Friday, December 21, 2007
It's that spirit that I leave you with today. You won't see me around these parts for the indefinite future but I hope to see you "on the beach" in the struggle to preserve this nation for our children and their children.
I'm hanging up the keyboard, yes indeed. But I'm not dying. At least there's no date set yet. And I might come back next summer or so, if my schedule changes/relents and I have pontification-withdrawal (that sounds like something there's a cheap remedy for on late-night TV) when the election heats up. If you want to contact me ... dcutter-at-gmail-dot-com.
As for why ... well, see the post below. Thanks to you all for checking in, for your support and comments. Keep the faith and keep up the fight.
And keep your eyes on what is real. I'll try to do the same.
Speaking of which, have a very, Merry Christmas. The Babe of Bethlehem is coming back as the Lion of Judah.
See you on the beach.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Yes, it's true. I've been thinking about this a while, and I think it's time to step back for a time, maybe for good.
I won't bore you with the gory details, but let's just say, it's time to step back. I want to preface what follows by letting you all know that I am not mad, not upset, none of that. I am doing well, actually.
As for why I am stepping back, I will tell you this: There's a lot going on in real life. You know, I have 4 kids, ages 6 to 16 ... a wife of 21 years ... a law practice (allegedly) ... I am a baseball coach, etc., etc. Looking around, I find that most bloggers out here that aren't making money at this don't seem to have the things going on that I do. There's a reason for this. My real life and the goodwill at home call me back.
Yes, real life is real, and really ... that's where life is at. Much of what happens to me that is really noteworthy and life-changing happens out in the real world. But it doesn't and can't get discussed here. That's not a criticism. It's just the nature of the enterprise.
I started this blog three years ago to make a difference, if only in some microscopic way. I don't know if I have made a difference at all, but that was and remains my intent here ... aside from "doodling into the air" whilst living out my passion. I like to write. Still do. To be more accurate, I like writing with a purpose. That won't change.
In this space, I have wanted to do my small part as part of the information war to defend America, our culture, and our way of life. We remain in a great struggle with Militant Islam. And we must win. There is no other option, no negotiated peace to pursue. With each passing day, we see the unfolding horrors of the unmasked face of our jihadi enemies.
Yet, the comfortable, the affluent, the ignorant, and many of our politicians (which tend to be a combination of all three) would rather not be bothered with the foregoing. It is too unpleasant. No, they would rather not be disturbed from their slumber. But we owe it to our countrymen, and indeed to the world, to tell the truth and continue to wake as many as possible ... to prevent the nightmare from becoming reality.
As I have said here a number of times, most recently on Independence Day, freedom can not negotiate with slavery. America's own history shows that forestalling true liberty for all makes conflict inevitable. We don't know yet exactly what "prevailing" will actually look like in this new kind of war. But we'll find out in time. And when we do, then we know the precise direction we must go -- toward complete victory, as we did in WWII.
My uncle the former Marine and Viet Nam vet has told me that he thinks we'll be fighting Militant Muslims in earnest for the next 100 years. I don't know if he's right, but, absent the End of the Age, I am sure he is closer to being right than our Microwaveable-Foreign-Policy Congress is on the subject. So, "stand up, buckle up, and shuffle to the door."
One recurring theme that I written about here is simply this: America is worth defending. It is a special thing to be an American. It doesn't mean we are better than the world. It means we are more blessed than most every one in the world. I hope I have encouraged you to remember this. Ah, America, I do love this nation so. And I love all our friends and people of goodwill everywhere who show this earthly "Shining City" the love and respect that it deserves.
And in defending America, the West, and what we stand for, I would argue that the best way to do this, in spite of the seriousness of the times, is to do it with a smile and with style. That is, we tackle the great issues of the day not only with a purpose, but also with good cheer. Belief is more persuasive and powerful, although more difficult to maintain, than cynicism.
We have also talked about what a "nation" is, and I have argued that a nation is not merely a goverment. Rather, a nation has a government. A nation (any nation) also has a culture and a border. Without any one of the three -- a culture, a government, a border -- then a nation is a nation in name only. In addition to the threat from Militant Islam, we've got challenges at home on all three fronts. The stakes are high in these times.
Please bear in mind that my absence from this cyber-post doesn't mean that I am less committed to defendiing the nation or to the ideas expressed here for the last three years. Quite the contrary, I am as "gung ho" as ever. In fact, I'll be hanging around some of my favorite sites, with a comment or two, from time to time.
I have enjoyed the ride here very much, and I thank every one of you who has stopped by to lurk, comment, argue, agree, or not. It's been great. Thank you all for your time and for your passion for the nation. Time is the most precious resource that any of us has. I thank you for all you invested here. Your comments and contributions here have educated and inspired me, time and again.
I am especially grateful to you regulars. Many of you have contributed to our nation over and above, and yet you continue to go well beyond the call of duty. I won't call you out, but you know who you are. You have my utmost respect, and as a result, my affection. You have reminded me many times over to always believe in the power of a solitary individual who is relentless in the pursuit of what is right. And as one of you told me once, never, never underestimate the importance of your faithful service in whatever has been placed in front of you today. Your efforts this very day matter greatly. Indeed, that's how a culture, a society, a civilization is built ... with one faithful act stacked upon another, and another. Keep pressing on.
As for the future of this blog long term, I honestly don't know now. I will let you know around Christmas ... right here. My plan is to check back on December 21 to let you know.
I suspect it may be hard to stay away, especially with the elections in '08. Right now, though, I am sick of the elections already. I know, it will get important and interesting next year. Looking ahead, I am pulling for Fred to get in soon (officially) and make it fun for us conservatives. If Newt jumps in, it will be double-fun. Maybe they can run together. I already have their campaign theme: "We may be ugly, but we're right."
I am also hoping that my fellow conservatives will do the right thing and decide that, whoever the nominee of the Republican Party may be, we must ensure that the Democrats do not grab the White House in these times. Remember this: The first duty of the federal goverment is national security. Also, there's a real short book in the library that I hope you'll check out entitled, "Debates by Dead People." These are important times, and this fact should unite, not divide us.
Now, you'll note that there is no space for comments below. Why? Well, this reminds me of a funny story. Once, Julie B (a real person, in fact a really nice person who I have really talked to ... albeit on the phone) got huffy because I posted a picture of Pres. Bush without allowing comments. What a hoot! Funny how blogging changes our perspective on real life. It has changed mine, from time to time, too.
The simple truth is that sometimes one makes a judgment that a particular post says enough. Plus, a lot of these blogger farewell deals are just mini-narsco-dramas with all the please-don't-go teary pleas from other bloggers who are plugging their blogs ("Can I have these readers now since dude has given up the ghost?").
If you want to contact me, you can reach me at dcutter-at-gmail-dot-com. I would like to hear from you, and I'll continue to check the email.
From the outset, this blog has been about ideas, and in that spirit, I'd like to leave you with some thoughts, principally related to the subject of living a life that makes a difference and finishing well. So, consider:
We marvel at human creativity, but indeed, there is nothing new under the sun.
Ultimately, the value of what happens in this life is determined by the One whom we will stand before in the next.
The best way to influence the world is focus on "small unit tactics", that is, start with your own family. Work out from there, into your community, and so on. But if you forget what is at home and fail to build from there, you are building your house on sand.
There are very few people in your life whose opinions really matter. One of the keys to a successful life is figuring out who these people are.
If you realize you have fallen in life, don't worry. You've just joined the crowd. Now, get up.
A lot of people along the way to a life that makes a difference get shipwrecked by difficulties. If and when this happens to you, reach out. We weren't made to make it alone in this life. Isolation leads to a loss of perspective, ineffectiveness, and ultimately to death.
Indeed, life is short, but its consequences -- and your soul -- last forever. So, live in light of eternity.
Be bold. In life, defense wins games, but offense wins championships and changes civilizations. A coward dies a thousand deaths.
Life is unfair. So, take some time to thank God that you haven't gotten what you deserve.
True life ... and joy ... are found in serving others. One must die to his own desires to truly live.
If you know something you need to say ... say it, today. "Thank you" is something that can and should be said every day.
Ask yourself: What in the world did I do to deserve being born in the greatest nation in history, with everything that I need, with people who care about me, and with the opportunity to know and serve God? Nothing. Yes, life is unfair, but God is good.
If you are spending more time on the computer than you are talking to your spouse, well, you need to stop blogging, reading blogs, surfing the internet, reading emails, etc., so much. The real thing, yes, a good person worthy of your time and attention, may be right there, maybe in the next room ... maybe in the same room. Don't miss it.
I've studied a lot, and I've learned a lot from a lot of smart people. So, I'll steal the following from a tremendously learned fellow who was asked to name the greatest thing he had learned in all his years of study. It is this: "Jesus loves me, this I know ... for the Bible tells me so."
Indeed, there is nothing new under the sun, except that which flows from the One who created all things new.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
But this year, we note that around the globe, anti-Americanism is high and seems to be on the rise.
Why is this? Some would argue that American foreign policy is to blame.
I have heard from friends who have been both to Europe and the Middle East that the very same argument to defend anti-Americanism is consistently being trotted out -- That is, the world "likes Americans, but they just don't like our government."
However, I think this is a cop out that masks the true feelings of many foreigners expressing anti-American views.
To a certain degree, we understand their point about our government. We Americans don't like our government a lot of the time. Still, we don't care much for burning American flags or the President in effigy, either.
Plus, it's our government.
And unlike much of the world that expresses this disdain for our government, we are our government. We understand that our government is a republic, and we further understand that it doesn't represent us perfectly, or even well, at times. But over time, for better or worse, our government is what we, the American people, want it to be.
Our government is really an extension of us because we are free. We are not as free as perhaps we used to be, and we are certainly not as free as we want to be. But we are free.
And our freedom -- freedom to speak, to write, to worship ... or not, to work, to dream, to protest, and to vote, and to do all of the foregoing without fear -- this is a call to arms to much of the world.
Thus, what the current rise of anti-Americanism really tells us is that freedom is on the decline in the world.
So, we hear the loud voices of the anti-American tide.
But what irony to have the subjects of Muslim autocrats in Saudi Arabia tell us that "They like Americans, just not their government." They speak of us as if we are subjects, like they are. They speak in this way because they are subjects.
In Russia, reports of American warmongering and profiteering are accepted as gospel. Regardless of the facts or the price of gasoline here, they just know that we went to Iraq to steal the oil. Why? The Russian people are ruled by a government that engages in this very thing in spades.
Throughout Europe, the naysaying nieces and nephews of the nanny state wring their hands and deride America for daring to confront the fascists of the 21st century. America's freedom and fight endangers the peace, it seems.
Meanwhile, militant Muslims and their allies worldwide decry the debauchery, excesses and corruption of American society. Yes, freedom produces excesses. But these excesses pale in comparison to societies that are led around by the nose by the likes of Zarqawi, Hussein, Assad, Ahmadinejad, and Bin Laden.
Indeed, tyrants and their subjects never have and never will understand freedom.
Both tyranny and freedom expand and threaten the other's oxygen supply. They war with each other. They must. Always.
America's birth certificate was thus a declaration of war, not just on King George's England but on tyrants in perpetuity.
Therefore, America remains a magnet for criticism worldwide prinicipally because America remains a reminder to the world that a people still dares to live in freedom.
Friends take solace. Foes take heed.
We are America the Controversial, because we are free. We are America the Beautiful.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Lots of people are taking credit, assigning blame (I see it's only Pres. Bush's bill now). Note that we would have never had such a thing take root in the Senate if Harry Reid had not been majority leader, but we need not be disturbed with such trifles as this. Let's let facts be bygones.
This ordeal has me thinking of how we defend ... and how we win.
Defending is easier, and it's not as risky as offense, with its attendant risk of "offending". Deconstruction can be accomplished through a variety of means. But construction is far more difficult, and it requires patience, skill, and plans that account for the various contingencies and obstacles ahead. But when you defend against an attack, a bad argument, a bad strategy ... you don't need to be perfect or sometimes even good. The bad attack often largely does itself in.
In this case, for instance, the proponents of "Comprehensive Reform" overreached in spectacular fashion, seeking to hide from the public the contents of a bill that is fatter than the Bible. Then we found out the whole thing wasn't even written yet. Public skepticism thus reached the boiling point. Then, the "reformers" decried the loyal opposition as bigots, nativists (but wouldn't that make us "Native Americans? and thus good guys?), and the like. Then, we got down to the damning details in the substance of the monstrosity: We learned, not only that Lindsay Graham had zipped up John Kyl in a pod in his Senate Office, but also that the Comprehensive Reformers had little room in their tome for enforcement of the border ... which remains the principal concern of the public on the immigration issue.
All in all, defending this thing was pretty easy, come to think of it. Not to crow and all, but as I recall, I told you it was going nowhere pretty early in the game ... when many others were noting how the sky was falling.
But playing "offense" on immigration reform is going to be much more difficult. Some in the Senate (most notably liberal Demos) have sworn that no "enforcement-only" bills will ever pass Congress. Never mind the fact that this is exactly what an overwhelming majority (in the 70-75% range) wants: Enforce the border and U.S. immigration laws first. Then, we can decide how to handle the illegals who are here.
The opponents of real immigration reform have dug in. They know that defense is easier than offense.
So, what now?
We continue to persuade, to inform, and to educate. We continue to reach out to people who might not agree with us on all issues, but can work with us on the issue at hand. And when appropriate, we remind our elected representatives that we are watching and, though they may not behave like elephants, we have pachyderm-like memories.
In the end, conservatives who want the border enforced are going to have to find some "strange bedfellows" along the way. Want an example? How about labor unions? I have some profound disagreements with labor unions about many things, but I share their skepticism for the creeping internationalism in U.S. business that ignores responsibility to the nation that makes the cash registers ring, or beep, whatever they do now. I am finding myself agreeing with unions more and more regarding their concerns over the disrespect shown to the American worker by American business. This is just an example of a potential ally in this specific fight.
To play offense successfully, we need to find common ground and build coalitions. Hey, I think there's something on the banner of this blog that might speak to this. But I digress ...
So, can we be both winsome and shrewd? I think we can. Ronald Reagan was. Remember the Reagan Democrats? They helped to elect Reagan when the Republicans were a minority party.
Conservatives shouldn't be surprised that they are in the minority, but neither should they be discouraged.
It's not mutually exclusive to be good and smart. Thus, we should be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Julie is a big meme fiend, so she "tags" me. Not wanting to be rude, I will answer, and would only do it for a great blog friend like Julie. But I am going to compromise and do it like a leftist ... that is, I will make up my own rules/ignore the rules of the meme.
Here is Julie's post.
To spice up the boring meme and to give it the flair deserving a non-meme doer, erudite type like me, I will post Julie's answers and give answers in the general subject matter of "random facts". Confused? Don't worry, you won't be for long.
Julie: 1. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when JFK was shot.
DC: I was a very young baby when JFK was shot.
Julie: 2. My first paying job was as an exercise jockey at Santa Anita racetrack.
DC: I didn't even know they had fitness centers at the track. I am going to check it out the next time I get down to Sam Houston Park. Okay, I am getting off easy here ... First paying job was when I was 14, working as a handyman/janitor at a local office building.
Julie: 3. Weapon of choice is a 62" longbow.
DC: When confronted with foes wielding large bows, I pull out my .38 and take my chances.
Julie: 4. I work in a cheese factory.
DC: I know what it's like to work at a job that stinks. Actually, I work at a sausage, er, obfuscation ... No, I work in a law office. And I represent truth and justice.
Julie: 5. I translated French documents for ERDA (used to be Atomic Energy Commision) about nuclear reactors.
DC: Oh, my. In honor of new French President Nicolas Sarkozy, I will refrain from a French joke at this time. Let's see ... the most interesting translation work that I have ever done was when I cut grass at a local school district (at an unnamed school district to protect the guilty) with some workers that were, maybe, shall we say "undocumented" way, way back when I was in high school. Since I spoke Spanish, I was the translator/go-between for the Mexican workers and the high school kids working there that summer. Was one of the best jobs I ever had.
Bonus Random Fact(s): I'd wager that I've cut more grass than most of the readers of this here blog. I'm counting three or four summers, full-time, plus a half while I was in law school, plus working while I was in school during the school year. Shoot, cutting grass was the first job I had out of college and I was cutting grass full time when I got married, now that I think of it. And I'm still padding my stats, too. But I don't get paid to do it, any more. Now, it's back to amateur status. You know this reminds me ... There's just some jobs Americans won't do. You know?
Julie: 6. In college I learned how to shoe a horse and scale the brick wall of the men's dorm.
DC: Most exciting thing I have scaled is probably the Confidence Course at Quantico, with a nice, thin layer of ice on it.
Julie: 7. I come from a family of writers. (sadly that doesn't help out this blog)
DC: I come from a family of blue collar people. Neither of my parents finished college. My dad was a traveling salesman for most of his days, until the rise of Wal-Mart. My mother was a bookkeeper and worked for many years managing gas stations for Mobil Oil. She was held up a couple of times and kept on doing it. A couple of guys tried to hold up my dad once, but he had his bat with him (I come from a family of baseball fans, too.) My mother wanted me to become a lawyer. My dad never forgave me for becoming one.
Julie: 8. My new goal is to learn how to joust.
DC: I am not much of a goal-setter, truth be told. But I will tell you this: I stay the heck away from people coming after me on horseback with long poles, or I at least get to a location where I can get a good shot at them. I mean, didn't machine guns, aircraft and the like render such warfare obsolete? But seriously, jousting? Is there a league or what? Speaking of real sports ...
Bonus Random Fact: Saw Houston's Craig Biggio get his 3,000th hit on June 28. Was there in person with my 14-year-old son. Biggio got 5 hits on the night (for only the second time in his 20-year career), and the Astros rallied to win with a walk-off grand slam by Carlos Lee. When we were leaving, my son said it was the most amazing game he'd ever seen. I've been following the Astros since I was about 7, and it was the most amazing game I've ever seen, too.
Okay, the Erudition Light is now turned back "on".
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
When we see wildly unpopular leglislation -- a bill opposed not just by the Republican base but by three-fourths of the country -- we have a problem. And not just in Houston.
Plus, the opposition is intense. Yet, those with superior knowledge than I press onward.
I read somewhere that if Pres. Bush had put this much effort into other stated priorities that we would have, oh, a democratic Iraq and a solvent social security system by now.
Apparently, yesterday's cloture vote was to allow the process to "move forward", while Harry Reid and his inner circle figured out what amendments they would allow to be discussed and how. Meanwhile, they keep the country in the dark and play "kingmakers" (or is it "citizen-voter-better-profit-margin-makers") for the rest of the nation. The whole process is a sham.
Now, I hear they are having another vote tomorrow on whether to clamp down on amendments to Bush-McCain-Kennedy. A few senators who allowed the process to venture into a preliminary discussion of amendments are now wobbling and wanting to defect from the dark side.
Go to Laura Ingraham's website to get contact links for the wobbling 8. Since they had 64 in favor of limiting debate yesterday, my understanding is that we need five of the wobblers to switch to the right side to put this senatorial fiasco out of its misery. Full disclosure: I sent an email to all of them, except Sen. Bond of Missouri. I understand he has already said he will vote against cloture tomorrow.
And keep in mind: The House is saying "no way" over here. Remember: All of them are up for election next year. Funny how the two bodies function in relation to the public, huh?
Redstate has been doing tremendous work on this issue. Check out this post, featuring Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, one of the real heroes of this debate.
Keep the faith.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sen. Ensign is head of the Republican National Senatorial Committee, that is, he is coordinating the efforts to get Republicans recruited for and elected to the Senate in '08. In other words, he has a tough job that guys like McCain, Lott, Specter, Kyl, and Graham are making much tougher.
You can call Sen. Ensign at 202-224-6244. You also can email him.
He is in a tough spot, to say the least. So, I say we politely remind him of this.
Really, wayward Republicans are undermining the ability of the party to raise money nationally, and in a big way. Oh, well ... gotta break some eggs, I guess.
By the way, I see that Sen. Lott-of-Hairspray is waffling (I know, this is a shocker to you) on the bill now. The same guy who said last week that "talk radio is running the country" said on Fox News Sunday that he is "not committed to supporting the final product." He just wants to let the process move forward.
What a hoot! And what a politician. You have to love it. But remember, they do answer to a massive public outcry. In the end, they want to keep their jobs.
If you vote against three-fourths of the nation on an issue where people feel passionately, where the nation's security and identity are at stake, well, consider yourself looking for a new job.
The House is already digging in for a battle royal if this thing makes it over there. All of them are up next year, and they know it will get ugly if they pass this. Maybe we will see congressional approval ratings in the single-digits before this thing is over?
How much you want to bet that one of the Senate "supporters" of the bill who is going wobbly snuggles up to Harry Reid and encourages him to let the thing get KO'ed in the cloture vote? That would be great. Let's hope.
And ... another reason to be hopeful: Any movement that relies upon moderates to provide "backbone" is in serious trouble.
Should be a fun week.
Friday, June 22, 2007
But what do we know, just being the nation's second most populous state, and a border state to boot?
To recap, Sen. Hutchison was trying to patch the thing up with an ill-advised amendment. But to her credit, she has righted her course. Something tells me she has heard from a few Texans. Oh, well. She's heard from at least one. I also contacted Sen. Cornyn -- who has been great in this debate -- and I got the following email in return:
Thank you for contacting me about immigration reform. The need to fix our broken system is clear, and I appreciate having the benefit of your insight on one of the most important issues of our day.Way to go, Sen. Cornyn. Now, I plan to be firmly behind Sen. Cornyn's reelection efforts in '08. I've got his request for a campaign donation sitting on my desk at home.
Immigration reform ultimately must be about improving our system for legal immigration, not about creating new benefits for illegal aliens. Although we are a proud nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws. If policymakers will agree that all immigrants must abide by the rule of law, then we can reach a consensus on ways to improve the legal process so that it meets the needs of our society, our economy and our national security.
Recently, the Senate debated S. 1348, a comprehensive immigration reform bill. However, I had serious concerns that the legislation, as drafted, would have repeated the well documented mistakes of the 1986 amnesty bill. If we fail to address the rampant fraud and fail to close all loopholes in our current broken system, then we will fail to truly reform our system.
I have been working throughout my time in the Senate to develop a solution to this problem that I believe will work. I would invite you to visit my website at http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/immigration to acquaint yourself with the immigration reforms I support. As we consider this bill in the Senate and beyond, I will continue to promote these policies, but I will oppose any bill that rewards illegal conduct and encourages further disrespect for our laws.
I appreciate the opportunity to represent the interests of Texans in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
On the other hand ... barring a dramatic turnaround of party behavior, this may be the first year in a very long time that I am not an RNC member. Showing a impeccable since of timing, I got my third, fourth, whatever, desperate reminder in the mail just this past week, imploring me to please, please, PLEASE ... get that donation in the mail ASAP.
So, I am returning my response slip (and I'll even pay the postage, as always) this weekend, with the note: "Enforce the border like you said you would (just last year), and then we can talk."
Finally, if your senators aren't yet on board with 72% of the American people who want enforcement of the border before any further changes in immigration law are made, then call them. Be polite, and remind them that it always pays to do the right thing, especially when the voters, the base, and the people who donate to and work for their campaigns are watching.
Be of good cheer.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Our side has the better arguments. Check this out from Charles Krauthammer (who apparently didn't get the Fox News memo to pledge fealty to Kennedy-Bush-McCain):
The whole column is here.
Why am I so suspicious about the fealty of the reformers to real border control? In part because of the ridiculous debate over the building of a fence. Despite the success of the border barrier in the San Diego area, it appears to be very important that this success not be repeated. The current Senate bill provides for the fencing of no more than one-fifth of the border and the placing of vehicle barriers in no more than one-ninth.
Instead, we are promised all kinds of fancy, high-tech substitutes -- sensors, cameras, unmanned aerial vehicles -- and lots more armed chaps on the ground to go chasing those who get through.
Why? A barrier is a very simple thing to do. The technology is well tested. The Chinese had success with it, as did Hadrian. In our time, the barrier Israel has built has been so effective in keeping out intruders that suicide attacks are down more than 90 percent.
Fences work. That's why people have them around their houses -- not because homeowners are unwelcoming but because they insist that those who wish to come into their domain knock at the front door.
If you want to know where a debate is and is going, look at both the arguments being made and the people making them.
In the current, raging immigration debate, the forces opposing "Comprehensive Reform" have the facts and the goods. And the people bringing it are, in large part, conservatives who are active in deed and donations.
Yes, the supporters of Kennedy-Bush-McCain are persistent and well-funded. And they could pull it off.
But they won't.
Be ye encouraged.
Friday, June 15, 2007
But the conduct of the Palestinian Islamists should come as no surprise.
Islamist is as Islamist does.
Speaking of which, via our old friend Dan Riehl, I came across this informative, comparative post.
Islamist is as Islamist does.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
The vote in Iran's Parliament was 148-5 in favor of the measure, showing the "broad, popular support" for it.
Note that the death penalty is authorized for so-called "corrupters of the world". Wow, how could you corrupt this world any more than it already is? But that's a Christian concept (that "the world" is corrupt), and in Iran, Christian concepts are treated somewhat like porn.
Oh, wait. The Left is getting confused again.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Maybe this will give you a lift, though. I must confess, the phrase "poison pill", referencing amendments put in the immigration legislation to kill it (i.e., the Dorgan Amendment to sunset the sacred "guest worker" provision after 5 years) makes me chuckle. I just can't get images of panicked senators walking very fast with their tassled loafer heels clicking as the scurry back to their offices to regroup.
I put the following in the same category: Apparently, Harry Reid is getting the lion's share of the blame for the immigration debacle unfolding in Washington. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of blame to go around, and for Republicans like Bush, McCain, Specter, Kyl, etc.
But it is a hoot to see Capt. Greanjeans going down with the ship.
In life, it's all about perspective. If you think things can't be worse, well ...
From Rassmussen Reports, we learn the following:
38% of Americans -- Have a favorable view of VP Dick Cheney;
35% of Americans -- Have a favorable view of Pres. Bush;
27% of Americans -- Think the President doing a good or excellent job with respect to Iraq; and
23% of Americans -- Support the failed "comprehensive immigration reform" bill.
And there are these nuggets:
19% of Americans -- Have a favorable view of Scooter Libby; and
19% of Americans -- Have a favorable view of Harry Reid.
So ... Dick Cheney is twice as popular as Harry Reid, who is just a popular as Scooter Libby.
Also, the President's Iraq policy is more popular than "comprehensive immigration reform". More of the public thinks the President is doing a good or excellent job handling Iraq than supports the immigration bill. Plus, the president has almost 50% more support for his handling of Iraq than Harry Reid has support. Incredible.
What are the odds Pres. Bush could get the go-ahead from Congress today to invade Iraq? But, regarding the immigration bill ... he says he'll "see us at the signing ceremony." We'll see.
But wait ... Pres. Bush goes to Capitol Hill to expend some "political capital" tomorrow. He's got a lot of it you know, depending on your perspective.
Friday, June 08, 2007
All you naysayers, I know, are ready to be mad about the bill that Hillary is going to sign, with a Democrat Congress in '09. Sure, it may happen. But it might not. Point is, it looks like the disaster that is the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill" du jour has been averted.
As people who know America and her borders are worth protecting, we ought to believe enough in our people to rise up when it matters. Keep the faith.
With this bill and the audacious way that the Senate attempted to foist it on us, without their gigantic monstrosity even being read ("Trust us, we're from the government, we're here to help you, and we really mean it this time when we say that this is the last amnesty, and we'll get right on that fence."), now the tenor of the debate has changed.
For they were caught in the night, trying to steal across what remains of an America that cares about its border.
The message from the majority of Americans, not simply troglodytes like me, is: Enforce the current laws and add true enforcement measures to keep out illegals while punishing businesses who violate the law. Then, we can talk re: what to do next. If the Congress would simply take this approach, many people would be open to a discussion as to what we do with those illegals who are already here. However, the continuing unwillingness to discuss meaningful border enforcement means that people don't believe what their government tells them on this subject, and the mistrust is as deep as ever.
Start with enforcing the border meaningfully, with a fence, a means to track every one in the U.S., and with punitive measures for those businesses who hire illegals. Then we can actually know how many illegals we really have to deal with. Failure to enforce the border first is a ruse to create a bigger problem, because it's not much of a "problem" any way in the eyes of the proponents of McCain-Kennedy-Bush. But if we enforce the border and punish those who treat the U.S. like a supermarket, then a lot of the illegals won't come and won't need the perks they are currently being offered via "comprehensive immigration reform". That's the dirty little secret that a lot of McCain-Bush-Kennedy proponents don't want people to know.
But hey ... we've got them outnumbered, as recent events have demonstrated. Don't kid yourself: As I said here a while ago, politicians can be influenced if they think they will lose their jobs. They really can. That's the way the system works here ... still.
Finally, another benefit of this bill is that it effectively ended any hopes McCain had to become president. That's not a bad side benefit, I would argue. All of the Republican presidential hopefuls are getting great traction hammering the bill ... the McCain-Bush-Kennedy bill.
Right now those three names are not real popular in Republican circles.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Indeed, D-Day was only the beginning of triumph. Such is the way it has always been. Likewise, when Joe Rosenthal's famous photograph captured five Marines and a Navy Corpsman raising our flag on Iwo's Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945, the nation rejoiced. But four more weeks of the bloodiest fighting in Marine Corps' history was still ahead.
It's always been this way. We commemorate dates when we planted the flag, declared independence, as we should.
But when you raise the flag of freedom, the conflict is often only just beginning.
The men who hit the beaches of Normandy 63 years ago were ready for the long fight ahead. We should always be, too.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
This is how freedoms disappear. We've talked about this here before. When the prosecutor abandons his oath to seek justice but instead becomes an arm of a political party or institution ... no matter the persuasion ... liberty and justice for all is in jeopardy.
Tom Delay ... Martha Stewart ... the Duke Lacrosse team ... on and on ...
And don't forget Sandy Burglar. Oh, wait.
Via Dan Riehl, we have this comparison.
The Libby verdict is a disgrace. Americans remember that a that a badge doesn't always mean a good guy is wearing it. Or they better.
Monday, June 04, 2007
I was no different. So, it took me 17 years to get back.
But it was pretty special being back. I drove to Officer Candidates School, and I was shocked ... yes, shocked to find that it looked essentially identical to how I remembered it ... the obstacle courses, Brown Field (where we allegedly learned Close Order Drill), Bobo Hall (where I ate the only two helpings of liver that I have eaten in my life, and during the same meal), the squadbays, the places where we hit the trails and the hills, etc. There were a few new buildings, but it was basically the same. Incredibly so.
I even recognized the trees ... the cedar trees that border Brown Field. Once, I tried to jam a shirt in one of them on the way out to the trails to run, only to get caught by the sergeant-instructor.
On the day of my return, new officer candidates were starting the whole process over. A new class was underway. I could tell by the hair (the presence thereof). Also, they were in formation outside the barber shop, which was, of course, where it has been since the dawn of time. Or so it seems. I could have walked right to it, and gone straight to the chair. The barbers were always somewhat pleasant (relatively so).
It was a great day to be there, in this place of great challenges, laughs, anguish, and triumph.
Every Marine lieutenant who has been killed in Iraq earned his bars at this place.
Every Marine lieutenant who served in the first Gulf War became an officer here.
Every junior Marine officer since WWII was trained at Quantico.
Every commissioned Marine officer who served in Viet Nam got their start here ... like my uncle did.
Standing there on Brown Field, I sensed the presence of all of them. And it was humbling all over again to have the same title as they did and do -- "Marine".
Monday, May 28, 2007
For those of us left behind by those who gave their lives in service to the nation, we are forever reminded that whatever we do, we can't do more than they have.
I love America, and I must admit that the sacrifice of the fallen has haunted me at times. Their sacrifice reminds me that I can always do more. As long as we have life and breath, we can never match what they gave.
They left us in myriad ways and wars ... in missions grandly planned and in missions ill-advised ... dying while pressing the attack and dying while in their sleep ... with their heroic deeds forever memorialized and with their actions completely forgotten.
Regardless of their particular circumstances, though, they gave their all. That's what matters today.
Their shattered families were left to repair what they could. Their young wives who swore they would never forget had to forget so that they could get on with life. Their children who used to bound downstairs to see Dad now wonder why a war was more important than them. Their parents buried them, these young people who not long ago graduated from high school with the world by the tail.
What is fair and right about their leaving and our staying? We who have breath can never do enough.
So I have often thought.
But I wonder what the fallen would say, if they could speak. Would they stake a claim as the most heroic among us? Would they wonder if the nation were worthy of their sacrifice? I don't think so.
If we could talk with our fallen comrades and countrymen, I imagine they might explain a side of their sacrifice that we haven't known.
Imagine this voice from beyond the grave, not haunting, but instead encouraging us to go on, with words like this:
I'll remember them today and always.
I understand that you feel like you haven't given what I did. The truth is, you didn't. But your road is not mine, and we each have a way that we must go. It is not for all of us to pay the ultimate sacrifice for the nation.
And what do I think about my leaving this life and your being left behind, you ask? Well, though leaving this life was painful, for sure, it was a privilege and honor to serve my country and friends and to give my life in service to them.
Yes, my sacrfice cost my family and the people in my life dearly. And it did cost me my earthly life. But still, I gained. How? I gained because you know I loved you. You know because I gave you all I had. We can give no more than our lives. But that doesn't make me better than those left behind. Others were willing to do what I did, but they remained here on earth. But I had a special calling, an appointment with destiny.
But you do, too. Yours is to go on, to live your life in the freedom that we were sworn to protect. So, raise up a new generation that will be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to protect this nation and our way of life. Live your life each day in a way that honors God, whatever your specific calling. Remember that I gave my all for you. And I ask this not for my benefit, but for yours. If you remember the sacrifice that I made, then you will be able to summon the courage necessary to make the sacrifices you will need to make in order to protect freedom.
Now, go and live. Throw the ball with your kid. Hug your spouse. Call your friends. Be a good parent. Be a good citizen. Time is fleeting, so live in a way that you will have no regrets when this life is over.
And finally, thank God every day that you have to live as an American.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Okay, so let's try "arm-chair" philosophy, with some sweeping generalizations and such.
Seriously, I think I've got something here on the immigration debate.
The proponents and opponents of immigration "reform" are lined up in their various camps based upon how they view America and its ideas and values.
Let me explain.
On the pro-"reform" side, we have big business and big government types. Big business says it needs, but really it wants, cheap labor. Meanwhile, the Hard Left/Big Government coalition sees a huge block of new voters.
The pro-"reform" camp doesn't think much of dimwitted patriots like me. The big business, blue-bloods chuckle their erudite chuckles at my simple-mindedness for thinking that this nation is a place worth preserving, at the expense of the market. To them, the U.S. is merely a market. The Left, meanwhile, sneers at me and my ilk, seeing me not only as thick-headed but also malevolent, for the Hard Left believes that America is the chief obstacle for redistributing the world's resources on the basis of the oligarchs' better judgment, er, need. To the Left, the U.S. is the obstacle.
So, the Left and the Blue Bloods are in bed together, united by their disdain for small-minded Americans who want to see their nation survive.
On the other side ... we have the "anti-reformers", if you will, people like me. These people want existing laws enforced before we create others. We believe that a nation must have a credible border, if it is to survive. We believe that America is a good place, a place where the rights of men are protected as well as any place on the planet.
We believe in playing by the rules. We believe in the power of individuals. We believe that individuals who play by the rules can and still do achieve great things here in America.
We believe in free enterprise; thus, we are skeptical of large bureaucratic institutions, including those that call themselves businesses. To us, free enterprise doesn't mean that business should be able to seek a profit while disregarding the nation's laws.
We don't trust the government on the border. We have heard it all, and the government's credibility reservoir on this subject was drained dry long ago.
And, finally, in the anti-"reform" caucus, we have room for honest liberals who see the importation of a permanent, uneducated underclass into the United States for the exploitation that it is.
We still believe in America.
So let me sum it up: The anti-"reformers" like me are united by their belief in American ideals, while the "reformers" (do words mean anything, any more?) oppose these same ideals.
To me, it's that simple.
See you on Memorial Day.
Monday, May 21, 2007
As I thought (and hoped) would happen, it looks like the Immigration "Reform" Package (thicker than the Bible and with much more commentators) will not be jammed through the Senate without debate as of 1700 today. That's good. I never thought I would say this, but ... let the Senators keep talking.
It seems to me that the longer you get the chance to look at truth, the better it looks. So, why can the proponents of the bill possibly protest? Is it an urgent matter of nat'l security requiring immediate action? True nat'l security matters tend to get gummed up in the "World's Greatest Deliberative Body. One wonders how they manage such breathtaking speed and trust on an immigration bill that hasn't even been read, much less comprehended. How do you say shenanigan in Latin?
Hey, you have to give the McDevil his due, as he is limbering up good for the primary run. Romney (who has a little Mass. flip-flopper in him, I tell you) is now a staunch anti-immigration guy. It seems he has been spending some time with Republican primary voters. But in any event, Romney was getting after McSenator's bill, and the hair-triggered one did not appreciate it one bit. Here is the report from The Corner:
The New York Sun’s Ryan Sager just asked McCain to comment on Mitt Romney’s public criticism of the immigration compromise. McCain responded, “Maybe I should wait a couple of weeks and see if [his position] changes.” McCain then got in a one-two punch that hit both Romney’s alleged exaggerations about his hunting experience and his employment of immigrants for landscaping work: “Maybe he’ll get out his small varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his lawn.”No, this ain't beanbag. It seems McCain is not going to finish fourth ... or fifth ... for the Republican Nomination without a fight.
But you know, it looks like McCurse is trying to shine the light away from his dust-up with Sen. Cornyn. No, McC is not the brightest guy, cussing out my senator and all when Sen. Cornyn just wants a little light shed on the Immigration Scriptures.
I think McC is secretly trying to emulate Pres. Bush and VP Cheney, who were lauded in some Republican circles for taking on NY Times reporters and Patrick Leahy "big time". So, he tries to get ahead in with Republican primary voters by cussing out Republicans. Guy is genius material, I tell you. Maybe he can be Bloombergs' veep.
Well, I may reappear later in the week, but likely won't post until our annual get-together on Memorial Day.
See you soon.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
So, I will dispense with the usual fluff and pretending to write a very erudite post about a particular subject and just offer the following pithy but sloppy generalizations about some of what is happening out there:
1) Our three soldiers are still missing in Iraq. I fear we may not see them again, although I certainly hope and pray that we do. Nonetheless, I am confident that we won't see them in a forthcoming video playing checkers with the enemy. My prayers are with them and their families.
2) The new immigration bill is bad. How bad? Well, Lindsay Graham likes it. Every Republican who votes for it should consider it a resignation letter. By the way ... Remember when we had a Republican Congress that prevented such a bill from going to the President's desk, and some people threw the bums out because it couldn't get any worse? Good thing we fixed that problem.
3) Jerry Falwell has died. Some hated him for his stand for Christ. Others hated him for his politics. Others still hated him for his encouragement to Christians to get involved in the political process. Me? I had no problem with any of the foregoing objections to his life and ministry. In fact, Jerry Falwell's life was an inspiration to me, on many levels. I see that some danced on a mock grave of his to celebrate his death. But such actions merely serve to prove the existence of the sin that Jerry Falwell spoke of so frankly. I remember that he also graciously spoke of the remedy for sin. He will be missed.
4) As for the Republican Debates ... I think it's high time we get all the real candidates in there, so that we can root out the non-conservatives more effectively. Of the three "main" candidates, Romney looks to be the best conservative alternative. But this isn't saying much. My choice remains Newt. I am liking what I see and read about Fred Thompson, but I saw that he had a Kerry moment ("for it before he was against it") with Campaign Finance "Reform". Hmmm. Prompts more investigation. Then again, any candidate who slaps down Michael Moore with a big ol' stogie hanging out of his mouth merits a second look.
5) Ron Paul's views on 9/11 and national security are, unfortunately, not a bad joke. Having him at the debates is, however. Rudy's smack-down of Paul was nice, but was it so hard? That's the biggest hanging curveball in a debate since, well, Mondale was doing those things.
6) And speaking of Rudy ... his unequivocal support of abortion rights, civil unions and such, without a corresponding federalism defense (i.e., that the states should be able to decide these matters without federal intervention or oversight) means that, in effect, his candidacy for the Republican nomination is DOA. I like Rudy Guiliani. I like him very much, in fact, and I think he would be great on national security. But I also think that other Republican candidates would be comparable on this issue, and they would not also cause so many cultural conservatives to compromise on that which which we need not and cannot compromise. Funny thing is ... if Roe v. Wade were overturned, as it should be, and abortion were returned to the province of state legislation, Rudy would have a great shot at becoming president. But the case he and other pro-choicers hold as sacrosanct will forever keep a pro-abortion Republican from becoming president.
And finally ...
7) My blog friend Karen has a great photoblog: Photos by Seawitch, which is up for one of the Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards. So, Go vote for Karen. I did.
See you back early next week.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
It's fascinating to think about what makes some one say such a thing. Is it the syndrome of the guy who always has to have the better story? Is it something where an individual maybe wants there to be great problems to solve, so the problems are magnified? Did he just goof? But how do you get from less than 20 to 10,000, though? It's puzzling, to be sure.
In any event, it's a bummer to have the hugest gaffe of the election season occur so far from the election. Last year, we had Dean imploding in Iowa as Tom Harkin looked on silently (but obviously) wondering: "Where's the net, any way?" And then John Kerry was for the war before he was against it ... used Botox before he didn't ... and when all else failed, grabbed a football in front of the cameras.
Never underestimate in this video age the power of the "photo-gaffe".
Bonus "photo-gaffe": And then Kerry reminded us that he was a multi-sport star. All of this, of course, had the added benefit of reminding us that the Swift Vets were correct and his medals were clearly fraudulent. Frankly, I don't believe Kerry was even in Viet Nam, any more, because women were not allowed in the combat zone at that time.
Why do I drag out this old horse to beat it again, you ask? Well, for one thing, it still makes me laugh to see those pics of JFKerry. Also, it tweaks the Donks to bring it up, because they just know he would have won if he didn't insist on "playin' a little ball" on the tarmac.
Yet, in their anguish, the Demos forget that we did, of course, utilize the Rove Hack-o-tron in Ohio to great effect. That bothers them, too, to even joke about such a weighty matter, for they don't know if I am joking.
Okay, wheeling on back to matters of faith, via our old friend Cranky, I learned that Starbucks was at it again in pushing their secular, leftist thinking on unwitting customers. It appears that Starbucks put an offensive comment on their coffee cups "to promote thought", or some such nonsense.
Well, we learn the full scoop, including Starbuck's amazing apology via that wily ol' genius Wuzzadem.
Warning: Zarq gets loose at the end and calls a female barista a "mama canine".
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Actually, it's always been me. This is and has always been a non-profit venture ... a labor of love. I do it because, well, you might say I do it for the same reason birds sing.
Google Ads did a couple of things to annoy me. First, they didn't pay. I guess it's the low-traffic deal. But also, instead of putting in ad content to match the interest reflected in the site (as they said they would), I got all sorts of things that I don't endorse out there.
The straw, if you will, was the nice little ad that succinctly inquired: "You gay?" To which I responded. "No. You gone."
So, it's just you and me again. No more advertisers and their ad dollars to cloud my judgment or pollute this pristine blog. Some day when I am a mega-blog-star, I will screen all of my own ads, you know, be the Paul Harvey or Rush of the blogosphere. Nothing but personal endorsements and such. But until then, we'll keep the money out of it.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
But must we get started so soon on this interminable presidential campaign? I am sick of it already. And I like to follow politics. But I digress ...
The point of this post is it's title.
I've told you before, and I'll say it again: I like Pres. Bush. He has his flaws, as have been discussed here and elsewhere, ad infinitum. But I think he deserves credit for doing overall a very good job at fighting the war against Militant Islam worldwide in these extremely challenging times. But my fellow Texan is no Reagan.
What made Pres. Reagan unique was a fusion of several things: 1) He became president during a time of great national despondency and insecurity; 2) he attacked this national despondency and insecurity with personal optimism and a commitment to a his core conservative principles; 3) the smarter-than-the-world set loved to deride him, because 4) he held a child-like faith, first in God and then in America.
And the beauty was that the tension between 3) and 4) above made him even more influential. He was dumb as a fox, and his demeanor and simplicity won allies and encouraged friends. Oh, that we had more such "simpletons" in Washington now.
The media and the left knew him as merely The Great Communicator. He was that, but many failed to understand that he was great because of his ability to communicate ideas that were and are powerfully true.
As much as any one, he halted the nation's 20-year leftward drift. He challenged liberal dogma, with both conviction and humor. There was a goodness about him that belied the liberal characitures. He helped build back the nation's military. This is personal to me, because when I signed up in 1989, I was the beneficiary of this work.
He made conservatism mainstream, not just in the country as a whole but even on college campuses. I was on campus in 1984, when he won a majority of the students' votes at The University of Texas, a.k.a., the Berkeley of the South.
He defeated the Soviet Union without firing a shot. Yes, he did it. Others grab credit, but they are posing charlatans. He would never claim credit, but he is clearly more responsible than any other human.
Recall that it was the infinitely wiser, bureaucrat types such as then-National Security Adviser Colin Powell who pleaded with Pres. Reagan to relent in his demand that Mikail Gorbachev "tear down this wall". Against the advice of all of his inner circle ... all of them ... Pres. Reagan pressed ahead and the Berlin Wall is no more.
He was just dumb enough to believe in his principles. And his country. And they didn't fail him.
I love him, still. And I miss him.
Pres. Reagan brought together national security conservatives, cultural conservatives, and economic conservatives. He welcomed them all, and he encouraged them to welcome each other. I like this, as you probably know. In fact, this here blog is about serving the "Coalition of the Winning: Protecting National Security. Preserving Culture. Promoting Liberty." That's the Reagan legacy. This blog is part of the Reagan legacy.
Yes, he wasn't perfect, I know. Only Tom Tancredo is (humor alert). Indeed, Pres. Reagan wasn't an Elder of the Perfect Church. He was only the best president of the 20th Century.
Many of those who come now and claim to be following in his footsteps so obviously aren't. Take John McCain, for example. Please, do take him ... as in, take him away. Republican politicians like McCain defy the Reagan legacy in their policy proposals and speeches now, but they dare not take him on directly.
For the nation remembers. And Republicans remember. They want another Reagan.
Which is to say ... they want to win.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
But seriously, here is a rundown. Getting al-Masri would be tremendous, of course. Whether he's gone or not, though, clearly some interesting things are shaking in Iraq. Apprently, we have some Sunni-on-Sunni, red-on-red taking place. Or are these now Sunni friendlies taking on AQ? That would be quite a development. In either event, if we have Sunnis taking on AQ in a meaningful way, then the Iraq War may indeed be heading in a positive direction.
Memo to hand-wringers everywhere: Bad guys always have to keep their heads on a swivel, that is, sleep with one eye open. This is especially true when you gas people, even purported allies who do not tow a sufficiently militant jihadi line.
Is it just me, or are those AQ fellows not very winsome?
But to the MSM and the Left, the AQ jihadis are like the Geico cavemen. If they weren't so misunderstood by Western technocrats and insurance adjusters, we'd see that they were really sensitive types with real feelings.
And if they are not lovable cavemen, America's jihadi enemies are granted superhero status by the MSM and knee-knockers everywhere.
But it appears evil has a hard time maintaining "coalitions of the willing". And when the unwilling are not unarmed, then the front lines shift.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I see that in my absence the world did not spin off its axis, and indeed, a number of things occurred to prove that there is indeed a mysterious rhythm to what happens here. Some would call it fate. Me? I like Providence.
You know, I am a simple creature. Baseball, hot dogs, America, God, I believe in these things. I can't figure out mysteries too very deep.
For instance, why did God make the Democrats so wicked and unintelligent at the same time? This cruel coincidence defies all notions of logic and fairness. The ways of the Almighty are indeed mysterious. Lo, the physical appearance of most female Demo politicians is a mystery greater than the Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster (D-Scotland).
Where am I going with this? Well, I see (as I know you have) that Harry Reid and Co. have passed their "timetable" bill that is certain to be vetoed. This gives the President another opportunity to blast them. He won't, but most people will notice that the Demos remain where they have been for the last 40 years -- on the wrong side of national security issues. National security will remain the issue in the coming months and years. The jihadis will see to that.
Worse than what the Demos did today, they'll soon have to come groveling back and send a bill that appropriates money for the war effort without strings. It's another punch in the nose from an Adminstration that has refused to fight. It's almost like the Demos are running into it.
I am not complaining.
The Bush Administration has failed mightily in explaining our mission and purpose in Iraq. I have long thought that there were much larger things at play in Iraq, as many of you do. (For an excellent analysis of what is at stake in the ongoing surge, check out Wretchard's recent post on the subject). My frustration over the Administration's unwillingness and/or inability to explain the stakes has increased over the months, and now years.
But table the Administration's communication problem for a while, for the Demos have allowed the debate to be framed as this: Do we surrender or not? Given this choice, Americans will side with the President. Nothing like framing the debate in the terms most favorable to the opposition. Mind you, the President hasn't even been able to state his position clearly. No need now.
Thank you, very much.
Why do good things happen to Republicans when they are a bunch of sniveling, tassle-loafered wienies? But heck with Republicans ... More fundamentally, why is God good to America ... still?
It's mysterious. Thank God.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with the kids and families affected by the Va. Tech tragedy. Here's hoping that cooler heads prevail in the response to this.
As always, comment away as you see fit.
I mean, when you are causing the wild ones to think and the teachers, too, hey ...
I do thank them both, and commend their excellent blogs to your reading. Oh, I am very poor at this blog etiquette things (please don't say, "I know"), but I understand I am supposed to link to the original post, so here it is.
What else? Oh, yeah. I am supposed to list some other blogs that make me think. I haven't gotten around or out much lately, but I will give it a whirl. Some are "big boys and girls", so they probably won't play, but they are worthy of mention because they do make me think.
So here goes:
1) Sweetness & Light -- This blog is incredible, mixing news, amazingly pithy and humorous commentary, and biting, unapologetic conservatism. The combination is very thought-provoking and inspiring;
2) Big Lizards -- Using humor, The Big Liz grinds liberals arguments into a fine dust with thorough, well-reasoned essays ... some of the best think-writing on the web;
3) Riehl World View -- Dan Riehl challenges me with his ideas, work ethic and relentless pounding on the left. Dan synthesizes a lot of complex information in a way that persuades. And he is often blunt. For instane, he hasn't covered the AG story because he "refuses to pimp that garbage." Blunt, but it makes you think.
I would list ol' Charlie, because seeing him come in here and just take it, well, makes me think ... there are crazy people out there. Just joshin', Charles. I see that he has some new blogging digs. I think all that traffic after the last Leftist Howard Beale rant crashed the old site or something. Maybe he will light here for a moment and get some of that "six degrees of separation" deal going. All are welcome to exchange ideas here, and I enjoy it very much. It's all in good fun. It's free speech. I am conservative, so I believe in this stuff. No need to fear the truth.
4) Finally, I am going to list my liberal friend Julie. Julie challenges me occasionally (though mostly via the email), but she makes me think often. She does so without browbeating, but rather by being much different than most of her liberal friends. She engages in dialogue with conservatives, and she understands that who love freedom and America are not the enemy. Indeed, Julie loves freedom and America. She makes me think, but ... thinking's good, if you're right. Don't think I am going soft, folks.
Ahem ... It never hurts to examine the truth ... never. An honest evaluation by a free people is inherently a good thing. (Stepping down from soap box.)
Okay, time to run. There are thumb-sucking pieces to write, pontifications to be made, and post-modern leftists to drive mad.
Thank you all for reading, for your precious time, and for your passion for liberty and this great land.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
We can't think any more, as the Duke lacrosse case demonstrates. And our character (though perhaps not to the level of Europistan) is faltering. It's a deadly combination. Thinking is a moral exercise, in large part ... I think.
I've followed the Duke case, but not as close as many. I followed it closely enough to know that the charges should have been dropped long ago. As a former prosecutor, I take serious the prosecutor's oath not only to seek a conviction, but also justice. That is, a prosecutor is not ethically permitted to try a defendant for a crime just to "check it out". In other words, the prosecutor must first be convinced that he is prosecuting a guilty party, and then that the evidence supports the charge.
We do this because a criminal charge in a free society is a serious thing. It's something separated from politics, or at least it's supposed to be. When criminal charges cease to be taken seriously and are instead viewed as political acts, then we've really got serious problems. And our freedom is in jeopardy.
You all know the details of the Duke case now. D.A. Mike Nifong ran crazy with a disjointed, confused case based on conflicting stories, a constitutionally-improper line-up, and no DNA ... no wait, with DNA that contradicted the accuser's claims. The accuser, by all accounts, was entirely without credibilty and very troubled.
But Nifong apparently ran with this case and filed charges to solidify the black vote in Durham as his Democratic Primary approached. Initially, based upon the first impressions and prejudices of the MSM/Demo/Left/Same Thing set, the case was off and running, with our without evidence.
Thankfully, the wheels eventually came off. Our system still works, in large part, because of two things: 1) We have a large number of checks and balances, such as appellate courts, civil courts, the legislative branch, and even the bar itself; and 2) ultimately, there are still good people around who take pride in their oaths as officers of the court.
I know, I like the lawyer jokes, too. But lawyers ultimately stopped this case.
Still, I think the Nifong matter is an extremely troubling example of the dangerous trend of increasing political prosecutions that must not only be stopped but reversed.
More and more, we have seen the criminal justice system used as a political tool. Libby and Delay are two recent examples that come to mind, but there are many others. Once upon a time, they did the same thing to Kay Bailey Hutchison around these parts. And now, we see the Demos threaten to turn the routine firing of U.S. attorneys into a crime. Perjury traps are not only set, they are sprung, cases are tried, and lives ruined. Political "dirty tricks" are now "crimes".
So, Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson are free, but Scooter Libby is a criminal? Martha Stewart, whom I am no fan of, is nailed for the vicious act of what? Help me out here. It's the world upside-down.
Have we gotten so morally upright that we have less tolerance for all manner of wrong-doing? Quite the contrary, I think we've degraded ourselves to the point where we can't tell the difference between ill-advised or bad conduct and a crime against society.
But it goes deeper than that. We now think that a finding of "Not Guilty" is a finding of "Virtuousness" No wait, many don't know what "virtuous" means. We think "Not Guilty" means "Good Guy". This is what happens when the clearly-marked lines between criminal and non-criminal conduct are erased and then moved ... and erased again, as needed.
Back to the Duke case, this means that the lacrosse players are now "Good Guys". Being falsely accused and subjected to an unfair media onslaught as they were, they are not only Good Guys, but bona fide Heroes to us now.
To put a cherry on top, they are now even concerned about "the little guy" who may not have the means to fight off a political prosecution. Pass the tissue. Really? I'm sorry, but call me skeptical about these claims which sound a bit scripted to me. Maybe they do feel this way, but these were no choir boys. After all, it was a stripper party we had there. And one of the lads has a conviction in another assault. I am just not getting images of Mom and apple pie with these guys. In fact, they might even be spoiled little punks. Maybe they were then but are not now. We don't know.
It takes some thought, some analysis. It takes more than five minutes. Life is simple of many levels but complicated on many, as well. We see this in the Duke case.
Being "not guilty" means you aren't guilty of this charge or it can't be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. It doesn't make you a hero.
But to the thoughtless generation, it does.
So now ... Political prosecutions are still permitted, the accused Duke lacrosse players are heroes.
But at least Mike Nifong may be on his way to being a Not Good Guy.
Meanwhile, Don Imus is the Worst Human Being to Inhabit the Universe. And Pres. Bush caused it all.
Think about it.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I realize that I hardly know the whole story, but it appears we know enough to know ... the Brits have lost their honor. Can their nation thus be far behind?
You never know when you wake up on a given day what you may encounter ... a thief, a car accident, a chance to be a good Samaritan, an opportunity to help a neighbor.
Think about United 93.
For those in the military, they know that they are their nation's representatives 24/7, standing ready to do both the ordinary and the extraordinary ... to live out months and even years of training.
In this one episode, a few members of the British military encountered their big moment ... and surrendered.
In the process, they disgraced not only all their comrades in arms, but the people they are sworn to defend. In addition, they enboldened not only Britain's enemies, but also America's enemies.
Nothing like firing up the bad guys and then hitting the road.
The speed of their capitulation is inexplicable. Also, the films of their smiling and yucking it up with their jihadi mates should be evidence at a court-martial. Was their not one of them who would implore the jihadis to test their theory re: the afterlife? Any one with a lick of sense knew that the Iranians couldn't afford to harm them.
Also, to find that British Royal Marines were part of this disgrace is incredibly sad to me.
I am left to conclude that the all-things-equal secularists have completely emasculated Europe. I thought the Brits were one last bastion of sanity and courage, but one must now doubt this. Don't you think the Iranians and their miscreant, jihadi brethren do?
As I mentioned last week, the West is facing an enemy that loves death. By contrast, the West loves life, and that is a good thing.
But when this life on earth is viewed as the end-all, then it will ultimately be forfeited to those who would take it for a sordid, "higher" purpose.
Honor makes no sense if this life is the end-all-be-all. Get what you can, while you can, the utilitarians argue. Save your hide, and blame any failings on your environment, your upbringing, or some one else. Get a book deal and go on Oprah while you're at it, too. I mean, who cares about consequences when they may very well come home to roost after you are taking a dirtnap?
The postmodern cowards that dominate Europe ultimately will send every one else to war.
Think about it: Those smiling chaps in their PJ's on the Ahmadinejad Springer Show are the "fighting men" of Britain.
It makes me want to wretch.
So, who is left to stand with us?
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Also, I have been taken with the sadness of Britain's coming to grips with the behavior of its sailors while in Iranian hands. I will endeavor to have more to say on this next week, as well, but for now I will just say this: Our Islamist enemies love death, and an enemy that loves death has an inherent weakness against a foe that wants to live, since victory is defined in the here and now. And the object of war is to live through it.
But when people love this life so much that they don't care about the next ... then such people are vulnerable in this life to those who love death.
At Easter, I am reminded: One must conquer death to truly live.
Easter is the greatest conclusion to the greatest story ever told. But that's about it for a lot of people. It's a great ending to a great story.
But it's more to me. You see, Easter saved my life.
Whenever I venture directly into matters of faith, I feel the need to send up a flare to remind you again that, though I am most committed to what I am about to say, our friendship is not dependent upon your agreement with me. What is a true friend, any way? Sounds like a Pontius Pilate moment.
But seriously, I tell you these things from time to time for the same reason that I would tell any one that I cared about, well, anything.
Indeed, your life may depend on it, as mine did.
When I left for college in 1982, I had the world by the tail. I knew almost all of it, and for that I didn't know, I had the tools to figure it out. My newly-minted Christian faith had a self-righteous and self-assured gleam. (It still shines from time to time, I've been told.)
Well, it seems that some of my professors didn't quite share my appreciation for Christianity. They openly challenged all that I believed. They got to me. I struggled to come to grips with some of their questions, in particular, the intractible question of human suffering. One history professor wondered out loud: "If God is a loving God and in charge of the universe, how could He let 6 million his chosen people die at the hands of a madman?" Good question, I thought then. In fact, I still haven't come up with a good answer.
Others were so skeptical that they caused me to wonder if I could know much of anything. Why not just "bag it" and try wild college girls and the good stuff that this world offered instead? It would have been a lot easier and more fun.
But instead of wild college girls, I wrestled with many questions that I couldn't answer ... like predestination. Oh, man. As I ascended the staircase in my mind, eventually I got to the top. But the questions ... and the understanding of the answers to those questions kept going up, and up ... well-above my mind's staircase.
I wasn't God, and there were things that ultimately I could not know for certain in this life.
But during that fretful, difficult but pivotal year when I was deciding what type of man I would be ... I kept coming back to those things that I could know, at least as well as a human being can know such things.
I came back to the resurrection of Christ. Paul, whose old life as Saul was shattered and whose new life began when he met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, wrote in I Corinthians 15:14 that, if the resurrection were not true, then his faith would be "in vain".
Wow. Paul, the great rabbi who wrote more than half of the New Testament, staked the whole faith on the resurrection. It seemed pretty straigthtforward to me. What I really wanted to know was rather what I believed was true. Was Christ really "the Way, the Truth, and the Life?" If he rose from the dead, then He was and He is.
All my other questions were really on the periphery, because if I answered the one question I needed to answer, well, then I could deal with my uncertainties. Mind you, I am not dismissing curiosity or getting answers to serious questions. All I am saying is that answering foundational questions, or rather the foundational question, puts the others in perspective.
I mean, if you knew God was flying plane you were on, would you worry about the intracies of the engine?
So, I studied the resurrection. How much? Well, lots have studied it more. But let me put it this way: I've studied it more than any one I've met who doesn't believe in the resurrection of Christ.
The more you look at truth, the better it looks.
Where is the body, any way? That's a good starting point. I won't bore you with the details. If you are interested, it's all over the internet. The body of Christ is not, of course. You understand what I am saying.
I concluded that Jesus rose from the dead ... actually, physically rose from the dead. If He was and is God in human flesh, this could be done, after all. And if the resurrection is true, then many things are possible. Death loses its sting, and life has meaning ... every minute of every day.
Believing this, 11 most ordinary and unarmed men turned upside down and conquered the world. In fact, they even went back to the scene of Christ's crucifixion to begin their proclamation of the resurrection.
Eventually, all but one of them would die as martyrs. Only the "disciple that Jesus loved" would not die as a martyr. He was left behind with work to do, you see. In exile, John wrote the Book of Revelation.
Many proofs of the resurrection there are.
But one proof that means so much to me is that ... the truth of Easter saved my life.
See you next week.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Should Gonzales fall, the Demo/Left/Same Thing/MSM coalition surely will celebrate yet another triumph of beating an enemy into submission.
But wait ... How could the AG truly be regarded as an enemy by the Left? Recall that he was, rightfully, rejected as a SC nominee over concerns that he is not conservative enough. The AG is a slightly-right-of-center, moderate type. He's pro-choice on abortion. He's the President's man, alright, and he has shown a willingness to go to the mat for Pres. Bush. He's been pretty solid on the War on Militant Islam.
But he ain't no real conservative.
I mean, he's tried to let it be known, too. He's even a minority. So, what gives? Why is it such a big deal to get a RINO/moderate/same thing scalp?
Well, it's for the Demo base. More on why in a minute. But first, we must ask: When will these moderate types get it? Probably never.
You see, the last thing that the the Hegelian Washington set wants to be known as is some extreme conservative Republican, like ooooooh, one of those slimy, Bible-believing, apple-pie eatin' types. Indeed, in hushed tones around campfires, moderates gravely warn: "You know, there are actually extremists out there who believe in God and country." Their enlightened moderate and liberal audiences concur and shiver under their blankets, pitying the the horrifying specter of the unwashed. (cue Vincent Price laugh and/or "Phantom of the Opera" organ). "Stop scraring us!", they implore.
It seems one of the few things that true moderates are committed to is telling leftists that they are not extremists like those wascally conservatives. By this, they hope both to be liked and to preserve their places at the seats of power.
But moderates will ultimately do neither, for they fail to understand the Left and its allies.
You see, most moderates, being liberals or liberal sympathizers, don't see that it's the leftists who are the extremists. And extremists can not countenance those who are not true believers.
Moderates are not conservatives, true. But they are not true believer, Jim Jones-style extremists, either.
Thus, they must go, as well, until the entire ideological "line", if you will, is purified.
Ah, but the funny thing is ... the Militant Islamists who have forged a tacit, working relationship with today's Left will do the same thing to the Left once they get the chance.
Extremism is as extremism does.
One man's extremist is another's moderate.
Only those with convictions grounded in objective truth can and will survive this onslaught. Al Gonzales and his ilk are always the first casualties when the extremists hit the beaches.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Been working, coaching baseball, kids, life, etc. Life and the clock are unrelenting.
The world turns. I gotta ask you, though ... Have you learned your lesson yet? I mean, I see that all sorts of good things are happening with replacing Republican minor-league pork barrelers with the pros. Loading up the anti-war bill with pork is a classic demonstration of decadent cowardice.
The Democrats are so pathetic, they even have to buy anti-war votes. I mean, brother, can you spare an honest anti-American leftist? I know, some of you love to flog Republicans, and some surely deserve it.
Yes, there are few perfect choices in life.
The sharks are swirling in the water, it seems. And the AG seems to be bleeding, too. Republicans should go four-corners and watch how principles change when it's an election year. All this will pass.
But in the meantime, what happens to the country? When the Demos are in charge of any branch of government, all you can do is hope to avoid or forestall calamity. But golly, I feel so learned having them in charge. I have learned my lesson all right.
What was it, again?
Our hope is never ultimately in government. In times of crisis, we turn our lonely eyes not to Congress, but to our Joe Dimaggios. Actually, we turn our eyes to the real heroes whose names are known only to their families, colleagues, cohorts, and such. Our power is today where it has always resided ... in the American people.
Speaking of which, there are some good indicators out there. I hear that 300 is a great movie, albeit with some Greek-like nudity. It's interesting to see what movies are coming out. It usually indicates where people are and where they want to go.
And there have been a couple of interesting things happen around these parts lately. Yesterday, they had a huge service of a fallen soldier up in Conroe; the memorial service was held at a giant church up there. Last week, a local street was shut down for a couple of hours as another young soldier was laid to rest.
It's a wonderful thing to see mixture of pride, sorrow, and resolve that these events are building in the populace. One would think that such losses would sap a people, but from what I see, the opposite is occurring.
All depends upon your perspective and your character, I guess. I am surrounded by ordinary, yet great Americans. Our eyes need not be sorrowful or lonely.
The American spirit is far too strong to be surrendered, yes, still. I know there are contrary indicators. I know, and I see a number of them, too. I get discouraged at times. But still ...
And it looks like we are slowly but surely we may be seeing some results from Gen. Petraeus's strategy in Iraq. What do you know? I thought the Demos passed a law saying that couldn't happen. Some one needs to tell our troops.
I guess there are limits to government, after all. Now, that's a reason to be upbeat.
Monday, March 19, 2007
And then Clarence Thomas stepped to the microphone and said, "God, Sen. Metzenbaum, is my judge." When I heard these words, I rose from my chair and cheered. Many other conservatives did likewise. It was on.
The battle was engaged. Eventually, Hill and her web of deceit were undone by a withering cross-examination by, of all people, a moderate senator from Pennsylvania. Arlen Specter, the former prosecutor, had what was his finest hours in the Senate, by far.
And Clarence Thomas was eventually confirmed.
I wonder if any of the Republicans in Congress remembers, or would rise to the occasion if they did.
A long time ago in a galaxy far away ...
Friday, March 16, 2007
A president has the right to fire all of the U.S. attorneys, and then some. It seems, though, that this Administration is stuck in apology mode. No one can or will take credit for any aggressive actions, only passive ones. As a result, they are left looking apologetic when they ought to be taking credit ... and taking credit when they ought to be apologetic.
When you are surrounded by political opponents and outright enemies, you need to be bold and let the chips fall where they may. You have to fight, not hug your way out.
Sensing momentum and with elections still a ways off ... I see that Henry Waxman has summoned the "operative" Valerie Plame to the Hill, to investigate ... in the people's interests, of course. What a complete crock this is. What a joy to have the opportunity to tell them all. But no one seizes the moment.
The horror of starting down Waxman's cavernous nostrils for days should have been enough to tip the '06 elections to the Republicans, but alas ...
The freak show continues to pick up steam. Is there no one in Congress who will stand up and call such lunacy what it is? Is there no one who will mock Waxman, chide Democrats as jihadi-sympathizers, and insist on cutting off diplomatic relations with Mexico until its president can confirm that his relatives here are legal?
Momentum is a neutral, but if you're parked on an incline, it's not.
Timidity breeds more of the same.
As does courage.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I must confess something to you. I have chided some of you re: being overly negative. I try to stay positive about the state of the nation and the world, for a number of reasons. First, generally, I am positive. I am not polyanna, but my worldview and faith give me reasons to be positive, at least in the long-term.
And also I just believe in the innate goodness of American and its people. I think we have huge advantages over our enemies.
But still ... I must confess, I get it. I see things in the news, from the Libby verdict, the Gonzales sharks swarming, the Demos' relentless pursuit of American defeat in Iraq, the brouhaha over Gen. Peter Pace's stating a mainstream opinion re: homosexuality.
It looks dark out there some, no on a number of days.
I was at the grocery store with Mrs. Daisy Cutter the other night and we were checking out. The nice, personable young checker was in a conversational mood, and the crowd was light. I forget what prompted the exchange, but he said that he's "seen it all" as a checker, meaning that people try all sorts of things (i.e., getting food without paying for it).
I motioned to the hilarious/sad/amusing/depressing rack full of supermarket tabloids, most of which contained some story re: Britney Spears' rehab and/or the latest story of Anna Nicole's mystery baby, et al. I said to the chatty checker, "I bet you do see it all, don't you?" He nodded in agreement.
After a short pause, our checker commented how more people watched "American Idol" than the President's address. "And what does that tell you?," I asked.
"That we need a new president," Einstein responded.
Like I said, there are legitimate reasons to be concerned.