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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

World Weighs In On Bush Iraq Plan

H/T to Moonbattery for part of this.

The world is starting to weigh in on GW' s "Victory In Iraq" plan. What may surprise a bunch of people is the reaction of French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who was very critical of Bush and the war. (From the NZ Herald)
Villepin, interviewed in Paris by CNN, said a badly planned withdrawal could
cause chaos in Iraq, "which of course would be disastrous for the whole region".
Wait, that's from France, but it gets better:
Asked whether Washington should set a timetable for bringing home troops,
Villepin said any withdrawal "should be co-ordinated with the local situation in
Iraq and the regional situation." "I think that the timetable should be a global
timetable," he said. "The real timetable is the Iraqi situation."
(John Kerry obviously hasn't heard this, since he wants a timetable, and never disagree's with France!)

If you need the fatalistic view of Bush's speech, the World Opinion Roundup at the Post can help with that.

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President's Plan for Iraq Released

The President released his "Victory in Iraq" strategy today, a 35 page document that spells out what must be done to secure victory, and remove ourselves from Iraq. I haven't had a chance to read the whole document, but when I do I'll probably comment again.

Here are some exerpts from the plan


"Our mission in Iraq is clear. We're hunting down the terrorists. We're helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We're advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are removing a source of violence and instability, and laying the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren."
-President George W. Bush, June 28, 2003

Here are some of the goals, in a condensed format (from the Washington Post)

In the short term:
* An Iraq that is making steady progress in fighting terrorists and neutralizing the insurgency, meeting political milestones; building democratic institutions; standing up robust security forces to gather intelligence, destroy terrorist networks, and maintain security; and tackling key economic reforms to lay the foundation for a sound economy.
In the medium term:
* An Iraq that is in the lead defeating terrorists and insurgents and providing its own security, with a constitutional, elected government in place, providing an inspiring example to reformers in the region, and well on its way to achieving its economic potential.
In the longer term:
* An Iraq that has defeated the terrorists and neutralized the insurgency.
* An Iraq that is peaceful, united, stable, democratic, and secure, where Iraqis have the institutions and resources they need to govern themselves justly and provide security for their country.
* An Iraq that is a partner in the global war on terror and the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, integrated into the international community, an engine for regional economic growth, and proving the fruits of democratic governance to the region.

Here's a link to the whole 35 page PDF file.

He makes some good points, the goals can't be time defined but instead circumstance and condition based. For the novices, that's how you fight wars.

Failure can't be an option if we want trust in the Middle East, or other areas of the world where a country might be looking for help to build a democracy.

It's going to take time, wars are fast, building countries takes time.

My own thought, Iraq held it's first elections in less than 3 years, it took Germany and Japan 5 and 7 to hold theirs after WWII, it took the US about a dozen after we declared our independence. Why are we in such a rush to call this over? They are really ahead of most schedules if we look at history.

Update, Democrats react to the plan.
Nancy Pelosi came out today after the President's speech and endorsed John Murtha's plan for Iraq, not the President, looking for a quick exit as opposed to a path for victory.

John Kerry, in his normal indecisive tone came out with 'the President didn't address the fact that the troops are part of the problem, and drawing them down has to be part of the answer'. John, read the document, because it actually acknowledges the fact that we need to remove troops, because Iraq needs to be independent, and not occupied, but not on a timetable.
Harry Reid of course said "Same tired rhetoric"

Junkyard Blog has more on Pelosi.
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Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

The Washington Post has an opinion piece called "Foolish Fences" today, written by Douglas S. Massey, a sociology professor at Princeton. (The Fix has poll data on immigration)

Mr. Massey tries to make the point in his article that a border fence with Mexico is a bad idea, and that just reforming immigration policy will fix the problem of illegal border crossings.

I'll say straight out, he's wrong on that point. He makes some good points on the "how to's" of fixing immigration policy, noting that a well managed policy is key to protecting American jobs and enhancing security.

Here's where he's wrong, the fence should be an integral part of that policy, not something tossed aside because of expense, or the "image" that it might represent. As the old saying goes, good fences make good neighbors.

Immigration reform needs about four parts. The first is some sort of guest worker program, so that the folks coming in are documented. It needs to be an intergovernmental agency, with Mexico handling background checks from it's side of the border, and providing names, and the US providing lists of companies requiring workers.

The companies need to be held partly responsible, reporting to the agency when a worker is fired, or quits, so they can have their visa revoked. The workers would be given social security accounts, and be required to pay US taxes on the income earned here. If later on they immigrated and naturalized, they'd have a start paying into the system.

The second part, which is more controversial, but I think necessary, is a Constitutional reform removing citizenship as a birthright. In other words if you are in the US on a temporary visa, be it student, temporary worker, or vacation, or here illegally, and have a child, that child is no longer given citizenship to the US. If you are here with permanent resident status, naturalized, or a US Citizen, it wouldn't affect you. That would immediately remove one large incentive for border crossings.

Third, we need to make the penalties for coming here illegally painful. As the President has pointed out this week, "catch and release" isn't working, it should be limited to bass fishing, not immigration. The penalties need to be for both the immigrant, anyone caught employing them, and anyone harboring them.

Finally, the fence needs to be built. I'd prefer a 12 foot chain link, double wide electric fence filled with concertina wire, just like prisons. Make it tough to get through. If you want to come into the country, use a regular border crossing. Just like your neighbor doesn't hop the fence to come to a BBQ, our international neighbors will need to use the gate.

I don't believe there should be an amnesty program anywhere in this. If you are here illegally, you are removed from the country, and your fingerprints and identity stored so that you can be kept out for a minimum amount of time.

That's my rant on it, what's your opinion?
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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Jim McDermott, Moonbatus Extremus

About 10 days ago the US House debated a resolution to immediately withdraw from Iraq. The day after that I promised I would post Jim McDermott comments from that session.

The more I read them, the more I'm convinced this man is the epitome of the moonbat we all talk about. He doesn't get the war on terror, or the war in Iraq. He believes that thugs, crooks and terrorists can be negotiated with. He thinks the 1991 Gulf War would have been avoided
if we'd have let the Arab League handle the issue.

You'll have to click the "full post" link, because these are long comments, but they should be read, as they show just how clueless some folks are about the world.

In the world Mr. McDermott lives in, human rights workers wouldn't be taken hostage, they'd be revered, but they have been taken and threatened.

Here are his remarks...... (click for the full post)

Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, I come to the well tonight after a long day of debate on whether or not we should redeploy our troops from Iraq.
A careful reading of the gentleman from Pennsylvania's resolution, had we debated it, would have pointed out that the fourth point that he raised was that we have to diplomatically pursue security
and stability in Iraq.

It is that issue I want to talk about because the question is always raised, If we leave, will it not get worse? Will it not just explode into civil war? We have already got that. And the question must be answered as we talk about deployment from out of the country.

At the same time, we have to decide to call on the Arab League or the Egyptians, to call together all the members of the community of Iraq: the Sunnis, the Shiias, the Kurds, the Turkomens, the Assyrians. All of them need to come together in a conference to resolve this. We have the idea
that we can go with a Western idea of a constitution and that because it works here, we can just insert it into an Arab culture that has never worked under those circumstances

What we need to do is recognize how Arabs have resolved problems for hundreds, thousands of years, if you will. It is called reaching an atwa.

If two villages, and this story was told to me by an iman, a high ranking Iraqi, he said many years ago two villages had a brother and sister and they married across these two towns. One went to one village, the other went to the other village. In one village the wife was fertile and quickly had three children. In the other, the wife was barren and had no children. The village made fun of her. They ridiculed her. They said she was a terrible woman, and the social pressure was so great that she killed herself by throwing herself into the village well.

Now under Arabic custom, that village that lost this woman has a right to go and extract blood within 24 hours. As those two villages came together for this bloodletting that was going to happen, they called and got them all to sit down and they decided how they were going to resolve this situation.

The decision was made that the village that had had the young woman die in it would give $20,000 to the other village and that there would be no contact between those villages for 20 years. They reached an atwa, A-T-W-A.

What that is in the Arabic culture is an arrangement, not a peace treaty. In the West we think of peace treaties where I agree with you and you agree with me, and we sign a bunch of pieces of paper. In the Arab culture where there is honor, people say I will stay here for 20 years
and you will stay there.

The gentleman who told me the story said I was there 20 years later when the money was brought back from the first village back to its original place. He said within 2 years, there were
marriages between the young people from the two villages. Even though they were 6 kilometers apart, for 20 years there had been no contact.

Now, Arabs have been resolving these kinds of things for thousands of years in the desert. There is a way for the Sunnis and the Shiias and the Kurds and the Turkomens to come together, but it cannot be driven by the United States. We cannot say you come over here and come to this conference that we are going to have in some hotel somewhere. It has to be called by the Arab

This same thing could have prevented the gulf war back in 1991. When Saddam Hussein went into Kuwait, the Arab League said before the Americans attack, let us settle this among the Arab community. This is a fight among us. Saddam Hussein thought he had fought in Iran because he was defending Kuwait and the Saudis, and he thought that they owed him something. He said give me some money, and they said no. And so he said all right, then I am going to move in and take Kuwait.

It could have been resolved if we had the patience to let this happen and the mentality in the
White House that can allow Iraq to develop its own peaceful society. We have removed Saddam Hussein. We are all glad, but we now must let the Arabs resolve the situation in a way that makes sense to them.

There you have it, Jim McDermott's proposal, that we hold an ATWA meeting.

Notice his comments "in the Arab culture, where there is honor", is he implying there is no honor in other cultures?

Mr.McDermott is also a student of revisionist history. In 1991 the Arab world was asking the west for help after Hussein invaded Kuwait. But evidently the invasion was okay, according to Jim, because Kuwait and Saudi Arabia "owed" Saddam for the Iran/Iraq war?

This is scary, the guy obviously doesn't understand that appeasement isn't going to work with the terrorists in Iraq. In fact, elimination is the only answer. He also doesn't get that the majority of Iraqis want a democracy, not the theocracy that most other Arab nations would rather foist upon them.
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Counter Point To the Rest of the Left

A few weeks ago I posted that I'd voted for Joe Lieberman as a write in in 2004, not George Bush. Today's WSJ has another reason why.... Read it here.

Thanks to Charlie Sykes for posting the column. Because it's in the Journal I'm sure a lot of lefties won't read it, but they should, since this is the guy they claim should be VP.

Here's a quick quote, I won't post the whole column, but check it out at Sykes place.

In the face of terrorist threats and escalating violence, eight million Iraqis voted for their interim national government in January, almost 10 million participated in the referendum on their new constitution in October, and even more than that are expected to vote in the elections for a full-term government on Dec. 15. Every time the 27 million Iraqis have been given the chance since Saddam was overthrown, they have voted for self-government and hope over the violence and hatred the 10,000 terrorists offer them. ...

None of these remarkable changes would have happened without the coalition forces led by the U.S. And, I am convinced, almost all of the progress in Iraq and throughout the Middle East will be lost if those forces are withdrawn faster than the Iraqi military is capable of securing the country.

And as another counter point to the majority of the left (or so it seems) Gov. Mark Warner of Va. has also rejected the timeline idea. He's got a great quote also, To set an arbitrary deadline or specific date is not appropriate," he said. "... It is incumbent on the president to set milestones for what he believes will be the conclusion." I've got $5.00 that you don't hear those words from Harry Reid or Ted Kennedy anytime soon.

The Fix has a run down on the Democrats split personality on this issue.
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Richard Cohen's Column, More than Mistakes

Revisionist History was my favorite class in high school, and evidently Richard Cohen from the Washington Post was the guy who taught my teacher how it works. According to his column today "More than a Mistake on Iraq" the only people in the universe who felt there could be weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were in the Bush Administration.
The truth, though, if he cares to click on the picture at the left, is that Bill Clinton and a number of other folks felt the same way in 1998. In fact one of the people he eloquently defends for his "mistake of a vote", John Kerry, in the late 1990's was willing to go to war over them.

Now, while Mr. Cohen does question why some Democrats voted for the war, and now call it a mistake, he's got some basic facts wrong. He claims the uranium from Niger and other parts of the administrations case were under doubt. That particular case the doubt came from Joe Wilson, who's own senate testimony should put his word at doubt, and the fact that two European intelligence agencies still stand behind their information (Italy and Britain).

He also points out that the UN had not found anything during it's inspections, and it "was clear" there were no nuclear weapons. Maybe Richard should read the UN report instead, which Blix says more time is needed to be sure, and that "to date" there hadn't been anything found. To Date and Was Clear are very different things. But, as I pointed out with Mr. Meyerson at the Post a few days ago, it really doesn't matter if you have the facts right when you are opinion columnist. (That applies to opinion bloggers, too)

The final question to Mr. Cohen though, has to be "Would Iraq be better off with Saddam Hussein in charge right now?" Because if the answer is NO, then the war wasn't a mistake, no matter how much you hate George Bush. If the answer is yes, then he should join Ramsey Clark on the defense team for Saddam.

Trackback at Don Surber, who has a good post on reform in gov't under Bush. The Debate at Wapo has a running dialog on this also, and Confederate Yankee has a great dissection of facts on the matter.
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Monday, November 28, 2005

The Duke Is Gone

Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a 19 year congressional rep, and Viet Nam fighter ace, resigned from congress this afternoon after pleading guilty to taking 2.5 million in bribes.

The exact date of his resignation isn't known yet, but what is known is there will be a special election to fill his seat. California law requires the election, instead of an appointment by the governor. So they get an election in January or February, a run off in March if needed, and then start all over again for the November election.

Chris Cillizza at the Post is reporting that it will be an immediate resignation, I'm guess based on the wording of Cunningham's press release, "I would like to plead guilty and begin serving a prison term".

While Dem's will work to make hay with this, they still have a few of their own under investigation, so they might actually have to stay a little quieter than normal. Though Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi staying quiet is hard to believe.

While I've defended Duke here when the investigation started, I will now admit he needs to go, and I'm glad he resigned, and admitted his guilt. That's how I think our elected officials should behave when caught doing something this serious.
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Dennis Byrne on Iraq's Elections

Dennis Byrne at the Chicago Tribune has a great column in today's paper about the upcoming Iraqi parlimentary elections, and some correlations to elections, Chicago style. He wonders where the "the next election in Iraq will be a failure" crowd is, and compares the supposed abuses in Iraq's elections to the standard operating procedure in Chicago elections.

The best lines from his column follow, and point out something that needs to be pointed out over and over again (emphasis mine):
The point? The heroic Iraqi citizens have traveled a more dangerous road toward democracy more rapidly then anyone ever expected, making that another part of the "failed war plan," I assume. Can we agree that it's great for Iraq,the Middle East and for us? Or perhaps you can't share this enthusiasm because you hate the Bushies so much that a part of you hopes the elections fail.

And his closing line is even better, and takes a good swipe at some folks who require one:
Understand, I'm not saying that abandoning the Iraqis now is
unpatriotic. Just mistaken and an unconscionable betrayal.

I think that about sums up the situation over there, concerning the elections, and our "cut and run" crowd at home.

Don Surber has a great post on the idea of war for politics in his article on Tom Daschle voting for the war to get votes.
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Rasberry on Iraq and Democrats

William Rasberry makes a good point in his syndicated column today, about the state of affairs over Iraq.

He's correct in the fact that Democrats, and some Republican's, like Colin Powell, do have buyers remorse over the Iraq war, and the intelligence used to get us there. As Powell has pointed out, some folks in the intelligence community knew some of the evidence was shaky, but didn't speak out.
(click "read the full post" for the rest of the story)
Bill is wrong in his assertation that the Congressional Vote in 2002 wasn't a vote for war, but a vote to authorize the use of force? Huh? He even compares it to a union voting to authorize a strike, saying it doesn't mean it will happen. Hey Bill, we waited 6 months after that vote to start dropping bombs, and then after a large number of milestones set forth in the authorization, and by the UN were not met.

This quote from his column sums up the Democratic Strategy:

And sometimes by simply noting that the Democrats don't have an exit strategy, either.

Of course they don't.

If the Democrats had their own Karl Rove, he'd probably tell them not to even try to come up with one.

If a sound exit plan means getting out without leaving Iraq less stable than it is now, and with a reasonable chance of becoming an American-style democracy, nobody has one.

He's wrong on that, the exit strategy that works is to wait until Iraq's military can handle the job of security, as the President has been saying all along. The problem with the plan is it isnt' going to be soon enough for certain folks. (more on the exit strategy by the Post's Dan Froomkin)

He continues:

It would be a no-lose position, politically, for the Democrats to sit back
and watch the catastrophe happen.

But the quagmire in Iraq involves much more than politics. It involves national honor, the undiminished threat of international terrorism -- and the lives of too many people who deserve better.

It's hardly the time for clever politics.

On that point he's almost right. Iraq is a quagmire only in the media and certain circles who've become addicted to a 24 hour news cycle. We can't understand why the major part of the war can be over before dinner, but the hard part is taking so long because we are always looking for a quick finish on everything.

And I believe what he's trying to say is it's time for the folks in DC to all work together, to come up with a workable strategy. Political gain shouldn't be the driving force in the Iraq strategy at this point.

I'll go farther, and say that politically, it may end up biting the democrats in the butt in the mid term elections. If the GOP can come up with a coherent message on Iraq and the exit strategy, the Dem's will once again look like the followers, and/or complainers. And the last two congressional elections have shown that we really aren't in the mood for those.

Trackback at Don Surber's place.
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Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Vote Is In

My Friends, it is with a heavy heart, that I must concede this election to Jeff H. at Think Sink. After consultation with my advisors, serious considerations to my family, and two or three whacks with my wife's rolling pin, I have decided to concede, and allow Jeff to have the pleasure of Jessica Simpson's company.

I must say that we fought the good fight, even if it wasn't always clean (I still owe Paula some ice cream). What was truly touching was the concern shown by voters who actually voted for Jeff to prevent me from being brained with the rolling pin, thank you.

As for the accusations of ballot box stuffing, it didn't happen. Stuffing is for turkeys and 13 year old girls. While I may have "embelished the results", I didn't stuff the ballot box.

Jeff, may you and Jessica find happiness, godliness, or cleanliness, whichever is appropriate for your relationship. For me, it's on to bigger and better things, like finding out who Terry Hatcher was in that VW van with, and seeing if they need a third.

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More Funny Stuff for Today

Over on the sidebar is a link to "Blog of Satu" the blog run by a 30 something mother, waitress, college student. She's got a great rant about one of her customers from Friday night.

Here's what funny, on her blog I learned of a new website (not new, but new to me), it's called "Bitter Waitress". On that site they have the "STD", not sexually transmitted diseases, but the "Shitty Tipper Database". Stiff the waitstaff, and find out just how quickly your name can get into the database. Luckily I'm not in that database (already checked). I should be in the "great tipper" one, but I didn't see it on the site.

So, next time you think a penny is a funny tip, keep in mind your next waiter/ress may know about you, and fix you a "special meal".
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Today's Iraq News Round Up

Here's a quick round up of news and editorials concerning Iraq. I'd blog more but the wife and son just left, and now I have to clean the apartment (dog left lots of hair), catch up on laundry and do some grocery shopping.

First off , The Washington Post with an editorial on Torture (surprise) written by a law professor (surprise) who doesn't like the idea of humiliating those who would blow him up. I guess as long as they are blowing up Iraqis and not Americans it's okay to treat them with kid gloves.
(click "read the full post" for the rest of the story)
Same paper, different story, this time the Post is reporting that the Shiite's in Iraq are asking us to allow them to get tougher on the insurgents, saying until they can, they won't be able to defeat them. Does this stance go against subject number 1 above?

Newsweek has another Eleanor Clift opinion on Iraq, which rightfully says we're looking at a major pullout by next years mid-term elections. Unfortunately, IMHO, it'll be for political reasons, not because Iraq is ready to defend itself.

And more on Jose Padilla's case is also in the newest issue under Terror Watch.

Fareed Zakaria has a piece called "Panic is Not the Solution". He beats up the administration for it's conduct of the first two years of the war, but just as heavily hits Democrats for not concentrating on what's going on today in Iraq and trying to argue about 3 year old events.

Lone Pony has an article up about Ike Skelton, and his (democratic) opinion on Iraq, exit strategies, and the consequences of doing it wrong.

Postwatch has a good disection of the Washington Posts coverage of Commander in Grief Cindy Sheehan.

Camp Katrina has a great letter written by a soldier in Camp Bucca, Iraq about the local people, and their fight, MUST READ stuff!
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Funny Things Happen When Blogging

I went over to Camp Katrina the other day, they had up a post about the wierd hits they'd been getting since they broke a story on Heidi Fleiss's loss of a partner in her attempt to open a brothel for females, staffed by 20 studs with pezz dispensers full of Viagra.

Anyway, I left a comment on there about the strange places hits came from on here after I tossed up a post about the lesbian cheerleaders from the Panthers.

Here's what I got from Phil over at the Camp...
"...and you commented with this: "The lesibian Panthers Cheerleaders had the
same effect on my blog. I actually kept a few of the readers, who for some
reason still think it's a porn site." Well, guess what . . . I am getting hits
on my site now from the google query "lesbian cheerleaders" because of the
comment you posted.

Phil, glad I could be of some help generating traffic.
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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Biden Almost Right

In his call for a Timetable for Iraq, Joe Biden from Delaware stated that "Recently, 79 Democratic and Republican senators told President Bush we need a detailed, public plan for Iraq, with specific goals and a timetable for achieving each one." (click "read full post" for the rest of the story)

I believe he's right on two of three points, specific goals, and a plan. It doesn't need to be a totally public plan, in fact, it shouldn't be a totally public plan. The plan should be put together, and briefed to congress, and portions of it (the goals, general ideas) given to the public. But making everything public fodder makes it tougher for anyone, from a congressman to a commander on the ground, to make a change, or do anything, without 300 million second guessers. Monday morning QBing is great for football, but it sucks in war.

The third point, the timetable, is a nice generality, but again, as the president has said, and a number of Generals serving in Iraq have said, a given timetable becomes unflexible, and turns into a waiting game for the insurgents. All they have to do is wait until "day X" and they now "City Y" won't have Americans around to defend it.

So a plan would be nice, with general concepts, such as Condi Rice's assertion that for every 3 Iraqi battalions that are rated combat ready, we remove a US Battalion.

I understand why Biden, and other congress people want this though, it's called political advantage. The Democrats can say they forced the president to come up with a plan, Republicans can say they are listening to everyone.

What both sides forget is we only seem to have problems with wars when we leave them to politicians, not soldiers. Iraq is becoming more of a problem as more politicians look to curry favor from one group or another.

Quick update, Newsweek's newest issue has an article entitled "The New Way Out" that addressed a lot of the above.

trackback(s) at Common Folk Using Common Sense
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Friday, November 25, 2005

Very Important Online Poll

Think Sink has a very important online poll going, and all of my readers should follow the link to it, and let Jeff know who you vote for. It's obvious, the choice on the "right" is the better one.
Make sure you scroll down the page to the actual voting area on the left side of the page.
Let me know, too.
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More On Padilla

While I've got a break to blog (wife is at the day spa enjoying a facial, milk bath and pedicure) I thought I'd comment on Newsweek Magazine's latest article on the Jose Padilla case.

Some of the information, if true, bothers me. For instance, the idea that the Fed's have asked the Supreme Court not to review his case, based on the indictment issued last week; and at the same time a "Senior Justice Department Lawyer" mentioning they still consider Padilla an enemy combatant and can detain him at anytime.
(click "read full post for the rest)

If Justice, or the Executive branch want to hold him as an "enemy combatant" fine, as I've said before, I agree with that. However, they also need to let the court rule in his case, because of his US citizenship. Gaming the system doesn't do anyone any good.

Other disturbing info though is that we (the US, FBI specifically) had been monitoring Padilla and a group of militants from 1994 to 2000, and then quit because they weren't sure they could justify it any longer. I'm sorry, but someone in the FBI (circa 2000) needs to be strung up. Go read the article, and realize how much info it talks about. Is there any realistic way to believe, just with that info, that they weren't on to something if not big, at the very least dangerous?

The article actually makes a good point for the Patriot Act, saying that after it was passed, and groups allowed to share info, they started realizing they had been onto something important.

This will be an interesting case to watch, both in the Supreme Court and regular courts. I think the Supreme Court, based on the above statements from Justice, should hear the case. A ruling on whether US citizens can be "enemy combatants" would do a lot to clear up some of the WOT whining, (or start some more).
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David Ignatius, Wrong..

David Ignatius at WaPo, is wrong again, which isn't a surprise. In today's editorial, he wants us to replant the idea of "America" overseas as the kinder, gentler country. His specific rant is against Dick Cheney's defense of "torture". Except, as I and (probably hundreds) of other bloggers have posted, what Dick is advocating isn't torture, not even close. (click "read the full post" for the rest
of the story)

In fact, it wasn't deemed "torture" by some international legal or government body, the media has decided that stinky hoods, cold rooms, and yelling at someone are torture.

What Cheney is specifically against is the idea that the only methods we used have to be out of the Army field manual for interrogation. If you'd like to see a copy, go to al-Jahzerha's website, they have it, along with other sites friendly to insurgents and jihadists. Which is why Cheney doesn't want that limit.

Think about it from a different perspective. If you were a football coach, and knew that your opponent had been studying your playbook for the last 3 years, would you be pissed if the league said, NO! You can't deviate from those plays, they are the only one's you can run, period.

As for our world standing, I'll attribute that to the media and the ACLU, for the most part. Guys like Matthews saying the 9/11 folks aren't evil, suing to give suicide bombers in Iraq US court rights, and complaining when we treat them like "terrorists" instead of criminals. Wake up, they are terrorists. .

The Post's own "analysis" piece today is a good example. The media is so wrapped up in polls and numbers, they miss an obvious fact, Bush doesn't care about them (GASP!!!) He's actually concerned that we leave Iraq stable and able to control itself, not whether he can get back to a 50% approval rating.

The article makes a reference to how he'll be viewed historically. Very easy to point out, in the future, I'm quite sure history will view him more favorably for doing it right in spite of polls, than pulling out simply because of them. That's called leadership, something too many of our politicians have no clue about.

Postwatch has more coverage of the Post's content today.

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Limited Posting

Probably won't be much being posted today or tomorrow. Wife and Son are in town visiting.
Hope everyone had a nice thanksgiving yesterday. Be careful out there if you are going shopping today.
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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving. I, like a lot of folks, have many things to be thankful for. I've got a wonderful family, a good job, and a lot of friends. There are two stories that really have always brought the meaning of the holiday home for me.

The first happened in the early 1990's. My grandmother, who was about 86 years old, was flown by flight for life to University Hospital in Madison, Wi on the Monday of Thanksgiving week. She was suffering from conjestive heart failure. They started the normal course of treatment, and by tuesday afternoon she was feeling much better, and asked if she could be released on Wednesday.

When they said probably not, she became very adament about it. The doctor explained that he was sure that her kids would understand her staying in the hospital through Thanksgiving. But she told him, that's not the reason. She said "I have to serve dinner at the Salvation Army Thursday, someone has to feed those poor old people." She fed those 'poor old people' until a few years before she died at 96, and always gave thanks for being able to help.

The second story involved me, in 1999. I was in at a Navy school in San Diego, Ca. that year, and unable to spend the holiday with my wife and kids. So instead I hung out at my friend Ted's house, with his wife and another couple and their son. That alone would have been enough to make me a thankful guy, because I'd done holiday alone in a barracks, or overseas many times, and hated it.

When the phone rang and it was my wife, Ted told me I should take it in the other room, she sounded upset. When I got on the phone she told me Joe, the man her mother had lived with the last 10 years had died. He had a massive heart attack while he was getting ready to go out deer hunting. Joe was very much the perfect father-in-law (even if they weren't married) we golfed together every winter in San Diego, he treated my kids like they were his grandchildren, and my mother-in-law like the queen of the world.

Being with a group of friends immediately became more important to me. I realized that you can have lots of "stuff" but when things go very very wrong, stuff won't comfort you, stuff doesn't understand a 35 year old man crying like a baby. Friends do understand, especially guys like Ted, who'd golfed with Joe and I a number of times. Ted made sure for the next four days, until I was back in classes that I was okay.

So, today while you eat your dinner, and give thanks, keep in mind there are a lot of "things" to be thankful for, but friends, and loving people need to be at the top of the list. Have a great holiday, enjoy the food, family and friends, and understand the real meaning of this holiday. Richard Cohen's Column in the Post sums it up quite well also

linked at Don Surber
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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

It Can't Be True!

OH NO!!! Please, Tell me it isn't true. It can't be true.... Jessica and Nick are breaking up, what will we do.... How about we laugh at them. That always makes it easier, when folks give you a hard time over your break up.

So, to Jessica and Nick, hahahahahahaha we all told you it wouldn't last. What were you thinking.

Guys, she's on the loose, wearing daisy dukes, and probably needs some good rebound sex.

Technorati Tags: and
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Last Word From Timmah?

I allowed another person to post on my blog, and in fact gave them a very gracious introduction, and I thought posted some salient counter points in the replies. However, the person cross posted on "Daily Kos", and Sadly, No; without letting my know they'd be doing it. When I called them on it, wondering why they did it, this part of the response I got. The whole response in in the haloscan comments for "Thanks Timmah"

And like the malicious bastard you are, you offered me that opportunity and then you kicked me when I wasn't looking, you didn't even email me and ask what my intentions were.

First, I'm not a bastard, my parents are married. Second you let me know your intentions, correct?

You had a real chance to make something out of this honest debate thing, instead, I'm fucking gone, and any left leaning writer is sure gonna think twice about dealing with you if they read this. So fuck you, fuck your shitty little blog and fuck all of your pro-torture, bush apologizing, chemical weapon defending, asshole readers.

Actually, Tim, what you did was the equivalent of being invited to someone's home, and bringing your whole neighborhood along without an invite.

I would have had zero problem with the idea of the link being posted on Kos (and Sadlyno), had I been told it was going to be done. In fact I'd have asked you to just post the main page link, so folks could see other stuff easier.

Any readers who are offended by the above, remember, this is from the peace loving, kinder, gentler folks on the left, who believe completely in free speech, (as long as it agrees with what they say). If you'd like Timmah's e-mail to complain about his gross generalization of readers and insults aimed at you, I'll be happy to provide it.

And Yes, Timmah, I will have fun in obscurity.

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Quick Hits in the News

Here's a few interesting things I found in the news this evening:

Bolton Blasts the UN: John Bolton told the UN if they don't make some changes that make it's corruption problems go away, the US may begin bypassing them on more issues. The folks on the left won't like this posturing, but it's exactly what the UN needs. Before anyone tells me we should defer to all 191 members, keep in mind, we provide 25% of their annual budget, we should get the biggest vote on how the place works. That or cut our support to 1/191th of the budget.

Moonbats Arrested in Crawford: Because of the Cindy Sheehan campout this summer, the county near the Presidents home in Texas passed a law forbidding camping along the roadway. A dozen people were arrested today, and another dozen left when they were informed they would. Moonbat in Chief (or Commander In Grief) Cindy Sheehan wasn't at the protest because of a family emergency, but plans to attend protests this weekend. Can't wait to see her in cuffs (again).

Judge Toss "No Child Left Behind Lawsuit": The NEA is ticked, a federal judge ruled that No Child Left Behind isn't illegal just because Congress doesn't fully fund every mandate in it. While a lot of folks are angry, think for just a second about what a ruling that it was illegal would mean. That would also mean the Medic-aid is illegal, most school lunch programs are illegal, most welfare would be illegal. The Feds mandate all of those, but don't pay the full tab on them.
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WaPo's Meyerson, Why Bother With Facts.

The good thing about being an editorial writer, like Harold Meyerson at the Post is that when editorialising, you don't have to be quite as accurate with facts as an actual reporter should be.

Take Harolds editorial today, with this statement "Cindy Sheehan, whose down-the-line dovishness is more than offset by her standing as the mother of a soldier killed in Bush's war" it would be a good statement, if it was complete. It should also include the words (between of a and soldier) 'volunteer, who reenlisted knowing he'd go back to Iraq'.
(click "read the full post" for the rest of the story)
His line to finish the paragraph "Not a Michael Moore in the bunch. Nothing there for the Roves and the Reeds and the Swift Boat slanderers to work with.", is funny too. Did he see who sponsors Cindy's anti-war rally in DC, ANSWER, is a communist backed organization with stated goals like "ending private property ownership". (check the october archives, there's a link to their 8 page manifesto)

He also attacks Jean Schmidt for her statement on the House floor last Friday, attributing the statement directly to her, like the Democrats, and not to Col. Bubp, whom she was relayin the message from. But it sounds better to call her a "pipsqueak freshman congresswoman" than to say "From a Marine Colonel", which would have been the accurate way of doing it.

Finally, he says our reason for staying in Iraq now is to prevent a war between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims, which only exists because we invaded. Actually, it exists because we didn't finish the job in 1991, and then allowed the Shiite's (and Kurds) to be slaughtered throughout the 1990's, by not stepping in and confronting Saddam when he started breaking the dozen or so UN Resolutions passed to end the 1991 Gulf War. But again, to point out that fact wouldn't work as well for Harold's story line.

linked at Don Surber and Postwatch.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Another Reason To Hate Moonbats

Trackback at Junkyard Blog and Macsmind
For the last few years a guy name Jose Padilla has been rotting in the Navy Brig in Charleston, South Carolina, waiting for a trial, but not indicted on anything. Jose was being held as an ememy combatant, was arrest in Chicago at O'Hare, and sent to wait out the war on terror.

But those darn lawyers got in the way, as usual. You see, they think, like Chris Matthews, that guys like Jose are misunderstood, and need codling. So they've been fighting since his arrest to have him released, or indicted and charged, because he is a US citizen. (click Read The Full Post! to see the rest)

If Jose were and "average Jose" type citizen (I'm almost sorry to say this) I'd agree with them. But he isn't, he left for 8 years to train as a terrorist, to come back here, and blow up dirty bombs in US cities, killing innocent civilians.

Padilla, 35, a former Chicago gang member who converted to Islam, was
indicted by a Miami federal grand jury Thursday on charges he and four others
were part of a U.S.-based terrorism conspiracy to "murder, maim, and kidnap"
people overseas, Justice Department officials announced at a press conference in
Washington today.

That, to me, means Jose gave up his rights as a US Citizen. The view of the lawyers involved, to me, is repugnant. The idea that you can move from your country, plot terrorist attacks against the country, and when you return to commit them because of your deep hatred for the country, you should get all of the benefits of being a citizen? Once you declare war on your country, you are an enemy combatant, not a solid upstanding citizen.

Of course, we shouldn't be surprised, the lawyers are the folks who've wanted the war on terror to be a police issue since it started in 1979 with the Iran Hostage Crisis. They are the same folks who think al-Zarqawi and Bin Laden should be treated to court appearances and writs of habeas corpus, even though they aren't citizens.

They are of course, now pissed off that he's been indicted, because they figure that will screw up their chances to go to the Supreme Court and see if the President should be allowed to call a citizen (no matter how non-upstanding) an enemy combatant. So for twenty eight months they've bitched, "charge him or release him". Now that he's been charged, they are mad.

Wonder how it feels to Jose, to know that his lawyers could probably care less about him, it was the test case that they wanted. I wonder how many will bail on him between now and September when he's scheduled to go on trial.
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What Would We Do Without Him?

I'm referring, in the title, to EJ Dionne of the Washington Post. If it wasn't for guys like him, folks like me would have to find someone else to laugh at.

EJ this week is ticked about "cuts" to programs for the poor. For instance, (and I posted it yesterday) the House voted to trim $700 million from food stamps. Sounds Draconian and mean, until you realize that we spent $53 Billion on it last fiscal year, and it was expected to grow to $57 billion in the next year. So the $700 million isn't a cut, it's a reduction of growth, to just about double inflation. OOOOOHHHH That's horrible.

But E.J. show's the standard liberal way of dealing with anything that isn't more money to someone. Liberals won't focus on actual growth, or numbers, because if they did, middle class folks who work for a living would be in an outrage. So instead, you call it a cut to the poor, instead of what it is, a reduction of growth.

EJ, and the rest of the media have been very complicite in this since the administration ordered "$3 billion in cuts" from the USDA budget over 5 years. They hammer that "in cuts" when in fact, USDA's budget is still going to grow by about $7 billion, it's 3 billion in less growth over five years. But it's hard to make folks believe every poor person in America will starve to death if we say "USDA's Budget Will Grow By $7 Billion in the Next Five Years" in headlines.

So, now that you know the truth about the cuts, are they cuts?
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Monday, November 21, 2005

Thanks Timmah, I'll Be Famous Now! I got 40 whole hits.

Evidently conservative logic is too much for some folks to handle alone, (or with Dr. Zen's help) so the individual I allowed to post on my blog has gone screaming for help cross posted at "Daily Kos".

Thanks! I figure I'll get enough site hits to get me up a few thousand dozen spots in the ecosphere.

Editors Note: Kos, the king of the ecosystem, in 8 hours, has brought in about 1/6 the number of hits that I received in a similar period from a local Milwaukee radio personality posting one of my comments on his website. I have corrected my above statement to rerepresent the comments of timmah more correctly.
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Kool-Aid Drinker Award

I'm going to take advantage of the picture I "borrowed" from Stacy over at notadesparatehousewife, to give out a
"Kool-Aid Drinker Award"

The Award has to go to Chris Matthews, with his comments at the University of Toronto.

"The period between 9-11 and (invading) Iraq was not a good time for America. There wasn't a robust discussion of what we were doing," Matthews said."If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up " The person on the other side is not evil. They just have a different perspective." (thanks to Eye of the Storm)

Chris, in case you didn't hear, their "different perspective" is that the way of western life must be exterminated, and we all have to toe their line. McBride Media Matters has a great picture up.

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So the dogpile is on Murtha now?

As advertised a few days ago, I' m posting an article from a reader, who posts as Timmah420 in his comments. While this may surprise a few, this is a rebuttal against the attacks on Rep. John "Jack" Murtha, from a more liberal perspective. The reason I'm posting it is because I believe that a decent, two sided look at things is better than always having one side rant about stuff.
Trackback at Don Surber's place
So here it is.

So the dogpile is on Murtha now?
(ensure you click the "read the whole post!" link to see the whole thing)

I've heard all manner of crazy crap about Murtha since the day, the very morning he came out in favor of pulling the troops out. What a circus the GOP has created to distract from his real goals and issues. It started with a simple statement. "They don't deserve to continue to suffer. They're the targets."

In essence, this is what a real pro-lifer is about. Someone with a compassionate soul and a realistic, war-tempered mind. Someone who can cut through the swaths of white noise constantly generated by the countless lackeys and hatchet men employed by the white house. One of which is the opportunistic Colonel Danny Bubp. I'll get back to that.

I think a few more of his words bear repeating, before I examine the issue further.

"A flawed policy wrapped in illusion," and said the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is "uniting the enemy against us." and then, apparently in reference to Cheney et al, ""I like guys who've never been there who criticize us who've been there," Murtha said. "I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and sent people to war and then don't like to hear suggestions that what may need to be done."

Because that's what this really boils down to. American soldiers dying because of a bad idea of a war, based on false or cherry picked intelligence, orchestrated by people who missed out on their world history courses. If Bush or Rumsfeld had bothered to look at the history of occupations in the middle east, they would know why Afghanistan is becoming an ever increasingly violent opium state and why things keep going downhill in Iraq.

Then again, it seems that fewer and fewer people were involved on the actual decision making to go to war here. Rumsfeld himself admitted on ABC’s “This Week,” telling George Stephanopoulos that he “didn’t advocate invasion” and in fact, “wasn’t asked” about the decision.

I seem to remember Colin Powell saying much the same thing. So let's see here Bush didn't clear it with his Secretary of Defense OR the Secretary of State... So who exactly pulled this trigger? Halliburton? Sounds like a veritable orgy of incompetence if you ask me. Then again Rumsfeld may simply be trying to distance himself from the invasion, but neither bodes well for the subjects at hand, the American soldiers and the Iraqi civilians.

At any rate the smear machine lurched into full gear that day, starting right on the floor with Rep. Jean Schmidt, who, in a dazzling impersonation of the wicked witch of the west, attacked Murtha, reading a letter from a colonel calling Murtha a coward. There have been so many attacks on him thus far, but this initial one was so raw, so representative of what was to follow, I prefer to stick with it.

I posted earlier on this website, Colonel Danny Bubp's history of missing every combat engagement ever conducted in his some 20-30 years of service. Looking closer at the record, he's spent more time fighting for right-wing, Christian approved crusades, starting his career back in 1999, when he became pro-bono legal counsel for an Ohio group lobbying to put monuments to the 10 commandments in public schools.

His association with Jean Schmidt goes back much farther than Murtha, back to when Schmidt was in the political fight of her life with a Paul Hackett, another veteran of real combat, specifically he had just returned from Iraq. Bubp appeared in full military uniform at a Schmidt rally and once again, attacked a veteran who HAS been there, for criticizing Bush. "I served for eight years under a president who loathed the military," Bubp said, referring to Clinton. "But we never said a word about it."

That takes some brass ones. One would imagine the soldiers stranded in Mogadishu would have liked to have had a few choice words with Clinton then, but how would Bubp know?

Following that personal attack, that was so odious, that the floor erupted in dissent, and Schmidt was forced to take back her remarks lest she be censured, was a vote put up by republicans, jokingly thought of among the GOP as the Murtha bill. One only needs to read the proposed bill by Murtha and the GOP "re-write" to see what a joke the vote was.

Murtha's bill
Whereas Congress and the American People have not been shown clear, measurable progress toward establishment of stable and improving security in Iraq or of a stable and improving economy in Iraq, both of which are essential to "promote the emergence of a democratic government";

Whereas additional stabilization in Iraq by U, S. military forces cannot be achieved without the deployment of hundreds of thousands of additional U S. troops, which in turn cannot be achieved without a military draft;

Whereas more than $277 billion has been appropriated by the United States Congress to prosecute U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan;

Whereas, as of the drafting of this resolution, 2,079 U.S. troops have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom;

Whereas U.S. forces have become the target of the insurgency,

Whereas, according to recent polls, over 80% of the Iraqi people want U.S. forces out of Iraq;

Whereas polls also indicate that 45% of the Iraqi people feel that the attacks on U.S. forces are justified;

Whereas, due to the foregoing, Congress finds it evident that continuing U.S. military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the people of Iraq, or the Persian Gulf Region, which were cited in Public Law 107-243 as justification for undertaking such action;

Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That:

Section 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.

Section 2. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S Marines shall be deployed in the region.

Section 3 The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.

And here's the GOP "rewrite":

The GOP version:


Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that
the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.


Nothing but another round in what, to republicans is just a political game. Something to play off as a victory, even though in reality, the victory is for the dems, if the republicans weren't afraid a commonsense bill like Murtha's would pass, why wouldn't they just vote on it, unedited? No, they're afraid and for good reason too. The majority of the American public wants us out, the soldiers, increasingly want out, the rest of the world wants America out (recent polls show even China has a higher world standing, opinion wise, mostly due to the war) and just recently, even the Iraqi leaders we put in office want us out.

And considering we have used White phosphorous on civilians, a substance that the pentagon decried Saddam for using, calling it a chemical weapon in a *
recently declassified pentagon report* it looks like it's just going to get worse.

So what's it going to take? Just how much blood will quench our thirst for vengeance for the nearly 3000 dead at the WTC attack? Is a nearly hundred thousand dead civilian count, a 2000+ dead soldier count, and an over 83,000 detained enough? Can we put a stop to this madness now?

I will attempt to do what Murtha did, that day that seems so long ago now, I am pleading with American sensibilities, and I am pleading for a return to common sense. To a day when it would be silly to suggest Americans were torturing in secret Romanian prisons. When it would be laughable to suggest they used chemical weapons on civilians. When there was less empty-eyed flag waving and more soul.

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Those Wacky Congressmen (and Women)

We all though the only thing going on in the House on Friday was the debate on House Resolution 571, to immediately withdraw from Iraq. Oh were we fools. Congress had other business to attend to, like giving themselves a $3,100 a year pay raise. And, they had a few other things on the table, like cutting $700 Million from from food stamps.

I'm not a huge liberal social program type of guy, but lets face it congress, if you are going to give yourself a pay raise the same day that you cut food stamps, someone has to toss the BS flag, and I guess I'll do it.

It's called appearances, and when you pull stuff like it sure looks like you value yourselves more than your constituents. While bunches of the folks in congress have been screaming about the deficit, the horror of the cuts to social programs, they have no problem giving themselves a raise, which appears pretty crass to me.

So Congress, do yourselves a publicity favor, and revoke your pay raise.
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Is Zarqawi Dead?

Al-Zarqawi is possibly dead in recent attacks in Mosul, Iraq.

From the AP:
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- U.S. forces sealed off a house in the northern city of Mosul where eight suspected al-Qaida members died in a gunfight _ some by their own hand to avoid capture. A U.S. official said Sunday that efforts were under way to determine if terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was among the dead....

In Washington, a U.S. official said the identities of the terror suspects killed was unknown. Asked if they could include al-Zarqawi, the official replied: "There are efforts under way to determine if he was killed ."

Update from Reuters (8:06pm)

But Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman, said reports of al-Zarqawi's death were "highly unlikely and not credible."

This would be a big hit to the insurgency in Iraq. I won't get my hopes up, but it would be nice to have the rat gone. Rest of the story is at the Washington Post

Update: This mornings (11/21) Washington Post article has an offical putting the possibility that Zarqawi was killed at 30%.

Because I'm a smart ass:
Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are said to be huddling trying to figure out who we'll negotiate our withdrawl from Iraq with if al-Zarqawi is actually dead.
More links to additional information available at Don Surber's blog
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Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Best Way To Deal With Terrorists

A friend of mine sent this to me yesterday. I laughed so hard I had Dr. Pepper coming out of my nose! It's one guy from New York's way to deal with terrorists. It's about a 1 meg Windows Media file, but worth the download.
(Caution, Rude, Crude and Socially unaccpetable Language.)

Watch Here.

tracked back at Hooah Wife and Common Sense Runs Wild, and Alabama Improper.
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NEWS FLASH!... I Agree With the Post!

Help me mommy, I never agree with the Washington Post. However, the Editorial Board today does an outstanding job critiquing the quality of discourse we are currently having over Iraq, chastising both sides of the aisle for the conduct of this debate. Below is possibly the best line I've read from a major paper over about what is going on.

But what is at stake is not an election but a war in which American
soldiers are being killed and wounded almost every day and in which one possible
outcome is a major victory for the Islamic extremist movement that carried out
the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Those losses won't be stemmed, nor the dangers
averted, by attack rhetoric or sound bites that deliberately distort the facts.
Leaders of both parties know that, of course. Which raises the question: Is
their priority to win in Iraq -- or in next year's midterm elections?

Which is an outstanding point. I've made it in articles and in a few comments on here, that I believe the DNC's whole "Bush Lied" strategy is based on picking up seats, not the best interest of anyone.

The final statement is also very true, and not something I expected to read from the Post:

If there is to be any chance of that war being won, the United States will have to commit its own forces to the fight for years, though perhaps not at current levels. The alternative is to risk a defeat that would be devastating to U.S. security. That's a hard truth to face: It can't be done amid a partisan free-for-all.

I again agree, what we really need to be having is a serious debate about what milestones need to be met to win in Iraq; so we can be secure in our knowledge that it won't become al Zarqawi and Bin Laden's playground when we leave.

Maybe though, the sentiment about congress is spreading, The Chicago Sun Times Editorial today makes many of the same points as the post.

Newsweek has an article that may show Iraq is closer to working on it's own than people think, in that they have negotiated some rules with Iran for dealing with certain "less than desirable" groups crossing each others borders.

Any bets on Daily Kos or other left wing blogs beating the hell out of the Post over this?
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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Got Something To Say!

I've decided to open my blog to others. Not sure how many others, but at least one a day. (Without the vitamins)

Here's the deal, my e-mail is in my profile, if you'd like to post something here, e-mail it to me. I don't care if you are so far left you make Ted Kennedy look like a facist, or so far right Attila the Hun would quiver in your presence. If I think it's cool, I'll toss it up here.

If you are a blogger, and wish to put in gratuitous links to your own blog, have at it. Just make sure you send an HTML enabled e-mail, so that the links work.

If you are a non-blogger, or wannabe but don't know if you have the time, this is your opportunity to be seen in the blogosphere, and decide if you like the idea of lots of other folks reading your thoughts.

There are, of course, a few ground rules. Keep it (semi-)clean. I don't mind a few off color words, but I also don't need posters to swear like a sailor. That's my gig.
Also, try and limit personal attacks.

Of course, I am the sole arbitor of what does and doesn't get posted. However, anyone who sends anything will get a reply, and if it includes a link to their blog, I'll toss a link up in a post. Hope to hear from a bunch of you.

Thanks to Common Sense Runs Wild for the open trackback. Thanks Also To Don Surber And Euphoric Reality, quickly becoming one of my favorite Blogs, and the Political Teen, and Basil's Blog

These are gratuitous links designed to drag people to this post from other sites....
Washington Post, Newsweek
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Rules for the Military

Got this from my little brother. It's been around for a while, but is always good for a laugh.
(click the "read the full post" link)
US Marine Corps Rules:

1. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
2. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.
3. Have a plan.
4. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won't work.
5. Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
6. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with a "4."
7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.
8. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral & diagonal preferred.)
9. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
10. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
12. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
13. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating your intention to shoot.

Navy SEALS Rules:
1. Look very cool in sunglasses.
2. Kill every living thing within view.
3. Adjust speedo.
4. Check hair in mirror.

US Army Rangers Rules:
1. Walk in 50 miles wearing 75 pound rucksack while starving.
2. Locate individuals requiring killing.
3. Request permission via radio from "Higher" to perform killing.
4. Curse bitterly when mission is aborted.
5. Walk out 50 miles wearing a 75 pound rucksack while starving.

US Army Rules:
1. Select a new beret to wear.
2. Sew patches on right shoulder.
3. Change the color of beret you decide to wear.

US Air Force Rules:
1. Have a cocktail.
2. Adjust temperature on air-conditioner.
3. See what's on HBO.
4. Ask "what is a gunfight?"
5. Request more funding from Congress with a "killer" PowerPoint presentation.
6. Wine & dine 'key' Congressmen, invite DOD & defense industry executives.
7. Receive funding, set up new command and assemble assets.
8. Declare the assets "strategic" and never deploy them operationally.
9. Hurry to make 1345 tee-time.

US Navy Rules:
1. Go to Sea.
2. Drink Coffee.
3. Watch porn.
4. Deploy the Marines

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Religion Of Peace Zealot Explodes!

A "religion of peace" protester blew himself up in Iraq today, by driving his explosive laden vehicle into a funeral for a victim of another zealot.

This happens just a day or so after al-Zarqawi releases a message apologizing for having someone blow themselves up at a Wedding. Evidently Islamic Tradition says you should only blow up mourners at funerals.

So, with over 130 dead Iraqi's in the last two days, I'm wondering if Rep. Murtha is still claiming the US troops are the main target of the insurgents? If John was still half awake, he'd realize how silly that claim sounds to anyone who watches the news, or reads the papers. al-Zarqawi is intentionally killing mostly civilians, because they are easier targets, and they get bigger headlines.

I wonder if maybe Jim McDermott would like to go over and try and get a little "atwa" going between the folks with bomb belts on.
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Quote of the Day

From the rancorous debate in the House yesterday came the quote of the day, by Jean Schmidt from Ohio,
"a few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp," an Ohio legislator and Marine Corps Reserve officer. "He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

Schmidt is a rookie in the House, only having been there a few months, and was immediately attacked for what she said. But there is some truth to it. As many letters as Murtha read on the floor last night from soldiers who want to leave, I can find dozens more, from those who want to stay.

The media doesn't spend much time on those letters, or on the good work going on in Iraq. I'm not sure that its only because they'd like to see us fail. It may well be that they don't think "good news" stories get ratings. Car bombs, death and destruction are sure to get people to watch the tube. Building schools, putting together local governments, and rebuilding an economy aren't as fast paced, and dont' grab attention when you do the news teasers.

Here's Newsweek's take on it from the Nov 28 edition.

New England Republican has a rundown of what bloggers are saying today about last nights vote in the House.
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Friday, November 18, 2005

Letter To The Public

From SGT. Hook:
I received an email from a mother whose son is currently fighting in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division. He and his platoon have penned a message to the American public that is a little different from the message we are getting via the MSM. He asked his mom to help get this message out and she asked me. Here it is from the soldiers on the ground… (updated 11/19 with the soldiers actual signature block. Again, thanks Sgt. Hook)


Be my voice. I want this message heard. It is mine and my platoon’s to the country. A man I know lost his legs the other night. He is in another company in our batallion. I can no longer be silent after watching the sacrifices made by Iraqis and Americans everyday.Send it to a congressman if you have to. Send it to FOX news if you have to. Let this message be heard please…

My fellow Americans, I have a task for those with the courage and fortitude to take it. I have a message that needs not fall on deaf ears. A vision the blind need to see. I am not a political man nor one with great wisdom. I am just a soldier who finds himself helping rebuild a country that he helped liberate a couple years ago.
I have watched on television how the American public questions why their mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters are fighting and dying in a country 9000 miles away from their own soil. Take the word of a soldier, for that is all I am, that our cause is a noble one. The reason we are here is one worth fighting for. A cause that has been the most costly and sought after cause in our small span of existence on our little planet. Bought in blood and paid for by those brave enough to give the ultimate sacrifice to obtain it. A right that is given to every man, woman, and child I believe by God. I am talking of freedom.

Freedom. One word but yet countless words could never capture it’s true meaning or power. “For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know.” I read that once and it couldn’t be more true. It’s not the average American’s fault that he or she is “blind and deaf” to the taste of freedom. Most American’s are born into their God given right so it is all they ever know. I was once one of them. I would even dare to say that it isn’t surprising that they take for granted what they have had all their life. My experiences in the military however opened my eyes to the truth.

Ironically you will find the biggest outcries of opposition to our cause from those who have had no military experience and haven’t had to fight for freedom. I challenge all of those who are daring enough to question such a noble cause to come here for just a month and see it first hand. I have a feeling that many voices would be silenced.

I watched Cindy Sheehan sit on the President’s lawn and say that America isn’t worth dying for. Later she corrected herself and said Iraq isn’t worth dying for. She badmouthed all that her son had fought and died for. I bet he is rolling over in his grave.

Ladies and gentleman I ask you this. What if you lived in a country that wasn’t free? What if someone told you when you could have heat, electricity, and water? What if you had no sewage systems so human waste flowed into the streets? What if someone would kill you for bad-mouthing your government? What if you weren’t allowed to watch TV, connect to the internet, or have cell phones unless under extreme censorship? What if you couldn’t put shoes on your child’s feet?

You need not to have a great understanding of the world but rather common sense to realize that it is our duty as HUMAN BEINGS to free the oppressed. If you lived that way would you not want someone to help you????

The Iraqi’s pour into the streets to wave at us and when we liberated the cities during the war they gathered in the thousands to cheer, hug and kiss us. It was what the soldier’s in WW2 experienced, yet no one questioned their cause!! Saddam was no better than Hitler! He tortured and killed thousands of innocent people. We are heroes over here, yet American’s badmouth our President for having us here.

Every police station here has a dozen or more memorials for officers that were murdered trying to ensure that their people live free. These are husbands, fathers, and sons killed every day. What if it were your country? What would your choice be? Everything we fight for is worth the blood that may be shed. The media never reports the true HEROISM I witness everyday in the Iraqi’s. Yes there are bad one’s here, but I assure you they are a minuscule percent. Yet they are a number big enough to cause worry in this country’s future.
I have watched brave souls give their all and lose thier lives and limbs for this cause. I will no longer stand silent and let the “deaf and blind” be the only voice shouting. Stonewall Jackson once said, “All that I have, all that I am is at the service of the country.” For these brave souls who gave the ultimate sacrifice, including your son Cindy Sheehan, I will shout till I can no longer. These men and women are heroes. Their spirit lives on in their military and they will never be forgotten. They did not die in vain but rather for a cause that is larger than all of us.

My fellow countrymen and women, we are not overseas for our country alone but also another. We are here to spread democracy and freedom to those who KNOW the true taste of it because they fight for it everyday. You can see the desire in their eyes and I am honored to fight alongside them as an Infantryman in the 101st Airborne.

Freedom is not free, but yet it is everyone’s right to have. Ironic isn’t it? That is why we are here. Though you will always have the skeptics, I know that most of our military will agree with this message. Please, at the request of this soldier spread this message to all you know. We are in Operation Iraqi Freedom and that is our goal. It is a cause that I and thousands of others stand ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice for because, Cindy Sheehan, freedom is worth dying for, no matter what country it is! And after the world is free only then can we hope to have peace.

SGT Walter J. Rausch and 1st Platoon
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)

My Guess is Eleanor Clift at Newsweek, and Rep. Murtha missed this letter.
If you arrived here thanks to Atlas Shrugs, please go visit Lone Pony, since she sent in the link.
Also, welcome "Educated Shoprat", thanks for the link.
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The Showdown is On!

Drudge, and Michelle Malkin both have posts up about this story on the AP Wire. Seems the GOP has gotten some cajones, and has decided to put John Murthra (D-Pa) and the rest of the Democrats on the spot, by holding a House vote on an immediate withdrawl from Iraq.

Denny Hastert is definitely going to put some folks on record, one way or another, and then see how many of them match this vote with the one in Oct. 2002 to authorize the President to go to war.

It should be intersting, the Democratic leadership hasn't had much to say about it yet. I'm betting that Murtha gets very little support from his party when this one is voted on in the next few hours.

Christopher Dickey has an online article at Newsweek from today, defending Murtha and basically saying ws should just pull out.

I wonder if he realizes his rant on "idealogues" works both ways? Read it for a laugh.

Don Surber has 2 posts on this here and here.

Live Blogs for the vote available at Michelle Malkin, Euphoric Reality. Reading over some of the statements the Dem's are taking this as a personal attack on Murtha, the GOP are using it as a unified attack on hypocrites.

Update 2:

Does the guy in charge of the House tonight look like Dan Akroyd, or is it just me?
They've been going at Hunter Resolution to Withdraw From Iraq Immediately for the last hour, and it's been pretty funny. If you listen to Murtha, it's all doom and gloom, everyone hates it. Listen to Hunter, it's just the opposite, everyone wants to finish the job. Of the two I feel sorrier for Murtha, it seems like only depressed people visit him.

Final Update:
Vote was 3-403. Three Democrats, Jose Serrano of New York, Robert Wexler of Florida and Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, voted for the proposal for immediate withdrawl. Six voted present, meaning they don't have the stones to make a decision: Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington; Jerrold Nadler, Maurice Hinchey and Major Owens of New York; Michael Capuano of Massachusetts and William Lacy Clay of Missouri..

Jim McDermott, is talking about the honorable Arabs and an Atwa, or arrangement, between enemies. He thinks the Sunni, Shia, Kurds, etc can get together and work it out, if the Arab League steps in.

What a fucking putz, pardon the French. Now he's saying we could have prevented the first Gulf war the same way. I think I'm going to hurl now. I'll have to find his speech in the record this weekend and post it.
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Anyone Got Some Rolaids?

Rumors are running rampant over who Patrick Fitzgerald is going to call before his next grand jury. He has stated that there will be another one to hear new evidence in the Plamegate (nadagate) case.

The big question is, who is it for? It may well be that it is for Bob Woodward (great post on him at Atlas Shrugs), who revelations earlier in the week of knowing VALERIE PLAME's name before Bob Novak's column was published has caused a lot of heartburn.

The Democrats have heartburn, because based on the Woodward information, Libby's timeline holds up better than Fitzgerald's timeline from the indictment. Plus it's already all over the wire that Rove and Cheney weren't Woodwards sources, pulling them farther from an indictment.

The Washington Post has heartburn, because their star reporter, it turns out, has been holding back from the Feds. They've already given that more page space than they give the Redskins on Monday morning. The Post Published another editorial on 11/19 concerning Woodward and the Nadagate/Plamegate affair, this time defending confidential sources.

Fitzgerald has heartburn, because he could look like a stooge here shortly, if it turns out Libby got the name from Woodward.

And finally, I've got heartburn, mostly because I ate the wrong thing for lunch.
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Joe Wilson's Nightmare Grows

It was bad enough a few weeks ago when Scooter Libbey, and not Karl Rove had to appear before a judge for a crime other than outing Valerie Plame. But it was okay, because the investigation was still open. Then the curveball hit, Bob Woodward was called to be deposed by Patrick Fitzgerald, and it seems his testimony moved Rove even farther away from a frog marching trip, and may even get Scooter Libby off the hook.

Joe's back on TV and trying to get back in the papers, because he can't have this happen. The more it looks like no one was obsessed with outing his wife, the closer people might look at his own lies, deceit, and motivations. Don't expect the media to start questioning Joe's motivation any time soon, though. They too are still holding out hope that someone will find a memo that say's "Scooter, Let's mess with Wilson's wife, that'll show the rat bastard, love Karl".

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Bush Losing Spin Battle

Reading E.J. Dionne's latest commentary, one would get the opinion that only doves reside in DC, and congress, no one supports us being in Iraq anymore, and that any day Bush will withdrawl all the troops.

John Murtha, John Warner, and Dick Durbin are given large amounts of space in his commentary, but not a word about the Lieberman speech on the floor on the 15th. Why? Because while Lieberman supported the Warner Amendment (and voted against fellow Democrat Carl Levin), his speech sounded like support for the President. It also shows the Democrats aren't in lock step with each other, and cracks in that party aren't newsworthy.

It doesn't matter how much Cheney, or Bush roars about the fact that the Dem's are trying to rewrite their own history on Iraq, or how much Lieberman talks about doing the right thing; Dionne and other columnists won't write about it as long as they can keep finding folks like Murtha that will say we should leave.
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