Saturday, October 22, 2005

More on Harriet Miers:
(With Kevin Tierney)

What you are reading is yet another revisiting of the Miers subject on this humble weblog.{1} Kevin's words will be in black font.

More Miers Bombshells

The Miers Support Team: Gloomy and Demoralized (Byron York)

According to Byron York, the chief supporters of the Miers nomination are now recomending she stop meeting with Senators, because things have gone so bad. The questionairre she filled out is being almost universally rejected by the Judiciary Committee, Republican and Democrat alike as inconclusive, evasive, and even insulting. This nomination looks more and more gloom by the day. The fact they've again changed gears now emphasizing Miers is "unflappable" in her convictions (despite going from Catholic to Protestant, Democrat to Republican, and a host of other flip flops she's done in her life) proves their latest drive on her "qualifications" has fallen on deaf ears.

That is a brutal piece Kevin. I concur with your assessment above.

The Vulnerable Nominee (Robert Novak)

According to Robert Novak, despite no official opposition to Miers from Senators yet, many are heartsick over this issue.

If anyone is in a position to know, it is Robert Novak. He is certainly one with a Republican bias but he never pulls his punches which is something I have always liked about him.

Some probably understand that vote for Miers and their base gets enraged. Vote against Miers and Bush is enraged.

Then piss Bush off. It is simple math really:

--One third of the senators are up for re-election in 2006 and the Miers issue is huge with the base.

--Bush cannot be re-elected again and is guaranteed to be president two more years barring some extraordinary circumstance.

If the senators kowtow to Bush, they will put their re-election in peril since Bush is not exactly Mr. Popular at the moment. But if they kowtow to their constituency (not something I normally like to see but every rule has its exceptions), they make that much more certain their re-election and send a serious message to Bush to stop jerking the base around.

It seems Novak is hinting at what I've said all along, this nomination has placed the president's remainder of his term on potential life support. Bush cannot weather attacks from the Left without his base standing behind him. If this continues, I predict a critical point will be reached. Yet of course it need not be this way, if Bush swallowed his pride and withdrew the nomination, I'm willing to wager the majority of his current opponents would tell their minions to accept the surrender once Bush nominates an acceptable replacement.

The question is, would Bush actually do that though. I am inclined to think that this is an example of where his normal bullheadedness (which is a good political trait to have) will come back to bite him. One should certainly stand up for principles at the expense of popularity if necessary. However, there are some fights not worth fighting and for him this is one of them.

It could be very possible this nominee won't even make it out of the committee, I am readily starting to think that now. All that is needed is a straight party line Dem vote on the 10-8 group, and one Republican joining them. Both Specter and Brownback could very easily join them to deadlock the nominee. If Brownback does, others will as well and this nomination will be DOA before it even reaches the Senate floor.

Prediction: Spector will not support this nominee.

Bush should avoid this embarassment. If his nominee can't even make it to the floor, his presidency suffers an irrepairable embarassment. That's now a very strong reality.

As my late father used to say "either crap or get off the pot." That is what the senators need to do here.

I am not so sure his presidency suffers irreparable damage over this. There are two possible outs for him actually: (i) nominate a solid originalist like Brown and let his base fight for him and (ii) scrap his stupid illegal amnesty program and come out in favour of tougher border security and deportation of illegal immigrants. If he were to make the next appointment to the court (I am sure there will be three made by him) a male Hispanic, that would be the trifecta. He needs at least two out of these three to make the Miers debacle forgettable...and if nothing else it is the first two which he should focus on. In the words of that great western philosopher Meatloaf: "two outta three ain't bad!!!"

Check out these blows!

Defending The Indefensible (George Will)

That might've been one of the most blunt critques of Miers I've seen yet. According to the Washington Post, the White house is secretly asking about contigency plans, but when asked, snapped about about "wild conspiracy theories being everywhere." Had one just given a simple denial you'd be likely to believe with them, but to get a lil worked up doesn't help credibility.

Will's critique is even more stinging than those from York and Novak. Nonetheless, I for one cannot see anything to dispute in what Will has to say. Those who have been waiting for the Bush Administration to really put their foot in it have gotten what they want. This is hardly irreversible but I am left wondering if Bush is perhaps too bullheaded to do what he needs to do to fix things with the base.

I have noted in the past that Bush prefers poker strategery to chess strategery. However, each has its time and place and when it comes to the Supreme Court, you do not want to use poker strategery and try and dare people to call your bluff as Bush is doing with Miers.{2}

To use a poker metaphor, Bush sought to bluff on this nomination and his bluff was called. He does not have the cards and would be wise to fold them after "the flop" (which has already happened) rather than continue to "the turn" (the hearings themselves) and then to "the river" (the confirmation vote itself) if you will. He still has a couple of ways out of this but I am more and more skeptical that he will take them. In the end, Miers may have to withdraw (or be persuaded to) in order for the president to recover from this since he appears unlikely to withdraw the nomination himself.

However, good the two cards you were "dealt" looked Mr. President, "the flop" (i.e. the reaction from the base) has been a disaster for you and has only gotten worse in recent weeks. It does not take a "poker genius" to see what will inexorably happen if you insist on continuing to "bet" on this "hand."

Notes:

{1} Here they are yet again:

On the Selection of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court (circa October 4, 2005)

More on the Miers Appointment (circa October 7, 2005)

On the Harriet Miers Nomination (circa October 8, 2005)

On Why the Miers Pick is Strategically Flawed (via Southern Appeal circa October 9, 2005)

On the Miers Nomination and Activist Conservative Agendas --Dialogue with Kevin Tierney (circa October 10, 2005)

{2} This is particularly the case when you give every indication in your "recent hands" (i.e. properly handling the "no WMD's" er...bovine secretions among various pro-Al Queda "anti war" canards in late 2004-early 2005, his approach to Hurricane Katrina, the handling of the leftist prevarications about supposed "genocide" following Katrina, etc.) that you are folding on good hands and bluffing on bad ones.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Another Flawed Argument From Pseudo "Peacemakers" Bites the Dust:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

This post was written about five days ago on a lunchbreak but there was uncertainty as to whether it would be posted or not. However, since this is your weblog host's birthday, hopefully this bit of an indulgence will be granted to him by the readers at little to no cost. Other than a couple of segues (and an introduction) and the changing of first person references to third person ones, the text remains the same as the one privately circulated. But without further ado, let Us get to it...

To show just how prescient your host actually is --and how utterly predictable certain critics often are-- the following was written in response to a thread your host had not actually read. Originally circulated on a private thread (and the content of the thread later confirmed by those on the email circular), let this serve as an example of why it is a waste of time to interact with most critics. We are interested in ideas here at Rerum Novarum not mindless babbling by those who are not interested in actual dialogue and prove this continually by their words as well as their actions.

First of all, the title of the thread to be responded to here had the word "chickenhawk" in it which is a codeword which tipped me off immediately as to what the subject would be about. Ironically, it was written by someone who has displayed the most brazen of cowardice over the months in refusing to be accountable for their own words. This has been demonstrated in detail and from the critic's own words more times at this weblog than your host cares to reiterate at this time. Suffice to say, proof of this individual's cowardice was most recently manifested in their refusal to answer some very basic questions in defense of their previous statements. Your host admits to having been unable to keep things to a soundbyte format in that thread; however, the specific questions themselves were separated from the expository text in bold font. Until the critic in question actually stops being a coward and undertakes a response to those questions, there is no reason to take them seriously. Certainly in this thread, the present writer will not do so but since the critic in question raised a common (and pathetic) objection by partisans of their particular war weltanschauung, it is for that reason that We will demonstrate the fallacies in this kind of argumentation.

This whole situation began as We knew it would with the person in question making the argument that your host knew they were making: essentially the old "if you support the Iraq war, why have you not enlisted by now"??? chestnut. By doing this, they were being both inconsistent as well as hypocritical themselves. For in defending themselves against the notion that they are daisy chain-wearing pacifists, some of them have asserted that they supported a military intervention in Bosnia in the 1990's under the rubric of "preventing ethnic cleansing." Correct Us if We are wrong but We highly doubt (to put it mildly) that the critic in question and the lions share of their allies were rushing to enlist at that time.

Furthermore, there is the issue of what would happen if everyone who supported the war went to enlist. To start with, the economy would go in the toilet faster than you could say "most pseudo-'peacemakers' are red diaper doper babies." In fact, we probably would not have an economy since a large proportion of those who support the war are those of the more technically skilled jobs, computer technicians, engineers, business owners, enterpreneurs, etc. Meanwhile, most of those who bitch about these things either are unemployed or contribute nothing to the economy except being a worker.{1} But then again, marxists love indescriminately tearing down existing structures to begin anew so maybe that is the modus opperandi of the critic in question and most of their allies.

There is also the fact that not everyone has the physical tools to be a soldier. In the case of your host, there are particular afflictions which have either impeded his mobility in a military context or his eyesight which to some extent affects vision for things such as precision shooting. He is okay on the rifle range but rather hit and miss with accuracy. This is fine in civilian situations but certainly not up to the qualifications of a professional soldier. As for the rest, there are also these factors to consider -taken from an email sent to someone on a discussion list regarding knee injuries:

I hyperextended my right knee very badly in late 1997...was shoveling snow next to a vehicle and my foot slid under it partway. I am sure it did not help that I weighed about 230 at the time...the knee was subsequently hyperextended several more times in later years along with the left knee a time or two. In mid 1999, I was lifting a bunch of carpet from the floor of my grandmother's home and tore cartilege on the side of the right knee. As a result of the two traumas (I never had surgery for them), my right knee bothers me a lot at times...particularly when my water consumption falls below a gallon a day for more than a few days at a time. (I then am in the position of playing "catch-up" and have to drink even more to compensate.) I mention this because water is wonderful for the joints...when my consumption is where it should be (which is most of the time), there is only (at most) minor aches and pains but when it is not, the knees creak and crack particularly the right one...

If your son's knee problem is anything like mine, it can (but not always) be aggravated by jolting movements like running. It is also likely aggravated by cycling or any kind of repetitive motion where there is knee trauma but it would not be affected by lifting things. (Hard to explain but I can lift a lot of weight and it does not bother my knees.) He may also have a situation known as chondomalasia of the patella where he has a lump of cartilege under his kneecaps which creates pain when he move the knee. I had that problem as a teenager as did my friend the sports medicine guy when we were training partners eons ago in junior high and high school.[...] Fortunately that is something your son could grow out of as we did if that is what he actually has. But either way, the body is 75% water so providing joint lubrication via drinking water in reasonable amounts can only help. (Oh and limiting caffeine beverages in his case too.) [Excerpts from an Email Correspondence (circa September 20, 2005)]

In early 2002, a friend of your host's who is in sports medicine examined both knees and concluded that your host has a stretched ACL in his right knee. That explains why at times if the right foot gets stuck even for a moment in a pothole or some other surface indentation (if outside for example) that it can hyperextend a bit whereas with the left foot this rarely happens.

Now, lest this be misunderstood, your host is by no means lame in his knees. Indeed, in his last leg workout, he handled 300 pounds in the squat for ten reps to failure. It also bears noting that this was done immediately after a set of leg extensions to failure with 240 pounds. There was in other words, no rest inbetween the two except as long as it took to walk to the squatrack, unrack the weight, and go which was about seven seconds.{2} Your host can also walk carrying heavy things without any problems whatsoever. The problem is not one of functional knee strength but instead of having a significantly stretched ACL in the knees particularly the right one. Because of this, one wrong step into a pothole when on a patrol and the right knee would with the greatest likelihood be hyperextended (and possibly the left one if misstepping with that leg: not as certain as with the right knee). And if running with a pack on in the war zone and that happened, with the greatest of likelihood there would be incapacitation and thus your host would be a sitting duck. But that is neither here nor there, the argument itself is fallacious and shows what happens with those who involve themselves in toking cannabis regularly rather than bothering to utilize a very elementary exercise of the thinking mechanism to avoid such irrational arguments. But this goes beyond the actual example noted above in the case of your host.

For those who make such arguments as the sorts of people who have recourse to the "chickenhawk" schtick inexorably spring a logical trap unless it can be shown that they have enlisted whenever they have supported military intervention at any time.{3} And as not a few of them favoured military intervention in Bosnia in the 1990's, you can judge them by their failure to enlist at that time to see how hypocritical they really are by making military enlistment a requirement for anyone who has supported the present military involvement in Iraq.

The bottom line is, those who are in the military enlisted with an awareness of the risks involved. They were not forced to enlist via the draft so this whole argument is absurd.{4} And further still, to Our knowledge, most of those who have served in Afghanistan or Iraq are (and were) supportive of those interventions!!! Ergo, We fail to see what these kinds of arguments serve except as crutches for moonbats who are incapable (or unwilling) to exercise their gray matter a bit and make actual substantive arguments. But then, these guys are (as a rule) professional dodgers it seems: dodging the draft back in the Vietnam days (if they were alive and of age) and dodging rational argumentation ever since. Finally, there is one more argument that undermines the argument that all supporters of wars should enlist and it is this:

If everyone in support of the war went to Iraq, other than the serious overcrowding that would be involved among the other things already noted, there would also be a surrendering of the homefront to every kind of seditious specimen imaginable!!!

If Vietnam taught us anything, military superiority is not adequate by itself, there must be moral fortitude on the homefront as well. And if all that was left in America were either those agnostic on the war situation or in varying degrees opposed to it, the ultimate result would be our defeat if we were not out to completely wipe the country off the map. (And of course we would not seek to do that at all.)

In summary, the argument that those who support a war are hypocrites if they do not enlist militarily has more holes in it than Swiss Cheese. And those who make this argument are irrational for making it for reasons noted above.{5} But there are many ways to support a war effort -one of which is to keep the homefront adequately secure from those who would undermine the war effort from within in true termite-like fashion. And whether such people do these things because of an illogical solipsistic situation, because they are marxists posing under the mask of being "peacemakers", or whatever else: such people are what the Framers meant when they referred to enemies "both foreign and domestic." And leaving such people unopposed on the homefront would be both suicidal for the nation as well as monumentally stupid. That is another reason why there needs to be on the homefront in a war people willing (as well as able) to combat such people and their propaganda.

Notes:

{1} This is a role which is not to be disparaged of course. Nonetheless, in truth it is easier to fill this position than that of the enterpreneur who creates jobs for others, etc.

{2} This is significantly less than what your host used to be able to do but he is optimistic that in 2006 the clock can be turned back to what was achieved in late 1995.

{3} Obviously this would not apply to those who made these arguments who were in the military already or who have served: those people avoid the charges of blatant inconsistency and hypocrisy in making such arguments and only have to deal with the fact that the argument itself is a weak one.

{4} If they were forced to enlist, then the "why do you not enlist" argument would have some legs to it.

{5} They are also hypocrites if they have not enlisted themselves for military operations which they have claimed to support for various reasons (i.e "ethnic cleansing", etc.).

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"JunkYard BLOG" Dept.
(A Rerum Novarum Twenty-One Part Salute)

The JunkYard BLOG long form commentary threads on this weblog have become more infrequent and longer in the past eight months. In light of this circumstance, it seems prudent to the present writer to focus on returning this feature to the monthly (or bimonthly) regularity that it had for approximately the first year of this weblog's existence. How many installments each one would have with that frequent a posting depends on what time your host will have for putting such threads together. Nonetheless, that will not stop this update thread from being a rather lengthy one of course ;-) Indeed, the thread you have before you is the one spoken of earlier and without further ado, let Us get to it now starting with the Koran/Gitmo subject...

THE SPECTACLE

of watching Pentagon brass and a big-shot spokesman conduct a press conference over the finer points of how to handle the Koran is really too much. Just too much.

But that's what just happened. I caught it on Fox.

There was General Jay Hood or something like that along with that Pentagon guy that looks like he might have been an extra on Perfect Strangers, taking serious questions from the press corp about who did and didn't do what to the Koran at Gitmo. Like. It. Matters. There was the press asking those serious questions in serious tones, as though it ought to matter whether or not a US military guard ever did anything to offend a terrorist in a cage. Who was caught on a battlefield in either Afghanistan or Iraq. Shooting at our troops. When he wasn't planning to kill our civilians. Or capture contractors and behead them. Violating the laws of war and the standards of basic humanity at every turn of the sod's miserable waste of a life.

We get accused of mishandling a book. They actually cut people's heads off while they scream. Pardon me if I can't get worked up much about the former, m'kay?

Well stated Bryan!!! The idiocies of people who appear more concerned about US soldiers mishandling the Koran or detaining children{1} than with Islamofascists who murder children and cut the heads off of people{2} is inexcusable. For Our part, it is a mystery to Us how such people can sleep at night with a clear conscience but that is a subject for another time perhaps.

As far as the approach being taken towards these prisoners, the present writer is reminded of an audio post he recorded last July on the problems with humanizing formal enemies and unfortunately the United States Military is doing just that (much as the MSM has been). This problem was later discussed in a bit more detail (and a slightly broader scope) by Us in a two part thread of audiomusings from September of 2004. It suffices at the moment to note that in those treatments, your host was highly critical (and with good reason) about the very same kind of coverage we are seeing with this entire Koran/Gitmo situation: it does not bode well for our overall success in the war on terror and that is the bottom line.

The general said something about being extry crispy careful to tread lightly around the religious sensitivities of caged nutcases. The press asked a snarky follow-up. Ad nauseum from now until the war ends.

We are freaking nuts. We are going around and around about this Newsweek story that was based on hearsay generated in all likelihood by some terrorist because his training manuals command him to generate controversy about the military. That Newsweek story should never have seen the light of day because it was nothing but hot air. They had no facts. They had nothin'. That story didn't meet the basic standards for the homeroom newsletter at Paducah Junior High. Yet our entire nation and indeed the entire dumb world has been wrapped around it for weeks.

But Newsweek reported it anyway, and hilarity--if you think deadly riots involving millions of people are hilarious--ensued. And the press keeps circling around this story, as if it was based on any facts. And now we fly in the commanding general all the way from Gitmo to treat the press as if the story would matter even if it were true, never mind it was based on nothing. And to treat the press as if it wasn't populated by well-paid know-nothings who have apparently never set one toe into the real world. Never mind that the injured feelings of terrorists shouldn't matter more than the lives of innocent civilians, but apparently those feelings do matter a great hairy deal.

Sigh. My outrage meter broke sometime last October and I've never gotten around to put it in the shop. Now I don't think I'll bother. I'd just break it again...[Continued...]

None of this is surprising when you consider the depths to which the journalism profession has sunk. As this writer noted recently in some musings on the Deep Throat situation:

The depravity to which the journalistic profession has fallen since the days of Watergate can be to some extent pinned on Woodward and Bernstein...not as much them personally as what they ushered in in the aftermath of the Nixon resignation. [...] The journalistic profession has become one where you "make it" by finding someone whose reputation you can destroy. Ethics are often not a factor, indeed morals and ethics often get the screw from journalists who are trying to "make it" and then (for those who "make it") the same tactics are utilized to try and stay "on top." The same is the case with the legal profession and the political profession: oftentimes those who "make it" do so by screwing other people. So the parallel to prostitution is an apt one. The only difference of course is that prostitutes are somewhat honest about it. But enough on that subject for now.

...Woodward and Bernstein by their approach to "Deep Throat" ushered in a new era of journalism which is rotten to the core. It is comprised of people who seek to create news and who are interested in spinning the facts to advance an agenda rather than report on what is happening and letting the readers draw their own conclusions. The ethics in this field are abysmal and a strong reason why the MSM is slowly becoming more and more irrelevant in this new age of alternative media is because they are no longer a monopoly. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa June 1, 2005)]

That encapsulates the problem in a nutshell. As for the rest of the article, it is worth reading too -particularly what Bryan notes about the ACLU and their handling of the Gitmo situation as well as the Mexican border situation with the Minutemen. Bryan is right, the ACLU should be tried for treason if not for sedition. But enough on that subject as there is a lot left to to cover.


GEORGE GALLOWAY, SADDAMITE SYMP--AND LIAR?

Clinton Watson Taylor distills the evidence pointing to the possibility that British MP George Galloway lied under oath before the US Senate.

So when Mr. Galloway told Senator Coleman that Zureikat...

"donated money to our campaign, which we publicly brandished on all of our literature, along with the other donors to the campaign."

...Mr. Galloway was not telling the truth, at least about his website. This was no mere oversight, because on April 2, 2001, the Mariam Appeal site already had "emblazoned" Mr. Zureikat's involvement as a representative, but not as a donor. A visitor to the site would infer that Zureikat was actually a beneficiary of the Miriam Appeal's books and donations, rather than a £375,000 donor.

Actually, Mr. Zureikat was more than just a contact person for Mariam Appeal. And he was more than just a major donor. In "late 2000 or early 2001," according to Mr. Galloway's testimony, Mr. Zureikat became Mariam Appeal's chairman. Funny, isn't it, how that doesn't show up on the site?

Zureikat is neck-deep in Oil-For-Food shenanigans. His relationship to Galloway, disguised on Galloway's old website and now apparently distorted by Galloway in his testimony before the Senate, may link Britian's most blustery Saddam supporter to the massive UN scandal as well. [LINK]

As one who tends to be naturally suspicious of those whom the MSM lauds, this revelation is not surprising to your host. And if it is true, it points out yet another vocal opponent of the military intervention in Iraq who posed as all morally righteous while (in reality) they were out to protect their own selfish interests. From one example of hypocrisy to another, we get the following gem...

MINUTEMAN APPEARANCE: PROTESTORS TURN VIOLENT

From the LA Times:

The demonstrators had gathered at the Women's Civic Club of Garden Grove on Chapman Avenue about 7:30 p.m. to protest an appearance by James Gilchrist, charging that he and his group were racist.

Gilchrist has denied those claims and insists the group is stopping only illegal immigration. His talk was sponsored by Citizens for Action Now, an anti-illegal immigration group.

The motorist had attended Gilchrist's speech and was leaving when protesters began hitting his van with placards and other objects, said Garden Grove Police Lt. David Kivler. The driver, who was not identified but spoke to a KCAL-TV Channel 9 reporter, said he gunned his car engine to get away from the crowd. The man was arrested.

Authorities said the incident occurred when 100 listeners attempted to leave through the crowd of demonstrators. Kivler said protesters gathered around one of their cars.

"They surrounded it and started beating on it," Kivler said. Then, a second car tried to get through the crowd as well.

"As he was doing so he hit at least three people," Kivler said. All three were transported to a local hospital. None had major injuries, he said.

So apparently these protestors, quick to call anyone who disagrees with their open border stance a "racists," are also quick to try and intimidate and threaten anyone who so much as attends a speech delivered by someone who disagrees with them. That's thuggery. I'm having a hard time blaming the guy in the car here, considering what these mobs are capable of doing. [LINK]

The original link in Bryan's thread was expired and after a bit of perusing the archives, your host found the story. Go HERE for details. As Bryan has a solid trackrecord for citing his sources correctly, your host has no reason whatsoever to doubt him on this matter. But that is neither here nor there.

Remember dear readers, these abusive sorts are the same ones who claim to be "more 'tolerant' than thou." This is why the double standard bears noting: because it shows the blatant hypocrisy of the so-called "progressivists" who claim they are more "tolerant", more "loving", and more "inclusive" than thou. In truth, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus aptly summarized their view in noting that [a]llegiance to the left, however variously defined, was a religion, and dissent was punished by excommunication. And what these so-called "protesters" did was exactly that: seek to utilize a form of "public discourse excommunication" of those who disagree with them from the arena of ideas. So much for their vaunted slogans of "tolerance", "inclusion", and all that other jibberish that they commonly espouse. Aaah but the hypocrisy continues...


DISBAR THE BURGLAR

Sandy Bergler is facing action to disbar him:

WASHINGTON – Sandy Berger, the former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to charges of stealing classified material from the National Archives and lying to federal investigators, now faces an effort to disbar him in the nation's capital.

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates corruption in government, said today it has filed a formal bar complaint against Berger with the Office of Bar Counsel for the District of Columbia Bar.

Berger knowingly took classified documents, smuggled them out of the National Archives and then destroyed them. Disbarment should be the least of his worries. [LINK]

Precisely. For those who are interested, your host mused on this subject last July in an audiopost. For the record, the minimum that Berger deserves is life in prison for this charade. For that reason, disbarmant should be (as Bryan noted) the least of his worries. Your host should point out that if this was a Republican security head sneaking confidential documents out of the National Archives and shredding them, the MSM would be trumpeting this as a "travesty" and probably refer to it as "Trousergate." But because Berger was a Clinton man, he gets a benign mention at best on the matter; ergo continuing the blatant hypocrisy of the supposedly "non-partisan" MSM. But the hypocrisy continues...


SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE?

A rightwing Republican Congressman has introduced a bill in the House demanding respectful treatment of the Bible. Get yer torches and pitchforks, people, and make sure to ring up the press.

But...

Before you do all of that, I need to clarify a couple of details.

The Congressman isn't a rightwing Republican. He's a leftwing Democrat. And it's not the Bible's respectful treatment he is trying to be made law of the land. It's the Koran.

Where did all the pitchforks go? And where's the ACLU to decry this encroachment on the separation of church and state? Hmmm? [Continued...]

This is a common complaint of sorts from people who identify themselves as "conservative" but it is certainly one with plenty of merit to it. For readers who question this assertion, there is certainly no shortage of evidences that could be brought forward to substantiate the proposition that there are countless examples of media double standards. What Bryan notes above is only the latest installment in that long saga...approximately "part mcmlxxxiv" if we put it in Roman numerals.


IF YOU BAN KITCHEN KNIVES...

...pretty soon only criminals will be able to dice an onion. Somebody must have taken an extra dose of stupid pills today to come up with this:

A&E doctors are calling for a ban on long pointed kitchen knives to reduce deaths from stabbing.

A team from West Middlesex University Hospital said violent crime is on the increase - and kitchen knives are used in as many as half of all stabbings.

They argued many assaults are committed impulsively, prompted by alcohol and drugs, and a kitchen knife often makes an all too available weapon.

The research is published in the British Medical Journal.

The researchers said there was no reason for long pointed knives to be publicly available at all.

This nonsense actually has a history, starting unsurprisingly in France... [Continued...]

Once again, rather than focus on people's behaviour and ways of influencing that, the focus is instead on the inanimate object involved in the bad behaviour. The root and matrix of the problem is one of extreme liberalism being a mental disorder -in this case the disorder of solipsism.

If these people actually sought to look at the subject in question logically, they would hopefully realize that weapons bans do not affect the access of criminals to those banned items. The reason should be obvious: criminals do not play by the rules. That is why the crime rate is as a rule higher in places with strict gun control laws and lower as a rule where such restrictions are minimal if existent at all.

Your host predicts that the British -who have the same kinds of problems with knives that we do with guns in America -will discover this the hard way when crimes with these kinds of knives increase rather than decrease with this new policy. One would have thought they would have realized this by taking note of the significant failure of their gun control policies to curb gun-related violence but then again, that would require a normal intact functioning brain capable of utilizing such tools as reason and logic. With extreme liberalism being the mental disorder it is (and not a political philosophy) their failure to recognize this does not surprise Us. Moving on though, there is the subject of Linda Foley...

LINDA FOLEY CAN'T HIDE FOREVER

But she's trying. But a reporter and member of the Newspaper Guild union is trying to flush her out:

Up to now, your efforts at clarification have merely muddied the waters. I declare myself confused, and I'm not happy about it. I want to be clear about where my union's president stands on this issue.

I therefore call upon you to state clearly and unambiguously whether you believe that any branch of the US military or government has adopted a deliberate policy of targeting journalists in war zones. This is a simple question, easily answered. I can see no rational reason for you to hesitate about answering it.

At a time when the public's trust in the integrity of journalism is at a new low, our profession can't afford to encourage the perception that we're economical with the truth. I trust you'll put aside your hesitation and immediately explain yourself publicly, in a way that leaves no further doubt about your views on this matter.

Rtwt. Here's what I think has to happen for Foley to finally come out of the shadows and start talking. Reporters such as Hiawatha Bray, quoted above, need to not only publicly call on Foley to either put up evidence backing her claims or retract those claims and apologize. Members of the unions Foley leads need to start internal action against her. There is usually a process within these organizations to remove high officers for misconduct or other serious breaches of the union members' trust. Some reporter or preferrably groups of reporters should begin the process to remove Linda Foley. These processes usually entail some sort of investigation, and if the CWA and NP processes do, we'll get some answers. And just starting the action may in and of itself force her to come out of the jungle where she's evidently been hiding with those two 80-year-old Japanse soldiers and start talking. [LINK]

The situation with Linda Foley is yet another example of the rot that often seeks to pass itself off as "journalism" these days.{3} It bears recalling Our musings on the subject of "Deep Throat" and the correlative ramifications thereof to understand with greater precision this dynamic. Another thread pertaining to this subject that comes to mind is one We posted back in December on why many bloggers are more reliable than most who consider themselves "journalists" for getting their facts correct.{4} But enough on that subject and onto a bit of humour in this sequence...

"ALLIES, PART V"

For various reasons, your humble servant was derelict in using any of the previous posts in the Allies series in any JYB update threads. They are to be highly recommended for reading though after you read the above thread. The aforementioned thread summarizes well (and in a somewhat humourous fashion) the reality of the evil we are facing and why so many self-styled "peacemakers" are not taken seriously by social commentators such as Bryan Preston and your humble servant at Rerum Novarum.

WELL, THAT'S DISMISSIVE

Instapundit's quick-take on an important new book:

IN THE MAIL: A copy of Ben Shapiro's book, Porn Generation : How Social Liberalism is Corrupting our Future.

While there's no doubt that porn is much more widespread (amusingly, there's a link to the "Paris Hilton collection" on Shapiro's Amazon page), as I've noted before, there's not much support for the idea that more-available porn (or pro-sex material generally) is doing any harm to America's children.

Yeah, that're real amusing--the fusion of the high-class hotel heiress with gutter entertainment is just a laugh riot.

The book in question is Ben Shapiro's Porn Generation : How Social Liberalism is Corrupting our Future, and here's the blurb from its Amazon page:

In Porn Generation you'll learn: · How porn producers see themselves as shaping and taking over Mainstreet U.S.A. · The real face of taxpayer-funded sex education: nine-year-olds learning about condoms; twelve-year-olds being questioned about their "sexual orientation" · The new collegiate do's (accepting "sexile") and don'ts ("dormcest") · How Hollywood and TV have mainstreamed pornography: why porn stars now turn up regularly on television and in glossy ads—and why celebrities imitate porn stars · Mamas, don't let your daughters grow up to be co-eds: why on college campuses—and throughout the porn generation—sexual relationships are as disposable as used condoms Is there any good news? Yes. A lifestyle of playing pimps and hos—even if dressed up in preppie clothing—can only last so long before disease, despair, and depression set in—and many in the porn generation are beginning to wake up to their tragedy. Ben Shapiro closes Porn Generation with a roundtable discussion that brings together the diverse perspectives of columnist and bestselling author Michelle Malkin, Dallas Morning News op-ed editor Rod Dreher, former Princeton chaplain Father C. J. McCloskey III, and columnist and bestselling author David Limbaugh to discuss how bad things have become and what the prospects are for bringing the porn generation back from the brink. Porn Generation is the book that will define this generation—and provide a warning for generations to come.

It seems to me that Shapiro's book should be at least as important to the father of young children--Reynolds is one, I am another--as Buzz Aldrin's new children's book about space travel, to which Reynolds devotes more pixels today. But that's how Reynolds deals with social issues coming from the right generally--mention them only long enough to take a swipe at them, never giving them any amount of serious consideration.

UPDATE: InstaJerk. Note to publishers: Books dealing with morality are evidently over Glenn Reynolds' head. Don't waste your time sending review copies to him. [LINK]

Those who wonder why Rerum Novarum does not link to Instapundit and does not mention them that often{5}, you now have your answer essentially. The subject of pornography is not a simple subject to discuss for many reasons and complex subjects are not well handled in a soundbyte fashion. For that reason, those with blogs{6} which engage in soundbyte approaches are not generally recommended by Us. Moving on from soundbyte journalism to out and out sedition. if not treason there is this bit on the ACLU...

IF YOU FIND THIS SURPRISING, YOU HAVEN'T BEEN PAYING ATTENTION

The western left and radical Islam have the same enemy--namely, you and me, Average American--and thus are making common cause.

That's why the ACLU is busy trying to tear down Gitmo and free the terrorists there.

That's why Amnesty International chirps at North Korea once in a while but regularly and absurdly bellows at America, calling a legitimate war-time prison for 530 illegal combatants "the gulag of our time."

That's why the legacy media, dominated by leftists, trashes the successes in Iraq and plays up the setbacks.

That's why the NY Times goes way out of its way to out the CIA's ability to move terrorists around, making it that much easier for enemies and hostile governments to track the secret sides of the war.

That's why Newsweek ran the flush story, and why they sat on retracting it for so long, and why many in the press continue to defend it--though it's more than clear by now that there was nothing to the story.

Common cause. [LINK]

The present writer has long felt that the ACLU was a seditious organization that should be put out of business. This is not a mere hunch on Our part but instead a realization (after years of observation and research) that every single group that has sought to assert their own pet pseudo-"rights" to the detriment of the common good of society and society's just public order has had the backing of the ACLU in the process!!! We have long noted what constitute actual rights and what are not so constituted -indeed there are about fifty threads or more in the archives of this very weblog discussing these subjects at sundry times and in divers manners. For the sake of providing a few examples, one will be noted from each year this weblog has been in existence; ergo one from 2002, one from 2003, one from 2004, and one from 2005.

Those who are limited in their time to read all the threads provided can focus on the one from 2004 which was posted in the months prior to the election.{7} That suffices to deal with this matter except to note that this writer concurs with Michael Savage's prescription for dealing with the ACLU by trying them under RICO statutes and (if found guilty), shut down the ACLU, liquidate all their assets, and put their leaders in jail. But as there is more to cover, let Us move on...


DEEP THROAT

So...does this mean that the FBI participated in a plot to bring down a president?

HMMM:

Woodward said Felt helped The Post at a time of tense relations between the White House and much of the FBI hierarchy. He said the Watergate break-in came shortly after the death of legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, Felt's mentor, and that Felt and other bureau officials wanted to see an FBI veteran promoted to succeed Hoover.

Felt himself had hopes that he would be the next FBI director, but Nixon instead appointed an administration insider, assistant attorney general L. Patrick Gray, to the post.

Didn't get that coveted promotion, so he backstabbed the boss? [LINK]

This writer already covered that aspect of it in the larger thread of musings on the subject of "Deep Throat" and the correlative ramifications thereof. The long and short of it is that there was an honourable way and a dishonourable way of seeking to achieve the same end result. Mr. Felt chose the dishonourable way for reasons noted in the thread above...some of which Bryan touched on in his post on this subject.

I DON'T BELIEVE FOR A SECOND

that anyone writing on this left-of-center (and verrrry slow-loading, at least on my DSL) group blog really has anything interesting or important to contribute on the subject of WMD anti-proliferation strategies. I just don't think they're serious.

Take a look at the post I linked, for instance. It's an Ed Kilgore post on why Democrats should oppose John Bolton's nomination to become US ambassador to the UN. Kilgore cites as one reason to oppose Bolton that he "has done a dangerously crappy job in his current position as U.S. non-proliferation chief, in protecting Americans from rogue-state development of nukes, and from nuclear terrorism. Blinded as he is by ideology, and distracted as he is by personal ambition, Bolton has blown many opportunities to build a better international system for containing nuclear acquisition efforts by both states and terrorist groups."

But he never, ever mentions the Proliferation Security Initiative. Long-time readers know I've been hitting upon the PSI for a long, long time as one scrap of evidence that counters two major Democrat critiques of the Bush administration's approaches to the world. They say he is a unilateralist; PSI includes 16 of the world's most powerful countries in terms of economics and military (as well as France, well, just because). PSI is probably the most significant new anti-WMD initiative in the past 20 years, and its construction was the work of one John Bolton. So the above slam about Bolton's blown opportunities to build better organizations is just flat-out wrong. But by never mentioning PSI, readers at that blog will never know that there are facts to counter the argument.

The second major Democrat critique of the Bush administration is that it has no strategy for dealing with North Korea's nuclear program. Two answers flow from this critique. First, yes the administration does, and it's called PSI. The organization was specifically constructed to put North Korea in a shipping box to interdict ships suspected of participating in Pyongyang's illicit WMD trade. Criticizing the strategy itself for any reason is legitimate, but to never mention it at all and just hope your readers never find out about it is dishonest...[Continued...]

Bryan Preston of the JunkYard BLOG believes (as those of Us at Rerum Novarum do) that PSI is an important strategic initiative and that the MSM's failure to even mention its existence is shameful. But there is more on PSI to go over...

SPEAKING OF THE ANTI-PROLIFERATION INITIATIVE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME

See Dubya, guest blogging over at Patterico, has a major post full of good information about how the PSI has worked to contain Iran's nuclear program. The gist is that PSI has stopped 11 shipments in the past nine months, including a recent shipment of ballistic missile parts.

See Dubya goes on to describe in detail what PSI is and what it does, subjects covered at this blog--and apparently only this blog--for the past couple of years. Still, go read his post in its entirety and you'll be up to speed on PSI. You'll therefore be up to speed on why I support John Bolton's move to the UN so strongly--he is the architect of PSI, the one and only proven alternative to the Non-Proliferation Treaty that actually does some good. He is also the architect of PSI's sister activitiy, Caspian Guard, which is specifically aimed at halting WMD traffic on the Capsian Sea. Find yourself a map of that body of water and it will be all too clear what CG is all about.

MORE: More background on PSI and Caspian Guard here. [LINK]

This writer is somewhat familiar with the PSI subject. However, he did not know that John Bolton was a major architect of PSI. If that is true, then Our support for his nomination moves from fairly strong to an easy slamdunk.

WHAT?

Patterico says the Commissar has lost it. I have to agree. Regarding the Senate "compromise" that now seems deader than Latin, Commissar calls into question the judgement, the honesty, indeed the patriotism of everyone who doesn't agree with him:

The Main Stream Bloggers have wholly failed us on the filibuster deal. They are a disgrace. Malkin, Kos, Krempasky, Josh Marshall, Captain Ed, Atrios, Hewitt, Kevin Drum, Powerline, and the rest have reduced themselves to narrow, knee-jerk partisan rantings. They predictably stake out a position precisely skewed one standard deviation to the left or right of their respective Official Party Line on every single issue.

They are incapable of original thought. They are unsuccessful 21st Century Turing machines, imitating human imagination, but not quite achieving it.

---

As we, the so-called "United" States of America, confront those issues, do we want our leaders to spend any time on them at all? Or do we prefer they negotiate judgeships 24x7? And, if they DO manage to squeeze in a few minutes to deal with issues of national security, the economy, or the future, do we want them to do that from the narrowest, most partisan, most divisive posture possible?

These questions are fair; and the answers are obvious. Nor are these questiond the exclusive province of Moonbats and squishy-soft liberals. Anyone with an ounce of patriotism, anyone who aspires to the smallest thought-leadership role, any responsible person with any audience whatsoever, should be able to figure out what position to take on this issue.

The filibuster deal is a good thing; it may not be the "salvation of the Republic" as the Senatorial blowhards claimed last night, but it is a positive thing.

That, sir, is nuts.

The compromise left in place a minority's ability to thwart the will both of the President and the Senate majority--to overturn the last two elections, in essence. The compromise left in place a mechanism whereby the perpetually petulant can gum up the judiciary. The compromise empowered the very same political elements who spend much of their time demonizing their countrymen and very little of their time actually thinking about dealing with real threats. The compromise was and is a sad joke.

And I came by that position quite easily. I thought about it. I looked at what the Constitution has to say about confirming presidential appointments. And I looked at what the deal would actually do. I found it unacceptable.

For that, some guy questions my patriotism. I'm sorry, but that's just dumb. [LINK]

Of course since Rerum Novarum is not a mainstream blog, your host dodges this attempt by the Commissar to shoot at all the ducks on the pond in the hopes of trying to hit one or two of them. The subject of the filibustering is not the minor matter that the Commissar thinks it is. This is why your host wrote on this matter last month and outlined not only the lack of Constitutional grounding for this action but also why this so-called "compromise" actually gives the Democrats the right to filibuster anyone they see fit except the three agreed upon nominees. And since those nominees were being appointed to lower court positions, that also (if we want to get technical about it) does not rule out the possibility that the Democrats would filibuster them if they were to be appointed by President Bush to the Supreme Court!!!

Nonetheless, We point you to Our previously written material on this matter (under the heading "The Stupid Party Strikes Back" Dept.) and also to an earlier thread from the Framers Know Best series which dispatches with the attempts of the Democrats to appeal to any kind of Constitutional precedent for this action. We also covered this in an earlier audiopost on filibusters but for the sake of espediency, the latter threads are connected to the "Stupid Party" thread for a convenient "one-stop" surfing for you the reader.


GOOGLING AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Publius Pundit has the formerly well regarded human rights organization dead to rights. And I mean dead to rights--Amnesty International is bashing the United States, a model of human rights and liberty for the world, while nary laying a glove on Castro, one of the world's foremost political prison landlords.

But why is Amnesty selling its credibility for a short-lived cheap shot at the US?

I think Amnesty's turn is a reflection of two things. First and most obvious, knee-jerk left-wing politics nowadays nearly always point the finger of doom at the west and most often at the United States, as though any western country has ever had the abusive human rights record of, say, China or any old Soviet bloc state. Amnesty being a creature of the left, it will likewise villify the west and the US. You will not find, for instance, Amnesty making much of a stink about anything al Qaeda does or announces it will do. But you will constantly find Amnesty harping on the US, even begging other countries to arrest our duly elected leadership when they set foot on foreign soil.

Treasonous? If Amnesty's president--more on her later--were an American, you betcha. Since she isn't, it's just moonbattery as an extreme sport. There is no excuse for it. But there is a reason for it.

That reason is the second thing and to me it is more interesting. And it's related to the first. The fact is pressure groups can get a response from open western-style democracies. Letter writing campaigns, internet pressure drives, press conferences--all of these tools and more are effective against governments that are accountable to voters who can withdraw their support at any time. Groups like Amnesty know that they can call a press conference or issue a press release and just like that they'll have the President of the United States or his spokesman trotting out to refute the charge or offer up some kind of explanation. Amnesty knows the western media will give its charges against the US major play, even if to refute them, no matter how absurd the charge itself is. Amnesty also knows from long experience that it can expect no such response from true tyrannies. Saddam Hussein had probably had a good laugh or two as Amnesty reps skulked out the door of one of his many palaces. And I'm sure the ChiComs just read Amnesty's letters, chuckle, and then shred them. Or maybe they keep them and use them as kleenexes or something. Whatever, tyrants won't trot out to answer Amnesty's charges. They don't give a fig what their own people think--why would they care what at bunch of whiny western leftists think? They don't and they won't...[Continued...]

Extreme liberalism (or so-called "progressivism") is not a political philosophy but is instead a mental disorder. Period.

Indeed, the very methods such people use amply attest to this without ambiguity.{8} But there is more on Amnesty International to touch on in this thread so let Us get to it...


TRAVESTY INTERNATIONAL

Shocking news: Amnesty's top officials are in the tank for the left.

The top leadership of Amnesty International USA, which unleashed a blistering attack last week on the Bush administration's handling of war detainees, contributed the maximum $2,000 to Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign.

Federal Election Commission records show that William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty USA, contributed $2,000 to Mr. Kerry's campaign last year. Mr. Schulz also has contributed $1,000 to the 2006 campaign of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.

Also, Joe W. "Chip" Pitts III, board chairman of Amnesty International USA, gave the maximum $2,000 allowed by federal law to John Kerry for President. Mr. Pitts is a lawyer and entrepreneur who advises the American Civil Liberties Union.

Amnesty stands by its "gulag" nonsense. What I want to know is how can officials working for a charity afford to give in the thousands to any political cause? Whatever happened to suffering for the sake of justice? Amnesty is led by nothing more than latte liberals now. [LINK]

It is not difficult to highlight the reasons why groups with the outlook of Amnesty International act as illogical as they do.

Indeed, tomes of type could be spilled covering various facets of this rather ample subject. For that reason, it suffices to note these things in a few brief bits -along with the latest manifestation of idiocy from Amnesty International- before moving on to the subject of North Korea. North Korea is (of course) a country whose goverment's treatment of innocent citizens makes any minor inconveniences of US policy (towards suspected or actual terrorists) look like Sunday school by comparison. However, you would not know this to listen to the drivel of Amnesty International (more correctly called Travesty International as Bryan noted) on the matter...

TARGET: NORTH KOREA

Clinton W. Taylor sends in a link to this WSJ story about US efforts to deal with North Korea. North Korea is a bit like a hydra in terms of the threats it poses; on the one hand, it is constructing a nuclear weapons program and selling technonogy derived from and used in that program to willing buyers including some of America's most dangerous enemies. On the other hand, NK also deals heavily in narcotics, illegal pharmaceuticals, even fake Viagra and counterfeit cigarrettes, on black markets. NK is also one of the world's leading currency counterfeiters. The latter two illegal trades bring in hard currency which Pyongyang badly needs to shore up its pathetic economy and to purchase technology needed to keep its army viable and its other weapons programs operational. Essentially, North Korea exports nothing but evil and its various illicit industries feed each other and keep the Kim cult in power. And the profits ultimately end up in North Korean reactor facilities funding Kim's nukes.

The linked article goes into much more detail; I am summarizing to get to the point, which is that contrary to assertions from the left the Bush administration is and has long been pursuing a multi-pronged and multi-lateral approach to dealing with the North Korea menace. There was no such strategy during the Clinton years, but there is now.

Correction Bryan, the Clinton Administration had a strategy of dealing with North Korea. It was called appeasement.

The US approach includes the PSI, flogged frequently on this blog, as well as Caspian Guard and something I'd heard very little of before reading the article: the Illicit Activities Initiative. The IAI is the administration's chief weapon to combat North Korea's drug trade, and like the PSI it has been racking up some success even while most of the media and everyone to the left of the political divide pretends it doesn't exist.

All of these activities are being managed through something called the North Korea Working Group, which is an interagency effort to pool resources into a coherent strategy for dealing with the multidimensional North Korean threat. It's the kind of thing that we badly needed before 9-11, when thanks to the Gorelick Wall relevant agencies were forbidden from effectively communicating and sharing intelligence. The maligned Patriot Act went a long way toward tearing down that wall, and my guess is it also made the North Korea Working Group's activities possible and productive.

And it's working..[Continued...]

Which is precisely why the MSM will not report on it.

THE LATEST GULAG POLL

Oh, this could get fun.

ck out the interesting new Gallup poll results on confidence in various American institutions. Despite the constant barrage of negative MSM coverage, confidence levels in the military, police, and organized religion are high, while confidence levels in Congress, the public schools, and the media are plunging.

Hm, why would that be? Military wins wars, kicks butt and takes names. Check. Cops round up bad guys. Check. Most of us are Christians, and Christians don't go around blowing up other people. Check.

On the other hand, Congress looks more and more like a bunch of preening narcissists. Check. Public schools descend into PC sex-crazed madness. Check. Jayson Blair, Eason Jordan, Linda Foley, Dan Rather, Newsweek and nearly every other MSM figure and outlet make a sad joke of ethics and fairness. Check.

It must be acknowledged that the MSM figures are not the only ones to make a sad joke of ethics and fairness.

Liberals are going to hate this poll result. Hate it hate it hate it.

:)

Links and quotes over at Michelle's place. Let the left-wing police state fear-mongering begin! [LINK]

Give them time Bryan...give them time.

Moving from the pleasing to a "grandmaster of the obvious", we come to the subject of Howard the Duck Dean...

MAD HOWARD DEAN

just can't keep both of his feet out of his mouth.

What serious person says Republicans have never made an honest living in their lives?

The answer of course is simple: no one. That is why those who make such assertions are not to be taken seriously by people who are actually interested in ideas rather than ideologies.

What serious person believes the Republicans really have the power to short black districts voting machines? Even in Democrat-dominated districts?

What serious person uses the name of the Lord on the way to smearing the Bush administration as eroding the core of our democracy?

What serious person does any of these things?

No serious person does any of these things. But DNC Chairman Howard Dean does all of them--in one speech! Amazing. He's a walking stereotype for everything that's wrong with the Democrats.

Some will blame Dean's foot-in-mouth disease on his "straight talking." Others will blame it on a Rovian conspiracy.

I blame Cowboy Troy. [LINK]

Those who wondered why your humble servant at Rerum Novarum supported the nomination of Howard Dean to chair the DNC now have your answer...though Bryan's tying in Cowboy Troy to anything related to Howard the Duck Dean is not fair to Cowboy Troy. Nonetheless...

THE WHITE, CHRISTIAN PARTY

HoDean has done it again--this time slamming the GOP as the "white, Christian party." Add it to the litany of over the top divisive remarks to escape Dean's mouth since becoming DNC chair.

Doug Payton tosses up a few stats that, if Democrats were the introspective kind, might give them pause.

But Democrats are not the introspective kind. No amount of statistical evidence, factual counterexamples or information of any kind is going to dissuade the Democrats that they are wrong about anything. Heck, as I write this the entire socialist project in Europe is unravelling before our eyes. For the past decade and more the Democrats have argued that America should become more like Europe, that we should build a healthcare system or a tax system or a legal system or you name it system on the European model. Yet Europe is now before our eyes coming unglued. If the Democrats were the introspective kind, events in Europe might give them pause. But they're not, so introspection is not going to happen.

The problem is a weltanschauung marinated in solipsism Bryan. There is a reason why when this writer decided to define the term solipsism on his Miscellaneous BLOG that it was done after several references to political situations...and in reference to Deanings in general. But rather than write anything new, let Us revisit Our previously written observations on this matter:

[The] epistemological theory of solipsism [is one] whereby the self knows nothing but its own states and their constituent modifications if you will. This is a core philosophical flaw of modern day liberal political views...

This is why certain kinds of people of the extremist liberal mindset such as the Deanings cannot be reasoned with. You can throw all the facts in the world at them and reason until your gray hairs fall out but they will not budge because so much of what you would say does not pertain to them personally. [Excerpt from the Rerum Novarum Miscellaneous BLOG (circa February 7, 2004)]

It should not surprise astute readers that these same problems subsist with many who call themselves "peacemakers" on the war subject.

Here's what's going on. Shortly after the 2004 election there was a struggle for what's left of the soul of the Democrat Party. It was a bit like struggling for the crumbs left over from a Michael Moore Subway session--there wasn't much there--but the struggle was real and it was important.

Indeed. This writer even posted in dialogual form a thread from a reasonably level-headed Democrat who was concerned about this very dynamic.

One side in the struggle recognized that so-called "values voters"--people who generally believe in a strong country, a strong family and a strong sense of right and wrong--voted overwhelmingly for the Republicans and for President Bush. This side of the Democrats saw the loss of the values voters as something that could be rectified with the right approach to issues and the right outreach tactics. This side of the DNC was essentially saying to the other side "Look, we can win these voters back if we stop alienating them and start listening to their concerns."

The other side of the Democrats wanted none of that. They mocked the values voters as hicks living in Jesusland. They smeared values voters as backward fools following Smirky McHilterchimp to our collective doom. This side of the DNC was all but ready even to excommunicate the other side of the DNC, and has all along blamed every single bad thing in the world either on Bush, on Christians, on Republicans or "sellout Democrats" who offer nothing but Republicanism-lite.

The struggle between these two sides played out as the fight to become the next Chairman of the Democratic (sic) National Committee. The Jesusland-mocking side's champion was Howard Dean, who during the campaign had cast himself as represting the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party." The more moderate side really didn't coalesce around a single candidate, and Dean manuevered well enough to trounce all of his opponents without much of a fight.

So the anti-values voters wing--the anti-Christian wing, the anti-American wing, the anti-morality wing, the anti-everything wing--of the Democrat Party won. With them there is no accomodation for Christians, or indeed with anyone to their political right, which is about 80 percent of the country. Dean is the perfect man to lead what's left of his party right over the cliff. And he's doing a bang-up job of it...[Continued...]

Which is (again) why this writer was pleased that Dean became DNC chairman. It insures that no matter how badly the Stupid Party screws up, the Evil Party will do even worse. But enough on that matter as we have one final installment in this series before wrapping it up.


WHEN ANN COULTER

suggested shortly after 9-11 that we should invade the Arab world, kill off its leaders and convert the region's inhabitants to Christianity, hilarity ensued. If by "hilarity" you mean that she got fired from National Review, had to apologize and has had to live down the comment ever since, that is. Of course the left will never, ever let her live that one down.

But when the leader of Amnesty International suggests that foreign governments should--in a time of war, no less--arrest the leaders of our government on trumped-up claims of war crimes that amount to criminalizing policy differences, the media yawns.

See what was written above about hypocrisy and double standards...

Actually, so did the blogosphere when I blogged about it last week.

But today Captain Ed is on the case, and so is the rest of the sphere. Powerline takes a crack, and NRO links.

Finally. Glad you people decided to catch up.

Anway, for all the hyperbole, at least Coulter was suggesting doing things to the leaders of countries that had for years incubated terrorists who had just attacked us. William Schultz is suggesting doing things to the leaders of our country that would have the effect of decapitating our government in the middle of a war. Where I come from, that's treason. That he did it just to get his mug on the evening news is no excuse, either. Last time I checked, seeking publicity was no defense against a criminal charge.

So, now that the blogosphere has caught up to the JYB, let's lead again and suggest a remedy: Schultz should face charges for treason and he should be tried as an enemy agent of influence. The facts on that are plain--he tried to persuade foreign powers to cripple our government while we are engaged in hostilities. It should be a straightforward trial from that point of view. The discovery portion of the trial should focus on Amnesty's financial records, seeking proof that Schultz and his organization have been bought and paid for by some foreign power (probably via CAIR or some similar Islamist mouthpiece) or by some Soros-esque figure.

Yeah, that's a fantasy, I know. This nation doesn't take treason seriously anymore and doesn't prosecute traitors. If it did, Schultz wouldn't be the only one facing jeopardy. [LINK]

Indeed. As this writer noted earlier, the ACLU should also be tried under RICO statutes for if not treason then at least sedition. If found guilty, they should be put out of business, their assets liquidated, and their spokesmen jailed. The same is the case for Amnesty International and also CAIR. Lucky for those groups your host is not in a position to do any of these things or else all of them would be in deep kim chee. God-willing the Bush Administration will pull their heads out and realize this before these termites and whores of a political nature cause any more damage to our efforts in the war on terror.


Notes:

{1} This writer can think of at least one so-called "progressivist" who would find it more newsworthy that the US military may have detained children in Abu Ghirab rather than focusing on truly horrific news such as the Islamofascists beheading children!!! [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa March 11, 2005)]

{2} A subject that We have covered twice at Rerum Novarum. (See the threads on Nick Berg and Paul Johnson for more details on that subject.)

{3} Whether these be self-styled "journalists" in the MSM or self-styled "journalists" in the alternative media who claim to hate blogs yet who essentially run their own version of Instapundit in all but name.

{4} See footnote three.

{5} By a quick count there are nine Rerum Novarum posts where Instapundit is mentioned. Of those nine, six of them were either JYB Update threads (five) or a Volokh Conspiracy multipost thread (one). There are also two posts which mention Glenn Reynolds by name and one of them is the aforementioned Volokh Conspiracy multipost thread.

{6} And sites which run a blog feature in all but name (but refuse to acknowledge this).

{7} It is about as complete an exposition insofar as this subject can be remotely covered in its many facets in a single weblog post.

{8} Leaving aside for a moment (i) the illogical premises from which they operate and (ii) the the incoherence that logically results from such mental midgitry. There is also (iii) the common (and profoundly disingenuous) manipulation of sources which is part and parcel to their entire weltanschauung but that is enough on the latter subject for the present time.

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Briefly Revisiting Able Danger:

I do not have time to comment on this issue unfortunately but Able Danger is back in the news. I want to take this opportunity to remind readers of what I wrote on this issue last month -starting with this tidbit:

I surmize that...the existence of Able Danger and its coverup will prove to be a huge black mark on the previous administration. And in light of Hillary's longtime designs on the presidency, Able Danger would not be a benefit to her cause to put it mildly...

As I have noted in private correspondence to a few individuals, what he has done (in writing a book about Able Danger and 9/11) and what he is saying (in promoting his book on the various media curcuits), Rep. Curt Weldon has taken quite a gamble here. Bryan is right about him essentially going "all in" with what he is doing (to use a Texas hold'em expression) in that if he is called and does not produce the cards, he will be finished politically. However, if he can deliver on what he says he can, then his prestige will increase. In fact, if the latter proves to be true, look for Rep. Weldon to become a Republican darkhorse candidate for the presidency in 2008 (whether he wants it or not). My money is on Weldon's gamble paying off because generally speaking people do not make public stances like this unless they can deliver. [Excerpts from Rerum Novarum (circa September 16, 2005)]

There is also this more detailed exposition on the subject posted on September 21, 2005:

On Able Danger and A Potential Defense Department Coverup

Readers will get a very good overview of the significance of this situation at the thread above. From there I recommend that the readers check out Michelle Malkin's BLOG where she updates us on where things are since I wrote the post above:

'ABLE DANGER: WELDON GOES BALLISTIC'

And while I will post more on this subject in the coming weeks and months, it seemed appropriate at the present time to revisit it briefly and provide you with not only my views on the matter but also an update since this has the potential to be the biggest issue of 2006 and could very well influence the 2006 elections.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Miscellaneous Musings on Time

this is an audio post - click to play

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Points to Ponder:
(On the Myopic Vision of the Whig Historian)

The whig historian stands on the summit of the twentieth century, and organized his scheme of history from the point of view of his own day; and he is a subtle man to overturn from his mountain-top where he can fortify himself with plausible argument. He can say that events take on their due proportions when observed through the lapse of time. He can say that events must be judged by their ultimate issues, which, since we can trace them no farther, we must at least follow down to the present. He can say that it is only in relation to the twentieth century that one happening or another in the past has relevance or significance for us. He can use all the arguments that are so handy to men when discussion is dragged into the market place and philosophy is dethroned by common sense; so that it is no simple matter to demonstrate how the whig historian, from his mountaintop, sees the course of history only inverted and aslant.

The fallacy lies in the fact that if the historian working on the sixteenth century keeps the twentieth century in his mind, he makes direct reference across all the intervening period between Luther or the Popes and the world of our own day. And this immediate juxtaposition of past and present, though it makes everything easy and makes some inferences perilously obvious, is bound to lead to an over-simplification of the relations between events and a complete misapprehension of the relations between past and present. [Herbert Butterfield -From The Whig Interpretation of History (c. 1931)]

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Miscellaneous Mutterings on Polling

this is an audio post - click to play

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