Friday, June 4, 2004

C'mon, Andrew

Andrew Sullivan, normally a blogger with whom I agree, is pushing WAY too hard on this one:

Here's a revealing sentence from National Review's profile of Roger Simon, ex-lefty blogger: "[When] it comes to social policy, he continues to lean hard to the left. 'I'm very liberal on social issues: pro-gay marriage, pro-choice, separation of church and state,' he says. 'I think racism and sexism are the greatest evils in the world.'" So allowing women to choose to seek an abortion is now a "hard left" position? And encouraging gay couples to have stable relationships is "hard left"? And being deeply concerned about racism and sexism is "hard left"? I won't even touch "separation of church and state."

Simon's own words belie Sullivan's protests. "Very liberal" is equivalent to "hard left", just as "very conservative" is equivalent to "hard right". Sure, there is a value judgement applied, but it's not as bad as Sullivan makes it appear.

Besides, Sullivan is a bit disingenuous with the way he frames the issues: "Encouraging gay couples to have stable relationships" is NOT the same as his vociferous support of gay marriage, and it is Simon himself, not NR, who characterizes opposition to racism and sexism as liberal. IN no way does NR endorse racism or sexism. Sullivan should know better; this is a tactic worthy of intellectual lightweights like Robert Scheer.

FWIW, I agree with both of them on the issues they raise, although my support of abortion is likely far less vigorous than either of theirs, and I don't have the visceral opposition to expressions of faith that many liberals and gays possess. I don't like it when it starts determining policy, but I don't want a government full of secular humanists any more than I want a government of fundamentalist Christians.

UPDATE—No, I had not read The Corner before composing this entry. Apparently I was not the only one to note that Sullivan is off the mark.

posted at 10:10 PM | permalink | Comments (2)

Sullivan is losing the war over gay marriage, and he knows it. Since he can't argue the case on its merits, he's now trying to conflate resistance to it with all sorts of straw men.

And there was a time I thought he was an honest man.

posted by Francis W. Porretto on June 5, 2004 02:49 AM

Nice post.

posted by //j on June 5, 2004 10:46 AM

Wednesday, June 2, 2004


Read Stephen Green's tales of woe as he dealt with Green Point Mortgage.

posted at 12:59 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Raines continues disinformation

Howell Raines has been deposed from his perch atop the New York Times masthead, but he's still peddling his rhetoric. This column, from the Guardian, contains several lies and distortions, along with the usual helping of anti-Republican sneering one would expect from either Raines or the Wanker.

White House strategists are betting that leaving Iraq in 30 days - no matter what chaos ensues in that country - will leave them time to revise history between now and election day and, more importantly, get on with the work of destroying Kerry's image.

The first portion of the sentence is factually incorrect. Tranferring sovreignty does not constitute "leaving Iraq". There are no plans to pull our troops out at the end of the month. Raines either does not understand that the transfer of sovreignty does not entail a withdrawal of our forces, or does not care that he is distorting the facts.

As America's first war-hero candidate since John F Kennedy, he ought to be leading the national discussion on what went wrong in Iraq.

Raines conveniently leaves out (Republican) war hero George H. W. Bush, who remains the youngest person to ever be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (he was 20), and three Air Medals for his service in World War II, and (Republican) war hero Bob Dole, whose Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts form his World War II service don't compensate for the loss of the use of his right arm from the injuries he received while saving the radioman's life. As to Iraq, Kerry cannot lead the discussion until he figures out his own position on the war. Every week he has a new position, and it's hard to lead a dialogue when one does not have a clear position from which to debate.

The difference between him and Bush is that Kerry represents the liberal, charitable wing of the Privilege party and George W represents the conservative, greedy wing of the Privilege party.

Here Raines lapses into the jargon for which he developed his reputation at the New York Times. The simplistic shorthand that conservatives are greedy (presumably because they feel that they should not be taxed into the poorhouse by the government) was his preferred favorite theme while he was running the editorial pages, and it remained one of his favorites while he was running the paper.

There's hardly an American who does not know that George W got into the Air National Guard when others couldn't through his father's political pull, that he got into flight school ahead of others due to his father's political pull, that he was allowed to skip his normal weekend drills and make them up without being punished because of his father's political pull.

Let's see: Bush's father was just beginning his second term in congress when Bush joined the Air National Guard. Not a lot of pull there, but I'll go with it. However, the last statement is a lie, and I am quite sure that Raines knows it, as ANYONE can request to miss scheduled drill dates and make them up at a later time, regardless of their family's political influence (or lack thereof). At least he is not accusing Bush of not making up the time—a popular, thoroughly debunked meme that is an article of faith among many Democrats.

As Al From of the Democratic Leadership Council noted, Americans aren't antagonistic toward the rules that protect the rich because they think that in the great crap-shoot of economic life in America, they might wind up rich themselves. It's a mass delusion, of course, but one that has worked ever since Ronald Reagan got Republicans to start flaunting their wealth instead of apologising for it.

First off, a quick look at the Forbes 400 (the annual listing of the 400 wealthiest Americans), shows that a significant portion of them were self-made. Even this highly critical report, bassed on a press release from the left-wing United for a Fair Economy, admits that almost a third of the list started from scratch, with no inheritance or large family business to build upon. It's no delusion that one can become wealthy without starting out with anything, as almost any sports star will attest.

Secondly, Raines actually believes that the rich should apologize for being wealthy? WTF? Only in the world of the guilty white southern boy is it something for which to apologize. And the people who are most liikely to "flaunt" wealth are the nouveau riche of whom Raines denies the existence, not those who have grown up wealthy.

There is a whole lot of other drivel in the article, but those four excepts are the most egregious (and easily rebutted) portions of the article. It's not surprising that Raines found an outlet for his writing in the Guardian; they are a match made in Hell, distinguishable only by their accents.

(Link courtesy of Instapundit.)

posted at 12:17 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Idiocy—It's not just for leftists anymore

Earlier this week, we had a prime example of idiocy from the left end of the political spectrum, in the form of Reggie Rivers. (Go here for a nice summation of Mr. Rivers; this is also a nice summation. Both are chock full of links to irritated milbloggers who had something to say.)

Now, it's another week, and another idiot speaks. However, this time it's from conservative Robert Novak, whose continuing opposition to the Iraq war appears to be seeping into his coverage of events elsewhere. This column slurs the 25th Infantry Division, currently in Afghanistan. Says Novak:

Those arms are not what they seem. The basic U.S. strength in Afghanistan is 17,000 troops of ''straight-legged'' infantry -- conventional forces ill-prepared to handle irregulars. The new unit assigned to Afghanistan is the 25th Infantry Division, which has been stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and has not seen combat since the Vietnam War.

That's offensive to anyone in the military, but especially to Sgt. Hook. You see, the sargeant is in Afghanistan, since he is attached to the 25th Infantry Division. He takes strong exception to what Novak has to say about his unit, and also with Novak's characterizations of the people leading it. Go read what Hook has to say about all this, and remember that idiots come in all political guises.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers. Also, for some reason, comments were off for this post. I have rectified that error.

posted at 01:32 PM | permalink | Comments (7)

Robert Novak is another useful idiot. Perhaps I meant useless idiot. He can't seem to get it through his head that we are fighting a war for our way of life.

posted by EddieP on June 3, 2004 12:05 PM

We're fighting a war for our way of life? Why, then, are we fighting it so incompetently? Why have we let most of Afghanistan slip back into Taliban control? Why did we send so few troops to Iraq that we've had to surrender Fallujah back to the Baathists? Why can't we stop nuclear materials from being smuggling out of Iraq? Why aren't we spending the money to guard U.S. ports, nuclear facilities, trains, etc? Why we are cutting taxes on the wealthy by trillions of dollars while not fully funding border control, hospital emergency responses, etc?

A war for our way of life, huh? If you really believe that, you'll vote that clown Bush out of office in November.

posted by Michael on June 3, 2004 02:03 PM

Our freedom, security and way of life have nothing, absolutely nothing to do with Iraq.

Let's start from the beginning for the intellectually impaired:

9/11 = Osama bin Laden & al Qaeda

Iraq = Saddam Huessin

No connection, never was before Bush's war. And for christ sakes, stop with the "Iraq is the center of the war on terrorism"

posted by Richard Allen on June 3, 2004 02:21 PM

Don't you all let me interrupt if you want to start yet another thread rehashing the usual debating points about the war on terror and whether Iraq is properly a part of it. However...

Granted that Novak's line about how the 25th Infantry "hasn't seen combat since Vietnam" was ill chosen, for several reasons. Is he on to something with his criticism of the unit's readiness for operations in Afghanistan?

Sgt. Hook thinks not, pointing to the training he and his comrades have received. OK, what about equipment? Civil affairs support (e.g. translators)? Leadership?

I'm asking because the fact of the matter is that the Army is really getting stretched pretty thin with protracted twin deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and smaller deployments in the Balkans and Haiti, in addition to normal peacetime operations. As one commentator (I think it was Cordesman) wrote recently, the Army is a force designed to run sprints and now required to run a marathon. Most of the units deployed into combat zones thus far seem to have been pretty well prepared, for combat anyway. There have been a few, though, that haven't been well prepared or led. I'm not prepared at this time to just assume readiness, and like other readers would welcome some comments from anyone who actually knows something about this.

posted by Zathras on June 3, 2004 02:52 PM

Having served in two of these four divisions I will mention, I feel like I should set the record straight for anyone who may not know one military unit to the next. But from now on if you hear one of these units mentioned on television or in print, hopefully you will remember what some random internet poster had to say regarding them.

In no particular order:

82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell Kentucky

25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York

These four Army Divisions in this humble poster's opinion, are the largest rapidly deployable combat ready units in the modern world. They train year round and cycle through different levels of readyness in case the need for them to mobilize presents itself. For some columnist to suggest that one of these units isn't ready simply because they haven't been called upon recently is pure insanity. There aren't more highly trained, highly motivated troops anywhere on earth.


posted by Michael Breslin on June 3, 2004 09:52 PM

A previous comment has this piece of wisdom:

9/11 = Osama bin Laden & al Qaeda

Iraq = Saddam Huessin

This is a fairly feeble assesment especially by one who claims to be teaching the "intelectually impaired".

9/11 was not about one person.
It was about a region being out of control. They have failed to control themselves and thus it has become nessesary for others to go into the region and control them.

The war against terror is not about capturing one person. It about pacifying a whole region that forments the idea that it is acceptable to crash pasenger planes into offices.

I was born in Nairobi where those F*&^* bombed the U.S embassy killing almost 300 people.

In my view, the whole F*&&^ region needs to be brought to heel like the dogs that they are.

Any region on Earth that fosters murderous activity on a global scale needs to get a bone-crushing smackdown.

posted by bleedingbrain on June 4, 2004 10:00 AM



Because everthing on a battle field cannot be done in a neat and orderly military fashion.

Because war is an ongoing series of disasters engineered by one side or the other to cause trouble for the opposition.

Because there has never been a war in which a given side did every thing right. Winning is not about making no mistakes. It is about correcting errors before they destroy a unit.

The #1 test of your pessimism ought to be: what happened to the Sadr Army? Why?

#2 Do the people of Fallujah wish to be ruled by the insurgent militia or the new Iraqi government? Why?

#3 Is misbehavior of American troops being investigated and punished? How about the insurgents? Do they punish the misbehavior of their troops?

posted by M. Simon on June 4, 2004 02:41 PM

Sunday, May 30, 2004

What she said

Juliette has it exactly right. I'm tired of the sneering condescension doled out by the elitist twits who think that I can't understand the underlying reasons for the oath that I took when I enlisted (and reenlisted twice more). I'd put my IQ up against theirs any day, and I seriously think I'd come out on top. I don't appreciate having them make speeches (ostensibly on my behalf) with which I wholeheartedly disagree. Further, the equation of military service to slavery is so thoroughly indefensible and repulsive that words fail me.

UPDATE: Brad R. Torgeson of Pool of Thought has the definitive exchange of e-mails with Mr. Rivers in reference to the column. To his credit, Rivers remains civil throughout the exchange, but is unwilling to change his view that volunteer soldiers are treated as slaves.

posted at 12:54 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

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