13 July 2008

Re-Commissioning the BattleBlog

Going to have to find somebody who knows how to re-start one of these things.

20 May 2007

British Lord Benighted

Lord Andrew Phillip, a washed former member of the House of Lords who says he no longer wants to be called Lord, is Lording it over us Americans. Yes, using his intrinsic Limey superiority, he lays waste to our foreign policy, morals, and intellect. All without needing to rely upon a single fact. Good Lord!

This Lord said:
To quote from the UNHRC Report,
"Following Israel's withdrawal, Gaza has become a sealed-off, imprisoned, occupied territory."

Come again? Occupied by whom? Oddly enough, I agree that Gaza and the incredibly modestly named "West Bank" are occupied territories, but this is because they are parts of Israel which are infested with generations of violent hippie squatters. There isn't a single Israeli living, stationed, or patrolling in Gaza.
Occupied by whom, Lord Phillips?

He later smears America:
...To Hell with the Americans, frankly, because they seem to be locked in the sort of benighted view of Israel/Palestine as they have been over Iraq...

I'll be honest and admit that I had to look up "benighted".
be·night·ed adj.
1. Overtaken by night or darkness.
2. Being in a state of moral or intellectual darkness; unenlightened.


Let us assume that he is not merely using the word as a rhetorical flourish, and that he therefore intends the second meaning. This is the crux of his complaint. At least this is something we can have a real argument about.

I might even be tempted to agree with Lord Phillips again, but as above, not in a way he might have expected. America's policy toward Israel is unenlightened or in moral or intellectual darkness" only to the extent that we do not support Israel strongly enough. Speaker Pelosi's intellectually vacant, beheadscarved appearances with the chinless ophthalmologist come to mind. Secretary Rice's morally adrift pronouncements do as well.

The problem is that Lord Phillips overlooks the morally enlightened and intellectually illuminated argument that tiny Israel is the only Democracy in a sea of dictatorships, each one of which is bent upon Israel's destruction. Israel has honored every agreement it has made, and the Arab dictatorships have honored none. A moral person, an intellectual person, has no trouble discerning that the enlightened position is support for Israel. I have said many times that the Middle East is not hard to understand, unless you do not want to understand; unless you do not want others to understand. Leftist politicians and leftist journalists all insist that the Middle East operates by some unknowable calculus, that "...we westerners cannot possibly fathom the nuance of the intricately linked sets of motiva--Oh, fuck it! We give up! And so should you!"

And if you insist, as Lord Phillips does, that those Arabs occupying Israel and those surrounding it are working for peace and doing the best they can, but just can't get any traction without legitimacy and some sign that the west take them seriously, then indeed you cannot make sense of the Middle East. Because every time these selfsame Arabs are offered peace, which should benefit a bunch of squatters with no army, no navy, and no air force, but which does not include the peace of the Jewish dead, they reject it. To the Left, the mystery is: Why would these people keep provoking Israel to violence, in order to live in peace?

But it is laughably clear if you do not beg the question so. Repeat after me: The Arabs will accept nothing less than the destruction of the State of Israel. If, as an analytical method, you view the actions of Israel and the Arabs through the following lens--Israel is committed to living with Arabs, and Arabs are committed to living without Jews--you suddenly see the formerly incomprehensible actions of the Arabs as reprehensible instead. This is a key point--unlike support of the so-called Palestinians, support of Israel at no time requires you to say, "I don't know why the people I support would do such a monstrous thing."

That is morally and intellectually enlightened.

06 May 2007

Two Billion Dollars to Imprison a Blogger


Meet Kareem. Full name Abdel Kareem Nabil, he was sentenced in February to four years confinement in an Egyptian prison. He was charged with and convicted of writing things critical of Islamist oppression and of the Egyptian Dictator, Hosni Mubarak. You cannot read his blog anymore, because he cannot write anymore.

Meet Sandmonkey. Not his real name. There's no picture, and now there's no blog. Recently, the Egyptian Security Service has been asking questions of his neighbors, and odd sounds on his phone lead him to suspect he is being monitored. He fears prison for being a "cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, [and] disgruntled" writer. His fears are well-founded. Just ask Kareem.

The Egyptian government has been jailing critics such as Kareem (already) and Sandmonkey (not yet), as well as terrorists such as members of the the Muslim Brotherhood. Under Islamist oppression, there is no difference between blogging your dissatisfaction and armed insurrection. And an Egyptian prison is not where you want to be. Ever.

We Americans have friends within the Muslim world, and guess what--Egyptian Dictator Hosni Mubarak is not one of them. Yet we Americans give Mubarak's oppressive regime over two billion dollars every year.

So look again at that picture. That's a man who wrote blogs like this one. Do you like what you see? You are paying for it.

24 April 2007

Sgt. Wilt is Wrong

United States Army Sergeant Jim Wilt is mistaken about lowering flags to half-mast in mourning.

In this AP article, he expresses frustration that the nation's flags are lowered to half-mast for those students killed in the VA Tech massacre, but not for American servicemen killed in Iraq. He proposes that at least the base he operates from should fly the American flag at half-mast when a serviceman from that base is killed.

I agree with the sentiment, but there is an important principle which has been overlooked: The national flag is flown at half-mast only on a day when the entire nation is officially in a State of Mourning. Countless Americans risk their lives in hazardous jobs every day. Every day, somebody is killed protecting America from terrorists, protecting citizens from criminals, protecting humans from fire, what-have-you. In no way does it detract from the honor rendered to those who give their lives to point out that if we fly the flag at half-mast every day, then there is no honor rendered at all. Just as a routine alert is no alert, if every day is special, then we could save money and simply buy flagstaffs half as tall.

Also, under no circumstances should a military base lower the flag of its nation due to one, three, or all of its assigned personnel being killed--without orders to do so from Washington. A national day of mourning is a Presidential Declaration, and no base commander, not even the Secretary of Defense, has the authority to go around lowering flags.

The third point is that the students who were murdered had accepted no particular risk, and in fact had assumed a complacent sense of security due to the declaration of the campus as a "gun-free zone". This was a promise made by the University which could never be kept, and as a result, after a certain point the students had no fighting chance. Please note that those quick-witted enough to act in time did not let the situation go beyond a certain point in their area. Those would be Zach Petkewicz and Prof, Liviu Librescu. But for the rest of the students, trusting and obedient, Death walked in and blew them away.

For this, a nation mourns in public.

21 March 2007

Flashback! Posts from the Past...

I wasn't blogging here for about five months, but I was active online. I ripped a few good ones over at LGF while I was away, and I'm re-posting them here. I'll tweak and update them, add context where needed, but the gist is the same, and it'll be cut & paste for the most part. I'm having a great time reading my oldies (most of which, sadly have gone stale), and I will re-post the ones which have stood the test of at least a little time. I hope you enjoy reading these.
Thanks,
Haakon Dahl

17 March 2007

Gonzocalypse Now

I have been over at the Free Republic, wading among the ruins after Hurricane Gonzales. This looks bad.

Name a single fight the President hasn't backed away from.
Situation A) An appointee of his is incompetent and he covers for them.
Situation B) An opponent of his is winning and he gives ground which will never be regained.
Situation C) He is unable to deliver on a promise, and avoids unscripted appearances for months, until the subject changes.

It feels dirty to say this, but the one fight he hasn't backed away from is -- the one he doesn't have to fight. I don't mean in the sense that somebody else has to march and shoot and perhaps die--that goes with the job. He is the Commander, not the Corporal.

I mean that the military provides him with the one thing that no other part of government does--a corps of unquestionedly knowledgeable experts, to whom he can always punt.

And so that one, he is winning. Won't walk away from.

This has been described as Battered President Syndrome. The result of years of a hostile and bitterly partisan media is that the White House no longer engages in public. Not for Scooter Libby, not for WMD, not for anything.

I saw a great post at FR, part of which I will reproduce here:

I'm afraid GWB has suffered a mental breakdown.
Oh, it's not outward. It's inward, in his soul, where all Presidents REALLY formulate their legacy.
I have been so loyal to this President and the GOP these past 15 years.
THAT's what really makes me ill in this whole matter.

I thought that was a good distinction. It's not as though he lost his marbles, or even his balls. He's just broken. This something I have suspected in G.W., and have outright said about Rice (she was the first to go, oddly enough, and will likely be the last one standing with the President).

Anyway, The Gonzocalypse is so bad because it not only brings out the most fevered of the left, but it also is EXACTLY the type of "flaming incompetence", to quote a Hugh Hewitt caller, that cost us the 2006 election through a disgusted and demoralized base. And still nothing changes.

But don't get me wrong--I'd still vote for Bush again over any Democrat.

14 March 2007

In Which Arwa Damon Rocks!

Arwa Damon has impressed me greatly two times, both of which I mentioned here:

Just saw a "man on the street" bit on CNN, although with an Iraqi woman, and for once, I am impressed.

Arwa Damon (who is secretly on our side, I believe) turned in a great report with an Iraqi college student, one Miss Maha Nidal, saying that the turning point in killing a country is when the schools shut down. This is a profound point, and so simple (as profundity often appears) that I am just flabberghasted.

Arwa Damon, by the way, was the only CNN type to turn in a report after the Haditha extolling the unbelievable professionalism of the troops on previous patrols, and saying that in the end, she did not know if those same trooops would have done such a thing, and that until the "smoke clears", nobody will know what happened.

Well, it wasn't cheerleading, but it's as close as you'll get from CNN. For our side, anyway.

Gen. Pace Calls Homosexuality Immoral--No Apology Needed

Here's a clip from the AP, via MyWay News:

"I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts," Pace said.

The newspaper said Pace did not address concerns raised by a 2005 government audit that showed some 10,000 troops, including more than 50 specialists in Arabic, have been discharged because of the policy.

Stand Fast General! A man willing to die for his country should be willing to retire for his principles.

Apology "neither required nor desired".

Incidentally, this policy was designed to keep the topic off of the table, not to keep gays out of the military. President Clinton wanted them in, the military wanted them out, and Congress hammered out this compromise with the White House. Gays in the military are expected to follow one simple rule, which is not to say or publicly demonstrate homosexuality, and the military is likewise to follow one simple rule, which is to not try to discover who is gay.


So the AP article is mistaken (or deceptive) in stating that 10,000 troops have been discharged "because of the policy". They were discharged for failing to follow one simple rule.

Finally, you won't see this mentioned in any press reports (I'll bet!), but the General was actually citing his own views on the morality of homosexuality as evidence that the policy allows gays to serve, despite his own beliefs on the matter.

In Which the Second-Ugliest Truth is Told

I really do feel for the poor Palestinian slob who thinks he is in a separate country and wants to raise his kids, work an honest day, etc... but those folks are a weapon wielded by the larger Arab world. It's a monstrous, evil, deadly, shitty game they force on us, and the only thing worse than winning a deadly shitty game is losing one.

In Which I Might Be Jewish

One day, we were having a discussion about religion, and the lack thereof on the part of, uh, some of us. Here's my take:

I call myself agnostic, as the whole point is that I admit I don't know the nature of the unknowable. You know, being mortal and all. I get a kick out of "Atheists" who want to prove that there is no Creator. Go ahead, I say, but be quick about it--Jesus is coming.

Heh.

I guess that if anything, I'm a Zionist. I feel politically very Jewish these days. I looked into the least religious variety of Judaism, but for crying out loud, it's a bunch of idiots dressed up as a church. With no God. How's that supposed to work? At that point, isn't it a club? Hell, I'm more Jewish than they are! At least I admit that there *might* be a God. It's not given to me to know these things.

So I feel Jewish and I don't know why. But I'm agnostic, and have been for better than twenty years. So I'm not really in the market, as it were. Joining a church would be intellectually dishonest.

Just the same, I hope that our friends without the ham don't mind if occasionally I say "WE". I feel it.

In Which I Get All Calvinist Wit' It

Little Green Footballs is a family place (er, depending on the time of day, and the temperature of the topic...), and we were discussing various traditions among the membership. Over there we have Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Ba'Hai, Mormons, Buddhists (I think), and so on. A sense of humor is a pre-requisite.

I may be agnostic (or I may not, heh), but I come from the Protestant tradition. These are my traditions:

  • Don't laugh--that's not funny.
  • Please be quiet, I'm thinking.
  • What's that on your face? Ewww, it's food.
  • Use your fork, not your fingers.
  • Say "Hell" if you want, and "Damn" if you must, but "have got" will get your mouth washed out with soap.
  • Don't scuff your heels on the ground--walk like a human.
  • My religion actually does allow me to dance--but you won't catch me out there jerking like an electrician having a bad day at work.
  • Tennis shoes are for tennis. Running shoes are for running. Athletic shoes are not to be worn except in the actual conduct of exercise.
  • If you must suffer, do it quietly.

Your Mileage May Vary.

In Which I Blasted the President

This is from 04DEC2006, just after President Bush announced that our Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton had resigned, and that the President had accepted it. We knew what that meant--that the President had decided not to try to force the new Democrat-controlled Congress to confirm Bolton. I was unhappy because Bolton had impressed supporters and critics alike, and I thought that despite the unfair and childish objections from some of the loony left, his nomination had a chance of being confirmed after the fantastic performance he had turned in. Sadly, we never got to find out.

I don't get upset at very much.

Bush Accepts Bolton's Resignation

I am now upset.

After the Cheney years, the Powell years, and the Rice years, we finally come to the Bush years, and it looks like the Cavalry is not going to arrive after all.

They were supposed to charge the enemy, but the Cavalry instead is riding off into the sunset. At two o'clock in the afternoon. I have little faith that there is any fight this President will not walk away from.

After pledging his undying support for Rumsfeld--shitcanned. After declaring that he would go to the wall for Bolton--shitcanned. After saying that he would not withdraw from Iraq? One wonders. One really effing wonders.

President Bush has failed to learn the only real lesson to be drawn from this election--that appeasing the Democrats gains a Republican nothing, while it costs him the base, and the whole thing comes tumbling down. As the Republican party goes, so goes the stand against totalitarianism.

I am emphatically not of the "nuke 'em" crowd. But if we fail to act while the problem is conventional, what choice will there be later? We are squandering our opportunity to prevent a global bloodbath, because we cannot stomach a few well-placed and hard-fought battles.

When the mushroom cloud comes, we will have earned it.

Losing Bolton was a blunder, and the History books will reflect this. As a triumph. In Arabic.


Hoo! I was hot. I'm still not happy about it. But the nomination and confirmation of General Petraeus went a long way to restoring my faith. Before that faith was partially restored, I squeezed this off, amplifying and expanding some of my earlier comments.

Few people were cheerleading for the President and the Republicans in general as optimistically as I was. Don't get me wrong, I am crystal clear where my vote needs to stay in order to not be complicit in losing this war.

But after watching this administration, which started out so well, so clear, and with such purpose, degenerate into a paralyzed Washington jellyfish, I have lost faith in the people at the top.

I take orders and carry them out with gusto. But also with my fingers crossed, where I used to have certainty. I do not appreciate this feeling that the leadership of my team may no longer be very interested in winning. I do not know what to expect from this administration. And that is half of the problem right there. Years ago, I posted here about what a shame it was, the sad thing which had become of Dr. Rice. She was one of the first to fall to Washington disease. Remember when it was a refreshing breath of fresh air to hear her belt out the truth? That was then--this is now. When was the last time you heard her say something that didn't sound tired and safely devoid of any real point?

Alberto Gonzales makes me cringe every time I hear him. Likable guy, but he's just such a weasel. You never hear straight answers out of him. Boehner and Frist (not administration, I know) played nice for so long and with such timidity that we wound up getting nearly nothing done [in the 109th Congress].

Now that disease has the whole administration second-guessing itself. The President should have told the Democrats that if they want Rumsfeld, they can pry the SECDEF from Bush's cold, dead hands. That if they want Bolton, they can 'Bring it on!' We Republicans have managed to surrender on all of the important issues EXCEPT FOR ONE in the vain hopes of currying favor with Democrats. That if we just stop being such Republicans, they will like us more.

Of course, this does not work, and we are going to get tossed around the 110th Congress like a skinny prison snitch in a thong.

I appreciate the built-in gridlock for arresting dangerous movements in the Washington tar pits, but how on earth could we still be staring down the barrel of Amnesty [legislation for illegal border-jumpers]? Thanks to the House for holding off the onslaught, but with all three branches of the government more or less in our sphere, how could we have walked away with so little?

And get used to the past perfect tense--we will not see another bicameral majority for a long time. Certainly not in conjunction with the White House. We had the Hat Trick--but played the Shell Game.

Here's a question for you sharp knives out there: What issue do you predict that the President will not fold on? Hint: It's a trick question.

As I read somewhere online (NRO, Steyn? Not sure), the President needs to snap out of it. He is still the President, and needs to stand up to these Democrats now more than ever. We ALREADY LOST THE GODDAMNED ELECTIONS, so he can stop playing nice--because it won't work any better for 2008 than it did for 2006. But at least we could win a couple of important battles while we still have THE PRESIDENCY. I expect him to engage the damned Democrats, not fall in meekly behind them in their march to hand the country over to the the foreign and domestic communists and their Islamic wedge.

But what do we get?

"Hap-py Traa-aa-aails to youu-uu-uu..."

By the way...
I have always debated whether I should give the Republicans (and I am one) a blast when I am displeased. Before the elections, I stayed in cheerleader mode; argue for the cause, rally the base, shore up the wobbly, etc...
Since we lost the elections, I haven't said much.
Now I feel that the most productive thing I can do for the Republican Party is to fire broadsides where they need to go. We are about to make the same mistakes which cost us 2006. Well, not me. I'll be contrarian IN THE PRIMARIES, and vote solid Republican in the general elections. But while I do that, I'll be sure backhand whoever needs it. And right now, the virtual hand goes to 1600 Pennsylvania.

Doctors are required to "First, do no harm".

Presidents in wartime, on the other hand, ought to get in there and mix it up.

L3ft1st P0etry

I Ran across this at the Poetry Barn. Was wondering what would be a fair price.

L3ftist Poetry,
Sorry bout the caps,
Habits you know,
Grammarscian Diagram,
of Angry breasts,
and Ulululululating volvos,
off me pig,
grunting ziopecker
I AM NOT IMPRESS
sorry bout the commas
forgot where i was and who was grading this
neocryptozionisticexpialidocious
the thr33 was like an e
i cant believe i got a c
nary shall there be a pecker
within sight or half an acre
sorry bout the rhyme
it becomes truly vhallenging to vlout all the roles at wunst
shit i broke the flout flaunt float flight
three strikes im in rule
Jawj W. Boosh dont care bou bla peopl
i declear the crudase
in my reciprocating tunnel of love
JIHAD on your creamy twinkie stuffing

It wasn't framed or anything bourgeois like that. Is a buck-twenty-five a good deal?

13 March 2007

Kareem Sentence Upheld

Here's the scoop, from UPI:

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Published: March 12, 2007 at 2:06 PM
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Egypt court endorses verdict on blogger
CAIRO, March 12 (UPI) -- An Egyptian appeals court endorsed a verdict sentencing a blogger to 4 years in prison on charges of insulting Islam and the president.

Judicial sources said Monday an appeals court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria approved the verdict issued last month against 22-year-old Abdul Karim Nabil Amer. He was convicted on charges of "ridiculing Islam and insulting" President Hosni Mubarak.

Arrested last November, Amer is the first blogger to be sentenced to prison in Egypt.



Here are the important facts:
  1. This Egyptian blogger has been jailed for speaking against the abuses of the Mubarak dictatorship.
  2. As the first case of its type, this is a matter of precedent. If pressure can be brought against Egypt to make them reverse the decision, it will free potentially thousands of patriots, not just a single blogger.
  3. If nothing is done on behalf of Mr. Amer, moderates within Islam and patriots in oppressive regimes will decide that we are not serious about supporting them.
Abdul Kareem Nabil Amer has done nothing more than I have done in this blog, or you in your own blog. Or your e-mail. Or a conversation with friends. He rots in an Egyptian prison while you read this. Please sign the petition at www.freekareem.org.

UCLA Prof, Harbinger

The Things I Do Not Know

I do not know why this article by UCLA literature professor Saree Makdisi hits me so hard. It hits me harder than most others which are just like it, and that is a large number, to be sure. Hatred of Jews is not in short supply these days, and articles like this one come frequently, and more frequently as time goes by.

He is not saying anything which hasn't been said before, or even recently, and he contributes nothing original to the current wave of Jew-Hatred. He is only harping on the same Neo-Nazi talking points which have made the rounds from Gaza and Jeddah to Paris and D.C. and back. The media closes the loop for this self-reinforcing putrid system of fevered beliefs, but this has not always been the case.

I do not know why the current round of Jew-Hatred has sprung up so quickly, or why it has done so now as opposed to some other time. I suppose it has to do with other global tensions, but this disease seems not to require a predicate. We might just as well pin it on the fictitious Man-Made Global Warming as on any other world syndrome--this is a phenomenon which occurs in lean times as well as fat, in peacetime as well as war, and in dictatorships as well as democracies.

It has been around as long as Jewry and Judaism have. "Anti-Semitism" is hardly a modern problem, and it does not need the 24-hr news cycle in order to spread. But that is its vector in the Western world these days. And as Jew Hatred has been around for as long as Jews have, it seems that only sometimes does it flare up, become malignant, metastasize. In our time, the media serve as gatekeepers, like it or not, of ideas admitted to the public discussion. But in this, the media re only a reflection of ourselves, of course. We are uneducated and proud, lazy and defiant, ignorant and smug, uncritical and unapologetic. We as a global society can no longer tell good sense from horseshit without somebody telling us which is which. And because the media reflect us, and because we follow the media, we have become lost. Nobody is minding the store.

Now all sorts of madness are discussed in reasonable terms, desperate battles of honorable men are debated and denigrated by cowards in places of respect, and piece by piece, each layer of our global civilization is eroded for want of maintenance, for want of defense, and exposes the layer beneath it.

The slippery slope does not lead away. It leads inward, and each time we fail to do the right thing, fail to take a risk for the sake of our way of life, fail to take a malcontent to task for disrupting the system which protects us all, we allow another of the million minor Satans to advance a step further down the slope, into our heart.

As a man goes, so goes his society. Seen individually, there are more pressing and more dire problems than "Anti-Semitism". Millions have died in North Korea, while a handful have died from Jew Hatred in the same period. Birthrates alone pose a far greater challenge to the longevity of Western Civilization than any particular ideology, no matter how malign. And in fact, the Earth may be getting hotter, say due to the Sun, and things may get quite unpleasant on this planet for every living thing.

But looking at problems individually is the recipe for failure. When humanity stops defending itself against suicidal ideas, Anti-Semitism is the vanguard. Whenever the Hatred of Jews becomes something otherwise rational people debate calmly, the entire world is in for a bad time.

I am not a Christian, or a Jew, or any other religion for that matter. I'm what you might call a "show-me" fundamentalist. But one thing my scientific outlook has shown me is that there is a Hell, it exists on Earth, it is created by man, and good people must fight evil or it will kill us all.

Using this article as a barometer, Hell is coming back.

And I don't know why.

08 March 2007

Membership in Decline

Steve Stanton, the City Manager of Largo, Florida, wants to be a woman. Didn't tell his wife. Didn't tell his son. Didn't tell the city. Didn't tell the voters. But when a local newspaper, er, scooped him, he had to go public. Here's a quote from his hastily arranged television press conference: "I hope my son isn't watching."

Coward.

He has been a very good city manager for years and years. Recently he was publicly rewarded with a salary increase. This doesn't change the recently revealed basic fact, however, that he is insane. Stark, raving, screaming, cut-off-my-penis-and-call-me-Shirley insane.

Anyone can see that this is a mental illness. If you wanted a doctor to cut off your hand because you have always felt that you had one hand too many, the doctor would decline, and recommend a psychiatrist. Your only option might be to travel to Saudi Arabia and steal a bagel some bread for some of that non-anesthetized Koranic justice.

But that's the closest place you'll find somebody willing to lop off a perfectly good body part. Unless it's your penis, in which case otherwise rational, civilized, western liberals feel that the problem is not all in your head--it's the head and the shaft which offend.

What is this liberal fascination with destroying men? In school, boys are medicated or disciplined out of boyish behavior. In public, men are shamed out of gentlemanly behavior. Opening a door for a woman supposedly makes her less a woman? I disagree, but even if it were true, failing to do it makes a man much less a man.

Nationally, we are socialized to believe that the use of force is always wrong, and that we must always resort to the government as a mommy figure, but nobody should be the Daddy. Television programs routinely feature fathers committing all sort of malfeasance. Whenever a family breaks up, it is either because a man is being selfish and evil, or because a woman who has been victimized by a man is being selfish and evil. The root cause of all family problems in American entertainment is the presence of a man in the family, or the absence of a man who was no good for the family when he was there anyway.


The destruction of the American Man proceeds apace, in whole and in part. Through the media, education, and mental health institutions, we learn that men are bad, maleness is bad, penises are bad, and we would all be better off with as little of any of these as possible. Boys are pressured to be like girls, men are trained to act like women, and penises are lopped off to be replaced with fake vaginas.

This is no simple personal elective surgery that Steve Stanton has chosen. It is not like removing an appendix before journeying to Antarctica, or having those tonsils out after a series of non-specific illnesses. Those are procedures which rational arguments can be mustered both for and against. The procedure Stanton wants, on the other hand, requires acceptance of a whole raft of radical liberal ideology in order to view the surgery as anything other than insanity. We can all tell who is a man and who is a woman when the pants are off. Only a crazy person sees one and assumes the other. No amount of liberal brainwashing from the University will convince me otherwise. In the Bizarro World of academics and journalists, the only good man is one who has no use for women.

I do not know what happened to Mr. Stanton that he should think he is a woman. Perhaps it was something in his childhood, or perhaps he was born with a brain defect. Either way, nothing requires me, or the City Council of Largo, Florida, for that matter, to play nice with this madness. When a crazy person insists that he is Henry VIII, you are free to denounce his madness. Extend sympathy if you wish, but you will not be accused of "discriminatory" behavior for calling this lunatic a lunatic. Same for Napoleon, next time you see him staggering on a street-corner. And the same goes for the alleged "Susan" Stanton, the next time you see "her", with or without her penis, in the Largo City Hall.

The City of Largo is well within its rights to terminate, fire, round-file, shit-can this pathetic side-effect of a widespread public dementia. The taxpayers are under no obligation to enable this sort of mental deficiency. Certainly those who are raising children have no desire to bless this type of miserable example.

Good Job, Largo!

19 February 2007

Death for 1LT Ehren Watada under Aticle 90, UCMJ

This is an article from the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ):
894. ART. 94. MUTINY OR SEDITION

(a) Any person subject to this chapter who--

(1) with intent to usurp or override lawful military authority, refuses, in concert with any other person, to obey orders or otherwise do his duty or creates any violence or disturbance is guilty of mutiny;

(2) with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of lawful civil authority, creates, in concert with any other person, revolt, violence, or disturbance against that authority is guilty of sedition;

(3) fails to do his utmost to prevent and suppress a mutiny or sedition being committed in his presence, or fails to take all reasonable means to inform his superior commissioned officer or commanding officer of a mutiny or sedition which he knows or has reason to believe is taking place, is guilty of a failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition.

(b) A person who is found guilty of attempted mutiny, mutiny, sedition, or failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.
1LT Ehren Watada is skating on thin ice. He is engaged in a deadly serious game, as indicated by the words "shall be punished by death" above. The only thing that keeps this article from applying to him is the solitary nature of his action, the fact that it is not "in concert with any other person", as in the first paragraph. Notice that this paragraph does not require "in time of war". That's right--mutiny and sedition are so serious that even in peacetime, the penalty could be death.

Still, the case for death for Ehren Watada is not hopeless. He has violated an entire section of the UCMJ:
886. ART. 86. ABSENCE WITHOUT LEAVE

Any member of the armed forces who, without authority--

(1) fails to go to his appointed place of duty at the time prescribed;

(2) goes from that place; or

(3) absents himself or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty at which he is required to be at the time prescribed; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
He is clearly in jeopardy of a conviction for Article 86.

887. ART. 87. MISSING MOVEMENT

Any person subject to this chapter who through neglect or design misses the movement of a ship, aircraft, or unit with which he is required in the course of duty to move shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
He is clearly in jeopardy of a conviction for Article 87.


888. ART. 88. CONTEMPT TOWARD OFFICIALS

Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
He is clearly in jeopardy of a conviction for Article 88.


...

890. ART. 90. ASSAULTING OR WILLFULLY DISOBEYING SUPERIOR COMMISSIONED OFFICER.

Any person subject to this chapter who--

(1) strikes his superior commissioned officer or draws or lifts up any weapon or offers any violence against him while he is in the execution of his officer; or

(2) willfully disobeys a lawful command of his superior commissioned officer; shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, and if the offense is committed at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.
He is clearly in jeopardy of a conviction for Article 90.

And this is just what the defense is hoping for. This is an attempt by the left to bring President Bush to trial. The prosectution is staying away from Article 90 in order to (presumably) secure a conviction on violation of the lesser article 87. In order to convict 1LT Ehren Watada under article 90, the prosecution would need to establish the lawful nature of the order to deploy to Iraq. This opens the door to a finding by a Court-Martial that the war is illegal. Nightmare scenario, right?

BRING. IT. ON.

If we let these turds scare us out of our own courtrooms, then more will follow. Perhaps 1LT Ehren Watada missed the class in ROTC where they explained that he is in the military, and does not have the same liberties as most citizens. In case anybody wondered why he has the right to speak out like this, he does NOT have the right to say these things, and will likely go to jail for his words, even if not his deeds. That's how serious it is.

Perhaps if 1LT Ehren Watada had actually been acting on principle, he could have kept this matter between himself and his Chain of Command. Instead, he went screaming to the press is what can only be called a PR campaign.

The fact is that 1LT Ehren Watada accepted his appointment as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Army after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. I have my hunch that this has been a calculated political maneuver at the behest of his dingbat moonbeam father:
I am a RPCV [returned Peace Corps volunteer] 1964 Peru. Last year I visited Peru twice and wherever I went, friends, relatives, and people of all walks of life expressed disgust with "Bushy" and it was impossible to disagree. Their perception of the USA is like a "Rambo". "Have gun, am right." Whatever good the Peace Corps did forty years ago in developing good will has now been destroyed. We eliminated the myth that we were CIA henchmen out to get the communistas.
We are now obsessed with a "terrorist" behind every tree, as we were obsessed with a "communist" around every corner forty-five years ago. We need to start somewhere to make a change. Bob Watada
The communists were real, and still are, for that matter. No need for scare quotes. Ditto for terrorists. The house in which 1LT Ehren Watada grew up was clear about who the good guys and the bad guys were. Marxists and Jihadis good, Americans bad. Loud and clear.


There can be no more shameful or disastrous an event in war than that one's own Commissioned Officers refuse orders to deploy, encourage their own soldiers to refuse to deploy, and backtalk the entire Chain of Command from Major to Commander-in-Chief--and that he is not forced to confront the fact that he would do a far greater good for this country dead as an example than he has ever done alive as a Soldier.

So let's go ahead and have a trial on an article which matters. Put him up on Article 90, WILLFULLY DISOBEYING SUPERIOR COMMISSIONED OFFICER. Punishable by death.

04 February 2007

Palestinians: "We don't deserve a State!"

I agree.

The Middle East is impossible to understand if you assume that Israel will not accept Palestine. But the Middle East is easily understood if you assume that the Arabs will accept nothing less than the destruction of Israel.

Arafat was offered Palestine, and nothing changed.
Israel has accepted Palestine (a la Caroline Glick), and nothing has changed.

Gaza has its own port cities, its own border with Egypt, and not a single Israeli on the territory. They have a "government" funded by massive cash inflows from around the world, and they have complete control over their social, economic, and military institutions. Nowhere in the history of mankind has a state existed with more freedom and less responsibility than the current Gaza Strip. It should be succeeding like Singapore, like Hong Kong, like--well--like Israel.

But it isn't. And it won't. Because it can't.

Palestine the idea does not support Palestine the "country". Palestine the idea is only a weapon to be used against Israel. So Palestinians are victims, yes, but of the massive Arab war against Israel. As surely as if the people were flung from catapults, you need only trace back the trajectory to find out who to blame. And it doesn't start in Gaza, or in the "West Bank".

The young men who explode in cafes and on buses in Israel were sent by the Imams in Egypt, at Al-Azhar University, and by the Mullahs in Iran, in Qom and Tehran, and by the mutant dictators like Bashar Assad in Syria and the horrifically inbred dominant tribe of Bedouin despots in the Arabian Peninsula.

It doesn't start in those parts of Israel currently occupied by Jordyptian refugees, but that is thin cover indeed for any who now cry for mercy from that area. If they really wanted to exist in a free and representative government, they would have moved to Israel. Or America. Or one of the comfy socialist nanny states of the European Peninsula. Many of them do. So many, in fact, that what is left in "Palestine" are the hard core, the bitter and fanatic "dead-enders" who have nothing to gain, for in a lawful society, they would be thrown in jail, and nothing to lose, for they have destroyed everything the Israelis left behind. And they have built nothing. The problem now facing the "Palestinians" is that for so many years, it may not have started in Palestine, but but also never stopped.

If the Palestinians wanted a State, they should have fought for it in Palestine. Instead they fought in Israel, against the only people in the region who had an interest in stability. Now that Israel has sealed itself off from them, they are fighting in Palestine, and have discovered that there is nothing left.

Fuck 'em.

28 January 2007

Senate Republicans, Stand and Fight!

Stand and fight! You should not even offer amendments. Just block this infernal treachery! These NON-BINDING resolutions have no effect in law, and the symbolic damage is already done. Therefore, it cheapens us to engage in negotiations, and gains us nothing. It will not even profit the Democrats, but they are too stupid to see this. The only winners will be our enemies, and it would be nice to have at least one party which can see that. It would be more than nice, in fact--it is a matter of survival to our very Republic.

You would not entertain haggling over the price of your wife. You would reject the offer on principle, and probably counter-offer a punch in the face. Your country deserves no less.

Stand and Fight!

06 January 2007

How to pay for the Global War On Terror

Some people think that the way to do it is to raise taxes. This is madness.

We pay for the war by maintaining an economy strong enough to kick ass on seven continents and the moon. You do that by keeping taxes low, which actually increases total revenue. If instead you raise taxes, you slow the economy, and you wind up with a larger slice of a smaller pie.

04 January 2007

Back by Popular Demand!

I have been away. Not in any physical sense (and no, I was not deployed anywhere), but I have been posting over at Little Green Footballs, a.k.a LGF, which I felt provided me with a far wider audience. Which is true. And the companionship of my fellow Lizards (check LGF to figure that one out). Which is valuable. But I have been solicited by people who want me to update my blog with increasing regularity. I can't link to it, as these have been actual walking, speaking human beings. People I gave the link to a long time ago, and who tell me months later, "Please post something! I check your blog once a week, and still all I see is the weird Kofi post, or whatever that was. And a bunch of comment spam."

SO I have cleaned up the comment spam, and we'll start this round of posts with a media issue--the New York Times is Lying. See the next post.

Thank you all who have convinced me to move back into my old house, as it were, to start posting here at my own site. I will regale you all some time with a post describing my computer nightmares which began in July, and are only now approaching a fantastic and triumphant conclusion. Here's a hint--I have no more Microsoft Code in my home office. No Windows, No Office(tm), No Nothing.

Ubuntu

New York Times Lying, says New York Times Public Editor Byron Calame

Time running out for Byron Calame?
Or for the New York Times?

I'll make an accusation here: In the end, the New York Times does not much care for honesty.

Please see Michelle Malkin's column at the Jewish World Review. There are two angles to this story as it relates to the media, which I will relate through some quotes. The first angle is that the NYT has been caught in a lie and is stonewalling, as reported in Malkin's article:
On Sunday, Calame wrote a stunning column debunking an April 9 New York Times Magazine cover story on abortion in El Salvador. The sensational piece by freelance writer Jack Hitt alleged that women there had been thrown in prison for 30-year terms for having had abortions. Hitt described his visit to one of them, inmate Carmen Climaco. "She is now 26 years old, four years into her 30-year sentence" for aborting an 18-week-old fetus, Hitt reported.
...
Climaco had actually been convicted of murder for strangling her newborn baby.
...
There is "no reason to doubt the accuracy of the facts as reported," the editors imperiously told Calame. They refuse to issue a correction, publish an Editors' Note or inform their readers of the ready availability of the court decision that exposes Jack Hitt's deception about the Climaco case.


The second angle is that the NYT "Ombudsman" Byron Calame has a two-year term, which may not be renewed, partly due to NYT Editor Bill Keller's aggravation at the prospect of being questioned from within his own organization. The following quote is pulled from a post at Malkin's site, which in turn she attributes to Michael Calderone at the New York Observer:
“I have been critical of the newsroom,” Mr. Calame said. “I’ve also praised the newsroom, and I think that Bill Keller has been—quite obviously—unhappy with some of the things I’ve written.”

“It seems to me that the high degree of independence that has been given to the public editor at The New York Times makes it a situation that inevitably causes criticism,” Mr. Calame said.

He added: “So it is not a surprise to me that The New York Times—that Bill Keller, the executive editor, and Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher—would want to sit down and think about whether they want to have a public editor.”


I have two observations: First, A newspaper shouldn't need a Public Editor or "Ombudsman"; newspapers should be public editors. If Americans need special representation within a newpaper organization to take their views into account, then what is the newspaper itself doing?
Second, the difference between strangling a newborn and aborting an 18-week-old fetus may not be as great as it seems. Eighteen weeks is half of a full-term pregnancy. It is certainly murder in both cases, to a certain point of view. Monstrously, they may both be viewed as acceptable solutions to an "unwanted pregnancy" by another point of view. Certainly to Ms. Carmen Climaco, now in prison for one of these actions, and the New York Times refuses to draw a distinction. What is point of view that says that the two actions are fundamentally different?

With the spectre of the AP's Jamil Hussein comeuppance looming large, the NYT would be well-advised to admit their mistake and back down. Cut and Run. Not because they cannot win, but because they are fundamentally wrong to pursue this. This was an interesting story, deceitfully misreported by a freelancer for the NYT. The New York Times' dreadful misjudgement
in backing a demonstratedly false interpretation of the facts (see the Malkin article at the Jewish World Review, linked above, to see how easily the falseness was proven) is impossible to reconcile with the mission of an American newspaper. That the New York Times has an honesty problem is not disputed--after all, they appointed Mr. Calame to address the problem. The accusation that, in the end they do not care much for honesty, is rapidly losing its accusatory tone--soon, that statement may simply be honest reporting.

For Ms. Climaco's dead child, the clock has stopped. For the New York Times, the clock is ticking.

03 August 2006

What's the Frequency, Kofi?

Rarely do we see a paragraph so mistaken as this gem from Mark Malloch Brown, the #2 man at the United Nations. And by gem, I mean piece of poo.

Mark Malloch Brown, currently Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, started his career, or at least the high-profile segment, as a journalist. He wrote for The Economist from 1977-1979, and so his investigative skill should be particularly sharp, as The Economist is often liberal but rarely shoddy. So we expect Mr. Brown to tell us something substantial. Something helpful. At least something true.

Let's listen.


It’s not helpful to couch this war [between Israel and international terrorist organization Hez'b'Allah] in the language of international terrorism. Hizbollah employs terrorist tactics, it is an organisation however whose roots historically are completely separate and different from Al Qaeda.


This Orwellian inversion of "helpful" to "not helpful", and of "identical to" to "separate and different from", can only hold true within a tightly-defined context.

First off, it's certainly not helpful from the point of view of international terrorists, that's for sure. International terrorists probably don't like many things about the Global War Against Terror, such as the American PATRIOT Act endorsed, strengthened and supported by all three branches of the U.S. government, the International Terrorist Telecommunications Surveillance Program run by the NSA, or the International Terrorist Finance Monitoring Program with access to the SWIFT database of worldwide monetary transfers. And so far, we haven't even mentioned bombs or bullets--all things which the international terrorists do not find helpful, but which those countries fighting against international terrorism do find immensely helpful. So I guess we can see where the UN feels its interests lie, and that provides us with the necessary context for Mr. Brown's remarks.

Moving on to the second sentence, Mr. Brown courageously knocks out his own shadow while the international terrorists of the U.N. march down the hall, unimpeded, past the office of Mark Malloch Brown. Nobody said that Hez'b'Allah was al-Qaeda, except perhaps Mr. Brown. But it takes a big man to reverse himself when spouting silliness and immediately begin spouting the opposite silliness. You see, he has traded up from Dan Rather's "fake but true" to "real but false". So with his journalistic integrity intact, he bravely and accurately destroys the truly unspoken argument that Hez'b'Allah is al-Qaeda by citing facts which are not true--that the Hezbos' and the Alkies' "roots historically are completely separate and different".

This might hold water if one organization were derived from a radical arm of bloodthirsty sect of a dark ages religion bent on world domination, and the other were, say, Shinto. It might make sense, if the goals of the two organizations were, on the one hand, genocide against the surviving members of the world's oldest mainstream religion, huddled on a tiny strip of land where they watch the graves of their ancestors pillaged to make urinals under the watchful eyes of the United Nations, and on the other hand, a goal of freeing the oppressed peoples of the Arabian Peninsula, Northern Africa, Southern Asia--and everywhere else the world's 1.3 billion Muslims live--from the hateful and repressive regimes they currently suffer under.

Of course, if you limit the context of Mr. Brown's comments to matters of nationality, and a certain time-frame, and if you quibble over differences caused largely by geography (and certainly not ideology), you could indeed say that these two organizations are separate and different.

But no, the origins of Hez'b'Allah and al-Qaeda are the exact same; hatred and repression under Islamic dictatorships which manufacture handy bogeymen to blame for all of the privations caused by first, Islam, and second, dictatorship. So America and Israel are the Emmanuel Goldstein of Islam's permanent 1984, a society Hell-bent on sending us all back to the year Nine-Eighty-Four.

Not only their origins then, but their goals too, are identical, and at any rate not hard to discover. It doesn't take an investigative reporter of any particularly great skill to ferret out the true goals of both al-Qaeda and Hez'b'Allah--Death to America, Death to Israel. You may even have heard these phrases yourself.

And so I am reminded of Winston Smith in the Orwell novel 1984, and I will remember the last four words of that book until my dying day, so complete was my horror at the masterful conclusion of the novel. Unfortunately, only the bad parts are familiar in reference to Mr. Brown, and the good parts are not present. There is no conclusion, and if Deputy Secretary-General of the international terrorist organizations the United Nations Mark Malloch Brown has his way, there also will never be a conclusion. Not one that you can read in a language other than Arabic, anyway. Also, the lack of conclusion is not masterful, it is pathetic, or it would be, if that didn't also require pathos. Only the horror remains, but it is ours, not Mr. Brown's, as we realize the bone-chilling truth behind this journalist-cum-diplomat and his views on truth, proof, context, and goals:

He loved Dan Rather.

24 July 2006

Kim Jong-Il goes to Washington

Kim Jong Il goes to Washington
  Okay, it's a scenario, and one which I do not relish. That little turd is about thirty years overdue to be strung up by his ankles from a lamp-post. He is certainly not overdue for some Presidential treatment.

But the opportunity presents itself for the President to use the awesome power of his office to make a real change in an otherwise stagnant situation. Kim Jong-Il wants bilateral talks? He wants to sit at the big table? Fine. Bring his ass to Washington.

Put him in a room with W, and let the good times roll. President Bush could tell that dime-store dictator that if he doesn't mend his ways today, there will be Hell to pay tomorrow.

There is an increasing rumble in Congress for the president to tell Kim Jong-Il to calm down or be "calmed". Senator Joe Biden (D) thinks that we should tell him directly, "If you do anything too stupid, we will AN-NI-HIL-ATE you." It is a joy to hear the Senator speak those words--listen on the 16 July 2006 edition of Meet The Press.

Senator Biden and (of all people) Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are in very close agreement as to what to do with (or to) Kim Jong-Il. Newt: "If you put a missile on the launch pad, we'll take it down, and if you fire ONE ROUND into South Korea, your regime is OVER."

They agree that these are the things which President Bush should be saying to Kim Jong-Il. For added effect, Bush could slap the little bastard on his fat cheek to punctuate each point. What's Kim going to do--call Jan Egeland?

That petty tyrant should depart U.S. soil afraid, angry, ashamed, astonished, and absolutely convinced that every morning he should mumble a bitter "thank you" to President Bush for not having him killed the night before.

The six-party talks have been a kid-gloves evolution designed more to force our slow-footed nominal allies into actually helping than to coerce Kim to do anything. If those talks have been a failure, the answer is not to be even more kid-gloved with the unspeakable horror from beyond the 38th parallel. It is well past time to show this human plague how lucky he was to have been at six-party talks. I now support bilateral talks between America and North Korea, but only with that demonic piece of shit placed firmly into Receive Mode.

Israel isn't taking any crap from the Islamic Party of God; why is America being pushed around by a small man with bad hair? The problem is not that Kim has too little hope--the problem is that he has far too much hope, and the United States is derelict in our duty to remove that hope from him.

Israel Justified, Force Appropriate Says Everybody

Here are the results of my informal and non-scientific poll:

Respondants who support Israel and think current level of force is appropriate:
Arch-Conservative English teacher, Proprietor of this blog.
Conservative Canadian English teacher, eh.
Liberal Democrat English teacher with tattoos, greatly admires Bill Clinton.
Aging Liberal English Teacher, balding with ponytail, greatly admires Jimmy Carter.

Respondants who do not support Israel, think current level of force is too much:
[crickets]

Respondants who will not commit to a position:
Fellow who said "the last I heard, the Ginza strip was given to the... Palestinians?"
Fellow who said "kill them all, let God sort them out."

So across the political spectrum, it's 4-0 in favor of Israel, with two abstentions.

21 July 2006

Bob Schieffer, the Middle East, and the Second-Ugliest Truth

Bob Schieffer has mis-appropriated the fable of the Frog and the Scorpion, and rolled it into the media campaign against Israel. If you start with the world-view that the Middle East is impossible to understand, you wind up condemning Israel. The converse is true as well; If you start by condemning Israel, then the Middle East is impossible to understand. On the other hand, if you start with the idea that the wars in the Middle East can be understood, and have largely rational causes, you wind up with this: the Arabs will accept nothing less than the destruction of Israel.

The story below, as the closing comments of the July 15 2006 broadcast of Face The Nation is how Bob Schieffer views the Middle East: Unfathomable.
When the war broke out in the Middle East, I thought about the old story of the frog and the scorpion who were trying to cross a river there.

The scorpion couldn't swim and the frog was lost, so the scorpion proposed a deal: Give me a ride on your back and I'll show you the way.

The frog agreed and the trip went fine until they got to the middle of the river and the scorpion stung the frog. As they were sinking, the frog asked in his dying breath, "why would you do that?"

To which the scorpion replied, "because it is the Middle East."

It is worth noting that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip did not kidnap that Israeli soldier and provoke all this because the Israelis were invading Gaza. No, all this happened in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal, which was what the Palestinians wanted, but this is the Middle East. Why fundamentalists in Gaza and Lebanon chose to provoke this war makes no sense.

Israel had every right to respond and did. But this is the Middle East. So, the response may have made it worse by giving moderate Arabs in the region an excuse to distance themselves from Israel.

There was a time when America spent a lot of its diplomatic effort on the Middle East and sometimes, it had real impact. Jimmy Carter's Camp David accords, after all, removed Egypt as the main threat to Israel.

But in recent years, we have stepped back. Why? Hard to say. Except this is the Middle East.

That sounds cute, and I am sure that Bob Schieffer actually heard it that way at some point, and so in a sense he is faithfully reproducing a story he has heard. But I find it impossible to believe that a man as presumably well-read as Bob Schieffer has never heard the fable in its original form. Note that Bob Schieffer has assigned the role of Frog to Israel, and the role of Scorpion to the Arabs--or else the paragraph which ends with the words "...makes no sense." makes no sense itself. I agree with the assignment of characters, but want to point out that it is Bob Schieffer himself who has cast the roles. Seeing the fable the way it was written will shed a lot more light on the situation today--which is what Aesop wrote his fables for in the first place.

The Scorpion and the Frog

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the
scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The
frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion
says, "Because if I do, I will die too."

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"

Replies the scorpion: "It's my nature..."


Now that is a very true observation about Scorpions, and about the Middle East as well. Let us re-visit Bob Schieffer's version with Aesop's original intent restored. And remember--I didn't draw this analogy--Bob Schieffer is the one who said that the Frog is Israel while the Arabs are the Scorpion.

We could simply replace every occurrence of "...because this is the Middle East" with "...because that is the nature of the Arabs", which would be closer to the truth, and would represent a concrete statement of cause rather than Bob Schieffer's abdication of the whole thought process. But we can actually use this as an tool for analysis of the situation by making explicit a proposed nature of the Arabs, which is this: "...because the Arabs will accept nothing less than the destruction of Israel". If that conjecture fits into the story, then it is a good bet that it is true; at least as true as the timeless nature of the fable itself, which in this analysis we regard as a valid argument. At any rate, this is far better than Bob Schieffer simply throwing his hands up and declaring the problem incomprehensible. Let's try:

When the war broke out in the Middle East, I thought about the old story of the Israeli frog and the Arab scorpion who were trying to cross a river there.

The scorpion couldn't swim and the frog was lost, so the scorpion proposed a deal: Give me a ride on your back and I'll show you the way.

The frog agreed and the trip went fine until they got to the middle of the river and the scorpion stung the frog. As they were sinking, the frog asked in his dying breath, "why would you do that?"

To which the scorpion replied, "Because the Arabs will accept nothing less than the destruction of Israel."

It is worth noting that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip did not kidnap that Israeli soldier and provoke all this because the Israelis were invading Gaza. No, all this happened in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal, which was what the Palestinians wanted, but the Arabs will accept nothing less than the destruction of Israel. Why fundamentalists in Gaza and Lebanon chose to provoke this war makes no sense.

Israel had every right to respond and did. But the Arabs will accept nothing less than the destruction of Israel. So, the response may have made it worse by giving moderate Arabs in the region an excuse to distance themselves from Israel.

There was a time when America spent a lot of its diplomatic effort on the Middle East and sometimes, it had real impact. Jimmy Carter's Camp David accords, after all, removed Egypt as the main threat to Israel.

But in recent years, we have stepped back. Why? Hard to say. Except that we know this: the Arabs will accept nothing less than the destruction of Israel.


------------------------

This new version actually holds together pretty well, with the glaring exception of this sentence; "Why fundamentalists in Gaza and Lebanon chose to provoke this war makes no sense." Wrong, Bob, it makes all kinds of sense, and where this sentence, the heart of your analysis, used to fit into the larger story, it now sticks out irreconcilable with the obvious truth, which is this: The Middle East is simple to understand if you are willing to admit that the Arabs will accept nothing less than the destruction of Israel.

An analysis of Aesop's fable of The Scorpion in the September 1995 edition of The Ethical Spectacle concludes this:
In any event, the scorpion's unexpected and self-destructive defection [betrayal--HBD] raises the issue of how to counter a player who defects first, and defects in a way that prevents you from retaliating on the next move (your life has ended in the meantime.) All assassins and terrorists play the game this way. Because they are willing to die--it is their nature--the future has no shadow [deterrent effect--HBD] for them. This madness is not unique to humans--the bee that stings to defend the hive, then dies, is a suicidal defector in nature.


"A-ha!", you say, "I have you now! The suicide bombers of HAMAS and the IPG (Islamic Party of God, or "Hez'b'allah" in Arabic) are like bees, dying if necessary to defend their, uh, hive from the marauding Jews!"

Not so fast, Ahmed. Nobody is marauding the hive, not even Jews. Even Bob Schieffer, who does not think this thing can be understood, can see that the Israelis withdrew from Lebanon years ago, and from Gaza a year ago, and that both of the attacks upon Israel in the recent war were unprovoked. He uses that word, unprovoked, in his own editorial voice. But "provokedness" requires a context, and the fact is that Israel may indeed have provoked the Arabs by unilaterally withdrawing from occupied territory. The only way this begins to make sense is if you accept this fact: the Arabs will accept nothing less than the destruction of Israel.

For in withdrawing, the Israelis give the Arabs what they have asked for, and gain the internationally agreed-upon moral high ground. This is an unacceptable state of affairs for the Arabs, because if the United Nations is no longer able to publish an un-ending stream of condemnations of Israel, then it becomes very difficult to explain the ceaseless terror attacks as "defense". The Arabs' worst nightmare is that Israel gives them everything they want except the destruction of Israel. That would take away their opportunity to destroy Israel with the full cooperation of most of the world, and the second-ugliest truth is that everything else they could possibly gain from Israel is secondary to that quest for the Muslim Holy Grail, which is succinctly and plainly expressed every single day by hundreds of thousands of Arabs and other Muslims in mosques and on streetcorners, in public and in private: Death To Israel.

How can we not believe that this is their true goal? How can we even assert that they would accept anything less? How can we then make our Foreign Policy one of "Honest Brokerage" between bloodthirsty genocidal savages in the thrall of the bloodiest organization the world has ever known on the one hand, and a tiny Democracy founded by war-weary survivors of a previous genocide on the other?

How can we? Like this:
First, fail to admit the obvious truth that the Arabs will accept nothing less than the destruction of Israel.
Second, anytime that obvious truth is plainly shown by well-reported events, watched and discussed by billions of people, repeat the mantra of nonsense:
"The Middle East is incomprehensible. Those people have been killing each other for thousands of years. You can't make any sense of it. There is no meaning. Nobody there thinks, they just do things to each other for no reason, and if perchance, one of them were to ask another why he acted that way, they would simply throw their hands in the air and say--because this is the Middle East."

Third, fill the media with people who will refuse to admit the obvious truth, and get the media talking heads to repeat the nonsense mantra from step two. People will have such a hard time trying to understand what the media is saying, that they will believe the Middle East is impossible to understand.

And that is actually the Ugliest Truth. The Media is the Second Holocaust

05 July 2006

No Twisters in Tornado Alley--Gore Blames Bush

"No Tornadoes Confirmed In Nebraska-Kansas Area This Year
First Time Since 1950 There's Been No Tornadoes In Region"


Failed Presidential Candidate and former Senator and Vice-President Albert V. Gore Junior (D-OZ) issued a statement condemning the Bush administration for the lack of tornadoes this year in Kansas and Nebraska. "You can't have KANzuzz... without tornadoes... [sigh]... and you can't have NuhBRASkuhh... without any twisters... and... [sigh]... if *I* were president, we would have had a bumper crop of tornadoes. Believe me, a Gore Presidency would have seen F5 tornadoes ripping the roofs off of churches and guillotining whole herds of schoolchildren with flying... duhbreee."



local6.com - Weather - No Tornadoes Confirmed In Nebraska-Kansas Area This Year

http://www.local6.com/weather/9468760/detail.html

[Flashback--NK Missile Launches] Ted Turner: Good Riddance to Bad Money

Ted Turner, departing stage far left a broken and meek man, had this to say:
"I just wish the last five years I could have made a bigger contribution," Turner said. "I hung in there as long as I could. I've done my best."
Failure. Like a mobster who has been shot in the face to prevent an open-casket service, Turner slinks quietly away, his money having far outlasted his sanity.

Here is Ted Turner's astounding appearance on CNN, interviewed by a gob-smacked Wolf Blitzer.
Ted Turner: "...I talked with quite a few of the North Korean leaders and South Korean leaders, too, and spent really the most time with the head negotiator for North Korea. And I was really over there to try and persuade North and South Korea to make the DMZ into an international peace park when, when they sign a peace treaty, which I anticipate will be fairly soon, now that we have the six-party talks, we have agreement there. But I had a great time. I am absolutely convinced that the North Koreans are absolutely sincere. There's really no reason -- no reason for them to cheat or do anything to violate this very forward agreement. I mean, I think we can put the North Korea and East Asia problems behind us and concentrate on Iran and Iraq, where, where we still have some ongoing difficulties."
Blitzer countered: "I've got to tell you, Ted, given the record of North Korea, especially the fact that, in the Clinton administration in '93-'94, they made a similar pledge, which they violated and they backed out of, I'm not exactly sure that I accept all your optimism."
Turner: "Well, you know, I was optimistic about the Cold War when I got to Russia, too. But I looked them right in the eyes. And they looked like they meant the truth. I mean, you know, just because somebody's done something wrong in the past doesn't mean they can't do right in the future or in the present. That happens all the, all the time."
Blitzer: "But this is one of the most despotic regimes and Kim Jong Il is one of the worst men on Earth. Isn't that a fair assessment?"
Turner: "Well, I didn't get, I didn't get to meet him, but he didn't look, in the pictures that I've seen of him on CNN, he didn't look too much different than most other people."
Blitzer: "But look at the way, look at the way he's, look at the way he's treating his own people."
Turner asserted: "Well, hey, listen. I saw a lot of people over there. They were thin and they were riding bicycles instead of driving in cars, but ah-"
Blitzer: "Lot of those people are starving."
Turner: "I didn't see, I didn't see any, I didn't see any brutality in the capital or out in the, on the DMZ. We went, we visit, drove through the countryside quite a bit to get down to Panmunjom and Kaesong. We traveled around. I'm sure we were on a special route, but I don't see, there's really no reason, North Korea's got enough problems with their, with their economy and their agriculture. I think they want to join the western world and improve the quality of life for their people just like everybody else. And I think that we should give them another chance. It doesn't cost us anything. We already have agreements. And North Korea never posed any significant threat to the United States. I mean, the whole economy of North Korea's only $30 billion a year. It's less than the city of Detroit. It's a small place, and we do not have to worry about them attacking us."
Blitzer: "You know, they have a million troops within literally a few miles"
Turner: "A half million."
Blitzer: "Well, best estimates are a million. A million troops along the DMZ."
Turner: "We have a half a million troops, of which 28,000 are Americans and they've been there for 50 years. One of the things I said in both North and South Korea is it's time to end the Korean War officially and move on. And get those hundreds of thousands of young men that are sitting there back building hospitals and roads and schools in North and South Korea and improving the gross national product. It's just a waste of time and energy for them to sit there."
Blitzer: "I think the bottom line, though, Ted, and I think you'd agree, they had this opportunity in the '90s, when they signed this first agreement and they cheated. They didn't live up to it. Now they have a second chance. I hope you're right. I certainly do."
Turner: "Well I hope I'm right, too. But you know it's, in the Bible says you're supposed to forgive seven times seventy, or something like that, but just because, just because, you know, I mean, in 1940, the Germans were our enemies. For the last 50 years, they've been our allies. Same with the Russians were our enemies before '91 when the Cold War ended. Let's give 'em a break. Give 'em a break And besides, even if they do -- even if they do threaten us again, the threat is non-existent to the United States. They can't threaten us. I mean, it's like a fleet attacking an elephant."
Blitzer: "What about those ground to ground missiles that they have, and the CIA-"
Turner: "They can't reach us."
Blitzer: "Well, they can reach Japan. They can reach South Korea. They can reach a lot of our allies-"
Turner: "They can't reach the USA, and we can pound them into, into oblivion in 24 hours."
Blitzer: "But, you don't want to get, you don't want to get to that. There are some estimates, by the way, that could reach Alaska."
Turner: "Well, what, the Aleutian Islands? There's nothing up there but a few sea lions."
Blitzer: "Well, you know, this is a serious issue. I hope you're right, as I said-"
Turner: "I know it's a serious issue. I mean, I didn't go over there to waste my time."
Blitzer: "No, no, no. I'm just, I'm just saying the point you said-"
Turner: "Have you ever been there?"
Blitzer: "I've been to South Korea. I've been to the DMZ."
Turner: "Have you ever been to North Korea?"
Blitzer: "No, I've never been to North Korea."
Turner: "Well, you know, I mean, at least go up there and look in their eyes and have a chat with them before you -- before you accuse them of-"
Blitzer: "By the way, I've made several requests, but they haven't let me into North Korea. But maybe if I go with you the next time they'll let me in."
Turner: "Alright, I'll take you. I took Christiane Amanpour with me this time."

When Wolf Blitzer is the guy bring you back from the fringe left, you have truly gone where no man has gone before.


Here's a statement from the aftermath of one of Turner's many comparisons between Rupert Murdoch and Adolf Hitler--Fox takes the relatively high road:
In response to Turner's statements, Fox News issued a statement in New York saying: "Ted is understandably bitter having lost his ratings, his network and now his mind — we wish him well.”
I am not so charitable. I hope Ted Turner goes to Hell, which is still better than the unspeakably gruesome regime in North Korea.
Don't come back, Ted.

Star Jones Reynolds is a Class Act

WTF? Is this the wrong blog?



Conservative. Republican. Rationalist. Military.

These are not words commonly associated with the (ABC?) television show "The View". I believe that I have seen the show exactly once, and was astounded at the stupidity, the willful ignorance, the liberalism, the militant idiocy on display. All of that and an around-the-world-and-back snap. Even so, I'm going to wade in on what I guess is some kind of big controversy. It all began innocently enough...

I watch a lot of CNN, I'm afraid, and I was ambushed by a re-run of Larry King on which Star Jones Reynolds was interviewed. She done good. She and I might wind up fistfighting in the aisles of a town hall meeting, but in her current dispute with BabaWawa and the rest of those harpies at ABC, she has proven to be an adversary worthy of far better opposition.

They fired her and told her that she could make up any story she wanted when she left, and they would back her up. Well, what her exit story wound up being was this: they fired me. This sort of honesty didn't seem welcome at ABC. Amazingly, she was quite even-handed in her firing announcement, saying simply that the show was going in a new direction, and that she would not return in the coming season. Anybody who can speak English can hear her saying, quite graciously, that she had been fired. She then offered plenty of positive comments for her co-hosts, and seemed to go out on a high note.

No fool, she prepared for Armageddon and still offered olive branches. When her peace gestures were rebuffed by the greedy corporate shills at ABC, and especially the liar Barbara Walters, she unleashed a fistful of the other hand. Oh, it gets a bit thick at times, "I will not denigrate Berbara Walters at any time--that's not part of who I am," she says, by way of denigrating Barbara Walters. But BabaWawa and the rest of the ABC gaggle made it easy for Star. Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie behaved deplorably, and they are now eating poop for it.

Spoon it down, chumps. DO NOT DIS THE STAR!

Truth be told, I couldn't care less about any of this. But I was surprised to see the way in which she conducted herself, and was so impressed I felt compelled to give credit.

Of course, I could be wrong. But if I am, don't tell Star Jones Reynolds. The last thing I want is her on my case. She's also a lawyer.

Guardian v. Israel (again...)

Here's a stupid article, or opinion piece, or for all I know news story from the guardian. This is a British newspaper, which is also called al-Guardian for its strident anti-Israel tone; like al-Jazeera for al-Bion.

If you scroll through the comments at al-Guardian, you will see that this is the same letter I posted in the online comments section of that paper, with a few minor tweaks (omitted words, misspellings) but nothing substantial has been changed. Note that the response only quotes a single sentence from the article, then proceeds from there. You can read the rest of the article, but it doesn't get any better. Here is my response:

This is a remarkably densely-written article. And by dense, I mean thick, stupid, obtuse.

Take this sentence from the [first] paragraph--"Israel's most recent effort to end the territorial stalemate by pulling out of Gaza and dismantling some of the West Bank settlements has drawn criticism for being too little, too late."

Never mind the fact that it was a completely unilateral withdrawal, a physical, tangible thing freely given in exchange for absolutely nothing. With no quid pro quo, this constituted an awesome good-faith gesture, and should have been recognized as Israel's genuine hope for peace and co-existence. Instead, it has indeed been criticized as "too little too late". Of course, this is said by those for whom nothing less than the death of all Jews is sufficient, and no time later than 1945 is acceptable.

How appropriate then, that Mathias Mossberg posits a solution which has been tried before, and under names such as Segregation, Apartheid and the Final Solution. What he suggests is the doctrine of separate-but-equal, wherein a somewhat intermingled but definitely separate society exists within a larger dominant culture. And with over one Billion Muslims clustered about that land, who does Mr. Mossberg think will be the dominant culture? Shall the Jews wear little yellow badges, stars perhaps, to indicate which set of laws applies to them?

When Arafat walked away from peace after Oslo, the Palestinians had their best chance to repudiate him as self-serving. They did not, and perhaps could not, due to pressure from the larger Arab and Muslim world. Why are Palestinians no longer welcome in Jordan? Why did the so-called refugees leave in the first place? The Palestinians are pawns in a cruel Arab game, but this does not make it incumbent upon Israel to lie down and die, which is the inevitable outcome of Mr. Mossberg's insipid suggestion.

Since all other solutions proposed or tried have not worked, I have my own--we should all go party at Mr. Mossberg's house. He'll pay for everything. Well, my idea may not be realistic, but nothing else has worked... and that's justification enough for Mossberg.

04 July 2006

The American Party Party

America is one big party and we're all invited. Please kick in for beer and munchies--there is no free ride. Please sign in. Everybody will get a goofy little nametag which may seem a little troublesome, but it is also proof that you are a party-goer in good standing, with full rights to the keg, the buffet, and the selection of music.
Which brings us to The Music! There will be a band, which takes requests, and when they're not playing, there's also a thumpin' stereo system. Bring music! If you don't like somebody else's music, just simmer down and they'll do the same when your music is playing. You can set up other stereos in other rooms, but please, remain part of the party--we're all in this together.
Please speak up if we seem to be running low on anything--some folks have thrown extra money into a pot for just this type of emergency. Bring guests too, as many you like, but guests must also be paid for and must sign in. It's just common sense, right?
See you there!

Okay, I'm sorry to do this, I need to make an announcement. It has come to my attention that some people, actually quite a few, have come in through the screen door on the side of the house. They have been drinking your beer, eating your sandwiches, programming your music and just throwing trash all over the floor. I would like to ask for everybody's co-operation in spotting people without nametags. Ask them to leave. For Heaven's sake, it's easy enough to walk in the front door and sign in, pay a little money. Even if they don't have enough money, well, we're all still neighbors--we do have a little surplus, and I don't think anybody would mind if a few people were allowed to sign in without paying the full amount. Right? So if you need a nametag, just go on out and come in through the front door. They'll take care of you there. Ed, what was the music? Yeah, please start the music up again. Thanks everybody--sorry to interrupt, but I'm sure you can see why I had to. Party On!

Okay, Okay, Okay! Yes, sorry to interrupt again, but the--yes, exactly, the people at the front door are having a hell of a time. Do you know that there's a line stretching around the block? Yeah well apparently some of our party-goers have been telling people in line that they don't need to pay anything, and word is racing through the neighborhood. Say that again? Right, I don't know who it is, but I would REALLY like to find out. Now the people at the door are in the uncomfortable position of having to explain the same old rules as if things had changed suddenly, and it sucks. Everybody is disappointed now--the people waiting in line, the people at the door, and us in here, too.
Well, no, obviously the problem is not that people need to sign in and pay. That has always been the case, although it wasn't always enforced so strongly. If anything, that was our mistake--allowing some people to "get away" with having snuck into the party. But even worse is the wrong information being spread by some people inside the party.
Let's get one thing straight--this party can take people in as fast as they come--but only if the sign-in and payment systems are working properly, and more importantly, only if everybody knows these systems are working properly.
I want to bring up something Ted over here said. He said we ought to allow the gate-crashers to stay here no problem if they got here before six o'clock, just give them a nametag, that they ought to work in the yard for a while then then be given a nametag if they if they got here between six and seven, and that those who got here after seven should go out, work in the yard, bring some extra money and come through the front door.
Yeah, I don't think so either.

Bad News, I'm afraid. Listen, everybody needs to walk slowly toward a door, or even a window. I hate to say it, and please stay calm, but it seems that Ted's friends have been holed up in the basement, listening to largely unpopular music, and plotting to take the house over. The worst part is that they have been burning the support timbers to keep warm down there. Yes, you're exactly right--if they had just stayed within reasonable bounds, then they could have enjoyed the warmth we all paid for, and which we all share up here in the house. No, I don't know why he did this. Yes, they could have simply joined the party across the street where that kind of music is popular. Well, for the better food, and colder beer, I guess. I don't know. Sorry, The party's over, and you can thank Ted and his gate-crashers for making it unaffordable to continue, and for undermining the very infrastructure needed to support a house in the first place.

THIS IS TED SPEAKING. I am in charge now, and I would like to say a few things.
First, that the condition of this house is deplorable. The previous administration has left us with a tottering shambles and it will take hard work to set things right. Crews are already hard at work de-constructing the bourgeois furniture in order to fashion added supports for the basement--I have seen it, and it's in terrible shape. Do not interfere with the de-constructionists--they know what they are doing.
Second, from now on, and for the foreseeable future, there will be no more free beer. Food rations will be limited to one plate per day. If you want to know who to blame, just remember who ran this place into the ground over the last four years.
Third, we saw the damage caused by having two different kinds of music available. Henceforth, I as your leader will select the music. When dancing is allowed, you will dance to my tune. There will be no complaints allowed.
Fourth, I am ordering the doors and windows bolted shut. There can be no question but that the open window-and-door policy of the previous administration cost us dearly. Their inept bumbling and incompetence has led directly to the sorry state of affairs in which we find ourselves.
Fifth, the multiple-tiered approach to party-going was a failure, and therefore, from now on there will be only one kind of party membership. We will all be the same in work and in play, in thought and in deed. Only this way can we truly be a fair-minded house. You can see how things such as complaining about the music, or asking for more food, are exactly the wrong-headed thinking we must leave in the past.
FINALLY, VIOLATORS WILL BE DEALT WITH SEVERELY.
PARTY ON!

Russ Feingold, Part II

What Is Russ Feingold On?

Part II
Russ Feingold (D-Atlantis) is full of something, and it isn't patriotic fervor.
All quotes in this post are taken from his 25 June 2006 appearance on Meet The Press with Tim Russert, whose quotes are indicated by RF and TR, respectively.

Russ Feingold on the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program:
RF: ...President Karzai said that he’s very concerned. He said it just yesterday, apparently. He’s very concerned that our strategy in the fight against terrorism isn’t working. He’s concerned that we’re not dealing with the financing of terrorists.
Senator Feingold appears to be criticizing the Bush administration by agreeing with remarks from President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai. Therefore, Feingold seems to think that we are not doing enough to deal with terrorist finances. So we may safely consider Feingold an ardent supporter of TFTP, aka SWIFT. We thank you for your support, Senator, and will count on you when the time comes.

Russ Feingold on Offense:
RF: We’re on the defensive in many of the places in the world. We’re on the defensive in Afghanistan right now in some ways. [...] So even in Afghanistan, which was, of course, an intervention that I supported, we don’t have our eye on the ball, and we need to win that battle. You notice I’ve never called for leaving Afghanistan. I’ve never called for a timetable to leave Afghanistan. That is a situation that we have got to prevail in, and we have lost ground in Afghanistan because our resources have been diverted to Iraq. That is well known, that our ability to succeed in Afghanistan has been hampered by the bad decision to go into Iraq.
U.S. Troops in Tora Bora, in Baghdad, and other such far-flung places are not on the defensive. Accountants and Travel Agents in the World Trade Towers were on the defensive. Note to Russ: when you're playing on your own turf, it's defense. We are on the offense in Afghanistan, and in Iraq. What Feingold wants to do is drop the ball at the ten-yard line ("cut") and stroll calmly for the benches ("run"). And if the enemy should, say, pick that ball up and run it into our territory (again), then it would be okay with Senator Feingold to go back and start all over again (see Russ Feingold on Quagmires).

Russ Feingold on Motivation:
TR: You said some Democratic senators told you privately they felt intimidated to vote for the war. Why?
RF: They may not have used that exact word, but they certainly indicated that they felt that there was enormous political pressure. Because the White House has done a terrible job of running the fight against terrorism. A terrible job in Iraq, but they’ve done a brilliant job of intimidating Democrats.
First, this makes no real sense. Feingold says "The administration is terrible at war planning and execution, and THEREFORE Democrats are intimidating into voting for the war? Huh? If it were true that the administration were so bad at all of this, it would be a simple thing to say, "Your war is a disaster and we're not following you there--bring the troops home NOW." SO this argument makes no sense--he is arguing against his own cause. I'll assume that the question caught him off-guard, and he simply retreated incoherently into talking points e.g., war bad, Rumsfeld incompetent, Bush lied, etc. So we'll give him a pass of sorts on this. The next example, however, is pretty clear-cut. The very next thing he said was this:
Somehow Democrats are afraid to say, “Look, not only was this a mistake, but it continues to be a mistake and it’s being run in a mistaken way.” And I cannot understand why the structure of the Democratic Party, the consultants that are here in Washington, constantly advise Democrats not to take a strong stand. This election could turn on this Iraq issue, in fact, the 2006 election, and maybe even 2008. The party that says we have a reasonable plan to bring the troops home by, by this date and to refocus on the anti-terrorism issue is the party that will win.
Russ Feingold says that it is consultants setting the Democrats' agenda. Fair enough, there's a lot of that going around. Let's admit that all politicians are motivated by a mixture of causes, noble and well, ignoble. Ignoble causes will include petty political calculations, but there's a harsh consideration here; if you lose your office, it won't matter what any other motivations of yours had been. So we'll admit that this mixture of motivations is a healthy part of any government.
This means also that anybody who tells you that his motivations are completely noble is completely suspect.
RF: The president—see, he has to give up the—his goal here, which is, which is not consistent with the interests of the American people. His goal is to broaden the power of the executive beyond all reason, it’s an abuse of power. His goal should be to go after the terrorists, not to try to broaden the power of the president beyond all reason.
But:
TR: The Washington Post [says that] 56 percent of Americans feel that you are using [your motion to censure President Bush] for political advantage. Do you agree with that analysis?
RF: Well, of course I don’t agree that I’m doing it for political purposes. That same poll, Tim, showed that a very substantial number of Americans supported the censure resolution, regardless of what they thought my motives are.
As to my motives, Tim, I came here to Washington to stand up for the Constitution and for the Bill of Rights. I believe this is an historical affront to the Constitution. I guarantee you, that is the reason I proposed it; that is what I believe. ...our children and grandchildren... where were the representatives...? Where were the congressmen, where were the senators...?
That’s my motive, believe it or not.
I don't believe it. Chalk one up in the Tis-So-Tain't-So column, I guess.


More to come in Part III, where we analyze the man's amazing PSYCHIC POWERS!
LEADER:
XX: QUOTE FROM SOURCE XX.
MY OWN RESPONSE TO XX's QUOTE.