Monday, August 07, 2006

Grim reality

Back after a long delay. Hope anyone's reading. Nothing on Mel Gibson today; his actions speak for themselves. Time to talk about Iraq, a real issue.

The war in Iraq has been a complete disaster. I defy any war supporter to claim otherwise. The country is at the verge of civil war (ignore administration mouthpieces that claim otherwise). The government of Iraq, primarily Shia and put in power by American forces and blood, is anti-American, anti-Israeli, and anti-Western. Proof? Thousands of Shia a few days ago burned American and Israeli flags and chanted death to America and Israel. Way to go, Mr.President. Establishing an anti-American government in Iraq was well worth a few thousand American casualties. Good job.

On the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, here's a great article by Jonathan Chait.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Criminal negligence

President George W. Bush is guilty of criminal negligence in the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis in the chaos that followed the toppling of Saddam Hussein. I do not merely refer to Bush's failure to provide adequate troops to cope with the chaos that many (though not his Secretary of Defence) knew would come after Saddam's fall. I refer also to the following story (heard first on Michael Savage's radio show and now seen at ABC News' website): link here

A former top CIA spy says the United States deliberately turned down several opportunities to kill terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the lead-up to the Iraq war.

Mike Scheuer headed the CIA's bin Laden unit for six years before resigning in 2004.

He has told the ABC's Four Corners program the Bush administration had Zarqawi in its sights almost every day for a year.

He says a plan to destroy Zarqawi's training camp in Kurdistan was abandoned for diplomatic reasons.

"The reasons the intelligence service got for not shooting Zarqawi was simply that the President and the National Security Council decided it was more important not to give the Europeans the impression we were gunslingers," he said.

"Mr Bush had Mr Zarqawi in his sights for almost every day for a year before the invasion of Iraq and he didn't shoot because they were wining and dining the French in an effort to get them to assist us in the invasion of Iraq."

This story was actually reported before, in the Wall Street Journal in 2002, but few Americans then knew who Zarqawi was and the media let the story drop. This should be a major scandal. Zarqawi is responsible for the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people in Iraq since 2003. By not eliminating him when he had the chance, Bush is guilty of criminal negligence in these people's deaths.

Way to go, Mr. President. But at least you got the cheese-eaters to help with the war, right? Oh, they didn't, did they? Woops.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Why I hate the Fed

The Federal Reserve continues its unconstitutional, undemocratic assault on the welfare of the American people. From the Washington Post: "The Fed remains concerned about the inflationary risks it sees in high energy prices and rapid economic growth."

Two things:
1. High energy prices don't cause inflation, prices don't actually cause inflation. What causes inflation, you ask? The Fed itself. Yes, the Fed, by increasing the money supply, causes inflation. It does not prevent it. It would be great if one of those "free market" economists on TV pointed this obvious fact out to the rest of us.

2. Equally infuriating is the fear of "rapid economic growth." Last time I checked, that was a good thing. I don't know about you, but I don't go to sleep worried about excessive growth.

What should we do? Abolish the Fed, pure and simple.

Monday, April 24, 2006

How does he have an audience?

I hate Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. There are many, many reasons to hate O'Reilly, but I'll enumerate just a few:

1. His obsession with the trivial. He runs feature after feature on items like Natalee Holloway and the imaginary war on Christmas/ Easter that just don't matter.

2. Constant hypocrisy. He criticizes the non-FOX media (whom he calls "secular") for engaging in personal attacks, while constantly engaging in them himself. (e.g. he called Paul Krugman and Barbara Boxer "nuts." He also has the nerve to complain that the non-FOX media spends too much time on unimportant issues (I guess he never heard of the pot and the kettle).

3. Perhaps most annoying of all is his constant use of logical fallacies. To keep this post short, I'll mention just two. One time he asked an opponent of the Iraq war, "Who do you support, George Bush or Michael Moore?" Uh, Bill that would be a false dilemma. Don't they teach you that at Harvard? Second he resorts to the ad populum argument ad nauseam. True, many others do it but that doesn't make it any less infuriating. It's one poll after another. (Of course, when the polls are against him he either ignores them or blames it on the so-called secular progressive media for distorting the numbers).

4. Blatant dishonesty. He just makes it up as he goes along, shamelessly distorting his opponents' positions to make his points. I won't enumerate his many lies, but you can check out his lies online at Media Matters .

The last straw was when he invited race demagogue and buffoon Al Sharpton to comment on the Duke lacrosse scandal. Yea, that's a reliable source. My question: how does this man have a primetime TV show and a radio show with many listeners? Are Americans that intellectually lazy? My conclusion is regrettably yes.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

No sanctions on Iran

I've probably said it before, but Ron Paul (R-Texas) is my favorite Congressman. To name just a few issues that he's on the side of the angels: border security, ending the "war on drugs", the war in Iraq, abolishing the Federal Reserve, etc.. Now Paul is rightly opposing sanctions in Iran. He makes his case at his website :

(They) increase poverty and misery among the very poorest inhabitants of targeted nations, and they breed tremendous resentment against those imposing them. But they rarely hurt the political and economic elites responsible for angering American leaders in the first place. While embargoes sound like strong, punitive action, in reality they represent a failed policy that four decades of experience prove doesn't work. Conversely, economic engagement is perhaps the single most effective tool in tearing down dictatorships and spreading the message of liberty.

Exactly. We can look back to the sanctions against Iraq. They killed many innocent Iraqis while doing nothing to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Let's not make the same mistake in Iran. I know there's a desire among the American people to get tough with Iran, an admittedly nasty regime, but this is not the answer.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The real reason 9-11 happened?

Although it hasn't been covered very much by the mainstream press, there was a huge revelation in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial. FBI incompetence was a huge factor in the government's inability to stop the 9-11 attacks. From the great conservative magazine The New American by William Jasper:

Harry Samit, who arrested Moussaoui and his Oklahoma University roommate Hussein Al-Attas on August 16, confirmed on the witness stand that he and other agents in the Minnesota office had argued repeatedly with their Washington, D.C., superiors, urgently requesting permission for a warrant to search Moussaoui’s laptop computer, as well as Moussaoui and Al-Attas’ apartment and possessions.

Agent Samit said he had contacted his superiors 70 times, urgently requesting assistance with the Moussaoui/Al-Attas investigation, only to be repeatedly rebuffed without any rational explanation. He said the superiors who thwarted the Minnesota investigation were guilty of “criminal negligence and obstruction.”

“You tried to move heaven and earth to get a search warrant to search this man’s belongings and you were obstructed,” defense attorney Edward MacMahon said to the agent. “Yes sir, I was obstructed,” Samit replied, noting that these actions were a “calculated” decision “that cost us the opportunity to stop the attacks.” His superiors even blocked him from sending a memo to the Federal Aviation Administration to apprise them of the information he had uncovered about Moussaoui and Al-Attas and his belief that they were involved in an international hijacking plot. They also prevented him from putting an undercover Arabic-speaking agent in the same cell with Al-Attas.

Samit’s charges echo those of Minnesota FBI agent and lawyer Coleen Rowley, who wrote a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller bitterly criticizing Washington’s obstruction in the Moussaoui case. (end of article).

To my knowledge, no one at the top levels of the FBI has been held accountable for these bureaucratic snafus. The federal government has shamelessly exploited 9-11 for its own purpose- aggrandizing centralized government power,(see the patriot act). The disastrous war with Iraq was sold on Saddam's supposed links to 9-11. It's time for the government to admit what is now obvious to all: 9-11 was the result of government ineptitude. It was not the result of the government not having enough power. We don't need more Patriot Acts, we need more common sense.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Orwell would be proud

The current "immigration" debate is dreadfully depressing. I wish open-borders advocates would be honest and start saying illegal immigrants, not "undocumented workers." Two reasons why the latter term is inappopriate: 1. Many illegals have documents from mexico, and 2. Many illegals do not want to work, but want free health care, education, etc... Our public discourse could use a little honesty. Oh, and to the reporters at the Washington Post- stop referring to J.D. Hayworth as an "anti-immigrant firebrand." He is not against immigration, he's against illegal immigration. Get it? Good. It's not that complicated.

Andrew McCarthy of the National Review puts it well:

Calling illegal aliens “undocumented workers” is about as transparently deliberate an effort to pervert the language of a debate as it gets. The way the Big Business guys portray themselves as noble when they are transparently scheming to legitimize the way they are circumventing the labor laws and depressing wages is insulting. And can you imagine if we handled any other law enforcement problem in this country by just throwing up our hands and saying the functional equivalent of you can’t just deport 12 million people? Like how 'bout: “You can’t just prosecute every single drug deal”? Or, better yet: “Identity theft is too pervasive to deal with as an enforcement problem – the better solution here would be to create a legal path to legitimize these fraudulent identities”?

As someone who spent over 20 years in law enforcement, I have to confess that it makes my skin crawl every time I hear that moronic "you just can't deport ..." slogan. You don’t have to deport 12 million people. You just start enforcing the law reasonably – something that has never been tried before. When you set that example, some people will leave voluntarily, others who would otherwise come won’t, and in a few years the number of illegals will be 4 million rather than 40 million – which is to say, it will be a typical, manageable law enforcement problem

(Emphasis in original).

Monday, April 10, 2006

No need for war

Wisely, the Bush administration has backed off from talk of a military strike against Iran. According to an AP report a White House lacky, er spokesman, said that “The president’s priority is to find a diplomatic solution to a problem the entire world recognizes." At the same time, the Administration insists all options are on the table. Hopefully, the Iranians are stupid enough to think our military is capable of an invasion after the Iraq debacle. It really isn't, of course.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Some advice for Bush

I doubt President Bush reads this blog, but I'm going to offer him some advice. At 34% his current speechwriters aren't doing a very good job. No charge, Mr. President. Pro bono- oh, you're not familiar with the term. Probably skipped Latin class to drink, didn't you. Here's the text of my proposed speech:

My fellow Americans, I beg your forgiveness. I have screwed up many times. I have not found Osama bin Laden. We did a horrible job trying to help the Katrina victims. Iraq has descended into civil war. I did not adequately prepare for the post- Saddam chaos.My Medicare bill is a costly disaster. I could go on, but you see the point. From now on, I will be honest with you, all the time.

I have lied to you. I knew Saddam was not working with Al-Qaeda to launch attacks against Americans. I should not have said no one could anticipate the breaking of the levees. I was lying when I said the vast majority of my tax cuts go to those at the bottom. There never was any attack planned against the Liberty, er, Library Tower in L.A. I was whipping up fear and hysteria, as I have since 9-11, to keep my poll numbers up. That obviously isn't working anymore.

From now on, the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Iraq was a mistake and we're going to withdraw. I should never have invaded it in the first place. I apologize to the families of those killed in the war. I'm going to repeal some of my tax cuts and fund health care for all Americans. I'm going to stop referring myself as a "conservative." I never believed any of that twaddle about limited government, fiscal responsibility, a modest foreign policy, blah, blah, blah. From now on, when I start wars in foreign countries, I will adequately plan for their reconstruction. I'm also going to abandon political correctness. I will no longer refer to Islam as a great religion that has been hijacked by extremists. From now on, I will stress that we are at war with militant Islam as the Koran teaches it. No more euphemisms. I will also become more engaged. I will know what is going on at all times. I will even read the New York Times- well maybe not Paul Krugman. The next time there's a major disaster I will be ready to help. When I wiretap suspected terrorists, I will follow the law.

Thank you for your forgiveness. May G-d bless us all. Oh, and Hannity- get your head out of my @####. Got to leave- Dick wants to go hunting.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The false outrage in Washington

Well, politicians and radio talk show hosts are inflaming the American public over the recent Dubai ports deal. Bipartisan demagoguery is apparently de rigueur in Washington now. Don't believe the hype. There is nothing sinister about the ports deal. Allow me to sum up the main argument against the deal: "We cannot hand over security to a country that had two of the 9-11 hijackers."

This is a red herring. Security of our ports remains in the hands of the Coast Guard and Customs. Rich Lowry of the National Review makes the following point (see article here):

A management company has very little to do with port security. It unloads cargo containers and then holds them until they are hauled out by trucks. As homeland-security expert Stewart Verdery says, this is but a small part of the process. The U.S. begins screening select cargo containers at their port of departure. Then, when they are on their way here, computer-based risk analysis is done to decide which containers need further scrutiny.

I will quote two more port security experts (source is the Wall Street Journal):

Stephen Flynn (former Coast Guard commander):"The issue of who owns the terminal is less important than whether there are credible security measures in place and enough oversight of them."

Kristi Clemens, an assistant commissioner at Customs and Border Protection:"The security of America's ports and the security of cargo coming to this country will not change with this transaction."

Please don't believe the spin that a terrorist-friendly country is taking over our ports. The UAE has been very cooperative with U.S. authorities in cracking down on terrorist financing, among other things. Furthermore, as David Brooks of the New York Times points out: UAE ports service U.S. military ships and operates facilities in Australia, Germany, China, and Korea. These other countries apparently don't have guardians of the public trust like Hillary Clinton, so they are free to do business even with Arab countries.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

"Liberated Iraq"

Most of you by now have heard of the recent bombing of the Shiite mosque and the brutal reprisals of the Shiites against Sunnis. Many of you may not have heard of the following activities by Islamic extremists in Baghdad, courtesy of Paul Garwood of the AP:

Barbers are being killed for for cutting beards and removing facial hair. Why? Well, radical Muslims consider removing facial hair "unIslamic." Also, religious extremists have been blamed for bombing liquor stores and for killing DVD vendors that show scantily clad women or modern Western music (horror of horrors!).

There are other examples of Islamic violence in the article-I would post a link but I can't find it- but I think the point is made. I draw two pretty obvious conclusions from this story:

1. Invading Iraq was really a huge mistake.
2. I think the myth of Islam being a religion of "peace" has been finally obliterated for all time.

The country is on the verge of civil war. Wasn't-if I recall correctly- the argument against withdrawal was that the country would descend into chaos if U.S. troops left? I think that ship has sailed. It's time to withdraw from Iraq. Our presence there is doing no good.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The utterly trivial news media

As readers of this blog probably already know, I am a major critic of the mainstream media. I have always considered it to be obsessed with trivia- see the Dick Cheney hunting "scandal" coverage (or the tremendous coverage of Chandra Levy, Natalee Holloway, and of course Monica Lewinsky). Liberal columnist Peter Beinart has a great column on this trivia obsession at The New Republic. His complaint is that the recent developments in Iraq- namely the election of Islamic fundamentalists to top positions in the new Iraqi government- has been all but ignored by the media. He randomly checked CNN's list of stories and found the list to be utterly trivial. See the following paragraph:

Instead, a brief glance at CNN's primetime lineup for Tuesday, February 14 (the day this column was written) promises stories on adolescent wrestling, dangerous dog treats, a teenage murderer, an interview with Judge Judy, wasteful post-Katrina spending, a company that is implanting tracking chips in its employees, and a woman who says her dog discovered her cancer. Americans may be ignorant about the country where our troops are dying--a place that could imperil our security for years to come. But, when it comes to the disease-detection potential of the family pooch, we can finally render an informed judgment. It's about time.

It's funny, in a way, but it's also upsetting. See also Jonathan Chait's article in the
LA Times. Like me, Chait despises the Bush administration, but still thinks the Cheney shooting coverage has been excessive. He actually contends-correctly, I think- that the issues that actually affect us the most are always covered the least.

This dereliction of duty by the media is dangerous to our system of government. A self-governing people requires information on the conduct of their rulers, as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson pointed out many years ago. How can an American citizen evaluate the performance of the government when the news media is obsessed with missing teenagers or presidential blowjobs? Of course he can't. I wish I had a suggestion for improving this situation, but I don't. I have no idea what can be done to hold the news media accountable. I suppose writing letters to the editor of the major newspapers/ TV stations might be a start, but that's about all I have now. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Column of the year

It's early, but so far Eric Alterman has written the best column of 2006. Here it is, in the February 20 Nation magazine. As he points out, the press has lost all interest in Bush's Iraq deceptions (e.g. the Niger-uranium story ,the Saddam-9-11 "connection",etc..)

The big-name pundits such as David Broder have declared the war scandals old news. As Alterman points out, the foul fiends of the liberal press completely ignored the damning revelations of the Downing Street memo. They just can't reach the depths of anger they previously attained during the Monica Lewinsky "scandal". It seems to me that lying about war ought to be considered, at the very least, as important as lying about a consensual affair.

What's the big deal?

I strongly dislike Vice President Dick Cheney. He is a consummate liar. One egregious example of this was his claim that there was a verified meeting between a 9-11 terrorist and a Iraqi inteligence agent (the story was discredited by the FBI). I hold him as responsible as anyone for the disastrous Iraq war. He is also a vulgar man who told a U.S. Senator to f-ck himself.

Having said that, I don't see the point of the vast media coverage of his hunting accident. This, like the Monica Lewinsky "scandal", does not concern the American public. It is a private mistake. Hunting accidents, unfortunately, happen. People blasting shotguns in the woods is a dangerous activity. Let's focus on some real issues--such as Bush's false claims that there was a thwarted terror attack on L.A. Time to move on.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Is Bush lying again?

Perhaps the terror plot against Los Angeles that President Bush says was prevented never existed. Liberal critics of Bush have accused him of using terror threats for political gain. Perhaps naively, I assumed the President of the United States would not resort to such despicable tactics. Apparently, I was wrong. The following quotes come courtesy of the media watchdog FAIR :

In the current round of reporting on the story, some newspapers have noted the dissent over the alleged plot. The Washington Post (2/10/06) cited "several U.S. intelligence officials" who "said there is deep disagreement within the intelligence community over the seriousness of the Library Tower scheme and whether it was ever much more than talk." And the New York Daily News (2/10/06) cited one senior counterterrorism official who said: "There was no definitive plot. It never materialized or got past the thought stage." (Emphasis added).

Query: why is this not front-page news? This is certainly a bigger story than Dick Cheney accidentally shooting some banker on a hunt. If the intelligence analysts are right--and I have no reason to believe otherwise--Bush is a national disgrace. Even Sean Hannity might hesitate to defend him.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bush administration v. free speech

The Bush administration is continuing its assault on the freedoms of American citizens. This particular story was brought to my attention at Andrew Sullivan's excellent blog ( link here) . This is the disturbing story in a nutshell: a nurse is being charged with "sedition" for writing a letter critical of the Bush administration (I know, how dare she!) This is not long after Cindy Sheehan (who I do not like) was absurdly arrested for wearing a T-shirt critical of the Iraq war. Here's the link to the report in the Alibi.

The nurse wrote a fairly tame letter--criticizing Bush for Katrina, Iraq, global warming, etc.. I've read worse at the letters sections of my local paper. Apparently, VA Information Security employees seized her computer at the local VA hospital where she works. The VA's chief of Human Resources said this was done because ""The agency is bound by law to investigate and pursue any act which potentially represents sedition." Sedition, for those unfamiliar with the law, entails a plot to overthrow the government by force. The penalty can be up to 20 years in jail. The nurse's lawyer makes a damning accusation: "The administration," he says, "has developed a culture of fear around federal employees." Yes, I would agree.

Is there a historical precedent for this kind of harassment and contempt for the First Amendment? Unfortunately, yes--in the administration of Woodrow Wilson, where people protesting World War I were routinely given harsh jail sentences. For example, a woman who wrote "I am for the people and the government is for the profiteers" was sentenced to ten years in prison. As I consider Wilson the worst president of all time, I hardly think this is an example Bush ought to follow.

This is the letter. Try as I might, I can't see any treason behind it.

Dear Alibi,

I am furious with the tragically misplaced priorities and criminal negligence of this government. The Katrina tragedy in the U.S. shows that the emperor has no clothes! Bush and his team partied and delayed while millions of people were displaced, hundreds of thousands were abandoned to a living hell. Thousands more died of drowning, dehydration, hunger and exposure; most bodies remain unburied and rotting in attics and floodwater. Is this America the beautiful?

The risk of hurricane disaster was clearly predicted, yet funds for repair work for the Gulf States barrier islands and levee system were unconscionably diverted to the Iraq War. Money and manpower and ethics have been diverted to fight a war based on absolute lies!

As a VA nurse working with returning OIF vets, I know the public has no sense of the additional devastating human and financial costs of post-traumatic stress disorder; now we will have hundreds of thousands of our civilian citizens with PTSD as well as far too many young soldiers, maimed physically or psychologically—or both—spreading their pain, anger and isolation through family and communities for generations. And most of this natural disaster and war tragedy has been preventable ... how very, very sad!

In the meantime, our war-fueled federal deficit mushrooms—and whither this debt now, as we care for the displaced and destroyed?

Bush, Cheney, Chertoff, Brown and Rice should be tried for criminal negligence. This country needs to get out of Iraq now and return to our original vision and priorities of caring for land and people and resources rather than killing for oil.

Katrina itself was the size of New Mexico. Denials of global warming are ludicrous and patently irrational at this point. We can anticipate more wild, destructive weather to occur as a response stress of the planet. We need to wake up and get real here, and act forcefully to remove a government administration playing games of smoke and mirrors and vicious deceit. Otherwise, many more of us will be facing living hell in these times. (end of letter)

Did I miss the recent amendment to the Constitution repealing the First Amendment?

Monday, February 06, 2006

One-world economy?

U.S. economic sovereignty is threatened by globalist elites looking to integrate all national economies into a single economic union. John Birch Society paranoia, right? Not at all. This is the conclusion of a mainstream economist, Jeff Faux, writing in the The Nation. Faux quotes a former director-general of the World Trade Organization as saying-ominously?-: "We are no longer writing the rules of interaction among separate national economies. We are writing the constitution of a single global economy." (Emphasis added by Faux.)

What does this one-world economy mean to average Americans? Faux thinks (and I agree) the world economy will be structured like the disastrous NAFTA treaty where "international investors are given extraordinary rights to override government protections of workers and the environment." Remember GATT? Unelected bureaucrats were invalidating U.S. environmental, health, and safety laws under the guise of "free trade." We need to stop this transformation of sovereignty now before our economy is reduced to the level of a Third World country.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Assault on free speech

Islamic extremists, their sensitivities jarred by a series of cartoons, are launching an assault on freedom of the press and free speech. This is happening, regrettably, not just in America but worldwide. They are being abetted by the Vatican, which preposterously claimed, "The right to freedom of thought and expression ... cannot entail the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers." Well, actually, yes it does entail exactly that right. Speech that has to conform to the sensitivities of religious believers is not truly free.

A few examples of the radical Islamists' contempt for freedom are in this article. Here's two quick instances of censorship:
1. Two Jordanian editors whose newspapers published the cartoons were arrested yesterday.
2. A South African court banned the country's Sunday newspapers from reprinting the cartoons.

One slightly related item-our friends at CAIR are back in the news. They too are objecting to insensitive language. Our self-appointed religious sensitivity police sent a letter to President Bush stating that he avoid "hot-button terms" in his speech, such as "Islamo-fascism," "militant jihadism," and "Islamic radicalism." Bush, to his credit, ignored the letter.

Thanks to National Review Online for that item.

Still not a religion of peace

Ah, more "peaceful" Islamists (from MSNBC news):

Thousands of Muslims rampaged Sunday in Beirut, setting fire to the Danish Embassy, burning Danish flags and lobbing stones at a Maronite Catholic church as violent protests spread over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Troops fired bullets into the air and used tear gas and water cannons to push the crowds back after a small group of Islamic extremists tried to break through the security barrier outside the embassy.

Demonstrators attacked policemen with stones and set fire to several fire engines, witnesses said. Black smoke was seen billowing from the area. Security officials said at least 18 people were injured, including policemen, fire fighters and protesters. Witnesses saw at least 10 people taken away by ambulance.

For complete story see here.

This is over a series of cartoons, for heaven's sakes. I'm guessing these "protesters" aren't very familiar with the concept of an independent press. The Danish government had nothing to do with the publishing of these cartoons. Free speech can be very inconvenient for some people. Remember the "Piss Christ" painting that was subsidized by the NEA some years ago? I don't remember Christian mobs vandalizing U.S. property.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Not bipartisan

Nice try, President Bush, Bill O'Reilly, and other Republican apologists, but the Jack Abramoff scandal is not bipartisan. As conservative Rich Lowry writes: "This is in its essence a Republican scandal, and any attempt to portray it otherwise is a misdirection." Exactly. Abramoff was closely allied with Republican activists Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed. As Jonathan Chait points out in this December column, Tom Delay's chief of staff once said of Abramoff: "He is someone on our side." Furthermore, Abramoff hired multiple DeLay staffers as lobbyists, and his assistant later went to work for Karl Rove.

Still not convinced? Here's some hard facts, courtesy of the website

From 2000 to 2005 Jack Abramoff made political donations to 220 Republican members of Congress and the Bush administration, including more than $100,000 to President Bush as a pioneer. Not one dime of Jack Abramoff's money went to any Democrats, ever (emphasis added).

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Not a religion of peace

I heard on the Larry Elder show today a guest repeat the politically correct, but false claim that Islam is a "religion of peace," hijacked by extremists like bin Laden. This is a common refrain, but it's dead wrong. We cannot defeat the enemy-Islamic fundamentalism- unless we understand it. The fact is that Islam is a religion of war, not one of peace. Don't believe me? As Islam scholar Sam Harris explains:

The only future devout Muslims can envisage—as Muslims—is one in which all infidels have been converted to Islam, politically subjugated, or killed."(Source: The End of Faith by Sam Harris.)

I'll now quote two damning references from the Koran, just so the good folk at CAIR don't sue me for maligning their religion:

Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate. (9:73)

Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous. (9:123)

Doesn't sound very peaceful to me....

Bush a dictator?

OK, back from Vegas a little poorer. Let's jump right in. One of my favorite conservative writers, William Norman Grigg, has a thought-provoking article entitled Bush: Saddam with nukes? While I think Grigg is a little over the top in comparing Bush to Hussein, his basic point-Bush is a lawless leader- is on the mark. The recent wiretapping scandal proves Bush is a law onto himself. I'll quote a key paragraph from Grigg's article:

The Bush Doctrine, as I have pointed out before, is essentially this: The president can do what he wants, anytime, in any fashion he chooses, for any reason that strikes his fancy. This includes waging wars of aggression, summary imprisonment of individuals (including US citizens) without trial or legal recourse, and ordering assassinations and the use of torture.

Like me, Grigg calls for the impeachment of Bush before he can further damage our constitutional system. It's refreshing to see a principled conservative break away from the FOX News/ Washington Times pro-Bush apologists.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

They're not what they seem

Many conservatives (and some liberals) mistakenly refer to Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas as "strict constructionists" who abide by the strict letter of the highest law of the land, i.e. the Constitution of the United States. They are seen as protectors of the Tenth Amendment--which says the powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states-- against big-government liberals. The facts, however, prove these contentions utterly false. Let's look at the most recent decision of the Roberts Court, its first major decision. Incidentally, this case was brought to my attention by a column by conservative George Will in Newsweek.

The Supreme Court upheld by a 6-3 vote the constitutionality of an Oregon law legalizing physician-assisted suicide. This law was passed by a large majority of the people of Oregon. The Court's decision was absolutely correct; it upheld the principles, as Will says, of "judicial modesty and deference to policies adapted democratically." It also upheld the original understanding of the Constitution, namely that the states retain all powers not delegated to the federal government. So who were the anti-federalist dissenters, you ask? Ginsburg and Breyer, right? No, Scalia, Thomas, and Roberts all dissented. They care nothing for the Tenth Amendment if it interfers with their personal agenda. As we saw in Bush v. Gore, Scalia and Thomas cast aside federalism when it's convenient for them to do so. They are hypocrites and frauds. I'll say it: they are judicial activists. Let's hear no more from the Republicans about the evils of "legislating from the bench." That's exactly what Scalia and Thomas did in this case. This is what we can expect from Alito, with his extra-constitutional theory of the unitary executive--that is, the claim that the president's executive power cannot be infringed upon by Congress or the courts. (Thanks to the New Republic's legal affairs editor Jeffrey Rosen for that explanation).

Bottom line here: there are no "orginalists,"strict constructionists," or "textualists" on the Supreme Court. There is plenty of hypocrisy, however, on the Court.

What's he hiding

Alright, my computer's back working after being down. I'll get right back in with a quick take. The Bush administration is covering up its misdeeds under the justification of protecting national security. To wit, Vice President Cheney --according to the staunchly rightist American Conservative--is refusing to turn over to the Senate Intelligence Committee the CIA brief of Sept 21 that flatly announced Saddam Hussein was not allied with Al-Qaeda (I have previously referred to this report in a previous post). Under the guise of "national security", Cheney is trying to suppress information that would be damaging to the White House. Of course, Cheney's pretense is, well, a pretense. This report was already well-known to the national press--though not to Congress. There is no justification for Cheney's stonewalling.

The article in the magazine (not available online) goes on to further state that Pat Roberts, the Republican lackey who chairs the Intelligence Committee, will work to "limit the political damage from his committee's investigation, but that much of the incriminating information will be leaked by the Democratic Senators." I say: Good for them, leak away. The American people deserve to know the truth about the liars in the White House.

In other news, see this editorial in the New Republic for a balanced assessment of Judge Alito. The article makes a good case for rejecting Alito without resorting to the demagoguery some of the Democratic Senators have used.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Time for filibuster

I rarely endorse using the filibuster. The U.S. Senate is already too undemocratic now. However, in the case of Judge Alito, the Democrats absolutely should filibuster. These hearings are a fraud. Alito won't answer any questions pertaining to his judicial philosophy. One example: Senator Schumer asked Alito if he stood by his 1985 opinion that abortion is not a Constitutional right. This question certainly deserved an honest answer. Alito chose not to answer the question. This is a man who wants to be on the most influential court in America for the rest of his life and he is dodging and weaving on the few questions he actually deigns to answer. Contrary to Alito's view of a unitary executive, the Senate clearly has the right under the advice and consent clause to know at least something of his judicial philosophy.

Also see this article from the Nation for more on Alito.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


This story will make you sick to your stomach. Apparently, our government, anxious for war, decided that actually protecting our soldiers from bodily harm was just not that important. I'll quote briefly from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

A secret Pentagon study has found that as many as 80 percent (emphasis added) of the Marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to their upper body could have survived if they had extra body armor. Such armor has been available since 2003, but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops.

This is outrageous and calls for a Congressional investigation immediately. I cannot see any reason, for God's sake, that our troops were denied armor that could have protected them from injury or death. I don't have anything else to say, I think this story speaks for itself.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

No to Sammy

I had not yet taken a position on Alito's confirmation, as I wanted to get all the facts in before opining (radical concept, I know). I believe there is enough information in for me to finally come to a conclusion, namely:NO. Alito's position on the Fourth Amendment, executive power, and the rights of the accused in death penalty cases have convinced me that he should not be confirmed. Alito, to me at least, is no conservative, but a radical right-winger unconcerned with the civil liberties of the American people. I believe he is correct, as I have stated before on this blog, that abortion is not a constitutional right. One issue alone does not a judge make, however. Being as the Bush administration is apparently drunk with power (e.g. NSA spying),this is no time for confirming a judge that will probably uphold abuses of executive power.

As pointed out in this article by Ruth Coniff Alito has a troubling authoritarian streak. One troubling example- Alito upheld a strip search of a ten year old girl and her mother who were found in the home of a suspected drug dealer. The warrant issued did not permit such a search. The majority of the judges on the panel took a contrary position.Nor was this case atypical. Alito apparently always sides with the police in criminal cases. This bias shows a lack of independent thought and good judgement. A true conservative is wary of unchecked power, whether from the police, the FBI, or the White House. I cannot support Alito's confirmation and will urge my U.S. Senators to vote against him.