; and these actions may only be the beginning."
    And so we must be determined and we must take further action.

    There can be no doubt, despite the naysayers, that the Islamo-Fascists, see this war in far more realistic terms than the European/American left. And they intend to win it. By fair means or foul, and they have no access to fair means.

    Oh, one last quote from Hanson:

    "Remember the twisted logic of the global throng as well: Anyone who quit the CIA was a genius in his renegade prognostication; anyone who stayed was a toady who botched the war. Three- and four-star generals who went on television or ran for office were principled dissidents who "told the truth"; officers in the field who kept quiet and saved Afghanistan and Iraq were "muzzled" careerists. Families of the 9/11 victims who publicly trashed George Bush offered the nation "grassroots" cries of the heart; the far greater number who supported the war on terror were perhaps "warped" by their grief.

    "There were always the untold "minor" embarrassments that we were to ignore as the slight slips of the "good" people — small details like the multibillion-dollar Oil-for-Food scandal that came to light due to the reporting of a single brave maverick, Claudia Rosett, or Rathergate, disclosed by "pajama"-clad bloggers without journalism degrees from Columbia, sojourns at the Kennedy School, or internships with the Washington Post. To put it into Animal Farm speak: elite New York Times, CBS News, and PBS good; populist bloggers, talk-radio, and cable news bad.

    "In place of Harry Truman and JFK we got John Kerry calling the once-maimed Prime Minister Allawi a "puppet," Senator Murray praising bin Laden's social-welfare work, Senator Boxer calling Secretary of State Rice a veritable liar for agreeing with the various casus belli that Boxer's own Senate colleagues had themselves passed in October 2002. And for emotional and financial support, the Democratic insiders turned to George Soros and Michael Moore, who assured them that their president was either Hitlerian, a dunce, or a deserter."

    In the 60's, the counter culture were hippies (and I was one of them to a degree), now-a-days, the counter culture are the elites from the Ivy League schools, the corridors of the Democratic Party and the filthy rich (Soros, Kennedy, Rockefeller, etc.) And that leads to consternation.

    Mohammad from Iraq the Model probably gives the best justification for this war. "The will of the good have achieved victory, and that is enough for me to be optimistic, but those will not be as special as you were
    2003; the year of freedom.
    Before you I was mute, and here goes my tongue praying for the best,
    Before you I was hand-cuffed, and here are my hands free to write,
    Before you my mind was tied to one thought and here I find wide horizons and greater thoughts,
    Before you I was isolated, and here I join the wide universe.
    I will never forget you; you broke the chains for my people, and rid us from the big jail.
    Many of my people never realized that we were in a prison, as we were born inside its walls and we knew no other world than our jail. But, we were looking through the tiny windows that were hard for the jailor to close, and we saw that our jail was not the best-as our jailor claimed- and we saw that our jailor was not the gift of god-as he tried to convince us-, but we were afraid of his prowess , and owe to the one who says
    the opposite."


    Oh, and the quote I attributed to George W., It's from John Kennedy in October of 1962 during the Missle Crisis. I hope it consternated a few leftists.

    Posted by GM Roper at 02:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    February 02, 2005

    Naysayers, Be Ashamed, Be Very Ashamed!

    The Vote.jpg

    Voting isn't a Chore for these Iraqi's. Would that women in our country typically lined up like this for the chance to vote, would that men would also. Every purple finger I see is a stick in the eye of the Islamo-Fascists. For more photos, See what's up at Friends of Democracy

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Let It Be Dean!

    Headline "Dean Emerging as Likely Chief for Democrats" in the Ny Times a short article by By ADAM NAGOURNEY and ANNE E. KORNBLUT. Delightful read and in honor of their contribution I have penned this little ditty (with apologies to Willy Nelson, The Statler Brothers, and anyone else who ever sang "Let it be Me.")

    Repub's bless the day we found you
    We want Dems to stay around you
    And so we beg you, let it be Dean

    Dems don’t take this heaven from one
    If you must cling to someone
    Now and forever, let it be Dean

    Each time we hear Dean
    We hear a big scream
    Without your sillyness, what would life be?

    So never leave us Dean-O
    The Big ones Dems will blow-oh
    And we hope they’ll always let it be Dean

    Each time we hear him
    We think of what can be
    and with him chairman we’ll never loose

    So never leave us Dean-O
    The Big ones Dems will blow-oh
    And we hope they’ll always let it be Dean

    Truly, if conservatives in general, and the Republican's in particular are lucky, they'll have dean to kick around for the next 8 years.

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    February 01, 2005

    When You're Out, Pick Good Fill In Writers

    I've long been an admirer of Michael J. Totten. In fact, I owe him a friend ship with well known progressive Marc Cooper. In fact, because I enjoy Cooper and Totten and wanted in on the fun, is one of the reasons I started this blog.

    When Michael steps down for a few days, I miss him. So, when he started involving others as guest bloggers, I had a little trepidation; would they be as good, would they reflect the mores and attitudes of Michael, would it be an exercise in drudgery to read the guests? Well, after careful scientific study, careful examination of the facts. The results are in: As good, do reflect, and are an exercise in joy to read. The two recent entry's by Jeremy Brown of Who Knew and Mary Madigan of Exit Zero reflect my own feelings about the war and the elections. Take a gander, enjoy as much as I have. There are four links there (not including Michaels link at the beginning of the entry.) READ THEM ALL, it's time well spent.

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:44 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

    January 31, 2005

    Hard-Core Lefties Take a Flight From Reality

    Pundit at What's-A-Pundit also has a great post on the naysayers of the left. I'm getting more and more confused; first the naysayers want the elections "put off" then they want to imply that the elections aren't legitimate, now they think that nothing need be said about the elections. Oh, wait, I forgot. Many of the (left)wing-nuts really don't care that much, but they do hate the bushies.

    Sigh, I can remembered principled lefties in the days of the Happy Warrior. Totten, Cooper, and Simon seem to be all that's left (no pun intended) and the hard-core left has excommunicated them.

    Posted by GM Roper at 03:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    January 30, 2005

    He's Still An Ass, And I Don't Think He's Curable!

    Kerry on MTP.jpg Photo on MSNBC's Meet The Press

    From Today's Meet The Press:
    MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe that Iraq is less a terrorist threat to the United States now than it was two years ago?"
    SEN. KERRY: "No, it's more. And, in fact, I believe the world is less safe today than it was two and a half years ago."
    MR. RUSSERT: "Is the United States safer with the newly elected Iraqi government than we would have been with Saddam Hussein
    SEN. KERRY: Sure."

    Is Senator Kerry for real? I mean, he answers Russert's first question in the negative with a long winded (self serving?) comment about how "less safe" we are, then not two minutes later when Russert turns around and asks essentially the same question but preceeds it with the "newly elected government" as opposed to "Saddam Hussein" Kerry answers "Sure!" Kerry must be so in love with hearing himself pontificate that he didn't even realize he had been ASKED essentially the same question just a couple of minutes before. Or, maybe he did and this is an incidence of "I actually believe we were less safe before I believed we were more safe."

    I think that Mr. Kerry's loss was a real gain for America.

    And, if you don't believe me, ask George Soros as quoted in Bloomberg.com:

    "Kerry did not, actually, offer a credible and coherent alternative," Soros, 74, said yesterday in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "That had a lot to do with Bush being re-elected."

    My previous posting had another comment from Kerry on the same show. Blue Staters, get down on your knees and Thank Almighty God that you were delivered from this man by the Red Staters!

    Posted by GM Roper at 11:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)




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