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Right Intention: December 2004

Thursday, December 30, 2004

American Generosity

I've been watching CNN a lot the last couple of days. As viewers of the show know, in the morning hours they have a "question of the day" where they ask a question of the viewing audience and invite them to respond via e-mail, some of which CNN reads on air during the course of the show.

The last two days CNN has asked viewers what responsibility does the US have in situations like the recent tsunami disaster. This is a particularly sensitive subject given the recent accusation of being "stingy" by the UN. The replies that CNN chose to read on the air clearly appalled the anchors. Almost all were a variation of "why should we help, they hate us anyway?" or "no one helped us after 9/11 or the Florida hurricanes, so why should we help them?". A number of times after reading an e-mail response the anchor was visibly upset, and started pleading into the camera on why Americans should be generous. I have no idea what percentage of e-mails of this type were of the whole CNN received as they did not say. But these are the responses CNN chose to air.

After watching this for a while, I sent in my own response. Here it is:

You may or may not read this on the air, but I hope you read this.

First, I believe we should help the tsunami victims as much as we possibly can.

That said, you need to understand the frustration of those letter writers you've been reading on the air.

The US is by far the most generous country the world has ever known. Regardless of the disaster, the US is there to help. Often providing help in multiples of all other countries combined. We give more in government aid than anyone else. We give more in private aid than anyone else. We use our military to keep the sea lanes open for free. And so forth.

And what do we get for it? Not even a thank you. In fact, our generosity is simply expected from the rest of the world at this point. And if the aid is an hour or two to slow in coming, we are accused of being "stingy". Not only is our generosity no longer appreciated, we are in fact hated despite our generosity.

Why does the rest of the world hate the US so much? Who knows? But its a fact. And many Americans see no reason for it, particularly given our generosity. The mindless, non stop, hatred of the US as espoused by foreign governments, foreign media, and foreign citizens is wearing on the American psyche. This hatred is not new, but has been noticed more by your average American since 9/11 as we try to search for the reasons behind the attack and finally start to pay attention to what others think about our country. This is leading to a backlash. Why should we continually help those who hate us? What's the point?

This is what you are seeing in those e-mails you are reading on air. A backlash against anti Americanism.

Now, you can agree or disagree whether this backlash is warranted, or even if we brought it on ourselves. But what you are seeing is a backlash, I promise you. And the quicker the anti American induced backlash is recognized, the better off the world will be. Because it will only get worse.

RD
NYC


It's my theory, anyway. But I feel confident that I'm right. And if I'm right, this backlash will manifest in much more dangerous ways in the future. I wonder if the world truly understands what's at stake if America decides to withdraw and stops its generousity? It's clear the world does not understand, but if it keeps up the anti Americanism, it will get a chance to find out.

Bush Caused Tsunami

Polipundit found great satire at BlameBush:

Bush's Lust for Oil Claims 24,000 More Lives

Overcome with emotion, I watched the TV images of the horrible death and destruction in South Asia in stunned silence. Just when I thought I wouldn't have anything to blog about upon returning from my vacation, VOILA! Bush steps in and wipes out 23,000 innocent lives.

Obviously the tsunami situation is not a laughing matter. But the fact that there is a dedicated set of humanity that tries to blame all things bad on Bush, including this tsunami, is amazing.


Diplomad in Tsunami Region

The Diplomad has revealed he is a diplomat in one of the areas affected by the tsunami. He is in a good position to assess the real state of the relief efforts.

Let's start with the last citation, the one from the UN. I can tell you, dear readers, that I am temporarily working in one of the countries that got slammed hard by the tsunami and while the UN effort might be in high gear, it must have its parking brake on. No sign of that effort here! Lots of bureaucrats flying in and out, but that's about it.

Hmmm. Someone actually there and on the ground helping people seems unimpressed by the UN's efforts.

Left = Dinosaur

Victor Davis Hanson has another good one out today:

What has happened? Sometime around the 1980s, the Right saw the demise of the Soviet Union as an opportunity to evolve beyond realpolitik to promote not just anti-Communism but grassroots democracy, coupled with free-market globalism from Eastern Europe to Latin America and Asia. In contrast, the hard Left stayed in its knee-jerk suspicion of the West and continued to give a pass to authoritarians from Cuba to Iran who professed socialism, thinking that the world was a static zero-sum game in which somebody's gain spelled another's loss — oblivious that real wealth could be created by a change of mentality and technology and not mere exploitation...

...Quit idolizing Europe. It was a far larger arms merchant to Saddam than was the United States; it supplied most of Dr. Khan’s nuclear laboratory; it financed much of the Oil-for-Food scandal; and it helped to create and tolerate the Balkans genocide. It has never freed any country or intervened to remove fascism and leave behind democracy — silly American notions that are to be caricatured except when it is a matter of saving Europeans.


Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Media Humor

From Powerline I found this. Hilarious. You know, I totally believe conversations like this happen all the time at major newspapers and the networks. Whenever there is a negative event in the world, the media looks for a way to tie it to Bush.

They had already posted an editorial on the disaster in Tuesday's edition, but it was nothing more than standard sympathy coupled with calls for more comprehensive warning systems. Now, with the death toll increasing by the hour, It was clear that this was turning into something monumental. A new editorial needed to be written. This time blame was to be assigned. But connecting the dots was proving difficult.

"There's got to be a connection we can make!" Shouted Jim Boyd, the Deputy Editor.

"If it was atmospheric, it would be a no-brainer" Managing Editor Scott Gillespie replied, "just yell 'Kyoto' and it's a done deal."

"But, this is geological. I mean, as evil as he is, I don't think even he had anything to do with this one. But no way are we going to let him off the hook." said Jim.

"Oh, no, we won't. But it's pretty clear we have to come up with an angle that makes sense." Scott answered. "Is there anything the U.S. has been doing in the last four years that could have caused a seismic disturbance of this caliber?"

Hugh Hewitt on Media Bias

Good article by Hugh Hewitt on the origins and results of media bias.

For many generations, Big Media represented the interests of the dominant political and business elites. Men like Henry Luce and William Paley represented that tradition.

Some of those interests were repugnant, especially those behind segregation. With the arrival of the civil rights movement, journalism slowly began to reform itself and to work overtime to represent underrepresented political and social points of view. There developed a great tolerance for viewpoints and perspectives from ideological minorities, and a great hunger to represent those views not only in the media product but also in the media workforces. First opposition to the Vietnam war and then the hunting of Richard Nixon accelerated this trend, so that old media quickly evolved into a fortress of "oppositional" reporting and personnel.

The new recruits to big journalism and their mentors did not work overtime to assure that, in the elevation of tolerance of ideological minorities, there would remain representation of majoritarian points of view. In fact, majoritarian points of view became suspect, and the focus of pervasive hostile reporting and analysis. Crusading journalists seemed to be an ideological pack. By the time the new millennium arrived, legacy media was populated at its elite levels by as homogeneous a group of reporters / producers / commentators as could ever have been assembled from the newsrooms of the old Hearst operation. Big Media had hired itself into a rut--a self-replicating echo chamber of left and further-left scribblers and talkers and self-reinforcing head nodders who were overwhelmingly anti-Republican, anti-Christian, anti-military, anti-wealth, anti-business, and even anti-middle class. These new journalists had no tolerance for majoritarian points of view, and the gap between the producers of the news and the consumers of the news widened until the credibility gap between the two made Lyndon Johnson's look modest by comparison.


It's a good read. But what I find interesting is the response of the liberal media to the obvious bias problem. In many ways, it reminds me of the response of Democrats to their election losses.

Both blame everyone but themselves. Democrats think all those who didn't vote for them are right wing bigots. The MSM blames non-liberal media and blogs for its declining ratings.

Both have views that are out of the mainstream and way to the left of their audience.

And both are resisting reform. Democrats are showing almost no signs of fundamentally reassessing their ideas and are instead hiring linguists to simply make their old ideas sound better. The MSM refuses to acknowledge its bias, and are instead making noises about how blogs should be regulated and looking for legal relief. The MSM doesn't believe its bias is a problem. Interesting.

Iraqi Elections

Good article by Ralph Peters on the importance of holding the Iraqi elections on time:

MONDAY'S message from Osama bin Laden told us what he fears: a vote.
Condemning any Iraqi who goes to the polls as an infidel, the terror master hopes to derail the elections. He knows that every ballot cast is a defeat.

Anyone who dismisses the importance of the upcoming Iraqi elections need only listen to Monsieur bin Laden's urgent plea for a boycott. Osama praised the atrocities of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a hands-on executioner, and welcomed his collaboration in efforts to block the balloting.

Tsunami

The devastating effects of the tsunami are almost too much for the mind to grasp. The current death totals are now 70,000 and will surely climb higher. And once the aftereffects of disease and whatever else are factored in, the number will likely double or triple. Unbelievable. And yet, even if the final toll is 200,000, which seems quite possible, that represents just 1/5 of the total that were brutally murdered in Rwanda in one month.. Yet I don't remember this type of intense media coverage and outcry when the Rwanda genocide happened a decade ago. Obviously the event was covered, and people knew it was happening, but I don't remember this type of focus. I could be wrong. But the reason I made this connection is because my wife made a great observation this morning, which I think is true. She said its interesting how the cruelty of nature seems to bother people much more than the cruelty of man. Which is odd because we can actually do something about man's cruelty while we can do little about nature's cruelty. Interesting thought.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Seals Sue AP

Little Green Footballs found an article that will make your blood boil:

NEW YORK Six Navy SEALs and two of their wives filed a lawsuit against The Associated Press and one of its reporters today for allegedly revealing their identities in photos published in early December, according to a press release from the plaintiffs.

The complaint, filed in California Superior Court, alleges that AP reporter Seth Hettena obtained a photograph in a personal Web site maintained by one of the wives of the Navy SEALs, which contains personal photographs.


The reckless disregard the media showed for the safety of these Seals is stunning.

Liberals & the Military

This article speculates on something I been wondering about for a while.

By a margin of 80-19, Democrats now say they oppose the decision to go to war. The margin among Republicans is exactly the reverse: 80 percent of GOPers support the war, while 19 percent disapprove.

This is not only a partisan divide. It's a cultural divide. As the year 2004 ends, the rank and file of the Democratic Party has turned decisively and profoundly against the military effort in Iraq. And there is reason to believe it won't be long before they turn on the military as well.

Throughout the year, Democratic politicians have been trying to split the difference with the military — saying they support the troops while opposing the war. But that kind of sophistry won't stand.

The military wants to fight this war. Democrats don't. How long before Democrats decide that our men and women in uniform are just extensions of the president and party they detest — a bunch of warmongering, bloodthirsty and stupid imperialists?


Podhoretz is being too generous. The Left does not support the military, has not supported the military, and will never support the military. The only exception in the recent past was for a month or two after 9/11, when liberals sensed their own lives were in danger. Since then, their hatred of the military has been slowly creeping back into their public statements. It's only going to get worse.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Cynthia Mckinney, an Embarrassment for Democrats

The Weekly Standard has a piece out on Cynthia Mckinney, a Democratic representative from Georgia who won back her congressional seat after losing it in 2002. Normal people consider her a complete nutjob that spouts off bizarre conspiracy theories about the Bush administration. And a responsible political party would consider her a complete embarrassment and distance themselves from her. Unfortunately, my former party has gone in the other direction and now openly embraces her whacked out theories. She's the Black female equivalent of Michael Moore. See if any of this sounds familiar:

"We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September 11," McKinney said that day. "What did this administration know and when did it know it, about the events of September 11? Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered? What do they have to hide?" McKinney thought she knew the answer. "What is undeniable," she explained, "is that corporations close to the administration have directly benefited from the increased defense spending arising from the aftermath of September 11th."

These remarks were the cause of her losing her seat in 2002, back when the wounds of 9/11 were still fresh and before my former party lost its collective mind. Now the idea that Bush somehow orchestrated 9/11 is the considered opinion of a huge portion of the Democratic party.

A few weeks after the conference, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, which glibly hints at possible government foreknowledge of the terrorist attacks, was screened for the Senate Democratic caucus at the Uptown Theater in Washington. The film received a standing ovation.

This is one of many reasons I want little to do with today's Democratic party.

2004 Year in Review

From Andrew Sullivan's site I found Dave Barry's 2004 year in review. Here are some snippets:

Meanwhile, in another blow to the U.S.-led coalition effort in Iraq, Spain withdraws its troop, Sgt. Juan Hernandez. As violence in Iraq escalates, critics of the Bush administration charge that there are not enough U.S. soldiers over there. Administration officials heatedly deny this, arguing that the real problem is that there are too many Iraqis over there....

...With more bad news coming from Iraq, and Americans citing terrorism and health care as their major concerns, the news media continue their laser-beam focus on the early 1970s. Dan Rather leads the charge with a report on CBS's "60 Minutes" citing a memo, allegedly written in 1972, suggesting that Bush shirked his National Guard duty. Critics charge that the memo is a fake, pointing out that at one point it specifically mentions the 2003 Outkast hit "Hey Ya."...

Fashion Faux Pas

From Neal Boortz I found a new, hilarious site. It's commentary on fashion faux pas of celebrities. Cattiness is taken to a whole new level. It's great!

Democratic Steps in 2004

Ralph Peters wrote an excellent essay on elections that took place around the world in 2004:

Democracy works. It doesn't work all of the time, and it doesn't work everywhere instantly. Sometimes the largest tribe wins and believes it has a mandate to oppress minorities. Sometimes the people choose the hater, not the man of hope. Sometimes the thugs get away with stealing the election.

But consider where this world of ours stood 50 years ago. Or 15 years ago. Or even in 2003. Democracy's march is long, hard and painful. But humankind stepped forward in 2004.




Democrats No Longer Party of Change

Michael Barone nails one of the reasons Democrats lost. The party has ceded important ground to the Republicans. Not only have Democrats given the center to Republicans, but it is no longer seen as the party of change. This past election, Democrats were much more interested in fighting past battles and defending old concepts as opposed to looking to the future. I haven't seen an article yet that shows Democrats get this. I'm sure there is one out these somewhere, but I haven't seen it.

Once upon a time, liberals were the folks who wanted to change society. They thought existing institutions were unjust and that individuals needed protection against the workings of the market. They looked forward to a society that would be different.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

A Different View of the Iraq Situation

I didn't look at Strategypage today. Fortunately, Instapundit did:

The government understands that they will prevail, but are uncertain about how many more people will die from terrorist attacks before Baath and al Qaeda are crushed. The terrorists have allies in the foreign media, who label the terrorists as nationalistic insurgents. The media portrays the terrorists as having some kind of chance of taking over. But with 80 percent of the population (the Kurds and Shia Arabs) dead set against Baath and al Qaeda (for many reasons), and the Sunni Arabs resisting the terror as well, it's difficult to see how anyone with a sense of history, or a knowledge of basic math, can fall for that.

Fundraising Transgression

This is not cool.

The College Republican National Committee is under fire for using front organizations to collect millions of dollars in contributions, including money from elderly people with dementia....

...Many donors complained that they thought the money was going directly to the Republican Party, and not to the college group, which no longer is affiliated with the GOP. The controversy over the letters has produced angry responses from leaders of state College Republican chapters, including those in Washington state, North Carolina and New York.


This is pretty minor in the big scheme of things. I highly doubt this will become a media feeding frenzy. But it was still a stupid thing to do. And it demonstrates yet again the disproportionate amount of attention any Republican transgression is likely to receive from the MSM. Something like this from Democrats would never generate a single story.

Friday, December 24, 2004

The Daily Demarche

Excellent commentary at The Daily Demarche this morning:

Political liberalism, a belief system whose tenets I have always held dear, has been dying a slow death within me since 9/11. The values of liberalism that I have always cherished, that I have always regarded as the lodestar of my personal life, included such worthy concepts as respect for individual rights and for freedom of choice. A liberal, in my comprehension, stood for the rights of all people to achieve what they could do. Liberals supported the rights of women, minorities, and homosexuals to live ordinary lives free from oppression by either government or society. Liberals opposed communism because it oppressed the common man under the guise of struggling for his salvation. Liberals believed that, given the freedom and the opportunity, men and women would strive to better themselves.

Watch Out, Syria

It's about frickin' time.

The US is contemplating incursions into Syrian territory in an attempt to kill or capture Iraqi Ba'athists who, it believes, are directing at least part of the attacks against US targets in Iraq, a senior administration official told The Jerusalem Post.

The official said that fresh sanctions are likely to be implemented, but added that the US needs to be more "aggressive" after Tuesday's deadly attack on a US base in Mosul. The comment suggested that the US believes the attack on the mess tent, in which 22 people were killed, may have been coordinated from inside Syrian territory.

The Goebbels Award

This should be an annual award.

Events of this past year have shown the need for a special award in journalism for those who think that the purpose of reporting news is to cause the public to adopt the political views of those who do the reporting. Therefore this column announces the first annual Joseph Goebbels award for that journalist who best exemplifies the spirit and the practice that Dr. Goebbels pioneered.

UN Senior Staff Leaving

Senior UN staff leaving just as UN-ron is heating up? Coincidence? Or rats adandoning the ship? You decide.

A longtime confidant and adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan abruptly resigned this week, while two senior management and budgetary experts indicated they plan to leave shortly.

The exodus reflects a period of uncertainty among senior U.N. management as Mr. Annan enters the final two years of his current term, a time that is likely to be focused in large measure on the oil-for-food scandal.

How Are We Doing in the Middle East

An excellent assessment of the state of our efforts in the Middle East.

Post-Saddam Iraq is not a failure--as long as roughly 80 percent of Iraq's population is moving towards democratic governance, we're not failing. But it is certainly an awful mess. Clerical Iran, the bête noire of every administration since 1979, is advancing its nuclear-weapons programs and playing a favorite Middle Eastern parlor game--divide-and-frustrate the Westerners (the Europeans have enthusiastically abetted Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the clerical regime's major-domo and its most accomplished realpolitician). And even though Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda has so far failed to strike the United States again--a more severe visa policy towards Middle Eastern Muslim males has all by itself made tactical planning and operations inside the United States enormously difficult--Islamic holy-warriorism remains a ferocious menace. Muslim Americans have shown themselves highly resistant to violent Islamic extremism--if they had been as susceptible to bin Ladenism as European Muslims have been, we would likely have seen numerous attacks since 9/11 inside the United States. Young Muslim men could still, however, get infected by the ever-vibrant militancy coming from abroad. As long as bin Ladenism brews in the Middle East, the successful penetration of America's defenses remains an ever-terrifying possibility.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Dump the UN?

In my opinion, the UN is an utterly worthless organization. It more or less exists to harrass Israel and to hinder anything the US wants to do. This open forum for anti-Americanism, which we pay for, is grating. But instead of withdrawing from the organization entirely, which some advocate, I have a better idea. Why don't we reduce our contribution to something nominal, say 1% of the total budget. We should use our veto solely to make life hard for others, like France and China do. We should refuse to contribute troops to any peacekeeping missions, and withdraw troops from current missions. And we should just generally refuse to use our personnel, material, military, money, etc. for the benefit of anything that isn't in 100% of our self interest. In other words, make the UN even less effective than it is now. Other countries do that now, why shouldn't we? This way we can still use the UN from time to time if we find it useful, but we don't expend our resources on those who hate us. It will either die on its own, or become so weak that its nothing more than background noise. Perfect.

Democrats & Education

The real reason the Democrats were crushed is because of issues like this, not gay marriage. It is interesting to watch Democrats console themselves by saying that all those who disagree with them are bigots and therefore inferior, or hire linguistic professors to try better their presentation to the electorate. To paraphrase Clinton, it's your ideas, stupid.

Democrats wondering how President Bush turned the Republican Party into the party of education reform might want to check out Niagara County, in economically depressed upstate New York.


If they did, they might find that it is not so much the Republicans who have won ground -- though the GOP has done an admirable job of bringing new ideas to the battle -- but the Democrats who have ceded it.

Scrappleface

This is so true.

Annan: Sudan Still Free of U.S. Imperialism
by Scott Ott

(2004-12-22) -- Due to the efforts of the United Nations Security Council, although about 10,000 Sudanese die each month in armed conflict, the African nation remains safe from the effects of U.S. imperialism, according to Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

"We have a solemn obligation to protect the Sudanese from an American occupation force," said Mr. Annan. "The 70,000 who have died this year in Darfur went to their graves free from the shackles of U.S. oppression. By our strategic inaction, they have been spared the horrors of Abu Ghraib."

The Security Council continues to monitor the situation on the ground in Darfur and under the ground, where many Sudanese have migrated under U.N. supervision.


Lots of other humor here. Read them all.

Good Riddance

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

I wonder if it's a requirement for these people to renounce their citizenship before they leave. If it isn't, it should be. These people should never be allowed to return.

UN the Smut Peddler

This is obviously a huge scandal. And although the media coverage is scant, I'm shocked it's generating even this much attention. In general, the world doesn't care about abuse and torture unless it's caused by Americans.

HOME-MADE pornographic videos shot by a United Nations logistics expert in the Democratic Republic of Congo have sparked a sex scandal that threatens to become the UN’s Abu Ghraib.

The expert was a Frenchman who worked at Goma airport as part of the UN’s $700 million-a-year effort to rebuild the war-shattered country. When police raided his home they discovered that he had turned his bedroom into a studio for videotaping and photographing sex sessions with young girls.


Can you imagine the hysterical screeching by the left if Americans were involved? The world's media would Abu Ghraib the coverage, at least.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Martian Car Wash

Scientist Gives Opinion on Middle East Problems

I found this at Roger Simon's blog. Excellent common sense overview of the problem in the Middle East.

Iraqi Elections

If you really want to understand the Iraqi elections, read Amir Taheri and ignore television:

HERE we go again. With the start of the Iraqi cam paign season, doomsters are back with predictions of disaster for the newly liberated nation.
Some claim the election could be a prelude to civil war. Others warn that the nation's Shiite majority might, in a moment of madness, choose an Iranian-style theocracy. Still others point to the Kurdish show of disaffection as a sign the multi-ethnic country may well be heading for disintegration, and that the coming elections could speed up the process.

Yet most doomsters are the same people who opposed first the liberation of Iraq, and then the holding of free elections. What is the evidence for all their warnings and demands that Iraqi elections be postponed (presumably forever)?


Christmas in Britain

Even in Britain some are complaining about the assualt on Christianity and Christmas.

So who are the modern-day Scrooges, Grinches, Cromwells and Castros, and what motivates them? In most cases, the Chistophobes use the excuse of multiculturalism, insisting that celebrating Christmas is offensive to non-Christian minorities, often citing Muslims. But the truth is that it is done in the name of Muslims, rather than at the request of Muslims, who accept the existence of Christ. Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists don’t mind Christmas celebrations any more than Christians object to Diwali, Eid or Chanukkah. As Trevor Phillips, the Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, said: “It’s not offensive to minority communities to celebrate the festival of Christmas.”

No, the real Christophobes are the self-loathing, guilt-ridden politically-correct liberal elite, driven by anti-Christian bigotry and a ruthless determination to destroy their own heritage and replace it with “the other”. It is the American Civil Liberties Union that is threatening lawsuits against any schools that allow the singing of carols and the BBC’s editorial policy bans criticism of the Koran, but not the Bible.


By the way, this guy is an atheist.

I believe in a higher being, but I wouldn't describe myself as particularly religious. Nonetheless, I am sick and tired of the non stop assault on all things christian from the left. We cannot allow leftists to willfilly misinterpret a core foundation of our country, which is freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. If the idea of people celebrating christianity really bothers you, please follow through on your threat to leave the country. Western Europe or Canada would love to have you.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Sitzpinkler

From Andrew Sullivan's site, I found this gem:

The "sitzpinkler" movement, which started in Sweden a few years ago, has moved to Australia and Germany.

I won't go into detail. You can figure it out for yourself. "Sitzpinkler" is German for a man who sits in the restroom even when he doesn't have to. Otherwise, by demonstrating his "dominance" over women, he risks excommunication by the Left.

A newspaper called The Australian quoted a young woman named Jessica, a biologist, from the Swedish city of Uppsala: "All my friends demand that their husbands or boyfriends sit down," said Jessica."I think it shows respect for the women who clean.

"My brother, for example, would not dream of standing up. Among the young, leftish intelligentsia, there is also a view that to stand up is a nasty macho gesture."


I'm not sure where to start. A caricature of the left? Perhaps unintentional self parody? However you want to describe it, one thing is for sure. The constant neutering on the left goes a long way toward explaining why they are weak in areas that require testosterone.

AP Photograph of Iraqi Election Worker Execution

Belmont Club wonders just how the AP photographer happened to be at the right place at the right time to photograph the execution of Iraqi election workers. Good question. Seems as if this sort of thing happens an awful lot, particularly in Iraq. I guess journalists have amazing instincts and luck. Or they are embeds working for the other side.

European Anti-Americanism

From the Daily Demarche I found an excellent piece on European anti-Americanism.

The genuine epicenter of anti-Americanism today is in Europe, not in the Islamic world. Indeed it can be localized even further as “old Europe,” the continental Western European countries, especially France and Germany but Spain and Italy as well. (In the latter two cases, the political leaders were willing to take a political risk and side with the United States, thereby resisting anti-American sentiment in their domestic publics.) In contrast, anti-Americanism is negligible in the “new Europe,” the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe. This difference within Europe became apparent in 2002: During President Bush’s visit to Berlin in May, he faced large, hostile demonstrations, but friendly crowds greeted him in November in Vilnius and Bucharest. One can easily explain a pro-American predisposition in the formerly communist countries, given the leadership role played by the United States in the Cold War. Explaining anti-American predispositions in the countries that have long been counted among our closest allies is a more difficult challenge.

Most Annoying Liberals

From Chrenkoff I found a great post on the year's most annoying liberals.

Now let me tell you what Jimmy Carter is made of: naivete, killer rabbit stories, foreign policy advice from his daughter Amy, sucking up to dictators, malaise, "lust in his heart", too much time spent watching Fahrenheit 9/11, peanuts, an undeserved Nobel Peace Prize...oh and lots and lots of failure.

Carter is the lovable dupe whom nobody wants to tell to shut-up about the Presidency and foreign policy because he's a generally nice, Christian man, who builds homes for the poor. Is he an awful man? No, but he was an awful President and he's awfully annoying when he's pontificating about what President Bush should be doing or national politics. Listening to Carter's advice about how to run the country is like listening to Bill Clinton explain how to be faithful to your wife: nobody buys it, nobody wants to hear it, but they nod along because he used to be the President and they have to show some respect no matter how annoyed you are.


Sunday, December 19, 2004

Democrats and Federalism

It really is interesting how Democrats have discovered federalism now that its clear they are on a serious national election losing streak. I go back and forth on federalism and believe different issues need different solutions at different levels. But the hypocrisy over the necessity of federalism, on both sides, is stunning. And predictible.

Liberals will look for their cover to the 10th Amendment, which states that powers not delegated to the national government by the US Constitution are reserved to the states, or to the people -- unless the Constitution clearly prohibits these powers.

As long as national government was moving in a progressive direction, which it has done steadily since the 1930s, the 10th Amendment meant nothing to liberals. It was more often the province of conservatives, who used it to advance a go-slow agenda on civil rights, reapportionment, affirmative action, government use and control of public lands, and various local police practices.

But now, we find Civil War era arguments for state sovereignty increasingly advanced to protect liberal initiatives from national government preemption. States' rights arguments are being made in defense of physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Medical use of marijuana is now framed as a states' rights issue, as are state regulations on HMOs and pharmaceutical pricing.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Nuclear Attack Averted

I wonder how many times something like this happened during the Cold War?

Petrov was in charge of the secret bunker where a team of 120 technicians and military officers monitored the Soviet Union's early-warning system. It was just after midnight when a new satellite array known as Oko, or The Eye, spotted five U.S. missiles heading toward Moscow. The Eye discerned that they were Minuteman II nuclear missiles.

Petrov's computer was demanding that he follow the prescribed protocol and confirm an incoming attack to his superiors. A red light on the computer that read START! kept flashing at him. And there was this baleful message: MISSILE ATTACK!

Petrov had written the emergency protocol himself, and he knew he should immediately pick up the hot line at his desk to tell his superiors that the Motherland was under attack.

He also knew that time was short. The senior political and military chiefs in the Kremlin would have only about 12 minutes to wake up, get to their phones, digest Petrov's information and decide on a counterattack.


That the Cold War ended peacefully definitely had a huge element of luck to it.

(From Powerline)


Yuschenko Poisoning

Is anyone surprised by this?

Soon after Yushchenko first claimed he had been poisoned, President Leonid Kuchma's son-in-law engaged a French public relations team to initiate a media campaign, centered on a Vienna clinic, calculated to disparage the poisoning accusations, the newspaper said.

When you need something slimy done, there is really only one place to go: France.

Democrats Stealing Election in Washington State

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Democrats are willing to destroy the system in order to rule it. What is happening in Washington is disgusting. Seen much coverage of the blatant attempts to steal the election in Washington? Didn't think so.

Bush Support in Syria

Tim Blair found a great article about a liberal American teacher in Damascus encountering Bush supporters amongst the population.

And thus I came to realize something that the Democrats could never admit: that there exists a support base for both the Republicans' domestic and foreign agenda among the very people we thought most opposed current U.S. policy. The cultural background and value systems which inform many of these young Arabs' outlook on the world mean they will always favor men like Bush over men like Kerry. The tenets of faith, family and, yes, "moral issues" determine the overall political leanings of a considerable number of the Middle East's future leaders, in rejection of Democratic stump issues like increased liberalism, internationalism and scientific progress.

Although the moral values angle has definitely been overplayed as a source of Bush support, it did matter, both here and abroad.


Aziz is Going to Sing to Un-ron Investigators

Aziz is going to name names in the UN-ron scandal. Please let Chirac and Schroeder be implicated directly, with irrefutable evidence to back it up. Words could not express how happy I would be if that were to happen.

Update: I have an extension to my fantasy. Maybe there is some way to drag Chirac and Schroeder in front of the International Criminal Court over this! Wouldn't that be awesome!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Another Piece on How the Left Should Re-examine

VDH has another good one out today...

Democratic leaders are never going to be trusted in matters of foreign policy unless they can convince Americans that they once more believe in American exceptionalism and are the proper co-custodians of values such as freedom and individual liberty. If in the 1950s rightists were criticized as cynical Cold Warriors who never met a right-wing thug they wouldn’t support, as long as he mouthed a few anti-Soviet platitudes, then in the last two decades almost any thug from Latin America to the Middle East who professed concern for “the people” — from Castro and the Noriega Brothers to Yasser Arafat and the Iranian mullahs — was likely to earn a pass from the American and European cultural elite and media. To regain credibility, the Left must start to apply the same standard of moral outrage to a number of its favorite causes that it does to the United States government, the corporations, and the Christian Right. Here are a few places to start.

Anti-Americanism

The Daily Demarche is a new blog that I like a lot. Here is a great post:

After September 11th America engaged in a spasm of self-examination. Every pundit, talking head, editorial board and average Joe asked "Why do they hate us?"

A few choice quotes from around the globe tell the tale (at least in the haters eyes):

1. The American “heart is frozen, their society cold, their empire cruel.”
2. It is a country of “32 religions and only one dish … and even that [is] inedible.”
3. “I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion.”
4. “America is a mistake, a gigantic mistake.”
5. "The United States is “the most dangerous power the world has ever known.”

I am sure it would not surprise you to know the first three quotes are French, the fourth is Austrian and the last British. That we have issues in the Euro-zone is not earthshaking news. Consider this, though. Quote number one is from 1749, by the Comte de Buffon a renowned French scientist. Number two is by Talleyrand a famous French politician from the 1790s. Number three is by the French social philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville (1835) who's book "Democracy in America" is required reading for history and American Studies students across America. Quote number four is by Sigmund Freud (1930) an Austrian psychiatrist you might have heard of. Number five is from 2001 by British playwright the Harold Pinter. These quotes come from Hating America: A History by Barry Rubin, Judith Colp Rubin.


One thing I cannot stand is for leftists to try to make the un-informed believe that somehow the rest of the world loved the US unconditionally before Bush became president. It's a lie. Read the rest.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Esay From Israeli Settler

From Neal Boortz I found this interesting essay from an Israeli settler. I'm no fan of the Israeli settlers, but everyone should read this. It's very educational.

I wanted to let you know that the BBC, CNN, etc don't know me or want to get to know me, they would rather shed a tear and try to 'understand' terrorism. I don't even seek anyone to understand me. I just want people to understand that there are two sides and to learn about both. To make a decision about something while only knowing one side is intellectually unsatisfying. Not to at least listen to both sides is dishonest.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Democratic Response to Beinart Essay

And here is a response to Beinart's essay over at Andrew Sullivan:

Only one problem with Beinart's thesis. People like me will not vote for the kind of Democrat he pines for. And people like me are the base of the Democratic party. I would not vote for Joe Lieberman or any Iraq-war supporting Democrat (that includes Hillary, by the way). People like me are the mirror images of the Republican right. We would rather lose than sacrifice our principles. The operative principle here is our opposition to big-foot neoconservatism which views the entire world as America's playground. You may think we are wrong but understand this: we are the Democratic party (which is why Lieberman sank so quickly). Our model is that of the Goldwaterites. They did not change. They fought and eventually they prevailed. We will prevail too. Iraq is our trump card. And maybe Iran. The continued ascendancy of neoconservatism guarantees the triumph of neoisolationism. As George Mc Govern said, "come home, America." The day is coming.

And this person is right about their clout. People with this mindset represent a much larger part of the Democratic base than the party is willing to admit. And their attitude is precisely why I will be voting Republican for the forseeable future, even though my heart is with the Democratic party. These people, who consider Iraq a "trump card" of their cause, are admitting they are rooting for failure in Iraq and Iran in order to advance their cause. The psycho, leftist, anti-American, Michael Moore-Moveon.org-Democraticunderground wing of the party is exactly why the Democrats will lose national elections where national security is a primary concern. And deservedly so.

The Best Analysis of Democrats Yet

This is, by far, the best assessment of what's wrong with the Democratic party that I've read. If the Democrats reformed themselves along this line, I'd vote for them again. But I have little hope that they will.

Today, three years after September 11 brought the United States face-to-face with a new totalitarian threat, liberalism has still not "been fundamentally reshaped" by the experience. On the right, a "historical re-education" has indeed occurred--replacing the isolationism of the Gingrich Congress with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney's near-theological faith in the transformative capacity of U.S. military might. But American liberalism, as defined by its activist organizations, remains largely what it was in the 1990s--a collection of domestic interests and concerns. On health care, gay rights, and the environment, there is a positive vision, articulated with passion. But there is little liberal passion to win the struggle against Al Qaeda--even though totalitarian Islam has killed thousands of Americans and aims to kill millions; and even though, if it gained power, its efforts to force every aspect of life into conformity with a barbaric interpretation of Islam would reign terror upon women, religious minorities, and anyone in the Muslim world with a thirst for modernity or freedom.

When liberals talk about America's new era, the discussion is largely negative--against the Iraq war, against restrictions on civil liberties, against America's worsening reputation in the world. In sharp contrast to the first years of the cold war, post-September 11 liberalism has produced leaders and institutions--most notably Michael Moore and MoveOn--that do not put the struggle against America's new totalitarian foe at the center of their hopes for a better world. As a result, the Democratic Party boasts a fairly hawkish foreign policy establishment and a cadre of politicians and strategists eager to look tough. But, below this small elite sits a Wallacite grassroots that views America's new struggle as a distraction, if not a mirage. Two elections, and two defeats, into the September 11 era, American liberalism still has not had its meeting at the Willard Hotel. And the hour is getting late.