Thursday, March 29, 2007


It's behavior like this and this and this and of course this that make me want to take a shower after I vote on Election Day.

Neither party has a monopoly on virtue, and neither has one on vice. As a voter, you just have to do the best you can with the information available. Which is why it is so important for the media to be unbiased, and why it is so dangerous that they aren't.

UPDATE 20070329:1318PDT: This doesn't make me feel very clean, either.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I think that every Senator and House member who voted for the withdrawal deadline in the Iraq funding bill should change his or her name to "Chamberlain."

Aside from that, I think the attempt by Congress to directly control how the President exercises his authority as Commander in Chief of the armed forces is probably unconstitutional. If they've got the guts to defund the war, then so be it, at least the Congress will be squarely taking responsibility for their actions. The action taken yesterday is a cowardly attempt to have it both ways.

See my "Nightmare Scenario" post.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Prayers for Tony Snow 

I just heard on Fox news that White House Press Secretary Tony Snow has been found to have a relapse of his cancer, and that it has metastasized to his liver. This is not good, no matter how brave a face Mr. Snow and his family put on it. He faces arduous treatment, but remission is possible.

I have long thought Tony Snow is one of the classiest acts in the news media. He is insightful, intelligent, polite, direct, and a host of other complimentary adjectives. And he has a wonderful sense of humor.

Tony and his family will be in my prayers.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Nightmare Scenario 

This one woke me up in a cold sweat with my heart beating like a triphammer. It goes like this:

Congress passes the war funding bill that includes a deadline to get the troops out of Iraq. Bush vetoes it. Somehow the Dems find enough votes to override the veto and the law becomes effective.

Faced with what amounts to emasculation by the Congress, Bush and Cheney both resign, effective immediately, thereby making Nancy Pelosi the first woman President of the United States under the act of succession, with about 18 months remaining in the presidential term.

So now the Democrats control both of the elected branches of the government with 16 months to go before the 2008 election, and they have to deal with Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and all the other fronts in the war against Islamofascist terrorists (which, by the way, they declared on us through their spokesman OBL in 1996 and again in 1998) and all the other issues that they've been attacking the Bush administration about, such as homeland security, illegal immigration, health care, education--the whole nine yards. The only thing they can blame Bush for is that he prematurely gave them everything they want.

In my view, a nightmare for the people of the United States.

What I'm wondering is, would it be a bigger nightmare for the Republicans or the Democrats?

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bernard Lewis on Islam 

The 2007 Irving Kristol Lecture was delivered by historian Bernard Lewis at the AEI Annual Dinner on March 7. If you want to understand Islam vis-a-vis the West, it is required reading.

Take your time, read it, digest it, contemplate its meaning. You'll be better informed and better prepared to deal with what's coming.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

US Attorney Kerfuffle 

This morning, a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee authorized the issuance of subpoenas to compel Karl Rove and others to testify under oath about how the determination to "fire" eight US Attorneys was arrived at.

As a matter of background, it is my understanding based on a snippet of punditry I heard on some TV news show that none of the US Attorneys in question were "fired" in the sense of being discharged before the end of their appointed terms, but were merely not reappointed to new terms. Unfortunately, every news story I've been able to find uses the term "fired" and does not explain whether they were in fact prematurely discharged or just not reappointed. In any event, these attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President, and as such he can "fire" them at any time for any reason, or no reason.

Yesterday, President Bush warned Congress not to issue subpoenas to White House staff, and said he would go all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, to quash any subpoenas that were issued.

I predict that the issue will never get to the Supreme Court. The parties will find some way to compromise, because the stakes are too high to roll the dice in court. Even if no compromise is reached, I believe the Democrats will cave in rather than let the Supreme Court decide the issue, because in politics more than any other human endeavor, the adage "Paybacks are a bitch," is a truism. No thinking Democrat will want a Supreme Court decision on the books that would allow a Republican Congress to meddle in the internal workings of the White House. Can you imagine how the Clinton White House would have reacted to an in-depth probe of Janet Reno's sacking of all 93(?) US Attorneys at the beginning of his term? One exception--if the Democrats are sure that they'll lose, they might let it go the Supreme Court, in order to get maximum political effect without totally upsetting the balance of power between the two elected branches of government.

If the issue does get to the Supreme Court, I would not be too surprised if the court declined to rule on it. This dustup is a political dispute between two co-equal branches of the government, and to date I have heard no allegations that a crime or civil violation of the law was committed by any member of the administration. In the absence of criminal conduct or other dispute relating to interpretation of the law, there is no legal issue for the Supreme Court to decide. The constitutional remedy available to Congress against an intransigent President is impeachment, not a ruling of the Supreme Court (I say this realizing that the Court has on several occasions taken upon itself the jurisdiction to decide political issues, not the least famous of which is Roe v. Wade.)

I think the Democrats in Congress will milk the issue as long as they can for political advantage. And then somehow, it will magically fade away.

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Al Gore/Lord Monckton Debate on Global Warming 

Gates of Vienna blog has a post about Lord Monckton's challenge to Mr. Gore, to debate climate change "in the Library of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History at a date of the Vice-President’s choosing." Now, there's a debate I'd love to watch.

Probably won't happen. Mr. Gore refused to debate the issue with Bjorn Lomborg, "The Skeptical Environmentalist," and my guess is that he'll duck this one with Lord Monckton, who was policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher during her term as Prime Minister of the UK. Hell, Gore even refused to sit through the GOP's opening remarks in the hearing held by two subcommittees of the House Committees on Science and Technology and Energy and Commerce this morning.

Mr. Gore is, IMHO, exhibiting the arrogance of one who believes he has a hot line to God--much like OBL.

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Moral Equivalence 

[angry rant]

Our enemies sacrifice children and use chemical weapons for their nefarious ends, and the moonbats scream "war crimes!" over alleged "torture" of the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and (still!) mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib that rises to the level of fraternity hazing at American universities. (Which mistreatment, by the way, was subject to investigation by the military before the press ran the story, and the perpetrators punished.)

My 13 year old has "selective hearing." The moonbats have "selective conscience."

Bah! What a waste of perfectly good oxygen! A pox on thee, Cindy Sheehan! A pox on thee, Code Pink! A pox on thee, Michael Moore! A pox on thee ... ahh, the hell with it--there are too many of them. Curse them all! May they suffer ten times as much as those who were wounded fighting for their right to voice their vile opinions!

The irony is, if it should come to pass that the Islamofascists prevail in the Long War, the moonbats will be among the first to suffer punishments under sharia law.

[/angry rant]

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Recipe for Disaster 

I ran across this passage in a book I'm reading:

Dismay and discontent can be transformed into dissent and disobedience. Dissidence can be transformed into subversion and terrorism. Subversion and terrorism can be transformed into active insurrection. Insurrection can be transformed into guerrilla war. And in time, guerrilla war can be transformed into conventional military action--but only when the guerrillas feel totally confident that the outcome favors them.

Each stage in the process supports actions aimed at exploiting the ruling system's weaknesses. The aim is not direct confrontation, but to cause a rotting from within. Agents corrupt or "turn" politicians. Other agents take over labor unions, student groups, farmers' collectives; they infiltrate the media, the military, and the police--all as vehicles for propaganda and subversion.

Does any of that resonate for you?

To me, it describes in a nutshell the process now occurring in Euroland, as being carried out by militant Islam, and in South America, as being carried out by Chavez and his allies. Some of it even describes the process now occurring in the United States, as being carried out by the likes of MoveOn, George Soros and their fellow travelers.

I think Western society needs to engage in some serious introspection, and decide whether it is willing to fight for its existence or suffer the fate of complacent societies throughout history. Sadly, I don't think the "movers and shakers" will address the issue until it's way too late.

By the way, the quote is from "Shadow Warriors" by Tom Clancy with Gen. Carl Stiner, USA (Ret.) and Tony Koltz.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Upside Down? 

The San Diego Union Tribune today has a story about the ACLU's lawsuit against Hazleton, PA, which has enacted an ordinance penalizing landlords and businesses who deal with illegal immigrants. The ACLU says the ordinance is unconstitutional because the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over immigration issues.

At the same time, many cities have declared themselves, or have tacitly become, "sanctuary cities" by virtue of the fact that they will not inform the federal government about illegal immigrants that they might become aware of, and some actively refuse to cooperate with federal immigration control efforts.

Why is it that the town that is trying to support the federal government's policy on illegal immigration is being sued, while those cities that act contrary to federal law are not only tolerated, but celebrated?

It seems to me that if the preemption doctrine makes it unconstitutional for localities to enact ordinances and establish p0licies that essentially support federal policy, it should be equally unconstitutional to enact ordinances and establish policies that contravene federal policy. Preemption means that the local authorities have no business legislating on the subject at all.

But then again, the ACLU long ago lost sight of its original goals and became a shill for the far left.

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Musing .... 

I'm sure I'm not the first to notice, but something's become clear to me:

Republicans generally talk about winning the war in Iraq;

Democrats generally talk about ending the war in Iraq.

Certainly there are exceptions, but the difference in mindset is striking.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Mind Control for Videogames 

Today's Wall Street Journal has a story (subscription required; page B5 in the dead tree edition) about a demonstration by Emotiv Systems Inc. of its new technology for enabling gamers to control actions with their brain waves.

The article is accompanied by an illustration of a helmet that looks something like the webbing inside of a bicycle helmet without the shell. (A more detailed picture is available at Emotiv's website.) The helmet has electrodes that senses the gamer's EEG waves, which are then translated into actions on the computer screen by the company's software.

The technology apparently needs lots of development before being commercially viable. The article notes, "In some cases, there was a noticeable time lag before [the demonstrator's] mental commands produced an effect on the screen." But remember the Bomar Brain? It was a very early handheld calculator sold in the early 1970s for what seemed at the time to be an outrageous amount of money, and all it could do was add, subtract, multiply and divide. Now businesses give away calculators that do that as readily as business cards.

As much as this may be a "gee whiz" application for computer games, it would not be a great leap to have it controlling real-world machines in a similar way. Imagine if someone like Stephen Hawking could control his wheelchair in this manner, or even control the output of a voice synthesizer. What a boon! And then of course there are the defense applications, which would be right out of science fiction.

I can't wait to see where this development will lead in five or ten years.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Gore's Hypocrisy 

After reading and thinking more about Gore's profligate consumption of gas and electricity in his Nashville home, especially about the hypocrisy angle, I've concluded (duh!) that what irritates people is not how much energy the guy uses, it's the fact that he's going around the world (literally) preaching to us peons about how we should cut back to a 19th century level of energy usage.

People don't like to be preached at, generally, and when the preacher is caught doing the very thing he's railing against, the preachees tend to get pretty fried; the level of anger is directly proportional to the degree of holier-than-thou behavior by the preacher and the amount of sacrifice he's demanding from the flock.

I wouldn't be surprised if half the people who got Oscars use as much energy as Mr. Gore, but to the extent they don't go around telling people "Do as I say, not as I do," the public mostly gives them a pass on it.

Mr. Gore and other politicians should keep this phenomenon in mind, always.

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