Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Back from a short trip to the Bahamas and other points southward. Looks to me like Bonjo did a great job of picking up the slack, however his photoshopped Hillary Hood picture makes her look far to feminine.
Some comments on events occurring in my absence from the Blogosphere:
Dick "Big Time" Cheney vs. Patrick "Beaker" Leahey
Seems that Cheney dropped the F Bomb on Leahey last week during an exchange on the Senate floor. I didn't read much about it as I was on a secluded beach far from the reach of modern telecommunications equipment. Never the less, I feel the need to add my commentary to the event.
It's about damn time somebody unloaded on Patrick "Beaker" Leahey. If you're wondering why I call him "Beaker", remember the old Muppet Show. Beaker was the muppet who never said anything, just constantly said gibberish in a whiny, high pitched voice. Leahey is the personification of Beaker.
Now for the controversial commentary. Profanity has its place in civil discourse. The F Bomb, when used appropriately, can be a very effective form of punctuation. That is what Cheney did to Leahey. Leahey was out of line, and Cheney called him on it in a way designed to let the recipient know exactly how the sender felt.
I, for one, find the candid language very refreshing.
Very well done by W and company. I have no doubt al Zarqawi and company were planning major disruptive attacks for June 30. Great way to deprive the suicidal fantatics of an opportunity.
Al Zarqawi has to feel like a quarterback whose offensive line has crumbled as he is about to attempt a long pass. He hears the footsteps behind him, and he knows its not his own guy. Those footsteps are those of some very angry and heavily armed US soldiers and marines. If I were Al Zarqawi, I'd be very, very afraid.
Saddam was legally handed over to the Iraqi interim government today. US troops will still guard him, however. According to news reports, he and the other high value prisoners were "surprised" to find out about their legal transfer. Surprised to me is a code word for "worried". Something tells me Saddam was hoping for a US trial, and not one by his victims.
Saddam, Uday and Kusay are waiting.
Drudge is reporting rumors, again, of Lurch's intent to tap Hillary as his VP. Lurch, if you listen to one thing I ever say, please pick this woman. The fun I'll get out of taking shots, even the obvious ones, at your combined inadequacy and incompetence will be worth the effort.
Finally, CNN vs. Fox News
I don't like CNN. I don't watch CNN unless I have no other source for news. Well, on the cruise there was no other source for news other than CNN Headline News. I couldn't stomach much of it, so I didn't watch it. When I did, every other break was prefaced with the phrase:
CNN - The most trusted news source!
Ok, maybe they managed to pay some survey group to put out survey results that tagged them as "the most trusted".
I hate to rain on their parade, but according to Business Wire, Fox News has twice the audience of any other cable news network. CNN may be trusted, but nobody is watching.
Market forces are truly cruel forces of nature.
Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Those pathetic sub-human bastards have done it again. This time to a South Korean.
Really impressive, guys. Take a defenseless, helpless man who is pleading for his life and then execute him in a senseless manner. That'll show the world your machismo. That will strike fear into the hearts of your enemies.
One wonders how brave you are when your enemy is staring down at you over a rifle barrel.
The sub-human bastards hoped this would convince South Korea to withdraw its medical and engineering troops from Iraq. Evidently their barbarism didn't have the desired result. Today South Korea announced it is sending few thousand more troops to augment its forces in Iraq.
At least South Korea hasn't been pansified like Spain and France.
In other news, Iran seems to have gotten a wild hair up its collective hind parts and seized three British naval vessels and eight Royal Naval personnel. Evidently the Brits strayed a thousand yards or so into Iraninan waters.
Iran says it will try the Brits for straying into their waters.
I guess these guys are trying to replicate the 1978-79 hostage crisis and hope for the same results. Sorry, Mr. Mullah. Bush ain't Carter. I would have thought you'd have figured that out by now.
Remember how much military force the US and UK have next door in Iraq. Think about that and ask yourself -
Do I feel lucky?
Well, do ya - Punk?
Kudos to Christopher Hitchens for his systematic evisceration of WOSABA's sorry excuse for a cinematic production.
Monday, June 21, 2004
Memo to Michael "WOSABA" Moore:
1. Ray Bradbury wants his book title back, you plagiarizing, unoriginal, sorry excuse for a film maker.
2. If you're going to do shock interviews and cobble together sound and video bytes of people and politicians, maybe you should take the time to sit down with Michael Wilson and see what its like to be in the hot seat - without editorial or content control.
Why is it liberals don't like being on the receiving end of hard, personal questions?
The New York Times book review of Wilhelm von der Schliekmeister's book "My Lie" is, well, let's just say its less than flattering.
Here is just some of the verbiage used to describe his work:
Sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull, the sound of one man prattling away, not for the reader, but for himself and some distant recording angel of history.
I have no doubt people will buy it. I, myself, will not. I have enough door stops in my home as it is.
Bubba also complained about the "Slick Willie" moniker that seems to have affixed itself to his presidency. He claims its not a fair representation for his legacy. If Bubba is worried about how his legacy is seen, he should read Fred Barnes' piece in the Weekly Standard. Fred boils eight years of Clintonism down to a few pages. Gotta love Fred.
I wonder what he thinks of the moniker Wilhelm von der Schliekmeister.
On Paul M. Johnson, Jr.
Heartless, soul-less, rotten, sub-human sons of bitches.
There are far better words to describe the perpetrators of Mr. Johnson's murder, but I try and keep this blog at a PG-13 level. Somedays I do better than others.
Paul M. Johnson, Jr. was slaughtered by the sub-human Al-Qeda terrorists on Friday. This they did to strike fear into the hearts of the American people. This they did to make themselves look brave, tough, and dangerous.
Newsflash, you soul-less bastards. We're not French. We're not Spaniards. We're American, and when you kill one of ours, we get angry. You won't like us when we're angry.
There are those who believe hunting these bastards down will only foment more terror. To those of that mindset, I would direct you to Drudge, where he has posted pictures of the remains of Mr. Johnson. Be warned, the sight is not for those faint of heart, or stomach.
This, dear reader, is what they want to do to you. It is what they want to do to your spouse, to your children, and to your grandchildren. They cannot be negotiated with. They cannot be reasoned with. The only thing they understand is the lethal use of force. They have thrown down the gauntlet by committing the senseless murder of an innocent man. I am reminded of Al Capone's rant from The Untouchables:
I want him dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burnt to the ground!
The only punishment for this crime is the complete liquidation of the terrorists' world. Home, family, friends, supporters. Only when they realize that by perpetrating such an act they will reap the whirlwind will they cease such behavior.
Such action is not unprecedented in American history. For those of you unfamiliar with the events leading up to the end of the Civil War, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to what came to be called Sherman's March to the Sea.
In late 1864, Union General William Tecumsa "War is Hell" Sherman burned the city of Atlanta to the ground and began a 300 mile march to Savannah. Sherman's 65,000 man army were under orders to destroy anything and anyone that could possibly be used as a tool of war.
Sherman did just that. His army cut a swath 60 miles wide from Atlanta to Savannah. Everything was destroyed. It is said that Confederate soldiers, upon hearing of the destruction to their homeland, left their posts in droves to go and fight for their homes. Sherman's march broke the back of the Confederacy. To this day, some parts of that 60 mile wide 300 mile long swath of destruction has not recovered.
It was brutal, it was savage, it was extremely effective. Yes, dear reader, it was total war.
The barbaric savages have struck at us all by murdering Mr. Johnson. They must reap the whirlwind if there is to be an end to this conflict.
Yes, dear reader, I am angry. Why am I angry?
Paul M. Johnson, Jr, was a some woman's husband, some kid's father, somebody's son.
He deserved better than this.
Friday, June 18, 2004
On Michael Moore:
To answer your question, no, I will not comment on the aforementioned Waste of Skin And Breathable Air (WOSABA). Nor will I mention his film, except to refer to it as a colossal waste of digital celluloid.
WOSABA is the sum of his delusions and little else. His world is not one in which I would care to live or even visit, so I'll save my $9 to see something worth a few hours of my time.
Maybe Harry Potter. That surely more resembles reality than WOSABA's mindless ranting.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Shoulda, Coulda, Oughtta.
Seems to me that's the way the 9/11 commission is viewing its mandate. I understand the events leading up to the actions taken in the early morning hours of September 11th need to be understood. What I don't understand is the consistent nature of the way this panel grills the witnesses.
Yesterday they came out with the supposition (which is truly what it is) that maybe, possibly, if the planets might have aligned properly, and telepathy and clairvoyance been properly used, one of the hijacked jets could have been blown out of the sky prior to crashing.
The jet in question was United Flight 93 - the one Todd Beamer and company crashed nose first into a Pennsylvania field.
In order to understand the inane nature of the aforementioned supposition, you have to place yourself in a September 10th mindset.
Unless your a far out left wing whack job, this should be difficult to do.
Prior to September 11, 2001, hijacked planes weren't thought of as guided missiles. They were flown to some location where the hijackers, passengers, and crew waited until either negotiations or brute force ended the stand off. Pilots were instructed to follow the demands of hijackers, in deference to the lives and safety of those in their charge.
Now ask yourself, prior to September 11, was there any conceivable reason an order would be given to shoot down an unarmed commercial jet with American citizens aboard?
Then why is it we are asking people at NORAD and FAA this question? Do you not think the people standing watch inside Cheyenne Mountain purposely stood idle while thousands of people perished in New York and Washington DC?
Give me a frelling break!
The line of questioning should be the following:
Q: Were there procedures in place to intercept and/or destroy a hijacked commercial airliner prior to its being used as a guided missile against a high value target?
Q: Are there procedures in place today to deal with this possibility?
Then the witness should explain the procedures, be excused and the panel should go home.
The purpose of the past is to learn from it - not to re-live it so you get more face time on CSPAN.
Enough of this endless sniping. Get over yourselves and do your damn job.
Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
On the Supreme Slap of Michael Newdow:
In a very unheralded decision, the Supreme Court told Michael Newdow to go pound sand.
That is my interpretation of their ruling. Remember, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.
For those of you who need a refresher, Mr. Newdow - a self described atheist physician and lawyer, brought before the Supremes a case challenging the constitutionality of the words "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. He was helped along his way by a nutty ruling from the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Mr. Newdow claimed that his daughter was being injured by being required to repeat the Pledge daily.
Some very glaring issues about this case:
1. Mr. Newdow is an atheist. His daughter and ex-wife are not. Actually, they are very active evangelical Christians.
2. Mr. Newdow does not have, per a ruling of the California Family Court, legal or physical custody of the aforementioned daughter. Therefore, he has no say in what she is taught or how she is raised.
Fact #2 was overlooked by both the trial court and the 9th Circus Court. The Supremes saw it differently. They realized that Mr. Newdow did not have standing to bring the suit in the first place, and therefore they threw it out. Good for them. I'm sure the issue will be back, but I take good news when it comes along.
Would I rather they had slammed him on the merits (or lack there of) of the case? Yes. But I'm happy with the outcome. To me it was a very subtle statement by the court that Mr. Newdow is a waste of time. I've listened to the guy and I think he's a waste of breathable air.
Like it or not, Mr. Newdow, we are One Nation, Under God. While I respect your right to bring this case before the Supremes, I also reserve my right to laugh in your general direction when they issue an 8-0 slap in the face to you.
Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Final thoughts on the Reagan Weekend:
Ronald Wilson Reagan now belongs to the ages. His legacy is truly greater than anyone can add, or detract from. It is in this same spirit that I quote from another great American President as we return to the regular activities related to an election year:
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. - Abraham Lincoln 19 November 1863
Friday, June 11, 2004
Thursdays with Ronnie:
Let me first start off by saying I hate funerals. I hate most everything about them. I don't really know why. I guess I just don't like being reminded of the fragile nature of mortality - specifically that of my own.
So when funerals come around, I participate in them in the least manner humanly possible.
That being said, you can probably guess my general feeling about viewings and related activities. Never the less, I spent roughly seven hours last night walking back and forth along the National Mall waiting to pay my last respects to the Gipper.
What I witnessed was nothing short of amazing.
I will refer to it as the Great American Line, for that is what it was. Several thousand people, two thousand an hour based on media reports, filed passed the flag draped casket of America's 40th President.
They came from all walks of life and from around the country. In my immediate vicinity there were people from Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Ohio, North and South Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Yes, there were quite a few people in my immediate vicinity.
Young, old, rich, poor, black, white, hispanic, asian, middle eastern. Military, both high ranking officers and enlisted personnel from all branches of the service. All gathered to pay tribute to their fallen leader.
There was no complaining, no scuffles or other disturbances. People waited patiently, and they waited for a very long time. There were as many people waiting when I left in the early morning hours as there were when I arrived on the Mall in the late evening hours.
Now, I'm sure some people came just to be a part of an event that doesn't happen very often in this country. I would submit to you those people were in a very small minority.
Ronald Reagan had a tremendously positive effect on the people and culture of this nation. Anyone who says otherwise did not experience what I did last night. Its not something you can get via television or radio. You had to be there.
Of all the aspects of America affected by Reagan, the most obvious was that on the military. I shared the line last night with active duty and retired military people, dressed in their respective uniforms. Some were in dress attire, while others were in fatigues. Still others wore no uniform at all. Every last one of them came to the head of the casket, snapped a crisp salute, and left. Nothing else was needed.
Reagan always referred to America as a Shining City on a Hill. Last night, the best parts of that city were shown in the Capitol Rotunda.
Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Ted "Dude, where's my Scotch" Kennedy
Ted "Dude, where's my scotch?" Kennedy is attempting to do which of the following:
a) Mistakenly believing he's in a bar, requesting another round for his drinking buddies.
b) Demonstrating his newly discovered Manual Bowel Disimpaction tool. (Google it if you need a definition, but make sure you haven't just eaten)
c) Asking to be excused so his makeup artist can touch up his booze ravaged mug.
Take your time.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
On Der Schleikmeister:
It seems that disgraced, impeached, and generally clueless former president Bill "I redefined 'is'" Clinton has gotten his boxers wadded in a bunch.
He was disappointed to find out he won't be asked to speak at Ronaldus Magnus' funeral on Friday. Seems, to him anyway, that he should be accounted some time to eulogize the gipper - and get another 15 minutes on the national stage.
The Reagan family thinks otherwise.
The reaction of most of america? Well duh!
After eight years of trashing everything Reagan put in place and created, not to mention blaming every possible ill on the Reagan-Bush years, I'm at a loss to explain why he doesn't understand his being left off the program.
Get a grip, slick.
A thought for Ted Rall:
I caught a few minutes of the Ronaldus Magnus viewing yesterday morning. Throngs of people were lining the walkways and streets outside the Reagan Presidential Library. Some waited ten to twelve hours for a few seconds alongside the flag draped casket of the nation's 40th president.
It was morning. 6:30 in the morning - eastern daylight time. For intellectually challenged people like Ted Rall, that would make it 3:30 am pacific daylight time.
Now, ask yourself something Ted. When your time comes to leave this world, does any stretch of your imagination allow you to believe thousands of people will stand in line through the night for a few seconds at the side of your (non-flag draped) casket?
Think about that, Ted. Then wonder why. Then shut the hell up about Ronaldus Magnus and let the man be buried in peace.
Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, June 07, 2004
Welcome home, Mr. President.
On The Gipper:
The long goodbye of Ronald Wilson Reagan (affectionately dubbed Ronaldus Magnus by the Maha Rushie) ended on Saturday, June 5, 2004. He died after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease at the age of 93. America has lost a truly great leader.
Reagan was the first president I really paid attention to. I was a very young boy when he took office in 1981. The years leading up to his acension ot the Presidency were dark times in America. The economy was in the sewer, having bypassed the toliet all together. Iranian Islamic Nutcases were holding hostages in Tehran. Jimmy Carter was completely inept - complaining of a malaise that had taken over America's collective conciousness.
Enter Ronald Reagan. Former actor, head of the Screen Actor's Guild, Governor of the State of California. He was swept into office in an electoral landslide that had Carter conceding defeat even before the polls closed on the West Coast. Reagan had a simple campaign slogan:
It's morning again in America.
And people, the people who really matter in the country, believed it.
Reagan was a bold leader. He confronted the Soviet empire on every front. He was not interested in finding middle ground with the Evil Empire. He was committed to its defeat. At the historic summit in Rekyavik, Iceland, he met with the General Secretary of the Communist Party, one Mikhail S. Gorbachev. It was the height of the Cold War. Many people, at home and abroad, feared the might of the Soviet Empire. These detractors believed submission, appeasment, and negotiation were the only ways to avert conflict and war with the Soviets.
Reagan sat across the table from Gorbachev. Much was on the table - intermediate range ballistic missles (nuclear) were set to be negotiated away. All Reagan had to do was scrap the Strategic Defense Initiative - Star Wars as it was dubbed by a viscerally critical media.
Reagan told Gorbachev to go pound sand. Well, maybe not in those words, but that was the gist of the conversation. In the end it proved to be the undoing of the Soviet Miltary Machine. The media, of course, was furious. Reagan didn't care.
His forcefullness of will was evident in Berlin as well. His famous speech at the Brandenburg Gate contained the phrase that would become one of the hallmarks of his presidency:
Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Two years later, the East Germans did just that.
I guess you could say I grew up during the Reagan administration. He had a way of connecting with people in a manner unmatched by his predecessors, or successors. In no other time was this shown than in the aftermath of the Challeger explosion. I was one of the schoolchildren he spoke to on that cold night in January 1986. He comforted a nation with the words:
We shall never forget them, nor the last time we saw them as they slipped the surly bonds of earth...and touched the face of God.
Ronaldus Magnus endured much. An alcholholic father, a failed marriage, a failed presidential run, an assasination attempt, and finally a decade's long struggle with a crippling disease that robbed himself and his country of a truly great mind.
Through it all he weathered each storm with grace and dignity. He is mourned by supporters and detractors alike - a true testament to the strength of his character.
He has been called many things by many people. I will quote just one of them as a final tribute to the man who truly defined presidential leadership.
Ronald Reagan is the man who won the war.
Rest in peace Ronnie.
Well done, thou good and faithful servant...enter thou into the joy of thy lord. - Matthew 5:21
Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, June 04, 2004
Two articles caught my eye today on the subject of education. The first, from MSNBC, bemoans the drop in minority enrollment at UC Berkeley.
For the record, if the enrollment at UC Berkeley were to suddenly drop to zero and said university were to disappear from the landscape of academia, the world would be a better place.
But, I digress.
Years ago, the voters of California passed Prop 209, a measure that codified the concept that race should not play any part in the admissions process to UC Schools. Many factors may be considered in the admissions process - social challenges, family responsibilities, and last but not least - Grades.
This is after all, an institution of higher education. He/she with the best grades should enter. Those with less than acceptable academic records should go to Junior College and get their act together. Minority status does not meet the level of an issue/circumstance to be considered when being evaluated for entrance to college.
Why is this so hard for people to understand?
The root of the problem may be found in the other article. Seems that about ten percent of Florida High School Seniors didn't pass the skills exam needed for graduation. They can't read, write, or calculate at grade level and thus will be held back.
The horror. The absolute horror!
Liberals bemoan the test results. Something must be wrong with the tests, or so they claim.
What they don't mention is the fact these students had more than one opportunity to take and pass the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. How many times?
Sorry, kids. If you can't pass it after six tries, you might want to consider paying attention in class.
A High School diploma is not an entitlement. Nor is admission to a top tier college. Both are earned.
Or at least they should be.
Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, June 03, 2004
On the Chief Spook:
Effective July 11th, that description will no longer be part of George Tenet's title. I've got to hand it to the guy. He's had a thankless job for seven years. All his successes are classified at the highest level. His failures are plastered on the front pages of newspapers across the globe. He heads an Agency blamed for many of the evils in the world, but the very fundamentals of the Agency's existence prevent it from defending itself.
That's the murky world of the Intel business. In the end, I guess that's as it should be.
You will hear and read much of Tenet in the coming days. Some will be truth. Some will be lies. Still more will be outright damn fabrications. Its up to you to learn the difference. I take some comfort in the address he gave his fellow spooks today. Read it here.
I especially like the last sentence.
As Dick Helms used to say, let's get on with it and get back to work.
Can't argue with that.
On W at the USAFA Graduation:
Because Colorado Springs holds a special place in my heart, and more importantly because the sound bytes chosen by the mainstream press do not do justice to W's graduation speech, I here present you with the link to his address. Unlike Lurch, the speech is more than just words on a page. It is the counsel of the Commander in Chief to the men and women who will take their rightful place on the front lines of the War on Terror.
Wild Blue Yonder here they come.
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Lurch's Memorial Day Outburst:
My kingdom, small though it may be, for a picture of the outburst described below.
Newsmax is the only news outlet reporting on Lurch's memorial day outburst at the Vietnam War Memorial. If ever there were doubts about the media's slant toward Lurch's campaign may the here and now be put to rest.
Lurch was confronted by a fellow Vet at the Wall on Monday. Ted Sampley, Green Beret with two tours in Vietnam, had some not so nice things to say about Lurch. Here are some of them:
Senator, I am Ted Sampley, the head of Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry, and I am here to escort you away from the Wall because you do not belong here.
Like what he has to say or not, he's a Vet, and can thus say whatever he wants about Lurch and his service during the Vietnam War. (By the way, did you know that Lurch served in Vietnam?)
It was when Sampley revealed a HANOI John T-Shirt and stated loudly
Kerry does not belong at the Wall because he betrayed the brave soldiers who fought in Vietnam.
that Lurch lost it. In full view of a group of school children, Lurch brazenly flashed "The Bird" to Sampley and yelled "Sampley is a Felon!"
You know, it is during times of pressure and stress that the true character of men and women is revealed. It brings out the best and worst in people.
Now, ask yourself, is this the kind of reaction you would expect from a man desiring to lead the free world in time of war and conflict?
On Memorial Day:
The last vestiges of America's Greatest Generation gathered on the National Mall for the dedication of a long overdue memorial to a war whose scope and effect remain unprecedented in recorded human history.
It is, to quote Lincoln, fitting and proper that we should do this.
They came from far and near, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, gold star mothers, sons and daughters. They gathered on the National Mall, just a short distance away from where many of their fellow warriors lay entombed below the uniform headstone rows of Arlington. They are, for the most part, an unassuming bunch. Never the less, it is a rare sight to see a few dozen Medal of Honor recipients in the same place at the same time.
Their country, and indeed the world, called them. They answered in droves. Many of their friends never made the return trip and lie in cemeteries in the foreign soil they so bravely fought to liberate. Truly, they are the greatest generation ever produced by this great nation.
On Memorial Day I happened, much by accident, upon a very old cemetery in a small town in Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. Yes, I'm one of those people who walk around cemeteries and actually look at the headstones. I'm not weird. Really, I'm not.
This cemetery stands out in my mind because of people who lie buried there. Next to many of the headstones I found small markers, placed by the American Legion, designating the wars in which the person buried had fought. Several were marked with the inscription "War of 1812", some from "The Great War", and still others marked simply with the number "1776". Nearly every American War was represented in this cemetery. Most of the headstones were worn with time, the memories of those beneath them lost to nearly everyone except those who place flags at their gravesite every year. This cemetery, though far from Arlington, is just as important in the hearts of those who take it upon themselves to remember those within.
I was there reminded of the final scene of the motion picture Saving Private Ryan. The battle is won, but Tom Hanks' character is mortally wounded. With his last breath, he draws Private Ryan close to him and whispers the following phrase:
It is incumbent upon us, my fellow Americans, to live our lives in a way by which we may earn the fruits of the sacrifices of those who have come before us, and indeed those who now struggle daily against the enemies of freedom and liberty.
What are you doing to earn it?
Here endeth the lesson.