Saturday, December 31, 2005
Of course it's okay for Muslims in host countries (countries that have opened their doors to them and allowed them a chance at a better life than the one they came from) to criticize and even demonize that country and the overall culture of the West, in general. But let's be sure we do not do anything, in anyway, to offend Muslims and their way of life, or their belief system.
This is a good article. It shows just one more time that Islam and the West have a very difficult time assimilating. If westerners go to a Muslim country, no one is allowed to criticize Islam, they must respect the local customs, or risk facing extremely harsh punishment. But if Muslims come to Western countries, they are given much more freedom to criticize anything they wish. And, they do.
They have an inordinate amount of freedom to bash Christianity, western culture, and anything else they find to their distaste, pretty much without fear of retribution. Yet, the moment someone of Western culture criticizes Islam, they cry foul and try to silence the critics. It's like someone coming into your house and telling you what you can and cannot do.
One of two things is going to happen real soon, in Europe. This is either going to lead to a sharp rise in far-right wing nationalism or it will result in Muslims controlling the media and subsequently the governments, by their manipulations and threats of jihad.
When one hate group incites another, the reaction is often more harsh than the first. The pendulum swings back hard. So my bet will be, Europe will someday get sick of Muslims coming into their secular societies, spewing hate, and making threats. But how far they go in their reactions will depend upon how long they let it go on, without some attempt at correcting this now. The longer it goes on untouched, the sicker and madder Europeans will get. Then, that will play right back into the hands of the neo-fascist right wing parties, of the continent.
And given Europe's history, I am not so sure that's a good thing, either.
Friday, December 30, 2005
CAIRO, Egypt -- Egyptian riot police armed with clubs and water cannons stormed a downtown square packed with Sudanese war refugees before dawn on Friday in an attack that a human rights group said left 23 people dead.
About 2,000 Sudanese had been living for months in a dilapidated tent city near the offices of the the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, demanding to be resettled abroad. Their protest was viewed by many Cairo residents as an eyesore in one of the city's upscale areas.
Thousands of Egyptian riot police massed around the square early Friday and tried to force the demonstrators onto waiting buses. When they refused to leave, police fired water cannons and beat them with clubs. The clashes dragged on for hours; television footage showed the Sudanese fighting back with tent poles and bottles. Witnesses said at least one child, a young girl, was among the dead.
These refugees are non-Muslim refugees as a result of the Sudanese government's persecution of non-Muslims. I know, I know. The article didn't say that. But that's precisely why it is safe to assume that these were Christian Sudanese, there is no outcry and no condemnation by the left. That's why that information didn't make its way into the article.
So where is the UN, when you need them?
The confrontation "came after the UNHCR office in Cairo received warnings of a possible assault on its headquarters and staff, which in turn asked the security to protect them and disperse the sit-in," the statement said.
That should clear that up. The UN asked the police to disperse the crowd, because they HEARD of a POSSIBLE assault on their headquarters. So, from where I sit, the blood is on THEIR hands, on this one.
There is no justice in the UN, these days. Yet, the left still recognizes the authority of these clowns over and above the U.S., and other member nations. It has become nothing more than a den of thieves and the left ignores it like it's no big deal. Here is the ever so short statement by the Commissioner:
"There is no justification for such violence and loss of life," High Commissioner Antonio Guterres said in the statement.
I bet if this were the U.S. or one of its close allies, there would have been several paragraphs of condemnation, one or two of them from UN officials, another one or two from EU officials, and at least a couple from the Democratic leadership team.
Apparently, an American teen of Iraqi origin has traveled to Iraq on his Christmas break without permission from his parents.
The one thing that I would hope he will take away from this whole experience is, a newly found appreciation for this country and the freedoms it offered to (and was freely accepted by) his parents and inherited by him. They say that curiosity once killed the cat, but thankfully it didn't this time.
Overall, it is a pretty good piece. But the thing you have to keep in mind is, it is written by a Muslim, from a Muslim perspective. With that said, there is a lot of good information in this article, with a strong emphasis on solutions rather than placing blame. One thing that sticks out is that the author (Abdurrahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia) recognizes that it will take a global approach, with help from Muslims and non-Muslims, alike, to combat and defeat the ideology of the terrorists.
I have said several times in other posts that if there is such a thing as a community of moderate Muslims, they will have to start coming out with messages that clearly reject the Wahabbis' oppressive and brutal ones. They will have to communicate those messages to those that need to hear it, not as lip service, but as a sincere effort to combat global terrorists that threaten peace-loving people, everywhere. Until that happens, this threat will only grow. Maybe, this is a start.
The one thing that this article does fail to address (one that is central to this whole notion of jihad) is the recognition of the state of Israel. Until the "so-called" moderates in Islam come to grips and support Israel's right to exist, there will be no peace in the Middle East, or the world. As long as they hold this hatred for Israelis (and Jews everywhere), they will share a common value with the jihadists. It will be a weakness that the jihadists will be quick to exploit, as they already have in many cases.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
To all that commented with well-wishes on the Christmas holiday, I thank you. I read every one of them.
Thanks again for reading. I will be back tomorrow or Friday, so check back often.
Monday, December 26, 2005
These two are a dachsund and chihuahua mix, six weeks old. One is for my mother-in-law and the other is for my sister-in-law. And believe me when I tell you, they are tiny and cute.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Long live Israel.
So, to all my Jewish friends, I wish you a very Happy Chanukah to you and your families. May God bless all of you during this season and in the coming new year.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
And to all that read this, please remember the troops that are far from home and family, in your thoughts and your prayers. If there are any that happen to stumble across this site and read this message, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being on the job and for the sacrifices you have willingly made, to keep this nation safe and free. May God bless each and everyone of you.
And to show my appreciation to you brave men and women, I am linking to this neat site that I found after being directed to another, by my good friend Always On Watch. After reading the poem that she linked to, I got curious and searched the site for more neat stuff. And then, I found the best little poem written by a Marine in 1991.
Maybe you have already read it, but believe me, it's well worth another read. It is guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye. If you haven't you are in for a treat.
So enjoy, and once again, Merry Christmas.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
By now, most people that know who Tony Dungy is, has heard of the apparent suicide of his oldest son, James. It's hard to know what to think when anyone takes their own life, but it is even more confusing, when a young person does it. And I can honestly say that as a parent, I can think of no worse tragedy than to lose a child, and lose them under these circumstances and so close to Christmas.
What's even more puzzling is how something like this could happen to as fine a person, as Tony Dungy. Many that know him and know of him would say that you couldn't find a better person than him. I can't think of one negative thing to say about him. To start with, he is one of the more likable people, you could ever meet. Although he is an NFL coach with star-power, he is never condescending or arrogant when mingling with the public. You could not ask for a nicer human being. He is a father, husband, and all-around role-model, who just happens to be a football coach.
So, please keep this gentleman and his family in your thoughts and prayers, in the coming days, as they grieve the loss of a very dear member of their family. It happens everyday to other good people. But we don't really think about it, unless it's someone we know or someone in the public eye.
I have an eighteen year old son and I know that I would be in great sorrow and great pain, if this would happen to him. I do not know exactly how it would feel, but as I remember losing my younger brother when he was just sixteen. That was bad enough as a young twenty year old man. And I firmly believe, that grief I felt then, would only be the tip of the iceberg, if it were my child or my wife's child.
And, it is my firm belief that if were it not for the grace of God, it very well could be. For this reason, I have much cause to be thankful, in spite of the meager hardships (or better yet, inconveniences) I may have to endure, throughout my life.
So, one of my Christmas wishes is this:
May the true God of peace be with all of those that have lost a dear loved one, this Christmas season.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Well, now the left can see the fruits of their misguided labors. All of their harping about torture this, and torture that.
But wait. What have we here?
The chief prosecutor said that if multinational forces had abused Saddam, he would be transferred to the custody of Iraqi troops.
Maybe he had better shut up, while he is ahead. Gone will be the Doritos and Cheetohs, along with all of the other perks being afforded to him by the Great Satan. God help him if the Iraqis take custody of him, especially if the facility is run by Sh'ia. He won't make it through the trial, but what he will do, is mysteriously fall down a flight of stairs (or two), during a routine transfer.
WARNING: This is really going to irritate you. Read only when already mad about something. Then get it all of out of your system, at one time. Do not read this if you have a serious medical condition.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television, says he's forming a private equity fund manager with Carlyle Group, the latest step in Johnson's efforts to build the largest African-American owned asset management company in the U.S.
Who says that a black man can't make it in America?
Germany has secretly released a Hizbollah member jailed for life for killing a U.S. Navy diver and returned him to Lebanon despite an extradition request from the United States, Lebanese political sources said on Tuesday. They said Mohammad Ali Hammadi, convicted of killing Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem during the 1985 hijacking of a TWA flight diverted to Beirut and sentenced to life without parole, was flown back to the Lebanese capital last week.
This is how Merkel wants to repair damage done to the USA-German relationship, by Schroeder?
People like Lee Hamilton, Zell Miller, and Sam Nunn are Democrats that I would seriously consider voting for, but the Democrats wouldn't dream of running either one of them. They are the very antithesis of what the party stands for today. They understand the big picture and the post-modernists that have run these old-time Democrats out, clearly do not.
I recommend this article, if you want to know what a true Democrat believes about how interdependent this world has become, as well as, how the USA must come to the realization that not all Democrats have our best interests at heart, when they say it's time to focus on America and her problems.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
But I did find it in Real Clear Politics, which I have been using for a few months now as a valuable tool for finding excellent articles. (Because I like this site so well and it is technically a blog, I am going to blogroll it.)
But now, back to the article which is written by Thomas Donnelly and was originally published in the Armed Forces Journal.
On Oct. 11 the White House released a translation of a communique from al-Qaida's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, to the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The letter, dated July 9, was intercepted as the result of a raid conducted shortly thereafter in Iraq. That the administration chose to publish the letter so quickly--indeed, at all--indicates not only a White House scrambling to bolster its poll numbers but a hopeful belief that the letter reveals an enemy in some disarray.
There certainly is a dispute over tactics between Zawahiri and Zarqawi. But at its core, it would seem the real issue is one of strategy, and because it is reasonable to presume Zawahiri speaks for Osama bin Laden, the difference is probably a profound one. The view from al-Qaida headquarters in Pakistan is that Zarqawi's extremely violent tactics in Iraq are counterproductive: "Among the things which the feelings of the Muslim populace will never find palatable," writes Zawahiri, "are the scenes of slaughtering the hostages."
Zawahiri acknowledges the psychic satisfaction of chopping Americans' heads off, but presses Zarqawi not to "be deceived by the praise of some of the zealous young men and description of you as the sheik of the slaughterers, etc." This is hardly an injunction to show mercy: "[W]e can kill the captives by bullet. That would achieve that which is sought after without exposing ourselves to the questions and answering to doubts." To be blunt, "We don't need this."
Maybe this is not as a result of anything we have done, but it does appear to be happening, nevertheless. This leads me to believe that Osama very well could be dead.
Think about it. Wouldn't he be sending the communiques? Add to that the fact, there is a marked difference of opinion between Zawahiri and Zarqawi, one that gives the very appearance of a power struggle.
But why is Zawahiri displeased with Zarqawi?
This distinction helps explain the letter's guidance in regard to the Shi'a majority in Iraq. The centerpiece of Zarqawi's strategy in the Iraqi insurgency has been to attempt to provoke a civil war between the Shi'a and Iraqi Kurds, on one hand, and the Iraqi Sunni. "People of discernment and knowledge among Muslims know the extent of the danger to Islam of the ... school of Shi'ism," observes Zawahiri. "The collision between any state based on the model of prophecy with the Shi'a is a matter that will happen sooner or later. This is the judgment of history, and these are fruits to be expected from the rejectionist Shi'a sect and their opinion of the Sunnis."
Zarqawi appears to be jumping the gun, at least in the opinion of Zawahiri.
Al Qaeda are Sunnis, which have been and still are doctrinally at odds with the Shi'a. Both sides are looking forward to the day when all of Islam will be united under one banner, but both sides will want it to be under their banner. There will be little room for compromise and a showdown is bilaterally accepted, as inevitable.
But Zawahiri, like bin Laden wants to use the unity of both factions to defeat the infidels, first. And Zarqawi does not seen to care if he alienates the Shi'a or not, as is evidenced by the brutal attacks he has engineered and how they have primarily killed innocent Shiite people, in the process. Translation: You are starting the final showdown for world supremacy, too soon.
These are but just a couple of things to be garnered from this well-written, informative piece. It's not overly lengthy and is well worth the time. I highly reccommend it.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Even the Sunnis turned out. But here's an odd twist as reported in the NYT/IHT article:
The insurgents not only failed to stop the election, but it appeared also that they did not really try.
One can only hope that the terrorists both foreign and domestic are getting the picture that the people of Iraq want to be free from oppression. And why shouldn't they? They have suffered incredibly over the last 30 years.
But it hasn't taken the left long to start doing everything within their power to minimize the importance of this amazing event. Are we really surprised? Take a look at the op-ed piece by Molly Ivins of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram picked up and printed in the Salt Lake Tribune.
AUSTIN, Texas - As one on the liberal side of the chorus of moaners about the decline of civility in politics, I feel a certain responsibility when earnest, spaniel-eyed conservatives like David Brooks peer at us hopefully and say, ''Well, yes, there was certainly a lot of misinformation about WMD before the war in Iraq, but . . . you don't think they, he, actually lied, do you?''
Draw I deep the breath of patience. I factor in the long and awful history of politics and truth, add the immutable nature of pols - fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly - and compare Tonkin Gulf, Watergate and Iran-Contra with the piddly Curveball and Niger uranium. I prepare to respond like a reasonable person - ''Of course not actually lie, per se, in the strict sense'' - and then I listen to another speech about Iraq by either the president or the vice president and find myself screaming, ''Dammit, when will they quit lying?''
Good golly, Miss Molly. Does it make your blood boil that much to think that Iraqi elections were successful? Does it make you so inwardly, raging mad that you have to keep beating a dead horse, in the desperate hopes that it will somehow miraculously come back to life? Will you self-detonate over it?
Lie, lying, lied, did lie, lies, will lie, does lie. Lie, lie, lie.
When will it ever end?
They say "Bush lied" over and over again, so many times, almost chanting it like a starry-eyed cult member. Then, they and others that hear it, start to believe it. It is a brainwashing technique commonly used by Hare Krishnas, Moonies, and others that use mind control as a means of maintaining membership.
And dear Molly, is living proof.
But wait, what's this? Nancy Pelosi is now not advocating a unified Democratic position on Iraq? Well, that is what the Washington Post is now reporting.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday that Democrats should not seek a unified position on an exit strategy in Iraq, calling the war a matter of individual conscience and saying differing positions within the caucus are a source of strength for the party.
Pelosi said Democrats will produce an issue agenda for the 2006 elections but it will not include a position on Iraq. There is consensus within the party that President Bush has mismanaged the war and that a new course is needed, but House Democrats should be free to take individual positions, she said.
I wonder what Molly is going to say about this? And for that matter how about Hollywood, academia, and usual host of suspects? I bet Dean will have plenty to say.
What do I say?
I think Nancy sees an up and coming battle that will pit the "anti-war crowd" against the "finish the job group", coming up in the primaries of the 2006 midterms. And she wants to start sweeping the issue under the rug now, to minimize the fact that she and the Dems have once again been on the wrong side of history.
Iraq has elected a government and there are no ifs, ands, or buts. It has happened and it's high time the leftists deal with it. Pretending it's not an issue when they have spent almost the entire time of this war, making it issue #1, is not going to fly with the American people.
It's damn sure not going to settle well with the hard left, Miss Molly included.
Monday, December 12, 2005
To be quite honest, I have never heard of her. But she makes some interesting points, not all of which I am sure I agree with. But, I'll have to digest it and re-read it, as I often do with pieces that are as in depth, as this one.
It is well-written, well-presented. It is not long, but not short either. If you like essays that stimulate your thinking, this one is for you.
No, this post isn't about sports as much as it is about the state of professional sports, in the era of the spoiled brats. You know the ones, the brats that get paid enormous amounts of money to play kids' games. It is about one example of one immature brat; and how his actions are consistent with a new generation of kids, coming into a lot of money at a very young age, and the overinflated sense of self-worth that comes with it.
It is about the lost art of teamwork and the rise of the "me first" individual.
The Indianapolis Star is reporting that Ron Artest of the Indiana Pacers is wanting to be traded.
In a 20-minute interview Saturday, Artest for the first time publicly said he wants to be traded. He calmly described the issues he has with his role on the team, his head coach and his past, and said the team would be better off without him.
Now, that in itself isn't an issue. Players ask for trades from time to time, when they are not happy. Management initiates trades at their pleasure, as well.
It's a business, it happens. That is not the significant thing here.
As you may or may not recall, Ron Artest is an extremely talented player that started a huge melee, in a basketball game in Detroit last season; an action that got him suspended for almost an entire season, 73 games to be exact. What was to be a promising season last year, was a season derailed. It was Reggie Miller's last season and the team desperately wanted to win one for him. But due to the immature actions of Artest, that goal was never met.
But they stuck with him. They didn't deal him anywhere in the off season, when they clearly could/should have. They welcomed him back this year with open arms and forgave his transgressions. They wrote last season off as a bad dream and honestly believed that he would grow up enough to become an integral part of, a team that wanted to win a championship.
But again, they were wrong. Again, Mr. Artest has failed them.
Three seasons ago, he led the league in flagrant fouls. Two seasons ago, he played like a pouting brat in the playoffs. That would have been the last straw, for me. He would have been on the next trading block, without fail, had I been asked about it. But, they opted to exercise more patience. Then came the debacle of last season. And they STILL gave him another chance, despite the embarassment of seeing themselves acting like a bunch of thugs on the national news, over and over again.
But I am not the only one that feels this way.
Bob Kravitz, a sports columnist for the Indianapolis Star, has certainly made his feeings well-known in his latest column entitled, Tick Tock: Time's Up For Artest.
Ron Artest can't come back now, not after this, not after saying he wants to get away from coach Rick Carlisle and go someplace where he can get bigger numbers and a fresh start.
He must be traded.
Artest, an incorrigible bum who should have been set free long ago, should not be allowed to spend another night soiling the uniform of the Indiana Pacers.
You see, Ron Artest has been stinking up the team chemistry already this year, after selling everyone this cock and bull story about how he has changed, about how he has matured. But he hasn't.
He has not fit into the mold of the team and apparently doesn't want to fit into the mold of any team. He wants someplace where he can be the king (while playing thug ball) and score a lot of points. This, he wants, only for the purpose of being able to secure a big money contract. By fitting into the mold of a team, he would have to sacrifice numbers; numbers that he feels he needs, to earn the respect of his peers and the league. He isn't taking into consideration that his behavior has been the one thing that has hurt him most. And yet, he now has the audacity to ask for a trade, because in essence he doesn't share the same team philosophy, as his coach.
What Ron fails to realize is, if he wins a championship, his stock goes up instantly. And teams win them, every year. Not players, teams. Last year it was the Spurs, the year before the Pistons. Both played team ball.
The league knows what this kid can do, they do not need to see (nor do they want to see) a lot of points from one guy. It doesn't win championships, and usually doesn't win many games. Ask Allen Iverson (and many others). The league is full of hotshots that play for teams that will never win a title.
Why is this so? Why do these kids act selfish, in spite of the fact that they are being paid massive amounts of money to play on a ball TEAM?
Immaturity. They've been given a lot of money, they get greedy, selfish, and they want more.
The lack of maturity displayed by kids that come into the league at 18 has been noticed by the league. They have a new rule that players cannot be eligible for the NBA draft until they have been out of high school, at least one year. I do not think it goes nearly far enough, but it is a step in the right direction.
Why? Because I feel that a kid that comes out of high school is not mature enough to deal with suddenly being an adult, right away. It's a learning process that all of us had to go through in other areas, and by experience we know that you don't get good at it right away. ( I matured and learned the art of teamwork in the Army) And if you add millions of dollars to the mix, it could be the recipe for disaster, down the road. Not for all, mind you. But for the majority, yes.
Even those that come out after a year or two of college aren't always the best at this, either. What little college Artest endured, didn't help him much at attaining a reasonable level of maturity nor did it help learn the concept of teamwork. And there are others it didn't help, as well. I am not so sure that four years would have done the job for him, or the others. But who knows?
But most of those that fared the best were the ones that went, all four years. Look at Larry Bird, he went all four years. He, with a supporting cast of mediocre players, led his team to within one game, of an NCAA championship. Then led the Boston Celtics to three titles. He took the Celtics from last to first in the first year. He did it by working hard and being a team player. He got his teammates involved and made them better by doing it. He was unselfish. He made good money, but he earned it because of his work ethic. He had very little ego, by NBA standards today. He learned leadership and gained valuable maturity as a player and a man, in college.
Jordan only had two years of college, but he was clearly an exception. He was, after all, Michael Jordan. He had a deep understanding of the game and what it took to win it. Like Bird, he made everyone on his team a better player. When he scored a lot of points, the Bulls usually lost. He was mature enough to make the transition, but let's not forget, he didn't win titles right away.
In all professions today, the most successful operations are as a result of good team work. The military absolutely has to have it, as does law enforcement and rescue. Others need it too. But just let one spoiled immature brat come into any successful organization and play this lone wolf game, and you will watch success turn into failure, often.
As I said, all professions, businesses, and organizations need team work to excel, to function, and sometimes just to survive. But it doesn't stop there. As a nation, we need teamwork. We need people that won't look at opportunities to further their political careers. We need people that will sacrifice their numbers a little bit and play some team ball, to better the United States of America. We do not not need a ball hog that cares nothing about winning, but only seeks fame and glory for him or herself.
We need statemen and stateswomen, and we need them in the worst kind of way. We need them now, and forever. Or, we will fail as a civilization, culture, and as a champion of freedom and liberty. Will Americans keep giving chance after chance to their elected officials that do nothing but disrupt and derail, like the Pacers have done with Artest? Or will we trade the non-hackers, for team players that will sacrifice, for the welfare of Team America?
If sports is a microcosm of that principle, I am worried.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
And then he tells us why.
Go check it out. And, dont be the last person on your block to do so.
The EU nations have almost 88 million more people than we do, yet we still outproduce them. What it all boils down to is, almost the entire European continent does not produce what we do. One can only wonder how much more they could produce, if they did not have such an affinity for socialism.
Take a moment and and at least glance at it, if you don't believe it.
Remember the election last year?
Everybody needed a job. The soup lines were full, famine was widespread. The whole national economy was in near, total ruin. And Americans were in a state of despair. Add to that, the American military was on the verge of collapse at the hands of the Iraqi "insurgents" (wink wink, nudge nudge), who were just too mighty and too strong for our forces that had been severely demoralized by a flawed foreign policy and a resilient people that were so very much misunderstood, by America.
But wait. Hasn't it been a year since the election? It has, but we are still hearing the same gloom and doom, about the times we live in.
Don't get me wrong. I do firmly believe that we indeed live in perilous times. But not for the same reasons that this current bunch of naysayers do. The very objects of their criticisms are misdirected and in some cases, there is no case for criticism at all. The things they should be criticizing, they don't; and they criticize the things that warrant very little (if none at all).
Just how bad today is, compared to times past, is the subject of this AP article about a survey recently conducted at Siena College. Keep in mind as you read this article, this data came from the academic wing of the liberal elite. Here is a short exerpt, but by all means read it all:
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Terrorist attacks, a war in Iraq and natural disasters aren't so bad compared to other tough times in America's past, from the Revolutionary War to the Cold War, history professors say.
Asked to compare eight difficult periods of the nation's history, 46 percent of the 354 professors who responded to a nationwide survey agreed the current era was the least trying. The Civil War, 55 percent said, was the toughest.
Putting today into perspective requires some knowledge of history, something that is lacking in today's world. The "it's all about me" and the "I want it and I want right now" crowd does not value the importance of history and how we can use it to make better lives for ourselves, today. So, many people that fit this description cannot understand the sacrifices and sufferings of many, in the past; therefore, they have nothing to compare with the challenges we face today.
Because if they did, every time they were tempted to claim that a 5% unemployment rate is why people everywhere, suffer so much; they would know that contrasted with the 25% rate seen in the Great Depression, this is a cakewalk. And if every time, they were tempted to claim that this war is a total and utter failure because the casualty rate is unacceptable, they could look up the numbers of all of the previous wars. They could note that we lost more men on D-Day than the whole Iraqi war, to date. They could note the meat grinder nature of WWI, WWII, and the Civil War, where dead littered the countrysides of both Europe and this country, by the thousands.
In spite of an islamofascist threat that is ever busy trying to find ways to wreak havoc by killing innocents and destroying western civilization, we do have it damned good compared to our forefathers. Cars, cell phones, information available 24 hours a day at your fingertips, microwave ovens, you name it. They had none of it. We do.
And yet today, very few people understand, just how fortunate they really are. They have known nothing of sacrifice or what it means to truly suffer, yet they want us all to believe that it's worse now, than ever before. But that's not the shocking part of it all. What amazes me, is the fact that these same spoiled elitist snerts and snobs do not think that a little fight now, could and would prevent the need for a bigger one later; a fight that would very definitely come much closer to the reality of what they want us to believe is happening now. Thousands of dead, in a day or week, mass funerals, widespread grief and sorrow are all just a moment away, if we do not defend that which we have so good, right now. And, do it right.
In some ways it is a bad time, depending on how you look at it. But if we could all understand a little bit about the times that occurred before us, we would know that it could be a whole lot worse. On the other hand, it's good, but if those of us that sleep could/would wake up, it could and would be a lot better. If the left, could put aside politics for long enough to get Iraq up and running, instead of tearing it down at every opportunity, we could get the troops home sooner rather than later.
And believe me when I tell you this. If I thought for one moment our troops had been there too long, with all of the reasonable objectives met, I'd be posting it. But until that day, let's just finish this up, without anymore distractions.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
As always, thanks so much for reading PYY.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
In the days leading up to that moment in time, Roosevelt had been arguing for assisting Britain in their time of need, as the Nazis relentlessly bombed the island. Many isolationists were in government and were very resistant to entering what was then perceived as, Europe's war. (They had their heads in the sand, just as Neville Chamberlain and company did before the Battle of Britain.) Many even formed a committee called the America First Committee, with the support and blessings of one famous name, Charles Lindbergh.
They were adamant. They were loud, they were vocal. They participated in the debate and made enough noise, up to that point in time, because FDR could not garner enough support to enter the war. So we didn't.
But when the bombs fell in an unprovoked attack by the Japanese Navy, Americans suddenly woke up. Those that opposed the war before the attack, suddenly were able to come to grips with the fact that they were wrong. There were a few that held out, they held out throughout the war and held out until they died. But the vast majority overcame the sin of human pride and began supporting the effort, after a provocative attack designed to both punish and weaken.
Let's read a short account of this by the former mayor of New York City Ed Koch, posted in an essay last July on the site Real Clear Politics. (I recommend reading the whole piece, because it ties in with the point I am trying to make.)
In 1941, when Japan attacked us at Pearl Harbor and Hitler declared war on the U.S. four days later, there were opponents of the Roosevelt policy of supporting the survival of a British government seeking to repel the pending Nazi invasion. Many of them were allied with the America First Committee led by Charles Lindbergh who sought to use anti-Semitism to coalesce the country, blaming the Jews for the world’s ills. Under that umbrella organization, there were Nazi supporters and others who sought to be neutral in what was then clearly becoming a war of civilizations, pitting European and American democracy against fascist totalitarianism.
Did you catch that? Did you catch the part about the war of civilizations? How familiar does that sound?
Let's read on:
The America First Committee dissolved after December 7, 1941, and most of its adherents stood shoulder-to-shoulder against the enemies of the U.S. and Western civilization.
Let's see, they argued against entering the war, in spite of the formidable threat that was openly apparent. They made their cases. FDR listened to them (for a season) and did not act on his intuitions. And then, when America was attacked, they dissolved the America First Committee and rallied around the cause, the cause of victory.
What a generation of Americans and what a generation of statesmen that must have been. To think that they could disagree, but when the chips were down and American men were going into combat, they could put their differences aside and support the cause of victory for the greatest nation that ever graced this planet.
Now, let's bring this up to more recent history. This generation has now seen its "day of infamy", Sept. 11, 2001. On that day, there was an unprovoked attack on the United States of America. Two planes took down the two towers, one hit the Pentagon, and one took out a field on their way to (probably) somewhere in Washington. But what happened, then?
The people and government united and sang kumbaya, for a little while.
The Administration got approval from Congress to remove the Taliban from Afghanistan and begin to disrupt and break up Al Qaeda. They were successful. During this time, the anthrax attacks were going on, people were definitely concerned. So with all of that in mind, you can see how the whole country was thinking at this time, immediately following this "day of infamy". But that wasn't all.
If that wasn't enough, the threat reports were showing Saddam stood a good chance of possessing WMDs. And that's not all, the previous Administration thought he had them too. So, then we faced a quandry that was debated and argued, the measure was put to a vote. What to do, what to do? On one hand do we vote aginst it and risk that he really does have them? Or, do we get rid the world of him, once and for all, removing all doubt? So, the Congress approved it and rolled the dice with the President. Saddam was to disarm/leave or be disarmed/removed. He refused. We kept our word.
Now, there are many who want to go back and change their vote just as we are getting to the point where we can look at a reasonable exit strategy. They do not want to stay the course. They are now screaming "Vietnam", when Vietnam was much more bloody, more dangerous, and without clearcut objectives. If you don't believe me, visit "In The Middle Of America", where the bloghost G, has done some research and posted some contrasts, between Iraq and Vietnam.
They are not rallying around the cause of victory, they want to cut and run. That's what they want for their legacy and their contribution to this country, in this time of danger. For the life of me, I cannot imagine the "Greatest Generation" cutting and running from this fight. I just can't. I cannot imagine that any that opposed WWII before the attack on that "day of infamy" would want to go back and change their vote, either. They wanted to win. They knew that the best way to get their boys back home sooner, was to unite for victory.
So to all WWII veterans and those that stayed home and supported the war effort in the best way you could, I say, "thank all of you for the sacrifices you all made and thank you all for not cutting and running".
Cross-posted at The Wide Awakes
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
You may remember that PYY brought you this story back in October, about Cindy Sheehan threatening to hound Sen. Clinton, if she did not adopt her "bring the troops home now" stance. Well, Hillary did not bow, did not waver, and now must pay the price, according to Mother Sheehan and her group of seditious malcontents. It appears that they are making good on their threat.
From the NY News:
WASHINGTON - Anti-war activists furious with Sen. Hillary Clinton are vowing to bird-dog her everywhere she goes, starting with a swanky Manhattan fund-raiser tonight.
Clinton's letter last week clarifying her position on Iraq - which included rejecting a timetable for withdrawal - fanned the anger of some war opponents, who decided to launch a campaign against New York's junior senator.
"We're calling it Bird-Dog Hillary," said Medea Benjamin of the peace group Codepink.
"I'm so mad at her," said Nancy Kricorian, Codepink's New York City coordinator. "We will dog her wherever she goes."
Both Benjamin and Kricorian are members of Code Pink, a group that has exploited Cindy Sheehan's story at every turn, since August. I must say it will be amusing to see the Clintons being protested and to see their reaction. They are not used to it.
But as you may guess, the MSM probably won't cover it or it will be buried next to the insignificant "filler" stories, that very few people read. Hopefully there will be a creative and industrious blogger that will get the scoop and some photos to go with it.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The proposal was controversial from the beginning: Focus resources on rebuilding New Orleans' less-damaged neighborhoods first and carefully study whether it makes sense to repopulate areas that were flooded the worst.
If all areas were treated the same - that is, if resources were spread thin across vast areas of devastation - planners at the Urban Land Institute said the city would be condemned to a slow, patchwork recovery. Isolated residents would live amid lingering swaths of blight.
Not scattering the work effort makes it easier for logistics purposes. And it keeps costs lower, in the long run. Sounds reasonable, right?
Well. As you might have guessed, not everyone is happy, despite the fact that the plan makes good sense.
But what the planners viewed as logic was dismissed as racism by some local leaders.
"Florida gets hit every year and we never hear the question raised whether or not we need to rebuild the coast of Florida," said Danatus King, president of the New Orleans chapter of the NAACP. "California gets hit with wildfires and mudslides.
"What's the difference between those areas and the areas of New Orleans we're talking about? It's a majority black population and poor population," he said.
Mr. King is definitely confused. That's not it, at all. In fact, he demonstrates the need for better education in basic economics. He is either incapable of processing logical data effectively or he is playing the usual race card for political purposes.
The plan does make sense for a variety of reasons, but the main two are:
It will cost less money to rebuild by concentrating in one or more areas, at a time. Not only that, you damn sure do not want to rebuild the dependent part of town that produces very little in the way of revenue (or labor), before you rebuild that part that does. That section sucked in the money without giving much back, before the flood. If they get rebuilt first, they will do the same thing again. You can't rebuild a city with parasites sucking the life out of your project, at the same time.
It will take less time overall. Have you ever tried to teach a toddler to pick up his/her toys? You go in and see the toys scattered all over, you make them pick it up. What do they do? They pick a toy here and then a toy over there. It takes longer than picking up one area at a time, from one end to another. And so it also goes with massive rebuilding efforts, on a large scale.
If the New Orleans chapter of the NAACP would use their heads, they would see the wisdom, logic, and value of this plan. But to them, it may affect the next election and many of their elected officials could lose power. So they feel, this has to be stopped.
They have been successful in getting elections postponed once. But, it is becoming more and more apparent that it may not help their situation much, anyway. Much of their base lives in the areas in question. Therefore, they want them back only for voting purposes only, no matter how costly it may prove in the log run.
They do not care about New Orleans, nor do they care about the people that they pretend to represent. They only care about their own selfish desires, staying in power is their priority. I mean, let's think about this. The people that are relocated can receive their federal government checks and other perks, in Dallas, in Atlanta, or anywhere for that matter. And they can do it, just as easy as they can in New Orleans. Many may not even want to come back, anyway.
If they rebuild this right, the way the experts have recommended, they stand a much better chance of near complete recovery, much sooner than by catering to the noisemakers and race-card players, of the left. If they don't? It may be years, if ever.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Take our favorite flip-flopping, elitist, thinks-he-knows-it-all snob, Sen. John Kerry, for example. His latest? It seems he has taken upon himself to accuse the military of committing atrocities on innocents, in Iraq. He says he does it for the troops.
He has no proof. He has no documentation. He has nothing but the same old tired inaccurate rhetoric on the same old litany of complaints that lost him an election, and respect. They say history repeats itself. I know that it certainly is reminiscent of his testimony on Capital Hill, during Vietnam.
Then we have the Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean. if you think John Kerry's irresponsible statements are bad, read about what Old Howie had to say on a San Antonio radio station.
Saying the "idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong," Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean predicted today that the Democratic Party will come together on a proposal to withdraw National Guard and Reserve troops immediately, and all US forces within two years.
While troops are in the harm's way, he says this. This is as low as you can go, just short of giving away government secrets.
It is painfully obvious that Mr. Dean has a serious problem with judgement and common sense. I know he graduated medical school, I know he is a doctor, but he is also one of the biggest idiots (right along with John Kerry) that I have ever seen in the political arena, in my life. I have seen no one that can even compare with his stupidity and his recklessness.
This is the leadership of the Democratic Party mind you, not angry twenty something year-olds that have serious issues with their parents and idolize professors like Walt Churchill. These are people that are supposed to be providing leadership to a major political party in the United States of America, not MoveOn.Org cult members that wish we could set up a Soviet Socialist Republic right here in America.
If it is not ignorance, then it must be on purpose. And if it is on purpose, it is treason. At least it is, in my book.
Mr. Clark has been an attorney for many years. It would seem to me that he should know, the best ways to impress any judge do not include questioning the legitimacy of of his/her court. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that it will at very least, seriously irritate him/her, when you do.
But most people that have a minimal amount of cognitive functioning can easily figure out that Mr. Clark was sent in to throw wrenches into the process. Because otherwise, it wasn't going well. This was step one.
Here you have a case of inexperienced lawyers (inexperienced at creating smokescreens, specifically designed to outflank the rule of law) trying to defend a client that is guilty as sin. They really don't have much of a defense. Enter the well experienced conman (er, I mean lawyer) from America (where this kind of thing is a science) to confuse things by deflecting attention from the matter of guilt and innocence, to anything else that is irrelevent.
Can you spell circus?
UPDATE - They changed the link on me because the judge has caved in and allowed the address. As a result, the defense has returned.
Since they have returned, the IHT has changed the article to reflect such. But here is the original article I linked to:
(Baghdad) - Saddam Hussein's defense team walked out of the court Monday after the chief trial judge refused to allow former Attorney General Ramsey Clark to challenge the tribunal's legitimacy in an address to the session.
After the lawyers walked out, Saddam told the judge: ''You are imposing lawyers on us. They are imposed lawyers. The court is imposed by itself. We reject that.''
Clark tried to address the court, saying he needed only two minutes to present his argument. But Chief Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin said the tribunal had been established under the law by an elected Iraqi government and that only Saddam's chief lawyer could address the hearing.
Amin said the defense should submit its motion in writing and warned that if the defense walked out then the court would appoint replacement lawyers.
''We reject the appointment of court employees to defend us,'' Saddam said.
He and his half brother Barazan Ibrahim then chanted ''Long Live Iraq, Long Live the Arab state''
When the judge explained that he was ruling in accordance with the law Saddam replied ''This is a law made by America and does not reflect Iraqi sovereignty.''
A guard tried to calm Ibrahim but he angrily told them to leave him alone.
The defense maintained that the court could not proceed to issues of substance before the matter of legitimacy and other procedural matters were resolved.
Saddam's chief lawyer, Khalil al-Dulaimi, demanded that the court halt its proceedings until the challenged is ruled on. The judge replied that the proceedings must go on while the challenge is being deliberated.
Clark spent about 15 minutes trying to address the ourt, but the judge wouldn't let him, arguing that only Arabic is recognized the language of the court.
'' We will give you enough time to address the court at a suitable time,'' said the judge.
At that point, Saddam snapped: ''The American occupation continues.''
Sunday, December 04, 2005
ATLANTA (AP) -- Barbara Bonseigneur looked to her hometown mayor Saturday for a reason to return to New Orleans and help rebuild the battered city and home she fled ahead of Hurricane Katrina. She didn't get one.
"There is nowhere to buy food or get gas. It's chaotic," said Bonseigneur, 50. "Bringing us back to living in poverty is not a new beginning. How can a city that's broke help New Orleans rebuild?"
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin spoke in Atlanta and pleaded with his former constituents to come home. While most in the frustrated crowd said they were eager to do so, the same question kept coming up: "Home to what?"
That's not surprising. Mayor Nagin does not fail to (at very least) entertain. He certainly isn't leading very well, so he might as well be funny.
Gov. Blanco has just given her okay and now "good old" Ray wants to get his people back. Not wanting to be subtle (it appears that she won't be able to give him forever, to circumvent the democratic process) he hits it, coming right out of the box. The very day after, he shows his desperation to get his base back into town; because he has almost no chance to get re-elected, whatsoever, if they stay away to make new lives for themselves and their families.
But Mayor Nagin isn't the only one that is on the hot seat, a former Louisiana governor is now publicly criticizing Blanco. In fact, as time goes on, we will likely see more and more problems for her, as well as Mayor Ray. The opportunists in both parties will soon be jumping ship, to support anyone that will tell them what they want to hear. And the electorate will gobble it up as gospel.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Gov. Kathleen Blanco agreed Friday to postpone New Orleans' Feb. 4 elections for mayor and City Council for up to eight months because of the damage and dislocation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
(Emphasis in green is mine)
Because they need to get their Democratic "the world owes us a living" electorate back, so they can vote to keep them in power.
Never mind that the whole bunch failed its citizenry miserably and managed to deflect responsibility onto everyone else, but themselves. Never mind those buses sat in a parking lot and could have been used to evacuate, if only the Mayor would have commanded it, to be so.
But the more I think about it, an extra few months won't make that big of a difference. This bunch will be out, anyway and they will be replaced by an equally incompetent bunch of leaders that will screw other things up, for other reasons. They will extort their bribes and peddle their influence, just like all past New Orleans governments have.
Solomon once said, "There is no new thing under the sun". I am inclined to believe that, in this case.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Mark has several links, so check it out.
Give it a look.
If this is true and does come to pass, let me just say this:
I do not watch the Today Show and I do not watch the CBS Evening News. So, if Couric makes the switch, I won't give a rat's derriere. I will not watch either, so neither show will gain nor lose a viewer.
However, with that said, I think this will be a match made in Heaven. Leftist news organization hires leftist news anchor, what more could be hoped for?. It should work out, just fine. The only question that remains is, would she become a contributor to 60 Minutes? If so, then she would really have an opportunity to spread her leftist agenda.
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader
"After nearly 1,000 days of war in Iraq, our troops, their families, and the American people deserve more than just a Bush-Cheney public relations campaign. They deserve a clear strategy with military, economic and political measures to be met in order to successfully complete our mission."
Like what Harry? A timetable for withdrawal? There's much more to a strategy than withdrawal and broadcasting it is NOT good strategy. But, that's all the Dems can come up with. They have no other ideas about how to attain victory. From the minority leader on down, they are clueless.
Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI)
"It's a step back. The only new thing the administration gave the American people was a glossy 35-page pamphlet filled with the same rhetoric we've all heard before. This is not a strategy, and it certainly is not a plan to complete the military mission in Iraq."
Again, no alternative strategy. No ideas. Just a criticism of what Russ perceives as a "lack" of strategy.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)
"It's going to take more than one speech to restore the credibility gap that the president is suffering. ... The president has not been candid in the last two and a half years with the American people about the situation in Iraq."
Yes, Jack is right.
The left makes numerous speeches daily that get covered heavily by the MSM. These are speeches that are primarily aimed at discrediting the reasons we went to war and the President, himself. It will take many more speeches by the President and his people, to counter the lies and distortions of the anti-American left. Jack hit the nail right on the head with that one, though I seriously doubt he meant to be right.
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
"The truth is that the president draws a false line in trying to make his case to America. The troops don't belong to his point of view, they belong to America ... and the best way to protect the troops, the best way to stand up for the troops is to provide the best policy for success."
John is at it again. He lost this argument in 2004, but he is a glutton for losing in the arena of intelligent discourse. For John and those leftists that are having a hard time understanding this, I will try to help.
President Bush won the election. The President has a GOP led Congress. They are entitled to run the country as they see fit. John has the right to criticize it. But, it's pretty much a rule of thumb that you don't get to run the country, if you lose elections. Therefore, the troops don't belong to John's point of view, because his point of view lost the last election. Those are the rules. They were made up many years ago.
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
"I think it really failed to respond to what the American people want and which they deserve. ... I think what they saw sort of lipstick put on to the old administration's plan. It wasn't really anything new - same kind of rhetoric."
Does anyone really care what a drunken sot has to say? I know that I don't.
Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO)
"The president's speech in Annapolis today was a step in the right direction, and it begins to address the Senate's call for a successful exit strategy with measurable benchmarks. I look forward to hearing more, including information about the specific benchmarks we expect to achieve, and when we expect to achieve them."
Finally. Something positive about the situation, from a Democrat. But sadly enough, there is nowhere near enough sensible Democrats, like him. How many elections will they have to lose, before they realize that campaigning against something, without introducing viable alternatives, is a useless tactic?
China (host of the 2008 Olympics, Security Council Member, and Clinton financiers) is being accused of, not just torture, but WIDESPREAD torture. The surprising thing is, it is Manfred Nowak, the U.N. Human Rights Commission's special investigator on torture who is saying this.
Let's look at this in perspective.
Here is a nation, that does not allow dissent. Their Maoist history is still a big influence in today's political climate and Maoism is not exactly the model of democracy and freedom.This is a case of, Chinese torturing Chinese. This didn't just start happening. Yet, they were welcomed with open arms to the Security Council, in spite of this fact.
Europe and the Europhilic leftists in the U.S., are having a collective royal cow about Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and the possibility that secret camps were housing bad guys (in Europe), bad guys that are seriously intent on hurting the United States of America. There is no WIDESPREAD torture of Americans by Americans. If there was Michael Moore would be in jail and yelling uncle. Yet, we continue to take the heat as if we were the poster child of human rights abuse, while this is (and has been) going on, for a long time.
Europe needs to consider this of their newly found friends on the opposite end of their land mass, before making such a flap about things that happen during the course of a war. If they really want to be the champions of human rights, they need to look at things a little more on the side of fairness and good judgement, instead of their own selfish, self-interests.