I think ^(link) therefore I err

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Illegal Immigration

Victor Davis Hanson is the first author I've seen ask this question concerning Mexico.

First quoting President Fox:
“Shameful," screams Mexico's President Vicente Fox, about the proposed extension of a security fence along the southern border of the U.S. "Stupid! Underhanded! Xenophobic!" bellowed his Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez, warning: "Mexico is not going to bear, it is not going to permit, and it will not allow a stupid thing like this wall."

He asks why doesn't Mexico, with resources both natural and human fix their country so that millions don't want to leave?
Why doesn't Mexico have any sense of disturbance for the illegals here who send money there and then have to live here, not only on sometimes subminimum wage but with part of their wages sent home?
Why is the argument about "who would do the work here" vs "if there weren't cheap laborers maybe the wages would go up and people would do the work here legally"?

Thank you Victor.


Funny how people can see the same thing and yet see completely different things. Today The Immoral Minority is in a panic because:

"U.S. Prepares to bomb Iran! Now you tell me again why Impeachment is not an option?"

He's worried because:
"Out foreign policy is now entering the realm of insanity. We cannot afford to divert our attention or resources to Iran with a war in Iraq and Afghanistan still going strong. George Bush's ADHD is becoming a national crisis! He starts a war in Afghanistan and then gets distracted by the shiny new opportunity in Iraq, now he is bored and wants to attack a brand new country. Where is his mother?"

Vs - a) it's smart to let Iran know that Nuclear weapons there will not be tolerated (and yes - we may or may not be bluffing but it's best for them to think we aren't) b)ADHD isn't what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq. I'm not even going to bother going into that and c) we can divert our attention and resources basically anywhere. We are still the US of A and frankly, personally I have yet to sacrifice anything for the war effort. So if we decided that a war with Iran was needed while still holding Afghanistan terrorists and Iraqi terrorists in check - I'm pretty certain it could be done.

The Teenage Runaway

Iraq the Model notes:

"Since totalitarian regimes took over Iraq, that spirit of adventure and making initiatives began to fade away very fast and all what people cared about since then was survival. "

It will be back.


Reviews the Year. To be read at your leisure. Nice to have all the columns in one spot. (Other than at this website - lol)

Friday, December 30, 2005

I got nothin today except this piece about the top 10 most missed TV series. Assuming relatively recent series, add in As Time Goes By and Joan of Arcadia and you have a list from me.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hostage taking

Is a real business when you pay to have hostages released. Germany just needed reminding.

UPDATE: It's a good thing the first hostage wasn't taken by criminals.

"Speaking to Doha-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, Susanne Osthoff said her captors told her not to be afraid as her kidnapping was "politically motivated."

"Do not be afraid. We do not harm women or children and you are a Muslim," she quoted them as saying.

"I was so happy to know that I had not fallen into the hands of criminals," she said."

Do you suppose they would have been criminals, if she had been Buddhist? or Jewish? or Christian?

Be certain to read the TigerHawk link on Germany's annoyance.

Iraq Election

It sounds like it's officially over with no reballoting. As Captain Ed says, for some unhappy Sunnis there, sometimes in an election, you lose.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I slept in today, so here is some "power blogging".....in no particular order.
California Conservative has a post on the "outrage" of the radiation search. It includes a piece by some lawyers who served under Reagan and Bush 1.

Captain Ed has a post regarding centrist democrats and their splintering.

Powerline posts about the medias' "Get Bush" year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


On the UN passing out money for victims of disaster. (in the Washington Times)

" It's one thing to invent humanitarian disasters to disparage President Bush's unilateralist warmongering. But after the tsunami the U.N. was reduced to inventing a humanitarian disaster to distract attention from the existing humanitarian disaster it wasn't doing anything about.
So its agencies issued hysterical warnings about post-tsunami health effects -- dysentery, cholera, BSE from water-logged cattle, etc. -- that, they assured us, would kill as many people as the original disaster. How much difference would it have made if the professional humanitarian bureaucracy had gone to the Riviera for the month after the tsunami? The NGOs skedaddled out of Iraq after the U.N. headquarters was bombed in summer 2003 -- and it made absolutely no difference. "

Press Leaks

Michelle Malkin is all over it. Read down to the end concerning the grunts in security and what they go through.

Kyoto and EU

Apparently the UK is the only EU country to meet their obligations this year according to what they signed on to. Captain Ed has the story. If this actually makes the news, it will probably be our fault...."because the US didn't sign, it's not going to work anyway..." .
Good for the UK!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Have a happy and safe day.

Iraqi Election update

Iraq the Model has good news concerning the election. Talks are going on and things are calming down. It sounds like a solution is going to be found without a new election.

Red State/Blue state

People are shifting states. Presumably to get nearer their correct color. As an aside, Tim Blair notes that homelessness is a worry for the global warming crowd as the oceans rise:

"Homeless? They’ll be lucky to escape the incremental water level increase (if any) with their lives, as Dave S. explains: “Presumably the poor people will drown in their living rooms and huts after years of sloshing through ever-rising water to get to them, rather than, say, move a couple miles inland where the new coast is. Because if there’s one thing humans can’t do, it’s adapt.” "

Michelle Malkin

Has the NYTime's number.

Both the Globe article and today's Times article appear to contradict what the Times said in its original report about the breadth of monitoring being conducted under the NSA program:

While many details about the program remain secret, officials familiar with it say the N.S.A. eavesdrops without warrants on up to 500 people in the United States at any given time. The list changes as some names are added and others dropped, so the number monitored in this country may have reached into the thousands since the program began, several officials said. Overseas, about 5,000 to 7,000 people suspected of terrorist ties are monitored at one time, according to those officials.
Based on the latest Times and Globe reports, it now appears that the NSA has been intercepting international phone calls and e-mails to and from perhaps millions of Americans, not just a few hundred or thousand as the Times initially asserted.

Will the Times be issuing a correction?


Are NOT in Iraq. I repeat WMD are NOT in Iraq. However, a WMD supplier still gets 15 years for supplying WMD. huh?


The Department of Homeland Security is NOT conducting visits to college kids who check out Mao's Little Red Book from the library. I repeat, they are NOT dropping in on these people.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Iraqi Election update

Iraq the Model is all over it.

Radiation Monitoring

I have to say, I'm not surprised, and a bit impressed that the radiation monitoring is going on. I wouldn't liken it to speed monitoring however. But basically I don't really trust the government to follow all the laws - to the letter of the law. I assume there is monitoring all over that I'm not aware of. But then, I keep an old cell phone just so I can use it if I ever need to when I don't want to be tracked by GPS. Actually I'm a bit curious about what's turned up radiation wise.

A pickle

I hadn't thought of this pickle quite in the way that Paul at Powerline did.

"The Democrats, while demanding that troops be withdrawn, cannot admit that the facts on the ground are sufficiently promising to permit any dimunition of our forces. That's an inherently difficult position to be in."

That is rough! lol

Kofi Annan

Doesn't have much use for journalists. Roger Simon who is my personal UN follower, has the story.

Friday, December 23, 2005


No blogging today. Am going here for the day.
Have a good one!

(UPDATE: the link to a webcam didn't work. I'm not sure why. Went to Keystone yesterday to admire a stepsister's condo. Then on to another's for a fantastic German meal. She has the skill to be a real chef - hopefully she goes on with it.)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Global Warming

Tim Blair is keeping the specifics straight for us.

"Now pollution is a good thing"

Front Page News

You would think a story on an agreement to hide Iranian nuclear weapons in Syria would be front page news. (I haven't seen it in my paper anyway). We have The Officer's club on it anyway.

LONDON — Syria has signed a pledge to store Iranian nuclear weapons and missiles.
The London-based Jane's Defence Weekly reported that Iran and Syria signed a strategic accord meant to protect either country from international pressure regarding their weapons programs. The magazine, citing diplomatic sources, said Syria agreed to store Iranian materials and weapons should Teheran come under United Nations sanctions.

Iran also pledged to grant haven to any Syrian intelligence officer indicted by the UN or Lebanon. Five Syrian officers have been questioned by the UN regarding the Hariri assassination, Middle East Newsline reported.

Iraqi Elections

Iraq the Model keeps us updated. A lot of these specifics escape me but if Omar is feeling edgy it can't be good.

"The situation is till tense but the new thing which is not unexpected is that the Kurdish parties finally got what they’d been dreaming of and won 51% of the seats in Kirkuk after they added 200,000 new voters to the registration database just a few days before the election day.
In my opinion we’ve just witnessed a Baghdad-for-Kirkuk deal being made and the Kurds were smart when they delayed the results of Kirkuk for another day. Because of the timing, Kirkuk didn’t get much attention here since the dispute over Baghdad is getting all the attention and dwarfing the relatively smaller issue of Kirkuk."

Zarqawi of Al-qaeda in Europe?

Captain Ed is on the story of Zarqawi's influence growing in Europe. Luckily they're learning about this due to a wave of arrests across countries there.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Michael Yon

Reviews the Election in pictures and story.

Reviewing the rules

David Ignatius has a good column about this. Clearly the timing isn't working in Bush's favor but now is apparently the time anyway.

Breaking News

The FBI investigates domestic terrorists! via Captain Ed.

"Counterterrorism agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have conducted numerous surveillance and intelligence-gathering operations that involved, at least indirectly, groups active in causes as diverse as the environment, animal cruelty and poverty relief, newly disclosed agency records show."

Huge surprise.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


This sounds like they are basically nationalizing these oil fields. I thought they already were nationalized from a few years ago. I hope that the US govt just stays out of their way. Chavez will eventually shoot himself in the foot as he works to become a dictator.


Has certainly been an active partner in the War on Terror. In spite of backing out of Iraq. Barcepundit has the story of the THIRD round of detentions of people linked to Al-qaeda.

The Merry Christmas War

I'm with the Louisiana Libertarian on this one. If retailers can entice nonChristians to buy presents at this time of year they should go for it. If they find it's hurting their business because sensitive Christians are offended, then they'll stop. In the meantime, I'll skip over all the debates on the radio and tv and newspapers. As evil Willow used to say, "bored now".
(ht Environmental Republican)

Iraqi Elections

Iraq the Model has the unease people are feeling about some quick results.


On the riots in Australia. Perpetrated by "adjectivally enhanced" white youths vs youths.

Germany's hostage Exchange

Ok, alleged hostage exchange. Some stories are so wrong you have to follow the links even though you completely trust the blogger. Captain Ed wrote today about the release of a German Hizbollah prisoner. He was wanted by us for killing a Navy diver in 1985. Instead he has been secretly (ok - it's out in the open now) freed to Lebanon. And guess what? The German hostage in Iraq was freed also!
Hostage taking is horrible. But buying them out is not conducive to the GWOT.

Monday, December 19, 2005


On the Iraqi quagmire.

Other News

In Venezuela. They had an election and nobody came. 15% turnout.

Via Daniel
A now totally perturbed chavismo started to attack international observers, to announce that the constitution would be changed to allow Chavez to stay in office until 2030, to announce that it will only recognize as opposition the minor candidates that stayed, that the traditional parties would have to renew their legal status, be punished for the expense of a useless election (!), ludicrous CIA driven plots, and etc…

Chavismo could not hide how it was hurting, not because it had won 100% of the seats without a legitimate contest, but because it was now the main, if not only, responsible for the end of democracy in Venezuela.

And in the Persian Gulf everyone is picking on Iran.
via the American Future
Not satisfied with antagonizing the West, the Iranian government is now publicly denouncing its Arab neighbors. The occasion for Tehran’s latest outburst is an on-going meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a group that includes representatives from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.

Reuters reports that GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman al-Attiya said the representatives were very worried about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and one of the proposals on the agenda was for a deal to be brokered between Iran and neighboring GCC states to make the region nuclear-free.

Let's call this reality day

Captain Ed notes that Harry Reid suddenly finds out that democracy means that those with the votes get their way.

Tim Blair notes the NSA's spying scandal started under Clinton.

Varifrank finds the wisdom/beauty in Time's "persons of the year".

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Assassination Attempt

I'm surprised this story isn't front page news on either the BBC or the Washington Post. Is no one interested in the bombing of the Iranian President's motorcade?

On the spying scandal

Jeff Goldstein has a great post with many, many links. But the best part is Steve in Houston's comment.
It's long and worth the read but here's a snippet that basically summarizes:

"If you begin with the assumption that, say, the New York Times thinks the war on terror and the war in Iraq are just a bunch of bullshit, then this kind of reporting makes complete and perfect sense. Same with Dean’s and Murtha’s and Pelosi’s and Kerry’s pronouncements.

It’s the kind of fundamental difference that I’m afraid can never really be bridged, much like that between pro-choicers and pro-lifers."

Explains a lot.

Denali Highway

Here's a photo some of you will like!

The Plan

Is working.
You know, the plan everyone says that Bush doesn't have. The one described simply as "As the Iraqi's stand up, we will stand down."

Henry Kissinger prefers that we stay longer. He makes valid points but there are a lot of "ifs" here.

"The views of critics and administration spokesmen converge on the proposition that as Iraqi units are trained, they should replace U.S. forces -- hence the controversy over which Iraqi units are in what state of readiness. But strategy based on substituting Iraqi for U.S. troops may result in perpetuating an unsatisfactory stalemate. Even assuming that the training proceeds as scheduled and produces units the equivalent of the U.S. forces being replaced -- a highly dubious proposition -- I would question the premise that American reductions should be in a linear relationship to Iraqi training. A design for simply maintaining the present security situation runs the risk of confirming the adage that guerrillas win if they do not lose."

I suspect the Iraqi's themselves can build up their own forces as time goes on and do this as needed. In the meantime, I suspect that as they become more confident, they will want us to go.

Policy from the Clinton Era

This is actually funny.

From the link in the link:
The jury remains out over whether democracy in the Arab world would yield governments more supportive of U.S. interests, produce populaces less sympathetic to jihadists or prevent al Qaeda from pursuing its goals through terrorism. At stake is more than presidential rhetoric. Democracy promotion has become the sole and defining element of President Bush's long-term counterterrorism approach. That is why the administration has an obligation to go beyond assertion and demonstrate convincingly that its one-dimensional strategy will yield the desired result. If it cannot, the administration risks putting all of our security eggs in the wrong basket.

Maybe we should have run a "test" first. lol. Do you suppose that would have helped? Kind of like in big business you test out the market before running the campaign in a major area.

The big spying "Scandal"

Bush responds.
There has been so much going on lately and the President has found his voice again. I look forward to tonight's speech.

UPDATE: Varifrank is doing us the service of keeping an eye out for evidence that our new feel good policy of no torture will result in the other guy being nicer too. Maybe he can watch for how our world reputation improves with the nonrenewal of the Patriot act also since that's been another major worry. eh?
My take on torture is that if you don't follow the rules, then we don't have to follow the rules. Torture shouldn't be allowed on those who get swept off the street during a battle, but if you got "the guy" then........Try writing that into an official policy. Exactly. So to ban all forms against everyone seems excessive. In all honesty though, I haven't kept up with the debate. Feel free to correct me, but I suspect there already is enough on the books to keep us from torturing willy nilly out there.

The MSM on Iraq

as seen through Stephen Schwartz at TCS.
(via Powerline)

"Let me add another prediction, as easy as looking out the window and checking the weather. Peace and reform will prevail in Iraq, even with U.S. and other coalition troops still on the ground, but the story will end for the MSM."

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Always good. This time on the faithful.


I slept in! That never happens. Too much to do today so blogging will need to wait until tomorrow. Have a great Saturday.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Michael J. Totten

In Lebanon. Well worth the read.

Word on the Arab Street

via Powerline: "A great thank you again to this great country of ours from the Ajinas in Iraq & the U.S.A for freedom, self rule and a bright future."

via Instapundit: "It was the voice of the Iraqi people that was being heard yesterday, not the bomb blasts of the terrorists. What little violence there was as millions crowded toward their local polling stations only served to demonstrate how incoherent and pointless are the efforts of the men of violence to change the country through further bloodshed."

via Captain Ed:"Have we Gotten the Message now?"

from AP: "he appearance of a buoyant Bush in the Oval Office alongside six smiling young Iraqis displaying purple-stained fingers was an attempt to capitalize on any positive news in Iraq."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Thank a Soldier

Take a minute to Thank a Soldier during Thank a Soldier week.


This is it! The big day!!! May all go well!

Iraq the Model has voted and will be keeping us all updated via Pajamas Media. A couple of things to note in their post.
1) "The deployment of Iraqi security forces on the streets was heavy with a noticeable absence of American forces except for their presence in the skies;" and
2) "From what we saw, people feel safer walking to the voting centers this time; many of them were carrying Iraqi flags."

That's so cool.

Powerline received a letter from retired Marine John Kline who had just returned from Iraq last week. He fills us in on morale and the steady improvements that have gone on.

Vodkapundit has found a new embed who notes: "that the untold story, might in fact, be a positive one". Hellllloooo and welcome to election day!

Captain Ed is on an interesting story about some negotiations with insurgents for the elections.

May they/we continue to keep forged ballots from Iran out of this election!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Hollywood stars are forever complaining about the "crushing of dissent" in Bush's America, by which they mean Tim Robbins having a photo-op at the Baseball Hall of Fame cancelled because he's become an anti-war bore. But, thanks to the First Amendment, he can say anything he likes without the forces of the state coming round to grill him. It's in Britain and Europe where dissent is being crushed. Following the murder of Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands, film directors and museum curators and all the other "brave" "transgressive" artists usually so eager to "challenge" society are voting for self-censorship: "I don't want a knife in my chest," explained Albert Ter Heerdt, announcing his decision to "postpone" a sequel to his hit multicultural comedy Shouf Shouf Habibi!

The Year in Review

Brought to you from the Environmental Republican.
Has it only been a year? Some of this stuff I would have sworn happened 10 years ago!

NY times

Have they admitted things might be looking up? Captain Ed is a glass half full guy.

Changing the news

One headline at a time.

The Mudville Gazette has screenshots showing the change from Bush saying 30,000 Iraqi's haved died to 30,000 Iraqi civilians have died.

I honestly can't remember what my local paper said - I'll try to dig it up.

John Howard

You got to love him. Via Tim Blair.

Reporter: "Do you think anything the Government said over the last few years has set the tone for the actions on the weekend?"

PM: "Which Government?"

Reporter: "Your Government."

PM: "My Government?"

Reporter: “Yes.”

PM: "Certainly not. What do you have in mind?"

Reporter: "Your position on Iraq."

PM: "My position on Iraq?"

Reporter: "Do you think that’s had any influence on people feeling alienated?"

PM: "My position on Iraq? You’ve got to be joking."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Can we handle one more Katrina story? Michelle Malkin has the run down of just who really was abandoned there.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Zarqawi and Zawahiri

Losing influence.
boohoo :)

Another Assasination

in Lebadnon. Captain Ed has the story. Gebran Teuni has been hiding from Assad for awhile so that he could avoid death. He returned to Lebanon yesterday after winning a spot in parliament only to be blown up.

Good News from Iraq

Survey in Iraq shows tons of optimism.

Here is Tim Blair's rundown.

So I read Tim first and saw this sentance:
Also interesting: asked to nominate a priority for the new government, only 10% (of 1700 respondents) mentioned removing coalition forces.

Then I read the BBC and saw this right at the top of the article:
Their priority for the coming year would be the restoration of security and the withdrawal of foreign troops.

Deeper into the article came:
When asked to choose a priority for the new government due to be formed after this week's parliamentary elections, 57% wanted to focus on restoring public security.

Removing US-led forces from Iraq came second with 10%, while rebuilding the country's infrastructure was third.

Funny how perspective can change a story eh?

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Has a post on Honoring Akbar Ganji who is a journalist currently in prison in Iran. Worth the read. In order to get some attention for his cause he's been asked to dis the US as a violator of human rights. He refused, so the media has basically forgotten him. Is this really true??
Be sure to read the linked article from the NY Post.

Iraq Election

Another update from Iraq the Model.

"An important statement came from Ayatollah Sistani’s office, the statement is endorsed by the top four Shiit clerics-Sistani, Mohammed al-Hakeem, Ishaq al-Fayad and Basheer al-Najafi-and it stated that the Ayatollahs do not favor any particular list over the others discrediting the previous reported statement in which Sistani allegedly urged the voters to avoid secular and small lists and vote for the religious candidates.
The document made clear that any statement not signed/stamped with the Ayatollah’s signature or his office’s stamp must not be considered authentic."


We've heard the horror stories in the past about "thought crimes" etc. Somehow I always put them in the context of thinking revolutionary thoughts or thinking criminal thoughts. Either way, you get stuck in a dingy Russian prison, right?

Dr. Helen's column is frightening. She's following a discussion concerning making "thought crimes" delusional. Oh, that must be far better than criminal. Then you can just drug them out of existence!

"Doctors who treat inmates at the California State Prison outside Sacramento concur: They have diagnosed some forms of racist hatred among inmates and administered antipsychotic drugs."

The Statue of Liberty

A nice feel good post for a Sunday morning from a Michael Meyn, a citizen who immigrated from Germany.

At Misunderestimated Germans.
"“Come as you are!” That’s what comes to my mind every time I see a picture of the Statue of Liberty. “Come as you are and be part of something amazing!” I have gladly accepted that offer and with great joy I can now say:

I’m proud to be a Germerican!"

via Atlantic Review's Carnival of German American Relations

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Another one bites the dust

The "Butcher of Ramadi" captured with local help! via Captain Ed.


The latest disaster - though we're not quite done with Avian Flu - is the magnetic pole reversal. Ragged Thots received an email I thought was interesting. I'd never heard this before, but apparently with the weakened magnetic poles, more solar radiation is allowed in which burns ozone layers and potentially increases global warming.

Here's the quick and dirty google search on this, written in Joe vs scientific language.

I believe we humans and Americans, who have a lot of influence over our surroundings, owe it to the world to keep an eye on what we are doing. If we can make changes to reduce our emissions, that can only be helpful. And yes it looks like we are at least helping somewhat vs signing on to a ridiculous treaty that actually imposes fines on New Zealand.

Also - we have to know that if the govt does too much too soon and people lose jobs etc, then that govt will no longer be in power. There are priorities to consider and while it would be wonderful if we chose the environmental health of the world as the top priority, that really isn't practical. So, - continue on. Keep an eye on what's going on, do what can be done (remember the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the diesal reduction laws?) , and watch for results. (I can see Pikes Peak from here often! That barely ever happened in the 70s and 80s.)


by Democrats revealing true selves by Norman Podhoretz via Dinocrat.


In a picture. The Environmental Republican illustrates how real life works.

Interview with Lisa Ramaci

Stephen Vincent's wife. He was murdered in Basra almost a year ago. She is interviewed by Fayrouz, Iraqi in America.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Health Care benefits

For the National Guard are up for vote in Congress. Boots in Baghdad is looking for your support.
He's got the easy link to email your congressperson so you don't have to wait until you can find the address.

Iraqi Elections

One more week to go and Iraq the Model has an update of the mood on the ground, along with predictions in the elections. Click onto that Pajamas Media link for a fuller accounting.

Take note of the 70,584 election workers. I did that once, huge civic duty and all. Imagine doing it knowing that you've given yourself a nice target on your back. Things must be going either better, or in the direction of hope and optimism and faith in themselves for people to be signing up for this sort of duty.

(I wonder about the demographic of them. ie here it's mostly retired people who take the job)

Blackfive found good news there in the Washington Post concerning the elections also.

Rumsfield Interview

Tim Blair linked to this interview with Jim Leher today to point out this bit of funniness:

question from Jim Lehrer:
JIM LEHRER: Does it bother you -- I looked at the public opinion polls the last, recent ones that mention you. And you don't come out very well in terms of the public. I couldn't find one where the public had approved of the job you were doing, less than 50 percent. Does that bother you?

question from Donald Rumsfield
DONALD RUMSFELD: Oh, I think that it's -- if you look where the news media is, it's down very low at the polls. If you want to get into public opinion polls, people in that business are right down near the bottom.
JIM LEHRER: Tell me about it.
DONALD RUMSFELD: You know that. Yeah, does it bother you?
JIM LEHRER: (laughter) Hey, I ask the questions here!

That was funny, but here's the meat of that interview:
JIM LEHRER: So when you hear these kinds of things or read these kinds of things, you look at it that way. In other words, this just goes with the job. You don't say hey, wait a minute; maybe I have done something wrong; maybe I've got to rethink some things here; maybe --

DONALD RUMSFELD: Oh, my goodness, we rethink things all the time. We are constantly calibrating, constantly talking and discussing and how can we do whatever it is we are doing better.

People who think that Bush just is so stubborn he has just a one track stay the course mindset just don't have a clue what the military does for a living. And frankly, if I can figure out, having zero close connections with anyone in the military well then........

Thursday, December 08, 2005

John Bolton

As long as we're talking about Mr. Bolton, Roger Simon mentions the lack of condemnation by the security council for the latest terrorist attack in Israel. Mr. Bolton had something written up but Algeria had a problem with urging Syria to close down the offices of the attackers that are open there.

"Ambassador Bolton, however, blamed Algeria for quashing the measure by objecting to a passage urging Syria to close offices of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which claims responsibility for the attack. "Other governments had questions about particular language. We were perfectly prepared to engage in discussions about constructive suggestions, but Algeria categorically refused to name Syria and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad," he said."

Doesn't seem like to much to ask to me.

Human Rights Day

Another term for "Day of ignoring mother's warning that -when you point there are 3 fingers pointing back at you".
Captain Ed pointing out that John Bolton speaks "truth to power". (I hate that term)

"Louise Arbour, the high commissioner for human rights at the United Nations, presented the most forceful criticism to date of U.S. detention policies by a senior U.N. official, asserting that holding suspects incommunicado in itself amounts to torture. ..."

..."The U.N. official's comments drew an immediate response from U.S. Ambassador John Bolton. He said he was disappointed that Ms. Arbour had chosen to speak based on press commentary about alleged American conduct. "I think the secretary of state has fully and completely addressed the substance of allegations. I won't go back again other than to reaffirm that the U.S. does not engage in torture, but it is inappropriate and illegitimate for an international civil servant to second guess the conduct that we're engaged in in the war on terror with nothing more as evidence than what she reads in the newspapers," he said.

Ambassaodor Bolton took strong exception to comments by Ms. Arbour that allegations of prisoner mistreatment had damaged the United States's moral leadership. He called the comment "illegitimate," and suggested that Ms. Arbour had damaged international efforts to reform the discredited U.N. Human Rights Commission.

"The United States in New York is engaged in a very difficult struggle to reform the broken the U.N. human rights decision making machinery, to abolish the existing human rights commission and try and replace it with an effective new Human Rights council. We are not helped in that difficult struggle by comments like Ms. Arbour's, and I say this really in sorrow rather than anger.""

(He didn't link to an original, but I found this link to the article.)

Poll in Afghanistan

I happened to see ABC news last night where they talked of the 'first scientific poll' that was run in Afghanistan and how surprising the results were. Well, surprising to them. Those of us who've learned a little about re-interpreting the news these past years weren't so surprise.

"Nearly 80% of Afghans think their country is moving in the right direction: "

Ok - I take that back. 80% is a huge number and a bit of a surprise. I'd of been thinking 67% of so.

via Tim Blair

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Yellowstone and Wolves

In the National Parks issue of Backpacker magazine is an article about the changes wolves have brought to Yellowstone. I've often get into discussions with people on this and usually leave out a link or two in this chain of events, so I'm writing it here for future reference. The re-introduction isn't just about wolves being "cool", it's about all the rest too. The wolf itself is the icing on the cake.

Wolves were re-introducted to Yellowstone National Park in 1994.
"Preliminary research suggests that wolves are causing what we call a cascade effect," says Yellowstone wolf biologist Douglas Smith. "For example, elk move away from feeding areas that have poor visibility to avoid wolves, which allows willow, cottonwood and other vegetation to flourish. With the return of this flora come beavers and dams. The dams produce ponds that are perfect for other wildlife."
This ripple effect impacts the food chain in a similar fashion. Carcasses that wolves leave behind are an important food source for more than 12 different species, including grizzlies, coyotes, ravens, eagles and beetles. Meanwhile, populations of pronghorn antelope and red fox have rebounded after wolf packs reduced the numbers of their primary predator, the coyote. Scientists believe raptor numbers will jump, as well, because fewer coyotes should translate into a resurgence in rodent colonies."

Sorry, their is no link.

Michael Yon

Is back home right now, but he posted this the other day that I finally got around to reading. Enjoy some of his memories and letters.

Helping out

Hugh Hewitt got me into Soldiers Angels. The Environmental Republican has discovered The Yellow Ribbon Club. Either way - write a letter, send a card, or package. They like them.


Varifrank teaches Howard Dean a little about history and what really happened the last time we gave up on a people.

His conclusion:
"I’ve often had the phrase “War is not the answer” thrown into an argument by the other side when I make statements for our actions in the Jihadi war. My response is that “War is certainly the answer, if the question is slavery or genocide”. This is exactly what is at stake here. From the words of today’s Democrats, the only answer to slavery and genocide is a withering barrage of summits and press conferences. I’m sure it would have had Hitler shaking in his boots to have them say “give peace a chance” to him in response to the Lidice massacres.

I really don’t know why anyone bothers with Howard Dean discussing what it means to ‘win and lose’. Howard Dean couldn’t even win in Ohio."

I second this last part. The only reason anyone bothers with Dean anymore is because of his actual job title. He needs to be fired!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Tigerhawk has the story of Iraqi's electioneering in Jordan and Syria! Cool.

The Trial

Iraq the Model is watching and giving the local view of this trial.

"One sentence from the Qatari lawyer was enough to show that he was very far from reality, that was when he spoke of “five million children who died because of the sanctions).
I really don’t know where he got this number from but what I know is that his language was a lot similar to Saddam’s who invested the death of Iraqi children to get compassion from the world while he was destroying whole shipments of milk, food and medicine or worse re-exporting to make bloody profits for himself."

Joe Lieberman

in place of Rumsfield? Instapundit has noticed the talk. If I were Rumsfield, I'd be tired and perhaps ready for retirement but personally I like to listen to him talk. He gets that tone in his voice that may not be conducive to communication with the media, but is at least an honest feeling. And Joe, I'd support him whereever he goes. But it would rankle if the dems get credit for this win after all their "support".

(that 2nd link is to Jeff Goldstein's roundup of the latest idiotic things coming out of the mouths of dems)

Monday, December 05, 2005

History and War and This War

A long post, so put your feet up. However it was an interesting one. Recent US Political and Military History and the War on Terror

(H/T Neo-Neocon. She's got the re-cap, so you might want to start there. Whet your appetite and then move into the meat.)

New Book out

The Black Book of Sadaam Hussein

From "The Australian"
"WITH the trial of Saddam Hussein under way, those in the God-damn-America camp find themselves uncomfortably wedged. Should they justify their opposition to the war by downplaying Saddam's crimes while sheeting home blame for the present turmoil to the US and its allies? Or do they opt for the defence of moral equivalence, conceding that Saddam was indeed a monster but those US presidents who once backed his regime, including George H.W. Bush, are the real monsters.

The best riposte to this warped analysis is a scholarly and sober 700-page volume recently published in France, of all places. Le Livre Noir de Saddam Hussein (The Black Book of Saddam Hussein) is a robust denunciation of Saddam's regime that does not fall into the trap of viewing everything in Iraq through a US-centric prism. The writers - Arabs, Americans, Germans, French and Iranian - have produced the most comprehensive work to date on the former Iraqi president's war crimes, assembling a mass of evidence that makes the anti-intervention arguments redundant."

(H/T Barcepundit)


The title says it all: Dems Determined to Ignore Progress in Iraq.

(not counting my guy Joe)

The Weblog Awards

Vote now, vote every 24 hours! This is a great way to quickly search through other great blogs.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

White House Communication Strategy

via Powerline He links to Jay Nordlinger who pulls out quote after quote of the White House communicating all those things that people say isn't getting communicated.

Election update

from Iraq the Model.

Victor Davis Hanson

I haven't linked to him recently because his essays are always long and so I don't always read them. Yesterday Barcepundit linked to a good one.

Free Press in Iraq

I've been ignoring the story about "lack of free press in Iraq" because of the US propoganda machine, thinking that it will soon go away but that doesn't seem to be happening. Roger Simon tells the NYT and LAT his thoughts and I agree. Vodkapundit has had plenty to say about it too.

Propoganda is a tool used in war-time. I'm surprised today's press has just now found out about it.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


This post by David Warren has my thoughts in it.

" They consist mostly of getting the bureaucracies out of the way of technological innovation. Which could mean, for instance, letting oil prices soar to levels where competing methods of generating heat, light, and motion kick in, of their own free market accord."

The only thing I would add, is that there ought to be a "world peace" tax and a "spill cleanup" tax of some sort added to the price of oil. That would raise the prices a bit more and the free market would take over.

Planning for the War and later

I know nothing of war and plans and strategies etc. Without "everyone" including military people thinking that the aftermath of the war in Iraq was a surprise, I would have assumed that it all went basically as planned. Perhaps the plan B, but still, as planned.

Neo-Neocon has a long 2 part piece concerning this that I found interesting.
Part one.
"One of the most common arguments against the administration's planning and conduct of the war is that it underestimated the resistance that would be put up, saying that it would be a "cakewalk," and that later events proved them utterly wrong. Is this true? Who made the "cakewalk" prediction? And to what aspect of the war was he actually referring? And why was that resistance or insurgency (or whatever name we give the terrorism and sabotage that has gone on in the aftermath of the war) seemingly worse than anticipated?"

Part two. (besides pointing out that no one in the administration said it would be a "cakewalk")
"Did the President and key members of his Administration foresee how exceedingly difficult it would actually be to accomplish this? I don't think so. Should they have? Perhaps.

But what really matters now is: do they have the patience, intelligence, will, and determination to get it right? My answer: they do--if we do."


Krauthammer makes it sound like it's so. And with Arafat gone, maybe this is true. I think most of us are waiting for some real time to pass vs a peace pact ceremony until we believe peace between the Israelis and Palestinians has occurred. But maybe? Certainly progress is being made.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Supply and Demand

Not just a theory, it a natural law!


This was worth my time this morning because I had never considered that the "communications strategy" from the White House was a good one. But here is another opinion on that:

"On one item we disagree with Podhoretz and most of the conservative commentators we read, however. We endorse the communications strategy that had been chosen by the White House. The MSM have become anti-war to the point of sedition, in our opinion. If the President had given speeches week after week, they would have been countered, each and every week, with even greater MSM coverage of car-bombings, suicide-vests, and portraits of American shortcomings. Much better to wait until the mission is further along, more progress made, more elections held, before rallying the patriotic spirit of most Americans to a new crescendo. This cannot be done weekly or continuously without creating exhaustion; better to save it for the 2006 season, which we have now entered.

We wish it were not so, but our domestic war against the MSM and like thinkers must be fought with the appropriate tactics: giving them a big, fat speech by the President every week to shoot at in the meaningless year of 2005 would not have been smart. Waiting for them to over-reach, as they did once again in the Pelosi / Murtha gambit, shows yet once more that perhaps the biggest asset the GOP has is the leadership of the Democratic Party."

Point taken.

Fahrenheit 1861

The new movie that's sweeping the nation. by Michael Moore.

Top Ten Fascinating People

No, not Barbara Walter's list, but John Hawkins' list, or the fascinating people in the blogosphere.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Reaction to the Strategy

From Quando and Protein Wisdom

Loony Leaders

Maybe I should start a "Loony Leaders" file too. We already have Hugo Chavez and today we add, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Here's the headline.
"Iran: President Says Light Surrounded Him During UN Speech"

Not that there's anything wrong with that, it does however sound a bit loony.

Power Corrupts

From our power currupts file, (which I've just started) we have from a few days ago, 'What the hell was I thinking Richard Cunningham'. Republican, inspiration for the movie Top Gun and family man.

And now we have
'Go Eagles Arelen Spector'. Democratic Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committe, wanting to use the commitee to get Terrell Owens back in the game.

I know - 2 different levels of corruption but come on guys - use your heads!

John Bolton

At the UN. Just thought you'd want to know what he was up to these days. From the Jerusalem Post

"Following intense US pressure, the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday issued an unprecedented condemnation of Monday's Hizbullah attacks on northern Israel."
and then
"When asked what changed from Monday to Wednesday, one diplomatic official replied: "John Bolton," a reference to the US ambassador to the UN. Bolton lobbied vigorously for the passage of the statement."