Tuesday, January 31, 2006

State of The Union...


Hugh Hewitt provides a great analysis of the President's fourth State of Union address. Hugh notes... the key paragraph:

It is said that prior to the attacks of September 11th, our government failed to connect the dots of the conspiracy. We now know that two of the hijackers in the United States placed telephone calls to al-Qaida operatives overseas. But we did not know about their plans until it was too late. So to prevent another attack – based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute – I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al-Qaida operatives and affiliates to and from America. Previous presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have – and Federal courts have approved the use of that authority. Appropriate Members of Congress have been kept informed. This terrorist surveillance program has helped prevent terrorist attacks. It remains essential to the security of America. If there are people inside our country who are talking with al-Qaida, we want to know about it – because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again.
Emphasis added. I listened to the speech on the bus ride home, so I missed the visual nuances conveyed by the the cameras of the media. Hugh makes a visual note...

Unfortunately, as Republicans rose to applaud this resolve and the president’s defense of his NSA program, Democrats remained seated and did not applaud. Fox cut to Senator Clinton who shook her head slowly with a tight and disapproving smile.
Emphasis again added as I observe that the Democrats resolved to sit back and wait to be hit again. And doesn't this tell Americans all that they need to know about the Democrats as a governing body? As they have become, if they are let anywhere near leadership again, the state of this union would be constant catastrophe and chaos. Afterall, as President Bush observed...

... there is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure. Hindsight alone is not wisdom, and second-guessing is not a strategy.

Indeed! And insufferable obstinance is no substitute for statesmanship.

Of Forrest Gump and LotR/RotK

Major Mike

As I watched Forrest Gump with my daughter two nights ago, I reflected on the messaging of the movie in a way I had yet to do. Prompted by my recent coaching of my daughter’s Creative Writing course projects, and opening her eyes to the hidden or ulterior meanings of various types of writing; I viewed Forrest with different eyes last night. Although I continuously got my daughter to laugh on cue with my imitation of “I gawt shawt in the buttawks;” I finally took the time to decipher Forrest Gump’s deeper meanings.

I began formulating this piece in my head before the movie had ended.

If my take is old hat, I am completely unaware of it, so indulge me or channel surf to another blog …I simply paid little attention to the meaning of, or relevance of, Forrest and his travels, until last night.

Forrest, the ever na├»ve simpleton, stumbles through his life with his every move marked by his achieving the pinnacle success via some fortuitous amalgamation of unrelated events…All-American football player, Medal of Honor recipient, successful businessman and investor, and father. All accidental. All bestowed upon a quiet, simple, sincere, unselfish, decent dolt who accepted the ups and downs of life as they came at him, and in each trial of his spirit, he is eventually rewarded for him simply being…Forrest.

Simple. Decent. Unselfish. Sincere. Quiet. …and rewarded. Rewarded with success in his personal relationships, rewarded with his national notoriety in a number of instances, and rewarded, albeit briefly, with the companionship of the only women he loved, and rewarded with the companionship of a son. The role of father…a role he seemed destined to excel at. Forrest’s trueness to his values is rewarded in spades.

Conversely, Jenny’s self-indulgent behaviors resulted in many unnecessary and painful episodes in her shortened life. A look at Jenny gives us a look at our trip through the pop-culture meanderings of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and nineties. Sex. Drugs. Protest culture. Single mother. She is rewarded with abuse, serious drug problems, and disease , likely AIDS. Her life ends with her a victim of her behaviors.

I was struck by the juxtaposition of the liberal and the conservative here.

I believe FG is a cold commentary on the “rewards” of liberalism, versus the rewards of conservatism. Jenny unquestionably represents a commentary on the pitfalls of the path of liberal relativism, and she is representative of our potential path as a country if our culture is skewed to follow that of values-less, pop-relativism. The current liberal agenda of defeat and withdraw, the liberal agenda that refuses to see the darkness and the ruthlessness in the hearts of our enemies, the liberal agenda of feticide, the anarchy created with a constant stream of negativism unsupported with constructive solutions or alternatives, the liberal imprisonment of minorities via entitlement programs, the liberal imposition of their morals onto our children via our schools and their curricula, the liberal agenda that divides our efforts against evil external forces, and the liberal agenda that makes our national will soft and feckless; is an agenda that will lead us down Jenny’s path. A path previously traveled. And a path that has demonstrated itself to take 30 years to recover from.

Ooooooo, deep. So what? Had I not followed FG immediately with Lord of the Rings/Return of the King, I may have missed the importance of the FG messaging.

We are on the precipice of making lasting cultural choices, and the direness of these choices is compounded by the evil on the horizon. If we take our eye off the ball, dark forces are ready to destroy and dominate us and our culture. Democrats in the White House, or in control of Congress, or on the Supreme Court, will not negotiate us out of the dangers posed by those that seek to destroy us. Domestic political maneuvering is not the solution to our strategic challenges.

Recognize that there is an evil entity (Islamofacism) that wants to destroy our culture and replace it with theirs. Their culture does not tolerate dissention or free expression of ideas. They will not be peacefully dissuaded from their mission.
Recognize that the liberal approach in dealing with this threat will not work. It sets us up for another thirty years of defeatist malaise, AND still we would face the physical threat noted above.
Recognize that the weakening of our culture by moral relativism, makes us logarithmically more vulnerable to the Islamofacist threat than re-aligning ourselves with the values under which this country was founded…English common law, and Judeo-Christian beliefs. Wild transgressions from these norms will leave us greatly splintered as a society and vulnerable to outside threats, as those with the Ho Chi Minh playbook use this internal dissent against us.
Unite again as a country of ideas and dialog, not as a country of angry monosyllabic diatribes that are meant to substitute for original thought and progressive ideas. Be heard. Work for change, but do not destroy this country simply to gain control of the government. Logic works better than foul language and ire.
Be prepared to defend this nation, as we will be attacked again. It will not call for recriminations and Congressional investigations. It will call for courage and a stoutness of heart that will challenge many of us beyond our perceived capacities. But as decent humans, as Americans, and as those in the right, we will find this strength and courage as generations of our forefathers have found before. We will find the courage to recognize all that is good in this country and defend it, rather than capitulating to our enemies because we find fault with our President, or the path chosen by our elected representatives.

We must be prepared for the words of Aragon, for if we continue to waiver on our commitment to the defense of our nation and our culture, we will surely need to heed them… “I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails; when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But not this day. This day we fight!”

Do not shrink away from what is at stake, a Neville Chamberlainesque move over the next many years, may plunge us into a world of darkness that makes 1939-1945 look like the Renaissance. We must recognize that we are in a critical, and serious struggle for our country, our culture, and our lives.

© Michael McBride 2006

Monday, January 30, 2006

Giving Hillary a Warm, Portland Welcome...


Senator Clinton came to Portland Oregon last Friday night for some fund-raising festivities at the downtown Hilton hotel. A very nice FReeper friend wanted to know if I would share my thoughts about my “beat on the street” experience with you.

Many of the Bourgeoisies in Portland refer to our city as “North Berkeley, Oregon” or “Moscow on the Willamette River”. Unlike Portland’s economy, the protest industry is very robust and Pacific Northwest comrades proudly refer to Portland as “Little Beirut”, which according to local folklore, was a moniker coined by President Bush ’41. Depending on the politician, various levels of hospitality and welcoming rituals are extended to our visitors. When Karl Rove came to debate Howard Dean, shoes were thrown at Mr. Rove, who threw them back by the way. When it was rumored that sly Vice-President Cheney was covertly in town for the weekend, a protest occurred at each of the secret bunker hideouts that might be housing the Vice-president. The local protesting proletariats love Howard Dean and Al Gore. They used to love Kerry – Teresa more so than John. They continue to drool over Bill Clinton but they loathe Hillary.

At the behest of a brilliant, witty, and charming local talk-radio hostess, I went to the Hillary at the Hilton protest to give periodic, on-the-air, updates during the radio broadcast, via the cell phone. I don’t know how to use cell phones. Any presentation I have done has been marginal at best. My dad used to say that courage doesn’t come without fear. Any guy who received a Purple Heart for Normandy, another Purple Heart for the Battle of the Bulge, and a Bronze Star gets my vote for credibility. Although deceased, he continues to be my hero. I agreed to a leap of faith, hang out with the protesters, and give periodic radio updates. A risk assessment could wait, it was time to party.

All protests in Portland start at Pioneer Square, which is lovingly called: “Portland’s living room”. Panhandlers, punk rockers, homeless suburban teenagers, drug dealers, pit bulls, and scammers all hang at the square and we consider them family members. Last year, right after the first Iraq election, I participated in a Protest Warrior protest with about seven other people at the square. We held our American flags right side up and we inked our index fingers purple. An enthusiastic, first-amendment supporting, anarchist was yelling and screaming at us. I was in the mood for a little game of cat-and-mouse so I squared off with him for about 20 minutes. This same kid was the President of the Anarchist student group at Portland Community College. I saw him many times when I was taking Econ. classes at PCC. No, I am not kidding.

Ever since the 2000 Florida election, there has been a protest every Friday afternoon at Pioneer Square, which is usually attended by the same 15 – 20 people. The protests are routine - no new signs, no new slogans or chants, and Hillary Friday was proving to be just as dreary and monotonous as every previous Friday. My concern was that, contrary to the outrage posted on the local indymedia website, the protest was going to be nothing but the usual yawn. No cops, no International Workers of the World union organizers, no outraged, menopausal Code Pink ladies, just flat nothing but a market-share ratings disaster.

So I went to the Hilton because if there was going to be any action, that’s where it would be and I was not disappointed. I entered the lobby where lots of young, perky, keep-your-laws-off-my-body volunteers were very accommodating and more than happy to answer my questions. A nice lady gave me a “Friends of Hillary” campaign donation form and asked me if I wanted a $50 seat or a $1,000 seat. I said I wasn’t sure but I did have a simple multiple-choice question: Will my contribution go towards Oregon Senate campaigns, Hillary’s Senate campaign, or her Presidential campaign. The nice lady put on her business face toot-sweet, and firmly told me: “The funds were most definitely for any Hillary campaign because Hillary was such a brilliant woman and great leader. The emphasis of this event was not on her campaign efforts, but to support Hillary.” In the distance, I could hear drummers and marchers pounding and chanting up the street. The peace demonstration racket level was fast approaching the same level of racket in the Hilton lobby.

The protest signs are now components of a modern, efficient, supply-chain management, system. From 2000 – 2004, the signs were phrased with: “Hey Bush, give us back our election.” Now the protest signs have been changed out to reflect more current events: “No campaign funds in 2008 for war-mongering candidates” and “Stop the foreign occupation, support our schools and education”. These messages worked especially well when chanted in time to the drummers. The “Bring all the troops home now” chant ended too abruptly, and “Hillary, we have a constitutional crisis on our hands and it’s not flag burning” incantation didn’t work out well at all – no form, no cadence. The biggest sign said: “We don’t have health care, we’re losing civil rights, we’re losing jobs, (and now we’ve lost our minds) because 'Bush lied and they died'”. I was disappointed to not see a sign that said: “Filibuster Alito or we will filibuster you, Hillary”.

I stretched my newly acquired cell-phone / protester-interviewing skills and convinced a woman that she just scored a victory for the cause: Right here, right now, she had a chance to state her views to a conservative talk-show radio host who wanted the listening audience to hear what she had to say about Hillary and world peace. The woman started to pace, and talked louder and faster as she crammed in the usual regime change, dictator, war criminal talking points. Oddly enough, the louder she yelled into the phone, the casualty numbers kept increasing.

I asked one guy about the “Bring all the troops home now” sign. My question was: Do you mean all the troops, like the ones over in Kosovo, and the ones continuing to help in the Tsunami areas, or just the troops in the Middle-east? This question confused the hell out him. He looked up. He looked down. He formed his response: “There are many groups representing many points of view here tonight. All of the folks out here want all the troops home from the Middle East - definitely. Some of the folks want all the troops home from all foreign countries, except the countries where the United Nations wants our help and only if they ask us for help. And our troops have no business in South America, or Venezuela, or Bolivia either”. Ah-hah! He played the vintage hippie bait-and-catch protester trick that demanded a response: “What a drag, man! I didn’t know we had troops in South America too … But since we are there, can’t we do something about that southern border?” I aged another five years maintaining my composure but I kept my mouth shut.

When I got back to the radio station, I was complemented on my observations and professionalism. The producer and host were both smiling and relaxed so I think I did an acceptable job. It was great fun for me and I hope that it was fun for the listeners. I have no idea how people responded, but if you were listening, I thank you for your indulgence.

At peak time, I counted 60 protesters, including the drummers. Most of the folks were all about 55 – 60 years of age, sporting lots of long gray hair, backpacks, and outdoor gear. The women in this demographic could also stand to get some better support – I recommended an underwire for the ladies. I also need someone to explain to me how it is that so many people in Portland dress as though any minute, there is going to be a spontaneous camping/hiking adventure. For crying out loud, the nearest camping site is over an hour away, public transportation system doesn’t extend that far, and how useful are those carabineers and rope when you’re riding the damn bus anyway?

I managed to stay safe and not offend anyone, until I called my Democrat sister the next day. I really didn’t want to cause her any grief; I just wanted to tell her about the stealthy experience reporting for both sides and my new skills. Somehow, our conversation led towards Jimmy Carter, Israel, and sand melted into glass. We did reach an agreement that neither of us is voting for Ms. Clinton, but I don’t trust my sister too much. We seem to have these loud contentious conversations that leave me dumbstruck because her information is often inaccurate and she is stubborn and just won’t consider anything beyond what she knows she knows. My ears and my feelings are always a bit tender and sore after these conversations. I’m going to call her back tomorrow and ask her if she would like me to make a donation to Cindy Sheehan’s senatorial campaign - just my way of saying: “Please accept my sincerest apology.”

I am very offended by people who are stuck in a 38 year-old time warp and can’t seem to understand that the world has changed. I’m offended that these same folks think it’s perfectly fine that elderly folk singers and 25 year-old, punk-rocker, heroin addicts establish our country’s foreign policy. I am offended that these protesters, politicians, family members, and celebrities cannot answer a simple question: “Do you think we should write another check, apologize, and just put Saddam back in power?” They never answer this question and always pipe down when I remind them that: “Yes, it’s messy because dictators never leave because they are sorry or because you said please – get it?”

I am also offended that these same peaceful, sanctimonious folks are always supporting pro-choice when pro-choice has morphed down the slippery slope to an invasive, violent, and brutal procedure that always terminates an innocent life and often screws up a lot of young girls’ bodies and souls. Don’t talk to me about peace because I just can’t indulge these viewpoints that no longer make sense to me.

To all of the families who have had their loved ones serve in our country’s military, I am deeply humbled by your courage. I pray for your safety and well being. I am very, very grateful to be one of the blessed who has food, shelter, love and freedom because of your protection. You are the true peacemakers and I thank you.

* Maggie is a local fellow FReeper and a new Special Correspondent to MySandmen. Welcome her aboard, and let her know what you think. Comments are always welcome and encouraged.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Google Schmoogle...

Mr. Atos
Google... the world's most popular digital memory hole.

In light of Google's moral fortitude in the face of tyrannical oppression (Oh wait... ), Michelle Malkin has assembled a few logo revision concepts for them to consider. Here and Here.

We have one of our own to suggest,

Little Green Footballs offers this sneak peak at the search engine that refuses to cooperate with its own government to stop the next episode of mass murder, but aids real totalitarianism to build the world's most popular digital memory hole.

tiananmen - Google Image Search.
tiananmen - Google Image Search in China.

Welcome to Oregon fellas.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What Is Being Left - Bolshevik Redux...

Mr. Atos

In his usual sobering manner,
wretchard highlights a growing concern that I too noted some time back when inspired to begin this series. There is a malevolent vein to a fulminating trend in the manner of political discourse that echos the thunder from previous storms of modern history when violence displaced debate as the chosen mechanism for persuasion among Men.

Certainly a careful scrutiny of imagery from a montage he links through
Zombietime (hat tip: Little Green Footballs) for coverage of an anti-abortion march and the counterdemonstration which met it in San Francisco, conveys my concerns. If not, then indulge a cursory review of the homepage of the World Can't Wait Organization and ask yourself by what means do these self-proclaimed Communists and their celebrity supporters (Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Harry Belafonte, Kurt Vonnegut, Ed Asner Jessica Lange, Jane Fonda, Gore Vidal, Martin Sheen, to name a few) intend to achieve their goals in absense of majority support (ie. electoral victory)?! The term 'coup' comes to mind, which in itself implies coercion and subjugation at the hands of a tyrannical minority for the confiscation of political power... by force.

Do keep in mind that the very same World Can't Wait Organization who intend to overthrow the legitimately twice elected Executive Branch of the United States of America by force, were primary participants in force at the very same rally where the aforemention statements were publicly displayed. Keeping in mind that free speech is a fundamental inalienable right guaranteed by fact of existence, notably identified by the same Constitution enjoyed by intransigent Communists and unconscionable Anarchists alike even as they intentionally deconstruct it, it is fair to share the discourse offered by these participants in the debate. Even if the photos of them do not convey the story acutely enough, then the banners they brandish will definitely fill the gaps in understanding what is being Left. I have provided the most notable below, with my own additional clarifications.

"Keep your laws off my body and I'll keep my hands off your throat!" And how long until that sentiment lends itself to the degenerated corollary "Obey my desires and I won't kill you."

"Stop Breeding." ...
and we'll keep our hands off your throat! ... and your childrens' throats.

"Women's liberation through Socialist Revolution!" Modernize liberty with 90 year old bromides... that all failed miserably.

"Every child a wanted child." Hmmm... wanted by whom? Or rather, NOT wanted by whom. It sort of goes along with the threat to "Stop Breeding" does it not?

"Free abortion on demand!" And under Socialist doctrine of collective responsibility, might not the demand be the Village's edict.

"Many more must die!"
A stand alone, I submit.

Here are two more of those...

"Abort more Christians!" as in 'We will certainly...' and

"Kill your kids, motherf&*#r!" Are we getting a picture? If its still fuzzy, this should complete the vulgar image of the overall intent of what is being Left...

"Human loss of life is necessary!"

Aren't you just dying to ask the follow-up questions, ' for what purpose?' ... and 'for whom?' Your loss might be judged necessary by this bunch if you do. Because the Village that it takes to nurture what is being Left is damned by a guttural hatred of humanity and looks more like Solzhenitsyn's Archipeligo than the fable of Potemkin.

See also...

What Is Being Left v.14.0
What Is Being Left v.13.0
What Is Being Left v.12.0
What Is Being Left v.11.0
What Is Being Left v.10.0
What Is Being Left v.9.0
What Is Being Left v.8.0
What Is Being Left v.7.0
What Is Being Left v.6.0
What Is Being Left v.5.0
What Is Being Left v.4.0
What Is Being Left v.3.0
What Is Being Left v.2.0
What Is Being Left v.1.0

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Intelligence and The New Battlefield


Wars past in which the United States military was involved have presented themselves with relatively conventional battlefield contexts – even the ones involving unconventional warfare. The over-riding reason for this is the clarity in identifying who is a combatant and who is a target.

When targets and combatants are clearly identified as being military in origin, battles are fought only where armies and their support infrastructure reside. Battlefields of WWI, WWII, the U.S. Civil War, etc. are easily identified, even today. Possible exceptions to these are targets composed primarily of civilian elements, whose most infamous examples are probably Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But even in those cases, each of those cities represented targets with a military support infrastructure as well as a target of psychological importance to the populace supporting their army.

In the common battlefield contexts noted above, gathering of intelligence to promote effective military operations is limited to that chain of involvement. Armies could easily be identified, so gathering information on the infrastructure that supports their operations can be highly focused, such as locations of arms-based factories, military bases, command and control facilities, etc.

The goal of conventional warfare is to eliminate the capacity of your enemy's army to act against you. This can be done by inflicting physical damage to an army and its support structure, or it can be done by inflicting psychological damage to that army or its supporting civilian populace.

The second half of the 20th century brought unconventional warfare and blurred battle lines to the forefront of military strategy. Vietnam, for instance, proved the effectiveness of unconventional operators being able to blend in with a civilian population, especially when their American adversary was so clearly identifiable. From the American experience, the battlefield was limited to Southeast Asia, and civilian targets in the theater were to be avoided as much as possible.

Fast-forward to the Fall of 2001. The battlefield became the United States mainland. More importantly, the battlefield became every single aspect of "America" - military, governmental, social, commercial, cultural. All of these elements are now targets of Islamic Militants.

American society is now presented with the ultimate quandary. Unconventional operators are currently planning operations against, and in the middle of, a culture whose most prized ideal is the primacy of individual liberty. Not only do those who wish no harm against others have the freedom to live according to their choosing, but those who wish the destruction of that culture have nearly endless opportunities to inflict damage to that culture. Not only are there a multitude of targets (because everything about it must be destroyed), but the elements of that society that are most able to prevent their actions are deliberately limited by their system of laws. If the United States was a Stalinist dictatorship, there would be no threats of domestic terror because all potential domestic terrorists would immediately be put to death. But in our free society, thoughts are not (for the time being) a crime - only actions can be.

So what is a free society to do when its greatest strength becomes, potentially, the vehicle for its destruction?

As in any war, intelligence must be collected in order for combatants to operate effectively. Terrorists don't have to think much about gathering intelligence: they know where the police, FBI and military are. So they can operate extremely effectively. The Police, FBI, and military, however, have a difficult time gathering intelligence about terrorists, even in their own backyard.

If such a situation had occurred perhaps 20 years ago, the stakes would be relatively low. A conventional-yield explosive device, or somebody with an automatic rifle on a crowded street, could kill maybe a hundred people, tops. But people with intent to wreak havoc most likely now have access to weapons of unimaginable destructive capacity (we’re talking *millions* dead here) - for the right price. And the oil industry has become increasingly lucrative, for American Capitalists and Middle-Eastern Islamicists alike. The operative difference between the two is that American Capitalists love liberty.

Military (a.k.a. a few armed people sworn to protect a civilian populace) victory is achieved by a balanced combination of Strength, Resolve and Cleverness. Our past heroes were people like Gen. Washington and his Minutemen, Grant, Sherman, Buffalo Soldiers, Teddy Roosevelt, Gen. Pershing, Sgt. York, Maj. Boyington, Eisenhower, Patton, MacArthur and their Bands of Brothers. They all exemplified Cleverness, Strength and Resolve.

In the new domestic battlefield, surrounded by soft targets and civilians, our expertise of broad lethality (Strength), however, is a major liability. This weakness will have to be compensated for by Resolve and Cleverness. If you’re not quite getting it, let me be clear: CLEVERNESS = EFFECTIEVE INTELLIGENCE GATHERING + CREATIVITY. And let me be even clearer: INTELLIGENCE = SPYING ON PEOPLE. And clearer yet: = SPYING ON PEOPLE INSIDE THE UNITED STATES. And absolute clarity: = if necessary, SPYING ON UNITED STATES CITIZENS THAT ARE ACTING TO CAUSE HARM TO (POSSIBLY MILLIONS OF) THEIR FELLOW CITIZENS.

Cleverness also equals recognizing looming danger and acting to eliminate it before it solidifies. Let me be clear about this, too: IRAQ. IRAN. NORTH KOREA.

I find it difficult to believe that I have to even *begin* making an argument to engage and defeat Islamicists, wherever they might be - it's as if a cougar has just entered my child's playroom and my wife refuses to go get the shotgun because the cougar is "just trying to regain his former habitat." This leads to the concept of resolve. Right now, we have close to none. WWII would not have been won without resolve, but an even clearer example of the importance of resolve is when we lack it. Had we maintained our resolve, we would have won in Vietnam.

That is the true lesson of Vietnam: not that we should simply refuse to fight when a threat presents itself because we doubt our own validity, but that threats exist, and the fight to eliminate those threats cannot be won without clear and undying resolve.

The war against Militant Islam will be won - I hope - quietly, secretly and cleverly by brave men and women willing to confront evil on an inidividual basis. All we need to do is provide the cultural resolve to support them. But first we need to remember that Life and Liberty have value.

Ya Think????!!!!

Major Mike

Rich Lowry has a great piece out today that follows up on a piece he did last March, boys are different than girls and they are suffering from the last thirty years of the feminist movement.

"It is to be hoped that the crisis establishes a simple truth that is astonishing anyone ever forgot -- boys and girls are different. Or as Newsweek puts it, "Boys are biologically, developmentally and psychologically different from girls -- and teachers need to learn how to bring out the best in every one."
DUHHH. My sarcasm is not directed at him, because he has the courage to bring this to light, but at the feminists who have caused this to happen with their 30 years of male neutering and incessant gender-bendering...are you certain boys are different than girls?

In their efforts to level the adult playing field, males in general, and boys in particular have been the main targets for the sissyifcation of the male species. The strategy has been to slowly compromise the maleness of the gender, producing, not boys, but as Newsweek puts it "defective girls." This has predominately been done by diminishing the role of the male adult as an important paternal influence, but has been exacerbated over the past many years through same sex adoptions, convoluted arguments supporting parenting without both parents, and in many cases just poor fathering.

But certainly, the feminizing of boys has been the major driver to our current situation. Forced coed youth sports have infringed on the great bastions of boyhood, and when manipulated by feminists moms, have watered down opportunities for boys to interact with, compete against, and thrive with other boys...as boys. Birthday parties and play dates are replete with coed activities, few involving traditionally boy activities. Where do the single gender opportunities lie for boys to act like, and be boys, without being criticism from mis-guided gender-neutral, do-gooders?

The ramifications should have been predictable...square pegs do not fit in round holes, and if they are forced to, they become misshapen and unusable in their designed spot. Holds true for boys...believe it...no feminist jargon can change that. We have hurt our youth by over-compensating for inequities that occur in the adult world, through gender neutral instruction, activities, and goal setting. We have diminished the natural drive of boys by making them be "defective girls." The results (Lowry)...

"That's what has been happening for years. Feminists have wanted to believe that, given the right socialization, boys would give up their stubborn fascinationwith earth-moving equipment. As someone once said, "You can have your own opinion, but you can't have your facts." Similarly, you can have your opinion about what gender should be, but you can't have your own brain chemistry. Newsweek notes how in the womb, the brain of a male fetus is bathed with testosterone.

As any parent knows, that makes him different from a girl. If pedagogy systematically ignores those differences, it will be a disaster. Newsweek recounts the indices: Boys are twice as likely to be diagnosed with learning disabilities than girls in elementary school; the number of boys professing a dislike of school has risen 71 percent from 1980 to 2001; men constitute 44 percent of undergraduates on college campuses, down from 58 percent 30 years ago."

The interactions of boys and girls, men and women, need to exist in their natural state to the greatest extent possible. We are doing a great disservice to our youth if we insist on a "single formula" for learning, a formula by the way, skewed by years of the feminist search for "equality." This "equality" is reflected in the mind boggling numbers above. Where is the equality for the boys who have lost their motivation and drive by being funneled through the Barbie driven world of elementary and secondary education? We are doing our youth a disservice if we do not do make every effort to accommodate the biological dichotomies that drive the differences in learning capacities. By evolving our educational methodologies to meet the variance in gender learning, we level the playing field where it should be leveled...at the basic educational opportunity...not via gender neutralization.

To the greatest extent possible, we should celebrate the differences between our genders, and accommodate the varied needs of each, but it is time we stop the social experimentation on our youth, skewed by our adult prejudices...let boys be boys, and girls be girls. Let's make sure there is room for those who choose different paths as adults, but don't force our male children to be the water boys for the feminist movement...it comes at a high price.

Full disclosure...I have a fourteen year old daughter.

Monday, January 23, 2006

War Records; Chapter Two.

Major Mike

The Oregonian jumps into the "War Records" argument today, publishing and Op Ed by Jim Rassmann, (a retired lieutenant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, lives in Florence. He served with the Army's 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1968-69).

I am glad they kept the issue alive by publishing such a lame and factless defense. He garners print by attacking an out-of-control right-wing organization...the wildly conservative Cybercast News Service.

"(CNS)...has attacked Murtha, claiming he was fraudulently awarded Purple Hearts for wounds received during two tours in Vietnam."

Actually, if you read the article, CSN is simply reporting the claims of a couple of Murtha associates, who dispute the circumstances surrounding the awarding of Murtha's Purple Hearts, and the varied stories that Murtha has told regarding their issuance. I would call this reporting, and because the left-leaning MSM refuses to investigate these types of discrepancies, (John Kerry, Christmas in Cambodia, a noteworthy discrepancy...lie, that got no scrutiny by the mainstream press), I would encourage CSN and others to look into the matter further. As I stated on Thurs, Murtha can put all this behind him by having the Marines release his records to the press. As a decorated veteran, this is how I would clear up any disparaging charges against my record. Why hesitate? Because elements of his stories may be false...it has happened to better pols.

The feckless MSM should investigate, if only to try to maintain their very limited credibility. I guess left-leaning liars and fakers aren't as interesting to investigate as right-leaning liars.

I also take umbrage with the following from Rassmann...

"Since it is unseemly for a leadership that never served its country in combat to attack the patriotism and veracity of decorated soldiers and sailors who did, this administration has returned to its tactic of finding surrogates to do its dirty work."

I am not doing the administration's bidding, I am acting as a veteran who has earned his awards, and demands nothing less, and nothing more, of Murtha and all veterans. Stolen Valor will sicken the reader as undeserving veterans, and non-serving civilians alike, trash the value of military awards by wearing the heroism of others like hookers wear cubic zirconia and rhinestones. The falsehoods and exaggerations inextricably linked with the undeserved wearing of awards, are meant to garner adulation, praise, and personal gain, by silently claiming that the recipient possesses some personal attribute via the combat decoration he is wearing that he/she does not likely possess in their real persona. In many cases these fakers are rewarded with personal and professional gains... Stolen Valor is replete with examples where the recipient of a high combat honor was afforded opportunities that they would not otherwise have been given.

Is it possible that Murtha's claims about his awards helped get him elected? And if so, is it possible that his victories are ill-gotten? Not worth a look? C'mon...of course it is, and the longer he refuses to give up his full military record...the more it calls into question, not only his awards, but the entirety of his service. Missed drills? Waivers? Special favors? (sound familiar?) What else is there to find in his record?

Again, I respect the fact the Rep. Murtha served his country, but his service, and his subsequent claims about his service MUST be coincident. If he has exaggerated...he needs to be called on it. If he has lied...he needs to be called on it. And if the MSM won't investigate it, then I have no problem with CSN looking into it. And I certainly have no problem calling for the full release of his record. He should not be ashamed to release them...in fact he should be ashamed for not releasing them.

I also find it interesting that, in the interest of full disclosure, Rassmann fails to stipulate, in his short byline bio, that he was rescued by John Kerry during Vietnam, although he conveniently refers to the "...the Swift Boat assault on Kerry during the 2004 election campaign." I think the omission of this connection, and Rassmann's role for the Dems in 2004, is a thinly veiled attempt to slip this piece in as an "impartial" piece...while it is clearly a Dem counterpoint attack to the quickly eroding credibility of Murtha and his war record.

Keep in mind, it is not Murtha's service that is in question; it is how faithfully he has represented that service to America that is in question...as a public servant, there is no reason to obstruct a release of his full record via the Marine Corps...again, not via his staff. If he has faithfully represented himself this should clear up in short order, if he continues to avoid the full release of his records...I will continue to dog him...unapologetically.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Releasing War Records

Major Mike

I am a combat veteran. I joined the VFW my first day back in the States, and am a life member. I flew forty missions in the Gulf War, and have received many citations for my combat service, and my non-combat service.

There is a flare up underway about John Murtha's combat/decoration history here, here, and on this page is a Brit Hume video on the subject. Based on what I have read in the opening paragraphs of Forgotten Soldier and the entirety of Stolen Valor some people have a habit of exaggerating their combat records...if they have one at all.

So, as a combat vet, I have an opinion on this subject. I think Murtha's record should be fully explored. I think fakers and exaggerators count on the politeness and deference of others in allowing, either spoken or implied, exaggeration of their military records to become "fact" over time, and discussion of their "record" to then become "off limits" for discussion. This is how dozens of people have been "awarded" our nations highest honors, taken advantage of these exaggerations for their personal gain, and as Burkett points out in Stolen Valor, stolen the honor of real combat heroes who have legitimately earned their combat and non-combat decorations.

Remember Adm. Boorda? He falsely wore a combat "V" device on one of his non-combat awards. (A "V" device is affixed to a ribbon and denotes that the wearer earned the medal for combat service involving hostile fire, vice earning the medal for some non-combat meritorious service or act) He committed suicide once this was exposed. Among honorable veterans, the value of the awards lie in the belief that they were earned by those who wear them. Valor in combat is admired by those who witness it, and when appropriately rewarded with medals, it is respected by those who recognize the combat awards worn on the uniform.

So, if you are advertising the award, I say prove it. Back up the veracity of the award, and the questions surrounding the validity will evaporate. Stall, deny, delay and hide, and you will draw suspicion from those of us who have earned our medals. And when it comes to those who have been awarded the Purple Heart, you WILL draw their ire, if you have accepted and worn a respected medal for a scratch or a bruise. Additionally, questions will naturally arise when claims of multiple Purple Hearts are not manifest with any visible injury. Remember John Kerry and the attention his Purple Hearts received?

So, as a combat vet, I have no issues whatsoever in asking John Murtha to release his entire record for public scrutiny. His reluctance to do so would immediately create suspicion in my mind as to whether what he has stated publicly is coincident with what is in his record. So, I say Murtha...release your complete military file via the Pentagon...not via your staff, and let the chips fall where they may. I am not ashamed to ask that. Reading Stolen valor will be enough to convince you that this is a reasonable request of someone who has made their service, and his awards, part of his political persona.

In the interest of full disclosure...my personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star in lieu of second award, Single mission Air Medal (non-combat award), Strike Flight Medal with numeral "7" (for missions flown in Bosnia and the first Gulf War), and Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V" device, and two gold stars in lieu of second and third awards.

"Even Sunni's Believe She's Fair!..."


"Observers in Iraq do not understand Jill Carroll's abduction, because even the Sunni's believe she's fair."

This was the AP wire line read by the brainless female DJ on a local FM Radio affiliate here in Portland this morning at the 6:30am news update. To be fair, the DJ's male counterpart is even Less capable. Nevertheless, the comment underscores the serious problem that exists among Western journalists and much of the public regarding the war in Iraq and its connections to the greater global conflict at hand. They simply do not understand what is happening.

The public might well be forgiven for their ignorance if it in fact it exists, considering the notable lack of information being provided by an equally obtuse media. The media gets no such pass of condemnation, however. The press is charged with the responsibility to comprehend and convey information for the very purpose of educating the public about conditions and events beyond their immediate scope of knowledge and experience. Theirs is the profound responsibility of real-time anthropologists, to observe happenings and position them against one another for sequence; to weigh them against facts to convey meaning; to place them in context to establish significance; then to project them before the public to facilitate an objective perception of truth. For this process to unfold, there must be a foundation by which to evaluate the situation at hand.

And yet, the modern fog of subjective valuation forbids even the most rudimentary conclusions regarding the quality of human virtue beyond a hedonistic identification of individual worth or fraternal deference to tribal concensus. ( I think therefore I am. I’m fair therefore I'm safe.We agree therefore its true.") Their truth is disseminated to the public accordingly by way of selective information in the form of News. And the image develops for us like a portrait - cropped, blurred, and dark.

We adhere most mercifully in the West to a notion of honor and trust, believing the intention to be key to acknowledged virtue. We convince ourselves that we are good people, and need not therefore be despised. Some actually believe it because it's true. Others fancy their own progressive degree of fairness do ordains them for exclusion from the wretched motives of their fellow villains. And so why dare they suffer the fate so deserved of those others... the unenlightened scurge of Western Emperial hubris on which the hatred feeds?

And thus how dare anyone harm one of the enlightened?

The AP spoke with Jill's mother. The elder Mrs. Carroll said,

... her daughter has always shown the highest respect for the Iraqi people and their customs in her reporting.

"We hope that her captors will show Jill the same respect in return," she said. "Taking vengeance on my innocent daughter, who loves Iraq and its people, will not create justice." Jill Carroll was abducted in one of Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhoods while being driven to meet a Sunni Arab politician, who failed to appear for the interview. Carroll's translator was killed, but her driver escaped.

Carroll asked that her daughter's captors find a way to contact her to discuss her daughter's release.

"We call upon you to ensure that Jill is returned safely to her family, who needs her and loves her," she said.

Note that Separate Baghdad Bombings Leave 23 Dead today.

And so why might Mrs. Carroll or anyone in the Press believe that some abstract personal notion of fairness regarding Iraq and its people lends them a particularly unique status of enlightened neutrality from the actions of butchers that is denied the Iraqi people, it's soldiers, American liberators, and any other citizen of Western Civilization from Bali, to Beslan, to Jerusalem, or Manhattan?

The fact is that no such neutrality exists in this War for anyone defined as infidel by an enemy willing to sever all ties with human civilization in the pursuit of their perverse kleptocratic etherium as easily as they might well sever the younger Mrs. Carroll's fair head from its living body, thereby proving that death is every bit as real and tangible as judgment! ... if only for Mrs. Carroll herself much to her brief regret.

The lesson we learn from it, might well determine our own fate, fair or not, one way or the other.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Faked Up Photo Facts...


Much is being made of the photo published along with the New York Times coverage of a U.S. airstrike on a village in Pakistan. (HT. Michelle Malkin and
Hugh Hewitt) First posted at Reason On Line, it was analyzed by Scott Johnson at Powerline and Instapundit. The New York Times claimed it to show Pakistani men with the remains of a missile fired at a house in the Bajur tribal zone near the Afghan border. But, as Scott Johnson notes,

Only it's not the remains of a missile, it's an old artillery shell. Which means the photo was deliberately faked by the people depicted, probably with the knowing aid of the AFP photographer. I think the villagers were lying about not hosting members of al Qaeda, too.
Not only was the photo staged with unrelated ordinance, there are a number of additional curious aspects of this image that I have noticed. I have marked them below. For a closer look, download the posted image,

1. Note the glow of the aliasing on the left side of the boy. The halo suggest the boy may not have been part of the original image. At first glance, he appears to be from an image of higher resolution. The halo reinforces the possibility that he was added to the photo.

2. It would appear from the perspective, that this fellow is farther back from the object behind the boy in the foreground. So why is the implement in his hand projected beyond that object. This might simply be a perceptual anomally, but it is curious nonetheless.

3. The 'ordinance' itself is odd at best as it has been arrange in the photo in such a way as to obscure its entire form. Curious that there is no accompanying photo showing its complete profile with markings. It appears in this photo in similar fashion as if one were attempting to show the distinguished gentleman to it's right standing adjacent a giant Heinekin bottle. And in fact, if it is placed on the same ground on which the man is standing, it must be nearly 5 feet long (tall), accounting for perspective. That's huge for artillery shells and Heinekin bottles alike.

4. The face of the boy between the distinguished gentleman and the 'ordinance' is captured with near perfect choreography... peaking curiously and cautiously between, just at the right moment. There's a future for this photographer at Sear's Family Photo if he suddenly finds future employment difficult. But, it is the odd infill between he and the tunic of the distinguished gentleman that called my attention. There is an inconsistent pattern of pixels that looks curious at best. Painted likely.

Now, all of this could be coincidental, albeit strange. At times in the course of my career, I have been a professional graphics designer and renderer specializing in the preparation (and yes manipulation) of market graphics. Adding objects and people are a specialty of mine, and this image seems goofy. Now, digital images are subject to the mercy of post-processing. Artifacts do occur. And the web is an unreliable medium by which to analyze photos. That being said, these apparent flaws beg a closer look at higher resolution images. If anyone out there has access, I would love to see them. Or simply take a closer look yourself at the areas I have circled.

This controversy may go well beyond the photos caption.

Afterall, remember this?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Iran: A Simple Question...


Michelle Malkin asks it,

Do Americans understand the gravity of the situtation? I fear not. Once again, we are ill-served by a short-sighted, narcissistic, Bush-deranged news media far more interested in playing "gotcha," selling fish-wrap, and serving as Democrat Party adjuncts than keeping readers/viewers informed of the world's biggest threats.
And the Oregonian proves her point yet again this morning, with their headline story, "Thousands Protest US Airstrike. " Good luck finding the text of the story on their website, but it's primary intent is to inform readers that a great number of Pakistani's are outraged by recent airstrikes aimed at destroying Al Quaida leadership taking refuge in that country. Thousands of them marched in several cities as noted,

"In Karachi, Pakistan's most populous city, about 8,000 people attended a rally outside the main Binori mosque listening to fiery speeches condemning the United States..."
In a nation of 162,419,946 people, the Oregonian sees fit to lead the Monday headline with the activities of a handful of potbangers no larger in percentage than the cadre of 19 Friday moonbats that rally in downtown Portland every week to protest the Bush administration. The New York Times today goes so far as to publish an apparently staged propaganda photo. And so the meme continues in the mainstream US press to undermine the efforts of this nation in a very real struggle for survival at a time when it is becoming all to clear that we have slipped beyond what wretchard once called the "End of the Beginning" of the next world war.

Preceding her question,
Michelle includes a tremendous rundown of recent analyses of the threat currently posed to the world by Iran's fanatical regime. Among them, Victor Davis Hanson lays out the four scenarios of western action in response... none of them particularly appealing. And wretchard of The Belmont Club makes note that,

...[D]iplomacy will continue, not because it has any prospect of success, but from want of an alternative. Iran knows better than anyone that Israeli lacks the ability and the US probably lacks the will to mount a regime change. In this context diplomacy acquires a different significance. It's playing for time, hoping that the regime in Teheran will slip up somehow and provide an opportunity for effective action. That slip-up, if it occurs, can only be induced by taking Iran to the brink.
But, it is Dr. Sanity who renders the most salient point regarding the standard Western approach at pacification of the megalomaniacly deranged,

The international community mucked around with sanctions on a blowhard like Saddam for over a decade--and what did it get them? If we thought Saddam was a lying, immoral thug with delusions of grandeur and WMDs to act on them; we can multiply that assessment by a factor of ten when dealing with a Saddam-like clone whose delusions are even more extreme and with a religious foundation to boot. And this fanatic's desire for WMD's is not in question (yet, anyway; after he is thwarted, who knows what some people will convince themselves was the case?). Ahmadinejad can't be deterred because it is his earnest desire to die gloriously and go to his maker-- and he doesn't care who he takes with him. Saddam didn't mind killing others, but he always planned to save his own neck; and I'm sure he always intended that he would come out of any confrontation alive and triumphant.
The gravity here at the center of this crisis is caused by the same fanatical mentality that butchered some 3000 innocent people on 9/11, maintained murderous regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and buttresses other despotic villains in Syria, Egypt and Iran. It seeks to terrorize the world with violence and threat, yet demands the sanction of its victims to manifest and persist. It is a singularity of hate that periodically drags civilization into the crushing blackness of self-immolation to which its victims might gladly drift if not for the resistance of good men certain of their virtue, unwilling to relent to fear.

Stripped however, of the force of resolve and the deterrance afforded by might, Atlas tangles with a harpy in a dangerous struggle for the destiny of the globe. The Belmont Club explains it this way today,

Both the regime in Teheran and Washington are like Olympic wrestlers grappling within a narrowly bounded mat. The instant anyone should step or be forced outside the mat the buzzer will sound and a new and deadlier match will begin. Unfortunately the boundaries of the arena are invisible to both sides. How far can America push Iran? How far can Iran push America? Iran has the advantage of knowing that the US will stop short of overt military action against them -- for the time being. But it has the disadvantage of not knowing how far it can let Al Qaeda and Hezbollah go without bringing down the spectators from the stands.

The end of the beginning in Iraq and Afghanistan has been resolved to America's advantage, despite the tremendous resistance of Western Leftists with their mainstream Media wing and American political party (aka Democrats). In their own myopic grapple for political power, they could not effect its conclusion. Yet, they have managed to undermine the options that America has at its disposal, compromising those that are most politically volatile and thus subject to opportunistic eruption, distraction, and subsequent disaster regardless how effective. Indeed the world (and America's enemy) has bore witness to all manner of self-flagellation on the part of Democrats over the last 5 years. Clearly, on the brink of new holocaust, there are two struggles taking place. While engaged in a war for civilization in the East, a civil war rages within the West. The Left has chosen this as their time to subvert national resolve and international trust for the sake of their own political fortunes, in fact waging war against their own common interests to do so. And so a third wrestler grapples within the narrowly bounded mat. How long can the Left pin America in a state of suicidal paralysis, even as Tehran pushes it over the threshold of armageddon?

The simple question most certainly is, do Americans understand the gravity of the situation?

If we do not, civilization will surely perish... Right, Left & wrong.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Shotgun Friday: Alito Hearing Thoughts

Major Mike

Seems that Alito gets solid support from those who have worked with him, and he gets hit with the Dem's playbook by the rest of the panel witnesses. Who is trying to politicize the courts...Alito or these special interest shillers?

Chemerinsky and Tribe have seriously damaged their value as professors of the law and opiners on important apolitical matters. Chemerinsky and Tribe made it clear that their agenda was anti-Bush, and because of their statements today...they believe that the SCOTUS seats AREpolitical footballs to be determined by political agenda...not to be filled with qualified and dedicated jurists who only have the best interest of the law in mind. Obviously, given the opportunity, they would sell the Contistution out for some short term political gains. Shameful.

Kennedy...bloated bloviator, hideous hypocrite, slimey slimer, inane idiot.

Republicans need to quit playing nice. The Dems politicized the Bork and Thomas nominations, and the Republicans basically gave Ginsberg a pass. For that, they got slander, sliming, and personal attacks on highly qualified, subsequent Republican nominated SCOTUS candidates. There is no payoff for cooperating with the Dems. Quit palying nice...they are playing hardball everyday...we need to match them pitch for pitch. Don't delay the vote...ram it down their throats. If they filibuster, use the Constitutional option within minutes. Send a message everyday...they do.

Why is it since O'Connor went a bit left, that the left is trying to match ideology with a specific seat on the court? This seems a new phenomenom tied only to the dramatic decline in the political successes of the left since the mid-90s. It is obvious that the left's last refuge is the activist nature of many judges, and thier hope to get them into important judgeships.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Alito Hearing Thoughts

Major Mike

0831 PST

Nina Totenberg runs through the Democratc talking points during the break with her questions to Senator Cornyn. Coincidence or NPR shilling for the Dems?

0834 PST

Sen. Leahy windbags his way through another rambling non-question. Trainer, Corner Man, and Cut Man all yelling "Stay down, Stay down." Referee counting to ten. Leahy gets up. He counter-punches with feckless jabs. He goes down again with a sharp lesson on Presidential War Powers. Gets up again, tries to punch out with oblique reference to some case he knows nothing about. Wobbly, about ready to go down again. Swinging wildly with "Unitary Executive" and weight of "Presidential Signing Statements." He's winded and he attempting to get his legs. He goes down with Alito splitting the punches. Leahy gets back up, counters with "sea story" from his past. Goes down again on irrelevance and rambling. Gets back up with prepared script. Goes back down with mis-charactorization of previous Alito statements. Crowd now yelling "stay down, stay down." Clock is ticking down...he may last the round. Leahy tripping on rhetorical shoelaces. He's barely standing. May survive the lecture he is getting on the tenants of our government. Leahy changes from boxing to fishing. He has lost his compass. He's out of prepared questions, he moves to logicless lecturing. he's grabbing for the ropes, as he pulls out a water polution case...he is about to go down for good with his two part question. Magnesium Electron may be his undoing...gets an education on the legal point of "standing." He's going down. Leahy's wild swing fails to land...he gets hit with Law School 101 and goes down for the count.

1132 PST

Senator Kohl enters ther ring. He's stumbling badly with his awkardly written half-prepared statement. Alito pushes him back into the ropes with the ease eating Jello. Alito dusts him a bit with "hey, every case is different...get the point." Kohl swings back with a feeble "try again." Alito begins to the body...his "two step process" counters Kohl's feeble arm waving. Kohl re-gains some strength with another prepared statment...although reading it seems to be a challenge. Kohl attempts an oblique attack with a Bork reference and a series of tired jabs...abortion, re-apportionment, etc. (see Nina Totenberg's questions as mentioned above). Kohl's corner prepares to throw in the towel as he seems unable to form a question out of his rambling. Alito counter punches...re-apportionment as a motivator to pursue a career...rabbit punches with reference to a specific book...Kohl is staggered. Kohl gets hit with tradtional values...peace and safety...raising children with parental values...guess what, 2006 is different than 1985. Kohl is silent...staggered. Goes to the WaPo for his question...he is going down...looks like he is going to swing with statistics...he misses. He keeps swinging though. He quotes Sunstein out of context using statistics...then leaves himself wide open. Alito reaches back, swings with non-meritoroious cases...cuts Kohl. He lands a KO punch by citing his support for previsous decisions by using the "reasonable" standard. Kohl gasps as he is going down..."for what its worth." Not much. He's out. Alito wipes a single bead of sweat from his brow.

1157 PST

Burgess Merideth, sorry Arlen Specter, feebly lets former lightweight champ Kennedy limp back into the ring with myriad of glove attachments not normally found in a match such as this, and take a swing at the resting Alito. He also lets the incoherent Leahy swing between rounds as well, Leahy falls after swinging. Alito returns to his roadwork.

1222 PST

Feinstein leads off with a false compliment and a head fake. Alito easily counters. Feinstein tries to get the right to do her heavy lifting by meandiering with a long and pointless quote from a previous exhange with Chief Justice Roberts and Specter. She loses her momentum by giving Alito her playbook. This should end the round shortly. Alito hits back with "leaving personal feelings" out of decisions, and the weighing of recent vs. aged court decisions. Feinstein might go Webster with trying to define "settled." Is Feinstein reading Hugh Hewitt?

1306 PST

Leahy slams Alito for having members from the 3rd circuit coming to testify before the committee live on behalf of Alito on NPR. Nina says it was Specters idea. Leahy sarcastically dimisses the idea. Nina begins guiding Leahy through the Dem playbook of talking points. Leahy claims Roberts gave him "clearer" answers...my mouth hits my desk. Good thing Leahy had an open mind coming into these hearings. Shocker...Nina pushes for an example, outside of Roe v. Wade ... Where did you get an answer from Roberts that you have not gotten from Alito? "Not getting the feeling from Judge Alito that we would all be treated the same." Referring to the president being "outside the law."

1320 PST

Feingold steps to the mound...comes in from left field. Mitigation in capital cases? Swung at with "standard of review," and not allowed to disturb State decisions unless the outcomes were "unreasonable." Claims of incompetence in appeal do not equal incomptetence...no reasonable finding. Alito hits the slow curve over the right field fence.

Fiengold tries to tie Alito decsions to Justice O'Connor's seat. Alito counters with applying the standards of the law, not the specific Court seat. Alito hits the Wiggins change up for a double. Feingold goes to the statistical knuckleball...Alito counters with one up the middle over Feinggold's head.

Feingold goes to the Justice Stevens slider. Elected judiciary skewing capital case outcomes? Alito counters with the constitutional response...States' responsibility...hits the Law School 101 liner back through the box.

Alito holds ground against Feingold with a promise to follow the ethical standards set for the Supreme Court. Feingold threw the same pitch multiple times, each hit back through the box.


In response to a Sen Graham question ..."I had nothing to gain from this (Vanguard) case."



Leahy enters the ring winded and weary...seemingly taking a round off, but he is behind on the judges' card...he'll have to knock out Alito for the win. Seems to be relying on the clinch this round. Is he dancing with Alito?

Kennedy steps into the ring with a huge can of yesterday's garbage and begins throwing it at Alito from the saftey of his corner. Alito's head bobbing and footwork avoid most blows. Kennedy hits himself with a discarded boomerang as he has to acknowledge..."I have made more than my share of mistakes." Way more. Kettle, black. Glass house, stones. Finishes winded as he struggles through the final moments of the round with hot-air-filled, rambling monolouge written by undereducated staffer...no one is listening, brilliant words go into black hole of the spittle bucket.

Feingold flails weakly.

Schumer continues to get pounded with repeated lessons on the differences between being a judge, an advocate, a prosecuter, and an administration employee. Schumer finishes with a pre-packaged combination on the heavy bag that have no effect on Alito's movement in the ring. Schumer leaves the ring yelling "Your mama" and "There'll be no re-match."

Republicans begin to rub down their fighter between rounds. Nina Totenberg continues to shill for the Dems at every turn...certain coincidence.

Durbin leads off with a false compliemnt and a back slapping. Then he changes back to lefty, leads with an extreme and previously explained example. Alito counters with Law School 101 V. 9.0. The blow glances off of Durbin's thick head.

1148 PST

Leahy wearily remarks..."the reason Vanguard was an issue, is because it was made in a sworn statement." Did Leahy support the impeachment of Clinton for lying under oath or not? I can't remember...hmmm. Leahy steps in his spittle bucket by feebly bringing up CAP. Leahy takes one on the nose..."no difference between the statements to the ABA and the Senate." "No bigotry, no prejudices." Leahy throws in the towel.

Kennedy picks up the Vanguard glove...can barely raise it to throw a punch. He misses Alito...connects solidly with the dead horse. The horse is counted out. Kennedy tries to revive the horse with lie..."if it was acknowledged as a mistake, this would have only taken 30 seconds." Horse refuses CPR. Kennedy tries to wrangle ABA down to his level. They show no interest in Kennedy's offer of CPR.

Feinstein steps into the ring...throws in the towel. Alito still standing.

Schumer enters the ring. Swings with "judicial philosophy," "out of the mainstream". Is that it? He actually hit the ring microphone as it was being lowered to announce the winner. AV geek called.

Vanguard dead horse buried by 3rd district associate...he continues to own Vanguard and does not have it on his recusal list...because he has no controlling interest...as per the law...as the standard is set, not to meet some fleeting Senate requirement driven by paritisan politics. Kennedy certain to have horse exhumed.

Anyone else notice how much less hot air is exhausted by legal professionals compared to Senators? Alito's cuts mended, muscles massaged, sweat wiped...looks fresh as a daisy.

1335 PST

Feinstein steps into the ring...looking for a knockout with the dead statisical analysis line of questioning...her idiocy laid bare. Rebuted by the same logic as yesterday..."most come from the fact that the biggest guy won in the district course and were correctly affirmed on appeal." Percentage of reversals are 8.7% in all cases...5.1% in criminal cases. "Standard of review" brought up as appeals driver not the outcome of the original trial. Feinstein wobbly, but swings again with Roe and Webster looking to cement Roe as settled law, by asking judge panel to explain Alito's definition of "settled". They wisely decline to get act as Webster for the mindless one from CA.

Feinstein misses opportunity to ask panel to define the word "is." I wonder why Feinstein misses this opportunity. She walks back to the corner...weary.

1346 PST

Leahy down for the count...wearily declines to ask questions using the Ginsberg deflection, claiming that he doesn't want to ask questions that they may bring before their courts or the Supreme Court should Alito be confirmed...stunning. Kennedy wakes up, calls Leahy Alito, and nods back off.

1352 PST

Durbin throws in the towel. Where have all the Senators gone...long time passing?

1531 PST

Panel member, unfavorable to Alito, gets a dose of questioning, as he attempts to "infer" that Alito has certain tendencies...based upon his extensive analysis of less than 1/4 of the cases Alito has written opinions on, and less than 1.5% of all cases Alito has adjudicated. Real credible witness.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Essay on Winning

Major Mike

Something happened in the late sixties and early seventies.

It is hard to put an exact date to it, but it happened, and it has shaped our culture ever since.

During this time, the soccer moms, and T-Ball dads, and track meet hosts for juveniles, began to diminish the importance of winning. For certain, this was driven by the parents of millions of long-faced thirteen year olds, who couldn’t bear to witness the celebrations of the teams who had just vanquished their sons or daughters in the sport of the season, or couldn’t bear to see that there was no ribbon for last place finishers.

The diminishing of victory snuck upon us via booster clubs and misguided moms, who began awarding trophies to every child on every team, so that “everyone was a winner” and “there are no losers.” Youth track meets, dance competitions, swim meets, and county fairs issue myriad of ribbon colors that would make a jumbo Crayola box green with envy.

Somewhere the importance of winning was supplanted by the quality of the effort, the sportsmanship exhibited by team members, or by merely showing up.

This has ingrained an apathy toward winning that now allows us to indulge losing as a acceptable alternative to victory. This may work for the mini-van crowd and yesterday’s elite soccer team finals, but it is unacceptable when it comes to matters of national importance.

The timing of this revolution against “winning” and “winners” occurred, coincidentally, about the time this nation decided to accept its first defeat in war. This was a conscious decision. We lost our stomach for the war, and subsequently turned our backs on millions of Vietnamese, many of whom were killed, many who were tortured, and many who were detained for years.

Make no mistake…this was a choice. Our forces never suffered a significant tactical defeat in the war, but we were shown the path to defeat via slanted media presentations, gutless politiking, and the lack of will at home. We saddled a generation of soldiers with orange, green, and yellow ribbons, and created a near disdain for winning in any endeavor. Our sympathies are to be with the participants of both sides, regardless of performance, regardless of their cause.

Again, this may work for the Saturday soccer crowd, but it doesn’t work in war.

Victor Davis Hansen has an excellent piece entitled “Reflection on 1862: War critics offer nothing new in 2006.” In it, he chronicles some of Lincoln's problems in dealing with the Civil War.
Specifically, VDH points out how Lincoln does not back away from knowing that complete victory MUST be the outcome to hold our nation together. Lincoln is poignant, but razor sharp on this….when victory is called for, victory it must be. (VDH on Lincoln)

"“The true remedy,” he wrote, “does not lie in rounding the rough angles of the war, but in removing the necessity of war.” That some suffer, perhaps even unjustly, during the conduct of a war is no argument for not fighting: “Would you drop the war where it is?” he asked rhetorically. “Or would you prosecute it in future with elder-stalk squirts charged with rose-water? Would you deal lighter blows rather than heavier ones? Would you give up the contest, leaving any available means unapplied?” He concluded in terms that would horrify our modern tender sensibilities: “ I shall do no more than I can, and I shall do all I can.”"

We need to understand that we are in a struggle for our values, for our culture, and for many…for our very lives. This is no time for half measures, and the expectation that the Islamafascists will give us our green ribbon for our effort and let us be on our way, is a false hope that will lead to the tragic ruin of our country. They intend to defeat us, so we, in turn, must be prepared to defeat them…whatever it takes.

It is time to vanquish our opponent, win the trophy, and celebrate appropriately, for we are securing our future, not protecting the feelings of thirteen year old boys.

VDH agrees, as he finishes with,

“This is the difference between 1862 and 2006 that offers little comfort, for we are facing a jihadist enemy fanatical in his devotion to his cause and counting precisely on our failure of nerve to compensate for his military weakness. He knows very well that our therapeutic sensibilities hinder us from doing all we can to win, and from reckoning with the “terrible arithmetic” the cost of achieving our aims. Fortunately, our military is made up of a very different breed, and their skill and devotion still give us a good chance for victory. Time will tell whether or not they are enough.”

The military IS good enough...are our citizens?

© Michael McBride 2006