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Friday, September 29, 2006

Interview To Be Posted Today

My interview with Basil will be posted today. You can find it here. Thanks to all who asked questions, it was a lot of fun answering them.
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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Yo! Carl, Read The Constitution!!!!

Dear Senator Levin,

I'd like to invite you to read the Constitution of the United States of America, as you made it apparent in your diatribe today that you haven't recently.

By uttering the words:

"The habeas corpus language in this bill is as legally abusive of rights guaranteed in the Constitution as the actions at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and secret prisons that were physically abusive of detainees,"

You've proven that you don't have a clue who the Constitution was written for.

For your benefit I'll post the preamble to The Constitution.

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Notice, Mr. Levin (along with Mr. Kennedy) that it doesn't say "for the terrorists in Iraq or Afghanistan", it does provide for a "common defense" which I'd guess probably does mean against terrorists, not a defense lawyer FOR them.

If you reread what you two said today after passing the detainee legislation from an objective standpoint, you'll understand why America hasn't trusted your party to provide for our defense of late.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

He Agrees With Me?

If you click this link to do a google search of my writings about David Ignatius of the Washington Post, you'll see that I disagree with him more often than not.

However, today he's got a great opinion piece about the Democrats, Iraq and the National Intelligence Estimate I wrote about last night. The funny thing is that was the topic I was going to write about tonight anyway. I was kind of formulating my thoughts on my (ungodly long) drive home from Crown Point Indiana tonight.

David points out (as I did last night) that the "head in the sand" strategy is pretty well tossed with the conclussions of the NIE.

What we've heard from Murtha and Company over the last 12 months or so is that we need to pull out and they'll quit hating us; except no one in the intel community seems to believe that. History has also shown that to be false, the link is on the right sidebar that shows how often we've backed off, and been hit again.

The other seeming strategy has been to scream that the invasion was a mistake, but come up with no coherent strategy for Iraq. At this point whether the invasion was a mistake or not, the truth is it doesn't matter other than for scoring political points.

The real world truth is that leaving Iraq wouldn't do any good at this point, other than to make the war protesters here happy. Much like the pull out from Somolia, it would reinforce the believe among the jihadists that we are weak and unwilling to put up with the loses need to win the war on terror.

Ignatius is tougher on them than I have been in this, or other writings. A good excerpt from his column today kind of sums up the Democrats:
But with a few notable exceptions, the Democrats are mostly ducking the hard question of what to do next. They act as if all those America-hating terrorists will evaporate back into the sands of Anbar province if the United States pulls out its troops. Alas, that is not the case. That is the problem with Iraq -- it is not an easy mistake to fix.
Mistakes are always easier to point out and bitch about than fix. The left, and some on the right are more than willing to come forward and say "Bush screwed the pooch on this", but that seems to be where it ends.

Whether it's more boots on the ground, as (retired) General Batiste called for yesterday; a part of the speech the left pretends didn't happen; or cutting and running, put the plan out there and let voters decide in six weeks if it's a good one.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Context is Everything

Thanks, Washington Post, for a link to the whole declassified document from the National Intelligence Estimate. By posting that link, you make it easier to look through it, and your sensationalized headlines. Once againg proving that context is everything, you made available the information to rip apart your own skewed editorials.

While the Post, and others have great headlines about how the war in Iraq is fueling terrorism, the NIE judgments finish the story.

For instance, we've all stuff like this since Sunday:

The Iraq conflict has become the "cause celebre" for jihadists, in fact that's a headline Yahoo, the AP and others have used.

Except that if you read the rest of the paragraph (Thanks Charlie):

The Iraq conflict has become the "cause celebre" for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for
the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.
That tosses a completely different light on the headline doesn't it. In fact, that paragraph basically kills the idea of cutting and running as the solution. Finishing the fight seems to be the answer the NIE came up with.

Another example:

"..The Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives";

This sentence has been the cry of the left since the leak came out in the NY Times (surprise) on Sunday.

Except, once again, an entire paragraph instead of a sentence out of context brings more of the true assessment to light:

We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.

Again, pointing out that if the Jihadists win in Iraq, they will be emboldened, not that leaving them alone there is going to make the resentment go away.

Another interesting line from the NIE judgments:

Greater pluralism and more responsive political systems in Muslim majority nations would alleviate some of the grievances jihadists exploit. Over time, such progress, together with sustained, multifaceted programs targeting the vulnerabilities of the jihadist movement and continued pressure on al-Qaida,could erode support for the jihadists

Isn't this what George Bush has been pushing for the last 5 years? Stable, representative governments in the Muslim world? Notice no one on the left is screaming about that paragraph, or even mentioning it.

A few folks have also advocated releasing the entire NIE assessment. The Opinion Journal editors think it would be great for two reasons. One, it would put whole leaks into light, instead of the selective, out of context sentences we've been reading. The other is that we'd get to see just how worthless the entire document is. That's what happens when you have 16 organizations try and come up with aconsensuss document.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Lack of Leadership

I finally got to hear the whole Bill Clinton interview from Fox News yesterday as I drove to work this morning. I love talk radio, since they'll do things like take 10 minutes to play something like that, instead of giving me the 30 second condensed version CNN and everyone else was playing after the fact.

For those who've been under a rock for the last 36 hours, Chris Wallace told Bill he'd gotten a ton of e-mail asking him to ask the former president why he hadn't worked harder to get Bin Laden.

What followed was a nine minute commercial for two things. Richard Clarke's book (which Clinton should read), and how not to be "The Leader of the Free World".

I said Bill should read Clarke's book, because Byron York does a great job in National Review of showing exactly what Clarke's book says about Clinton, and it's not as flattering as Bill seems to think.

In fact, what it shows, and what Clintons own words yesterday showed were a total lack of leadership on his part.

The War on Terror has brought us two stark contrasts in leadership, Clinton and Bush. Clinton's style, evidently was one of lack of conviction. If everyone wasn't 100% lockstep behind something he wouldn't do it. That's not leadership, or even consensus building, that's capitulation to subordinates.

His arguments that the CIA and FBI dragged their feet on the intel he said he needed ring hollow. If they were that poorly performing, what was he doing to correct the problem? Freeh and Tenent were still leading both agencies when Bush took office. If they weren't performing, why weren't they fired?

That the military didn't like his plans, so what, you Bill, were Commander in Chief, that means you tell them what to do. When they say the plan won't work you tell them to come up with one that will, or has a better chance, you don't just do nothing.

In your power was the ability to replace the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff, yet they were all still hanging around, even though you claim they wouldn't follow orders.

Clarke points out in his book that Clinton had plenty of political capital to use, but refused to because of his own personal "issues". That's not leadership, that's ass covering, and evidently he was more worried about that than doing his job.

Bush, while definitely not perfect, has at least been decisive. He's used political capital, diplomacy, even coercion at times to get things done the way he thinks they should be done. Have all of his decisions been right? Hell no, but at least they've been decisions.

Bush has stood up and said mistakes were made, and dealt with the (constant) flak from them, and defended his decisions. It's definitely a sharp contrast to his predecessor, who yesterday claimed he did everything right, and it was someone else's fault that things didn't work.

I heard a radio interview with a football coach today, when asked why there seemed to be so much confusion in his secondary on certain plays the answer was "we obviously aren't teaching it right if they aren't executing it". He didn't blame the safety for going to the wrong place, or say the cornerback didn't like zone coverages, or the linebackers hated him because he didn't play their position; he shouldered the blame as the coach for not making it clear what their jobs were. Maybe I should get a copy of that interview and send it to Bill Clinton, it's a good explanation of leadership.

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NFL Notes

I don't do sports a lot, but politics has been boring the last few days, with only Bill Clinton's whining about Chris Wallace's questioning him on his anti-terrorism efforts really being worthwhile.

So, instead I'll do the NFL this morning. First, for those who don't live in the area of the NFC North, you'll never understand just how much the Packers, Bears, and Vikings folks dislike each other. Yesterday was very tough, as the Bears were playing the Vikings, and as a Packer fan I had to pray for a tie.

Here are some observations from this weekend, though.

Brett Favre obviously can still throw a football, despite the cracks by the guys on ESPN. A 101.9 QB rating in his last two games pretty well shows that. Joining Marino in the 400 TD club was great, as was getting a win to shush a few critics.

The Bears offense is completely overrated. They played two bad defenses the first two weeks (Green Bay, and Detroit). When they met a tough one they could only score 4 field goals, two coming on short drives. It took Minnesota screwing up to give them short field for a TD to win. Seattle will expose them next week.

Chris Simms is a lousy QB, but tougher than me. Let's face it, Gruden would have to bench him pretty soon, and bad as he's been playing. The ruptured spleen makes that a little easier. However, I don't think I'd be out there playing with cracked ribs for the last half of a game. Get well soon, and maybe try coaching.

Eli Manning isn't his brother.. DUH! Everyone started talking last week after the comeback against the Eagles about how he'd "turned the corner". The problem is, he evidently kept turning based on the way he gave up the ball to Seattle yesterday. Digging 35-0 holes isn't the way to win games.

The Jets aren't for real, don't let the 2-1 record fool you. They've beaten two bad teams, Buffalo and Tennessee, and lost to New England. Like many years in the past they'll look great agains the mediocre, and continue to lose to good ones. The scheduling gods have set them up to go 9-7 this year, then disappoint if they make the playoffs.

The Byron Leftwich era in Jacksonville will end after this year. Unlike Chad Pennington, this guy from Marshall hasn't totally embraced the NFL game. Some of the problems are the team surrounding him, but he just makes too many bad decisions. Jacksonville has no playmakers around him, and will probably retool after this year, starting at his position.

Mark Brunnell isn't as good as he looked yesterday (or as bad as he looked last week). Every QB should get a game or two against Houston every year to pad their stats, which is what Mark did yesterday. Kudos for the NFL record 22 staight completions to start the game, but Mark, it was Houston. Note to coach Gibbs, he's not the long term answer at QB.

Philly is doing great at beating bad teams. Before everyone in the City of Brotherly Love (and muggings) jumps back on the Eagles Super Bowl Bandwagon, remember, you've beaten Houston (see above) and San Francisco. I'll believe the hype when they win against a decent team.

Good luck to the Saint's tonight in their first true home game in over a year. I'd love to see them smack down the Falcons. Just about any team that sells out against the run and makes the Falcons play through the air can beat them, and New Orleans has a decent, though not great, run defense.

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Trouble Brewing?

It appears the Democrats have national level problems brewing for the mid-term elections , along with their well documented ethical issues in the midwest.

A number of things are brewing that aren't helpful for them, or their strategy in November. The biggest is consumer confidence in the economy. While there is still nearly a 2-1 margin for (36-17%) who think the economy is getting worse, that's a big change from a couple of months ago when it was 4-1 (46-12). The real problem with the number is that nearly all of the folks on the 36% side of the equation are already "likely voters" for the Democratic party. That means more folks from the "undecided" group have slipped into the "economy is okay mode"; narrowing the dems chances of capturing them.

Gas prices falling isn't helping them, either. The number of folks who saw that as the major issue for the midterms fell by 50% in the last 5 months. Since it looks like prices may be below $2 per gallon by election day, it puts a damper on the fear pimps who were just a few weeks ago telling us $3.00 was here to stay and $5 by next summer wasn't out of the question.

The third issue, Iraq, the Democrats fall back, fail-safe key to the election isn't moving in their favor either. The President's message that Iraq and national security are one in the same seems to be getting through. And, again to the Democrats chagrine, the voters who do see Iraq as the number one election issue are, by a 5-1 margin registered democrats; again one of their major issues getting few new voters to their side of the aisle.

The final thing is George Bush's approval rating. It's climbed back into the mid 40% range, making him less of a liability to GOP candidates out there, and hurting the Democrats who only want to equate all Republicans to Bush.

My guess (with no numbers to back it up) is that Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did more to help Bush with their UN speeches this week than he's done for himself in the last couple of months. It wouldn't surprise me to see any democrat who's spoken nicely of either of the men, and who's up for re-election to be tied to them in TV and radio ads shortly.

E.J. Dionne, a guy I love to hate has a good roundup of other problems for the left in today's Washington Post.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

When Will The Rats Run?

Two sitting democratic governors in the midwest are having VERY bad days today. It will be interesting to see when the rats start running for the decks on their sinking campaign ships.

In Wisconsin the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that a hired gun of the sitting Governor, Jim Doyle, lobbied members of the State Election Board to make it look as though GOP candidate Mark Green had broken campaign finance laws.

Reading the trail of (lawyerspeak) e-mails, one sees that the gun was definitely careful of certain things. He made sure he never talked to more than 3 of the members of the board (so it wouldn't be a "meeting"), even gave them a list of what the board needed to find at it's meeting, and how to word it so it looked like they weren't changing the rules.

While the Doyle camp's explaination that "anyone can contact the elections board" is technically true, not many people would include phrases like "even if this ends up in court it's a PR victory for us..." and "I have also been told that the Gov's Campaign and the Dem Party and others will give you cover on this in the media-not like what happened on the HAVA same day registration"

Evidently the cover wasn't good enough, since now two district attorneys, and possibly the feds are looking into the meeting to see if it was rigged.

Charlie Sykes has much more over on his weblog.

Then, south of the Cheesestate border, it was reported in the Chicago Tribune that Governor Blagojevich knew that a person who gave a $1,500 "gift" either for one daughters birthday or the others christening wanted a state job. He also acknowledged that he talked to his chief of staff about finding her one. The woman is now working as an adminstrator for a state department, even though she failed the state hiring exam.

While Blago is still claiming the $1,500 and the job aren't connected, he's put himself into a pretty tight hole. The feds are breathing down his administration's neck, and the GOP is getting ready to spend a ton of money on "connect the dot" type commercials painting him as a corrupt and ethically challenged governor.

Adding to the Democrats woes in Illinois, the feds raided Cook County offices in an expanding investigation into the hiring practices of the county.

Given that the general election is only 7 weeks away, expect the see the GOP dump money into both states Governor races. Wisconsin and Illinois' 8th congressional districts are up for grabs, and likely could be big in who controls congress.

Anyone on the left who thinks the right won't start linking congressional candidates to the ethically challenged governors has their heads in the sand; especially considering they are trying to liken the rights candidates to George Bush.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Keeping Perspective on "The Bubble"

As I listen to the news lately, I keep hearing about the bursting of the "housing bubble". Yet as I listen, as a former Realtor, I laugh about the lack of perspective in the number of sales.

For instance, the June/July numbers show that the adjusted rate of sales for this year of existing homes is going to be somewhere around 6.62 million units, well off of the 2005 record over over 7 million. That's why everyone is freaking out, it's a big drop.

But they aren't looking with any perspective; the number is about 200,000 units higher than the 2004 number, which is the second highest year on record, behind 2005. It's about half a million higher than 2003, the third highest year on record.

What is being seen, in a few areas, is a drop in prices to where they really should be; and what's being seen nation wide, much like the stock market does, is a correction. Sales are falling to the levels they should be at, or would have been at, had interest rates not been held artificially low for a few years.

So what you are seeing, in a "bubble bursting" scenario, is the third highest year on record for existing home sales.

Since I mentioned rates, while folks are freaking about them also, they shouldn't be. Before 2002 the average home loan rate was just over 8.5% over a 20 year period. I remember a friend refinancing in the late 1990's for 8.25 and talking about what a deal it was. When I got a VA loan at 7.5% in early 2001 the loan officer commented about how she'd never written a VA loan that low.

So today, folks are complaining that they are getting crushed by a 6.25% mortgage. No, what they are doing is seeing a dose of reality, and not a good one, since they are still better than 2% below the historic range of interest rates.

What do I expect to see in the near future in the market? Well, first off a decline of the "McMansion" culture that grew out of the 3% mortage market. In all likelihood you'll see a lot more subdivisions of less than 2500 square foot homes start going up again, along with more reasonably sized and priced condos and townhomes.

While rates are going to put bigger homes out of reach of some buyers, the construction industry has traditionally adjusted to changes in the financial market fairly well, the last five years have proven that. Look for smaller houses, in more reasonable price ranges to start popping up in the very near future. You'll probably see some changes to proposed subdivisions that have already started advertising to make sales more attractive.

Existing sales in the lower price ranges are still fairly brisk, while the higher priced homes are spending more time on the market. Yes, some areas are seeing a bigger slow down, but many of them ended up overpriced for one reason or another in the last 5 years.

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Don't Forget!

Hey, in case you forgot, questions for me need to be submitted to Basil by the 22nd. So real quick, if you haven't sent yours yet, go over to the left sidebar, click on the link, and send a question to Basil.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Left and Right Weigh in On Islamofacists

Anne Applebaum, a generally conservative writer has a great op/ed piece in the Washington Post today on why we need to quit apologizing to Islamics every time they get their collective undies in a bundle over a comment.

The Pope, of course, set off the latest firestorm by quoting a historic text that Islam is a religion spread not by missionaries, but by the sword. Proving him right, Islamic scholars have called for the slaying of the followers of the Pope, killed a nun, burned some churches, and recalled ambassadors.

Anne points out that Islam, as a religion of peace, is a joke. While some will say "Christians are just as bad, look at Fred Phelps!", keep in mind that unlike minded Christians have no problem publicly denouncing Fred. Find the unlike minded Muslims who've come out against the decrees to kill the followers of the Pope.

The fact is, if moderate Muslims want their religion to be thought of as a religion of piece, at times like this when one cleric calls for killing Christians, two dozen need to denounce him, loudly, publicly, and continuously.

And on the left, Sam Harris a self-described liberal who hates Bush, wants higher taxes, and believes that stem cell research was funded before Bush writes in the LA Times that the left scares him when it comes to fighting terrorism.
But my correspondence with liberals has convinced me that liberalism has grown dangerously out of touch with the realities of our world — specifically with what devout Muslims actually believe about the West, about paradise and about the ultimate ascendance of their faith.

Harris pulls no punches, and tells it like it is, that the left in charge is a scary thought when it comes to security and terrorism prevention. Unfortunately few other liberals get it, or will admit to getting it for fear of the backlash from the rest of the left.

If you get a chance today, read both columns.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

The "Reformer" Sweating Bullets

When Rod Blagojevich was elected Governor of Illinois four years ago, he promised us all that he was going to clean up the mess that Springfield had become with 25 years of GOP leadership. Away were going to go the patronage jobs that had been given to party donors for decades. The hiring process was going to follow the letter of the law.

Well, okay, maybe not quite the letter, or the spirit, or the law period. It seems, according to the Chicago Tribune, that the hiring game in Springfield has gotten worse under Blago, not better. Heck, his daughter is getting $1,500 "birthday gifts" from people right after they secure a state job.

A number of his top deputies are under federal investigation, the State's Attorney General, a fellow Democrat hasn't helped by stepping into the matter, and newspapers from Chicago to Bloomington are looking under stones to find out who's hiding.

Rod had claimed all along that it was two mid-level bureaucrats who were responsible for everything, but the more people the newspapers talk to, the more it seems that Joe Cini, a top aide was actually the guy pulling strings for the Governor.

Now the feds are checking out Rod's personal finances, Cini, and others in the upper echelon of Springfield politics. The last thing Rod needs seven weeks before the general election is more front page stories about how he's bumping veterans from jobs they are entitled to by state law to give them to donors. Or how he's got 63 year old party faithful filling "college intern" positions, but that's what he's getting.

The biggest miscalculation on the Blagojevich, it seems, was that they'd be taken on their word that they were going to clean up Springfield. Unfortunately, for them, the Feds were already crawling all over the capital investigating the last governor, and don't seem to inclined to ignore the current one, as he must have hoped.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

What The Hell???

Here's a great story from Wisconsin this week. A teacher, who had 1500 pornographic images on his SCHOOL computer, and had to have it reformatted TWICE because the porn pop up adds were killing his ability to work was reinstated by an arbitration board this week.

Part of their decision was based on the fact that another teacher was only given a reprimand for looking at stock quotes on school computers.

Um, excuse me, but I think there might be a LITTLE BIT OF DIFFERENCE between checking Ameritrade and checking out "Hot Teens Girls" (one of his favorite sites).

It once again shows how rigid some folks want rules enforcement to be. Never mind that some folks might not want their kids subjected to seeing the teachers porno pop-up ads in school. The arbitrators showed a complete lack of common sense in this decision.

(yes, the tags are a shameless grab for readers :)

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Column I Can Agree With

It's not often I read a column written by a liberal democratic lawmaker and say "I agree, 100% with you", but in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel State Rep. Jason Fields a liberal democrat from Milwaukee makes some great points about taking back the city from the thugs.

For those who haven't followed the news lately, Milwaukee has had a horrible summer of murders, beatings, and now, the gang rape of an 11 year old girl. Rep. Fields makes some great points about the complaining about the crime in the city, when the residents themselves seem to be willing to do very little to stop it.

If you get a chance, click on the link above, and read the column. The suggestions don't only apply to Milwaukee; any community that's having problems should take some of his words to heart.

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Daley Veto's Big Box Ordinance

A lot of pundits complained when it took George Bush over five years to issue his first veto as president. Well he's got nothing on Mayor Daley of Chicago, who issued his very first veto after 17 years in office yesterday.

Daley vetoed the so called "living wage ordinance" that only targeted major retailers in the city, saying it's a bad idea for attracting business to the city. He's most likely right, since 3 major projects have been put on hold since the city council passed the original measure.

When the original vote was taken on the measure the majority was "veto proof", but by filing early enough to hold a sustaining vote at Wednesdays meeting of the city council Daley is taking advantage of the absence of a few alderman who supported the vote but are away traveling now.
He's also lined up 2-3 others who plan on switching their votes, signalling the probable death of the ordinance for now, though some alderman have promised a new incarnation of the bill later on.

The AFL-CIO folks and other unions are understandably dismayed that a democrat fell off the "living wage" bandwagon and issued such a veto. While they have threatened through back doors to withhold support for Daley and some alderman in February's city wide election the truth is Daley needs unions like fish need bikes. There are few, if any local politicians who have a chance of surviving a race against him, and he knows it. The truth is, he's got enough power in Chicago to keep the folks on the council he'd like, and defeat pretty much any union backed hacks who are tossed on the ballot.

Because of his coattails I doubt you see any incarnation of this ordinance come back until after the election next year. The alderman who supported it can rightfully tell the unions who bullied them they did their best, but they won't push Daley hard on it with voters going to the polls.

Thanks to John over at Marathon Pundit for some info on the issue.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 Five Years Later

One of the things I remember the most about 9/11, and really the time immediatly following that horrible day was the way America really did come together, people of all stripes, religions, colors and political persuasions.

Keep in mind, we were still a very divided country after the 2000 election, but 9/11, while a horrible action, seemed to be a cure for much of that divide.

Unfortunately, 5 years later most, if not all, of that coming together love seems to have been lost. Political parties have decided, that like the pre-9/11 world, politics is more important that doing what's right.

Today we once again use national security as a political football. One side claims if the other wins we'll all be overrun by Islamofacists because once again we'll be weak and not want to respond. The other claims that if the current folks stay in power the jackbooted thugs will finish removing all of your civil liberties.

Both sides are full of shit, but that's besides the point. They are both playing to their bases, and folks with more than 3 functioning synapses in their brains should understand that. If you believe the ACLU that the Patriot Act stripped all of your civil liberties you've never read the RICO act, which outlawed nearly every item in the Patriot Act. In fact, in about 4.5 years the ACLU still hasn't found their test case to get it overturned.

If you, on the other hand, believe that no one from the left is capable of leading with strength, I think you are wrong too. Though I will admit, the left's most vocal voices have sure made it seem like they won't, and worked to silence anyone who shows strength.

If you think George Bush is the reason for the war on terror you haven't clicked on the link on my right sidebar that says "Think the War On Terror Started On 9/11". The truth is he's the first president in two decades to believe that it is a war, not a law enforcement problem to handle terrorists.

If you think that somehow being nicer or less critical of some folks would make things different probably didn't click on that link either. Most of the list is populated with events we did very little, if anything after, and it didn't matter, another attack happened anyway.

If you are one of the many folks who want DHS and other government agencies to make us perfectly safe from another attack, and want a perfect response is there is one, get real. Condi Rice has made a great point for the last 5 years about dealing with terrorists. For us to win, and never sustain another attack we have to be perfect; we need to have the right info, people in place, and make the great decisions 100% of the time. For the terrorist to win they only have to be successful once.

If you think you can argue every technicality, bitch about every perceived infringment of a terrorists "rights", worry that we don't give lawyers enough time to look stuff over before we try then you will probably bitch when we aren't right that 1% of the time that allows another attack to happen. I say this because it seems that the same group that bitches that everything isn't perfect is complaining about how anything is done (Senator Feingold, I hope you are reading this.

If you believe the hype from some folks that George Bush promised a cake walk in the War on Terror, you never listened to him talk about it. For five years he's said our resolve as a nation would win, but never said it would be fast, or pretty.

Take a minute tonight, and think about what 9/11 really was, an attack on your way of life, you freedom, and your country. If you think we should do less to prevent the next attack, ask yourself how well doing less worked in the past.

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Updating The Blog

The 9/11 Anniversary post will be up some time tonight, when I get settled into my hotel in Onalaska, Wi.
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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Blew That One...

Okay, so maybe I won't make football picks anymore. However, my brothers Packers Bears party, with projection TV, lots of food and beverages, and even stadium seating was awesome, even if the game sucked.
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Fearless Prediction

Today's fearless prediction? Green Bay Packers 17, Chicago Bears 13, and the remaining wheels fall off the Rex Grossman bandwagon.

A year ago the chant in Chicago was "Wait until Rex is back!" this year it's "Why not start Greise?"

I hate bandwagon, fair weather fans!

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Democrats and National Security

The Democratic Party has two problems with national security this week, well really three.

The first is their hissy fit reaction to the "Path to 9/11" miniseries ABC plans to air Monday and Tuesday. Evidently the fact that the Clinton administration is portrayed as less than engaged on the issue of getting Bin Laden; which is pretty factual; has them in an uproar.

While George Bush hasn't done any better at catching Bin Laden, he at least gets points for trying. The left is having fits because the truth about the previous administration's handling of terrorist acts is going to be aired on national TV. If they had their way, everyone would forget that Khobar Towers, the first WTC attack, and the attack on the Cole happened while they were in office. According to the new spin from the left, terrorism didn't start until 9/11 and anything contrary to that is blasphemy.

Unfortunately it seems that ABC is caving to pressure from the left to edit the Clinton era portion of the docu-drama, which is too bad.

The second is far left darling Russ Feingold holding hostage legislation to codify what type of surveillence the president and NSA can order conducted on suspected terrorist phone calls.

Lets all keep in mind, Russ is one of the folks who's screamed for the last year that Congress needs to authorize some sort of program. Now that the bill is in congress, Russ wants to hold it up.

The words of Arlen Specter, no friend of the current program, and one of the chief architects of the bill now in committee pretty well sum up Mr. Feingold's stand:
"We have seen the incipient stage of filibuster by amendment," the Pennsylvania Republican testily declared as he called off a vote to move his bill to the Senate floor. "Filibuster by speech, filibuster by amendment. Obstructionism."

And, finally, PlameGate is biting the left, and the MSM hard in the ass this week, as Richard Armitage comes out as the guy who gave Valerie's name to the media, not Karl Rove, not Scooter Libby.

Why did he think it was okay? Well, her name and job titler were on a State Department memo that was unclassified.

Now, since according to RA, this disclosure came fairly early in the investigation we should find out why the investigation continued. The truth probably won't come out in so many words, but MEDIA PRESSURE is the most likely answer.

David Broder has a great piece on the whole affair from yesterday's paper, and rips the media including a number of folks by name for their wonderful conduct of a witch hunt. For a good laugh, go through the Technorati links to the piece, and read the lefts spin on it.

One wonders how this little revealation will affect the Wilson's lawsuit against Rove and Bush for supposedly concocting this whole scheme. I think I smell an order of dismissal coming down the pike fairly soon.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

A Year Later

A year after Katrina we still have one HUGE problem from the storm, unrealistic expectations.

With possibly 100,000 homes and businesses either destroyed, or so badly damaged they need to be leveled, the expectation that a year later everything would be cleaned up and back to normal is unrealistic.

As a point of reference a 250 home subdivision is going in near me. They've been working on it, 5 days a week at least 8 hours a day for over a year, and aren't finished. Yet for some reason folks think that New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast should be finished with reconstruction in that same time frame.

(This wasn't finished when I accidently hit publish earlier today, here's the rest).

People also forget that if you go through the Florida Panhandle you'll still see blue tarps on roofs. These aren't from Katrina, but hurricanes in 2003 and 2004, when they saw half a dozen storms hit in the area. The gulf coast construction industry still hadn't caught up with those two
years, and then was itself devastated by Katrina.

The other unrealistic expectation is of the lack of human loss to storms. As long as there are folks who want to "ride them out", there will be death, and harrowing, though totally avoidable, tales of woe from wrath of nature.

Many want there to be zero deaths, injuries, or displaced people, but that's not going to happen, ever. Too many people, even after recent history, believe that "I made it through Betsy (or Camille) so this won't be that bad". Well, when it is, and they don't make it, people naturally look for someone to blame. It must be FEMA, the state, or some other federal agency's fault, because we can't just blame the moron who didn't leave when a hurricane was coming. Unlike tornados and earth quakes, you have days of warning for a hurricane.

The final unrealistic expecation, as noted in Shoprat's comments, is that the government is going to be able to do everything you need done in time of emergency. That's never been their function, regardless of what some would like you to believe. Our country was founded on the principle (oft forgotten these days) of limited government and a self sufficient population.

Today, many it seems want an omnipotent government, and not to be responsible for anything they should take care of on their own, or with the help of family and friends.

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Basil's Interview

I got an e-mail from Basil, at Basil's Blog last night about my interview. Questions will close out on September 22nd and sent to me, and the interview will be posted at his place on September 30th.

So, click this link to submit your questions soon.
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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Slow Walk For What?

Maricopa Mark sent me a link to a story from here in Chicago he wanted my opinion on, which is funny, because I was going to look at the same issue, from a different light, or should I say "Miller Lite" after listening to Jeff Wagner yesterday morning.

Chicago is home to a four day march, or rather slow walk, this weekend, from Chinatown to House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert's suburban office. 5000 people are expected at a rally Monday at Hastert's office.

Why is Chicago becoming such a hotbed for immigrant activity? Well one of the big stories here is a mother, Elvira Arellano, who's holed up in a local church to avoid deportation and separation from her son. She's scheduled to be deported, but he's a legal citizen because he was born here.

Chicago also has a large (illegal) immigrant population not only from Mexico, but Asia, which is why Chinatown is the starting point for this weekends rally.

And of course, Hastert is from the area, and he sets the House of Representatives agenda in Washington, and the House is the chamber that passed a very tough immigration reform plan last year, that didn't include any amnesty provisions.

Here's the deal on these rallies and marches though, they don't change opinion, they galvanize it. The folks who believe in open borders use them to try and convince people that the "human side" to immigration is being ignored. The folks against it use the (foreign) flag waving of the marchers as an example of why they need to go home. They don't want to be American's, they want to be (fill in nationality) who live in America and drain our resources.

The Arellano case shows the need for immigration reform, but in my opinion, not how her supporters would like it to be reformed. Birth right citizenship needs to end for those not born to a legal resident of the US.

I posted some months back, when the House was debating their bill that citizenship needs to become a tiered process for those born to foreign nationals. If they are here legally, the children receive "provisional citizenship", when the parents finish the nationalization process, the child becomes a full citizen. If the parent's don't, then the child doesn't receive citizenship, and the whole family returns to the country the parents are from.

If the parents can't prove legal status, we need to issue "non-citizen" birth certificates to children born of them. That change alone would eliminate a good portion of the illegal immigrant population. Automatic citizenship for children is a big draw bringing people to the US, remove it, and remove the incentive.

While some folks claim that would be too cumbersome, keep in mind that Mexico already does it. In fact, Mexico makes it nearly impossible for someone not born there to citizens to become a citizen.

The other thing that gets me about this weekends march, is that Miller beer, along with four major labor unions, are sponsoring the event. Each has a different reason, none of them given to the press very honest about why they are sponsoring it.

The unions claim it's a workers rights issue, but the truth is, it's a membership movement for them. They've pretty much failed at unionizing the big box retail industry, which they saw as their savior, and are now looking to other low wage, service sector jobs; many of which attract illegal immigrants. How exactly they support "open borders and free movement of people and goods", as one press release claimed, while spending millions to get NAFTA overturned and CAFTA from ever being signed is an interesting issue, though.

Miller, also using the open borders, and free movement of goods and people as their supposed reason, is in fact, looking to make inroads into the Hispanic marketplace in the US. They trail the Budweiser folks in that demographic (as well as most others), and are trying to find a way to gain some market share.

Of course the unions, and the Miller, fail to take into account the reaction of their current clients and members, to this type of sponsorship. For instance, how do unemployed textile workers, who belonged to the AFL-CIO; and were told for years (by the union) that cheap foreign labor killed their jobs; feel about the union basically supporting a march for cheap foreign labor?

How does the beer drinking public feel, portrayed for years as factory workers, feel about a beer maker supporting the folks who've supposedly stolen their jobs?

Will either of those groups stand up to the beer makers, and unions, and ask them to reconcile those positions? My guess is no, they won't, the general public doesn't seem to connect the dots too well on this type of stuff.

However, if you'd like to vote with your pocketbook, here's a few suggestions. If you are an MGD or other Miller product drinker, give Blue Moon or Killian's a try. Both are good beers, and brewed in Colorado (and soon Virginia) by Coors, which isn't sponsoring this weekends rally.

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