Thursday, November 30, 2006
Normally I wouldn’t connect the opinion/editorial page drivel that comes from the Oregonian to a brilliant piece by Dean Barnett, who writes with Hugh Hewitt at Townhall.com, but there are some parallels between a local Portland story, and his take on the Baker Commission report that provide us some insight to the liberal mind…and the massive failings of liberal ideology in the real world.
The Oregonian almost gleefully cheers the departure of Schumacher Furs from downtown Portland today. Schumacher has been operating a legal enterprise in downtown Portland for 111 years, yet they are being forced to leave because they are on the radar screen of the liberal uber-left…the animal activist groups.
These schizophrenic animal “rights” groups (leather shoes anyone?) have been targeting Schumacher on Saturdays for over a year with escalating protests, and antagonistic tactics. Pictures provided in the Oregonian (like these provided by the protest group) clearly reveal an intimidating presence in front of Schumacher store, and undoubtedly, and unfairly impacted their business…to the point they felt they had to move.
The Oregonian falsely claims that “…police, the city and downtown business representatives all worked hard to help Schumacher counteract the protests.”
Their listless observation of the protesters from across the street, their failure to moderate the intensity or frequency of the protests, and their failure to ensure that shoppers could enter the store without feeling threatened, don’t constitute “working hard” at a solution in my book. Maybe the Oregonian editorial staff should read their own columnists...or do a little research on line...
"That Schumacher, 51, has lost patience with the raucous rumba line of protesters is understandable. There have been bullhorns, paint splatterings, sidewalk obstructions, online death threats, and naked demonstrators in front of his door (we're still efforting photos for the blog). Schumacher is still fuming about the police response; only when a police officer was assaulted, he said, did "we have 14 police cars at the door." "(my emphasis)
It is representative of liberal City leadership blindly supporting an uber-left liberal cause, and leaving an innocent business owner as the victim. It is not representative of a City "working hard" as a force for moderation.
And we get to the crux…what of those “negotiations?” Painting the windows with an opaque paint…requiring Schumacher to display a large tag inside of the garment proselytizing the bible of some fringe animal rights group whose entire membership may constitute a number somewhat less than that of a men’s synchronized swimming team…and generally allowing a business to be bullied by protestors can hardly be considered fair “negotiations.”
But that IS what the left considers “negotiation,” and they are smug about it. The Oregonian editorial board chides Schumacher …
“The loss of any downtown business, small or large, is troubling, and the loss of a venerable one is particularly distressing. But Schumacher's farewell, cast as an all-purpose attack on doing business downtown, was off the mark. Put it this way: It ought to be swallowed with a large squirt of mustard.”
Maybe the Oregonian editorial board should read their own mailbag, where support for the Schumacher’s was published at four-to-one for Schumacher and against the naked, paint throwing, death threatening, sidewalk obstructing, peaceful furry animal defenders.
So, one-way “negotiations” where an innocent party is rode out of town on a rail is considered a successful negotiation by the left…which brings us to the Dean Barnett piece and Jon Carrey’s testimony before the widely vague and unharmonious Baker Commission…
“Kerry seemed quite satisfied with what the Baker Commission was going to recommend. He seemed especially tickled that the Commission was poised to seek a diplomatic settlement with Iran and Syria to bring about peace in the Middle East. The fact that a diplomatic settlement with these nations would depend on the good faith of their lunatic leaders either doesn’t bother or fails to register with the Kerry and the Commission.” (my emphasis)
Beware America…Kerry, the Dems, and their liberal membership don’t want solutions, they want “negotiations,” and the results, as Schumacher proves, don’t really matter…it is all about feigning an effort, and moving the ball forward on minority driven, liberal causes…the good of the country and the rights of others be damned. This is a harbinger on how liberal officials implement their minority driven, liberal agendas, and how they approach problem solving. They don't acutally solve problems they negoitate, defer, delay, deny, and then the innocent party becomes a victim of their malfeasance.
Wake up America, or we will soon have “negotiated” our rights away to Islamic extremists, and we’ll be looking to set up shop with the Schumacher’s in the suburbs.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
In response to a recent letter to the "Noble Americans" from Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, allow me to rescucitate the famous words of one fictional American who would have had the courage to tell the impotent thug and his entourage of Kleptocratic fascist atavists exactly where to cram their perverted Dogma...
For the moment let we American's be united as one voice speaking to butchers of Islam, and their feckless Eurocentric enablers. Tonight, we are John Galt ...
"Whatever may be open to disagreement, there is one act of evil that may not, the act that no man may commit against others and no man may sanction or forgive. So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate violence—do you hear me? no man may start—the use of physical force against others.
"To interpose the threat of physical destruction between a man and his perception of reality, is to negate and paralyze his means of survival; to force-him to act against his own judgment, is like forcing him to act against his own sight. Whoever, to whatever purpose or extent, initiates the use of force, is a killer acting on the premise of death in a manner wider than murder: the premise of destroying man's capacity to live.
"Do not open your mouth to tell me that your mind has convinced you of your right to force my mind. Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins. When you declare that men are irrational animals and propose to treat them as such, you define thereby your own character and can no longer claim the sanction of reason—as no advocate of contradictions can claim it. There can be no 'right' to destroy the source of rights, the only means of judging right and wrong: the mind.
"To force a man to drop his own mind and to accept your will as a substitute, with a gun in place of a syllogism, with terror in place of proof, and death as the final argument—is to attempt to exist in defiance of reality. Reality demands of man that he act for his own rational interest; your gun demands of him that he act against it. Reality threatens man with death if he does not act on his rational judgment: you threaten him with death if he does. You place him into a world where the price of his life is the surrender of all the virtues required by life—and death by a process of gradual destruction is all that you and your system will achieve, when death is made to be the ruling power, the winning argument in a society of men.
"Be it a highwayman who confronts a traveler with the ultimatum: 'Your money or your life,' or a politician who confronts a country with the ultimatum: 'Your children's education or your life,' the meaning of that ultimatum is: 'Your mind or your life'—and neither is possible to man without the other.
"If there are degrees of evil, it is hard to say who is the more contemptible: the brute who assumes the right to force the mind of others or the moral degenerate who grants to others the right to force his mind. That is the moral absolute one does not leave open to debate. I do not grant the terms of reason to men who propose to deprive me of reason. I do not enter discussions with neighbors who think they can forbid me to think. I do not place my moral sanction upon a murderer's wish to kill me. When a man attempts to deal with me by force, I answer him—by force.
"It is only as retaliation that force may be used and only against the man who starts its use. No, I do not share his evil or sink to his concept of morality: I merely grant him his choice, destruction, the only destruction he had the right to choose: his own. He uses force to seize a value; I use it only to destroy destruction. A holdup man seeks to gain wealth by killing me; I do not grow richer by killing a holdup man. I seek no values by means of evil, nor do I surrender my values to evil.
"In the name of all the producers who had kept you alive and received your death ultimatums in payment, I now answer you with a single ultimatum of our own: Our work or your guns. You can choose either; you can't have both. We do not initiate the use of force against others or submit to force at their hands. If you desire ever again to live in an industrial society, it Will be on our moral terms. Our terms and our motive power are the antithesis of yours. You have been using fear as your weapon and have been bringing death to man as his punishment for rejecting your morality. We offer him life as his reward for accepting ours.
"You who are worshippers of the zero—you have never discovered that achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death. Joy is not 'the absence of pain,' intelligence is not 'the absence of stupidity,' light is not 'the absence of darkness,' an entity is not 'the absence of a nonentity.' Building is not done by abstaining from demolition; centuries of sitting and waiting in such abstinence will not raise one single girder for you to abstain from demolishing—and now you can no longer say to me, the builder: 'Produce, and feed us in exchange for our not destroying your production.' I am answering in the name of all your victims: Perish with and in your own void. Existence is not a negation of negatives. Evil, not value, is an absence and a negation, evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from us. Perish, because we have learned that a zero cannot hold a mortgage over life.
"You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.
"You, who have lost the concept of the difference, you who claim that fear and joy are incentives of equal power—and secretly add that fear is the more 'practical'—you do not wish to live, and only fear of death still holds you to the existence you have damned. You dart in panic through the trap of your days, looking for the exit you have closed, running from a pursuer you dare not name to a terror you dare not acknowledge, and the greater your terror the greater your dread of the only act that could save you: thinking. The purpose of your struggle is not to know, not to grasp or name or hear the thing. I shall now state to your hearing: that yours is the Morality of Death.
"Death is the standard of your values, death is your chosen goal, and you have to keep running, since there is no escape from the pursuer who is out to destroy you or from the knowledge that that pursuer is yourself. Stop running, for once—there is no place to run—stand naked, as you dread to stand, but as I see you, and take a look at what you dared to call a moral code.
"Damnation is the start of your morality, destruction is its purpose, means and end.
So be it! We will oblige you accordingly.
Do you hear us?
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Update, 11/27/2006: The Flying Imams; Tucson Chapter begin their round of protests...the ground work is being laid for creating the "overly sensitive" security gap...see below.
As the details begin to emerge surrounding the “Flying Imams; Tucson Chapter” begin to emerge it occurs to me that their are a couple of possible scenarios in play, and based on what I have read, I find no fault in US Airway’s actions. From the story…and..
“In the incident Monday, a passenger reported overhearing the imams criticize the U.S. in Iraq and speaking angrily near the gate.”
“According to a police report, a US Airways manager said three of the men had one-way tickets and no checked baggage.”
“Some of the men also asked for seat belt extensions even though a flight attendant told police she thought they didn't need them.”
“Witnesses, including a number of passengers and US Airways employees, said they heard some of the men making anti-American remarks and chanting “Allah,” first as they boarded the plane and then when led off,…”
While it is possible that these gentlemen were indeed on their way to a conference, maybe the convergence of circumstances above, rightfully attracted the attention of a public desiring to fly safely in the skies to, from, and above this country. Remember "connect the dots?"
I guess I would equate the Airline’s response to their behavior to be about what I would expect from an airline transporting six Americans in Budweiser shirts, and NASCAR jackets, hooting and hollering about the gold ole US of A, in the ticket line in Jeddah as they get ready to board a plane for Iran. The State department might recommend against that behavior, not only to protect the integrity of the flight, but to protect the individuals who would simply exercising their right to free speech. Yeah, you can do it…but it might not be the wisest of choices.
I get CAIR being up in arms, and wrangling every ounce of publicity out of this. I get the MSM fawning all over the virtuous Imams at the expense of the Neanderthal trolls working for US Airways and the TSA. I get US Airways response will be called over-blown, reactionary, and unnecessary. Heck we may even see a good ole protest or two, replete with signs and slogans at a couple of airports.
But what if there were one, possibly more factors at play here? What if the Imams were… a. Directly testing US Airways by pushing an extreme set of circumstances upon them. Circumstances specifically designed to embarrass them and garner empathy from the MSM; and/or… b. They were directly challenging the security system to test for a response, a response they could perhaps compromise under a different, more serious set of circumstances; and/or… c. They were given the exact response they expected, and that they are using the resulting clamor to get the TSA and airlines to become “more sensitive” to Islamic travelers, and eventually creating a gap in our security… a gap created by this “respect” for Islam…a gap that they could possibly leverage for future attacks. Attacks possibly carried out by some disguised as Imams.(?)
I believe, under the combination of circumstances cited above, that the Imams were treated appropriately in the post-9/11 world. I am sure that there are thousands of Muslims that fly each day, who do not call undue attention to themselves, that suffer only the minor inconveniences the rest of us endure in order to enjoy the benefits of air travel. I think that it is wholly appropriate to provide a firm response when a combination of circumstances generates an elevated level of suspicion.
US Airways will likely issue an apology, but it should not be seriously regarded…they did what they should have done, and they owe no one an explanation. We may become more sensitive to Islam, but we’re not going to become blind and stupid to it.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
To A Hipper Al-Qaeda (HT Brit Hume)
This one almost slipped through. While somewhat anecdotal, this little piece about Al-Qaeda recruiting woes, may make the case for “stay the course.” After five years of delivering a wave of homicidal human bombs, it seems the luster may be wearing off of suicidal detonation specifically, and the Jihadi movement in general. Bouchaib Silm writes about bin Laden's diminishing pull amongst potential self-exploders…
"The young of today will not listen to him," he said. "They will get bored. So the recruiters need something new to attract them."
It is quite possible that the Jihadi movement is on the verge of being spent. They started with limited resources, and our constant pressure across the globe, and their choice to engage us directly in Iraq may be having its effects on the movement. There is nothing attractive in the long term, about your impending death, and when combined with no real measurable success around the globe for AQ in nearly five years, it is likely we are at a tipping point with AQ. Our intelligence agencies need to press this angle hard to get a realistic assessment as to where the war is heading for AQ.
For the MSM…don’t pooh-pooh this story…this is an exact measurement you would use to measure our morale and effectiveness. This is important…let’s run this to ground a bit more.
Obama Desimus Meridius
Great piece here on renowned strategic mind Barack Obama laying out our exit strategy for Iraq. I guess his extensive experience in Chicago politics and four years in the Senate make him a strategic savant. I am sure his rhetoric about being privy to classified briefings will mollify the MSM, and it may be enough to get him some early attention as a Presidential candidate, and it will surely impress the Hillary VP search committee, but I doubt it will impress those knowledgeable about such matters.
Asymmetrical war is a difficult conundrum for even our brightest military and strategic thinkers to crack, so it pains me to hear someone with all of the military and strategic experience of a walnut, blather on about his “strategic" plan. Get some experience, then get a “strategic plan.”
MADD To Get Your Rights
Hugh Hewitt did an excellent job yesterday of stirring the pot on the in-car breathalyzer technology that MADD is embracing, which holds promise for reducing injuries and fatalities caused by drunk drivers.
I think it is fair to say that MADDs motives are fairly altruistic, but at what cost to individual liberties? Yes, reducing highway deaths by a number in the thousands, is a compelling reason to allow additional governmental intrusion into our lives, but isn’t preventing the next terror strike against the US also compelling?
It seems a natural for this issue to move to the front of the liberal agenda, in an effort to garner the hardcore MADD crowd vote, and to try to motivate casual sympathizers to the cause. But, why is it then that liberals are sympathetic to giving up a significant stake in our Constitutional liberties to domestic do-gooders, but go out of their way to protect the “liberties” of non-citizens, and those who are a direct threat to the Constitution? They don’t want the government in their bedrooms, but welcome them in our cars without direct cause.
I am all for these devices for convicted DUI artists, but DO NOT make a move to threaten my civil liberties at the very same time you are going out of your way to hamstring the government in its efforts to protect me in its fight against terror.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Charlie Rangel is making another effort to raise the Titanic, as he once again calls for a re-instatement of the draft. Ostensively this is to grow the size of the forces to cover other US contingencies.
“He believes a draft would bolster U.S. troop levels that are currently insufficient to cover potential future action in Iran, North Korea and Iraq.”
Although he thinks this sounds good to the public ear, it is a ridiculous proposal from the military’s point of view. Here are some of the many reasons:
1. A draft dilutes the gene pool. Our current all volunteer force has the objective of recruiting 100% high school graduates. While this in not always possible, the objective is to have the educational levels of recruits match the technological requirements of the modern Army/Marines. The “simple” grunt isn’t so simple anymore…he may be equipped with night vision devices, advanced communication equipment, and positioning and locating systems. The Command and Control systems of today’s forces go well beyond the old…C3…Command, Control, Communications. We’re now integrating computers and intelligence gathering and dissemination systems…sometimes down to the “simple” grunt. There is a lot more to the basic infantryman than his rifle and a magazine of 5.56 rounds.
2. A draft will increase training costs at recruit training and following schools. Dealing with a greater percentage of recruits with no desire to serve will drive up failure rates at the recruit training centers. This comes with greater out of pocket fiscal costs, but it has produces a long pipeline of hidden costs…more recruiters needed to recruit to the higher failure rates, larger training staffs, larger administrative staffs, higher cost to process failures out of the services…and on and on. Malcontents, who do not want to be in the service…even disenchanted volunteers, are an incredible drain on resources. It would be a sad waste to purposely populate the services with disgruntled recruits.
In fact Rangel's own House Appropriations Democrat Staff report suggests that even a lessening of the standards in the All Volunteer Force is causing some friction in the Army...
"A negative reading suggests that the Army has relaxed its standards in order to retain as many new recruits as possible to fill the war ranks. Anecdotal evidence from discussions with Army company commanders suggests the latter. For example, these commanders reported that the number of disciplinary actions resulting from drug and alcohol abuse had skyrocketed over the past year."
...what would be the likely result if we populated the services with a high percentage of draftees...? Anyone? Bueller?
3. Unless enlistments are four years in length…which will be highly unlikely in a draft, then the entire exercise of recruiting and training members is a waste. Members MUST be in the service long enough to complete their basic training, their follow-on skills training, be shipped to their unit for training, then to complete a one year deployment with their unit, then have a few months left over for a proper out-processing. This brings the minimum viable enlistment time to between three and four years, and it accommodates for any training setbacks, such as injuries. Training anyone that cannot complete the cycle is a complete waste of time. Shipping a person to a combat zone, and skipping their unit training, is a Vietnamesque scheme that breaks down unit cohesion and diminishes combat effectiveness. This is the key sticking point with the military…unless someone can complete a full training and deployment cycle, it is a monumental waste of time, energy, and money to bring them into the service at all.
4. The only thing holding back increases in force structures are Congressionally approved budgets. The volunteer forces have the ability to ebb and flow with the needs of the country. The House’s own report recognizes the Army’s success in recruiting, once funding was increased. Force structures can easily grow, and they are not dependent on a draft to accomplish that, all it takes is adequate funding for people, equipment, bases, supporting troops and services, infrastructure, etc. Unless Rangel wants to use the draft to grow the force on the cheap, by underpaying draftees…
Charlie Rangel is simply trying to stir the pot with a red herring. The military won’t bite on it, and it looks like the MSM are the only ones giving him the time of day on this.
I suspect Rangel is trying to stir up a class conflict…where none exists, or a racial conflict…where none exists. Regardless, as one of the Dems “top Democrats,” Rangel should get out of the way of the military on this one, and keep his pie hole shut. His service in Korea notwithstanding…he is no expert here, and he needs to butt out.
Unless, and until, the All Volunteer Force proves incapable of sustaining itself, all talk of the draft should not only be idled...it should be abandoned. The Armed Forces saved themselves from the Congressionally induced malaise of the Seventies, they do not need to again be rendered sub-standard by the same body. No draft.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
***Update: Looks like the Kos Kontingent isn't real happy about their new majority leader.***
The Dems have now started pulling against themselves...electing Steny Hoyer over John Murtha as majority Leader. As predicted, by my brillant selfness, as the Dems eye the 2008 Presidential Prize...they will HAVE to move somewhat to the middle...what will the Kos Kidz have to say about that? The eco-alarmists? Howard Dean? Jon Carey?
While the Republicans have their own problems trying to go in a gnu directions with an old goat, the Dems seem intent on detonating a block of C4 directly under their most vulnerable fissure. Pelosi demonstrated how un-political she was by endorsing Murtha before making sure she had the votes...this is like giving the Kos Kidz one lick on an ice cream cone, then taking it away. This Murtha-gyration did irreparable harm to the Dems infrastructure...the damage to which will become apparent at the 2008 Convention.
Put the Convention down and back away...while you still can.
© Michael McBride 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Nancy Pelosi further cemented the destiny of the 2008 Democrat National Convention when she selcted John Murtha for House Majority Leader...Michelle Malkin has the complete coverage with her Nov 15th psoting...the moderates (?), including the WaPo Democrat string pullers began to stir the pot further when they publicly expressed their disatisfaction with Pelosi's Left-wing, cut-and-run selection, ultra-liberal, Murtha...and another grenade was planted today by General Abizaid when he bluntly counseled the Senate in testimony today on Iraqi Operations, and clearly defended current troop strengths.
" "It seems to me that the prudent course ahead is keep the troop levels about where they are," Abizaid told the committee. "
Also rejecting calls for a phased troop reduction was Ambassador David Satterfield, the State Department's senior adviser on Iraq.
"It would be interpreted as a withdrawal of U.S. support," Satterfield told the committee."
So, the forces that will determine whether the Dem National Convention will be collegial or not, are in place...and it is looking like the extreme left will be pulling with all its might, the moderates will become frustrated, the MSM will try to influence with their slanted pulpit, and the war in Iraq...the war agianst terrorism...will still be a factor, so I come to the same conclusion...the Dean's and Pelosi's, backed by the Kos Kids, fueled by the even farther left anti-war crowd, will be discouraged by the centrist Dems who will move to the middle, and the vocal support they will get from the MSM...this friction will cause the Dem Convention to be a raucous and memorable affair.
Denver...it is not too late to withdraw your bid.
© Michael McBride 2006
This doesn't even require commentary from me.
AP: Trent Lott wins back leadership slot
WASHINGTON - Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott, ousted from the top Senate Republican leadership job four years ago because of remarks considered racially insensitive, won election to the No. 2 post Wednesday for the minority GOP in the next Congress. Lott returned to the center of power by getting the position of vote-counting GOP whip, nosing out Sen. Lamar Alexander. Sen. Rick Santorum told reporters that Lott beat Alexander by a 25-24 vote.
Suffice it to say (sing),
I'm Henery the Eighth, I am.
Henery the Eighth I am! I am!
I got married to the widow next door,
She's been married seven times before.
Every one was an Henery
She wouldn't have a Willie or a Sam
I'm her eighth old man named Henery
Henery the Eighth I am.
Second verse, same as the first!
Or perhaps I should just quit...
...before suffering further humiliation along with the decaying Republican establishment of beltway-invested, half-wit, out of touch, ivory tower, nincompoops! The kind that elect the likes of Trent Lott as Minority whip as a sign of 'change.'
I'm gonna keep singing until, Trent et al, just go away. Second verse...
I'm Henery the Eighth, I am!
Henery the Eighth I am! I am!
I got married to the widow next door...
Monday, November 13, 2006
Will the Dems, and the MSM wing of their machine, continue to count the daily deaths that occur in Iraq after they force our premature withdrawl? ala Vietnam. Will they be more? or less?
Vietnam reeducation. Will they be posting pictures such as these? Adding up the toll, and calculating the death rates...pre- and post- US withdrawl? Don't bet on it.
Killing fields. Cambodia.
Be frustrated. Look for better solutions, but don't forget...regardless of the price we pay here at home...with the best that this country has to offer...our sacrifices pale in comparison in what lies ahead should we abandon the brave citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan. People who are dying to carve out Democracies where none had previously existed.
So, when Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha are driving the Democrat agenda, who is paying for their "popularity" and "message?"
The citizens of Irag and Afghanistan. Those who will soon find out what it is to experience a taste democracy...to feel and sense its promise...only to have that promise subverted, by a Clintoesque class of politician that find benefit in sapping the strength of America in favor of the polls. By a class of politician who hold their narcisstic drives for addulation and power, above those who choose democracy over religious extremism.
Sadly, they will be abandoned by America, at a critical juncture in their quest for freedom. And again, we will be viewed by the world as a pitifully weak and self-absorbed culture that is no longer capable of bearing the cost of supporting democracy and equality world wide. It is a shame that will overwhelm my 20 years of service to this country.
Courage America...promoting and sustaining democracy is worth the price...do not let Pelosi and Murtha pull us into another 30 years of shame.
© Michael McBride 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. One of them said, "My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
"During the night this woman's son died because she lay on him. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn't the son I had borne."
The other woman said, "No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours." But the first one insisted, "No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine." And so they argued before the king.
The king said, "This one says, 'My son is alive and your son is dead,' while that one says, 'No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.'"
Then the king said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: "Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other."
The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!" But the other said, "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!"
Then the king gave his ruling: "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother."
When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.
1 Kings 3: 16 - 28
Would that we had Solomon to sort out our partisanship. Who would sooner see the baby die than have it posessed by another? And who values the life of the baby above their own desires?
Friday, November 10, 2006
Shortly after I retired and took a job as a maintenance manager in a foundry, one of my electricians was killed in a car accident…his name was Elwood “Al” Poff. I wrote a cathartic piece that was never delivered as a eulogy, and sadly, I never gave to his family to read. I shared it with the rest of my team, who were deeply moved by it, but mostly it sat unread and unpublished. I finally posted it last year on my old site, here.
How is it that I could be so drawn to a man, a full generation removed, that I had only known for 8 weeks? Simple reason…we had both been Marines. More importantly, in a State nearly devoid of Marine culture, he was the first Marine that I had met post-retirement.
Within days we had come to share a mutual respect; a respect formed between men who knowingly shared myriad of similar experiences and hardships. A respect that was earned by being a member of the most storied fighting force the world has ever known. A respect that we shared for Marines unknown to us, and sometimes, generations removed. A respect we held for Marines with a lineage of tenacious mettle, uncommon valor, and unselfish dedication to Corps and country. We respected each other’s standing in such a group.
Presley O’Bannon. Chesty Puller. Dan Daly. Smedley Butler. John Ripley. Henry Elrod. Hector Cafferata. Manfred Rietsch. Devel Colin (friend and DFC recipient). All made the reputation of the Corps…along with the hundreds of thousands of anonymous Marines who fought across this globe extending the reputation of the Corps, but more importantly defending this nation. Fighting, and dying in Europe, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Iraq, the Pacific Islands, South America, and literally…the rest of the globe.
Marines have served aboard ships, flown airplanes, defended shorelines, but by far, their reputation had been earned by their tenacity as amphibious warriors, and their ferociousness in ground combat. Devil Dogs…a breed of fighters revered amongst other hardened warriors.
The Corps is special amongst the world’s elite forces, and it is deserving of all of the accolades that it has earned, and continues to earn. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss being amongst Marines. I assure you, the rest of the world is less special. My best to all Marines on their 230th Birthday, I salute your members and your accomplishments. I admire your valor and your selfless dedication to our great country. I am simply honored to be in your ranks. Semper Fi. Major Mike
In 1974, American Author and Philosopher, Ayn Rand, was chosen to deliver the Commencement Address to that year's Graduating Class of West Point. The title of the address has come to be known as Philosophy: Who Needs It? During the course of her speech, Mrs. Rand answered here own question. "Everyone!" She also bestowed on the United States Military, one of the more profound vindications of their existence as has ever been noted. On this Veterans Day, 2006, do let's recall her words, and share her gratitude to the brave men and women who DO NOT sacrifice themselves for this nation, but have honored its principles with enormous virtue... the willing dedication of their greatest possession to its highest value.
In conclusion, allow me to speak in personal terms. This evening means a great deal to me. I feel deeply honored by the opportunity to address you. I can say--not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political and esthetic roots--that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world. There is a kind of quiet radiance associated in my mind with the name West Point--because you have preserved the spirit of those original founding principles and you are their symbol. There were contradictions and omissions in those principles, and there may be in yours--but I am speaking of the essentials. There may be individuals in your history who did not live up to your highest standards--as there are in every institution--since no institutions and no social system can guarantee the automatic perfection of all its members; this depends on an individual's free will. I am speaking of your standards. You have preserved three qualities of character which were typical at the time of America's birth, but are virtually nonexistent today: earnestness--dedication--a sense of honor. Honor is self-esteem made visible in action.
You have chosen to risk your lives for the defense of this country. I will not insult you by saying that you are dedicated to selfless service--it is not a virtue in my morality. In my morality, the defense of one's country means that a man is personally unwilling to live as the conquered slave of any enemy, foreign or domestic. This is an enormous virtue. Some of you may not be consciously aware of it. I want to help you to realize it.
The army of a free country has a great responsibility: the right to use force, but not as an instrument of compulsion and brute conquest--as the armies of other countries have done in their histories--only as an instrument of a free nation's self-defense, which means: the defense of a man's individual rights. The principle of using force only in retaliation against those who initiate its use, is the principle of subordinating might to right. The highest integrity and sense of honor are required for such a task. No other army in the world has achieved it. You have.
West Point has given America a long line of heroes, known and unknown. You, this year's graduates, have a glorious tradition to carry on--which I admire profoundly, not because it is a tradition, but because it is glorious.
Since I came from a country guilty of the worst tyranny on earth, I am particularly able to appreciate the meaning, the greatness and the supreme value of that which you are defending. So, in my own name and in the name of many people who think as I do, I want to say, to all the men of West Point, past, present and future: Thank you.
Address To The Graduating Class Of The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York - March 6, 1974
Thursday, November 09, 2006
***Update: 1140 PST, 11/9/2006 Some people are looking for a physcial confrontation like here (Nov 8, 2006, 8:07 pm post), here, here, here, and on and on. I detect a trend...leftie peace lovers and violence... I hope the Dems are working on their security plan.***
A couple of other factors that will fissure the Dem Pary in time for their National Convention in 2008.
Bobby. This film...regardless of how historically accurate, will introduce to a new generation to the Robert Kennedy story. This will necessarily include the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and those events combined, it will infuse an new generation with a sense of frustration and loss, while they observe the shallow and vapid in action in Congress. They will be looking for more than a "suit." They will be looking hard.
They will be looking for a white knight... a crusader...to lift them above the malaise and toward the promises of liberalism...economic equality, true "social" security through governmental care and programmatics, and into the Great Society where the simple "will" to get along ensures peace, and all act toward the common good, and evil is vanquished by the light of this Great Society.
They will, of course, be disappointed in the machinations of the Dem Party, and frustrated when the quadrennial appearance of their savior is thwarted by the rigidity of the Party, and that they will be going forward with a mediocre candidate that is incapable of meeting the comparisons to St. John and St. Bobby. They will be angry, and they will not go quielty into the night.
The Imposters. Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack has declared his intentions to run for the Democrat nomination for President in 2008. This is only the beginning of a series of lesser candidates that will muddy the process for the annointed few...Hillary, Slow Joe Biden, Kerry (yes he will still run, for a while anyway), Gore (who thinks his green-ness will boost him to the nomination). Along the way, these imposters will build loyalists who will not easily be placated by empty Party promises.
Vilsack shrewdly leverages his popularity in an early primary state, forcing others into the race prematurely, and throwing the best laid plans of traditional campaigners out of their robotic approaches, and into early gyrations that will cause friction and acrimony. Vilsack, because of his early delegate count, will have to be dealt with, and it is unlikely that Iowans, who love their place in the selection process, will let their favorite son be swallowed up by the party machine without a fight.
The convention floor will be home to more "moves" than the NBA All-Star game.
And don't forget Iraq...how far left will the potential candidates have to go to get the nomination? The more to the center they stay...the more chance for social unrest there is. The Dem convention will be nasty. Stay tuned.
© Michael McBride 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
For those of you lost in the vagueries of my esoteric mood (Mike!), let me offer some explanation here. The chaos of construction is eternal, yet this remains our blueprint...
..in reference to some healing wisdom from Italo Calvino,
Those who arrive at Thekla can see little of the city, beyond the plank fences, the sackcloth screens, the scaffoldings, the metal armatures, the wooden catwalks hanging from ropes or supported by sawhorses, the ladders, the trestles. If you ask, "Why is Thekla's construction taking such a long time?" the inhabitants continue hoisting sacks, lowering leaded strings, moving long brushes up and down, as they answer, "So that its destruction cannot begin." And if asked whether they fear that, once the scaffoldings are removed, the city may begin to crumble and fall to pieces, they add hastily, in a whisper, "Not only the city."
If, dissatisfied with the answers, someone puts his eye to a crack in a fence, he sees cranes pulling up other cranes, scaffoldings that embrace other scaffoldings, beams that prop up other beams. "What meaning does your construction have?" he asks. "What is the aim of a city under construction unless it is a city? Where is the plan you are following, the blueprint?"
"We will show it to you as soon as the working day is over; we cannot interrupt our work now," they answer.
Work stops at sunset. Darkness falls over the building site. The sky is filled with stars.
"There is the blueprint," they say.
- Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
We vote! We stand! We move and change. Values that are important at one moment, are surrendered to the whim of the next. Reprobates uttering vulgarities are rewarded with consensus, while good men are sunk beneath the foundations. The construction continues endlessly, often without any seeming logic, and with no end. Yet, there remains our star-filled sky. The blueprint of our world...
...and our unfinished city.
I will continue to back my prediction on 11/6/06 over the next two years, since the Presidential campaign 2008 began in earnest last night.
The Republicans in the House and Senate have squandered their many opportunities because of gutlessness, pandering, and 2008 Presidential aspirations of their own. But, that does not mean all is lost...over the course of the next two years, the Dems will engage themselves in a series of events that will culminate in a DNC National Convention that will make a Mike Tyson fight look like a patty cake session between a couple of snobbish playdaters. Last night's win for the Dems, only revs the engine.
Hillary the self-appointed frontrunner for 2008...from RCP.
"Caution has served Clinton well in the Senate. There, she has listened to the wisdom of Robert Byrd, the longest serving member, who gave her his standard nose-to-the-grindstone tutorial and beamed with avuncular pride as she took it to heart and grandstanded not. On the other hand, she has led not, either. If she is a party leader, it is on the basis of who she is and not what she has done. She has risked little. " (My emphasis)
It is doubtful that her risk aversion has gone un-noticed from within the party, and it is not likely to be rewarded with a a yellow-brick road to Denver or NYC.
John Kerry is not going away quietly, and indeed, he is likely for force all of the Dem candidates out into the open on Iraq much sooner thant they would like...
"This is our chance to take the power to lead America out of the Bush Republicans' hands. Winning means raising the minimum wage. Winning means moving towards health care for all, starting with every child in America. Winning means forcing an end to the disastrous war in Iraq, and getting our heroes home. "
I am not sure that the Dems want their Cut-and-Run exit strategy for Iraq illuminated quite so early, and quite so brightly.
Kos and his crowd are not going to go quietly into the night. Check this comment stream from the Kos Kidz...
"No question about it. We're mandated all to heck."
"Americans last night showed they despise conservatism. And they showed they want a better way - a way that absolutely, without any doubt, includes liberalism."
"Who the hell is listening at this point? They are irrelevant. It's full spead AHEAD time!"
..."We're madated all to heck"...they are not just talking about the left...they are talking about the left and themselves...the far left. And I am glad that I don't have to break the news to them that the Party is now going to attempt to move to the right a bit. They won't be having any part of that...they believe the mandate is theirs...not just for moderate Dems.
The Michael Steele effect...African-American candidates are not going to be dictated to by the Dem party any longer. Had the Dems had a true partnership with their African-American constituents, they could have put forward a black candidate in MD, and had another black Senator. Frustration with the Dem Party, by the black rank-and-file spilled over when Steele received signifcant support from black political leaders. Had the Dems put up a black candidate, he likely would have won...but as usual, the African-American caucus is carrying their water, and getting scraps in return. They will continue to fight for a return on their 50 year investment.
And...Iraq. They now own 2/3 of that problem. Good luck getting that booger off your finger without getting any on ya.
Keep an eye out for future updates...I am certain that these themes will continue until the Dems explode at their Convention...there will certainly will be other pressures on the Dems...and I'll bring them to you over the next twenty-two months.
© Michael McBride 2006
Yesterday America rolled over and went back to sleep, ignoring lessons of history.
Earlier in the evening, America was awakened by the sound of breaking glass downstairs, followed by a crazed man shouting, in Arabic, "I'm coming to kill you, infidel! Allah hu akbar!" In spite of the imminent threat, America returned to their slumber, inexplicably relishing their recurring nightmares of guilt over their gay brother not being able to get married, their sister's Parkinson's-induced tremors, their thermostat being turned up higher than their neighbors' thermostats, and the neighborhood *seeming* a little warmer than usual.
Will we wake up before, or after, we have been beheaded?
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Those that read this blog know that I am notoriously down on predictors, prognosticators, guessers, forecasters, and neo-prophets of all types.
…I do reserve a special place on my list for the patently poor prognosticators of hurricane activity at the CSU Department of Atmospheric Science…oooops, looks like they haven’t updated their hurricane forecasts since August…when they downgraded their forecasts for the third time this year. Does anyone recall how many Atlantic Hurricanes we have has since August…zero? One? And they were soooo close to getting it right. But I digress…
So, I am sure that it will shock our readers when I come out with this prediction that I will not revise over the next two years…sometimes geo-physical events, combined with planetary alignment, aided by warps in the time-space continuum, jostled by Einstein’s theory of relativity, make the future seem so clear that even a blind squirrel could see it. Such an event occurred to me early last week, and events in the middle of the week only strengthened my belief in my upcoming prediction. No, I am not predicting 17 more Atlantic hurricanes between now and the end of the month, and indeed my prediction is not a pretty one, but is must be made nonetheless.
Mark your calendar…you read it here first…the 2008 Democrat National Convention is going to make the 1968 Chicago Democrat National Convention look like a play date for snobby, elite toddlers. I think Denver and NYC should abandon their bids, and that this convention should be held where the least property damage could be done…maybe…in the middle of Death Valley, California.
1. Dean and the Kos Kidz. The mainstream party will never be able to meet the exceedingly high expectations from the far left. While their influence in 2004 is well documented, they reached their high-water mark with Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Dem primary earlier in the year. They will blame their hand-picked candidate’s monumental demise on lack of party support, and take it as evidence that they, and their considerable efforts in 2004, have been wasted as the political climate has begun to push the Dems nationally back toward the center on most issues.
Take as evidence Nancy Pelosi’s significant non- presence during this election season. Nationally the party is coming to grips with having to move incrementally back to the right, and this will push Dean and the Kos Kidz out of the tent and into the rain. They will not go quietly into the night.
2. African-Americans call in their marker on the Dems. This is the event that occurred last week that I refer to above. Michael Steele has run an admirable campaign, and doggedly fought off talk of defeat through a great individual and party effort in Maryland. His momentum has brought along many black Democrats…Democrats frustrated over years of being taken for granted by the Democrat party.
" "The [Democratic] Party acts as though when they want our opinion, they'll give it to us. It's not going to be like that anymore," said Mr. Curry, who in 1994 became the county's first black executive and remains influential in the mostly black and heavily Democratic county."
In 2008 African-American Democrats will be calling in their IOUs. This will put the Dems in a vice. Long a mainstay of support for the floundering Dems, blacks are waking up to the fact that the Dems have been stringing them along for years. It wasn’t Dems that appointed two black SOSs in a row…one a black women. The Dems will have to start giving African-Americans the access to powerful positions that heretofore the Dems have shut them out of. The Dems aren’t likely to meet their expectations in terms of power sharing, and the resulting friction will not be easily soothed.
Throw into the mix the likely announcement that Senator Barack Obama will run for President in ’08. A full fledged candidacy by a fairly popular black candidate will not be dismissed with promises of cabinet level appointments. If Barack is able to get some momentum, mainstream Dems will be scrambling to put together a ticket…one that might have to include Obama…regardless of how that hurts/helps their chances to win the Presidency.
Should Obama be shut out of the process because of intra-party politics, stand by for the justifiable unleashing of fifty years of frustration. The Dem party will have their hands full between the African-American vote and the Kos Kidz.
3. Kerry’s ego. John Kerry’s Mount Rushmore size ego, will not allow him to get out of the way of the Dem train that is eager to kick him to the curb. Regardless the spanking he took last week, he is not likely to go quietly into the night, and he will be the candidate continually moving the party marker to the left…keeping the Kos Kidz excited, and making it nearly impossible for the Dem Party to move gingerly towards the center…a move they must make to remain viable nationally in 2008…see Lieberman-Lamont above.
Kerry’s high visibility, frequent gaffs, and continual movement left will begin to grate on moderates, and 9/11 Dems wishing to return to the party of FDR and Kennedy…John Kennedy…not Teddy. Kerry’s push left will cause a counter-push to the right, and create additional friction that will morph into frustration and anger.
4. Lack of a clear frontrunner. This is the 1968 story Part Deux. It is extremely unlikely that Hillary…with her strong negatives; or Obama…fighting uphill all the way; or Kerry…fighting himself and moving to the left; or Gore…fighting global warming…will run the table in the ’08 Dem primaries. This sets the table for a Robert Kennedyesque late entry into the primary process.
This would, because Dems and voting are involved, require months of internal legal sparring, acrimonious litigation, and a lot of name-calling that would dramatically increase internal tensions. Tensions that could only be fully resolved in a highly visible manner, with the help of a highly partisan press, at the finale of the process…the Convention.
If no candidate can run the table…look for a bitter and acrimonious Convention, at which, both the Kos Kidz and the African-American caucuses, increase in importance, and further divide a fissured party. It won’t be pretty amongst the frustrated rank-and-file…locked out of the smoky backrooms, and being kept out of the Convention site.
5. Iraq. By far the single issue that will set the tone for the Convention. Like Vietnam, it is already causing more gyrations in the Dem party than a basket full of snakes at a limbo party.
While many conservatives can find some fault with the execution of our Iraqi policy, most realize that this is a key battle in the GWOT, and that it cannot be lost.
The Dems on the other hand have been all over the map with Iraq “solutions”…no single one will appease all of their Party. Getting a majority of their constituents to agree on …immediate pull out…Vietnam War style abandonment…extended presence as part of our effort in the GWOT…more troops…less troops…will be an impossibility for a party that is more driven by emotion than clear reasoning. So, in the end, Iraq will cause the Democrat Party much more consternation than it will the Republicans, because in 2008…someone, (all the candidates anyway) in the Democrat Party, will finally have to offer a specific proposal for Iraq. And that one fact will begin a fissuring of the party that will make a gamma-ray burst seem like a single firecracker during a Honolulu New Year’s Eve.
I am not advocating civil disruption, nor do I wish it on the potential host cities, but mark my words…the 2008 Convention will be a calamitous event that will rival 1968 in its infamy. A conflagration of events is beginning to coalesce into an unstoppable force…a force that works against a peaceful process that produces a viable Presidential candidate, and sets the stage for an explosive release of frustration that will likely be mismanaged into chaos by the DNC leadership.
Good luck keeping a net on this one.
© Michael McBride 2006
With less than 24 hours to go to this year's mid-term elections, one could say the two-minute warning has arrived. Both sides GOTV special teams are mobilized and deployed. The Candidates are out looking for critical yardage. And the fans are cheering and jeering and gripping tightly to their seats. Some are throwing beer bottles and chunks of ice, however.
This time, two years ago, Democrat election operatives were sharpening their blades. Remember, Wisconsin? This year, their efforts seem to be a little more sophisticated, if no less sophomoric. Free-Republic and Michelle Malkin are tracking a dirty trick campaign in Ohio. No doubt, one of many to come. And let's not forget about ACORN's Missouri registration scandal already uncovered this year. Or that previous discovery in Ohio a stash of some 300 completed Democrat absentee ballots. No doubt one of many such caches, there and across the country waiting to be harvested for effect. It sparks memories of King, County Washington, does it not?!
But, Chris Matthews is still smiling big this morning. Funny thing for an objective observer and reporter of News. Once a Democrat operative, I guess, always.
John Kerry, on the other hand, is surely not smiling this week, having un-officially, but most certainly ended his political career last week. Of course, Massachusett requires little more of its Congressional representation than clumsy arrogance wrapped in the skin of a big D. So, he can remain ensconced on his subsidized rump until such time as fate renders him with more postumous significance than he ever had in life.
And as for fate, Saddam Hussein is also not smiling this morning. Determined as he was - he and his lawyer, Ramsey Clark - to pander to the sensibilities of the American Left, no manner of outcome on Tuesday will reverse his fate at the loop of a hemp-woven moral imperative. The people of Iraq are no-doubt smiling about that.
Regardless the outcome of this playoff, Democrats are prepared in advance to attack the referee and challenge the results... as has become their normal pattern with every election since 2000. Theirs is a new era of Liberty... Democracy by litigation. "Vote for us, or will sue you," is their mantra for this 21st century Republic.
This game is on.
First and 10 on the 50 yard line. The wind has shifted downfield.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
When I was in High School, several students from the varsity football team devised an hillarious if not off-color Halloween joke. Three black students dressed in white sheets and hoods chased two white students painted in black face, around the campus on October 31st. It was a very funny exercise in irony and satire. Nevertheless, all five students were escorted off campus and duly suspended.
You see, some things exist beneath the decency of playful dismissal. Violent intolerance is one of those things. And whether it be the whimsical portrayal of 19th century racist hoodlums, or 21st century fanatical butchers, The great University of Pennsylvania seems incapable of the same level of decent propriety excercise by a simple High School in Central Texas.
Such is the condition of the septic stew that is what is being Left.
This story comes to us compliments of The Democracy Project, HT: Hugh Hewitt.
It is the kind of poison that is fed to young men and women (and as you will see, very young children) that tells them that this sort of obscenity is acceptable. The President of Pennsylvania University would seem to thinks so. And Mr. Saadi, obviously felt quite comfortable wandering among the crowd that evening in a fog of profane stupidity, no doubt encouraged by his mentors and peers.
University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann threw her annual Halloween costume party at her home Tuesday night. Among the guests was Saad Saadi, who came dressed as a suicide bomber, complete with plastic dynamite strapped to his chest and a toy automatic rifle. Worse, Gutmann posed with Saadi
Remember it this weekend when you consider voting... or not voting. Because what is being Left, given the opportunity of its popular sanction and legislative authority, will infect this Nation similary with the poison of its own suicide...
... in the face of real suicidal fanatics.
What Is Being Left v.19.0
What Is Being Left v.18.0
What Is Being Left v.17.0
What Is Being Left v.16.0
What Is Being Left v.15.0
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
What is being Left, you ask? Take a political movement that was developed via modern sensibilities and enlightened ideological exploration, that flourished during a cultural orgy of unbounded depravity and ultimately - due to a natural shifting of cultural sensibilities - lost touch with mainstream ideas and was in the process of being discarded. What would happen to that movement? Pardon the apparent hyberbole for a moment and recall what happens to sewerage. Once the water is filtered from the solid waste, that sludge is deposited in ponds where it evaporates to a superconcentrated paste of septic waste. America is well into the turning of the Cultural Revolution resulting in a maturation of sensibilities, and a renewed appreciation of ethics, morals, values, and integrity. As more and more 'good' citizens evaporate from Liberalism and the Democrat party, all that will be left is the filth... that which is untreatable, not compatible, will go nowhere else..... and stinks unbearably of rot and decomposition.What is being Left is a toxic poison that is attempting to feed itself to humanity... by force.
I give you, modern Liberalism