Saturday, July 19, 2003
Here is yet another column on the reciprocity issue, although this one is from last December's Boston Herald, noting how John Kerry was quick to jump all over Trent Lott, while glossing over his own slurs. Mr. Fitzgerald also touches on Mike Wallace, Jesse Jackson, and Alan Dershowitz, who have each had their own foot-in-mouth moments. None have ever been called out to the degree that Lott was (although Jackson did take a lot of heat, to be fair). Here's the money quotes. (These are all from Fitzgerald's column; my comments in parentheses)
John Kerry 1: "The Iraqi army is in such bad shape, even the Italians could kick their butts.'' (Remember, Boston has a HUGE Italian population.)
John Kerry 2: Attempting to belittle Bill Weld's work ethic, Kerry described the former GOP governor as "a guy who takes more vacations than people on welfare.'' (Welfare recipients are lazy? How déclassé, Mr. Kerry.)
Mike Wallace: During a break in the taping of a "60 Minutes'' piece on minority borrowers, he suggested they might have difficulty reading complicated contracts "over watermelon and tacos.'' (Hello? Talk about stereotypes...)
Jesse Jackson: characterized New York City (under mayor Ed Koch) as "Hymietown". (This one was covered fairly thoroughly, but the history revisionists have worked hard to sweep it under the rug)
Alan Dershowitz: once charged Billy Bulger with using "code words'' like "manipulative'' and "crafty'' to communicate a bias against Jews, yet there was no ambiguity whatsoever when Dershowitz claimed English au pair Louise Woodward couldn't expect a fair trial in Cambridge because "it has a very large Irish population.'' (I guess the Irish, like the Italians, are fair game for the left.)
None of these quotes (except Jackson's) received much coverage. Some of these are really offensive, far more than the moronic comments of John Rocker. However, since he wasn't perceived as a good liberal (I have no idea of his political leanings), he got raked over the coals.
The article doesn't mention it, but John Rocker's boss, Ted Turner (owner of the Atlanta Braves), has made some ignorant swipes as well, mostly against organized religion. Calling Catholics with ashes on their forehead (on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent) a "bunch of Jesus freaks" is pretty nasty.
posted at 11:30 PM | permalink | Comments (1)
Strip ClubsCity Council's best friends
The Seattle Times uncovered a fascinating link between a recent surge in Seattle City Council fundraising and a rezoning agreement with a shady strip-club owner.
The whole article is an entertaining read, as some of the contributors keep shifting their stories to keep ahead of the reporter's questions.
I'm sure it's just a coincidence that the three council members (who all supportedin a 5-4 decisionthe rezoning draft, over the recommendations of the city land-use department) received an amazing $34,500 from people who all have ties to Frank Colacurio Jr.
Most of the contributions went to Councilwoman Judy Nicastro, who has received at least $19,400 in donations from Colacurcio and his associates for her re-election bid. Much of that came in last month, when Nicastro raised almost $52,000 — an amount she touted as a single-month council fund-raising record. Contributors include more than 20 Colacurcio-affiliated attorneys, bookkeepers, business partners, strip-club managers, and longtime friends and their relatives. One donation even came from an El Paso, Texas, strip-club owner who could not recall Nicastro's name.
One of my favorite sections in the article comes near the end, but I wonder if it's a cheap shot:
In an interview at Talents West, his Lake City agency that hires nude dancers, Colacurcio Jr., contended that his recent surge in political donations isn't so strange. He said he's always been a strong supporter of Democrats.
"I've always told everyone, including strangers on the street, you should vote — vote Democrat," said Colacurcio Jr., sitting Wednesday afternoon at a massive desk littered with a wad of cash and a plate of steak and eggs.
It's amusing, and totally unbelievable. But it is a smear on the Democratic Party? I try hard to see bias from both sides, and I wonder if I am being a little too open-minded here. It really doesn't fit in well with the rest of the article.
posted at 08:11 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Pete Starkgay basher?
The Boston Globe reports that Pete Stark, the left-wing loony from California, acted with his customary thoughtful, reasonable courtesy:
A transcript of the committee meeting quoted Stark as belittling Thomas's intellect. Although the transcript does not show it, McInnis interjected, ''Shut up.'' The transcript then shows Stark saying: ''You think you are big enough to make me, you little wimp? Come on. Come over here and make me. I dare you, you little fruitcake.''
Stark said in an interview later that he regretted calling McInnis a ''fruitcake.'' But he also said the transcript missed his telling Thomas, ''You're behaving like a fascist.''
Wow. How much do you want to bet that there will be no blowback on the issue? And somehow, I think if it was a Republican who referred to a Democrat as a "fruitcake", there would be accusations of homophobia flying as if there were no tomorrow. Since Stark is a leftist, however, there will be no negative consequences. It's ironic that one of the representatives of the San Francisco bay area would be the one to use a smear like "fruitcake" against his enemies. (Stark's district runs from Oakland to Fremont, on the east side of San Francisco Bay.)
Stark is a known loose cannon; he equated the war against Iraq with terrorism in this San Francisco Chronicle article in March. Another stupid statement, after he cast his vote against the resolution for support of the president and troops, was ..."it's not right to praise a drunk for driving home without an accident..." (He still has the gall to have a red/white/blue "Support the Troops" ribbon on his House website.) George Will noted in an October 2002 column:
During the House debate on authorizing the use of force against Iraq, Rep. Pete Stark, a paleo-liberal from Northern California, cried, "Rich kids will not pay; their daddies will get them deferments." He meant draft deferments. It is almost unkind to awaken Stark from his dogmatic slumbers to notify him that there has not been a draft since 1973. And the Beatles have broken up.
Even better yet, Dave Mecklenberg rips Stark a new one in this piece at the (sadly) extinct Sabertooth Journal. He responds to this statement in a Stark op-ed in the San Jose Mercury-News:
Let us not forget that our president -- our commander in chief -- has no experience with, or knowledge of, war. He admits that he was at best ambivalent about the Vietnam War. He skirted his own military service and then failed to serve out his time in the National Guard. And, he reported years later that at the height of that conflict in 1968 he didn't notice "any heavy stuff going on.''
Stark needs to be taken to task for his history of intemperate remarks. This is part of the reciprocity that I've been talking about for the last few days, and it's become clear yet again that the left won't police their own.
posted at 03:08 PM | permalink | Comments (3)
Rutgers student crosses the line
Charlotte Kates, a Rutgers University law student, is also the organizer of an odious anti-Israel rally that will occur in New Jersey in October. Emperor Misha and Charles Johnson have already flogged the conference to death, so I will concentrate on an odious little article she penned for the Rutgers school newspaper. The article can be found here; the link requires a registration. I've included the entire article here, so there is no need to follow the link if you don't want to register.
What may one call a state created from colonized land, stolen from its native inhabitants and turned over to European invaders through a process of militarily-enforced ethnic cleansing and occupation? While one may call it "the United States," one may also call it "Israel" -- but one certainly cannot, and should not call it a "democratically-created state."
She lets us know right up front that she is an America-hater, as well as an Israel-hater.
In 1947, Palestinian Arabs owned 93 percent of the land of Palestine. Their land had been subject to British colonial rule since the end of World War I, at which point those same colonizers made vague promises to the nascent Zionist movement of a "Jewish national home" in Mandatory Palestine. The Zionist movement was, in the early 20th century, but one fringe of Jewish cultural and social organization -- and a reactionary one, formed in nationalistic reaction to the internationalist organizing of Jewish socialists, communists and anarchists. As such, despite (and perhaps because of) European anti-Jewish hatred, the Zionist movement found support among various European political sectors.
I cannot find a reliable cite for the 93% figure, but I do know that during the years of the British Mandate (1922-1947) the Jews *bought* the land they occupied from Arabs, usually from landowners living in Damascus or Cairo. They often paid exorbitant rates for this land (ten times the price of rich Iowa farmland, for example), and this land was often semi-arable, or malaria-ridden swampland. The 93% figure is undoubtedly inflated; This map from the Palestine Center, and shows that there was significant land ownership by Jews at the end of World War II. If a Palestinian-supportive group contradicts her claims, what would an Israeli-supportive map reveal?
She also fails to note that prior to the British mandate, "Palestine" was part of another empire, that of the Ottomans. Palestinian self-rule is a myth; the area has been under colonial rule of one type or another since the Roman empire. (Remember, at the time of Jesus, Pilate was the Roman-installed governor of Palestine.)
The Zionist movement considered not only Palestine as a place for its dream of a "Jewish state," it considered Argentina and Liberia as other likely prospects -- also nations of the global South, long subject to domination, imperialism and exploitation. A largely secular movement, nonetheless, Zionism became centered on Palestine due to its historical and religious significance. The Zionist movement never pretended to offer anything better to the indigenous population than ethnic cleansing and subservience. Its mythology of a "land without people for a people without land" served to consign the Palestinians to nonexistence in popular propaganda while seeking to create such nonexistence in fact.
This whole paragraph is nothing more than boilerplate communist drivel. There's a whole lot of verbiage, with no substance behind it. As to the assertions about Argentina and Liberia, they were ideas floated by one person, a person who also considered the Sinai Peninsula, Tripolotania (in Libya), and a number of other places.
While Jews had always lived alongside Muslims and Christians in historic Palestine, they were Palestinian Jews. The Zionists' essential identification and role was not their religious affiliation but rather their political organization as a European settler colonialist movement, seeking the dispossession of Palestinians and the expropriation of their land. Following World War II, a "Partition Plan" was proposed and adopted by the United Nations. Without consultation with the Palestinians who lived in Palestine, Palestine was to be divided into two states -- a "Jewish state" and an "Arab state." Unsurprisingly, the Palestinian people resisted this new imperialist attack -- there was no compelling reason to accept the splitting and expropriation of large amounts of Palestinian land for no other reason than the decision of European powers and European settlers. Confronted with the Palestinian people's desire to retain their land and independence, the Zionist forces waged an armed onslaught. Contrary to common accounts of the 1948 war, the "Arab armies" entered not the territory granted to the "Jewish state" in the partition plan, but only that designated as "Arab land" -- the Zionist army was equally determined to reject the partition as proposed, as it failed to satisfy dreams of a greater Israel.
This is an outright lie. First off, the Jews accepted the partition plan, while the Arabs rejected it. Secondly, the entire Jerusalem area (including suburbs such as BETHLEHEM) was to be an international city. Seizure of the eastern and southern portions of the international zone does not qualify as staying is the Arab-designated portions. Thirdly, the invasion from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, and Transjordan hardly qualifies as a "Zionist armed onslaught", although after the dust settled the Jews were in control of more land then when they started. If the Arab nations had not attacked, they would have controlled all of the Arab mandate, and Jerusalem and the surrounding territory would still be an international city.
During the war of 1948, thousands of Palestinian civilians were slaughtered and nearly a million driven from their land and homes, becoming refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. This process of ethnic cleansing was neither accidental nor innocuous; it had long been part of Zionist plans for Palestine. Since that time, they have been repeatedly denied their internationally-recognized human right to return to their homes and homelands.
Since the UN report I am looking for is not available in Electronic format, I will have to refer to a pro-Israeli source for the citation. A report by the UN mediator on Palestine came up with a refugee figure somewhat lower than the Arabic claims472,000. Of those, only 360,000 needed assistance. (source)
As to the whole "right of return" issue, it doesn't extend to those who are not willing to live peaceably with their neighbors. UN resolution 194, point 11 specifically addresses the issue in that manner. Further, it cannot be extended to those who never lived in the country in question (How can one return to a place he has never before seen?), and since the 472,000 has mushroomed to 4 million, somebody's not being honest with the numbers.
The Palestinians who remained in the land that became Israel were subject to military rule until 1967 and continue today to be the victims of more than 20 laws, including the Basic Laws of Israel, that deny them equal status with Jews in Israel. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, further Palestinian territory illegally occupied by Israel in 1967, Palestinians live under brutal military occupation, struggling to survive and to continue to fight back against Israeli oppression -- deprived of water, facing home demolitions, detention, torture and death.
Hmmmm. Here is a link to the Basic Laws, from the official Israeli government website, with links (on the side) to summaries and the actual text of the laws. I cannot see how any of these laws deny Arab Israeli citizens the same rights as Jewish citizens.
She keeps referring to "Palestinian territory". Until Israel won the 1967 war started by her neighbors, Gaza was a portion of Egypt, and the West Bank was part of Jordan. How does that equate to Palestinian territory? Despite repeated claims to the contrary, there has never been a nation called "Palestine".
The only time that homes are bulldozed or people are arrested is when they have attacked Israeli cities, or have been a base for such attacks. The water issue is another red herring, as the Israelis replace every single gallon of water they use in the Gaza strip with water from Israel proper.
The oppression and occupation of Palestinian land is funded by U.S. tax dollars. Israel receives more foreign aid money than any other country in the world, and has used its extensive military aid to garner advanced weapons to wage an illegal war in occupied territory against a civilian population. Our money goes to pay for Apache helicopters and F-16s, raining death and destruction on Palestinian towns. Our money goes to pay for the M-16s held by Israeli soldiers as they take aim at Palestinian demonstrators.
In other words, the Israelis use our aid to buy things for the country, rather than to salt it away in numbered Swiss accounts, the usual standard in the Arab world. How much is Yasir Arafat worth again? (Forbes magazine estimates his wealth at $300 million, which makes him the fifth wealthiest world leader, now that Saddam Hussein is gone.) Perhaps if the Palestinian Authority were less corrupt, they might be able to acquire real military weapons, as there is certainly no shortage of countries willing to sell to the PA (France, Germany, Russia, China, North Korea, and so forth). It appears that Arabic corruption is Israel's fault, too, judging by the tenor of her piece.
By the way, the war is not "illegal", nor do Israeli soldiers fire at Palestinian "demonstrators" unless they become violent, at which time they become enemy combatants, not demonstrators.
All people have the right to practice their religion freely and to live in peace, but no group of people has the right to invade the land of another, expropriate that land by force, force out its indigenous residents, and create a racist, brutal apartheid structure. There is no right to imperialism, and no right to apartheid. The world said "no" in South Africa -- the world must say "no" today to Israel. As members of the Rutgers community, we can raise our own voices in protest. We can call upon our University to stop financially investing in corporations that continue to do business with the State of Israel until Israel ceases its violations of human rights. There is no right to create an ethnically, religiously exclusive state. As we stood against fascism and apartheid, we must also stand against Israeli apartheid.
In what way does her first sentence relate to reality? (Hint: It doesn't.) It's more shrill, extremist anti-Israel propaganda. And her statement "There is no right to create an ethnically, religiously exclusive state" is laughable, since Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas, groups she explicitly supports, clearly state that they wish to create a fundamentalist Islamic state in place of Israel. Somehow, however, I seriously doubt she would protest the establishment of such a state with the fervor that she protests Israel. To say that, however, would imply that she is anti-semitic, and we can't have that.
posted at 01:35 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Friday, July 18, 2003
Time to enter "spelling fascist" mode.
The leader of the DNC is Terry McAuliffe. Please note the spelling. One C.
I am by no means a fan of the man (I think he's a slimy, despicable worm), but I also realize the importance of spelling his name correctly.
After seeing yet another blogger misspell his name (I won't specify the blog, but it is one I read on a continuing basis), I did a little check on Google. The spelling "Terry McCauliffe" produced 198 hits, the vast majority of which were blogs, on both sides of the political spectrum. It's especially annoying to see the blogger misspell the name, and then quote a snippet of an article with the name spelled correctly.
This is not a typo issue; I myself am a lousy typist. It's not even a case of lousy proofreading. This is a case of not carefully reading one's source material. It bugs me tremendously, although I am not sure why.
(UPDATE18July/9:00PMIn the same vein, it is Megan McArdle, not McCardle. Google shows 436 results for the misspelled version. Let it be known that I hold Ms. McArdle in mush higher esteem than the odious Mr. McAuliffe.)
posted at 07:14 PM | permalink | Comments (3)
Thomas Sowell on wealth and income
DC Thornton links to a pair of Thomas Sowell columns discussing wealth, income, and taxation. The first column sets up the explanation of the difference between wealth and income, while the second obliterates the whole class warfare game the left is trying to play. As Sowell notes:
While much of the liberal media emphasized that these 400 highest income-earners had increased their share of national income between 1992 and 2000, only the Wall Street Journal pointed out that there are more than 2,000 people among these 400 "richest" Americans. How can you squeeze thousands of people into the top 400?
The key to thisas to so much other nonsense that is trumpeted in the media about "the rich" and "the poor"is that we are not talking about the same people when we are making comparisons of different income brackets over a period of years. Most Americans do not stay in the same income bracket for even a decade, much less over a lifetime.
In the case of the Internal Revenue Service data on the 400 highest income-earners in the country, only 21 people were in that category throughout the nine years covered by IRS statistics. In other words, more than 2,000 people passed through this category in the course of nine years but fewer than two-dozen actually stayed there the whole time.
Read that last sentence again. Only about 5% of the 400 richest Americans in 1992 were still in the same category in 2000. It's called income mobility, and it lays waste to the class warfare rhetoric of the left.
(UPDATE19July/9:15AMfixed open bold tag.)
posted at 06:28 PM | permalink | Comments (3)
What Iraq is REALLY like
This New York Post op-ed is an antidote to the constant bleating from the western press that life in Iraq is worse than it was under Hussein. Yes, the press is quick to point out that there is no more of Hussein's heavy-handed tactics, but they always manage to follow up with a list of shortcomings.
Power Outagesfrom the article:
Much is made of power cuts, especially in Baghdad. But this is partly due to a 30 percent seasonal increase in demand because of air-conditioning use in temperatures that reach 115 degrees. In other cities - for example, Basra - the country's second-most populous urban center, more electricity is used than at any time under Saddam Hussein.
Food Shortagesfrom the article:
There is no famine - in fact, the bazaars are more replenished with food than ever since the late 1970s - while food prices, having jumped in the first weeks after liberation, are now lower than they were in the last years of Saddam's rule.
Medical Crisesfrom the article:
MOST hospitals are functioning again with essential medical supplies trickling in for the first time since 1999. Also, some 85 percent of primary and secondary schools and all but two of the nation's universities have reopened with a full turnout of pupils and teachers.
Refugeesfrom the article:
There has been no mass exodus anywhere in Iraq. On the contrary, many Iraqis, driven out of their homes by Saddam, are returning to their towns and villages.
Their return has given the building industry, moribund in the last years of Saddam, a boost. Iraqi exiles and refugees abroad are also coming home, many from Iran and Turkey. Last month alone the Iranian Red Crescent recorded the repatriation of more than 10,000 Iraqis, mostly Kurds and Shiites.
In Iraq today there are no "displaced persons," no uprooted communities and no long lines of war victims in search of a safe haven.
Attacks on American troopsfrom the article:
Another fact is that the violence we have witnessed, especially against American troops, in the past six weeks is limited to less than 1 percent of the Iraqi territory, in the so-called "Sunni Triangle," which includes parts of Baghdad.
In fact, the Iraqis realize that the American-led coalition is really a liberation force, and even imams who were preaching about pushing out the invaders have switched their rhetoric to encourage cooperation with the nation-building efforts now underway.
In the early days of the liberation, some mosque preachers tested the waters by speaking against "occupation." They soon realized that their congregations had a different idea. Today, the main theme in sermons at the mosques is about a partnership between the Iraqi people and the coalition to rebuild the war-shattered country and put it on the path of democracy.
Even the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr now says that "some good" could come out of the coalition's presence in Iraq. "The coalition must help us stabilize the situation," he says. "The healing period that we need would not be possible if we are suddenly left alone."
Cellphones, satellite TV, and a booming free press (more than 100 new newspapers since Hussein's fall)all are contributing to a free and open Iraq. This is what we'd like to see in ALL of the Middle East. If Iraq can do it, what's to stop Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and all the rest?
(UPDATE18July/2:25PMJim Miller has more on this, including a link to a poll with some revealing results.)
(Link courtesy of Ipse Dixit.)
posted at 01:21 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
In Case You Missed It, Recession Ended, in November 2001. This is the official line from the National Bureau of Economic Research, whose reports are considered the gold standard of US business cycle analysis.
As The Smarter Cop points out, Bush's initial tax cuts were first proposed during his first 100 days in office? Is there a link? It's certainly no less reasonable than all of the Democratic claims that the cuts have flushed our economy down the drain...
(UPDATE18July/1:30PMAltered verbiage to correct error regarding tax cut dates noted by Pietro in comments.)
posted at 12:40 PM | permalink | Comments (1)
GOP pork is still pork
This CNN story discusses the bloat in the most recent senate defense spending bill, approved last night on a 95-0 vote. The worst offender, IMNSHO, was $2.5 Million for the "Canola Oil Fuel Cell initiative". Whether or not this is a valid appropriation for ANY department is subject to debate, but it most assuredly is NOT something for which the DoD should be footing the bill. Perhaps the Dept of Agriculture or the Dept of Energy, but tacking it to a Defense bill is offensive.
This press release from Citizens Against Government Waste highlights a few of the more egregious examples of "defense spending" attached to a supplemental spending bill (to fund the military activities in the Middle East). $98 Million for an agriculture center in Iowa? (I am not familiar with the $50 million bailout of the shipbuilding industry the release discusses, but that *might* be of some importance to the navy.) The whole CAGW site is full of wasteful spending initiatives in all aspects of the federal budget; take a look at what they have to say, and see if your congressional reps are spendthrifts or fiscally prudent. Their "porker of the month" is equally likely to skewer Democrats and Republicans (and sometimes both at once; May 2002 saw a GOP congresswoman from Kentucky and a Democratic congressman from WV share the award for their work in steering VA appropriations to their districts).
posted at 11:16 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Media Bias (AGAIN)
Bryan Preston at JunkYardBlog has a post about Jake Tapper, anti-gun activist, and his new job working for ABC. He points out how if he had been a former NRA or National Right-to-Life staffer, the left wing would have been ALL over it. Since he's a lefty, he gets a free pass.
(Bryan got his link from CrooowBlog, in his spiffy new MT digs.)
posted at 10:18 AM | permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday, July 17, 2003
I'll be back tomorrow.
The fact that a short liedown turned into a five hour nap should be a clue that I am a bit burnt out right now...
I will be responding to several comments and posting some new stuff tomorrow.
posted at 07:51 PM | permalink | Comments (1)
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
The reaction to my "Reciprocity" post has been gratifying. I have had a significant number of comments on the post, some positive, some less so. The most recent comment requires a lengthy response. Rather than enter a book into the comments section, I have decided to create a new post for a lengthy rebuttal.
Open the more button to read it, and my response.
Okay. You're saying that, in some way, Chomsky's opposition to Israel's occupation of Palestine is equivalent to, say, voting for someone who opposes your basic civil rights? There's a big difference between supporting someone who seeks to oppress your particular group in some way and telling members of your particular group to stop oppressing others. Saying that a Jew who opposes the occupation of Palestine is an antiSemite is as ridiculous as saying an American who opposes the invasion/occupation of Iraq is UnAmerican...oh, hold on a sec.... The point is, being against the occupation is not equivalent to being anti-Israel. Being against the occupation is not the same as being in favour of the (often actually anti-semitic) terrorists who attempt to fight it.
It's also worth pointing out that 'Uncle Toms' and so on don't actively hate their own group, they merely (in the mindset of people who use such terms) betray their group, usually for some manner of personal gain. I don't think it'd be valid to call a black person who voted for a conservative- even an (anti-black) racist- a racist themselves, merely a sellout of some kind. Therefore, even if you believe that Noam Chomsky is in some way betraying all Jews by asking the Israelis to stop occupying Palestine, he is merely a traitor (to his ethnic/religious group) rather than an anti-Semite.
And as for the soldiers affected by Bush's statement? How about these guys? They (by which I mean the entire 2nd BCT) certainly don't seemed too chuffed about Bush and co, and I'd wager that those comments of his had something to do with it. I've been looking for the past wee while for any comments by actual soldiers in iraq about the 'bring it on' comments, and can't find any, either on the blogs you linked to or elsewhere. But if I remember rightly, when the story broke there were a lot of veterans, army family and other people affected by his statement that were seriously unhappy with bush for his latest moronism.
I'm not presuming to speak for the troops (they seem very capable of speaking for themselves, and a lot of them seem to be agreeing with me) or trying to further some kind of agenda- I'm really not the agenda-making type. I'm not necessarily asking you to buy into my worldview. All I'm asking is that the right-wingers at least concede that encouraging enemy troops to kill your own country's soldiers is really not a very clever thing to do, rather than coming up with ridiculous justifications for it. If Clinton had done said the same things there would have been outrage from the right (and rightly so). Why do they make excuses for this particular incident?
I will comment first on your two links. The first one is to a news article that indicates that there are a significant number of soldiers who are not too enamored of the Bush Administration right now. That is true (and I never claimed otherwise). The reason they are peeved, however, has nothing to do with "Bring it on"; it has everything to do with shifting return dates. If I was over there, and my deployment was operationally extended, I'd be irked too. (It happened to me in 1990, and again in 1996, and again in 1998). However, while I was a little torqued about the unplanned changes, they didn't change my opinion of the presidents or SecDefs who made the decisions. Nothing is writ in stone, and everyone in the military knows about unscheduled changes.
Your second link is a link to a Tom Tomorrow cartoon. There is one factual statement in the whole stripBush's statement. Everything else is TT's mind at play. What was the point?
Going back to the first part of your post, in which we discuss individuals who don't toe the line on prescribed attitudes, you use the thermonuclear "traitor" and "sellout" to describe dissenters. One cannot be a traitor to one's race, whether it is a Jewish Nazi, a black KKK supporter, or a gay Focus on the Family activist. Treason is an action against nations, not against identity groups. We are all Americans (well, those of us in the US, at least), not blacks, Latinos, Jews, Catholics, lesbians, or any of the myriad "Hyphenated-Americans" who seek to eliminate the "American" portion of their identity. And while there are those (on the fringes of both sides) who would seek to deny civil rights to certain groups, it is disingenuous to portray conservative minorities as equivalent to the fringe elements. Ward Connelly is no racist, and Rich Tafel is no homophobe. Simply disagreeing with the concept of special rights does not mean they advocate wholesale revocation of basic civil rights, and I think you know better. And you say they are selling out. What personal gain do these people get? They are often ignored or rejected by those who they support, and are crucified by those who embrace identity politics. For some, personal beliefs trump identity, and they usually endure a lot of abuse as a result.
Regarding ChomskyI don't think he is an anti-Semite, just an idiot. He is most assuredly anti-American and anti-Israel, but not necessarily an anti-Semite. However, his shrill ranting has become ever closer to the rantings of the anti-semitic left, so it's a matter of the company he keeps. (If you are going to tie the right to some of our less reasonable ranters, I see no problem with replying in kind).
You misunderstood the purpose of my links to Smash, Pontifex, and PMO. What I was trying to convey is that there are plenty of military types over there who probably don't have a problem with what Bush said. You have to read their blogs on a regular basis to get a feel for what they think about the whole thing. As far as I know, only Smash has actually blogged a response to what Bush said (link), and it's quite supportive of Bush. The point is that the current anti-Bush line is all about compassion for our troops, when most of the people doing the talking don't give a rat's ass about our troops unless they can be used to score points against the Republicans.
There are undoubtedly some military types (and more family members) who were disturbed by Bush's comments. The media seem to go to great lengths to provide "dissenting voices" when it suits them, and this appears to be one of those times. I strongly suspect that if you asked the people over there what they think about the statement, you'd find that a majority agree with the sentiment. In fact, the sooner all the terrorists and Saddamites are rooted out, the sooner our people can go home.
Clinton would likely not get a free pass, you're right. Of course, for someone who "Loathed the military", he was certainly eager to trot us out for every little humanitarian mission that came along (never mind that that type of mission is not what we train for; the skill sets are a bit different). If not for September 11th, it is likely that we would not have had any major deployments at all. (Remember, the Europeans were denouncing Bush's isolationistic impulses prior to the attacks.) The kicker is that I seriously doubt Clinton would ever say anything like that; it offended the Eurocrats (not Europeans in general, just the leftist elites who shape opinion over there), and Clinton placed special emphasis on their opinions when formulating his foreign policy.
posted at 08:51 PM | permalink | Comments (4)
Yesterday's twin Instalanche had an incredible effect on traffic here; I had six weeks worth of traffic in one day. "A thank you" to everyone who participated in the comments threads, even if I don't agree with your conclusions; they're not intended to be just an echo chamber of self-affirmation. And thanks, of course, to Professor Reynolds, for the links.
posted at 04:47 AM | permalink | Comments (1)
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Another view on "Flex Time"
Froma Harrop, syndicated columnist, writes from a left-of-center perspective. Consequently, I frequently disagree with her conclusions. However, in this op-ed column, I have nothing but praise for what she has written.
She is discussing union opposition to the "Family Time Flexibility Act", a Republican-sponsored measure that would allow workers to take overtime compensation as either financial incentives, or as additional time off. She notes (correctly) that many people would gladly work longer hours in order to accrue additional time off. She can't understand why the union leadership is so dead-set against the measure, and chalks it up to them being a bit out of touch with working people. (My words, not hers, but I think my summation is accurate).
posted at 08:14 PM | permalink | Comments (2)
Syrian Forces Withdraw From Beirut Areas
The Lebanese puppet government, whose strings are pulled by Syria, insists that Syrian troops in the country are necessary "until there is comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace". Lebanese Christians and the US want the Syrian troops to leave, since the country is stable now that Israel has left the country.
It's unlikely that the move was made to placate the US, which is upset at appearances of Syrian complicity in aiding the Iraqi government prior to and during the recent offensive.
posted at 07:16 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Monday, July 14, 2003
Palestinian claims debunk Jenin story
Meryl Yourish provides a link to a startling article in the Jerusalem Post, one that (yet again) debunks the "Jenin Massacre" trope. The twist is that this study uses Palestinian figures, claims, and quotes, and arrives at a total figure of 52 dead, 34 of whom were armed combatants.
If you have a weblog, Meryl asks that you post a link to the article; she wants to make sure this story gets maximum coverage. The link is http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/A/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1058153635437.
posted at 08:37 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
NAACP PNG's Three Dems, Bush
In a fit of rage, the head of the NAACP threw down the gauntlet at three Democratic Party candidates who failed to appear at the NAACP candidate forum, as well as President Bush, who has skipped all the rest.
NAACP no-shows highlight growing discontent among black voters is CNN's account of the affair. A highlight is Mfume's rant:
"In essence, you now have become persona non grata," NAACP President Kweisi Mfume said of the Democrats who passed on the event. "Your political capital is the equivalent of confederate dollars."
The three candidates who failed to appear each provided a justification. The interesting one was Dennis Kucinich'she remained in Washington in order to cast votes on pending legislation. Perhaps Kerry and Gephardt can take lessons from him.
The interesting thing is that two of the frontrunners in the campaign (Lieberman and Gephardt) failed to show, and Edwards and Kerry almost skipped it as well. It would have been a tremendous blow to the NAACP if all of the credible candidates, and a majority of ALL of the candidates, had failed to show.
To prove that the NAACP is really out of touch with America, I offer this snippet:
But Stanley Thornton, an NAACP member from Miami, said the Democrats have moved so far to the center that sometimes he can't tell them apart from Republicans. Democratic candidates must distinguish themselves to win black votes, he said.
If he can't tell the difference between the two parties, he is hopeless. The partisan chasm between the two parties is both deep and wide, and is growing every day as the Dems careen further left and the GOP splits in halfleftward on economics and rightward on social issues.
Despite Mfume's thunderous attack on the absent candidates, his followers were apparently not all that concerned about the whole thing.
Although thousands filled the convention hall for Mfume's speech in the morning, the presidential candidates appeared before hundreds of empty seats.
The NAACP is turning into a cult of personality, since the leader of a group got more attention than the candidates for leader of the most influential country on earth.
posted at 07:52 PM | permalink | Comments (3)
InstaPundit points out that bloggers and pundits are jumping ALL over Pat Robertson for his sleazy connections to, and support of, Liberian dictator Charles Taylor. What he leaves out is that all three of the sources are conservatives, ganging up on an idiotarian conservative. I am still waiting for the left to stage a similar scene. Oh, sure, when Cynthia McKinney accused Bush of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks, Joe Lieberman went after her, but for the most part, the left gives their morons a free pass. The whole Trent Lott affair picked up steam after conservative bloggers dogpiled him, and Rick Santorum has been roundly criticised for his statements equating homosexual behavior with incest, bestiality, and polyamory. We've yet to see similar behavior from the left, except for a small group of pro-war liberals such as Meryl Yourish, Charles Johnson, and Laurence Simon, who are truly at home with the term "anti-idiotarian". There's certainly no shortage of big lefty bloggers out there; let's see them go after their idiots with the same vigor that we on the right beat down ours.
posted at 11:38 AM | permalink | Comments (16)
UPDATE 14 July/9:30pmTwo more conservative bloggers who've beat on Robertson: Jim Miller and Stephen Green. (Stephen would probably take umbrage at being lumped in with "conservatives", but since he doesn't know I exist, it'll be our little secret).
Memo to Dems
Stop politicizing the war. Using the war for partisan political gain is such an ugly thing.
Last year, in what appears to be a coordinated campaign, Tom Daschle, Terry McAuliffe, Al Gore, and others in the Democratic party accused the Bush Administration (and Karl Rove in particular) of using the war as a political tool. Of course, now that the red-herring "Uranium from Niger" theme seems to have gained some traction, they are busy using the war (or opposition to the war) in an effort to damage Bush. We don't hear them talking about the issue now.
posted at 11:19 AM | permalink | Comments (28)
Sunday, July 13, 2003
Spoons is back!
After a far-too-lengthy hiatus, Spoons is back in the saddle. Head over to The Spoons Experience and welcome him back.
posted at 11:06 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Hell freezes over
Yes, folks, it has happened. I have a cell phone.
I know that I promised I would never own one. I know that I hate them on general principles, and hate them more every time I see some moron driving with the cell phone pressed against his or her ear. Equally annoying is when people use the cell in a grocery store to ask their S/O "what do you want for dinner?" or something equally trivial.
It's not that I am a luddite; after all, I have a state-of-the-art laptop computer, a mp3 jukebox, a minidisc recorder, and other assorted gadgets. I just feel that I don't have a pressing need to be available 24/7. My family knows that the easiest way to contact me is via e-mail, since my land line is tied up by my internet connection.
In any case, due to a convergence of several personal issues, I have succumbed to the lure, and am now the (not-so-proud) owner of a little bitty cell phone, all 3.1 ounces of it. It has a bunch of nifty features that I will never use, and it comes with a 143 page instruction manual that I will never read all the way through. I've figured out the important thingshow to make a call, how to turn it off, and how to change the incredibly annoying ring (it sounds like a bloody calliope on lithium). Anything else is superfluous.
Somehow, I am sure that I will regret this.
posted at 10:08 PM | permalink | Comments (2)
Tonight, at 8:36 pm, a visitor on the East Coast, linking to me from Daily Pundit was my 20000th visitor.
Unlike some sites, I have been careful to exclude myself from the counter (Sitemeter has an "Ignore IP Address" feature which I use religiously), and the actual number of visitors is somewhat higher (one of the IP addresses I block is the one at work, which means that none of my coworkers hits get counted, either. However, I will stick with the documented hits, so the comcast user who visited me is the milestone.
posted at 09:41 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Boston Globe on heroism
Matt Margolis has been reading the Boston Globe, and he doesn't like what he's read. Republicans Can't Be Heroes is the conclusion he draws from an idiotic, mindless piece of claptrap from Scot Lehigh. He also takes two Democratic lawmakers to task for turning a selfless act on Mitt Romney's part into a partisan hatchet job on him, and points out that not all the Dems are pond scum.
posted at 03:56 PM | permalink | Comments (0)
Fun with Lefty Activists
Want to spin up a PETA activist?
Ask them why it is wrong to eat eggs. Then ask them why the same logic does not apply to abortion.
I've not heard of any PETA activists who are pro-life, although I imagine there might be one or two. Most of them are stridently left-wing, however, and don't see any contradiction between being pro-choice on abortion and being anti-choice on dietary issues.
(FWIW, I am [weakly] pro-choice, so please do not submit a screed to the comments on the subject. I just cannot stand the hypocrisy and sanctimony of the extreme left on this topic.)
posted at 03:49 PM | permalink | Comments (2)
ZogbyBlog off Blogspot
Kamil Zogby's ZogbyBlog has moved to a domain of its own, and switched to Movable Type. Check it out.
Even better yet, he's using inline comments.
posted at 10:02 AM | permalink | Comments (0)