Tuesday, May 31, 2005

"Transparency in Government," New York Times style...

Finally, we are getting some information about that shifty C.I.A.!!

As a citizen of the U.S., I really would like to know much more about what my government is doing around the world. There is far too much secrecy surrounding government activities. I would particularly like to know the names of all government agents and I would like detailed reports on exactly what those agents are doing and why. I'm particularly interested to know what all the undercover agents are doing. They are, after all, the ones most likely to do something improper, illegal and/or immoral. Further, I want to know more about what the military is doing in Iraq. I want to know what troops are where, what they are doing today, when they are planning to be redeployed and what they will be doing over at least the next month, especially if they are planning to attack someone. I also want to know about any special forces operations or "surprise" operations that may be in the works. Finally, I want to know what the federal government is doing domestically. If they are investigating someone, I want to know who they are investigating, what they have found out so far and what they hope to accomplish with each investigation. If they are using informants, I think we are entitled to know just who those informants are and what they have told the federal government to date. If what those informants have provided is true, the informants have nothing to be ashamed of, and we have federal whistleblower and wrongful termination protections against any potential retribution. It is a timeworn tactic of the government secrecy apologists to raise against these modest suggestions the long threadbare spectre of "violence." Scary idea on its face, to be sure, but whistleblowers and federal witnesses are throughly protected from violence by federal law as well as the law of all fifty states! How much more legal protection could they possibly need? Another silly objection raised by the "my country do-or-die" crowd is the idea that such disclosure might compromise "ongoing federal investigations." These objections would be completely laughable if they weren't sometimes taken seriously by the well-intentioned but uninformed. As Benjamin Franklin himself said, "those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither." I'll go with Franklin on this one, folks.

Open the books, I say. I think the American public is entitled to this information. How can we, after all, evaluate our country's actions if we don't even know just what those actions are?

Who are we to impose our way of life on other cultures?

Liberal Democracy is more than just McDonald's, Levi's and Coca-Cola. Liberal democracy is, at least in its ideal form, the absence of certain things, including these wacky shenanigans:
MULTAN: In an act of revenge, a woman was gang-raped with the consent of her in-laws by three people on her wedding night in Dera Ghazi Khan, police said. Ghulam Hussain, the father of the victim Kaneez Kubra, told reporters that his daughter was married to Mujahid Hussain on April 28, as ordered by a panchayat (local jury) under the wani custom since Kaneez’s brother Abdul Majid had sexual relations with Mujahid’s sister Sumera. After the wedding, Kaneez Kubra went to the groom’s home. Her husband stayed with her in their room till 11pm and then left. Afterwards, Mujahid’s grandfather Shahroo Khan and his mother Mukhtar came in and told the bride that the wedding was just an excuse to exact revenge on Majid for outraging Sumera’s modesty. Mujahid Hussain then invited his three friends Muhammad Rafiq, Shabbir Muhammad and Abdul Majid Almani, who gang-raped the bride. The next day, Mujahid Hussain took her to the house of his friend Ghulam Mustafa, who also assaulted her. On April 30, when Ghulam Hussain and other relatives arrived to take Kaneez back as per tradition, she related the story to her father. When Ghulam Hussain approached the police, they refused to register a case against the groom and his friends.
Such sweetness and love. In my small-minded arrogant Tex-o-centric mindset, I say: red hats, accordion music and fish on Friday = nice local custom. Gang rape = bad local custom.

But who I am to judge?

Monday, May 30, 2005

On Bitterness...

I repeat here a comment left by Andrew, who writes Holocaustic Vitriol, to one of my earlier posts, in case y'all missed it:

You sound bitter, but more importantly, you sound unwilling to listen to an opinion other than one in agreeance with yours.You also seem eager to use terms like "leftist" and "peace" in a derogatory manner.

I started to read the above, but then the part of my brain I've programmed to not read anything which doesn't agree with my preconceived opinion preemptively whited out from my vision everything between "more importantly" and "You also seem." so as to prevent me from having to view a dissenting opinion. Since I'm unable to read it, I can only guess at what it may say. Assuming, however, that it accuses me of being closed-minded, I'm curious to know how the writer could possibly have sufficient information to make that determination. If only I was an all-powerful dictator, I could silence such silly notions at will, and save people from wrong-headed silliness. Reeducation for everyone!! I'd even make it trendy and fun. Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie, starring in "The Gulag Life." Commies have given reeducation such a bad name.

As to Andrew's first comment, I suppose I do sound bitter. There's a reason for that--I AM BITTER, and you're damn right I am. I live in a country that spent the middle of the 20th century driving fascists from Western Europe and Asia and the last half of it keeping the Communists out of Western Europe and Korea, the country that, more than any other, drove the Soviet Union into a financial bankruptcy to match its ideological bankruptcy, and has been a beacon of hope to millions around the world for much of its 200+ year history.

Our fathers and brothers and sons have fought and bled and died on foreign soil around the world so that others, people of other races, creeds and religions, might live lives of freedom and prosperity. Thousands of Americans are in wheelchairs, on prosthetic limbs and on life support in order that the people of this place or that place might be free of fascism, Communism or some religious nutbag-ism that would tell those people who they are to be and what they are to say, and what they are to believe.

We spent the better part of the last century standing up against real fascism and the guys with the real gulags. If you don't know what a "real gulag" is, go read about the fun things that happened in Soviet Russia under Lenin and Stalin. If you want to understand real fascism, go study all those lovely projects they came up with in Nazi Germany. These were really bad places controlled by really bad people. In the fascist version of "suppression of speech," the speakers themselves disappeared, not just their ratings. The real fascists did real torture. Real torture is where they do really sweet things like pull out your fingernails with pliers and smash your toes with hammers. As a nation, we have given much to the effort to oppose these things, and for very good reasons.

Andrew commented that I use the terms "leftist" and "peace" in a negative way. I certainly hope so. I use these terms in the most negative way possible, consistent with the full measure of derision that they deserve. Leftists, and by this term I mean true leftists, are responsible for the deaths of over 100 million people in this century alone. Hundreds of millions more have been forced to live in a slave-like existence that the left has wrought on Earth. Whatever there may be to commend equality, I submit that this is a pretty heavy weight on the "negative" side of the scale. And yes, I know there are those that claim to be "warm fuzzy" leftists--all the equality, none of the firing squads. Problem is, they've had their chance to distance themselves from the hard-edged communists for most of the last century, and most chose not to do so. Tell me who your friends are, and I know who you are.

For at least the last 40 years, the principle of "peace" has been very selectively applied by the "peace" movement. With respect to the term "peace," it is now well beyond reasonable dispute that the easiest way to identify the KGB front organization in your town in the 1980s was to find the largest "grassroots community" group incorporating the word "peace" in its name. That was almost guaranteed to be a Soviet-backed group. We suspected it at the time, and now we have the proof. What kind of nonsense is it to say you're consistently "pro-peace" or "anti-war?" That's like being "anti-fire." In order to be 100% pro-peace above everything else, one would have to be willing to accept a lot of unpleasant things in one's perfectly "peaceful" world, including the continuation of black slavery in the American South, the complete extermination of European Jews, a unified Korea under the leadership of Kim Jong-Il and a Kuwait dominated by Saddam Hussein, as a few examples. We didn't go to war in Rwanda. That worked out well. Happy now? Point is, like it or not, war often does solve things. True, sometimes war is meaningless. But often, and particularly when the U.S. is involved, war has a purpose, and war, while ugly and terrible in its execution, has a positive outcome. Anyone who is unwilling, or unable, to accept this proposition is a moron.

So yes, I am BITTER. I am BITTER because so many people today claim to not be able to see the difference between Adolf Hitler and George Bush. I am BITTER because so many people claim to not be able to see the difference between a Soviet Gulag and an American military prison that does unspeakably brutal things like putting panties on a man's head. I am BITTER because so many people claim to see moral equivalence between Ayman Al-Zarqawi, who intentionally murders Iraqi police and civilians dozens at a time, and George Washington. I am BITTER because the people who claim to see the world this way are in any way taken seriously.

We should never be unwilling to place the actions of our own government in the spotlight and criticize those actions when necessary. At the same time, when people say ridiculous things, they should be greeted with merciless ridicule rather than a pensive nod.

Why Amnesty International Can't be Taken Seriously

I was going to write an article on the above topic, but the writer of the above piece in the Toronto Star does so more eloquently than I would have. Excerpt:
Much attention has been focused on the report's claim that the U.S. detention centre at Guantanamo Bay is the "gulag of our times," and rightly so. This comparison is preposterous. A gulag of our times exists in Cuba, or North Korea, and existed in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, until the United States intervened.
The Yellow Line also weighs in. Excerpt:

Guantanamo is not a gulag. And any reasonable American knows that. So when Amnesty International makes this outrageous claim, everything else they have to say becomes questionable. Indeed, all the stories about the Amnesty International report focused on the “gulag” comment and ignored any specific complaint.

But our enemies believe these kinds of comments. When respected groups like Amnesty International compare our actions to the darkest deeds of Soviet Russia, those who wish to destroy us get one more bit of “proof” that their hate is justified. And their crimes against humanity are much, much, much worse than anything that has even been alleged to have happened at Guantanamo. You’d think Amnesty International would want to prevent our enemy’s atrocities as well.


Freedom: Simply a Numbers Game?

Good cartoon.

Morse Code Still Faster than SMS

Just in case you were wondering...

Ghost of a Flea

These days, we've become accustomed to thinking of the Canadians as kinda squishy, and as fair-weather friends in the global fight against tyrrany.

It appears that the rumors of Canadian squishiness may have been greatly exaggerated. Check out the Ghost of a Flea blog for more.

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Last Shreds of Jimmy "Palpatine" Carter's Credibility: R-I-P?

Just because you saved Naboo from the Trade Federation and/or build houses for poor people, that doesn't necessarily mean you're not an evil Sith Lord and/or partisan hack.

NRO on Bolton Filibuster

As noted before, the Dems are filibustering John Bolton.

Does the Bolton Nomination represent "exceptional circumstances"?

Frank Gaffney explores Bolton's credentials. Excerpt:

. . . Republicans disagree with Democrats who do not want someone as principled, intelligent, effective, and competent advancing policies with which they adamantly disagree. Such policies are rooted, notably, in the proposition that the U.N. really does need to be “reformed.” For Bolton’s critics, this appears to be simply a dissembling politician’s obligatory throwaway line.

Like George W. Bush, Bolton believes that unless the dysfunctional ways that have made the U.N. a cesspool of corruption, malfeasance, and anti-Americanism can be corrected, the United States will continue to have to work around it, more often than with it, in order to safeguard our interests and promote international peace. . .


Thursday, May 26, 2005

I didn't think the filibuster deal would last, but...

. . . I honestly thought it might last at least two or three days.

Silly me. The Democrats have just voted to sustain a filibuster against the nomination of John Bolton to be UN Envoy.

To refresh your memory, the MOU reads, in relevant part, as follows:

A. Future Nominations. Signatories will exercise their responsibilities under the Advice and Consent Clause of the United States Constitution in good faith. Nominees should only be filibustered under extraordinary circumstances, and each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether such circumstances exist.
It is clear that the signatories to the above agreed to "exercise their responsibilities" under the Advice and Consent Clause in good faith. What are those senators' responsibilities under the Advice and Consent Clause? Article II, Section 2 clause 2 reads as follows:
[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The same Advice and Consent Clause applies both to the appointment of judges and to the appointment of ambassadors and other officers. Everyone signing the MOU was fully aware of this fact. If nothing else is clear, it is beyond question that the signatories of the MOU committed to exercise their responsibilities under this clause, and to do so in good faith. There is no limitation in the words of the MOU as to a good faith exercise of "some responsibilities" or of "certain responsibilities" under this clause, or of the exercise of "those responsibilities relating to judges." There was clearly no reservation of rights to act "in bad faith" with respect to certain responsibilities under the Constitution. (I would've loved to have seen that document.)

Similarly, the "extraordinary circumstances" exception is not in any respect limited to judicial nominees. Although the MOU uses the specific term "judicial nominees" elsewhere in its provisions, it uses the generic "nominees" in this clause. If the signatories of this document had intended to restrict their commitment in this manner, so that this commitment only applied to "judicial nominees," they were certainly capable of saying so. This document was drafted by a group of United States Senators, each with a team of lawyers at his disposal. This document was vigorously debated and negotiated. We may never know how many earlier drafts of this document were circulated or what those drafts may have provided. What we do know is what the signatories said in the document as signed, and those words are clear on their face. I suggest that we in the public should be entitled to take the signatories at the words which they themselves chose to use.

Bottom line: if they are filibustering Bolton without determining that "extraordinary circumstances" exist, they are violating the clear literal text of the MOU that they just signed.

In Memory of Pim Fortuyn

". . . Fortuyn was above a child of the 1960s, politically on the left, openly and proudly gay and an academic with a PhD in sociology. Hardly the material that makes a conservative but it was the collectivist and politically correct environment at Groningen University, in particular the Marxist leanings of his faculty, that contributed to Pim’s steady rightward journey. . ."

Stratfor on Status of Van Gogh Investigation

. . . Minutes after the Nov. 2 assassination of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, law enforcement authorities in the Netherlands arrested alleged triggerman Mohammed Bouyeri. Within two days, eight other young Muslims of North African descent were in custody, and by Nov. 13, less than two weeks after the killing, authorities had detained a total of 13 suspects on terrorism charges in connection with the case.

Dutch authorities say Bouyeri and his associates form part of a group called the Hofstad Network, led by Syrian spiritual leader Redouan al-Issar. Authorities acknowledge they had been investigating Bouyeri, but called off their surveillance of him some two weeks before van Gogh's murder. In fact, Bouyeri was detained in October 2003, but was released after police determined that, despite jihadist material found in his home, he was not an immediate threat. The short time span between the suspension of surveillance and the attack against van Gogh suggests Bouyeri could have been aware he was being watched -- and simply waited for the opportune moment to attack. . .


Dhimmiwatch responds to the recent brutal attack on the straw man...

A good point-by-point analysis and response to Tom Regan.

Tom Regan on Moral Equivalence

Mr. Regan takes on a straw man, and knocks that beee-otch straw man to its knees.

The straw man says, in a bold voice, "Only Muslims are Violent."

Mr. Regan demonstrates conclusively that the straw man is wrong.

Regan provides evidence that some non-Muslims are violent also.

The straw man is defeated. I can sleep much better now.

AUT Overturns Boycott of Jewish Scholars

This is good news, though I'm sure a fatwa will be issued against those responsible.

Tara Ross on the Art of Negotiation

Tara has a great piece today on the recent filibuster deal.

. . . Correct me if I’m wrong. Don’t Republicans constitute a majority in the Senate? Shouldn’t they have had an upper hand in these negotiations? Democrats are not only in the minority, but they are in a shrinking minority. One would have thought that losing Senate seats every two years would case their negotiating power to wane.
Clearly these defecting Republicans have a thing or two to learn about the art of negotiating. Any negotiator worth his salt would have, at the very least, ensured that a majority of these ten filibustered nominees receives a confirmation vote as a result of this alleged deal.

Let’s put this situation into context. Prior to Bush’s presidency, filibusters had never been used to kill a judicial nominee. During his presidency, ten judicial nominations have been filibustered (so far).

That’s zero filibusters before 2000. Ten filibusters after. How can these numbers
be justified?
Amen, Tara!

Voinovich "Standing firm" on Bolton?

Hey, will somebody get this poor man a hug and a tissue already!?!?!

Torture Allegations from Gitmo

Reading through the list of alleged abuses compiled by the ACLU, I'm generally not particularly impressed. I can understand that a person wouldn't want to be handcuffed or pushed to the ground, but that pretty much comes with being a prisoner. Maybe you should've considered that before you decided to join the Taliban.

As to the more extreme allegations, it's highly unlikely that all of the detainees are telling the truth. Of those that are lying, it's a lot easier to believe that a detainee would exaggerate treatment rather than minimize it. Nevertheless, as little sympathy as have for fascist Taliban nutbags, even the way we treat the world's worst scum says something about us as people and as a nation. Contrary what to some would have, we certainly shouldn't dismiss the allegations out of hand. There do need to be standards, and we need to adhere to them.

Some would say that even torture is justified if it would save lives. There is a classic conundrum that goes as follows:

1. There is a bomb in a building.

2. The bomb will kill thousands of people when it goes off.

3. You have a prisoner, and he knows where the bomb is.

4. If you torture him enough, he will tell you where the bomb is.

5. If he tells you where the bomb is, you will defuse the bomb and save thousands of people from death.

Do you torture him? Tough position to be in. Some would say it presents a strong case for torturing the prisoner. But in reality, could you ever really know that 1-5 are true? Presented from a slightly less certain perspective:

1. You believe there is a bomb somewhere, probably in a building.

2. If it goes off, it could potentially kill a lot of people, even hundreds or thousands.

3. You have a prisoner, and you believe he may know where the bomb is.

4. If there is a bomb, and you torture him enough, and he knows where the bomb is, you believe he may tell you where the bomb is.

5. If you find out where the bomb is, you may have an opportunity to save many lives.

I submit that, whatever you may think of the first hypothetical, the second hypothetical is not nearly as strong a case as the first. Now, let's look at a more realistic scenario:

1. You have a prisoner.

2. You believe the prisoner may know some people who are the type of people who could be planning to do something bad to someone at some point in time.

3. You believe the prisoner may have known the identities and whereabouts of these people some months ago.

4. If you learn the identities and previous whereabouts of these people, you may be able to identify and locate at least some of these people.

5. You believe the prisoner may tell you the identities and whereabouts of at least some of these people if you torture him enough.

6. If you do not identify and locate all of these people, you believe that some or all of them may do something untoward to someone at some point in time.

Whatever you may think of the first two hypotheticals, I submit that the case for torture--and by this, I mean "real" torture--under this third hypothetical is very weak, even from a purely value-neutral, pragmatic perspective. When moral considerations are factored in, I submit that there's not much to recommend torture of this prisoner, and much weighing against it.

But then, what do I know? I'm just a squish liberal anyway. . .

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Victor Davis Hanson on WWII revisionism...

As always, Victor Davis Hanson nails it:



Revisionism holds a strange attraction for the winners of World War II. American textbooks discuss World War II as if a Patton, Le May, or Nimitz did not exist, as if the war was essentially the Japanese internment and Hiroshima. That blinkered and politically correct focus explains why so many Americans under 30 are simply ignorant about the nature and course of World War II itself. Similarly, the British have monthly debates on the immorality of their bombing Hamburg and Dresden.

In dire contrast, even the post-Soviet Russian government will not speak of the Stalin-Hitler non-aggression pact, the absorption of the Baltic states, the murder of millions of German citizens in April through June 1945 in Eastern Europe, and the mass execution of Polish officers. If we were to listen to the Chinese, World War II was about the gallant work of Mao’s partisans, who in fact used the war to gain power, and then went on to kill 50 million of their own citizens — about the same number lost in all of World War II. Japan likewise has never come to terms with the millions of Asian civilians its armies butchered or its systematic brutality waged against American POWs.


Victor Davis Hanson reviews "Kingdom of Heaven"


A day without America?


Afghan riot fatalities rarer than Yetis?

Looks like the Yetis have it.

Although the Western news media have uncritically repeated the claims that 18 people died in riots last week, investigators have been unable to find any information as to just who it was that died and how. Odd.

Remember to Pray about Zarqawi...

UPI reported yesterday that Zarqawi has been seriously wounded.

Please remember to pray about Zarqawi's injuries. Pray that the "Great Shiekh" does not die prematurely. Rather, pray that the SOB lives long enough to experience a long and excruciating death.

The Myth of the Lower-Class Jihadist...


How (not) to reach the masses 101...

This July 4th is Flag Burning Day!

Current rating: 1
by anarchist heart(No verified email address)
23 May 2005

This July 4th is Flag Burning Day!Every summer good Americans don their best red white and blue, and gorge themselves on beer and hotdogs to celebrate our independence from England, but from its very beginnings this country has been built on illegitimacies.

This July 4th is Flag Burning Day! . . .


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Moderate Muslims--more common than Yetis?


The Baldwin Park Rally...

Provided with no endorsement or comment:


Kinda scary...

Coming soon to a courtroom near you?

Oriana Fallaci is going on trial for offending Muslims.

Sadly, this sort of thing happens all the time in Iran.

Only this court wasn't in Iran. Oriana's going on trial in Italy. Yes, that Italy. Yes, the one in Europe. Yes, the place where the Pope lives...

The Politically-Incorrect Guide to Islam...


Why Ayaan Hirsi Ali departed the Left...

[T]he left is exactly like the Muslims! I wanted to give priority to the defense of immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence. They said to me: “No, that’s not a priority! The problem will take care of itself when the immigrants have jobs and are integrated.” It is exactly what the Imams say who demand that we accept oppression and slavery today because tomorrow, in Heaven, God will give us dates and raisins…. I think we need first to defend the individual. The left is afraid of everything. But fear of giving offense leads to injustice and suffering. The sexual revolution, the affirmation of individual rights, improving the living conditions of immigrants – these were once the great causes of the Dutch left. In their eyes, the simple fact of belong to a minority gives one the right to do anything. This multiculturalism is a disaster. All one has to do is scream “discrimination” and all doors are open to you! Scream ‘racism’ and your opponents shut up! But multiculturalism is an inconsistent theory. If one wants to let communities preserve their traditions, what happens when these traditions work to the detriment of women or homosexuals? The logic of multiculturalism amounts to accepting the subordination of women. Nonetheless, the defenders of multiculturalism do not want to admit it.

Amnesty and Houses NOW!!!

If only we had spent more money on undercredentialed citizen Milagro Cunningham, he no doubt would’ve been happy and well-adjusted and wouldn’t have hurt anyone.

Instead, the stress of undercredentialed citizenship and homelessness made him accidentally sexually assault a little girl.

I feel so ashamed for letting him down.

I say we give him amnesty. And buy him a house. In fact, let’s go further. Amnesty and houses for all the undercredentialed citizens in Florida. Now!

If it saves JUST ONE LIFE, isn’t it worth it? How can you be against amnesty when it may just SAVE A CHILD? The child you save may be your own.

Or are you one of those HalliburtEnron/CheneyRoveBushitler types who wants to boil poor children down to use for petroleum stock?

I didn’t think so. Act now before there is another TRAGEDY!!! Amnesty and houses now!!!

Republicans Blink on Judicial Nominations...

A group of squish Rs have entered into an agreement with the Dems. It reads as follows:


We respect the diligent, conscientious efforts, to date, rendered to the Senate by Majority Leader Frist and Democratic Leader Reid. This memorandum confirms an understanding among the signatories, based upon mutual trust and confidence, related to pending and future judicial nominations in the 109th Congress.

This memorandum is in two parts. Part I relates to the currently pending judicial nominees; Part II relates to subsequent individual nominations to be made by the President and to be acted upon by the Senate’s Judiciary Committee.

We have agreed to the following:

Part I: Commitments on Pending Judicial Nominations

A. Votes for Certain Nominees. We will vote to invoke cloture on the following judicial nominees: Janice Rogers Brown (D.C. Circuit), William Pryor (11th Circuit), and Priscilla Owen (5th Circuit).

B. Status of Other Nominees. Signatories make no commitment to vote for or against cloture on the following judicial nominees: William Myers (9th Circuit) and Henry Saad (6th Circuit).

Part II: Commitments for Future Nominations

A. Future Nominations. Signatories will exercise their responsibilities under the Advice and Consent Clause of the United States Constitution in good faith. Nominees should only be filibustered under extraordinary circumstances, and each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether such circumstances exist.

B. Rules Changes. In light of the spirit and continuing commitments made in this agreement, we commit to oppose the rules changes in the 109th Congress, which we understand to be any amendment to or interpretation of the Rules of the Senate that would force a vote on a judicial nomination by means other than unanimous consent or Rule XXII.

We believe that, under Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution, the word “Advice” speaks to consultation between the Senate and the President with regard to the use of the President’s power to make nominations. We encourage the Executive branch of government to consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration.

Such a return to the early practices of our government may well serve to reduce the rancor that unfortunately accompanies the advice and consent process in the Senate. We firmly believe this agreement is consistent with the traditions of the United States Senate that we as Senators seek to uphold.
A careful reading of the above will reveal that there is a very serious problem with this agreement. All signatories commit to:
1. Refrain from using the filibuster* and
2. Oppose rules changes in the 109th Congress.

Note that, while there is a "*" next to the Dems commitment, there is no "*" next to the Reps commitment. What does the "*" represent? It represents an exception to the commitment made by the Dems. What is the exception? The exception is that the filibuster may be used in "extraordinary circumstances." And what is the standard for "extraordinary circumstances?" The standard is: each member's "own discretion and judgment." A lawyer will tell you that a contract that requires a party to do or not do something "according to his sole discretion and judgment" is not a contract at all. In other words, "extraordinary circumstances" exist whenever any member of the Senate determines, in his or her own discretion and judgment, that such circumstances exist.

In sum, the Republicans have agreed to oppose rules changes, period. The Democrats agree not to filibuster a nominee unless they, in their own discretion and judgment, determine that a nominee is sufficiently far from the mainstream that he or she deserves to be filibustered. We know from prior experience how difficult it is to meet that standard--not too tough.


Saturday, May 21, 2005

National Review: Newsweek Should have Known Better...


A cite from National Review. Whew! Feeling much better now...
The spark was lit not by Imram Khan but by Newsweek itself on May 9 when apparently none of its reporters or editors was aware of the effect such a story would have. There seems to have been nobody there that knew that death is the penalty for desecrating a Koran in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Egypt is milder, there one would be sentenced to several years in prison under Article 161 of the penal code for “publicly insulting Islam,” or perhaps Article 98, “inciting sectarian strife”; similar patterns are followed in more moderate Muslim countries.

But ya know, I'm not sure I agree with all that. Seems to me the primary problem is the out-of control fundamentalist wackos. Newsweek shares in some blame, to be sure, but they didn't actually KILL anyone. The right gets indignant when pro-choice activists blame Pat Robertson and James Dobson for inciting anti-abortion nuts to commit wacko acts, but now NRO is blaming Newsweek under essentially the same principle.

So now I'm agreeing with the NYT, Boston Globe and Guardian, and disagreeing with National Review...



A Dangerous Woman

From the Guardian:

She arrived in the Netherlands as an asylum seeker and became a fiery critic of both multiculturalism and her own religion, Islam. Then last November the director of a film she wrote about the subjugation of Muslim women was killed, sparking a crisis over the country's attitudes to immigration. In her first British interview since the murder, Ayaan Hirsi Ali talks to Alexander Linklater


For the record, so far today, I have cited to the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Guardian. And I agreed with what they had to say.


In (partial) Defense of Newsweek...


Then I click my mouse over to the transcripts of administration statements and I can't believe what I'm seeing. We're in the middle of an ideological war against people who want to destroy us, and what have the most powerful people on earth become? Whining media bashers. They're attacking Newsweek while bending over backward to show sensitivity to the Afghans who just went on a murderous rampage.

Talk about the bigotry of low expectations.

Maybe we should all focus on what's important. Newsweek's little item was seized and exploited by America's enemies in a way that was characteristically cynical, delusional and fascistic.


Why is Islam disrespected?


Female VJ Shot Dead after Angering Muslim Leaders


The Shape of Things to Come?

I have earlier posted about leftist boycott of Jewish scholars.

Now, a British university is issuing warnings to a Jewish student to stop publicly protesting anti-semitism on campus:


Novak on Dean

It's probably no surprise that Dean hasn't changed his wacko stripes since taking over the DNC. Robert Novak writes that what has been something of a surprise is how much of a fund-raising failure Dean has been so far:


According to Novak:

Dean's deficiencies as face and voice of the Democratic Party were supposed to be overcome by his legendary prowess, evident by his run for president, raising funds in small packages. That so far has proved a grievous disappointment. First-quarter figures show the DNC received only $13 million from individuals, compared with $32 million raised by the Republican National Committee. Overall figures were $34.2 million by the RNC, $16.7 million by the DNC.

In Dean's defense, only part of the DNC's fundraising difficulties can be blamed on Dean. Certain of the DNC's fundraising difficulties arise out of McCain-Feingold, which cut into the advantage Dems traditionally held among big donors. Whereas the GOP has generally relied on a larger number of smaller donations, the DNC has enjoyed an advantage in larger donations. Thus, in shutting out the "big money," McCain-Feingold disproportionately affected the DNC. The appointment of Dean was supposed to help the DNC expand contributions by smaller donors. Apparently, it's not working out so well so far. What Novak doesn't address is how the DNC was doing prior to Dean's appointment compared to how it is doing now. For all I know, the numbers Novak cites may be a 200% improvement over prior performance.

Santorum Steps in it

Rick Santorum descends into Hitler symbolism on filibuster fight...


Liberals have a bad habit of invoking Hitler and the KKK in every argument. I hope Santorum's move isn't a signal of what is to come on the Republican side. It blows the liberals' credibility when they invoke Hitler and the KKK in every dispute, which is a shame for at least two reasons:

1. To say that George Bush or Ted Kennedy is no better than Hitler is to say that Hitler was no worse than Bush or Kennedy. That position offends the memory of the millions who died at the hands of the REAL Hitler and the REAL Nazis.

2. The evil of Hitler and Naziism should always evoke strong feelings, and we can't allow ourselves to become calloused to their imagery by frivolous overuse.

Opposition to funding for a city park or research on mustard plants doesn't make anyone a Nazi. Disagreeing over fiscal policy doesn't make anyone a Nazi. Even going to war doesn't, by itself, make anyone a Nazi. Abolishing democratic government, running death camps and murdering peaceful political opponents are different matters.

Anyone unable, or unwilling, to distinguish a policy dispute from a battle between good and evil deserves nothing but ridicule and derision, and that's a position that people of good faith on the left, right and middle should be able to agree on.

German State Offering Islam Classes to All Students


Friday, May 20, 2005

Another Wacko College Prof...


The "People's Worker's Peace Union" and other KGB fronts...

Some have criticized me for my strongly-held bias against any and all organizations incorporating one or more of the "magic words" in their name.

The "magic words" include at least the words "peace" "worker's" and "people's".

It is my opinion that any organization having any of the magic words in its name is presumed to be a communist organization.

For anyone who thinks I'm off base, I direct you to the following sources:




I can personally cite to the following additional resources:

Stéphane Courtois, Nicolas Werth, Jean-Louis Panné, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartosek, Jean-Louis Margolin, translated by Johnathan Murphy and Mark Kramer, The Black Book of Communism, Crimes, Terror, Repression, Harvard
University Press, 1999

David Horowitz, Radical Son, A Generational Odyssey, The Free Press, 1997

Joshua Muravchik, Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism
I understand the following resources further elaborate the connections, but have not read them:
Christopher Andrew and Visili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield, The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Basic Books, 1999

John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, & Kyrill M. Anderson, The Soviet World of American Communism, Yale University Press, 1998

John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know, Rethinking Cold War History, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1997

Paul Hollander, Anti-Americanism, Critiques at Home and Abroad, 1965-1990, Oxford University Press, 1992

Ronald Radosh, Commies, A Journey Through the Old Left, the New Left and the Leftover Left, Encounter Books, San Francisco, 2001

John Earl Haynes & Harvey Klehr, Venona, Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, Yale University Press, 1999

John Earl Haynes & Harvey Klehr, In Denial, Historians, Communism & Espionage, Encounter Books, San Francisco, 2003

Old news, but bears noting...


Love and peace from the "peace-loving muslims"


CAIR's "Hate Crimes" Report


Filibusters "particularly offensive to people of color?" No.

Given the filibuster's sordid history, used by southern Democrats in the 1960s in attempts to block civil rights legislation, one would think that traditional civil rights groups would be front and center in the move to restrict the practice. Think again.

Apparently, despite the filibuster's tarnished history, a change in the filibuster at this time would be "offensive" to civil rights advocates:
All 43 members of the Congressional Black Caucus signed a letter delivered to Frist on Thursday stating their opposition to Brown and the other controversial nominees and arguing the filibuster should be retained. The tactic was not outlawed when it was used to delay key civil rights legislation for years in the 1950s and 1960s. They said banning it now when Democrats are trying "to protect African-Americans from judges who have opposed their rights and laws critical to their advancement toward equality" would be "particularly offensive to people of color."
So, it is a parliamentary procedure which has been historically used to block reforms, including reforms intended to help people of color. Therefore, limiting or restricting its use in the future would be “particularly offensive” to those same people of color?

Reminds me of the argument that we shouldn't have acted to stop Osama and Saddam after 9-11, since we'd let them run rampant before.

I guess I don’t get it.

In other news,
Amending the Constitution to explicitly prohibit wartime internment of any ethnic group “would be particularly offensive to Japanese Americans,” members of an Asian-American civil rights group wrote Majority Leader Bill Frist during the day. “Most of the Japanese Americans who today live lives of freedom are descended from an earlier generation who were interned under that same Constitution and lived to tell about it.”

Selling advanced new weapons systems to the Israeli and Taiwanese governments “would be particularly offensive to the people of Taiwan,” members of a Taiwanese delegation wrote Speaker Dennis Hastert today. “Chiang Kai-Shek was an exile from communist China, and most of the Taiwanese people alive today have been living in the shadow of an increasingly militaristic communist China for the last 50 years.”

Expanding the U.S. naval presence in and around radical Islamic and communist dictatorships around the world “would be particularly offensive to Cuban Americans,” members of a Cuban-American civil rights group wrote President Bush today. “Most of the Cuban Americans alive today are exiles from Castro’s communist dictatorship, or children of exiles, all refugees of a regime which President Kennedy’s ill-fated Bay of Pigs operation failed to stop 40 years earlier.”

Saddam plans to sue over underwear photos...


Pepsico President Gives Middle Finger to U.S.

Pepsico's President and CFO Indra Nooyi recently gave a speech to the graduating class of Columbia University’s Business School. In the speech, she analogized the world's continents to the fingers of the hand. She chose to assign the middle finger to the United States.

... if used inappropriately –just like the U.S. itself -- the middle finger can convey a negative message and get us in trouble. You know what I’m talking about. In fact, I suspect you’re hoping that I’ll demonstrate what I mean. And trust me, I’m not looking for volunteers to model.

Discretion being the better part of valor … I think I’ll pass.

... Unfortunately, I think this is how the rest of the world looks at the U.S. right now. Not as part of the hand – giving strength and purpose to the rest of the fingers – but, instead, scratching our nose and sending a far different signal.


Google's new personalized homepage restricted as to news providers...

According to this article, users of Google's new personalized homepage service can select from only three sources for news feed. The three are the New York Times, slashdot and the BBC.

It's certainly understandable to limit the scale of a new product during rollout, but is it just a coincidence that each of the three is well-known for a strong left-wing tilt? Given Google's prior history, I find that hard to believe.


Monday, May 16, 2005

In case you didn't know this about Star Wars...


If you like coffee. . .

If you enjoy gourmet coffee, but don't have a barista in your break room, I recommend you get yourself a Philips Senseo coffee machine. I have one at my office and one at home. A fresh cup of pressure-brewed coffee in 30 seconds. How can you beat that?

I probably go through 4-6 mugs of coffee in a normal day, which works out to $2-$3 per day in the coffee pods. I'm sure regular old coffee is cheaper to brew, but there's really no comparison.

My only complaint about the machine is the relatively small water capacity. If you like the coffee, you may decide to upgrade to the large-capacity water reservoir, particularly if more than one person is making use of the machine.

One last point: for the time being, stick with the Senseo brand pods. Other companies make pods, but they tend to be a little bit large for the Senseo chamber and make the clamshell tough to latch. Using off-brand pods can result in a senseoxplosion.

Video from Free Muslims rally on Saturday


THIS I don't get. . .

The Democrats really WANT the Newsweek story to be true. . .


A lot of Dems seem to have this wierd Schadenfreude thing, where they are really hoping Iraq and Afghanistan collapse into chaos. They seem to want there to be a LOT of pain and suffering, and they want it to be all George W. Bush's fault. I just don't get this.

If you haven't seen VOICES OF IRAQ. . .

Let me strongly encourage you to buy it at your earliest convenience.

You can find it at:


Saddam, al Qaeda and a Free Iraq...

1. Was Saddam Supporting Terrorists? Was Saddam cooperative with al Qaeda?

"I want to be real clear about the connection with terrorists. I've seen a lot of evidence on this. There are extensive contacts between Saddam Hussein's government and al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. I never could reach the conclusion that [Saddam] was part of September 11. Don't get me wrong about that. But there was so much smoke there that it made me worry. And you know, some people say with a great facility, al Qaeda and Saddam could never get together. He is secular and they're theological. But there's something that tied them together. It's their hatred of us." -- Senator Joseph Lieberman, D-CT, December, 2003

“al Qaeda reached an understanding with the Government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.” Excerpt of Clinton administration indictment of Osama bin Laden for the 1998 Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings

A good article on Richard Clarke's opinion on the relationship between Saddam and al Qaeda: http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york200410070845.asp

Was Saddam harboring and supporting terrorists? Clearly, he was. Was Saddam cooperative with al Qaeda? Again, there is ample evidence that he was.

2. If Saddam acquired WMD, were they a threat to the U.S.?

Saddam was very close to a wide range of international terrorist organizations, and had connections to many others, including al Qaeda. After Afghanistan, Iraq was considered a very suitable haven for Osama. (Id.) Obviously, if Saddam had acquired WMD, there was a very serious threat to the U.S.

3. Was democracy in Iraq an 'afterthought'?

"The United States has no quarrel with the Iraqi people; they've suffered too long in silent captivity. Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause, and a great strategic goal. The people of Iraq deserve it; the security of all nations requires it. Free societies do not intimidate through cruelty and conquest, and open societies do not threaten the world with mass murder. The United States supports political and economic liberty in a unified Iraq.

We can harbor no illusions -- and that's important today to remember. Saddam Hussein attacked Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990. He's fired ballistic missiles at Iran and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Israel. His regime once ordered the killing of every person between the ages of 15 and 70 in certain Kurdish villages in northern Iraq. He has gassed many Iranians, and 40 Iraqi villages.

My nation will work with the U.N. Security Council to meet our common challenge. If Iraq's regime defies us again, the world must move deliberately, decisively to hold Iraq to account. We will work with the U.N. Security Council for the necessary resolutions. But the purposes of the United States should not be doubted. The Security Council resolutions will be enforced -- the just demands of peace and security will be met -- or action will be unavoidable. And a regime that has lost its legitimacy will also lose its power.

Events can turn in one of two ways: If we fail to act in the face of danger, the people of Iraq will continue to live in brutal submission. The regime will have new power to bully and dominate and conquer its neighbors, condemning the Middle East to more years of bloodshed and fear. The regime will remain unstable -- the region will remain unstable, with little hope of freedom, and isolated from the progress of our times. With every step the Iraqi regime takes toward gaining and deploying the most terrible weapons, our own options to confront that regime will narrow. And if an emboldened regime were to supply these weapons to terrorist allies, then the attacks of September the 11th would be a prelude to far greater horrors.

If we meet our responsibilities, if we overcome this danger, we can arrive at a very different future. The people of Iraq can shake off their captivity. They can one day join a democratic Afghanistan and a democratic Palestine, inspiring reforms throughout the Muslim world. These nations can show by their example that honest government, and respect for women, and the great Islamic tradition of learning can triumph in the Middle East and beyond. And we will show that the promise of the United Nations can be fulfilled in our time.

Neither of these outcomes is certain. Both have been set before us. We must choose between a world of fear and a world of progress. We cannot stand by and do nothing while dangers gather. We must stand up for our security, and for the permanent rights and the hopes of mankind. By heritage and by choice, the United States of America will make that stand. And, delegates to the United Nations, you have the power to make that stand, as well."

- George W. Bush, speech to the U.N. General Assembly, September 2002, laying out the rationale for military action in Iraq
See also:



The Islamic Speech Police


On Media Bias...

I'm willing to accept, for the sake of argument, that lefties really do believe that news and opinion aren't distinct and shouldn't be. I'm not sure why this is. It may have something to do with the left's conceptual rejection of the idea of objective truth.

Example: whenever a conservative brings up the blatant left-wing bias of some reporter/newscaster, a left-winger will invariably respond with incredulity, claiming hypocrisy on the part of the conservative, considering that folks like Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly are AT LEAST as biased as said reporter/newscaster, or some such.

This argument would strike many folks as a non sequitur, owing to the fact that Hannity and O'Reilly are OPINION commentators who don't claim to be objective reporters/newscasters. Fox News does have newscasters, including Brit Hume, formerly of ABC News, but I really don't hear criticism of Brit Hume for his biased newscasting. When I look at the FOX NEWS website, I generally find the same news stories as I find on any other news website.

The criticism of Fox News for a supposed "bias" is generally reserved for the likes of Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly. In the case of Hannity, he's part of a "Crossfire" style format pioneered by Ted ("Christians are Stupid") Turner's Cable News Network with Pat ("The Holocaust is a Myth") Buchanan of all people, and yet, to my knowledge, no one to the right of Noam Chomsky has accused CNN of right-wing bias just because it featured a show featuring Buchanan. With respect to O'Reilly, his format generally features people from the left side of the political spectrum, who come on and argue with O'Reilly and other guests. Often, O'Reilly sides with the "right wing" position, other times he doesn't. Oftentimes there isn't a "right wing" position on an issue.

At any rate, these are shows in which political talking heads argue with one another. Guests and hosts are specifically chosen BECAUSE they have a point of view. Of course, a guest or host can only go so far out on a limb before another guest catches him stretching things or mixing metaphors, in which case he or she is over a barrel without a paddle. There is a multitude of voices at the table. A guest's bias is checked by the other speakers on the show. Because of the "checks" inherent to this sort of presentation, bias on the part of one or more (or all) of the guests is not of particular concern.

Contrast the above with the position of the news anchor or the reporter. There is only one voice. There is no counter-argument or discussion. There is only a presentation by one person. If that news caster or reporter uses his or her time slot to present only one side of an issue, or presents "facts" which benefit or injure only one party to a debate, that individual's bias is a very important thing to know. If that person claims to be objective and neutral, and yet consistently presents only one side of the debate with his or her presentation time, it is right to call that person on his or her lack of neutrality and objectivity. The same holds for Dan Rather as holds for Brit Hume. If Dan Rather or Brit Hume is shading the news, then that's worth talking about and criticizing. If newscasters and reporters are going to be biased, then so be it, but let's be open about it, rather than letting these folks swing the knife of a partisan while trying to hide behind some noble cloak of "objective reporting." Rather's a partisan hack. At every turn, he's consistently done whatever is within his power to help the leftists and harm conservatives, while trying to wear this mask of objectivity. We all know, of course, that this is a crock. Why is it controversial to say so?

Liberals in the UK are boycotting Jewish scholars


Fun with lefties...


FURTHER RESOLVED: The ACLU is a bunch of hypocrites


So, the ACLU is complaining about organizations collecting, storing and sharing information about you.

Fair enough, but is the ACLU collecting, storing and sharing information about YOU?

Of course it is! As a result of your visit to their website, the ACLU has retrieved information about you without your consent.

Typical left-wing thinking. It’s OK for US, the ENLIGHTENED, to do because we’re GOOD people and we’re working for better living through MORE LAWSUITS!!! Tell us, without us, who’d protect you from the BOY SCOUTS, eh??? Who’d be there make sure that there are no INSCRIPTIONS OF ANCIENT LAW on the walls of the local courthouse??? Who’d be there to protect your constitutional right to marry your own loving FATHER, or PLATYPUS, or BOTH??? Given the important work we have set before us, it is very important, comrade, that you do as we SAY, not as we DO. Remember: all animals are EQUAL, but some animals are MORE EQUAL than others…

RESOLVED: The ACLU is a bunch of pinko commie crackpots...

Question: Although the ACLU often defends unsavory organizations and individuals, doesn't it do so in the course of standing up for broader American ideals and principles?

Answer: Any good lawyer can make some case for just about any position. That doesn’t mean it has any real merit. For example, there are arguments in favor of dictatorship. A strong central leader can act as a strong counter-balance to bickering and warring local leaders. A strong central leader can be counted on to provide for a strong national defense and a high level of order. There are arguments in favor of censorship. Radical ideas have a tendency to agitate people and can incite unrest and even violence. There are arguments in favor of police brutality. Despite the fact that certain individuals may be inconvenienced and/or injured, lessening the restrictions on police interrogation methods would almost certainly increase police effectiveness in fighting crime. There are arguments in favor of pedophilia. Engaging in pedophilia will increase the pleasure experienced by a pedophile and may improve his personal mental well-being. For the child, the adult with whom the child has close contact may be the only adult contact the child has meaningful contact. Why would you want to deny that child that meaningful contact? My point is, you can come up with an argument in favor of ANYTHING you can think up. Whatever the downside may be, there is always SOME argument which could be made in favor of some idea. That doesn’t mean that the idea isn’t, on balance, stupid or completely wrongheaded.

In its early days, the ACLU functioned as a socialist/Communist legal defense organization, and it has not strayed that far from its socialist/Communist roots. I realize that, to some, Communist isn’t a bad word, and I realize that, to many, using the term “Communist,” or even "socialist" is likely to get one branded a McCarthyite, but if it looks like a duck, and it acts like a duck, and it sounds like a duck, and it came from a duck, it’s most likely…. a FREAKIN’ DUCK!!!

The problem with the ACLU isn’t that it stands up for principles. The problem with the ACLU is that IT DOESN’T STAND UP FOR PRINCIPLES. The ACLU stands up for TEAMS and for IDEOLOGIES. If you’re on their TEAM and you ascribe to politically-correct LEFTIST IDEOLOGY, they will help you. If you don’t toe the line, you’re on your own. To hell with principle.

In many contexts the ACLU functions as the legal wing of the Democratic National Committee. While the ACLU routinely files lawsuits to overturn elections in which Republicans win, I don't know of a single lawsuit filed by the ACLU to overturn an election in which a Democrat beat a Republican. If there hasn't, in fact, been one, doesn’t that speak volumes about their agenda as opposed to their purported PRINCIPLES?

The ACLU will come absolutely UNGLUED if anyone tries to control an anti-war protest, but is 100% ON BOARD when the authorities are ready to shut up anti-abortion protesters. They will even file amicus briefs explaining why it’s OK to do so.

The ACLU will deploy armies of lawyers to block school vouchers, but doesn’t have the time or inclination to protect an individual student’s right to free speech.

The ACLU is dedicated to the proposition that the FIRST AMENDMENT is sufficiently broad to protect an artist stuffing a crucifix in poop, but the SECOND AMENDMENT is not sufficiently broad to protect repeating rifles.

The ACLU doesn’t appear to even believe that there are people who have dedicated their lives to killing Americans and Jews, and the organization is happy to do everything in its power to prevent any such people from being identified.

In my humble opinion, there is very little to commend the ACLU, regardless of its purported ideals.

Remember: Our Public Schools are DOUBLEPLUSGOOD. . .


If you feel agitated, don't forget to take your Soma. . .

Democrat Party Doublespeak on Illegal Voters...

This is just too doubleplusgood!!!

From http://hdc.leg.wa.gov/news/20050413_Election_Reform_QA.asp:

Q: Why can’t we purge the voter rolls and re-register all voters in the state?

A: First of all, it’s against federal law. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 permits removal of voters only at the voter’s request, for felony conviction or mental incapacity, or as part of a general effort to remove ineligible voters from the rolls. [NVRA or Motor Voter Act; 42 U.S.C. 1973gg-5(a) & (b). More information at: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/voting/nvra/activ_nvra.htm ]
But an even better reason might be this: Every legal, eligible voter in this state
should not be penalized because of a statistically-tiny number of illegal votes.
Yes, we want to assure that our system is as secure and as accurate as possible.
But in our country, you are innocent unless proven guilty – duly registered
voters should not have to prove themselves innocent.
We believe that voting is a right, not an entitlement.

. . .

Q: Why shouldn’t we have a government-issued photo ID or passport requirement at the polls?

A: The problems in this past year’s election did not come from people falsely
identifying themselves at the polls. The problems we saw were problems with
ballots being mailed to soldiers in a timely fashion, alleged felons improperly
casting ballots, inconsistent procedures, and a few people improperly casting
ballots for loved ones who had passed away.
By requiring photo identification at the polls, we are creating a barrier to those who have the constitutional right to vote while ignoring the real problem. For example, more than 48,000 seniors over 65 have no driver’s license or other state photo ID.
That is 7 percent of all Washington citizens over 65. Are we going to deny 7
percent of our senior citizens the right to vote? By requiring a passport to vote we are in effect placing a poll tax on the voters of Washington State. The cost to obtain a passport is currently $97 and less than 30% of the U.S. population has one. Voting is a constitutional right, not a privilege you should have to pay for.

. . .

Q: Can non-citizens vote in our elections?

A: Although that has not been proven to have been a problem
in the last election, within these reforms we are requiring that clear and
conspicuous language be added to the voter registration form stating that the
applicant must be a U.S. citizen and a check box confirming that the applicant
is a citizen. Additionally there will be a warning put on the voter registration
form that it is a class C felony to provide false information. There is no database to cross-reference voter rolls and check for U.S. citizenship. We must rely on law enforcement to prosecute individuals who lie on their registration.
In our efforts to better our election process, we must not disenfranchise
potential voters who are given the right to vote by our constitution. In
protecting some we cannot create barriers for others.

Should I feel guilty for hating the UN?


You really have to admire THIS level of Chutzpah...

"Put simply, they couldn't do that when George Bush became president, and now they can."

– Hillary Rodham Clinton recently on North Korea’s capability to detonate a nuclear weapon



For my money, all new proposals for government spending, military and otherwise, are presumed to be suspect, proposed primarily, if not solely, for the benefit of some special interest which seeks to profit from the public till.

Further, all existing government spending, military and otherwise, is presumed to be suspect, perpetuated by an entrenched bureaucracy existing primarily, if not solely, for its own aggrandizement acting in cahoots with a special interest which is profiting generously from the public till.

There’s nothing wrong whatsoever with putting the burden on the proponents of a program to establish the continued value of the program. Programs like strategic helium reserves and mohair subsidies, for example, may have made plenty of sense back when our defense weapons were primarily constructed of natural helium and natural mohair, but we all know that our modern weapons use synthetic helium and mohair, so these programs are perhaps not quite as essential as they were back in the 1980s.

Funny that the libs are all up in arms over this proposal. It’s the same thing the Gore claimed to be doing back in the 90s. Fresh on the heels of his earlier success inventing the internet, Gore reinvented government. Even got some patents on it, I think…

Kerry Moving Closer to Releasing Military Records?


Great Article on the American Left...


"Living Like a German" Can be Hazardous to a Woman's Health...


March Against Terror (Post-mortem)

There was a March Against Terror in DC this weekend, sponsored by the Muslim group “Free Muslims” (www.freemuslims.org).

About 50 people showed up.

There was at least one news story:


Very disappointing in a time when a march against Israel will draw thousands and be covered in dozens of news outlets.

I say kudos to Mr. Nawash and his organization.

San Francisco Liberals Pass New Speech Code

As if we needed more evidence that "liberal" is just another word for "light-weight fascist."


Sami Al-Arian on Trial


Friday, May 13, 2005

Top Brass to Border Patrol: Hold Down Border Arrests


It is clear that we are not going far enough when it comes to the issue of undernaturalized citizens (also known as 'undocumented citizens' or 'undercredentialed citizens'). I suggest that it's long since time that we did something. For starters, I think it is imperative that we pass a law, poste haste, providing for a Federally-funded, no-questions-asked, no customs free bus line, traveling between Central Mexico, California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. We could even serve sandwiches and free drinks, and provide federal and state government staffers on each bus to get everyone registered to vote and signed up for government assistance during the trip, with satellite uplinks connected directly to the government computers, just to make sure there's no delay in benefits whatsoever. . .

Of course I am being absurd. That is an awful approach. As even John Kerry would say, "We can do better."

C'mon, folks!!! As the richest, most powerful nation in the history of the world, one would think that the very LEAST we could do is provide our newest undernaturalized citizens with a nice ride on a modern airliner. There was a time we could count on American liberals to provide bold ideas to the debate. Where are they now???

Reason to Hope?

A group known as Free Muslims Against Terrorism is sponsoring a March Against Terror tomorrow, May 14th. If it is what it appears to be, this is an encouraging sign.

Their website explains their reason for being as follows: "Those who seek change are often afraid to speak out because of the aggressive and violent nature of those Muslims who reject change. The silence of peaceful Muslims has resulted in the hijacking of Islam by extremists and terrorists. This must change."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Italy to show Van Gogh documentary; Muslim leaders warn of "high-profile actions" in response

As you may know, Theo Van Gogh produced a 12-minute documentary last year presenting the radical view that, under Islam, women were often mistreated.

The negative response in the Muslim community was, to say the least, overwhelming. So much so that Mr. Van Gogh is now dead and the writer of the film was last reported to be in hiding under armed police guard.

An Italian broadcaster, RAI, has decided to broadcast the short. In response, Muslim leaders have warned of "high-profile actions."

I don't know what "high-profile actions" means exactly, but it doesn't sound good.

And Democrats Wonder Why they Aren't Taken Seriously on Foreign Policy...

Democrats at DU weigh in on the following question: "Al Qaeda: real or fiction?" Wow.

It's not the presence of wackos in their ranks that discredits the Dems. There are certainly plenty of wackos to go around, and there are plenty attached to both sides.

What discredits the Dems is the fact that they embrace their wackos unapologetically. The leader of the DNC describes conservatives as "evil" and, in what was either a tasteless reference to Terri Schiavo, or just a very insensitive choice of words, described Republicans as "brain dead." Dean has already tried and convicted DeLay, in over-the-top comments even Barney Frank finds troublesome. Misguided or mistaken, perhaps, but EVIL? BRAIN DEAD? Then Senate Dem Leader Harry Reid engages in slander against a Bush judicial nominee by citing secret FBI information he's not allowed to disclose. What a chickenshit tactic! Then again, Reid's been on a roll lately. When the man on the street is rolling his eyes at what you're saying and doing, you're losing credibility. The Dems put Howard Dean up as the technical head of their party, and Teddy Kennedy as the de facto ideological leader. Teddy goes on the airwaves to denounce our actions in Iraq as "just another Vietnam quagmire" right as free elections are taking place? and then they go around wondering why people in the Midwest and South don't feel like voting for them!?!? And then, rather than trying to figure out how they might reach those voters, they decide that it's easier to insult and dismiss them as inbred rednecks and unsophisticated Bible-thumpers. This really doesn't seem like rocket science, guys...

Now stop it, or I will be forced to threaten you a second time!


National Police Week


PETAs dirty little secret


The Anti-Corn Law League? Bastiat?

Background on the Anti Corn Law League here and here.

A little background on Bastiat.

GOP Federalism: R-I-P?

David Boaz has an excellent article on the GOP's abandonment of Federalism, noting that "conservatives -- at last in control of both the White House and both houses of Congress -- have forgotten their longstanding commitment to reduce federal power and intrusiveness and return many governmental functions to the states. Instead, they have taken to using their newfound power to impose their own ideas on the whole country."