The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Qana story getting worse?

In addition to the other disgusting actions I have been posting on surrounding Hezbollah tactics and PR campaign, there is now an eye opening story. The IDF is claiming that the building that killed all those people including many children did not collapse until 8 HOURS AFTER Israel struck it. The story in Ynet is described:
IDF continuing to check difficult incident at Qana village, and attempting to account for strange gap between time of the strike on the building – midnight – and eight in the morning, when the building collapsed
What this implies is so unspeakable, it must be investigated, and if confirmed - dealt with. At a minimum these children were irresponsibly left in the building for hours after it was struck to then have it collapse on them. At worst, qeustions arise if the building was deliberately bombed by Hezbollah to get their PR campaign off to a quick start.

First use the children as shields then use their dead bodies as props

While I thought the pictures taken in Lebanon showing Hezbollah putting civilians in danger by firing rockets next to them were damning and disgusting; EU Referendum shows a series of photos that are simply inexcusable. I am not so cold-hearted as to not be grieved by seeing the photos of the child victims of the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict. The cowardly practices of Hezbollah fighting among civilians brings the blood of these children on their heads.

EU Referendum shows a series of photos from the same scene in Qana. The odd thing is that they show photos of a green helmeted "rescue worker" with two dead children in two different sets. Almost all photos are time stamped where there are gaps of hours between some photos of green helmet and the same dead child. The second sequence even shows a child being placed in an ambulance. Then according to the time stamps a photo is later taken of the rescue worker (without green helmet attire) holding the child outside the ambulance. Later according to the timestamps green helmet is back in his attire again holding the same dead child.

By the timestamps and the way the scenes are photographed, the whole thing is a staged operation with Mr. Green Helmet seeming to be the driving force orchestrating it. One commenter asks where the parents of these children are? Why are they allowing them to be paraded around for hours?

I ask why is the world allowing themselves to be played like fiddles by the tactics of Hezbollah and the follow up PR manipulation? Why is our media not showing this angle of the story? While the world body continues to be played like fiddles, Hezbollah is emboldened to continue their civilian endangerment and civilian targeting. It must stop before it comes to your neighborhood and mine.

Hat Tip to Chris Malott

Photos smuggled out of Lebanon prove Hezbollah cowardice and guilt

The Herald Sun from Australia is publishing photos smuggled out of Lebanon that show Hezbollah hiding behind the skirts of civilians. According to the story:

THIS is the picture that damns Hezbollah. It is one of several, smuggled from behind Lebanon's battle lines, showing that Hezbollah is waging war amid suburbia.

The images, obtained exclusively by the Sunday Herald Sun, show Hezbollah using high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy-calibre weapons.

Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly disappear, the militants carrying automatic assault rifles and ride in on trucks mounted with cannon.

The photographs, from the Christian area of Wadi Chahrour in the east of Beirut, were taken by a visiting journalist and smuggled out by a friend.
Here is the stories descriptions of the photos:
The images include one of a group of men and youths preparing to fire an anti-aircraft gun metres from an apartment block with sheets hanging out on a balcony to dry.

Others show a militant with AK47 rifle guarding no-go zones after Israeli blitzes.

Another depicts the remnants of a Hezbollah Katyusha rocket in the middle of a residential block blown up in an Israeli air attack.
One of the photos shown above clearly reveals a group of Hezbollah terrorists manning a large gun next to a residential area. So here is a group of Hezbollah shooting rockets into Israel next to a residential area while dressed in civilian clothing. Since Israel gave up the land in South Lebanon, these terrorists are able to get close enough to continue shooting rockets into Israel. What is Israel suppose to do? The fact is that whether it is a force from Israel, the US, or the UN; it would take force that puts civilian lives to stop these thugs. The world body cannot view these photos and continue to blame Israel for the civilian deaths. The blood of the innocents is on these cowardly Hezbollah.

The civilian clothes also show further treachery by Hezbollah. Once an area is struck, these civilian dressed fighters that survive can fade into civilian population and weep and wail for CNN camaras with the rest of them. Also, with the civilian clothing, somebody asked how are we to really know how many civilians have been killed. How many of them are actually Hezbollah dressed in civilian clothing?

The photographer speaks about the photos:
The Melbourne man who smuggled the shots out of Beirut and did not wish to be named said he was less than 400m from the block when it was obliterated.

"Hezbollah came in to launch their rockets, then within minutes the area was blasted by Israeli jets," he said.

"Until the Hezbollah fighters arrived, it had not been touched by the Israelis. Then it was totally devastated.

"It was carnage. Two innocent people died in that incident, but it was so lucky it was not more."

The release of the images comes as Hezbollah faces criticism for allegedly using innocent civilians as "human shields".

Mr Egeland blasted Hezbollah as "cowards" for operating among civilians.

"When I was in Lebanon, in the Hezbollah heartland, I said Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending in among women and children," he said.
I have said several times, the world body must stand against the tactics of terrorists and stop playing political games spinning the blame on those trying to rid the world of these thugs. Those countries who protect and apologize for them will one day be struck by the tactics they now defend.

Israel throws monkey back on Hezbollah

Israel has made a strategic move from a PR standpoint. The world body seemed to be supportive to tolerant of Israel's response to Hezbollah at the beginning. We were all scratching our heads wondering what that was about. I think some groups are really learning what dupes people are and how to most effectively play the PR campaign. To look so sided against Israel would not be the best tactic. No, they waited until civilian casualties (encouraged by the infamous "skirt hiding" tactics of these "brave" terrorists) mounted. Once that happened, they came out of the woodwork in unison. Kofi did his muppet mouth flapping routine and everybody demanded a cease-fire without the least hint of what it would solve.

There was a new development in Qana where a "safe house" filled with civilians were killed. One would think that after all these years of conflict leaders would be experts at least of what not to do. They put a bunch of people in the first floor of the safe house that has two floors above it. What did they think would happen if a bomb hit? Why do they feel the need to herd people together for "safety"? This smacks of purposeful stupidity to me. There are also reports that Hezbollah had been firing rockets from next door. The locals deny it, but it fits the pattern. Again as a guest anonymous visitor commented on: the world body gets more angry at Israel's accidentally caused civilian casualties than Hezbollah's purposefully caused civilian casualties. We have a very warped world community. If the world community has no moral compass to sort through these things why should the US care when they have a poor opinion of us?

So with the PR tide turning against Israel and the sting of a perceived issue in Qana, Israel decides to agree to a 48 hour suspension of hostilities. If that goes well, they may extend it. Since asking Hezbollah to stop targeting innocent civilians for a significant period of time is like asking a child with A.D.D. to sit still for the duration of a church sermon, in all likelihood Hezbollah will break the suspension. At that point Israel can justifiably continue kicking their rear ends. Since this likely comes from pressure from the US, it will also be another opportunity for the US to dispel the myth that everything can be handled via diplomacy. So basically all are engaged in a PR tennis match using a monkey instead of a ball. The monkey has now been thrown back at Hezbollah and their appeasement supporters.

Update: While writing this a new story has come out that Israel, per its suspension agreement, is making strikes against areas preparing to strike Israel. In other words Israel has learned its lesson that the enemy always takes advantage of suspensions and cease-fires to regroup and prepare for strikes. Israel is learning lessons. Why can't the rest of the world, especially Dopi Annan?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The madness of proportionality

I cannot believe how much play this concept of proportionality (or lack of it on Israel's side) has had during this conflict. It is really the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. The concept that during a conflict such as this, that one side should be bogged down with whether they are being too effective against the enemy, is mind-boggling.

When I was in high school playing basketball we were not the best team. We were lucky to win half the games in the season. Once we played a team that was far worse than us. When it became obvious that we were going to cream them, the second string was put in to play. We still did much better than their team and the score was quite high against them. During those years I recall we played a team that was far better than us. They did not worry about how badly they were beating us. Rather, they seemed to be shooting for a record high score. Finally, in a more current game where one of the teams in my son's school was playing, we had moved ahead by about 25 points. We put in our second string and when the score got closer, we put the starters back in. Suddenly the other team had a lucky streak and nearly beat us.

The point is that in sports proportionality is an option. It sometimes seems like a good option, but as you see it can come back to bite you. In war, however, the concept is so beyond the pale of being silly that I am shocked that it has even passed the lips of world leaders. The idea in war is to win. The swifter the win, the better. To hold back in any way is to risk the lives of your own soldiers. To look at a body count and determine that today you should relax and not be so aggressive is foolish. Why should even one of your soldiers die because the enemy was given a chance to regroup.

In a final analogy, how would it turn out if two were arm wrestling proportionately? It would keep going and going and going. The same is in war. If Israel fights proportionately, this conflict will keep going and going and going. Y0u can only ever win anything by disproportionately engaging your opponent. That is what Israel is doing.

There is also talk of disproportionate civilian casualties. Because Israel is invading Lebanon and because Israel has actually prepared bomb shelters for their civilians, of course the Lebanese civilian casualties will be higher. How many liberals were criticizing the US government over the timing and methods used to evacuate their citizens from Lebanon? Yet we do not hear one word over how the Lebanese government is completely failing at moving their people to safety. Hezbollah continues its tactics of hiding behind the skirts of the UN, women and children. So when Israel targets known Hezbollah hot spots and the civilians they are hiding with get killed who is blamed? None of the appeasers and Israel haters are blaming Hezbollah. None are criticizing the Lebaneze government. The fact is that every time Hezbollah hides among the civilian population, the blood of their dead civilians falls on their heads.

A final word on disproportion: if the attack from Israel is so disproportionate, why is not Hezbollah surrendering by now? The goal of Israel is either the destruction or surrender of Hezbollah. Yet the amount of force they have used thus far has not been enough to enable that end. Why then should the world body expect them to use less? Israel did what the world asked in giving back land. Land for peace was a bill of goods not worth the paper written on it. Instead the enemy got closer and attacked from there. When Israel instead of responding built a wall of protection, the world body criticized that. With "three" arms handcuffed, Israel still did what was asked of them and still they were attacked. Talk about disproportion. The response of Israel was not simply the capture of a couple of soldiers. It was a response to being attacked even after all they did to cooperate in hope of peace.

The next word cropping up from the media is "provoked". The claim is that Israel was provoking Hamas and Hezbollah to send suicide bombers, rockets and kidnappers. In other words "the devil made me do it" is the excuse for targeting innocent civilians. In a rational world that would not fly. However, the world body is not rational. They have chosen sides in their hatred of Israel and all reasoning dribbles from that premise.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Kofi your foot is still in your mouth

It has been several days since Kofi claimed that Israel had targeted a UN outpost with no Hezbollah in sight. It has been two days since one of the killed UN observers' pre-death words showed that this is false. From the Ottawa Citizen:

Just last week, Maj. Hess-von Kruedener wrote an e-mail about his experiences after nine months in the area, words Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie said are an obvious allusion to Hezbollah tactics.

"What I can tell you is this," he wrote in an e-mail to CTV dated July 18. "We have on a daily basis had numerous occasions where our position has come under direct or indirect fire from both (Israeli) artillery and aerial bombing.

"The closest artillery has landed within 2 meters (sic) of our position and the closest 1000 lb aerial bomb has landed 100 meters (sic) from our patrol base. This has not been deliberate targeting, but rather due to tactical necessity."

Those words, particularly the last sentence, are not-so-veiled language indicating Israeli strikes were aimed at Hezbollah targets near the post, said Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie.

"What that means is, in plain English, 'We've got Hezbollah fighters running around in our positions, taking our positions here and then using us for shields and then engaging the (Israeli Defence Forces)," he said.

That would mean Hezbollah was purposely setting up near the UN post, he added. It's a tactic Maj.-Gen. MacKenzie, who was the first UN commander in Sarajevo during the Bosnia civil war, said he's seen in past international missions: Aside from UN posts, fighters would set up near hospitals, mosques and orphanages.

I have not seen any comment by Kofi Annan on this revelation. It is not only a revelation of the nature of Hezbollah tactics, but a revelation of the extreme anti-Israel nature of the UN. I will not likely post on creation of the State of Israel in 1948 regarding whether it was right or wrong. My opinion is well known, but I will leave the argument to others. What I will argue is that it would be ludicrous to ask Israel almost 60 years later to disband their country. The state of Israel is a done deal. Until the world community as a whole recognizes the right of Israel to exist there can be no peace. There are many other countries whose origins are in question, but as with Israel are a done deal. The United Nations needs to step up to the plate and take leadership on this issue instead of making friends with those intent on obliterating Israel. The lessons that are to be learned during Kofi's term are 1) You cannot obtain peace through appeasement 2) The world body must stand up firmly against countries and groups whose policies support the TARGETING of innocent civilians to achieve their goal. The fact is that Kofi has not only failed to learn these lessons, he has entrenched himself deeper against them.

The world body must take a stand against civilian targeting. Too many argue that we need to understand why they are doing these terrible things. Sorry, once I see a targeted civilian lying in their blood I have no desire to listen or understand why somebody did it. That targeted civilian had a full life ahead of him/her. There are husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, etc. that are waiting for their loved one to come home and they never will.

Kofi does not have the leadership quality to take a stand. He would rather chew on his foot.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

What will a cease-fire solve?

We keep hearing people like Dopi Annan calling for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah. I have yet to hear what they think a cease-fire will solve. Israel will not yield on their right to exist and it does not seem likely that Hezbollah will give up on its position that Israel has no right to exist. A cease-fire is simply a delay.

Several important factors to consider here. An organization like Hezbollah who has no problem lobbing inaccurate rockets into a civilian population, is not in a position to negotiate honestly. Since murder of innocents is nothing to them, lying at the negotiating table is also nothing to them. Hezbollah is not a country, nor a clearly defined leadership structure. Even if this head leader agrees to anything significant, what is to stop lower leaders from breaking out on their own and breaking any agreement. As has been asked by many: who do you negotiate with in Hezbollah?

It is a faulty premise that diplomacy can solve anything. There are some things that diplomacy will never solve. When you are dealing with the right to exist, perhaps erradication of one side is the only solution. What we have seen during this conflict is that the meddling of the rest of the world to keep peace has given Hezbollah an opportunity to heavily fortify itself. Israel is having a tougher time than expected going against them. We have also seen that giving up land has only brought the enemies of Israel closer to their doorstep. So after the world has finished meddling the enemies of Israel now are closer and stronger.

Some that support the Palestinian cause seem only to be concerned with that aspect of this conflict. Others clearly see the shadowy hand of Iran behind the actions of Hezbollah. From the restraint of the other Arab countries in the region, we can surmise that they see the clear danger Iran poses to the whole region and that it is larger than the Israel / Palestinian issue.

The bottom line is that while war is a horrible thing, sometimes it is the only path to resolution. A premature cease-fire in my opinion will leave too many elements of Hezbollah to regroup and cause more conflict in the future.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fidel Castro - Ecoterrorist

If you perform a Google search on [Bush ecoterrorist] you will get pages and pages of links of extremist Bush haters labeling him an ecoterrorist. I wonder now if Fidel Castro, hero of the left, will also get this label? Cuba has hooked up with China to perform offshore drilling just 60 miles south of Florida. According to the Washington Times:
Cuba is drilling for oil 60 miles off the coast of Florida with help from China, Canada and Spain even as Congress struggles to end years of deadlock over drilling for what could be a treasure trove of offshore oil and gas.
Republicans in Congress have tried repeatedly in the past decade to open up the outer continental shelf to exploration, and Florida's waters hold some of the most promising prospects for major energy finds. Their efforts have been frustrated by opposition from Florida, California and environmental-minded legislators from both parties.
So the usual parties held up by the left (Cuba, China and Canada) are participating in this environmental "attack". Where is Greenpeace? Where are the other lefties who so strongly denounce the US for even thinking of increasing their oil exploration? Will they be as vocal against Castro as they have against Bush? If not, then we have a consistency and credibility problem. We will then know that this crowd is not really concerned about the environment. They simply hate capitalism and know that the oil supply is vital to the US economy.

As huge oil profits for Venezuala have emboldened Hugo Chavez, imagine how oil will embolden Castro. Hopefully Castro won't live long enough for us to see that. What is it about these evil men that live to such ripe old ages?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Gay marriage: lawyer cash cow

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding gay marriage in recent years. For my part, I wish to see marriage limited to between a man and a woman. Others are free of course to attempt to change the laws of the country despite my wishes. I am free also to urge lawmakers to refrain from changing the law. Legal unions not defined as marriage may be a viable compromise. My complaint, of course, was the power grab by the courts in some states by departing from interpretation of the law to creating law via judicial ruling. Judicial activism grants one branch of government more power than the other two combined.

As for the push to legalize gay marriage, I think there is more than the wishes of the gay community in mind. I have held for a long time that the push for gay marriage by judges may have more to do with money than gay rights. The Boston Globe reports that the first gay couple in Massachusetts have filed for divorce after being married for two years. If gay marriages have the same track record as heterosexual couples, we can expect 50% of these marriages to lead to divorce. That represents quite a cash cow for lawyers servicing all those divorces. What better motive for judges, who are after all lawyers, to push for more gay marriage.

Lawyers and the media probably are neck and neck for being the most influential group in US policy. By keeping their personal coffers filled and overflowing, lawyers keep their power perch with the added bonus of lawmakers and judges arising from their midst. As is so often said: follow the money.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

SkyePuppy wows us with a pictorial post

Frequent visitor SkyePuppy has posted a series of pictures that show us how small we really are. The first photo makes us feel good to see how much bigger Earth is when compared to Mars, Venus and Mercury and "li'l" Pluto. We are then compared to the big boys of the solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, etc. While we are admiring the size of Jupiter, we are treated to a comparison of such planets to our sun. The amazement is only beginning as we then see that our sun looks like a marble next to a beach ball when compared to the star Arcturus. Finally, as all confidence of comprehension of size leaves our minds (actual comprehension probably left with the next continent on Earth) Arcturus is pictured as a pea compared to the hot air balloon of the star Antares.

While our minds begin to disintegrate as we ponder such magnitude, our friend Chris Malott throws in some more info from another website that states:

"In the constellation of Hercules, there is a star which could contain 100 million of Antares. The largest known star, Epsilon, could easily swallow up several million stars the size of the one in Hercules!"
As our technology has allowed us to see the great magnitudes of size in the universe, I believe it has only begun to scratch the surface when it comes to the incredible smallness of the microscopic universe. We have discovered molecules, atoms and parts of atoms. I believe there are more discoveries in the microscopic to come. We have the added bonus of seeing the microscopic mimicking the giants in their "solar system-like" structure. Just wait until we see the micro version of a black hole. (You read it here first)

When I ponder all of this I realize that man is not only small in size, but man is small in knowledge. Is it an accident that at the time when man achieves the technological advancement to begin to see the secrets of the universe that at the same time he sees how small he and his home earth really is? Is it blind chance that at a time that the collective knowledge of man has grown exponentially in a 100 year sliver of their existence that our realization of what we still have no answers for has grown just as exponentially?

I could launch into a religious direction here, but I will leave those thought to the choice of the reader. I could launch into a diatribe of how little science knows yet boasts enough knowledge to make demands on our lives and economies. Instead, I will simply point out that in the light of such greatness how much of an understatement it is to reflect on how small we really are.

Light blog alert

I need a few days to attend to other matters. The news is consumed with the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. Unless I think I can bring something unique to the discussion as events unfold I am not likely to post on it at this time. I will be monitoring the comments and responding as needed.

Speaking of comments, Blogger sends me an email when anyone adds a comment. The bad thing is that they do not send the title to the post. So when anyone responds to an old comment it can be fun searching through all of the comments to find the one they responded too. Once FKAB added a comment to a months old post and it took me 20 minutes to find the thing. After I responded, he replied to it and I had to go find it again.

Since Blogger is free, I can't complain too much so I guess that is a suggestion instead of a complaint. Riiight.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Finally somebody explains it

Sometimes you hear or read a phrase over and over again. Each time you listen very closely to the context to try and finally grasp what in the world they are all talking about. Each time it eludes you, but you keep trying to figure it out as frustration mounts.

Such has been the case with the phrase "Jump the shark". I keep reading it in blogs and hearing it on the radio. So far I had not been able to figure it out. I thought it had the idea of avoiding something really big. Was I ever wrong.

Finally, somebody has come out with the explanation of both the origins and what it means. Head on over to the American Spectator where writer Jeffrey Lord both gives the rundown on the phrase AND throws in the bonus of claiming that Joe Wilson has "Jumped the Shark".


Lieberman gets a boost from Bubba

NewsMax reports that Bill Clinton is giving Joe Lieberman a boost calling those who want to oust him "nutty". According to NewsMax, Clinton said:
"If we allow our differences over what to do now in Iraq to divide us instead of focusing on replacing Republicans in Congress; that's the nuttiest strategy I ever heard in my life," Clinton told the nonprofit cultural organization.

Clinton defended Lieberman's Democratic credentials, mentioning how the senator has been endorsed by labor unions, environmental organizations and gay groups.

"We've got a world of differences between ourselves and the Republicans," he said. "So I think the Democrats are making a mistake to go after each other ... for a situation none of them created."

So is he trying to help Joe, or is he taking a swipe at his wife who kicked Lieberman while he was down last week? Then again it could be a strategy to smooth out the statement Hillary made. Hillary will need to start making some statements offensive to the moderate Dems if she is going to win the presidential primary. So Bill will need to follow after her and smooth things out with the mods.

The Dems hero also made a comment against the repeated calls by Dems for a timetable to withdraw:
Clinton questioned efforts of some Democrats to impose a fixed timetable for removing U.S. troops from Iraq - something Lieberman opposes.

"Why send a signal to the people that are trying to keep Iraq divided and tear it up when we're gonna go," he asked.

Good question. One would not expect Bubba to come up with something so sensible, nor often say something I would agree with.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Plame suit is a PR hit and run

Sensing that the momentum was shifting in a direction that would paint Joe Wilson as a fool, Valerie Plame has filed a lawsuit against Dick Cheney, Libby, Rove and others. Basically this is a case where the best defense is a strong offense. Knowing the media will play up this futile lawsuit regardless of facts, the Wilsons hope to shift the momentum in the other direction. Their ploy is dependent upon media cooperation and public ignorance. The law suit does not ever need to see the light of day in order to accomplish its goals. If it ever went to court it would be a long time in the future.

The other motivation I am sure has something to do with a book deal. On May 6 Valerie had signed a book deal that later fell through. It is about time for a new book deal to come around. This law suit just raised the bar on the price of that deal. With a book deal under her belt and a PR hit on the Bush administration, the goals will already be achieved. It would be foolish to go through with the lawsuit since it will in all likelihood wind up embarrassing both of the Wilsons. Some time in the future when all of this no longer matters, the suit will be quietly dropped. I hope the suit does go through, however. What fun it will be to finally put some people under oath. It is amazing how stories change when that happens.

New Dem video empty of a message

The Democrat party has a new video out. Many are angry over their use of a picture showing an aircraft with flag draped coffins of our soldiers. I was disgusted that they would choose to use that photo for political gain of those that "gave the last full measure". I don't think the Dems will gain anything from it.

Actually, the whole video does not seem to advance their cause any or define any ideas. When I see the video, it seems to be directed at the left fringe. This is not a winning strategy. The only thing I can figure is that they think these are people with money who are willing to part with it if sufficiently motivated. So the video was supposed to do that.

Since there is no real message except one quote from Bill Clinton, we are left to interpret what they are saying by the pictures. First it shows an oil refinery and then a picture showing the high prices of gas. Are they trying to admit that the price of gas is so high because of our shortage of refining capacity? The same shortage due to no oil refineries being built due to liberal policies? Not to mention lack of domestic oil to go into the refineries due to liberal policies preventing us from drilling for oil offshore and in ANWR. Of course the prices shown on the picture are prices from California where they are highest due to environmental regulation.

After the coffin and related photos they show a few Katrina photos: a weather hurricane projection, highway under water, a damaged Superdome. They are still grasping in desparation that they will gain mileage out of Katrina. Again appealing to the fringe who think man-made global warming caused Katrina. In the photo of the Superdome they show all the people that were not properly evacuated by an incompetent Ray Nagin. No they did not show all the under water buses that could have been used to evacuate.

Next they show some real desperation. They take Tom Delay's famous mug shot and photoshop it to the fantasy picture they really wanted. They tip their hand at how much it burned them when he came out smiling in his photo. The photoshop switch to a down-in-the-mouth Delay is just to funny and reveals the usual sour grapes mentality of Dems. Next they show a picture of Jack Abramoff who is linked to GOP and Dems alike. It's tough when your only message is a "culture of corruption" and it gets taken away by corruption in your own party. Poor babies.

Of course they have to get the snarling photo of Dick Cheney in his most famous "gravitas" pose. Later they make up for it when they show Harry Reid with his usual "I need some prune juice really bad" pose. After Cheney is a photo of Rove smiling. Now what does that do for this? Again, the hatred of Rove among the left fringe is so great I am sure just seeing him grinning at them made them run for their checkbooks.

They have a series of photos of the Democratic leadership. I thought it interesting that they showed Rahm Emmanuel before they showed Pelosi or Reid. Is this a power play? In between they show smiling happy people. If people are smiling and happy before Dems get to power why do we need the Dems? A very funny picture shows one of those farms of wind power. Why would they show this. This is like the banner of Dem hypocrisy. None of the rich boys want those big ugly windmills in their backyard blocking their multi-million dollar view. They want the little guy to have to see them day after day.

In the end they have a picture of Clinton and a recording of him saying "There is nothing that cannot be fixed in America with what is right in America". Is this a pitch for morality? Also, according to the Dems and their media water carriers there is nothing right with America. According to them Bush has destroyed everything. Funny how when we talk about Clinton they accuse us of having to go back to him to criticize him more. Here they have to go back to Clinton to try to eek out some kind of message.

It is a very poor video. I am not sure what they thought they would accomplish. I keep my ear to the ground when it comes to politics, but I could not tell you what the Dem's message is for '06 if you put a gun to my head. I know some have given me links to some words written down somewhere on the Dem's website. These are words that I do not really see or hear reflected by the Dem leadership consistently. Also, most of those words talk about what they want to accomplish but never give one shred of how they plan to accomplish anything. The Dems have thought all along that they can simply run against George Bush this fall. If they follow this strategy they will get bitten in the behind. Of course if they come out with a plan, they risk losing even more. Not many of their plans can survive the light of day before elections.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A great taxation analogy and a great taxation theory

I don't usually quote the work of others as a whole, but the following seems to have gone out in an email form and a blog called Matt's Commentary posted it from the email he received. The author is unknown, but the analogy is so good it must be shown in full. Here it is:
How our Tax System works when taxes are reduced: Is it only a tax cut for the rich? Try to understand the real world economics of a tax cut. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner and the bill for all comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this.

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
Ø The fifth would pay $1
Ø The sixth would pay $3.
Ø The seventh would pay $7.
Ø The eighth would pay $12
Ø The ninth would pay $18.
Ø The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So that's what they decided to do.

The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant everyday and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20." Dinner for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to eat their meal. So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:
Ø The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
Ø The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
Ø The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
Ø The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
Ø The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
Ø The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar too; it's unfair that he got ten times more than me."

"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute" yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up!

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill. And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore, in fact they might start eating overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
That is a very powerful analogy. My thanks to the author, whoever he may be. There is another author that also deserves some respect regarding his writings on taxation. Arthur B. Laffer is the author of the Laffer Curve. Here is a link to a column he wrote devoted to his famous theory. It shows the history of the Laffer Curve, basic points of the theory, a nice picture showing the curve and some graphs showing how history has proven it to be right.

The theory points out that there are two ways a government would collect zero taxes. 1) If the tax rate were 0% 2) If the tax rate were 100%. For liberals that don't understand why money would not be flowing in if the tax rate were 100%; Hint: would you work for free? Neither would I. The theory then graphs a curve the looks like an upside down letter 'U' that points out that the same amount of revenue can come in at lower tax rates as high tax rates. Also, if the tax rate is so very high that it discourages participation more revenue can come in with lower tax rates.

Laffer describes the effects of the Kennedy tax cuts:
Using the Kennedy tax cuts of the mid-1960s as our example, it is easy to show that identical percentage tax cuts, when and where tax rates are high, are far larger than when and where tax rates are low. When President John F. Kennedy took office in 1961, the highest federal marginal tax rate was 91 percent and the lowest was 20 percent.
By 1965, after the Kennedy tax cuts were fully effective, the highest federal marginal tax rate had been lowered to 70 percent (a drop of 23 percent--or 21 percentage points on a base of 91 percent) and the lowest tax rate was dropped to 14 percent (30 percent lower).
In the four years prior to the 1965 tax-rate cuts, federal government income tax revenue--adjusted for inflation--increased at an average annual rate of 2.1 percent, while total government income tax revenue (federal plus state and local) increased by 2.6 percent per year (See Table 4). In the four years following the tax cut, federal government income tax revenue increased by 8.6 percent annually and total government income tax revenue increased by 9.0 percent annually. Government income tax revenue not only increased in the years following the tax cut, it increased at a much faster rate.
Laffer also shows the clear affects of the capital gains hike and cut in '86 and '97:

As expected, increasing the capital gains tax rate from 20 percent to 28 percent in 1986 led to a surge in revenues prior to the increase ($328 billion in 1986) and a collapse in revenues after the increase took effect ($112 billion in 1991).

Reducing the capital gains tax rate from 28 percent back to 20 percent in 1997 was an unqualified success, and every claim made by the critics was wrong.
Can you say surplus? Laffer even shows how the Laffer Curve is shown at the state level and even globally. He first points out the sad but consistent saga of countries with high tax rates:
For all the brouhaha surrounding the Maastricht Treaty, budget deficits, and the like, it is revealing--to say the least--that G-12 countries with the highest tax rates have as many, if not more, fiscal problems (deficits) than the countries with lower tax rates
He then uses Ireland as an example of lowering tax rates resulting in significantly higher revenues. He even throws in a bonus when it comes to Russia by combining the topic with the "Flat Tax":
Russia has become one of the latest Eastern Bloc countries to institute a flat tax. Since the advent of the 13 percent flat personal tax (on January 1, 2001) and the 24 percent corporate tax (on January 1, 2002), the Russian economy has had amazing results. Tax revenue in Russia has increased dramatically
With all of this evidence, why are we still smacked in the face by liberals and the media with disdainful terms such as "Trickle Down Economics" and "Voodoo Economics"? The Laffer curve has proven itself again and again. Yet liberals resist it because 1) It deprives them of the power to socially re-engineer society and 2) It inevitably makes the rich richer, which seems to be a crime against humanity even if the middle class and lower class also do better.

Perhaps it is the name of the theory that people have trouble taking seriously. The fact is that the huge increases in revenue for the Federal US government, US States and other countries who have followed the curve is no "laffing" matter. The people of this country need to understand taxation. Taxation is such a lynch-pin of socialist thinking that to the hard leftists it is non-negotiable. If they admit the dramatic results of the Laffer Curve Theory put into practice, they lose power and influence. That cannot be tolerated by the champions of tolerance.

The power of news services

Have you ever clicked around on various online news sites to see what they say about a current event only to find that most have the exact same story from a news service such as AP? From a financial perspective I see the wisdom in this. It can get mightly expensive to have your own writers for every single event that happens. To buy a story from a news service may save on salary and benefit dollars.

One downside to this setup is that it provides news services like AP a lot of power. My disdain for the Associated Press is no secret here. The inaccuracies are frequent and seem quite politically motivated at times. Today was no exception. Yesterday, Robert Novak came out with some details about his sourcing of the story where he told the world that Joe Wilson's wife Valerie Plame worked for the CIA and that she had a hand in Joe's selection to go to Africa over the claim that Saddam was looking to purchase uranium from Niger. Next thing you know the left and their media water carriers went berzerk claiming that the White House had leaked the name of a covert agent to the press to get even. An investigation was launched and the left dreamed of a Fitzmas that never came.

Novak revealed that he had 3 sources. The primary source was not named, but described as not being a "political operative". In other words the primary source was not with the White House. Novak contacted Karl Rove and CIA spokesman Bill Harlow to confirm what the primary told him. There was a critical piece of information that Novak revealed that was probably one of the most important. How did he get Valerie's name? The answer is that there is a book called "Who's Who in American Politics". Joe Wilson authorized an entry in the book showing him and his wife's name was mentioned. Novak found the name there.

You would think that this critical piece of information would be in the news stories. Well, AP apparently did not see the value of printing such information that would make their boy Joe Wilson look like a fool. Here is where my original topic comes in. When I began to look around at various news stories, I found that so many simply had the AP version of the story that lacked the Who's Who reference. Here is a list of who did what:

CNN - Non-AP but also missed the Who's Who
FoxNews - AP (that right-wing mouth organ)
USA Today - AP
Yahoo News - AP
Washington Post - (by Howard Kurtz) - No mention of Who's Who
Chicago Tribune - Used the Washington Post story

Chicago Sun-Times - Kudos - Mentions Who's Who
NewsMax - Kudos - Mentions Who's Who
WorldNetDaily - Kudos - Used the Chicago Sun-Times story
NYTimes - Kudos - they mention the Who's Who Here is the money quote from NYT:
"His new column confirms what he hinted at in a previous one: that although he had been told that Mr. Wilson’s wife was a C.I.A. officer, he learned her name from reading the former ambassador’s entry in Who’s Who in America. It identified her as Valerie Plame."
There are many more news oulets that I did not have time to check. The list, however, shows the power AP exerted over the story by leaving out an important detail. Their story was used around the country. Take this same scenario day after day and you see how public perception can be manipulated by leveraging one single news source over and over. That is exponential news power.

A few hours ago AP had a chance to make up for their shortcoming and include this important detail. In a new AP story, they still fail to mention they Who's Who. They do, however, quote Novak in claiming the conversation with Rove about Plame lasted about 20 seconds. Here is what they say today:

Regarding Wilson's CIA-sponsored trip, Novak said he told Rove, "I understand that his wife works at the CIA and she initiated the mission." The columnist said Rove replied, "Oh, you know that, too."

"I took that as a confirmation that she worked with the CIA and initiated" her husband's mission to Africa, Novak said. "I really distinctly remember him saying, 'You know that, too.'"

"We talked about Joe Wilson's wife for about maybe 20 seconds," Novak said.

According to Rove's legal team, the White House political adviser recalls the conversation regarding Wilson's wife differently, saying that he replied to Novak that "I've heard that, too" rather than "You know that, too."

So the difference between what each claimed Rove to have said involves 2 words. This is what Fitzgerald spent a lot of time on trying to determine if Rove was to be charged with anything? What a waste of time and taxpayer money. What damage that has occured as the left part of the blogosphere ran amok with crazy charges against Rove. What an indictment of the media in general that allowed the left to play them like a fiddle. What power the news services exercised throughout this and other events; and continues to do so.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Only click if you are brave

Click here only if you are really brave AND have a strong stomach. You have been warned.

Time to withdraw from sports?

There have been some shocking stories of the behavior of athletes. Here is a story of two Fresno athletes charged with the rape of an 11 yr. old girl. There is the Duke rape story (even if they are innocent, the charges are very serious). There are quite a number of sports figures charged and/or convicted of rape in recent years: Mike Tyson, Koby Bryant, etc. The number of assaults by athletes against women is higher than the average. There are those who abuse illegal drugs like Daryl Strawberry and Michael Irvin. There are even murderers like Carlos Dotson. Of course, O.J. still hasn't found the "real killer" yet of his ex-wife and her boyfriend.

While 99% of sports figures may be law abiding citizens that honorably serve the entertainment needs of our country, these heinous activities of the 1% cast such a bad cloud over the rest it may simply be time to pack it in. Maybe it is time we withdraw from the world of sports. I think it is so bad, we should not even have a timetable to withdraw from sports. The withdrawal should be immediate. Close down all the bases where sports activities are held such as ball parks, football arenas, and basketball stadiums. Even ice arenas need to go to prevent anyone from getting their knee wacked with a pipe while vying for Olympic gold. Bring our athletes home NOW.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Nationalism is not limited to the US

There are many things that make US citizens proud to be Americans. Perhaps the things that make me proud to be an American are different reasons than others have but many in this country share a nationalistic pride. That nationalism has been frowned upon by other countries and even some within the US. When it comes to the US it seems nationalism is almost felt to be wrong or something to fear. This attitude never seems to be directed at any other nation as if the US is the only country that has strong feelings of nationalistic pride.

We need go no further than the World Cup to see that many nations have strong nationalistic pride. The most notable from what I saw in the media was Brazil, France, Germany and Italy; but all contending countries had some level of the frenzy of wanting their country to win and stood behind their players. The Olympics also provide a strong forum for nationalism to abound.

There are then other venues that are more isolated to each country and not usually broadcast with much coverage in the international media. Our Independence Day that we just celebrated was one such occasion. Why should we feel the need watching a 4th of July Parade to hear or think about songs like "We Are the World"? Instead of being criticized or tolerated by elites, nationalistic pride by waving our flag and listening to patiotic tunes about our great country is to be commended.

I was recently told by somebody who lives in another country about the mentality of the schools there. If there is one brilliant or gifted child in a class, instead of attempting to maximize on his/her intelligence the child is encouraged to suppress it. No strong individuals are encouraged and mediocrity is the rule. I think sometimes the US is treated like that gifted student: with resentment.

Today the greatness of the US is threatened as is the greatness of others such as Europe. The push to set our nationalism aside and meld all countries together overlooks the best of us in favor of mediocrity. Instead of resenting the greatness of the US, what makes the US great should be encouraged and replicated abroad. There is no finite pool of greatness to be taken from one source and distributed to others. It is an infinite well to be tapped into by all who are willing.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Captain is on a roll

While George W. Bush and Karl Rove do not seem to be interested in giving the 'Bush Lied Crowd' the time of day, the blogosphere has been left to answer them. The problem with leaving such serious charges unanswered is that people tend to start believing things after they are stated as fact a few thousand times; even if stated without support. So now we have many thinking it true that Bush lied and similarly that we have been suffering through a poor economy. I cannot give a good answer why the Bush administration refuses to stick up for itself. Sometimes it is downright frustrating.

The blogosphere like time and tide wait for no man. Such is the case with Captain Ed of Captain's Quarters Blog. This last week the Captain has been verbally assaulting the notion that there was no WMD program in place in Iraq. First, the Captain has several posts regarding the mobile chemical labs written by a reader with very high qualifications in the field of Chemistry. He is given the alias Chemical Consultant. The CIA determined that these mobile chemical labs were used to produce hydrogen for weather balloons and not for the production of WMD.

The Captain points out that according to a translated document these labs were purchased for $33 million in September 2002 (right about the time the US was deciding to take military action. The Captain also points out that the oil refining process produces plenty of hydrogen that could be easily stored for this purpose. Chemical Consultant then takes over and discusses why the mobile labs could not have produced hydrogen. These posts are very scientific and the comments section has some lively debate and rebuttal. The posts are Mobile Labs Could Not
Have Produced Hydrogen as Described - Prologue, Part I, Part II, Part III.

The Captain proceeds with his run on WMD and other Iraq related posts. Most are based on one or more of the DocEx documents that have been captured in Iraq and released to the public for translation due to the sheer volume of documents. He posts about a translated document that seems to link Iraq to Afghanistan before 9/11 showing the provision of training manuals and guidance on avoiding intelligence leaks.

Another post by the Captain describes a translated document containing end of year bonuses being paid out at the end of 2002 (a few months before the invasion). This roster for the Finance Department: Missles Branch provides the names and sub-department names of those receiving bonuses. While many of the department names seem benign, among the list are: Biology, Nuclear, and Chemical. The Captain asks "One has to wonder why they worked three shifts and paid bonuses for programs that people still insist did not exist."

Another post translates a document describing the funding of a sodium carbonate project. He wonders "$18 million for a sodium carbonate project seems very high".

Another post refers to the Anthrax Operations Room

Another post reveals that "Dr. Rehab Rasheed Taha, otherwise known as Dr. Germ, prepared an analysis in 2002

of how to spread biological weapons material using an aircraft as the medium, and how far they had advanced on the application"

This post refers to a translated document that describes how Iraq "re-started its processing of castor-bean extraction, from which ricin can be developed -- and that UNMOVIC discovered it in December 2002." The Captain summarizes:

"So here we have confirmation that Iraq continued to work on WMD, and that the new UNMOVIC inspections verified that. We had previously heard from the mainstream media that UNMOVIC only found that the Iraqis still refused to cooperate fully with the inspections, but this puts a little different light on the situation as the UN found it as they debated how to deal with Iraq. Even with Saddam actively pursuing WMD, as it turns out, they refused to take any action except to propose extended inspections."

While there continues to be no smoking gun, the DocEx documents continue to produce interesting information that points to Saddam's WMD. We have an Iraqi General's statement that the WMD were moved out of Iraq before the war began. The slowness of the UN to act combined with preparation time for the US to attack certainly left plenty of time to do this. While the news media continues to virtually ignore DocEx, bloggers like the Captain pick up their slack as they are reluctant to cover any material outside of their template. Kudos to Captain Ed for this fantastic work.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

What if we apply the Bush Lied logic to Al Gore

In politics there are often seeming paradoxes when it comes to taking certain positions or forwarding certain arguments. One example is the death penalty and abortion positions. (please note the word 'most'. I realize there are exceptions) Most who are against legal abortion are for a death penalty for heinous crimes. Likewise, most who are for legalized abortion are against the death penalty. Odd isn't it?

I am seeing another such paradox: The Bush lied position and the man-made catestrophic global warming position. As you think about it there are a number of parallels between the run up to the war in Iraq and the Global Warming alarmism being produced by Al Gore. Here are some I am thinking of:

- There are groups of people that are considered in the best position to know that believe(d) we were/are in severe danger
- Among the experts there are some detractors that reject the threat of danger actually exists but there is a claim of censensus that the threat truly exists
- The most extreme potential result of doing nothing is emphasized
- The response to the perceived danger is very costly
- Both are by 2000 presidential nominees; both claim to have won
- Both Bush and Gore are accused of cherry-picking evidence from the entirety of evidence available

So while the right has been asked repeatedly to defend their line of thinking when it comes to the war on terror in Iraq; I would ask how the left can continue their war on the US economy to thwart a danger they believe using a similar line of thinking Bush did in leading up to the war in Iraq? It is a paradox I look forward to hearing some thoughts on.

Wal-mart infiltrated by liberalism

Look out for Wal-mart to begin a slow descent. They seem to be succumbing to an initial infiltration of liberalism. According to the Wall Street Journal Online Blog Wal-mart wants to a leader in the cause of environmentalism. They state:

Former Vice President and environmental activist Al Gore is planning to address Wal-Mart Stores Inc. executives next week at the retailer’s quarterly conference on sustainability, part of the company’s recent efforts to become an environmental leader, a Wal-Mart spokesman confirmed.

Gore will speak on global warming, the subject of his recently released documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” The conference is an outgrowth of Wal-Mart’s mission, outlined by Chief Executive Lee Scott last November, to minimize its negative impact on the environment. At the time, Wal-Mart committed to, among other things, reduce energy use in its stores, improve the fuel efficiency of its truck fleet and substantially cut down on solid waste produced by its stores.

So they are going to have Al Gore come in and preach about global warming. WSJ blog also claims Wal-mart has a motive:
Wal-Mart has seized on the issue of sustainability in an effort to bolster positive public relations at a time when its various business practices have been heavily criticized, from its worker pay and health benefits to its effect on smaller retailers.
So this is an appeasement move to pacify the left. Sorry, but it will not pacify the left. If anything it will turn the stomachs of the right. It calls into question their judgement of bringing in somebody to proselytize others to believe in his junk science religion.

Either way this is definitely an infiltration of liberalism and nothing good can follow this in the long term. First, it shows that they are concerned about the criticism of the left. Second, it shows they are willing to act upon it. Third, since the left is never satisfied it can only lead to future attempts at pacification. Next thing you know Wal-mart will be unionized and instead of falling prices we will be seeing falling stores. For the record Wal-mart (WMT) closed yesterday at $46 per share. I wonder how long it will take before the infiltration grabs the bottom line by the neck?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Gitmo intel good for France but bad for US?

Captain's Quarters Blog is posting on France sending some people to Gitmo to interview some of the prisoners. While they claimed the main purpose was to identify and check the condition of any French citizens among the prisoners, they also wanted to glean information to prevent terrorism. The Captain is getting the info from the New York Sun blog It Shines for All. According to the blog:

Responding to the report that French intelligence agents had interviewed six men on trial in France for links with a network plotting terrorist attacks while they were held at Guantanamo, the French Foreign Ministry said it had made no secret of three visits to the camp between 2002-2004.

"These missions, which were of an administrative nature, were aimed at identifying precisely French citizens who might have been at Guantanamo and at assessing their situation in a general manner," it said in a statement dated Wednesday.

It added that the aim was also to gather information needed to allow France to prevent terrorism and that representatives of other government officials had taken part in these missions to help achieve both these goals.

The Captain adds the following:
France received its citizens almost exactly two years ago, and they have held all of them since, implicit recognition of the potential threat they posed. Now we find out that the government felt it necessary to interrogate them while in American custody to prevent further terrorism. That, of course, corroborates what we have said all along -- that the men held at Gitmo present a danger to us and to the West and have information that we need to prevent further attacks.
So as the Captain states, the actions of France support the idea that detaining these prisoners is the wisest course of action at present and that there is information to be gleaned from them that may prevent future attacks. The notion that this concept is unique to the US is simply ridiculous. There has been a lot of liberal Kool-Aid drunk over Guantanamo. The criticism of Gitmo comes from groups that are passionately against the war and bear historic animosity toward the US interviewing prisoners that were fighting against the US without uniform using unconventional tactics. The prospect of truth coming out of that witches brew is very dubious. Yet the left continues to make political hay in their quest to weaken Bush. My guess is that most of the world will remain silent on France's actions. I doubt we will hear many calls for France to give their detainees due process or release them.

Which candidate was best for the US

I did not follow the Mexican election very closely. I knew enough to know it was between the status quo and a Hugo Chavez type. The winner is labeled conservative, but I certainly have some doubts. The loser would have brought the leftist encroachment of South America to our doorstep. If he were to have been elected by the people that would have been what they wanted. Much of the world would have cheered because they seem to be enamoured with leftists and it would have been yet another headache for Bush to deal with while they criticize him.

The question is which candidate was best for the US? Actually if the leftist had won, it would have been an easier sell to seal our southern border. The radical side of the extreme left is too unpredictable to be allowing just anybody to be sneaking into our country. The other candidate labeled conservative probably has the best chance at economic reform. If Mexico's economic condition improves enough, it could reduce the need and desire for so many to come to the US illegally.

The biggest problem in Mexico is the corruption. That is a hard obstacle to defeat once entrenched. The deep poverty of Mexico is also an obstacle. There is an overabundance of unskilled labor and it takes a skilled labor pool to make a difference. Where socialism would try to take on the task creating skilled laborers, capitalism would attempt to provide enough incentive to encourage individuals to make the sacrifices to become what they need to become.

In any case, the conservative has won. I fear he will be a Vicente Fox clone. I hope he succeeds in making a difference for the better. That would be good for Mexico and good for the US.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

American Thinker thinks there is a sudden strange hush

J.R. Dunn of the American Thinker writes that there is a sudden hush in the barrage from the left. Dunn writes:

Is it my imagination, or is there a sudden hush in the shrieking media barrage today? Was it only yesterday that the NYT and WaPo were roaring and thundering, month after month, at President Bush and the GOP—- to surprisingly little effect? Have we run out of phony scandals yet? Where is the Bush = Hitler crowd?

To be sure, the Kossacks are still fussing in a corner of the web. And any moment now the heavy artillery of the Left may resume lobbing shell after exploding shell at the White House, the neocons, the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, not to mention Big Oil, Big Business and Big Fatty Food. It’s all they know.

I have to admit that while focusing on my barrage on the left I had not noticed the strange silence. Now that I stop and think, I cannot come up with anything recent that is anything like the mindless assaults we have been seeing. After kicking around a few spuculations regarding Hillary and Murtha, Dunn wonders if the Dems just suddenly got it that they are in trouble:
Maybe the Democrats just got it—- that they have now defined themselves to lose the 2006 elections. The Democrat Party stands for open treason in a time of war. Their house journal—- the New York Times—- has made it official, by publishing secrets that will surely end up killing US agents, soldiers and allies in the field. The next big terrorist attack will point the finger of blame at our domestic Fifth Column—- the media establishment. Where will the next terrorist hammer fall? Israel – London – New York City? Wherever it does, the guilty party is now beyond reasonable doubt in the eyes of millions of Americans.
I do think that Newspapers of the coastal parenthesis (NYT and LAT) are so associated with the Democrats that their recent aid to terrorists was certainly a self-inflicted wound with deep ramifications. Hugh Hewitt asked Larry Kudlow about how this has affected the NYT. He responded:
Killed 'em. Killed 'em. You cannot believe the intensity of anti-New York Times feeling. Killed 'em. You know, we sent a guy, Cody Willard, who's a contributor to our program, and we do this little cam thing. He goes out and interviews people on the street, and I had him ask the question about the Times. People are furious. We did a poll, investor class poll on it, and people were just...80/20 against the New York Times.

I think that the Times (both of them) feeling that the nation needs to know about secret anti-terrorist tools and yet not feeling that the nation needs to know about key governmental officials leaking these secrets has had a very detrimental effect on the liberal movement in general. I think the handful of Dems cheering that the Supreme Court sided with the Gitmo prisoners against Bush is just another act to solidify in people's minds which side the Dems are on. The immediate reaction and promise of Congressional correction to this runaway ruling (by Graham and Kyl) was like throwing cold water on Pelosi and Kennedy.

I think Dunn is on to something. Perhaps the Dems are beginning to see how they have as usual overplayed their hand. Perhaps they simply don't dare say anything around Independence Day that would yet again call their patiotism into question. Perhaps tomorrow or in a few days the foot in mouth disease resumes with a fury. In the meantime, we are enjoying the silence.

Another marine defense website

I was listening to Hugh Hewitt last night tuned in during the middle of an interview with a father of a marine being investigated for the alledged events at either Hamdania or Haditha. They have set up a website for the marine to both state briefly some statements regarding his situation and to ask for help in his legal defense. Here are some snippets along with some comments:
On May 25th the Pennington family received a collect call from the Camp Pendleton Brig. It was Rob, our son and brother, calling to say that the Marine Corps had returned him to Camp Pendleton and he was being investigated in a group of 7 Marines and 1 Navy corpsman for charges of murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit murder. He said that he was not guilty of any of the charges, but that he was being held as a potentially dangerous and violent person in the maximum security division of the brig along with the others.
Rob Pennington has declared his innocence. For some time these boys were held in shackles while in the brig until Michael Savage brought national attention to it and there were some rallies outside the facility.
First let us say that whether it is Haditha or Hamdania, there are more to these cases than meets the eye. The press is reporting "leaks" made by anonymous, high level officials on 'facts' of the investigation. Please trust us now that once these supposed facts are brought into the courtroom, they will not stand up to scrutiny. What has happened with all these leaks, is that the presumption of innocence has flown out the window. Do our heroes not deserve better? The men who put their lives at stake for our country have been deserted by the Marine Corps and the rest of the military for that matter. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, these are young men - mostly 18-22 years-old, many were in the middle of their second and third tour in Iraq, and frankly they deserved better.
Once again we see that according to liberals, there are good leaks and bad leaks. Why would high level officers feel the need to leak anything in this case? While I have not stated it in a long time, I repeat here that we all need to be reminded that the military is still a governmental bureaucracy. It may be one of the more tightly run, but it is still a bureaucracy. In such settings you have power grabs, a full spectrum of ideologies and ideas, and there is never full control over the organization.

Here we see that in spite of the sacrifices these boys have made with multiple volunteer tours in Iraq, they are being presumed guilty by some senior officers. The fact that these officers feel the need to leak information shows me that they are worried they have a weak case and are trying to shape public opinion ahead of time.
You may see or hear Terry on various news programs. He has come forward to try to show how our guys are being mistreated, as well as to let the rest of the world understand that these guys are heroes who were doing their jobs, and should not be dealt with worse than a Prisoner Of War would be treated.
Terry is their legal attorney. On Hewitt's show last night Hugh interviewed Mr. Pennington, Rob's father. He alluded to senior officers attempting to extract false confessions from these men. He stated that if the Gitmo prisoners were being treated like these marines are being treated, there would be an international outcry.

The Logic Lifeline has consistently extended the presumption of innocence to these marines. This is the way it should be. If in the sad case some of these boys are proven guilty, I will still be proud to have presumed them innocent. Upon being proven innocent those who have presumed guilt, however, will have taken a hit on their credibility and support for the troops that cannot be recovered.

Please go to Rob's website and see the details I have not added to this post. Also go to Pfc John Jodka's website (as previously listed). It takes a level head and strong bearings to navigate through the media barrage against our troops these days. Perhaps seeing these websites that represent real people and not vague ideologies will help some get back to basics such as the presumption of innocence.

Kofi Annan considers firing union chief

Kofi Annan strikes again. We have seen the Oil for Food Scandal, the "peacekeeping" rapist club, Kojo using his father's name to avoid paying taxes. All throughout we see Kofi and his low key mumbling do-nothing approach. Now Kofi gets animated when John Bolton meets directly with his union chief Stephen Kisambira. Kofi apparantly is considering firing Kisambira over this meeting. According to NewsMax:
The U.N. claims that meetings such as those between Bolton and the union officials, "violates" the organization's rules prohibiting employees from discussing "internal" Secretariat activities directly with member states.
I find a few things strange here. We see that the UN more closely follows the socialistic thinking of Europe. Where unionization in Europe is practically a human right, the UN staff is also unionized. I am not sure how they do it in Europe, but in the US the union chiefs do not answer directly to the heads of the company. They are certainly not fireable by them. Why even have a union?

Another point is that the UN union chief seems to be more reasonable than Kofi. The reason Bolton wanted to meet with Kisambira, was to more directly interact with the union to expedite reforms that seem to be a very low priority in Kofi's agenda. According to NewMax:

Bolton's agenda was to discuss with the union ways the world body might be reformed, including tackling its bloated bureaucracy.

The Staff Union represents the majority of the 9,000 employees of the United Nations in New York City, with job duties from clerical to department administrators.

After the 30-minute meeting at U.N. headquarters, both sides claimed they had "more in common" among themselves on fixing the United Nations than with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his administration.

Speaking to reporters, Bolton confessed that the meeting was so fruitful he "should have asked for a such a meeting, much earlier."

Kofi's reaction shows that 1) He does not really seem to be serious about dealing with the bloated bureaucracy 2) He seems to only pay lip service to unions 3) He seems to have quite a megalomaniac streak in him.

I am for rules and sticking to rules. If Kofi and other UN members had a history of sticking by rules and there truly is a rule banning such a meeting then he is justified in firing Kisambira. The fact is that Kofi has a long history of appeasement and not standing up to those deserving of it. It seems a funny time to start standing up by attacking the union. It seems a funny time to start when he has been embarrassed by Bolton's need to bypass him in the process due to inaction and failure.

The international community continues to embarrass themselves by resistance to a man who has a backbone, does what he says he will do, and has resolve in the face of great pressure; while at the same time having no bad word to say about a man who is ineffective, wavers in the face of trouble, will not deal with corruption or international threats, and will not make good on his promise to reform. The international community has nothing good to say about George W. Bush, and has nothing bad to say about Kofi Annan. We have heard much about how international opinion has turned against the U.S. When we see the completely backwards treatment of these two men all I can say is: consider the source. The international community has completely discredited themselves when it comes to opinion. Nearly every opinion they produce is not base on right and wrong, but on which side they have already chosen.

I have very little use for the United Nations itself. They have been shown to be completely ineffective in the face of world issues such as Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Darfur and many others. The international community harshly criticized Bush for "going it alone" against Iraq. Then when Iran starts their nuclear threats, the UN looks at Bush and wonders what he is going to do about it. I have no use at all for Kofi Annan. The man has no shame and should have resigned long ago. We only have 6 more months before he leaves the UN with likely the worst legacy of any Secratary General. Then his Bush bashing memoirs will be ready just before the '08 U.S. presidential elections. Then he will fade from memory except when the mainstream media needs to interview an "expert".

Monday, July 03, 2006

Hugh Hewitt - The Revolution Begins July 4

There is something brewing over at Hugh Hewitt's blog. It looks like some major changes may be coming. Click over there and see his "It's coming" web page. It is somewhat simple, but it looks kind of cool and makes me wonder what he is up to.

Hugh Hewitt is probably my current favorite talk show host. I don't get to hear much of him because he starts at 8pm. His legal and political experience really adds a lot to his perspective. He is very level headed and consistent to a fault. He is definitely a blogosphere pioneer. Between his radio show, blog, books and many TV appearances I would think Hugh would be more popular than he is.

Anyway, Hugh's revolution comes tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing what he unveils.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Galvin Opinion tracks the sinking Daily Kos readership

The Galvin Opinion has a couple of graphs showing sharp declines in readership of the #1 blog (liberal or otherwise) The Daily Kos. While I have not followed Daily Kos closely, I have heard it has been recently embroiled in some kind of controversy. Whatever the case, the numbers on these graphs show how quickly things can go south in the public arena.

NYT - Let me get this straight

Over the last week we have heard several statements from the New York Times as they have attempted to provide an explanation for their treason. We first heard Bill Keller state:
"We remain convinced that the administration's extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use it may be, is a matter of public interest"
So it was the public interest that drove them to publish the story. Around the same time the NYT made it clear that they saw no legality issues in what the administration was doing. With no legality issues, it was not clear why this was a "matter of public interest".

Later we heard some claim that the terrorists already knew about this and therefore it really did not aid and abet the terrorists as conservative groups were claiming. Now we are hearing from the New York Times Ombudsmen, Byron Calame(Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin):
There was a significant question as to how secret the [monitoring of the SWIFT banking program] was after five years."Hundreds, if not thousands, of people know about this," [executive editor Bill] Keller said he was told by an official who talked to him on condition of anonymity.
Ok, let's piece together all these claims:

- It was a matter of public interest, though for the life of me we can't quite say why
- There were no legality issues claimed by the NYT
- The terrorists already knew (so we were not aiding and abetting the enemy)
- A lot of people already knew about this, so it really was no secret

Let me get this straight. So if we put all of these pieces together my question is:


Basically, if you put all of this together that has come out since, they paing a picture of a NON-STORY. Yet this non-story somehow made the front page and has been on the front burner since. The New York Times is basically insulting our intelligence by making these claims. In actuality they are acting more like a worm wiggling on a hook trying to get off. Remember that bumper sticker "Have you hugged your kids today?" We need a bumper sticker that says:


Completely blown away

A short time ago I created a post asking about a website called the Honor Network. I have made a number of attempts to discover who runs this blog. It could be a panel of people or it could simply be one person. In either event I was quite taken aback to see that somebody had listed the Logic Lifeline as ranked #8 for June. I have no idea what the criteria for ranking is, but was quite surprised to see my blog ranked among so many quality blogs.

Imagine my comlete shock when I took a peek and find that they have added the July rankings and have ranked the Logic Lifeline #1 American Conservative Blog. I am nearly speechless, scrounging for words to say in my reaction to this. I called my mom to see if maybe she had somehow managed to get voting rights to this site without telling me, but she did not own up to any such thing. So I am at a loss, but honored that at least one person out there took the time to evaluate the Logic Lifeline and liked what was read enough bestow this ranking. I can only assume that person or group will read this post. I just want to say thanks. I hope you add a bit to your blog explaining how these rankings occur and a little history. The secrecy of the Honor Network seems to be tight as a drum. As my thanks I am going to add a link to your site, defaulting to the American Conservative sites.

For the other readers, take a look at all the other categories. There are conservative sites from Europe, Asia, "Canuck" and "Anzac". They also have progressive rankings (defined as anti-tax Libertarians here) for these same geographical breakdowns. There are some great sites from other countries ranked there.

There have been several honors along the way for this blog. It began with Chip naming my blog the best ever. Then several others have honored me by adding a link here. Now the Honor Network Ranking. Thanks to all for your support.