Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ah-nuld, Double-T, Senator Sieve, A Tree Restored, & The Big Flash

Hey, you try dreaming up a clever headline at this time of night....

*In his movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger never gave up and always fought the bad guy to the bitter, and victorious, end.

I'll give the Governator credit for keeping up his fight for quasi-conservative reform in Gollyfornia far longer than I ever expected. But after his ballot initiatives got skunked a few weeks ago, he apparently decided that capitulation is the better part of valor (via AmSpecBlog):

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, launching an overhaul of his administration, is poised to hire a former Democratic Party activist and high-ranking aide to Gray Davis as his new chief of staff, sources familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday.

The hiring of Susan P. Kennedy — a former executive director of the California Democratic Party, longtime abortion rights activist and Cabinet secretary to Davis, the Democrat whom Schwarzenegger replaced — would signal a shift in direction for the Republican governor.

More like a shift in scheduling - as in when he moves out of the big house in Sacramento. If he's going to go full-bore Rockefeller and govern as a de facto Democrat, there'll really be no practical reason not to replace him with the genuine article.

Only celebrity worship may save Ah-nuld a year from now, but it appears that nothing, not even the Last Action Hero, can save the Golden State from itself.

*Just when you start forgetting about Ted Turner, he opens his big yap and reminds you of why you were so desperate to forget him in the first place. Reading his analysis about a President that still won't do anything about the enemy regime (Islamist Iran, for the uninitiated) that has already openly and publicly threatened to destroy us with the nuclear weapons it is openly developing being a crazy nuclear bomber shows in all the ways you need to know why Double-T should have stuck to running WCW and ridding the pro wrestling world of Vince McMahon and WW[E].

At least Billionaire Ted actually came close to accomplishing that.

*Last week Senate Minority Obstructor "Dirty Harry" Reid went on a local Nevada talking head show and blurted that he'd heard that Osama bin Laden's cave fell in on him during the recent Pakistan megaquake, leaving the al Qaeda chieftain a devout greasespot beneath uncounted tons of rock.

There are only three possible explanations for this blurt:

1) Reid is full of crap;

2) Reid is every damned bit the leaker his party has cumulatively and slanderously accused Karl Rove and Scooter Libby of being;

3) All of the above.

This wouldn't be the first time he's been full of crap (e.g. his hijacking of the Senate into closed whining session a few weeks ago) or leaked confidential information (e.g. federal appellate court nominee Henry Saad's FBI file six months ago). The trends tend to confirm two tandem observations: (1) why this pencil-necked prick doesn't belong anywhere near elective office, much less a high leadership post, and (2) why the Barney Fife of politics is the highest-ranking Democrat in the country.

*A decade ago I started the "Merry Christmas, Dammit!" campaign to resist to the bloody end the intolerant, bigoted, obnoxious, runaway secularization of Christmas. Of course, I was far from the only one (they don't call us "Jesusland" for nothing, even if I don't happen to live contiguously with it), but I liked the irreverence of my chosen moniker.

And in the U.S. Capitol, at least, it has finally borne some fruit:

If it's a spruce tree adorned with 10,000 lights and 5,000 ornaments displayed on the Capitol grounds in December, it's a Christmas tree and that's what it should be called, says House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Hastert, R-IL, in a letter to the Architect of the Capitol, recommended that the annual Capitol Holiday Tree, as it has been called the past several years, be renamed the Capitol Christmas Tree.

"I strongly urge that we return to this tradition and join the White House, countless other public institutions and millions of American families in celebrating the holiday season with a Christmas tree," Hastert wrote to Architect Alan Hantman.

Damn straight. If the heathen want to put up a "holiday tree," let them do so on Groundhog's Day or Flag Day, or one of those holidays they've invented (e.g. "Earth Day"). Meanwhile the saints will be marching in to finish taking back the debased American culture - one spruce at a time.

*And last, but not least, here is a little minute-long video clip that, viewed at bedtime, is guaranteed to induce indefinite insomnia, sinus deblockage, and spontaneous scatalogical elimination all at the same time.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go change my shorts and shampoo the rug. It's gonna be a loooooong night.

Greater Grace

21 But now apart from the Law (A) the righteousness of God has been manifested, being (B) witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the (C) righteousness of God through (D) faith (E) in Jesus Christ for (F) all those who believe; for (G) there is no distinction; 23 for all (H) have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift (I) by His grace through (J) the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed publicly as (K) a propitiation (L) in His blood through faith This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the (M) forbearance of God He (N) passed over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Where then is (O) boasting? It is excluded by (P) what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.

28 For (Q) we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

29 Or (R) is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed (S) God (T) who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith (U) is one.

-Romans 3:21-30

Victory In Iraq - But What About The Rest Of The War?

President Bush gave another Iraq speech today. Pretty much old hat if you actually know what's going on in Iraq, but absolutely necessary given the Democrats stubborn insistence upon pushing the Big Lie to transform Operation Iraqi Freedom into Vietnam v. 2.0.

For Jed Babbin - with whose take I comprehensively agree - it was a case of a glass half full.

There's the good....

The President has finally engaged. We can quibble about what he said, but he's finally put the Dems on the defensive. Of course they were talking about quitting and running. Of course none of them were asking how we could win. Of course they were all saying it's unwinnable, a war based on lies, another Vietnam. Now they have been called on it, and they're toppling like a house of cards in a high wind. Messrs. Bush and Cheney have found the right tone. They need to keep singing long, loud and continuously.

The bad....

The biggest and most obvious problem with this is that almost nothing is said about the wider war. The president is making the same enormous mistake he has made since 2003 by implying that once Iraq is over, the war is over. It is essential to lay out our goals for Iraq. But to do so without saying that they are only one step in the war - and in the context of defining victory in the global war on terrorists and the nations that support them - weakens the case on Iraq.

And the ugly - or perhaps, since the designated Donk responder was the Boston Balker, who appeared to be in full magic hat fantasist mode, I should say the goofy.

Keep 'em coming, Mr. President. Just expand the scope and we might get home yet.

Too Extreme For Even The Mullahs?

While center-right lamentations continue over the absence of a sane Iran policy on the part of the Bush Administration and the broader Western world, the mullahgarchy continues to merrily and openly build its arsenal of mass destruction that it has merrily and openly promised to use against Israel and the United States. And according to this story, they are soliciting the active assistance of the third leg of the Axis of Evil (h/t Powerline):

[A] leading German newsweekly reported that Iran has offered North Korea oil and natural gas as payment for help in developing nuclear missiles.

A senior Iranian official traveled to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, during the second week of October to make the offer, Der Spiegel magazine reported yesterday, citing unidentified Western intelligence sources.

It was not clear what North Korea's response was, the magazine said.

To employ a highbrow foreign policy term, "Duh!" The NoKos are to the point of cannibalism if it will keep their massive army primed and ready for action. Selling nuclear and missile technology is the Kim family business. Does anybody seriously believe that they'll turn the Iranians away with a sad shake of the head and a wistful protestation of nuclear proliferation being an ethical line they cannot cross? Heck, they'll offer to supersize the mullahs' order and throw in a complimentary side dish of severed fingers.

The only true irony at this stage of the game is that their puppet president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is becoming too indiscretely belligerent even for them (h/t CQ):

Iranian moderates say the president has harmed his country by isolating it internationally, and now Ahmadinejad's friends are lining up against him. He suffered a humiliating defeat last week when his choice for oil minister was rejected for a third time, an unprecedented failure for an Iranian president.

While parliament is dominated by Ahmadinejad's conservative allies, the president's isolationist stance and his failure to consult on Cabinet appointments have annoyed lawmakers. They warn they will not approve any future nominee unless Ahmadinejad first consults parliament.

Pragmatists within the ruling establishment worry that Ahmadinejad's radical agenda has sidelined a cadre of experienced men at home and isolated the country abroad.

Earlier this month, the government announced that 40 ambassadors and senior diplomats, including supporters of better ties with the West, would be fired. Also let go were pragmatists who handled Iran's nuclear negotiations with Europe under Ahmadinejad's reformist predecessor, Mohammad Khatami....

In the works, but still not made public, is a deeper shake-up of the establishment in which Ahmadinejad is replacing hundreds of governors and senior officials at various ministries with young, inexperienced Islamic hard-liners who oppose good relations with the West. The changes include putting fundamentalists in key posts at security agencies.

It is abundantly clear (if it hadn't been so before now), that "President" Ahmadinejad lacks the necessary appreciation for the finer points of subtlety that a man in his position needs. He would do himself a vast favor by studying the recent and classic example of Bill Clinton, another president who came into office like a bull in a china shop, doing and saying all kinds of extremist things that most of his country's people weren't expecting and didn't like, and ended up paying a stiff, if indirect, price for it at the ballot box. Thereafter he retreated into a highly successful mix of deception and propaganda that proved to be a deft weapon of political defense as well as self-preservation.

Given that self-preservation has more than just a political aspect in an Islamist dictatorship, it's something that Ahmadinejad might want to consider. And given the evident, obsequious compulsion of the Western democracies, including the United States, to believe any crock of BS that the mullahs serve up, it's equally clear that he doesn't have to abandon his desire to "wipe Israel (and America) off the map," to simply resume bloviatingly telling us what we want to hear while his regime continues preparing to carry out what he sees as his country's "mullahfest destiny."

Even Adolph Hitler declared at the signing of the Munich Accords in September 1938 that, "This is my last territorial demand in Europe." And he was, you know, Adolph Hitler. The man in whose footsteps Ahmadinejad wants to follow, and whose life's ambition Ahmadinejad wants to finish.

If this guy doesn't wake up the Bush Administration to the stark and narrowing reality of what needs to be done while (or assuming) there's still time, nothing will - because it will be so easy for him to lull us back to sleep.

Chucky's Plumbers

The Limbaugh Letter has finally caught up to where the blogosphere was two months ago vis-a-vie Chuckaquiddick:

Rush Limbaugh calls them "Schumer’s Plumbers” – two Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee staffers who worked for Senator Chuck Schumer and are now accused of illegally obtaining the credit report of a Republican candidate for the Senate.

The two staffers have resigned, and Senator Schumer – chairman of the DSCC – denies any involvement.
Of course he is - because he's not being accused of it by a rabid, frothing, hostile press establishment. If Chucky were a Republican, he'd have been driven from office already, or at the very least be under the kind of withering siege with which Karl Rove became so intimately familiar. And, of course, his denials would earn him denunciations as a "liar" to go along with the pre-canned vilification of being a "racist" for pulling dirty tricks on an African-American senate candidate.

But Chucky isn't a Republican. So he gets a free pass, to the extent that not a single press outlet even questions that the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee is picking up the tab for his plumbers' legal fees:

But "he has not abandoned his dirt-diggers,”....and is paying "for Barge and Weiner’s attorney William Lawler III – the Democrat-infamy lawyer who represented ex-Governor Jim McGreevey (D-NJ) during his 2004 sex scandal.

"And the anti-Steele mud is still being slung.”
"Mud" is the euphemism of the year.

There is one other prominent difference between Watergate and Chuckaquiddick: the former was a failed burglary; the latter was successful - until they, too, got caught.

I guess we'll just have to settle for Michael Steele becoming the next U.S. Senator from Maryland.

Moonbats Get To Hillary

Well, they finally got to her. The complaining and whining from the peacenik kooks in the Democratic Party have convinced Hillary that she needs to pull a Bill and come down on both sides of yet another issue, a BIG one:

For the first time since she voted to authorize the Iraq war three years ago, 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is now saying that vote was a mistake - in an apparent move to pacify growing dissatisfaction with her position among the Democratic Party's left-wing base.

Atta girl, Hil. You're doing your husband proud.

"If Congress had been asked [to authorize the war], based on what we know now, we never would have agreed," Clinton said, in an email sent to her supporters on Tuesday.

Really? You would have left Saddam Hussein in power, even with all of the evidence linking him and al-Qaeda, the evidence of his chemical weapons, the evidence that yes, he DID seek uranium from Niger? How is it you are so able to ignore all that and continue to lie about it? Wait, I forgot for a moment who your audience is here. The kooks who think Bush was behind 9-11 in the first place.

While saying she took full responsibility for her error, Clinton repeatedly insisted that she had been misled by "false" intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction presented by the Bush administration.

Yes of course. "Full responsibility." Like that has ever occured to a Clinton. I'd love to see them get specific on this "false" intelligence, just once. Of course, we always have to endure the following after a Democrat trashes the mission and their Commander-in-Chief:

"I have continually raised doubts about the President's claims, lack of planning and execution of the war," Clinton said, before adding - "while standing firmly in support of our troops."

Liberals truly are nauseating creatures.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Accident Or Design?

18 For (A) the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who (B) suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because (C) that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

20 For (D) since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, (E) being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

-Romans 1:18-20

"A Lot Of Noise"

Note to White House PR shop: if NRO is any indication, the base isn't buying the President's abrupt "get tough on border control" angle:

"We will not be able to effectively enforce our immigration laws until we create a temporary-worker program."

This was the animating idea of the President's immigration speech on Monday in Tucson. His litany of improvements in border security, and even his acknowledgement of the importance of interior enforcement, were clearly calculated to make his guest-worker-program-cum-amnesty more palatable to conservatives.

The current issue of Time magazine has a revealing quote from "a Republican official close to the White House" about the president's approach to supporters of immigration enforcement: "Bush decided to give these guys their rhetorical pound of flesh. In return, he wants a comprehensive bill, which is what he has always wanted. He's just going to lead with a lot of noise about border security."

As National Review editor Rich Lowry elaborates in his own reinforcing column, the open-borders crowd has emitted these bursts of "noise" before, and always with the same dismal result:

If the policy debate plays out the way the White House wants [The House, where conservatives have the most sway, passes a bill with new enforcement measures, only to see the Senate pass a different bill with an amnesty and guest-worker program, which will be shoved down the throats of the House on a take-it-or-leave-it basis], we will have another iteration of a bizarre dynamic of American politics. Every time there is agitation about out-of-control levels of immigration, Washington acts — to preserve or increase current levels of immigration. As Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies notes, this is what happened in 1986, 1990, and 1996. The White House and the Senate want 2006 to be Act IV in the farce. Senator Arlen Specter's version of "reform" doubles legal immigration.

If the policy debate turns out that way - again - after the President made such a point of telling the grassroots what it wanted to hear, GOP voters will have one more reason to stay home and watch infomercials next November 7th, while illegal aliens perhaps prove the decisive factor in unseating the majority that would not listen.

I mean, c'mon, "Border Security Month"? That's like the immigration policy equivalent of Gerald Ford's "Whip Inflation Now" buttons....

The Curious Anti-Alito Dance

When last we visited this fascinating phenomenon, the Left was abandoning the attack avenues of abortion and affirmative action in favor of going after Supreme Court Justice-designate Samuel Alito on his supposedly bitter opposition to voting rights for black Americans.

Apparently that gambit didn't take, either:

Senator Arlen Specter is a Pennsylvania Republican who favors keeping abortion legal. Senator Sam Brownback is a Kansas Republican who wants to outlaw it. But both senators came away from meetings with Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito reassured about his views on the controversial issue.

Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he was impressed by Alito's respect for the right to privacy and the value of legal precedent, both factors that weigh against overturning the right to abortion. Brownback came away feeling that Alito “is open to review of cases,” something that raises the hopes of those who want the Supreme Court to void its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal nationwide.

As Alito makes the rounds on Capitol Hill — meeting with senators who will vote on confirming him as the replacement for retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a swing vote on abortion and other controversies — he has achieved an unusual political feat.

The veteran federal appeals court judge has managed so far to impress conservatives without losing the support of moderates who disagree with them on such issues as abortion, affirmative action, the environment and the role of religion in public life — all of which are likely to come before the Supreme Court. Georgetown University law professor Paul Rothstein said “everybody has a hope that he will do the right thing,” even though they don't agree on what that is.

Alito's ability to maintain the support of Senate centrists will be key to winning his confirmation vote, now scheduled for January.
Judge Alito getting over on the Hill shouldn't be as eyebrow-raising as this USA Today piece tries to depict. As he will say in his hearings six weeks from now, and just as Chief Justice John Roberts said two months back, Alito's personal views on issues are not germaine to his judicial philosophy and how he would rule on Olympus. The notion of judicial restraint, of leaving the policymaking to elected officials and simply applying the existing law and original constitutional text, is apparently beyond the capabilities of official Washington to conceive.

And so the dance continues with two fresh salvos. First, a Reagan-era Alito memo that his foes are claiming indicates he hates "furiners" [h/t Cap'n Ed]:

As a senior lawyer in the Reagan Justice Department, Samuel A. Alito Jr. argued that immigrants who enter the United States illegally and foreigners living outside their countries are not entitled to the constitutional rights afforded to Americans.

In an opinion that offers insight into the Supreme Court nominee's view of an area of law that has gained new significance with the Bush Administration's policies to combat terrorism, Alito gave his approval to an FBI effort in the 1980s to collect from Canadian authorities fingerprint cards of Iranian and Afghan refugees living in that country.

The program to collect background information was constitutional, Alito wrote in a January 1986 memo to the FBI director. And because the refugees were nonresident immigrants of a third country, he reasoned, the FBI could disregard court decisions that prohibited it from spreading "stigmatizing" information about citizens.

In other words, Alito wanted DOJ to be able to "connect the dots," an ability that the later Gorelick "wall" made impossible, which in turn paved the way for the 9/11 attacks. Gaia knows what a Justice Alito would do to protect the President's constitutional war-fighting powers; how will we ever give al Qaeda another crack at us if THIS organ grinder is allowed onto the SCOTUS?

Not to be outdone by the WaPo, the Boston Globe takes its shot along similar lines [h/t El Rushbo]:

As a young Reagan Administration lawyer, the Supreme Court nominee, Samuel A. Alito Jr., took an expansive view of government law-enforcement powers in numerous cases in which he was called upon to balance the prerogatives of police and prosecutors with the rights of individuals, according to 400 pages of documents released yesterday by the Justice Department.

The documents show that Alito once advised against including a ban on capital punishment for minors, in an agreement by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Such matters should be left for individual states to decide, he said.

So Judge Alito (1) didn't believe the United States should subordinate its laws and Constitution to U.N. dictates, and (2) believed in upholding precedent on the juvenile death penalty, which the SCOTUS had done, if memory serves, just the year before. And which the SCOTUS itself overturned last year, law.

Limbaugh (of all people) fretted today about this "drip, drip, drip" of leftish attacks on the Supreme Court nominee and the unnecessary additional month that Chairman "Snarlin' Arlen" has provided for them. But it looks to me like the lib fever swamps will have to do a lot better than this if they expect to have a credible chance of throttling Judge Alito's nomination with GOP indulgence.

Lieberman Ruins Seditionist Morale

Every time the extreme Left thinks it's built up anti-war momentum, the anhedonic Ben Stein poits up to spoil it all with a big, noxious dose of optimism [via CQ]:

Senator Lieberman of Connecticut, fresh from a two-day visit to Iraq over the Thanksgiving holiday, said yesterday he was hopeful American forces could begin a "significant" withdrawal by the end of next year or in 2007.

"The country is now in reach of going from Saddam Hussein to self-government and, I'd add, self-protection," the Democrat said in a conference call with reporters. "That would be a remarkable transformation."...

Mr. Lieberman has visited Iraq four times in 17 months. He said there are signs life is returning to normal, including a profusion of cell phones and satellite TV dishes on rooftops.

"About two-thirds of the country is in really pretty good shape," he said, noting most attacks are in the so-called "Sunni Triangle" region. "Overall, I came back encouraged."

No, no, no! Didn't that damned DINO get the message? Iraq is a disaster, it's a quagmire, Bush has bleeped it up beyond all human comprehension, if we stay there one more day instead of returing the country to its rightful Ba'athist/Islamist owners, we'll all die, Iraqis will all die, huge cracks will open in the Earth's surface and big rocks will start falling from the sky and Chris Matthews will get larangitis, and Gaia KNOWS we can't have THAT.

What would possess J-Lieb to bolt the neoBolshevik reservation like this? How much did Karl Rove pay him? Did he offer him a personality implant?

Or could it be that Lieberman is telling the truth?

Lieutenant-Colonel Fred Wellman, a spokesman in Baghdad for the U.S. command that is responsible for the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces, said approximately 130 Iraqi army and special police battalions are fighting the insurgency, of which about 45 are rated as "in the lead," with varying degrees of reliance on U.S. support.

The exact numbers are classified as secret, but the 45 figure is about five higher than the number given on November 7 at a briefing by Lieutenant-General David Petraeus, who previously led the training mission. It is about 10 higher than the figure General Petraeus offered at a Pentagon briefing on October 5.

As another measure of progress, Colonel Wellman said about 33 Iraqi security battalions are now in charge of their own "battle space," including parts of Baghdad. That figure was at 24 in late October. Colonel Wellman said it stood at three in March.

Also, American forces have pulled out of 30 "forward operating bases" inside Iraq, of which 16 have been transferred to Iraqi security forces. The most recent and widely publicized was a large base near Tikrit, which U.S. forces had used as a division headquarters since shortly after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003.

Senator Lieberman did something that the extreme media and their elected counterparts never do - he actually left the green zone, as well as Baghdad, and traveled around the country. And what he saw is that the "insurgency" is being inexorably crushed, and constitutional government established even in former terrorist strongholds like Ramallah and Fallujah. The new Iraqi army is growing in number and proficiency and taking more and more responsibility for policing its own territory and defending its own borders.

The mission, in short, is being accomplished. And when it is, U.S. troops will begin rotating home, or wherever they're needed next, just as the President and SecDef Rumsfeld both reiterated today.

Good ol' Joe wasn't the only Dem to break with his party's "Vietnam v. 2.0" program:

The United States needs to set milestones for progress, not a firm withdrawal date, before it can leave Iraq, Virginia governor and prospective Democratic presidential candidate Mark Warner said on Monday.

"This Democrat doesn't think we need to re-fight how we got into (the Iraq war). I think we need to focus more on how to finish it," Warner said.

"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."

Sure, Warner is going for the "Not Hillary on the Right" slot in the '08 Donk primaries, but it's noteworthy that so prominent a Dem as the outgoing Virginia governor is actually seeking that pole position. There would be a case of the "electability" argument, as well as the ability - proven for Warner, unproven for Mrs. Clinton - to win in "red" states.

'Tis ironic that Hillary would be the compromise Dem candidate between a revived Truman/Scoop Jackson wing and the neoBolsheviks. Ditto that the queen of triangulation would be the fulcrum for everybody else's triangulation. But for those Dems who want to see their party survive, much less rebuild, and all Americans who want to see the two-party system endure, the dragging of that party back toward national security seriousness is imperative. And Mark Warner would be, in several different ways, the ideal break with the Democrats recent and moderately distant past.

All of which means that he's grievously ahead of his time, if such a time will ever exist at all. And he's probably faking this veneer of responsibility in any case. But as post-Clinton Dems appear to have completely forgotten, it's all about winning. You can't do anything if you don't get elected.

After that you can do whatever you want.

But that's another post.

Mr. Peanut: The Next Generation

It's official - Jack Carter (no, not the comedian - HE might have a chance), eldest son of the worst president in American history, is challenging...well, okay, he's not much of a challenge, let's just say he's running against - incumbent GOP Senator John Ensign of Nevada next November.

This means that Carter has heredity as a built-in excuse, something that will come in handy should he decide to make losing elections into a second career.

"The Slow, Grinding Phase"

If any of you were still harboring the hope that the current doldrums wrought by GOP RINOism were just a momentary trough or a reversible sag in the onmarching center-right revolution, Jonah Goldberg has some news for you that may make you want to consider avoiding high, open windows any time soon:

Behold: We have entered the Age When DINOs and RINOs Rule the Earth. See them battle each other for absolute dominion!

Though this might sound like a cool monster mash of the "Mechagodzilla versus Godzilla" variety, it's a good deal less exciting and more depressing, like a taste test between 2% milk and soy milk. What we are witnessing is the dawn of the boring phase of the Great Republican Realignment, and it promises to have liberals and conservatives alike going bonkers....

Which means it won't be "boring," but rather infuriatingly frustrating:

[W]hen tectonic plates smash into each other, there are earthquakes and, after that, it's slow inexorable grinding, with little chunks breaking off of one side and then the other now and then. That's where conservatives are now: the slow, grinding phase.

If you average out the spikes in the political Richter scale, the trends have been obvious for more than a decade: The Democrats are becoming a minority party. The 1990s saw them hemorrhage power in the House, Senate, state legislatures, etc., even as Bill Clinton [pretended to move] his party to the right on many of its core issues....

And we aren't drinking out of slippers here on the right either. Bush is a lame duck, Social Security reform is dead, the dreams of the revolution come up only when we gather around the campfire to sigh about what might have been. The RINOs are in charge now. Drilling in ANWR was pulled from the House appropriations budget, tax-cut extensions in the Senate were crushed in deference to the fearsome clout of ... Olympia Snowe. Even on judges, the power players are the Gang of 14 centrists and RINOs like Arlen Specter. It was Specter, not Kennedy, who gave John G. Roberts Jr. the toughest questions during his hearings.

The most depressing prospect is that this will be the status quo for years to come.

Personally, I'm not sold on J-Gold's sense of overpowering resignation. For one thing, a "Great Republican Realignment" that leaves "centrists" running the country doesn't sound like much of a Republican anything. And since GOP "moderation," despite all the dishonest extollation it receives in the left-wing press (think Giuliani and McCain), has been the formula for political death for the better part of forever, any "realignment" so situated is not one that can last even in the short-term.

The irony is that Democrat moderation, to the degree that it actually even exists, is eminently entrenchable, but has been an endangered species going all the way back to Scoop Jackson's 1972 presidential run and is by this time just about extinct.

The likely result of the interaction between these two phenomenon isn't "slow grinding," but rather perpetual oscillation within a limited spectral range. GOP voters, fed up with their party's bowing down to the vestigal Rockefeller wing, stay home in '06, leading to smaller majorities at best, or Democrat takeovers at worst. Then perhaps a Hillary Clinton presidential run revives Republican enthusiasm and that carries George Allen and Condi Rice to an upset victory in 2008. And back and forth and back and forth, neither side ever able to fully establish itself as a governing hegemony.

Call it the "bump & grind" phase.

And the only thing that will be established as a status quo is the constant, unremittingly vicious rancor that dominates the political landscape today.

Hey, I only said my take differed from Goldberg's; I didn't say that take was any more upbeat.

So stay away from high open windows until further notice.

Ann's Latest

This is a good one:

In the Iraq war so far, the U.S. military has deposed a dictator who had already used weapons of mass destruction and would have used them again. As we now know, Saddam Hussein was working with al-Qaida and was trying to acquire long-range missiles from North Korea and enriched uranium from Niger. Saddam is on trial. His psychopath sons are dead. We've captured or killed scores of foreign terrorists in Baghdad. Rape rooms and torture chambers are back in R. Kelly's Miami Beach mansion where they belong. The Iraqi people have voted in two free, democratic elections this year. In a rash and unconsidered move, they even gave women the right to vote. Iraqis have ratified a constitution and will vote for a National Assembly next month. The long-suffering Kurds are free and no longer require 24/7 protection by U.S. fighter jets. Libya's Moammar Gadhafi has voluntarily dismantled his weapons of mass destruction, Syria has withdrawn from Lebanon, and the Palestinians are holding elections.

Some quagmire, eh? Then she adds this:

(Last but certainly not least, the Marsh Arabs' wetlands ecosystem in central Iraq that Saddam drained is being restored, so even the Democrats' war goals in Iraq are being met.)

Ain't it the truth? One wonders WHAT the Democrats' war goals are. I know, I know...LOSING. Nothing will make them look good except a complete American loss in Iraq, so of course that's what they're hoping for. Sad to say, they're doing their level best to ensure just that outcome.

The American military has accomplished all this with just over 2,000 deaths. These deaths are especially painful because they fall on our greatest Americans. Still, look at what the military has done and compare the cost to 600,000 deaths in the Civil War, 400,000 deaths in World War II and 60,000 deaths in Vietnam (before Walter Cronkite finally threw in the towel and declared victory for North Vietnam).

What is known as a "hawk" in today's Democratic Party looks at what our military has accomplished and — during the war, while our troops are in harm's way — demands that we withdraw our troops.

I still say what the Democrats are doing borders on treason. I know that's a strong word, but when Durbin's comments, and Murtha's, are broadcast on al-Jazeera to cheer on the terrorists, what is that but giving aid and comfort to the enemy? Case in point:

In an upbeat speech now being aired repeatedly on al-Jazeera, last week Rep. John Murtha said U.S. troops "cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home." Claiming the war is "a flawed policy wrapped in illusion," Murtha said the "American public is way ahead of us."

Yeah, this is the guy they're calling a former "hawk," though his past history does not support that. Kerry voted for the resolution to go to war too, is HE a hawk?

Fed up with being endlessly told "the American people" have turned against the war in Iraq, Republicans asked the Democrats to show what they had in their hand and vote on a resolution to withdraw the troops.

By a vote of 403-3, the House of Representatives wasn't willing to bet that "the American people" want to pull out of Iraq. (This vote also marked the first time in recent history that the Democrats did not respond to getting their butts kicked by demanding a recount.)

LOVE that last line. :-) Read the whole thing.

Monday, November 28, 2005

One Picture Says It All

This one is worthy of framing for symbolic "anti-war" posterity:

The AP caption reads:

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan waits for people to show up at her book signing near President Bush's ranch on Saturday, November 26, 2005 in Crawford, Texas.
No book buyers or autograph-seekers, I see. Plenty of reporters, though. Something tells me Bruce Willis' Deuce Four film will attract a wee bigger crowd.

Here's a bonus revelation that should cheer the militant pacifist crowd ( I know it made me smile): David Duke has embraced Cindy!

I guess it's all over; the last U.S. helicopter will be taking off from the Baghdad green zone by Christmas; nobody will be able to stop the Sheehan/Double-D juggarnaut now....

[HTs: Sweetness & Light via Polipundit & Power Line; B4B also made note]

UPDATE: American troops may not be bugging out of Iraq under terrorist fire, but the Sheehanites have bugged out of Crawford under a hail of indifference. But they vow to return next Easter! Kinda like Charlie Brown's battle cry of "Just wait 'till next year!"

I hope Cindy shows up in a bunny costume (but NOT the Playboy variety)....

(via CQ)

The "Passion" of 2006

Remember how Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ became the (to Hollywood) surprise blockbuster of 2004 and one of the scapegoats cited by left-wingers for their comprehensive drubbing at the polls a year ago?

Now Mr. Diehard himself, Bruce Willis, has announced the probable (to Hollywood) surprise blockbuster of 2006 that will be blamed for the left's next drubbing at the polls a year from now:

Angered by negative portrayals of the conflict in Iraq, Bruce Willis, the Hollywood star, is to make a pro-war film in which American soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy.

It will be based on the exploits of the heavily decorated members of Deuce Four, the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry, which has spent the past year battling insurgents in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul.

Willis attended Deuce Four’s homecoming ball this month in Seattle, Washington, where the soldiers are on leave, along with Stephen Eads, the producer of Armageddon and The Sixth Sense.

The 50-year-old actor said that he was in talks about a film of “these guys who do what they are asked to for very little money to defend and fight for what they consider to be freedom”.

Unlike many Hollywood stars Willis supports the war and recently offered a $1m (about £583,000) bounty for the capture of any of Al-Qaeda’s most wanted leaders such as Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, its commander in Iraq. Willis visited the war zone with his rock and blues band, the Accelerators, in 2003.

“I am baffled to understand why the things I saw happening in Iraq are not being reported,” he told MSNBC, the American news channel.

He is expected to base the film on the writings of the independent blogger Michael Yon, a former special forces green beret who was embedded with Deuce Four and sent regular dispatches about their heroics.

Yon was at the soldiers’ ball with Willis, who got to know him through his internet war reports....“What he is doing is something the American media and maybe the world media isn’t doing,” the actor said, “and that’s telling the truth about what’s happening in the war in Iraq.”

We have discussed Mr. Yon's Deuce Four reports previously. If you haven't been to his blog, please, go and immerse yourself in the truth of what's really going on on the ground in Iraq.

Trust me, if Bruce Willis makes this flick, and it is anywhere near faithful to Mr. Yon's Mosul accounts, it will kick Passion-sized ass.

[HT: Double-M]

A Refreshing Change

1 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been (A) given in the churches of (B) Macedonia, 2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the (C) wealth of their liberality.

3 For I testify that (D) according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4 begging us with much urging for the (E) favor of participation in the (F) support of the saints, 5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first (G) gave themselves to the Lord and to us by (H) the will of God.

6 So we (I) urged (J) Titus that as he had previously (K) made a beginning, so he would also complete in you (L) this gracious work as well.

7 But just as you (M) abound (N) in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the [a] love we inspired in you, see that you (O) abound in this gracious work also.

8 I (P) am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also.

9 For you know (Q) the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that (R) though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

-II Corinthians 8:1-9

Bosnia: Before & After

Here's the "before":

Bill Clinton's Bosnia sojourn is ironically similar to Winston Churchill's description of the Soviet Union as "a riddle, inside a mystery, wrapped in an enigma." Virtually none of the questions that come to the thoughtful mind about this operation have been answered to anybody's satisfaction.

Let's start with a very basic one: why? Why is Bubba so gung-ho on sending twenty-thousand American soldiers (supported by twice that many) into somebody else's family feud? There are no vital national security interests involved. Of course, this is precisely why Mr. Clinton and his supporters are so enthralled with it; if we did have interests that were threatened, any U.S. intervention would be "selfish" and "greedy" by definition. Could it be the infamous liberal "good intentions"? That's certainly a justification being used by the administration, especially in the oft-repeated line that U.S. soldiers are in Bosnia to "wage peace" instead of war. "Helping children" (the leftist justification for everything) was also trotted out repeatedly. The same rationale guided the Somalia fiasco and the now-falling apart crusade in neomarxist Haiti. If this were really true, though, why are our forces going in armed? Why not send the Peace Corps instead, or put Americorps under the jurisdiction of the Pentagon (Why not? Everything ELSE is.)?

Maybe we're in the Balkans to restore the balance of power between the three sides under cover of "peacekeeping." But if that were the case, why did the President veto the Senate resolution that called for an end to the arms embargo? We ARE going to be arming and training the Bosnians, not to mention the fact that we've been intermittently bombing the Serbs for months. Consequently, NATO begins its "peacekeeping" mission with no credibility to the impartiality such a role requires, quite apart from the concurrent fact that there's not much of a "peace" to keep.

Since the mission doesn't make any conventional sense, militarily or otherwise, the question recurs: why are American forces in Bosnia? The answer is the solution to every question about why Bill Clinton does anything: to help him get re-elected. If you're now totally baffled, welcome to the club.

Oh, there are aspects of the scheme that will be of superficial (i.e. short-term) political assistance. On his recent trip to Germany to see off the troops, the President strode along side them, shoulders squared, jaw thrust out. Some would say that playing Commander-in-Chief has filled the gap in his life left by the absence of all the whoopie he left behind in Arkansas, and so his chin is getting erections instead. But at least he's not Michael Dukakis. And standing firm in the face of congressional opposition wins him the plaudits of his media buddies for displaying "leadership" and "resolve." Reagan or Bush would have been denounced as a "warmonger" and "napoleon," but I digress.

Still, the long-term payoff remains elusive. All these unanswered, ill-considered contingencies and the arrogant way Mr. Clinton plopped the deployment before Congress for after-the-fact rubber-stamping is going to consume him at the first wave of casualities. All the reluctance and nervous anxiety will not take long to transform into anger and indignation, and Mr. Bill has little political capital to fall back on. And what of the revelation made last week by National Review's Peter Rodman, that in order to win Russian acquiescence to the Dayton Peace Accords, the Clinton administration cut a secret deal delaying indefinitely the very NATO expansion it had been championing - in effect, selling out both the former Warsaw Pact satellites AND the very NATO alliance on whose behalf Mr. Clinton insisted we had to go to Bosnia? If the point is to secure "peace in our time," just whose "peace" are we securing?...

Liberal admonitions to conservatives to "support the troops" in the Balkans are strawmen. We all want to see them succeed in the nebulous task to which they've been sentenced, er, assigned. Nobody wants to see a single GI come home in a coffin. But the fact remains that the best view places American troops in the role of fatigue-clad, gun-toting social workers whose lives are of greatest use to the President in the furtherance of his political ambitions; and the worst makes their corpses worth even more.

For a Commander-in-Chief with no conscience, it's all in a day's work.

And finally, ten years later, comes the "after":

A pact reached in Washington under heavy American pressure aimed to overhaul the creaking constitutional machinery that ended the 42-month war in November 1995, but left the country partitioned and dysfunctional.

At ceremonies in Washington to mark a decade since the Dayton accords ending the war were sealed, leaders of parties representing Bosnian Muslims, Serbs, and Croats, as well as leaders of non-ethnic parties, agreed "to streamline" parliament and the tripartite presidency and "embark on a process of constitutional reform" that will strengthen a national government.

The ambitious US-authored scheme aims to turn Bosnia into a "normal" parliamentary democracy and reduce the role played by ethnic factors. The plan has been pushed by the US state department. Its progress is crucial to Bosnia's chances of entering the European mainstream.

On Monday the EU launched Bosnia on the path of integration, but made plain that it needs to speed up reforms to become "a fully functioning and viable state" if ultimate accession to the EU is to succeed. Yesterday's agreement, if implemented, should also bring closer the end of the international mission in Bosnia. [emphases added]

Cap'n Ed explores the obvious parallels with Operation Iraqi Freedom, every one of which shows the Bush Administration far superior to its carnally feckless predecessor at a task - nation-building - in which it does not intrinsically believe but which it has undertaken in Iraq for a reason nowhere to be found in the Balkans: American national security interests. About the only thing you can cite to knock the Bushies is that it took them five years to finally get around to fixing the mess the Clintonoids made of Bosnia so as to facilitate the "exit strategy" that the Democrats only demand via-a-vie Iraq. But even in that they are succeeding where the Clintonoids failed - and, in Iraq, where they dared not even tread.

Dems Still In Love With Chickenhawks

One would have thought that the spectacular failure of the "pacifist war veteran" gimmick the Democrats employed last year in the candidacy of one John "Finger" Kerry would have persuaded that party's powers-that-be that another fusillade of attempts at trying to pass off their cowardly, seditious hordes as something they're not may not be, shall we say, advisable.

One would have been wrong:

Major Ladda (Tammy) Duckworth, an Iraqi war veteran who lost her legs when a rocket-propelled grenade struck her Black Hawk helicopter, invited Rahm Emanuel, the Democrats' "master strategist" in the House of Representatives, to Walter Reed Army Medical Center one day to meet some recovering vets from their home state of Illinois. "We were walking down the hall and you could see the incredible response to her and her leadership," Emanuel told Newsweek. "She goes to see other troops to keep their spirits up."

Duckworth recently returned home to Chicago's affluent suburbs to begin what looked like an unofficial campaign for the open congressional seat now held by retiring Republican Representative Henry Hyde. Still on active duty, Duckworth cannot declare her candidacy or talk politics to the media. But according to Democratic leaders, she's their preferred candidate, according to a report in the current issue of Newsweek.

Well, sounds like Major Duckworth has three major advantages over the former Lieutenant Kerry: two missing legs and a vagina. Now if she can only avoid magic hat anecdotes.

That's not meant as a swipe at her, but rather a cynical take on the utter superficiality of Democrat thinking. You can almost hear the clicking of Emmanuel's scheming thoughts: "A combat veteran...of the Iraq war...double-amputee...and a woman to, um, boot (No offense, Tammy)! We've hit the jackpot!" To which the proper response is, "Not unless she's also a lesbian..."

The demographic tokenism is as palpable as it is undisguised:

Duckworth is part of a new breed of macho Democrats, joining eight Iraq veterans who have already announced themselves as candidates in next year's congressional elections. (The party is also reaching out to veterans of wars in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Vietnam, as well as former CIA officers and FBI agents). These Democrats don't offer a unified strategy on how to leave Iraq. But they represent the most visible sign of the sea change in politics over the past year, report Senior White House Correspondent Richard Wolffe and Washington Correspondent Jonathan Darman in the Dececember 5th issue of Newsweek. Recent polls show Democrats running neck-and-neck with Republicans on terrorism and comfortably ahead on Iraq. [emphasis added]

Oh, these Democrats will offer a unified strategy on how to leave Iraq, alright - the same one as the rest of their party, as voiced by one of their now-prominent chickenhawks, John Murtha: immediate, pell-mell retreat. They'll have no choice if they want to get the level of financial backing they'll need from the party and, more importantly, its neoBolshevik base. And that will take care of the aforementioned, already dubious poll numbers, as well as these chickenhawks' chances of pulling off upsets. Just like their patron saint.

The Bush White House has said it best: it doesn't matter who the candidate is, because the Democrats cannot argue from a position of strength on the war given the depth of antiwar sentiment inside their base. And until that sentiment is purged, they will never convince a majority of Americans to entrust them with the ongoing defense of the country against its enemies.

The irony is that this retreaded strategy may well end up pre-empted by the unfolding of events. With a permant, constitutional Iraqi government to be elected in a couple of weeks, the accelerating progress of Iraqi security forces, the "devastation" of al Qaeda by Operation Steel Curtain, and the planned "redeployment" of as many as fifty thousand U.S. troops in the next year, these "macho" Dems' raison d'etere stands to be a great deal less relevant as the '06 mid-terms approach - to the extent that the war will influence them in any event.

The Democrats have, at the congressional level, a long propensity for peaking too early. Perhaps had the midterms been a few weeks ago, they might have made significant gains. Or not. But a year from now? Don't count on it.

Rather, count on this squadron of chickenhawks turning into so many more Chicken Littles instead.

UPDATE: D'ya wonder if "Mastermind" Emmanuel has seen these poll results?

Seventy percent of people surveyed said that criticism of the war by Democratic senators hurts troop morale — with 44% saying morale is hurt "a lot," according to a poll taken by RT Strategies. Even self-identified Democrats agree: 55% believe criticism hurts morale, while 21% say it helps morale...

Their poll also indicates many Americans are skeptical of Democratic complaints about the war. Just three of 10 adults accept that Democrats are leveling criticism because they believe this will help U.S. efforts in Iraq. A majority believes the motive is really to "gain a partisan political advantage."...

A plurality, 49%, believe that troops should come home only when the Iraqi government can provide for its own security, while 16% support immediate withdrawal, regardless of the circumstances.

So much for Newsweek's "sea change in politics." Deploying uniformed Cindy Sheehans ain't gonna work.

Something tells me the Emmanuelian ilk will be a tougher sell, though - even after their next scheduled drubbing a year from now.

[HT: TKS, with Sister Toldjah at B4B also bearing witness]

UPDATE II: Here were some comments from another combat veteran/ex-Vietnam POW member of Congress. See if you can guess from whom, and which party, they came:

"Pulling our troops out of Iraq now is unconscionable and irresponsible.We’ve got to support our troops to the hilt and see this mission through.

I bet Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is high-fiving his buddies and praising Allah after hearing these news reports. Immediate withdrawal- and the conflict sparked by this debate - is just what al-Zarqawi wants.

I was just in Iraq and our troops told me that they are motivated to spread democracy. They’re fighting for freedom and they mean business.

We need to get the job done in support of freedom and to eliminate Al-Qaeda terrorists around the world.

In case people have forgotten, this is the same thing that happened in Vietnam. Peaceniks and people in Congress – and America - started saying bad things about what was going on over there. Let me tell you what it did for troop morale. It’s a real downer.

I just pray our troops and their families can block this noise out and know that I will fight like mad to make sure our troops have everything they need - for as long as they need - to win the global war on terrorism.
Give up? Really? You can't figure this out? Sure you can - Sam Johnson (R-TX) uttered the above quote. Think the Starship Troopers paradigm will be applied to him? Will the Left and its Extreme Media outlets allocate Johnson's comments disproportionate weight because he's a decorated soldier?

Heck, other than at Generation Why, where have you heard about what Congressman Johnson had to say before now?

When it comes to advice and counsel on the conduct of the war, it would seem that as far as the libs are concerned, only chickenhawks need apply.

New Room, New Contributor

I spent yesterday doing three things: worshipping; watching the Seattle Seahawks pull out another heart-stopping thriller, this time in overtime, over the New York Giants to extend their winning streak to seven and their NFC-best record to 9-2; and, with my wife, inventorying and "re-locating" ten years' worth of junk that had accumulated in our garage preparatory to the inception of a remodeling project we've been putting off for over five years. Our garage (which hasn't been used as a garage in that same ten years) will go from attached storage unit to storage/utility room and my new den.

Some junk we kept (which means, I guess, that it isn't technically junk), some we took to Goodwill, some we took to the recycling depot, some went in the trash, and the rest is sitting on our deck awaiting disposition. Which is a euphemism for, "Gosh, I hope our next garage sale is more successful than the last dozen." Which, in turn, is a euphemism for "the only thing missing from the term 'garage sale' is the letter 'b'." Anybody want a fifty-year old (at least) push mower? Bet one of THOSE has never been sold on eBay.

This week is also another closing week, so between all of the above, my blogging will be...let's just say "unpredictable."

And that makes the addition of our newest contributor most fortuitous.

John Sims is 48 years old, married with a daughter (and grandson) from a previous marriage. He flies for a commuter airline and is a helicopter pilot in the Maryland National Guard. He has a BS (history major) and graduate credit in history and international affairs, an expertise and knowledgability that is eminently reflected in his writings. He is one of the most able and articulate on-line debators I have ever seen, and we are honored to have his background and expertise added to our multifaceted - or, dare I say diverse - editorial mix.

Welcome aboard, John. Our readers are definitely in for an on-going treat.

Self Defense

I seem to be seeing comment, these days, that our primary need is to get our troops out of Iraq. Now, I remember that our objective in Vietnam ended up being getting our troops out. Let's review the results:

Millions of innocent people were killed in Southeast Asia by the victorious communists (especially in Cambodia). Communists started civil wars around he world. Even Jimmy Carter noticed when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.

In short, we ran and a lot of people died.

Today, the point seems to be that we need to make the Iraqis defend themselves ... because we sure don't want to do it. Think about that. Would we want Negroes to defend themselves from racial violation because we Caucasians want to get out of the problem? How many people are we willing to be victimized because we don't want to help them?

To take that a step further, what does military history teach us about countries whose military objective is to run away from the conflict? How much did we worry about casualties in World War 2? When were we going to bring our troops home from Europe or the Pacific? When did we care? We've taken 2,000 casualties in Iraq (but we took 3,000 in the US). We got 50,000 killed in Vietnam -- for nothing. Why were we so unconcerned about the half million dead we got in World War 2?

Don't forget; we get our information from the "press." The "press" is vast majority Democrat -- among those who will admit it. All this war information (and a lot of accompanying analysis) is coming from Democrats. Is their objective winning the war or protecting the people of Iraq ... or the US? No. Their objective is political power, and they think they can get it by losing this war while the president is a Republican. Never forget, when the president was a Democrat, they Democrats kept a criminal in the White House. People loyal to the country, rather than a party, would never have done that.

Keep that in mind every time you hear someone concerned about getting our troops out. There's some other reason for that concern than the war.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Amazing Grace

1 And you were (A) dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you (B) formerly walked according to the course of (C) this world, according to (D) the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in (E) the sons of disobedience.

3 Among them we too all (F) formerly lived in (G) the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were (H) by nature (I) children of wrath, (J) even as the rest.

4 But God, being (K) rich in mercy, because of (L) His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were (M) dead in our transgressions, made us alive together [a] with Christ ((N) by grace you have been saved), 6 and (O) raised us up with Him, and (P) seated us with Him in (Q) the heavenly places in (R) Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing (S) riches of His grace in (T) kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

8 For (U) by grace you have been saved (V) through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is (W) the gift of God; 9 (X) not as a result of works, so that (Y) no one may boast.

10 For we are His workmanship, (Z) created in (AA) Christ Jesus for (AB) good works, which God (AC) prepared beforehand so that we would (AD) walk in them.

-Ephesians 2:1-10

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Where Will Death Lead?

12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there (A) is no resurrection of the dead?

13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and (B) if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.

15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He (C) raised [a] Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.

16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; (D) you are still in your sins.

18 Then those also who (E) have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are (F)o f all men most to be pitied.

20 But now Christ (G) has been raised from the dead, the (H) first fruits of those who (I) are asleep.

21 For since (J) by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.

22 For (K) as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

23 But each in his own order: Christ (L) the first fruits, after that (M) those who are Christ's at (N) His coming, 24 then comes the end, when He hands over (O) the kingdom to the (P) God and Father, when He has abolished (Q) all rule and all authority and power.

25 For He must reign (R) until He has put all His enemies under His feet.

26 The last enemy that will be (S) abolished is death.

-I Corinthians 15:12-26

The Democrats' Plan For Iraq

Saddam's Hangman Details Torture

Deserters from Iraq's war with Iran faced the firing squad, the hangman told Reuters, while prisoners who had insulted Saddam were hanged because it was more cruel.

"A firing squad is more compassionate because people usually died immediately. But hanging is cruel because it can take time to die. If they don't die, we started over again," he said.

Death always came after weeks of torture, Abu Hussein said.

"Sometimes we would hang them upside down and beat their feet with clubs. Or we would electrocute them," he said.

"One of the worst things was putting 10 people in a one-square-meter room for weeks. They had a brief break every day and were allowed the toilet every three days," he said.

Three executions were carried out each Monday and Thursday. One day Saddam's feared son Uday showed up and asked about eight political prisoners standing nearby. He ordered their immediate execution, the ex-executioner told Reuters.

He recalled watching men writhe in agony as they died, which even he found upsetting. But nobody could afford to defy orders in Saddam's Iraq.

"We would have been killed on the spot," Abu Hussein said. "One time this executioner was one hour late in hanging someone and he was himself hanged."

If Senator Hairplugs and his comrades got their way, the above or some malevolently hideous equivalent would be the fate of the Iraqi people - and, eventually, a large number of Americans as well.

There's simply no way to escape this war. A classic line from the first Terminator movie captures its essence flawlessly:

"That terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with; it can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or pain. And it absolutely will not stop - EVER - until you are DEAD."

If we don't keep killing the jihadis over there, they'll resume killing us over here.

Yeah, it sucks - but not nearly as bad as the (Democrat) alternative.

Colin Powell Can't Handle The Truth

They call instances of crisis or confrontation "moments of truth." That's assumedly because it is in such moments that a person's real feelings and true self come out from behind the ordinary mask of artifice that we all maintain to varying degrees.

It seems that the recent uproar over Congressman Jack "RETREEEEEAT!!!!!" Murtha and his demand for U.S. forces to flee Iraq immediately was one of those moments for ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell:

An angry former Secretary of State Colin Powell is blasting the Bush White House for attacking Representative Jack Murtha, who undermined troop morale and encouraged al Qaida last week with his call for an immediate U.S. pullout from Iraq.

"To attack him the way he was attacked, accusing him of being a Michael Moore, was disgraceful and was not worthy," a Powell told the New York Post's Deborah Orin, who described him as "livid."

"Jack Murtha is great friend of mine," Powell declared. "He's a great patriot."
Was a great patriot, perhaps. At some point in the moderately distant past. Cap'n Ed recounts Murtha's long history of promoting U.S. defeatism and retreat at the first sign of even token resistance to any ground-based deployment of American soldiers going back to at least 1993's "Blackhawk down" debacle that convinced both Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein (and doubtless other bad guys) that they could drive us before them at will. Morrissey describes Murtha's view of American military assets as, "supports the military as a defense unit, but not in any forward engagement that results in casualties."

In that sense the historical figure Murtha most closely resembles is the Prussian King Frederick William I (1713-1740), who built what was at the time the best army in Europe but assiduously followed a strict policy of avoiding conflict. He loved having ranks and ranks of elite soldiers but was loathe to commit them to battle. Military might was for him a symbol, not a tool of either national ambition or national defense. America in the present day does not have that luxury, a fact Congressman Murtha and his fellow-travelers willfully deny.

Sure, hardly anybody today knows who Frederick William I was. Which was why Scott McClellan compared Murtha to Michael Moore instead. Is it an exact parallel? No; Moore is an obnoxious, corpulent traitor, not a decorated combat veteran. But Murtha's demands that we surrender to "Emir" Zarqawi sound a lot closer to Moore's sentiments than they do to those of U.S. commanders on the ground in Iraq, who are a helluva lot more optimistic and, yes, patriotic.

As to Colin Powell, the phrase, "Thou does protest too much" comes to mind. At best, he's lost proper perspective on Murtha and what his "great friend" believes and said. At worst, he shares Murtha's sentiments - very likely given Powell's own reluctance to use American military might in any kind of offensive capacity - and this chapter of the campaign to convert Operation Iraqi Freedom into "Vietnam v. 2.0" has brought his true, quasi-Bushophobic colors to the surface. Either that, or Powell somehow missed how both the President and Vice President went out of their way this past week to kiss Murtha's ass.

I wonder how avidly and publicly Powell will be embracing his "great friend" when - or, rather if - the log-rolling, up-to-the-armpits corruption in which Jack Murtha has allegedly been engaged reaches critical (i.e. criminal investigation-triggering) mass. Will he stand loyally by his crooked buddy, no longer know him, or accuse the White House of framing him?

If this public tantrum is any indication, I don't think I'm going to like the answer.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Love Goes Beyond Liking

4 Love (A) is patient, love is kind and (B) is not jealous; love does not brag and is not (C) arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it (D) does not seek its own, is not provoked, (E) does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 (F) does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but (G) rejoices with the truth; 7 (H) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of (I) prophecy, they will be done away; if there are (J) tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.

-I Corinthians 13:4-8

Is Vincente Fox The 21st-Century Pancho Villa?

Pancho Villa was a self-styled Mexican freedom fighter during World War I. Given the rampant political instability of Mexico during this time, the practical term for Villa's occupation was "mercenary." He fought on behalf of and against a series of coups and counter-coups and counter-counter coups, and when the U.S. administration of Woodrow Wilson happened to recognize the latest one in 1916 - which happened to be one Villa had been opposing - Villa took it upon himself to carry out his own personal invasion of the United States, raiding and sacking the town of Columbus, New Mexico.

Why do I bring this up? Because a variation on that history appears to be repeating itself:

The incident began when Border Patrol agents tried to stop the dump truck on Interstate 10, sheriff's officials said. The truck fled to Mexico in the Neely's Crossing area.

The truck got stuck in the riverbed, and the driver took off running. Agents "started to retrieve the bundles (of marijuana) when the armed subjects appeared," said Agent Ramiro Cordero, a Border Patrol spokesman.

The Border Patrol called Hudspeth County sheriff's deputies and Texas state troopers for backup, both agencies confirmed.

Doyal said the truck driver returned with the armed men, including men who arrived in official-looking vehicles with overhead lights and what appeared to be Mexican soldiers in uniform and with military-style rifles.

The Mexican army is used in anti-narcotics operations. Army officials could not be reached for comment.

The standoff ended when the "soldiers" used a bulldozer to pull the dump truck into Mexico, sheriff's officials said.

As Cap'n Ed elaborates, this means one of three things: (1) Mexican drug-smugglers possess sufficient resources to carry out small-scale armed incursions into U.S. territory; (2) Mexican drug-smugglers have infiltrated the Mexican military and subverted parts of it to their own use; (3) Mexican drug-smugglers control the Mexican government, which is approving such incursions by its armed forces.

Regardless of which option, or combination of options, is the case, it really, REALLY casts the border control situation in a harrowing light, and makes the Border Patrol look like the pathetic, unserious, underfunded afterthought it truly is. If the BP is helpless against a Villa-like band of modern-day bandits, what chance would they stand going up against al Qaeda infiltrators?

President Wilson's response to Pancho Villa's raid was to send, in concert with Mexican government forces, a 12,000 man invasion force, complete with air support, into northwestern Mexico to capture or kill Villa and crush his guerilla forces. Compared with that, fortifying our southern border, up to and including with troops, doesn't sound like that unreasonable a suggestion.

John Bolton's Raison d' Tere

....was to tell the United Nations one basic message on behalf of the United States: It's our way or the highway.

And that message has now been emphatically delivered:

"Americans are a very practical people, and they don't view the U.N. through theological lenses," Bolton told reporters outside the General Assembly hall. "They look at it as a competitor in the marketplace for global problem-solving, and if it's successful at solving problems, they'll be inclined to use it. If it's not successful at solving problems, they'll say, 'Are there other institutions?' . . . that's why making the U.N. stronger and more effective is a reform priority for us: Because if it's a more agile, effective organization, it is more likely to be a successful competitor as a global
problem-solver." ... [emphases added]
"They don't view the UN through theological lenses" - I could kiss Bolton full on his mustache for that choice of phrase. "Theologically" is exactly how the Foggy Bottom elitists and feckless, mercenary Kerryesque left-wing weasels and Scowcroftian "realists" look upon the United Nations. Multilateralism is an article of dogmatic faith with them no matter how much it fails, how much it paralyzes our freedom of action, how much it empowers our enemies, and how much it corrupts ourselves and our allies.

Still harbor doubts? See for yourself:

Bolton's remarks come as the Bush Administration is encountering stiff resistance from poor countries to United States-backed initiatives aimed at streamlining the United Nations' management practices. The influential Group of 77 developing nations recently issued a letter sharply criticizing plans by Secretary General Kofi Annan to establish an ethics office and to review General Assembly-created programs that are more than five years old to determine whether they should be shut down.

The message couldn't be any clearer: No reform. We like our US-financed gravy train just the way it is, and you damn well better leave it alone.

And why wouldn't they think that way? As Cap'n Ed points out, institutionalized corruption is the rule in the "developing" world, which is why they never graduate to "developed." Even a lapdog "investigation" like the Volcker Report identified sixty countries, the vast majority of them "developing," that had a finger, hand, or entire arm shoved into the Oily Food scam that was funding Saddam Hussein's WMD programs. The last thing they want to see is their sugardaddy patsy pulling the plug on their perpetual party.

If the US left the UN the latter would probably grow even more corrupt and tyrannical than it is already. But it would do so without American taxpayer dollars and the legitimizing prestige our presence and "dues" undeservedly bestow upon it. That's the choice with which Ambassador Bolton has presented them. Now we'll see which is greater - Turtle Bay's anti-American/anti-Semitic hatreds or its avaricial greed.

UPDATE: Who says "straight talk" and diplomacy are mutually exclusive?

Following intense US pressure, the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday issued an unprecedented condemnation of Monday's Hizbullah attacks on northern Israel.

This condemnation - slamming Hizbullah by name for "acts of hatred" - marked the first time the Security Council has ever reprimanded Hizbullah for cross-border attacks on Israel. The condemnation followed by two days a failed attempt to get a condemnation issued on Monday, the day of the attack, when Algeria came out against any mention of Hizbullah in the statement.

When asked what changed from Monday to Wednesday, one diplomatic official replied: "John Bolton," a reference to the US ambassador to the UN. Bolton lobbied vigorously for the passage of the statement. [first emphasis added]

Imagine that. The man whom Democrats insisted was too "abrasive" and "hostile to the UN" to ever function effectively (i.e. as they think an ambassador to the UN is supposed to function - as a UN ambassador to the US rather than the reverse) at Turtle Bay is performing the miraculous by actually getting the "world body" to start acting as its founders originally intended. Indeed, not being a part of the striped-pants "club" may be Ambassador Bolton's biggest asset; that and the clout that come from representing the global hegemon as well as the member that underwrites a quarter of the UN budget.

That, of course, is why the Democrats opposed him. They want a UN ambassador who will piss away that clout and "fit in" with the "developing world" - to, to employ a Rosa Parkian metaphor, sit at the back of the international bus instead of taking his rightful place behind the wheel - and thereby prevent the bus from careening straight off the nearest cliff.

Libs want, in essence, a world without the U.S. In that they are in complete prostration to that portion of the world that they claim "hates" us, as well as the portion of the world - Red China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Brazil - that actually does precisely because we stand in the way of their murderous global ambitions.

John Bolton symbolizes the antithesis they detest. He's not letting any moss grow beneath his feet. And that's one more thing for which to be thankful.

Heaven help the world if the other side ever gets its wish. That "new world order" would destroy itself within a decade - or even less.

[HT: B4B]