Ahhh...such a demonstration of respect for our country. By all means, continue to break our laws by illegally infiltrating into our country.
I've been reluctant to cover this topic becasue I'm not looking forward to being labeled a racist or a xenophobe, but what happened the other day requires my attention. In a public California High School, the Mexican flag was raised in an apparent expression of solidarity with the peoples of the sovereign nation of Mexico. If that was not enough of an insult to the United States, the American flag was raised upside down underneath it. Yes, we get the message. Mexico:good, America:bad. You will not see images like this on MSNBC.com for example. The mainstream media doesn't really want anyone to see this side of the current "immigrant rights" debate. Of course, "immigrant rights" advocates should really be called "illegal immigration” advocates and “undocumented alien” is politically correct code for "illegal alien". Conflating the last two terms is like driving without a license and then being pulled over by a cop and saying” I’m not driving illegally without a license officer, I’m just an ‘undocumented’ driver.” Then the cop would say, "Oh I see, you’re just 'undocumented' not illegal…OK please go about your business, you’re free to go.” And I love the last picture here. Thanks for the history lesson. At least this picture makes it clear that many illegal aliens have no interest in becoming a part of this country and making it better, as the apologists would have you believe. I refer the apologist to the last picture I have here. You cannot tell me that the people depicted here consider themselves to be American in any way. Clearly they see themselves as subjects of the sovereign nation of Mexico. What term describes when peoples from one sovereign state move in and occupy a neighboring sovereign state? I believe the correct term is: Invasion. If illegal aliens want to stick with the argument that America has unjustly occupied parts of Mexico and that they are now redressing the matter, then they are forced to admit that they have no interest in becoming American. That's how logic works people...it's either one or the other stance. Are you a Mexican or are you an American?
March 25, 2006
Hundreds of thousands of “Students” have been protesting in the streets of France attempting to make sure that the status quo stays firmly in place. They are not advocating some new radical social policy, protesting human rights abuses, or any anything else so lofty. They are protesting new legislation which would make it easier for French employers to fire an employee, which currently is nearly an impossibility. Under the news laws, there is a possibility that a French employee would not have a guaranteed job with the same company for life.
In a country with 10 percent unemployment and a growing and obviously discontented Muslim minority population who essentially are not allowed to participate in the French job market, you would think that the populace would wise up and allow their government to take steps to rectify the situation, as this new legislation is attemping to do. In France, no such luck. Protesting and the flipping of cars seems to be France’s national pastime at this point. The average person on the street seems to be of the mindset, “protest first, ask questions later.” In France, if you are one of the 75% of people with a good job guaranteed for life regardless of your ability to carry out said job, then everything for you is fine. As a result, French employers are actually less likely to even hire new employees, or as many employees because once a person is hired it is nearly impossible to fire them regardless of their job performance, proficiency, or competence. I can see why there is an emotional knee jerk response to want to see that the status quo stays firmly in place because, no one wants to be out of a job. But beyond the surface, eventually there has to be the realization that an open, performance based job market is more beneficial to the French economy because it allows French businesses to be more competitive with businesses overseas who are not hamstrung by and beholden to a paternalistic “cradle to grave” government which makes sure that most of its citizenry has a guaranteed job for life at the expense of its own global economic competitiveness.
For the moment at least, it appears as though the romance of protesting against the French government has won out over logical and prudential policy, which is what happens when a country fails to embrace capitalism and instead clings to the tenets of “cradle to grave” leftist thought and the flawed principles of socialism.
March 22, 2006
Today in West Virginia President Bush delivered a speech in which he went into greater detail about the thought process behind our efforts In Iraq. After the speech, he took questions from the audience. This was the third Q & A session in as many days that the President has conducted.
For whatever reason, the American public, almost on a daily basis at this point, needs to have it explained to them; what is going on in Iraq, and why we are doing what we are doing. For better or worse, I actually agree with what an audience member pointed out; that this is what Bush needs to do. He has to continue to pound the message home by explaining the nuts and bolts of what is ocurring in Iraq as well as, and perhaps more importantly, explaining his overall big picture philosophy on achieving our objectives in the war on terror and beyond.
Yesterday we had the Bush and Helen Thomas press conference sparring session and today, a rousing speech. The Anti-Bush forces have their tired, incorrect, talking points such as declaring that Iraq had absolutely no connections to Al Qaeda (which Stephen Hayes has proven is categorically untrue) and to counter this constant pessimistic, doom and gloom drumbeat, Bush will have to constantly present his own talking points, of which there are many. If Bush explains his rationale on a daily basis as he has been doing, support for our efforts in Iraq will increase. Lately, he has been doing a good job on this front. As Bush pointed out, the enemy in Iraq cannot defeat us militarily, thier only hope is either to drive Iraq into civil war or wait for American resolve to crumble. For his part, we at least know that it won't be the President's resolve that will crumble. Today Bush presented his arguments in a clear and logical manner, not leaving any room for ambiquiity. The President's straightforward approach to all of this speaks to his 'transparency'. If Americans take the time to listen to what he is saying, then they will learn exactly what Bush's rationale and thought process is. Bush himself spoke of transparency when addressing why India should be allowed to posses nuclear technology and Iran should not. On this also, he made clear and logical argument. He said:
“My attitude is that over 30 years they [India] have proven themselves to be a non-proliferator, that they're a transparent democracy, that it's in our interest for them to develop nuclear power to help their economy grow. On the other hand, Iran should never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. Their Government is not transparent and they're certainly not a democracy. They're sponsors of terrorism and they have violated safeguards imposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
He went on:
"They [Iran] have joined the IAEA, and yet we caught them cheating and they weren't upholding their agreements and they started to try to enrich uranium in order to develop a nuclear weapons program.”
In another interesting moment during the Q & A session following the speech, I felt a chill when an audience member said, “I have two sons serving in the military… and I Thank God that you are our commander in chief!” which encouraged a standing ovation. This particular audience member went on to express a sentiment that has been on the minds of many patriotic Americans: that Bush needs to continue to engage the public in a discussion about our efforts in Iraq, like he has been doing recently. Not so much a progress report, but a daily pounding into the stubborn minds of those who fail to understand what we are doing in Iraq; what it is that we are doing, why we are doing it, and that our efforts there represent a just and necessary cause.
March 20, 2006
Yesterday, On ABC’s “This Week ” with George Stephanopoulos, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who the Washington Post accurately describes as “A frequent critic of the administration”, said the following:
“I think it's important that we stop this talk about we're not going to leave until we achieve victory. Well, what is victory? We achieved victory, Saddam's gone, the Iraqis have a constitution, they had an election, it's now up to them.”
I’m inclined to agree with this assessment of the conflict in Iraq, which implies that the war in Iraq ended when Saddam was removed. By saying "we achieved victory" Chuck Hagel brings up an interesting point, which is: should we even consider the current conflict as "The War In Iraq"? And moreover, does it even really matter what label is applied to the conflict? And for the record, calling the Iraq conflict a war or not does in no way diminish the efforts of our troopers who are toiling there.
Then there is the matter of “civil war” in Iraq which has been bandied about quite often lately. To start, The Bush Administration is certainly not willing to concede that Iraq is in the grip of civil war. Civil strife perhaps, but not war. On the other hand, Iraq’s interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, a man to be respected to be sure, on Sunday’s BBC “AM Programme” suggested that there is no other way to describe the sectarian violence that is going on in Iraq other than calling it a civil war. He said:
"It is unfortunate that we are in civil war. We are losing each day as an average 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more. If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is."
On the aforementioned ABC Sunday show, Senator Hagel seemed to agree with Allawi’s assertions when he said:
"I think prime minister -- the former prime minister is correct. I think we have had a low-grade civil war going on in Iraq, certainly the last six months, maybe the last year. Our own generals have told me that privately, George [Stephanopoulos]. So that's a fact.”
But what kind of, and how widespread is, this 'civil war' if it does indeed exist? From my understanding, Iraq is a Nation of some 25 million plus persons. Of which, only a small minority are involved in or want to be part of, a civil war. If the millions of persons in Iraq were to want a civil war, then the 135 thousand troops we have there could hardly prevent it. In reality, it is only the terrorists who desire civil war and the recent violence can hardly be desribed as anything approaching a "full scale" civil war. Whatever the case, I don’t think it is fair to say that we are at war with Iraq and that Iraq is involved in a civil war. It seems to me that either one or the other is true. Possibly neither label is truly appropriate.
Perhaps relying on the application of such terms as ‘war’ or ‘civil war’, in order to measure success is not a worthwhile exercise because; how we define what is transpiring in Iraq, in and of itself , does not do anything to advance our overall objectives in the region. For example, those who are opposed to our efforts in Iraq seem to want to say, “Aha, Iraq has devolved into civil war and therefore we should pull out.” Or “…therefore we should have never gone in.” Applying these sorts of artificial and arbitrary benchmarks and labels of “civil war” or “war” are not helpful in our efforts. Even defining a “victory” in the classical sense, seems to me to be painting ourselves into a corner unnecessarily.
In the end, people can go ahead and apply whatever terms they want to the conflict in Iraq, but the fact remains that we are invested in the country and region, and that one way or another we have to see this thing through. If humanitarian concerns are somehow not enough of a reason to see the situation through, then certainly all can agree that stability in Iraq would go a long way towards achieving our overarching objectives in the war on terror. Therefore, it is incumbent upon Americans who would like to see us make progress in the war on terror to support our President and our Nation's efforts to help stabilize, and hopefully one day bring a free society and peace to, the country known as Iraq.
March 17, 2006
1. Hold glass at a 45 degree angle to the tap.
2. Pull handle to the full horizontal position.
3. Fill glass until 3/4 full. (The Pour.)
4. Allow the Guinness to settle completely. (The Cascade.)
6. The head should rise just proud of the rim. (The Presentation....)
Raise, enjoy, and repeat.
Happy St. Patrick's Day
March 15, 2006
Harry Reid and Dick Durban seen here “conferring” with Wisconsin Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, who on Monday proposed a resolution calling for the censure of President Bush because of his involvement in the NSA wiretapping “controversy”. The measure has yet to even elicit much of a response from Democrats much less anything approaching public support. This whole business is helping to reveal the true colors of most Democrats (in Congress). It seemes very much as if they are ruled strictly by public opinion polling data, not by principle. As was the case with the Dubai Ports Issue, if senators would take a second to convince the American public of the merits of a subject before parroting negative mainstream media reporting and blindly following flash public opinion polls, then it would at least appear as though Congress is the group of decision makers that we pay them to be. Yes, Congress is charged with representing the views of the people, but the average man on the street does not have the time to do all of the intensive research that major policy decisions should involve. I believe that this “reading of the fine print” on an issue, is the job of Congress. Being accountable to the voters and blindly following their uninformed lead are two very different things. Such is the case with Feingold’s proposal. Democrats are looking at polling data which suggests that the majority of Americans are in favor of the President’s wiretapping approval and a conscious decision is made to not to be associated with an effort to censure the President for this matter. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post reports brilliantly on just how talkative prominent Democrats were today when asked about Feingold’s resolution. The answer: Not very. John Kerry even had a flip-flop-esque moment when he rushed by reporters claiming not to have the time to address the matter only to be stopped a few footsteps later by a security procedure queue where he had nothing but time, while he waited in line. Chuck Schumer, who has been so talkative lately, also had no comment. Like all other Democrats in Congress (except Feingold) apparently, Schumer's position on the wiretapping issue is contingent on the whimsical results of the latest flash public opinion polls and whatever stance is politically expedient in an election year.
I actually applaud Feingold for taking a principled (albeit wrong) stance on the matter. Will the real liberal please stand up? Finally, a liberal who can stand up and be counted as such. Perhaps Feingold can teach the rest of his Democratic brethren that there is more to public office than political expediency. That means you, Hilary!
March 10, 2006
The Dubai Ports Issue is officially over.
Of course Democrats, lead by Chuck Schumer, will try to beat this dead horse in an effort to prove that somehow they are the true terror warriors. Memo to Chuck: no one's buying it. American voters didn't fall off the goddamn turnip truck yesterday. It is going to take more than slapping a moderate Arab government in the face to prove that it is the Democrats, not Republicans that are strong on defense. How short do they imagine our memory is? The Democratic turn around on national security has been nothing less than amazing. It will be interesting to see how things play out. Will Democrats actually from now on be "tough on terror", or will they default to their natural position of expanding the rights of terrorists and generally hampering America's anti-terror efforts?
Questions like this arise when a political party is governed not by core principles, rather by the tenets of political expediency. For example, are Democrats now fans of wiretapping possible terrorists? Or are they against that anti terror measure? Now that the ports issue is over, we will undoubtedly see Democrats move on to the next issue that they imagine they can bash Bush over the head with, which will probably be the NSA wiretapping “controversy”. I wonder, does anyone on the left care about logical consistency or are they all so single-mindedly aligned to bash Bush and conservatives that logic itself has no bearing on their position? Chuck Schumer thinks he’s so slick, yet in reality he is nothing more than a Sophist. As a competent lawyer with an agenda, he simply advocates whatever position that he imagines is politically expedient. Schumer is the ultimate example of a philosopher-politician. The result: Sophistry. No core principles, no logical consistency. For the rest of us non-sophists, let me get this straight; Democrats are all of sudden averse to doing business with Arabs yet they have been endlessly preaching that Bush should be making allies in the region and not acting unilaterally. Or was that just last week’s battle cry? Again, I can’t help but wonder, why do we even bother even trying to apply logical analysis to Democratic stances on issues? The Democratic party's mentality on issues at this point has become so tedious that I almost wish we could just ignore them and they would go away. And as someone who enjoys logical debate, I actually wish they had a substantive stance on any issue.
March 06, 2006
I would love to ask this hack passing himself off as a high school geography teacher, to point out, where in the transcript of The State Of The Union Address does Bush say, "It is our duty as Americans to use the military to go out in the world and make the world like us."
Among other perversions, this is what teacher Jay Bennish is heard relating as fact to his 10th grade geography class on a tape made by an enterprising student.
After “quoting” President Bush, Bennish goes on to say, “Sounds a lot like what Adolph Hitler used to say."
Ahhh… the good old straw man argument. Yes, If Bush had actually said this, then it might have sounded reminiscent of Hitler.
Is this cretin referring to this, particularly stirring, passage of the speech?
“Lacking the military strength to challenge us directly, the terrorists have chosen the weapon of fear. When they murder children at a school in Beslan, or blow up commuters in London, or behead a bound captive, the terrorists hope these horrors will break our will, allowing the violent to inherit the Earth. But they have miscalculated: We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it.” -President Bush
Yes, very Hitlerish I’m sure. Liberals like this teacher are so blinded by ideology that it appears that they are incapable of comprehending the English language fully. Either that, or this jerk is purposefully misconstruing what our Commander-In-Chief has said in order to prove some sort of Michael Moore-ish political point about how America is the primary force of evil in the world.
Most bloggers, who by nature are not accountable to anyone generally, much less the taxpayer, have a much higher standard of veracity than this twit, who is doing his best to indoctrinate 16 year old kids. What a disgrace.
March 01, 2006
There is a new development which results in further complication of the Dubai ports deal. Apparently the UAE is participating in an Arab league Boycott of Israel. The Anti-Defamation League has asked the President to torpedo this deal because of this new development. Also, US law prohibits any American company from "taking action that supports this boycott". This could be the final nail in the proverbial coffin for this deal. The one saving grace is that while the UAE, owners of Dubai ports world, participates in the boycott, the company itself does not. The company itself does business with Israel and the boycott only applies to goods shipped to Dubai.
But hold on a minute. I don't see this development as a bad thing necessarily. This could be just the legitimate reason (that the international community might respect) that we need to back out of this deal. There is a difference, of course, between being in favor of allowing this deal to go forward at this point in time, and being in favor of the deal itself. President Bush, for his part, has made it clear that at least he is not in favor of scuttling the deal based solely on the fact that it is the United Arab Emirates that we are doing business with. But can't he make the case that his hands are tied by current US law? We'll see what happens, but if allowing this deal to go forward violates current US law it seems to me to be an open and shut case, and therefore no deal. Unless The UAE revises or re-evaluates its hateful boycott of Israel there may be no reconciling this new development. I'll be interested to see what Charles Krauthhammer thinks about this new development. I have come out in favor of this deal moving forward because I think that it would be an international relations disaster and would fan the flames of anti-American sentiment in the Arab world to deny a company business basically because they are Arabs but, with this new development, perhaps we have a legitimate way out of this deal that no one seems terribly comfortable with anyway.